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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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Answerman - Why Were TV Series Cut Into "Movies" For The US?

Back in the 80s, American networks would take 50+ episode anime series and cut two or three episodes into a TV movie. Justin digs into this long-gone practice. ― Beth asked: It used to be fairly common for a TV series to be released as a compilation movie of some sort when it was released in English. A series with 26 or 50 episodes might get released as a movie consisting of three or so TV episodes ...
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Answerman - Is Horror Anime Less Squeamish About Kids?

Western horror movies rarely feature child victims, but it isn't quite so uncommon in horror anime - is that real, or just a perception? Justin gets into it. ― Robin asked: So I've watch a lot of anime, and a lot of horror movies, and I noticed one annoying thing. Kids in live action horror are almost never murdered. (new “IT” for example) While in anime, it's not rare for kids to be brutally murder...
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Answerman - Why Did Only Cartoon Network/Adult Swim Stick With Anime?

How come other cable networks never bet on anime programming the way Cartoon Network did? Justin digs in. ― Jake asked: One thing I always found strange looking back at the anime boom was the lack of anime on Nickelodeon. At the time Nickelodeon was the second largest children to young adult network after Cartoon Network, which was in full swing with Toonami and later Adult Swim programming block. A...
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Answerman - Why Does Old TV Anime Have Jerky Splices?

Older anime like Evangelion frequently have strange "jumps" in between edits - why is that, and what can be done about it? Justin goes in deep! ― K.o.R asked: Why, on a lot of older anime series, does the picture appear to jerk sideways whenever there is a cut? It's noticeable on things like the original release of Evangelion, for example. In the years before anime went all-digital, TV shows were ed...
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Answerman - Why Isn't More Classic Anime Shown on TV?

One reader wonders why Adult Swim went with the 2011 Hunter x Hunter instead of the original 90s version - and why in general, not much classic anime is on US TV. Justin considers the angles. ― Joshua asked: Why does Toonami always go with the new versions of series over the old classic ones? For example Hunter x Hunter choose the 2011 version over the 1999 version. As much as you and I love the loo...
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Answerman - Why Did Anime Take So Long To Take Off In America?

Anime took a long time to gain popularity and pop cultural awareness in America, much longer than it took in other countries - why is that? Justin considers the angles. ― Edgar asked: I grew up in South America back in the 80s. Back then kids' anime was nothing short of mainstream in our country. We had several hours of anime in TV each day (such as the World Masterpiece Theater franchise) and some ...
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Answerman - Why Is Anime Still Region Locked?

Region locks feel like the most unnecessary thing in the world, from a consumer standpoint. So why do we still have them? Justin dives deep on this one. ― José asked: Regional lockout has always rustled my jimmies. Living in Western Europe, I am able to import Japanese DVDs (since oddly, our regions were the same) but ever since Blu-Ray came out, importing effectively became cordoned-off to me (Amer...
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Answerman - Where Have All The Space Operas Gone?

Back in the 80s, you couldn't walk down the street without tripping over an anime space opera like Macross or Yamato. But now? Not so much. What happened? Justin dives in. ― Piotr asked: I am a big fan of space opera. And for years I've been wondering why this genre seems not to be animated much anymore? It seems it had its 'golden age' of popularity around the turn of the century. Last year saw a r...
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Answerman - Did The Fans Kill Anime Strike?

Amazon's Anime Strike is no more. What's the likely culprit behind its demise, and what does this mean for the industry? Justin has a few angles. ― Jimmy asked: I and pretty much every other anime fan out there am over the moon that everyone hated Anime Strike enough that Amazon finally gave up and all the stuff on there is now open to anyone with Amazon Prime. This is probably good for the industry...
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Answerman - Even More Quick Answers

It's time for another lightning round: why Japan loves Alice in Wonderland, the original manga market collapse, the lack of Halloween anime and much more! ― Looks like some questions built up during the holidays, and nearly all of them are quick to answer. So let's plow through 'em, shall we? Hirudan asks: I've been noticing how frequently the name Alice appears in Japanese media -- from series like...
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Answerman - How Do Original Anime Productions Become Manga?

Manga gets adapted into anime all the time, but what about anime that get adapted into manga? Justin breaks it down. ― 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 original anime is made that later gets adapted into one or more man...
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Answerman - Do Anime Productions Have To Pay To Use Classical Music?

You hear classical music in anime constantly - do they have to pay to use those music rights? Justin dives in to it. ― Heike asked: Sometimes I hear Western music in anime. I assume that permission had to be acquired to use popular music songs, but what about classical music? Does Japan have public domain for things like Bach/Beethoven? Japan does have the concept of "public domain" in its copyright...
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Answerman - How Are Official Names For Anime And Manga Developed?

"Official" names for anime and manga in other languages can be confusing - how does "Delicious in Dungeon" in English become "Dungeon Food" in Italy? ― Morgan asked: Why is it that some manga series are sold under an English name in non-English speaking countries? My Hero Academia, for example, is called that in both the English and French releases. Other times, a manga gets an English title that is...
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Answerman - Does An Anime's Budget Affect Its Quality?

