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Hey, Answerman! - Portmanteau-Related Tomfooligans

by Brian Hanson,

Greetings, salutations, and all that. Welcome to the weekly effort in edification that is Answerman! If I could think of a joke or a wry comment or perhaps a witty bon-mots it would go somewhere in here. Alas.

On one of the recent ANNcasts, Mike Toole said something to the effect that it is a shame that Shinichiro Watanabe can't find work. Really? I guess I just have a bad misconception of the industry. I always assumed if Watanabe wasn't working it was because he had enough money or creative control that he could effectively do whatever the hell he wanted. Ok, I kind of think of him as an anime god were everything he directs is brilliant (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Baby Blue) and things where he's otherwise involved are vastly improved (music director for Mind Game and Michiko to Hatchin, both in dire need of being licensed). So the question is, is he really struggling to get work and how can this be so? Do more creative directors get pushed aside for ones who can more effectively model boob jiggle mechanics. I watched Dragonaut in the last year, and while there there was an obvious mastery of breast dynamics (and Hot Pants!), the animation direction was horrific.To stay in the game does a director have to sell his soul or is Watanabe just an exceptional case? Or perhaps I'm missing something else.

I think the point that Mike was making is that he desperately, desperately wants a new Watanabe project. "Where the hell is it?" was basically his question. I don't think Watanabe is "having trouble" finding work at all. Being one of the few anime directors with a sizable amount of international heat and acclaim on his side, whatever Watanabe wants to do next is whatever he gets to do next.

Unfortunately for us, it doesn't seem like he necessarily wants to produce another 26-episode series anytime soon. Aside from producing music for the titles you mentioned above, he's also pitched in as either an opening animation director (for Eureka Seven) and a storyboard supervisor (for Birdy the Mighty Decode), and he's credited as a coveted "Executive Producer" on the in-development Cowboy Bebop movie at Fox. I'd imagine, if anything, the live-action movie is probably the most exciting project for the guy, considering his unabashed love for Hollywood, and thus is the thrust of the man's current focus. I just hope for his sake that the project isn't put on hold or in "Turnaround" or any other fancy Hollywood way of saying that it's been killed.

Shinichiro Watanabe certainly isn't being denied work. I think the small animation jobs he picks up here and there, and the music production he's handled, is a sign that he's busy trying to garner the right amount of enthusiasm for whatever big project he wants to work on next. It just sucks for all of us who like the man's work that he hasn't made any firm commitments. So, until then, enjoy Dragonaut. Seriously.

Dear Answerman,

Do the writers of Kekkaishi think we are morons? It seems like either the people responsible for the localization or the writers of the original script have found it necessary to put notes everywhere, even when they're completely necessary. In one scene they actually showed the name of a character and his relation to another in the show already but any one who watched for the next 2 minutes would have been told his name and his relationship in the natural progression of the script. And that's just one example.

Is there a reason for this, almost insulting, barrage of notation? Are they trying to help non-anime fans understand the (not) hard to follow story lines and (not) complex character interactions and histories?

If I'm remembering correctly, I believe the "barrage of notation" is something that's taken rather directly from the original manga. Which makes sense in that context; Kekkaishi is yet another popular, long-running, serialized manga in a weekly magazine with broad appeal but with a specific focus on a younger audience. Practically every long-running Shonen manga is filled with notations re-iterating characters names and their relationships to one another - if anything, I'd say Naruto is the worst offender in that respect. It seems like each new chapter opens with a big two-page spread that's filled with secondary cast members and little wordblocks that tell you the character's name, rank, age, whatever.

Now, why that made its way into the anime version? That I don't know specifically. If anything, I'd say it's symptomatic of the rather unfortunate tendency in anime adaptations of popular manga to become so incredibly faithful to the original source material that it borders on obsessive. Instead of actually, say, adapting the stories and the characters to better suit their intended medium, the episodes resemble lavishly-produced motion comics, matching the pace and, in certain cases, the original panels beat-for-beat in each episode.

I'm with you, though. The notation in the anime is a distraction, almost an eyesore. It reeks of a last-minute post-production decision, one where somebody higher-up in the totem pole than the animators decided that it "just wouldn't be Kekkaishi" without all the fancy notes on the screen, telling you who is who. Once again it's something that works okay in the realm of manga - it looks silly, unnecessary, and vaguely insulting when translated to animation.

