Hey, Answerman! - The Shape of Thingsby Brian Hanson, Feb 25th 2011
Like a canker sore or an unfortunate and untreated STD, I'm back!
That was terrible. Let me try that again.
Hi! Welcome to Hey, Answerman! There's a very fun and interesting mix of questions this week - ranging from hifalutin' and complex to the flippant and fun! And there's nothing I love more than being hifalutin'-ly, flippantly fun.
So let's get into this whole sordid mess, then:
Last week's responses to the 'Hey, Answerfans!,' question got me thinking. I've always held that even though you cannot account for taste, there is an empirical scale of quality inherent to anime (or art in general). When I compose my admittedly amateur reviews, I feel confidant that the existence of certain quality standards will validate the general shape of my comments. Sure, there are always going to be people who love a show that is hated by the majority. But isn't having a conversation about which, among a similar group of shows, is better a worthwhile endeavor? As someone who has much a much broader experience in the field, is there value in debating that a particular anime is superior to another?
The problem of debating the "value" of one anime to another anime is that that, in itself, is... debatable.
Personally, and granted I don't speak for ANN's review staff or anyone else in this matter, I don't think there is ever such a thing as an "objective review." Even though anime is, by and large, meant to be enjoyed and consumed as disposable entertainment, its sole purpose as a visual form of entertainment is to evoke an emotional response from the viewer. And that response is completely subjective.
Just for the sake of an example, let's pick Mokoto Shinkai. The Place Promised In Our Early Days and 5 Centimeters Per Second. Those films are, from my own perspective, meant to evoke a sense of nostalgic, bittersweet melancholia for a young and vibrant but doomed romance. They are very effective in their own way at achieving that, but I personally found them to be a little bit too cold and distant in their execution. But that's only because I, personally, have seen that type of story done far better - just watch any of Ingmar Bergman's films. "Wild Strawberries" in particular. It's similarly dark and brooding, but there's just the right amount of warmth and humanity to the characters to make you feel more personally invested, and, therefore, rewarded by the experience.
But hey, wait, what the hell am I doing? I'm comparing a young, relatively inexperienced anime director like Makoto Shinkai to an internationally known and revered film auteur from the 20th century? That's not fair to Shinkai. That wouldn't be fair to anybody. But, if we're talking about things like "empirical quality" ... is it? Wouldn't it be just as unfair to sequester anime in its own little box of consideration and not allow it to breathe and respond in the wider realms of art and culture?
It gets hairy, is my point. One person cannot, cannot, definitively state that This Show is better than That Show because of Reason A and also Reason B. It's folly.
But! But! That's where this little thing called consensus kicks in. A show like Neon Genesis Evangelion starts airing. It's intelligent, fun, controversial, and exciting. Discussions start. People start declaring it the "anime series of the decade." It catches on. The chatter around the show grows and grows. People don't just review it, they disseminate it. At that point, it's place in the top echelon of anime is guaranteed. There are plenty of people who disagree with Evangelion's status as one of the "best anime of all time," but it hardly matters. That notion is there. And after it sticks for as many years as it has for Evangelion, it becomes permanent.
And in that sense, it seems just as unfair to compare other anime to Evangelion, or to Studio Ghibli, and many other exceptional pieces of anime that rise triumphantly above the tepid waters of mediocrity. A show like, I dunno, High School of the Dead was never attempting anything beyond what it succeeds at - quickly transmitting the appropriate levels of violence and fanservice that its audience craves.
In my opinion, there are two kinds of successes in anime; those that succeed at exactly what they're trying to do, and those that exceed beyond what they're trying to do. Shows like FLCL and Evangelion are the latter; something like Gurren Lagann is the former, just to keep it all in the Gainax family. Those are all shows that are "empirically" good, in the sense that they are well-composed and well-drawn and well-paced. All three were obviously put together by creatively minded professionals. But something like FLCL, in my opinion, goes beyond just the presentation and the pacing and the whole package; they touch on something resonant and emotional.
Is that a long and rambling enough answer? Because honestly, this is all just my opinion, man. We can discuss and discuss on the internet until our fingers become cramped and mutilated; but opinions very seldom change. Nor should they. This is art. This is entertainment. Some things are "definitively" and "empirically" better than other things, sure. Except for the other guy who disagrees. And so it goes.
