Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television
Photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television

Hey! Friday and Monday are production holidays! I’m always the last to know. In fact, I suspect that everyone in the office didn’t tell me on purpose in the hopes that I would come in on Friday anyway, realize it was a holiday, head off and enjoy the long weekend, then come in on Monday only to realize we were STILL on holiday. I’m sure Carl spearheaded the campaign as he’s been quite bitter since I informed him that fire regulations necessitate at least one producer be on site at all times during extended weekend holidays and since his last name is first up in alphabetical order, the task falls on him. Sadly, he won’t be able to spend the four days visiting his family. I would have suggested they come to the lot and keep him company but, alas, security regulations prohibit any unauthorized visitors. Still, we’re not completely heartless. As a show of gratitude, the rest of us chipped in and got him a hamster so he can have someone to talk to on those lonely afternoons.

The Destiny Mess (photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television)
The Destiny Mess (photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television)

So, Brad will be starting his pass on Incursion I and II this weekend. In retrospect, I reconsidered my earlier critique and told him that, believe it or not, I had no notes and thought the scripts were pretty good as they were. He thanked me and pointed out that I’d written them so he wasn’t really expecting me to have notes. On the other hand, Paul and Carl had a few. And Brad had some terrific ideas that will make the finale one helluva ride. I wish I could watch the reaction of the cast as they read the scripts. NO ONE IS SAFE!

Exploration (photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television)
Exploration (photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television)

And a little Atlantis…

The lovely Amanda Tapping (Colonel Samantha Carter) - photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television
The lovely Amanda Tapping (Colonel Samantha Carter) – photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television
Carter and Keller organize a rescue op.  Search and Rescue, Stargate: Atlantis, Season 5 (photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television)
Carter and Keller organize a rescue op. Search and Rescue, Stargate: Atlantis, Season 5 (photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television)
Captain Alicia Vega (Leela Savasta)
Captain Alicia Vega (Leela Savasta)

In my bid to improve my Japanese language skills beyond the expertise of a very polite four year old boy, I’ve started to watch more anime (in the original Japanese with subtitles of course). I’m presently watching a fun ninja battle series called Basilisk and a surprisingly creepy little horror series called When They Cry. Truth is, I’m a big anime fan, my library is immense, and I have a heck of a lot to choose from. Given the wide variety, picking a series can be a tough choice. I’ll base my decision on reviews, word of mouth, box art, and, of course, the title. In the case of the latter, some titles are so good they can almost convince you to check out an anime all on their own. Others are so awkward or plain bad that they’ll make you think twice about proceeding. Below are my lists of my very favorites and my not-so-favorites.

THE BEST

Bastard: Okay, I’m instantly intrigued. All the more so when, on reading the back of the box, I realize it’s a reference to the series anti-hero. And, yeah, he turns out to be quite the bastard.

Berserk: Another title that screams “Check me out!”. I did – and this series ranks in my top ten.

Cowboy Bebop: I’m both intrigued and confused. A Jazz Western? Really? Yep. And another one of my top ten favorite anime series. The fact that Keanu Reeves has been pegged to play the lead in the live-action version actually pains me.

Death Note: A title that tells you exactly what the series is about – a deadly notebook. No, really. And it’s a damn good series.

Ghost in the Shell: A brilliant title for a brilliant series.

Grave of the Fireflies: The title instantly evokes imagery both haunting and melancholy – perfectly suited to this grim and poignant story of a young brother and sister struggling to survive the ravages of war.

Infinite Ryvius: What is a Ryvius? Search me, but that doesn’t stop me from loving this title. And, eventually, loving the series as well. P.S. Turns out Ryvius is the name of a ship.

Irresponsible Captain Tylor: Sounds like goofy fun. And it is.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures: Haven’t checked it out yet but when I do, those adventures better live up to the hype and be pretty damn bizarre. I have a feeling I’ll be disappointed though.

Last Exile: A cool title for a very cool series. The greatest zeppelin warfare sequences ever seen.

Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi: Wasn’t at all sure about the title – until I saw the series. Now, I love it! It’s perfect!

Neon Genesis Evangelion: A lofty title for one of the headiest and most ambitious anime series ever produced.

Noir: Ah, the beauty of simplicity. An ultra-cool series.

Paranoia Agent: Another title that does a bang-up job of conveying a sense of the series atmosphere.

Read Or Die: Perhaps silly to the average consumer but as a writer and reader, I love it. A great series too.

Star Blazers: One of my very favorite titles for an SF series. Next to Stargate: Universe of course.

The Twelve Kingdoms: Reminiscent of the grandeur and majesty of Chinese mythology. And the series does justice to the title.

Voices Of A Distant Star: Another title that does a pretty good job of evoking the emotion underlying the series. Poignant.

THE WORST

All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku: Wha-wha-what the hell is going on here? Okay, presumably her name is Nuku Nuku and she’s a cat girl. But what the heck is “all purpose” supposed to imply? She’ll clean your room AND do laundry? She’s also, presumably, well-cultured, which is great if you want to take her to one of those fancy parties frequented by moustached men with monocles.

Assemble Insert: While All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku goes to great lengths to tell you exactly what the series is about, the makers of this series apparently picked two random words out of an English dictionary for their title. Despite the fact that I’ve actually seen this anime, I still don’t know what this means.

Baki the Grappler: Seriously? Is that the best you can do? Not Baki the Crippler or Baki the Smasher or Baki the Slammer but Baki the Grappler? Grappler? Grappling went out of style around the same time Randy Macho Man Savage started sporting feather boas. It’s an antiquated move rarely seen outside serious wrestling and the Olympics. Who wants to watch that?

The Big O: Uh, come on now. Surely someone with a command of the English language (say, the North American distributor) should have pointed out the title is, accidentally or not, a euphemism. Alas, nothing of the sort. Just a lot of big robots battling it out in a city suspiciously similar to the animated Batman’s Gotham City.

Burst Angel: Sounds messy. “Hey, it’s raining. Better grab an umbre- Whoa, wait a minute! That’s not rain! It’s BLOOD AND FEATHERS!!!”

Get Backers: A series about two super-powered guys who recover lost or stolen items. See, they GET stuff BACK. Clever, no? Okay, no.

 

Glass Fleet: Okay, let’s hope to God those shields hold! I’m immediately reminded of the running gag in the writers’ room whenever someone mentions SGU’s seeder ship. “So these cedar ships,”says my writing partner Paul, “were they really the best the Ancients could come up with? You’d think they’d have gone with oak or pine maybe…”

Marmalade Boy: No, it isn’t a series about a boy with marmalade-based super powers. Disappointing, no?

Mermaid Forest: It’s like calling a series Horse Pond or Penguin Desert.

Princess Tutu: Okay, the series is obviously not up my alley but, come on. You’d be hardpressed to come up with a more saccharine title.

Pumpkin Scissors: Yeah, no idea.

Trouble Chocolate: As someone who enjoys his chocolate, this one makes me uneasy.

Any anime fans out there? Can you do any better? Or worse?

Mailbag:

Rich S. writes: “You mention the markteting man Grey Munford doing a wonderful job, but I haven’t seen a single thing in the UK, zip , nada, nowt…….”

Answer: Hey, Rich – Grey actually responded to this one himself. He writes ‘Mr. Robert Carlyle is coming to town and an onslaught of SGU promotion is coming with him. If he still feels the same way in a month, then we’ll talkJ

Lisa S. writes: “Joe – What’s your take on the purchase of Marvel Entertainment by Disney?”

Answer: I’m adopting a wait and see attitude. To be honest, I don’t think it will have much impact on the Marvel creative. After all, things like Marvel’s MAX line are what has helped the company solidify its male readership, and said target audience was one of the reasons Disney made the purchase.

Narelle from Aus writes: “Have you thought about the injection substitutes for the Metacam?”

Answer: Injections of what? A fellow fan has helpfully suggested I look into Rimadyl and Devil’s Claw as possible alternatives.

Iamza writes: “Probably a stupid question, but if Destiny is seeding the far side of the universe with Stargates, is there some kind of robotic stargate installer that sets up a platform prior to gate installation? or is Destiny strictly a gate address quality control device?”

Answer: Sorry, I’m not sure I understand the question. The specifics of how the seeder ships actually seed a planet have yet to be revealed. However, it’s safe to assume it’s an automated process that involves the planetary establishment of both the gate and platform.

Sherry Harris writes: “The pics of Brian J Smith are my favorite!”

Answer: Okay, Sherry. Just for you.

Look!  We're feeding him!  (Brian J. Smith relaxing off set).
Look! We’re feeding him! (Brian J. Smith relaxing off set).

