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Answerman - Are Anime Music Videos A Dying Art?

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

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

Zac and Jacob team up with editor Lynzee Loveridge to argue about Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Tanya the Evil and much more! PLUS: Anime shut out at the Oscars again! ― ANNCast Episode 283: Baity Feelsy Zac and Jacob team up with editor Lynzee Loveridge to argue about Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Tanya the Evil and much more! PLUS: Anime shut out at the Oscars again! You can listen to the show on ...
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This Week in Games - Resident Evil 7

Biohazard is back - and it's actually good?! Dustin claws his way through the Resident Evil mansion and reports back. PLUS: Overwatch's Year of the Rooster, Death Stranding and much more! ― Video games are back, you guys. Since last week's column went up, we've seen the release of the Dragon Quest VIII remake, Kingdom Hearts 2.8, and Tales of Berseria. On top of that, there are the games I've actuall...
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Answerman - Why Are Motion-Smoothing Televisions So Terrible For Anime?

Most new TVs have "motion smoothing" turned on by default, a video setting that makes anime look pretty terrible - but why? Justin gets into it. ― Jon asks: I recently upgraded my TV to a new OLED flatscreen from LG, and I couldn't understand why the anime I watched looked so blurry. After a little research online, I found out there is a setting called "TruMotion" that was the culprit and when I tur...
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Shelf Life - Shimoneta

This week, James Beckett finds out if the infamously nasty SHIMONETA is a filthy good time or just plain filthy. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― I'm not sure how the anime world reached a point where I'm more excited about a pair of monster girl shows than just about any other new title this season, but here we are. I'm calling Interviews With Monster Girls my early favorite just because I lik...
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The Mike Toole Show - Binge Benefits

Mike weighs the pros and cons of binge watching, the act of watching entire anime series (or huge chunks of episodes) all at once. Is the binge good, or is the binge bad? ― Every January, I visit Arisia, a science fiction convention here in Boston. For me, it's a fun change of pace – the convention is smaller and lower-key than the anime events I appear at, and while I'm on the speaking program, the ...
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The List - 7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Sailor Moon

With the Sailor Moon R movie now in theaters, it's the perfect time to revisit this Classic List and learn some new things about this groundbreaking anime. ― The Sailor Moon R movie is opened in theaters across North America this week! It seems like a great time to revisit some classic Sailor Moon trivia. Naoko Takeuchi's magical girl series had a profound effect on anime fandom, whether you caught ...
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Answerman - Why Can't Anime Get A Wide Theatrical Release?

Justin runs down the myriad reasons that anime movies like your name don't wind up on 3600 multiplex screens across America. It's a little complicated. ― Brooks asks: With anime movies like Your Name becoming global hits and companies finding success with Fathom Events like Funimation's theatrical releases of the DBZ movies,why is it that anime movies still can't get normal wide releases in every U....
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ANNCast - It's High Noon

Zac and a panel of special guests run down the best games they played in 2016, the Nintendo Switch and 2017's biggest games! Overwatch, Final Fantasy XV, Resident Evil 7 and more! ― ANNCast Episode 280: It's High Noon Zac, Dave and Graz from Fast Karate for the Gentlemen and our own Dustin Bailey run down the best games they played in 2016, the Nintendo Switch and 2017's biggest games! The Last Guar...
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This Week in Games - The Switch Is Upon Us!

It's finally here! The rumors can be laid to rest! Dustin reacts to the Nintendo Swich announcement, plus the rest of this week's Nintendo news and much more! ― The rumors are done! Nintendo held a presentation officially unveiling the Switch, the details of its launch, and a big chunk of its first year of software. There's a lot to cover, so let's just get right into it. Opinion: Nintendo Switch The...
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Answerman - What Determine's An Anime's Art Style?

Konosuba has an extremely unique animation style, but how does the staff of a show decide how it's going to look in the first place? ― Michael asks: Hi, so with some people out for studio DEENs blood for konosubas unique artstyle . I was wondering, who decides on the art style for an anime show? Is it the animation studio itself or does someone else on the committee decide that? A lot of people cred...
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Answerman - How Often Do Japanese Teenagers Live Alone?

