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Answerman - Is California The Otaku Promised Land?

Say like you want to move to Japan to wallow around in awesome anime and manga swag all day, but can't afford it - is California the next best thing? ― James asks: I've noticed that the state of California has a lot of Anime Stores and other shops (like Little Tokyo) for Anime. Would California be the ideal place to live in and have access to acquiring physical Anime, Manga, and other related mercha...
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The X Button - First Impressions: I Am Setsuna

This week: Todd looks at Square Enix’s throwback RPG! Plus Gravity Rush 2, Nintendo classics, and a major announcement! ― I'll start this column with some very important news: The X Button is retiring. If all goes as planned, the final installment will go up next Thursday, July 28. I must preemptively fend off rumors that the column's being shuttered because of my controversial stand on the Breath o...
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Answerman - Why Does Anime Go Unlicensed?

In an age when almost every anime series gets licensed, how and why exactly do some shows still fall between the cracks? Justin breaks it down. ― Imogen asks: With the recent news article about Sentai dubbing Amagi Brilliant Park I was curious to know if there's a reason why one of Kyoto Animation's other works 'Hyouka' hasn't had any distribution beyond Japan when all of their other shows have? Is ...
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Vice & Luna - #6

Naming your brand-new pet can be a pretty difficult task, but nobody's up to the job like Blume! ― Art: Lanny Liu Script: Zac Bertschy Editor: Jacob Chapman
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Answerman - Why Do Girls In Anime Say, "Now I Can't Get Married?"

There's a common - and very old - joke in anime and manga where a female character will remark "now I'll never get married!". Justin explains exactly how old that joke really is. ― Juan asks: When it comes to anime jokes and phrases the one I that has intrigued me is the the situation were a girl has been seen naked by a guy and says the line "Now I can't get married.". I've been wondering were does...
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Shelf Life - Sekirei

Does Sekirei have enough bounce per ounce to be worth your time? Paul Jensen has the answers, plus all this week's new releases! ― I'm not sure what kind of licensing deal led to every episode of ReLIFE being available at once, but it's kind of convenient. By the time I finish watching it, I should have a backlog of at least a couple episodes to binge through on all the other shows I'm following thi...
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The List - 10 Pokemon You Don't Want to Become Real

Pokemon Go showed us that the experience of catching monsters in the real world can be magical, but these ten terrors are a healthy reminder that some Pokemon dreams shouldn't come true. ― One week after the release of Pokemon Go, I think it's safe to say we're all living in a Pokemon world. Everyone's walking around town trying to complete their Pokedex now, from your littlest cousin to your great-...
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Answerman - What Happened To DVD "Easter Eggs"?

Ancient legend speaks of secret, hidden extras on DVDs and blurays you had to dig to find - whatever happened to those? Do they still exist? Justin gets into it. ― Jerome asks: What happened to Easter Eggs -- those little suprises that was on some old school DVD's? For example, on Phantom Quest Corp, you could press in a special code while in menu of DVD you see behind the scenes. On the old Irrespo...
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The X Button - Children of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus

This week, Todd checks in with some games inspired by Ico and Shadow of the Colossus! Plus Naruto Online, the latest Dead or Alive guest star, and the all-consuming Pokemon Go! ― I will make the broad assumption that everyone reading this has tried or at least heard about Pokemon Go. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I suspect that anyone curious about video games on an anime website cares enough about their c...
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Answerman - How Does Uncensored Hentai Make It Out Of Japan?

Risque anime is heavily censored on TV, and hentai itself is censored even on store shelves - so how does uncensored adult material make it out of Japan? Justin gets into it. ― Skikes asks: How does uncensored Hentai make it out of Japan? Is it released illegally in Japan or is a censored version produced for Japan and an uncensored version produced for other markets? And if that's the case, why are...
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Vice & Luna - #5

Vice is convinced he's got it made with the cute girl behind the counter - but Luna has other ideas. ― Art: Lanny Liu Script: Zac Bertschy Editor: Jacob Chapman
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Answerman - What Western Foods Are Popular In Japan?

