If you have walked in a Toys “R” Us, Barnes & Noble, or any other place that sells board games, you have seen multiple variations of the classic board game, Monopoly. It seems that every TV show, movie franchise, sports team, major university, greater metropolitan area, and video game has their own version of Monopoly out there. Even The Holy Bible has its own Bibleopoly, which seems a tad sacrilegious to me. THAT’S IT!!! I’m creating my new rule. RULE 200*: If it exists, there is a Monopoly version of it. With one exception… which I will rectify this month.
When the anime bubble collapsed sometime around 2007-2008, many North American anime companies went out of business. That includes the distributors that owned the regions rights to many anime titles. That means many classic movies, OVAs, and TV shows were up for grabs. And since there was virtually only one company left standing, (some of the smaller companies like Media Blasters, and Nozomi [nee Right Stuf Inc] are still around, but they were always small-time players, and thus were able to survive the Great Recession), Funimation became, more or less, an anime Monopoly.
For no reason whatsoever, this month will be Monopoly month for I, Omnibus. I will dedicate the blog to covering my dream versions of the game. I will cover four of the biggest American anime companies that went belly-up last decade. Each property will be an anime title. And in my opinion, it makes more sense than any of the other customized versions out there. I tried to group titles together that kind of makes sense in regards to the board game’s dynamics, and similarities between the shows themselves. But honestly, the titles I chose are purely subjective. They are based on my perceived popularity within the fandom, and my personal biases. The only things I Do not cover are the Chance and Community Chest cards.
As a bonus, and to explain a little bit of my thinking in regards to the placement of certain titles, I will explain the very simple strategy of winning the board game: GET THE ORANGES AT ALL COSTS! Then get the Reds. That’s all. Those are the two most landed properties in the game, thanks to the “Go To Jail” square. (As well as the “Go To Jail” Chance and Community Chest cards.) Those six properties are all you need to guarantee victory. The Railroads are nice as well, but not vital. Seriously, the three properties before “Free Parking” are the most valuable spots on the board. Therefore, the titles I chose to represent St James Place, Tennessee Ave and New York Avenue are going to be some of my most favorite anime of all time. (At least ten of the twelve are in my Top 20.)
First up, one of the earliest distributors that go all the way back to the VHS cassette era, and the company that gave us the Big Apple Anime Fest in 2001 and 2003: Central Park Media (CPM).