Hey, Answerman!

by Brian Hanson, Oct 23rd 2009

You know what?

YOU KNOW WHAT?!?

Let's just skip the intro this week. Screw it. Forget it. Let's just get right to the good stuff. The "meat" of this little anime column-sandwich-blog-u-tainment-web 2.0 social experiment. Yeah.

So, questions! Here they are:


I've noticed that the "student-teacher" romance appears a lot in anime and manga, and I can't figure out exactly why. If it was only in teeny stuff like Please Teacher (hurrr, teacher is hot!) or The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross† (OUR LOVE WILL NEVER BE), I would assume that it was fetish/drama fuel, but you see it used in all sorts of genres and all sorts of demographics. In works like Evangelion and Maison Ikkoku, which are less pandery and more "grown up", you'll get casually informed "oh, and this implied/established couple met when he was teaching her class." In cute kids' shows like Card Captor Sakura, it's A-OK for the elementary school girl and her homeroom teacher to get engaged, or for the girls in Pretty Cure and Mermaid Melody to flirt with their teachers. These are never shown as being abnormal or socially unacceptable; and when a student and teacher get together, nobody seems to treat them differently from any other couple. Not to mention that these relationships are usually portrayed as totally wholesome; the only time I can think of where a student-teacher relationship was shown as being kind of nasty and manipulative was in Utena, and that was probably because every relationship in Utena is nasty and manipulative. Similarly, the only time I can think of where people actually get upset about this sort of thing is in Marmalade Boy. And then there's Kodomo no Jikan doing... whatever it's trying to do.

Why is this such a big trend in love stories in anime? I could never see anything like this going down in mainstream American TV, especially not in the cartoons. If you tried putting the same sort of romance you see in Card Captor Sakura into Kim Possible, you'd be out of this industry faster than you could blink. Even in more teen-and-young-adult live-action stuff like Glee where weird relationships abound, I couldn't see that going down well. What gives? Why does this trend pop up so often? Are actual student-teacher relationships condoned more often in Japan, or is this just a weird, really popular storytelling technique?

I'd say you hit the nail on the head with your "weird, really popular storytelling technique" theory. Not that I speak on any authority here, but student / teacher couplings don't appear to be any more prevalent or socially acceptable than here in the US. And really, I'd heartily disagree that these sorts of relationships occur in "all sorts of genres and demographics." In Evangelion, the teacher / student relationship isn't nearly as icky from the outset, considering that the characters were both adults (at least, in fictional cartoon character years) when the relationship fermented. Every other example (Card Captor Sakura, Please Teacher, et al) you've listed are primarily aimed at either prepubescent girls or pubescent boys with arrested sexual development.

Given the relative maturity of these two age groups ("relative" being the operative word here), and given that the characters that populate the types of stories that are targeted towards these groups tend to be around the same age, it's not surprising that their interpersonal relationships with older characters are limited to family members (which, aside from a few spectacularly creepy examples, are always played wholesomely) and schoolteachers / educators. And, aside from Kodomo no Jikan, luckily most anime and manga knows to keep these "romances" as tasteful as possible. Either it's played for a cheap laugh (Azumanga Daioh), portrayed as nothing more than a wistful fantasy (Card Captor Sakura, Kodomo no Omocha), or as a straightforward romance on pretty equal terms (Please Teacher, Maison Ikkoku, et cetera).

Not that I'm saying that I'm cool with teachers hitting on their students, even when they become consenting adults. The grim specter of the Mackenzie Philips debacle hangs eerily in the air on this one, wafting about like the London Fog. It's a bit creepy, yeah, but not so out-of-place in the typical crazy world of anime romances. Did I mention that Card Captor Sakura has a ten-year-old girl who unleashes beasts from Tarot cards, and Please Teacher has a time-traveling large-breasted alien woman falling in love with a dude for his Mysterious Disease?


I was wondering why in the English versions of Ghost Stories and Sgt. Frog used all those American references? Yes they were awesome for the series, but the dubbing studio(s) could get a lawsuit for that, right?

That's an easy one. ADV and Funimation, respectively, futzed the translation and dubbing script for Ghost Stories and Sgt. Frog because they assumed, mostly correctly, that they could attract a wider, broader audience for those shows by "punching up" the dub script with extra gags, references, and snarky asides. That way they can pander to the Family Guy / Robot Chicken audience, who enjoy watching cartoons that reference other cartoons and TV shows instead of making actual jokes.

