|Can we start to put an end to the stupidity? - by Dan Bednarski (September 19th, 2010)|
The year 2010 has been an amazing year to me for so many reasons. I've made a lot of strides in my personal life, and because of that I've also been able to start comparisons up here on a regular basis as well as have gotten more involved in the SMOC (Sailor Moon Online Community). I've been able to reconnect with some people who I've lost touch with, make new friends, and break out of my shell with meeting people in real life that for whatever the reason had been a big problem with me. But you've likely seen all this already in the recent updates here and possibly my blurb in the about us section if you care about my personal life that much. I start this first editorial in years up like this because with my renewed involvement in the SMOC, I am again exposed to things that frustrate me a lot and feel the need to get off my chest moreso than I have elsewhere.
The first topic I want to address is the frustration of people unhappy with the lack of news as it regards to Sailor Moon coming back to America. It's not the lack of news itself that get's to me, that is perfectly understandable, but that a good amount of people seem to expect a progress report any time there's a convention. Now, I've been saying since May 2005 that I believed Funimation would be the best company to revive Sailor Moon on this side of the ocean. Over the past year or so, people finally started agreeing with me, given a combination of a poll they held over a year ago, Toei putting the license up for sale, and many of Funimation's comments at conventions afterwards. This is awesome, especially with a global revival of the franchise taking place, even moreso with ratings in Italy at the time of this typing being amazing. The pieces appear to be coming together for a North American revival, and it is a very exciting period of time.
Over the course of the summer, Funimation has been very gracious with information at their convention panels. When they said they were trying to obtain the rights, I was already floored and happy hearing that kind of information, as it's not often you hear of a company (especially those who have never been involved in a franchise previously) make such a bold statement. I was content with this, knowing they probably couldn't say any more than that. Yet not long after, they mentioned they were far from the only ones after it. Holy shit! While I'd personally like to see Funimation get it the most, hearing that kind of information is amazing. Then at another con, they even said if they got it they were planning a redub. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is the first time a company announced its plans on how they will handle a property before they even have the rights to it. While opinions will clearly differ between people of that news, the fact it was said before they have anything is groundbreaking.
Now here's where we get to what is frustrating me. While all this information is being presented to us once in a while this year, most of the time all they have said was that they have been trying. This doesn't bug me, it's that a lot of people expect Funimation, or any other North American anime distribution company, to say something different. Until they have signed the contract, what do people expect them to say in regards to the license?
Bottom line, a company can either have a license or not. It's a black and white, yes or no scenario. Until the contract is signed, that answer is always a no. There may be hopes amongst staff in companies, there may be talks, hell there might be actual meetings going on right now discussing terms and whatnot. A lot of things could be happening, but until that contract is signed, no one has the license. That's how it is, end of story. And if the things I said are in motion leading to that signing, it's highly likely anyone involved has to keep such information confidential during said proceedings. On top of that, if someone does hold the license, the contract could possibly state when they're allowed to reveal they have it.
Now I am all for letting companies know that we want Sailor Moon brought back here, how we would like it handled, etc., general comments that give the companies a good pulse with the fanbase. However, being that a company over here can literally do nothing with a property until that contract is signed, I find that asking said company multiple times for a progress update to be a waste of time. They will announce it when they have it, when they're allowed to. They know we want it. They know how big of a deal this is. It's not like they're going to sign the contract and forget to mention it, only mentioning it during another Q&A session.
Speaking of Q&A sessions, all the ones I have seen have guidelines of what not to ask since they can't answer them. At the top of all these lists is not to ask about licenses they do not have. Yet without fail, at least one person (usually more) asks a question about a license a company does not have. Doesn't matter what company's panel I'm sitting in. Doesn't matter the license in question. I always have to hear some dumbass who apparently can't read or listen to something they don't want to acknowledge waste everyone's time with this shit. And yet these people who can't follow simple guidelines get the most upset when they get a vague answer saying that the company can't comment on it. Companies WILL announce when they have licenses, or in some cases, when they're allowed to. I was at Funimation's Otakon 2010 panel a couple months ago, and when they didn't announce Sailor Moon, I was about to leave knowing that my asking a question about it wouldn't yield anything (someone still did, and I bet you know what the response was after reading this) but I was curious about another property and was almost about to step in line. As they were going the guidelines, they realized they had forgotten to say to not ask the question I was wondering about (if anyone cares, it was about the future of Detective Conan) as it was addressed in their blog already. So I left, and later on found that entry. Why can other people not use common sense such as this?