Anime and manga characters are always chowing down on burgers and fries, but what western foods are actually popular in Japan? Justin was born to answer this question. ― Sam asks: How popular are burgers and fries in Japan? Is it just marketing in anime or are they actually popular? What other western foods are popular over there? Hamburgers are big business in Japan, and have become a prominent par...
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Shelf Life - When They Cry: Kai

The second season of the blockbuster horror smash When They Cry is finally available on bluray - how well does it still hold up? Plus: an avalanche of new anime DVD and bluray releases! ― Working on the Preview Guide has taken up most of my time this week, and it's been kind of cool to have a legitimate excuse to watch the first episode of every single new show this season. The long and short of it ...
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The List - Anime's 8 Deadliest Children

The kids are not alright in this Classic edition of The List. You definitely wouldn't want to get stuck babysitting this batch of anime's creepiest kiddos! ― Your list-maker extraordinaire is on maternity leave this week, so it's time for another Classic installment of The List! It seems only fitting that this throwback countdown be child-themed, and it also happens to be the first edition of The Li...
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ANNCast - Cruel for the Summer

Zac and Jacob wrap up Anime Expo 2016 and dive right in to the brand-new summer season - Berserk, Orange, Love Live! Sunshine!! and much much more! ― ANNCast Episode 265: Cruel for the Summer Zac and Jacob wrap up Anime Expo 2016 and dive right in to the brand-new summer season - Berserk, Orange, Love Live Sunshine and much much more! You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download th...
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Answerman - How Are Simulcast Subtitles Made So Fast?

Simulcast subtitles appear faster than the speed of sound sometimes, or so it appears; exactly how do these shows get subbed so quickly? Justin digs into it. ― Ashtur asks: With the rise of simulcasting, how do the foreign distributors prepare the subtitles that quickly? Do they get advance copies of the scripts? How do they work out subtitle timing on the video? Sometimes they get advance copies of...
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The X Button - Import Roundup with Super Robot Wars

This week is an import-fest with Super Robot Wars, My Hero Academia, and dungeon-exploring drums! Plus Adventures of Mana, Metal Slug, and a deadly game of idol singers! ― Anime Expo saw Aksys Games announce Steam versions of several titles, including XBlaze Lost: Memories, Tokyo Xanadu, and Aegis of Earth. By itself that isn't major news. Plenty of games head to Steam these days. Yet this small dev...
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Answerman - How Is Anime Changing Visually These Days?

We talk a lot about storytelling changes, but how has anime progressed technologically in recent years? Will anime eventually be produced in 4k? Justin digs into it. ― Jake asks: The one thing I find really interesting about watching anime from many different decades is seeing the evolution and overall visual improvement anime has gone though. In general I have an eye for telling at least roughly wh...
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Vice & Luna #4

Vice has a hankerin' for tacos and cute girls, and there's only one place to find both! ― Art: Lanny Liu Script: Zac Bertschy Editor: Jacob Chapman
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Shelf Life - Lupin III: Alcatraz Connection

The master thief and his posse head stateside in this never-before-released Lupin III TV special. But how does it hold up to the rest of Lupin's adventures? Plus, this week's new anime releases! ― By the time you read this, I'll be several days into my first appearance on the ANN Preview Guide. It's Saturday as I write this, and I think I've already watched as many premiere episodes in two days as I...
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Answerman - Why Does Fanservice For Girls Get So Much Blowback?

Fanservice for guys is a standard part of the anime experience, but we're entering an age of equal-opportunity ogling, and there's a lot of complaining about that. Justin digs into it. ― Eric asks: I keep hearing negative things about fan-service for men(like how the women are unrealistically curves, wear way tor revealing outfits, etc), but i haven't heard anyone saying the same thing about fan-ser...
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Vice & Luna [06-28-2016]

The crew finds out what's inside that glittering cocoon when Vice's parenting skills are put to the test! ― Enormous thanks to @pumpkinfriend for today's amazing frontpage marquee art! Art: Lanny Liu Script: Zac Bertschy Editor: Jacob Chapman
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Answerman - How Will Brexit Affect The UK Anime Market?

How does the recent Leave vote in the UK affect that country's anime market, which is an important player in the global anime industry? Justin considers the future. ― Grace asks: British anime fan here. How will the impending exit from the European union of the United Kingdom affect our anime and video game industry? Will it have any international impact? At the time I'm writing this, it's been a fe...
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Shelf Life - Medaka Box

Paul peers into the depths of Medaka Box to find a world of crazy twists in this extremely unusual adaptation of a story from the author of the Monogatari series. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― Memory can be a funny thing, especially when it comes to remembering things that you watched or read a long time ago. I pulled an old Armored Trooper Votoms DVD off my shelf the other day and was only ...
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The List - 7 Horrible Girlfriends

Run for your life from these wicked waifus! They may look cute and innocent on the outside, but these seven girls are definitely too deadly to date. ― The long-anticipated companion piece to 8 Horrible Boyfriends! Let's be fair, some of these women are downright nuts. The term yandere was coined for the sweet-on-the outside-but-possibly-murderous-on-the-inside girl. They'll love you forever, whether...
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ANNCast - Kiznaiver Fight

Zac, Jacob and their guest Nick find themselves emotionally connected by the wounds they endured watching Trigger's sensationally artistic spring series, Kiznaiver! PLUS: was The Lost Village supposed to be funny? ― ANNCast Episode 264: Kiznaiver Fight Zac, Jacob and their guest Nick find themselves emotionally connected by the wounds they endured watching Trigger's sensationally artistic spring ser...
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Answerman - How Is Anime Transported To Other Countries?

