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Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy,

Alright folks, it's gonna be short and sweet this week. Keeping our Spring Preview Guide up and running with the new format is incredibly time consuming. If you haven't been reading that, go read it!

Whats AdultSwim's deal with Anime? They made a lot of fans upset with their desicion to cut anime off weeknights.  As for me, I wasn't realy bothered because I can't afford to stay up that late.  But AdultSwim also moved anime on Saturday nights back to around 1:00 am. Then they aired some flamers on their quick in-between commercial clips, having a contest to see which one was more vulgar.

They have also done some things to poke at anime fans in the past. I am not sure whether to be offended, or to laugh along with them.
What's your take?

I'm not going to speculate as to exactly why Adult Swim's attitude toward anime fans is what it is, but I think the reasons are pretty obvious. Once they made themselves into a destination for anime fans - especially when they started airing Inu-Yasha - it became clear that this new viewer demographic took itself way more seriously than the college kids who watched enough Family Guy reruns to bring the show back from the dead. Anime fans started showing up on the Adult Swim forums, behaving like anime fans normally do on internet forums, and made themselves into targets for the standard Adult Swim audience, which seemed to resent the anime programming by and large, preferring Family Guy reruns.

So they started taking shots at the anime fans because it was really easy to wind them up. Want someone to pitch a hilarious little snit fit on the forums? Draw moustaches all over an Inuyasha rerun or poke fun at them in the bumpers. It's a very particular kind of humor. Basically, Adult Swim likes trolling anime fans, because it's easy and usually has funny results.

Honestly the best thing to do is just have a sense of humor about it. Usually their cracks are pretty funny and if you can't make fun of yourself, life isn't worth living.

As for the schedule changes, it's important to understand that anime has never been remotely as popular as Adult Swim's original programming, and especially not as popular as the aforementioned Family Guy or Futurama reruns. A Family Guy they've shown 29 times inside 6 months will get roughly twice as many viewers as your average anime episode, if not more. Anime functions as respectable programming for late late Saturday nights but they're going to bring in more people with comedies. That's just how it goes.

Do you ever get burned out on anime? I have been an anime fan for 5 years and I am growing a little tired of it. I still like anime but I am not as in to it as I used to be. Is this common? Do anime fans get burned out?

Yep. All the time. It's not just anime fans - people who find themselves falling headfirst into a hobby as consuming as anime can be often find themselves burned out or bored with it a few years down the line.

Thing is, there are a few different kinds of burnout when it comes to things like this. The first is really common - after a couple of years, you just grow a little tired of it and simply stop consuming as much as you have. You cut down on purchases and fansubs, maybe decide to skip a con. After a lull, maybe in 6 or 8 months, you go back to it; something rekindles your interest.

Then there's severe burnout where you just get sick of it completely; either the shows themselves are no longer holding your attention, or you feel like you're watching the same show over and over again, and you drop all of it save for a handful of titles you're interested in. This takes longer to "recover" from and is often permanent, especially if you've just gone through a major life change, like graduating from high school or college, getting married, or having a kid. Sometimes it's not really even because you're sick of the stuff - maybe you changed social circles, or moved away from your friends who you shared anime with. It can happen for any number of reasons.

This can lead to the last type, which is complete abandonment. Either you outgrow it, or just give it up for lack of interest. I know many adults my age who have gone through all three of these stages; some of them still consider themselves to be fans, some of them have given it up totally, and others just casually watch a show or two every year. At any rate, just know that it's completely normal, you're not alone.

I have two little points to make.

1.Your lack of the King Gainer opening on your list is tragic.

2. I post anime on YouTube, now before you go and brand me a heartless man who wants ADV to die(although after their Ghost Stories dub...) I just wish to show people old anime. My rule on my YouTube account is 5 years, an anime company has 5 years to license a show, if it isn't they have no right to complain. I just want to know am I as evil as I am made out to be just because I post anime on YouTube. I am doing Enemy's the Pirates and Mamotte Shugogetten, am I really stealing money from anime companies doing this?

1. Sorry?

2. Your arbitrary "a company has 5 years to license something then it's fair game for me to do with as I please" legally-indefensible made-up "rule" notwithstanding, nobody really takes serious issue with folks like you spreading around ancient stuff nobody's ever going to license. I mean, the Japanese probably do, but not nearly as much as the guy uploading episode 523 of Bleach over and over and over again. You might get pushed out of your own game once the anime companies both in Japan and America start streaming back catalog stuff hoping to make a few cents off of ad sales during the 56th stream of Combutsible Campus Guardess, and if they do actually start doing that I hope you'll stop, but nobody thinks you're the great satan or anything for uploading mummified anime to YouTube for public consumption. Well, okay, some people might, but they're being a little unreasonable.