Sherry Harris also writes: “Also, I predict the Cowboys are going to suck and the Raiders will finally get to the playoffs!”

Answer: That would make me very happy – and Exec. Producer Robert Cooper miserable.  Just for that, here’s another one.

A smiling Brian J. Smith (Lieutenant Matthew Scott) in the control room at Icarus Base
A smiling Brian J. Smith (Lieutenant Matthew Scott) in the control room at Icarus Base

Alexandria writes: “Actually the main question that I do have is…did I miss Joel Goldsmith’s responses to the Q&A?”

Answer: Nope. He’s still got them. But what with the new show and all, I’m willing to cut him some slack.

Fsmn36 writes: “I think GBP will be back in a desperate attempt to show they can win without Favre.”

Answer: So does Carl. He selected the Packers as his Dark Horse pick.

Bailey writes: “ Many of us have been feeling left behind/left out of this entire SGU experience. (Ex: not a single SGA character so far in SGU but quite a few SG1 folk)”

Answer: Given the circumstances of where the characters from SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe are situated at the time of the SGU premiere, it makes sense for some of the SG-1 crew to be involved. On the other hand, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to include characters from Atlantis given that they’ll have their hands full with “more pressing concerns” from the of Enemy at the Gate, through Stargate: Extinction, and on.

DasNDanger writes: “New Avengers is okay, but rather stuck in sorcery stuff right now, and never been a huge fan of that element…”

Answer: I share your anti-magic stance. If there’s one element that keeps me from fully embracing the fantasy genre, it’s that. Also, re: New Avengers – is that the Bendis title? Couldn’t get into it. Too many team members for me and I just don’t buy Wolverine as an Avenger.

DasNdanger also writes: “I see you’re reading 1985 – I loved that story! It was just something a bit different, and I was satisfied with it from start to finish.”

Answer: Agree again. (Weird). It’s definitely my favorite of the stack I went through last month. It resonates with every kid (at heart) who has imagined manifesting the same situation.

DasNdanger also writes: “Mutant abilities first manifest themselves at puberty, so he’d just be a normal kid until that moment when stress or anxiety or his first pimple (ya know, anything traumatic for a teenager) would cause his mutation to manifest itself.”

Answer: Right, but his mutant abilities first manifest themselves when he hits puberty – yet his growth rate continues the same as any human (ie. Rose and he are roughly the same age) until he reaches adulthood and then, for some reason, stops. I suppose you could simply say that’s the way his particular mutation works, but I just found it an odd and convenient way to explain the fact that he is over a hundred years old. Which brings me back to my initial point – I don’t know what his lengthy life-span adds to the character. I’d argue that by demystifying the character, you undermine many of the elements that made him so appealing.

DasNdanger also writes: “Not really sure what you mean by “copping the identity”. Do you mean him taking (well, being given by Rose) the name ‘Logan’? I thought that was an interesting twist, since the story strongly insinuates that he’s Thomas Logan’s son, not John Howlett’s.”

Answer: Yes, that’s what I’m referring to. I’m not saying it wasn’t a cool twist, just that it was very reminiscent of a very similar twist writer Joe Kelly used to cap off his run on Deadpool.

Otros Ojos writes: “I know a lot of us pick favorite teams based on things other than geographical ties, but what led to your connecting with Oakland in a “my Raiders” sense?”

Answer: My affinity for villains made the Raiders a natural fit, especially back in the days when Lester Hayes and Mike Haynes used to run the corners.

Otros Ojos writes: “Is surgery a possible option for Jelly?”

Answer: It is, but she’s almost 11 and from what I understand it’s major surgery that will result in a painful and difficult recovery. If she was younger, I’d certainly lean toward the surgery but, given her age, I’m not sure it’s the best option.

Cherluvya writes: “Are any of your pups related?”

Answer: Nope.

Silver_comet writes: “I don’t like SGU. Period.”

Answer: Impossible. You can’t like something you haven’t seen yet. Maybe you don’t like the snippets or trailers you’ve seen to date, but you can’t “not like” a show that hasn’t even aired yet.

Meils writes: “So have you guys come up with any interesting prizes/ forfeits for the picker of the best/ worst teams?”

Answer: We’ve put our entire annual paychecks in a big pot. Winner take all. Losers get jobs at Target.

Meils also writes: “Any chance of some wraithy/ Michael picks?”

Answer: Possibly. Alas, not from Search and Rescue but maybe from Prodigal.

StClare writes: “Joe M im confused thats the first time ive seen a definate “atlantis wouldnt have continued anyway wether SGU was made or not”

Answer: Actually, that’s not what I said. I said that SGU would have gone forward regardless of Atlantis’s fate. In other words, it may have been picked up, it may have been cancelled, but the decision would not have impacted or been impacted by Stargate: Universe.

St.Clare also writes: “As for the promotion MGM & SCIFI seem to be hitting it harder than they ever did for SG1 or Atlantis.”

Answer: I disagree. There was a huge amount of promotion in the lead up to the Atlantis premiere.

Idylioness writes: “Is it known yet if SGU will also be available on Hulu, like the wonderful Warehouse 13, and if so, will it be closed captioned (again like W13, but not like the SG-1 eps, which makes me sad)?”

Answer: Sorry. No idea.

AJT1982 writes: “1. How far behind the Seeder ship is the Destiny? Are we talking a few decades/ centuries/ millenias?

2. Are we to assume that the Seeder ship lands on each planet?

3. We know it manufactures the gates, but does it also manufactur the ramps that lead up to the gate?

4. Where does the Seeder ship get the resources from to manufacture all of these gates?”

Answer: These are all questions that will eventually be answered on the show.

gemgem writes: “Is it wrong of me to think that SGU is trying too hard to be completely different to what we all know and love about stargate???”

Answer: That’s the assumption of some fans but as someone who has been privy to everything we’ve shot to date, I can honestly say that much of what fans have loved about Stargate will be present in Stargate: Universe.

Major D. Davis writes: “1. Is Andy Mikita directing Lost?

2. Is Alex Chapple directing Subversion?”

Answers: 1. No.

2. Yes.

Abren writes: “When Dr. Weir comes back home to Simon,
Simon says that when Weir said she has to go somewhere and she won’t tell him where, he said his first guess was Israel. Why did he think that Weir would move to Israel?
Because of her job in the U.N or Is Weir Jewish?”

Answer: His assumption was that her work would take her to Israel.

Shanise writes: “PS: the pic of Joe in the cockpit of the dart ship holding the baby, which is the sweetest thing, but who’s baby was it??”

Answer: It was a very young actor. Actually, actress. Baby Torren was actually a girl. As the character grew older, however, we switched to an actual boy.

JoJoB writes: “Also, the Atlantis pics don’t build up anticipation for SGU, they just piss me off even more that they’ll be no more eps to see.”

 

Answer: Well then avert your eyes from this blog for the next little while as I make my way through the Atlantis picture archive.

Gracey writes: “How did it change from a spec script to the version shot?”

Answer: I don’t really remember. However, one element that was in the original script that didn’t make the final cut was a moment of reconciliation between Jack and Daniel. It was scripted but for whatever reason wasn’t shot. As a result, the tension between the two characters remained unresolved.

Gracey also writes: “I can’t tell, who the heck is being shot out of the gate at high speed in the promos…”

Answer: That was Exec. Producer Carl Binder. The guy really knows how to make an entrance.

91 thoughts on “September 2, 2009: Always the Last To Know! Brad Takes Over! Best Anime Titles! Worst Anime Titles! Pictures and Mailbag!

  1. sam!! 😀

    it’s wonderful to see that wonderful character gracing your blog again. and that applies to amanda too. 😛

  2. Loving the Atlantis pictures! Keep ’em coming!!! Brian J Smith is fun to look at, too! 😉

    I would be all sad and unhappy and mopey that SGA got cancelled, but I am absolutely in love with the SGU actors (having been a fan of several for YEARS now) and would hate for them to lose their current jobs (that they all seem to love) because I was unhappy with something completely unrelated to them or their performances (which, from what I’ve heard, are awesome). So SGU has my support and I’m EXCITED about it!!! (I am also holding out hopes for an SGA movie in the not-so-distant future–call me an optimist!!!)

  3. have you heard about, or seen the first of the REDO of neon genesis evangelion?
    it’s being redone as 4 2 hour movies.

    I’m also a really big fan of ghost in the shell, have you seen the series the did recently, or just the movies?

    also, have you heard of GANKUTSUOU? it’s a retelling of the count of monte cristo, set in 5000ad. and it looks REALLY cool.

    hm, another series of note,
    FLCL (furi kiri) 6 epispdes of PURE AWESOME.

    also, while I’m not sure if you like giant robots, or gundam much, the recent Gundam 00 isn’t bad (I quite like it)

    also, check out deathnote.
    …it’s a manga/series/live action movies, etc.
    but it’s got an interesting premise.

    also, never EVER watch puni puni poemi.

    in other news, are you going to attempt to see the 1/1 scale gundam while in Japan?
    I’m not sure if it will still be in it’s location in tokyo by the time you get there though ( I heard it was being moved after a short time, and I’m not sure where to).

