Hey, Answerman! - So Long, Suckers!

by Zac Bertschy,

Hey everyone! Guess what?!

I'm not going to write this column anymore!

Well, that's not entirely true. But I am hangin' up my answerin' hat, at least as the column's regular writer, for good. I've been doing this column a long time, and not only am I burned out to the point of being a pile of ashes, but it's time to bring in a new perspective. This column is an unforgiving life-sucking machine and it needs fresh blood to keep the wheels greased.

So at this point you must be asking yourself (aside from my many haters who are likely popping the champagne bottles right now and are prepping a bunch of really rude things to say in the forum thread) who's going to replace me? Well, good news! You already know the guy!

I've decided to tap none other than Brian Hanson, the guy who used to write The Click. Brian really knows his stuff and is a really funny guy and a great writer and I couldn't be happier to have him come on board and take the reigns.

So what will become of me? Call it a semi-retirement from Answerman - if for whatever reason Brian can't write the column in a given week due to whatever circumstances pop up, I will likely guest host (among others who might be tapped to step in and guest) but that probably won't happen very often. My chief duties at Anime News Network obviously won't change, and I am going to be writing a new column for the site that is currently in development and I hope to have it launched sometime in the next few months. Other than that, I'll be sipping Long Island Iced Teas on a beach somewhere, gleefully ignoring your questions about anime and forwarding them to poor, poor Brian.

Answerman started out on January 14th, 2001, and will be 8 years old in a month and change. During that time I've written over 250 columns (With the former "Ms. Answerman", Rebecca Bundy, doing a bit under 100 of 'em herself. Rebecca, for those interested, has a successful career as a magazine editor, recently got married, and lives happily ever after in Texas). That's a whole lotta words about anime, truth be told. But it's time for something new. I know Mr. Hanson will bring new life to it, new energy, new enthusiasm, which I believe is what it needs.

So, in light of all this, I'm going to answer just a couple of self-indulgent questions this week and get on with enjoying a box of wine, a pile of turkey and a long weekend. Don't like it? Whine about it to Brian, because I'm not Answerman anymore! Woohoo!

Hey Answerman you always talk about how fans have changed. I have been a fan for 3 years, got started with inuyasha. But anime fans have not changed in my time as a fan from what I can tell, can you explain what has changed?

After spending the better part of a decade working as a writer and an editor in the world of anime, and specifically, writing this column, there's one observation I think I can make - anime fandom has changed drastically in the last 8 years. If you took someone from 2000 and transported them here I doubt they'd recognize it. It's gone from being dominated by college-aged and older men to being pretty evenly split between genders - perhaps now leaning toward being predominantly female. It's gotten way younger too. A decade ago the stereotypical anime fan would be in his late 20s or early 30s, likely have a beard, wearing a self-made Lum shirt and pride himself on his big laserdisc collection. Nowadays the stereotypical anime fan is in their mid to late teens; the fujoshi and moe crowd have pretty much taken over, with a million different varieties of fans in between. I've noticed a shift politically, too - nowadays the fans I meet are likely to be libertarian and conservative rather than liberal, which is something I find fascinating; I'd love to research that phenomenon. Fandom also exists primarily on the internet and is driven almost completely by it - it's where fans gather, where they watch shows, where they collaborate and argue with one another. Anime clubs, which used to be a big deal in the late 90's, are basically dead and obsolete. Anime cons have become basically teenage party weekends and a contest to see who can draw the most public attention to themselves rather than actual celebrations of the art form - which is fine, hey, things have to change at some point, and as the fanbase gets younger, that was bound to happen.

Oh, and by the way, please don't write in telling me anime clubs aren't dead because your college has an anime club... oh wait, I don't have to worry about that anymore!

Oh god I've always wanted to do this!!

Hello Answerman.

If I have a new idea for an anime, and submit a screen play, art work, could I negotiate with ADV to not only license the film but also produce the film?

Okay, so in all my years of writing this, I've always, always wanted to change the title of Flake of the Week to more accurately reflect the letter within. I'll only get to do this once, but oh man is this going to be awesome!

I got this last week.

Subject: Zac the reviewer, editor, answerman, and all around top ace...

Hi Zachary, no doubt you're a elitist moron whose "career" is only a culmination of his own egoism, but answer me this: exactly what type of depraved, frustrated individual is so wound up in his own deluded grandeur that he treats everyone as if they were shit under his heels?  My guess is a character of such worthlessness that in life or death they aren't worth a second look...but if I didn't tell you that, you would never have known.

I bet you liked that subject line though.  It brought a smirk to your face no doubt..enjoy that.

Have I mentioned how much I'm not going to miss this sort of thing?

Please don't tell Brian what he's in for. That would ruin everything.

The best bunny ever? You bet!

Here's last week's question:

Normally here's where I'd print the responses to the question, but a strange thing happened - roughly 95 percent of them were the same! So rather than publish a whole bunch of responses that say basically the same thing, I think I can distill it down pretty easily:












Thanks for reading everyone! Next week, Brian will have his first column up and he'll publish the other answers from last week's question. So if your answer wasn't "Miaka", then maybe it'll pop up next week.

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who's read the column over the years.


Howl's Moving Castle © Nibariki * GNDDDT

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