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Answerman - What's With All the Bondage Humor in Anime?

Why is something as risqué as S&M such an easy go-to for comedy even in family-friendly anime? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Brandi asked: what is up with anime and the S&M fetish? I'm not talking about hentai. It mostly comes out in the form of one of the men on the show turning out to be some kind of over the top masochist. I've seen this joke over an over again. Most recently in D-Frag! and i...
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Answerman - Why Don't Anime Musicals Get US Releases?

Japan has an ocean of stage musicals based on anime, from Naruto to Sailor Moon - why don't they ever get released in the States? Justin considers the angles. ― Bunny asked: Sailor Moon's new musical cast were guests at a state anime convention, but I don't see it getting much further than that. We only have fansubs as a source, but I'd like to support it legally. I was wondering what would it take ...
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Answerman - Why Is Sentai Filmworks Phasing Out DVDs?

Sentai Filmworks made a big announcement about phasing out DVDs forever - but why? Justin has a few ideas... ― Jake asked: I was reading a recent article that stated Sentai Filmworks was essentially phasing out their DVD releases by 2019 and are primarily going to release Blu-ray only with a few exceptions. I know you have got this question in the past on who buys DVD's Vs. Blu-rays which seems to b...
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Answerman - What is "Video Post-Production"?

You see it in the credits of anime blurays and DVDs all the time - but what does "video post-production" actually entail? Justin has the answer. ― Craig asked: Just finished watching the third Berserk film, The Advent and in the credits I saw your name. for Video post production. What exactly do you do in terms of post production(clean up, video/audio compression, restoration?)? Do all companies who...
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Answerman - What's The Worst Anime Release You've Ever Seen?

There have been a LOT of really screwy anime releases, discs with the wrong subtitles and audio tracks, but what's the WORST one? Justin has one in mind... ― Anonymous asked: Just curious, what's the single worst anime home video release you've ever seen? From any era, VHS, DVD, bluray, whatever the single worst one you can think of is. In Japan, the worst release has to be of the film Gundress, whi...
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Answerman - What Are School Culture Festivals Really Like?

The cultural festival is a staple of many slice-of-life anime, but are their depictions true to life? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Nadia asked: I was wondering if Japanese school cultural festivals are really a thing and if so are they really like they are in anime? So will there be the usual maid café/haunted house, and does everyone stay over at the school? Who's allowed to attend them (as a ...
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Answerman - How Are DVD and Blu-ray Subtitles Made?

It's something so common you may never think about how it gets done, but exactly how do english subtitles get on anime blurays and DVDs? ― John asked: What are the technical differences between creating subtitles for DVDs and Blu-ry Discs? And were HD-DVDs any better or worse? Subtitles are a pain in the ass. No other part of making a DVD or Blu-ray is as complicated, error-prone, or as likely to be...
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Answerman - Why Are There Statues Of A Reading Boy And A Dog In Japan?

Plenty of schools in Japan have a statue of a boy reading a book in front of them - what's up with that? PLUS: the story of Hachiko! ― Jake asked: I was recently thinking about some of the school anime I have watched over the years and have noticed there are two or three statues I tend to see a lot pop up. One of the most common is a statue of a man reading a book with a bundle of wood on his back i...
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Answerman - Is There A "Tooth Fairy" In Japan?

Anime sometimes references folk traditions surrounding baby teeth and the disposal of them, but never the "tooth fairy". Why is that? Justin does a little folklore research. ― Thomas asked: I was watching the newest episode of Sakura Quest and one of the children in the show has one of her last baby teeth fall out. When talking about it to her Mum, she suggests throwing it out the window and I think...
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Answerman - Why Aren't Opening And Ending Themes Subtitled?

Since companies like Crunchyroll are already subtitling full episodes of anime, how come the lyrics to each show's theme songs aren't translated? Justin has the answers. ― KidaYuki asked: I really love the opening and closing theme songs of anime. Back when most of the anime online seemed to be through Fansubs alot of them (or at least the ones I liked) would have their songs subtitled. Usually a Ja...
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Answerman - Quick Answers Part 4

Justin answers a handful of short questions, mostly about kissing. Indirect kissing, censored kissing, illegal kissing - all the kissing you can handle, really. ― Got lots of good questions this week, but most of them don't have answers that are very long, so let's just do a ton of them at once! Larry asks: In anime and manga the main character always gets flustered over an indirect kiss. Do people ...
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Answerman - What Is A "Love Hotel?"

