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Hey, Answerman! - Generic Blues

by Brian Hanson,

Boy, last week sure was fun! That is, if your definition of "fun" involves lengthy, combative 10-page forum responses where everyone has already dug in their heels about whatever issue they're arguing and refuse to budge, slinging insults and false positives in a grandiose display of cognitive dissonance. Fun times!

Onward to this week's questions, and first up, I have a question from an actual digi-subber!

why does it seem that every season has one anime that is universally branded "do not watch this show under any circumstance." for example KissXSis (which scored about a .6 out 5 in the ANN season preview) and The Blessings of Campanella (this series scoring about a 1.2). a translator in my fan subbing group (yes I know I am evil) had wanted to do Shukufuku no Campanella/ Blessings of Campanella but I told him we where still 5 episodes behind on Sengoku no Night Raid (which scored around a 4.5), and that we would probably not do another ongoing anime this season because none of the non-licensed ones looked very good, and Night Raid still needed a lot of help with episode 7 because the episode was determined to be only understood by someone who took Japanese history for 3 years, and was determined to remain in japanese (which is part of the reason only two groups out of the original 10 sub groups remain, both being stuck on episode 7 until recently.)

why is it that shows that are very obviously horrible based on the first episode are even green light, and then why do licensing companies (stares at Media Blasters, and Funimation), pick up these horrible fluff shows when there are much better shows, such as Sengoku no Night Raid which need either a professional translator or a native japanese speaker (thank god we had one) in order to fully communicate their complex plots to english speaking audiences. P.S. could you also explain why both of those shows have been doing about as well as night raid in terms of views (I do have evidence to prove this).

thank you for your time, and also could you please lay off the subbers a bit please? we do tell people not to abuse our releases and try to comply with companies more than you would think. and the people who abuse our subs would not pay a penny for a dvd anyway 95% of the time, so please stop making me into the demon that is kill the american anime industry when it is people's viewing habits and idiocy that are doing it, because I ended up triple dipping on my case closed dvds and I am tired of being a scapegoat for people deciding to spend the little spending money they have anymore on anime.

Alright. Where to start. Hm.

It's completely understandable that in every anime season there's either one, or two, or even several new shows that are outright execrable garbage. There were over THIRTEEN new shows that debuted this past summer alone. That's just the summer. That's the "slow" season when TV ratings are far from their peak. So then, think about each new TV season here in America. Think about all the new shows that are airing on network television - CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX - and then think about all the new shows airing on some of the major cable channels - Comedy Central, Spike, Adult Swim, FX, TNT, et al - and try to parse just how many of those shows are going to actually be worthwhile. Most of them will be predictable, watered-down, by-the-numbers exercises in tedium that are treading the same dull trail by dozens of other shows in the past. And a few that just outright suck. It's just what happens, really. With such a glut of content, the law of averages is on the side of most of those shows being mediocre, a few rising above that mark, and a few here and there that are the worst things ever seen.

But, hey, look. No one deliberately sets out to make a bad show. The producers, the animators, the voice actors; they may not be operating under the delusions that Kiss X Sis is high art, but they're not actively trying to make a crappy product. All they're trying to make is a show that panders to the sad, predictable fetishes of the hardcore Japanese Otaku market. And those shows sell to that audience, because with something like Night Raid, it's seen as something of a challenge - it looks dark, cryptic, and strange. Kiss X Sis looks exactly like the sort of thing they can jerk off to. Which they do. So, it sells.

Now, as for your point about those shows doing "as well" as Night Raid - yeah, as fansubs, they probably have the same amount of downloads and viewers. That's because the fansub audience watches everything, pretty much. The reason the ANN Preview Guides are such a success is because of the discussion those guides generate - only a small percentage of the readers those guides get are from people who are literally using them as a "guide" to pick and choose which titles of the season they should pay attention to. Nope; the devoted fansub audience watches everything, day one. Each and every title. And the Preview Guides are a nice little portal for everyone to gather around and discuss their thoughts on the season as a whole.

Put it another way; put out something like, say, House of Five Leaves and Kiss X Sis out on DVD the same day, and that'll be a much more telling display of the "popularity" between the bottom-feeding garbage shows and the fully-conceptualized, quality shows.

And speaking of DVDs and sales: Thanks for writing in, it's nice to have an actual digital fansubber's opinion (albeit an off-topic one) on this supposed "debate." I don't have anything against digi-subbers, really.