Now, I'm a little confused as to why you think ADV or Funimation would be in danger of being sued. By whom? The original Japanese license holders? Hardly. For all of their script doctoring and celebrity name-dropping, neither studio would be able to record one blip of flippant off-color dialog for those shows without the license holder's absolute, strict permission. Many licensors are open to "reversioning" their product if the licensee can make the case that it'll sell better as a result, plain and simple.

Who else could sue? Any of the celebrities, products, programs, or pop-culture effluvia slyly referenced in the shows themselves? Nah. Pop-culture jokes in animation are as old as the hills. If Jack Benny and Edger Bergen never bothered to sue the Looney Tunes for stealing half of their jokes over fifty years ago, I somehow doubt the shareholders for Facebook and Twitter are going to demand legal action against Funimation's campy dub of Sgt. Frog for tossing a few silly one-liners their way. Obviously, though, I'm no lawyer, and if Funimation randomly decided that it would be a good idea for Sgt. Frog to shout "Google trafficked underage boys as sex slaves in New Guinea from 1996 through 1999!" then they might have a defamation suit on their hands. But that seems unlikely.

That would be a rather odd thing for Sgt. Frog to say.


Hey Answerman,

I'm excited to learn that, as of the October 16th sales charts by the New York Times, One Piece has re-joined the list of top-selling manga titles in the United States. It's the first time it's been on the list time since 2008. First, it was #10. Now it's higher. It's at #7! Is One Piece becoming popular in the US?

Oh, come now. One Piece is "popular" in the US, at least to some extent. In the small, insular world of the US anime industry, One Piece was, and still is, a ubiquitous franchise. Anybody with a finger on the pulse of the anime "scene" as it exists in Japan and elsewhere knows how HUGE One Piece is around the world. Half of every convention's dealer room is clogged to the gills with insane amounts of One Piece Merchandise. It's an unstoppable juggernaut.

Outside of the anime fan die-hards, though, One Piece has been a total misfire of epic proportions. From the initially flawed and sparsely-released manga volumes, to the abomination of a dub released by 4Kids, to the wonderfully-produced but barely-promoted Funimation dub, to the recent piracy debacle, One Piece hasn't had an easy go of it here. I'm happy to see the manga make the top 10, though One Piece being at number 7 - trailing behind such luminous additions as Ellen Schrieber's lame-o-riffic Vampire Kisses manga - seems a little bit low. I'm not expecting One Piece to come close to dethroning Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist in terms of sales, but One Piece has a long, arduous ladder to climb to achieve the sort of recognition that Toei and Shueisha no doubt hoped the series would achieve in America.




WHO KILLED KENSHIN?

Do you know why Crandol decided to kill Kenshin?! Did he even think of Kenshins fans, or how they would react. He dwelled to much on Kneshins happiness and forgot about the other character's well being. Can you tell him it was a stupid thing he did and that I really despise him even if i don't know him? thank u.

Mike Crandol reviewed the Kenshin OAV series for ANN some seven years ago, giving them relatively middling and mediocre review scores. This, evidently, killed Kenshin.





So, Answerfans time! Last week I was generally curious about what people's consensus on "nerd etiquette," so I asked this question:


Lindsey got the ball rollin' rather simply here:

Personally, I think that the line between acceptable behavior and obnoxiousness for nerds (I bear the title with pride) is the same as the boundary for the rest of society. There are certain lines that no one should cross, regardless of their nerdiness (or non-nerdiness). I am an outspoken and unrepentant anime fan, but as much as I love anime, I also love manners. There are certain things one does not do, whether one is a nerd or a Normal Person.

Shinoga doesn't want you to be THAT otaku:

While I'm sure I could rant on this topic long enough to write a novella sized book I'll just give a few examples:

Attire

Acceptable: Wearing anime t-shirts in everyday life (i.e. while going to the movies, shopping). Wearing cosplay costumes at anime themed events (i.e. conventions, anime clubs).

Line crossed: Wearing cosplay costumes or parts of cosplay costumes in everyday life (i.e. going to the doctor, walking the dog).

Conversation

Acceptable: Mentioning you like anime when meeting new people (i.e. friends of friends, new groups at work/school). Non-aggressively defending your choice of anime. Discussing anime activities/hobbies (i.e. cosplay, fanfiction, model building) amongst those with mostly similar interests or those curious about such things.

