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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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Manga Answerman - Is It Common For Mangaka To Have A Lot Of Uncredited Assistants?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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