It's a pretty common anime premise: high school-age teenager lives alone. But do Japanese teens actually live on their own? Justin explains. ― David asks: How common is it for Japanese teens to live on their own? You see it a fair bit, in anime and manga: teens living in a single person apartment, one that's either paid for by their family or paid for by part-time jobs. Do teens in Japan do this in ...
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Shelf Life - Chaos Dragon

Is the fantasy action series Chaos Dragon so bad it's good, or just plain bad? Gabriella Ekens bravely tries to find out. PLUS: all of this week's new releases and more! ― I spent some time playing the new Battlefield game over the holidays, and it reminded me that I have a consistent pattern when it comes to playing multiplayer shooters. I start off slightly bemused by how pretty the game is and ho...
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The List - 7 Anime Celebrating Their 20th Anniversary

Warning! This week's List might make you feel old, as several treasured anime classics round off their second decade in history this year! ― This week marked Japan's annual "Coming of Age Day" where individuals who turned the age of majority within the last year put on their very best and celebrate together. Hot spots were filled with smiling 20-year-olds in yukata. If the idea of someone born in 19...
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Answerman - Why Are High School Jobs Not Allowed In Anime?

In shows like Yu Yu Hakusho, characters in high school are prohibited from having a job after school - is that a real thing? Justin gets into it. ― Skylar asks: Why aren't high school students allowed to have after school jobs in anime? Is this true of all high schools in Japan? Shows like Yu Yu Hakusho and Saiki Kusuo no Sainan (to name a few) have episodes dedicated to characters having to help th...
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ANNCast (Video) - Winter 2017 Roundup

Zac and Jacob argue about all the best and worst shows of Winter 2017, from Scum's Wish to Monster Girls to Hand Shakers. PLUS: The Crunchyroll anime awards and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 281: Winter 2017 Roundup Zac and Jacob argue about all the best and worst shows of Winter 2017, from Scum's Wish to Monster Girls to Hand Shakers. PLUS: The Crunchyroll anime awards and much more! You can listen ...
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This Week in Games - The Sudden Rise of Fanservice Games

Dustin breaks down the discourse over fanservice games and where the business realities took us. PLUS: Games Done Quick, Scalebound and much more! ― Before anything else, you need to start your day off right. There are unlockable videos in Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World, and Nintendo put one of them up on Youtube. It is so utterly, incomprehensibly adorable that it even elicited an audible “d'aaawww” ...
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Answerman - What Are Japanese Public Baths Like?

In shows like Love Live you see public baths all the time - what are they actually like? Justin gets into it. ― Jim asks: I recently re-watched Love Live and Yama no Susume, and both shows have a similar scene: several girls are bathing together and chatting, and one of them makes a dramatic statement, punctuated by standing up in the bath, to shocked reactions and (in YnS) embarrassment by the girl...
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Answerman - Why Doesn't Anime Use Flash Animation?

One reader wants to know why anime studios don't use Flash animation to simplify some parts of the animation process. Justin breaks it down. ― Montiel asks: Why haven't [anime producers] tried to automate 2D animation further by using good ol flash instead of hand-drawing the inbetweens? I am aware in between animation is entry level grunt work, and sometimes even outsourced overseas to lower wage c...
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Shelf Life - Heavy Object Part 1

Paul returns to the world of deadly war games, powerful mechs, and fluffy penguins in Heavy Object, along with all this week's new anime releases! ― I look even more disheveled than usual, I've doubled my caffeine intake, and I've barely left my apartment in the past few days. Yep, it must be Preview Guide time once again. So far, this season's shows are covering a pretty wide range from "really goo...
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The Mike Toole Show - The Amazing World of Anime Arcade Games

Mike straps you into a time machine and takes you back to an age when you'd walk into an arcade, pop in a quarter, and play through an anime. ― I was back in Japan a couple of weeks back, looking to experience my first Comic Market (it didn't disappoint) and do some other festive nonsense. After ringing in the new year at Kanda Myojin (the official Love Live! shrine, dontcha know), it was time for my...
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The List - 7 Tezuka Manga for Grown-Ups

Osamu Tezuka may be famous for family favorites like Astro Boy and Kimba, but some of his best creations are strictly for adults. Experience the darker side of this master's work. ― Even for the uninitiated, Osamu Tezuka's work has left a lasting mark. Your dad probably knows who Astro Boy is, even if he doesn't know he's a Japanese creation. Tezuka was a powerhouse creator in his time and is the mi...
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This Week in Games - What's to Come in 2017

As we bid the old year adieu and welcome the new, Dustin breaks down the most anticipated upcoming releases of 2017's first quarter. ― If you're reading this, you made it out of 2016 and into a brand new year. Congratulations! Give yourself a round of applause! You've earned it. Last year brought us some excellent games, but we're now at a time where we look forward, rather than back. This is the wee...
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Answerman - Are Anime Sequels Ever Made Just For The West?