(Well, okay - I hate karaoke fonts that obscure the opening animation. Really? You're going to take an anime's opening, usually the only part of the show where the animators have a semblance of a budget to display, and you're going to cram it full of obnoxiously dancing text?!? And also, it's nice to know that DemonoidXVioletta encoded the video I'm watching, but I'd much rather be made aware of, say, the director or the writers of the actual show that I'm watching. Oh, and while it's great that translators don't think there's a suitable English word for "Nakama" or whatever, that really just means they're a lousy translator. Oh, sorry. I'll stop now.)

Gripes aside, you are not a "demon" and you're certainly not "killing" the anime market. The "anime market" has done enough on its own to dig their own collective grave. But, I just wanted to highlight something you yourself said-

"the people who abuse our subs would not pay a penny for a dvd anyway 95% of the time"

Really? That never strikes you as maybe something that's a problem? Really?

The sad things is that I hear this statement a lot about piracy. About music, movies, video games, anime, whatever. "Oh, well, you can't say for certain that those pirates would have bought or paid for any of those things anyway." No, I can't say that for certain, but... that statement doesn't mean anything. Because I could turn around and say the exact opposite - "the people who abuse fansubs would be likely to pay for a DVD 95% of the time anyway" and still have it be a true statement. There's no hard evidence for this. And dismissing piracy because everybody's made up their mind that "oh well they won't pay for anything at all ever so who cares" is kind of... gross, to me. They won't pay for anything ever, so why give them anything? Why give unapologetic leeches exactly what they want? What benefit is that to anyone?

Alright, I'm stopping there before this turns into another monstrous 100-page talkback debacle. Next up:

So we always see things on ANN that are like "generic sounding storyline manga gets anime" (or at least that's how I hear it...) and I see plenty of manga around that probably deserve an anime so much more that are equally popular. So here's the question: what makes a manga more appealing to be picked up by a studio to be made into an anime? What are the qualifications? And what's the process for a manga to become an anime? Is it a good sign if it already has a drama CD or not?

Basically, Big Japanese Publishing Company is publishing Card Battler Breast Fighter. Japanese Anime Studio would like to adapt it into an anime. Anime Studio and Big Japanese Publishing Company talk with a Big Japanese Television Network and also Big Japanese DVD Distributor. Big Japanese Publishing Company also talks to Japanese Toy Maker Inc. about producing merchandise to sell to their fans. Together, the Big Japanese Publishing Company, the Japanese Anime Studio, the Television Network, the DVD Distributor, and the Toy Maker all form a big "Committee" and they all pitch in a percent to fund a full 13-episode season of Card Battler Breast Fighter. The profits from Card Battler Breast Fighter are partitioned out - ad sales from the TV airing go to the Big Japanese Television Network. DVD sales go to the DVD Distributor, Toy Sales go to the Toy Maker, and of course all the extra exposure helps to move sales of manga volumes, so the Publishing Company gets money from that, etc.

Generic, paint-by-numbers titles get green-lit and announced all the time because they are, to put it bluntly, immediately profitable. These companies aren't looking for shows that have a "long tail" - they aren't looking for shows that don't necessarily have all the most profitable ingredients (cute girls to sell to the otaku market, cards and toys to sell to kids, etc.) that may slowly garner a wider audience both in Japan and overseas as word of its quality spreads. That takes time, and time is a risk. Risks, in a down economy, are bad.

If a manga has a drama CD? That's a good sign, yes - drama CDs are a form of merchandise, and a big merchandising push is, as I mentioned above, a sad necessity to get an anime series produced these days - so if there's a specific manga title you're biting your lip in eager anticipation for an anime version, I'd say you're in luck.

I was delighted to see that Right Stuf did a license rescue on Revolutionary Girl Utena, seeing as how tvtropes.org had assigned it the "Keep Circulating the Tapes" tag for effective unavailability (not entirely accurate, as Anime Network ran it on VOD last year, and still streams it). In the ANN forums, I snarked that all we needed now was for someone to license-rescue Royal Space Force / The Wings of Honneamise, which was made effectively unavailable when Bandai Visual priced itself out of any legitimate market. Even Right Stuf doesn't have it anymore, after dumping the $80 BD/DVD down to a $40 "bargain bin" item.

