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Answerman - What Determines Whether An Older Show Should Be Released as SD-BD?

"Standard Definition Blu-ray" means you're getting a LOT of anime on a single disc - but not in HD quality. Justin Sevakis discusses exactly how - and why - a show might get released in this format. ― Jeff asked: My question gets a little technical but I was reading over the Skip Beat kickstarter campaign recently and I saw a statement from Pied Piper where you said Skip Beat was perfect candidate f...
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Manga Answerman - How Come Some Manga Are Still Published "Flopped"?

There are still some manga in North America - like Lone Wolf & Cub and Chi's Sweet Home - that are still published "flopped", with the artwork flipped left-to-right. Why did this start happening - and why does it still happen? Deb gets into it. ― Why are some manga published in N. America flopped, while most are not? Well, let's get our definitions out of the way first: "flopped" manga refers to a p...
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Answerman - Why Aren't There More AAA Video Game-Based Anime?

Anime and games feel like natural mates, so how come you don't see more big anime adaptations of major AAA video games? Justin considers the angles. ― Jacob asked: I was recently thinking about some of the old shows I used to watch as a kid and I remembered that Nintendo made an anime adaptation of their character Kirby called Kirby Right Back at Ya! I remember back in the 1990'sand early 2000's it ...
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Answerman - How Do Manga Based On Original Anime Get Made?

Original manga often spawn anime series, but it doesn't go the other way all that often - how exactly does an original anime get a manga adaptation? Justin gets into the details. ― Nick asked: The process of securing the rights to and then adapting a manga, light novel, etc. into an anime has been described in much detail. That being said, there are certain cases where the opposite happens--an origi...
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Answerman - Since When Can Publishers Other Than Viz Publish Jump Titles?

It seemed like Viz had a monopoly on publishing Shonen Jump titles in America, but here comes Seven Seas with Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs. What gives? Deb's ready to explain! ― In the past, it looked like VIZ Media had an automatic license for Shonen Jump's manga. They were the only ones who released those (series). From Rurouni Kenshin, Death Note, Bleach, and others, if Viz didn't want to tr...
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Answerman - How Does A New Distributor Get Permission To Reuse Old Dubs?

Aniplex of America is re-releasing Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on bluray with Funimation's original English dub intact. How do anime companies work out a deal like that? Justin gets into the details. ― Ivan asked: It's well known by now that ANIPLEX USA is distributing Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood after FUNimation did it for years, and the English version with the voice actors and actresses ...
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Answerman - Why Isn't Idol Culture Bigger In America?

Hollywood might make a live-action Perfect Blue, but it's tough to imagine them greenlighting a live-action Love Live. Justin gets in to some of the reasons why that might be. ― Riku asked: I remembered few weeks ago I asked you about an American adaption of Love Live and you stated that it would not make sense since America does not have idol culture. Then how come Hollywood attempted to adapt Perf...
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Manga Answerman - Digital, Print or Both? How Do Manga Publishers Decide?

How do manga publishers decide whether to publish new and catalog releases as physical books, as digital copies, or in some cases, both? Deb explores the many angles publishers take on this one. ― How do publishers decide whether to release manga in print, digitally, or both? My understanding is that a digital release is cheaper, so some titles that wouldn't be profitable in print can support digita...
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Answerman - Could Patreon Be "Better For The Industry" Than Crunchyroll?

A recent video from anime youtuber Digibro suggested that Patreon would be a better funding solution for the anime industry than Crunchyroll - is that idea even viable? Justin considers the angles. ― Kasra asked: Youtuber digibro has been against crunchyroll saying how it a garbage product. Their is so many bad anime they license(he also hates Netflixs)and their video still uses flash video which it...
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Answerman - Why Do Sports Anime Bomb In North America?

The idea that sports anime "bomb" in America is an old truism that still has some truth to it - even though we've seen some pretty big exceptions in recent history. Justin explains the phenomenon, and how things are changing. ― Nick asked: I have begun to wonder why sports anime tend to do so poorly in the United States? I know of a few (Prince of Tennis, Big Windup!) that were fairly popular in Jap...
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Manga Answerman - Why Don't More Manga Publishers Use Kickstarter?

Kickstarter campaigns have helped quite a few manga see release in English - so why don't more publishers use it to release books that might otherwise seem kinda risky? Deb gets into the details! ― Why don't more manga publishers use Kickstarter to raise funds to publish manga? It's certainly true that Kickstarter has been a major force in comics publishing in the past few years. There are independe...
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Answerman - Why Do Dubs Cast Men As Boy Characters, while Japan Casts Women?

Shinji Ikari is voiced by a woman in Japanese, but he's voiced by a man in the English dub - and he's far from the only character in anime like this. Justin gets into the reasons why. ― Kevin asked: In many anime in Japan, the roles of young men are played by female voice actors. Shinji in Evangelion (Megumi Ogata), Ed and Al in Fullmetal Alchemist (Romi Park and Rie Kugimiya, respectively), and (th...
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Answerman - Why Are Teen Sex Comedies Only Acceptable When They're Live Action?