If an anime is really popular in the west, but doesn't do so well in Japan, do they ever make a sequel anyway? It turns out they do - Justin runs it down. ― James asks: On occasion, there are series that are more popular in countries outside of Japan then they are within Japan itself, with some notable examples being The Big O, Outlaw Star, and Cowboy Bebop. In such instances, do the Japanese produc...
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Shelf Life - Good Luck! Ninomiya-kun

Is this forgotten harem comedy about a succubus with a fear of men worth digging up for a second look? Shelf Life has the answers, along with all this week's new anime releases! ― Anyone making any anime-related resolutions for the new year? Maybe catching up on that streaming backlog, trying a new genre, or picking up a long-coveted piece of merchandise? Personally, I'll be trying to fill in a few ...
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The List - 8 Ghost Bustin' Anime to Keep Spooks Away

The Ghostbusters themselves haven't made many anime appearances (except for Tokyo ESP, shown above) so you'll have to count on these other anime heroes to keep specters at bay! ― When there's something strange in your neighborhood and Dan Aykroyd is busy, there's plenty of competing ghost busters available to take on your ectoplasmic problems. Investigating the things that go bump is a time-honored ...
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Answerman - Why Do Anime Characters Send Emails Instead of Texts?

In anime, characters are rarely depicted texting eachother - they use celphone email, or apps like LINE. Why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Chris asks: Why do we see email addresses exchanged instead of phone numbers in some anime and manga? Wouldn't it be more normal to text someone instead of sending an email? I know some anime like ReLife use “Line” or sometimes texts. I understand that because ...
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This Week in Games - The Best of 2016

Dustin runs down his best games of the year, from Final Fantasy XV to Overwatch to Stardew Valley - what were your best games of 2016? ― 2016 is at an end. For some folks, that's going to be a major relief. A combination of factors far beyond the scope of a humble gaming column have made the terrible, no good, very bad year of two-thousand-sixteen into a tragic meme. But luckily, this is a gaming col...
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Answerman - Why Does Everyone In Anime Use Clotheslines?

Kevin asks: In anime we see people hanging clothes to dry alot of times in shows set roughly in the present. Do people in Japanese society just not use clothes dryers? You always see a washer in bathroom scenes it feels like but never a dryer. Same with a dishwasher it seems like we always see them washing dishes by hand. Is it considered taboo or only for upper class to have a dryer or dishwashe...
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Answerman - Was There Really A Fuma Clan?

If you're watching an anime with ninja in it - nearly any anime with ninja in it - odds are "The Fuma Clan" shows up somewhere. Was that a real thing? Justin gets into it. ― New Era Mailer asks: in some ninja theme anime shows there will always be different ninja clans mentioned. the Fuma clan is always mentioned in such anime shows either as the good guys or bad guys. what i would like to know is w...
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Shelf Life - The 2016 Year In Review

Paul runs down the year's best releases and the year's best Shelf Life reviews, from Azumanga Daioh to When They Cry. Plus: a blast from the Shelf Life past! ― It feels like 2016 has been a crazier year than most, but I have good news: if you're reading this, you've made it! Time to wrap this year up and dive straight into a new one. I'll be taking a look at some of the more interesting anime we've ...
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The Mike Toole Show - Christmas Special Forces

Mike runs down some of his favorite authentic holiday anime straight from Japan, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Stingiest Man in Town and more! ― A couple of columns back, I talked about how I don't really listen to podcasts, which means that I'm about to tell you about this podcast that I've been listening to. It's a comic talk show featuring the gravel-voiced, filthy, childish comedian Gi...
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The List - 7 Strangest Pieces of Evangelion Merchandise

In this Classic edition of The List, we discovered some truly bizarre Evangelion gifts. Are you a big enough fan to shell out for these strange items? ― Editor's Note: Lynzee's off this week for the holidays, so we've left you with a Classic gift-giving themed List for the Christmas weekend! We'll see you with a new List next week! This year (2015) was the 20th anniversary of Hideaki Anno's genre-de...
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Answerman - Why Do Voice Actors Get Re-Cast In Sequels and Reboots?

