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Answerman - Why Are Americans In Anime Always Blonde?

One reader wants to know why Americans in anime are almost always portrayed as blonde-haired and blue-eyed. Justin Sevakis, a non-blonde American, explains. ― Dana asks: My question is how Americans are labeled in anime. I have read and seen a lot of anime and manga. In all of them, Americans are all drawn being blonde and blue eyed. This just irks me sometimes. I'm American and I have brown hair an...
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Answerman - Why Do Guys In Yaoi Claim To Be Straight?

Justin navigates some of the fantasies and realities of the way men behave in yaoi manga and doujinshi, which, in a surprise to everyone, isn't particularly realistic. ― Quinn asks: Recently I stumbled upon "Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi - World's Greatest First Love" and all though I didn't know it was a yaoi title when I first started watching the show I did enjoy its story. However, one thing kept nagging ...
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Answerman - Should FUNimation Be On NASDAQ?

One questioner thinks it's time for anime companies like Funimation to go public on the stock market, along with all the risk and reward that could entail. Justin has a few thoughts about that. ― CastMember1991 asks: Now with Funimation launching a streaming service that serves as the anime industry's answer to Netflix, I think it's time for Funimation (or its parent company G1200 Media) to file for...
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Answerman - What Do The Changes To Oscar Rules Mean For Anime?

They're making a bunch of changes to the rules for Academy Award voting, but what does that mean for the anime that occasionally gets nominated? Are anime's Oscar chances changing? ― Bill asks: I've been hearing a lot lately about changes to the rules for voting in the Oscars. What does this mean for anime? Will this make it easier or harder for anime to get recognized by the Academy? Indeed, much a...
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Answerman - What Does Darker Than Black's License Withdrawal Mean?

Funimation's license for Darker than Black recently expired, and Aniplex chose not to renew it. What does that mean for that show, for Funimation and for the industry? Justin gets into it. ― Stan asks: I heard the news of Funimation losing their license to Darker Than Black. People speculate (or is it confirmed?) that the license was taken away by Aniplex of America. So I was wondering, is this one ...
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Answerman - Who Makes Anime Opening Sequences?

An opening sequence can be the chief way people are sold on a show and can live on long after the show's relevancy has faded. Justin explains how these little works of art get made. ― Adam asks: You've talked before about how music gets chosen for opening and ending sequences, but I'm curious about the animating side of it. I've noticed most openings and endings specifically credit a single storyboa...
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Answerman - What Are Japanese Student Councils REALLY Like?

Is it true that high school student councils in Japan are all-powerful organizations that rule the nation's high schools with an iron fist and limitless resources? Not quite. ― Jason asks: As an avid anime watcher and a high school student in the US, I've noticed that most student governments in anime are organized in the same way and do the same things, however they differ drastically compared to t...
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Answerman - Why Does Unfinished Manga Get Adapted To Anime?

One reader wants to know why so many anime based on manga go into production long before the manga's even close to finishing. Justin gets into it. ― Jessica asks: Hi, I don't know if someone asked this question before but I will ask anyway. I just finished watching Ao Haru Ride and its been bothering me. Why does the anime industry adapt from manga series that are already running, showing no signs o...
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Answerman - Is Streaming The Future of Anime Kids' Programming?

Children's programming seems to be migrating from TV to streaming services, and someone's curious if this is where anime for children is heading next. Justin gets into it. ― Vee asks: I was recently browsing through Netflix and came across "Glitter Force". It looked familiar so I went online and discovered that it's one series in the Pretty Cure franchise. But, Saban Entertainment (who've been in th...
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Answerman - Why Does CG Anime Have Such Low Frame Rates?

With BBK/BRNK airing now and more and more fully-CG anime hitting theaters and the airwaves, most folks seem to agree that it looks pretty off. What's up with that? ― Scott asks: Hello! Recently I've seen some talk about anime CGI in regards to frame rates. I've read that Japanese animators tend to cut frames leading to not-so-great-looking final products. Can you explain the mechanics of this and w...
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Answerman - Did Westerners Always Call It Anime?

Unfortunately sometimes we do need to reflect on the past, which means it's time to discuss the days when someone apparently thought "Japanimation" was a great term for anime. ― Whisper asks: I have been wondering about the etymology of the terms "anime" and "manga" in American culture, particularly why Japanese animation and comics are often called a special name while, say, Japanese video games th...
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Answerman - Why Do Some Voice Actors Like Not Knowing About Their Roles?