I've recently gotten interested in buying anime DVDs that are imports from Japan (for stuff that never got dubbed or whatever) so I've been perusing some online stores (ones I've checked out and seem totally legit) and I'm completely flabbergasted by the prices on these things. It seems like whether a show is new or old, and no matter what the title, it costs $40-70 for like 3-5 episodes. For some of those older titles that I've been dying to get a hold of, seeing that $600 price for a whole 50-some-odd-episode series makes me want to bash my head against the wall!
My question is, are those prices really what most anime episodes cost in Japan?! Is that the norm over there? (If so, I need to hit myself for complaining about dubs costing $30 for 13 episodes...) I mean, that just seems insane! Are those prices for real?!?!?!?!?!
That is a lot of punctuation at the end there. I am led to assume that you are, indeed, flummoxed by these "insane" prices.
So, allow me and everybody else who've been at this for a while definitively state, for the record: Yes, yes those prices are ridiculous. But! It used to be a whole lot worse.
Remember when you had to pay 50 bucks for a two-episode VHS tape from Japan, plus shipping? Or, shudder, a hundred dollars to import a LaserDisc for a two-episode OAV that turned out to be total garbage? Those were dark times, my friend. Dark times.
Having said that, though, it still sucks. And the sad thing is, it could get back to being as bad as it used to be, if the hardcore Otaku market in Japan either stagnates or, gulp, declines. Anime producers and DVD wholesalers have long survived on the time-honored tradition of fleecing their hardcore-est of hardcore fans until they are bone-dry; luckily the hardcore Otaku crowd doesn't necessarily seem to mind being ripped off as much we seem to complain about it. The companies reap a only a small profit, but at least it's still a profit, in the process, and yet they're able to stay afloat and produce more anime for us to argue about and so forth.
For what it's worth, the bragging rights alone for owning legitimate imported goods are easily worth double the cost of whatever you're likely to end up paying. It's one thing to say, "Yes, I've seen every episode of this show, I am a huge fan!" And something else entirely to say, "I've seen every episode of this show, and here are all the imported Japanese DVDs with the exclusive artwork available only on the Japanese release." Not to mention that the print runs on most Japanese anime DVDs are shockingly low - you could be sitting on a veritable gold mine of a collection should those DVDs become out-of-print and hard to find.
There's lots of great reasons to keep importing, in spite of the stupidly high cost.
Hey, Answerman! Recently, I started watching --and really got into-- Durarara!! Much as I enjoy the original Japanese version, I saw some previews of the dub and began toying with the idea of getting the DVD. Problem is, I'm pretty much broke, so there's little to no chance of that happening. So I began thinking, what are the chances of a TV channel like, say, Cartoon Network running the show on their Adult Swim block? And then that got me thinking, how do the guys in charge of AS go about deciding what shows --namely, anime-- they air? Is the episode count a deciding factor? Are there other criteria a series would need to meet? Does it have to be taken up with the company that licensed the series in the first place?
Ah! It's so rare these days that I get to dig up the knowledge and research I absorbed from all those years writing The Click way back when in the 'aughts.
So, how does Adult Swim decide what anime to air? Back in the old days, it used to be that companies like Funimation and Bandai and Viz would pitch several shows to Cartoon Network and Adult Swim; their acquisitions people would go through each one, decide on a couple that would accurately fit within their target demographics, and they'd run them for a year or two until the contract expired, and then pick another slate of shows, rinse, repeat. That... doesn't work that way anymore.
In recent years, Adult Swim's ratings have risen from all those years ago when they ran Lupin III and Trigun and Inuyasha and Cowboy Bebop four nights a week. In a way, they were relatively cheap programming filler - it cost them far less to acquire an anime series in order to fill up air time than to produce new content. Now? They're one of the biggest networks on Television when it comes to that coveted, precious male 18-34 demographic. Big stars and big producers are pitching new shows to Adult Swim all the time, and Adult Swim now has the money to make them. And after several years of growth, they finally have enough original product to fill a full lineup of programming.
Anime's ratings couldn't be competitive enough to withstand that change. Now, it's only on once a week - alone and cold, on Saturday nights. One of the absolute worst places to be on Television, from a ratings perspective. With only two or three hours a week, Adult Swim had to be a bit judicious about what it looks for in regards to anime programming.