Sometimes the cast of an anime can change wildly in a short span of time, for both Japanese and English versions. But why? ― Sai asks: Recently I watched the 20th century Berserk anime and then the third film of the Golden Age trilogy. The entire main cast voice-actors changed when compared to the anime. I wondered why they just didn't bring back the old cast for the 3 films. Is there any formailite...
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ANNCast (Video) - Winter Wonderland

Zac and Jacob consume the Yuri!!! on Ice finale (spoiler-free), run down the best anime of Fall 2016 and argue over their favorite (and least favorite) movies of the year, plus your twitter questions! ― ANNCast Episode 280: Winter Wonderland Zac and Jacob consume the Yuri on Ice finale (spoiler-free), run down the best anime of Fall 2016 and argue over their favorite (and least favorite) movies of t...
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This Week in Games - Super Mario Run

Dustin pays $10 to make Super Mario jump on his celphone - is Nintendo's big move in the mobile market worth it? PLUS: Dragon Quest XI, Shenmue III and much more! ― We're just a few days away from the biggest gift-giving holiday in most of the world, and that means there jack-all going on in the world of video games. News is slow, and I can't seem to find a single new release to report on for that se...
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Answerman - Why Do Some Companies Only Sell Shows Through Their Own Store?

Some companies license anime and only sell it in one place - their exclusive storefront. What's up with that? ― Jitsch asks: The German publisher Peppermint Anime has recently licensed the Monogatari Series – and then decided to sell the DVDs and Blu-Rays for Bakemonogatari exclusively at their own online shop. By now, the series is also available through Amazon Marketplace (also sold by the publish...
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Answerman - Why Can't I Watch This Trailer?

You're excited about a new anime series and the trailer is finally here - but you can't watch it because it's restricted in your country! Why do companies do this? Justin has the answer. ― Branko asks: It seems to be common practice for some Japanese companies to region lock their promo videos on Youtube. What exactly is the incentive behind this? Fans will just upload a pirated version immediately....
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Shelf Life - Aquarion Logos Part 1

James Beckett returns to the world of Aquarion with its third series, while Paul breaks down all this week's new releases! ― The constant flow of new anime on disc still amazes me from time to time. You'd think most folks would already be at the bottom of their wallets after all that holiday shopping, and yet we've still got new stuff coming out this week like any other. There are even a handful of ...
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The List - 7 Women Who Changed Manga History

Women you may never have heard of have been shaping the history of manga since it began. Meet the generation that created some of your favorite genres! ― Few manga artists are lucky enough to leave an indelible stamp on the industry to the point where their names are synonymous with changing the medium, like Osamu Tezuka, Leiji Matsumoto, Go Nagai, and Fujiko Fujio. Now all of those pioneers were me...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Releases Retailer Exclusive?

Exclusive versions of anime releases available only at certain stores - with bonus content and cool packaging - show up all the time. How does that happen? Justin explains. ― Parker asks: How do retailer-exclusive anime releases (like the recent Hunter x Hunter SteelBook at Best Buy) come about? How does a licensor like Viz pick the right retailer to work with and how do both companies benefit from ...
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This Week in Games - Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

Dustin takes the latest Shantae game for a spin, and catches up with the still-in-development Shenmue III! PLUS: more on the Nintendo Switch, next week's new releases and more! ― We're inching ever closer to the end of the year, and that means the tide of news and new releases has slowed to a mere softly lapping trickle. So have fun catching up on Final Fantasy XV and the Last Guardian before your fa...
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Answerman - Why Isn't There More Sumo Wrestling In Anime?

There's a metric ton of sports anime - so why is there hardly any anime about sumo wrestling? Justin gets into it. ― Jake asks: I was recently thinking about all of the sports anime that have come out over the years and it occurred to me that there is practically no anime about sumo wrestling. There are plenty of anime about western style wrestling, kickboxing, kendo and judo but not sumo. One of th...
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ANNCast Series Discussion: Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

The ANNCast crew revisits Gonzo's eye-popping 2004 re-imagining of The Count of Monte Cristo. How does it hold up 13 years later? ― ANNCast Episode 279: Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo Zac, Jacob and ANN's managing interest editor Lynzee Loveridge revisit Gonzo and Mahiro Maeda's lauded, gorgeous and gripping 2004 re-imagining of The Count of Monte Cristo. How does it hold up 13 years later? Y...
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Answerman - Why Do Subtitle Styles From The Same Company Differ?

