Tweenage Dora the Explorer (aka Dora the Streetwalker)

The original Dora

She speaks both Spanish and English, has a best friend monkey, a bag and a map on her side and also loves adventures. Yup, she's Dora from Dora the Explorer one of the current Nick Jr.'s show. But what if the creators of the show and Nickelodeon decided to make Dora as a teenager? We bet we're gonna be surprised if we found out the image you see below:

Dora in her tweenage makeover

If you have a Nickelodeon network on your cables or free-TV's out there and watched many episodes of Dora the Explorer, you'll get mixed reactions about that picture. According to the Wikipedia article about the show especially to the article from Google here, Mattel and Nickelodeon announced that Dora will have a tweenage makeover and also attends middle school. The new look will reveal sometime around fall this year but the image (like you see above) revealed to the public last March 16th. After revealing the image, many parents made mixed complaints about the plans that both Mattel and Nickelodeon made but soothes down for a moment. The reason why Dora turned into grown-up because Dora suppose to be a "role model" for young girls not being a "fashionista". The issue is still misunderstood by complaining parents and they demanded as a request that Dora should be the same 6-year-old girl like on TV.

It is unknown whether tweenage Dora will be appear in a TV sequel after Dora the Explorer (not the spin-off like Go! Diego! Go! which featured her cousin Diego). In the meantime, merchandises will sell first but unknown it will be ever reach in the Philippines. To me, the new look of Dora seems not a bad idea because of her Latina look but I prefer she should wear pants and T-shirt for more adventurous look. Honestly, aside from T-shirts and pants I would rather feel discourage to Nickelodeon who pushes some of their popular cartoon characters beyond far for just of their business - not the viewer's demand. We don't have to worry because tweenage Dora is still Dora we knew before who teach bilingual languages, encounter many friends and gets many adventures. I'm not sure what Boots looks like when he grows-up too *shrugs*.


Matanglawin TV Series

It was Sunday morning while I took a break from reviewing for upcoming exam, I changed the channel on our TV and later seen a show that looks interesting. Matanglawin the show's title aired every Sunday mornings at 11:00 on ABS-CBN. The show hosted by the trivia king of Umagang Kay Ganda Kim Atienza and features about the facts about nature, traveling and their mysteries in the Philippines at the same time. As the title suggest, Kuya Kim's take on the vantage point of a Philippine eagle (Mapanuri, Mapagmatyag, Mapangahas) and he also faces breathtaking challenges such as entering deep caves or climbing mountain rocks.

I'm not much a Kapamilya fan but I really interested that show because it's really educational for everyone even for children. The stunts of every challenges Kuya Kim take doesn't have any stuntmen and instead personally done by himself. Besides, ABS-CBN did fit the schedule for airing Matanglawin as every viewer's routine. Matanglawin is a recommended show for everyone especially who wants to relax in Sundays. One Youtube user uploaded the opening billboard of Matanglawin here.

Don't forget to check out their official website in Multiply here. Also, check them out in ABS-CBN's official website here.


Gokusen 3 Soon Air This Month

GMA Network's title card of Gokusen season 1 and 2.

Kozueko Morimoto's Gokusen made finally into live-action series since 2002. Gokusen tells about Kumiko Yamaguchi (nicknamed "Yakumi"), the granddaughter of a Yakuza boss and teacher of all-boys private high school. At first, Yakumi's students are mischievous but thanks to Yakumi's hard-work in academics and life lessons they both hang-up together when it comes to solving school and life problems.

A much awaited new season of Gokusen will finally air again on GMA this month. The season 3 of Gokusen which originally aired last year on Japan is finally picked up by GMA and decided to air it soon. A teaser commercial of Gokusen 3 was shown from GMA last March 1, 2009. According to the teaser, the new season will air on March 23rd this year and we in the Philippines is the first country will watch that show. Let's hope GMA Network never bails this plan for airing the show.

Oh wait, this is not actually the first time I post about J-Dorama or teen program.


Handheld Games, Anyone?

Handheld games that I bought in stores or downloaded over few years. For Game Boy Advanced and DS only.

