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Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy,

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So I finally broke down and bought an Xbox 360, and I'm happy to report that playing on XBox Live is just as great as it was on the original Xbox, especially if you like to hear 12-year olds scream curse words in your ear or you just love listening to people eat loudly and yell at their pets while you play a videogame. Good times!

Anywho, let's get crackin'.

Help!!!  I'm confused.  There is so much information and misinformation about anime conventions.  I just want to know (1) which anime convention is the largest in North America (I've heard California and New York mentioned the most) and (2) which anime convention is the largest in the world.  Can you help clear up the confusion.

The largest US convention is Anime Expo, although Otakon has been nipping at its heels for a few years now. Thanks to an attendance cap, Otakon isn't really vying for the title anymore (unless they finally decide to move the con out of Baltimore; I don't think I'm alone when I say I wish they would), so AX should continue to grow at an EXPO-nential rate!

Get it?! EXPO-nential? I... oh, fine.

As for the largest anime con in the world, I believe that title also belongs to AX. You could argue that Japan's Comiket is a larger event, but that's technically a fanzine convention, since it's all about doujinshi.

In the US at least, the use of earrings seems pretty common, with many women wearing them most of the time.  However, at least as far as I have seen women wearing earrings in anime is almost unheard-of.  Generally only “magical” women of western appearance wear them, such as sorceresses in Slayers or the goddesses in Oh My Goddess!/Ah! My Goddess, and even among characters fitting this description the use of earrings is rare.  Now I recognize many situations that occur in anime are not appropriate for earrings, such as school, athletics, or guerrilla warfare.  However, even in situations where you might think they would be appropriate, such as in an office or during special occasions, earrings seem to be worn rarely if at all.  Necklaces seem to be extremely common, and even bracelets seem much more common than earrings.  I was wondering if this is just a convention followed by anime, has something to do with Japanese culture, or whether my perceptions regarding the situation are simply off-base.

I don't think there's a substantial culture difference between North America and Japan when it comes to wearing earrings, but one thing's for sure; earrings are a fairly small detail to draw on an animated character, and it's a detail most animators would prefer to leave out to avoid serious continuity errors. I can guarantee you that animation character designers, who are trained to streamline character designs so they're easily animated, leave things like earrings and excessive jewelry out. It just isn't very easy to animate, and an earring - which in most scenes will be just a dot on the character's ear - is a detail that could be easily forgotten on a frame-by-frame basis.

Unless the jewelry is a major part of the character's look, as in Oh My Goddess! and Slayers, it's going to be omitted for simplicity's sake.

why is there no info on Starship Troopers Roughnecks in the Anime Encyclopedia? Is it not considered Anime?

Because Starship Troopers: Roughnecks is about as much 'anime' as The Lion King or that awful Ralph Bakshi version of The Lord of the Rings.

Anime is animation produced in Japan, dude.
Starship Troopers: Roughnecks is an American production all the way. That said, though, there actually is an old Starship Troopers anime, as anyone who's visited Mike Toole's amazing "Dubs that Time Forgot" panel will recall. It's really hilariously bad.

Also, let me save some of you the trouble. Please spare me the following reply:

"Actually, anime means ALL animation, not just animation produced in Japan!"

No it doesn't. It means that in Japan. In America it means "animation produced in Japan". Deal with it.

I'm kina new to anime, and I would like to start my collection with Inuyasha.  But I am a littel confused with all the different choices.  would
you please inform me what the differences between:   InuYasha TV Perfect Collection,  Inuyasha Season 1 Box Set, and  InuYasha TV Series Part.1 Vol.1-6.

Oh good, a chance to rag on bootlegs.

The ONLY Inuyasha DVDs you should buy
are Viz Media's official Inuyasha box sets (or the single discs), which are called "Inuyasha Season One Box Set". The box cover looks like this:

Everything else is a bootleg, which is going to have terrible image quality. It's also stolen property, an illegal copy of the original DVDs, and the people who sell them are horrible scumbags who enjoy murdering children and stealing from the elderly poor.

Actually, I don't really know about that last part but one has to assume they're unsavory characters, right?

You stated in the 2003 summer preview, Stellvia was intended for pedophiles, and strongly disliked it. However, you did not seem to feel as strongly about I My Me! Strawberry Eggs, which judging from what I have read, seems to be worse. I have not watched either of these shows.

Hey, I remember that. I think you're referring to this bit:

" Let's pretend for a moment that Stellvia of the Universe isn't intended to reel in every drooling lolicom creepo from here to Zimbabwe and that it's actually supposed to be serious science fiction. On that front, Stellvia fails. It's like Intergalactic Harry Potter; kids are shipped out to the school, they learn all about space stuff and grow in the process. Yawn. The show is not helped by the lack of any particularly interesting characters. Every girl is totally lolicommed-out, complete with “innocent and shy” personalities (except the “spunky” girls). That having been said, where Stellvia really offends is in its execution. The girls are all around 12 years old; they don't look old enough to be learning algebra yet, let alone old enough to pilot complicated space fighters. I realize “little girls in space” shows (like Stratos 4) are all the rage right now, but that doesn't make them good or watchable. The shows seem to bank on the fact that the character designs are designed directly to appeal to the lolicom crowd, and therefore the writing, pacing and even art direction are all sorely lacking. Stellvia of the Universe doesn't try to be an interesting show, and that's the root of the problem here. There's a very specific type of person who will enjoy this, and chances are, it isn't you. Avoid."

This review was in my 2003 Summer Anime Preview guide. Since then it's been made pretty clear to me that Stellvia is actually a pretty good show that has a lot more to it once you get past the first part of the series. But hey, you can only tell so much from the first episode, am I right?

For the record, I never said Stellvia was for pedophiles, but for the most part, the characters are really designed to appeal to the lolicon crowd, which creeps me out, as I've made clear in any review or commentary on any show that features lolicon characters. lolicon folks and pedophiles aren't necessarily the same thing (although it's a very fine line, if you ask me). I haven't seen much of Stellvia myself, but the reviews I've read indicate that the show succeeds in spite of the creepy character designs.

I'm not sure where you get that I My Me! Strawberry Eggs (to this day one of the most awkward titles I've ever hear
d) is "worse", but it doesn't actually have any lolicon material in it, so I'm not entirely certain what you're talking about there.

No flake, just a panda.

Maybe I should replace this section with "panda of the week". Everyone loves pandas! Except people who sell anime bootlegs. They hate pandas, which classifies them as subhuman.

Here's this week's prize:




It's become Answerman policy that if there's another major contest running on ANN, Win Answerman's Stuff goes on hiatus so y'all can focus your creative powers in the general direction of the other contest.

So, with that in mind, please take a look at the invaluable Bamboo Dong's Shelf Life column this week, where she has some contest that involves going to the grocery store. In the meantime, keep sending me captions for last week's Azumanga Daioh box set; as it stands, the ones I've gotten are more like comedy tin than comedy gold.

That's all for now! See you next week!