Setting my wish-list aside, though, what do you think are the titles that most need a license rescue? Are they more deserving of a re-release than new shows, or old shows that have never had a legitimate release in the West? And how does the trade-off of demand versus agreeable license terms determine what does and doesn't get rescued?

Well, sadly, most of the titles that I loved that were buried by ADV and CPM and Geneon's demise are... mostly the same titles that everyone else really loved. Utena's coming back, ditto FLCL, Trigun, Hellsing, Slayers was rescued years ago, et cetera. There's only so many things left untouched that are still worth the effort. I don't really want to see Law of Ueki show up on DVD again, for example.

Personally, I'd like to see the Lupin TV series and the first two movies show up again on some company's license-rescuing radar. Although I'm pretty sure it already has - I mean it's freakin' Lupin - but I can't say I would blame any of them if they simply passed on it. Lupin's never been a big seller, because Americans are so damn tasteless.

And really, whose sexual proclivities do I have to please in order to get a god damned decent DVD or, god forbid, Blu Ray of Castle of Cagliostro?!? One that isn't either in matted widescreen or has the opening credit animation replaced with still frames on a crappy flipper disc?!? I swear to Christ I would do so many things, so many things, just to have a suitable English version of that movie.

Guess what? No flakes this week. Strange, considering the ****-storm last week's column caused. Ah well. I guess I'll take it as a compliment that everyone was civil and straightforward with their arguments.

Onward to Answerfans, and last week I opened the floodgates of Convention Complaints with this question...

By jove, I think Watson's got it:

The only thing I can suggest is to hold a 4chan convention in a highly accessible major city sometime in the summer. Make it last three weeks, and hold it in a facility with no wireless internet service, with the term that you can only buy passes for the whole con; no days or weekends. Let the gathered /b/tards spend the whole three weeks bellowing their idiotic memes and "ironic" racial and homophobic slurs at each other, without the luxury of being able to post any of it on the net, let alone 4chan. Maybe at some point the groupthink will turn in on itself and people will start dredging up the intelligence they've suppressed in order to appear social (and maybe, just maybe, possibly get laid) and start to question just what it is they're so involved with and what they're doing, resulting in the beginnings of an exodus from the mindset that falls for such a thing and a path to becoming thinking, critical and imaginational individuals. At the very worst, almost all of them will be so broke as a result that they won't be able to afford to go to any anime cons, and people can go to them to enjoy anime and socialize with other anime fans instead of having to fight the urge to strangle the loud, obnoxious little sheeple so they can Lose The Game properly.

Waffocopter just wants to party hearty:

Anime conventions are almost synonymous with parties to the majority of their attendees. It just doesn't feel like a convention without squealing, yelling and unfortunately, proclamations of losing the game. I apologize for those of you who play. A convention would feel quite creepy with no hyper younger fans and only fans who only go to informative panels meant to encourage analyzing and discussion and not much else. So conventions do need those younger and very vocal fans.

With that being said, it'll be a sad, sad day when the introspective panels studying a creator's works or analyzing a series to death disappear or when Japanese guests like directors or mangaka just stop coming to American conventions because only a small percentage of people actually care about who made their favorite series. As of this year, convention populations are skewed towards the younger fans. I don't just say that judging by the noise levels at conventions. I say it by seeing one American voice actor be the sole reason a small convention sells out (Setsucon). I say it because I see parody panels having to turn away attendees because even standing room is filled up while the director of Ghost in the Shell and Eden of the East can't fill a quarter of his Q&A panel and has to have the same handful of people ask questions after questions because everyone else didn't want to ask anything, putting the panel at risk of ending early for the Guest of Honor (AnimeNEXT).

Those younger and probably more casual fans outnumber the rest of us both in volume of sound and people. But there is hope! These fans can grow more interested in the inner workings of their fandoms and go to conventions to discuss things with fans and guests, hopefully outgrowing their past tastes in yelling out internet memes and bursting the eardrums of nearby attendees. These is also the possibility these fans could get sick of the “anime scene” and stop attending conventions entirely. Though these fans grow up, there will always be some new young fans to take their place in the population of beginner anime fans. And that's just fine. We need some of them. I'm just hoping that there will be less of them as our ranks of Japanese guest-loving, serious panel-attending attendees grow.

