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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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This Week in Games - The Disney Afternoon Collection

Capcom finally releases a bunch of their old Disney NES games from the vault, but are they still worth playing? PLUS: SNES Mini, Xbox refunds and much more! ― I “finished” NeiR: Automata this week, and obviously I'm putting “finished” in quotations because I actually just got to the first ending of many. I liked it, but I wasn't enraptured by it. The daily stories of nearly biblical transcendance may...
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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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Vice & Luna - 04/18/2017

The office is about to get flooded again, but the battle between Luna and Perry rages on - can Vice get them to chill before it's too late?
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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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Shelf Life - Luck & Logic

Paul's luck runs dry this week when he has to sit through the likes of Luck & Logic. Hopefully, this week's other releases and a new Shelf Obsessed entry will make things better! ― I went to see Your Name last week, since I'm lucky enough to live near a theater that's playing it. Then I went to see it again a few days later, since I really liked it and wanted to inflict it on as many of my friends a...
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The Mike Toole Show - The Other 100 Best Anime Movies of All Time, Part 3

Mike gets terrifyingly close to #1 on his countdown - Mamoru Oshii, Studio Ghibli and Type-Moon all make an appearance! ― FOREWORD: Alright, since this is broken into four parts, I'll lead off by re-iterating: this project is an "answer" of sorts to a generally terrific list of 100 essential anime films by Paste Magazine. You can read my reasoning for compiling this selection in Part 1 of this partic...
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The List - 7 of Anime's Strangest Pandas

Being on the endangered species list hasn't kept these notoriously fussy fluffballs from stealing the spotlight in many of our favorite anime series. Here are just seven of anime's most memorable panda bears! ― Hey guys! It's been a few busy weeks here in the land of anime news. The Spring Preview Guide just wrapped up, and I'm trekking around Seattle for the 20th annual Sakura-Con convention. If yo...
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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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ANNCast - Spring 2017 Anime Roundup

Zac and Jacob break down the entire Spring 2017 anime season, from Titans to Boruto to Eromanga-sensei. ― ANNCast Episode 293 - Spring 2017 Anime Roundup Zac and Jacob break down the entire Spring 2017 anime season, from Titans to Boruto to Eromanga-sensei. You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download the MP3 version here, check out the show on Stitcher here, and we're also on Goog...
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This Week in Games - Yooka-Laylee

N64 collectathon platformers rise from the grave in the form of Yooka-Laylee, which Dustin spent some time with. PLUS: Overwatch has a story now, Yakuza Kiwami and more! ― Nostalgia's a tricky thing. If you're reading this, there's a pretty good chance you had some formative experience with a piece of media in your youth. I love video games because of Kirby's Adventure when I was five, and anime beca...
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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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Vice & Luna - 04/11/2017

Vice needs a little extra motivation to get his magic working - so naturally, he turns to Blume.
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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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Shelf Life - Heavy Object Part 2

Paul takes on the back half of Heavy Object's first season, which ratchets up the mecha action but still struggles a little in the story department. PLUS: this week's new releases! ― Now that we've had a week to revel in the returns of Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia, we're finally starting to get some good new stuff this season. Give Re:Creators a shot if you're in the mood for an action show,...
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The List - 6 Ridiculous School Uniform Designs

If you thought this season's Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor had some weird uniform choices, get a load of these fashion disasters from anime of years past in this week's Classic List! ― I'm deep in the Preview Guide mines this week, digging through each and every new anime premiere! In the meantime, take a look at some really ridiculous character design choices from ghosts of anime pa...
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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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This Week in Games - Parappa the Rapper Remastered

Parappa the Rapper Remastered calls Dustin a little turkey, but he's a chicken, got it, you beef jerky? PLUS: Nier sells a million, Final Fantasy Wrestlemania and much more! ― My weekend was consumed by what felt like 37 consecutive years of round-the-clock professional wrestling. I wouldn't ordinarily mention that here, except to post this picture of a certain authentically nerdy tag team (featuring...
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Vice & Luna - 04/04/2017