Plenty of English-language anime voice actors talk about how they don't like to know the story of the show they're performing in beforehand. What's behind this practice? ― Jitendar asks: In interviews and commentaries on anime discs, I often hear English VAs state that they like to be surprised regarding their characters and the story, which would be good if most of your work involved turning up to ...
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Answerman - Why Did Sgt. Frog Hit In Japan But Not America?

Sgt. Frog is enormous in Japan, but despite several full-hearted attempts by multiple US publishers, it never left the lily pad. Justin investigates. ― Tamenish asks: I've been wondering for a while now about the popularity of the anime series 'Sgt. Frog', also known as 'Keroro Gunso'. In the West few people have heard of this obscure anime, yet I have heard it is quite popular in Japan. Why hasn't ...
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Answerman - Why Did Shonen Jump Succeed In America?

It has a sizable percentage of the most popular manga in the world between its pages, but what exactly was it that made Shonen Jump hit in America the way it did? Justin has some thoughts. ― Agni asks: In Japan, a huge amount of manga is serialized in magazines. But in the west, the only such magazine was Shonen Jump. Why did Viz and Shueisha take this chance, how did it manage to keep running for n...
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Answerman - What's With All The Monkeys On New Years Greetings?

Someone wants to know why all the New Year's greeting cards from the anime industry are swarming with monkeys. Justin's on it. ― Ashley asks: I recently went through the articles "Happy New Year -- Anime Style!" While looking though all of the celebration pictures, I noticed a few of them involving monkeys in one way or another. So I was wondering if you could explain to me why that is or if it was ...
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Answerman - Do Japanese Students Really Go On Huge School Trips?

In anime, high school kids go on lavish school trips overnight as a school function. Is that really a thing? Justin investigates. ― Jake asks: I have watched a lot of school anime over the years and I have always found school trips to be a bit peculiar. Most of the time they are beach trips, which is pretty normal fare. But more often than not it's to some exotic expensive local that is multiple day...
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Answerman - A Hentai Question

Justin answers a particularly frank question about a particularly NSFW feature that is usually missing when it comes to anime characters. Maybe you've wondered about this yourself! WARNING: NSFW Language. ― Hentai Tenchi asks: Why has there been so few non-hentai anime with pubic hair? I doubt TV stations would air it without it being censored, but couldn't it still be added to the home release vers...
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Answerman - How Did Christmas in Japan Become A Thing?

Justin explains a bit about how Christmas became a popular holiday in Japan. ― James asks: As Christmas approaches, I have noticed that that holiday seems to be popular in Japan, despite the fact that Christianity is not widespread in that nation. How did Christmas become popular in Japan, and why do the people there enjoy celebrating a foreign holiday? It's true, Japan isn't a particularly Christia...
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Answerman - How Were VHS Releases Mastered?

Justin runs through what it took to get an anime series out on that most hallowed of formats, the VHS cassette. ― Nate A.M. asks: What was mastering a VHS release like, in the dark times before NLE software and in-house video editing? What was the typical relationship between a licensee and a post-production firm? How did the technical process work? Aside from materials issues, what could (and did) ...
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Answerman - What's The Difference Between BD-Rs And Regular Blu-Rays?

Justin gets in to some of the technical differences between different types of Bluray discs, and how that impacts your anime experience. ― Anonymous asks: So one thing I've been wondering about is what exactly is the difference between a BD-R and a regular BD for Blu-Ray Discs? I've been wondering since I recently went on a search for them, but all I can find is BD-R or BD-RE etc, yet companies at l...
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Answerman - Why Do Engrish Titles Only Sometimes Get Corrected For America?

Justin explains where garbled English titles for anime like "Blast of Tempest" and, yes, "Attack on Titan" come from. ― Ben asks: My question is why are some Engrish titles in anime like "Still World is Beautiful" (changed to "The World is Still Beautiful") and "Break Blade" (changed to Broken Blade) altered for their official English releases, while other titles like "Blast of Tempest" and "Riddle ...
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Answerman - Why Do Some Classic Anime Never Get Re-Released?

Justin runs down some of the reasons why plenty of anime from the 80s and 90s never saw a release in English and maybe never will. ― archivisth asks: Why have some shows, often of quite decent quality, never been reissued on modern digital media, like DVD, when all sorts of other stuff has? Some examples include OVAs like Oz, Sanctuary, Hi-Speed Jecy and Tomoe ga Yuku; and movies like 1992's Hashire...
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Answerman - Does Uncensored or Re-Animated Anime get Streamed?

