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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 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 - 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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Answerman - Why Do Japanese-Owned Publishers Still Have To Pay For Licenses?

Kodansha USA has to pay Kodansha licensing fees for the manga it releases in the US. What? Why? Justin explains it. ― Mason asked: There's something that I've been curious about for a while. Why do manga companies, like Kodansha USA or Viz, still have to pay licensing fees to companies like Kodansha or Shueisha when they're pretty much owned by them already; they pretty much ARE them. It seems count...
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Answerman - Are There Really Gangs In Japanese Schools?

You see delinquents and gang members of all stripes in anime high school - but are they really a thing in Japan? Justin gets into it. ― Kevin asked: Are gangs really prevalent among high schoolers (off the top of my head, gangs chasing Yusuke in YuYu, Baki, Shinici in Parasyte)? They do exist! They're not THAT prevalent, but they are definitely a prominent part of Japanese society. Every society has...
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Answerman - Why Do Westerners Make Assumptions About Japan Because of Anime?

Western anime fans sometimes carry around a lot of incorrect assumptions about Japanese society thanks to anime, but what can be done about that? ― Hiroki asked: I'm Japanese, and I'm wondering why so many Americans seem to analyze all of Japan through late-night anime that very few people watch. They get a lot of misconceptions, thinking that we won't kiss people we like because we're all shy, and ...
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Answerman - Why Does Anime Occasionally Use English Songs?

Sometimes even famous English pop singles from artists like Duran Duran or Savage Garden get used as anime theme songs, but how does this process work and why? ― Jake asked: I have noticed in a few rare instances that openings or closing songs are in English. On the other hand you have some very old song selections like in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, which I understand has tons of music references, us...
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Answerman - Is Anime Streaming Consumer-Friendly?

Justin follows up Wednesday's Answerman with a conversation about competition, service and consumer friendliness in the world of anime streaming. ― On Wednesday I wrote about the current state of anime streaming to North America, and how it might be better than there being a single place to stream everything, because that would've created a monopoly. While the column was fairly well-received, there ...
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Answerman: Why Don't Streaming Sites Work Together?

Wouldn't it be great if every legal anime streaming company got together and made one platform where you could watch everything? It might SOUND good, but there's more to consider... ― xNightshade 22 asked: A simple question for you. Why don't they put all the anime streaming services together on one platform and charge a monthly fee for it? I believe this is a crucial reason why people use pirate si...
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Answerman - What Is "Digipaint"?

People say the term "digipaint" all the time when discussing old anime from the early 2000s - but what do they mean? Justin breaks it down. ― George asked: What exactly is digipaint? Why was it so prevalent in anime production during the 00s, and why does it make anime made with it so hard to remaster into HD? Has this product essentially made a part of anime's existence, the 00s, relegated to DVD, ...
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Answerman - Where Did The Idea Of 100 Ghost Stories Come From?

It comes up in anime from time to time: telling 100 ghost stories in a single night. Is that a real thing? Justin explains. ― Ian asked: I wanted to ask if the 100 ghost story night idea from xxxHolic is a real cultural aspect of Japanese society. Or did CLAMP make it up? If not, are there any reports of events where literally 100 ghost stories are told? The idea of 100 ghost stories has made an app...
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Answerman - Why Are Sentai Titles Showing Up On Anime Strike?

Sentai Filmworks titles have been showing up on Amazon's Anime Strike service - what might we expect from this partnership? Justin considers the angles. ― Austin asked: Within the last few days/week, Sentai Filmworks has announced 4 new show licenses for the coming season (including the second season of Umaru-chan). They said in the press release that these shows will be made available through Anime...
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Answerman - Why Do Dub Voice Actors Stick To The Same Studios?

Most anime studios in the US have a "stable" of regular voice actors that you'll hear in most of their dubs, without much crossover - why is that? ― Justin asked: Over the years, I've seen many voice actors stay in one circle only (Viz, Funimation, Sentai, or 4Kids). I've asked myself some questions and created scenarios in my head which gives an idea of the kind of things I've wanted to see, but ha...
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Answerman - How Can You Tell If An Anime Is Popular?

Can you tell if an anime is popular by relying solely on disc sales? With so many different revenue sources, how do production committees determine "success" in 2017? Justin gets into it. ― Ricardo asked: More times than not, Anime Fans seem to take sales figures as gospel of a series's popularity, if there's a chance to hope for a sequel, etc... but I've seen some authors, among them Durarara!'s, s...
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Column - Why Don't Manga Publishers Announce When Books Go Out Of Print?

