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Answerman - Are UK and Australian Anime DVDs & BDs Any Different?

A collector with a region-free bluray player wants to start importing DVDs and blurays from the UK, but what happened to all those UK-produced English dubs? ― Vanessa asks: With the help of my region free blu ray player and easy internet shopping, I am excited to find anime series, not available in the US, come out in the UK or Australian markets. However, what is available overseas isn't much diffe...
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Answerman - Will Anime Ever Come To My Country (Legally)?

A writer from Iran wants to know if there's even a slight chance the anime industry will legally come to his country with physical releases and streaming options. ― Vahid asks: I'm from Iran, and I always read your answers on ANN. (Access to ANN is denied in Iran and i have to use proxy software to visit.) My country doesn't allow us to buy or sell anime and manga (because of Islamic issues, you kno...
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Answerman - At What Point Are You No Longer A Fan?

Ever feel your ravenous desire to consume all anime slowly fading? Do you find yourself only seeking out the small handful of shows that might interest you every year? Does that make you no longer a fan? Justin gets into it. ― Robert asks: From 2007-2010, I always considered myself a huge anime fan. I checked out every anime that came out in Japan each season (eventually sticking with no less than 5...
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Answerman - What Happens to a License When a Publisher Goes Under?

When an American anime company goes out of business, what exactly happens to all of their licenses? Justin examines the fallout from several angles. ― Robert asks: What happens to shows (or manga) that are licensed and then for some reason, something happens to the company? Shows like Gosick (which was licensed by Bandai) or manga like Alive: The Final Evolution (which was licensed by Del Rey). And ...
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Answerman - Why Does Anime Have "The Motion Picture" In The Title?

"Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture". "Slayers: The Motion Picture". "Lady Death: The Motion Picture". Why do US anime studios seem to insist on this antiquated label for anime films? ― Matt B. asks: I was wondering if all anime movies that say "The Motion Picture" were actually in theaters in Japan at some point? Often they don't seem much better quality than OVAs. Funny you should ask this, as this is...
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Answerman - How Popular Are Japanese Voice Actors?

Exactly how popular and successful are your average Japanese voice actors, and how do they compare to American VAs? ― DJ Alexander asks: Recently I discovered that Seiyuu surprisingly make quite the source of income off an anime compared to everyone else whom partake in the production of an anime, which leads me to wonder. How big is voice acting in japan? Are all Seiyuu seen as celebrities equivale...
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Answerman - Why Aren't More Races Represented In Anime And Manga?

Although wonderfully diverse in genre and subject matter, anime isn't particularly known for being as diverse when it comes to ethnicity among the cast. Justin gets into it. ― J. Sinclair asks: I'm very disappointed in the lack of variety of skin tones of manga and anime characters. If you were to break the shades down by Copic markers the only color you get is E00 Skin White, and rarely a dark skin...
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Answerman - Do Japanese Businessmen Really Drink As Much As I've Heard?

The legends surrounding the drinking habits of Japanese salarymen are well-known and frequently depicted in anime. But is Japan's drinking culture really that hardcore? ― Leafy asks: I keep hearing about how Japanese businessmen would go out to bars for talks and such and that it's a major part of their culture, and that if one invites you to drink, it's very rude to turn it down (which, I would gue...
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Answerman - What Do I Do With All These Bootleg DVDs?

Most fans in their early years accidentally bought some charming, illegal bootleg DVDs. But what are you supposed to do with them now? ― Vee asks: When I was much younger, my dad used to travel a lot to Hong Kong and Malaysia. I was big into anime then and so, he'd pick me up bootlegged anime DVDs and the occasional trinket here and there... That was about eight years ago and I now know how crappy p...
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Answerman - Why Did Otakon's Attendance Shrink?

Otakon 2015's attendance was down nearly 20% this year, in the same year most other anime cons saw serious growth. Justin examines the potential causes. ― Chris asks: Anime Expo attendance was up 12% this year, to 90,500, and it's not the only one. Poking around the sites of other big North American cons that post attendance numbers, Anime Central was up 5% to 31,113, and Anime Boston was up 7% to 2...
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Answerman - Why Isn't More Anime Made For Americans?

Americans love stuff like Ghost in the Shell and Cowboy Bebop - so why hasn't a Japanese company set up shop to make things like it for an international audience? ― Garry asks: I know that anime is made first and foremost for the Japanese people, but why hasn't some entrepreneurial Japanese company opened studios here in the U.S. (or abroad in the UK or Australia, etc.), to either acquire failed ani...
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Answerman - How Is This Bubble Different From The Last One?

