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Answerman - How Are TV Networks Associated With Anime?

Some anime only show on one channel in Japan, while others, like Attack on Titan, wind up on a dozen stations across the country - why is that? ― Kevin asks: Every once in a while I see an anime with a TV station logo which makes me wonder. Why do some anime shows only be on a single network? Like most of Toei shows are only on Fuji TV and naruto is only on TV Tokyo. Why do these studios get there s...
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Answerman - What Were VHS Fansubs Like?

Back in the 80s and 90s anime fansubs were distributed entirely on VHS tape - a whole ecosystem of tape sharing and trading that no longer exists. Justin breaks it down. ― Michael asks: Every once in a while, I'll stumble across old VHS fansubs; the unique quirks (like Kodocha's purple tapes) are absolutely fascinating. Were things like custom labels or tapes and fancy splashscreens common back then...
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Answerman - Why Are Common English Loanwords Mistranslated So Often?

Often you'll see an English loanword like "Buruma" translated literally in subtitles even if it's obviously not accurate - why does that happen? ― Juliana asks: Why, when handling an English loanword, do translators so often use the literal English source-word, rather than the meaning the word most commonly has in actual Japanese usage? I can't think of a recent show that didn't render jusu (soda, s...
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Answerman - Do Manga Artists Have Any Control Over "Filler" Episodes?

Long-running Shonen Jump shows like Naruto and One Piece have plenty of filler - how involved are the original manga artists with these filler episodes? Justin explains. ― Christopher asks: It's a common opinion among anime viewers that filler scenes/episodes/arcs can be very hit or miss. Some, like the ones in “One Piece” often work well, while others, such as some of the ones in “Bleach” are dropp...
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Answerman - Why Do Publishers License Anime And Not Release It?

Sometimes a company will license an anime, make an announcement and then... nothing ever comes out on DVD or bluray. How does that happen? ― Miri asks: Recently I was looking at some (US) publishers' lists of announced titles and I noticed that many licensed series but never do anything with them -- no DVD, Blu-ray, and sometimes not even streaming. Aniplex of America is particularly bad with this, ...
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Answerman - Why Does It Take So Long For Movies To Come Out On Video?

It took 11 months for The Wind Rises to release on DVD, and the window for Your Name might be even longer - why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Robert asks: With Your Name finally released in US & Canada theaters this has led to a disagree with my friend and I. He strongly believes that it will release physically here by fall at the latest. I told him with Reverse Importation being a big problem in ...
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Answerman - Why Are There So Many Chinese Anime Co-Productions These Days?

From Bloodivores to Spiritpact, there are more Chinese co-produced anime than ever - why is that, and how do they work? Justin has the answer. ― Wayland asks: Recently, which is roughly a year ago, I've noticed that some Chinese web novels and manhuas have been adapted into animations that are co-produced with Japanese Companies. Examples include: Spirit Blade Mountain (Reikenzan: Goshikuzu-tachi no...
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Answerman - Why Do I See Different Ads When Streaming On A PC Versus A Device?

It's a surprisingly technical issue - why do you see different ads watching streaming anime on a PC versus on your phone? Justin gets into the details. ― Wayland asks: This might be a more region specific question that I realise, but I've noticed a difference in the advertisements aired when I watch anime on crunchyroll. When I watch it on my computer it has region specific advertising (ie. Australi...
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Answerman - Quick Answers Part 2

It's another lightning round for the Answerman! Pirate anime streaming sites, transformation scenes, anime director's cuts and much more! ― I wasn't intending to do another one of these so soon, but that's what the contents of the Answerman inbox seem to be pointing towards today, so... let's do this. James asks: Many Japanese media have transformation sequences, most notably mecha, super sentai, an...
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Answerman FAQ - How Do I Become A Voice Actor? (Revisited)

It's one of our most frequently asked questions, so Justin has collected all of his best advice for the aspiring in one place. ― Today I thought I'd revisit a question that I get asked more than just about any other (aside from "when will a random decade-old show I am obsessed with get another season?"). I wasn't super happy with the last answer I gave to this question, and that was a few years ago,...
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Answerman - How Do Hikikomori Afford Their Expensive Hobbies?

Hikkikomori by definition don't have jobs - so how do they afford all those anime blurays and figures? Justin explains the phenomenon. ― Dark Mike asks: How do NEETs/Hikikomori afford their lavish lifestyle even if they have no jobs? For those unfamiliar, NEET stands for Not Engaged in Education, Employment or Training. The term was actually first coined in the UK, and describes young adults (under ...
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Answerman - How Do They Decide How Many Anime Discs Get Printed?

Sometimes the anime bluray you want sells out instantly,, sometimes it goes on deep discount 3 months after release. How do print runs work? ― Anonymous asks: How do anime companies decide the size of a bluray's "print run"? What goes wrong if they get it wrong and print too many or too few? When a new show is licensed, any and all dubs are made, the subtitles are done, the authoring is in the can, ...
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Answerman - What Is "Key Art" And Why Is It Important?