When an American company licenses an anime series, how do they actually "get" the show? Justin digs in to the way your favorite shows get delivered to you every week. ― Shem asks: How do anime studios send and/or accept animation frames overseas? Over internet or physically sending memory disks? What technology are they using? Do anime streaming sites also get the anime masters physically like in Ja...
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The X Button - Interview: Grand Kingdom

This week: we talk with the director of the beautiful strategy-RPG Grand Kingdom! Plus Berserk, Mighty No. 9, and the latest in game decorations! ― The X Button takes a short summer vacation next week, as I'm moving. And when you're moving, you go through all of your possessions and realize just how much crap you're keeping. For example, I discovered that I saved almost every Flying Warriors and Lit...
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Answerman - Why Is Liking Kids' Stuff Such A Bad Thing?

One reader wants to know why there's such a huge stigma on adults who enjoy TV shows and movies aimed at children, and how that impacts anime fans. Justin gets into it. ― Kasra asks: I was reading your earlier column, Why Is Animation Only For Kids In The US? I was asking why do we care so much if animation or anything in the nerd culture considered adult by some in the society.I know Reddit of youn...
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New Weekly Comic: Vice & Luna

Three years after Anime News Nina, ANN's new weekly comic series debuts with our first two chapters! ― Vice & Luna #2 is also available now: click 'next' below for more! Art: Lanny Liu Script: Zac Bertschy Editor: Jacob Chapman
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ANNCast - You're In The Game Show

E3 is over so that means it's time to talk videogames with Todd Ciolek, Dave Riley and Heidi Kemps! The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Resident Evil 7, Overwatch and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 263: You're In The Game Show E3 is over so that means it's time to talk videogames with Todd Ciolek, Dave Riley and Heidi Kemps! The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Resident Evil 7, Overwatch and ...
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Answerman - Why Are Bishonen More Popular Than Beefy Guys?

"Hot guys" in anime tend to be lanky and feminine rather than big and beefy - why is that? Justin gets into it. ― James asks: The character archetype of the bishōnen, a male who is smooth, graceful, and elegant, while lacking "rough" features, such as facial hair or oversized muscles, is popular in Japan, but less so in the western world. In fact, most westerners use the phrase "pretty boy" (a close...
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Shelf Life - 8 Man After

Paul dives into a vintage reboot of the classic 8 Man series to see what nostalgic anime sequels were like before they were commonplace. PLUS: this week's new releases! ― I'm feeling a little sentimental as Assassination Classroom enters its final run of episodes. I've covered the show for four out of my eight seasons of simulcast episode reviews, which means that I've spent about half of my career ...
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The List - 6 Anime to Watch With Your Dad

Introducing anime to newbies can be a weird experience, especially if that newbie is your own dad! Here are some pops-friendly anime options just in time for Father's Day! ― Father's Day is this Sunday, and while we've previously looked at anime parents (albeit bad ones) and "gateway" series, this week we're taking a little from Column A and a little from Column B. Here are seven shows you could sit...
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Answerman - Why Don't DVDs On Demand Work For Anime?

Selling DVDs on demand - meaning you only print one when someone orders one - seems like a perfect solution for niche anime. Why hasn't it ever really worked out? ― Drew asks: Can you explain why in theory anime being released via DVD-on-demand doesn't work? Discotek is starting to stream old shows that they are unsure how they'd sell, like Miss Machinko currently on CrunchyRoll, and a lot of folks ...
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The X Button - Interview: One Piece: Burning Blood

This week: An interview with the producers of One Piece: Burning Blood! Plus Kojima’s new game, the next Zelda, and more from E3! ― The Electronic Entertainment Expo unfolded this week. I wish I'd gone, but that's only because I'm certain Sony gave away Gravity Rush 2 trinkets on the show floor. What did I want from E3 besides that? I was content with news about my three most-desired games. And I wa...
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Answerman - What Is A "Minimum Guarantee?"

A "minimum guarantee" is an important part of the way anime gets financed and licensed - Justin explains what it is and why it matters so much to anime companies all around the world. ― Anonymous asks: For a while now I've been hearing people talking about a minimum guarantee or MG when it comes to licensing. I have no idea what that is -- does that mean the fee that the US companies pay for the rig...
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Answerman - How Bad Is Bullying In Japan?