Most people acknowledge that the anime industry is currently in a bubble, which means higher licensing prices and inflated expectations. But if it pops, will it be as bad as the last one? ― Branko asks: There has been a lot of talk about the anime industry being in another bubble, which inevitably leads to the question: how is this one like or unlike the last one? How is this one similar and differe...
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Answerman - Has Convention Culture Affected The Anime Business?

Anime conventions are exploding in popularity and attendance - is that phenomenon impacting the anime industry at all? ― Kevin asks: Given the explosion of popularity of conventions over the last few years and the bleed over from similar interests(comics, ccgs, comic movies, etc), how has the industry changed as a result of the convention circuit being so popular now compared to 10 years ago. What's...
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Answerman - What Needs To Be Approved By A Licensor?

Names, marketing, merchandise, key art - what aspects of an American home video release need direct approval from the Japanese company that owns the show? ― Hey guys, I could really use some new questions! It's the dog days of summer, so people are kind of checked out... and not sending in questions for me to answer. So come on, send me something! [email protected] Thanks!! Julian asks...
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Answerman - Why Did So Many OVA Series End Prematurely?

So many of those classic OVA series from the 80s and 90s ended after only one or two episodes. Justin investigates why. ― Hey guys, I could really use some new questions! It's the dog days of summer, so people are kind of checked out... and not sending in questions for me to answer. So come on, send me something! [email protected] Thanks!! Parker asks: I recently purchased Discotek's D...
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Answerman - Why Do Older Shows Go Unstreamed?

Every season there are a handful of shows that don't get licensed for simulcasting, and frequently they're never heard from again. What's up with that? ― Chris asks: So, I have noticed over the past few years or so that certain series that have a following already have gotten passed up for streaming rights (i.e., Nanoha ViVid, Dog Days", Milky Holmes, etc. just to name a few) for other properties th...
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Answerman - Why Can't Idol Singers Have Lives Of Their Own?

Idol singers in Japan are held to some pretty strict and unrealistic standards of conduct by their fans. Is the Idol economy unfair? Justin takes a look. ― Chris asks: Singer Minami Kuribayashi — known for a number of anime OP and ED songs and as a voice actress for the Rumbling Hearts and Muv-Luv visual novels — recently admitted in a blog entry that she had a son, and that she expected that “becau...
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Answerman - Why Doesn't Anime Have Deleted Scenes?

Ever wonder why American cartoons always have a ton of deleted scenes, but anime rarely ever does? Justin's on the case. ― Adam asks: For several American TV shows and movies, the home video releases tend to come with deleted scenes, which were edited out of the final version. Family Guy and Robot Chicken do this all the time. But I next to never see any deleted scenes for anime. And it's not just t...
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Answerman - What's with all the school uniforms in anime?

Nearly every student in nearly every anime (which is an enormous percentage of anime characters) wears a school uniform. But WHY? ― James asks: I have noticed that a large percentage of Japanese anime and manga series that I have followed feature schools, and almost invariably, the students at those schools wear uniforms (with Dragon Ball being the only series that I can recall where students do not...
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Answerman - When Will Americans Stop Hating and Love the Maid Café?

A local overreaction to a maid cafe popping up in the midwest has one writer asking Justin when America will just accept otaku interests and habits as normal. ― Michael asks: I live in Ohio and recently a small group of people scheduled a maid cafe to be held in a suburb here. They rented out a cafe to use during its off hours and sold tickets, got everything setup, etc. On the day of the event, the...
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Answerman - Why Isn't More Anime Shown in US Theaters?

If you've ever wondered why there aren't more anime movies showing at your local cineplex, Justin has the reason why. ― Before we get started, a quick correction. Some time ago, I wrote about how back in the bad old days, many American editions of manga were literally photocopied from a Japanese tankoubon. None other than Carl Horn emailed me to let me know that, while that was true, it was really o...
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Answerman - Why Hasn't Anyone Licensed Miyazaki's Future Boy Conan?

Hayao Miyazaki made only one TV series, and it's nowhere to be found on American shores. Why hasn't it gotten released here? ― Hey, it's not Friday, is it? Nope, it's our first "Main Feed" Answerman! From now on, we'll be answering questions one at a time, several days a week. It'll be much easier to search Answerman by topic this way, and hopefully the column will be more accessible as a result. En...
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Answerman - Why Hasn't Anyone Licensed Miyazaki's Future Boy Conan?

Hayao Miyazaki made only one TV series, and it's nowhere to be found on American shores. Why hasn't it gotten released here? ― Hey, it's not Friday, is it? Nope, it's our first "Main Feed" Answerman! From now on, we'll be answering questions one at a time, several days a week. It'll be much easier to search Answerman by topic this way, and hopefully the column will be more accessible as a result. En...
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Answerman - Being A Member of a Production Committee

Funimation just announced that they'll be a member of a production committee, but what does that mean? Also, Media Blasters sells anime on DVD-R, anime conventions just keep on growing, and nobody can explain the business behind Netflix. ― Hey guys! I have some news to share! As we announced at our Anime Expo panel, Answerman will be changing its format slightly. Starting next week, instead of posti...
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Answerman - Why Are All The Parents Dead?