You see them in anime all the time - hotels that charge an hourly rate and are doused in kitsch. Are they real? Do people really use them? Justin explains. ― Albatros asked: In romance manga and anime there is often a scene involving a 'love hotel'. Is it common in Japan to go to a love hotel with your lover, instead of going to a regular hotel? And is it considered like an ordinary place, or is it ...
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Answerman - Do Anime Studios Own The American Shows They Contributed To?

Anime studios like Toei did a lot of work on classic American cartoons like Muppet Babies - do they own any piece of that? Justin explains. ― BJ asked: I have a weird question about contract work like what Toei did back in the 1980s on shows like Muppet Babies. Does a company like Toei own a small piece of whatever animation work they did on the show, or does it depend upon the terms of the contract...
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Answerman - Do Japanese People Use Beds Or Futons?

Justin breaks down the practical difference between these two very different ways of sleeping for people living in Japan. ― Kitty asked: I was reading a manga where the main characters at first slept on futons but later got a Western style bed. And it reminded me of a thing I've been wondering many times before when we see characters' bedrooms in anime and manga. Fairly often they have Western style...
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Answerman - What Was A "MovieCD"?

Justin takes a look back at all the crazy formats anime has been released on in America, including "MovieCD", a CD-Rom with a 300x240 AVI file on it. ― Anonymous asked: I was in a thrift store the other day and found a copy of this Cyber City OEDO "MovieCD". What was this format? Was it at all successful? How many different formats over the years has anime been released on? MovieCD was a short-lived...
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Answerman - Why Are Age Ratings On Anime So Inconsistent?

Age ratings across anime releases from multiple publishers can be wildly inconsistent with one another - why is that? Justin digs in. ― Phineas asked: Is there a stricter bias towards anime age ratings in the United States simply because they're animated? Someone in the Answerman thread two columns ago noted the fact that Monster was 18+ by Viz but was rated M (the equivalent of a PG-13) in Australi...
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Answerman - Why Does Classic Anime Get Re-dubbed?

They're dubbing Gundam Seed in English again, just like they did for Escaflowne - Justin goes in-depth on why this happens. ― Justin (not Answerman Justin) asked: Why is Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny getting re-dubbed? There is already a dib available for these shows that is well liked by many. There are several standard reasons why the English dubbed version of a classic anime can't be used i...
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Answerman - What Is That Tipping Bamboo Water Spout In Traditional Gardens?

You've seen it before, you've heard the iconic THUNK - but what's that bamboo fountain you always see in anime actually FOR? ― Joseph asked: What is that bamboo thing in anime that fills with water until full and then empties? I see it used a lot and it seems mostly used for transitioning to a new screen or delivering more emotion to an intense revelation by suddenly hitting the ground. Other than t...
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Answerman - What Happens To Japanese Students Who Don't Make It To The Top?

Anime and manga are filled with elite students attending the most prestigious schools, but how accurate is that struggle to real life in Japan? ― Jose asked: We know the pressure to get into a top school (and get a top job) is a recurrent theme in anime and in Japanese culture in general. But I was wondering: what happens to the Japanese people that *don't* make the top cut? I would think that the t...
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Answerman - Why Is Daisuki Shutting Down?

Anime streaming service Daisuki is shutting down at the end of this year. Justin discusses some of the reasons why. ― invalidname asked: What happened with Daisuki anyways? With all those Japanese original rights-holders involved, shouldn't they have had a natural advantage over licensors like Crunchyroll that have to pay for content? Daisuki.net, the anime streaming website that was started by a gr...
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Answerman - Why Do They Sometimes Remove On-Screen Japanese Text?

The Shin Godzilla bluray is missing Anno's trademark giant text, replaced with simple subtitles - how and why does something like this happen? ― Tormaid asked: In Funimation's recent Blu-ray release of Shin Godzilla, they chose to remove Anno's trademark on-screen text and added a multi-line, unstyled translation at the top of the screen. This promoted a discussion I became involved in about the rea...
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Answerman - Why Do Fans Ask Inappropriate Things At Convention Panels?

