From the Department of Baffling Licenses


Back from the field, haven’t showered in five or six days (starts to blend after a while), and one of the first things that popped up on my radar is the fact that Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori has been licensed by Sentai under the title ‘Hell Girl: Two Mirrors’.

Now, translation issues aside (am I mistaken in thinking ‘The Two Prisoners’ makes more sense as a translation of ‘futakomori’ than ‘two mirrors’?), this just flat-out doesn’t make sense to me. I love Jigoku Shoujo; I love it to pieces, and I am thrilled and merry about it getting licensed for an American release. I have already pre-ordered the first collection (half-season sets, natch), even though I liked Futakomori significantly less than the first or third seasons. But I am completely and utterly baffled.

Look, the fact is, Jigoku Shoujo’s first season did not sell well in America. It has become a title that is a staple in the bargain bin for stores that have anime, so much so that you can generally find each and every one of the single DVD releases in the same bargain bin, something that you can’t say for many shows. When Funimation was asked about licensing the second season, they gave essentially the same response they did when folks asked about Ookiku Furikabutte’s second season – why waste our money?

JSF is also hardly poised to suddenly pick up new viewers, either – its a horror anime. Horror anime have horrible track records sales-wise in the U.S. They just don’t pick up the casual fan, and the niche market within anime fandom that enjoys horror shows is microscopic.

Oh well. Just my two cents. I’m still happy anyway.

Anyway, I’m catching up on your comments/disinfecting myself, so don’t think I’m ignoring all my dear readers. I love all of your cute, adorable selves!

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12 Responses to From the Department of Baffling Licenses

  1. glothelegend says:

    I still have to watch the third season. I suck.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Third season is better than the second. Second just didn’t really grab me, I found the entire final arc to be totally uninteresting. I just didn’t really give a shit about the little boy in his horrible gated community-thing, so spending so many episodes on it was really lame. The Shibatas and Yuzuki (from the third season) just make much more sympathetic protagonists than stupid little boy and his comatose dad did.

      • glothelegend says:

        I loved the end of the second season, because everyone just went crazy and started killing each other. Pretty much, everyone dies. I thought it was funny?

      • adaywithoutme says:

        I thought it was pretty dumb, but, again, like I said, I just didn’t give a shit about the little boy, so I couldn’t really get into it at all. And then at the end I was just sitting there going, “Wait… that’s who Ai gave up her life-ish for? WTF?” Although it was neat seeing her servants get to be ‘real’ people in the world.

  2. Without a dub or single releases with nice extras, the show is an affordable proposition even if they don’t sell an awful lot of copies. I hope that their continued licensing means that their sub-only collections are selling well, and that we’ll see the third season over here.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      We’ll see; I feel like Sentai might be thinking they can manage to move more copies of it than Funi did for the first season and will then realize that it just doesn’t sell. And then we’ll be left high and dry without Mitsuganae.

  3. jpmeyer says:

    Most of the time that there’s a situation like this, I say “They probably had to pick up a bunch of poo to get the one title that they wanted”, but that doesn’t work when it’s just like, one title.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Yeah, the other licenses that were announced at the same time were Eyeshield 21, which won’t move copies simply by dint of it being a sports anime, and Asu no Yoichi, which could have some modest returns, but nevertheless doesn’t seem to be a ‘do or die’-type title. But I guess this fits in with Sentai’s determination to corner the market on titles with little market appeal.

  4. sadguy says:

    Your assistant blocked a comment that I meant as a joke. Apparently she took it too seriously.

    inb4 internet is serious fucking business

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Cute that you think that you’re so important as to warrant removal of a comment of yours; it’s called a ‘spam’ filter. Doubly cute that you assumed my assistant is a ‘she’.

  5. Caddy C says:

    I said pretty much the exact same thing about Gintama and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. I love both series to death, but are they going to sell in America? No, unfortunately not.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Gintama has a marginally better chance than Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei… but still a reallllly tiny one. And only because they can market it by saying, “HEY LOOK GAIZ ITS SHOUNEN JUMP!!!11”

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