Some folks find lurid anime sex comedies featuring teenagers like High School DxD deeply offensive, but won't bat an eye at an American live-action sex comedy set in high school. What gives? Justin gets into it. ― Dave asked: Recently an anime company was on facebook promoting an upcoming release of a fanservice heavy show set at a Highschool. The comment section got pretty toxic pretty quickly with...
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Manga Answerman - Why is Summer the Season for Spooky Stories in Manga?

In North America we usually bust out the skeletons and draculas in October, but in manga, it seems like summertime is a much spookier season. Deb is ready to explain why! ― Why is Summer considered the season for spooky stories in manga, not Autumn / October like it is in North America? Much as Halloween at the end of October is the holiday that anchors the season for spooks and ghouls in North Amer...
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Answerman - What Will Become Of Takahata's Legacy?

Shocking revelations about Isao Takahata's treatment of his staff in Toshio Suzuki's recent book have some fans asking: what are we supposed to think of his films and his legacy now? Justin considers the angles. ― Fartball asked: Isao Takahata was one of my favorite anime directors, and I was heartbroken when he died a few months ago. Now Ghibli's producer Toshio Suzuki is saying Takahata was an awf...
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Answerman - Are Dub Crew Members Taking Over Voice Actors' Jobs?

Oftentimes in the credits of an English dub, you'll see the same name in a couple different slots - maybe director, producer, and also the lead actor. Is the crew invading the booth? Justin explains. ― Tess asked: Looking at the dub credits on various anime, I noticed that a voice actor (who is often a lead) may also be credited as a producer. Because they're a producer on a series' (or an episode's...
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Manga Answerman - Do Foreign Manga Sales Matter to North American Publishers?

Let's say there's a manga artist whose work is a huge smash hit in, say, Finland, but not a single volume of their work has been published in America. Do American publishers take that success into account? Deb gets into it. ― It's well known that not all manga are smash hits in the US, but when a previously "unknown" manga starts doing well in another country, shouldn't that catch other countries pu...
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Answerman - Why Are Big Hollywood Studios Buying Anime Distributors?

The entire entertainment industry is a swirling mass of mega-mergers and anime seems caught right in the middle of it. Justin discusses the current climate, how we got here, and what we might expect to see next. ― Anonymous asked: I just read that Crunchyroll's parent company, Otter Media, was officially bought 100% by AT&T, who says they plan to integrate it into Warner Media (which is Warner Broth...
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Answerman - Why And How Was Fist Of The North Star Censored?

Justin digs in to the (many) urban legends and tall tales surrounding the original theatrical cut of Fist of the North Star, which has never been seen outside of its original run in Japan in the 1980s. ― Joseph asked: I have read that people who used to rent Streamline Dubbed Fist of the North Star movie on Orion pre-release VHS rental copy, remember all gore scenes uncut and uncensored with no blur...
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Manga Answerman - Is It Common For Mangaka To Have A Lot Of Uncredited Assistants?

One reader wants to know if it's common in Japan for manga to be produced chiefly by one artist (named on the cover) along with a bunch of uncredited assistants. Deb pulls out the facts! ― We're now into August, and anime and comics convention season is in full-swing. I'm still digging through the transcripts from the various interviews and panels from SDCC and AX, but in the meantime, let's try to ...
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Answerman - How Do Anime Staff Feel About Working On Controversial Anime?

Dark and edgy anime like Future Diary and this season's Happy Sugar Life attract controversy with gritty storylines, but how do the staff working on shows like these feel about it? Justin has a few ideas. ― Alen asked: Lots of anime has extreme amounts of violence, adult situations and abuse of its characters, or a combination of all three. At the top of my head the (in)famous Future Diary/Mirai Nik...
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Answerman - How Do Lucky And Unlucky Numbers Factor Into Anime?

You often see the number 4 (and sometimes 9) mentioned as "unlucky" in anime and manga, but is there anything behind that? Justin digs in to a little bit of number trivia. ― Evan asked: As a westerner watching anime, should seeing the number 4 or 9 immediately set off alarm bells? I know that both 4 and 9 are considered "unlucky" in Japan because in Japanese. This comes up in Outlaw Star where the C...
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Manga Answerman - Why Isn't My Favorite Manga Licensed In America?

Deb gets in-depth on a long list of some of the most common - and sometimes misunderstood - reasons why your favorite manga hasn't been licensed for release in America yet. ― Got back from San Diego Comic-Con, where I moderated a panel with a bunch of manga publishing professionals, including editors, translators and publishers. I'll try to share some of the questions and answers that came out of th...
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Answerman - Is Ecchi Anime As Controversial In Japan As In America?

