ANIME TODAY #63: Interviewing Del Rey Manga Associate Publisher Dallas MiddaughPosted on: Friday, March 28, 2008
Episode run down:
If you’re a manga reader, chances are one of your recent favorites is published by Del Rey, the third largest manga publisher in the U.S. This episode, we’ll be playing a 2 part, 45 minute interview with Dallas Middaugh, Associate Publisher for Del Rey since 2004.
The new CD playing on our JapanFiles.com jukebox this episode is the all-cover album Time Machine RK by longtime live house favorite Rocket K. Currently you’re listening to the Guns-N-Roses cover of Welcome to the Jungle and keep listening for more covers from artists like Blondie, Kiss and many more! Thanks to JapanFiles.com for such a great CD and be sure to check the bottom of this episode’s show notes at AnimeToday.com for a full list of times when each song was played.
Leading off is Chad’s What’s Hot in the World of Anime and Manga followed by a new Uso Deshou mystery plot. Our Spring Cleaning Clearance sale continues through Sunday while Shawne traverses the globe and then Kris and Judy have Spring Break on the brain and discuss how great it would be to go relax at an onsen in the Anime and Gamers’ Guide to Japan. Next, Rich, Alison and Nick dive into the first part of our interview with Dallas and talk about how he got into the manga business, what it’s like working for Del Rey, the manga publishing arm for Random House, and books to keep an eye out for in 2008.
We’re going to be announcing the winners of our DragonBall Z video game contest next, along with details on how you can enter to win the first couple volumes of Del Rey’s Fairy Tail manga. Marie is going to be shining her spotlight on Tweeny Witches this time. Judy-sensai then joins us for Japanese 101, where she’ll teach you a few onsen-related words that are handy if you’re going to visit one in Japan. Dallas returns for the second part of his interview, where we’re going to talk about the manga industry - is it gaining mainstream acceptance in the US (and what exactly is mainstream), manga loitering, upcoming projects including the X-men and Wolverine manga, along with his favorite titles. And wrapping up this episode will be a few reviews that have been submitted through our store at RightStuf.com.
The hunted becomes the hunter when the self-appointed vigilante, Light, is forced to track down Misa, a famous pop idol and the second person in possession of a Death Note. When they meet, Light realizes he has a valuable asset on his hands and asks Misa to help him dispose of L, the genius detective hot on his trail. But Misa is focused on other matters – she has an enormous crush on Light! Her chance for love is dashed, however, when her cover is blown and she's ordered to give up her Death Note. With both Misa and Light detained, the killings finally end, but then mysteriously resume... Experience the drama, suspense, and mystery of Death Note, when DVD 4 and DVD 4 Special Edition become available on April 29th.
Once every year, the prestigious Rikkyouin High School holds a lottery to appoint the next year’s student council. When freshmen students and childhood friends Chihiro and Tokino win president and vice president on the first day of school, they think they’ve got it made. Little do they know, however, that for the next year they’ll have to prove they’ve got what it takes to rule the school by completing a tough apprenticeship, including cutthroat competitions in cooking, swimming, war, and homework. Failing one competition means not only losing their coveted position, but also losing their enrollment at the school! The favorite anime of the characters in Genshiken comes to life as its own show when the DVD 1 and the DVD plus Artbox editions of Kujibiki Unbalance arrive on April 29th.
In ancient Japan, a power-hungry feudal lord made a pact with forty-eight demons, offering each of them a part of his unborn son’s body in exchange for great power. So when his son, Hyakkimaru, was born, he was barely human. Abandoned by his father, Hyakkimaru is rescued and raised by a brilliant doctor, who makes him artificial limbs and trains him to fight demons. With his new limbs and fighting abilities, he sets out and meets a young boy thief named Dororo. Together, they adventure across the land, freeing the oppressed and killing monsters to restore Hyakkimaru to his original form. Journey with the demon-slaying duo when the first volume of Dororo, from legendary manga author Osamu Tezuka, streets on April 29th.
