Monday, January 10, 2011

Compare & Contrast:: 2009 Predictions vs 2010 Reality…

As noted in last week's 2010 lookback/2011 look-forward, a surprising amount of the predictions made for 2010 happened to come true during the year…well, sort of. In this addendum to "2010, Fade Out… 2011, Fade In…", we'll be looking back at each of the predictions made at the end of 2009 and how much did (and didn't) come to past in 2010…

--Macross Frontier...will get licensed (Zero...perhaps, too). I know, I said that a year ago and found some interesting tidbits earlier this year that seemed to back that up further. But alas, it's been a rocky year for Bandai Ent. (my pick for distributor) and the costs and legal woes surrounding the Macross franchise certainly made any chances nil. However, it is still too lucrative a cash cow to avoid, so if Harmony Gold has any say over it, I would imagine that they won't hold out too long. Even without them, I still believe it will come overseas somehow, so the speculation machine remains a hummin'. I mean, that Big West "clue" and FUNimation being followed on Bandai Ent.'s Twitter page gotta mean something, right?



While I still do believe it will come stateside one day (and meant it more in jest with the wrong speculation), a guy can still hope, right?

--Mayweather-Pacquiao will happen, be it March, May, or sometime in the fall. Like Macross Frontier, it's (way) too big of a payday to let go of for either fighter. Let all of this animosity and defamation stuff blow over and the definite PPV record-breaker will go down (and not in flames). And speaking of predictions, this whole mess sounds real familiar...

Another year, another no-show of the biggest imaginary bout in boxing. This time, Mayweather was doing the bulk of the defamation on himself, especially after the domestic charges with his ex-girlfriend and their children, the recent incident with the security guard, and the derogatory comments about Pacquiao on a video he posted. There were apparently close discussions on a match earlier in the year, but those went up in flames again. Although Mayweather's camp denied there were any, even those on his side of the deal contradicted their claims.

Alright, let's see… (what actually occurred is -in bold-):

--FUNimation will license a whole bunch of stuff ( duh). And as was the case around January 1st this year, they plan on kicking off this year with a boatload of new properties (and a few license rescues).

The number (over the year)? 20-24

The titles? Darker Than Black: Ryuusei no Gemeni (YES)Trigun (YES)Bakemonogatari (and dashing my hopes of an Ocean dub) (NOPE, still on the market; prob. too expensive)Kobato. (NOPE)Nyan Koi (Sentai)Ga-Rei Zero (YES)To Aru Majutsu no Index (and the Railgun spinoff) (YES and YES)KIDDY GiRL-AND (NOPE, but available on Crunchyroll now)Kimi ni Todoke (NOPE)Saki (NOPE)Shangri-La (NOPE)CANAAN (Sentai)Hellsing (first version) (YES)Evangelion 2.0 (YES, of course)Moyashimon (NOPE)Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (NOPE)Kara no Kyoukai (Aniplex USA, expensive import BD set only, so far…)NEEDLESS (Sentai)Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series (Media Blasters, 1st season only)BASQUASH! (NOPE)K-ON! (Bandai Ent., 1st season only)Phantom (for DVD release) (YES)Rosario + Vampire (YES, both seasons)

The dark horses? Shugo Chara (NOPE)Legend of the Galactic Heroes (NOPE, but are you surprised?)Dragonball Kai (too soon?) (not even, YES)Kanokon (if they can get Strike Witches and Mnemosyne...) (Media Blasters, surprise, surprise…)Chobits (Section23 pickup?) (nope, FUNi's, so YES)Michiko to Hatchin (NOPE, but GONG briefly had it in limited areas (mainly Europe), minus the U.S.)R.O.D. -the TV- (Aniplex USA, + the OVA; BD-only (thus far…))Kemeko Deluxe! (NOPE, surprisingly…)Tenshi series (YES)Strike Witches (2nd season) (big series, so YES)Sasameki Koto (NOPE, sorta surprising…)Valkyrie Chronicles (NOPE)Kampfer (Sentai)RIDEBACK (YES, oh YES (for me…)), and...Macross Frontier/Zero??? (co-license with Bandai Ent.???) (aha ha ha… NOPE, of course) (Total:: Here: 13-15 (depending how you parse the sequels and license predictions), All: here, plus other anime they obtained (just new titles alone, not including rescues or simulcast-only deals), 25+; probably close to 30-35 completely…)

--Shane Mosley will fight the winner of Mayweather-Pacquiao in the fall or January of the following year (if their bout is moved to the late summer or fall).

Actually, Mosley would fight Mayweather early in the year--after an 18-month layoff. Supposed to have fought Andre Berto in January, but the earthquake in his native Haiti pulled Berto away from the bout. Mosley got in one good moment early with a potential knockdown, but gassed out soon after (not like he followed through smoothly or smartly as the opportunity presented itself) and fought an all-around terrible fight as Mayweather picked him apart in embarrassing fashion.

--The new Code Geass project will piss off some fans. Whatever it is, after the R2 whining, will tick them off no matter what.

Part of said multi-media/platform project of serializations and side-stories, an OVA in the latter category is in development, with a potential aim of a debut later this year. Still projected to piss off some fans, for certain…

--Stretching things a bit, the Klitschko brothers will fight each other at the tail-end of this year. The talk and insinuation has always been subtle, but I actually do think that it will happen eventually, be it 2010 or January 2011, the very latest. Vitali doesn't have too long a career left, and neither have many options outside of Haye (a guaranteed match next year with one of them (or both if Haye is successful)), Arreola, or Valuev.

