Calling “classic” shoujo fans (yes, I have difficulty with the concept of stuff from the 80s being “classic”): This week, we’ve taken Off the Shelf on the road to The Hooded Utilitarian, where we discuss Saki Hiwatari’s Please Save My Earth in its epic entirety. The series is not only a favorite for both of us, but also one of the series you picked in our super-scientific 3 Things Thursday poll not too long ago.
At over 6500 words, our piece is epic in its own way, with lots of pretty, pretty pictures as well. Read it here. With a series like this, it’s impossible to discuss everything, and we’re certain we’ve left out a lot, so please pipe up in comments to continue the discussion!
As many of you know, Please Save My Earth is increasingly difficult to buy, with several volumes clearly out of print and definitely out of stock. It’s painful to recommend a series that’s so hard to obtain legally, but our greatest wish would be that increased interest might inspire re-release, perhaps in omnibus form. So if you want to read Please Save My Earth, come on and make some noise! We did!
lovelyduckie saysApril 28, 2011 at 9:56 am
I enjoyed this series as well, its been so long since I’ve read it but I still remember a lot of the details. Perhaps I’ll re-read it sometime soon.
Melinda Beasi saysApril 28, 2011 at 9:59 am
Let our discussion inspire you! :D
CJ saysApril 28, 2011 at 10:33 am
Why can’t Viz just reprint PSME, among other classic shoujo series *cough*Banana Fish and Basara*cough*? The translation is already done and fans are rabid for it, have they lost the rights or something? Is it really that hard to just do another print run if they still have the rights?
Melinda Beasi saysApril 28, 2011 at 10:44 am
I can’t speak to the issue of rights, but actually, yeah, a new print run of series as long as PSME or Banana Fish is actually really expensive, and I think the question of whether they’d sell well enough to justify it is a legitimate concern. Royalties, licenses, & everything else aside, simply printing books costs a lot of money up front, and though the market for these series exists, it’s most likely quite small. Nobody wants these back in print more than I do, but I do understand the issues at hand. Reprinting a 21-volume series is a big deal, and it’s hard to make your money back on a relatively small print run. It would be different if they were going to sell thousands of copies of each volume, but you and I both know that’s not the case.
Addendum: I should note (sadly) that so far, I’m not seeing an influx of commenters at HU expressing their enthusiasm for the series. Crossing fingers!
David Welsh saysApril 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm
Can’t argue with the likely costs of a new printing, but I do wish they’d consider making series like this available on the iPad or whatever other electronic reader strikes their fancies. I’m glad they’re making popular stuff available in that format, but it would be a lovely gesture if they helped keep less commercial properties from the back catalog available to new readers or re-readers.
Melinda Beasi saysApril 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm
Yes, that would really be wonderful. Even readers who want to buy the books in print would find that helpful, since (at least right now) only certain volumes are unavailable. And who is going to start investing in a 21-volume series when they know from the get-go that they’ll never be able to buy volume seven?
CJ saysApril 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm
Oooh! Another question, for a series that was so popular in Japan that it had its own unique otaku-kin problem, why did it only ever get an OVA? I could understand at the time if the manga was still ongoing, but To Terra got an anime adaptation, albeit years later, so why has no one made a full, proper, and awesome full anime of this yet? It’s a classic! Same goes for Banana Fish, I understand that was damn popular in Japan too (heck, even Flower of Life makes a reference to it).
Melinda Beasi saysApril 29, 2011 at 7:16 am
That’s a question I can’t answer, I’m afraid!
Whitney saysApril 29, 2011 at 11:38 am
This is my favorite series of all time. I only own a copy of volume 1 in Japanese so I can’t even understand the copy I have. I would love nothing more than for it to be reprinted. It is a beautiful and haunting story that most shoujo manga can’t even compare to and it’s nice seeing others enjoy it as much as I do.