  4. A fairly depressing day, as I visited my soon-to-be-closed sci fi book store. There is something gut wrenching on seeing the “Going out of Business” signs plastered on the glass. While there I discovered “Open your Eyes” is currently out of print. The owner couldn’t help me find an available copy. There was something about it being available online through Apex publishing, which I will check out in the next day or two. But I hate being tethered to a computer to read a BotM club selection. I do wonder how many others will be able to obtain a copy of the book, or to read it in time for the review.
    Very nice pictures, and a nice fat mailbag, which is always appreciated. As for poor Carl, why do I have a sneaking suspicion you’ve arranged for ferrets to be let loose in the studio to deprive him of his companion hamster? And it is really a alphabet thing, or is he being put upon from being an import? And I can’t wait to see what you do with your two extra days off.

  5. Awesome…please do keep them pixies coming – the more the better. woo hoo.

    Sherry may ask why Brian only got noodles for a meal. Hope it was followed up by more substantial good stuff. But he did look as though he was enjoying them. Hmmm, now I’m hungry – midnight saimin…ok.

  6. Hey Joe,

    Got the details off Mum re the Metacam injection substitutes.
    It’s called Pentosan. Scruffy received one injection a week over four weeks and they last for 6 months. He finished the course around a month ago and while Mum still keeps some Metacam handy, just in case, she hasn’t had to give him any.

  7. Are you serious about the hamster?

    Cuz that’d be cool, a hamster on set… It could be like an easter egg or something. Find the hamster in each SGU episode. And unlike mice, hamsters aren’t as prone to eating cables and such. Although one did eat a shirt of mine once… Long story.

  8. At some point you’ll begin to notice that the Marvel characters are missing their opposable thumbs. Like Mickey. So they can’t pick up a paycheck.

  9. Great pic of Carter and Keller in their black jackets 😀
    And great one of Vega also, she’s cool. (as for the first of the Atlantis pics, nice smile from Amanda)

    I really like the one of the Destiny Mess, populated with people. And the fellow missing a sleeve: awwww

  10. Hi Joe,
    In regards to swapping Jelly over from Metacam to Rimadyl, I probably wouldn’t advise it. Rimadyl also causes liver problems and can effect the kidneys. In my experience as a vet nurse it seems to have more side effects then Metacam especially if Jelly has a sensitive stomach, it can cause vomitting and diarrhea. Have you tried cartrophen injections? It is a series of 4 injections over 4 weeks then a follow up injection every two or three months, this may allow you to cut down the dose of metacam.

    Kerry

  11. Ack! We are of like mind! Wait. Does this mean that you are the Italian male me in an alternate universe, just like pg15 is the Chinese male me in yet another universe, and that you’re both girls in my universe?? And does that mean that you are pg15, and pg15 is you…and we’re all just aspects of the Eternal Nerd???

    🙂

    Yup – Bendis writes New Avengers and I agree – too many teammates. Gets confusing sometimes, and it limits character development. The book was excellent in the beginning, and I still like the stories, but recently it’s not grabbing me like it should. I *think* it may simply be because I’m enjoying the ‘Dark’ books so much right now, that all the other books seem a bit bland to me.

    As far as Wolverine being on the team – honestly, I don’t see the point to it. He’s not doing much these days besides eating, and making a mess. This is why a couple years ago, when I met Bendis in Philly, I told him to give Wolverine some balls. About 3 months later, he had The Hood blast Wolverine’s entire package off in a bar fight. 🙄 Not sure if he did that on purpose, but…ya know… I couldn’t help but wonder…

    Okay…just a quickie, ’cause I’m sleeeeepy again. About Wolverine’s mutant healing factor, and age. We age because of cellular breakdown. Wolverine’s healing ability keeps healing those cells, so that he doesn’t age as fast as a normal human. It has been said that he can die of old age – that eventually the cellular deterioration will be more than his healing factor can handle – but he will still have a lifespan much longer than any human being. That would mean that young Wolverine would continue to grow and mature normally, then – in his late 20s, early 30s – when the cells begin to breakdown, his healing factor would just set them right again, making him age at a much slower rate.

    What does this add to the character?? EVERYthing! Well…not everything…but you have this ancient soul who has experienced so much in life, and has loved and lost and suffered over and over again, and yet he just can’t grow old and die like everyone else, but has to be there for the next cycle, the next generation of love and loss until he’s buried them all and is the last one standing. Not sure that’s how Wolverine’s life will go, but it is often the subject of ‘future Wolverine’ stories.

    So he is the ultimate man alone for the simple reason that – in theory – he should outlive everyone. It adds an element of tragedy to his character, especially since he knows he’s doomed to live this life, and yet he can’t help himself. He tries to distance himself from people with his surly act, but his heart is too big and he ends up loving his friends more deeply than is good for him. Hurt his friends, and you will forever regret it. Very Elricky there…keeps people at an arm’s length, but can’t keep himself from loving deeply, and allowing that love to oft times dictate his actions.

    So this long lifespan adds much to the person Wolverine is – his broodiness, his isolation, his worldly-wisdom, his self-destructive behavior. He’s a very old soul trapped in a body that just doesn’t want to die, and that certainly has a bearing on who he is and on what he does.

    Yeah, that wasn’t quick…I know. 😛

    das

  12. Thanks for the reply 🙂

    I look forward to seeing it, I have always liked Robert Carlyle ever since I saw him in Cracker with Robbie Coltrane

    If you havent seen it, the whole series was excellent and worth checking out (he was in episodes called “To Be Somebody”) not to be confused with the American Version however.

  13. Hey Joe,

    I feel bad for Carl. Days off are probably really important with how hard you work. Too bad it couldn’t be split 2 n 2. That would at least be a weekend. Oh well, someone has to do it. You should have a surprise for him in his desk.

    Loved the pictures as always. Brian is looking mighty fine. Loved the poster with him front and center.

    I have truly gotten over the Stargate comparisons. Didn’t realize how much I had until I read how others feel. I absolutely love the new trailer coming out in theaters. It is longer, much more slowed down, you can understand concepts better because there is connecting conversations. I CAN’T WAIT!!!

    That’s enough…but I am hoping for help on the Anime front.

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl

    PS As cherluvya passes laptop to Cody (Anime Expert) you are just lucky he is here tonight. It’s midnight lol

  14. Narelle: Thanks. It’s a rush to be back on it 😉

    And yeah.. i’m envious of those guys. I’d still love to entice them over here in the next couple’ve months, when the surf’s at it’s best. Trouble is, I think you’ve gotta have a British constitution to drag your board through the snow on the beach. And the North Sea isn’t exactly the Pacific when it comes to water temp 😛

    *pokes Mr M for more Shep piccies*

  15. As a show of gratitude, the rest of us chipped in and got him a hamster so he can have someone to talk to on those lonely afternoons.

    Hey mon, you dissing hamsters? Rodents in general seem to have a bad rap as pets. Such a shame. Squirrels, I think, are too bright to be easily tamed, but they’re companionable on their own terms (i.e., “You supply the eats, and I’ll hang out on your deck.”)

    Thanks for confirming my suspicion that the villain factor drew you to the Raiders. I had high hopes for them when ex-wunderkind Jon Gruden came in as HC, and for a while they looked awesome. Oh well. – I don’t remember Hayes and Haynes; I wasn’t quite into football at that time (googled for info). But I’m a big fan of NFL Films, so between Steve Sabol & co. and my dad, I’ve learned a fair amount of Raider lore. I guess they were committing assault and battery on the gridiron before it became the popular thing to do. – I saw a Google entry for an NFL video clip about Hayes and Haynes being the best cornerback duo ever, and will watch that. Good pass defense is really an art.

    Since surgery doesn’t sound like a good option for Jelly, I hope she can do all right on her reduced dosage of Metacam. – I looked up the pentosan injection that Narelle recommended; it sounds like a great alternative — except what I found seems to indicate it’s not yet available in the injectable form (made specifically for animal orthopedic problems) in the US, so maybe not in Canada either. That sort of makes sense, since your vet hasn’t mentioned it. Odd, though, since apparently it’s been in use in Australia for quite a long time. – I’m glad she has both human and canine companionship, and someone to keep her as comfortable as may be.