Crisis strikes, which forces Vice, Luna and the rest of the team to suck it up and finally use some fairy magic.
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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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Shelf Life - Beautiful Bones: Sakurako's Investigation

Can this lady-Sherlock with a talent for osteology solve any mysteries worth watching? Paul Jensen deduces the answer, along with all this week's new anime releases! ― Maybe it's just my imagination, but it seems like each new anime season usually gets off to a slow start. We get a few days of reasonably average premieres, and then the heavy hitters show up. Well, that ain't the case this spring; bo...
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The Mike Toole Show - The Other 100 Best Anime Movies of All Time, Part 2

Mike's back with Part II of his list of the "other" best 100 anime movies of all time, counting down 75-50! From Fullmetal Alchemist to Dr. Slump, how many have you seen? ― UPDATE: Alright, since this is broken into four parts, I'll lead off by re-iterating: this project is an "answer" of sorts to a generally terrific list of 100 essential anime films by Paste Magazine. You can read my reasoning for ...
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The List - 7 Times Technology Went Totally Wrong

What hath science wrought?! These seven anime tried to warn us about technology going too far, but did we listen? The gruesome answers lie in this week's list... ― Most of you are probably nose-deep in Attack on Titan fervor right now, but another little adaptation came out in theaters this week starring ScarJo as The Major. Hollywood's Ghost in the Shell premiered to mixed reviews, but no matter yo...
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ANNCast - A Ghost? In MY Shell?

Zac and Jacob take on the 2017 live-action Ghost in the Shell film from top to bottom. ― ANNCast Episode 292 - A Ghost? In MY Shell? Zac and Jacob take on the 2017 live-action Ghost in the Shell film from top to bottom. You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download the MP3 version here, check out the show on Stitcher here, and we're also on Google Play Music right here, or you can j...
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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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This Week in Games - Final Fantasy XV Revisited

With a patched-up Chapter 13 and a new DLC mission for Gladiolus, are Final Fantasy XV's story woes finally fixed? Dustin goes through all the changes. PLUS: Persona 5 and more! ― I did it, you guys. I finally finished Zelda. I know, I know—you all were deeply concerned for my progress and my ability to find time to complete a very enjoyable video game. I appreciate your support in this dark time, bu...
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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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Vice & Luna - 03/28/2017

Perry's new system sends the office (and Luna) into a state of emergency - and things are just about to explode!
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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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Shelf Life - Kyousougiga

Gabriella Ekens plunges into the wildly creative world of Rie Matsumoto's frantic, fantastical family in Kyousougiga! PLUS: this week's new releases! ― Since I have relatives on both sides of the country, I'm used to the six hour ordeal of flying from coast to coast. Getting stuck in an airport for seven hours last Thursday after missing a connecting flight was a new and special brand of misery, how...
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ANNCast (Video) - Live From Shinjuku

Zac and Jacob are in Japan for AnimeJapan 2017 and managed a live podcast while in Shinjuku! In This Corner of the World, Netflix Death Note and much much more! ― ANNCast Episode 291 - Live from Shinjuku Zac and Jacob are in Japan for AnimeJapan 2017 and managed a live podcast while in Shinjuku! In This Corner of the World, Netflix Death Note and much much more! NOTE: the MP3 version of this show is...
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The List - 6 Princesses Still Waiting in Another Castle

For one reason or another, these anime starring princesses never got "rescued" for release in the west! From fairytales to sci fi to ecchi, there's a princess for everyone in these forgotten gems. ― Over the course of writing this column, I've highlighted many series that remained outside of North American audiences' grasp. This includes mystery stories, magical girls, idols, and all around obscure ...
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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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This Week in Games - Toukiden 2

Dustin dives into the monster-slaying open world of Toukiden 2, which some say is "Monster Hunter for people who can't get in to Monster Hunter". PLUS: Bloodstained and much more! ― I did not finish Zelda this weekend. Instead, I played through Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors in its entirety. That wasn't my intention—I'd started it purely to say a few words on the soon-to-be-released PC port—but...
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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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Vice & Luna - 03/21/2017

