Super GALS! Season 2: The Heart of ShibuyaBy Lisa Marie, 2006
In the midst of setting up last-minute pre-Anime Expo details, I asked Shawne, "So, what's the big title you've been hinting at for the last two weeks?" He looked at me with a big grin on his face and told me we'd picked up the elusive second season of Super Gals. Of course, being the consummate professional that I am, I then asked in a very calm manner for confirmation. He nodded and, since I am not only a professional but quite the knowledgeable fangirl, I told him that sounded like a great license – that is, I promptly shrieked "No way! Seriously?! I love that show!!" and demanded to know the release date so I could pre-order it the second we finished hauling t-shirts to Shawne's car.
Whaaat? You haven't heard of Super Gals?! *gasp* Put simply, Super Gals is the story of Ran, stylish gal extraordinaire, and the crazy exploits she gets up to with her equally chic friends in Shibuya, Tokyo's most fashionable district. The show is alternately hilarious and dramatic, is full of bright colors and bold character designs, and contains more energy than a mouth full of Pop Rocks and soda.
Animated by the famous Studio Pierrot, whose animation empire spans everything from Urusei Yatsura and Fushigi Yuugi to Saiyuki and Naruto, and directed by the eclectic Tsuneo Kobayashi (Midori Days / The Twelve Kingdoms / Victorian Romance Emma), Super Gals was destined for great things. Two complete 26 episode seasons were made and broadcast in Japan from 2001-2003, and the first season was quickly made available on DVD. But somehow the second season never quite made it off the TV screen - not even in Japan.
GALs in the USA
Super Gals hadn't even finished airing in Japan before American anime company ADV Films snapped it up for release in the US. The first volume made its English debut in September 2003. Five more volumes quickly followed, with the sixth and final volume of the first season being released in April 2004. The first season had received critical acclaim and praise, and everyone was really looking forward to the second season. That last volume had included a preview for episode 27, and it seemed only a matter of time before fans would find out what was next for the gals of Shibuya.
But then… nothing. The second season seemed to have become an elusive creature. ADV's press releases had gone silent regarding further volumes of Super Gals, and the fans continued to wait. As time went by, the fans began to hound ADV at conventions and in online forums asking what had happened to their beloved show. Was ADV working on it? Did they even have the license? Were they at least looking into it? Most importantly, fans wanted to know, when would they finally be able to see the rest of the series?
Months went by and then the months turned into years. ADV explained to fans that they did not have the license to the rest of the series, but they were looking into it. After years of hoping, fans finally came to believe that the series was stuck in licensing limbo and that ADV would never license the rest of the show.
But then came Anime Expo 2006 and everything changed.
After seeing the huge number of fans requesting to see the remainder of the show and not to mention the numerous emails that kept piling up in his own inbox requesting we license the remainder of the series, Shawne had decided to take matters into his own hands. A few inquiries, an intense series of negotiations, and one contract later, Super Gals 2 was ours.
The announcement of Right Stuf's acquisition of Super Gals Season 2 stunned those at Anime Expo and left many racing to the nearest computer terminal to add their name to the growing list of fans pre-ordering the title.
GALs Gotta Have Specifics!
It's a daunting prospect picking up further seasons of a series that has been started by another company. Once fans have seen a show a certain way, they come to expect that the entire series will be completed in the same manner. This leads to a lot of difficulties when you have a totally different set of staff and crew working on the same show. Directors tend to have different viewpoints on the direction of the show and actors different takes on characters. If fans loved the first version, they're unlikely to be happy with any changes to that might occur as the show progresses. So, with this in mind, we tackled Super Gals Season 2.
We knew that it had already been a huge gap of time since the series had been originally released on DVD. So, in order to get it into the hands of fans as soon as possible and to make the show financially viable, we opted to go with a subtitle-only box set release of the complete second season. Then, in order to maintain series consistency, we hired the same person who worked on season 1 - renowned translator Shoko Oono. And of course, just like ADV's release, Right Stuf's release will have liner notes to explain all the references, translating decisions, and in-jokes.
Adding our own Right Stuf touches, the design team is working to create a box set which echoes ADV's own box design for the first season. Further, because Super Gals is a text-heavy show, each episode will have two available subtitle tracks - one containing both dialogue and on-screen translations, and one which contains just the dialogue translations. And since this release is all about the fans, as a special thank you we'll be including the names of the first 600 who pre-ordered the set as a special feature on the DVDs.
We know you've waited long enough for this second season to happen, which is why we're extremely proud to bring you the Super Gals Season 2: The Heart of Shibuya box set this December – perfect for a marathon session during a Christmas candy-fueled all-nighter, or for savoring episode by episode with a hot cup of egg-nog.
Until next spring (when I will have finally found out if Yuya ever succeeds in telling Ran how he feels about her!),