So I was thinking maybe we would talk about our thoughts on the Fruits Basket movie rumors. When we checked our e-mail first thing... whatever morning it was that people started finding out about the Fruits Basket movie that is trying to be in the works maybe, we had an e-mail from Animaxis that mentioned it. My first thought was, "Oh good! I hope they do a really good job so fans will stop automatically acting like it's the Apocalypse every time somebody suggests they might want to make a Hollywood film based on anime!" People generally like movies, after all, so it seems a little silly that suddenly the same Hollywood that made Iron Man is suddenly filthy and evil when it wants to make Fruits Basket.
Then some discussion came up about it, and we discovered that there was a podcast that interviewed a guy from the studio? company? thingie? that wants to make it. Now I remember! it was on Friday. We missed our regularly scheduled name-indexing session the week before because of Mickey's Halloween Party, so we wanted to work double to make up for it. Since name-indexing is rather conducive to listening to things you might want to pay attention to, we decided to take a listen. The guy is also part of the group working on the as yet mythical Cowboy Bebop movie, and since they've made much more progress on that, he and the host talked about that first. We really liked his attitude; he seemed to genuinely want to make a good movie.
One important thing he said was that when you get different people to come work on a project, they'll suggest things that you never considered that make it great. That means he's flexible. The reason this is important is that when they got to the Fruits Basket session of the interview, it became quite clear that he still had some research to do on this particular title. (And by "some research," we mean he probably hasn't read the series yet.)
Fortunately, he's not the writer. If the writer has read the entire series, they're more likely to get things right(er). Even if they have to stick to "the vision," we hope they would at least have a significant amount of input. Also fortunately, he said they're working closely with Hakusensha. I think this is a good time to point out that Natsuki Takaya said (in the first fan book) that she had written outlines for a three-volume version and a six-volume version of Fruits Basket. This means she already has compressed versions of the story, which should have all the important stuff, what Takaya-sensei really wanted in the series. And we think it shouldn't be too hard to make a movie based on a three-volume series.
People seem to be worried about the potential casting, too. I'm a little worried about what this might say about us as translators, but I don't think the important relationships and story elements of Fruits Basket would suffer that much if they changed the setting from Japan to somewhere in America. The main themes are universal, or the series wouldn't be appealing to Americans at all, and volumes of this series made it to the NY Times best seller list (and the general one, too! not just graphic novel). ...Of course, it doesn't make any sense for the Chinese Zodiac to be possessing a family that isn't at least originally from eastern Asia. And then it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for so many members of that family to move to the United States that every possessed member would live here. But if they're doing a shortened version anyway, they wouldn't have time for all the characters anyway, and it's possible that all the important ones would be in the States. Shigure, for example, makes a lot of sense to move out of the country, and the reason Yuki joins him still fits.
Of course, we're not saying Tohru should be white, either. She could be played by a Black girl or a Hispanic girl, or an Asian girl obviously. Unless there's a very good reason that it wouldn't fit her character. (We're open to suggestions, but please be gentle!)
So those are our overall thoughts, I guess. Maybe we've just been desensitized by the American remake of Shall We Dance? (which we never saw, come to think of it; but the Japanese original is fantastic) and the DN Angel rewrite.
Today I'm thankful for finishing work early, bishops, having time to play Professor Layton today, getting more quarters today, and a new episode of Castle tonight.