Stan won't get off your lawn OLD MAN:

Believe it or not, there are some con-goers that are interested in both parties and GOHs. But of course, there are some disparity here and there during convention. I got sick of 'I lost the game' so much, and I'm sure lot of people did as well. Unfortunately, there really isn't much anyone can do to separate the older fans and younger fans in a convention. The event needs both fans, those that appreciate anime already and those that are just getting into it. Banning signs and yaoi paddle are good calls of course, but you can't ban yelling out internet meme for obvious reason. You just gotta tough it up and try to live your own convention experience. Each year, I see row of Carameldansen here and there, but that never affects my overall con experience in any manner.

Put it this way: when Elvis first debuted with his pelvic thrust, older folks hated it and young people got into it. That same young people grew old and hated the hippie movement, and the hippies grew old to hate 80s heavy metal. Those 80s headbangers would look at Ke$ha and go 'what's wrong with today's generation?' (and I don't blame them). The point being is that there will be some kind of disparity as years go by. Some of us older generations were out-of-control by back-then's standard, we just happened to grow out of it. I know I was quite a brat back then, and I could've been that kid yelling out memes if 4chan existed when I started going to convention.

Speaking of young people and lawns, Clare shares her thoughts:

I'm 18 years old and still sort of consider myself part of the younger generation of fans. I started going to conventions at the age of 13 or so. I think that the convention dynamic is, unfortunately, something that is not going to be "solved" in the way that most people want it to be. Please, hear me out.

I remember being a younger fan and being overwhelmingly ecstatic when I found myself surrounded by both things and people who loved anime. When I see the mid-teenage crowd squealing and jumping and doing whatever else they do, I remember myself at that time, and how I felt: so intensely happy that I was not the biggest freak out there. I too, wanted to be social and meet people like myself. I wasn't interested in industry or creator related panels or events because I was still drinking in the culture. That's what I feel these current fans are doing, trying to immerse themselves in a culture that they can't find in "normal life". I can't blame those kids for feeling that way and neither do I ever want to deprive them of that excitement. I'm not denying that there are annoying kids out there. Not at all. However, I am saying that I don't think we need to be so heavy handed. I have no problem with Over-18 cons and Over-21 cons, but not all cons can be age restricted because we then cut out the current generation of fans (not to mention the business issues of cutting that demographic out) Nor can there be a cosplay restriction to get rid of the kids in cat ears or Naruto headbands.

I think the real difference between older fans and younger fans is the different anime cultures each grew up and matured in. Most fans today grew up using the internet to get anime and manga, thereby removing the middlemen of anime clubs, (where people would actually have to meet each other in person to watch anime) , fansubbers distributing VHS's, or even video rental stores. The internet has been an amazing boost to anime fandom, no doubt, but it has created a different generation of fan, people who are more socially awkward (in both a loud and quiet way) but also people who have a distinct background of how they interact with anime, which is fundamentally different than the past. Mass consumption leaves people less interested in creators, directors, voice actors, technical animation etc. because you could always be watching something else. When you didn't have such widespread opportunities, then one could intensely learn about creators and become a fan of one particular show. Because of the internet, there is a disconnect between older fans and younger fans and what they are both interested in. Which could make each group mutually exclusive, but I think that is not necessarily the truth.

I feel that conventions could bridge that gap. I advocate the creation of more introductory panels or historical panels aimed at bringing the younger people in. I know that that idea would not work for every one of the Naruto-headband-wearers, but I believe it would work for some of those kids. They would become more informed and, maybe, even take a liking to 70's shoujo, or older robot shows or even panels on the work of different creators. This is, of course, not something that would change that much. To be honest, I don't think this issue can actually be solved. The kids aren't just to go away or suddenly change the way they act. What I think the more mature fans need to do is try to nurture the young fans; not just write them off all as crazy people. I think conventions should continue to do what they do now, as in having the rave, the silly panels, but not at the price of the losing other important guests, or informational panels. We should try to use some of that time to reach out to the younger people. And, if that doesn't work, take relief in the fact that these kids will (eventually) grow up, and they too will look back in embarrassment at how stupid they were.

