Sunday, March 09, 2008

No Ningen Fucking Way...

For those unfamiliar with DEATH NOTE, the spectacularly smart and stylish manga (and later, TV anime and live action movie) series about a pair of geniuses outwitting one another effectively to the death with a magical notebook, slap yourselves silly and then go watch it. All of it. I know, I was guilty myself for quite some time, going "so it's about a bus?" when pressured by strangers. You all should know I'm exactly one step ahead of US cable and one step behind the fansub circuit, but this is what taking the time to watch "old" movies does to a man.

Speaking of which, TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE was pretty awesome. As was MEGAZONE 23 PART I-II. But those are other tangents I owe you at another time.

Viz Media picked up the anime version (37 episodes courtesy of my beloved Madhouse alumni) before it finished airing in Japan, and announced that it would release download-to-own versions making seeing the show via fansubs more unethical than usual after about episode 17. I tend to wait until a show is done or close-to before grabbing batch torrents, since frankly keeping up just frustrates the crap out of me and I somehow have no HDD space left ever, despite milking a 250 GB drive for all it's worth. I was broke, wasn't sure if the title was as good as the world had claimed it to be, and I gotta' tell you, the way the download-to-own market exists right now... not working. Most episode cost about $~5, which means the DVD is cheaper in the long run if you bother to get it at Best Buy, and the majority of these downloads are single-language and extraless affairs with DRM out the wazoo, forbidding me from playing it in anything but media player. In short, they're fucking fansubs that you pay for, and no, getting a slightly better translation and a higher bitrate don't make me want to line up and bend over, particularly when - as in this instance - the translators are making certain... concessions.

Dub-only? No. (Not a DN-specific problem, but plenty of other studios are guilty of it.)

Can't play in Media Player Classic? No.

Sub-DVD quality? No.

To be fair, offering 37 episodes for $64.95 is getting close to the breaking point, but no, a man must have his limits. Paying for anything that's 3mbps is simply beyond me, and the fact that I have no pretty case to add to my saggingly full DVD shelf is just the kick in the nuts that keeps me from caring. I'd have been more than happy to spring for the awesome limited edition DVDs with the 6" figures inside until I found out that Viz managed to tint the transfers green. No, seriously. Even the friggin' Australian NTSC-PAL transfer got the color timing right.

How do you even screw up the color timing on a Digibeta?!

Anyway, my point in bringing all this up is the fact that the second OP appeared on US cable last night, on the [adult swim] network, once the pulsating Aorta of the American anime fan community, which has been bleeding for so long that [as] has said that the ONLY new anime title for 2008 they've picked up is CODE GEASS, and that the blame in not bringing over more rests solely on the crappy ratings that anime brings them. A damned shame that the dozens of anime fans everywhere have already watched Blood+ and Death Note in their entirety, and thus don't really give a rats' ass about seeing it dubbed, but that's the way it goes.

If you've never seen the second OP, check it out here and then come back.

...I'm waiting...

...you done? Okay. At 0:43-1:04, the lyrics are as follows -

HEYHEY! 人間SUCKER! 嗚呼 人間‥人間FUCKER!


Over, and over again.

So what did the US cable version do when faced with a song that screams "fucker" over and over again but wants to keep a TV-14 rating? Absolutely nothing. Some bullshit subtitled about "humanity being full of wretched creatures" or something equally unlike HUMAN FUCKER were slapped at the bottom of the screen, but anyone with a love for Deathnote - or, for that matter, Engrish Hebi Metaa - knows better. Considering they've had to remove nipples in Paranoia Agent and bleep "scheiß"in Neon Genesis Evangelion this was a bit of a jaw dropper.

So the moral of the story is... scream your obscenities hardcore enough and... nobody will notice?

Nah', the moral of the story is I should really look further into MAXIMUM THE HORMONE, the J-Rock band that provided the track. I'm far less impressed by their ending theme ZETSUBOU BILLY, which sounds a bit like it's playing in Hot Topics everywhere... know what I mean, wink-wink nudge-nudge?

I'm out.

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