Letter from the Encyclopedist
At long last, we launch!

by Daniel DeLorme, Jun 30th 2002
For many months now, unbeknownst to the readers of ANN, something big has been in the works. So it is today with great pride that we present to you The Anime News Network Encyclopedia! As you can imagine, an encyclopedia is not a light task to tackle. In fact, it became clear to us that we could not do this alone, that if we indeed wanted a TRUE encyclopedia capable of holding the sum of all anime knowledge, we would need help. Lots of help. And where better to get this help than from the very fans who have been making anime strong for all these years? So we created this interactive encyclopedia where you, the user, can add any information imaginable pertaining to anime. Of course, we've tried to create a solid base to start from. A few hundred animes and a few thousand peoples' names should be a decent starting point.

A quick glance at the menus will tell you the encyclopedia is divided into four main parts. First, the Anime. Titles can be displayed in different lists (by letter, by relevance, etc) and follow a simple color/bold/italic code so you can tell at a glance which animes are licensed, which have the most information about them, etc. Within each anime you will be able to find various informations such as alternative titles, number of episodes, dates and much more, as well as staff, cast and company lists. And contributing information is a snap! Just click and follow the instructions. In fact, if you don't find the info you're looking for in the encyclopedia, we encourage you to search for it on the Net or elsewhere and then share your findings with others by entering them in the encyclopedia. Just a note about staff and cast lists: only people who have worked on more than just that anime will have a link that will bring you to that person's credits list.

This brings us to the second part of the encyclopedia, the People. The names are listed by letter, for first name as well as family name, and there are also lists for most prolific cast/staff. Just as for the anime, you can find and contribute any information about the people in those lists. You think you know everything about a certain creator or seiyuu? Then share your knowledge with the anime community!

The third section, the Releases, isn't quite as new as the preceding two. Many of you will recognize the old release dates list... but with a little facelift. There are a few more options to access releases according to date or title, but apart from that it's the same old. But we just had to include it in the encyclopedia... this is clearly encyclopedic knowledge! ;-)

The last part is the Lexicon. It contains definitions for words that have special meaning in anime and manga. Actually, this is what was originally planned when I was "recruited" to create an encyclopedia for ANN. And ironically, this is also the smallest part of the encyclopedia, as we haven't had time to fully flesh it out. But with some time and some help (you can suggest words!) I'm sure we can turn this into a fine glossary of anime.

This is all fine, but the changes go ever deeper than this. In addition to creating an encyclopedia, we are cross-referencing all of Anime News Network's content (reviews, features, columns, etc) with the information contained therein! From now on you will notice in our articles that some words, like Maison Ikkoku or Osamu Tezuka, are highlighted in green. This means that the encyclopedia holds some information about these words and you can click on them to see the encyclopedia entry.

Well, that concludes our little tour of ANN's brand new feature. We hope you all like it and use it, and that together we can make this into one truly extensive encyclopedia for the online anime community.

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