Things at the office go one shenanigan too far for Luna when Perry offers his expertise where it might not be wanted...
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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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Shelf Life - Amagi Brilliant Park

James finds himself enchanted by this zany comedy from KyoAni that flew under the radar, and Paul breaks down all this week's new anime releases! ― I'm off on vacation visiting my extended family this week, so my brain is entirely too frazzled to come up with a clever or interesting introduction. Instead, I'll just jump right into it. Welcome to Shelf Life. Jump to this week's review: Amagi Brillian...
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The Mike Toole Show -The Other 100 Best Anime Movies of All Time, Part 1

What if you made a list of the 100 Best Anime Movies of All Time and DIDN'T include Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon or any of the expected favorites? Mike Toole did it - here's part I. ― When I see articles like Paste's Top 100 Anime Movies of All Time, I grit my teeth a little, because I know what to expect, and it's hard not to get a little frustrated. List articles, so-called “listicles,” are the junk food ...
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The List - 7 Archers Who Always Hit Their Mark

Who needs a sniper rifle when you've got these ace bowmen on your side? Here are just seven heroes whose aim could put Robin Hood to shame! ― Swords and sorcery are usually front and center in fantasy anime, while bow-wielders are left in the background as support for the heroes. A clash of steel might look more exciting on the surface, but a precise arrow can be just as impressive, cutting through ...
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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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ANNCast (Video) - Kyousougiga

Zac, Jacob and two special guests plunge through the rabbit hole of Rie Matsumoto's psychedelic 2011 family apocalypse, KYOUSOUGIGA! ― ANNCast Episode 290 - Kyousougiga Zac, Jacob and two special guests - Dylan Kielman and friend of the show Brady Hartel - plunge through the rabbit hole of Rie Matsumoto's psychedelic 2011 family apocalypse, KYOUSOUGIGA! You can listen to the show on our player here,...
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This Week in Games - Thanks for 2017, Japan!

Resident Evil 7, Yakuza 0, Nier: Automata, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild... most of 2017's greatest games came from Japan, and Dustin gives thanks. PLUS: Persona 5 and more! ― I've been continuing to play that Zelda, which is continuing to be a real good use of my time. I feel like I'm losing track of the internet's opinions of it, though. I understand the complaints about rain and slippery...
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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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Vice & Luna - 3/14/2017

Vice and Perry give Luna a serious bromance problem.
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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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Shelf Life - 5 Centimeters Per Second

Before "your name." became a phenomenon, Makoto Shinkai made his mark on the world with another nostalgic drama. Paul Jensen checks out the Blu-ray, along with all this week's new releases! ― Sometimes real life syncs up with the anime that I review in unexpected ways. I watched 5 Centimeters Per Second for this week's column right before traveling to meet some people I haven't seen in a while. Sinc...
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The List - 7 Beauty & The Beast Couples

In this week's Classic List, it's a tale as old as time in these mismatched anime romances. In this week's Classic List, check these romances that are as old as time. While Emma Watson is shacking up with a water buffalo, these couples took their own chances it would normally be considered a mismatch. One character is capable of immense, sometimes even supernatural strength while their partner is ...
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ANNCast (Video) - Nacho Cheese Kiritos

Zac and Jacob strap on their augmented reality gear and do combat with the Sword Art Online movie. PLUS: The Legend of Zelda, Tanya the Evil and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 289 - Nacho Cheese Kiritos Zac and Jacob strap on their augmented reality gear and do combat with the Sword Art Online movie. PLUS: The Legend of Zelda, Tanya the Evil and much more! You can listen to the show on our player here...
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This Week in Games - Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey

Dustin dusts off his alchemy books for Atelier Firis on the PS4. PLUS: Zelda, Zelda and more Zelda, next week's new releases and much more! ― I got one of those fancy new Nintendo consoles this week, and I like it a lot—with some reservations. I wrote a lot of words about it here, but the short version is that it's a solid foundation for a platform that will be great by the end of the year. My pro co...
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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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Vice & Luna - 03/07/2016