You hear the phrase around anime promotional images all the time - "key art". What is key art, and what purpose does it serve? Justin gets into it. ― Mason asks: Oftentimes, in the weeks or months leading up to a new anime premiere, there will be a promotional video as well as what's referred to as a 'key visual' released. While a promo video seems to make sense, what's the point of a key visual? Wh...
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Answerman - Do Japanese Fans Care What's Popular Overseas?

How much do Japanese fans care about what Western fans love? Justin gets into it. ― Will asks: Do Japanese citizens pay much attention to the trends, adaptations and popularity of their media exports or is this just a particular case where they are out of the loop? Do they talk about how anime, manga, tokusatsu, etc do overseas at all? Japanese consumers generally don't care very much what goes on i...
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Answerman - Quick Answers Part 1

Justin answers a bunch of short questions on the Gintama dub, anime movie distribution, Japanese greetings and much more! ― A few years ago, Answerman changed up its format a little bit, and we started giving each question its own column several times a week, rather than answering a bunch of questions once a week. The new format's been great -- old questions are easier to find, and I can give new on...
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Answerman - Who Profits From Selling Old Stock Anime Discs?

Let's say you're an anime retailer sitting on hundreds of unsold Geneon anime DVDs. Geneon's out of business - if you sell them, who profits? Justin explains. ― Anonymous asks: I've seen Right Stuff selling old anime dvds like Rozen Maiden, Legend of Himiko, and Hayate the Combat Butler owned by now-defunct North American anime Companies (Geneon, CPM, Bandai). Do those companies still get the profit...
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Answerman - Why Did Anime Use 16mm Instead Of 35mm Film?

Back when anime was produced on film, it used a smaller film size than most - 16mm vs. 35mm, the standard for most movies. Why was that? ― Elliott asks: With the recent push of Gundam productions put on Blu-Ray in North America I've become curious about the usage of 16mm film versus 35mm. Most of the TV productions seem to be printed on 16mm. However, the first several episodes of Victory Gundam and...
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Answerman - Why Do Older DVDs Look So Bad?

Old DVDs frequently have blurry, artifacted video quality and are sometimes not even full widescreen - why is that? What happened back then? Well, Justin was there, he knows. ― Anonymous asks: I've been collecting anime DVDs for a long time. I've noticed that the ones I've bought in the last few years have looked really really good, almost Blu-ray quality. But if I play a disc I bought in the early ...
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Answerman - What Do Miko (Shrine Maiden) Actually Do?

You see them all the time in anime, usually wielding supernatural powers, but what do shrine maidens actually do in the real world? Justin gets into it. ― Eric asks: There are some anime series that features miko or shrine maiden that I'd seen it lately like for example Kikyou from Inuyasha, Mokoto Aoyama from Love Hina and Mitsuha Miyamizu from the movie Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa). And I know that t...
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Answerman - What Are Host Clubs Really Like?

Host Clubs: they're referenced and depicted in anime all the time, but what are they really like? And do they really have them in high school? Justin gets into it. ― Sharon asks: Being a more mature female anime and manga fan, I'm very intrigued by the idea that host clubs, as depicted, actually exist in Japan. I always said if I made it to Japan, it would be the first place I'd visit. (It's on my b...
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Answerman - Do Japanese People Really Only Drink Green Tea?

It seems like anime characters exclusively drink green tea. Is that true in Japan as well? Justin gets to the bottom of this crucial question. ― albanian asks: I have always been a fan of Japanese teas. I have noticed, though, that anime characters appear exclusively to drink green tea blends. The western world seems much more varied with the occasional scented (Earl Grey), smoked (Lapsang Souchong)...
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Answerman - Why Is Incest Such A Common Topic In Anime?

"Why does incest come up so often as a story element in anime and manga?" you may have asked yourself at some point. You're not alone! ― John asks: In a recent episode of Hand Shakers a character revealed that had romantic feelings for their biological sibling. This is nothing new with series like OreImo, Boku wa Imoto ni Koi o Suru, and the classic Koi Kaze to name a few. Which got me to wonder abo...
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Answerman - Is Subway Groping Really A Big Deal In Japan?

Sexual assault on subway cars is depicted in anime quite often (most recently in Scum's Wish) but how big a problem is it really in Japan? Justin explains. ― Strongman Lin asks: In a fair number of anime (e.g. Scum's Wish, Ore Monogatari), female characters get molested by creepers on the subway. Is this really such a prevalent problem in Japan? And if it is, in the instances of it that I've seen in...
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Answerman - Whatever Happened to Anime Cameos?

