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[ the café mailbag ]

The Café Mailbag

The Café averages about 400 pieces of e-mail a month... Admittedly, many of those are entries into the Café contest, but we still get many people who simply drop us a line. Several of the letters are rather interesting, so we thought we'd share them with you. In most cases, the identities of the writers are kept confidential.

December 1999


I just want to mention a certain anime which holds a special place in my heart, since it was the first I ever saw when I was only 4 or 5. Unico, which only consisted of 3 movies, is dying out. There are only two websites in existence, as far as I have found. Could you please try to mention this nice little anime in your page somewhere? I would hate to see it disappear completely. Thank you!


Unfortunately, we don't have the video tapes... Is anyone out there interested in doing some reviews for us, and opening up a Unico section?


I was just wondering if you have anything to do with the Anime cafe that made Ani-mayhem cards. I was cleaning out my room and fond a old Ani-Mayhem card I had got from a old inquest (the card was B-kos english textbook, which I dont remember being in the moive... are there a few?), anyway I looked at the bottum of the card to see you made them and it said...."Project A-ko" soeishinsha/Final-nisijma. Central park media. Ani-mayhem created by AnimeCafe, Inc. Was that you guys?

Also do you know if Ani-mayhem is still being made or if it was stopped...

well thats all for now.


No, we're not the Animecafe Inc. that made the Ani-Mayhem cards. When we first decided on the name for our website, we did a search through as many sources as we could. There were no 'Anime Cafe' websites, and at the time, the '' was not active. We should have guessed that there would have been at least one or two other sites with the same name...

Since then, there have been at least five other 'Anime Cafe' sites that have come and gone, and apparently even a retail store in the Pacific Northwest.

I believe that Pioneer has since taken over the production of AniMayhem cards.

Hi there!

I am a wizard (moderator) at the Sci-Fi Channel's virtual chat Palace. I run a weekly trivia game with questions ranging from sci-fi, to geography, to even tropical fish! This week we are having an anime theme. I've browsed your site and the content looks great. I was wondering if you'd like to donate some questions to our cause.. An email or Word document with question, then answer would be fine. Of course you would be given credit for providing them, and your site URL would be given out to all the participants.

Thanks so much for your time.

...and so it was done...

I LOVE IT! This is by far the best anime site I've ever clicked on. Image galleries are great, but this is the first great informational site I've seen and I love it to death. Do you by chance have a banner I might use to link to you? I've found Anime Cafe a glorious source of entertainment and information. Major kudos!!!!

Thanks for dropping by our site, and taking the time to fill out our feedback form. We're quite pleased that you enjoyed your visit. Merry Christmas!

:) hey Anime Pitstop here, just wondering if you are doing anything special like the scavanger hunt like you did before :).

Also can you remove this "hosted by the folks at AON." on my link :) cuz I haven't been hosted by them for a while.


Your link has been updated -- you might want to check the description, and possibly come up with a one-liner of your own... my imagination hasn't been very good these days.

We didn't have enough time to organise a DASH 2000 for the Christmas season, so we're going to run it as a true Easter scavenger hunt. (Gives us more time to set up the puzzle, plus we were worried that the DASH contest would get lost among all the other millenium stuff...)

I used to watch a film when I was a kid. It was a anime version of the ballet SWAN LAKE. It had the music to swan lake as well as dialogue. It is about years old. I was wondering If anyone knew what the movie was called I don't know if it was called swan lake are something different. I'm trying to find the movie but am having no luck. If you can help I'd appreciate it.

Thank you,


We don't know what this series might be, either. Can any of our readers out there help?

November 1999

I was just reading over the review for Evangelion and saw this:

"This story line contains cruelty (a lot of blood), and sexual contents (kiss, sex scene). It might be quite hard to understand for children under 13 or so."

I am 16 and I find it quite offensive how little adults think we know. When I was 13 I knew all about that kind of stuff, they teach it in school! Sheesh, how couldn't they NOT know? If they didn't they must be a very sheltered home schooled kid. I have watched Evangelion and there is hardly any real violence and the adult theme is minimal! My little sister (12) watched this and enjoyed it immensely. She understood what was going on and she is under 13.

I think you should get some other points of views when reviewing a series/video.

That's all I have to say for now


The problem with ratings is that regional variances dictate how something is presented. For example, NGE was a TV series shown early evenings in Japan. That would not happen here in North America, since censorship and social standards are different between Japan (my culture) and North America (yours). In the US, there are regional differences throughout. For example, have you seen the movie, "The Last Temptation of Jesus Christ?" If you live in the bible belt of the US, chances are, you haven't -- it was banned in several states, including South Carolina (where I lived for two years). It was shown un-cut in Canada, and in edited form in various other areas of the US. There wasn't a whole lot of violence or sexuality in the movie, but the very fact that it offended the Christian religion was enough to get it banned.

