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Answerman - Are There More Anime Remakes And Sequels These Days?

Sometimes it feels like everything these days is a sequel or a remake - but is that really even a new phenomenon? Justin digs in. ― Jitendar asked: Today, I take a look at the anime industry, and it feels as if half of the output is either a remake or a continuation, as it's the established franchises that companies seem to turn to again and again. Right now one of the biggest shows streaming is a F...
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Manga Answerman - What's With All The Omnibus Releases?

American manga publishers seem to be leaning more and more toward collected releases - why is that? Deb digs in, with some commentary from industry pros. ― Why does omnibus volumes seem to be increasingly common for US manga publishers nowadays? Not that they don't ever release the individual volumes, but it seems like whenever there's a modern re-release, or a never-before-released English edition ...
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Answerman - Why Do Opening and Ending Song Lyrics Sometimes Get Subtitled In Japanese?

Anime openings and endings sometimes have Japanese sing-along lyrics included - why is that? Justin explains. ― Todd asked: I've noticed that some, but not all openings seem to have hiragana/english subtitles (like in my hero academia). I had long been told that this was common in anime for kids, but i've also seen it in shows squarely aimed at adult otaku (the wisemans grandchild) do this as well. ...
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Answerman - Why Did Anime Companies Start Including "Clean" Openings And Endings?

Anime DVDs and blurays often include creditless opening and closing animations - but how did that tradition begin? Justin's got the lowdown. ― Joseph asked: One of the most common special features found on DVD/Blu-ray releases of anime series in the west are opening and ending sequences with the opening and closing credits removed. I'm curious to find out when this trend began and what got it starte...
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Answerman - Do Japanese School Kids Really Get To Go On Class Trips?

Pretty often in anime you see high school kids taking big, eventful class trips - does that really happen in Japan? Justin digs in. ― Jake asked: I have watched a lot of school anime over the years and I have always found school trips to be a bit peculiar. Most of the time they are beach trips, which is pretty normal fare. But more often than not it's to some exotic expensive local that is multiple ...
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Manga Answerman - Does Manga Need An Anime Adaptation To Hit In The West?

Is there any truth to the perception that a manga series "needs" an anime adaptation in order to seriously catch on in the west? Deb digs in deep. ― A friend of mine and I had an argument about this and I was hoping you had an opinion on it. Do you think it's true that outside of a few cases, most manga needs an anime adaptation in order to really catch on in the west? Hm. Let me preface my thoughts...
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Answerman - Why Do Funimation's Dragon Ball Z Re-Releases Look Like That?

Funimation announced a new 30th anniversary bluray box for Dragon Ball Z and the internet exploded over the picture quality - Justin explains why it looks the way it does. ― Several people asked: I've seen promo material for Funimation's upcoming Dragon Ball Z 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray boxed set, and it looks terrible! All of the film grain (and some detail) has been smeared away,...
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Answerman - Why Doesn't Viz Automatically Get Every Show From Their Japanese Parent Companies?

A handful of American anime and manga distributors are owned outright by enormous Japanese publishers - so why don't they automatically license everything those publishers release? Justin explains. ― Ryan asked: I learned recently that Viz Media is actually jointly owned by shueisha and shogakukan. The two biggest manga publishers in Japan. I wonder why viz media doesn't automatically get the licens...
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Manga Answerman - What Are The Best Digital Manga Services?

With an almost overwhelming number of places to read digital manga, it can be hard to sort out where to find everything you want to read. Deb does her best to sort it out! ― Where do you personally read digital manga, and with several apps now all competing for a similar manga-reading audience, which ones do you think are the most useful? Well, as you mention, there are many places where you can buy...
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Answerman - What's With All The School Uniforms In Anime?

Anime as a medium is absolutely swimming in school uniforms - are they really that ubiquitous in Japan? Justin gets into it. ― James asked: I have noticed that a large percentage of Japanese anime and manga series that I have followed feature schools, and almost invariably, the students at those schools wear uniforms (with Dragon Ball being the only series that I can recall where students do not wea...
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Manga Answerman - What exactly does a “manga editor” do?

Industry legend and Dark Horse manga editor Carl Horn joins Deb this week for a little enlightenment on what exactly a "manga editor" does. ― Editor's note: Manga Answerman is on hiatus this week, so we're republishing one of our favorites - please look forward to a new installment next Friday! What exactly does a “manga editor” do, on both the Japanese side and the English localization side? In my ...
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Answerman - Why Did Funimation Partner With China's bilibili?

