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Shelf Life - Hana Yori Dango

Paul takes on the frequently frustrating melodrama of the classic shojo series, "Boys over Flowers." Plus, all this week's new releases! ― I can tell we're still a long way away from the heart of winter because I still feel annoyed instead of relieved when the forecast predicts more snow than we actually get. If it's going to snow, let's skip all the inconsequential flurries and get on with it! (Let...
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ANNCast Interview: Right Stuf CEO Shawne Kleckner

Right Stuf CEO Shawne Kleckner joins us to talk all things Right Stuf - from bestsellers to the best releases to all things Gundam, plus your Twitter questions! ― ANNCast Episode 277: KLECK KLECK BOOM Right Stuf CEO Shawne Kleckner joins us to talk all things Right Stuf - from bestsellers to the best releases to all things Gundam, plus your Twitter questions! You can listen to the show on our player...
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This Week in Games - Final Fantasy XV

It took 10 years, but Final Fantasy XV is finally out, and Noctis and the boys are ready for their epic road trip - Dustin is along for the ride. PLUS: Nintendo theme parks and more! ― Final Fantasy XV just came out. I'm playing it. Let's talk about it. Impressions: Final Fantasy XV I'm about a half-dozen hours into Final Fantasy XV. That's with a handful of early story segments completed and a whole...
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Answerman - Is There Too Much Anime Being Made?

Over 80 anime air every week. Seasons come and go where dozens of anime go unremembered. Is this healthy for the industry? Is there too much anime? Justin considers the angles. ― Anonymous asks: By my count, including short shows, kids shows and ongoing series, there are over 80 weekly anime currently airing on television, and that's not even counting movies and occasional OVAs. This is way, way mor...
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Answerman - Why Isn't There More Political Anime?

America has countless political dramas of every stripe - why is the genre so limited among anime and manga? Justin gets into it. ― Jake asks: One thing I was recently thinking about was why there are no anime about Japanese politics. Here in the US, it seems we can not get enough politically themed shows weather it be a comedy like VEEP or a serious drama like House of Cards. Even in manga one of th...
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Shelf Life - Aoharu x Machinegun

Gabriella enters a world of bishounen and airsoft with Aoharu x Machinegun, but is this strange creation any good? Plus, all this week's new releases! ― It's that magical time of Black Friday/Cyber Monday/General Holiday Season sales, and I hope you've already found some good deals if bargain-hunting is your thing. Since I moved into a new apartment a few months ago, I've been buying boring things l...
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The Mike Toole Show - The Strange Saga of Star Anime Enterprises

Mike details the long, odd and twisty tale of Star Anime Enterprises, a little-known anime company that released a whopping two titles in America. ― There's a pretty simple, obvious Thanksgiving tradition in my household. We get up early, we go to our pals' place (they host), and as we start to prepare for the multi-hour eat attack later in the day, we put on the big parade in New York. You know, the...
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Answerman - Why Do Japanese Kids Carry Handkerchiefs?

Children in anime are frequently shown carrying a handkerchief - why is that? Is it actually a common thing in Japan? Justin investigates. ― Darius asks: Why do school kids carry handkerchiefs with them? I see in a lot of anime, old and new, that kids have a handkerchief in their pocket to wipe their hands while in the bathroom and various other uses, and they seem at a lost of what to do with their...
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This Week in Games - Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization

Dustin takes a deep dive into the new Sword Art Online game, for better and for worse. PLUS: Pokemon Sun & Moon, Final Fantasy XV and much more! ― We're closing in on the end of the holiday release season, though we've still got a couple of huge games to go—one of which is out this week! Yes, folks, the artist formerly known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII is nearly among us, and while I think I will su...
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Answerman - Why Aren't There More Classic Anime Kickstarters?

Escaflowne, Bubblegum Crisis, Otaku no Video - classic anime kickstarters seem to do great, so why don't we see more of these? ― Reed asks: How come more anime companies don't run Kickstarters or other crowd-funding options to pay for recording English dubs or for funding Blu-ray releases? AnimEigo has done a few titles, some manga has been done this way, and Funimation did Escaflowne's redub throug...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Dubs Adapted So Much?