As a result, Adult Swim's team of intrepid explorers can be found at trade shows like the Tokyo Anime Fair, eying prospective anime shows that are either currently in production or recently produced. For an example, Adult Swim had the broadcasting rights for Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood sewn up pretty quickly. For the most part, at least; they still have enough wiggle room in case they get a good pitch like Kekkaishi. By and large, though, Adult Swim's acquisition crew knows what they want, and they get it quickly.
Suffice to say that, for whatever reason, Durarara!! wasn't what they wanted. The likelihood of Adult Swim acquiring that show for broadcast is about as good as Adult Swim making a third season of Big O or airing repeats of Super Milk Chan. Sad, because you're right - Durarara!! is a wonderful show and could have the potential to capture a wider audience than the echo chamber of anime fans. But nah, not Adult Swim's cup of tea, apparently.
I have no new Flake this week, so instead, here's a fun little BONUS QUESTION:
I have a job interview with a fairly large Japanese company very soon, for a post in Japan. Would it be wise for me to mention my love of anime in the interview? Should I simply name drop something classic like Gundam or Macross, something more modern, or eschew the topic completely and simply say I like "Japanese Movies". While on the one hand, they'd like candidates that show any interest in Japan, but I can't help thinking that they may not be so willing to hire a "otaku".
Uh, I would honestly say that unless you were being hired by an anime company, it's probably not important, one way or the other, to mention your love of anime. Mainly just because it'd be off-topic. UNLESS! Unless the interviewer brought up the question, in which case, yeah, go nuts I guess.
If there's one thing I absolutely love about doing this column, it's how well-spoken and cogent my readers are, especially when compared to the rest of the internet. You really got to prove your mettle with last week's question, which was, for the curious:
Starting off this artistically-inclined discussion, the adroitly-named Top Gun trades disses and compliments alike:
I think a lot of the relative quality of design elements really does exist in the eye of the beholder. Every artist has their own style, and odds are that there's at least one person out there who considers it good, while someone else can't stand it. Some people go gaga over CLAMP's designs, while others dismiss them as goofy-looking noodle people. I know my own views on at least one particular type of anime design have completely flip-flopped over time. When I first saw artwork and random clips of One Piece, I remember thinking that Oda's human characters looked nothing short of ugly...but then I wound up getting into the series, and before I knew it, I loved his take on shounen artwork. (Hell, I'd go so far as to call his females nothing short of drop-dead sexy.) I think there are certainly instances where you can slap a universal label of "bad" on a particular artist's designs, such as when they can't seem to keep their characters on-model from one manga panel to the next, but much of the rest of it comes down to individual tastes, or how acclimated one is to that artist's style.
I do have a confession to make, though. There is one artist who hasn't managed to sway me no matter how much exposure I've had to his work, and the name may surprise some people: Akira Toriyama. I know the man's a manga legend and pretty much singlehandedly invented the modern long-form shounen, but I just can't get past how he draws his human characters. The massive foreheads, the even more massive hair, the goofy elongated eyes, the roid-boy males, the way everyone somehow looks angry even when they're smiling...the whole package just turns me off for some reason. I know the guy's a fantastic artist in general; his designs for Frog and Robo in Chrono Trigger are fantastic. I just can't get past his humans, no matter how often I see them. I'm probably one of the few anime fans who dislikes Dragonball (or at least DBZ) as much for its aesthetics as anything else. I just hope its legions of fans won't rake me over the coals for admitting this.
Forrest takes this question in two ways, and then wraps them around like a Mobius strip:
Given that ‘design’ is an incredibly amorphous term that could refer to any of dozens of concepts from character design to sound design, I'm choosing to interpret this question in two ways. Good visual design and good season/series planning.
I think the most important part of visual design is persistence of vision. There should be a logical or emotional through-line in all aspects of the visual design: Characters, scenery, vehicles/mecha when appropriate, and whatever else a particular show might need. A really good example of this through-line is the Anime of Soul Eater. Studio BONES really embraced the simple but vibrant character design and applied it to the whole show. It looks like an American cartoon in some respects. Super vibrant colors and stylized backgrounds make great backdrops for the over-the-top action and distinctive characters. Another great example is Last Exile, where the theme of a culture heavily reliant on air travel is carried through in the building design, the beautiful rendering of clouds and even the fashion and hairstyle choices. Within the same show, the designs of The Guild are radically different, not because they don't rely on air power, but because they control it utterly and chose to flaunt that in everything they build.