One thing I don't get about people who incessantly upload anime to YouTube, especially popular licensed stuff that gets removed and then they dilligently go back and reupload it. What's the reward? Why bother spending all that much time uploading a video over and over again to people who obviously do not give a rat's ass who you are, just so long as you keep providing them with a video stream? I can understand the "glory" thing fansubbers have going on since they get personal recognition from the people who download (however weird basking in that attention might be as a sole motivator to continue spending all that time fansubbing stuff) but the YouTube guys weird me out. Wouldn't your time be better spent volunteering at a soup kitchen or something, or getting involved with local politics to save your district's public park? I don't know what these guys are getting out of it.

And now, a brilliant observation:

anime has tons of hot chickz how come real girls don look like that wtf

They do, you're just not being invited to their nightclubs.

Everyone together now: d'awwwwwwww.

Here's last week's question:

First, from Michelle Cantwell:

I really like anime, but I also have an interest in the Japanese culture. That interest, in fact, started with anime. I have been an anime fan for 9 years, and as I grew up, watching many anime, and choosing the best to add to my collection, I found that I wanted to know what was "behind anime" as I put it. Anime is Japanese animation right? Most anime are about Japanese people, take place in Japan, or a fictional place in Japan, and reflect the cultures and traditions of Japan. I wanted to know what all this was, where the concepts for many of my favorite anime came from, and why characters do things like this or that, things that Americans don't do.

A year ago, I purchased The Anime Companion and The Anime Companion 2 by Gilles Poitras, which is an enclycopedia on anything Japanese. In the two books, there are even references to anime and manga. As I watched anime and read manga after reading the books, I was able to point out some of the things I read. The Anime Companion and The Anime Companion 2 answered many questions I had, but I still have many more questions, and want to find the answers, and the only way to do that, is to read manga and Japanese novels, watching anime, and some of the Japanese dramas, read reference books on Japan, their culture, traditons, history, mythology and even their folktales, and someday, all the questions I have about anime will be answered.

For the remaining fans of Inu Yasha, haven't they ever wondered why there are so many demons, and why they are all animal-like? Why there are dog-demons, cat-demons, fox demons, and so on? Its because the Japanese have demons in their folklore. The demons described are similiar to many demons that appear in Inu Yasha. And what about the four shikigami (animal gods) Seiryu the dragon, Suzaku the phoenix, genbu the turtle, and Byakko the tiger? They appear in many anime. They're in Fushigi Yugi, Beyblade, Yū Yū Hakusho, and Descendants of Darkness, among many others. Doesn't anyone want to know why these four have appeared so much, and why they all look the same, no matter what anime they are in? (Although, in Yū Yū Hakusho, they look different, except for Suzaku, who resembles the Suzaku that is featured in Fushigi Yugi.)

I think its important for otakus to know a few things about the Japanese culture. They will better understand an anime, and even help them choose the best anime.

From Dawn Hilterbrand:

Yes i do have an interest in the Japanese culture that was the main reason i got into anime.I have always had an interest in different cultures because to me they were unique, in which i like unique things. I immediately was drawn into learning all i could about the Japanese when this japanese woman once came to my hometown and my family housed her for the nite and she told me everythin she could about her culture.I listened intently to her as she told me about all these things in their culture like their religion, their way of living, things they ate, and the celebrations they held. After that young woman's visit to my hometown i have been interested in the culture and keeping tabs on what is happening in Japan. I never knew about the creatino of anime and manga until one day my best friend was talkin about it. I asked here what it was all about and she knew i was into anything Japanese culture related and said " Why i can't believe you don't know about anime and manga and yet you read and study about the Japanese culture!" i was like that is part of the Japanese culture!So instanly i got into. I am into every possible anime under the tuscan sun anymore like Bleach, Serial Experiments Lain, Blood + ( i still like it even though it is over), Naruto ( yes i like this, what i don't get is y everyone gripe over and over on this show, and Pokémon, Bleach, and othr Adult Swim anime, and say that it shouldn't be considered anime well geuss what it is, and u guys r basically giving redicule to the people who like these shows, even though u keep preaching how u don't want to be ridicule! i don't redicule u guys but u ridicule me and my friends who like these shows...what have we done to u guys!), Hikaru no GoPrince of Tennis (by the way a note to megan hawkes: i kno ur pain on how u face ridicule for being a woman and yet likin guy based anime! those people who say that r very sexist! we woman can like whatever we want to!), and trust me many more. I think i got my point across.