Why does anime delight in making its young heroes parent-less? Plus, how long does an episode take to animate? Does Funimation have DVD rights for the shows they're simul-dubbing? And what was ADV Kidz? ― Mitsuki asks: I was having a discussion (and by "discussion" I meant Tumblr post) about truly godawful cartoons, and someone brought up "Super Duper Sumos", and posted an image. Thing is, I noticed...
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Answerman - What's With The Bootlegs On Amazon?

Why are bootlegged anime products still such a problem on Amazon? Plus, the scoop on the new Funimation/Universal Studios deal, anime on Amazon Prime, and when anime will come out on 4K Blu-ray. ― Daniel asks: Who will produce the first anime Super Duper Blu-Ray when players start shipping at the end of the year? Sony via AniPlex? Do you think supporting three simultaneous disc formats will be beyon...
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Answerman - Will Manga Go Public Domain?

Plus, what is digipaint, exactly? What ever happened to Record of Lodoss War? And what does it take to get a long-running show green-lit these days? ― No time for an intro today, let's get to it! Cyrus asks: The Mangaka of a popular series called say hello to black jack did what would surely give Alan Moore nightmares. He revealed that the series was now 100 percent public domain per his own wishes....
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Answerman - Can Webcomic Artists Get Anime Made?

A fan wonders if Kickstarter can help webcomics get made into anime pilot films. Plus, why anime is often about aiming for the top, and how theme songs get picked. ― I've decided I'm bad at these introduction thingies. Most of what I'm really doing is working, most of what I'm working on I can't talk about, and most of my private life is either not interesting or is, ahem, private. I guess I could t...
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Answerman - Universal Appeal

What's with the Universal logo at the beginning of some Funimation shows? Also, questions about the 70s show Karate Master, how shows get licensed for TV, and why manga companies don't archive American versions. ― This is the first week in a very long time that I have not ingested any sushi. This is a problem. I have reservations for good, fancy sushi tomorrow night with family, but I am worried tha...
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Answerman - Brave Mew World

This week, why people STILL go on about 4Kids even though they haven't been a thing in years, whether anime companies change their mind about releases, where anohana went on Crunchyroll, and just what it takes to blow a successful career in anime. ― It's graduation season! Congratulations to everyone who's checking out of their school for a last time. It's a wonderful feeling, isn't it? When I gradu...
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Answerman - Categorization Is Death

This week, Justin takes on the old shojo/shonen categories, whether Section23 should still keep doing their own dubs, whether the Japanese will ever get on Spotify, and why anime based on American stuff so rarely shows up here. ― It's Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of summer! I hope you all have something fun planned. I try not to go anywhere this weekend, because everyone inevitably tri...
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Answerman - Heads Exploding... WITH KNOWLEDGE!

Justin rumbles with the many versions of Fist of the North Star, ponders why long-running anime are awkwardly cut into "seasons", and wistfully remembers the HD format wars of 2007. ― I went a little too nuts with the research this week and ended up with a few really long answers, so let's get right to it. Kira asks: Years ago, most of anime I saw were long-runners like Naruto or Bleach. When lookin...
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Answerman - Might Makes Rights

This week, what it takes to get an anime on retail store shelves. Plus, whether anyone really needs a dub these days, the legality of cosplay videos, and what ever happened to DVD inserts? ― Some days, it just feels like there's so much good stuff out there, and you just can't wait to be done with the work you have to do so that you can get to the pile of great stuff waiting for you. For example, af...
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Answerman - Can You Feel The Music?

Why the songs in Love Live! won't be dubbed, how to write to your favorite seiyuu, and why we will never learn actual sales numbers. Plus, the REAL reason why we can't have legal hentai streaming sites. ― You never know when you're going to accidentally find out something you didn't know about the anime business. A few months ago I got asked why we don't have something like Crunchyroll for hentai an...
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Answerman - Subtitle Hues and Cry

Justin takes on the backlash over simulcast subtitle quality. Then, why anime studios change in the second season of a show, what happens when a US publisher gets the rights to release something elsewhere, and more. ― After last week's column was posted, I got some grief on Twitter from a handful of readers, who were incredulous that I had such high praise for the staff that works on simulcast subti...
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Answerman - Funny Story About That Simulcast...

