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I have that issue. Why "California Crisis" has never been licensed would not count as one of anime's greater mysteries. But upon seeing the heartless laughs of student curators at a lifetime's accumulation (I was pleased to see that the "shelves of books from the anime series called 'Lemon People,'" was listed among the "highlights"), I decided to scrub my own plans to donate my shit to an institution of learning, and have taken the more practical step of simply wiring it all with thermite.


By the way, do I remember correctly that the explanation for the Japanese VHS prices for anime is that they were often intended for purchase by rental stores, not individual customers?

Carl, I think that was the standard Books Nippan reply when people questioned 19,800 Yen video prices..like my copy of Be Forever Yamato..which I did get on sale for the low low price of $70 back in the day.

I do know that in Japan they have rental releases and sale only releases (and you see the sale only words on many releases) but I'm not sure on the pricing structure issues.

I CAN speak with authority that there was a huge difference between rental VHS in the US, and this is likely where the excuse is born. Back in the day it would not be uncommon for a major release like, say, Star Wars to have been $80, even $120 on rental release, and then a year later dropped to sell thru at $29.99. I could bore you to tears with the history of home video from 1980 to the birth of DVD, but I won't.

As you know, the reason stuff costs so much in Japan is the shockingly complicated distribution system, but I'm sure Keith didn't want to have to explain that back then and Yuji was gone...

I seem to recall that General Products charged something like 13,000 yen (of which ELO received a 00,000 yen royalty on each) for the 20-minute Daicon III and IV video, which, it seems to me, was probably not intended for the rental market.

Well, there were shipping costs, union dues! My last Books Nippan memory was from the days when I worked right down the street, at the Asia Society in ARCO Plaza. This was L.A., 1990--we're talking the RISING SUN vibe at flood tide. BN had already lost its sense of monopoly over goods, yet I am fairly certain they were still the only place in the United States to have a floor display of a newly-printed "Dirty" Matsumoto collection, perhaps as many as a dozen volumes in the set. The story that sticks in my mind involved a sort of SM game of tennis.

I do miss the old days of Books Nippan, but they killed themselves.

I mean, everyone knows they were first and foremost a Distribution company, designed to feed books and manga to the 'mom and pop' stores scattered thru the US as well as their own stores. It wasn't until the C/FO bugged them (i believe it was the infamous Dr. Bill Wilson who brokered the deal with Yuji) that they started to actually do something with the anime books. It's one thing I do thank the old C/FO for, pushing Books Nippan and Pony Toy to do stuff on a national level.

But Yuji left for Japan back around Nov. '85, maybe December, leaving his 'second' Keith to take charge. (it WAS Keith, wasn't it? I can't find my old BN newsletters right now..anyway, onward) Keith really didn't give a shit about anime, he wanted to push two things- Japanese rock/music magazines and art books, the expensive kind about airbrushing, the Sorayama kind of thing, because those could be sold in 'mainstream' bookstores. So this became the 'push' for the company- trips to ABA to push the books, money on catalogs to sell the books, and pretty much overall a giant F U to anime except whatever 'easy' things showed up, big releases.

Of course at the same time in Japan, the publishing boom was drying up, shows were going unlicensed in books (consider this simple fact: NO HOKUTO NO KEN ROMAN ALBUM!)

And the world has never been the same.

And I still don't understand why Matsumoto's porn hasn't been made into OAVs. Not that I...I mean..it's not...

I almost died laughing the first time Carl called them "Crooks Nippon".

Crooks Nippan? Why I never! The Carson City / Los Angeles / New York triad and its "1 dollar = 1 yen" exchange rate is PERFECTLY reasonable!

The effectiveness of that Ranma 1/3 parody dub is diminished somewhat by a lack of general awareness of the West 7th Street snookers, but lucky for us pixelated cross sections of the uterus are timeless and universal.

edit because my mind works slower than light.

In my post above, please replace 'Keith' with 'Kevin Seymore'

He who pushed BUURRrrrrnn magazine and airbrush books.

message ends.

I love it when it pixellates! I can feel it!

It's at times like this I recall that I basically re-discovered GUNBUSTER through ROBOTECH III, having rejected it after the first volume in 1988 with some rather unkind words.

"So basically, I'm the new Fred Patten...whoop whoop."

To be the new Fred Patten is not only a spiritual thing, it's also, and many people forget this, a fashion statement. One of the best things with "Watching anime, reading manga" is that Fred manages to look exactly the same on all the pictures of him in the book, compare the picture from 1983 to the ones taken in the mid-90s. They look like they could have been taken just days after eachother. I also believe, but this is just speculation, that he actually wears the same shirt on the pictures on page 151 (from 1995) and 206 (from 1983). That is a fashion statement my ladies and gentlemen! Are you prepared to hold on to that Takeo Kikuchi hoodie for at least ten years from now Patrick?

Ah gee guys you are taking me back to the days where otaku were happy to get 4th gen tapes of their favorite series. Books Nippan is not totally dead, just under a different name and owned by DMP.

I still regret not getting= copies of that awesome Wings of Honeamise conte book for $3 at Wondercon in 93 from BN. Damn :(

Oopse forgot to ask but was California Crisis any good? There was a thread on the fanimecon forums about showing obscure anime, please give me a good list of stuff and even better if I can get somebody to translate/sub.

>Oopse forgot to ask but was California Crisis any good?

God, I haven't seen California Crisis since I was 14 or something. I remember it *looks* better than it plays and that it's basically a wannabee Hollywood road action movie, but who knows about hindsight?

>Are you prepared to hold on to that Takeo Kikuchi hoodie for at least ten years from now Patrick?

I don't know about my hoodie, but I figure that when I get ready to cash in my chips, NO ONE gets my collection. I'm going to cover all those Roman Albums, Chogokins. and hardcover Yamato books in Hormell chili and throw them in the trash. Mainly because I don't want people "laughing at my Smurfs."


I remember that "California Crisis" involved a mysterious glowing ball and a U.S. Air Force base. The anime was mainly known for that strange high-contrast style it was painted in (I don't think I'm using the correct term to describe it) which didn't quite never catch on. MZ23 Part II used it in a less severe way, a change from the original that, like its change in tone, I am, remarkably, still bitching about twenty years later.

Oh, yeah, the legendary BN sell-off. I think I got three copies of the ROYAL SPACE FORCE drama album (which contains a fucking FLEXI-DISC of two bits of BGM they forgot to put anywhere else). Was that the same year as the big Beta sell-off, or was that '92?

Why do I have some stupid mind fart telling me "California Crisis" was a driving game, I think by Taito?

A case where the video would have no real bearing on the game if true.

And Patrick, I don't think of you as the new Fred Patten. There's some inner core, some fiber and steel that's significanly different.

Besides, I think maybe there is no Fred Patten, just a number of identical robots..eternal...unchanging...

And something I recall about Globian. Books Nippan was trying REAL HARD to place that in comic shops in the US. Who was that, GaGa Communications? the makers of The Humanoid?

Globian!! Patrick, you just made my day posting this absolutely natsukashii magazine. I have this issue at home too.

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