I'm not about to argue about how different families raise their kids -- for the most part, that's an internal family matter. However, the Café ratings _must_ reflect a "lowest common denominator" attitude; otherwise, it would be tantamount to saying that some shows are acceptable for younger audiences -- even though it may not be the case in all regions of North America. Please realise that the Western portion of the US (and especially the pacific NW) is very liberal-minded, as is much of the northeastern seaboard. That's not the case in the Carolinas, or Tennessee, or Kentucky. It's this baseline to which our site bases its ratings. We have to "think globally" in order to make this site work. Otherwise, we would have to keep a strictly local profile, something I'm not willing to do.

Hopefully, this will clear up any misconceptions you might have about our site.

Je recherche une cassette vidéo sur hi no tori de tezuka pouvez vous m'aider merci je ne parle pas anglais mais le japonais ok en romaji merci

Does anyone know about the availability of 'Hi no Tori' ("Space Firebird") in Paris, France, or where one might be able to find a retailer?

Hi, again!

While browsing your page, specifically in the Kimagure Orange Road section, I found a mistake in the HTML code. The page, midway down, in the cast list, instead of to close the URL link for voice actor Furuya Toru, you placed , which, as a result, made the line below also part of the URL.

Oh, BTW, I do prefer hand-coding using any text editor rather than an HTML editor! Keep your excellent work!

Best wishes, F.H.

F.H.: Thanks for pointing out the error! We've corrected the problem.

We've tried looking at HTML code that's produced by products such as Frontpage and others, and they just give us headaches. For now, we'll stick to the 'tried and true' method.

Hi --

I was wondering if there were any anime companies that accept story ideas or scripts from new writers? Thank you in advance.

Most (if not all) companies won't accept unsolicited scripts, unless you're an established writer or you have an agent. (Actually, this holds true with just about all aspects of professional writing.) However, there was an annual contest held by one of the distributors a while ago, involving what's called an 'open call' for anime scripts -- the winner had their script screenplayed and produced. I can't remember where this was, but I'll see if I can dig it up again. (I don't know if this is still running.)


I have a question and a comment about the Genji Monogatari anime.

First, I think it would be really helpful to some viewers out there if you would get a review from someone who has read the Genji. It's a fabulous, fabulous novel, and if you have read it, the Genji anime is just beautiful and very supplementary. There are a lot of aspects of the anime that refer directly to Heian culture very accurately. It's a brilliant film. (Of course, this is only a suggestion.)

Second, do you know if the soundtrack exists somewhere? I've been looking for it for months to no avail.

Thank you, J.

I haven't had a look at the 'Genji' review in quite some time... some of our earlier reviews were pretty bad, weren't they?

You may be correct in your statement about the anime being a good companion for the novel -- not many of us have had a chance to read the novel. I finally did pick up a copy (English translation, not Japanese).

I'm not sure about a soundtrack for the movie; I'll have a look to see what I can find out for you.

If any of our readers can help us with regards to the soundtrack, please drop me an e-mail. Thanks!

I just stumbled onto this site looking for Patlabor stuff and I am impressed.

Your layout is clean, organized, and professional. I wish I could put something up this nice.

Your links are very reliable.

I would, however, like to see a good site map. You guys have so much good stuff here, it would be nice to be able to get a comprehensive view on the scope and depth of the information you have to offer. Perhaps a site map is not the best way to do this, but it's just a suggestion. - T.T.

You know, we've never even thought about adding a site map. It's definitely worth considering. This site is getting large, and keeping it easy to navigate without using Java or frames is a bit tricky. A site map just might be a good addition.

Hey, love your site. Anyway, I thought you might want to know that your site got a plug on the front page of Houston Chronical's "Houston" section (Section D, community and entertainment). Would you like me to make a scan of the artical and send it to you? Sincerely, E.P.

... and so it was done... A reduced version of the scan now graces our 'In the News' page; we hope to post the transcript shortly.

Hey,how about more updates on anime conventions? - S.N.F.

Done! Our 'Events Calendar' is now up and running.

Thanks for being here! As a parent and an advid lover of Anime it is good to know that there is someone out amongst the great void of the internet with a good and easy to follow guide. I have found it very useful in making decisions on what to allow my 10 year old watch.

I was wondering if you all have seen the new release of ( I am not sure of the title), "Castle in the Sky." If so will you have a review of it soon? My son saw the previews for it reacently and I just want to hear from you folk befor I let him see it. I am sure it is OK, but it never hurts to get a rating from the pros first.

Thanks for being here. - M.S.

It's always nice to get letters of appreciation. Laputa: Castle in the Sky will be released as 'Castle in the Sky' (due to a problem with the sounding of the word 'Laputa' in Spanish), but there's no firm release date yet. Jo Hisaishi has apparently been commissioned to re-score the film, and there are now rumours that Disney may release this in the theatres.

In the Thursday, November 4 edition of the Houston Chronicle, your site was recommended in the main article on the cover of the Houston: lifestyle and entertainment section about princess mononoke and anime. Here's the quote: "Filmographies, essays and information also are plentiful on the Web. A good place to begin is the Anime Cafe," Personally, I don't know why they chose your site of all sites as the best for information, but I can't argue as yours is one of the best anime-related sites on the web. Regardless, keep up the good work.

Wow. Our first major case non-internet exposure. I'm not sure why they chose our site either, but are we ever happy that they did!