With everybody now knowing how crazy anime production is, Justin goes into the details of just how crazy simulcasting it is. Also, the crazy rules behind SAG-AFTRA voice actors, and new seemingly-free manga sites. ― Good news. The clouds have parted, the sky has brightened, and my workload has lessened. I am now 16 episodes into SHIROBAKO. I have developed an odd obsession with "Andes Chucky," even ...
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Answerman - Record Town and Media Play

Justin really wants to just watch SHIROBAKO, but instead he's answering your questions. Like, if physical media will ever give way entirely to streaming, and how to contribute when you're too young to have a credit card. ― This is a special kind of torture. All week, I've been wanting to do do nothing but watch Shirobako. I got to episode 5, and I'm hooked. The only problem is, this has been one of ...
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Answerman - The Changing Tides

This week, why anime isn't on TV, whether anime's piracy problem ever went away, what Ikuhara did on the Utena dub, and why there are so many eye-rolling gay comic relief characters. ― Thanks to everyone who sent in a question last week! I'm now buried in 'em, but if you think of more, by all means, keep 'em coming! Michael asks: I was recently listening to the first ever Supernerds ANNCast, which d...
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Answerman - Endlessly Searching

Justin answers two questions about really long series: is longevity something the creators prefer? And why do they get licensed less? Plus, prospects for some re-releases, and why so much hentai got licensed back in the day. ― What happened? The questions dried up again! Once again this week, I was really desperate for questions. Is it because everybody is on spring break? Anyway, I need your help! ...
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Answerman - Shame And Atonement

This week, the aftermath of the Pokémon seizure incident, the aftermath of the Chage & Aska drug arrest, the aftermath of series not being streamed in certain countries. Plus, why more Western books don't get anime adaptations. ― It's been another busy week, so let's get right down to it... Nick asks: Some months ago, Shigeaki Miyazaki, better known as "Aska" of the duo Chage and Aska, was arrested ...
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Answerman - Thawing Out

Is Funimation taking a risk by simul-dubbing so many shows? What ever happened to the Sunrise license rescues? Why is manga still in black and white? Plus, a dude who wants to put custom anime decals on his car seeks permission. ― I was just in Hartford, Connecticut. It was very very cold. But then I took the train 2 hours South, to New York city, and things -- finally -- were thawing out. After an ...
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Answerman - Japanese School Kids In Cars Getting Coffee

What is up with Crackle.com's anime selection, anyway? Why do so many materials get lost? Plus, Japanese companies expanding overseas, and independent school kids, in this week's Answerman! ― I am ludicrously busy this week, so let's get right to it. Geoffrey asks: There are some older series (especially Toei series) that can't be properly shown in HD because the original materials (usually the audi...
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Answerman - Business Minded

Hey, did you know that we're probably in another anime market bubble right now? Plus, the likelihood of Evangelion TV Blu-rays in the US, how Blu-ray rights are different than DVD, and the difference between licensing and distribution. ― Hey, I have a ton of questions in the Answerman inbox! Thanks to everyone that sent one in. Predictably, many people are talking about the ADV Films website, which ...
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Answerman - Life Is Just A Game

Why Viz just can't stream to Canada, where all the NYC dubs went, if Discotek is abandoning its classic anime releases, and whether we'll ever get a full DVD release of Hikaru no Go. ― Tough week here at Answerman. I got a few questions about the new Funimation broadcast dubs, but then they came out and answered most of the questions people were posing. Then we had our server issues last weekend, wh...
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Answerman - Historical Baggage

Is Japan REALLY more sexually permissive than America? Plus, cel collecting, Netflix's new foray into Japan, and the seeming lack of WWII anime. ― I know most of the country is buried under snow and cold, so it's unseemly to complain about this, but I don't care. It's February, all the trees in LA are in full bloom, and so my allergies are ABSOLUTELY DESTROYING ME right now. I guess I'd better finis...
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Answerman - Fangirling Out

Justin shuts down a theory blaming female fans for the collapse of the anime bubble. Also: why Free! is getting a split release, why some fans freak out when you criticize certain shows, and the long lost dubs of Manga Video. ― So, in the forum thread for last week's column, a pretty ridiculous conversation was had. That conversation gave birth to our first question this week. "anonymous" asks: Ther...
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Answerman - Midwinter Blahs

It's a blah midwinter week, and Justin takes questions on whether we need a Criterion Collection for anime, whether companies are abusing Kickstarter, why there's so much Sailor Moon Crystal merchandise, and why Japan doesn't pre-record their voices. ― I don't know about you, but I've had real trouble staying awake and coherent this week. I blame the combination of short days and overcast weather, w...
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Answerman - I've Got A Blank Space Baby