Justin explains why some dub scripts are so heavily modified for an English-speaking audience and just how much the Japanese side knows about these changes. ― Victoria asks: I like watching Hetalia since the beginning because of the little references to world history. I tried watching the dubbed version, but all the dialogue changed to have a lot of cursing and pop culture jokes which I can't stand ...
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Shelf Life - Gatchaman Crowds Insight

James jumps back into the world of Gatchaman with its striking second season, while Paul runs down all this week's new anime releases! ― I can always tell if a video game has me hooked by how often I catch myself talking to the characters. I bought a car racing version of all those sports manager games recently, and I've already fallen into the habit of berating my imaginary drivers every time they ...
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The List - 7 Movies That Need Licenses ASAP

There are a whole lot of incredible anime feature films that have never - or only rarely - seen the light of day. Here are seven anime films we'd love to see get an official US release! ― Access to the latest anime releases in Japan is at an all-time high. The convenience of streaming allows viewers access to a huge library of current and past shows with the click of a button. Whether someone wants ...
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ANNCast - Quite A Number

Zac and Jacob catch up with Yuri on Ice, Girlish Number, All Out and much more, plus your Twitter questions! ― ANNCast Episode 276: Quite A Number Zac and Jacob catch up with Yuri on Ice, Girlish Number, All Out and much more, plus your Twitter questions! 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...
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This Week in Games - Switch Rumor Roundup

There's a new Nintendo console coming - and the rumors are flying fiercely. Dustin runs down everything we think we might know about the Switch - plus Persona 5 and more! ― After a couple of very slow news weeks—in the world of video games, anyway—the valves have been opened and we're now drowning in a deep, dark ocean of announcements, reports, and rumors. So much so that there isn't even room enoug...
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Answerman - Why Is Anime's Animation Style So Hard To Imitate?

Plenty of Western animation teams have tried to imitate the look of Japanese anime, so why do these projects still look so different? ― Kiza asks: In the past 15 years, we've seen more and more of anime influenced animation: we've had the colorful Totally Spies, the gag-action Teen Titans, two stories from the Avatar franchise, etc. And then we've seen animation that didn't go out of it's way to be ...
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Shelf Life - Knights of Sidonia Season 2

This cel-shaded CG space opera continues into its second season with a renewed sense of purpose. Paul Jensen explores this set along with the week's other new releases! ― One thing I've noticed about reviewing anime is that strange things happen when you try to type too quickly. I have, on several occasions, turned Magical Girl Raising Project into "Magical Girl Raisin Project" while writing episode...
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The Mike Toole Show - Japan's Superhero Legacy

An encounter with My Hero Academia in Shonen Jump sends Mike on a whirlwind tour of Japanese superheroes like Golden Bat, 8 Man, and even Batman himself! ― I was at lunch when I got the notification: somebody had bought that Yu-Gi-Oh! card I had on eBay. I don't play Yu-Gi-Oh!, but I get a couple of cards every year as part of my Shonen Jump digital subscription. The cards are immediately placed on e...
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The List - 6 Anime About the Awesome Power of Music

Short of the power of love, nothing can top the power of music to change lives in these super-sonorous anime adventures! ― The power of music, utilized by magic bards wielding flutes and lutes, is a familiar staple to roleplaying gamers. Their original task was to commemorate the great deeds of their patrons and ensure history was passed down via song. It wouldn't be inaccurate to credit bards, and ...
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Answerman - Is Japanese Language From Anime Different Than Normal Japanese?

Just how different is everyday Japanese language different from the way they speak in anime? Can you learn Japanese by watching anime? Justin has some answers. ― AJ asks: I've been studying Japanese for a while now, but it's only recently clicked that there appears to be a disconnect between how formal people are with each other in how they address each other and how they speak in anime. What I mean...
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This Week in Games - Rest In Peace, Wii U

It brought us Mario Maker, Splatoon, Super Mario 3D world and Bayonetta 2, and now it's toast. Dustin salutes the Wii U on the eve of its demise. PLUS: Overwatch's Sombra and more! ― First, a note: please be excellent to each other, people. Now let's forget our problems for a few moments with the most beautiful of distractions—video games. Farewell, Wii Hardly Knew U We heard that the Wii U would be ...
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Answerman - How Are Anime Materials Archived?

Once an anime is finished airing, how do they preserve the show? Justin goes into all the ways Japan has preserved anime media over the years, and how it winds up in your hands. ― Ashley asks: Given that anime publishers and licensors can't just throw a master tape or a film can in a vault anymore, how does the process of archiving master materials work, both from a practical hardware standpoint and...
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Answerman - Why Do Voice Actors Perform Multiple Roles In Dubs?