Every once in a while, we get a review submission for the Parent's Guide that just defies all explanation:

video: Ronin Warriors

review: Ronin warriors is about five guys who are mistic fighters against evil forces from the neverwold. except for a apoticlictic opening to the show, the only vilonice is against the Dark Warlords.

rating: green

name: Wedge Antilles

bio: I'm a student at a high school in West Virginia.

It's absolutely amazing that someone would actually try to pass this off as a review from a high school student... unless of course, West Virginia's schools are in more trouble than we've suspected. At least this person was able to spell 'Wedge Antilles' correctly.

I was wondering if you could answer a question for me, which is the correct or referred saying OAV or OVA? I have always used OAV, am I wrong? If you could help it would be appreciated.


Both are correct, and both have been used interchangeably. I personally prefer 'OAV', and the usage appears to be far more common -- probably because it rolls off the tongue much easier.

I just want to thank you for all the great info on your site. I have an oral to do on anime for my cyberpunk fiction class. I was having trouble finding sites that went a little more in depth on the subject than the newest pictures of pokeman. Your site (with all its gr-8 links aswell) really helped me out and saved me a lot of time and trouble.


Well, you're very welcome. We're very pleased that our site was helpful for your assignment. This site is a joint effort of many contributors; I think this is a good time for the Café to say "thank-you" to all who have made this site what it is today.


Anime Cafe is a great site -- along with T.H.E.M., you guys probably do the best anime reviews on the net.

That being the case, I'm sure I'm not the first person to ask: Is there any way I could interest you in joining a little 'network' we're just putting together?

I realize (having read your thoughts on ads/webrings, etc) odds are very low, but I at least want to give it a try ^^;

First of all, this is not a big corporate affair. It's just a small collection of independent sites devoted to various facets of pop-culture. Like Anime Cafe, we're all fans who put a lot of time and effort (and, unfortunately, a little money) into creating a quality website. And, to be hones, we all sometimes we feel the site doesn't get the exposure it deserves.

I confess I took a peak at your counter (I use the same one actually -- Extreme Tracking kicks ass =) and... I don't know, do you guys ever feel this way? It seems like you should be getting more traffic, right?

Anyway, none of use wants to sell our soul to some corporate network (where we'd probably be lost amongst a dozen other sites anyways) so we're going to try and create a little guy's 'network'.

All the affiliate sites post headlines on the front page of my site (, which doubles as the network's HQ. For example, you might have "T.H.E.M. Anime Cafe Awards -- A precedence-setting joint venture, presenting our 'Top Ten Must-See' list of anime." Clicking on this link opens Anime Cafe in a new, frameless window. In return, we simply ask that you put the network's logo (60x55, 3k) on your front page. We also have a banner exchange, which is used strictly to promote the members -- never for commercial products. While standard banners are 468x60, we have settled on a more manageable 300x50.

Well, that's the end of my pitch. I'm sure you've turned down better. But like I said, I just had to try. We realize "quality over quantity" is the reason most webrings suck, so we want to keep the network small. We want to try and get the best available sites for any particular field. That's why I started with you guys and I guess I'll work my way down our list ^^; The only anime site we have signed on right now is the Monthly Anime Character...

Regardless of your answer, keep up the great work ^_^

Thanks for your time,


Thanks for taking the time to write! (I'm quite surprised that you've taken the effort to check our background info pages; most people just take a quick peek and don't bother with any real legwork...)

You're right -- you're not the first person to ask us to join a webring, and in all likelyhood, you won't be the last. I'm quite flattered that you would ask -- the Café is not very established yet, and we've been in existence for less than three years.

As you already know, we try to stay as unaffiliated as possible. Reviewing anything lends itself to cries of "bias" and "influence"... it's not that we're not biased -- we most certainly are -- but we still try to maintain the illusion of incorruptibility. (This illusion would vapourise quicker than ice on the sun's surface if someone waved $$$ under our noses, I'm afraid.) Thus, our 'no ads' and 'no webrings' policy. Webrings are less of a risk, though it's up to the ringmaster to insure a consistent level of quality for the member sites.

Therefore, we still decline offers to join webrings, though I'll admit -- I was pretty tempted when I saw the slick design of your popculture homepage. Very nice! You've got me thinking...

I do keep an eye on the counter stats, and over the life of the Café site, I've noticed a slow, but steady rise in visitors. Sometimes, I do feel that we're taking the proverbial steps backwards, but overall, the readership is there. Now, if we could only multiply it by a factor or two...

For now, I think we'll try 'going it alone.' There are times when I've been sorely tempted to strike a sponsorship deal with a company or two -- maintaining an independent site is expensive -- but as long as I can keep working, I'll keep financing this little project.

I saw Totoro while visiting Japan two years ago. I have been searching for it, in English, ever since. I have even tried Japanese video stores. Are there any national chain stores that carry it?

Totoro was release through Fox Video in 1994. Unless Fox only had a limited licensing agreement with Tokuma Shoten, it should still be available at all your local video outlets. (I picked up a copy at Blockbuster's, Fox catalog number 4276.) The English title is "My Neighbor Totoro."

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Page last modified 1999.12.13