Although I saw a bit of this covered in your most recent column – concerning the CrunchyRoll subscriber – I felt like I'd rather ask you directly rather than presuming or assuming based on your answer to another person about a topic that is only similar. This is a question over which I have been pondering for quite a few weeks.

I've been reading for a very long time, and I'm no stranger to your disdain for anime leeches and the fansubs and scanlations and other portmanteau-related internet tomfooligans which feed those leeches. No, don't stop reading there, I promise I have a point. I've always been an admitted and proud fan of those notorious and illegal media. I know that I have said, at least on one occasion, that if it were not for fansubs, I never would have discovered my love of anime in the first place. I'm beginning to sound like your typical flake of the week, yes? – Albeit a bit more coherent. Here's the catch: I purchase the DVDs, merchandise, and random miscellanea for all of the series I follow; however, I highly prefer fansubs to any of the official releases which I buy. If anything, I buy the stuff to support the anime industry in America, while at the same time, sitting and watching the original-airing release sub of [anime x] by [fansub group y]. I find myself simply enamored with the time and effort put into these things by the fans, for the fans (let's ignore the leech-views for the purpose of my little self-indulgent ramble just a minute). That a group of real people who, for no profit itself (also ignoring the groups who try to exploit it for money; that's not a FANsub) puts the time and effort into translating, scripting, [so on and so forth] an anime just because of their love for the show, is amazing to me. Given the choice between watching the Special-Edition Blu-Ray of Fullmetal Alchemist sitting atop my desk, and the old fansubs from when it was new even to Japanese broadcast, I honestly would go for the latter. They convey, at least to me, a certain feeling of devotion and enjoyment for the show beyond what I typically see in a lot of the younger members of the growing anime community that exists today.

So my question to you would be this: at what point do you draw the line? I purchase the DVDs but, for all intents and purposes, I am highly in favor of fansubs. How would you, my dear Answerman, classify someone such as me?

You are classified as Devoted Fan Magenta - Point Epsilon. You are just below level Devoted Fan Tropicana Fruit Punch - Jugulation Concernment Datafactor Ethernet. But don't be discouraged. You're way, waaayyy far above those clowns that are classified Devoted Fan Mothball - Mezanine Complex Alpha Destroyer.

And now, in all seriousness, who am I to say what kind of "fan" you are? On that note, who is anyone? Internet d***holes are eager to spurn people with their perceived superiority by proclaiming that anybody who doesn't watch anime and support anime the same way that they do "isn't a TRUE fan." And then people on the internet give those d***holes credence by getting offended. That entire argument is wholly irrelevant, and, more importantly, stupid. That might not necessarily relay to your question, but it's something that's been bothering me lately. It obfuscates the actual problems of piracy, and derails the argument completely.

To your actual point, though, I can give a specific example that I ran into recently. Do I value the work and drive that dedicated fans put towards translating and releasing anime on their own? Of course I do. But only in the case where I feel like it's particularly earned. I'll give you a personal example. The Playstation One game Policenauts. I am a huge, silly fan of Metal Gear Solid. I have even played Snatcher. Twice. Policenauts has always been something of a Holy Grail - never released outside of Japan and completely impenetrable to a foreign audience, considering the game is essentially a point-and-click adventure game with loads of text and dialog and tricky kanji that made it next to impossible to play without a full translation. Plus the game had become something of a collector's item in Japan over the past decade or so. So it was expensive, foreign, and difficult to play. And that only makes me want to play it even more.

About a year or so ago, a full, 100-percent complete translation patch of the entire game hit the internet. Hooray! Now, was it completely ethical for me to download that patched .ISO? Absolutely not. But, the game has been out of print for a decade - whatever money I spent on it would be going to the eager hands of eBay scalpers, not Konami, and certainly not Hideo Kojima. That, and the translation was pretty impressive; the game is filled with hundreds of lines of text about utterly insane - yet scientifically plausible, in that Kojima-esque way - sci-fi babble. Not to mention that the text had to be reverse-engineered into a Playstation CD-ROM from 1996. I can't imagine that was easy.