Fanservice can be a selling point or a deal breaker for North American anime fans. But is the same content a big deal in Japan? ― Shaun asked: I am among probably the most vocally reviled groups of American Anime Fans, the one who unabashedly enjoys Ecchi and Heavy Fanservice shows. There is a debate waiting around every corner in online anime communities to discuss how distracting Fanservice is, Ho...
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Answerman - Why Don't More Publishers Take A Chance On Older Titles?

Long-running action shows that aren't called Naruto or Dragon Ball frequently struggle to find an audience big enough to justify the licensing cost - why is that, and why aren't more publishers willing to take the risk on something like Toriko? Justin gets into it. ― Warsama Omar asked: Should licensing and Publishing companies give older series a second chance? I asked this because as I was pre-ord...
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Manga Answerman - Why Are American Manga Publishers So Coy About Licenses?

If you ask an American manga publisher about whether or not they're going to license a title you love, they'll be super coy and weird about it even if they have every intention of releasing it. Why is that? Deb digs in. ― Just got back from Anime Expo, and I'm at San Diego Comic-Con as you read this, where I'll be doing more of the same: going to the manga publishers' panels and reporting on what I ...
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Answerman - Why Did US Anime Publishers Experiment With Western Cartoons?

Once upon a time, Funimation and ADV Films licensed western cartoons for release into the fabled "mass market". Justin gets into this bit of history. ― Taylor asked: I've gone through Funimation's catalog on DVDEmpire and watched the "not-so-hidden secret" videos from Skippy on Youtube, and from what I saw, during the mid-00s, Funimation licensed several cartoons for release on DVD and VHS (includin...
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Answerman - Who Dominated Dubs Before Funimation?

Funimation produces a towering mountain of English dubs every year, but they weren't always the most prolific dub studio in the country. Justin gets into the history of it all. ― Samuel asked: Before Funimation was founded, what was the big-time, English-dubbing company and is it still in existence? Maybe it's because I've been in the anime business so long (20 years!!), but until I got this questio...
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Manga Answerman - Do English-Language Publishers Ever Collaborate On Manga Releases?

One reader writes in with an interesting find - an old copy of Hellsing with both Dark Horse AND Digital Manga logos on it! Deb gets to the bottom of this mystery - and talks with Dark Horse about how such a thing came about. ― Today's Answerman question comes from Ara, who found a manga that had a curious quirk: I just came across a copy of the English Hellsing manga in the wild and was surprised t...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Old Anime Never Re-released?

Justin goes in-depth on the numerous reasons your favorite unlicensed anime remains unlicensed, from music clearing headaches to personal grudges between licensing parties. ― Tony asked: One of my favorite anime in the early 90's, Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai, in Japan got a VHS release, but never got a single DVD release. It aired in Japan in October 1991, and got all 46 episodes released on ...
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Answerman - How Well Paid Are Dub Voice Actors?

It's a pretty simple question with a somewhat complex answer: how much do anime dub voice actors typically make for their services? Justin gets into it. ― Patricia asked: I've often wondered just how well paid voice actors are, are they contracted to any particular company or are they basically self employed? Is it a bit of both? Do they have managers or work for talent agencies who get them new pro...
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Answerman - How Is A Dub Made in 5.1 When The Japanese Version Isn't?

In some cases, anime come with a Japanese 2.0 audio track, and an English language track in 5.1. How do they manage that? Justin gets into it. ― Troy asked: I've noticed that many US disc releases of anime titles (especially in the past decade) have English dub tracks that were listed as having 5.1 or "Dolby Digital" English audio, which would lead one to believe that it features "surround sound." H...
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Manga Answerman - What Kind Of Raw Files Do Manga Publishers Work From?

Deb explains in detail - and with helpful diagrams! - exactly how manga printing works, and the difference between first-generation manga art and 3rd generation reproductions. ― Q: Hi there, after a while since the last time i bought some good old paper manga, and I noticed some very good editing, maybe even TOO good, so a question came up in my mind: when a manga gets officially licensed does the p...
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Answerman - How Expensive Is Housing In Japan?

This season's Hinamatsuri raises a question: the rent is too high in pretty much every major metropolitan city, but what about Japan's housing market? Is it too expensive to live in Tokyo? Justin gets into the details. ― Cuspy asked: Affordable housing is a pretty big crisis in the States, but if there's an issue with affordable housing in Japan it certainly isn't shown in anime. Anime characters li...
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Answerman - How Do TV Ratings Apply To Anime?

How do TV ratings work in Japan? Are they just using the Nielsen system like the US, and how much do ratings really impact late night TV anime? Justin gets into it. ― Rachel asked: Many Americans know that the Nielsen rating system determines which show stays on television and which show goes off the air. This is how many networks make or lose money. But not everyone knows that it doesn't just apply...
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Manga Answerman - Why Did Yen Press Give Away The Latest Volume of Overlord?