Fans ask weird, awkward and inappropriate things at anime convention Q&A panels all the time. Why does it happen so much? ― Jake asked: I enjoy attending conventions once or twice a year and one of my favorite things is attending panels with the Japanese animators, directors, producers, and voice actors. I find it interesting to find out more about there experiences in the industry and their influen...
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Answerman - What Should We Expect from the Sony - Funimation Deal?

Sony Pictures TV is absorbing Funimation. What should we expect? Justin provides the facts (and some informed speculation). ― Lots of people asked: I just saw the big news that Sony Pictures TV is going to acquire a 95% stake in Funimation, and I am really concerned. What will this mean for Funimation releases, their deal with Crunchyroll, their dubs, and their streaming platform? Press releases abo...
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Answerman - What Is That Little Stamp That Japanese People Use To Sign Papers?

You often see characters in anime using a little stamp for signing documents. What's the deal with that stamp? ― Qashmal asks: I realized from watching Girls und Panzer (also mentioned in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid) that people in Japan have something called "personal seal," which, I assume, works like an autograph or signature. If it's an organization, I can understand why a seal is needed, but w...
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Answerman - What Do Manga Artists Think Of Dirty Doujinshi?

There are mountains of smutty doujinshi for every anime, manga and game under the sun - but what do the original artists think of it in Japan? Justin explains. ― Aloysia asks: I understand that there's several mangaka that create BL/yuri doujinshi but there's also who don't. So how do they react to BL/yuri shipping? Do they get angry "My characters are not gay!" or just ignore it? Doujinshi, or smal...
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Answerman - Why Aren't Tezuka and Ishinomori Anime Popular In The West?

Fans of Astro Boy, Cyborg 009 and other timeless classics have long asked: why isn't this stuff more popular with American audiences? ― Nik asks: Osamu Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori are two of my favorite manga/anime creators. My favorite aspect of their works is the "retro" and "rounded" look of the characters. Properties like Cyborg 009, Kikaider, and Astro Boy are extremely appealing to me in an ...
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Answerman - Is It Ethical To Import Anime From Other Countries?

Anime fans in the UK will often import low-price American anime box sets - but is that ethical? What's the impact on their own local anime distributors? Justin gets into it. ― Jason asks: What do Japanese licence holders think of people in the UK importing US region 1 discs? How legal is this? Some times a show never seems to get a UK release and isn't available for streaming either. Japanese produc...
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Answerman - Why Aren't Anime Sales Figures Made Public?

We'd really love to know exactly how well our favorite anime sold on Bluray and DVD. Why do they keep these numbers from us? Justin gets into it. ― Michael asks: I was wondering if you could explain the mindset behind why anime companies seem to be so secretive with their sales numbers. I could be wrong about this, but I don't see any benefit to not releasing how many units "title x" sold or how man...
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Answerman - Why Do People Make Curry Rice When Camping?

According to anime, it's possible - and common - to make Japanese-style curry when camping. But is it all just an elaborate, mouth-watering fantasy? Justin chimes in. ― Cole asks: What's up with curry and rice being the camping meal of choice? Seem like cooking rice and making curry (chopping vegetables and meat) make this meal one of the most inconvenient and more difficult meals to prepare outside...
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Answerman - Why Can't Some Older Anime Be Remastered?

Some older anime get sparkling, crystal-clear remasters, while others have muffled audio and compromised video - why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Geoffrey asks: There are some older series (especially Toei series) that can't be properly shown in HD because the original materials (usually the audio) were lost or junked. Why is that? Why would they get rid of the original masters? For Saint Seiya, ...
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Answerman - Why Are Anime Soundtracks Missing Songs?

Every now and then you'll buy an anime soundtrack and it turns out to be missing one or two tracks you were counting on - why does that happen? Justin explains. ― Pearl asks: Sometimes I wait months for the release of a certain anime soundtrack just to hear one specific piece of BGM, only to find that it's nowhere to be found on the disc! For example, Yona of the Dawn has several tracks that are mis...
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Answerman - How Does An Anime Studio Go Out Of Business?