Anime and manga deal with bullying all the time, in a variety of ways - but how widespread is bullying in Japan, and are the extreme cases depicted in anime at all realistic? ― Lisa asks: Is girls ganging up on other girls simply for talking to, or liking the most popular guy in school, as seen in so many anime shows, really a thing in Japan? So often you see these terrible situations where a lone g...
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Shelf Life - Azumanga Daioh

One of the most beloved anime comedies of the last 20 years finally gets a rerelease from Sentai Filmworks, and Paul Jensen checks in to see if AzuDai still has what made it so special. PLUS: this week's new releases! ― I met up with some old friends for a Magic: The Gathering draft tournament the other day, and I learned (or perhaps re-learned) something important: I am really, really terrible at M...
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The Mike Toole Show - Shirobako Prime

Animation Runner Kuromi, which tackled the anime industry long before Shirobako, sends Mike on a stroll through the work of innovative director Akitaro Daichi. ― Out of all the great men and women steering the production of Japanese animation, Akitaro Daichi is probably my favorite director that I never, ever think about. For something like twenty years, he's been omnipresent; from Nurse Angel Ririka...
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The List - 8 Horrible Boyfriends

These 8 scrubs are definitely not long-term relationship material; plus: last week's poll results, including your favorite (and least favorite) anime trends of 2016! ― Hi guys, first I want to thank everyone who reads this column each week. I read your feedback in ANN's yearly reader survey last month and saw how many of you voted in The List as your favorite Anime News Network column. It totally ma...
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ANNCast - Zack Davisson's World of Yokai

Yurei: The Japanese Ghost author and Shigeru Mizuki translator Zack Davisson stops by to discuss The Birth of Kitaro, machine translation, the chilling world of Japanese ghosts and more! ― ANNCast Episode 262: Zack Davisson's World of Yokai Yurei: The Japanese Ghost author and Shigeru Mizuki translator Zack Davisson stops by to discuss The Birth of Kitaro, machine translation, the chilling world of ...
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Answerman - Why Isn't Gundam Bigger In America?

It's the question Gundam fans have been asking themselves for generations: why has the franchise never really taken off in a big way in the US? Justin gets into it. ― "Gundam Dunham" asks: The new series, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans has premiered on Toonami, and it's being toted as the second (if not the third) coming of Gundam in the United States, which begs me to ask this question, w...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator

This week: Todd looks at the latest Guilty Gear cavalcade of heavy metal and fisticuffs! Plus remastered Final Fantasies, robot wars, and pranks! ― Next week brings along E3, but this week is all about Guilty Gear. And it reminds me of one proud accomplishment: I'm quoted in the Wikipedia page for my favorite Guilty Gear character, Millia Rage. Granted, the quotes make me sound like a nutcase. I was...
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Answerman - Why Were Some Animation Techniques Banned?

Our recent interview with Dragon Ball Super creative staff mentioned "banned animation techniques" - what are those techniques? Well, it's time to talk about the Pokemon seizure episode! ― Miroslav asks: I have read one of your recent interviews with one of the animators of Dragon Ball Kai/Super. He said that they had had to redrawn many scenes because they had been drawn with techniques that are no...
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Shelf Life - Dororo

Discotek's release of the 1969 TV anime Dororo, with contributions from some of anime's most legendary artists, is out on DVD - Gabriella Ekens explores this fascinating piece of anime history. ― Oh my good golly gosh, y'all. We've got a lot of new releases this week. In fact, we've got so many that I'm not even going to hold you up with a lengthy introduction. Go on, dive into that bottomless sea o...
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Answerman - Why Is Animation Only For Kids In The US?

There's a common notion out there among fans that "cartoons are for kids in the US, but they're considered mature entertainment for adults in Japan" - which isn't the case. Justin gets into it. ― James asks: In the United States, most people seem to be under the impression that animated works are primarily for children and families, while the same attitude does not exist in Japan. Yes, the western w...
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The List - 7 Genre Trends of 2016 So Far

We're about halfway through 2016, so here are seven noteworthy genre trends in anime - including all those reboots and male harems you've been seeing lately. ― Each season, viewers are treated to over 20 new shows ranging from the latest entry in a long-established mecha franchise, an adaptation for Shonen Jump's top-rated manga, or a vehicle in a multi-arm merchandise-selling machine. Certain stapl...
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Answerman - Why Do Anime Movies Play On Weeknights?

