A MASSPRODUCTION COLUMN (02/18/99, 02/19/99 Revised)
Soon OVA of Kenshin is going to be on sale
On 02/20/1999, SME Visual Works are going to sell OVA type Rurouni Kenshin "Memories Volume 1."
But most parts of the anime have not been shown yet. Therefore we do not know OVA-type Enishi.
Today I received a letter from Argentina. He wants to know TV-series of Kenshin. Kenshin is still a minor title in the world. But it is popular in Japan and Hong Kong. It often deals with Japanese and Chinese martial arts. Therefore those who like such martial arts began to enjoy the title.
First, congratulations! Yours is the most informative page in the whole net, I mean it doesn't have audio-visual data or mpeg data, but it has something that I 've got hooked on, espacially about Ruroken and Japanese history. Anyway I work for the most popular anime/manga magazine in Latin America, and after year my editor agreed to make a note on Kenshin. I have every data but the only thing I couldn't find is the first episode airing and since your page has all this kind of data...
I'm sorry for bothering you but this is very important for me. PLEASE HELP ME I NEED THIS NOTE TO BE PERFECT!!! I HAVE MY DEADLINE THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. THANKS A LOT LOT LOT.
My reply was as follows;
02/18/1999 Tokyo, JAPAN
Thank you very much for your letter. I've just read your letter. Your original letter was sent on 02/16/1999. Perhaps you'll receive the true answer from other readers.
First, my page is not so large. Large pages on Kenshin are active at present. Especially "Kenshin Rurouni Resource Center" is very accurate and large. It is written in Chinese and English. The webmaster lives in Hong Kong, but his data is newer than mine. The URL is http://home.hkstar.com/~kenshin/rurouni/
The webmaster has promoted my Kenshin page since 1997.
Second, data on "First Air" are dealt with by Sony's official page.
First Sony had a music CD company "CBS Sony." The company promoted a Japanese famous singer "Momoe Yamaguchi." The former president was Norio Ooga, a professional misic producer. Thereafter Mr. Ooga became a president of Sony. "CBS Sony" was restructured into "Sony Music Entertainment."
The SME wanted to start a video game entertainment business. Then SME established "Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE)."
By the way, original Kenshin anime was produced by Sony Picture Entertainment Visual Works Co.Ltd. The anime was the first anime made by the company. It was in 1996. Then Sony Computer Entertainment had already sold Video Game Client "Sony Playstation." Now SCE sold 50,000,000 sets of the client. However in 1996 it was not so popular. To promote the video game client, Sony Music Entertainment established a company "SPE Visual Works."
When the anime was made, Sony chose theme songs for the anime. For example, Jury and Mary, a singer group in Japan, was promoted there. Their CD single "Sobakasu" was TV-anime type Kenshin's theme song. It became very popular.
Thereafter Sony and Sony Music Entertainment promoted Sony's popular songs at the anime.
At the same time, SCE promoted its video game software.
Then every Wednesday 19:30, the anime was broadcast.
The data was shown at Sony's official page.
The URL is http://www.sme.co.jp/Movie/TV/Kenshin/Yokoku/stufflist.html
But the page is written in Japanese.
The first story was broadcast on 01/10/1996.
The Japanese title was "Densetsu No Bikenshi - Ai Yueni Tatakau Otoko" (Legendary Handsome Swordsman - The man fighting for Love). In the story, Mr. Gohei Hiruma, a large swordsman, appeared in front of Ms Kaoru Kamiya. He called himself "Hitokiri Batousai." He said, "I use a sword art Kamiya-Kasshin-ryu." He did bad things to Tokyo people. Of course Kaoru Kamiya has Kamiya-Kasshin-ryu training hall. It lost its popularity. Then Gohei's elder brother Kihei Hiruma appeared in front of Kaoru. He said, "Please sell the hall to me." Thereafter Kenshin appeared. He helped Kaoru.
As you know, on 02/15/1999, Weekly Shounen Jump was sold. In the issue, those Kihei and Gohei appeared again. In the Watsuki's original cartoon, Sanosuke Sagara fought against Kenshin for the brothers. Thereafter in this issue, Sanosuke met the brothers in Nagano prefecture.
Since October 1997 the anime was broadcast every Tuesday 19:30. In fact, the rating was rather low, 8 percent.
The last story was the 94th story on 09/08/1998. The 94 episodes of the anime was broadcast for 2 year and 8 months. It is strange. But it was broadcast by Fuji Telecast Co.Ltd. Fuji Telecast is controled by Sankei Newspaper. Sankei Newspaper formerly had a professional baseball team "Sankei Atoms" in 1960s. Atom means Osamu Teduka's Astroboy. In 1960s, Fuji Telecast broadcast TV-anime type Astroboy. (Of course then I saw the programs.) Thereafter Sankei sold the team. At present the team became "Yakult Swallows." Therefore Fuji Telecast often broadcasts baseball games owned by Yakult Swallows.
Moreover Fuji Telecast sometimes broadcasts Yokohama Baystars' baseball games. When these games were broadcast on Wednesday (or Tuesday), Kenshin anime was postponed.
Third, I wrote on Nobuhiro Watsuki. But Watsuki has other jobs.
When he started his Kenshin, he worked for Takeshi Obata, a cartoonist. He draws a cartoon "Hikaru's Go."
The cartoon is very interesting. It deals with Chinese ancient game "Go."
