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Hey, Answerman!

by Brian Hanson,

Hey guys! It's Hey, Answerman again, and luckily I managed to completely avoid any questions about scanlations this week! I think the Answerfans segment got it out of everybody's system, thankfully.

At least, probably until something else newsworthy happens again and people start running around like extremely nerdy chickens with their heads cut off. But for now, at least, I've got other pressing issues at hand:

Why do you think Minami-Ke has yet to be licensed in the US? It has had 4 seasons in Japan, so we know its popular. It is similar to Azumanga Daioh, which I think did very well here in the USA (least I know several people who own the DVDs). It may more or less fall in to the moe genre, so you could call it a niche show. But at the same time it is not overtly moe, so I think it could appeal to a wide range of fans.

Okay, well, there's two dangerous assumptions you're making with your point here.

The first one is a fairly common mistake amongst fans on the internet: the assumption that just because a show lasts for more than a season, that makes it "popular." Uh, well, not exactly. Getting a second or third or fourth season doesn't exactly make a show "popular" on it's own; if anything, it means that it was popular enough to warrant making more. And for a low-budget show like Minami-Ke, the bar for "popular enough" is pretty low for the show to remain profitable. That's not a knock on the show, mind you, but it's the reality of this business.

The second is the, I'll admit, rather apt comparison to Azumanga Daioh. Remember, though, that Azumanga Daioh caught on in a pretty big way amongst the western otaku crowd rather quickly, but it still took a good two years after the TV series was completed for the DVDs to wind up on American shores. Remember that Azumanga was considered to be kind of a tough sell in the Western market - the "anime bubble" was in full force then, but that show was thought to be a big sales risk considering it was a show that had no big fight scenes, no swoony melodrama, and a bevy of culturally specific jokes and an overall sense of humor that was distinctly, irrefutably Japanese. Luckily for them the risk paid itself off, considering the rabid fanbase the show already had.

And now, without that nice little "anime bubble" to fall into, Minami-Ke is simply a risk. Now granted I haven't seen more than the first episode, but I doubt it has any vampires or flashy animation or a catchy J-Rock soundtrack or any of the other things that the few remaining big US anime companies would be drawn to. And the "niche" anime publishers, like NIS America and whatnot, already have their hands full with other moe-centric titles with a far more rabid fanbase like Toradora. I'm not saying it's an utter impossibility for Minami-Ke to find it's way to a DVD shelf near you, but the market has changed drastically since Azumanga Daioh was released here in 2005. If even Crunchyroll hasn't found a space for it, I hate to say it, but its prospects look rather dim.

Man, I feel like the guy who just knocked on some family's door to tell them that their family member was killed in a car accident in a foreign country. Harsh.

Dear Answerman,

On my part, I've been buying a great deal of DVDs, buying manga on a weekly basis, and debating with my friends on the topics of fansubs and scanlations (a lot of the debates ending with me convincing them to go buy the DVD's and books). I keep telling myself that even though I'm one person, I can do a lot to keep supporting the industries I love. Unfortunately, I also feel that because I am only one person, I can only do so much to help.

I've been bothered by the sheer amount of illegal streaming on the internet (as are a lot of other fans). When I look up information about a series I might potentially buy on Google or Yahoo!, I can't help but notice the links given to me including many illegal fansub streaming/downloading sites. A lot of these sites put up the disclaimer that they don't own any of the material (which I doubt helps the fact that they're stealing) and that they're (and correct me if I'm wrong) somehow "protected" by the "Digital Millennium Act" and that they're not legally responsible for the content up on their own sites, which I feel to be a bunch of crap.

What exactly (in layman's terms) is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and how does that supposedly protect these streaming sites? (Or if they don't, explain how they don't protect these streaming sites).

And while we're at it, how can angry fans like me go after these places? We, as the fans, essentially hold the power to do something, right? Surely, there must be something the fans can do to not only save this sinking ship, but to attack back. I'm not ready to let anime wean off and I hate feeling powerless.

Way to go, dude! I like your headstrong attitude. Go out there, support the stuff you like, et cetera.