If you've ever wondered why you had to go see the Psycho-Pass movie (or just about any anime theatrical release) on a Tuesday night, Justin has your answer. ― Jake asks: I have noticed that cinematic anime movie releases have increasingly become more and more popular events here in the US in the last year or two. But the one thing I find unusual is that they only do very limited showings on a Wednes...
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ANNCast - Super Lovers 64

Dawn from the Anime Nostalgia podcast stops by to debate which era of retro anime is objectively the best one, but we get completely sidetracked discussing this week's Super Lovers. You've been warned. ― ANNCast Episode 261: Super Lovers 64 Dawn from the Anime Nostalgia podcast stops by to debate which era of retro anime is objectively the best one, but we get completely sidetracked discussing this ...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Kirby: Planet Robobot

This week: the mechanized magic of Kirby: Planet Robobot! Plus The Last Guardian, Twinkle Star Sprites, and a long-lost piece of history! ― This week brought news about The Last Guardian, a notable game on two counts. It's the next game from one of the industry's most acclaimed creative minds, and it got delayed an awful lot. This is also another opportunity for me to feel old, because I remember a ...
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Answerman - When Did Cosplay Start?

There's some confusion about when and where cosplay actually got its start; Justin details the origins of this social phenomena and the unexpected place it began! ― Anonymous asks: I've heard it said that cosplay originated in America in the 90s, but that doesn't seem like it's true. Is it? Cosplay definitely started far, far earlier than the 1990s. Whether or not it started in America really depend...
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Answerman - How Do Publishers Decide Whether To Release A Blu-ray Remaster?

Justin breaks down how exactly your favorite old shows get selected for big fancy high definition remasters on bluray, and why some classics get left in the dust. ― It's a holiday weekend, so we'll take an easy one this time. Nadeem asks: I buy physical media as I am a collector. With that said, I've been trying to improve my collection by purchasing Blu-rays instead of DVDs or upgrading my older DV...
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Shelf Life - Wake Up, Girls! The Movie

Yutaka Yamamoto's idol singers get their very own prequel movie, out now on bluray from Sentai Filmworks. PLUS: all of this week's new anime releases! ― With all the craziness that's been going on in the last few days regarding anime on Hulu (see this Answerman article for the details), I'm reminded of why it's nice to own stuff on disc. Forget all that stuff about video quality and dependence on a ...
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The Mike Toole Show - Youth in Re-Voltes

Netflix's brand-new Voltron series has Mike remembering Voltes V, another giant robot show with an incredible and bizarre production and release history! ― In a couple of weeks, we'll see a brand new version of Voltron hit Netflix, bringing forth yet another iteration of World Events Productions' localization of Toei Animation's super robot series Golion. This latest version has caught my interest fo...
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The List - 7 Anime to Ring in the Summer

The summer is just about here and what better way to spend those long hot months than parked in front of your favorite anime? Here are seven perfect shows to get your summer going. ― Summer is quickly taking hold as temperatures climb and the school year winds to a close. Three months of freedom are knocking on your door. You can spend your time at cookouts, watching blockbusters in the oasis of you...
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ANNCast - Kabaneri Sauvignon

Zac wants Jacob to explain why Kabaneri of the Iron Fortressis more than just another Attack on Titan - plus Sakamoto, Tanaka-kun and more with special guest Lauren Orsini! ― ANNCast Episode 260: Kabaneri Sauvignon Zac wants Jacob to explain why Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is more than just another Attack on Titan - plus Sakamoto, Tanaka-kun and more with special guest Lauren Orsini of Forbes and ...
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Answerman - Where Is All The Anime On Hulu Going?

An enormous portion of Hulu's anime catalog disappears suddenly on June 1; Justin unpacks why that's happening and what it means for the industry. ― Michael asks: I noticed quite a few anime titles on Hulu expiring in the coming days. From what I can tell, it's more than usual. Do you think this is a sign of Hulu losing interest in anime as a whole and only want to focus on their American television...
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The X Button - Lost in Anime Licenses

This week: we look at promising developers now sunk deep in the anime-game swamp! Plus a Mighty No. 9 debacle, a returning Square RPG, and a Pac-Man celebration! ― Pac-Man turned 36 years old this May 22, and there are a few ways to celebrate. You can dress up as Pac-Man and run around alleys until the authorities intervene. You can listen to "Pac-Man Fever" and its varied remixes. You can ignore th...
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Answerman - Do Foreigners Work In Anime?

One reader wants to know whether or not non-Japanese people ever actually work directly in the anime industry - Justin runs down all the various ways they do. ― Lucas asks: Not sure if you already answered this question before, but I was just wondering how open the anime industry is when it comes to foreigners directly working on the development of anime. Are there cases of foreigners managing to ge...
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Answerman - Why Is It Unusual For Japanese People To Use Computers?