  16. Oh okay, Cartrophen (that Kerry brought up) is Canada’s version of the generic drug pentosan. No toxicity at recommended dosage, and effective in 80% of dogs. Maybe time for a second opinion . . .?

  17. Hi this is Cody. Cheryl passed the comp over to me.
    i hope i can help in anyway.
    you already have some fantastic taste in anime
    you seem to vear more towards the action side of anime so ill just stay on that.
    someone already suggested Gankutso and FLCL
    both fantastic suggestions
    Gankutso is one of the most beatifufly made animes ever
    and FLCL is a short 6 episode anime by Gainax the makers of Evangelion.
    I noticed you dont watch any of the older anime titles
    have you ever heard of Galaxy Express 999?
    Its a wonderful movie by Leiji Matsumoto.
    beatiful peice of classic anime with characters from another wonder series Captain Harlock and Esmeraldas.
    and we cant forget the most highly acclaimed anime of all time Akira another amazing movie.
    i dont know if anyone else suggested it butanother series you might like is Samurai Champloo.
    very clever series with an awesome soundtrack.GTO is a hilarious series based on a long running manga. in fact you should probably read the manga.
    Lupin is a fun series
    so is detective conan for that matter
    its been on since 96 and its ongoing
    and as you should know everything out of Ghibli Studios is a masterpiece
    Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Grave of the Fireflies, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, The Cat Returns, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea the newest movie all by Hayao Miyazaki (except the cat returns).
    all must watch
    well thats all i can think of at the moment.
    if i can think of anything else ill let cheryl know.
    have fun in japan
    i suggest the San-in coast
    borders the sea of japan across from korea
    beautiful quiet town with a wonderful community
    hardly ever any tourists at all
    its where the japanese go for vacation

  18. Ok, I must go to the White Sands. There is no longer need for discussion. I must go there and frolick in the sands and pretend I’m on Planet First-Stop-For-Crew-of-Destiny. It’s a catchy name, no?

    Also, love that messhall pic. It seems the stranded people are very diverse; that’s cool. Furthermore, the fact that Patrick Gilmore is alone and standing near the middle and is the most visible person kind of reminds me of those EmoBand videos where the singer sings while the others rush by him, ignoring him and his pain and suffering.

    That’s right, Joe; these are the thoughts of those of your targetted demographic. YOU’RE STUCK WITH US NOW!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Thank you for the massive mailbag today! Quite an interesting read.

    Question:

    Is Andy Mikita directing the Incursion 2-parter?

    @ das: Ah, so I see you’ve stumbled upon the inconvenient truth. That’s right, me and Joe are merely your counterparts from another Universe. Why are we here, you may ask? Why, we are here for the same reason as all alternate Universe guests – we wish to provide you with character development as you face the many ways your life would be different if you were male and Chinese or Italian. Also like all alternate Universe guests, we are stuck here and will need your help getting back to our Universes, which will in turn lead you to an exciting action-adventure filled with peril, us sharing our differing life experiences, us meeting your friends whom, in our Universes, are our enemies, and the line “If I can’t trust myself, who can I trust?” repeated so many times that it becomes really, really annoying. Oh, but it will be ever so much fun!

    😀

  19. @Thornyrose – I think amazon.com, bn.com, and maybe abebooks.com still have copies of Open Your Eyes. The cost made me wince a bit, though.

  20. hi Joe!

    i´m not a daily visitor, so sorry if you already answered that question…

    i just went over the episode titles for the first season of SGU and noticed that they all are one word titles….
    i´m guessing you took a page from shows like for example NIKITA and did it on purpose!?

    so can we expect to see two word episode titles in season 2, three words in S3,…. 10 words in season 10 😉

    Thanks and greetings from austria!

    mike

    p.s.: one more month to go… ahhhh can´t wait. i really love stargate and i´m definitely looking forward to SGU !!
    don´t screw it up guys (although the chance of that happening is minimal…. if anybody asks me… which noone ever does)

  21. Coucou Joseph! ça va ?

    Moi oui trés trés bien 🙂 Je suis contente que vous ayez quelques jours ferier, vous allez pouvoir vous reposez un peu!

    Yah =D super c’est photos! C’est vrai que moi aussi j’aime beaucoup Brian, je pense qu’il sera le n°1 des fantasmes de fille ^^.

    C’est cool que vous essayez de parler japonnais! Pour le français, c’est bon, je suis là pour l’entretenir^^!

    Waou! Merci pour toutes ces Q/A . C’est trés intéressant ! Dommage qu’hier vous n’ayer pas pu répondre aux miennes pour une fois que je suis inspirer lol

    Passez une trés bonne journée!
    Gros bisou!

  22. Joe,
    Is there a chance that the Coop man and Brad will give Ivan Bartok a chance at Directing an EPP or 2????

  23. What a coincidence you’re writing about anime today, Joe! Inspired by your blog, I just started my own yesterday, which will include quite a bit of (you guessed it) anime reviews. Any anime fans, feel free to check it out here: http://celestisruthwen.wordpress.com/

    (and don’t hesitate to critique my reviews or share your own opinions)

    I also agree with sifiguy: Gankutsuou (despite the incomprehensible title) is one of the best anime series I’ve ever seen and, despite the change in setting, also one of the finest re-tellings of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’.

    We seem to have similar tastes in anime. ‘Basilisk’ was a lot of fun and ‘Cowboy Bebop’, ‘Berserk’ and ‘Death Note’ rank among my favourites, next to ‘Rurouni Kenshin’. I’ve also found anime to be a great way to improve my Japanese.

    Ever heard of ‘Baccano’? Rather memorable series set in America in the 1930’s or so, concerning an occult group researching immortality getting caught up with gang wars. The storytelling is kind of confusing because of it’s non-linear situation, but still highly enjoyable.

  24. @Thornyrose – Slapping my forehead – I shoulda known that your bookseller would check out all the obvious outlets first. But apparently you can still order the hard copy of the book, via Apex’s “print on demand” policy. Delivery time is given as two weeks, though; and since it’s printed in the UK, obviously most dealers will charge more. Oy.

  25. Hi Joe

    I’ve seen every episode of SG-1 (although I try to forget Seasons 9 and 10) but stopped watching Atlantis halfway through Season 4. I know that it isn’t necessary to have watched SG-1 and SGA to “get” SGU, but would you recommend finishing SGA if I want to pick up on little nods to the show or understand why there are no SGA characters in the pilot?
    Thanks in advance.

  26. I don’t know much about anime, but there is one series I like, which unfortunately goes by the completely meaningless and grammatically incomprehensible title “I My Me Strawberry Eggs”. It’s about a guy dressing as a woman to teach at a school where they only hire female teachers. I have no idea what the title is supposed to refer to.

  27. Oh, yes, and the Amanda Tapping photo reminds me: I watched Sanctuary for the first time tonight. It was fun to play “spot the Stargate actor”. I counted no fewer than six. In one episode. And that’s not even including the BTS people. Oh, I do love sci-fi.

  28. Hi Joe, just a quick word of caution with the Rimadyl for Jelly. Elway has terrible hips and is starting to have problems (like he needs more, huh?). My vets were very reluctant to give him Rimadyl because of its detrimental effects on the liver (and he’s on anti-seizure meds which already cause a problem), but suggested Tramadol for pain instead. Made me wonder why somebody hasn’t come up with a better solution… I do hope you try the milk thistle! I’m glad you haven’t opted for surgery for Jelly. Flannery was in the same boat a while ago and there’s no way I could put her through it at her age. She’s done well on Tylosin caps for the IBD (which as I understand it, is the dog equivalent of Crohn’s).

    Have a good day!

  29. Hey Joe,

    Apart from some of the anime that you thought were the best,
    id have to add a few more:
    Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo – story and visuals are great
    Ouran High School Host Club – This might not be your taste but creative stories, very funny and worth a look (my favourite anime :D)
    Ef a tale of memories
    Wolfs Rain
    D.N Angel

    Some to avoid:
    Pretear
    Please Teacher
    Utawarerumono

    and many others…

    Thats just my taste but feel free to check the better ones out.
    I hope you like them as much as I do.
    You should watch Ouran High with english subs because the english voice dub isn’t very good in my opinion. But it’s up to you.

    I want to go to Japan. My partner and I haven’t decided when yet though. Hopefully after christmas. 😀

  30. I don’t suppose anyone has written a Wolverine meets Helen Magnus fic yet 😛

  31. Answer: Impossible. You can’t like something you haven’t seen yet. Maybe you don’t like the snippets or trailers you’ve seen to date, but you can’t “not like” a show that hasn’t even aired yet.