It might just be a pet peeve of mine, but seeing recycled design elements is probably the most annoying example of poor design in anime. Sometimes it's not so bad, like Shirō Masamune's recycled mecha design across his various franchises. I never really get tired of spidertanks. However, the most egregious example of this is also one of the most annoying aspects of being an anime fan. I despise Hirai Hisashi, the character designer behind the anime versions of s.CRY.ed, MS Gundam Destiny, Fafner and Heroic Age, among others. His stupidly same-y characters are painful to watch and impossible to really enjoy. If you're seen more than one of his shows, (with the partial exception of Kurogane no Linebarrels) you can't help but get pulled out of the flow of the series by seeing the same protagonist that starred in at least four other anime. Hirai is definitely not the only offender, but he's the most obvious in recent memory.
When it comes to series planning, it's not just the visual design that matters anymore. Voice casting, musical choices, storyline and the actual animation are all critical factors in a successful series design. For manga, these some of these elements don't apply, but others, particularly pacing and storyline elements, become even more important. For these tasks, it is incredibly important to have the right people for the job. I'm more familiar with musical design so I'll use some of those examples. Kanno Yoko is a superior composer and her works almost always have strong ties to the overall design of the shows they're featured in. But if you can't get a superstar, it's important to pick someone who will be able to synch with the style of the anime. Kajiura Yuki's music is airy and has a heavy European influence, great for slower moving shows with fantasy or mystery elements, but maybe not the strongest choice for a heavily action oriented show. Iwasaki Taku's jazz informed pieces play great in contemporary shoot-em-ups, but might not be a great match to a fluffy magical girl program.
Good series design is about meshing these myriad influences into a cohesive whole. It is precisely because this task is so difficult that the gap between being a good director and a great director is so hard to overcome (this applies to any multimedia project).
Masashi, your guilty pleasure is a doozy, because I feel guiltier by association:
There are two basic principles to well designed anime. The first principle can apply to any creative work (a movie, novel, building, or chair), and the second applies more specifically to anime. I consume much more anime than manga, but I think in general these principles apply to both.
The first is attention to detail. This is how you can tell the difference between the work of a professional and a six-year old. Watch any Miyazaki film closely (Spirited Away stands out for me), and it becomes readily apparent how much effort was involved in putting it all together. The bathhouse scene with the polluted river spirit, for example, really grabbed my attention; the backgrounds, motions, and reactions were finely tuned and fascinating to watch. When you consider his films are also hand-drawn instead of relying on CG, that's even more impressive. As far as TV series go, Last Exile is a visual masterpiece through and through, from the amazing cloud vistas to the battered little vanship. Really a joy to watch.
The second, related principle is that the story works on multiple levels. Can the anime span several genres successfully, attract viewers of different ages and sexes, and develop characters that defy easy labeling? Cowboy Bebop is so much more than a scifi adventure series about bounty hunters who are "down on their luck". Each of the four leads has a complicated past, and attract attention in unique ways, both in terms of looks and actions. Of course you have good guys and bad guys, chase scenes and explosions, but there are underlying messages about government control, environmentalism, and dealing with loss (be it money, love, or memories).
Now, does an anime have to be well designed to be successful? Certainly not, and I can rant about why I'm puzzled about certain popular series that are just plain ugly. How can people even stand to watch Shin Chan, or One Piece? The animation quality is poor, and the stories and characters lack any substance. I can only assume that a large number of viewers could care less about good design, or maybe there's some "so bad it's good" element at work.
I'll conclude by admitting to one of my guilty pleasures, Koihime Muso, but at least I can defend myself by stating I learned a lot about Chinese history!
Tweed speaks from an animator's perspective:
Well, I am diverse in my taste for appearance. I enjoy Cyborg 009 for its modern styling of old school caricature, Satoshi Kon did an amazing job animating facial expressions, and One Piece is colorful and bright with unique world.
So when I look for an anime design that I like, I suppose that I look for anime that stimulates the animator in me. Yes, I animate. Now, what stimulates me? Well, the first thing is facial expressions and acting. I look for how the animators depict emotion, facial tweaks, and movement of the mouth. Satoshi Kon was one of the best modern anime directors at this. Tokyo Godfathers had a flamboyant character who was very expressive and a joy to watch. My favorite scene with Hana was when he/she was chewing Gin out for being a deadbeat. Watch it and tell me that is not amazing, considering that most anime are lucky to even have the shape of the face change when the mouth moves.