"Oh, you also use computers?" is a common phrase you might hear in anime; why is "using a computer" is still sometimes treated as a hobby in anime? ― Shomik asks: When I was watching Tanaka-kun is Always Listless, which takes place in the present day, as well as playing the visual novel Root Double, which takes place in 2030 (and written a year or two ago), I come across lines like "Oh, you can use ...
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Shelf Life - Bodacious Space Pirates: Abyss of Hyperspace

Everyone's favorite short-skirted space bucaneers are back with a feature-length film bursting with positive energy and some decent animation - Paul takes a look. PLUS: this week's new releases! ― Memorial Day weekend carries a little extra significance for strange folks like me who follow motor racing. The Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix are both held on Sunday, which means I can watch t...
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The List - 7 Super Bizarre Dating Sims

Dating sim games have become increasingly awesome over the years, allowing you to date dinosaurs, bug men, alpacas, and all sorts of strange stuff. Here are seven of the weirdest! ― Romance simulators, and more recently romance training game hybrids, are always looking for a new way to spin the "one protagonist, many love interests" set-up. A company can only push so many run-of-the-mill high school...
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ANNCast - Nicholas' Cage

Zac took a trip to the Lost Village and wants answers from Jacob and special guest Nick Creamer, who joins the show for some live questions and a whole lot of debate about this season's big shows! ― ANNCast Episode 259: Nicholas' Cage Zac took a trip to the Lost Village and wants answers from Jacob and special guest Nick Creamer, who joins the show for some live questions and a whole lot of debate a...
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Answerman - Why Do I See Pixels In Theatrical Anime Releases?

A disappointing theatrical exhibition of a Ghibli classic leads one reader to ask Justin why we sometimes see pixels and other low-resolution artifacts even on the silver screen. ― Will asks: I've had the good fortune to be able to see numerous anime films at the cinema over the years - most recently your favourite, Only Yesterday. As I like to immerse myself in the visuals I prefer to sit towards t...
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The X Button - Crowdfunding in Zombie Space

This week: exploring new Kickstarters with zombie girls, galactic knights, and self-indulgence! Plus Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius, Wild Guns Reloaded, and two potential game-industry icons! ― Last week brought important news for the world of game-company mascots. Hideo Kojima remains coy about his first game after his departure from Konami, but the creator of Metal Gear and Snatcher (and, yes, Police...
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Answerman - Why Isn't Korean Anime More Of A Thing?

It seems like South Korea's anime industry should be a force in the world; is there a reason it hasn't quite developed? Justin gets into it. ― Mantaray59 asks: My question is about Korean animation. I remember back in 2009 there being an anime ‘Winter Sonata’ that was a Korean production and aired in Japan with Japanese subtitles, and how rare this was. Now I know South Korea and Japan don't exactly...
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Answerman - Will Anime Discs Keep Being Sold At Major Retailers?

Many fans have noticed the dwindling real estate held by anime DVDs and blurays on retail shelves nationwide - is this trend eventually going to spell the end of anime in major retail locations? ― Dominic asks: When it comes with selling anime to physical retailers, some publishers, such as Aniplex of America, PonyCan USA and NISA, only sell to specialist anime stores (for example: Anime Jungle in L...
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Shelf Life - Date A Live II

Paul takes on the second season of Date A Live, which unbelievably manages to cram in even more superpowered girls than the first season. PLUS: This week's new anime releases! ― I had a very small, very nerdy epiphany this week. I was shopping around for some new miniatures for the X-Wing tabletop game when it occurred to me that some things change very little from childhood to adulthood. I still pl...
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The Mike Toole Show - Night of the Hunter x Hunter

The beloved shonen adventure anime Hunter x Hunter is coming to Toonami, which prompts Mike to launch into a full appreciation of this often undervalued action masterpiece. ― A few years back, the 2011 version of Hunter x Hunter was appointment TV for me. I watched it every weekend (and later, every Tuesday), eager for its thrills, plot twists, and the fun chemistry between heroes Gon and Killua. Lat...
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The List - 6 of Anime's Less-Than-Finest Officers

When you're in trouble, call the police - just hope you don't get any one of these particularly unqualified officers. ― Incompetent cops are a common foil in Western fiction, especially if the main character is a vigilante superhero or the victim of a crime that's gone unpunished. It isn't nearly as common in anime though, where blue bloods are filled with types like Akane Tsunemori, Natsumi Tsujimo...
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Answerman - What Determines Whether Songs In Anime Get Dubbed?

When an anime has a musical number or an insert song, they're only occasionally dubbed into English - why is that, and how are those decisions made? ― Dustin asks: The English dub of Love Live! transitions from English dialogue to the original song performances of the Japanese seiyuu. In other cases like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the insert songs are sung in English. What's the process of d...
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The X Button - Bandai Namco's Anime Wave

This week: Bandai Namco’s staggering anime videogame lineup of Jojo’s, Sword Art Online, One Piece, and more! Plus Persona 3, Phoenix Wright, and the best new Pokemon! ― When the Pokemon craze enveloped children everywhere in the late 1990s, comedians and parents and cultural pundits opined that it would soon give way to some other fad. I wonder if any of them still predict that. Bolstered by Ninten...
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Answerman - Would An American Creator Have Control Over Their Anime?