In many anime, you'll find the same Japanese voice actor playing multiple roles - why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Kevin asks: I've been notching that in the credits that some of our voice actors play 3-5 characters. While in the Japanese's cast all voice actors have a different person and only play one person. Why is that? Also some voice actors in japan play characters that have only a single l...
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Shelf Life - Cobra The Animation

Gabriella takes a look at this 2010 revival of a classic '80s psychedelic space adventure. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― I had a lame joke ready to use in this week's intro, but then Funimation picked up the license for Nichijou - My Ordinary Life, and that's clearly much more interesting. I watched this show when it aired and was crushed when the original plans for a release were scrapped. ...
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The List - 7 Powered-Up Forms That Are More Weird Than Awesome

Usually when an anime character in an action show gets fully powered up, they look intimidating and awesome - but that isn't always the case! ― Hey everyone, we have a Classic for you this week. I'll return to your regularly scheduled list next week with the Power of Music and Lost Anime Films. Until then, enjoy these silly power-ups! It's right about when all hope is lost that a character finally p...
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ANNCast - The Discotek Threat

Discotek's Brady Hartel stops by to talk about what this boutique DVD & bluray studio has been up to, including Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie and the latest, greatest Lupin anime! ― ANNCast Episode 275: The Discotek Threat Discotek's Brady Hartel stops by to talk about what this boutique DVD & bluray studio has been up to, including Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie and the latest, great...
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Answerman - Why Do You Still See Flip Phones In Anime?

They're all but gone in America, but you see classic flip phones in anime all the time - what's the deal with that? Justin has the answer. ― Osiris asks: I've seen a lot of animes in which people only have old cell phones (durarara for example) but rarely they have smartphones, which i find weird since japan has great technology advances. Does people in japan actually use those old cell phones these...
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This Week in Games - Owlboy

Zac Bertschy reviews the Castlevania and Metroid-inspired "hi-bit" adventure Owlboy and discovers it's a real hoot! PLUS: Dustin runs down this week's big news and release list! ― Let me fill you in on a secret—moving sucks. I'm writing this in the midst of a pile of boxes that I can barely see over, in a hastily thrown together office that I had to set up in the new house because the cable company s...
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Answerman - Are Cover Versions of Anime Songs Legal?

Youtube is chock-a-block with singers performing covers of anime theme songs - is that legal? Justin has the answer. ― Trace asks: There's a lot of youtube artist who do English covers of anime songs. A few of them even end up on itunes (though with new instrumentation). This brings a lot of questions to mind. Is this illegal? How does copyright work for covering songs in countries that aren't licen...
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Answerman - What Is That Short Screen After The Opening?

Sometimes, after the opening credits of an anime, a still will appear along with some music for a few seconds - what's up with that? Justin has the answer. ― Steve asks: Every now an then an anime will have an OP or ED that finishes playing, and then a bar or two of the music repeats, with some random frame from that episode as the visual. Flying Witch on Crunchyroll in the US is this season's examp...
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Shelf Life - Wake Up, Girls!

James returns to the world of WUG with a review of the Wake Up! Girls anime. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― I talked about my overly ambitious streaming queue a few weeks ago, and while a couple of shows have gotten the axe (farewell, Scorching Ping Pong Girls), I'm actually finding that keeping up hasn't been as tough as I'd feared. It certainly helps that there's a lot of fun stuff airing t...
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The Mike Toole Show - The Poll Vault

Anime popularity polls have been around for decades, and they've been creating slapfights for at least that long - Mike takes a survey of anime polls through history and what they all mean. ― It's election season in the US! Are you exhausted with the whole thing yet? I sure am—pals, I am completely full up on election news, speculation, and scandal. I have hopes about the outcome of my country's nati...
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The List - 7 Anime That Take You to The Wild Wild West

Yee-haw! Giddy up little dogies, as we blaze a trail through the desert to worlds of cattle wrangling, saloon brawls, and giant gunslinging robots. Hey, it's still anime, after all! ― West of the Mississippi used to be a dangerous place teeming with outlaws, cattle thieves, sharpshooter duels in the streets, and the long arm of the law coming to track down any who disrupted the peace. The setting is...
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ANNCast - Darkest Before The Dawn

A week full of Episode Fours won't stop Zac, Jacob and special guest Dawn from going on and on about Yuri on Ice, Girlish Number, Flip Flappers, Shelter and much much more! ― ANNCast Episode 274: Darkest Before the Dawn A week full of Episode Fours won't stop Zac, Jacob and special guest Dawn from going on and on about Yuri on Ice, Girlish Number, Flip Flappers, Shelter and much much more! You can l...
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Answerman - Why Don't Simulcast Subtitles Get Corrected?

