Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy,

Let's get to it. It's a short one this time, but hey, that happens.

How many anime do you like? I am just wondering, because, it seems like some otaku seem to think they have to get every title available. I think it is silly. Not every anime out there is good, right? I think you even said so yourself once. I mean, there is a good number of anime, that is great, and those are the ones I look for. But how is it some otaku are able to have that much time for so many anime? I have seen people with like, a hundred anime titles on their list, and I'd like to know how they are able to see them all. Even I couldn't do that. I'd rather spend my time on anime that actually matter. What do you think?

The truth must be told: I only like one anime, and that anime is Mad Bull 34.

In all seriousness, I couldn't tell you how many I like, but what you're seeing there is a reflection of what part of anime fandom has become. People watch a billion shows because the community
supports that lifestyle; people watch communally now, on forums and in chat rooms. They follow the same shows everyone else is following so they can be part of the discussion. There's a tremendous amount of material available, too, so consumption and reaction never has to stop; everyone moves on to the next set of shows. Also, there's a vague general attitude that everything is worth watching, and it's generally worth waiting through anime with slow starts to see when it gets better, and that attitude is encouraged by the fact that your 200 other friends are willing to do so so they can be part of the conversation. People are just enthusiastic, that's all.

Why do most anime always “tell and not show”?
In western film school, we're told to show the viewer the story, not tell them, but most anime I've seen, the characters are always either talking out loud or in their head about what they have to do to like stop a bad guy.

Simple: it's cheap to animate someone talking.

It's far less expensive to animate 10 minutes of a guy talking about punching another guy than it is to show the fight itself. We're talking about anime here, where one of the most common shortcuts is for a character to raise an item in front of his mouth just before a long bit of dialogue so they don't have to animate him talking. It's less about telling the story and more about saving money.

A perfect example of this is Noir. The action scenes, however brief, were animated very well - it's clear that's where they spent their money. But easily 17 minutes of an average episode would feature one of the charachters slowly lifting a gun in front of their mouth before delivering a long expository monologue.

How come anime dubs seem to use the same 10 or so people in every dub? I see the same names on everything: Johnny Bosch, Greg Ayres, etc etc etc. They are good actors but why dont they ever use new people?

It's difficult to find hardworking, reliable voice actors who respect the material. The reason you see those names so often is because they're easy to work with, talented, understand what they're working with. They "get" it, so to speak; and just as with any creative field (or any field at all, really), people like that are hard to find.

But another angle to this is that there just isn't as much work as there used to be. With Geneon out of the picture and ADV seemingly paralyzed, along with an increase in sub-only product, the talent pool shrinks because the demand is drying up. Hell, if we lose another company, or things start to get even worse than they are now, I wouldn't be too surprised to see Johnny Yong Bosch and Greg Ayres singlehandedly doing voices for the entire cast of Mamotte Lollipop.

I know this is fake but it made me laugh.

i have a dollar how many animes can i buy with a dollar

All of them.

All of the animes.

I feel really dirty posting the equivalent of those loathsome LOLCATS but god dammit this one is good.

Here's last week's question:

First, from Dani:

   When I started to watch anime, I mean really watch and buy it, I worked for a Sun Coast video and they would preview some of the titles in the store (and by preview I mean I would beg and plead my manager to open up new titles and say it was a store expense and that I had to see what was good or not so that way I could sell them better). I had free range and knowledge on all things anime, manga, and Japanese in the store and I was loved and envied as a goddess for it by all the little Otaku that would come in on Friday and Saturdays nights asking what the newest and hottest titles of the time where.
   And then my store closed. No more discounts, no more free previews, no more fast pace knowledge of what was new and hot at the time. ( I didn't learn about ANN until 3 years ago and my store closed 4 years ago ...sorry)
   Well that didn't stop my love of anime, I just started to get a little leaner on my titles. I would still buy almost anything tho that I could get my hands on and watched it religiously when I would get home from my new job.
    But New job started to take a lot more of my time....
    After 5 or 6 months of new job, I would find myself not really willing to pick up that new title that everyone was raving about or even try to find out what it was about. I just didn't have the time to stop in at another store and browse for an hour or so trying to find what was good or not.
  Anime just didn't hold tho's thrills for me anymore...I couldn't find the time for my old love and it didn't help that my at that time boyfriend didn't like anime AT ALL. (Sad but true). He wouldn't even try ANY titles that I gave him from Fullmetal Alchemist to Hana Yori Dango to etc, etc, etc...
Then we broke up....(Yeay)
And I started to date this wonderful anime fan who got me back interested in anime, and my poor pitiful life had meaning again. My shelves are full and my knowledge is great.