As for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, well, to be precise, there actually isn't anything in the DMCA that protects streaming or direct download sites in such exact language. The DMCA only extends to protect ISPs from potential litigation and government oversight in the instance that users post illegally obtained material without their knowledge, but an assumption is made that the ISPs will cooperate in removing any such material with no delay. Bittorrent sites and streaming sites have simply erased the word "ISP" from Title II of the DMCA and happily re-wrote whatever they wanted in their own heads to have the language suit their own needs.

So, to be blunt, there's absolutely nothing written expressly or otherwise in the DMCA to protect licensed anime and manga from being pirated. It is, as you suggested, a bunch of crap. But what can you do, eh?

You can always, uh, be a snitch. Or in less harsh terms, simply fire off an email to Funimation or Viz or whoever through their respective websites to let them know the kind of unsavory elements you have unwittingly discovered through a simple Google search. I guess if you really wanted to wage a one-man war against anime and manga piracy, you could save up a bunch of money and track down individual pirates by following their IP addresses and beat them up while wearing a mask and cowl, operating both within and outside of the rule of law, a shadowy figure of vigilante internet justice. But I'd just do the other thing, the snitchy thing. Yeah.

I love Toradora! and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Needless to say, I was excited as all hell when I heard they got licensed. I knew they were gonna be sub only and I was, honestly, disappointed, but I'm not gonna push my luck. Then I heard Sentai was going to re-release Clannad (a sub only release) with a dub. I didn't think that option was on the table, which brings me to my question; what are the chances of the aforementioned titles getting the same treatment? Should I hold out for one? I know dubbing is really expensive and as much I love those shows, I don't think they can move the units to justify an initial dub release, let alone a re-release. And with Clannad being a niche title for a niche market (moe fans) within another niche market (overall anime fans), I don't think it's this behemoth that sold like gang busters to justify it (I realize I might be completely and utterly wrong). And now, I'm cautious to buy them, fearing Media Blasters and NIS America pull a Sentai on my ass and screw me on something I would have gladly payed full MSRP for in the first place. Should i be optimistic or is there some other aspect i'm missing?

Let's look at it this way; you can either gamble that, at some point maybe in the future, Toradora will be re-released with a dub, but then the opposite could be true and the show could be a sales disaster and the discs go out-of-print after only one print run and they become impossibly hard to find and insanely expensive and you lie awake at night, ashamed and aghast at missing your chance to own the show when it was feasible to do so. Or! You can just buy the show as it is right now, and if the dubbed release doesn't happen, no biggie, you've got your discs, sucks that they don't have a dub, but at least you own it. And then if a dub release is announced, it's not impossible or unheard of to simply pawn those sub-only discs off to some schmoe on Amazon Marketplace so you can buy the nicer, dubbed discs at a discount.

Basically what I'm saying is, don't bet on it. It's unwise. The Clannad dub is, I think, the exception that proves the rule at this point, and I doubt that show's reception will be enough to convince Media Blasters and NIS America to change their tune of sub-only releases so quickly. Especially in the case of Toradora, which is the inaugural release of a company that's new to the US anime market, so they're going to need all the support they can get. NIS already knows that they've burned a few potential customers by not including dubs on their products, but the option is simply impossible for them at this point. So don't be stingy, dude. Not yet, anyway.

I drew something stupid in response to this and for that I am sorry

this message is for Kazuki Takahashi. You have done all the seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh GX but season 4 in not in english so can you please do them in english there are lots of children that what to watch them. i know i do. i am a big fan.

Time for me to shut the hell up and give you all a chance to sound off! Last week I wanted to try and get all this messy scanlation talk out in the open with this question:

To get the ball rolling, here's a response from an actual scanlator-er, for a little perspective on this issue!

I would love for a Crunchyroll manga (type thing) or someone else to pick up Tantei Gakuen Q/ Detective Academy Q, because I want to stop working on it and have a paper copy or at least see an official copy of it. Also it is such a wordy series that one chapter takes 5 hours to typeset because there are 20 text bubbles on one page. There are at least five pages with that many bubbles per chapter. and no one else wants to do it because it has so much text and it is a detective manga. There are so many series that are great that need more attention then they get. Scanlations will never be irrelevant because unless every manga is translated into english (assuming we are talking about only english scanlation) and is available online for free worldwide except for Japan you will always have scanlations. However official licensing of manga in the US does routinely stop or slow down scanlation of series, so every offical release reduces the amount of work groups like mine have to do. The future of scanlation is unpredictable due to the the unknown state of factors like the crunchyroll investment, and the state of various manga publishers.