You catch little mistakes in simulcast subtitles every now and then - why don't these errors get fixed? Justin gets into it. ― Matthew asks: Why don't streaming sites fix obvious translation mistakes and errors in their subtitles? I'm talking about easy-to-spot and non-controversial mistakes like spelling errors, mixed up sign translations, missing punctuation, etc. When I asked Crunchyroll about th...
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This Week in Games - Nintendo Switch

Dustin goes deep on the Nintendo Switch and considers the possibilities. PLUS: a video game voice actor strike, The Last Guardian, Dragon Quest and much more! ― This Week in Games gets published on Thursday mornings. You might even be reading this on Thursday morning—if so, congrats! However, it gets finalized and submitted on Wednesday, typically early in the afternoon. This is why last week's colum...
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Answerman - Why Can't Anime Use Trademarked Names?

Plenty of anime use silly fake brand names in place of real ones - why is that necessary? Justin takes a trip down to WcDonald's for the explanation. ― Jerome asks: Do Manga Publishers and Anime Distributers fear a lawsuit from using a trademark? Watching a lot of anime over the years, I never see real world trademarks if any. They usually just change the name. An example is in "Freezing" they use B...
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Answerman - Are There Any Vegetarians In Japan?

Vegetarianism rarely ever comes up in anime, although meat is almost always on the menu - is it a cultural thing, or something else? Justin gets into it. ― Chris asks: I was wondering if vegetarianism is something practiced by a notable amount of people in Japan. In anime I've only noticed a few cases of characters being vegeterian or vegetarianism being mentioned, so is it correct to assume that it...
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Shelf Life - Golgo 13: The Professional

Osamu Dezaki's Golgo 13 film is the first to bring the iconic character to life in animation, but does it still hold up today? Paul Jensen take a look. Plus, all this week's new anime releases! ― I tend to drink a lot of tea when I'm writing reviews, so buying a new electric tea kettle a couple of weeks ago has improved my life in a noticeable way. Being able to heat water to exactly the right tempe...
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The List - 6 Coproductions That Challenge the Definition of Anime

What's the true definition of "anime?" These internationally-produced animations may surprise you and challenge your own perception of the medium! ― Back in early 2014, I wrote a column about international co-productions with Japanese studios. That column had a general "here's some shows you might not know were animated in Japan or financed outside of Japan" focus, but this column is more of a look ...
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Answerman - Is Working To Death Really A Thing In Japan?

"Karoshi", or working yourself literally to death, is a phenomenon sometimes mentioned in anime, and it's on the rise in Japan - Justin goes over the basics. ― Vincent asks: There's always some sort of news about employees dying of overtime work in Japanese media. A professor at an university in Tokyo even stated that he thought it was "pathetic for someone to die just from working more than a hundr...
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ANNCast - Shin Godzilla

Zac and Jacob do battle with Anno Hideaki's political hot take, Shin Godzilla. PLUS: Miss Hokusai, Yuri!!! on Ice, Girlish Number and much much more! ― ANNCast Episode 273: Shin Godzilla Zac and Jacob do battle with Anno Hideaki's political hot take, Shin Godzilla. PLUS: Miss Hokusai, Yuri on Ice, Girlish Number and much much more! You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download the M...
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This Week in Games - Exist Archive

The Nintendo Switch is here! Plus: Dustin digs deep into Exist Archive, a gorgeous new Valkyrie Profile-style RPG. ALSO: Red Dead Redemption 2, World of Final Fantasy and more! ― First things first, let's get this out of the way: the teaser video for the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo's next console, is here. Watch it, absorb it, really give it some thought, and you'll get my full reaction next week. Movi...
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Answerman - Do Dubs Really Contain More Swearing?

Sometimes you hear it said that english dubs contain more swearing than a faithful translation would provide; is there any truth to that? Justin looks into it. ― Eric asks: So I have an acquaintance who says he prefers to watch subbed anime over English dubs because the English translators add too many swears to the dialogue. Now I usually don't care why people prefer dubs or subs (and in this case ...
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Vice & Luna Bonus Round

Vice's scary story falls short, so it's up to Luna to bring the real terror! ― Editor's Note: Vice & Luna will return to regular story pages next week!
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Answerman - Why Is Japan's Population Declining?

Japan's declining population comes up from time to time in anime - but why is it happening? Justin gets into the basics, and how it impacts the anime industry. ― Jake asks: One thing I have heard about for well over a decade is that Japans population as a whole has been shrinking since the end of the 1980's. That fewer people are getting married and having less, if any, children than there parents a...
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Shelf Life - The Perfect Insider

Is the Perfect Insider a perfect mystery or just a perfect mess? Paul Jensen weighs in. Plus, all this week's new anime releases! ― I had a literal "Shelf Life" moment this week: I put together a small bookcase that I'd bought for my apartment a while ago. It looks pretty decent as long as you ignore the fact that I put the fake wood back piece on backwards so the cheesy cardboard side faces out. Cl...
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The List - 7 Magical Girls that Fandom Forgot

In the name of the moon, you shall be punished for forgetting these old-school magical girls existed! Of course, some anime may be better off left in the past after all... ― New magical girls have been seen a marked uptick in anime since Madoka Magica made them cool again. Certainly, some transforming teens have never left fandom's consciousness; Sailor Moon, the ongoing PreCure franchise, Cardcapto...
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Answerman - Why Do Companies Bother With Tiny Theatrical Releases?