Justice rains from above when Vice learns to trust the power of teamwork instead of his own dumb impulses - with Perry's help!
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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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Shelf Life - Sengoku Basara: End of Judgement

James Beckett dives into this explosive season of the musou game hit, while Paul Jensen once again runs down this week in anime releases! ― We've seen a lot of Gundam titles come out on disc in the US in recent years, from the classics to the more obscure stuff. That's cool, but I've spent most of that time wondering when we'd see a new release of Gundam Wing. After all, it was the first series in t...
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The List - 7 of Anime's Most Daring Getaway Drivers

When the going gets rough, and you've got to get going fast, these speed demons and their mean machines have got you covered! ― There are a few requirements for pulling off a successful heist and getting away with the goods. A crew usually includes a safe-cracker, the muscle for crowd control, a lookout, and a slick driver to outrun the coppers once things get hot. Getaway drivers don't get the glor...
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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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ANNCast - What A Novel Idea

Sam Pinansky, formerly of the crowdfunding platform Anime Sols, has a new project: licensing and translating light novels in English. It's a real education! ― ANNCast Episode 288: What A Novel Idea Sam Pinansky, formerly of the crowdfunding platform Anime Sols, has a new project: licensing and translating light novels in English. It's a real education! You can listen to the show on our player here, ...
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This Week in Games - Horizon: Zero Dawn

In the calm before the Nintendo Switch storm, Dustin takes down some mechanical dinosaurs in the postapocalypse. PLUS: this week's news and all of next week's new releases! ― It's a slow news week, but that doesn't mean that video games have slowed down. On the contrary—video games have never been hotter. This week has a giant new first-party Sony release, and next week is bringing us new RPGs, that ...
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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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Vice & Luna - 2/28/2017

That phase where you're getting to know your new coworkers can be so awkward - especially if one of them is gunning for your favorite anime.
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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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Shelf Life - Mobile Suit Gundam F91

This little-known Gundam movie has long been last to the sands of time, now available on Blu-ray for the first time. But is it any good? Gabriella Ekens finds out, plus all this week's new releases! ― I finally got started on my "watch popular anime that I skipped the first time around" New Year's resolution this week. Since the second season of Konosuba is airing now, it seemed like as good a time ...
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The List - 7 Sexy Anime Dads

If you prefer your beefcake a little more well-done than the baby-faced teens we usually get in anime, these dashing dads are sure to leave you swooning with their worldly charms. ― Attractive teenagers are par for the course in anime, with the occasional sexy office worker thrown in for variety, but handsome older men, especially older men with kids, is a much narrower and under-appreciated type of...
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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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ANNCast (Video) - Sevakis of Death

Erstwhile co-host and current Answerman Justin Sevakis stops by the podcast to catch up on anime and industry news! Gundam on Hulu, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 287 - Sevakis of Death Erstwhile co-host and current Answerman Justin Sevakis stops by the podcast to catch up on anime and industry news! Gundam on Hulu, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence and much much more! Yo...
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This Week in Games - Digimon World: Next Order

Dustin takes the latest Digimon RPG out for a spin, along with the remake of Princess Maker! PLUS: Capcom's comeback and next week's new releases! ― I like to touch things. No, not in a creepy way. I'm talking about hanging onto physical goods in a world increasingly dominated by digital media. The benefits of digital libraries are clear: no shelf space, portability between platforms, and increased a...
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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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Vice & Luna - 02/21/2017

Our weekly comic series returns! Preview guide is coming and the office needs a new intern - so it's a good thing Vice already hired someone!
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Returning Tomorrow: Vice & Luna

Our weekly webcomic series rises from the grave with a whole new look! Find out what happened behind the scenes and get a look at the strip's new art. ― So last June we launched Vice & Luna, a weekly webcomic series that followed along in the spirit of Anime News Nina, the site's previous strip (it's 10 years old this year by the way - you can read the whole thing right here and there's even a hardc...
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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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Shelf Life - My Love Story