Yen Press recently gave away the newest volume of their hit light novel series Overlord - not the first volume, the most recent one. What was the thinking behind this? Deb gets into it. ― Q: Why is Yen Press offering the latest digital volume of the Overlord light novel series for free (at least on Amazon and B&N)? I was rather surprised to get an email last night from Amazon showing a $0.00 price. ...
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Answerman - Is Cosplay Copyright Infringement?

Is your anime cosplay in violation of copyright law? Would that even be enforceable? Justin digs into it. ― Chris asked: Following up on your column from earlier this week, you said most fan works are copyright violations. What about cosplay? I've heard that some creators don't like their characters being cosplayed. Is it possible that they can sue the fans that dress up as their characters? Legally...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Fan Works OK, But Some Get Shut Down?

When it comes to fan works - cosplay, fanart, fan films and games - copyright seems to be only enforced arbitrarily. Why is that - and which fan works are less likely to get the hook? Justin gets into it. ― James asked: I have noticed that most companies tolerate fanart, fanfiction, and cosplay of their works, but not fan-films or fan-made video games, which seems very arbitrary and random, to me. W...
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Manga Answerman - Do's and Don'ts of Meeting Convention Guests from Japan

Now that the 2018 summer convention season is in full swing, fans will soon have the chance to meet manga and light novel authors and artists from Japan! Here are some friendly tips for how to interact with your favorite creator. ― Now that the 2018 summer anime and comic convention season is in full swing, North American fans are in for a treat – the chance to meet some manga and light novel author...
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Answerman - Why Don't Drama CDs Get Released Outside of Japan?

Drama CDs are incredibly commonplace for anime from almost every genre, so why aren't English translations made available for them? Justin breaks down the practical problems with bringing this material stateside. ― Rachel asked: Many anime, manga and video game series sometimes get adapted into a audio drama CD, why aren't audio drama CDs released here in North America? Few people want them, and the...
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Answerman - Why Do Credits Only Sometimes Get Translated?

How exactly do anime companies go about deciding how to translate anime credits into English? How come you almost never see English credits in an anime OP? Justin gets into it. ― Jayke asked: I love it when publishers translate anime credits and put them into the OPs and EDs in English. Funimation used to do this with like every release (although they've faltered on this a bit as of late), and other...
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Manga Answerman - Can Mangaka Work With Multiple Publishers At Once?

It seems like an enormous workload, but is it possible for a mangaka to work on multiple series at once, across different publishers? Deb gets into it. ― Q: Can a Mangaka work with two to three (or more) different manga publishing companies at the same time, all with a different series? Yes. They certainly can, and some certainly do. The astounding work ethic (or back-breaking workload) of a Japanes...
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Answerman - Does Getting Free Copies Of Stuff Sway Opinions Of Critics?

Anime and manga critics often get free copies of the shows and books they're reviewing. Doesn't that compromise their opinions? Justin gets into it. ― Anonymous asked: How do you feel about screeners and review copies? I've heard some people argue that screeners are problematic because reviewers end up "owing" publishers good reviews, in some form or other. Yet, every mainstream review source--your ...
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Answerman - Why Do Anime Conventions Have Raves?

"Raves" largely went out of style in the 1990s, but anime conventions all over the country feature one as a major programming draw. What's the story behind this phenomenon? Justin gets into it. ― Jacob asked: I have been attending conventions for a wile and one thing I have never really understood was the Saturday and sometimes Friday night dance/rave that almost every convention holds now. Honestly...
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Manga Answerman - Why Do So Many Manga Artists Avoid Being Photographed?

Many mangaka are notoriously camera-shy, choosing instead to only represent themselves with an illustration. What are their reasons for this? Deb gets into it. ― Q: Why do a lot of manga artists prefer to not have their photos taken at events, like comic or anime conventions or book signings? This particular question has puzzled and bedeviled me for a while. As a journalist who occasionally intervie...
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Answerman - What Are Some Japanese Superstitions?

Cultural superstitions often influence art, and anime is no different! Justin runs down some of the most common superstitions you see in anime. ― Rajkovic asked: There is a multitude of superstitions in the world. The one I keep hearing often in Japanese anime is “If you sigh you'll chase happiness away” or something like that. What are some other common Japanese superstitions that foreigners would ...
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Manga Answerman - Do They Ever Retouch Unpolished Manga?

Sometimes manga pages go to the printers before the mangaka is completely finished polishing up their last few pages - do they ever go back and touch it up for the collected release? Deb gets into it. ― Q: I've noticed that sometimes a chapter of a manga had some unfinished panels likely due to a shorter timetable to finish the chapter. Is this something that typically gets touched up before the tan...
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Answerman - Why Aren't There Japanese Voice Actor Bloopers?