Back in the 80s, comedy anime characters would make cameo appearances in other anime all the time - why doesn't that happen anymore? Justin explains. ― Phoenix asks: Whatever happened to anime cameos? I feel like in the 80s and 90s they were relatively abundant. The Dirty Pair and Crusher Joe seemed to make it into every other 80s anime. Why, I was just watching Macross and wouldn't you know it, the...
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Answerman - Are Anime Music Videos A Dying Art?

Do anime fans still watch - or for that matter, create - anime music videos like they used to? Justin refreshes his understanding of the AMV scene. ― Federico asks: Is it just an impression, or are anime fans no longer interested in making and sharing anime music videos? I thought that, with the increasing availability of new series, new music and cheap or otherwise easy-to-use video editing program...
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Answerman - How Do Japanese TV Shows Use So Much Anime Music?

If you watch Japanese TV, you'll hear anime soundtracks - like the OSTs for Evangelion - used as background music on talk shows all the time. How does that happen? ― Henpaku asks: I noticed that certain Japanese TV programs (mostly those showing entertainment specials with famous guests doing weird Japanese people things) use a lot of anime OST. In fact a show just a few days ago used some BGM from ...
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Answerman - Do Japanese High School Kids Really Hang Out On The Roof?

In countless anime, the hero and heroine hang out on the roof of their school - do Japanese kids actually do that? ― Chibi Chetsko asks: Are students permitted to eat their lunches and hang out on the roof during breaks or is this an anime-exclusive thing only? We've seen it countless times...but some recent series like Watamote have told us the door to the roof is always locked. Is this true? Also,...
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Answerman - Why Would A Japanese Publisher Restrict Exports?

Avex Pictures recently restricted imports of their blurays from Japan, including Yuri on Ice. Why would any company do that? Justin has a few ideas. ― Miguel (and a few other people) asks: It seems Avex Pictures recently (publishers of "Yuri!!! On Ice", "Osomatsu-san", etc) have restricted exports of BD and DVD releases for their shows. Why would they do this? Isn't exporting from Japan more benefic...
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Answerman - How Big A Deal Is Crunchyroll Reaching A Million Subscribers?

Crunchyroll just hit a milestone: one million paying subscribers. But how big a deal is that really - for the company, for the industry? Justin gets into it. ― Branko asks: Reaching a million paying subscribers is a significant achievement by any measure, but what exactly are the implications of Crunchyroll achieving that milestone? What does it mean for the simulcast anime it streams? Does it mean ...
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Answerman - What Happened To The 90s Anime Boom?

A brief history of the late 90s anime boom in America, when Pokemon ruled the world, anime appeared in unexpected places and VHS was king. ― James asks: I have heard both you and other staff of ANN say that Japanese animation does not have mainstream popularity, that it is still a niche market in the west, but I distinctly recall that, during the late 1990's and early- to mid-2000's (when I was in h...
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Answerman - Why Are Anime-Based Stage Plays So Popular?

Anime stage musicals are usually very low-budget affairs without any big name actors - so why are they so popular? Justin gets into it. ― MIchael asks: I've read numerous stories on ANN about various popular anime/manga franchises getting stage play adaptations, most recently Attack On Titan, and this prompts lots of questions. Who's commisioning these - is it a cashgrab by the publisher, or opportu...
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Answerman - Why Do Japanese School Kids Carry Randoseru?

A "randoseru" is the specific type of bag you see schoolkids using in anime all the time - is that a real thing? Justin explains. ― Samuel asks: Why does it look like in anime/manga that elementary students have randoseru backpacks whereas middle/high school students have something that looks like a satchel, knapsack or book bag? Also, how is a randoseru different from a Western backpack? It's not j...
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Answerman - How Do Translation Differences Between Anime and Manga Happen?

In the Attack on Titan anime, Eren and Armin are in the Scout Regiment. In the manga, they're in the Scout Corps. How do translation differences like this happen? ― Jimmy asks: I always wonder why anime shows and manga tend to not use the same names for both titles or terms. For example Jitsu wa watashi wa manga is translated as "My Monster Secret", while the anime has the correct translation of "Ac...
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Answerman - How Often Do Japanese Kids Go To Cram School?

Kids in anime are constantly attending "cram schools" - what is a cram school, and do Japanese kids really use them that often? Justin explains. ― Jake asks: I have seen in a lot of anime that almost every school kid attends cram schools and this has made me wonder about their purpose. On the one side Japan is almost always ranked as one of the best education systems in the world. But if there educa...
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Answerman - What Is A "Salaryman"?

They're all over anime, dressed in suits and filing into subway cars, but what exactly is a "Salaryman"? Justin gets into it. ― Julian asks: Although I don't know much about working options in Japan, I imagine there are tons of careers one can go into. Out of those, intricacies of work a salary man does interests me. In anime, there is so much pressure to get ahead in academics all in order to end u...
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Answerman - Are Oscar Campaigns For Anime Worth It?