    Hey, why did you pick me for the mailbag? I didn’t even ask a question. 😉

    Since this is a statement I’ve heard from many people, I’d like to try to explain why I can’t agree with you. I hope I express myself in an o.k. way since English still isn’t my mother tongue. It’s in no way my intention to offend anybody personally or in general. I don’t even want to criticize SGU. Everything is just my opinion and my likes and dislikes.

    Let’s say I don’t like the Western genre. So, of course, I don’t like a Western film. Doesn’t matter whether it has aired or not. The same applies for Horror movies. The ones with rivers of blood and which show slaughter in every detail. I will never ever like such films. Aired or not.

    So, SGU. I’m not a SciFi fan in general. There are more SciFi shows I don’t like than the ones I like. One reason less why I should like SGU automatically. Action, great sets and effects aren’t important things for me.

    Now the specific reasons. The main idea? Being on a ship, can’t go home? Been there, done that. Boring. SciFi 101. I’m not interested in watching that (again). Farscape did that. And, quite frankly, IMO way better than I can imagine that from the Stargate franchise. At least they haven’t done that for 12 years. I can’t see how this will suddenly change. I don’t mean that as an offence. Everybody has different skills. One isn’t better than the other one, just different. There are FS episode which are just crazy and where I thought ‘Why am I watching this again?’. Something like this has never happened with SGA episodes.

    The main reason why I love and watch a show are the actors and characters. I have to like them and to care for them. A show can have a terrific storyline. Doesn’t matter for me when I’m not interested in the actors. Character X has a nervous breakdown because of situation Y? Character W is in deep mourning because of the death of character Z? Well, that’s fine by me. I don’t care. I don’t feel it, I’m not emotional involved. And believe me, I am an emotional person. I’m the first one who sits in front of the TV and cries – when I care for a show. O.k., I can’t say much about the SGU characters before the show will air. However, I can (and do) have an opinion about the actors. And I’m just not interested in anyone from the main cast. I don’t care for them. Not even Carlyle or Phillips. I’ve seen some of their work. It doesn’t click for me. A main reason why I don’t like SGU. Because I don’t care for them. No emotions.

    That has nothing to do with their acting ability. Or whether they are nice and likable people. It’s like meeting people in real life. Some of them I like, others I don’t. And I don’t just dislike the idiots. There are likable people among them as well. I can’t explain the reasons. It just doesn’t fit. For example I don’t particularly care for Amanda Tapping and Michael Shanks as actors. Meaning: they would never be the only reason for me to watch something, just an additional one. Still, I really like them in person. After meeting them at conventions they are definitely two of the most likable people I’ve ever met. I look forward to seeing them again. Just not particularly interested in them as actors.

    Ordinary people who aren’t supposed to be in that situation? Well, interesting with one or two people. I’m not interested when they are the majority. I liked my shiny SGA heroes, which had their problems, too, and weren’t so shiny after all.

    I can’t stand this whole ‘nobody is safe’ stuff. I mean that in general. Not only Stargate does it. Apparently nowadays TPTB can only think of character death when they think of big dramas. It seems a little bit unimaginative for me. Shows in the past were able to make many seasons without killing people from the main cast. And I watched them from the beginning to the end. No problems with sinking suspense. Just imagine, they would have killed Captain Kirk or Spock in season two… Kill the reason why I watch and love a show and I won’t do that any longer. It’s that easy. I don’t know why today’s TPTB try to chance exactly the things which made the shows a success in the first place. In order to find new fans? No problem with that. Just, why doing it in a way that they’ll lose long-time fans? Who have proven how much they care for a show and how important it is for them. Who don’t turn their back on a show just because a season is weaker than the one before.

    What really hurts with the SGU promotion are statements like ‘It’s better, it’s darker, it has more emotions, it’s bigger, it’s shinier’ and, and and. I really ask myself what was SGA for TPTB? And why on earth haven’t they made it ‘better’. Just look at the SGU sets. Suddenly they build many different planets sets. Even for me there were too many forest planets in SGA.

    The nail to the SGU coffin for me was the body-switching device (don’t know what it’s really called). I already hated it in SG-1. Now the main idea doesn’t even make sense any longer. Trapped on board a ship and can’t contact home, trying desperately to find a way home? Um. Now I am able to contact home? To even be there in a way?

    Body switching? Nice for one episode like SGA’s Duet. Just please not as a repeatedly topic. The recent discussion about it: I don’t want to say something about the rape/not rape aspect. However, the thought of having sex with another person’s body just because it contains the mind of another person is quite disturbing for me. Sorry, but the person I love is soul and body. You can’t separate these two. So, yeah, SGU topics so far sound even worse for me than I would have ever imagined…

    I did watch the trailers. And that was already more I’ve ever intended to do. So in a way I gave SGU some kind of credit/chance. They’ve just showed me how right I was about my feelings. Nothing has changed.

    So, for me it’s still a fact, I can dislike something without having to watch it. I definitely won’t watch the first episode. TV isn’t the most important part in my life. Watching something I don’t like equals a waste of 45 minutes of my life. Why should I want that? I can’t agree with Shanks’ joke (I really hope it was a joke, because otherwise it was probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard): watching SGU even for just the reason to tell afterwards how much I hate it. This would mean that I am in a way very well interested in SGU. It’s not my intention to criticize the episodes. I only can criticize things I care for/I’m interested in.

    Besides, I really don’t know why it should be such a huge problem/topic to not watching SGU. I’ve never heard someone saying: how can you not like reality TV? You have to watch it first. I haven’t even heard this argument with any other show I don’t watch, because I know I’m not interested in it for various reasons.

    Sometimes I think it would be so much easier with SGU when all ‘sides’ would just let everyone his own opinion. No need to discuss it, trying to convince people to chance their opinion or –worse – calling them names, telling them to go away and accuse them of not being a real fan. Besides, are we ‘online fans’ not just a small minority? I believe I remember something like that from the SGA discussions. I’m sure us liking or disliking SGU won’t have a huge influence on the ratings…

    By the way: how can anyone like a show which hasn’t aired yet? *scrapes head* 😉

  32. My Anime picks (also from my disturbingly bloated collection) that did not appear in your list Joe:

    Black Lagoon: A violent, frequently humourous exploration of some modern day pirates operating out of an old torpedo boat. Frequently crosses into existential themes and weaves some serious philosophy into the stories.

    FLCL: As sifiguy has already said – Awesome. If assault by a guitar wielded by a girl riding a scooter is your thing check it out. Also robots come out of people’s heads.

    Rurouni Kenshin / Samurai X: A fantastic and long running series about a gentle Meiji era swordsman with a very violent past.

    Gasaraki: A higher than average quality mecha anime that attempts a realistic vision of future politics.

    Hellsing: A vampire anime featuring the infinately quotable Alucard. Set in Britain and heavily influenced by Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

    Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040: 4 girls suit up and beat the hell out of the robot population of Tokyo as the robots increasingly begin to go rogue.

    Appleseed/Appleseed Ex Machina: Graphically stunning this is another look at the future and where humanity is heading.

    Tenchi Muyo: If you are a 17 year old boy looking for a quiet normal life do not accidentally release the Space Pirate Ryoko from the cave she has been sealed in for 700 years.

    Trigun: Speaking of seeding ships, this is another western themed vision of humanity going to the stars. Featuring the very endearing Vash the Stampede who is not the coward he seems.

    Excel Saga: An absurdist comedy that pokes fun at everything faster than a hummingbird on speed. If you can keep up it is hilarious.

    Martian Successor Nadesico: A comedy/drama set on the space battleship Nadesico that frequently lampoons its ancestor series.

  33. Death Note eh? Did you ever see the live-action movies? It was a whole different take on the plot, where L figures out who Kira is ahead of time, but can’t stop him without dying himself? While the movies are not animé, you should definatley check them out if/when you have a spare few dollars and a spare few hours 🙂

    – RV

  34. How exactly do baby actors work? Are their parents paid? Do the parents just sign them up where hiring people can find out about them or what?

  35. Joe,

    Since unauthorized visitors are not allowed, but hamsters are, can you sneak me in if I wear a hamster suit? It’ll work. I know it!

  36. Hi again Mr M!

    Just to let you know (and all the gang here) John Lenic assures me (via Twitter) that he is finishing up the Q and A. He has recently joined us in the Twitter Madness and kindly responded to a tweet I sent him. (really nice of him to do so, but then with SG we are spoiled with great people….Thanks again John, if you are reading this!)

    Am intrigued about the whole Anime thing. Never really got into it…but may be tempted to spring for one (or convince others around Xmas time to grab one series for me).

    Have started Paul Jessup’s novella. Her Royal Highness raised an eyebrow when I desribed it as “new weird”. She immediately asked me what “old weird” was……to which I had no response except to say…”ummm….me?”

    Best to all

    S’n’T

    PS Meant to say, my 79 yr old mother in law is really enjoying The Speed of Dark. Can’t put it out of her hands!