Line crossed: Mentioning you like anime to innocent bystanders (i.e. the guy in front of you at the bank, the school lunch person). Aggressively defending your choice of anime (i.e. using yaoi paddles, yelling nonsensical words at the top of your lungs when ever some tries to speak). Discussing anime activities/hobbies with innocent bystanders (i.e. your dog's vet, your best friend's elderly grandmother).

General Behavior

Acceptable: Glomping consenting and well prepared individuals (i.e. friends). Inviting people to watch anime with you. Purchasing anime merchandise with disposable income. Learning about Japanese culture (if you don't live in it) just to understand your favorite animes better.

Line crossed: Glomping unsuspecting individuals (i.e. the cute Japanese foreign exchange student). Threatening people till they watch a 100+ episode anime with you in one night. Purchasing anime merchandise with rent money. Believing you are Japanese (if you aren't).

There is nothing wrong with being an otaku but no body wants to hang out with ‘that otaku’.

Bill posits the interesting theory that perhaps certain behaviors can be annoying on the internet as well as in person!

I believe that the line that you speak of is when an anime fan becomes much too serious in defending or defaming a particular anime due to his/her perceived overwhelming knowledge and/or understanding of a particular anime. I might be offending some people but please bear with me when I say that the previous comment is directed mostly at the tween (or pubescent boys/girls) fans of Naruto (It's alright but it's NOT THE BEST OK?!) and at some antisocial anime fans who I've had the displeasure of associating with.

Anime is an art form, a beautiful, heart-rending (Wolf's Rain, Fruits Basket, Saikano), hilarious (Genshiken, Gintama), action-packed (almost any typical shonen anime eg. Bleach), thought provoking (Too many to pick from), gruesome (Elfen Lied, School Days, Evangelion again), relevant and/or unrealistic medium of conveying entertainment to the ever growing community of anime fans and casual viewers across the globe. I'm not against defending anime as a whole (In fact I'm all for it!) but some people really take it too far.

I would also say that the minority group of obsessive anime fans with pumped up online egos who mock and/or insult those unaware of or lacking some knowledge of a series, cross that line into becoming genuinely obnoxious. It's perfectly fine to say something like "What? You don't know about [insert series]? It's about [insert brief synopsis or introduction]" or something on those lines but don't insult someone for their lack of knowledge and/or understanding, it's just common social etiquette (but then again those of you who do this probably lack this)

Keep it real, says Kenzi:

The way I think you can stop yourself from being totally annoying to somewhat normal is to limit the talking time you have with them. What I'm saying is, you shouldn't push all your feelings and interests into one conversation or you'll just end up giving yourself a bad first impression. For example: I don't really like when someone throws in the, "Well, I've watched all the episodes so far plus the OVA's.". I don't think you're any cooler if you say that to me. Though most of the time I don't really pay attention to that. I'll just be all "Well, I've only watched 4 episodes and it's been out for how many years?" And just laugh at myself. Also if you've just met I wouldn't try to spend every waking moment trying to talk to them. You hang out with your group of friends and they hang out with theirs. If, by some miracle, they invite you (or you invite them) to eat or for a chat then cool, but just try to limit your time with them and not coming off too strong. If they reject your invite to the table just accept that and save it for another time (don't ask a day later).

Anime fans have OTHER interests? You crazy, Nik:

I'm not in the least ashamed to be a fan of anime or manga, and will happily sit around reading some Yotsuba&! in the university bar when I have spare time. If people have nothing better to do than stare at me and judge my taste in entertainment, then I feel sorry for them. If a friend stops by, then I put down the book and maybe field some questions if they're interested. Similarly nobody had problems with me watching anime on the shared house TV, from the other anime viewer I lived with to the two linebackers. At least as far as non-fans go, I'm not sure that the issue is so much where I draw the line between being a fan and being obnoxious - it seems to me that the real issue at hand is how I react to everyone else's lines. Sometimes people will show interest and then it's okay to chat a bit about it, but not everybody is as interested as I am and some people aren't interested at all. It's just simple conversational compromise, really - finding a common ground and not being selfish by talking exclusively about your own interests.

As far as talking to other fans goes, my friends and I will share the odd in-joke (the occasional cry of "BENOIST!!!" inspired by the Densha Otoko TV drama, mainly) but we're all reasonably casual fans - we've got some books and DVDs, and have attended a con or two, but none of us are cosplayers or dedicated downloaders of fansubs. To me, the problem seems to be that some fans misread a serviceable knowledge of anime for all-encompassing devotion. My interest comes from a wider interest in Japan, triggered by my karate classes as a kid. So I did some martial arts, I took a class on Japanese society at university, and I watch some anime. As a result, I can talk about Excel Saga or Salaryman Kintaro without problems, but it's mildly startling how some people become mortally offended by the fact that I've never seen their favourite show. By all means tell me why you like it and recommend it to me, but don't treat me like dirt! Additionally, I do have other interests, and it's always nice when other anime fans don't judge me for indulging in them.