From James S:

I have something of an interest in Japanese culture.  It was obviously sparked by anime, but it's broader than anime alone nonetheless.

Probably the two things I'm most interested in are the language and the cuisine.  It wasn't until I started studying Japanese that I really got an idea for how different a language can be from English (beyond just the "they use different words than we do!" aspect of the European languages I took in high school).  Kanji may be the worst nightmare of anyone who needs to pass a test, but how can you not love a language that combines the characters for "eye" and "ear" to make a word meaning "attention"?  Brilliant!

As for the cuisine, food is a sensory and aesthetic pleasure, and I like trying new foods anyway.  Unfortunately, I live on the east coast (and pretty far from any major city) so the most Japanese things I can try are imported instant noodles and sushi made by Koreans.  Someday I hope to try takoyaki, okonomiyaki, real Japanese short-grain rice, mochi, and awamori.  And some sort of palak paneer that doesn't come out of a microwave, but that's not Japanese. . .

Of course, real culture is not what you can learn or eat or try, but the ideas, values, and day-to-day lifestyle; and while reading about this sort of thing is a far cry from actually living it, some of it is certainly intriguing.  The seiza style of sitting (shins folded under you, butt resting on the heels) is aesthetically pleasing, and I tend to appreciate people who are pleasantly polite and reserved over people who are overly forward.  Of course, there would be downsides and difficulties (especially for a foreigner like me), but tourists and English teachers aren't there long enough to deal with all that anyway.

I also wonder exactly how true it is that Japanese people freeze up when seeing a foreigner.  It'd be fun to be able to stop a mugging by just stepping in and trying to make friendly conversation with the mugger.  I'd be like a superhero, except helping people would be an endless source of entertainment.

From Matt Brown:

I both have an interest in the vibrant culture of Japan which has created the popularity for animation. Named the "Land of the Rising Sun", Japan is rich with a lengthy historical background that has influenced other nations of the world for centuries. Incidentally I am travelling to Japan for a period of six days in the very near future. It's a culture which can be called 'uniquely unique' by its own right.
It works both ways as well - the popularity of baseball is proof enough of that. It's something of a culture shock when Westerners travel overseas and are greeted by something of a backwards culture. They read in the wrong direction, do not wear shoes inside, eat with sticks, and are in general respectful. I believe a great example of this shock is the film "Lost in Translation" by Sofia Coppola. If you haven't already seen, I urge you to - it will change your perception of Japanese culture.
More to the point, my own curiosities stem for being exposed to animation for such a lengthy period. The majority of the extravagant plots are set in Japan for the obvious reasons. I have seen Tokyo blown apart more times than any other city and more giant robots battling through the streets on daily occasions. I want to meet the people responsible and see how their culture shaped their ideas! On another note of censorship, I notice a large amount of bloodshed in all their films and indeed animation. I don't think anyone will disagree with me on that front, or that Western films can be equally gratuitous. Our version of slasher films is their version of Zatoichi. Violence, sexaulity, art, cuisine, fashion, language among a large list all differ greatly between Japan and other countries. It's a known fact that where you live influences who you are.
I don't believe it's ignorant for people to only be interested in anime and not in the place it originated from. A fan is a fan. However I like to explore the origins. I like blues music, I might one day travel to America and immerse myself in that particular culture. Japan is just very very different to what many of us are used to. The allure of excitement animation movies and TV shows boast is something which is easy to be hooked upon. I half expect there to be ninjas and robots on every corner. Who knows - it's exactly the place where it's possible. There are so many differences I wish to seek out. So yes, I do have an interest in Japan and animation. For the better I believe.