  37. Thanks for the Atlantis pictures.

    As a Stargate fan I was sad when SG-1 ended and angry when Atlantis was cancelled. How could they cancel my favorite show! I know that there were many factors that led to that business decision.

    The first description of SGU doesn’t make me want to watch it. I don’t like dumbied down TV. However, it is still Stargate, so I’ll give it a chance.

    The pictures and snippets that you have been posting have me intrigued. I’ll be watching when it premieres in october.

    Hope Jelly feells better soon!

  38. Apologies for the confusion my question may have caused. The answer you gave pretty much answered it for me anyways, thanks. It’s a question that will be answered during the course of the show. 🙂

  39. Can I say?
    I’m looking forward to SGU!
    I’m excited for the movies if and when they come out!
    Keep the promos and pics coming!
    and Thank You!

  40. “As a show of gratitude, the rest of us chipped in and got him a hamster so he can have someone to talk to on those lonely afternoons.”

    Your kindness shows no bounds. 🙂

  41. @Thornyrose Open Your Eyes is still in print and available from Apex (the publishers) and other sources. Apex recently switched distributors, which may be why your local bookstore had trouble finding it listed.

  42. My last dog (75 pound golden retriever/bordor collie mix) was on Rimadyl from age 9 until she died at 16. I knew about the dangers, so at first I only gave it to her when I thought she was having trouble (in pain) and I gave her 1/2 doses. That worked for several years. Years later I slowly started increasing her dose to 1/2 every other day, then 1/2 every day. Her last few months she was probable finally on the full dosage. I thought it was her hips causing her pain, but she died of cancer, so it could have been that too. Rimadyl worked for my dog for 7 years. I was very careful giving it to her.

  43. Oh “Cowboy Bebop”! It’s also one of my favourite anime ever. Love the soundtrack, the characters, the ship, the story … It got me all into SciFi again.
    Also “Death Note”, very good stuff.
    Great choices all-together, I really need to rewatch some of the series you mentioned, Joe.

    Am I the only one who thinks when reading “The Avengers” of the classic British series with Patrick Macnee and the awesome Diana Rigg? Or The New Avengers with the great Joanna Lumley? 😉

    And one question for you, Joe:
    Yesterday I was rewatching “Rising” and I still didn’t came up with a name for Rodney’s cat. Some think it’s only ‘Cat McKay’, my idea is ‘Snickers’ (since Hewlett’s dog is called Mars), but what’s your idea?

  44. I too quailed at the prospect of Keanu Reeves taking a role in Cowboy Bebop, there’s a movie spoiled before its begun:(
    going to check out more of your titles and maybe mug my eldest for his Anime collection.

    Great pix today thanks.

  45. Like Thornyrose, I ran into the same “out of print” problems with Open Your Eyes. I’m going to head over to my local library and see if they can track down a copy for me. Or I may end up sitting this one out. 🙁

    @ das: Ack – Too much multiverse and eternal champion for you. Go lie down until it passes. Interesting comments on Wolverine. And I do believe you know more about him than any person on earth, including his creator.

    Ah, finally something I feel qualified to comment on (unlike football, spoilers for an not-yet-aired series, etc.) Okay, Joe, just so we’re clear about this we are evaluating anime titles not content. First, about your choices. Bastard is one of my favorites! Most people have never even heard of it. Noir and Twelve Kingdoms are also great series that few people seem to know about. Berserk, Cowboy Bebop and Last Exile are better known and are also great. Irresponsible Captain Tyler is also wonderful. I own all of them!

    Bad names:

    Bast of Syndrome – huh? Not a story about a sick Egyption cat goddess. Turns out it’s another mech series.

    Beet the Vandel Buster – again, huh?

    Bobobo Bo Bo Bobo – really?

    Debutante Detective Corps – please, noooooo…. the little online blurb says: Buyer beware, it’s a non-stop whirlwind of C-4 and D-cups!

    Master of Mosquiton: Good show, bad title. Yes, Mosquiton is a Vampire. This is a silly but very entertaining little series. And the teen-aged heroine is seeking the “o-part” which in this case is probably truly intended as a double entendre. It’s that kind of show. I recommend this one.

    Moldiver: Someone who dives into mold? A small furry mammal in a wetsuit? No clue.

    Puni Puni Poemy: What?

    Good names:

    Boogiepop Phantom – Great title, but I don’t know much about this one; seems like a high-school revenge anime.

    Outlaw Star: good name, good show. And it has a catgirl – Aisha ClanClan. We named our dog after her.

    Full Metal Panic: I can’t explain it, but I love this title. Undercover anti-terrorist soldier gets the job of protecting a high-school girl and mayhem ensues.

    There are more, but I’ll stop here. Off to work I go!

  46. “who the heck is being shot out of the gate at high speed”

    Good visual. I used it in one of my (only) three fan fic attempts. Amazing to think those stories are now about
    FIVE years old…!

  47. Oh, you can get much, much worse. “I My Me Strawberry Eggs.” I won’t even give a brief synopsis because it churns my stomach so.

    On the best side, you might like FLCL. 6 episodes long, so it’s a small time investment.

  48. “I’d argue that by demystifying the character, you undermine many of the elements that made him so appealing.”

    I didn’t have the steam last night to address this.

    Yes, I agree with you here. I love a character shrouded in mystery (Zenith!!). However, I don’t think knowing Wolverine’s age demystifies him. Discovering Todd’s age certainly didn’t demystify that character – no, quite the opposite – it raised many more questions.

    Still, one could question whether or not revealing Wolverine’s origins takes a bit of mystery out of the character. Yes, certainly. Of course, I only recently discovered Wolverine, so I’m probably not the best judge of how revealing these things has affected the long-time reader. I learned about him backwards, after much had already been revealed, so I never really had that ‘Ooo! Who IS this guy??!’ type feeling about him. Had I grown up with the character I’m sure I’d feel much differently.

    That said, I’m not sure how much demystifying him has hurt or helped. It has allowed for so many new storylines. The character really did face stagnation…he needed character growth and advancement, and I think revealing his past has allowed for that. It’s given him motivation now for the things he does, but still raises questions along the way (‘why have all these things happened to him?’). I will say, however, that I think they risk revealing TOO much…risk connecting too many dots and filling in too many blanks. I realize one reason they’ve done this is to tighten up his mythos – it was all over the place there for a while. But there are still things I don’t want to know – for instance, the whole ‘how do I know how to do this, when did I learn it?’ thing he had going on.

    This is an element I enjoyed in Elric’s saga – he learned much during his dream quests, and on other-worldly missions, but when he returned to his here and now he didn’t remember the adventure, only the skills learned in the adventure. Of course, in that case the reader knew how Elric came by these skills, but it was still nice knowing that HE wasn’t aware of it, and sad when he didn’t remember the loves and friends he met along the way in those various states, nor the good that he accomplished. A mystery to himself, but not to the reader.

    On the flipside, you have Zenith – a character that obviously knows how he came by his skills and addictions, but the reader is not necessarily privy to this information. How did he learn the violin? When did he first turn to opium? Why does he refuse friendships? What is this obsession with perfection? You only know that he has turned to crime to relieve his ennui and to forget his abnormality through the excitement of it all, but that’s about it. There are hints as to why he’s the way he is, but only hints, not much stated in fact. A mystery to the reader, but not to himself.

    Perhaps that’s where they may have tinkered too much with Wolverine. He is no longer a mystery to the reader, nor to himself. It would be better if he were one or the other. That’s what I loved about Origin – ALL was revealed to the reader only, Logan never knew any of it at the time that book was written. (Things have since changed due to House of M…damn that Bendis!) I certainly enjoy a story where I know something about the character that he doesn’t know about himself…helps with the sympathy aspect. If I can’t have that, then I am certainly happy when the character has secrets about himself that ‘he’ chooses not to reveal to me, because then he becomes more intriguing.

    There’s nothing now that can be done to re-mystify Logan, unless they do a major retcon, etc. I guess that’s the one aspect that I miss about Logan – his lost memories. I wish he still did things that he couldn’t remember – again, much like Elric and why I loved him so – because it does help you feel compassion for a character that otherwise has few redeeming qualities…ya know, the whole, ‘Poor lamb. He just saved all those people and he doesn’t even remember – all he sees is the blood on his hands and thinks himself a monster.’

    Okay, I’ve rambled far too long about this. Have a good day, sir!

    das

  49. silver_comet: You don’t like Science Fiction in general but you go to conventions? Talk about “scraping” heads! Were you, per chance, at the Connor Trinneer lunch in Chicago?