Justin just HAS to address Princess Kaguya's Oscar chances. Plus, the weirdness of Japanese names, the lack of Vancouver anime dubs, and what happens to recalled discs. ― Oscar nominations were announced last week, and so I got the usual questions this week about The Tale of Princess Kaguya's chances at taking home Oscar gold. I get these questions every year, so I'm not going to do the whole song a...
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Answerman - The Virtue of Curiosity

Justin muses on the Hollywood blockbuster's affects on anime fandom. Then, just how much can you squeeze onto a DVD or Blu-ray? Will discs ever come with download codes? Do the Japanese do blooper reels? ― This week I was listening to the podcast of KCRW's The Business, which is a weekly showbiz insider talk show produced out of Santa Monica. They had an interview with the director of the Oscar-cont...
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Answerman - Uncertain Futures

This week, the fate of Studio Ghibli, the arrival of PONYCAN, the mystery of the limited edition DVD, and why Japanese-owned publishers still have to pay license fees. ― We're all back at work, and I'm back to being busy as heck, so let's get to it. Craig asks: With the recent release of Cowboy Bebop from Funimation, being offered in a standard release (Blu-Ray/DVD only) Funimation Exclusive and an ...
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Answerman - Not That Kind of Resolution

Happy new year! It's time to answer questions... such as, why a company license rescues a show that you can still easily find, why info on new anime doesn't leak, when an anime comes with video game rights, and the how scary it is to revisit your old favorites that might not still hold up. ― Happy 2015! It's a new year, and a lot of people are thinking about resolutions. I have a few of them, myself...
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Answerman - Ho-ho-hangover

It's the day after Christmas and we're already bored with our new toys. Let's talk about old Rumiko Takahashi shows, why Nickelodeon never liked anime, and how anime becomes a Hollywood remake. ― I am writing this earlier in the week. I am writing it on a plane to Seattle, wherein I will see my family. However, I must write this pretending it is later in the week, Christmas is over, and I'm on my wa...
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Answerman - Shouting Into The (Icy) Wind

It's only one week 'till Xmas, but Justin is distracted by getting hammered by questions about new seasons of every show under the sun. Also, interlaced Blu-rays, what convinced Japan to stream, and why there are still holdouts. ― I can't keep track of anything this week. It's insane. Between the Sony Pictures hack (which is just such a spectacular plane crash of an incident that I can barely wrap m...
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Answerman - Holiday Hustle

Finally, a comprehensive guide to what Ghibli discs are safe to buy, and which have screwy subtitles! Plus, if legal anime downloads will ever be a thing, manga artists meddling in manga adaptations, and why they printed so many discs nobody wanted, back in the day. ― I really thought I was going to die this week. I had so many irons in the fire, so many projects going at once, that I was working 18...
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Answerman - Carb City

Could Megan Fox be in Sailor Moon??? Why aren't there many josei anime? And much ado about video issues on American Blu-rays. ― This week, a small group of friends I'm a part of had one of its regular dinner parties. I was tasked with making the main entree, spaghetti marinara, complete with seafood. It turned out very well -- I was a little worried, as I'd never cooked for 22 people before, but eve...
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Answerman - Hangovers from Turkey, Hangovers from Life

Why do some shows have black borders around the picture? Will we ever see Ronja the Robber's Daughter? What's with celebrities in Japanese ads, and are there really that many problem discs being released? ― Obviously I'm writing this column a couple of days early, but you're seeing it on Black Friday. Otherwise known as the day Americans stop all that "being thankful" nonsense and start going to the...
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Answerman - On Activism (and other stuff)

This week, Justin takes on an effort to halt the career of a controversial voice actor. Plus, romaji subtitles, early pre-orders, and the mysterious Animax. ― Wow, I can't believe the country is already getting clobbered by snow. I mean, it's barely halfway through November. This really doesn't bode well for the rest of the winter, does it? I mean, I'm here in the arid desserts of Southern Californi...
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Answerman - Show Me Your Evil Stick

How evil is the Evil Stick? Why are those old Patlabor movie boxes so cheap? Why do adapted TV anime get new music? And what's with this Manga 2.5 business, anyway? ― As one would expect, I got a lot of questions about Viz's Sailor Moon discs this week. There are two things preventing me from answering questions about that: the first is a conflict of interest. I work on some stuff for Viz, so ANN ru...
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Answerman - A Time for Drunken Publishers

This week: why some shows are missing on your favorite digital platform, why some old shows get new 5.1 mixes and some don't, what happens if manga artists die mid-series, and lessons from the anime market crash. ― I've just gotten back from NYC (which was lovely but FREEZING) and I'm still catching up with the giant amount of work that piled up in my absence, so let's get to some questions! Melissa...
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Answerman - Regret-tinged Nostalgia