Broadcast anime is frequently full of mistakes or edited nudity that get fixed later for bluray. Do these versions wind up getting streamed anywhere? ― Miguel asks: Most TV series are made on a tight schedule and because of that Blu-ray and DVD releases are usually fixed up here and there, series with nudity and gore are also usually censored because they can't air nudity on TV. My question is, if a...
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Answerman - Why Do Anime Discs Go On Clearance?

How DID that copy of UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie wind up at $2.99 in the discount bin? Justin gets in to the whys and hows of anime DVDs going on clearance. ― Andre asks: I always scour discount video bins for anime when i get the chance. Stuff from the 00s boom haunts them, with old Geneon, ADV & Funi discs to be had for cheap. But I've noticed some stuff never turns up, like Media Blasters, Honneamis...
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Answerman - Why is it so tough to buy Japanese digital media downloads?

Ever try to buy a song digitally, from a Japanese website? Ever actually succeed at doing that? Justin explains why it's so weirdly difficult. ― Vanessa asks: Hello, is it impossible to buy Japanese digital media from any website while living outside of Japan? Cds and books are easily attainable from Amazon Japan, which even will display the website in English for foreigners. While browsing mp3s and...
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Answerman - How Does Old Anime Get Remastered?

Older anime shows are coming in out in HD at a remarkable clip, but how do these shows go from dusty and neglected to sparkling and new for the bluray treatment? ― Julian asks: So I know a couple people who like to collect old animation cels, and I've read before that materials get lost or destroyed so that when it comes time to re-master a show they have to use old releases (see the new Eva BD). My...
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Answerman - How Is Online Streaming Doing in Japan?

Streaming video services are completely ubiquitous in America, and it's the #1 way people keep up with new anime, but how do these services perform in Japan? ― Wayland asks: So apparently everyone in US and Aust is loving streaming services, (despite issues with people trying to get on the US site). I've also heard that it hasn't really taken off in Japan, yet. Hulu wasn't really able to make a dent...
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Answerman - Why Are Anime DVDs More Expensive Than Western Animation?

Your average new anime series on bluray costs about $60, while your average new American TV series costs about half that. Why is that? ― Cody asks: I have a question about retail price differences between Japanese animation and Western animation, specifically regarding series. For example, if I wanted to buy Maoyu on Blu-ray from Amazon, I'd be paying $34.77, yet season four of Legend of Korra is on...
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Answerman - Why Do Delta Airlines Flights Have Japanese Movies?

Delta flights are routinely loaded with mainstream Japanese movies, including subtitled live-action anime adaptations and often anime itself. Why is that? ― Jake asks: I recently was on a red eye Delta flight to the west coast over the holiday and was flipping through the movie section on those new tablets they now have built into the seats and found something quite surprising. I was expecting to fi...
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Answerman - Why Is Sunday So Dead At Anime Conventions?

Sundays are usually a ghost town at any given convention, no matter how popular the show is. What's up with that? ― Chris asks: I somehow made it to three major anime cons this year (Anime Central, Anime Weekend Atlanta, and Youmacon), and every time I was surprised and dismayed by the retrenchment from the dealer's room on Sunday. At each of these cons, a number of informational booths simply weren...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Gundam Series Getting Simultaneous Dubs?

Gundam Unicorn and Gundam The Origin both got simultaneous English dub releases, while a lot of other Gundam is released subtitled-only. What's up with that? ― Matt asks: I've been surprised how first Gundam Unicorn and now Gundam the Origin have been getting simultaneous dubs upon release. Even though Unicorn's North American release got thrown into the chaos surrounding Bandai Entertainment's clos...
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Answerman - What Made The Big Anime Conventions So Big?

Anime conventions are bigger than ever, with the largest attracting nearly 100,000 people in 2015. How'd they get that way? ― Brandon asks: I've been able to attend a few conventions, spend way too much at some, and meet new and old friends at others. However, when I look at the conventions and the news you all cover from events like Sakura-Con or Anime Expo, I wonder “What made these specific conve...
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Answerman - Why Does Funimation License Shows They Won't Dub?