If JK Rowling agreed to an anime adaptation of Harry Potter, how much creative control - or even input - would she really have? Justin gets into it. ― Branko asks: Japanese authors appear to have a lot of control over how their works get adapted into anime. However, that is not true everywhere especially in Hollywood. So if an American author, like say George R.R. Martin wanted to produce an anime a...
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Answerman - Why Do Older Funimation DVDs Have Multi-Angle Credits?

One reader uncovers an ambitious DVD extra from years and years ago, one forgotten by time that makes little sense to modern man. Justin explains the mystery. ― Chris A asks: A handful of my older Funimation DVDs (“Rumbling Hearts” and the 2003 “Fullmetal Alchemist” come to mind) will show an English or Japanese logo in the opening titles based on what the selected audio language is. They accomplish...
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Shelf Life - C3

The fanservicey supernatural drama of C3 baffles and intrigues Gabriella Ekens, but is it enough for a recommendation? PLUS: all of this week's new anime releases! ― About once or twice a year, I find myself putting off watching the last few episodes of an anime series for an unreasonably long time. It's almost never because the show is bad, but rather because I have a subconscious desire for it to ...
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The List - 7 Twisted Wishes Gone Wrong

The monkey's paw rules are simple: you get one wish, anything your heart desires, but there will be horrible consequences as a result. It's happened at least seven times in anime! ― Last week's list was all about lovable monkeys, but this week I'm taking on a side of our furry relatives that's a whole lot more sinister: the Monkey's Paw. Thanks to a famous short story by William Wymark Jacobs, this ...
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ANNCast - RahXephon

Zac, Jacob and a special guest revisit the beautifully composed and thoughtfully constructed Evangelion-alike RahXephon after putting it off for way, way too long. ― ANNCast Episode 258: RahXephon Zac, Jacob and listener Alexander Smit (Twitter @BioD42) revisit the beautifully composed and thoughtfully constructed Evangelion-alike RahXephon after putting it off for way, way too long. You can listen ...
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Answerman - Why Do American Companies Bother To Release Filler Episodes?

Everyone's irritated by filler, so why do American companies even bother dubbing those episodes and releasing them? Justin gets into it. ― Oni asks: Why do American companies dub, and show, filler episodes? I'm talking like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, why do they bother? These shows have MASSIVE backlogs, both Naruto and One Piece are like 4-5 years ahead of the US Toonami broadcasts at this point, w...
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The X Button - Import Roundup With Gundam Breaker

This week: it’s an import recap with Gundam, Digimon, and a deadly, mist-filled castle! Plus The King of Fighters, Cave shooters, and Nintendo’s next move! ― I think I'll get my inevitable Valkyrie Profile update out of the way at the start of this column. I'm still playing Valkyrie Anatomia, the mobile-game series prequel that hit Japan last month, and I'm still enjoying it. I concluded long ago th...
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Answerman - Are Japanese Bento Boxes Really So Extravagant?

Increasingly elaborate and beautiful bento boxes show up in anime all the time - are they really that over-the-top and difficult to make? ― Jake asks: I have watched a lot of anime and I have noticed something interesting with the food most characters eat. It seems like a lot of time and attention is put into the average breakfast and bento box lunches, which appear to be really extravagant. I might...
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Answerman - Why Do Manga Artists Prefer To Stay Anonymous?

Famous mangaka for series like Death Note can be famously withdrawn from the public eye, rarely granting interviews or even pictures. What's with that? ― Federico asks: Why in recent years are manga artists so obsessed with privacy, to the point we know next to nothing about them? Decades ago they had no problem in being interviewed, filmed, photographed, and mostly anyone who was interested in thei...
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Shelf Life - Eden of the East Limited Edition

Eden of the East made a huge splash back in 2009, but how well has its techno-thriller storyline aged? James checks out Funimation's fancy new special edition. PLUS: this week's new releases! ― As amusing as I find Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto, I'm increasingly convinced that I'm primarily watching it as an excuse to enjoy its opening theme once a week. It's cool, cooler, coolest. Before we dive ...
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The Mike Toole Show - Food Wars for Thought

Mike tries out the flashy shonen cooking action of Food Wars, but an enticing aroma leads him further to Oishinbo, the series that really catapulted food manga into popular consciousness. Let's eat! ― I've spent the last couple of weeks commuting back and forth to the library, in pursuit of a particular manga series. You may remember, from my Monster Girl Hoedown column, that I'm quite fond of levera...
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The List - 12 Lovable Anime Monkeys

They said it couldn't be done, but when asked to compile a list of monkeys in anime, you simply can't have less than twelve, including Dragon Ball Z, Blood Blockade Battlefront and much more! ― Our regular list-maker extraordinaire, Lynzee Loveridge, is going on hiatus for a couple weeks, so I'll be filling in while she's away. My name's Jacob Chapman, and this week, I've got monkeys on my mind. Why...
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Answerman - Is Funimation Entering the UK Market?