Konota Izumi is a naturally athletic and intelligent girl…but despite her gifts, she doesn’t play sports, isn’t in any clubs, and gets bad grades. For Konota, being an Otaku is a full-time job, and school just gets in the way of video games and anime. Together with her brainy and super cute friend Miyuki, the shy and tough Kagami, and Kagami’s air-headed klutz of a sister Tsukasa, Konota navigates the perils of high school and daily life. Follow the girls’ hilarious non-adventures as they argue about chocolate, work at cosplay cafes, play MMOs, and get trampled by deer. Catch your Lucky star when the smash hit show, Lucky Star, arrives on DVD in both regular and special editions. The loaded Special Edition includes a school sailor uniform t-shirt, a chocolate cornet screen wipe, a character CD, and the opening theme single. Both editions ship on May 6th.
Shawne's Specials and Spring Cleaning Clearance!
While the boss is away at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, the minions have been charged with spring cleaning, and our idea of spring cleaning means you get to save even more on your anime and manga favorites!
From now until March 30, 2008, take an additional 20% OFF our regular sale prices on ALL IN-STOCK items! New items come in every day, so check back frequently!
Just use coupon code “cleaning2008”. And remember, your Got Anime membership stacks giving you the potential to save up to 35% off the retail prices on all in-stock items! Check out www.gotanime.com for more details.
Please note that if the phrase “Not Eligible For Additional Discounts” is displayed below the “Your Price” on an individual item page, this item is most likely heavily discounted in the Bargain Bin, Weekly Specials or Closeouts and is not eligible for spring cleaning.
Speaking of the Weekly Specials, the boss put some great box sets on special before he left for Japan so be sure to take advantage of these savings as well.
A sale like this one is a great time to pick up or renew your Got Anime purchasing Club membership! For only $12 per year, you get an additional 10% off most purchases through RightStuf.com. So for this sale, you’d be saving 46% off on DVDs and 40% off other ADV Merchandise. Check out www.gotanime.com to learn more about this program, and pick up your membership today!
The dark marks on our arms are starting to burn again so we can tell the Dark Lord will be returning soon. We beg of you, please help us with our spring cleaning because the “boss who must not be named” doesn’t like a cluttered warehouse.
The Anime and Gamer's Guide with Kris and Judy
Dallas Middaugh, Associate Publisher for Del Rey Manga
Right Stuf Contests and Updates
- Rebecca E of Sheridan, Arkansas
- Sinan O of Macon, Georgia
- Angela W of North Richland Hills, Texas
- Deanna M of Gallitzin, Pennsylvania
- Tammy H of Colorado Springs, Colorado
To enter, and take a look at the games, check out our Contest page in the “What’s Hot” bar at RightStuf.com, and get your entry in before March 27th. We’ll announce the winners on the March 28th episode of Anime Today!
Next up, Del Rey Manga and Anime Today are excited to offer you the chance to win your very own copies of their magical new release Fairy Tail! Five lucky winners will each receive a prize package that includes both Volumes 1 AND 2 of Fairy Tail, the newest manga form Hiro Mashima, the creator of Rave Master!
To enter – and find out more about the books – check out our Contest page in the “What’s Hot” bar at RightStuf.com – before April 24th. We’ll announce the winners on episode 65 of Anime Today!
Marie's Spotlight: Tweeny Witches
I picked up Tweeny Witches after reading the description about fairies and magic, thinking it would be a delightfully cheery romp, possibly even involving pretty pastel colors or something. What I got instead completely floored me with not only how utterly wrong I was in every way about the show, but just how good it was in all those ways I’d never expected.