Manga volumes go out of print all the time with no warning - why does it work that way? Justin gets into it. ― Bill asked: Why are manga licensees so cagey about when books are close to going out of print? Usually theres no way to tell If something is on its way out, or even fully out of print, until it's only available for jacked up prices on eBay. As consumers we tend to think of physical media --...
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Answerman - What's With All the Bondage Humor in Anime?

Why is something as risqué as S&M such an easy go-to for comedy even in family-friendly anime? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Brandi asked: what is up with anime and the S&M fetish? I'm not talking about hentai. It mostly comes out in the form of one of the men on the show turning out to be some kind of over the top masochist. I've seen this joke over an over again. Most recently in D-Frag! and i...
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Answerman - Why Don't Anime Musicals Get US Releases?

Japan has an ocean of stage musicals based on anime, from Naruto to Sailor Moon - why don't they ever get released in the States? Justin considers the angles. ― Bunny asked: Sailor Moon's new musical cast were guests at a state anime convention, but I don't see it getting much further than that. We only have fansubs as a source, but I'd like to support it legally. I was wondering what would it take ...
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Answerman - Why Is Sentai Filmworks Phasing Out DVDs?

Sentai Filmworks made a big announcement about phasing out DVDs forever - but why? Justin has a few ideas... ― Jake asked: I was reading a recent article that stated Sentai Filmworks was essentially phasing out their DVD releases by 2019 and are primarily going to release Blu-ray only with a few exceptions. I know you have got this question in the past on who buys DVD's Vs. Blu-rays which seems to b...
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Answerman - What is "Video Post-Production"?

You see it in the credits of anime blurays and DVDs all the time - but what does "video post-production" actually entail? Justin has the answer. ― 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...
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Answerman - What's The Worst Anime Release You've Ever Seen?

There have been a LOT of really screwy anime releases, discs with the wrong subtitles and audio tracks, but what's the WORST one? Justin has one in mind... ― Anonymous asked: Just curious, what's the single worst anime home video release you've ever seen? From any era, VHS, DVD, bluray, whatever the single worst one you can think of is. In Japan, the worst release has to be of the film Gundress, whi...
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Answerman - What Are School Culture Festivals Really Like?

The cultural festival is a staple of many slice-of-life anime, but are their depictions true to life? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Nadia asked: I was wondering if Japanese school cultural festivals are really a thing and if so are they really like they are in anime? So will there be the usual maid café/haunted house, and does everyone stay over at the school? Who's allowed to attend them (as a ...
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Answerman - How Are DVD and Blu-ray Subtitles Made?

It's something so common you may never think about how it gets done, but exactly how do english subtitles get on anime blurays and DVDs? ― 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 as likely to be...
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Answerman - Why Are There Statues Of A Reading Boy And A Dog In Japan?

Plenty of schools in Japan have a statue of a boy reading a book in front of them - what's up with that? PLUS: the story of Hachiko! ― Jake asked: I was recently thinking about some of the school anime I have watched over the years and have noticed there are two or three statues I tend to see a lot pop up. One of the most common is a statue of a man reading a book with a bundle of wood on his back i...
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Answerman - Is There A "Tooth Fairy" In Japan?

Anime sometimes references folk traditions surrounding baby teeth and the disposal of them, but never the "tooth fairy". Why is that? Justin does a little folklore research. ― Thomas asked: I was watching the newest episode of Sakura Quest and one of the children in the show has one of her last baby teeth fall out. When talking about it to her Mum, she suggests throwing it out the window and I think...
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Answerman - Why Aren't Opening And Ending Themes Subtitled?

Since companies like Crunchyroll are already subtitling full episodes of anime, how come the lyrics to each show's theme songs aren't translated? Justin has the answers. ― KidaYuki asked: I really love the opening and closing theme songs of anime. Back when most of the anime online seemed to be through Fansubs alot of them (or at least the ones I liked) would have their songs subtitled. Usually a Ja...
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Answerman - Quick Answers Part 4

Justin answers a handful of short questions, mostly about kissing. Indirect kissing, censored kissing, illegal kissing - all the kissing you can handle, really. ― Got lots of good questions this week, but most of them don't have answers that are very long, so let's just do a ton of them at once! Larry asks: In anime and manga the main character always gets flustered over an indirect kiss. Do people ...
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Answerman - What Is A "Love Hotel?"

You see them in anime all the time - hotels that charge an hourly rate and are doused in kitsch. Are they real? Do people really use them? Justin explains. ― Albatros asked: In romance manga and anime there is often a scene involving a 'love hotel'. Is it common in Japan to go to a love hotel with your lover, instead of going to a regular hotel? And is it considered like an ordinary place, or is it ...
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Answerman - Do Anime Studios Own The American Shows They Contributed To?