Luffy1545, consider your plug officially plug'd:

Recently I blogged about this. (No, I am not making a plug for my blog.) I am going to do this in a top-ten style answer.

You know you've crossed the line from hardcore anime fan to obnoxious jerk when...

1. You refer to yourself as an otaku... no matter where you are, who you're with, or even if the other person doesn't know or care what an "otaku" is.
2. The only reason you learn Japanese is to point out how poorly translated the scanlation is of your favorite manga you illegally read online. (What?! How dare they put Mr. Marcoh and not Marcoh-san?!)
3. The only reason you learn photoshop is make even more poorly translated scanlations of your favorite manga that you illegally read online. (Usually "better" just means littered with off-color jokes, swear words, and insults they don't even have in Japan.)
4. All your relationships hinge on whether your friends will refer to you (or let you refer to them) as "nakama" or not. No other words provide such rich, deep, pirate-related meaning, after all.
5. You actually make up a Japanese name for yourself and demand people call you by it, usually followed by "-sama".
4. In the vein of 5, you put those suffixes (-chan, -san, -kun, -sensei) on everyone around you and get shocked and offended when people give you looks for it. I mean, don't they know that you're calling them "Brittany-chan" is a term of endearment?! Stupid Americans.
3. You believe that any form of animation or entertainment that does not come from Japan is automatically stupid, inferior, or childish.
2. You believe that any series being dubbed means it is ruined forever; and there is no such thing as a good dub. If it isn't Junko Takeuchi, it's garbage.
1. The ultimate kicker.... you spend all your free time on internet forums and commenting on anime YouTube videos ensuring that everyone knows you are the ULTIMATE FAN AND/OR SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE OF X SERIES AND THUS YOU KNOW BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE AND YOU TYPE IN ALL CAPS, USE INAPPROPRIATE, VULGAR LANGUAGE SO THAT EVERYONE KNOWS YOU ARE REALLY MATURE AND LOVE ANIME SO MUCH THAT EVERYONE SHOULD AGREE WITH YOUR OPINION!!!!!

I rest my case. Or as one very funny man once said, "Rest nothing. My case is in a coma!"

Man, I totally lit a fire in Lovisa's belly:

Oh boy, where to begin?

In the seven or so years I've spent as a fan of many things related to japanese popular culture, I have come into contact with many different fandoms- and of course, these all consist of many very different people from a broad variety of cultures. This includes all of these people all having many different opinions, and how far they are prepared to go to "prove their point" also differs. Personally, I respect other people's opinion, and I take great value in others respecting my own. Of course, wouldn't it be great if everyone was like this? I mean, it's so simple! I respect you, you respect me, no hard feelings, no matter that our OTPs cannot co-exist, where they to become canon.

But of course, not everyone is like this. Now, ships are a pretty, well, unimaginative way of bringing up a conflict that could arise between fans, but the same principe applies to a lot of different situations. I do not consider it okay to attack or rudely approach someone for the sole reason of them having a different opinion than yourself. This applies to just about everything, which includes anime. I think that it is very sad to see how such basic and easily avoided conflicts are still so often seen in modern and multicultural societies. And, frankly, a disrespecting or unnecessarily rude attitude is enough to become a "bad anime-fan", at least at any social gathering for fans. And this is not to mention how far some are, in fact, prepared to go "in the name of their fandom". I have seen fanfiction-dot-net-users do satiric personal interpretations of "rivaling"-writers, LJ-users flaming and gaging up on one-other over ridiculous details, elitist fans alienating younger members of a fandom; the list goes on. And of course, this is no special case concerning just anime fan-bases.

And while this is an easy way to "sort out the trash", there is seemingly a potential bad-fan clawing to arise inside every single one of us, and even people who are generally considerate can fall victim to some nasty habits.