Funimation has said they only license shows they think are worth dubbing - so what's up with the sub-only releases of OniAi and Buddy Complex? ― Steven asks: Until recently, Funimation dubbed everything they ever released. So now that some shows like Buddy Complex and OniAi are going to DVD as subtitle-only, why do they bother? Funimation has stated outright, on ANNCast among other places, that they...
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Answerman - What's Wrong With Fan Translations?

Some champion fan translations. Others champion professional translations. Someone asks Justin to clarify his position on this. ― James asks: Why do you and the other staff of Anime News Network seem to have a dislike for (unofficial) fan translations of Japanese animation and manga? How do those media affect you and your website in any way, and do you have some personal stake in the matter? BIG STU...
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Answerman - What Will The Trans-Pacific Partnership Do To Anime?

There's an enormous trade agreement on the table right now that could impact the anime industry and, in particular, the legality of fanart and other fan-created works. Justin gets into it. ― Usakun asks: I haven't been following news about the impending Trans-Pacific Partnership very closely, but most of what I am hearing now is increasingly negative, at least from fans living in Japan and how they ...
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Answerman - Why Can't I Change The Subtitles and Audio on My Blu-rays?

Sometimes when you're watching anime on an R1 Bluray you can't turn off the subtitles or change the audio while you're watching. What's up with that? ― Before we get started, a foot note to a previous column... My assessment of the English-speaking acting scene in Japan was quite scathing, but was only part of the story. There is, as it turns out, a small community of actual, professional multi-ling...
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Answerman - Why Is Anime Getting More Popular In The West (Again)?

Anime seems more popular than ever in the West, with merchandise and DVDs common on store shelves and convention populations exploding. What happened? ― Joachim asks: If i look around me, there's more and more people starting to like anime. and i love that. but of course those people are all of western origin and not japanese, so my question is: why is anime growing so much in popularity in the west...
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Answerman - Why Are Adapted Dubs Still Being Made?

You hear fans complain about one thing more than anything else: heavily rewritten and whitewashed English dubs of kids' shows like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon. But why do these hatchet jobs still exist? ― Mitchell asks: So I wanna know, why do bad dubs continue to exist to this day? I find it odd that dubbing companies out there still continue to do things that they know will annoy the fans like replace b...
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Answerman - Why Don't I Find Anime Comedies Funny?

One reader wonders why he can't connect with anime comedy the same way so many other fans seem to. Justin gets into it. ― Jsphro asks: I'm a casual anime fan, only watching a small handful of shows a year. One genera I've had always had hard time grasping my enjoyment on is Comedy. Very few anime have ever made me laugh, which I don't know is either the fault on the creators for making something un-...
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Answerman - Does Japan Have Otaku For American Animation?

Are there Japanese fans of American animated shows like South Park, Family Guy and Rick & Morty? Do they resemble American anime fans? Justin gets into it. ― Christopher asks: With the anime/otaku industry being a fairly robust fandom in the west, I was wondering: is that mirrored for western animation/cartoons over in Japan? Are there groups that work on fansubbing new episodes of Steven Universe a...
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Answerman - Why Isn't American Animation Outsourced To Japan?

American animation used to be outsourced to Japan all the time - obviously that isn't the case anymore. What happened, and where is animation outsourced to these days? ― Abe asks: Why are so many American animated shows sent to Korea for main production and not Japan? The Japanese animation industry seems to be a more logical choice considering how much animation is produced there compared to the am...
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Answerman - Is Japan Over-Reacting To Ai Takabe's Arrest?

Ai Takabe is a voice actress who was recently arrested on drug charges in Japan. The kick in the pants the Japanese justice system is giving her seems excessive; is this business as usual? ― Dimitri asks: Today I noticed a huge uproar in regards to Ai Takabe and her arrest for drug possession and potential usage. Now would this not have interested me, was it not for the fact that here whole presence...
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Answerman - How Popular Are American Movies In Japan?

Justin delves into the Japanese box office and just how American films stack up to Japan's domestic output when it comes to the bottom line. ― Cordelia asks: I noticed that in Japan, American movies are highly popular such as Titanic and Frozen for examples. I even heard Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean are really popular and are some of the top grossing movies there. Are American films rel...
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Answerman - Are There More American Otaku Than Japanese Otaku?

Someone asks whether or not there are more American otaku than Japanese otaku, and Justin tries his best to figure that out. ― Randall asks: Given the rising attendance figures at anime conventions here in the US, comparing to attendance figures from the (two?) comikets and assuming that such convention attendees would be considered otaku if living in Japan, is it possible that the US now has more o...
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Answerman - Do Anime Creators Pay Attention To Reviews?