Funimation and Chinese streaming giant bilibili recently announced an anime licensing partnership - what does that mean for both companies, and the industry? Justin has a few ideas. ― Jacob asked: In the last week Funimation just announce a partnership with the Chinese streaming platform bilibili. This has had a lot of anime fans wonder why they would do this? In the last few years Funimation was so...
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Answerman - Why Are Most Manga Published in Black and White?

American comics are (mostly) published in color - but virtually all manga is published exclusively in black and white. What's the reason for the difference? Deb gets into it. ― Why are most manga published in black and white and not color, like American comics? The simple answer is that it's simply cheaper, faster, and easier to publish comics in black and white than it is to print in color. When yo...
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Answerman - Why Don't Netflix Anime Get Home Video Releases?

Why can't we get Netflix anime like Devilman Crybaby or Aggretsuko on bluray in the West? Justin breaks down some of the reasons why. ― DarkShadow asked: So, several folks in anime circles are complaining that whenever Netflix gets an anime exclusive (i.e. Little Witch Academia TV series), that anime title is effectively condemned to not be released on home video, like it will never be released on h...
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Answerman - Why Would Crunchyroll Partner With Adult Swim?

Justin weighs the benefits of a partnership between anime streaming giant Crunchyroll and cable TV's venerable Adult Swim, which are now both owned by the same company. ― Jacob asked: It was recently announced that Crunchyroll and the Cartoon Network anime block Toonami were forming a partnership. For me I have a hard time understanding why they would do this. For years Crunchyroll has been one of t...
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Manga Answerman - Why are there so many sound effects in manga?

The pages of your favorite manga are often overflowing with unique onomatopoeia - Deb gets into a discussion about this phenomenon. ― This might sound like a simple question, but I've always wondered: why are there so many sound effects in manga? Sound effects are a part of Western comics too (e.g. Ka-Pow! Whoosh!), but Japanese comics are unique in that besides onomatopoeia (words for sounds that m...
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Answerman - How Do Japanese Producers Factor Cultural Differences Into Their Sales Plans?

Some of Japan's biggest hits - like Doraemon and Detective Conan - have failed to find much of an audience in the west, despite their studios' best efforts. What gives? Justin gets into it. ― Matt asked: I've been curious about how certain shows Japanese licensors think will be massive hits in North America end up getting cult status at best due to those shows being so ingrained into their culture; ...
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Answerman - What Happens When A Japanese Licensor Goes Out Of Business?

What could happen if a Japanese Licensor went out of business while their shows are still licensed? Justin gets into it. ― Tristan asked: What could happen if a Japanese Licensor went out of business while their shows are still licensed? Like, for example, back when Funimation had Fullmetal Alchemist, what would've happened if Aniplex went under? Would Funimation have kept the license or would it ha...
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Manga Answerman - How often do English manga publishers sell at a loss?

Not every manga series published in English will be a hit, but how often do the publishers themselves sell books at a loss? Deb digs in to it. ― How often do English publishers sell at a loss? Viz and Kodansha have so many different series and there has to be a good amount that they aren't making money on. Nearly a decade ago, Viz Media dropped Hitman Reborn, Gintama and a few others and I often sti...
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Answerman - Why Is Alice In Wonderland So Popular In Japan?

Countless anime and manga are based on the classic story Alice in Wonderland - why is that? Justin gets in to it. ― James asked: I have noticed that there have been a significant number of Japanese adaptations (manga, anime, and video games) of Alice in Wonderland; why are the Japanese so fond of that story? If you ask an average Japanese person why the country loves Alice in Wonderland so much, the...
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Answerman - What Do Actor's Unions Actually Do?

What's the difference between a "union dub" and a "non-union dub" and why does it matter? Justin digs in to the details. ― Anonymous asked: This might come across as a naive question but what does it mean when a role is 'non-union' and why are so many anime roles non-union? For clarity I am a trade union rep myself but for an office job in the UK and I have an idea of what SAG, Equity and the other ...
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Manga Answerman - Which forgotten or underappreciated manga do you think deserve a big splashy omnibus rerelease?

Which manga do you think deserve a lavish rerelease? Deb weighs in. ― Which forgotten or underappreciated manga do you think deserve a big splashy omnibus rerelease? Hm. This is a tough one, since a lot of terrific manga that would have otherwise not have had a chance to get an official release five or ten years ago are now getting picked up for publication. As a result, my “impossible dream” or “re...
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Answerman - Will There Ever Be A "Next Cowboy Bebop"?