We've been reading in the news lately about anime studios going bankrupt - how does that even happen? Justin gets into the wild world of anime finance. ― boy kano asks: How can an anime studio goes bankrupt? If they receive money from a publisher like Kadokawa, surely it can cover up the cost of making an anime title. Anime studios can and do go bankrupt, and in the last few years, at least one or t...
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Answerman - Why Is Anime Dialogue Recorded After Animation Is Done?

DIalogue for many Western cartoons is recorded before animation is done; in Japan, the animation is done first. Why is that? Justin gets into it. ― James asks: Some time ago, you stated that one of the major differences between western animation and Japanese animation is that, in western animation, all dialogue is recorded first, and then the animation is done to match the dialogue, while, in Japane...
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Answerman - Why Doesn't Netflix Simulcast?

Netflix has some of the biggest titles of this season like Fate/Apocrypha and Kakegurui, so why don't they release each episode weekly? ― Alexandre asks: Lately, people are upset at streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix and their lack of weekly streams. This causes people to pirate their "exclusive shows" as opposed to waiting to watch them later in one sitting. Why exactly do these services...
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Answerman - What Is Uyoku Dantai?

It's a polarizing political group that shows up occasionally in anime like Highschool of the Dead, but it's rarely explained - Justin digs in. ― Manuel asks: I've recently watched the last three episodes of Highschool of the Dead, where it introduces Saya's parents and their supporters, then I read that in the original manga they're actually a group called Uyoku Dantai, and they needed to be toned d...
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Answerman - Why Are So Many Anime's English Titles Total Nonsense?

Justin explains the process by which some of our favorite anime have some of the strangest English titles. ― Yen asks: What group usually originates a show's English title? Some shows seem to have indecipherable word salad titles that almost too obviously come from the original Japanese team. And while truly graceful titles sound like they're the product of native English speakers (Kids on the Slope...
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Answerman - How Do You Get Over Anime Burnout?

It can strike when you least expect it: absolute anime burnout! Justin shares his tips for getting out of an otaku slump. ― Michael asks: For about three years, I watched a lot more anime than I ever had before. It was pretty much the only media I was consuming and it wouldn't be uncommon for me to be watching eight to ten shows at the same time. Well, as it happens when you overdo it, I got burned ...
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Answerman - Why Do Some Anime Change Studios Between Seasons?

Justin gets into some of the many reasons why an anime might jump to a different production studio between seasons. ― Jun asks: I noticed that sometimes a show with multiple seasons have different studios working on them. For instance, the first season of My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU is produced by studio Brain's Base while the second season was handled by studio feel. Why does this happen sometime...
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Answerman - How Do Small Indie Theaters End Up Showing Anime?

One of the best places to see anime in the theater is at an independent cinema - but how do these mom 'n pop theaters get the films? Justin gets into it. ― Kevin asks: Going based off the Kizumonogatari movies, Mahouka movies, and plenty others, a lot of anime movies which get theater releases tend to be in small private theaters. How did these theaters get these anime movie screenings? Was it compa...
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Answerman - What Happened To The "Watch This Program In A Well-Lit Room" Warnings?

Ever since one Pokemon episode caused an unanticipated medical emergency, there have been viewer warnings in front of many anime on TV. Why are they starting to go away now? ― Chris asks: Back in the day, after that infamous episode of Pokémon gave viewers seizures, many anime would start with an on-screen warning to watch with the lights on and at a safe distance from the TV. A bunch of my late-90'...
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Answerman - Quick Answers Part 3

It's time for another lightning round - theme parks in Japan, live-action anime adaptations, the fate of Yahoo Japan auctions and more! ― 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...
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Answerman - Will China or Korea Ever Compete With Anime?

You might expect China and Korea to have their own robust slate of anime for Japan and the world to contend with - but why hasn't that happened? ― Marlon asks: It seems that the Chinese and South Koreas want to have their own equivalent of the anime/manga market. With their webtoons and such, Chinese investors seem to be putting a lot into forming their own market like Japan, even licensing or creat...
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Answerman - Is It Still Socially Unacceptable To Be An Otaku In Japan? (Revisited)

Justin takes another crack at his answer to a question from last week - is the social stigma around being an otaku in Japan still prevalent? ― Today we're gonna revisit a question we published last Friday, submitted by James: I have seen a rather large number of anime and manga series in recent years in which a character (either male of female) is extremely popular and successful at school and with ...
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Answerman - Why Are Hentai Characters Labeled As Being Over 18 (Even When They're Not)?