The live-action Rurouni Kenshin movie was in theaters for less than a week and grossed only around $32,000 - what was the point of that? Justin gets into it. ― Terry asks: I don't understand how Funimation Films is supposed to turn a profit with the way they show some of the films they distribute. For example, according to Boxofficemojo, the first Rurouni Kenshin movie was only in theaters for 3 day...
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ANNCast - Fall 2016 Anime Roundup

ANNCast is back! Zac and Jacob return to dissect the Fall 2016 anime season! Is Keijo a real sport? Did anyone make sense of Occultic Nine? Is Girlish Number the best show of the season?? ― ANNCast Episode 272: Fall 2016 Anime Roundup ANNCast is back! Zac and Jacob return to pull apart the Fall 2016 anime season! Is Keijo a real sport? Did anyone make sense of Occultic;Nine? Is Girlish Number the be...
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This Week in Games - Dragon Quest Builders

Dustin digs in to the Minecraft-flavored crafting action of Dragon Quest Builders - and discovers it's got a whole lot to like! PLUS: Persona 5, Final Fantasy XV, Bloodstained and much more! ― Yakuza 5 is long. In fact, Yakuza 5 is too long. I'm closing in on the 60 hour mark, and I'm not sure there's really enough here to justify all that time spent. Granted, it's partly my fault, since I keep engag...
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Answerman - Why Is It "Wrong" To Buy Digital Manga From Other Countries?

Let's say you want to buy digital manga from another country because it isn't available in yours - what's the problem with that? Justin breaks it down. ― Anonymous asks: Why is it legal to import/buy english translated print copies of mangas in a foreign country (e.g. Switzerland) through my local bookstore (normally per order only) or via bookdepository or on Amazon "Region xy" (e.g. Germany) or an...
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Answerman - What Happened To World Masterpiece Theater And Shows Like It?

Whatever happened to classic animated specials for larger audiences like Dog of Flanders, Heidi, and Peter Pan? ― Vinicius asks: I'm a big fan of the World Masterpiece Theater, a collection of anime series by Nippon Animation that adapted a classic book every year from 1974 to 1997 and then from 2007 to 2009. These series focused mainly on realistic situations: the characters were shown doing earthl...
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Shelf Life - Re-Kan!

Paul tackles a frantic world of friendly ghosts in Re-Kan! Plus, all this week's new releases! ― There are still a handful of premieres left to cover in the Preview Guide as I write this, and I've already added twelve of the shows I've written about to my personal list of things to watch. That's far too many for any mere mortal to keep up with over a full season, so I guess I'm going to have to get ...
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The List - 7 Devilish Angels

Leapin' Lucifer! You'd better be wary of these servants of heaven, because they might be serving up something deadly. These seven angels aren't as benevolent as they appear... ― If Lucifer's fall from grace is any indication, being born holy isn't always an indicator of purity. This week's list proves that it isn't the wings that make the angel. These characters are right at home with their demon co...
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This Week in Games - PlayStation VR

Dustin has a few things to say about Playstation's new Virtual Reality peripheral - plus the NES Mini, Pokemon Sun & Moon and much more! ― After last week's dry spell, holy cow the floodgates are open now. We've got a ton of new releases, a good bit of news, and the launch of a new platform. Or platform-ish. We'll get to that. Amid that flood of new stuff, I'm still working my way through a 2015 rele...
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Answerman - How Do Anime Cross-Overs Work?

Anime crossover episodes like Toriko x One Piece and Lupin vs. Detective Conan are a treat for fans - so how come we rarely get them in the US? Justin gets into it. ― Peter asks: I recently bought the latest volume of One Piece and it's mentioned in it that they were unable to get the license for episode 492 which was a cross-over episode with Toriko. But as far as I'm aware Funimation has the dubbi...
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Vice & Luna Bonus Round

Luna introduces Maybell to just how bizarre anime can get with the Revolutionary Girl Utena movie! ― Editor's Note: We've had a slight schedule change - due to preview guide and an upcoming personal event, we'll be doing these shorter strips this week and next week. We'll be back to our usual story pages the week of October 17! Thanks for reading!
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Shelf Life - Gundam Build Fighters Try