This week, why were 90s dubs so bad? What software gets used by US anime publishers? Why did anime take so long to invade America? And is "Cool Japan" a failure? ― No time for chit-chat this week! I have a plane to NYC to catch! Skyler asks: Why were there so many terrible dubs made in the 80s and 90s? I don't have a problem with dubs or anything but some of the scripting and voice acting in dubs li...
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Answerman - Rabbit Ears

Lots of TV questions this week, from a TV network that came and went, to another TV network few fans know exists. Plus, flip phones in anime, and why Western fans don't care for vintage characters. ― I went to a friend's band's concert last night. It was a Wednesday, and they didn't go on until nearly midnight. It was fun to see them play, but halfway through their set I sat off to the side, head-in...
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Answerman - Jerkwatch

This week Justin takes on the alarming prevalence of rape in anime, as well as the first season of FREE!, anime on free-to-air TV, and fans being jerks to convention guests. ― Writing this column a little early this week. I'm flying to New York City on Wednesday to attend a friend of mine's live show. And then I am flying back the next morning. I will literally be spending more time in flight than w...
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Answerman - Service, Merchandise

Who is this "Great Eastern" company that makes all our Naruto T-shirts? Why does my anime have English songs in it? Also: streaming on multiple sites, and censored TV shows. ― There'll be some minor cosmetic changes to the column this week. You see, since the column's inception way, way back in 2001, we've always laid things out the same way. Questions in italics; answers in bold. Back in the day, b...
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Answerman - Business Reasons

This week, the possibility of more magical girl show releases, American dubs being used worldwide, the reasons for a reboot, and a fan is REALLY obsessed with making sure her discs are problem-free. ― My parents are visiting me in Los Angeles this week, so I'm spending some quality time with them (which involves eating and watching stuff, possibly anime, which is pretty much how I spend my quality t...
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Answerman - Jiggly Puffs

This week, the merits of anime boobs, the annoyance of people who only talk about the big mainstream classics, and the software used to make almost every anime around. ― Hey everybody. Due to time constraints this week, I'm returning back to 3 questions. Hopefully I can expand some more next week. Shaun asks: I am among probably the most vocally reviled groups of American Anime Fans, the one who una...
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Answerman - Time Well Spent

Would a Japanese company ever buy a big American anime publisher? Plus, why long running shows don't stream to the West, why some shows have year-long gaps, and why Japanese fast food workers seem so freaking perky all the time! ― The crushing heat wave is finally over here in Los Angeles. I didn't get to go to the beach, but instead I sat in my apartment building's hot tub-sized pool, and then went...
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Answerman - What Time Is It, Anyway?

What's up with those wacky age ratings? What does a Director of Photography do, now that there's no more cels and film? Why do things get licensed, and then not released? Plus, anime popping up in unexpected places. ― This has been a week of bizarre struggles. Struggles with my computers, struggles with trying to buy things, struggles with eating too much, and struggles with a grotesque-but-terrible...
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Answerman - No Crying Over Spilled Ink

This week, animation do-overs, companies buying fansub scripts (or not), moving camera shots, and animation frame rates! ― Summer is over. Back to work. Back to school. Back to your questions. Let's see what you've all got for me this week... Ava asks: Since it's premier I have noticed a very vocal group on my social media that hates the animation of Sailor Moon Crystal. Personally I don't think it'...
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Answerman - Terrible People

This week, what's with all the cynical jerks? Are anime fans discriminated against? Also, the layout of an anime company, and where those text-free sequences come from. ― You guys absolutely buried me in great new questions this week. Since ANN participation seems to peak while school is in session, I'm going to make an educated guess and suggest that you're here because your actual homework is in a...
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Answerman - Nobody Loves The Weeaboo

Why do Japanese companies have such terrible English? Why did Viz finish dubbing MONSTER? Plus, dealing with themes in writing reviews, and why everyone hates weeaboo. ― I've been eating really healthy for the last week or so. I had a salad for lunch, and a salad with some tacos for dinner. Lots of fish. This is driving me crazy, and I'm absolutely FIENDING for junk food. Needless to say, i'm a litt...
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Answerman - Brighter Days

This week, what's the deal with all of the different audio formats on Blu-ray? Can US companies access the original film masters of old shows? Where are all the OVAs these days? And why companies decide to not release controversial adult material, even if it's demonstrably legal. ― This has to be one of the worst, most depressing news weeks of the year. So rather than continuing to fixate on all the...
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Answerman - High On Life

How is it decided where an anime will play in a theater? When does an already-released anime get dubbed? What would happen if Netflix launched in Japan? And what's with shows released on DVD in the US, but not in Japan? ― It's been a pretty bland week. Once I got out of jury duty, it was pretty much business as usual. So, with nothing interesting to report, let's get right down to some questions. Pe...
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Answerman - Pain in the Neck