One reader wants to know why you never seem to see blooper reels for anime voice actors - bad takes can be fun to watch, so how come we never get to see them? Justin gets into it. ― Rodolfo asked: I was watching the Panty and Stocking bloopers on youtube and started wondering if there were any original Japanese anime bloopers floating around. I couldn't find any. Not one. So i was wondering, do the ...
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Answerman - Lightning Round

It's another batch of enlightening quickies: small faces, crime in Japan, High School of the Dead and more! ― Doc Fraga asked: I have wondered about this for almost 30 years. But what is the meaning of the three finger point "Sign of the devil" hand sign in anime. it's usually seen in Ranma 12 or Urusei Yatsura when someone gets knocked out. The hand-sign often associated with the devil and heavy me...
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Manga Answerman - How Do Manga Authors Get By When They're Not Publishing Something?

Let's say you draw manga for a living. How do you make ends meet when you're not yet successfully published, or if you're in between series? Deb has the answer. ― Q: How do mangaka get by financially when not publishing? Ah, the life of the manga artist…. While several manga creators hit it big and make a LOT of money, many of Japan's manga makers (much like the comics creators all over the world) d...
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Answerman - Why Is It Such A Big Deal When Anime Characters Cut Their Hair?

Happens all the time: the music swells, some major character changes are about to happen, and someone cuts their hair off. Justin explains this surprisingly common bit of symbolism. ― Darrel asked: It seems like a very common theme in anime where a character cuts her hair to signify moving on from something. This is a popular theme in the Monogatari series and was also recently shown in Gun Gale Onl...
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Answerman - How Do Publishers Choose Which Older Shows To Re-License?

Anime publishers in the US release classic titles all the time, but it can be a crapshoot if you're waiting for a specific obscurity. Justin explains the process. ― Chibi Chetsko asked: There is a particular pre-2010 anime series I want a different company to license for US release (I am pretty sure the old license expired) but is there anything I can do to to convince them to pick it up? If I conta...
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Manga Answerman - Why Isn't All My Favorite Manga Available Digitally?

A lot of manga series are available in both print and digital format - but definitely not all of them, which can be frustrating. Why isn't everything available in both formats? Deb gets to the bottom of it. ― Ah, the print vs. digital manga availability dilemma… let's see if we can sort things out for Ann, who sent in this question: I've found myself in a slight predicament now that I've been gettin...
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Answerman - Will The US Ever Get Stand-Alone Otaku Music Events?

Across Japan and in other countries, standalone concert/autograph events for famous idol groups happen outside a convention environment. So why are there never any of these in the US? ― Matthew asked: With the recent announcement that Aqours will be back on in Los Angeles for Anime Expo, once again an idol appearance on American soil is tied to an anime convention. Meanwhile in places like Taiwan an...
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Answerman - Why Is Some Merchandise So Hard To Find?

"Limited Edition" figures and books and blurays sure do dry up quick, and once they're gone, they're gone forever. So why don't they print more? Justin gets into it. ― Chad asked: Recently some anime merchandise is more difficult to purchase outside Japan, whether for old anime or new. I've purchased collectable figures for years, but some figures now go on sale for less than the day of release or t...
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Manga Answerman - Does Buying English-Language Manga Releases Support the Mangaka?

Deb Aoki checks in for her first installment as Manga Answerman! This week: how much of your manga-purchasing money actually gets back to the mangaka in Japan? ― Hi ANN readers – I'm Deb Aoki, and I've been writing about manga and the manga industry for quite some time. I'm here to take on your prickliest manga questions as Manga Answer(wo)man! Let's get started with this one from the Answerman mail...
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Answerman - Why Don't DVDs Contain Japanese Commentary Tracks Anymore?

Once upon a time, anime DVDs occasionally came with commentary tracks from the Japanese artists who made the film. What happened? ― Tyler asked: On some of Central Park Media's DVD releases, like MD Geist and World of Narue, one of the “disc set-up” options were commentaries from a few of the original Japanese staff, which I think is really cool. However, when ADV released these titles, they scrappe...
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Answerman - What Is Golden Week?

This holiday gets mentioned in plenty of anime series, but what's the cause for celebration and how does it affect the anime industry, if at all? ― invalidname asked: Hey, it's Golden Week! What effect does the holiday have on anime production, if everyone's taking a week off? On the flip side, do ratings go up from people having more free time to watch? Golden Week is a cluster of holidays that all...
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Answerman - Are Japanese Offices Really That Horrible?

Aggretsuko paints a pretty bleak (and relatable) picture of the working office environment for women in Japan - but how close to the truth is it? ― Jacob asked: I was watching the Netflix release of Aggresuko, which chronicles the life of a modern Japanese office lady. Thought the series her boss, who is represented as an overweight pig, makes her life miserable and demeaning. In a lot of ways he re...
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Answerman - Why Don't Anime Characters Go To Therapy?

