Funimation gets ‘Shinchan’ for U.S. DVDs
Ever since "Crayon Shinchan" went off the air locally several years ago, fans have had to resort to trading aging videotapes to complete their collections of the adventures of the mischievous 5-year-old Shinnosuke Nohara and his family and friends.
The good news: It appears that those fans can retire those videotapes soon.
According to an item published Tuesday on Anime News Network (www.animenewsnetwork.com), Funimation has licensed "Crayon Shinchan" and is expecting to release the series starting in late 2007.
Whether the version Funimation releases will retain some of the series' raunchier trademark gags -- including Shinchan's bare-bottomed "Cheek Monster" dance and, of course, his bare frontal "Mr. Elephant" -- remains unknown at this point.
One thing is certain, though: However the series is presented, it will not retain the original translation as aired on KIKU in the 1990s.
As JN Productions President Joanne Ninomiya told me via e-mail, the original reels sent to KIKU as well as the translated reels were erased, in accordance with an agreement between the Japanese producers and the station.
"The Japan producers want to be sure that there is no copyright infringement beyond what was contracted," Ninomiya said.
While JNP has done subtitling work on Funimation productions in the past, Ninomiya said they have yet to be contacted to work on the "Shinchan" DVD project ...
In 'D&Q' Sunday
One series is based on Herman Melville's classic novel "Moby Dick"; the other, on Akira Kurosawa's classic film "The Seven Samurai." Their common thread? Robots and high-pitched battles, of course. In Sunday's Today section, I take a look at these anime remixes, "Hakugei: Legend of the Moby Dick" and "Samurai 7."
Cel Shaded, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. Reach Jason S. Yadao