More coming soon....


Batibot (1984-2002)

Some of my college teachers mentioned what they remember what they watched when they're youth. One of the things I heard them before was the first line of the song: "Pagmulat ng mata, langit nakatawa sa Batibot, sa Batibot...". What they mean is that they're favorite classic childhood show Batibot. Many adults who catch up this show remember that show even for teenagers who were born in 90's.

Before the existence of PSP, computer games and a bunch of violent anime shows, many Filipino kids during mid-80's started to watch Batibot. Batibot was first aired around 1984 and created by Sesame Workshop (the company who also created Sesame Street!) and Philippine Children's Television Foundation Inc. (PCTVF). In 1989, the two companies broke and PCTVF made allegibly the rights of making a Filipino educational show. Originally, Batibot is the Filipino version of Sesame Street.

Batibot made through a success thanks to it's great educational content and phrases even though it moved in four local networks. Even the characters and muppets of the show like Pong Pagong, Kiko Matsing, Manang Bola, Kuya Bodgie and Ate Sienna are known to many even today. Sadly around late 90's Batibot starting to decline because of the rise of foreign cable networks like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. The biggest factor about losing the show was losing Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing on TV. Although, PCTVF staff created another Batibot-oriented educational show Batang Batibot and Koko Kwik Kwak (featuring Koko Kwik Kwak as a mascot), the original Batibot is the best show aired. They also made reruns of the original in the same year although they're forced to cease another network. In 2002, Batibot was canceled on TV.

Sadly, if you watch many episodes of Batibot and know the main characters you would really compare to teenagers today who watch anime like Naruto and Death Note, or playing computer games of today like DOTA and Grand Chase. It would be bit dissapointing and get a nostalgia of missing Batibot. Unlike in Sesame Street which still active on air, Batibot was canceled because of (maybe) lack of government support who maintains education and TV networks (MTRCB?).

In 2007, GMA Network's "Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho" once featured a 10-minute segment about Batibot including the known characters and reunion of Batibot hosts for the first time after 20 years. Fans and viewers of old Batibot would love that to see them!

If you and we really miss the old Batibot classics, there's few Batibot clips found in Youtube. Best of all, who could never forget the opening theme and it's lyrics?

Would it be fascinating to see a great educational show you watched returned in TV including the old Sesame Street episodes?

Goodbye, Francis Magalona (1964-2009)

This maybe random but I found out yesterday in the Internet that the famous Filipino rapper Francis Magalona died in acute myelogenous leukemia yesterday at 12:00 noon.

For "Master Rapper" Francis Magalona, we all thank you for getting our own Filipino hip hop and rap because of your creative songs, discography and memories. May God bless you and we will miss you.

Francis Magalona has his own blog especially his last post before his fourth and last chemotherapy session. Read his blog in http://francismagalona.multiply.com/journal

Wikipedia article about Francis Magalona: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Magalona


Anime Fansubs, Fandubs and Scanlations

Although we don't know how to read, speak or understand Japanese much, anime fans still never give-up getting addicted to things with another following important definitions aside from fansite, fanclub, fanart and fanfiction in the world of Japanese animation. They're pretty common especially in the Internet days.


Literally, fansub is the combination of the words "fan" and "sub". The word fansub is the short word for fan-subtitled is a version of foreign video or film which has been translated by fans and subtitled into a language rather than original (much like you seen on watching subtitled Asian films on DVD).

Back in 1980's and 1990's, anime was very rare or hard to find in US and UK. Unlike in other Asian countries who got the license early of airing anime shows during those times, Western countries tend to be late of airing anime in many of their TV channels. The original series and videotapes were only available to Japan for Western consumers. Like Americans and Europeans, they also dream of seeing anime shows in their countries especially popular ones like Macross and Dragon Ball Z. Their solution? Translate the Japanese words by themselves and then subtitled on their VHS or MPEG's. That was the origin of fan-made subtitles which known as fansub. During that time, making fansubs cost a lot of money and effort, including a bunch of video tapes, wires and some dubbers. Sharing fansubs with other Internet users was the most difficult part especially there aren't any video sharing websites during that time.