James leaps from one Gunpla battle to the next in a spirited viewing of Build Fighters Try! Plus, all this week's new releases! ― It's Preview Guide time once again, and I'm excited to be working on that deluge of new anime for a second season. Speaking of lots of new anime, we've got another big week of new physical releases, so let's jump right into it. Welcome to Shelf Life. Jump to this week's r...
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The Mike Toole Show - Two Princes

Mike compares the two versions of The Heroic Legend of Arslan: the gorgeous 90s OVA and the recent Hiromu Arakawa series. Both have their charms - and a ton of different English names between them! ― I've been in work hell lately, which means I haven't had time to play the video games I was enthusing about last time. No Super Robot Wars, and just as importantly, no Arslan: Warriors of Legend. It's fi...
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The List - 7 Female Anime Directors Worth Checking Out

It can often be tough for women to build a career in the entertainment industry, but these seven standout female directors have all shown they've got what it takes to inspire! ― The anime industry, not unlike Hollywood, is widely a male-dominated business outside of certain roles. Plenty of women fill artistic roles like colorists and animators, and to some degree script writing, but few actually di...
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Answerman - Why Don't Promotional Anime Cafés Last Longer?

We're constantly running news stories about awesome anime themed cafes in Japan - but most of them seem like they're only open for about a week. What gives? ― Ophno Im'Portynce asks: I notice pretty regularly on ANN that there are themed restaurants that open up in Japan, particularly around the Tokyo area. These restaurants and merchandise shops are usually anime or game based and are themed around...
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This Week in Games - Fall Gaming Preview

Dustin runs down the biggest Fall games, from Pokemon Sun & Moon to Final Fantasy XV! PLUS: An N64 emulator on the Xbox and much more! ― It's a slow news week. There aren't a lot of games out. So what do we game fans do when there aren't a lot of current events? We certainly don't catch up on our back catalogs! No, we look to the future. Now that we're entering the fourth quarter of the year—you know...
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Answerman - How Do You Keep Up With So Much Anime?

With the fall season upon us, it's a reminder of just how much new anime there is every season. Justin considers the angles - and we'd love to hear your secrets for keeping up! ― Nathan asks: I'm an anime fan since the late 90s, returning to regular watching after a hiatus since around 2004. Now, EVERYTHING seems to be coming over, and the front page of Anime News Network seems like a deluge of unfa...
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Vice & Luna: Bonus Round!

Luna's got a foolproof plan to watch nearly the entire fall anime season at once! ― Editor's Note: We've had a slight schedule change - due to preview guide and an upcoming personal event, we'll be doing these shorter strips for the next 2 weeks. We'll be back to our usual story pages the week of October 17! Thanks for reading!
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Answerman - Why Are Anime Series So Short These Days?

It seems like anime series used to run longer - 26 to 52 episodes, rather than the nonstop drip of 12- and 13-episode shows we get now. Why did things change? Justin gets into it. ― Mathias asks: Looking back at the past decades, it seems that less anime shows were made, but that they ran for a longer time, often going over fifty or even a hundred episodes. What made producers switch to the current ...
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Shelf Life - Super Gals!

Gabriella Ekens jumps back in time to the '90s with the trendy Super Gals! to see how this forgotten shojo gem has aged. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― It never fails. Whenever I have all the time in the world to work on the new release section, four or five things come out that week at most. But when I move to a new apartment and spend most of the week away from my work computer? Well, take ...
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The List - 8 Strange Versions of Western Historical Figures

In this Classic edition of The List, we take a more colorful look at history, as famous figures from the past return in wacky ways in your favorite anime and manga! ― Hey everyone, this classic List is brought to you courtesy of an uncooperative baby. Infants are rough and mine decided naps were out of the question this week. Thank you for understanding! I rocked out to Ozzy Osbourne's Prince of Dar...
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Answerman - How Does The Train System Work In Japan?

Japan's train system is referenced constantly in anime - so how exactly does it work? Justin gets into it. ― Tayler asks: How do kids in Japan pay for the trains that they are constantly using? Train use is something that seems to happen in nearly every school anime, but I don't think I've ever seen one that actually mentioned the price of a train ride, or why kids are able to seemingly just walk on...
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This Week in Games - Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters Daybreak

Dustin takes on Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters Daybreak: Special Gigs!, discusses Metal Gear Survive, Pokemon on the Nintendo NX and next week's biggest releases! ― The Tokyo Game Show took place over the past weekend, and like most recent years for the show, it didn't provide a ton of huge announcements. That's generally reflective of the past decade of AAA Japanese development, which has obviously go...
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Answerman - Why Aren't More Anime Movies Available For Streaming?