It's common to claim that a janky-looking TV anime is "cheap", but increasingly we hear that budget is not the most important factor when it comes to anime quality. Justin gets into it. ― "A loyal reader" asked: Do budgets influence anime quality? Do high budget anime look better than low budget ones? In the last few years, there seems to be a article of belief in some anime forums that budgets don'...
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Answerman - Are Old American TV Dubs Of Anime Lost Forever?

Will we ever get lovingly-preserved versions of old American TV dubs like Cardcaptors, or the original Sailor Moon dub? Justin considers the angles. ― John asked: A few years ago we got Blu-ray re-releases of Card Captor Sakura from NISA, and Sailor Moon from Viz... But neither company managed to get the old dubs that aired on American television, which a lot of people remember fondly. Will we ever ...
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Answerman - Why Isn't Manga Made In Color Editions?

Pretty basic question: manga is typically produced and published in black & white. American comics are typically produced in color. What's up with that? Justin gets into it. ― José asked: I do realize manga is (was?) supposed to be a cheap production and that manga magazines are printed on extremely cheap paper, so there wouldn't be any real use printing in color there, but couldn't publishers put o...
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Answerman - Why Can't Western Publishers Make New HD Remasters of Anime?

Plenty of classic anime are in HD remaster limbo - what's stopping Western publishers from remastering these shows themselves? Justin gets into it. ― John asked: Several times you've mentioned studios relying on Digital Betacam ("Digibeta") or HDCam masters as sources for video releases of shows, but what about the film masters from which the Digibeta was made in the first place? What happens to tho...
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Answerman - How Does Merchandise For Live Action Anime Remakes Work?

Fox has the merchandise rights for Alita: Battle Angel, but James Cameron's company has the film rights. How does all of this work, anyway? Justin gets into it. ― Jason asked: Fox had Alita: Battle Angel available at Licensing Expo in Vegas. Which parts of James Cameron's agreement with manga artist Yukito Kishiro is between him & Kishiro, compared to james cameron's a:ba merch agreement with fox? D...
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Answerman - Is It Worth Seeing 35mm Prints of Ghibli Movies?

They're still showing 35mm prints of Ghibli classics like Princess Mononoke in some revival theaters - but what's so special about 35mm? Justin has some thoughts. ― David asked: Hi! I've noticed that several art house theaters in the NY metro area have started showing 35mm version of Ghibli classics like Mononoke and Nausicaa. is there any real benefit to seeing these over the "regular versions" mor...
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Answerman - Why Are Anime Voices Recorded After Animation Is Done?

We frequently hear about how in Western animation, performances are often taped before animation really starts - but the opposite is apparently true in Japan. 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 animation is done to m...
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Answerman - What Is The Purpose Of Recap Episodes?

Recap episodes pop up in plenty of anime, retelling parts of a story you just watched. Why do these recap episodes exist in the age of streaming? Justin gets into it. ― It's the holiday season, so people are pretty busy. There's gift-buying, there's decorating, there are parties and for students, final exams. But that also means my questions tend to run dry, so if you can spare a moment, please send...
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Answerman - What Resolution Are Early Digipaint Shows Made At?

Anime from the early 2000s often look kinda blurry and a little washed-out, even in HD - why do they look that way? Justin gets in to the technical details. ― Ryan asked: As you covered before, in the early 2000s anime transitioned to being animated in a totally digital format. This locks the finished product to a set resolution. So my question is: what was the average resolution of a movie produced...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Anime Fans So Cynical?

Like most fandoms, anime fans can sometimes be pretty wildly cynical - where does that attitude come from, and is it justified? Justin gets into it. ― John asked: This has been a question that has been bothering me for some time. Why are most anime fans cynical? It seems as though the joy of anime has been sucked out of them and all they see is the bad. Yet they still watch. And complain. I wish thi...
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Answerman - Why Does Manga Turn Yellow?

You've probably experienced it yourself: you buy a bunch of manga, and over the years, the pages slowly turn yellow. What's up with that? Justin gets in-depth. ― Ivan asked: Something i've noticed over the years is how manga (more than modern American comics) tend to yellow over time. It is so rapid that I notice brand new issues from major publishers begin to change from white to yellow within a ye...
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Answerman - What Social Networks Are Used In Japan?

Fate/Grand Order prompts one reader to ask - which social media networks are most popular in Japan, and how does that compare to the west? Justin gets into it. ― Kimi asked: I noticed that when the NA version of Fate/Grand Order was released, a lot of the fan engagement landmarks in game were on Facebook while they were originally for Twitter during the JP release of the game and it got me thinking ...
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Answerman - What's With The Tiny Trucks In Japan?

You see these little pint-size trucks and cars in anime all the time - are they a real thing? Justin gets into it. ― Jake asked: I was recently watching Napping Princess and Sakura Quest and noticed that the trucks most people tend to drive do not look anything like what is made or sold here in the USA. Most tend to be this small compact truck with a white cab and a flat platform back with no side g...
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Answerman - Why Aren't Master Tape Formats Used Everywhere?