How come therapy never seems to come up as a solution in anime? Justin discusses the differences in mental health culture and why we might not expect to see therapy explored much in anime. ― Julia asked: I've noticed that in a lot of anime, when characters have very deep, psychological problems, nobody ever considers going to therapy or telling someone to seek professional help. After watching anime...
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Answerman - Are "Upscaled" Blu-Rays Worth The Upgrade?

If a show was produced in a low resolution and has to be "upscaled" to HD, is it worth buying the HD version? Justin gets into the details. ― Patrick asked: I have a very simple question. Are blu-ray upscales of shows that have been out on dvd for years (I.E. Gungrave, Fate/stay night, etc) worth the money? Does the upscaling actually make a big enough difference to justify another purchase to see a...
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Answerman - Who Are The Ainu People?

After a high-profile spotlight in the new spring anime Golden Kamuy, some readers are curious to know more about Japan's Ainu population. Justin is happy to oblige! ― Eric asked: I'd watched the first episode of Golden Kamuy, and that anime and even its original manga had mentioned about the people of Ainu in Japan in which I know they're somewhat similar to the Native American Indians in the Americ...
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Answerman - Why Do Some Series Have Long Gaps Between Seasons?

One Piece shows up every week without fail, but there are gaps between seasons in My Hero Academia. What gives? Justin explains it all. ― Emily asked: I've been wondering why some anime have gaps of a year or more between seasons and others have gaps of a few months or just continue for long periods of time. I've also noticed that the number of long running series (especially those with lots of fill...
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Answerman - Is There Anything To Miss About Old School Subtitles?

Some people miss the way subtitles "used to be", wonky translations and all. But is there anything to sincerely miss about the "good ol' days"? Justin gets into it. ― James asked: During the 1980's and 1990's, some media that was imported from Japan to the western world (most notably video games but also some anime and manga) would be translated improperly, often with hilarious results that have pro...
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Answerman - What "Editing" Needs To Be Done To Anime For US Release?

Justin digs in to what "video post-production" means when it comes to anime - how we handle the masters Japan sends for home video production. ― Craig asked: Just finished watching the third Berserk film, The Advent and in the credits I saw your name for Video post production. What exactly do you do in terms of post production(clean up, video/audio compression, restoration?)? Do all companies who re...
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Answerman - Why Are People More Upset By Nudity Than Violence?

One reader wants to know why western fans clutch their pearls over anime boobs but give blood and guts a free pass. Justin has a few ideas. ― Steven asked: What's up with the Double Standards in Anime? Something full of blood-n-gore murder-death-kill trends towards the most popular, well received and reviewed shows. Meanwhile, the fan service, T & A heavy shows get lambasted for their content? Is th...
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Answerman - Is It Really Illegal To Take Pictures Of People Without Permission?

You hear it often that taking photos of anyone in Japan without their permission is illegal - is that true, and how did those laws come about? Justin gets into it. ― Stefan asked: I've seen characters in Japanese anime say that filming somebody or taking their picture without their consent is illegal. Is there really a law in Japan like this or something similar? Here in the US and many other countr...
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Answerman - Why Aren't More Original Anime Made?

There's an avalanche of anime these days, but a huge percentage of it is adapted from a manga, light novel or video game - why isn't there more original work? Justin considers the angles. ― rajkovic asked: Why do so many anime studios in Japan produce anime based on a light novel, game or manga series but rarely create an original anime? Is it simply less time-consuming and less expensive to make an...
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Answerman - Where Have All The Mechanical Designers Gone?

Traditionally animated cars, motorcycles, tanks and planes look awesome - have they all been completely replaced by CG? Justin considers the angles. ― Cameron asked: I've been watching older anime recently, and what stands out to me is the inspired and, frankly, super cool mechanical designs! I'm acutely aware that production of “mecha anime” has waned over the past couple of decades. Even anime tha...
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Answerman - What's A "Mainstream" Anime Fan?

Back in the day you'd say a "mainstream" anime fan just watched Toonami on TV and didn't buy DVDs or blurays. But what does a mainstream fan look like in the modern age? Justin gets into it. ― Jake asked: I have been wondering this for a while but what is now considered to be a “main stream” anime fan? I know up until the when the economy crashed in 2008 whatever played on TV was considered to be ma...
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Answerman - What Software Is Used In Anime Production?

What software do they actually use to MAKE anime? Justin runs down the list. ― Isamu asked: What programs do anime studios use nowadays for animating anime? I know Photoshop and after effects have something to do with it, but are there others like ToonBoom or SAI involved? Anime like Fate/Zero and Kill la Kill are so wonderfully animated, I'm curious. Even Pokémon has improved in animation. Now, thi...
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Answerman - Why Do Streaming Sites Block VPNs?

Ever try to visit Crunchyroll or another streaming service with your VPN on, only to be turned away by a message telling you to come back when you've got direct access? Why do they do that? Justin has a few answers. ― Jerry asked: Crunchyroll in late March, 2018 apparently decided to black-hole the entire network - that is, the entire ASN - of cloud service provider DigitalOcean, where I run a perso...
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Answerman - Is It A Big Deal When A Voice Actor Changes Agencies?