Does the production staff of an anime pay attention to the reviews their show gets, either from Japanese or American media? More importantly, how do they handle reviews via social media? ― Norman asks: Id like to ask if any of the anime studios or production committees that pay attention to review scores or ratings from any Japanese review sites or even large English anime review sites like ANN? Is ...
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Answerman - How Did American Manga Releases Become Right-To-Left?

Justin recalls exactly when and why manga releases in the US became "authentic", reading right-to-left. ― Carlo asks: When I first started reading manga in the late nineties, a lot of the books were printed in left to right format instead of right to left. What was it that made US companies decide to change to the Japanese style? Prior to 2002, the vast majority of manga released in English was "flo...
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Answerman - Why Are OVAs Formatted Like TV Episodes?

OVAs are straight-to-video animation, so why are they frequently formatted exactly like television shows? ― Alec asks: I am a big fan of both Gunbuster and Diebuster and have noticed that both contain an opening video and framing for a commercial break. I am assuming that Diebuster was merely following the lead of Gunbuster in this regard. But as for Gunbuster, was this put in place in case it ever ...
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Answerman - Is The Anime Glut And The American TV Glut The Same Thing?

Most everyone acknowledges that we're in a "content bubble" both for anime and American TV. But how much similarity is there between these two overproductive industries? ― Chris asks: Over the Summer, there was a lot of talk about “Peak TV”, the idea that there is more good scripted TV being produced than there are viewers with time to watch it. The argument was succinctly made by FX's John Landgraf...
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Answerman - Where Do The English-Speaking Actors In Japan Come From?

Every now and then you'll hear a native English speaker in the cast of a Japanese-language track for an anime. Where do those voice actors come from, and do they get a lot of work? ― Matthew asks: I recently watched Terror in Resonance, and was surprised to hear the American characters (as well as--occasionally--Five) speaking English. I imagine this is relatively rare, so I was wondering--what are ...
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Answerman - Do Edited-For-Television Versions Of Anime Get Preserved?

Sometimes people really like anime that's been edited for television and want to preserve it for posterity... but does anyone make those versions legally available? ― Kevin asks: In cases of shows that have "Edited for TV" versions, such as YuYu Hakusho and Rurouni Kenshin, what happens to them? Do they get stored away? Do they exist somewhere on the Funimation or Bang Zoom's servers? You see, I've ...
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Answerman - What Would've Saved Manglobe?

Justin examines the conditions and potential causes of what might've triggered Samurai Champloo studio Manglobe's recent bankruptcy. ― Amanda asks: Last week we heard that Manglobe, the animation studio that made Samurai Champloo, Ergo Proxy, Karneval, Samurai Flamenco and a bunch of others had filed for bankruptcy and went out of business. I know they were in trouble for a while and a number of the...
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Answerman - Does A Stronger US Dollar Help Anime Companies?

With the yen weak against the dollar, does the exchange rate help US anime companies when it comes to licensing fees? Justin explains. ― Branko asks: With the strength of the US dollar right now, I wondered, how much does the value of a currency affect the profitability of an anime when it gets licensed abroad? While a strong dollar hurts US exports, is it actually a benefit to American companies li...
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Answerman - What Makes An Anime A Crossover Hit?

Justin examines what it takes to make an anime series a hit in the west. It isn't an exact science, however. ― Ahmed asks: As a person who is unfamiliar with the way the anime world works, I've seen enough of peoples' reactions, including several of my friends', to know that Attack on Titan is really popular to the point where I'm slightly annoyed at how much it's being hyped (I just wish that Jojo'...
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Answerman - Why Did Funimation's Attack On Titan Subtitles Fail?

Justin dissects the recent Attack on Titan subtitle mishap with an in-depth look at the incredibly tricky world of digitally-delivered cinema. ― Bill asks: Funimation just had a very public failure of its subtitles for the live action Attack on Titan theatrical release, when the line "I've been waiting for this day!" got stuck on the screen while the movie continued playing. Funimation blamed a tech...
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Answerman - How Popular Are Anime Songs In Japan?