I know some Lebanese terrorists who could probably help with your Flux Capacitor, Josh:

Unfortunately, my Flux Capacitor is broke, so I'm going to have to go on guess work here. In my personal opinion, I cannot see the manga industry having as rapid a change in the space of two or three years as some people think it might. However, that does not mean there won't be any changes; it just means that said changes won't be as prominent. As you are well aware, the literary industry is beginning to adapt to digital outlets such as Kindle, iPod Touch and the newly released iPad. There are a few titles in Japan available for those mediums, but very few in America. I'd like to see manga branch off into this market and I predict that it will start with the more well known titles, like Naruto, Bleach or One Piece, which will practically guarantee Shueisha and Viz Media money. However, such a service won't stop scanlations.

An example of why such an idea as mentioned above wouldn't stop scanlations is clear in manga's sister industry: anime. FUNimation simulcasts numerous of their shows, and yet I still see fansubs of said anime cropping up. This could be due to 'fans' not wanting to wait a few days, or because FUNimation's streams only cater to the United States, and Manga.co.uk's Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood streaming for example, is almost ten episodes behind Japan. When Linebarrels of Iron was still airing, I saw fansubs of it crop up, even though it was available on Crunchyroll for everyone TWO HOURS after broadcast. Either some people are really impatient, or stupid.

There is also one plus side anime has over manga - subtitles and dub tracks. A lot of companies will stream a show subtitled, but only the first few episode of the dubs - because if you want to watch the dub, you buy the DVDs. Manga can't do that, as there is no spoken word, only written, and streaming a manga to an English speaking audience in the original Japanese just wouldn't work. Also, licensing can be an issue. Most publishers, even in Japan, will focus on getting the rights to stream titles in North America, which leaves out Europe, which will mean there will most likely still be piracy there.

However, looking away from the business side and taking a peek into the legal side, we have to think of Japan's Digital Comic Association's coalition with U.S. Publishers. From what we know, the coalition is still pretty fresh, and yet they've already started getting aggressive - and so they, and the regular authorities should (Heck, you can't get more aggressive than arresting a fourteen year old schoolboy). In fact, if they weren't being aggressive, I'd be disappointed. I can see a few scanlation sites being hit in the next couple of years, but they won't be able to stop the problem. It's like drugs - you take out one dealer, and people will go to another to seek their next fix.

So in conclusion, I'm pessimistic about any instant fix. Unfortunately, I feel there will always be a black market for any industry, not just anime/manga. However, I do hope titles become more widely available to try and reduce reliance on said black market. Thanks to the internet, we are in a golden age of piracy, but this time, Monkey D. Luffy won't be the king of the pirates.

Behold Exire, the sole AniMondays viewer:

A very good question, which immediately leads me to Crunchyroll. In the past, I've been mostly indifferent to the site since they seemed to offer the peak of current, popular anime and not really give a crap about anything else. However, I checked back there fairly recently and found a lot of older anime up and ready to go. Not necessarily ancient, original Lupin type stuff either. So, perhaps with some more research into the site my opinion will change even more. If Crunchyroll continues to put out more anime into video form to create a more comprehensive list that anybody can check out, they would really have something special. That would also render most of the illegal anime streams obsolete. Except the ones that run dubs of course, which I will watch fairly often...Dubs, not streaming. When your only option is Adult Swim and SyFy's AniMondays, what other choice do I have?

I digress, this is about manga scanlations not anime streams. But I truly believe with one, there must be the other. Crunchyroll is a good start, its hard to say where they'll go. I used to think they only put up popular, 'now' type of anime. We all know popular doesn't necessarily mean good. However, they have gotten better with it, such as a few Gundam titles, Eureka Seven, Haruhi Suzumiya, and Saiyuki. Still, they're lacking a TON of really great anime. And a website that offers no Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain, Trigun, Witch Hunter Robin, or Hellsing are just...just...well its just wrong is what it is! If that makes me outdated then so be it.