You hear about voice actors changing agents every now and then in the news - but how big a deal is it really when an actor decides to change their representation? Justin gets into it. ― Rajkovic asked: Is it big deal when a famous voice actor/actress decides to change agencies when the contract for their current agency expires? Is it difficult for voice actors to work as freelance instead of being s...
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Answerman - Do I Need To Check All My Anime Blu-Rays For Errors?

Is it necessary to individually inspect each anime bluray you purchase for errors that might be unique to that copy? Justin explains. ― Melissa asked: Every time I order a new anime series and it comes in the mail, I watch it asap, skip nothing the first time around, and force myself to watch the dvd discs that come in the combo pack. The reason behind it, to make sure all the discs are error free. ...
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Answerman - What Does An ADR Engineer Do?

People know what a voice actor and a voice director do, but rarely do they know the role of the ADR engineer, the secret MVP of the world of anime dubs. Justin files an appreciation of their craft. ― Roman asked: I was watching some of my favorite anime and noticed a title of ADR engineer in the credits. I'm somewhat familiar with the role of ADR director, voice actor and script writer in anime dubs...
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Answerman - Is Anime Fandom More Dysfunctional Than In The Past?

"Anime fandom is so much worse now than it was when I was just getting started!" is a common sentiment, but is there really any truth to it? Justin considers the angles. ― Marshmallow Cello asked: With how everything being divisive and politicized nowadays, how badly has the anime fandom been affected by this? I notice that certain groups among the fandom often clash with others over such hot topics...
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Answerman - How Long Does An Anime Episode Take To Make?

How long does it actually take for a production team to create a single episode of anime, end-to-end? ― Mark asked: I have a pretty simple question. About how long prior to a show airing does animation production start? So not pre-production meetings or voice acting or anything like that, but the artists sitting down and drawing the whole dang thing. How much of a lead time do these artists need to ...
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Answerman - There's Bara Manga... Why Isn't There Bara Anime?

Bara manga is pretty common in Japan, even if it might not be as widespread as yaoi - so why isn't there any bara anime? Justin has a few angles. ― Harris asked: I confess that I really like bara manga because of its incredible art style, sexy situations (depending on the subject), and most certainly its appeal to gay male readers such as myself. Given the fact that hentai and yaoi titles are often ...
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Answerman - What Makes A Manga Shonen Or Shoujo?

It's the eternal question - is the manga I'm reading shojo, shonen, seinen, josei, or something else entirely? How am I supposed to know just WHO this thing I'm reading is for? Justin gets into it. ― Juno016 asked: How are manga (among other media) classified into their respective genres like "shoujo" and "josei" and so on? Obviously, there is some overlap, but are there official genre classificatio...
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Answerman - Oops! All Quick Answers!

There's been an accident at the answer factory and all of this week's answers are short! Subtitled Pokemon, learning your Japanese from anime and manga, streaming anime music and much more! ― Samuel asked: What pros and cons are there from learning the Japanese language from Japanese entertainment (anime, manga, non-animated television as well as motion pictures, light novels, visual novels, etceter...
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Answerman - Is It Now "Cool" To Be An Anime Fan?

Kim Kardashian loves Darling in the Franxx. Does that mean mainstream American society thinks anime is cool now? Well, it's complicated, but Justin's ready to unpack it. ― Anonymous asked: Recently Kim Kardashian came clean about liking anime (even calling out DARLING in the FRANXX). Michael B. Jordan also confessed to being an anime fan. Does this mean that anime is now "cool" in the US? That's rea...
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Answerman - Is It Intimidating For Japanese Guests To Visit American Conventions?

Dozens of Japanese creatives visit American conventions every year - how much culture shock is really involved? Justin considers the angles. ― Frubam asked: When these Japanese anime voice actors[actresses] come to an US anime convention, do they take a translator with them? I'd imagine it'd be pretty scary coming to a country you've (probably) never been before, without even knowing how to speak th...
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Answerman - Why Are Anime Age Ratings So Inconsistent?

Over the years, age ratings on anime have been pretty wildly inconsistent, making it tough to judge what's appropriate for kids and what isn't - why is that? Justin digs in. ― Phineas asked: Is there a stricter bias towards anime age ratings in the United States simply because they're animated? I noticed that Monster was 18+ by Viz but was rated M (the equivalent of a PG-13) in Australia. This remin...
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Answerman - Why Don't Dubs Cast Real Kids?

In Japanese, shows like Barakamon typically cast an actual child actor as the child character in the show - but in the English dub, this is almost never the case. Why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Marc asked: In anime, it doesn't seem to be at all unusual for small children's rolls to be voiced by actual small children (“Barakamon”, “Sweetness and Lightning” and the currently airing “School Babysi...
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Answerman - Why Are Fat People Ridiculed In Anime?

