Welcome back to “A Cry for Completion”, my regular segment where I complain about being too knowledgable about anime and manga for my own good. In this segment, I complain about how I can’t get around to watching/reading something because it hasn’t been translated, completely adapted etc. This week, I’m going to talk about Yugo the Negotiator.
There are a couple of reasons behind me choosing Yugo. The first reason is that I recently did a review for Yugo on another blog, UnimeTV, which you can find here. Since I’m in the mindset to keep thinking and writing about it, I thought I might as well write this. The second reason is that the problem I had with Yugo is a problem I’ve had several times before and I’m going to cheat a bit and mention those in tandem.
So let’s get right into it. Created by Akana Shuu and Makari Shinji in 1994, Yugo deals with the adventures of Yugo Beppu, world’s greatest negotiators. Using his words, his wits and his willpower, he overcomes insurmountable odds to save people and do the impossible. Without entering the realm of the fantastical, Yugo spins a realistic tale in our world that takes place in locales such as the Middle East and Russia. In 2004, a year after the first manga was completed, an anime adaptation was released. It was eventually licensed for translation and release in North America by ADV Films.
Aha! So the anime has been licensed, translated and released in North America! So what am I crying about this time, you may ask. Well, the anime was licensed, but the rather long manga has yet to receive the attention that I think it needs. The reason for this is simple: no money. If a release doesn’t garner enough attention or “financial benefit” for a licensing company, the prospects for future licensing of sequels are non-affirmative at best. I find this irksome, mostly because it makes sense.
At the end of the day licensing companies like Funimation and ADV Films are just that, companies. They need to see a profit, otherwise they fail and then everyone’s in the doghouse. While I can understand that… it still annoys me, because I’ve seen this happen too many times. Just to name a few examples: Gallery Fake, Master Keaton, Legendary Gambler Tetsuya, and the list goes on. All of these have long manga, have received anime adaptations that achieved somewhere between middling and some success in North America, and the second one, Master Keaton, has actually recently been snatched up and is currently being translated and published. I want to see more of this, but from my knowledge, it seems like only a distant possibility.
Master Keaton isn’t actually a great example. Unlike Gallery and Tetsuya, it has seen American shores, after being licensed and released by Geneon Entertainment USA. Even the OVA was licensed! However, it hasn’t received nearly as much attention as, say, a Studio Ghibli flick or even something like Akira or Ghost in the Shell, for reasons I don’t want to get into now. That being said, the works of Naoki Urasawa have received a great deal of acclaim in Japan. So what is getting lost in translation? I can’t say for sure, but whatever it happens to be is enough to sink plenty of other potential shows.
In the end, Yugo got it’s time in NA, but I wish more of it could’ve been adapted. That being said, I guess there would be more untranslated versions if the manga itself was doing well. I would prefer to be the judge of that for myself, but as long as companies continue to avoid the risk of a probably bad decision and I put off learning Japan, that won’t be happening any time soon.
I guess there’s always scanlation, right?
That’s all for now folks. Thanks for reading and have a great day!