Sarah says to don't stop believin', and (insert gunshot caused by Journey reference):

The plain fact of the matter is, things change. There's no stopping change. It happens regardless of how much you may have enjoyed the good 'ole days when conventions were purely about anime and manga. The main difference between now and ten years ago is that anime has become more and more available to an American audience. I wouldn't go so far as to say mainstream, but considering there are entire production companies and publishers devoted to translating and marketing stuff from Japan for American audiences alone should tell you something. Gone are the days when anime was pretty much only Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon after school. It's available, whether legal or not, pretty much everywhere you look and it's influence on American animation is growing, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Kappa Mikey and The Boondocks being just a few examples.

That being said, I think the only way to change the main populace of a convention is for a convention to decide what it wants to be. Is it an anime convention or a general fandom convention? Comic-Con used to be all about the comics but look what it's turned into after it became all about industry. Castle and Glee may be great shows, but what do they have to do with comic books? Not that there's anything wrong with this mind you, I just don't think it should be called Comic-Con because it's alienating true comic fans. It should be named Fancon or something since that's really what it is, a place for general fans of whatever to gather. Going back to Otakon, the good folks at Otakorp have to decide if they want to continue on they path they are on, the one of industry and trade, or stick to their "by the fans for the fans" roots. The only reason some types of people show up to a convention is because the convention offers things that appeal to them. Ravers won't show up if a rave is not offered. I'm not a rave type person so if Otakon gets rid of it, and therefore gets rid of a lot of idiots then I'm all for that. If Otakon or any anime convention is truly all about being a celebration of Otaku culture then it has to ditch the stuff that has nothing to do with it, such as the rave. Only offer anime videos and anime related panels. Only bring in guests of honor from Japan. Only approve dealers that sell anime merchandise. I would think this would severely reduce the amount of people that want to come. I find myself somewhere in the middle of the two main groups. I go to an anime convention primarily for anime, but some of the other borderline off-topic things interest me as well. The bottom line is, if I see stuff on the schedule that sounds interesting, I'll go and just ignore everything else. 4chan will always be around, there's nothing you can do to stop that, but I've learned to ignore them and so it doesn't have an impact on my enjoyment.

Kayla thinks that old people and sex-starved teenagers should just get along, damnit:

How would I solve the disparity between older attendees (read: dedicated anime enthusiasts) and younger attendees (read: hyperactive sex-starved teenagers)? Well, I wouldn't, because I don't think it is a very big disparity. As with many things, it's not black and white, but part of a spectrum, and the majority of attendees probably fall somewhere in-between, like myself. I personally don't shout memes, I didn't even when I started attending conventions at age 16. I don't glomp anyone, I don't ask cosplayers for yaoi fanservice, and I have and always will refuse to participate in "the game". But even I get a little giddy and excited during a convention, and I break out of my social shell....within reason. I usually do attend the dances. I really wish they'd have a little more variety in the music, but it's fun to dance around like an idiot for a few hours. I like seeing cosplayers of all kinds, even if they're not related to an anime. If it's good, I'm happy to see it. I'll even admit I once attended an anime swimsuit contest, and damn it, it was fun. On the other hand, I also love seeing previews of new anime in industry panels, I love meeting my favorite artists and voice actors, I love learning useful things in cosplay panels. Anime conventions have a lot to offer; like you said, they're catering to a lot of different people. Everyone needs to learn to tolerate the annoying younger attendees. Don't let the loud, hyper kids ruin your good time, as long as they aren't actively harming you or invading your personal space. Do what you enjoy, spend time with your friends, make some new ones. There are as many experiences at a convention as there are people. To conclude, my answer is that I don't think anything really needs to be solved. All I want to see is anime conventions trying to remove some of the really invasive annoyances, like paddles and vuvuzelas (oh dear god, vuvuzelas). They can ban things like that, but they can't go banning people just for being hyper and socially awkward. So learn to ignore them.

Adam reminds us of what this whole thing is all about - bitchin' and moanin'.

I don't really think this issue is related to age as much as personal interest of the people who are most vocal about their nitpicks with what's changed about anime conventions. I started going to anime conventions back in 2006 when I was still a junior in high school, and have continued to do so up until today (Well, not so much this year, but that was due to finances, and to make up for it I did work for a dealer this summer and saw A-Kon and Otakon for the first time even if I didn't get to do much of anything). Sure, I get annoyed by the kids who act stupid and yell out old 4chan memes. The thing is though, all of us "old folk" have pretty much all been there and done that too, and I'm sure there were people our current age who didn't like us very much either. There just happens to be a difference in the ratio of older to young as the Toonami generation gets on into there 20s and the younger ones don't add on quite like they used to. Shoot, many of the 20-somethings still do a lot of things commonly associated with the underage attendees. The only thing that bothers me about any of this is the recycled meme problem. This isn't because the young guns use them so much, its because they are literally the same things I and everyone else used 4 years ago. I'm cool with funny memes here and there, but COME UP WITH SOME NEW ONES KIDS!