It's a pretty common question among anime fans - will there ever be another series quite like 1998's Cowboy Bebop? Justin gets into it. ― Jake asked: Every now and then I will here somebody talk about “the next Cowboy Bebop” is coming down the pipe and how it's going to completely ripple through the anime community now and for years to come. In the last few I have heard this when Space Dandy, Devilm...
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Answerman - Why Do New Episodes Sometimes Get Delayed?

New episodes of TV anime are sometimes delayed for broadcast due to a variety of factors - what causes that to happen? Justin gets into it. ― Ashley asked: This might be too broad of a question to ask, but what's up with production delays in anime? You usually hear about studios working on an anime at least a few months prior to release, but if that's the case, why do you hear about production delay...
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Answerman - How Important Are Dub Voice Actors To American Anime Publishers?

Just how much power, influence and control do English dub voice actors have at the companies they do contract work for? Justin gets into the details. ― Anonymous asked: There's been a lot of controversy about a handful of voice actors behaving badly at conventions lately. But one argument that I see coming up a lot is that it might be a coordinated attempt by other anime companies to smear their com...
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Manga Answerman - What Makes A Great English Translation?

Do you prefer an extremely literal translation to a more "lyrical" one? What really goes in to a truly great Japanese-to-English manga translation? Deb's got a few ideas. ― This is more of a personal question, but what do you prefer: a “lyrical”, adaptive translation, or a no-frills one that goes for the very direct approach? Hm. That's an interesting question. Let me preface my response with a few ...
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Answerman - How Are Old Releases of Anime Preserved, And Why Aren't Manga Preserved Too?

Restoring and rereleasing old anime can be a whole lot of work, and shaky preservation practices by anime studios can make it a whole lot harder. Justin gets into the fun details. ― Melissa asked: It seems like when companies like Discotek license rescue older shows, they're usually able to get the old dub or subtitle scripts from whatever original company released it. I imagine this is because the ...
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Answerman - Why Is Crunchyroll On So Many Production Committees?

Crunchyroll sits on a number of production committees, the organizations that collectively produce an anime series - what advantages does this model have over simple licensing? Justin digs in. ― Alex asked: Recently, Crunchyroll has increased the number of anime titles in which they are a member of the production committee. What benefit does being part of the production committee have over just lice...
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Manga Answerman - Do Comic Book Stores Still Hesitate To Stock Manga?

Deb and two experts from the field weigh in on an old stereotype: are traditional comic book stores in North America still reluctant to stock manga? ― Do comic shops still hesitate to stock manga or is that just an old stereotype at this point? I'd find it hard to believe they would still resist it. For this particular question, I decided to ask some folks on the front lines of selling manga in comi...
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Answerman - Is Japan Or America More Prudish About Sexual Content?

With the phenomenon of fanservice being so common in anime, does this mean that Japan is more relaxed about sexual content than the USA, or is it actually the other way around? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― James asked: Many American fans of Japanese animation and manga believe that Japanese media and culture in general are more liberal-minded on the subject, and accepting, of nudity and sexuali...
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Answerman - Why Were Anime Budgets So Big In The '80s?

The animation quality of '80s OVAs and movies can be absolutely jaw-dropping, so what changed to bring so many of these ambitious productions down to earth in the following decade? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Jacob asked: I was looking back at the anime that was made during the 1980's and have had something that has always had me curious. I have heard from several anime podcasts and as well as...
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Answerman - Is It Possible To Kickstart Your Own Anime Series?

With the success of so many kickstarted movies, games, and other pop culture ephemera, could the dream of "making your own anime" really be as close as a month or two of crowdsourcing? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― PAL asked: I know several web comic artists who have popular strips and are always asked by their fans “Any chance of an animated series?” To which they reply “No. Never. It's impossi...
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Manga Answerman - Why Do Publishers Sometimes Stop Publishing Manga Before They're Finished?

Every now and then a manga being published in English will suddenly get canceled - what goes into that sort of decision, and is it possible to bring them back from the dead? Deb gets into it. ― Why do publishers stop publishing some manga before the series is completed? There are many reasons why a publisher might opt to stop publishing new volumes of a manga series in English before the story is co...
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Answerman - Why Don't More Details About New Anime Leak To The Press?