A Japanese ancient ghost "Sai" appeared in front of a boy "Hikaru" in modern Japan.
Sai made Hikaru play Go. First Hikaru was forced to play Go. Thereafter Hikaru began to have Go's skill for himself.
In Watsuki's work, Watsuki often wrote episodes on Mr. Obata. Thereafter Watsuki began to draw cartoons on swordman. He made two titles "Sengoku No Mikaduki (a Seijurou Hiko character appeared.)" "Rurouni (a proto-type Rurouni Kenshin)." Thereafter he started "Rurouni Kenshin."
Then he had a lot of young female fans. The female fans drew Ya-O-I doujinshi cartoons which dealt with a queer homosexual love affairs between Sanosuke and Kenshin. Thereafter Watsuki created a character Aoshi Shinomori. Just after, the female fans began to draw Ya-O-I doujinshi cartoons which dealt with a queer homosexual love affairs between Aoshi and Kenshin.
As you know, those Ya-O-I doujinshi has several rules. A famous one is that the Doujinshi is expressed as "A versus B." "A versus B" Ya-O-I cartoon means a cartoon where Male Character A rapes Male Character B. Say, the female fans made cartoons "Sanosuke versus Kenshin" or "Aoshi versus Kenshin." In the cartoons, Kenshin would often bore his baby.
In CD book, Ms Megumi Ogata, who looks like a tall and stout man, played the role of Kenshin. In TV anime, Ms Mayo Suzukaze, who played the role of male characters at Takaraduka Revue (musical played by only girls), played the role of Kenshin.
By the way, Watsuki always has several assistants. He taught them to be professinal cartoonists. In fact, Eiichirou Oda works as a prefessional cartoonist. He draws "One-Piece." (a pirate story. it is very popular.)
In Watsuki's works, he often deals with "SNK archade games" "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and "Shinsen-gumi Company."
Of course, I like all the three. Therefore I've my pages on the three.
As you know, I wrote on those three.
In short, SNK means Shin Nihon Kikaku (New Japan Planning). It is located at Esaka of Suita City, Osaka. It has made archade electric game machines "King Of Fighters (An Yagami and Kyo Kusanagi or Athena Asamiya)" "Samurai Shodown (Nakoruru)" and "Garou Densetsu (Mai Shiranui)." Unfortunately SNK has several patrons (otokuisama). I'm not a patron.
Therefore I have little information on SNK. I was born in Esaka, Suita. I still have my house there. But SNK has not taught me anything yet.
Famous patron "ruru" has a large homepage. He lives in Nagoya city.
Its URL is http://w3ma.kcom.ne.jp/~hi6/
On Neon Genesis Evangelion, my page (http://webspace.webring.com/people/cu/um_2708/index-j.html) deals with a lot. Please refer to other great pages (http://webspace.webring.com/people/cu/um_2708/file602.html).
On Shinsen-gumi Company, recently a large page appeared. What? The page also promotes my Kenshin page. Please refer to the URL (http://webspace.webring.com/people/cu/um_2708/file601.html).
But in Japan, an old female, Shizuko Akama deals with Hajime Saitou's data. Unfortunatey she still monopolizes data and goods on Hajime Saitou. She has a group "Saitou Hajime No Kai (Hajime Saitou's Meeting)." I'm not a member. Therefore I've never seen Hajime Saitou's clothes which she has.
By the way, a female professional cartoonsist "Eiki Eiki" deals with Kenshin doujinshi cartoon books. She is a young beautiful woman. She draws "Seiki-matsu Prime Minister." This cartoon is published by Shinshokan.
It deals with a young Japan Prime Minister. He loves a high school girl. One day he brought her to the Prime MInister's house as his wife.
What? "Eiki Eiki" is a granddaughter of Former Japan Prime Minister "Noboru Takeshita." He is still a wirepuller of Japanese Government. Therefore she knew details on Japanese Government and Japanese Diet. (I've also been to Japanese Prime Minister's house, Japanese Diet, and Japanese several ministries to get jobs there. I could see inside of them luckily. Of course, I could not get any job.)
Recently Mr. Watsuki began to use web. As you see my page (http://webspace.webring.com/people/cu/um_2708/file601.html), several English pages on Kenshin are active.
But Shueisha, which publishes original cartoon books of Kenshin, does not want to promote Kenshin abroad. Formerly Shueisha promoted its Hokuto No Ken. The cartoon and the anime was very much popular in Japan. The stout hero "Kenshirou" usually said, "Omae Wa Mou Shindeiru. (You're already dead.)" When fans heard the line, they were excited.
But the martial arts and battle cartoon was not popular in USA. The promotion was great loss to Shueisha.
On the other hand, Kodansha always publishes foreign language edition of Japanese literacy. It has its international division "Kodansha International." Therefore it always promotes Kodansha's cartoon books. "Sailor Moon" "Ah! My Goddess" etc.
If you want another data, when I can deal with them, I would like to show you them.
Thank you very much for yor cooperation.
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Ah! My Goddess|Previous Column
Hokuto No Ken|Previous Column
Neon Genesis Evangelion|Previous Column|Next Column
Rurouni (a proto-type Rurouni Kenshin)
Rurouni Kenshin|Previous Column|Next Column
Sailor Moon|Previous Column|Next Column
Seiki-matsu Prime Minister
Sengoku No Mikaduki
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