In any case, Crunchyroll in my opinion, still has a long way to go. However, its a start. A start that popped up just recently when there was nothing of the sort and American television at least, offers pathetically little anime. In the realm of manga, there is no start. There's no...anything. Such a website would be an ideal place, especially with manga being such a sinkhole in terms of money. $7 for a whole volume of manga sounds like a great deal, and in actuality it is. But if you read just a few manga at the same time, it adds up very quickly, takes up space even quicker. Not to mention, it can take months for chapters to be put into tankobon, and several more months, even years in some cases, before publishers like Viz finally release it in the States, translated. Having these things put online in a legal way would be a godsend to many, not just to fans, but publishers hopefully no longer losing so much money. And we all know they're losing a ton of money from pirating. Which means they get less money, which then denotes lower quality, or things just not being made at all. Now nobody's happy.

I feel even more than anime, manga is being hurt far worse. Despite living in a technology infested, internet age, surprisingly enough we still like to read. So with things like the iPad or Amazon's Kindle, its even easier to get access to our favorite reading material. It seems only natural that we've needed a Crunchyroll for manga more than anything else. With one should come the other relatively recently. If nothing else for the sake of survival for many publishers. Of course, with both anime or manga, having one, or even a few websites, creating a comprehensive, accessible list is a horrific undertaking. Anime is cruel with how much is out there, manga is even worse believe it or not. Not to mention numerous manga that number in the hundreds of chapters. Even for older manga, if its illegally being read, somebody is still losing money. Even older stuff like Rurouni Kenshin is still stacked on the shelves in Barnes & Noble or Waldenbooks. And it still sells, otherwise it wouldn't still be there after all these years.

So the main question to whether a certain website will show up and have our dreams come true...I'm virtually positive its a matter of when, not if. Manga will still be released and sold in our bookstores, but there will have to be a website that will equally cater to fans and publishers alike, with a comprehensive list of manga to somehow prevent publishers from losing money, or at least losing such horrendous amounts of it. But like with Crunchyroll, I feel putting up just the popular stuff won't be enough. It doesn't satisfy me, it won't satisfy even the typical anime/manga fan. If you need your weekly fix of Naruto, Bleach, or Gintama, Crunchyroll is for you. If your looking for a well received early 2000's or even mid to late 90's anime...guess you'll just have to buy the DVD and hope for the best. I believe we'll get something in a few years, but to be truly effective, they'll need heavy improvement or people will look elsewhere since sadly, illegal is incredibly easy...and free. So to be effective, those places will have to offer what those other places have and more. Enough to warrant the relatively inexpensive and probably inevitable monthly payment anyway.

Dale says that the times they ain't a-changin':

First off, I'm one of the folks that not only reads scanlations but actually BUYS the manga when it comes here. IF it comes here. I've even imported it, though I couldn't read a word. See, just like books or movies or games, I like to own the physical medium so I can take it with me. In manga volumes especially, I love the extras. Given the choice between PC screen or in my hand paper, I'll take paper.

I don't think scanlation sites are going anywhere. I mean, look at it honestly and compare it to other digital works. The RIAA has been trying for how many years now to kill mp3s? While they do close down places, and sue some to bankruptcy, more places pop right back up and more people do it just to do it. Fighting the man so to speak without thought of the artists. Manga is a different story though. Despite the recent arrest of a boy posting up the newest manga to youtube, the Japanese are not very litigious. Look at Simmons swiping Bleach. So I don't see much happening to sites, here, that host only overseas manga as opposed to licensed products.

In the short term, many sites will vanish I think. Or move their servers somewhere that doesn't really care about piracy of any kind. But when the big boys fall, new ones step it up. Until manga companies get it through their heads that people are hungry for their manga now and figure out a way to use the net to their advantage, well, nothing will change.

Sadly, even when they do get it into their head and have chapters up the same day here and there and everywhere for a reasonable price, some people will still take it for free. Not to go off topic but look at music again for a good example. 99 cents in most places for one song now. A good version of it at that, yet people still go the free route.

So work the net the best you can to get money from people that are willing to pay and those of us that will buy the collected volumes when available but know that, in the end, scanlations and people that want things for free will never go away. In this day and age with the attitude some have? No. You'll never get money from some if they can find it free. Some because they feel entitled, others may just not have the extra funds.

Hana brings this issue to a global scale:

I believe scanlations are still going to be intact, and there are two main reasons for it.

There are, of course, some people who have the possibility to buy legal manga, but just do not want to, because they feel it is easier to just read quick and free, and do not care about "supporting" manga authors.