If the video quality on a production's master tape is the best it's going to get, why aren't they just reproduced on the same format? Justin explains why you don't watch "master tapes" in the comfort of your own home. ― Vandeilo asked: You say that video masters are stored on magnetic tapes, not dissimilar to VHS tapes. Why is it that such tapes aren't used for playback at the consumer level? I don'...
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Answerman - Why Does Rock-Paper-Scissors Come Up In Anime So Much?

You probably can't even count the number of times jan-ken-pon comes up in anime. Why is it so ubiquitous? Justin has an answer. ― Samuel asked: Mind explaining the history of the Japanese version of Westerners' "rock/paper/scissors" known as jan-ken-pon (and what each gesture looks like and does to another gesture)? The game of Rock-Paper-Scissors is so ancient and so pervasive across the world, the...
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Answerman - Why Do Some Releases Of Older Movies Have Black Borders?

What's the difference between letterboxing and pillarboxing? And what are those tiny black borders you see on some old anime that don't have any of that? Justin Sevakis explains. ― Duc asked: Every once in a while, especially when I'm watching an older movie on Blu-ray, I'll see a thin border around the picture. Why is that there? Also, can you explain the difference between pillarboxing and letterb...
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Answerman - Quick Answers Part 6

It's time for a speed round! Netflix original anime, Japanese daylight savings time, anime spinoff justification and much more! ― Looking at the Answerman inbox, it looks like it's time for another one of these. Samuel asks: Does Japan observe Daylight Savings? Please be more broad than a simple YES or NO. No. Heh, sorry, couldn't resist. The answer is still "no, and they never have." Every once in ...
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Answerman - How Is Christianity Regarded In Japan?

Christianity doesn't come up all that often in anime - where does it sit, culturally, in Japan? Justin breaks it down. ― Chris asked: After watching Strawberry panic and Maria sama watches over us, I was wondering how popular Christianity is in Japan. I know that the majority of the Japanese are irreligious, but how do they react to someone who is Christian? While there aren't a TON of Christians in...
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Answerman - Why Do American Actors Show Up In Japanese Commercials?

Why do Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and even Sean Connery appear in Japanese commercials sometimes? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Ava asked: I stumbled upon a YouTube channel one night that plays Japanese commercials. Not just the "wacky" or "crazy" ones but it seems to be everything. I noticed a lot of familiar celebrity faces in the many many commercials for cars, women's fashion, and cel...
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Answerman - How Long Will Anime Stay Up On A Streaming Site?

So how long do you have to watch that series in your queue before it disappears off a service like Crunchyroll, Hulu, or Netflix? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Aakash asked: My question is in regards to license lengths. I know for DVDs and Blu-rays some licensees from publishers have expired for some older titles. My question is in regards to digital licenses. As streaming is the big trend now, ...
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Answerman - Why Does Anime Often Feature Ear Cleaning?

What's with the practice of intimate ear cleaning in so many anime? Justin Sevakis gets into the gritty details of Japanese ear wax. ― Amy asked: This is a weird question. Do you know why so many anime feature ear cleaning? (And why it's considered romantic? The intimacy of the gesture?) Is this a common Japanese cultural thing or does anime exaggerate it? Don't doctors here say it's potentially dam...
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Answerman - How Are Theaters For Theatrical Releases Decided?

Anime has been showing up in movie theaters across America more and more these days - but how is it decided which theaters it plays at? Justin digs in. ― Peter asked: How do companies decide which cities these movies will play in? I've been fortunate enough that my city, Windsor, Ontario, has gotten screenings of a lot of anime so far, but I'm not sure why. There's nothing particularly noteworthy ab...
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Answerman - How Will Netflix Producing Anime Change the Industry?

Now that Netflix is pushing to create more original anime content for their service, how will this affect production and the industry as we know it? ― Jacob asked: Recently there was an announcement that Netflix was making an aggressive push for creating new, original content for 2018. What shocked me was that they were planning on funding and getting exclusive rights to over 30 anime series over th...
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Answerman - Quick Answers Part 5

Justin's back with a lightning round of questions about sexual harassment in the industry, K-Pop, Japanese perceptions of English dubs, and the social problems posed by this season's Inuyashiki. ― It's been a while, and I've gotten some good questions lately that have pretty brief answers, so it's time for another lightning round! Branko asks: With the wave of sexual harassment reports spilling over...
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Answerman - How Tough Is It To Get Into College In Japan?

Anime often depicts the incredible stress of college entrance exams in Japan - is it really that hard to get in, and what happens when it all goes south? ― Jacob asked: I have watched many anime where there is generally a male student who is studying to take his college exam that has failed one or multiple times to get in. One of the best examples I can think of is from the dub of Shin Chan where on...
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Answerman - Where Do "Seasons" On Long-Running Anime Begin And End?

For ongoing shonen series like Naruto, Fairy Tail, and Dragon Ball Super, where does a season of TV really start and stop? Do "seasons" even exist at all? ― Kira asked: Years ago, most of anime I saw were long-runners like Naruto or Bleach. When looking up episode lists on Wikipedia, I always get confused about what they refer to as "seasons". Sometimes it corresponds to the story arc, but other tim...

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