Oscar campaigns for anime can be frustrating to watch - and the American distributors that handle them seem to get little support from Japan. Justin explains. ― Anonymous asks: How much benefit is there for an American distribution company like Gkids and Funimation to pay money to try an get a film nominated for an oscar? And why don't Japanese companies help in campaigning for their film to get nom...
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Answerman - Why Are Motion-Smoothing Televisions So Terrible For Anime?

Most new TVs have "motion smoothing" turned on by default, a video setting that makes anime look pretty terrible - but why? Justin gets into it. ― Jon asks: I recently upgraded my TV to a new OLED flatscreen from LG, and I couldn't understand why the anime I watched looked so blurry. After a little research online, I found out there is a setting called "TruMotion" that was the culprit and when I tur...
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Answerman - Why Can't Anime Get A Wide Theatrical Release?

Justin runs down the myriad reasons that anime movies like your name don't wind up on 3600 multiplex screens across America. It's a little complicated. ― Brooks asks: With anime movies like Your Name becoming global hits and companies finding success with Fathom Events like Funimation's theatrical releases of the DBZ movies,why is it that anime movies still can't get normal wide releases in every U....
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Answerman - What Determine's An Anime's Art Style?

Konosuba has an extremely unique animation style, but how does the staff of a show decide how it's going to look in the first place? ― Michael asks: Hi, so with some people out for studio DEENs blood for konosubas unique artstyle . I was wondering, who decides on the art style for an anime show? Is it the animation studio itself or does someone else on the committee decide that? A lot of people cred...
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Answerman - How Often Do Japanese Teenagers Live Alone?

It's a pretty common anime premise: high school-age teenager lives alone. But do Japanese teens actually live on their own? Justin explains. ― David asks: How common is it for Japanese teens to live on their own? You see it a fair bit, in anime and manga: teens living in a single person apartment, one that's either paid for by their family or paid for by part-time jobs. Do teens in Japan do this in ...
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Answerman - Why Are High School Jobs Not Allowed In Anime?

In shows like Yu Yu Hakusho, characters in high school are prohibited from having a job after school - is that a real thing? Justin gets into it. ― Skylar asks: Why aren't high school students allowed to have after school jobs in anime? Is this true of all high schools in Japan? Shows like Yu Yu Hakusho and Saiki Kusuo no Sainan (to name a few) have episodes dedicated to characters having to help th...
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Answerman - What Are Japanese Public Baths Like?

In shows like Love Live you see public baths all the time - what are they actually like? Justin gets into it. ― Jim asks: I recently re-watched Love Live and Yama no Susume, and both shows have a similar scene: several girls are bathing together and chatting, and one of them makes a dramatic statement, punctuated by standing up in the bath, to shocked reactions and (in YnS) embarrassment by the girl...
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Answerman - Why Doesn't Anime Use Flash Animation?

One reader wants to know why anime studios don't use Flash animation to simplify some parts of the animation process. Justin breaks it down. ― Montiel asks: Why haven't [anime producers] tried to automate 2D animation further by using good ol flash instead of hand-drawing the inbetweens? I am aware in between animation is entry level grunt work, and sometimes even outsourced overseas to lower wage c...
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Answerman - Are Anime Sequels Ever Made Just For The West?

If an anime is really popular in the west, but doesn't do so well in Japan, do they ever make a sequel anyway? It turns out they do - Justin runs it down. ― James asks: On occasion, there are series that are more popular in countries outside of Japan then they are within Japan itself, with some notable examples being The Big O, Outlaw Star, and Cowboy Bebop. In such instances, do the Japanese produc...
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Answerman - Why Do Anime Characters Send Emails Instead of Texts?

In anime, characters are rarely depicted texting eachother - they use celphone email, or apps like LINE. Why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Chris asks: Why do we see email addresses exchanged instead of phone numbers in some anime and manga? Wouldn't it be more normal to text someone instead of sending an email? I know some anime like ReLife use “Line” or sometimes texts. I understand that because ...
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Answerman - Why Does Everyone In Anime Use Clotheslines?

Kevin asks: In anime we see people hanging clothes to dry alot of times in shows set roughly in the present. Do people in Japanese society just not use clothes dryers? You always see a washer in bathroom scenes it feels like but never a dryer. Same with a dishwasher it seems like we always see them washing dishes by hand. Is it considered taboo or only for upper class to have a dryer or dishwashe...
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Answerman - Was There Really A Fuma Clan?

If you're watching an anime with ninja in it - nearly any anime with ninja in it - odds are "The Fuma Clan" shows up somewhere. Was that a real thing? Justin gets into it. ― New Era Mailer asks: in some ninja theme anime shows there will always be different ninja clans mentioned. the Fuma clan is always mentioned in such anime shows either as the good guys or bad guys. what i would like to know is w...
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Answerman - Why Do Voice Actors Get Re-Cast In Sequels and Reboots?