So, yeah. I downloaded that patch. I played the game. There is almost no comparable product available otherwise. It would be the same if somebody asked me how they could watch Horus: Prince of the Sun in English. There isn't any other way BESIDES fansubs to watch it, and it's unlikely there ever will be.

But there's a huge gulf between fansubbing something like Horus: Prince of the Sun and the new season of Fullmetal Alchemist. Which one was being simulcasted, for free, on Funimation's official website, day and date with the Japanese TV airing? I'm not saying the fansub groups who all flock to be the ones to sub the new shows from every season aren't devoted - of course they are. They're doing something on their own time that is difficult and time-consuming, and they're doing it all because they love this stuff. That's evident, and I don't think myself or anyone else would ever challenge that. I just wish there was a better way, I guess, to channel that sort of devotion. Because it all just seems like wasted effort to me. Maybe not to you, since you enjoy the fansubs more, and that's certainly your prerogative. But to me, I'd like to see these guys and girls forgo the titles that are obvious no-brainers to either be licensed or simulcast, and stick to the stuff that sits on the fringes of the fandom. The titles that still truly need that extra bit of promotional push. Older titles, niche titles. Not High School of the Dead. Not Occult Academy. Not anything that's going to be snapped up by Funimation or Section 23 after it's finished airing in Japan. Since titles are being licensed by US companies closer and closer to their original airdates, that should be a pretty easy thing to figure out.

They are still fans, though, and I can't begrudge the subbers and translators themselves their right to exercise their right to be fans. If only there were a way to scourge away all the leechers and leave the subbers and translators intact... Hm.

Can it be? No flake this week? Well, there was a confused guy from Columbia who wanted me to help make his idea into an anime, but I think we've had enough of that. Here is a YouTube video in his honor.

Ah. Yes. Capybaras.

So, last week, to celebrate the vast, profound, and exuberant career of one of anime's most lauded and inquisitive talents, I posted this question to the gallery at large:

And, well, shoot. Why don't I start off myself?

My absolute favorite work by Satoshi Kon, and the one that resonated with me the most, is Paranoia Agent. The whole style of the show was purely delectable - it was nothing I'd ever seen done in a TV show before. Certainly not an animated TV show. And there hasn't been anything like it since. Part detective story, part Kolchak the Night Stalker, part ebullient fantasy. It teases you with just enough information to keep you guessing about the story, without spoiling anything or making you feel like you're being ham-strung through a bunch of visual non-sequiturs. And in the end, the story resolved itself with both a completely crazy, totally out-there melange of destructive and powerful imagery, but also, on a bittersweet personal story of grief and loss, and the cost of hiding our emotions. Powerful work. I'll admit, even just writing this little piece here, knowing that the man who created something so wonderful to me, isn't around anymore... it's tough. But, let's hear what you all have to say.

Andrew picks Perfect Blue:

First, I would like to express my condolences to Mr. Satoshi Kon's family and friends. The world will truly miss this genius creator and director, and so will I.

As for the question, I would have to choose Perfect Blue as my favorite work by Mr. Kon. I'll explain why that's so in a minute, but right now I'll tell the story of how I first watched Perfect Blue.

There's a local retail rental store in my neighborhood which thankfully sells and rents anime DVDs. I always take the time to look around to see what's available. I'm constantly looking for anime titles which raise the bar in my mind. In the rental isle I came across Perfect Blue. My first thought when I saw its DVD cover was, "Oh this must be some kind of violent murder-mystery stories". I was in the mood to watch something, so I paid the rental fee and returned home.

I popped in the DVD and sat back awaiting to be impressed. And holy crap was I ever impressed. Sure, I got the murder-mystery I was expecting, but I was thrust into this surreal and psychological world. Just when I thought I had it figured out I got thrown for a visual loop and forced to rethink my position. On the other hand, I didn't mind it. It was like being forced to look at the same idea but this time at a different angle, and no matter what that angle was there was something wondrous and sometimes disturbing way to comprehending that idea in a new light. After the movie was over all I wanted to do was share it with my friends. In retrospect I probably sounded like some kid who wouldn't shut up about his new Christmas present because I was too excited. But in my eyes it was worth it, and this movie deserves all the love and attention it so rightfully earned.