  50. @otros ojos and Michael Burnstein. Thanks for the help. However, the Apex publishing site keeps giving me a “not found” message when I try to check out when ordering the book. The PDF download does the same. I’ll keep looking for a copy later this afternoon,
    @silver_comet. Very nicely laid out explanation of your point of view on matters SGU. It was a pleasure to see a negative view of SGU that didn’t involve ad hominim attacks or disjointed rantings. And I agree with you, it is possible to not like something you have not tried. We are not totally rational creatures, after all. If we were then Mr. M’s comment would in fact be correct. But it’s also true that you can be suprised by trying something you do not like. A fact attested to by generations of parents who have spent endless hours coaxing children to eat something they’ve not yet tried. So, at least consider watching an episode or two. Perhaps the show may be more to your taste than you think right now. If not, then you’ve lost nothing more than a couple of hours, and can dismiss those those who say “try it you’ll like it”.

  51. @ pg15 – I love you, man…I really do. In a TOTALLY non-creepy, non-cougarish kinda way, that is.

    @ Joe – I haven’t watched much anime – but Star Blazers was an absolute favorite of mine back when it aired here in the early 80s. It was on every day, and I had to rush home from work to catch it. Loved it. And it is a good name. 🙂

    The only other ones that I’ve watched and enjoyed, titles and all, are:

    Fullmetal Alchemist (I liked Edward Elric… 😳 )…which – in retrospect – probably prepared me for Elric of Melniboné, lol. I never realized the connection until just recently.

    Samurai 7 – a steampunk adaptation of the classic story, with characters and their fates remaining essentially as they were in the original story.

    And that’s about it – both are good titles, and both entertained me well-enough, but I’m not a huge fan of the anime in general. Not sure why…maybe because the stories are just too long for me, and I get bored easily.

    das

  52. Haven’t seen much anime since I graduated from that to Japanese tv variety shows and dramas. But I do recall that I really liked Samurai Champloo, noted by others, if for nothing than the soundtrack. I still rank Bebop as one of the top series of all time (even though I actually like Keanu, I just don’t think I’ll ever be seeing the live action version), because it had the tude, the tunes and was better than almost any other anime at showing realistic martial arts fighting. And Yoko Kano’s genius OST for the series alone wins on all counts. Tracks from them are always looping around my ipod throughout the day. I think Champloo, while in the Bebop vein, doesn’t quite get the characters as fully realized, but the music, overall story and clever rendering of some of the scenes wins props.

    I also rank Outlaw Star in my top 5, and think it’s very underrated. Great characters, well played plot, and came to mind not a few times when I was watching Whedon’s Firefly. I guess I have a soft spot for rough around the edges, slightly scruffy reluctant heroes. 🙂

  53. Thanks for a great Mailbag Mr. M. Good luck with the Japanese. I’m having NO trouble memorizing the Japanese words for my black belt test BUT I’m having all kinds of problems understanding the terms when yelled out in a string of multiple commands! There is a lag of a good 20 seconds in my following the commands I’m given 🙂 . I have another few weeks before the test, though.

    Discuss with your vet about changing Jelly’s medication, if you want to try something new. Different breeds react to medication in different ways. It would probably not be a problem, if you don’t mind giving injections. There are a lot of people who are needle phobic, there is no shame 🙂 .

    Jelly looks pretty good for a lady of her years 🙂 . TLC goes a long way.

    Tam

  54. “Carl[…]’s been quite bitter since I informed him that fire regulations necessitate at least one producer be on site at all times during extended weekend holidays and since his last name is first up in alphabetical order, the task falls on him. Sadly, he won’t be able to spend the four days visiting his family. I would have suggested they come to the lot and keep him company but, alas, security regulations prohibit any unauthorized visitors.”

    Hey Joe…

    [digress]Why, oh why, am I hearing an old Jimi Hendrix tune in my head right now? And why, oh why, have the lyrics morphed into “where’re you goin’ with that hamster in your hand?” Is this a parallel universe? Is Rodney responsible for the mishap? Life-altering questions, and no undo feature in sight…[/digress]

    … besides iron-clad regulations (like “it’s nothing personal… just the alphabet, Carl…”) that cannot be altered under any circumstances (not even the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012), what is the glue that keeps you guys together?

    If I were the gambling type (which I’m not, but if I were, I’d do my best to mimic Joel Goldsmith’s awesome performance at the poker table in Vegas), I’d put my money on really, really sophisticated pranks.

    Care to share some of those?

  55. Me revoila, vous savez quoi?

    “The pics of Joseph Mallozzi are my favorite!”

    …si ça marche pour Sherry peut être que pour moi aussi 😉

    Aller à plus tard.

  56. Have you seen Avatar The Last Airbender? technically not an anime, but the closest the USA can get. My friend told me about Death Note, said it was really good, gonna have to borrow it from him one day.

    Re: Wolverine –
    I think he aged to his adult size because his power is cellular regeneration, since your cells don’t start breaking down until you have reached your adult size. It makes sense that he would grow up.
    One thing that has confused me is his name and how he lost his memory? I remember he got his name off his dog tags, and he lost his memory when he was kidnapped and forced into the weapon X program. But the Origins movie is different.

  57. If you liked Cowboy Bebop you should give Macross Plus a spin. It involves a lot of the same principals, and easily makes my BEST list next to GITS and Bebop.

  58. @ Sparrowhawk – Wolverine is a very compelling character, when written correctly. Unfortunately, there are just too many Wolverine stories, and after a bit, writers get lazy. Claremont did a good job at originally fleshing the character out, then a few after him, but it finally got to the point where he was all claws, and no depth. The thing about Wolverine that is most interesting to me is his inner man/animal struggle – it was something I really liked about Origin, too, because it did focus a bit on that…on Wolverine becoming the ‘alpha wolf’, as it were.

    Another ‘for instance’ is his recent discovery that he’s been prodded into killing, and now he’s determined not to be the pawn, but still ends up doing what must be done to save others, even if he knows it means playing right into the wrong hands. Very Elricky there, too…lol.

    Conflicted heroes are my favorite. Elric – born of Chaos but fighting for Law; Wolverine – determined to hold onto his humanity despite his animalistic nature; and I suppose even Todd – driven by instinct and yet able to reason through his humanoid intellect.

    For me, the best characters are always those who struggle more within than without.

    das

  59. Hey everyone,

    I’m Jason Sizemore, owner of Apex Publications. I apologize for the problems obtaining OPEN YOUR EYES by Paul Jessup. Last week, Apex switched distribution companies. I was warned that our books would show up as unavailable to bookstores for a few days during the switchover. Having spoken to our new distributor, they assure me that our books will reappear within the next 24 hours.

    In the meantime, you can order PRINT (not just the eBook) copies of OPEN YOUR EYES direct from http://www.apexbookstore.com.

    Sorry for the confusion.
    Jason

  60. joe i have been following your blog for some time( feb 09), i carnt beleve how much you put into this blog on a day to day, just for note iv been of fan of the show since the start of season one when i was only six years old i loved it then an still do. also just for note when sga got axed my heart sank it was like the titanic on the way to the bottom of the ocean but im one of those people who have faith in the show i mean how many show get axed and then continue in film format and start a new show at the same time which looks fab by the way i will b watching the show on the 6th yes that right im from the uk and be the way all my family and friends love the show i do wish mgm would consider all ratings not just the usa the rating would be so much higher . also iv been following forums on gateworld and i do hate these people who say they are a fan and then when things look iffe the shout and scweel and basicly bite the hand that feeds you in my homble oppion. also love your dogs 1 word for them cute keep the pic coming iv got a house full of dogs aswell 4 of them. i know it my first entry but i know that people post qustion on hear so if you dont mind but it up to u so
    1. who is directing lost
    2. will sgu still have lots of tecno babble
    thank you for your time and sorry for any spelling mistakes keep up the good work from Ian R R

  61. Wow, these days you get to discover anime fans in the most incredible places possible. I like the titles you’ve chosen for best and I’d like to add some of my favourites, if you won’t mind:

    Paprika – a strange fantasy involving dreams and the newly invented machine that can make your dreams come true. The book, written by Yasutaka Tsutsui, a well-known scifi Japanese author, has just been translated in English this year and I can truly say that it’s not for the faint of heart.
    Ergo Proxy – weird, distant or rather alternative distant future. It’s got some incredible ideas and a wiki article that is probably more complex than the anime itself.
    The Place Promised in Our Early Days – if you liked Voice of A Distant Star, you should love this. It’s created by the same director, Makoto Shinkai, but years later… which means it’s longer, with a better plot and even more beautiful landscapes.
    Mind Game – early 2000s, I think, with weird GFX, but amazing story. Imagine yourself getting bullied and then killed by a gangster, meeting God and escaping death… what would you do? Run away with your long-time crush and her sister, drive like a maniac through Tokyo, fly off a bridge and end up in a whale’s tummy, of course.
    Ghost in the Shell – the movies. “Innocence”(the second one) was a work of art in my opinion and it actually got a Palm D’or nomination at Cannes in 2004. Too bad it didn’t win.
    Baccano!: 200-year-old alchemists, gangsters, serial killers, guns, blood, a train, money and a couple of funny, lucky and incredibly stupid robbers in America, in the 30s. What more can I say?