One reader wants to know if Funimation's streaming expansion into the UK means they're interested in selling blurays in the UK too. Justin gets into it. ― Marco asks: Last year Manga Entertainment's sub-license of Funimation titles for release in the UK ended. Today Funimation titles Funimation appear on Amazon UK, offered directly from Funimation themselves. This month Funimation Launched their Fun...
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The X Button - Interview: Tekken 7

This week: Producer Katsuhiro Harada on Tekken 7 and the world of fighting games! Plus a Suda51 classic, Exist Archive, old computer novelties, and the return of Valkyrie Profile! ― It's hard to know where to start when discussing Prince. He leaves behind an immense body of work, even if you ignore the massive archive of material he never released in his lifetime. Well, this is a column about video ...
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Answerman - Is Hollywood Pillaging Anime And Manga For Material?

Everyone's up in arms about Ghost in the Shell, but the charge that Hollywood steals material from anime and manga has been around forever. Is there any truth to it? ― Eldar asks: In a wake of Ghost in the Shell whitewashing controversy, I keep hearing rants about how creatively bankrupt Hollywood is and how it's going to ruin every anime ever made. But, I can count the number of anime/manga adaptat...
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Answerman - How Hard Is It To License Western Music For Use In Anime?

Savage Garden is in Jojo's Bizarre Adventure! How does that happen, how much does it cost, and how tough is it to get those music rights for anime? Justin dives in. ― Chris asks: With the release of Jojo 4 using the hit song "I Want You" by Savage Garden. I am wondering how do they get this song to play on legal streamers? Considering it may be an expensive song. Is streaming not the same as buying ...
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Shelf Life - Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie

There's a brand-new Ghost in the Shell movie, based on the ARISE series - does it retain the cyberpunk charm of the original? Paul finds out. PLUS: All of this week's new anime DVD and bluray releases! ― I've gotten into the habit of taking notes as I watch anime for my episode reviews here on ANN, but it's usually nothing all that extensive. A few character names here, an important item or location...
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The List - 8 Dubious Anime Dub Opening Songs

There once was a magical time in anime dub history where North American anime licensors dubbed over Japanese opening and ending songs. These eight songs represent the very worst the English anime song genre has to offer. ― Lynzee Loveridge is on a short hiatus, so this week we're reprinting a classic List. New columns will return next Saturday! There once was a magical time in anime dub history wher...
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Answerman - Why Do Streaming Anime Websites Still Use Flash?

Most anime streaming websites use Flash, which most people agree is a huge pain. Why don't they use the more accessible HTML5? Justin digs into it. ― Stefan asks: I notice that all the major anime streaming providers use Flash-based players for their desktop services. In view of the performance and compatibility advantages to HTML5 videos, why do you think this is the case? Is it a requirement impos...
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The X Button - Interview: Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness

This week: Star Ocean producer Shuichi Kobayashi talks sequels, scandalous attire, and Valkyrie Profile! Plus Let it Die, Nier: Automata, and a dangerous new direction for games. ― Welcome to another edition of the X Button. I must interrupt your regularly scheduled Valkyrie Profile updates for some news about Sony's new PlayStation 4. Yes, some solid rumors point to Sony releasing an upgraded versi...
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Answerman - Is Anime Translated Faithfully In Other Languages?

Do non-English anime translations come directly from the original Japanese, or are they translated from the English version? Justin gets into why Spanish-language Pokemon sounds a lot like English-language Pokemon. ― Alfonso asks: The Latin American Spanish dubs of Sailor Moon and Pokemon used the American names of the characters on this region. While I haven't verified it myself, I would assume the...
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Answerman - Are Physical Anime Releases In Danger?

Common wisdom dictates that most people watch anime streaming now - are DVD and Bluray headed for the dustbin of history? Justin chimes in. ― RPGothic asks: With streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon getting exclusive rights to series and anime programming blocks, plus the recent crunchyroll/kadokawa deal, what does this mean for the home video market? I know dvds and blurays sales are on th...
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Shelf Life - Tonari no Seki-kun

Paul kills time and goofs off with Tonari no Seki-kun, a short-form sleeper hit out on bluray now from Sentai Filmworks. PLUS: an avalanche of this week's new anime releases! ― It's rare for one single scene to sell me on an entire series, but that's exactly what happened when I watched the first episode of Flying Witch last week. Near the end of the episode, the main character wanders off into the ...

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