Until this contract is signed, I am seriously curious as to what people want to hear in regards to the North American license to Sailor Moon. Please feel free to enlighten me.
While the above rant is from the recent year, this next part is spawned from over a decade, actually a few years shy of two decades now that I think of it. This is people on other sites claiming to have information that has not been made to the public, as well as people who follow this blindly.
Here on SMU, we have an entire section where we bash the former Save Our Sailors (SOS) campaign largely due to shit like that. You can see a lot of misinformation and unfounded claims in that section, it's well worth going through. I must bring everyone's attention to one entry in particular, as this one entry proves they weren't connected to shit. The best part was this information was obtained in a public setting, and I just happened to be there. What I'm quoting below is a conversation in one of MKBO's old Direct Connect hubs (combination file sharing and chat is the best way to put what DC was, it was quite popular for some time). See for yourself what a joke SOS was after years of claims to be in the know and all that shit:
(****) - any of you guys hear anything about a stars release on cartoon network? there's a rumor going around that it starts july 27
Wow was I horrible at typing back in 2001 or what? In any case, that day was a big victory here at SMU, as SOS accidentally let themselves get exposed. I was so happy I was on the PC when that question first came up and moreso when I was able to actually get that kind of info out of the person. Want to know why there is no username for them? That is because I was actually e-mailed with a request to take down the entire entry. Clearly I refused, because it happened in a public chat, not through private messages or e-mail. Lot's of people saw, and we were having a fun time with it in the chat as the person logged off shortly after. So I censored the person's username out of respect, and no contact was made between us publicly or through e-mail ever again. Seeing how SOS worked then kinda makes you think, doesn't it?
Well SOS is far from the only site guilty of making such claims in the anime world, I'm not going to list sites I've heard of doing it as I don't want to give them any sort of publicity to increase their viewership. I only use SOS as an example due to the extensive section we have here about them, and the fact they no longer exist. My beef with these sites making such claims is that not one member of their staff is employed by any company that would be involved in the property whatsoever. I'm not only talking about Sailor Moon here, I'm talking about any property in general. On top of that, if by some chance someone was employed by them, I very highly doubt they would be allowed to make such comments. It's all about confidentiality as mentioned earlier, and I'm pretty sure serious repercussions would occur for even such a small breach of contract like that. In my time at school I've learned just how important these confidentially clauses are, and highly doubt anyone would risk breaking them to appease some fans. But then again, maybe I'm just a selfish douche who would consider my employment and financial stability in being able to pay the bills more important than sharing news or dropping hints as things happen to be looked at better by everyone on the internet.
So if no one from these sites has employment in these companies, why does anyone bother listening to them? As of right now, the only answer I've gotten to that question is possibly the global campaigns some of them run. Whoopdefuckingshit. (Yeah, I'm making one word out of a phrase and a couple other words.) When have any fan campaigns done anything for a property? Never, that's when. Look at the SOS, they accomplished nothing while we covered them, and that was years after the famed Pop-Tarts procott of 1996, which did what? That's right, jack shit. In our 10th anniversary update here, Bob made a brief mention of how crazy it was where the three of us met. For those who don't know (or have expunged it from their memory as we have attempted to do and failed), we were staff members of an SMS to English campaign. Now while I'm positive we didn't spread false information (if this is wrong I publicly apologize, memory is fuzzy but I've never been one to spread out false information for the fuck of it, even as a cocky teenager), the only thing that was accomplished from this campaign was the three of us making SMU some time after it was disbanded. Absolutely nothing we did accomplished anything for the product in North America.