Sometimes the cast of an anime can change wildly in a short span of time, for both Japanese and English versions. But why? ― Sai asks: Recently I watched the 20th century Berserk anime and then the third film of the Golden Age trilogy. The entire main cast voice-actors changed when compared to the anime. I wondered why they just didn't bring back the old cast for the 3 films. Is there any formailite...
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Answerman - Why Do Some Companies Only Sell Shows Through Their Own Store?

Some companies license anime and only sell it in one place - their exclusive storefront. What's up with that? ― Jitsch asks: The German publisher Peppermint Anime has recently licensed the Monogatari Series – and then decided to sell the DVDs and Blu-Rays for Bakemonogatari exclusively at their own online shop. By now, the series is also available through Amazon Marketplace (also sold by the publish...
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Answerman - Why Can't I Watch This Trailer?

You're excited about a new anime series and the trailer is finally here - but you can't watch it because it's restricted in your country! Why do companies do this? Justin has the answer. ― Branko asks: It seems to be common practice for some Japanese companies to region lock their promo videos on Youtube. What exactly is the incentive behind this? Fans will just upload a pirated version immediately....
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Answerman - Why Are Some Releases Retailer Exclusive?

Exclusive versions of anime releases available only at certain stores - with bonus content and cool packaging - show up all the time. How does that happen? Justin explains. ― Parker asks: How do retailer-exclusive anime releases (like the recent Hunter x Hunter SteelBook at Best Buy) come about? How does a licensor like Viz pick the right retailer to work with and how do both companies benefit from ...
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Answerman - Why Isn't There More Sumo Wrestling In Anime?

There's a metric ton of sports anime - so why is there hardly any anime about sumo wrestling? Justin gets into it. ― Jake asks: I was recently thinking about all of the sports anime that have come out over the years and it occurred to me that there is practically no anime about sumo wrestling. There are plenty of anime about western style wrestling, kickboxing, kendo and judo but not sumo. One of th...
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Answerman - Why Do Subtitle Styles From The Same Company Differ?

Name changes, honorifics, grammar - sometimes subtitles within the same company's simulcasts will be inconsistent and kinda confusing. How does that happen? Justin gets into it. ― Wonchop asks: One things that's been noticeable in this age of internet streaming is that even within the same distributor (be it Crunchyroll or Funimation etc), there are differences in the format of the subtitles dependi...
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Answerman - Why Is Workplace Romance So Taboo in Anime?

Workplace romances are often treated like an unforgivable offense in many anime - what's up with that? Justin gets into it. ― Jennifer asks: relationship between coworkers is unacceptable even if they are in different departments. In Fune no Amu, we see Nishioka-san and Miyoshi-san in a relationship but they can't be seen together out in public. Why is that? Is it a distraction? I don't see it as a ...
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Answerman - Do Streaming Numbers Count?

What role does streaming play in giving back to your favorite anime creators? ― Cody asks: I was wondering how much does viewer count matter on streaming services like crunchyroll if at all? They've recently added some older shows, like A Certain Scientific Railgun, that I've already watched and I honestly tend not to rewatch shows very often unless showing them to friends. However I do want to supp...
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Answerman - Why Are Compilation Films Made?

It's a movie that edits together footage from a TV show you've already seen - what's the purpose of "Compilation Films" like Gurren Lagann's? Justin explains. ― Ryan asks: Why are compilation films of anime series in Japan so popular and why are they rarely licensed in the US? I just don't get it. Compilation films of TV anime have been made since at least the 1970s. They once filled an important ne...
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Answerman - Is There Too Much Anime Being Made?

Over 80 anime air every week. Seasons come and go where dozens of anime go unremembered. Is this healthy for the industry? Is there too much anime? Justin considers the angles. ― Anonymous asks: By my count, including short shows, kids shows and ongoing series, there are over 80 weekly anime currently airing on television, and that's not even counting movies and occasional OVAs. This is way, way mor...
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Answerman - Why Isn't There More Political Anime?

America has countless political dramas of every stripe - why is the genre so limited among anime and manga? Justin gets into it. ― Jake asks: One thing I was recently thinking about was why there are no anime about Japanese politics. Here in the US, it seems we can not get enough politically themed shows weather it be a comedy like VEEP or a serious drama like House of Cards. Even in manga one of th...
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Answerman - Why Do Japanese Kids Carry Handkerchiefs?

Children in anime are frequently shown carrying a handkerchief - why is that? Is it actually a common thing in Japan? Justin investigates. ― Darius asks: Why do school kids carry handkerchiefs with them? I see in a lot of anime, old and new, that kids have a handkerchief in their pocket to wipe their hands while in the bathroom and various other uses, and they seem at a lost of what to do with their...
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Answerman - Why Aren't There More Classic Anime Kickstarters?