In these days especially computers are more upgraded, fansubs can easily be shared with the help of existing video sharing websites like Youtube. Also, in anime there are lot of hosting fansubbed anime websites in order to enjoy viewers especially anime fans to watch their favorites. For downloads, you just need a downloadable subtitling programs and laptops for more viewing. Anyone can also fansub anime shows at least half an hour.

Like in the past, there are difficulties in translating anime. One of the most common problem among fansubs is making translations professional as possible. In translating an episode of an anime shows, translators usually need to learn Japanese language a lot in books and communication in Japanese people (in some cases, learning Japanese through schools who offer foreign language course would do). They do that in order not to be confused by viewers when they make fansubs. Some fansubbers like to add short Japanese words like "san" for respect. Not at all subtitles are in full English, instead they leave things in Japanese in order to feel the way being an anime viewer or fan. In some instances, those words are defined with explanation notes....or disturbing visual gags from anime character's explanation. Watching fansubs can be difficult for starters to watch their translated languages and notes especially the text are almost filled up on the screen. In other instances, Japanese can be a very deep and meaningful even trying to understand them.

Aside in anime, fansubs are also available in other Japanese media like Super Sentai, Kamen Rider series and Ultraman in fansubbed anime websites. J-Drama and Japanese live action series are also available these days much like similar in subtitled Asian movies. This doesn't mean that subtitled non-English movies like in French or Chinese isn't included...they are available also as fansubs.

Here are the pictures of random subtitled anime shows...plus few notes.

Sample of a subtitled sentence.

Japanese opening and closing lyrics still never escape in translating them into English.

Putting definitions of Japanese language mostly located at the top of the screen when an anime character mentions a Japanese word that leaves on the sub. Notice that the sentences inside that screen are almost filled up which seem to be difficult to read by some viewers.

Unlike this one is clear without notes on top. But, the anime character in the screen mentioned in a Japanese word "Yoshaaa". For starters, they cannot define what Yoshaaa means but for anime fans they know it.

Another clip from One Piece. This character mentioned "Robin-chan". In anime fansubs, if fansubbers think the words "brother", "sister", "friend" etc. they left them with (important)meaning. In the pic, the word "chan" literally means "friend" in Japanese as respect.


Another important part in Japanese anime and manga fans is scanlation. Like in fansubs, scanlations are combined with the words "scan" and "translation". The only difference is scanlations is distributed through in comics which translated by fans. The term is used in manga (Japanese), manhwa (Korean) and manhua (Chinese).

In the few decades, scanlations are made because of releasing of manga in many countries were likely to be few. The reason why manga fans did translating the content of the manga is because of the quantity of the manga available in stores. Even though it is very illegal to release many manga titles especially when they are not released in market, many readers and fans are still enjoy reading translated manga. Just like in fansubs, scanlations are required a lot of scan, translation and edit from original language to English. Scanlations were first used in Japanese manga but nowadays, other non-English comics like Korean manhwa and Chinese manhua are also used and spread across the globe. Since the popularity of scanlations in the Internet, many websites offers many manga scanlations and available to read online for free.

Similar to fansubbing, scanlations add short Japanese words and define them in some pages. They also need to correct the words in order not be mistaken what the characters say. In these technolgy days, scanlations are easy to edit the words but understanding Japanese can be very, very difficult.

Below the few examples of manga pages under scanlations. They're pretty random.


Fandubs are anime dubs that are made by fans or redub. Typically alternate but similar dialogues, story plots and characters are present to this element. The quality of fandub depends on the material and voice of dubbers used.

Currently, hearing dubbed characters from anime shows made by fans can be a good one too. Some instances, can be ridiculous and used in poops. Fandubs are not much popular unlike in fansubs and scanlations. Fandubs are usually copyrighted implicated except the different range.

"Legal Actions?"