Anime studios like Toei did a lot of work on classic American cartoons like Muppet Babies - do they own any piece of that? Justin explains. ― BJ asked: I have a weird question about contract work like what Toei did back in the 1980s on shows like Muppet Babies. Does a company like Toei own a small piece of whatever animation work they did on the show, or does it depend upon the terms of the contract...
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Answerman - Do Japanese People Use Beds Or Futons?

Justin breaks down the practical difference between these two very different ways of sleeping for people living in Japan. ― Kitty asked: I was reading a manga where the main characters at first slept on futons but later got a Western style bed. And it reminded me of a thing I've been wondering many times before when we see characters' bedrooms in anime and manga. Fairly often they have Western style...
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Answerman - What Was A "MovieCD"?

Justin takes a look back at all the crazy formats anime has been released on in America, including "MovieCD", a CD-Rom with a 300x240 AVI file on it. ― Anonymous asked: I was in a thrift store the other day and found a copy of this Cyber City OEDO "MovieCD". What was this format? Was it at all successful? How many different formats over the years has anime been released on? MovieCD was a short-lived...
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Answerman - Why Are Age Ratings On Anime So Inconsistent?

Age ratings across anime releases from multiple publishers can be wildly inconsistent with one another - 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? Someone in the Answerman thread two columns ago noted the fact that Monster was 18+ by Viz but was rated M (the equivalent of a PG-13) in Australi...
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Answerman - Why Does Classic Anime Get Re-dubbed?

They're dubbing Gundam Seed in English again, just like they did for Escaflowne - Justin goes in-depth on why this happens. ― Justin (not Answerman Justin) asked: Why is Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny getting re-dubbed? There is already a dib available for these shows that is well liked by many. There are several standard reasons why the English dubbed version of a classic anime can't be used i...
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Answerman - What Is That Tipping Bamboo Water Spout In Traditional Gardens?

You've seen it before, you've heard the iconic THUNK - but what's that bamboo fountain you always see in anime actually FOR? ― Joseph asked: What is that bamboo thing in anime that fills with water until full and then empties? I see it used a lot and it seems mostly used for transitioning to a new screen or delivering more emotion to an intense revelation by suddenly hitting the ground. Other than t...
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Answerman - What Happens To Japanese Students Who Don't Make It To The Top?

Anime and manga are filled with elite students attending the most prestigious schools, but how accurate is that struggle to real life in Japan? ― Jose asked: We know the pressure to get into a top school (and get a top job) is a recurrent theme in anime and in Japanese culture in general. But I was wondering: what happens to the Japanese people that *don't* make the top cut? I would think that the t...
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Answerman - Why Is Daisuki Shutting Down?

Anime streaming service Daisuki is shutting down at the end of this year. Justin discusses some of the reasons why. ― invalidname asked: What happened with Daisuki anyways? With all those Japanese original rights-holders involved, shouldn't they have had a natural advantage over licensors like Crunchyroll that have to pay for content? Daisuki.net, the anime streaming website that was started by a gr...
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Answerman - Why Do They Sometimes Remove On-Screen Japanese Text?

The Shin Godzilla bluray is missing Anno's trademark giant text, replaced with simple subtitles - how and why does something like this happen? ― Tormaid asked: In Funimation's recent Blu-ray release of Shin Godzilla, they chose to remove Anno's trademark on-screen text and added a multi-line, unstyled translation at the top of the screen. This promoted a discussion I became involved in about the rea...
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Answerman - Why Do Fans Ask Inappropriate Things At Convention Panels?

Fans ask weird, awkward and inappropriate things at anime convention Q&A panels all the time. Why does it happen so much? ― Jake asked: I enjoy attending conventions once or twice a year and one of my favorite things is attending panels with the Japanese animators, directors, producers, and voice actors. I find it interesting to find out more about there experiences in the industry and their influen...
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Answerman - What Should We Expect from the Sony - Funimation Deal?

Sony Pictures TV is absorbing Funimation. What should we expect? Justin provides the facts (and some informed speculation). ― Lots of people asked: I just saw the big news that Sony Pictures TV is going to acquire a 95% stake in Funimation, and I am really concerned. What will this mean for Funimation releases, their deal with Crunchyroll, their dubs, and their streaming platform? Press releases abo...
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Answerman - What Is That Little Stamp That Japanese People Use To Sign Papers?

You often see characters in anime using a little stamp for signing documents. What's the deal with that stamp? ― Qashmal asks: I realized from watching Girls und Panzer (also mentioned in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid) that people in Japan have something called "personal seal," which, I assume, works like an autograph or signature. If it's an organization, I can understand why a seal is needed, but w...
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Answerman - What Do Manga Artists Think Of Dirty Doujinshi?