    Ok, I’m gonna stop here because otherwise the server might crack. Well, I hope you get the chance to watch these and enjoy them. Let me know how the “screening” went.

  62. Open Your Eyes Only – Barnes and Noble.com does not have it either. I’ll have to check out Apexbookstore.com.

    What Tammy Dixon said, “TLC goes a long way.” Amen to that! I wonder how many more years you can add to a pets life by touching, stroking, brushing, feeding (by hand), holding, or just sitting side by side. And how many do they add to yours…

    One more thing about my last dog on Rimadyl. When I was working with the Vet trying to find out what was wrong, (she just stopped eating), they did a battery of tests looking at all her organs. All her organs were normal. She had always had fatty tumors everywhere. I had some removed, but I always wondered if some were slowly growing inside. Xrays revealed a mass in her intestines. I was just glad to have her for all 16 of those years.

    @ Dankriss – very sorry about your cat.

  63. I’d agree with your point that “by demystifying the character, you undermine many of the elements that made him so appealing”, but doesn’t there come a time that you need to start answering some of those mysteries? Perhaps the spilling of all the beans in one fell swoop is not the way to go about it, but if you don’t answer a few of the questions, you’ll start to get some very frustrated readers. All that said, I’m not a big fan of the back story that was provided.

    On a different note, I’m fairly sure you are a fan of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” and thought you’d like to know (assuming you don’t already) that HBO is planning a pilot for it. Any thoughts?

  64. silver_comet,

    I agree with Thornyrose, your position is well stated. Ultimately, you may not care for SGU.

    First impressions often dictate how I make decisions about things. A lot of times my first impression can be right on target. It took me a long time to become a Stargate fan because of my first impressions. I was not at all interested in the cast of SG 1 when it first aired. I thought, “You mean that guy that did that “MacGyver” show? You must be kidding.” A few years into the series I caught an episode and laughed my butt off at that guy from “McGyver” and was finally hooked. I had been so wrong about my first impressions. And over time, I also saw how great the other actors were on the show as well.

    So for me, I am more than willing to watch SGU because I was wrong about the Stargate franchise in the first place. These guys are trying something new in terms of what we have seen from them in the past. All we can do is see if they produce something that will be as equally entertaining as what we have seen before.

    Cheers

  65. @Dankriss: sorry to hear about your kitty. Pets become part of the family and it’s hard to lose them.

    @Joe: so did you get Carl a nice warm fuzzy real hamster or one of those horrible new electronic Zhu Zhu Pets electronic ones? Our hamster Rufus – named after the naked mole rat on a cartoon show – had a penchant for exploration. I swear that he figured out a way to open the door of his cage and would periodically disappear for a few days, then show up again on the floor under the table where his cage looking for all the world like he was trying to figure out how to get back up there. He was very affectionate and loved to be held and played with. He also loved to roll around the floor in his little hamster ball. This was, of course, before we got our dog. The two of them would not have coexisted peacefully!

    Or are you joking with us and didn’t really buy Carl his own hamster… That would be cruel.

  66. @Deni

    Thank you…wine is going down well at the moment and watching Michael in Under the Mistletoe..lovely soppy romantic film…

    Kriss 🙂

  67. @ Dankriss – 🙁 So very sorry to hear. I certainly can feel for you, just having had to do the same thing this summer with one of ours. My thoughts are certainly with you. *hugs*

    das

  68. Just thought I’d pass on some money-saving information for anyone with big dogs on Metacam. Our St. Bernard has hip dysplasia and our vet wrote a prescription for the human version of Meloxicam. It comes in pill form so it’s easier to administer than the oral suspension Metacam. Additionally, it’s much less expensive. For example, a 30-day prescription from Target is $4.00. My understanding is that the dog has to be fairly large in order to tolerate the dosages available to humans but it’s a considerable savings on our pocketbook each month and, so far, Meloxicam has made a world of difference for him.

  69. Many thanks – Thornyrose, otros ojos, Michael Burnstein and Jason Sizemore for the Apex info. I easily was able to order Open our Eyes. I also ordered Michael’s book, I Remember the Future, which I have not read yet. Am looking forward to it.

  70. Hi again J M

    Thanks for taking time to respond to my questions. I kind of already knew that answer that you would give and are glad that some of those questions will be answered during the show – Im now hoping that these answers shed some light on the ancients for me!

    Is there any news on the SGA movie yet, or are MGM still waiting for the market to rise?

  71. Bon Joseph je vais au lit =)
    Alalala je viens de revoir pleins d’épisode des Bisounours (Calinours au Canada) toute mon enfance 🙂

    Bonne nuit!
    A demain!

  72. None of the SGU pictures you’ve posted, or the SGU trailer, have adquate lighting. It appears that all money spent on building Destiny sets was absolutely wasted, since the background in all the shots is pitch black. You all could have made the show in a big warehouse and saved lots of money.

    Watching a black screen with vague shadows occasionally appearing and talking doesn’t really strike me as a good time.

    Any chance you all will rethink the uber-dark style? Use some of that extra money provided by MGM for some light bulbs?

  73. “Meils writes: “So have you guys come up with any interesting prizes/ forfeits for the picker of the best/ worst teams?”

    Answer: We’ve put our entire annual paychecks in a big pot. Winner take all. Losers get jobs at Target.”

    Hey, I’m offended! I’ve been a Target team-member for about three years now and it’s actually a great company to work for. The pay is decent, the hours are flexible, the team is diverse and the atmosphere is always [fast] fun & friendly.

    That’s it, I’m starting a Twitter rumor that Joe Mallozzi hates Target and said only losers work there… ^_^

    Just kidding, of course. But just in case, I’ll keep a spot warm for you on our closing sales-floor team should the Raiders not work out for you this year. We could use a hard-working villain!

  74. @Rhys wrote:

    …Any chance you all will rethink the uber-dark style?…

    While I agree with you about a brighter palette for SGU. It’s actually quite realistic. Most interiors of modern warships are dimly lit at best. It costly to put in and maintain bright lighting in ships, never mind the waste heat problem. The 304 class in the SG universe is another in a long line of sci-fi shows ships that are brightly lit and very clean. In real life situations on the ISS space station and most warships, it’s a constant daily challenge to clean and maintain the life support systems (air ventilation, illumination, heating/cooling and water delivery. Will not even mention the waste disposal/recycling issues with modern warships. There was a joke that no matter how stealthy a warship is, you usually can tracked it from the garbage discharge.

  75. “The Twelve Kingdoms: Reminiscent of the grandeur and majesty of Chinese mythology. And the series does justice to the title.”

    I also recommend The Twelve Kingdoms books on which the series is based. A few of them have been published by TokyoPop in English, though they’re getting hard to come by.

    I think you may have mentioned Samurai Champloo in the past, but if not, see it. It’s Cowboy Bebop-ish in Feudal Japan with a bit of anachronism on the side. Also, great music.

    And have you seen “Metropolis”? It does justice to the Fritz Lang film on which it’s very, very loosely based.

    And the first El Hazard series is great fun. It’s known for the English dub actually being better than the original Japanese version. The two series that followed it aren’t nearly as good.

    And Trigun! And anything by Miyazaki! OK, I’ll stop now.

  76. Nice anime list. I’ll have to pass it on to my son, who is a big fan of it.

    Btw, if you’re not a big fan of science fiction in general, then why do you read this blog? Just wondering.

    Poor Carl. Y’all really do like to torture him. Hey, hamsters are cute.

  77. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts….she is the last of my cats…I had 3 Riker, Deanna and Guinan…I can’t have anymore as I am now on benefits but hopefully when I get back to work I will be able to afford them…

    Kriss 🙂

  78. Marmalade Boy was actually okay in my book. I would have liked it more if they just stuck with the manga instead of doing all that NY exchange stuff but I consider it one of the better shoujo animes out there.

    But I think FMA has got to be up there, especially since Brotherhood is doing such a nice job of revamping the series. And I liked Black Cat a lot as well, even if everyone else was rather meh towards it.

  79. I’d highly recommend Jojo’s Bizarre adventure, if you enjoy graphic novels, the first four volumes are set up and at volume 12 the series takes its own unique flavour.

    A definite read, one of the most original series out there.

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