Anime fans know anime music - a mountain of pop songs comes with every new anime season, but how popular are all those songs in Japan itself? ― Fredrik asks: I've been to Japan twice, and one thing I noticed (and was disappointed about) is the relative lack of prominence of anison in Japan. I didn't get to hear radio much but in the few times I did most of the time they were playing non-anison J-Pop...
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Answerman - How Can I Get Anime Soundtracks on Vinyl?

Vinyl is everywhere, taking over the remaining music stores and warming the hearts of audiophiles across the country. But where are all the anime soundtracks? ― Kyuubei the 3rd asks: I recently got back into vinyl. I was wondering who do I ask to get an anime soundtrack on vinyl? I know Wicked City's BGM is getting a release soon, but who do I talk to about getting a recent soundtrack on vinyl (such...
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Answerman - What Are Those Japanese Shows Where Celebrities React To Videos?

If you've ever turned on a TV in Japan, odds are you've watched celebrities - actors, athletes, you name it - reacting to clips of food or animals. What's up with that? ― Chris asks: Every now and then, some tidbit of news will come to us in the form of a Japanese TV show where guests or panelists in a studio or person-on-the-street-style participants are seen reacting to some video clip. The partic...
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Answerman - What Will Happen To A Convict's Voice Acting Work?

Voice Actor Scott Freeman was recently convicted of a crime and imprisoned; what happens to the work he's done that's already out there, and what are the responsibilities of the company that hired him? ― Lee asks: With the recent imprisonment of Scott Freeman, what is likely to happen with future releases of shows that he has already dubbed? I am a big fan of both Highschool DxD and Baka and Test am...
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Answerman - Whatever Happened to Manga Entertainment? (PART TWO: UK Edition)

As it turns out, a whole lot is happening with Manga UK; Justin gets the inside information from Animatsu Ltd. CEO Jerome Mazandarani in this exclusive report. ― In Monday's installment, I wrote in detail about how Manga Entertainment had fallen far from their place of dominance in the late VHS era, when they had such titles as Ninja Scroll, Macross Plus, Ghost in the Shell and Perfect Blue. The his...
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Answerman - Whatever Happened To Manga Entertainment?

Justin recounts the fascinating tale of Manga Entertainment, once the biggest name in anime in the US, but now a shadow of its former self. PLUS: the Answerman column is turning 15 years old! ― I was chatting with Zac last week when the two of us came to a major realization: In just a few short months, the "Answerman" column on Anime News Network turns FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. Think about that for a secon...
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Answerman - How Are English Dub Voice Actors Cast?

If you've ever wondered exactly how voice actors are chosen for roles in anime dubs, Justin has the rundown for you. ― Dakota asks: After watching Shirobako I gained a general understanding of how the Japanese voice actors are cast for anime. The process was basically what one would expect, but it got me wondering: How do English distributors like Funimation choose who will voice each roll? I know t...
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Answerman - Whatever Happened To Saban Entertainment?

Saban Entertainment brought over kids' anime en masse in the 90s; shows like Noozles, Flint the Time Detective, the original Dragon Ball Z dub, and more. So where'd they go? ― Drew asks: As a child of the late-80s/early-90s, I grew up with a lot of anime dubbed by Saban (not even knowing it was anime half the time, i.e. Maya the Bee). However with Saban being bought by Disney and then coming back re...
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Answerman - How Do Anime Budgets Compare to American Animation Budgets?

You hear a lot about how anime is inexpensive to make compared to American animation, but what exactly are the numbers? Justin breaks it down. ― Allan asks: I often read that anime is made with a much lower production budget than "western animation". That certainly makes sense when comparing the average TV anime with a big-name western production like a movie from Disney/Pixar. But I'm curious how a...
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Answerman - How Do Creators Get Fan Mail?

I want to send fan mail to my favorite artist/animator/director/screen writer/voice actor/key grip. How exactly does that happen? ― Scott asks: I've seen some creators write about letters and fanart that they receive. But who handles fanmail for people in the manga/anime business? Is it collected by a publisher, agency, or studio and sorted from there? Assuming they even feel compelled to read it, h...
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Answerman - Are There Sports Anime With A Female Protagonist?

Sports anime seem to be dominated by male heroes - Cross Game, Prince of Tennis, et al. What about shows where women are the focus? ― Ogun asks: are there any sports manga with a female protaganist? with my introduction to the haikyuu franchise, i found my self empathizing & swept up in a world I never appreciated before - sports manga. This led to some reflection. slam dunk, real, I'll, prince of t...
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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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