Furthermore, I don't think that any age group or interest camp is degrading conventions. I must admit, the sudden attachment to the convention rave and other things once unheard of was kind of disheartening at first. However, upon closer inspection, I realize that this is just the surface of the matter, and that deep down, anime conventions haven't really changed THAT much. They have certainly evolved a little bit in order to further appeal to the majority interests of the people who attend them, but at their core, they are still pretty much the same as always. In the purist sense, sure, having a dance, be it the rave, a formal ball, or both, doesn't really have anything to do with anime. But, it's something that your average convention goer is likely to want to do, so they happen now. Certainly not everyone is going to enjoy every aspect of a convention, but they don't have to. As long as a large number of attendees are into an aspect of the convention, I see no problem with it existing. Don't fool yourself into thinking that the new attendees on the block are responsible for these new convention things, either. I see plenty of overage attendees in line for the dances at conventions too. If they weren't, they probably wouldn't be popular enough to justify.

More specifically think of the anime part of "anime convention" as the foundation. You have an anime convention, and there is a group of people, however large, that will want to come. Out of those people, a large number of them are likely to play video games, of the Japanese and non-Japanese variety. With that in mind, you have a gaming room full of video games, both Japanese and non-Japanese, and have some tournaments as well. Not everyone will like video games, and those people won't use the gaming room, but most of them will at some point. Repeat that process for tabletop gaming, dances, etc., and you have a complete picture of what we know of as an anime convention. Every once and a while, something new comes along and it becomes standard at a convention if it gets accepted by the large majority of the attendee mass. Some of these new trends are even anime related; I've noticed an upward trend in anime gameshows (I've always seen them around, but lately I've noticed there seem to be MULTIPLE ones at conventions now).

As I mentioned earlier, I initially thought some of these changes were bad too, but I've warmed up to the idea as I've understood that an anime convention is about more than just its namesake. It is an umbrella concept that incorporates many different things that your average anime fan is more than likely in to that they simply don't get to enjoy or express very often with other like-hobbied people and perhaps can't handle simultaneously for reasons of time or money (Like going to a dedicated rave on top of the local anime conventions). As long as the convention is still firmly secured in its anime and manga roots (And probably Japanese games should be included too), what's it to someone who simply doesn't want to go to the rave if everyone else does? Better to have the occasional stupid ones confined to a massive group of people in one room then out and about causing trouble anyway. Even if they're not anime related, some of the rave costumes are also quite awesome and worthy of taking a picture, not to mention the other non-anime stuff people come up with to cosplay (There was an Inspector Gadget with a functioning helicopter hat at Otakon. That guy deserves a medal). If it really bothers someone THAT much, then they should stop staring squarely at the nearest offender and look at the dozens of anime-related cosplayers around that person that are bound to be there, because again, the convention is still very much an anime convention and a couple of ravers on Saturday night or a couple of Myth Busters here and there are not going to change that.

Who knows, maybe one of these days I'll even get around to going to a convention rave myself. There are, I'm afraid I must admit, many parts of a standard convention I've kind of neglected over the years, anime and non-anime, that I would like to try out. Maybe it'll make conventions once again as fun as they were when I first started going to them.

Petrea brings this mess to a close with a simple succinct answer - just how I like 'em:

I think this problem is already solved by the fact that there are so many anime conventions to choose from. Some are in a competition to see who can gather up the biggest katamari ball of otaku, but that doesn't mean all of them are. Try out other conventions near you-- and if you live almost anywhere in North America, there's more than one anime convention near you-- and see if one is more to your liking.

That's all the space I have for this week's Answerfans thing - next week, all this talk about generic, dull anime getting greenlit brought me to ponder something:

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 the time and space I've got this week, but I'll be back next time of course! Provided you send me all the necessary ingredients at answerman(at)animenewsnetwork.com! Bye!

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