Answerman
Quick Answers Part 3

by Justin Sevakis,

It's time once again to tackle the questions that I couldn't get a whole column's worth of information out of! Ready? Let's go!

Chris asks:

What will happen to Yahoo! Japan after the finalization last week of Yahoo!'s merger with / absorption into Verizon? Some of my more ambitious anime-loving friends have found amazing stuff through Yahoo! Japan auctions.

Yahoo! Japan is actually a completely separate company, started as a joint venture between Yahoo! and SoftBank. While the Yahoo! brand has been declining in the West, it's still one of the top web brands in Japan. The original Yahoo! corporation in America owns a 35.5% stake in the company.

While Verizon Communications is buying most of Yahoo's business, it's NOT buying the whole corporate entity. Yahoo's ownership share of Yahoo! Japan is not part of the offer -- that ownership stake is staying with the holding company that's left. And since Yahoo! Japan is a separate company entirely, its operations will be completely unaffected by all of the changes going on Stateside.

CSC asks:

There a lot of interest in the anime fandom in who ownes the most anime DVDs. You see this a lot on YouTube videos. It is safe to say that a lot of people like to collect anime(some probably like to collect only favorites). Why hasn't there been any record of a person owning the most anime DVDs?

Keeping track of "records" requires some organization to manage the record-keeping and audit new entries, usually in person. For example, Guinness World Records usually requires a staff member to personally witness any record being set that it keeps track of. That takes money. Guinness pays for this by selling books, licensing merchandise, and other business ventures.

No organization like this cares enough about who has the biggest anime or manga collection to bother doing any of this. Besides the fact that there's almost certainly no money to be made in such an endeavor, there's also the fact that someone will definitely beat it as soon as a new record is announced.

Cole asks:

Anime would lead us to believe there are Aquariums and Amusement Parks everywhere. Are there or do people have to travel far to get to these places. Also are they really popular date destinations?

Most anime take place in major cities, which do have quite a few amusement parks. During the bubble economy of the 80s, lots of theme parks opened all around Japan. While many of them closed, the bigger, more popular ones still remain. Obviously, the Disney theme parks (Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland) and Universal Studios are two of the best known, but there are other parks like Fuji Q Highland, Nagashima Resort, Toei Eigamura, Nikko Edomura, Space World, and a few dozen others.

Sometimes the distinction between a small theme park and a particularly good museum is a blurry one - some of the above parks listed above don't have any rides, but are more of something to look at. Since most of the smaller amusement parks aren't TOO expensive to enter and can be reached by mass transit, they do make good date spots if you happen to live close enough to one.

Michael asks:

Are the production companies more interested in having their anime made into a live action Hollywood movie than an American live action TV series? Are movie and tv rights combined or are they seperate? Has there ever been a live action anime series in America?

Western TV series adaptation is a new avenue for Japanese creators, in terms of selling remake rights. Traditionally, most Japanese literary agencies only bother approaching movie studios. However, most American movie studios also make TV shows, so it makes sense to go after that market too... especially now that American TV producers are knee-deep in American comic book adaptations. The recently announced Cowboy Bebop live action TV series would be the first such adaptation (if it happens... and frankly, without an attached network or streaming service, an extremely expensive look and feel, and a production company that's only ever produced a few pilots, I have my doubts it will.)

Karl asks:

Why can't Netflix license Anime for regions that don't license anime, like the Nordic region? This have been confusing me for a long time, because their official reason is because they can't license titles that don't have a local licenser, but don't attempt to be one themselves. Is there a reason besides not attempting it yet?

When a company like Netflix buys the rights to series, they're looking to do as big of a deal as possible. This means that they'd get streaming rights for an entire continent, or major chunk of a continent, and whatever else comes with it. While I'm sure some people would love for them to be able to concentrate on certain smaller countries, it's usually not worth the effort for a company like Netflix, when they have only so many people to license a bajillion programs for a bajillion different markets. Negotiating a contract for one fairly small country or region is simply not worth their time.

Mathieu asks:

I have a question about animes' resolution. Some friends told me blu-ray releases aren't really worth it, since most animes are not produced in high resolution (for example 1080p). I searched and found out it was quite true. So first, I'd like to know why, if you can answer this. And secondly, is it still mainly true or only for small productions?

This used to be true -- prior to 2008 or so, most anime was still made in standard definition, or pretty close to it. But for the last decade, nearly all anime is produced in some flavor of HD. It's seldom the full 1920x1080 resolution that HD is capable of, but it's usually at least 720p or better. If you watch it in standard definition, you'll definitely lose SOME detail. But it'll likely still look pretty good.

Even if a show wasn't originally made in HD, an upscaled Blu-ray can be of slightly better quality than a DVD, simply because the video compression technology is much more advanced. Fewer details are thrown away, and there are far fewer gross "artifacts" left behind by the process. So unless you hear of a certain show's upscale getting completely munged, it's usually still worth buying the Blu-ray if you can afford it.


Do YOU have a question for the Answerman?

We want your questions! Send in as many or as often as you like. We can only pick three questions a week (and unfortunately I don't have ALL the answers) so if you haven't been chosen, don't be discouraged, and keep on sending.

However, READ THIS FIRST:

  • CHECK THE ARCHIVES FIRST. I've answered a lot of questions already!
  • If you want to be a voice actor, READ THIS.

  • I can't tell you if or when a show will get another season. New productions are closely guarded secrets until they're publicly announced, so there's nothing I can tell you that Google can't.
  • I cannot help you get in touch with any producers, artists, creators, actors or licensors. If you're trying to pitch an idea, you should read this.
  • I usually won't bother with questions asking if something is a trend. Maybe? It's impossible to know until it becomes obvious.
  • I take questions by email only. (Tweeted questions get ignored!)
  • I will not do your homework/research/report for you.
  • Keep it short -- like, a paragraph at most, and use proper grammar or punctuation.

Got all that? Great! The e-mail address is answerman (at animenewsnetwork.com). And thanks!!

Justin Sevakis has worked in the anime business for nearly 20 years. He's the founder of Anime News Network, and owner of the video production company MediaOCD. You can follow him on Twitter at @worldofcrap.


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