There are mountains of smutty doujinshi for every anime, manga and game under the sun - but what do the original artists think of it in Japan? Justin explains. ― Aloysia asks: I understand that there's several mangaka that create BL/yuri doujinshi but there's also who don't. So how do they react to BL/yuri shipping? Do they get angry "My characters are not gay!" or just ignore it? Doujinshi, or smal...
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Answerman - Why Aren't Tezuka and Ishinomori Anime Popular In The West?

Fans of Astro Boy, Cyborg 009 and other timeless classics have long asked: why isn't this stuff more popular with American audiences? ― Nik asks: Osamu Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori are two of my favorite manga/anime creators. My favorite aspect of their works is the "retro" and "rounded" look of the characters. Properties like Cyborg 009, Kikaider, and Astro Boy are extremely appealing to me in an ...
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Answerman - Is It Ethical To Import Anime From Other Countries?

Anime fans in the UK will often import low-price American anime box sets - but is that ethical? What's the impact on their own local anime distributors? Justin gets into it. ― Jason asks: What do Japanese licence holders think of people in the UK importing US region 1 discs? How legal is this? Some times a show never seems to get a UK release and isn't available for streaming either. Japanese produc...
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Answerman - Why Aren't Anime Sales Figures Made Public?

We'd really love to know exactly how well our favorite anime sold on Bluray and DVD. Why do they keep these numbers from us? Justin gets into it. ― Michael asks: 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 how man...
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Answerman - Why Do People Make Curry Rice When Camping?

According to anime, it's possible - and common - to make Japanese-style curry when camping. But is it all just an elaborate, mouth-watering fantasy? Justin chimes in. ― Cole asks: What's up with curry and rice being the camping meal of choice? Seem like cooking rice and making curry (chopping vegetables and meat) make this meal one of the most inconvenient and more difficult meals to prepare outside...
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Answerman - Why Can't Some Older Anime Be Remastered?

Some older anime get sparkling, crystal-clear remasters, while others have muffled audio and compromised video - why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Geoffrey asks: There are some older series (especially Toei series) that can't be properly shown in HD because the original materials (usually the audio) were lost or junked. Why is that? Why would they get rid of the original masters? For Saint Seiya, ...
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Answerman - Why Are Anime Soundtracks Missing Songs?

Every now and then you'll buy an anime soundtrack and it turns out to be missing one or two tracks you were counting on - why does that happen? Justin explains. ― Pearl asks: Sometimes I wait months for the release of a certain anime soundtrack just to hear one specific piece of BGM, only to find that it's nowhere to be found on the disc! For example, Yona of the Dawn has several tracks that are mis...
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Answerman - How Does An Anime Studio Go Out Of Business?

We've been reading in the news lately about anime studios going bankrupt - how does that even happen? Justin gets into the wild world of anime finance. ― boy kano asks: How can an anime studio goes bankrupt? If they receive money from a publisher like Kadokawa, surely it can cover up the cost of making an anime title. Anime studios can and do go bankrupt, and in the last few years, at least one or t...
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Answerman - Why Is Anime Dialogue Recorded After Animation Is Done?

DIalogue for many Western cartoons is recorded before animation is done; in Japan, the animation is done first. Why is that? Justin gets into it. ― James asks: 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 match the dialogue, while, in Japane...
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Answerman - Why Doesn't Netflix Simulcast?

Netflix has some of the biggest titles of this season like Fate/Apocrypha and Kakegurui, so why don't they release each episode weekly? ― Alexandre asks: Lately, people are upset at streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix and their lack of weekly streams. This causes people to pirate their "exclusive shows" as opposed to waiting to watch them later in one sitting. Why exactly do these services...
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Answerman - What Is Uyoku Dantai?

It's a polarizing political group that shows up occasionally in anime like Highschool of the Dead, but it's rarely explained - Justin digs in. ― Manuel asks: I've recently watched the last three episodes of Highschool of the Dead, where it introduces Saya's parents and their supporters, then I read that in the original manga they're actually a group called Uyoku Dantai, and they needed to be toned d...
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Answerman - Why Are So Many Anime's English Titles Total Nonsense?

Justin explains the process by which some of our favorite anime have some of the strangest English titles. ― Yen asks: What group usually originates a show's English title? Some shows seem to have indecipherable word salad titles that almost too obviously come from the original Japanese team. And while truly graceful titles sound like they're the product of native English speakers (Kids on the Slope...

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