The second thing I look for in a design is how well I can tell each character apart. Cyborg 009 did a great job of uniformity between then characters while keeping each one unique. Cyborg 007 is my favorite of this example because he really stands out from the crowd with his lack of hair and the wrinkles above his eyes. Cyborg 005 is also good because he is one of the few Native American representatives in anime. You could also argue that One Piece is a better example, but I wanted to use a smaller cast of characters.
Third thing I look at is the use of color, line, and how well the character's world stands out from other anime. I do not like Panty and Stocking, but I respect that they are doing something very innovative. Great lines, bold use of color, and the entire world is highly stylized. WHY did it have to have a poor story? As for One Piece, there are very cool line marks that lend the feel of a moving manga to the series. The bold colors really identify the characters from each other and the world of pirates is just so cool! Especially when you consider how they use technology in the world. Snails as telephone? Seagulls as mailmen? I'm in!
As an animator, my biggest criticism is how bland anime can be when it comes to character design. I enjoy anime very much, but when you watch anime for a very long time a lot of the characters tend to look very familiar. Sometimes it is the clothes, but the personalities and body types start to blend with each other too. This is animation! The fun is about how much you can exaggerate while keeping it believable! For all you future artists (and current too), I have a bit of a homework assignment:
When you are designing characters, think of a shape to associate that character with. You can use it in the face, the body, the accessories, or whatever. This will allow you to think more on how to make your characters stand out from each other in design.
Ibrahim finds the lack of diversity distressing and staid:
So in regards to design, there are a few things that, for me at least, make or break it. More than a few times I would stop watching a series, or put a book back that i was reviewing.
Mainly it's when the different characters all look the same, and can only be differentiated by glasses or crazy hairstyle which is mainly found in manga, since there's no color or voices to differentiate them, just your imagination.. which sometimes needs to work in overdrive just to figure out who's who and where's what... How hard is it to make the characters different looking? the problem I think is the eyes, the designers/animators choose one main style in drawing the eyes and then copy paste them onto every face! And as we know, in manga/anime, eyes do take up a huge portion of the face..... sometimes I wonder how big those eyeballs are if it were real life....
The second thing that really turns me off is when the anime is all choppy, like it's running at a few frames per second. I know they're trying to save on costs, like how they outsource the a lot of the work to korean studios, but it makes the whole thing look really cheap, and a lot of the times the characters start looking different and/or deformed, with their eyes all over the place... and that's really obvious to spot.. but I find it mostly in the longer running series lately, like One Piece, Naruto and Bleach... don't notice it much in the shorter (normal) series... (I wonder why? "budget for set number of episodes" vs "never knowing when the damn thing will end, hope it does before I die, so must manage the budget wisely"?)
Lastly, the hair... come on... it was nice a while back, but I hope that the crazy carbon fiber strength hair designs (not to mention the colors) fad will fade away, or at least simmer down... I haven't been seeing much of it lately, which is good.. I just hope it never comes back...
Ay Dios Mio, Nechronius! Your Eye Puns!
Yes, beauty is indeed up to the judgment of the beholder, but eye would like to point out that there is a limit to how much one can stretch the definition and not start to come off as distorted and frankly, not an attractive, and often downright ugly. Eye am referring primarily to the world of moe anime.
Don't get me wrong, Ai enjoy shows in the “moe” category, possibly more than aye am willing to admit. The corneas and surrounding optic tissues are the windows to the soul, yes, and an effective technique for: A) making a character appear younger and B) giving them more expressive faces. And indeed, it is often an important part of Super Deformed miniatures with their abnormally short limbs, stocky bodies, and excessively large heads. Eye get that, as their draw is mainly due to the obviously unrealistic scaling of features emphasizing their smallness.
Yet at some point where the ratio of visual sensory tool to face starts meeting or exceeding some standard (In my case, using the tarsier as a yardstick) while the remainder of the character is somewhere remotely close of normal scale, Ai just can't measure it by a standard of good human design.
Aye am well aware that a tarsier can certainly be considered cute by some standards, but it's a basic primate, not a human being. When a character is supposed to be human with semi-normal human proportions, but the ocular organs are far beyond those proportions? Eye just can't help but be distracted by it, occasionally a little horrified.
To worsen the offending art, one can often find examples of “normal” faces next to the “abnormal” ones, giving the illusion of even greater disproportion.