The perhaps most annoying, and most common kind, would be fans who think that it is okay to, for example, rant about how much they think Lucky Star sucks, even if it is something that only barely relates to the subject at hand. These people, while they might consider this a "subjective observation" and respect others opinion, can still be pretty ruthless in their demolishing of a franchise. This is the good, somewhat manageable version; the HARD MODE-version of this kind of "anime-fan", is not only ruthless, but also stupid enough to not take into account the intended target-group of the anime s/he just criticized, and thus 80% of the criticism might just be irrelevant. To make things worse, they might not even have seen Lucky Star, save for two three-minute clips some person they don't know on msn linked them on YouTube. Forget LUNATIC MODE, and welcome to the EXTRA STAGE.

These kinds of people appear when you least need them, which is pretty much... whenever they ever appear. To properly justify and direct proper criticism of any kind can be pretty hard, even for people who are fairly educated within the subject at hand, and the problem is not that people are willing to acknowledge and discuss the flaws of, in this case, a generally well-received and popular anime. It is the way they do it, which does not only urge others to spread the hate, the ignorance and the lack of manners- it gives other fans a major headache. And in a fair amount of the cases, there is not even any space for a "discussion" or "debate".

Quite commonly, this rabid uninformed fan appears on the internet. And when I bear witness to them, the worst case scenario usually has me cast into a conflict with myself; Should I laugh, should I cry, should tell this idiot straight or should I stop lurking this specific online social community? To laugh it off can be hard, but some people almost make it too easy. When a forum-goer makes an irrelevant and clumsy give at criticizing Lucky Star, and regardless of the anime's possible flaws and/or your own opinion, it can make one feel quite annoyed. That is until some obvious facts about said user are taken into account, facts that instead makes the situation topple over from sad to funny. Imagine, the criticizer has a username like "naruto_rulez123", with a recently-watched-anime-list reading some not-new episodes of Bleach, topped with an animated sig of Luffy fist-pumping in the air with the word "GAR" entirely capitalized in a sparkly pink font. Whoever would, given they have some insight, NOT realize that slice-of-life/moe-blob-anime Lucky Star might NOT be the best anime to recommend to "naruto_rulez123"?

"Hey, I heard you like Dragonball Z? That's an anime, right? Then you should totally check out Aoi Hana! That's also an anime, so you should love it!"

Yeah, right.

Now, I do not hate Bleach, Naruto, One Piece or DBZ- not at all. I especially enjoy the latter, actually, just like I also enjoy Lucky Star and Aoi Hana a lot. The problem is not about what animes that are bad or which ones that are good- because words like "good" and "bad" are terribly hard, in not impossible, to define in the first place.

No, it is about how anime should be respected as a "medium" rather than as a "genre"! A lot of anime-fans, including myself, are aware of the numerous genres that anime is good at making enjoyable. And while more people today than ever have a nuanced and positive view of anime as a whole, the idea of anime as a single genre where all japanese animated works fit, is still widely in practice. While it's nice and convenient to have a collective name for "japanese animation", works should not be limited to that one tag or label. And thus, Anime should not be compared to one-other as if they were all in the same genre.

The mistake of pitting two unique anime against each other, regardless of the differences in their genre, is the mistake of a inexperienced fan, I know, but to some extent, even senior fans, make such mistakes. Different anime are good in different ways, different creators aim to do different things, and thus their works are categorized under different genres. Using myself as an example, the reason I enjoy Dragonball Z isn't the same reason I enjoy Lucky Star. The two are not impossible to compare, but it would be unfair, since they aim to do such different things.

To some, it is apparently just "too much" to admit, or realize, that they just don't like a genre, a character type, or certain story-telling themes; "I prefer romance" or "Horror isn't really my thing"- is it too hard to say? Apparently, because instead they throw around flame-baits like "Harem-anime sucks!". It's always good to challenge oneself into trying new things, but in the end we all have our own preferences- I know I do.

I have a friend who I love dearly. One of her favorite animes is Code Geass. Both of us know that I am not a huge fan of mecha, flamboyant drama, or CLAMP, while we also both know that my friend love all these things. When she proposes that we watch it together, I decide to give it a shot, even if it's just to make her happy- and who knows? Maybe I'll like it. As expected however, not even our bad (and quickly getting worse) gay-jokes managed to keep me awake while watching the show, as I found it predictable and over-dramatic.

Now, does this mean that I will, at the soonest possible social gathering, online or IRL, baselessly pronounce my hatred for Code Geass? Well, no, because while I didn't like it, I can analyze myself enough to tell that it was due to my own personal taste, and not because "CLAMP sucks ass"- never minding they were just responsible for the character designs. And while I didn't enjoy watching the show, I can still recognize some of the components for good quality it possessed. And that's not only animation and voice acting, but things like character development, a decent plot, interesting themes and so on.