Thanks to Perfect Blue it was my first open door to explore the imaginary and beautiful world Mr. Kon built. Needless to say I continued watching his other works. Next was Milennium Actress. Then came Tokyo Godfathers. After that all the episodes of Paranoia Agent. The last new anime I saw by Mr. Kon was Paprika. Every time a small part of went in thinking that mental bar wasn't going to nudge. Yet I'm happy to say I was dead wrong. As that bar was delightfully pushed higher and higher the more I enjoyed watching Mr. Kon's works. Even now, for example, thinking about Perfect Blue also makes me want to watch Paprika again. Reliving each of those animes is akin to relearning a new way in how I think, how I perceive things, and how I am as a person.

The news of Mr. Kon's death hit me like a brick wall. With him gone, the world doesn't seem right. It feels a bit darker now. His bright imagination helped light my way to an extraordinary way of storytelling, and others as well. I've said this many times already to my friends, not only does it feel like there's a hole in my heart and soul, there's also a hole in my imagination. However, I would like to believe Mr. Kon would wants us to press forward. No matter how old you are you should never let go of your imagination, your creativity. Use its bright light to shine forth like Mr. Kon did and don't be afraid to share it with the world. In closing, I'd like to say god bless Satoshi Kon. If I ever got around to writing anything I would want it to be something he would be proud of. Mr. Kon is a big reason why I hang onto my youthful imagination. If Mr. Kon can take his surreal and amazing imagination, share it with millions of people, and display that it's always okay to think outside the box, then I can too, and so can you. Godspeed, Satoshi Kon.

Artgeek707 votes for Paprika:

Satoshi Kon was a genius and had many works that were entertaining, insightful, and intriguing. Out of these my favorite would have to be his last (completed) piece before he died, Paprika. This film has so much going for it. I'm a huge fan of psychological thrillers and cyberpunk so the setting of a dreamscape in ones mind was enough to just make me watch it. The characters all have depth to them and the story is complex but not confusing. The artwork is gorgeously rendered with bright colors and a polished look about them. The characters, though cartoons, are somewhat realistically drawn (a hallmark of Kon's) But what sells this movie the most is the plausibility of it. The machine created and center to the plot has a purpose to exist and the idea of the device being taken over and used to drive it's users mad sounds like something that could happen if the technology existed. The dreamscapes themselves reflect how people actually dream and the surroundings are fluidly changing and melding instead of rigidly staying in place like other movies about dreaming *coughInceptioncough* For all these reasons Paprika is my favorite Kon movie and also his best in my opinion. Satoshi Kon you will be missed.

Daniel votes for Millenium Actress:

It's been a while since I've watched it, but Millennium Actress is still my favorite Satoshi Kon work. This movie features Kon's trademark mind-bending (mind-blowing) sequences of reality blending with fantasy. Instead of dreams or paranoia, though, Millennium Actress jumps back and forth between settings via good old-fashioned reminiscence (the elderly actress) and pure fan love (the reporter). The scenes play out exactly how people share old memories and enthusiastic dream fulfillment. (How many of us have imagined ourselves riding alongside our childhood heroes in their cinematic adventures?) I only wish they would re-release an English dub of this film so more viewers would give it a try and we'd all be able to focus on the visual artistry of a master storyteller.

Ian votes for Perfect Blue too:

I have greatly enjoyed many of Satoshi Kon's works over the years. Tokyo Godfathers was a delight to watch, easily the best Christmas movie I have ever seen. Millennium Actress was an amazing story that covered the life of a famous, yet tragic actress. The only other movie that I can compare it to for so expertly showing the life story of a great individual would be Citizen Kane.

But out of all of Satoshi Kon's movies, I hold a special place for Perfect Blue. Perfect Blue was actually the first anime DVD I ever bought. I had just started watching anime, and it was through pure luck that the movie caught my attention on the shelf. Seeing it compared to Alfred Hitchcock, another director I have enjoyed, I decided to give it a shot. I was blown away by Perfect Blue, I had never seen anything like it before in my life. The story of the young actress Mima and how she gradually loses her grip on reality was a masterful mind game. There came a point where I didn't know what was the reality, and what was illusion. With all the mind games, plot twists, and the surreal story, I was expecting one of those weird endings that confound new anime viewers( yes Eva, I'm talking about you). Yet the ending actually made sense, with the all various plot threads tied together in a way that was understandable. Even parts that I thought at first were thrown in gratuitously were all important pieces of the plot or the psychology of the characters.