Escaflowne, Bubblegum Crisis, Otaku no Video - classic anime kickstarters seem to do great, so why don't we see more of these? ― Reed asks: How come more anime companies don't run Kickstarters or other crowd-funding options to pay for recording English dubs or for funding Blu-ray releases? AnimEigo has done a few titles, some manga has been done this way, and Funimation did Escaflowne's redub throug...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Dubs Adapted So Much?

Justin explains why some dub scripts are so heavily modified for an English-speaking audience and just how much the Japanese side knows about these changes. ― Victoria asks: I like watching Hetalia since the beginning because of the little references to world history. I tried watching the dubbed version, but all the dialogue changed to have a lot of cursing and pop culture jokes which I can't stand ...
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Answerman - Why Is Anime's Animation Style So Hard To Imitate?

Plenty of Western animation teams have tried to imitate the look of Japanese anime, so why do these projects still look so different? ― Kiza asks: In the past 15 years, we've seen more and more of anime influenced animation: we've had the colorful Totally Spies, the gag-action Teen Titans, two stories from the Avatar franchise, etc. And then we've seen animation that didn't go out of it's way to be ...
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Answerman - Is Japanese Language From Anime Different Than Normal Japanese?

Just how different is everyday Japanese language different from the way they speak in anime? Can you learn Japanese by watching anime? Justin has some answers. ― AJ asks: I've been studying Japanese for a while now, but it's only recently clicked that there appears to be a disconnect between how formal people are with each other in how they address each other and how they speak in anime. What I mean...
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Answerman - How Are Anime Materials Archived?

Once an anime is finished airing, how do they preserve the show? Justin goes into all the ways Japan has preserved anime media over the years, and how it winds up in your hands. ― Ashley asks: Given that anime publishers and licensors can't just throw a master tape or a film can in a vault anymore, how does the process of archiving master materials work, both from a practical hardware standpoint and...
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Answerman - Why Do Voice Actors Perform Multiple Roles In Dubs?

In many anime, you'll find the same Japanese voice actor playing multiple roles - why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Kevin asks: I've been notching that in the credits that some of our voice actors play 3-5 characters. While in the Japanese's cast all voice actors have a different person and only play one person. Why is that? Also some voice actors in japan play characters that have only a single l...
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Answerman - Why Do You Still See Flip Phones In Anime?

They're all but gone in America, but you see classic flip phones in anime all the time - what's the deal with that? Justin has the answer. ― Osiris asks: I've seen a lot of animes in which people only have old cell phones (durarara for example) but rarely they have smartphones, which i find weird since japan has great technology advances. Does people in japan actually use those old cell phones these...
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Answerman - Are Cover Versions of Anime Songs Legal?

Youtube is chock-a-block with singers performing covers of anime theme songs - is that legal? Justin has the answer. ― Trace asks: There's a lot of youtube artist who do English covers of anime songs. A few of them even end up on itunes (though with new instrumentation). This brings a lot of questions to mind. Is this illegal? How does copyright work for covering songs in countries that aren't licen...
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Answerman - What Is That Short Screen After The Opening?

Sometimes, after the opening credits of an anime, a still will appear along with some music for a few seconds - what's up with that? Justin has the answer. ― Steve asks: Every now an then an anime will have an OP or ED that finishes playing, and then a bar or two of the music repeats, with some random frame from that episode as the visual. Flying Witch on Crunchyroll in the US is this season's examp...
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Answerman - Why Don't Simulcast Subtitles Get Corrected?

You catch little mistakes in simulcast subtitles every now and then - why don't these errors get fixed? Justin gets into it. ― Matthew asks: Why don't streaming sites fix obvious translation mistakes and errors in their subtitles? I'm talking about easy-to-spot and non-controversial mistakes like spelling errors, mixed up sign translations, missing punctuation, etc. When I asked Crunchyroll about th...
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Answerman - Why Can't Anime Use Trademarked Names?

Plenty of anime use silly fake brand names in place of real ones - why is that necessary? Justin takes a trip down to WcDonald's for the explanation. ― Jerome asks: Do Manga Publishers and Anime Distributers fear a lawsuit from using a trademark? Watching a lot of anime over the years, I never see real world trademarks if any. They usually just change the name. An example is in "Freezing" they use B...
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Answerman - Are There Any Vegetarians In Japan?

Vegetarianism rarely ever comes up in anime, although meat is almost always on the menu - is it a cultural thing, or something else? Justin gets into it. ― Chris asks: I was wondering if vegetarianism is something practiced by a notable amount of people in Japan. In anime I've only noticed a few cases of characters being vegeterian or vegetarianism being mentioned, so is it correct to assume that it...
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Answerman - Is Working To Death Really A Thing In Japan?

"Karoshi", or working yourself literally to death, is a phenomenon sometimes mentioned in anime, and it's on the rise in Japan - Justin goes over the basics. ― Vincent asks: There's always some sort of news about employees dying of overtime work in Japanese media. A professor at an university in Tokyo even stated that he thought it was "pathetic for someone to die just from working more than a hundr...
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Answerman - Do Dubs Really Contain More Swearing?