There's a metric ton of TV anime available for streaming - so where are all the anime movies? Justin explains why so few theatrical anime are available streaming. ― Robert asks: Why there are so few movies in legal anime streaming services (unlike Netflix which specializes in movies)? I think at the very least they should have movies that came from popular tv series in their catalog. IMO it is easie...
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Vice & Luna - #14

Luna's date night is over - but she still needs to settle things up with Vice!
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Answerman - Where Do Animax Asia's English Dubs Come From?

Animax Asia is a 24-hour anime cable channel run by Sony, and it's chock-a-block with English dubs many American fans have never heard. Justin gets into it. ― Skye asks: Why does Animax Asia broadcast anime with English dubs, and who dubs them? I recently watched Toward the Terra, and upon further research (wikipedia), I learned it was dubbed by Animax Asia, which broadcasts dubs in Southeast Asia. ...
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Shelf Life - Gundam Build Fighters

James takes his first step into the magical world of battling Gunpla in Gundam Build Fighters, while Paul runs down all this week's new anime releases! ― In my endless search for interesting things to talk about in these intro paragraphs, I completely missed a personal milestone: it's been over a year since I started my time at the helm of Shelf Life. I moved from just writing reviews to organizing ...
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The Mike Toole Show - All-new Originals

Mike takes a journey through the long and storied Super Robot Wars franchise, a mashup of strategy, action and beloved classic giant robot anime. ― Getting the game took longer than I expected. Just ordering it was complicated, a procedure involving an inquiry on Twitter, a few exchanged emails with a vendor in Malaysia, and a PayPal invoice. Then I was treated to a fairly long wait, which is my faul...
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The List - 6 Anime Series to Help You Relive Your Goth Phase

Grab your fishnet shirt, your latex pants and your Sisters of Mercy LP because it's time to relive your dark phase with six classic anime so goth that bats will fly out your nose! ― Goth subculture really hit it big in the west in the 1990s, fueled by films like Interview with a Vampire and The Crow. A preoccupation with death, dark poetry, Victorian romance, and period clothing can all be attribute...
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Answerman - Why Are Anime Discs Re-released So Much?

Ever wonder why there are so many releases of Dragon Ball Z? Or why one show might get 3 releases, while another barely gets one? Justin breaks it down. ― James asks: Funimation has released and re-released Dragonball countless times, which I find to be very annoying, since it is clearly an attempt to get more money from their customers, and there is little that can be added to any further releases ...
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This Week in Games - Death Stranding

This week's biggest news, including the Playstation 4 Pro, The Last Guardian's release date slip, a few more details on Death Stranding and much more! ― Ireland's a nice place. Good food. Great beer. Lot of sheep. But now it's time to put all that fresh air and beautiful country aside and talk about the things that really matter: video games! I had all these grand plans of playing through the Phoenix...
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Answerman - How Do Franchises Keep English Translations Straight?

How does a mega-franchise like Pokemon or One Piece keep their English-language names and translations straight? Justin gets into it. ― Jennifer asks: I've been watching the Pokemon anime recently, and it's made me wonder about the translations of pokemon names, which are different between Japanese and English, and how they keep the same name though the different media Pokemon can be consumed throug...
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Vice & Luna - #13

Maybell charges in once more as date night comes to a close!
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Answerman - What's Up With Dollar Store Anime Releases?

Justin takes a journey through the world of dollar store anime - just where do all those random old anime DVDs come from? ― Charles asks: I've occasionally come across anime on the kind of DVDs that go straight to dollar stores and discount bins as if they're public domain. Some examples I've seen are The Little Mermaid (1975), The Wonderful Galaxy of Oz, and even Captain Harlock. They usually look ...
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Shelf Life - Children Who Chase Lost Voices

Paul takes a look at a recent Makoto Shinkai movie with a more Ghibli flavor to see what it can offer anime fans both old and new. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― I had an introduction all ready for this week, and then the news about Crunchyroll and Funimation forming a partnership showed up. Serves me right for trying to get my work done early for once. This Answerman article explains things ...
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The List - 7 Heart-Pounding Tournaments

From friendly tests of skill and prowess to no-holds-barred death matches, here are just seven of anime's most memorable battle tournament arcs. ― When trying to discover the best of the best, anime pits contenders against one another to see who will reign supreme. Many a shōnen anime has a tournament competition of some sort. Most are physical showdowns where protagonists reveal new powered up abil...
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ANNCast - Gurren Lagann

Zac, Jacob and guest Eryn Dearden drill to the center of the 2007 smash Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann to discover if, after a whole decade, this bombastic blockbuster still has that burning manly spirit. ― ANNCast Episode 271: Gurren Lagann Zac, Jacob and guest Eryn Dearden drill to the center of the 2007 smash Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann to discover if, after a whole decade, this bombastic blockbuster ...
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Answerman - Why Are Funimation And Crunchyroll Getting Married?