Name changes, honorifics, grammar - sometimes subtitles within the same company's simulcasts will be inconsistent and kinda confusing. How does that happen? Justin gets into it. ― Wonchop asks: One things that's been noticeable in this age of internet streaming is that even within the same distributor (be it Crunchyroll or Funimation etc), there are differences in the format of the subtitles dependi...
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Shelf Life - Omamori Himari

Paul takes a look at a forgotten little catgirl harem comedy from 2010 to see if its old motor still purrs. Plus, all this week's new releases! ― Earlier in the season, I noted that I was trying to keep up with around a dozen shows (not counting the ones I'm doing episode reviews for), and I wondered if I'd be able to keep up with them all. Well, we're in the home stretch and I'm still staying curre...
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The Mike Toole Show - What's "Teekyu" Anyway?

Mike takes a tour through the weird, wild world of Teekyu, a long-running cult favorite that'll melt your brain inside only a few animated minutes. ― It's been a banner year for short anime series, to the point that you could make a pretty creditable top 5 just using shorts that range from three to twelve minutes per episode. My personal favorite is a toss-up between Please Tell Me! Galko-chan and Sp...
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The List - 7 Anime About Women in Sports

While most sports shows these days are sausagefests, there are still a handful of sports anime about the feminine side of the equation in this classic edition of The List. ― We're approaching the end of Keijo!!!!!!!!, so it seems a perfect time to revisit a classic list about women in sports. Keijo has really taken a twist on these classic approaches, and we've also gotten a multitude of other women...
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ANNCast - What's My Name (Video)

Zac and Jacob spend the entire first video episode of ANNCast talking spoiler-free about Makoto Shinkai's amazing movie, your name., plus Yuri!!! on Ice and much more! ― ANNCast Episode 278: What's My Name Zac and Jacob spend the entire first video episode of ANNCast talking spoiler-free about Makoto Shinkai's amazing movie, Your Name, plus Yuri on Ice and much more! You can listen to the show on ou...
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This Week in Games - Let It Die

It's Dark Souls by way of creative powderkeg Suda 51, and Dustin has strapped in for a weird, bloody ride. PLUS: Death Stranding, Final Fantasy XV, Super Mario Run and much more! ― It's the end of the year, and that means it's time for game releases to start winding down—but don't worry, January is already packed. There's only one release of any note this week, but don't think the lack of new games m...
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Answerman - Why Is Workplace Romance So Taboo in Anime?

Workplace romances are often treated like an unforgivable offense in many anime - what's up with that? Justin gets into it. ― Jennifer asks: relationship between coworkers is unacceptable even if they are in different departments. In Fune no Amu, we see Nishioka-san and Miyoshi-san in a relationship but they can't be seen together out in public. Why is that? Is it a distraction? I don't see it as a ...
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Answerman - Do Streaming Numbers Count?

What role does streaming play in giving back to your favorite anime creators? ― Cody asks: I was wondering how much does viewer count matter on streaming services like crunchyroll if at all? They've recently added some older shows, like A Certain Scientific Railgun, that I've already watched and I honestly tend not to rewatch shows very often unless showing them to friends. However I do want to supp...
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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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The List - 7 Clowns to Haunt Your Nightmares

Let's face it: clowns aren't funny, they're terrifying, especially in the bizarre worlds of anime. You'll definitely want to keep these seven freaks away from your next birthday party. ― Clowns as a horror device are relatively new. You can thank Edgar Allen Poe, Ruggero Leoncavallo's Pagliacci opera, and actual clown serial killer John Wayne Gacy for planting the seed and of course, Stephen King's ...
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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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Answerman - Why Are Compilation Films Made?

It's a movie that edits together footage from a TV show you've already seen - what's the purpose of "Compilation Films" like Gurren Lagann's? Justin explains. ― Ryan asks: Why are compilation films of anime series in Japan so popular and why are they rarely licensed in the US? I just don't get it. Compilation films of TV anime have been made since at least the 1970s. They once filled an important ne...
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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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