America...what a butt.

Before I start on my "Die, America!" tangent, I'd like to explain my situation.

I've been an otaku for the past two-and-a-Ranma-one/half years. With every new anime/manga I see/read, I become more and more attached to my happy (maybe not so) little obsession. Including the determination to learn Japanese, enter the animation field, and write screenplays/storyboards for actual anime, this wonderful form of art has affected every part of my life.

Which brings me to the actual point of this essay: American entertainment standards suck!

I've always been annoyed with American cinema. Critics are (and most will forever be) the scum of the known universes. Disney--after the sellout--has become a miserly, sickening, rabid-three-fingered- monkey-in-mouse-clothing company with no respect for children or consumers. Every movie that is presently released can easily be placed in three categories: "Expensive sad attempt at buying the Oscar", "Exceptional writing and plot sacrificed to the critical gods of Hollywood and money-grubbing posers", and "Don't bother, it's crap". How many times do we need to see Forrest Gump bashed in a poor man's comedy?

(Poor man's comedy - What those with no brain/intelligence believe is funny; idiot's humor; crap)

The American ego is the cause of the hole in the Ozone layer. Why make it worse? I'll tell you why: Because America is God!

(Pause for nausea and vomiting)

How DARE FunImation/DiC/(insert devil's tool here)/American "parents" and censors think they have the ultimate power to rape, deface, and disgrace these beautiful masterpieces! There is more passion, more effort, more love put into one cel of any anime or one page of manga ever created than in an entire present-day American movie--with or without the sinking boat (Apologies in advance). For example, not since before I can remember have I ever truly cried in a movie theater. The first time I saw Ninja Scroll, I had to pause the tape and get a kleenex before I could continue. The differences are too vast and obvious to be simply overlooked.

Americans don't know the meaning of "good". They know only "money", "net income", "Who can we screw today?", and "Who can we bash today?". I'm not saying every American is like this (dear God, if this were me, I'd kill myself!), but every company we exceptions hate and despise fit as well as a round peg in a black hole.

Dragonball Z, American style, is the only one I truthfully know. Knowing as little as I did the first time I saw it, I was certain there would be a massacre. In this, I was not disappointed. But I grew to enjoy it and my friends, sister and I would point out each and every cut, censor, and switch-er-oo there was. It was actually really fun!

The news that the entire cast is to be replaced made my chest implode. America again! Now they're screwing their own citizens over! I've heard both the Japanese voices and the American voices through wav's and whatnot, and I love the American voices for Piccolo and Vegeta! Piccolo's is just--shall we say, perfect? Absolutely spine-tingling! You don't want to blink funny at someone who looks like him and has that kind of rumbling vocal thunder! And Vegeta's! A. He's smaller than Goku, B. He's Saiya-jin Prince, C. He's haughty, proud, and egocentric. Brian Drummond's voice captures this hundreds of times better than his lower-toned Japanese counterpart. It's so snakey, so sinister, EVILLY VEGETA! His voice is memorable!

We may be getting new episodes (a great plus!), but we're losing what most of us unfortunate NA fans were caught up with: memorable characters, memorable voices, the associations between characters and their personalities. Who knows what we'll end up with? Bart Simpson as Piccolo and Jon Arbuckle as Vegeta? Please God NO!

Don't trust America. They'll shit you either way and laugh in your face as you try to act poised and calm. Maybe instead of trampling over the clippings on the editing floor those companies should watch what they're destroying. Maybe then, if they still have their souls, they'll realize what they're doing.

Then again, this is America. Don't hold your breath.

- Ryoko Takada