One of the most beloved romcoms in recent memory, My Love Story, is out on bluray from Sentai Filmworks, and James Beckett is here to let us know if it holds up. PLUS: all of this week's big new releases! ― We've got a ton of new releases to cover this week, so I'm going to use that to cover for my lack of clever or interesting thoughts to put into this intro paragraph. Let's get right into it, shal...
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The Mike Toole Show - Where to Be-GIN with Gintama

This week, Mike explores the weird and wonderful world of Gintama, a smash hit in Japan with a slight barrier of entry in the West. So what makes this action comedy so special? ― Earlier this week-- actually yesterday, if you go by column publication date—it was Anime Day at the video games retailer GameStop. This wasn't a major event; honestly, it was just an excuse to hawk some anime-related games ...
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The List - 7 Horror Manga Authors to Keep You Up at Night

These seven masters of black-and-white silent scares, from the 70s up to the modern day, are sure to give you a fright! ― Horror, like comedy, is a genre that's hard to recommend without knowing the audience personally. What a person finds scary is very personal, and tapping into that with a written medium is even more difficult. Manga can't rely on jump scares and music cues the same way a film can...
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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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ANNCast (Video) - Scum As You Are

Zac and Jacob argue about the emotional honesty of Scum's Wish, plus Tanya the Evil, Ghost in the Shell (2017), Crunchyroll's one million subscribers and much more! ― " ANNCast Episode 286 - Scum As You Are Zac and Jacob argue about the emotional honesty of Scum's Wish, plus Tanya the Evil, Ghost in the Shell (2017), Crunchyroll's one million subscribers and much more! You can listen to the show on o...
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This Week in Games - GameCenter CX

Dustin shares his appreciation of the long-running GameCenter CX series, where retro games great and terrible are put to the test. PLUS: Yakuza reprints, Zelda and more! ― There's no shortage of new games out right now, but it's perhaps a shameful admission that I've been spending more and more time digging into the retro side of things. I picked up a lot of early Nintendo Power volumes not too long ...
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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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Shelf Life - Black Jack The Movie

Anime's most legendary Osamus (Tezuka and Dezaki) come together for a thrilling adaptation that became a '90s classic. Gabriella Ekens takes a closer look. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― This might be a side effect of reviewing anime on a regular basis, but one of the things I enjoy most is being surprised by a series, especially when a show turns out to have more to it than I expected. I sta...
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The List - 6 Dragon Girls to Set Your Heart Aflame

Long before Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid captured everyone's hearts this season, dragon girls were lighting up the scene in dozens of anime! Here are just a few of these reputable reptiles. ― The characters of Kyoto Animation's Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid have warmed viewers' hearts this winter. At first glance, Tohru and Kanna appear to just be an extension of the "monster girlfriend" trend, but d...
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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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ANNCast - El Gee Bee Tee

Zac and Jacob are joined by an all-star panel to chat about LGBT representation in anime and manga, what works, what doesn't, and if things are getting better. ― ANNCast Episode 285: El Gee Bee Tee Zac and Jacob are joined by an all-star panel including Erica Friedman of Okazu, Jason Thompson, creator of Mangaka and film critic Valerie Complex to chat about LGBT representation in anime and manga, wh...
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This Week in Games - Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star

Saber and friends wreck stuff en masse in Fate/Extella, but is it a satisfying experience for Fate fans? PLUS: E3 open to the public, Final Fantasy XV patches and much more! ― Look: Amiibos are dumb. As toys, they're overpriced figures that are too small for meaningful display and too static to be fun to play with. As game accessories, they're mostly just overpriced bits of costume DLC that offer onl...
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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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Shelf Life - The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior

This romantic comedy has one mouthful of a title, but is it worth watching? Paul Jensen finds out, after breaking down all this week's new anime releases! ― I downloaded the new Fire Emblem mobile game the other day, and it seems reasonably entertaining. I'm not all that familiar with the characters since I've played exactly one game in the franchise over the course of my gaming life, but the turn-b...
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The Mike Toole Show - Comic Market Sweep