It's chaos! Up is down! Left is right! Crunchyroll and Funimation are partnering up! Justin breaks it down and looks at some of the reasons why yesterday's news was so big. ― Anonymous asks: The recent news that Crunchyroll and Funimation are partnering up sure seems like a really good thing for fans (we only have to subscribe to one service now, unless we want dubs). But why did it happen? Is conso...
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This Week in Games - What's NeXt for Nintendo?

In the wake of yesterday's Super Mario Run news, Dustin considers Nintendo's next move. PLUS: next week's new releases, including Psycho-Pass and Valkyrie Drive! ― You might notice that the news section is more than a little lacking this week, and that's not just because the massive pile of new games took up all this column's space. I'm actually writing to you from the past. As you're reading this I'...
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Answerman - Why Are UK Releases Slower Than North American Releases?

Christopher asks: I live in the UK and one thing that has been bugging me for a while now is why there is such a big gap in releases of anime Blu-rays/DVDs between US and UK of the same series? One prime example of this is "One Piece". If a series is been released only in the US and not in the UK, that's different. But when the discs is been sold in both countries, why is the UK so far behind our...
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Vice & Luna - #12

Vice works out his issues the only way he knows how - with a few too many rounds of Smash Bros!
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Answerman - What Is The Homeless Situation Like In Japan?

Satoshi Kon's Tokyo Godfathers is the only exposure most American fans have had to the concept of homelessness in Japan - so what's the real situation? Justin gets into it. ― Jake asks: I had recently re-watched Satoshi Kon's Tokyo Godfathers and it has me curious about homelessness in Japan. I realize homelessness is a problem that every country has, but I find it they way anime depicts homelessnes...
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Shelf Life - Punch Line

Paul tumbles down a wormhole of panty panic when faced with the mystery/comedy madness of Punch Line. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― By the time you read this, I'll be on my way home after going on vacation over Labor Day weekend. That means I'm writing this column earlier than usual in order to get it done before I leave, so hello from the distant past! It turns out time travel's easy as lon...
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The Mike Toole Show - gdgd Gravy

Mike's attempt at creating his own animation leads him to an encounter with gdgd fairies, one of the strangest cult comedy anime in recent memory. ― Did I ever tell you all how I myself became an animator? It's true! I am totally someone who has made original animation that has appeared on television. If you follow me on twitter or keep tabs on my incessant nerd behavior in general (lately: playing S...
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The List - 6 Families You Don't Want to Cross

From packs of mobsters to long lineages of tyrants, these broods spell bad news for anyone who runs afoul of their plans! It's best to keep your head out of these family matters... ― The phrase "blood is thicker than water" is widely used to demonstrate that familial allegiances trump all else, but these families stretch that oath to the breaking point. Rites of inheritance or generational power can...
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Answerman - How Have Anime DVDs and Blu-rays Changed Over The Years?

That anime bluray in your hands is the product of many changes and improvements over the years - Justin gets in to just how much our current physical media has changed. ― Jake asks: By now DVD's have been on the market for over 20 years and Blu-ray disks for over a decade and I have been thinking about how much technology has changed in that time. It has me wondering about the technical, under the h...
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This Week in Games: Nioh, Dead or Alive

A new Dark Souls-style game is in beta on Playstation 4, and Dustin's ready for it. PLUS: Dead or Alive VR controversy, Resident Evil 7, a new Phoenix Wright game for the 3DS and much more! ― It's been another week in games, and that means it's time for another column here to try and make sense of it all. The news brings us some long-awaited plot details on Resident Evil 7, a sneak preview of the lat...
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Answerman - Why Is Old Anime Still Released In Interlaced Format?

"Interlaced" video should, by all accounts, be a thing of the past - so why does it still occasionally show up on anime DVDs and blurays? Justin gets into the technical details. ― Anonymous asks: Why is it that older shows are still presented in interlaced form on new-release DVDs? They look terrible on a computer. Prior to HD video being a thing, all video was interlaced. All of it. Every show that...
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Vice & Luna Bonus Round + Fanart Gallery

Vice's Sword Art Online bluray preorder bonus finally came in, and it's delicious! PLUS: a Vice & Luna fanart gallery! ― Fanart Gallery Welcome to a Vice & Luna hiatus week! During the weeks where life happens or someone on our team needs some time off, we'll have one of these shorter little strips ready for you, and this week we're lucky enough to have some pretty awesome fanart to share. If you ha...

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