This week, is it unethical to get around a stream being blocked in your country? Is RWBY being judged unfairly? Why don't consumers use (HD) video tapes? Any why do older manga get new anime? ― I've been trapped in stasis this week, socially at least. You see, I've been tagged for jury duty. The way jury duty works in Los Angeles County is, you get a summons in the mail, and after you register and s...
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Answerman - I Am Not At SDCC

Since Justin isn't at SDCC, he can answer all your questions about anime studios' work on American cartoons, why short TV series don't get licensed, why voice actor commentaries are so rare, and the history of anime theme songs. ― It seems like everyone I know is at San Diego Comic Con this week. I am not at Comic Con, nor do I wish to be at Comic Con. In fact, I am overjoyed at I am not at Comic Co...
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Hey, Answerman! - In Search of Stability

Justin pulls away from the news to answer some questions: why are most older DVDs interlaced? What's with all the info-dumps in anime? Why can't you buy anime theme songs on iTunes? And why are people still buying DVDs? ― I am trying not to read the news obsessively, because it's all just terrifying and awful and we are all but uninformed, impotent civilians with neither the power nor information to...
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Answerman - Recovery

Convention burnout! Up-and-coming anime directors! Spanish dubs! Typos on DVD boxes! All this and (very little) more, in this week's Answerman! ― The theme of this week is "recovery." Recovery from a crazy 4th-of-July weekend, recovery from Anime Expo. Recovery of the files that were on a very important hard drive that I accidentally just deleted. (Luckily it looks like they're all fine.) You know h...
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Answerman - Teenage Party Weekend

With Anime Expo about to start, Justin talks about simulcast subtitles, Miyazaki joining the Oscars Academy, distributors in the UK and Australia, and censored TV series. ― It's Anime Expo weekend! But you probably got that, from the giant banner on the front page with all of ANN's coverage. I've been to at least 13 AX'es over the years, and as the show gets bigger and bigger, and more and more crow...
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Answerman - The Shape of Things

This week, how to overcome anime burnout, the mysteries of the anime musical and the DVD/BD combo pack, and an odd question about TV shapes. ― I am crabby. I've been getting up every morning at 5:45 AM so I can go to the gym, get a good workout in, and start my day with energy and vigor. It's supposed to be healthy. "Early to bed and early to rise," as they say. The problem is that "early to bed" pa...
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Answerman - The Old West

How scary is it for Japanese fans to visit American conventions? Why do American publishers keep getting stuck with TV versions of shows? How important is a producer relative to an animation production studio? And how useless is it to buy Western anime discs? ― I'm crankin' on a lot of discs over here, so let's just cut right to the chase this week. ConfigSpace asks: Given the recent news about Ben-...
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Answerman - Drug Induced Stupid

This week, how anime gets turned into manga, why some studios keep getting their stuff released by the same people, Japanese closed captions and shrink wrapped adult manga. ― I start this column with a public service announcement: herbal supplements are basically unregulated medicine. Drug interactions are really really not good. It all started last Saturday. My stomach didn't feel so good, so I too...
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Answerman - Back in the USA

Justin is back in town, and ready to answer some questions! This week, why do people get so worked up over anime boobs, but not gore? What's with Aniplex's pricey Kill La Kill discs? Is the DVD easter egg dead? And when it it OK to rewrite an anime for dubbing? ― After a week in London (and a night in the indescribably cold and rainy Edinburgh), I'm back in the good ol' US of A. I had a great time, ...
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Answerman Special - The Sad Tale of Anime Crash

Ever hear of Anime Crash? First they were a store, then they were a chain, then they were a home video company, then they were a mess. This is their story. ― I'm on vacation this week, so I'm dedicating this entire column to answering a single question. Even if you're too new to the scene to know what this is about, hopefully their story is entertaining enough that you won't care. Reed Nelson asks: ...
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Answerman - This Old Dub

So, are those old dubs of Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura gone for good? Will more old school anime ever get dubbed? And how DO you store your discs when your collection grows unmanageably large? All this and more in this week's Answerman! ― This column is the last thing I do before I leave for a much-needed vacation. After working myself to the point of exhaustion for the last few months, I am f...
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Answerman - Feel The Heat

Is it a good idea to buy used discs? Why isn't more anime streaming outside of the US? Will Doraemon be the next Pokémon? All this, and what to name a cute little one-eyed doggy in this week's Answerman. ― As I write this, Southern California is in the grips of a crushing heat wave. Even though I'm extremely lucky in that I now have an apartment with central AC and decent insulation, I'm still barel...
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Answerman - The Changing Tides