Now opinions and speculations based on information given, I'm all for it. It provides for great discussion and debate, and I love it. As for people claiming to have some information not publicly available, that's not cool and I call bullshit. I'm not claiming to be the best when it comes to discovering and providing information here and elsewhere, but at least I can back it up with actual sources from companies. And for people swearing by this unverified information, stop being blind sheep. Challenge the lack of evidence these sites have, don't just eat it up because it's what you want to hear. If you can't handle hearing something besides what you desire, stay away from the internet and grow up. If the lack of news of an anime property gets to you that much, clearly you have not reached a level of maturity needed to function not just on the internet, but society itself.
With all of that said, to those of you who can use logic by not bugging companies about shit they can't say and not eating the bullshit that the attention whores are feeding you, I thank you and am happy that I am not the only one who feels this way. To the people eating up the unverified information, stop being sheep, use some common sense and do some research. To the people who ask shit companies can't answer that they already say they can't answer, shut the fuck up. You're wasting the time of their staff to not give an answer, as well as taking away time that could be used to answer questions that actually have an answer that hasn't yet been said for whatever reason. And to the people claiming to know what's going on in the industry without working in it or using a source from a company, I'm calling you out. Let me know why I, and anyone else in the world, should listen to what you have to say. Prove you have some credentials if you want to be taken seriously. If you don't, just stop already. Stop making claims to have such information, stop the ego trip, just stop. Say what you feel is an opinion and speculation, don't present it as a fact.
While the point of this was to get all this off my chest and hope that various people will help bring an end to the stupidity in some capacity, sadly I don't see the second part happening. Smart people will agree with me or at least start an intelligent debate on some of my points. It's the people who this editorial focuses on that will get all offended, and say something somewhere on the internet that will reinforce my already low opinion of them, rather than see this as a wakeup call. So please, I challenge y'all in this group to prove me wrong.
Why Fan Translations Are Still Necessary - by Dan Bednarski (May 16th, 2011)
Sailor Moon Re-launch in North America: What I'd Like to See - by Dan Bednarski (January 22nd, 2011)
Can we start to put an end to the stupidity? - by Dan Bednarski (September 19th, 2010)
Goodbyes Are Always the Hardest - by Robert Wheeler (May 4th, 2005)
Goodbye SOS. Good Riddance or Fond Farewell? - by Robert Wheeler (December 16th, 2004)
The Trouble With Whiners - by Robert Wheeler (October 10th, 2004)
Uncut Sailor Moon: Worth the Wait? - Part 2 - by Dan Bednarski (January 6th, 2004)
Uncut Sailor Moon: Worth the Wait? - Part 1 - by Dan Bednarski (September 23rd, 2003)
Disliking Vs. Hating - by Robert Wheeler (April 3rd, 2002)
The Twelve Dubs of Christmas - by Tiffany Wood (December 23rd, 2001)
Optimum Productions? Flagrant False Advertising... - by Robert Wheeler (September 3rd, 2001)
The Anime Translation and American Society Problem - by Dan Bednarski (August 6th, 2001)
Pioneer's First SMS Release: Heart Collection I - by Dan Bednarski (March 5th, 2001)
Annoyance: A Letter to the People - by Tiffany Wood (February 9th, 2001)
Cartoon Network - The Hypocrite - by Robert Wheeler (January 14th, 2001)
Moonian Rhapsody - by Tiffany Wood (December 25th, 2000)
Does Your Site Suck? (Repost) - by Tiffany Wood (October 28th, 2000)
The North American Sailor Moon World - by Dan Bednarski (September 26th, 2000)
The Trouble With Dubbies - by Robert Wheeler (September 13th, 2000)
Sailor Moon Fansubs - by Dan Bednarski (August 13th, 2000)
Does Your Site Suck? - by Tiffany Wood (August 6th, 2000)