When it comes to American films, pre-release details "leak" all the time to the movie press - why doesn't this seem to happen as often with anime? Justin considers the angles. ― Tim asked: I was thinking, if an anime movie takes around 1 year or so to make, how come there aren't much leaks about the contents of the film? In the case of the final naruto film, wouldn't leaks about its contents be rele...
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Answerman - What Is DNR/DVNR, And Why Do People Hate It?

DNR is a filter that allows film restorers to remove grain and noise from the image, but plenty of people hate what it does and how it looks. Justin gets into the reasons why. ― James asked: I have recently been hearing about digital noise reduction (DNR) being applied to reissues and remasters of older media, and some fans complaining about it. However, noise is, by definition, something that is un...
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Answerman - Is It Possible To Eat Gluten-Free In Japan?

For people with specific dietary restrictions, Japanese cuisine can be a bit of a minefield. Justin has some advice. ― Anonymous asked: I've celiac disease so I live on a gluten free diet and have for basically my entire life. I've always wondered how celiacs or other people who live on a gluten free diet are taken into account in Japan. There are a lot of food I see in anime that a celiac wouldn't ...
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Answerman - Are Artists Apologizing and Self-Censoring More These Days?

It feels like every other week a manga artist or light novel writer is apologizing for a story element they didn't expect fans to hate - is this actually on the rise, or does it just feel like it? Justin considers the angles. ― Matthew asked: I've recently read several stories about anime creators who have either censored, apologized for, or otherwise regretted explicit content in their programs (Sw...
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Answerman - How Did Christmas in Japan Become A Thing?

Japan isn't a predominantly Christian country, so how did the Christmas holiday even become a thing there? Justin breaks it down. ― James asked: As Christmas approaches, I have noticed that that holiday seems to be popular in Japan, despite the fact that Christianity is not widespread in that nation. How did Christmas become popular in Japan, and why do the people there enjoy celebrating a foreign h...
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Manga Answerman - Who Decides Which Ecchi Manga Get Shrinkwrapped?

Any trip down a bookstore manga aisle will reveal that some manga full of boobs are shrinkwrapped while other manga full of boobs aren't. Who makes these decisions, anyway? Deb gets into it. ― Some ecchi manga gets shrink-wrapped for retail but some doesn't – how does that get decided? Is it entirely on the publisher to shrink-wrap certain types of content? Does the store handle it themselves? Is th...
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Answerman - Do Companies Ever Go Back And Dub Shows They Released Subtitled?

Every now and then, an anime gets a subtitled-only physical release - how rare is it for that same show to get a dub down the road? Justin breaks it down. ― Matthew asked: If an anime company licenses an anime but chooses not to dub it, is there ever a chance that it might get dubbed in the distant future? When Fate/Zero first came out, I was certain that it wouldn't get dubbed after Aniplex started...
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Answerman - Is Netflix Good For Anime?

Funimation president Gen Fukunaga had some choice words for the way he thinks Netflix will handle Evangelion - does he have a point? Justin considers the possibilities. ― Kasra asked: Funimation's president Gen Fukunaga got very salty about Netflix getting Evangelion. It seems like to him and some of fans that Netflix will not do the series justice. But it should be celebrated since well eva is back...
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Manga Answerman - What exactly does a “manga editor” do?

Industry legend and Dark Horse manga editor Carl Horn joins Deb this week for a little enlightenment on what exactly a "manga editor" does. ― Editor's note: Manga Answerman is on hiatus this week, so we're republishing one of our favorites - please look forward to a new installment next Friday! What exactly does a “manga editor” do, on both the Japanese side and the English localization side? In my ...
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Answerman - Do You Have To Be Outgoing To Work In The Industry?

Is being an extrovert a requirement for working in the anime industry? Do you have to be a social butterfly? Justin considers the angles. ― Tyler asked: One thing I've noticed with a lot of anime fans is they're either extremely extroverted or extremely introverted—there's very little middle ground. I know a good number of voice actors who claim to be introverted, yet they attend cons that would pou...
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Answerman - Why Do I Hear Echoes of Japanese Voices in Dubs of Old Anime?

Every now and then when you're watching an old dub, sometimes you'll hear faint echoes of the Japanese track behind it. What's responsible for this phenomenon? Justin digs in. ― Sami asked: Why does the Japanese dialogue track sometimes leak to music & SFX track used for dubs? I've noticed this issue in many dubs of older anime. Also many of the ME Tracks have this weird "ghosting effect" in which t...
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Manga Answerman - Why Do Some Shojo Publishers Use The Same Spine Design For Every Series?