Overweight characters in anime are usually the target of nonstop fat jokes and taunting, something that's become less common in Western media over time - but why? Justin has a few angles. ― Skerlly asked: In the time I´ve been watching anime, I´ve noticed how fat characters, mostly male ones, are portrayed as characters that love to eat a lot and only have food in their mind. It happened with Chouji...
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Answerman - How Do Blu-Ray Subtitles Work?

They seem a lot more complex than regular DVD subtitles - how exactly do they get subtitles on bluray discs? Justin has the shockingly complex answer. ― John asked: What are the technical differences between creating subtitles for DVDs and Blu-ry Discs? And were HD-DVDs any better or worse? Subtitles are a pain in the ass. No other part of making a DVD or Blu-ray is as complicated, error-prone, or a...
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Answerman - Are Streaming Revenues Improving The Lives Of Animators?

Wow! Hundreds of millions of dollars are flowing into the anime industry thanks to streaming! Is any of that money going to the people who actually make anime? Justin gets into it. ― Custom Gundam asked: With ANN recently reporting that Crunchyroll royalties to the Japanese industry exceed US $100 million and also the huge amount recieved from global companies like Netflix and Amazon and also the va...
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Answerman - What Is Gambling Like In Japan?

There sure are a lot of gambling anime, but what's it actually like to gamble in Japan? Does anime paint an accurate picture? Justin gets into it. ― Jake asked: I have recently been watching Kakegurui Compulsive Gambler on Netflix and it has me curious about gambling in Japan. Gambling is in a ton of anime from Samurai Champloo to Kaiji. Mostly I am familiar with the basic odd even dice game as well...
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Answerman - Is It Worth Collecting Anime On VHS?

There are some anime released in the US on VHS but never in any other format - are these (and others) worth tracking down? ― Robbie asked: I recently got into collecting records, and I feel like, although it's not as handy as digital music, there's small things about just the act of listening to them that I really enjoy. I wonder, if there's any feeling you get from watching anime the old fashioned ...
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Answerman - Are American Comics Popular In Japan?

There's no escaping Marvel Comics, not even in Japan - but how popular are Thor and Hulk in a place already teeming with beloved, locally-grown superheroes? Justin gets into it. ― Sarah asked: Are American comics/movies popular in Japan? I know there have been some recent American Comic Book franchise adaptations into Anime like X-Men and Blade so there must be some interest I imagine, but how popul...
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Answerman - What If I No Longer Like My Old Favorite Shows?

Sometimes when you revisit anime from your childhood, they no longer hold the same magic anymore. Justin discusses this common anime fan experience. ― Brent asked: I have been considering going back and watching some of the first anime I ever watched. Here's the problem though....i'm afraid too. I have memories of those series being flat out amazing and they all hold a special place in my mind. I've...
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Answerman - Can Fans Ever License Obscure Shows Themselves?

All those anime lost to time that nobody seems to want—is it possible for fans with the right amount of cash to distribute these shows themselves? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Nessa asked: Say there's an anime with a dedicated Western fan following, but no interest from licensors and it went completely under the radar in Japan. There's no home media releases, it's nowhere to be found on streami...
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Answerman - Why Do Discs Use Different Audio Formats?

Sentai Filmworks blurays mostly use DTS-HD Master Audio, while Funimation usually goes with Dolby TrueHD 5.1 - but why isn't there a single audio standard across anime releases? Justin gets into it. ― Edward asked: I have recently started to care about the audio of the anime I buy, and wish to know why the English/Japanese audio differentiates from one another and why there is no consistency in anim...
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Answerman - Where Do Anime Sound Effects Come From?

You'll often hear familiar sound effects over and over again across many anime series, just like in Western films. Where do they pull those effects from? Justin gets into it. ― Joel asked: I assume you're familiar with the original Mobile Suit Gundam series? The sound effect used for the “new type flash” is very iconic, and it—and its accompanying visual “lightning” effect—has been reproduced (often...
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Answerman - Why Are So Many Live Action Anime Adaptations Terrible?

It's no secret people aren't happy with the quality of live-action anime adaptations. But why do they usually turn out so crummy? Justin considers the angles. ― Mitchell asked: I've heard the Fullmetal Alchemist movie is bad, it has become clear to me that both America and Japan are having a tough time making a good live action film based off anime/manga. I know that superhero movies based on comics...
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Answerman - Why Does Anime Rely So Much On Still Shots?

The camera doesn't move too much in anime, in contrast with live-action film or even big-budget Western animated films. Why is that? Justin considers the angles. ― Rafael asked: In film, the camera is one of the most basic yet powerful tools of expression in a filmmaker's arsenal. As you are a film scholar, I'm sure you already know the power of a well-composed shot. My question is this: Anime relie...

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