Never happened (and not happening this month), but they did clean house at heavyweight some more with Peter (Wladamir again, KO10), Chambers (Wladamir, KO12), and Briggs (Vitali, UD). Hayes is next, some way or another, and maybe each other for Vitali's last match (but probably not).

--Bandai Ent. will license around five titles and dub at least two of them (to-be-announced Haruhi S2 notwithstanding). Sub-only Shin MazingerVOTOMS rescue?(!)

"No" on the last two, but "yes" on said-Haruhi S2, the follow-up Disappearance film (w/ dub), both Haruhi parody ONAs (w/ dubs), K-ON! (w/ dub), Turn A Gundam, My-Otome 0~S.ifr~, The Girl Who Leapt Through Space (aka "Sora Kake Girl", not to related to the film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which they also have), Mobile Suit Gundam 00: A wakening of the Trailblazer (w/ dub), and Tales of the Abyss. (Total: excluding Haruhi S2 (as said), 8 (5 confirmed dubs, 0 surprises…))

--Bernard Hopkins retires by the end of the year. Fights? 

Dawson? Maybe (Dawson, SD)

Green? Money woes aside, no way if a bigger fight is around (Hopkins, TKO8)

Adamek? Good chance (Hopkins, thin UD)

A Klitschko? Pipe dream, but a more interesting match-up than you'd think (Toss-up, but a tricky, engaging Hopkins could hold a victory by flustering and outhustling the more rigid, but quietly versatile champs)

Hopkins, still kickin', didn't fight any of them, but did face Roy Jones, Jr. in an underwhelming match (which he won), and later fought (and convincingly beat) Jean Pascal to a draw, despite a bad start with two knockdowns suffered. If he fights past this year, I'll be shocked…

And as far as their years are concerned: Adamek impressed as he blazed through heavyweight, and Dawson finally got exposed (more) in his sole fight of 2010 against Pascal (his first loss, after the sloppy match was stopped due to a gash over his eye from an accidental clash of heads and went to the scorecards).

--Seikon no Qwaser and Dance in the Vampire Bund are going to be the two most totally f***** up, most discussed shows of the young, new decade (but that goes without saying...though I just did).

Seikon no Qwaser, yes, oh-so-terribly-wrong-and-shuddering yes. Dance in the Vampire Bund, yes, too, but for different reasons. One, it wasn't too warmly received, especially by the manga fans, and two, after it was quickly licensed by FUNimation, the distributor caught a lot of flack for initially stating that the DVD release would censor some of the dicey scenes involving the prepubescent-looking lead (who's really a centuries-old vampire, as many defenders would remind you), which involved (some rather detailed) nudity on her part and some salaciousness (i.e. getting rubbed down in moisturizer while only in her panties in one scene). The announcement backfired on FUNimation, who would reverse course a while later by promising the release to be uncut (the stream still features the censored broadcast version, however). Just going by the pre-debut promo alone, FUNimation should have known what they were getting into, but I guess they blinked after having second thoughts…

--Amir Khan will have a breakout year...and decade (*hint hint*). Freddie Roach should have a field day with him.

Did he ever, after his enthralling fight with man-machine Marcos Maidana in December. His May bout with Paulie Malignaggi showed some promising growth and his Maidana battle showed he just might have what it takes to make the decade his. Only time will tell…

--Summer Wars is most likely already licensed (Bandai Ent. or FUNimation (or BOTH...j/k)), but Sea Story (Umi Monogatari)? Given they have all of ARIA, another Junichi Sato-directed work, it should one be up Nozomi Ent.'s alley. Or at the very least, I so hope so... (alright, so that was more like a "wish" than a "prediction"...)

While I continue to lament Sea Story's lack of a license, it was great seeing FUNimation pick up Summer Wars (though I was sort of hoping BEI would have gotten it, since they had director Mamoru Hosada's The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which would have been nice for synergy's sake). The trailer they made for the film (with its faux-indie music and overemphasis on action), not so much…

--"Decade's Best" 2010 Early Predictions:

Anime: Bakemonogatari (depending on which decade I list it in), Mobile Suit Gundam UnicornKatanagatariDurarara!!The Vanishment of Haruhi SuzumiyaDance in the Vampire Bund (surprise!)

Bakemonogatari's sticking in the past decade (as you'll see soon enough… ;) ), but all of the others (except the last one), are up there (and that's "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya", by the way). But at the very top? Who's to say? Other anime were announced and debuted in 2010, too… ;)

Boxing: Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Amir Khan, Wladamir/Vitali Klitschko (or both), Edwin Valero (if he wins a big fight against a tough opponent), Paul Williams/Sergio Martinez (if they have a competitive rematch and/or beats Kelly Pavlik, who is also in the running if he defeats either/both), Bernard Hopkins (if he fights a meaningful opponent, and wins)

Minus Mosley, the now-scummy Valero (killed girlfriend he was abusive towards in April before admitting to the murder and killing himself shortly after his arrest in jail--and that was just two months removed from a career-defining victory that pushed him beyond just being a one-dimensional KO artist (not that that fight alone would have earned him a top spot)), and Martinez conquests Pavlik (by decision) and Williams (by nasty KO). Hopkins is up there, still (towards the lower end, that is), but it's Pacquiao, first, Martinez, second.

Will 2011 yield similarly-close results by this time next year? Who knows, as plenty can happen in the span of 365 days…

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