Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy, Apr 14th 2006


Alright, we've got a new feature in Hey, Answerman! this week; scroll past all my nonsensical ramblings to see it. For the time being, it's replaced 'Flake of the Week', but when a good flake shows up, that segment will return.

Without further ado...


I've been wondering, which came first, the Evangelion manga or anime?

Both have a vintage of 1995 in the Encyclopedia, though only the anime has a date included?

Like Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion's manga came out after the anime originally aired. I know some people actually prefer the manga version, since I believe it's a little more detailed and spends a bit more time on character development.


Got a few quick questions for ya, your a busy man reading all our weird questions so I"ll make it fast. Is there a rating system for anime? Meaning are there guys(or chics) out there that just sit and watch anime? Like movie reviewers.  I've seen tons of trailers and when you think you got a good show or movie to watch it just ends up being anime T&A hour (which isn't all bad if it helps out the story).

Are you asking if there are full-time paid anime critics?

Generally, the answer to that question is no. Most anime criticism is done by amateurs or paid freelancers. I'm a full-time, paid employee of this site and part of my job is reviewing anime but it's hardly all I do, so I can't even say that I fit your description.
Pretty much every anime magazine you read - like Newtype - hires freelancers to write their anime and manga reviews, and frequently those freelancers have other full-time jobs and also write features and news items. Bigger anime websites, like this one or Anime on DVD, generally hire on a few trusted freelancers to write their reviews, for which they receive a nominal fee. Chris Beveridge, who runs Anime on DVD, runs the site full-time but does much more than simply watch and review anime... so again, I'm not sure he'd fit your description. Smaller websites are generally run by a team of unpaid amateurs who occasionally write reviews as a hobby, not as full-time paid professionals.

If you're looking for a good anime review site, my advice is this: select a few anime series you love and a couple you hate and read as many reviews of those titles on as many different anime review sites as you can. Eventually you're going to find one that falls in line with your particular taste, and then you know you can trust those reviews. As much as I'd like to say you should simply read our site, I can't, since I'm not sure our reviews are necessarily your thing; there's something out there for everyone. So, aside from the site you're already looking at, here are a few other websites with good, solid reviews I'd recommend taking a look at in your search for a critic you can get along with:

www.animeondvd.com
www.themanime.org
www.theanimereview.com
www.animejump.com

I'd recommend staying away from sites that offer anonymous, unmoderated user-submitted reviews. You're not going to get a quality review from a site like that, simply because there's no editorial process or standard by which the submitted reviews are being judged. The sites above have editors and a staff and the quality and thoughtfulness of the writing is going to be much better than whatever you might find on Amazon or wherever else.

As for anime trailers, well, they're about as trustworthy as your average Hollywood trailer, which means the most marketable bits are edited together and presented to you. All you're getting is what the marketing department wants you to see. There isn't anything wrong with that, since it's been that way since the dawn of man, but the best way to find out if you're going to enjoy something is to read reviews.


In my last email I mentioned that I was fifteen.  Is it possible to become an animator at a young age, like me?  Like, without going to any animation colleges?  Or are going to a college to get an animation degree and get an animation job necessities if you want to be an animator?  Is that how all of the other animators had to start out?

My Editor-in-Chief Christopher Macdonald elected to answer this question himself. Who am I to make more work for myself? Take it away, Chris:

Your chances of becoming an animator at 15 are only slightly better than you chances of becoming an NBA superstar.

Unless you're personally able to animate a 5 minute animation good enough to go on TV, you can pretty much forget about it. Companies don't hire children (no offense) who aren't as capable as the adults coming out of university.

Most other animators go to school. Of those that don't, most of them end up unemployed because they aren't skilled enough to get a job, of those that do have the skills, most have a hard time finding a job because employers expect a degree as proof of qualification. The ones that do get jobs manage to do so by making a portfolio full of their own world-class
animation.

Trust me, the easiest, most reliable track, is school. But work on your own too, because in today's competitive job market, to get a job, you need to be better than the other college/university graduates. Stop thinking about "how to land a job where people will teach me to animate" and start thinking about "how to learn to animate using professional animation tools and software."

Good luck, Maybe in ten years we'll be writing about something you helped make.

Thanks Chris! It's not often you make my job easier!


Hey Answerman! I was wondering if there has been any news on ADV licensing Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid, and if there hasn't when do you think it will get licensed? Given the popularity of the previous two series, I was surprised that ADV didn't license it right away. Also, do you think there will be a 4th FMP series, and do you think Sosuke's history will ever be revealed? (Who is parents are, why he was in Afghanistan when he was 8, how he joined Mithril, etc.) Thank you for your time.

Near as I can tell, ADV hasn't licensed much of anything in a while now, aside from This Ugly and Beautiful World. While common sense would dictate that they do in fact have it or are at least aggressively pursuing it, I wouldn't assume that they've got the license at this point. Odds are they might make some announcement regarding the show at an upcoming summer convention, but the way things are going right now, I simply wouldn't assume anything.

We had a few years there where everything operated like clockwork and it was assumed that if Company X had show Y, they would also eventually license Show Y The Sequel. That simply isn't the case anymore; witness Geneon's licensing of the Saiyuki sequels and the Jubei-chan sequel as evidence that things just don't operate like they used to. If Bandai or Geneon or FUNimation announced Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid, I wouldn't be shocked at all. It's anyone's game now.

There might be a 4th Full Metal Panic! series, so long as they have more material to work from. The show remains pretty popular both in Japan and in the US; so long as they've got something to go on, we'll probably see another series down the road at some point.






There are very few universal truths about the internet, but I've discovered these two to be self-evident:

1. Nearly everything anyone says on an internet forum is a lie.
2. The internet is an angry, angry place.


I've also noticed that anime fans tend to be angry about a whole slew of things - anything, really - and the only places they have to vent are message forums and blogs. Now, most of the time, it's all fairly impotent rage; incoherent, poorly-written flames about this or that. Every so often, however, there's an intelligent, thoughtful and well-written opinion, something that might deserve more exposure than simply being ignored in some anime forum somewhere.

So, welcome to the newest segment in Hey, Answerman: RANT RANT RANT!

What I'm looking for are your best and brightest rants: no shorter than 300 words, on any topic you like related to anime. I'm expecting decent writing, and a modicum of sensibility. Send me a well-written and thoughtful rant that's a decent length, and I'll print it in this space, regardless of whether or not I agree with it, with no further commentary from me. The goal is to provide a more visible and public space for those of you with intelligent things to say about anime, the industry, anything you like related to the subject; discussion in our forums will surely follow.

The rules? Well, here they are:

1. No excessive swearing. "Damn" and "Hell" are fine, anything stronger than that needs to be excluded or censored.
2. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.
3. The word "Rant" must be in your email subject line.
4. Your rant must be at least 300 words, and use proper spelling and grammar. Internet speak, like 'lol' or 'u' instead of 'you' will not be tolerated.

Remember, your editorial doesn't have to be negative at all - feel free to write whatever you like, so long as it's on-topic. We're looking for solid, well-stated opinions, not simply excessive negativity.

Send your rants to [email protected], and watch this space next week for our first installment!





We're still on hiatus. Remember, if you've won an Answerman prize in the last month or two and haven't received your item yet, email me with your name, mailing address and the prize you won and I'll look in to it.

See you next week!


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