Arusu is an energetic elementary school kid who loves chestnuts and would rather pretend to be a witch and bring people happiness with her “magic” than study. But she’s a bit too energetic for her own good. When her latest antics end with her accidentally plummeting off the school roof, she’s lucky not to find herself in either the hospital or the morgue. Instead, she just sort of – vanishes – in midair and lands squarely on her feet in a genuine magical realm. A realm where witches really exist, but not quite like what Arusu always thought they’d be. For one, they’re hard at work capturing faeries for use in their magic spells, and two, instead of using their magic to make other people happy, they use it for selfish and even hurtful purposes. But it turns out that even though she’s a theoretically powerless and distinctly non-witch human, Arusu can somehow work magic in this realm – real magic, not the games she played at home. With it, Arusu’s determined to teach the witches how she thinks they ought to using their magic and maybe surreptitiously free a faerie or a hundred.
See why I thought this would be a cheerful and heartwarming story? Then I saw the visuals. And discovered the many, many subplots that develop after episode one. Tweeny Witches is actually closer to what magical girl anime would be like if Tim Burton was directing. For one, those faeries? Predominantly ugly little animals that live in swamps and foreboding forests, and the reason the witches want them? To cut off their fur, tails, and claws to use as ingredients in magic spells. Then there are the witches sent to spy on Arusu, whom you certainly wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. And the reason why Arusu, a human, can work magic isn’t just because she’s “special” or “believes in herself,” but something more complex. Oh, and there’s an invasion force of warlocks coming, and a grand high witch that’s none too pleased with pretty much anything, much less Arusu’s rebellious antics, and…
That said, while I was surprised to see it, the magical realm of Tweeny Witches is one of the best fantasy lands I’ve ever come across. The witches and their society remind me of The Nightmare Before Christmas’s dark tones and turn-of-the-century gone macabre technology, especially the traditionally evil-looking stylized pointy hats and capes and use of machine gears and barrels for a good portion of their gadgets. The atmospheric forests, swamps, and other locales where faeries dwell are like nothing so much as the complete world building, down to entire ecosystems, that went into The Dark Crystal. You’ll find no white-washed medieval Europe here.
Tweeny Witches is animated in Studio 4°C’s distinctive style, awash with deep colors and slightly off-kilter lines that are alive with energy. Arusu, especially, never seems to stop moving as she constantly discovers some new interesting find or races to help someone who distinctly didn’t want her help. There’s quite a bit of CGI integrated, allowing for far more detail and varied angles of things like a flying car, the witches’ compound, and even magical effects. The opening for the show is a gorgeous rendition of a medieval-like moving tapestry, full of monsters, witches, and knights.
One thing that I’m sure will come up as a point of confusion about the series is its episode length and count. Tweeny Witches originally aired in Japan in 40 short, 8-9 minute episodes called “destinies” which ran between other programs. Then, when it was released on DVD, the 40 destiny stories were combined together to make 20 standard-sized episodes. So when the first volume from Media Blasters says episodes “1-7,” it means 14 of the original 9-minute episodes. Plus, in addition to the 20 full episodes, there were another 6 episodes made specially for the Japanese DVD release. Composed of 12 9-minute “adventures,” these six episodes are side stories to the main plotline, and Media Blasters will be releasing these together as a companion volume to the rest of the series. …Or, if that was too confusing, you can just pick up volumes 1-3 and the side-story volume and rest assured of owning the complete series.
Episode confusion aside, you’d think the short format might have an adverse affect on the content, but you’d be wrong. The storytelling is fast-paced, cramming as much plot into 8 minutes as many shows do in 22. Not only that, but it’s a consistently interesting plot. Tweeny Witches is definitely not a “faerie of the day” show. New plot developments constantly crop up, and the character development keeps pace. The breaks between episodes may as well not exist, as Tweeny Witches barrels ahead with rarely so much as a recap.
As I mentioned earlier, Tweeny Witches is like Tim Burton's version of an anime. It's a visually fascinating, tightly told, larger than life fairy tale, and macabre in the best possible way. Perfect for everyone who looked up the original stories Disney movies are based on and discovered an affinity for the aptly named Grimm brothers.
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