While it was not my gateway, Perfect Blue is the reason I started watching anime in the first place. And it is for shows like this I continue to watch. For all the mediocre shows I've drudged through, every so often I will stumble across a diamond like Perfect Blue. And then I am reminded once again why I watch anime.

Mary votes for Tokyo Godfathers:

I have enjoyed Kon's films but my favorite has to be Tokyo Godfathers. One of my favorite things in Godfathers is how the various subplots and adventures come together to a most satisfactory conclusion. I like the fact that a story set sometime around Christmas has something of the Christmas spirit about it as Westerners understand it, not the typical date night story in other anime that I remember. There is a nice mix of comedy and drama in the story as well, esp. the craziness at the gangster party and the aftermath. The animation and design is very good and movie quality.

The story is about three street people who find a baby right after hanging out in a soup line and listening to the Christmas message the soup group was preaching. They are a man who left his family, a girl who ran away and a drag queen/transgender person who has seen better days. The drag queen is convinced that the baby is a special Christmas baby, the other two are not. However, the three of them take care of the baby and try to find its family. During their efforts much is revealed and miracles abound as they travel around Tokyo. It becomes a journey of redemption for the three of them and that baby is the cutest lil' symbol of redemption ever!

This is a well-crafted story and artwork, which makes this a great anime.

Mike gives another vote to Perfect Blue:

My favorite work by Satoshi Kon has always been Perfect Blue. It was one of the first anime movies I bought with my own money when I got my VCR back in 1999. I spent weeks watching and rewatching it, trying to figure out which parts were actually happening to Mima and which were hallucinations. Even though Perfect Blue is over 10 years old, Satoshi's story of a pop idol trying to change her career and the outcry from her hardcore fans is still a relevant one, especially in the wake of seiyuu Aya Hirano attempting her own career change and the resulting backlash.

Holly gives another vote to Tokyo Godfathers:

I felt obligated to answer this question of the week as Satoshi Kon's death hit me like a punch in the stomach, seldom has a director made such an impression on me and my view on animation. While it was Miyazaki that got me into anime, it was Satoshi Kon who got me to really think about it.

While it's almost impossible for me to name a favorite, I think Tokyo Godfathers edges a tiny bit above the rest based on sentimental value, Best. Christmas film. Ever.

I bought it instead of Perfect Blue because being 13 at the time prevented me from purchasing it. I went home feeling pretty put out, not even knowing that the same director had made the film. Of course however, I loved it, as it was unlike any film I'd ever seen. Ironically, it's also probably Kon's most conventional film and could have been made live-action, but it was that in itself that made me realize that animation didn't need to be kiddy-fodder or fantasy, that it could be a medium used for all types of storytelling that could often enhance the story being told.

I think the characters are perfect, from the three mains to everyone they meet along the way. I love Gin, the hopeless drunk, who strives to redeem himself after ruining his life due to his own petty selfishness. Hana, the homosexual, middle-aged tranny who just wants both his friends and Kiyoko to live the happy life he never had and finally Miyuki, the runaway teenager, who won't go home due to a mixture of pride and fear.

And while that all sounds pretty heavy, they carry the story along with comedic wit and determination, it's not only their basic personalities alone, but the way the plot pieces them together to become the better people they are at the end of he film. They are the ultimate anti-heroes as most of Kon's characters are, and I think thats what made him and his work so genius. I found myself connecting with almost everyone in Paranoia Agent, a series that dedicated only an episode each to most of the cast, feeling terrified for Mima in Perfect Blue, following Chiyoko through her life with Genyo and Kyoji the cameraman in Millennium Actress and being completely mindblown by Chiba and her alter-ego in Paprika.

I'm deeply saddened that the list isn't longer and that Satoshi Kon will be no longer around to take relate-able, flawed characters and place them in chaotic worlds formed by our own minds.