Having watch fansubbed anime, reading scanlated manga, or redubbing of an anime can be fun but considered as an illegal action to fans who are responsible to translate anime or manga titles. In the past, copyright holders never requested or warn fans to stop translating Japanese media materials like in television or books. In the present, some publishers threaten the fans to stop their illegal action. Like any copyright material laws, fansubs, fandubs and scanlations are illegal. Since many translators of anime or manga stop relasing those, they also put an advice or disclaimer for readers or viewers to buy the original material. But I guess because of fansubs or scanlations the original media are less bought since they exist on the Internet. However, since doing things made by anime fans they still follow the "code of ethics" and the rules of uploading translated episodes or chapters. After all, they do that in order to continue and spread the world the popularity of Japanese manga and anime.


The Many Ways Being an Otaku: Jumpstart From Manga to Anime

Ever wonder how come your favorite anime shows made? In this topic, I will explain how those are created.

Dragon Ball Z page. This is the example of shonen manga type.
A manga page from Lucy Star. This is an example of shojo manga type.

When you look many manga titles in comic stores, you can't really decide which manga series you want to read. In the world of manga, there are two types: shonen and shojo. Shonen is primarily targeted for boys. It also features long action-packed sagas and adventure. Examples of that type are the popular Dragon Ball Z, Shaman King, Yu Yu Hakusho and Yu-Gi-Oh! Meanwhile, in shojo manga typically targeted by girls. Unlike in shonen, some shojo manga titles contain from romance stories to science fiction. Examples of shojo manga are Azumanga Daioh, Angelic Layer, Cardcaptor Sakura and Tsubasa Chronicles.

Before shonen and shojo manga made, manga-ka (meaning "creators") jot down ideas for their story they want to write and draw character elements. Typically, the creation of few chapters of manga take up in few months. If they think their creation is satisfied to their taste, they submit it to the publisher. If the publisher likes their story, it will be immediately put into zasshi or magazine. Zasshi is a kind of Japanese magazine which contains hundreds of pages. Ironically, some people (especially non-Japanese fans) called them "phonebooks". In zasshi, it contains at least 10 stories or more depending of how many pages available. They are printed in black and white on newsprint paper. Readers often throw away them after they finished reading those but nowadays, many manga and anime fans instead keep them as a part of their fanbase collection.
Manga comes out monthly, weekly or bi-weekly depending on their production and demand. If the story does well, the publisher reprints them in separate volumes called tankoubon. In tankoubon, aside from reprinting in separate volumes they also help guiding fans to continue reading their favorite chapters without advertisements.

With a stroke of luck, the manga jumped to zasshi and tankoubon and now turn into TV. Oh wait, does every manga titles got anime adaptation? The answer is depending on how popular or demanding on that manga. Some manga series (even though they are popular) are likely to be just in manga state according to their original creator's decision. Despite that Japan is the most-demanding country when it comes to their animation, it is still on commodity compared to anime. A producer in a anime studio is the one deals to offer the story into anime. Making anime is the most difficult part because it involves many people: including the director, producer, writers, many editors and hundreds of artists. Making an episode of anime usually takes up in many months or few years. Also, they never forget to credit the manga-ka of that adapted anime.

Anime is produced in three-forms: The most common type of anime we see is the TV episodes. Of course, every episodes range from 20 to 30 minutes. More than half percent of anime is based on manga. OVA or Original Video Animation (OAV or Original Animation Video is also accepted). We don't usually see them on TV and instead directly in anime stores for video rentals. There are also instances that they can be aired on TV depending on the viewer's demand. The last one is the full-length animation. They are made for the big screen especially for popular anime series. They usually start up to 60 minutes up to long 2 hours. A good example of full-length anime is the works created by Hayao Miyazaki. Some full-length anime like Pokemon and Naruto movies are also included because of their popularity.

In the success of anime and manga and also demands from the fans, many manga titles are adapted into anime. The publishers stay strong in their publishing business in order to gain and develop new story ideas which the result become the next generation of our beloved anime.

* "All the Way from Manga to Anime", K-Zone Philippines, March 2005 pp. 28-29.
* http://www.animenation.net/blog/2009/02/11/ask-john-does-every-manga-get-an-anime-adaptation/


What's the Difference Between Cartoons and Anime?