Sometimes you hear it said that english dubs contain more swearing than a faithful translation would provide; is there any truth to that? Justin looks into it. ― Eric asks: So I have an acquaintance who says he prefers to watch subbed anime over English dubs because the English translators add too many swears to the dialogue. Now I usually don't care why people prefer dubs or subs (and in this case ...
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Answerman - Why Is Japan's Population Declining?

Japan's declining population comes up from time to time in anime - but why is it happening? Justin gets into the basics, and how it impacts the anime industry. ― Jake asks: One thing I have heard about for well over a decade is that Japans population as a whole has been shrinking since the end of the 1980's. That fewer people are getting married and having less, if any, children than there parents a...
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Answerman - Why Do Companies Bother With Tiny Theatrical Releases?

The live-action Rurouni Kenshin movie was in theaters for less than a week and grossed only around $32,000 - what was the point of that? Justin gets into it. ― Terry asks: I don't understand how Funimation Films is supposed to turn a profit with the way they show some of the films they distribute. For example, according to Boxofficemojo, the first Rurouni Kenshin movie was only in theaters for 3 day...
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Answerman - Why Is It "Wrong" To Buy Digital Manga From Other Countries?

Let's say you want to buy digital manga from another country because it isn't available in yours - what's the problem with that? Justin breaks it down. ― Anonymous asks: Why is it legal to import/buy english translated print copies of mangas in a foreign country (e.g. Switzerland) through my local bookstore (normally per order only) or via bookdepository or on Amazon "Region xy" (e.g. Germany) or an...
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Answerman - What Happened To World Masterpiece Theater And Shows Like It?

Whatever happened to classic animated specials for larger audiences like Dog of Flanders, Heidi, and Peter Pan? ― Vinicius asks: I'm a big fan of the World Masterpiece Theater, a collection of anime series by Nippon Animation that adapted a classic book every year from 1974 to 1997 and then from 2007 to 2009. These series focused mainly on realistic situations: the characters were shown doing earthl...
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Answerman - How Do Anime Cross-Overs Work?

Anime crossover episodes like Toriko x One Piece and Lupin vs. Detective Conan are a treat for fans - so how come we rarely get them in the US? Justin gets into it. ― Peter asks: I recently bought the latest volume of One Piece and it's mentioned in it that they were unable to get the license for episode 492 which was a cross-over episode with Toriko. But as far as I'm aware Funimation has the dubbi...
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Answerman - Why Don't Promotional Anime Cafés Last Longer?

We're constantly running news stories about awesome anime themed cafes in Japan - but most of them seem like they're only open for about a week. What gives? ― Ophno Im'Portynce asks: I notice pretty regularly on ANN that there are themed restaurants that open up in Japan, particularly around the Tokyo area. These restaurants and merchandise shops are usually anime or game based and are themed around...
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Answerman - How Do You Keep Up With So Much Anime?

With the fall season upon us, it's a reminder of just how much new anime there is every season. Justin considers the angles - and we'd love to hear your secrets for keeping up! ― Nathan asks: I'm an anime fan since the late 90s, returning to regular watching after a hiatus since around 2004. Now, EVERYTHING seems to be coming over, and the front page of Anime News Network seems like a deluge of unfa...
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Answerman - Why Are Anime Series So Short These Days?

It seems like anime series used to run longer - 26 to 52 episodes, rather than the nonstop drip of 12- and 13-episode shows we get now. Why did things change? Justin gets into it. ― Mathias asks: Looking back at the past decades, it seems that less anime shows were made, but that they ran for a longer time, often going over fifty or even a hundred episodes. What made producers switch to the current ...
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Answerman - How Does The Train System Work In Japan?

Japan's train system is referenced constantly in anime - so how exactly does it work? Justin gets into it. ― Tayler asks: How do kids in Japan pay for the trains that they are constantly using? Train use is something that seems to happen in nearly every school anime, but I don't think I've ever seen one that actually mentioned the price of a train ride, or why kids are able to seemingly just walk on...
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Answerman - Why Aren't More Anime Movies Available For Streaming?

There's a metric ton of TV anime available for streaming - so where are all the anime movies? Justin explains why so few theatrical anime are available streaming. ― Robert asks: Why there are so few movies in legal anime streaming services (unlike Netflix which specializes in movies)? I think at the very least they should have movies that came from popular tv series in their catalog. IMO it is easie...
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Answerman - Where Do Animax Asia's English Dubs Come From?

Animax Asia is a 24-hour anime cable channel run by Sony, and it's chock-a-block with English dubs many American fans have never heard. Justin gets into it. ― Skye asks: Why does Animax Asia broadcast anime with English dubs, and who dubs them? I recently watched Toward the Terra, and upon further research (wikipedia), I learned it was dubbed by Animax Asia, which broadcasts dubs in Southeast Asia. ...
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Answerman - Why Are Anime Discs Re-released So Much?