Justin explains what might be the oldest trick in the hentai industry localization book. ― Yousef asks: I noticed most DVD and Blu-ray releases of hentai contain a message stating that all participants in the work are 18 years of age or older; however, this seems to be incredibly subjective and in many cases not true (I've heard interesting stories first hand from one licenser on how this has been w...
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Answerman - Why Is It Socially Unacceptable To Be An Otaku In Japan?

Generally speaking, Japanese society still shuns the otaku - why is that? Justin has a few ideas. ― James asks: I have seen a rather large number of anime and manga series in recent years in which a character (either male of female) is extremely popular and successful at school and with their friends, but hides the fact that they are an otaku (approximately the Japanese equivalent of a nerd in weste...
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Answerman - Why Isn't More Anime Shown On American TV?

There are countless hours of US cable television programming to fill, and yet only a few hours a week are filled with anime. Why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Kyle asks: How come some English dubbed anime only get released straight to DVD here in the US and never air on American TV? I know that a handful of them do air on Anime-only channels, such as the FUNimation Channel and Neon Alley, and also...
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Answerman - Is Shonen Jump Still Popular?

You often hear about Shonen Jump's declining print circulation in Japan - is Shonen Jump's star fading, or are times just changing? Justin explains. ― Jake asks: I had recently read an article on ANN that stated that shonen jump, arguably one of the most well known and popular manga magazines, had recently dipped below 2 million regularly purchased issues. This is down over two-thirds from there hig...
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Answerman - What Are The Yakuza Like In Japan These Days?

Times have changed a lot since the peak of yakuza activity in the 1960s. So what is yakuza life and business like now in 2017? ― Khada asks: I'm Italian and we have the "Mafia", however the situation with them is different from the past.. Usually they just have abusive property or ask for money in people's shop, but they are not a big treat like in the past, everyday police just find and arrest mafi...
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Answerman - How Are Anime Opening And Ending Themes Chosen?

How exactly do the people involved an anime production go about choosing the songs for their opening and ending themes? It's a little complicated. ― Andrew asks: I was wondering about the process behind Japanese companies licensing songs to be used in anime (openings, endings, insert songs). It seems like a simpler process when the producer of a band is also doing the score, as is the case with Mado...
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Answerman - How Is Coffee Brewed In Japan?

In anime, you often see people brewing coffee using unique, single-cup methods - are coffee machines just not that common in Japan? Justin's got the answer. ― Alvin asks: I noticed that in many anime series, characters are depicted brewing coffee either by pouring hot water over the grounds in paper filters or using instant coffee in homes and shops, including coffee shops. Are coffee brewing machin...
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Answerman - Is Netflix A Salve For The Anime Business?

Could Netflix's influence solve the many production and salary woes plaguing the anime industry? Justin considers the angles. ― Earl asks: The trailer for the new Castlevania anime came out today and my coworkers and I were remarking on the animation quality. It's an American production (despite what I thought initially), but it got me thinking... Would Netflix-style contracts/production be a way ou...
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Answerman - Why Do Colors In Blu-ray Re-Releases Of Classic Anime Look Different?

Anime on bluray sometimes looks very different from the way we might remember it - Justin explains how it's a little less scientific than we might think. ― Stanley asks: I have a technical question about Blu-ray transfers, particularly the film to Blu-Ray ones. I've been starting up a Blu-Ray collection recently and was looking at some comparison screenshots from a lot of classic anime titles and fi...
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Answerman - What Are Those Radio Exercises Kids Do In Japan?

You see it all the time in anime - the radio plays simple instructions and folks gather to do some basic calisthenics. Is that really a thing in Japan? ― Matt asks: Anime often depict radio calisthenics as something geared toward children or older people, but everyone always appears aware of what it is. Are radio calisthenics as ubiquitous as they appear? And what made them so popular? Radio Taisou,...
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Answerman - Why Is Random English Used So Much In Japan?

You see random English words used all over anime - in the credits, roadsigns, even in the dialogue. Why is that? Justin gets into it. ― "Hiruzawa Nakari" asks: Why do many official anime websites have their main navigation links ("Top, News, On-Air, Story, Cast & Staff," etc.) in English? Are they trying to make site international, or is it because it just looks cool? Those websites are clearly not ...
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Answerman - Why Aren't New Dubs Made For Old-School Shows?