And, there are people like myself. The people who do not have the OPTION to buy legal manga. I come all the way from Serbia. In Serbia the only manga I believe was coming out was Akira, some 15 - 20 years ago. I was not even born then.

Of course, people like that, are going to read scanlations without feeling a gram of remorse for it. I am not saying it is right, I am just saying it is like that. If I could spend 60 dollars on something, I would.

As for some sites with subscriptions, I think that they would already be an option like that if they think about doing it.

Going global once again is Kirsten:

Of course it will. While reading all the insults flung at those who read scanlations I am generally consumed by guilt. However like many others out there, I HAVE NO OTHER OPTION! Perhaps more and more manga series are being licensed and released America, and in that case it perfectly reasonable to expect people to support the industry and buy the volumes. But…

There is more to the world than America! As an inhabitant of a third world country, there is absolutely no way I can get my hands on manga or anime without resorting to my old friend, the Internet. In the highly unlikely event that manga ever comes to my country, I will ecstatically become one of those shameless nerds who queue up at midnight waiting for a new volume to arrive. Unfortunately it is highly unlikely that a country that has neither Starbucks, nor Burger King will be getting large quantities of manga anytime soon.

And no, I can't wait patiently like a good law abiding citizen for Japan's treasures to reach our dusty plains; I'm an addict! Just waiting patiently for the next's month's scanlations is all I can manage.

So for some of us out there, scanlations are a gift from the internet Gods and until globalization is entirely complete, there will always be a need for it. Manga appeals to everyone, no matter where they live, and it should be available in the same manner. I sincerely hope that as long as scanlations are needed, they will continue to exist. Even if it's just for a lonely goat-herd in Tunisia with an internet connection.

I don't think I'd be comfortable reading Juniji Ito while in my bathrobe, Sam:

Now, I'm not stupid, so I'm generally wary of anyone who claims that Free Market economics can fix economic issues, but I think it might actually work in this situation.

Why not set up some sort of system so scanlation groups can purchase the rights to the series they translate and distribute? Make the publisher's entire back-catalog available, so if there's sufficient demand for a series (Hi, that dude that sent in the e-mail about Mahoraba!) they can scrape together donations and purchase the rights themselves. The groups could pay a lump sum for the rights and release it for free, or charge it, with an option for a lower license fee for an overall percentage of gross.

You could even set up some sort of "Nintendo Seal of Quality"-type setup where groups who still distribute illegal scans get locked out of the system.

Heck, let's go full Digital Distribution on this thing and set up a version of Steam just for these comics. Your collection can be ported from PC to PC, to your iPhone, iPad, PS3, fully scalable to 1080i if your comic supports it. That way, the translation groups don't even have to worry about bandwidth. There will still be people who download copies of the comics, even with this system in place, but the awesome thing about the Internet is that those people would have done that anyway. There's a group of people composed of equal parts cheapskates and unpleasable whiners who will find some convoluted justification for their crimes, and we can't go about pretending that everyone who pirates are one of those. We need to leverage the technology and the inherent passion Otaku have and use it to bring the industry back from the brink.

Let's just face facts here, the days of the giant monolithic publishing bodies are rapidly coming to a close. When a lone teenager with a DSL connection and a friend in Akihabara can outpace an entire industry to a hilarious degree, you know your days are numbered. Instead of trying to legislate your aging business model back to relevance, why not embrace the technology to such a degree that people have no choice but to use your system? The fans get their comics, the publisher gets their money, and the groups who had been working in the shadows now get to add this to their resume. There isn't a single downside to any of this.

Can you imagine what that would be like? Boot up your computer and purchase everything Juniji Ito has ever done while you're still in your bathrobe. For the price of a night out on the town you could own the complete set of Akira graphic novels.

This is just another major case of a corporate entity having absolutely zero clue how to relate to their market. We're geeks, we have the passion and the technology. They could choose to use it, or go out of business. We will get our manga, it's just a question of how involved they'll choose to be in the manner.