Spine design can make browsing the shojo manga shelves in Japan a little tricky for non-native speakers - Deb calls in book designer extraordinaire Fawn Lau for expert commentary! ― When looking at manga in Japan, I've noticed how lots of shoujo tankobon manga have their titles and spines in the same font and format, making for a super uniform look where it's hard for anything to stand out, especial...
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Answerman - What's With The Multiple Versions of Kiki's Delivery Service?

Justin tells the story behind Disney's original VHS & Laserdisc dub of Kiki's Delivery Service, starring Kirsten Dunst and featuring two original songs! ― Fred asked: I recently was at a second hand shop, and came across an old VHS tape of Kiki's Delivery Service, I guess from when it was first released by Disney. I already had the movie on Blu-ray but it seemed like a collectable, and it was only 5...
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Answerman - Is It Safe To Replace My Physical Media Collection With Streaming?

It feels like everything's available streaming now - all the anime you could ever want - so is it cool to jettison my physical media library? Not so fast, says Justin. ― Will asked: With most of the anime I want to watch being on Crunchyroll or another streaming service these days, it's harder and harder for me to get excited about buying Blu-rays or DVDs. Is it worth buying everything I like? Will ...
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Manga Answerman - How Many Manga Magazines Are There In Japan?

You hear about the breadth and depth of manga available in Japan, but how many manga magazines actually publish there - and has digital overtaken print at this point? Deb considers the angles. ― So how many different manga magazines are there in Japan, anyway? Is there one aimed at pretty much every demographic? Which ones generally produce the most anime adaptations? Hoooh. This one is a tough one ...
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Answerman - Is There A Point In Suggesting Titles for Licensing to Publishers?

Whenever a licensor announces a new title, there's a herd of people who shout the names of shows they'd like to see licensed next. Does this have any impact? Justin explains. ― Jill asked: Whenever I see an anime or manga (but really mostly anime) publisher post something online, especially on Facebook, I see a small army of people just respond by posting an endless list of shows that they license n...
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Answerman - What Are Japanese "Family Restaurants" Like?

You see Denny's-style "family restaurants" in anime all the time - but how similar are they to what we have in America? Justin counts the ways. ― Gareth asked: I see a lot of restaurants in anime that basically look like American diners, but they seem like they're modeled after specific chains -- one of them clearly being Denny's. Is Denny's in Japan basically the same as in the US? What other resta...
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Manga Answerman - How Can I Preserve My Aging Manga Collection?

If you've got a big manga collection, preserving it can be a hassle - and staving off the yellowing of pages can be a little tricky. Deb has some tips for keeping your manga collection pristine. ― Hey Deb, I have a very expansive manga collection and lately when I browse through some of my older volumes, I've noticed the pages are starting to yellow - in many cases it's much worse than I thought. I'...
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Answerman - What Unique Sodas Are Sold in Japan?

It's almost a holiday weekend - so let's talk about the wide world of unique and flavorful Japanese sodas! ― Jerry asked: Every time I see one of the famous Japanese drink vending machines in photographs or in anime, I usually see CocaCola and/or Pepsi, and maybe something else familiar like Mountain Dew, but I recognize almost nothing else. What kinds of sodas are available in Japan that aren't ava...
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Answerman - Why Did Crunchyroll and Funimation Divorce?

Crunchyroll and Funimation's short-lived romance is over - but why? Justin has a few angles on what happened, and what might happen next. ― Jonathon asked: Funimation ended the partnership with Crunchyroll recently, and a bunch of their shows are getting pulled off of VRV, which sucks. Why did this happen? What will happen to the two companies? Should I be concerned that one of them is going to go a...
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Manga Answerman - Why Don't More Japanese Manga Artists Come to North American Conventions?

While voice actors and anime production staff are common guests for overseas conventions, why is it so much less common for manga artists to make the journey? Deb Aoki has the answers. ― Why don't more Japanese manga artists come to N. American comic / anime conventions? It's largely a matter of time, availability and money. Most manga artists, especially those who have series that are published on ...
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Answerman - When Is It OK To Adapt An Anime Dub Script?