There are plenty of “moe” shows that do not resort to this level of organic lenticular trickery, although almost all anime resorts to this technique to a degree. It is definitely easier to express emotion on their faces this way, and plenty of moderate examples exist that demonstrate this successfully.
Yes, the visual sensory organs are the window to the soul. But far too often in anime (especially moe) they're no longer windows, they're giant, gaping wrecking ball holes on the wall of a cottage. Ay carumba!
Closing the book on this discussion, Tashfin applies Scrooge McDuck to his argument in a manner I find most pleasing:
Well, firstly (I'll try to be succinct), I've always had a bit of a soft corner for [Western] cartoons like Disney, Tom & Jerry and comics like Tintin, Asterix (still my all-time favourite, attack me if you must) and Marvel/DC (not anymore though, impossible to keep up with all the infinite backstory and revisions - everyone's more ageless than Wolverine). And, not counting things like bits-and-pieces of Transformers and Pokemon watched with my little brother on Cartoon Network, the first Anime I really got into and watched from start to finish (on TV or otherwise) was Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. So, yes, my standards are both unfortunately high (and modern) as well as being "contaminated" with "gaijin filth" (about that "gaijin filth" bit, I hereby submit the confirmed connection between sensei Osamu Tezuka and Mr Scrooge McDuck: check out point #1 in "5 Amazing Things Invented by Donald Duck (Seriously)" on cracked.com).
Well-designed anime should not be grainy or have washed-out colours (unless the washed-out feeling is an artistic thing). I don't care what the reviews say; I personally don't like the animation finishing and colouring on Cowboy Bebop. Neither did I like the Snow White-look (and finishing) of Berserk anime. Nor the fight scenes and flat 2D in Bleach - come on, lousy speed lines and slow-motion runs every damn time? And what about baby-kendo 1-2-3 sword swings in every single fight? It was damn good when the series first launched, now it's clunky (and outdated?) in more ways than one. Plus I don't like some of the changes Kubo Tite has made in his manga; namely the blurry lines and rounded edges to the characters - my favourite bits of Bleach (manga) would have to be somewhere in the second half of the very good first arc, where there was a nice balance between the then-and-now. Basically, anime should have decent detailing, a consistent colour theme, which should be solid and vibrant most times, with uniformity between (good) backgrounds, characters and main and in-between scenes, quality consistency over the entire series (unlike TTGL for instance), and texturing, perspective and the other stuff that gives viewers depth perception. Fight scenes might be a bitch to do, but that doesn't excuse crappiness. Refer the awesome fights in Samurai Champloo as inspiration.
Manga is much more a matter of personal taste for the artist's style; I can't say Ichigo 100% is badly-drawn, but I don't like the art. Manga should have clean, sharp lines (absolutely no squiggly crap), restrained crosshatching, and little background fussiness so that the focus stays on the main stuff. Also, too much black is a pain, as are black blotches, like in Dorohedoro. And Berserk: insanely-insane background art and detail detracting from insanely-insane story. Character design plays a massive role, but I can't say much on what goes into making a good or bad design aside from liking or disliking the finished product. Also, nowadays male characters aren't being paid as much attention as they should be (gee, I wonder why?). But my biggest design gripe in anime, which gets my bloody billy-goat 99% of the time is: why, for mercy, do some people have to keep wearing the same damn clothes every single time a la Donald Duck, Scooby Doo or even (sob) Asterix and Tintin?? I'm not, of course, counting uniforms or armour. Bebop, Champloo, Vandread, Witchblade, TTGL............ I can't think of any innocent of this misdemeanour. It becomes an extra pain when the clothes are rubbish, which is at least half the time. If somebody tells me me they do change once in a while/blue moon, I say it's nowhere near often enough. The best I can do is tolerate it when the clothes are ok or at least not too horrid, or when they're anonymous suits and coats; like in GITS:SAC or, yet again, Donald Duck (I'm overlooking his lack of pants, by the way). Sorry for the duckiness, I just found out about post-WW2 Tezuka and Scrooge McDuck yesterday.
Once again, I just wanna congratulate everyone on making their responses fun and engaging and more than a little bit insightful. Good job, y'all. Now for next week's window into the souls of Answerfans:
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 bid you all a fine adieu, and I'll be back next time with more stuff! Remember to fill up answerman[at!!]animenewsnetwork.com with all the questions and answers your eager little fingers can tap out! See you around!
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