Ever wonder why there are so many releases of Dragon Ball Z? Or why one show might get 3 releases, while another barely gets one? Justin breaks it down. ― James asks: Funimation has released and re-released Dragonball countless times, which I find to be very annoying, since it is clearly an attempt to get more money from their customers, and there is little that can be added to any further releases ...
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Answerman - How Do Franchises Keep English Translations Straight?

How does a mega-franchise like Pokemon or One Piece keep their English-language names and translations straight? Justin gets into it. ― Jennifer asks: I've been watching the Pokemon anime recently, and it's made me wonder about the translations of pokemon names, which are different between Japanese and English, and how they keep the same name though the different media Pokemon can be consumed throug...
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Answerman - What's Up With Dollar Store Anime Releases?

Justin takes a journey through the world of dollar store anime - just where do all those random old anime DVDs come from? ― Charles asks: I've occasionally come across anime on the kind of DVDs that go straight to dollar stores and discount bins as if they're public domain. Some examples I've seen are The Little Mermaid (1975), The Wonderful Galaxy of Oz, and even Captain Harlock. They usually look ...
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Answerman - Why Are Funimation And Crunchyroll Getting Married?

It's chaos! Up is down! Left is right! Crunchyroll and Funimation are partnering up! Justin breaks it down and looks at some of the reasons why yesterday's news was so big. ― Anonymous asks: The recent news that Crunchyroll and Funimation are partnering up sure seems like a really good thing for fans (we only have to subscribe to one service now, unless we want dubs). But why did it happen? Is conso...
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Answerman - Why Are UK Releases Slower Than North American Releases?

Christopher asks: I live in the UK and one thing that has been bugging me for a while now is why there is such a big gap in releases of anime Blu-rays/DVDs between US and UK of the same series? One prime example of this is "One Piece". If a series is been released only in the US and not in the UK, that's different. But when the discs is been sold in both countries, why is the UK so far behind our...
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Answerman - What Is The Homeless Situation Like In Japan?

Satoshi Kon's Tokyo Godfathers is the only exposure most American fans have had to the concept of homelessness in Japan - so what's the real situation? Justin gets into it. ― Jake asks: I had recently re-watched Satoshi Kon's Tokyo Godfathers and it has me curious about homelessness in Japan. I realize homelessness is a problem that every country has, but I find it they way anime depicts homelessnes...
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Answerman - How Have Anime DVDs and Blu-rays Changed Over The Years?

That anime bluray in your hands is the product of many changes and improvements over the years - Justin gets in to just how much our current physical media has changed. ― Jake asks: By now DVD's have been on the market for over 20 years and Blu-ray disks for over a decade and I have been thinking about how much technology has changed in that time. It has me wondering about the technical, under the h...
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Answerman - Why Is Old Anime Still Released In Interlaced Format?

"Interlaced" video should, by all accounts, be a thing of the past - so why does it still occasionally show up on anime DVDs and blurays? Justin gets into the technical details. ― Anonymous asks: Why is it that older shows are still presented in interlaced form on new-release DVDs? They look terrible on a computer. Prior to HD video being a thing, all video was interlaced. All of it. Every show that...
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Answerman - How Much Anime Can REALLY Fit On A Blu-ray?

Some anime come with 13 episodes (or more) crammed on a single bluray disc - is that really enough space to maintain HD picture quality? Justin gets into it. ― Mike (Toole) asks: How much anime will fit on a single Blu-Ray disc? Is a single BD-50 really enough for 13 episodes of subtitled 1080p anime? How much anime can comfortably fit onto a dual layer Blu-ray in full HD? For those who don't know, ...
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Answerman - Do Salarymen Really Read Manga?

Most anime may not be as mainstream in Japan as we would like to believe, but what about manga? Does the average working adult really read comics on the train? ― Vithuyan asks: I have heard that manga is very popular among salary-men in Japan, is that true? Yes. Although most of them are not reading Shonen Jump. Seinen manga magazines ("seinen" literally means youth, but in terms of manga demographi...
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Answerman - What Is Anime Midstream?

A scrappy little company called Anime Midstream picked up the series B'tx recently, so it's the perfect time for a refresher on just who Anime Midstream are. ― Drew asks: This past week I saw the article on ANN about a company called Anime Midstream releasing anime B'tX. I was excited because I liked that anime and it never was completely released here before, but it got me wondering who was this co...
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Answerman - When Did US Anime Publishers Transition from VHS to DVD?

Back when VHS fell to the mighty DVD, how did the US anime industry transition to a new format, and what did that mean for the industry as a whole? ― Jake asks: I have been wondering for a while now about when the anime industry transitioned from VHS to DVD's. I know that the DVD player was introduced on the market in the mid 90's but like a lot of people I did not get around to transitioning until ...

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