From Victor Serrano:

Yes, im still experiencing burnout. Started watching anime way back when the VHS of Urusei Yatsura and Ranma were brand new to this shores. And mostly every anime was either a short OVA or a complete entertaining 13 or 26 block episodes. By that time, every anime that arrived was admired, talked about and passed along to every fan. The limited amount of manga releases, properly of existing anime franchises helped fuel more interest. The careers of the most famous artists (CLAMP, Masami Ohbari, Ryo Mizuno, Kia Asamiya and more) were and still are clamored. Every genre had their followers and fans.
Flash forward to now, thankfully Anime exploded everywhere thanks to the mainstream titles airing in American Tv, problem is that more and more titles were completely derivate from past ones. Of course we get sometimes a rare and awesomely good title to cheer about, but then come 10 more of the same. And also to what I call "merchandise shows", recent shows that are 100+ episodes with more fillers than story only to sell more varied merchandise of it. Those shows lack substance and insult the intelligence of the fans regarding characters and storyline. What happened to good character development? Anyway these days when you go to the local store and check the programs on sale you see the same all over again. I already grew tired of Inu Yasha, both the manga and anime. I know that Rumiko Takahashi loves to rinse and repeat the same plot in all of her shows but with Inu Yasha she blew it! How many times will Naraku escape? I give up.
Of course I'm not wanting to the status of anime to go back to like it did in the early 80's:to be a cult underground phenomenon. But I believe everything has a cycle and we just have to adjust to it. The several announcements of new anime from old franchises (Trigun, Slayers, Birdy the Mighty and more) sparks a new interest in me to continue watching it. Now have little interest for all the new derivate programs, sometimes discover the new "it" show. Mostly sticking to manga now. I really hope to pass this burnout because I love to support a show I like and love. And with how the anime industries are, it needs all the support us fans can give. So bring on the good, different, daring new shows!

From Svinto:

I've experienced anime burnout more than once, and I've come to the conclusion that it mostly occurs due to watching more anime than I really want to when fleeing from life in general. It's like students suddenly feeling the idea of cleaning their whole apartment very appealing when they really should be studying for their exams.

The solution is really simple: Stop watching. Anime is something you (or at least I) do because it's fun. If it's not fun anymore then why bother. But for me it only takes about 1-2 weeks (tops) before my cravings for anime gets the better of me again.

From Jackie Clark:

This is a fine question to ask. It just so happens I'm currently experiencing such an 'anime burnout.'

Obviously, I'm checking ANN, so there's a few embers still burning in my fandom of all things manga and anime, but I haven't indulged in quite awhile. My gateway drugs were the typical Sailor Moon, Pokemon fare, and it all branched out from there, leading me to dvd purchases and frequenting Otakon. While my manga collection is something to be a little proud of, nowadays I look at it and see hundreds a dollars spent on casual reading that doesn't last long enough. While some series I would glady revisit and not give away, there a bunch that might end up on ebay in the near future. As for any recent purchases, those are nonexsistent. I do still browse whenever I'm in a borders and such, but never to the point of picking anything interesting out, even for a test ride.

On the anime side of things, my past obsessions do force me to keep up to date on new series, and whats out there. But the most recent series I've actually watched start to finish was Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, and that was on a whim. I haven't even finished Death Note for crying out loud.

My subscriptions to Newtype ended way before it did, I typically watch Adult Swim for the comedy and the last dvd I actually bought was for R.OD tv.

The cost of being a fan has alot to do with my decent. There are some things that have more value to life than the newest release of an awesome manga series, food for example. And spending valuable free time watching anime isn't as appealing when you need to study or work or get out while you have the chance. I don't have 'high school' free time anymore.

My burnout was slow and gradual, but I'm in the middle of it and while it would be nice to start that fire up again, I feel like I need something to really grab me for that to happen. Maybe if manga starts going for 2 bucks a pop. That would be the ticket.

Finally, from Sara Poe:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabsolutely. It's so sad when you suddenly catch yourself unwilling to watch anime!
The phenomenon occurs in uneven intervals, but the most common trait among my own experiences is that they happen around the time of new seasons. Of course, not all of them do, but when some old favorites have just waved tearful goodbyes and others are coming in like annoying freshmen, I tend to go into a slump. I sometimes can't handle the feeling of being lost as studios begin bombarding the Japanese airways with new shows and new shows and new shows. As you look for a good one, you continuously come across lame characters, uncoordinated drama, and repulsive CG. Having to search, be disappointed, then exhilarated, but left to wait for second episodes, etc. It can make a person feel like it's none of it is worth it anymore.
Another reason is the pesky influence that the outside world can have on you. Have a bad day, week, month, and anime is the first thing to become completely unimportant compared to the suckiness of life.
But the industry doesn't end if you stop looking. It continues, and after a while, I regain my usual enthusiasm for new characters, stories, and adventures. Sometimes, it'll be a friends insistence to watch a show at the same time, others it will be a sudden hunger for the beauty of it all, but slumps will end at some point or another.

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!

Howl's Moving Castle © Nibariki * GNDDDT

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