From Renate Moss:

I love Japanese culture in general, but I doubt I would have discovered it if it were not for anime. The first series I ever watched was Inuyasha, which takes place in Japan. It was my first exposure to Japanese culture. I liked Inuyasha, and of course, it led to watching other series and then, eventually, to manga. Since many series are also set in Japan, I started to learn about Japanese culture. There are some things that come up frequently, such as New Year's celebrations and cherry blossom viewing (by the way, there's a National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. March 29-April 13). Eventually, I started getting interested in history and literature, things that are not mentioned as frequently. These I found through the internet, history classes, art class, the library, etc.
History is definitely not my favorite subject, but I find some parts of Japanese history interesting, such as the workings of the feudal system, the peaceful coexistence of Shinto, Buddhist, and Confucian ideologies, and the transformation of Japan during the Meiji Era.
I love art in general, and there's some pretty good Japanese art in existence. I'm not just talking about Katsushika Hokusai's famous The Great Wave; there's some very amazing contemporary art and elaborate worksmanship out there as well.
I really wish I could read Japanese well. Even translated, Haruki Murakami's work is great, but I wish I could read the original.
There are some things other things which I thought were very interesting. The amount of people who walk or ride bicycles as a means of transportation, for instance. Where I live, we don't even have sidewalks because hardly anyone would use them. And then there's the non-Western toiletts.
I guess I like Japanese culture because it's different from the one I live in. And for me, different is good.

From Mike Stovell:

im replying to your question and frankly, im a japanaholic! i dont just watch anime, and read manga, japan interests me because they are so technologically advanced compared to the rest of the world. not only that they have awesome food, beautiful girls(however some of them are homley) and they have robots! thats right domo arigato mr. roboto. if there is sonething i dont know about japan, i will go out of my way to make sure its carved in my brain. the anime and manga are just one of the few bonuses on the list, some others i have yet to think of. they have great and funny game shows and my teachers at school get a kick out of it. japan is a great place for tourists and people that are going to live there (although they might not have room for you there :'( ) in conclusion i love japan almost as much as i love canada, and anime is just one of the kinds of icing on top of the wonderous cake known as japan.

Finally, from Kyle England:

I would have to say, and I think this may apply to a lot of anime fans out there, that I didn't have that much interest in Japanese culture initially. Sure, everyone thinks ninjas and samurai are cool, which is a little bit of interest in the country. I started out just liking anime, but after a while it turned into me being interested in the whole culture of Japan. The bullet trains, the bathroom slippers, the sushi, the Sakura gardens, the robo-toilets, I just think it's all very interesting and cool. I like how many of the things over in the Land of the Rising Sun are a bit more traditional than here in the states (i.e. Bowing as a greeting, presenting gifts when you visit a friend's house, addressing and treating people according to their seniority). Another aspect I love is the Japanese food, which is awesome. I love the ramen the most, though I haven't had the actual cooked noodles but a few times, I live off the instant noodles. I like to share with others about the culture and history of Japan too, sometimes. I am still first and foremost an anime lover, but it's very neat to look into other cultures than your own to broaden your understanding of people and their customs. I can't wait to plan my trip to Japan!

Now you've got this week's question, and it's time to get answerin'.

For those of you new to Hey, Answerfans!, I'll explain the concept.

Believe it or not, I'm genuinely curious what you think.

That's right; as much as I love the sound of my own voice, I do love to listen to what other people have to say on a subject. I'm finding that over the last few years, the attitudes, reasoning and logic that today's anime fans use eludes, confuses or astounds me; I hve so many questions for you, and I'm dying to hear what you have to say in response.

Welcome to Hey, Answerfans!

Basically, we're turning the tables. Each week I'm going to ask you a question, and I want you to email me your answer. Be as honest as you can. I'm looking for good answers; not answers I agree with or approve of, but good, thoughtful answers
. People feel passionately about these subjects and I'd like to see that in the responses I get. I'll post the best answers I get, and maybe some of the crappy ones. Sometimes there may only be one or two good ones; sometimes five or more. It all depends on what I get in my inbox! Got it? Pretty simple, right? Start writing those answers and email them to answerman [at] animenewsnetwork dot com.

We do have a few simple ground rules to start with.

Things To Do:

* Be coherent.
* Be thoughtful.
* Be passionate.
* Write as much or as little as you feel you need to to get your point across in the best possible way.

Things Not To Do:

* Respond when the question doesn't apply to you. For instance, if your email response starts with "Well, I don't do whatever you're asking about in the question... " then I'm going to stop reading right there and hit delete.
* Be unnecessarily rude or use a lot of foul language.
* Go off-topic.

So check this space next week for your answers to my questions!

See you all next week!

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