Johnny makes a funny:

Question: "Does a serivce exist that renders scanlations irrelevant?"
Answer: A few years in prison (no, haha, just joking)

Two to three years down the line, if nothing else has changed, there will be at least this change--legal manga available to read online by manga publishers, whether it's free or by small subscription charge. I mean, seriously, five years ago, if you asked people if anime companies would show free episodes online, the whole world would've laughed until their heads filled with helium and they floated into heaven. The anime industry was brought to its knees by piracy and was humiliatingly forced (and to save itself from collapsing) free online episodes--heck, whole seasons of multiple anime shows are available at Funimation's website. The same will happen with the manga industry. The reason legal online anime came before manga (in my opinion, of course) is that anime is much easier to load than scanlating 20-30 pages of a manga. Which is easier? An anime episode illegally loaded in 2 minutes or a half hour (or however long it takes) scanlating manga? Plus, you'd need to have a scanlator, which many don't possess. However, lots of people can easily download anime with a basic computer.

Look, e-Books are available to read on an i-Kindle. Why don't manga companies wake up and smell the coffee and inevitable. I hate what's happened to the industry, but the way it is now, I see nothing else that can be done. Manga companies don't have anything to worry about with the online subscription idea. Printed products are slowly becoming obsolete. Do you know which industry Warren Buffet said he'd stay away from and tell any investor to stay away from? The answer: newspapers. Why should people pay for newspapers when they can get what's going on online for free? Years ago when the ATM came out, people thought that it was the end of an era of banking since people used to go to banks just to deposit or withdraw cash. However, do you see banks going under (not the current recession, of course, but by ATMs)? Of course not! Banks have thrived because of ATMs so far. Book publishers are selling e-Books, i-songs (or whatever they're called, you can obviously tell I'm not techno-savvy) are downloaded onto i-Pods. Another great example, CDs. There's a music song that people like but don't want to buy the whole CD just for one good song and 9 other crappy songs that they don't like. The answer? Just buy the songs individually through i-Pods or MP3s. Do you see a homeless Ludacris shaking his "money-maker like somebody 'bout to pay ya" on the streets or Nickelback "waiting in clubs he'll never get in" like it's the "bottom of the ninth" like he's "never gonna win"? (Although those scenes would just be absolutely hilarious)? Do you see popular rappers and rock stars homeless or destitute because of iPods and MP3s? NO! Unfortunately and fortunately, legal online manga is just a matter of time.

And to close the book on this issue (for the time being at least), LambdaDriver demands everything be open, open, open! Damnit!

I see scanlations at a place similar to where fansubs are now. A few legal crunchyroll-like subscribtion sites, getting a small slice of a very large illegal trade. Not all that different from where it is now actually.


Because those CR style sites will do it wrong just like CR is doing it wrong, or part wrong I should say. There are 3 basic models for media content distribution. Ad-supported( AKA TV or CR's free streaming service), premium subscription (AKA HBO or CR's ad-less pay service), and Purchase to own (DVD or similar method, no CR Equivalent). That last one is critical. Cause a lot of people wont shell out money for something that might change from day to day, what's on the service today might not be there tomorrow. On the other hand my DVDs and books are always here.

If these legal scanlation sites do offer DL-to-own, they'll hang encryption on it that will make it a pain to view and limit where/how you view it (ex. only playing on Sony eBook readers or god forbid an iPad). Then about a day after the 1st release and millions invested in the security someone will crack the encryption and it will be wide open.

Unlimited personal copying rights and unencrypted formats so I can play it where and how I want. That's the way to do it.

And it HAS been done, and is still going on, Baen Books, a sci-fi publisher offers their books online in multiple unencrypted formats (HTML, RTF and others) and makes money from it, while also offering a very generous FREE DL library. According to sales figures, author's sales figures, established authors on average make 90% of the money they will get from a given title in the 1st month of sales, after that sales taper off pretty sharply. That's why authors on that site offer older titles of series for free DL and charge for newer and even more for brand new. Instead of charging the same for vol. 1 as they do for vol. 23 of a title. And if you don't believe me try to find DLs of Baen's books, I looked, I got about 10 hits, half for audio books, the other half were titles that Baen offers for free themselves.

Alright, sweet. Scanlations. That is definitely an issue. It is a thing. Very much a thing.

Next week! I've got a question that's been nipping at my brain somewhat recently:

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 have 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.

That's all I've got for tonight! So go forth and be awesome to each other, and of course don't forget to send any question, big or small, to my bustling inbox of Answer-tude known as answerman (at!!) animenewsnetwork.com! So long for now!

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