Some English dub scripts are pretty extensively adapted, in some cases to the point where they've changed the story. When is it "okay" to adapt an English dub script this way? Justin gets into it. ― Brandon asked: When dubbing an anime, there is the matter of the script. There are some anime that are nearly identical to the original with some changes, like Attack on Titan; and there are some that sl...
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Answerman - Why Are DVDs and Blu-rays Sold As Combo Packs?

Anime DVDs and Blurays are often sold together in a combo pack that provides both formats - but what if you only wanted one or the other? Justin gets in to the reasons media is most commonly sold this way. ― Danette asked: Ever since Viz started started releasing the new Sailor Moon BD/DVD box sets I've stuck with the standard DVD editions over the BD/DVD editions because it doesn't make sense to me...
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Answerman - Who Was Cloverway, And What Were They Doing With Anime?

In the early '90s, Cloverway Inc. was a familiar credit on shows like Sailor Moon, but who was this company and what did they have to do with licensing anime? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Job asked: What was the purpose of Cloverway Inc, as a licensing entity in the Americas? Why didn't Cloverway got more involved in distributing anime in North America, like in Latin America? Why did Cloverway ...
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Answerman - Why Do Edited for TV Dubs Change An Anime's Music?

If you watch the original version of an anime that's been edited for American broadcast, you might notice some potent - and crucial - changes in the background music. Why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Denzel asked: I was wondering why some English dubs that are made to air on US TV get new music. I understand well enough they change music with Japanese vocals as to not alienate their audiences but...
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Manga Answerman - How Do Censorship Rules Work for Hentai?

When it comes to pornography in manga, who dictates what naughty stuff can be shown and when? Deb Aoki finds out with a little help from FAKKU's Jacob Grady. ― When reading hentai manga, I notice that the censoring in some of them is just black or white bars. Those bars are sometimes used intensely, and other times very mildly that they don't actually cover anything (mostly the old ones). Whereas so...
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Answerman - Why Don't Publishers Announce License Renewals?

You often hear about it when a North American publisher loses the license to an anime, but rarely do you hear about it when they renew licenses - why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Taylor asked: I noticed a variety of Section23's (Sentai Filmworks, Maiden Japan and AEsir Holdings) licensed anime came from its predecessor, ADV Films, which is technically a renewal of a previous license. Believe me, ...
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Answerman - Why Do Guys In Anime Raise A Pinky Finger When Talking About Girls?

Happens all the time in anime: ask a guy if he's married, and his pinky finger goes up. What's behind it? Well, it's actually kinda sweet - as Justin explains. ― Terry asked: When asking a man whether he's in a relationship with a woman, male anime characters will make an odd finger-raised gesture, almost always accompanied by a chuckle and/or a leer. What's with that? And is it as rude a gesture as...
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Manga Answerman - What Tools Does A Mangaka Use To Make Manga?

Do professional manga artists still use ink and paper to create their art, or has everything gone digital? Deb breaks down the common mangaka toolkit. ― When it comes to manga production, what's in a typical mangaka's toolkit? Are they still buying a lot of art supplies for work like this, or is literally everything digital now? Well, every artist has a different approach to drawing, and as such, th...
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Answerman - Why Are Old People In Anime And Manga So Short?

In anime and manga, old people are frequently presented as comically short - what exactly is the reasoning behind this stereotype? Justin gets into it. ― Marie asked: I've been wondering about this for a while now: why do the elderly are often presented as really short and small in anime/manga? But if there's a flashback and we see them in their youth, they have a regular height. No one finds this a...
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Manga Answerman - What Makes A Great English Translation?

Do you prefer an extremely literal translation to a more "lyrical" one? What really goes in to a truly great Japanese-to-English manga translation? Deb gets into it. ― This is more of a personal question, but what do you prefer: a “lyrical”, adaptive translation, or a no-frills one that goes for the very direct approach? Hm. That's an interesting question. Let me preface my response with a few cavea...
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Answerman - Why Do Anime Students Always Sit In The Same Seat?

Anime protagonists in high school always seem to take the same seat - second to the back, next to the window. What makes that spot so special? Justin gets into it. ― Darrel asked: Why are anime characters always sitting in the same exact spot in classrooms? Is it because it is easier to draw them isolated? Ah yes, that seat in the back next to the window. That is THE hot-spot in a surprising number ...
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Answerman - What's The Difference Between A License And A Distribution Deal?