Mike braves the massive crowds of Comiket, Japan's gigantic doujinshi show, and lives to tell about it - with plenty of photos. ― My wife and I pushed through the crowded, unending streets of Tokyo, still hauling our luggage from the plane trip. The first major stop of our journey was a little café over in Takadanobaba, right on the outer edge of Shinjuku, and we'd skipped dropping our crap off in or...
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The List - 7 Anime References in American Cartoons

As more anime fans grow old enough to start creating cartoons of their own, otaku influences can pop up in unexpected places. How many of these anime in-jokes did you catch? ― American cartoon characters, politicians, and even celebrities have appeared as cameo roles in anime series. The same couldn't be said in reverse, with few American cartoons paying tribute to their Japanese brethren. That star...
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Answerman - How Do Translation Differences Between Anime and Manga Happen?

In the Attack on Titan anime, Eren and Armin are in the Scout Regiment. In the manga, they're in the Scout Corps. How do translation differences like this happen? ― Jimmy asks: I always wonder why anime shows and manga tend to not use the same names for both titles or terms. For example Jitsu wa watashi wa manga is translated as "My Monster Secret", while the anime has the correct translation of "Ac...
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ANNCast - Now We're Having Fun

Funimation's Justin Rojas and Jennifer Fu stop by ANNCast to dive into Funimation's 2016 bestsellers, the spring 2017 season, Code Geass, Escaflowne and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 284: Now We're Having Fun Funimation's Justin Rojas and Jennifer Fu stop by ANNCast to dive into Funimation's 2016 bestsellers, the spring 2017 season, Your Name in theaters, Code Geass, Escaflowne and much more! You can...
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This Week in Games - Yakuza 0

Dustin slips into the violent, bizarre and shockingly fun world of Sega's Yakuza 0, the latest in the cult favorite franchise to reach our shores. PLUS: Nintendo Switch, next week's new releases and more! ― Are there too many video games? There might be too many video games. I finally survived the (high-quality) horrors of Resident Evil 7 and was ready to dive into my increasingly tall stack of negle...
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Answerman - How Often Do Japanese Kids Go To Cram School?

Kids in anime are constantly attending "cram schools" - what is a cram school, and do Japanese kids really use them that often? Justin explains. ― Jake asks: I have seen in a lot of anime that almost every school kid attends cram schools and this has made me wonder about their purpose. On the one side Japan is almost always ranked as one of the best education systems in the world. But if there educa...
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Shelf Life - Ultimate Otaku Teacher

Can this quirky teacher comedy measure up to the likes of GTO and Assassination Classroom? Paul Jensen finds out, along with breaking down all the week's new anime releases! ― I started re-watching Space Dandy on a whim recently, and it made me realize something: I almost never watch shows a second time these days. I remember going back through some old favorites as many as three or four times, but ...
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Answerman - What Is A "Salaryman"?

They're all over anime, dressed in suits and filing into subway cars, but what exactly is a "Salaryman"? Justin gets into it. ― Julian asks: Although I don't know much about working options in Japan, I imagine there are tons of careers one can go into. Out of those, intricacies of work a salary man does interests me. In anime, there is so much pressure to get ahead in academics all in order to end u...
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The List - 7 Anime Pilgrimage Sites to Check Off Your List

These real-life locations were the inspiration for some of Japan's biggest anime hits! Perhaps you can take a detour to these beautiful spots on your next trip to Japan. ― Anime pilgrimages, the act of going to real-life locations depicted in a show, have always existed to some extent but they seemed to really take off with the Lucky Star shrine. The Washinomiya Shrine has drawn close to half a mill...
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Answerman - Are Oscar Campaigns For Anime Worth It?

Oscar campaigns for anime can be frustrating to watch - and the American distributors that handle them seem to get little support from Japan. Justin explains. ― Anonymous asks: How much benefit is there for an American distribution company like Gkids and Funimation to pay money to try an get a film nominated for an oscar? And why don't Japanese companies help in campaigning for their film to get nom...

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