Justin is depressed because a video shop that was once his source for anime VHS is closing. But that doesn't stop him from answering questions about Macross dubs, fujoshi, pirate streaming sites and song subtitles! ― I got some sad news this week. Thomas Video, a small mom 'n' pop video store in Clawson, Michigan, is closing up shop after 40 years in business. While a video store closing its doors i...
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Answerman - Personal Space

Stage musicals, dubs on Hulu, production delays, and Justin spills about his own shameful past as a media pirate. ― Just sittin' here, workin'. Nothing of interest or excitement to report. Please continue towards the questions, for I have nothing to contribute in terms of polite chatter. Joe asks: I was wondering, I have noticed a trend on Hulu of releasing the first few episodes of an Anime dub alo...
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Answerman - Stress Eating

What exactly is "video post-production" in the anime world? What happened to all of those yet-unrescued Bandai titles? Is streaming anime big business yet or is it still just a drop in the bucket? All this and more, in this week's Answerman! ― The stress of the last few weeks is over, and work is slowing down to a more normal pace. I'm pretty happy about this. What I'm less happy about, however, is ...
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Hey, Answerman! - Bloody as Hell AND Burnt to a Crisp

Do screeners really sway critics to giving positive reviews? Is this the end of an era? Why can't you see the dub of Blue Dragon anywhere? And why are late night anime selling more on Blu-ray? ― Work work work work. I am boring this week. Except for that night I sort of broke and ended up driving to San Diego for a night. That was kind of fun. Anyway. Fredrik asks: I've been following anime sales fo...
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Answerman - Semi Conscious

This week, the lowdown on Neon Alley's transformation from service to website. The mysterious Blu-ray of Jin-roh. The wonder of importing Australian discs. And the majesty of upscales. ― Maybe it was the insane amount of work I did this week, maybe it's allergy season. But for whatever reason I feel like poo. I really would just give everything right now to crawl back into bed and maybe zone out to ...
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Answerman - Weary Optimism

Can Justin actually come up with a non-cynical, non-depressing analysis of the industry? Also, 4K video, fixed-up home video versions, and how to predict the hits. ― Hello! How are you guys? I am super! I just got my new Mac Pro back from repair shop. It is my baby. Baby is home. Baby is happy to be home. I am happy to have baby home. Without baby I cry a lot. I sleep next to where baby sleeps, and ...
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Answerman - Overindulgence

Are sports anime really that unpopular with American fans? What ever happened to the colorful former head of Central Park Media? And what's with Japanese food portions? ― Also, last week I asked for more questions, and once again you guys really came through and gave me enough for a few weeks' worth of columns. Thanks a ton! I guess people just forget about asking unless I bring it up, so from now o...
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Answerman - Impenetrable Markets

Why don't drama CDs get released in America? Why does Japan get American movies so late? Why don't most anime get dubs anymore? And will simul-pub manga influence what gets made into an anime? ― A couple of weeks ago, I got a question from someone about becoming a voice actor. The person who asked the question hadn't really done much research before making a pretty major career decision, so I spent ...
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Answerman - Discs of Steel

This week, a bunch of questions about Blu-rays! How's that Macross Plus blu-ray box from Japan? How's that crowdsourcing thing going? And why are the episodes divided up so strangely? ― Got slammed with work this week, so I've spent most of this week cocooned in my office making discs and stuff. Aside from eat some really amazing sushi and going to see The Wind Rises finally, I've done nothing parti...
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Answerman - Setting Fire To Your Dreams Since 2013

Wanna be a voice actor? Justin has a bucket of cold water with your name on it! Also, how anime TV ratings work, and the reasons for simulcast delays. ― A few years ago I bought this LG Blu-ray player, the BD670, because it was the most full-featured player out there. It had wi-fi, it did Netflix and Amazon and Hulu Plus, it played video files over my home network. For the first month, all was well....
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Answerman - Un-happy Endings

Why can't anime ever seem to get a proper ending, even when one already exists? ― Greetings! I come to you this week on steroids! Literally! I'm not kidding. I was having such horrible allergies this week that the doctors put me on a 6-day tour of steroids. I do not feel strong. I do not feel capable. I only feel a little drowsy and full of snot. Anyway, let's get to some questions. Corey asks: Sent...
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Answerman - Nature Always Wears the Colors of the Spirit

This week, all about manga turning yellow with age (with special guest, Ed Chavez)! Also, how long do streaming contracts last? And is there any way to authenticate anime autographs? ― I finally took the plunge this week and bought a long-desired upgrade to my home theater system... a projector. Projectors have gotten surprisingly cheap. The model I got, the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030, which i...

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