There are a few exceptions, like Escaflowne and Sailor Moon, but most older anime don't get new English dubs. Why is that? Justin has an answer. ― Leigh asks: I'd like to know why dubbing companies don't take more chances on old-school anime. I mean, just look at how long it took my favorite character, Locke the Superman, to get a subtitled DVD release for his feature film. There's a market for nost...
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Answerman - Is My Sushi Authentic?

Answerman takes a food question that vexes many anime fans - is the sushi I'm eating in America "authentic" at all to the Japanese experience? Justin dives deep. ― Andy asks: As I was sitting in a restaurant having sushi for lunch earlier today, a thought suddenly hit me: How 'authentic' is the sushi I'm actually eating? In almost every sushi restaurant I've been in, there tended to be a few common ...
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Answerman - Who Are Subtitles Written For?

Justin discusses how subtitles have changed over time, and how translators have to make tough calls between subtitles written for a broad audience and those written for a niche one. ― Asiko asks: I've noticed with a lot of anime that when a character is speaking translators often leave Japanese words in the text when there are English equivalents. For example, in Naruto, rather than have the transla...
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Answerman - Why Do All The Kids Want To Move To Tokyo?

Your Name and Sakura Quest join the huge pile of anime about young people who want to move to Tokyo. Justin explains why this is such a common theme in anime. ― Jake asks: I have recently watched Your Name as well as Sakura Quest and it has me wondering why every youths do or die goal is to move to Tokyo. It makes me wonder why only Tokyo? I assume that each prefecture has some equivalent of a capit...
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Answerman - How Do I Introduce Anime To My Kids?

It's every nerd parent's conundrum - how and when do I introduce my kids to my hobby, and more importantly, WHAT do I show them? Justin has a few ideas. ― Jason asks: I'm a new father. While I will be limiting screen time for my child, at some point I will be inclined to let her watch cartoons. A joy for me, as a child, was seeing adapted anime series that were brought to America. Rediscovering show...
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Answerman - Why Doesn't Yaoi Anime Get Dubbed?

There isn't that much yaoi anime out there, but what there is rarely ever gets dubbed into English - why is that? Justin gets into it. ― DL Warner asks: I see this lament on every Page or Blog dedicated to BL every time there is a new BL Anime simulcast. Why isn't BL ever dubbed? Is it because there is more of a stigma in the West for Voice Actors to do Gay roles? Or is it more of a money issue? BL ...
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Answerman - Why Are Anime Torrent Sites Disappearing?

Most of the major anime torrent sites shut down in the last few days; why is this happening now? Justin provides facts and context. ― Brooks asks: Why is the anime industry suddenly going after the big name anime Bittorrent websites after they've been up for years now and what kind of impact do you think this sudden decision is going to have on the anime industry and anime fandom? For those unaware,...
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Answerman - What Are Those Flavored Breads In Japanese School Lunches?

Take a magical, carbohydrate-filled journey through the incredible world of delicious Japanese baked goods with Justin Sevakis. ― Evan asks: Several depictions of school life in Anime/Manga make reference to what I can only describe as "flavored bread" being sold at the cafeteria with students complaining and or worrying that they'll be out of x-flavor if they're late. E.g. In Ranma 1/2, the entire ...
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Answerman - What Is The Lifestyle Of A Manga Artist?

Just what kind of hours do manga artists keep and how much do they get paid? Justin explains it all. ― Fredrik asks: Given how I've noticed that there is an unfortunate pattern of some manga authors dying at young ages, that has lead me to wonder: what is the lifestyle of a mangaka actually like? Generally, is writing/drawing their main source of income, or is writing only a side-job for most author...
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Answerman - Why Are OVA Episodes Seldom Licensed?

Popular shows like To Love Ru get OVA episodes that sometimes take forever to get licensed for release in the US or just never show up at all - what's the deal? ― mattrinstl asks: Why is it so hard for companies to license OVA's? There are any number of series with plot moving events that happen between series in OVA form, and most of the time we have to end up looking at Quasi legal sites to watch ...
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Answerman - How Are TV Networks Associated With Anime?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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