No one made anime quite like him.

Haley goes with my own vote and gives it to Paranoia Agent:

Although I've really liked all of Satoshi Kon's work that I've seen, my favorite has remained my first exposure to his work—the TV series Paranoia Agent. When I first saw that anime on adult swim, I was blown away by how beautiful and detailed the artwork was, and knowing what I know now about anime I'm even more impressed that he managed to create such a beautiful looking show on an anime budget. The character designs are all unique and varied, the lighting is fantastically moody, and Kon did an excellent job hiding any shortcuts he was taking to stick to the budget.

But it's not just the look of the show that I find so appealing, or I don't think it'd still remain one of my favorite anime series. All of the characters, from the characters who are introduced in the beginning of the show and stay important to the end to the episodic characters who only briefly show up, are engaging and nearly all of them are memorable. Some are sympathetic, some are absolutely horrific (I still get shivers when I remember the storyline about the cop and his family), but they've all managed to stick with me years after I first watched them late at night on TV.

I think one of the things that still boggles me to this day is how Satoshi Kon made a short, partially episodic series, and still managed to make it feel complete in the end. It didn't feel rushed, and somehow it rarely feels fragmented, even when only about half of the episodes have any real impact on the main plotline. In fact, some of the episodic breaks from the main story are some of my favorite episodes. “Mellow Maromi” is a really fascinating look at what goes into making an anime series, and “Happy Family Planning” is one of the most hilarious episodes I've ever seen in anime—which is a major accomplishment, considering the plot is about a group of internet loners trying to kill themselves!

I also really liked how the series really took some of the social issues in Japan head-on. Few anime really have the guts to talk about the things that Paranoia Agent did. It's not really a good show for escapism because of this, but it's still an entertaining and fascinating watch.

I've been lamenting that the DVDs have gone out of print since Geneon's distribution department folded, although I luckily bought the series on sale right before they closed their doors. I imagine the licensing fees for this show are going up due to Satoshi Kon's death, but I'm really, really hoping that Funimation or another company will see how wonderful this series is and rerelease it for everyone that missed their chance to see it the first time.

Dave has another vote for Tokyo Godfathers:

This is an extremely difficult question. I mean, this is a man whose works have all impressed me. Not even Studio Ghibli has been able to do that. Choose just one? Good gawd, y'all.

After some thinking, I'd say the one that has impressed me the most has been Tokyo Godfathers. By the time Kon made this, we were used to his works exploring the themes of dreams, fiction and reality, and doing so by taking us for a wild, fantastic ride between all of them until they blur together. In Tokyo Godfathers, he left almost all of that behind for a story which was driven by its characters. The surreality in this was mainly supplied by making the three lead characters the sort of people that few acknowledge, let alone think about sympathetically--the homeless--and making them people who you can't help but root for, despite the obvious flaws they all have. Of course, he couldn't help but throw in a few touches of his classic oddness (largely to illustrate the insanity of another character later on in the movie), but this time it all came to us in a linear fashion instead of flying at us in shards as it normally did. The end result was still story and animation magic, and still Satoshi Kon.

In short, many of my favourite artists not only subvert what people expect from the form they work in, but subvert what people come to expect from them as well. Mind you, this runs the risk of alienating their audiences, as Neil Young and Lou Reed could tell you. Satoshi Kon managed to not only do something different with Tokyo Godfathers, but still made a movie that sits comfortably with all of his other ones (never thought I'd use a word like "comfortably" while describing Kon's work, but life is funny that way sometimes). Here's hoping that Madhouse will manage to keep as much of his spirit in Yume-Miru Kikai as possible, since I'm looking forward to seeing how he managed to make his style work for a movie intended for children.

With that said, I am now very angry with myself for not buying his movies sooner, as at least one of them (Millennium Actress) is now out of print and not very easy to find in North America. I've since bought the Paprika DVD, but now the quest for the rest of them (and Paranoia Agent Vol. 4) has begun in earnest.

And now, on a lighter note, here is next week's big question:

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.

While I go and track down my Paranoia Agent DVD set and sob softly, don't forget to keep pestering me with questions and answers by emailing me at answerman(at)animenewsnetwork.com! Until next week, everyone!

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