Funimation "licenses" Attack on Titan but Right Stuf is the "distributor" for Mobile Suit Gundam - what's the difference between these two arrangements? Justin gets into the details. ― John asked: I was wondering what is the difference between a distribution and licensing deals? What entail a distribution deal? And in case of the Sunrise's Gundam deal with Right Stuf could a another company still li...
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Manga Answerman - Is the Distinction Between Manga And "Manga-Style Comics" Going Away?

With the fully-fledged anime adaptation of Tony Valente's french adventure comic Radiant on the air in Japan, it makes you wonder: is the distinction between "manga" and "manga-style" comics going away for good? Deb has some thoughts. ― Do you think the distinction between manga made in Japan and manga-style comics made elsewhere is slowly going away? Do you think it should? This is an interesting a...
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Answerman - What Are The Different Types of Ramen?

Good ramen has become much more widely available in the United States over the last decade or so, but it can still be confusing to know what you're ordering. Justin breaks it down. ― Fred asked: Where I live, there's no good ramen restaurants, so when I see anime characters ordering different types of ramen, I have no idea what they are. Can you help? First of all, that is a very tragic story. I was...
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Answerman - Why Aren't Licensed Anime T-Shirts Nicer?

Your average licensed anime tee-shirt is a giant piece of key art on a Hanes Beefy-T. Where's all the fashionable stuff? Justin considers the angles. ― Anonymous asked: There are a ton of anime that I would love to buy T-shirts and other clothing for. I'm also aware that there's an absolute TON of unlicensed T-shirt websites out there, and I'd prefer to buy the official ones that support the creator...
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Manga Answerman - Can a "How To Draw Manga" Book Really Help You Become A Manga Artist?

"How to draw manga" books are everywhere - but how helpful are they? Deb gets into it, and offers a trove of resources for aspiring artists! ― There are a ton of “how to draw manga” books – do you think those could really teach someone how to become a manga artist? What do you recommend for someone trying to develop their own manga style? For this question, I'll start it off with a story. Maybe it w...
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Answerman - Why Don't Anime Companies Release Sales And Viewership Numbers?

We almost never get exact sales figures for anime DVDs and blurays, or really any other merchandise for that matter - what gives? Justin gets into it. ― Michael asked: I was wondering if you could explain the mindset behind why anime companies seem to be so secretive with their sales numbers. I could be wrong about this, but I don't see any benefit to not releasing how many units "title x" sold or h...
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Answerman - How Is Funimation Producing So Many Simuldubs?

It's a little unbelievable how many simulcast dubs Funimation produces - so how do they do it? Justin talks about the process. ― Anonymous asked: It's been absolutely incredible how Funimation is able to have many shows dubbed only a few weeks after it airs in Japan. How is Funimation able to pull off their simuldub schedule while other studios take months or even years to produce a dub? Surely it's...
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Manga Answerman - How Come Only Some Manga Use Honorifics?

Some official English manga translations use common Japanese honorifics like -san and -kun but some don't - what's the reason behind this inconsistency? Deb breaks it down! ― Why do some translated manga use honorifics like -san, -chan, and -kun and some don't? First, a little background: the Japanese language commonly uses honorifics, or suffixes added to names in a way that's quite unique, in that...
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Answerman - What Does It Cost To Remaster A Classic Anime?

Justin dives deep into all the fun details about exactly how much effort - and money! - goes in to remastering classic anime from the original film elements for home video release. ― Allan asked: What are the costs of doing a full-on remaster of an older show as opposed to upscaling an existing version? In a recent column you discussed how some new releases are made by upscaling, say, a DVD master f...
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Answerman - Why Doesn't Anime Record Voices Before Animating?

Western animation - particularly the big-budget mainstream kind - tend to record performances before they animate, but when it comes to anime, this is rarely the case. Why is that? Justin gets into it. ― James asked: Some time ago, you stated that one of the major differences between western animation and Japanese animation is that, in western animation, all dialogue is recorded first, and then the ...
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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. ― Editor's note: Originally published June 2018 - Manga Answerman is taking the week off, but we'll be back next week with a new column. Q: Why do a lot of manga artists prefer to not have their photos taken at events, like comic or anime con...
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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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Answerman - Why Do Colors Look Different In Remastered Classic Anime?

Oftentimes the "remastered" version of an old anime doesn't quite look the way you remember it - why is that? Justin gets in to all the fun technical details. ― Stanley asked: I have a technical question about new film-to-Blu-Ray video transfers. I've been starting up a Blu-Ray collection recently and was looking at some comparison screenshots from a lot of classic anime titles and films to see whic...
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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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