And if I am not willing to restrain the express of my dislike to intelligent levels for the reasons above, I would at very least do it for the sake of my friend. Because I know that it would hurt her feelings, and even if it's not really that a big deal, I would like to spare her that if I could, just like I would preferably avoid to hurt anyone undeserving. And my friend doesn't deserve to get hurt just for liking Code Geass, does she?

I've been there, enjoying anime some degrade so easily it's an impulse on the same level as breathing. And that's not fun, since what you are really asking for is not for someone to agree as much as you just want some respect. So much for the "we're all anime-nerds"-ideology. To bare myself just a bit before you, I'll let you all in on the fact that I love this anime called Yu-Gi-Oh!GX, that being the original japanese version. Seriously. And while I am well aware that it might not deliver some high quality sophisticated entertainment or anything near a hole-less plot, it had something not that many anime have; the ability to make me, as the viewer, both laugh and cry.

To sum it up, those people who I choose to call "obnoxious" are those who are inconsiderate and lack a sense of respect for their fellow fans, those who use statements based on "subjective observations" as if they were the one and only truth, and those who act unreasonably upset when they realize that not every single anime was made to please them specifically.

Of course, then there are people who threaten to burn down buildings and/or kill people over Endless Eight. And while I am feeling horribly compelled to explain why I think these people are not "obnoxious", but complete raging lunatics, they won't need me to do that. Or well, I'll let you in on one thing; I actually enjoyed the second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya as I found it an interesting and unique anime-experience.

And now, Ian rounds out this little nerd love-in. With a Simpsons reference! Take it away, Ian:

Well the whole thing about being a fan of something is that you really like that thing, perhaps to the point of it being obnoxious to your friends and family but well that's why they say that you are never with somebody because you like their good points rather it's because you can tolerate their bad ones.

All warm fuzzy cynicism aside. The prompt message for this question seems to address a more general question of human behaviour between strangers. I don't think this girl's problem is something unique to anime or nerd culture though that may exacerbate it.

The real lesson is don't talk to new people like they are old friends. It's too bad this girl had some bad experiences with a few loose wingnuts but certainly there are more nice people than bad ones? Though honestly I don't know the answer and maybe not? The anonymous age of the Internet leading to a lack of a true fan community connection and friendship (SEE AWO old timers of anime podcast: http://animeworldorder.blogspot.com/2009/09/bonus-interview-with-old-timers-of.html) might shed some sociological insight into the collapse of civil human discourse and all that courtship stuff. Though that's a bit of an easy target. I say some people are just jerks (See that episode of The Simpson about Stampy).

And now, on to a question I was mulling over the other day while attempting to watch some of this season's newest shows:


Now you've got this week's question, and it's time to get answerin'.

For those of you new to Hey, Answerfans!, I'll explain the concept.


Believe it or not, I'm genuinely curious what you think.

That's right; as much as I love the sound of my own voice, I do love to listen to what other people have to say on a subject. I'm finding that over the last few years, the attitudes, reasoning and logic that today's anime fans use eludes, confuses or astounds me; I have so many questions for you, and I'm dying to hear what you have to say in response.

Welcome to Hey, Answerfans!

Basically, we're turning the tables. Each week I'm going to ask you a question, and I want you to email me your answer. Be as honest as you can. I'm looking for good answers; not answers I agree with or approve of, but good, thoughtful answers
. People feel passionately about these subjects and I'd like to see that in the responses I get. I'll post the best answers I get, and maybe some of the crappy ones. Sometimes there may only be one or two good ones; sometimes five or more. It all depends on what I get in my inbox! Got it? Pretty simple, right? Start writing those answers and email them to answerman [at] animenewsnetwork dot com.

We do have a few simple ground rules to start with.

Things To Do:

* Be coherent.
* Be thoughtful.
* Be passionate.
* Write as much or as little as you feel you need to to get your point across in the best possible way.

Things Not To Do:

* Respond when the question doesn't apply to you. For instance, if your email response starts with "Well, I don't do whatever you're asking about in the question... " then I'm going to stop reading right there and hit delete.
* Be unnecessarily rude or use a lot of foul language.
* Go off-topic.

I'm out for the remaining seven days, then, everyone! Please keep sending all the good stuff my way, so that I can use it for my own twisted personal and political gain! Such as it is, sad though it may be! G'night!


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