Like some people say "Different people have different preferences".

Episodes and Storylines:
- Most of anime, there are certain plots and storylines to follows. If you're an anime viewer (whether if you're and avid or not), you need to understand the whole plot by watching episodes from beginning to end...or else you'll need to catch up if you miss one.
- Most of western cartoons have episodes which shows their usual routine and how they live as themselves. It's okay if you miss any episodes unless if there's "Part 1" or continuing sequel.
- There is much involvement and imagination in anime world. Perhaps religion in Japan called "Shinto" would do. While in Western cartoons are rather avoid much "taboo" when it comes to liberal and censorship attitudes.

Physical look and styles:
- Early anime creators (such as Tezuka and Miyazaki) were influenced with Walt Disney's works and other classical 20th century characters in western cartoons. Nowadays, western cartoon creators is being influenced with anime (e.g. Totally Spies, Avatar, etc.). Both styles are just in cycle.
- Alot of anime deals with mature issues even if the output comes in cute way. Western cartoons oppose the anime styles.
- Anime has creative styles which is the reason why they produce a lot of anime shows every year. Same does in western cartoons although has limitations and stiffness.
- Usually in animation, both anime and western cartoon are not so bad.

- There are few relations in anime from real life. Some anime shows, can be tend to do impossible things that even defies the rule in Physics (e.g. zero gravity from Dragon Ball series, infinite ammunition from Gundam series, etc.)
- Most of cartoons especially from classics (e.g. Looney Tunes, Mickey Mouse, Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, etc.) also defies the rule in Physics (e.g. falling from the ground and still alive, walking on air, etc.)


- Anime can be mature or cute. There are also common anime stereotypes like puppy dog eyes, spiky hair, sketchy reactions, etc. Those stereotypes first introduced in Ozamu Tezuka's works.
- Western cartoons tend to be specific in order to appeal viewers especially kids. Caricatures is also the reason why western cartoons tend to be realistic and they have better anatomy design compare to anime.

Genre and Ages:
- Many anime contains almost all genres and all for ages - from toddlers to adults. It must be the reason why a lot of people appreciate anime.
- Most of the western cartoons contains limitations and may be intentionally just for kids (also for adults who like to watch classic cartoons). There are also western cartoons for adults although there are few.

- Almost half percent in anime is based on the manga. The manga-ka (creators) are credited in many anime series. Other percentages are used in non-manga adaptations and OVA (Original Video Animation).
- In the mid-20th century and even present, western cartoon creators are used in making their own characters in animation then if there's a chance, jump into comics. It is also oppose on anime's adaptation. Not of all cartoons doesn't have adaptations, there are some cartoons that are based on comics (e.g. Marvel and DC comics).

(Fandom-term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest).

- In these days, many people around the world are amazed in anime. They have many of their fan stuff about how much they like that kind of anime - from anime fan sites, anime fan club, fanfiction to fanart. What's more incredible about anime fandom is that many anime fans doing "cosplay" in many anime events. If you're into drawing then there's a anime fan comic known as "doujinshi". As of recent time, there are also "subbed" anime shows and "scanlations" of manga for anime fans who can't afford to buy the original in stores.
- Like in anime, there are many cartoons that builds it own fandom. The difference is unlike the fandom of anime, the fandom in cartoons are slowly fading when the cartoon series itself canceled in television. Cosplay are quite rare for western cartoon fans.

- The major driving force of popularity of anime is that their content and their widespread. Usually in anime, you can see based on samurai, ninjas, giant robots, space adventures, and school life. What's more is that anime is much focused on fantasy rather than realism which gave the storyline with weird premises but seemed normal storylines. Western cartoons are also followed the format but not the culture impact in anime. Also, cartoons' popularity can be targeted to many people in all ages. The closeness between western cartoons from eastern cartoons is that their industry are both faithfully strong in producing and exporting the series....meaning they're already the part of entertainment.
- Cartoons and anime are potentially the same.

* http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/editorial/1998-07-09
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anime-influenced_animation
* http://animeotaku.wordpress.com/2006/07/18/cartoons-vs-anime/