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Hey, Answerman!

by Brian Hanson,

Hey everyone. Another week, another chance for me to sit down and bang out some words on the internet.

I'm saving all my energy for later, since I've got comedy jokes to perform all weekend, and there's a Flake of the Week here that's a doozy. But more on that later. Here's the questions you all came to see, I presume.

Hey there Answerman,

Lots of anime titles coming to the states are getting shining boxes with pretty books, and I'm loving it! But there's something that I'm curious about. Why are American releases so sparse on special features? Does it cost more for American companies to get some of the footage and promotion from Japan? Or do you think that there isn't a big enough market for things like that?

Personally I would like to see some of the Japanese production/promotional material, or maybe clips from press conferences. Am I in a minority?

Well, there's two ways for "special features" to wind up on western shores: if they receive them from the Japanese license-holder, or if they go ahead and make them on their own.

In regards to the former... typically, the enemy is simply a nasty combination of a lack of time and a lack of access. Go dig through some of the ANNcast archives to hear New Generation Pictures and Geneon rant and rave about the licensors dragging their feet on giving them simple art assets for a good example. Not to mention that many of the Japanese assets, like behind-the-scenes features or interviews and what-have-you, require additional translating and subtitling, which of course would take extra time to complete aside from the feature itself, which is a luxury a lot of companies can't really afford.

In regards to the latter, that can simply be blamed on the ubiquitous problem of a lack of time and money. Which is why ADV discs would usually just cram in some commentaries with the ADR directors and the voice actors and call it a day; it's talent they've already got access to in the recording booth, and it technically still counts as a "special feature," so why not? Anything more complicated or involved than that would take the sort of time and budget that's not really feasible on your average-selling anime DVD.

All of this is why, for the most part, the most "special features" you see on any given disc are from relatively big studios like Sony or Disney.

And it's not that there isn't a "market" for these things per se. People always want special features, whether they intend to ever watch them or not. It's nice to know, from a consumer's perspective, that you're getting some sort of value-added content along with your regular purchase. But they *do* require a budget *and* they require a certain amount of time to put together, and sadly those are two things that are always the enemy of anything that's considered an "extra."

Dear Answerman,

I've recently read a few Korean manwha series that I think are really great. But all my anime pals don't seem to know or care about manwha, only Japanese manga. This seems strange to me because I (as well as most of my friends) like manga for the fantasy worlds and storylines revolving around things other than tight-wearing superheroes, and Korean manwha definitely provides those different stories. So why are manwha not as popular as manga?

Why isn't manwha as popular as manga? Because it's - and this is going to sound unintentionally snarky - not manga. Only manga is manga. Why weren't Tokyopop's OEL manga as popular as manga? It wasn't manga, either.

Now of course there are several manwha (and even some OEL titles for that matter) that I'd choose to read in a heartbeat over any dozen or so generic, mediocre manga - but to the vast and unwashed hordes of manga fans out there, manwha is simply not the manga they're looking for. And even though manwha obviously has a few stylistic similarities to manga, it is VERY much its own unique thing. It has a different flavor, different rhythms, different beats. And I applaud that. But at the same time, manga fans are obviously more attuned to the style and the rhythms of manga, and that's what they're in the market for. Much like everyone else, manga fans who almost exclusively read manga aren't necessarily in the market for anything too "different."

However, I'm a firm believer in the notion that people only think they want to watch or read or listen to stuff they're familiar with... simply because they haven't discovered something new that they like yet. Your mission, then, if you choose to accept it: find your favorite manwha, your favorite titles that you think are terrific and on par (or better) than any manga out there, and genuinely share them with people. Don't force them to read it, don't strongarm anyone, because nobody likes to feel like they're being forced to enjoy something - but so long as you're honest about it, I'm willing to bet they'll be curious enough to take a look. And chances are they'll enjoy it, too.

Manwha isn't as "popular" as manga for any cultural reason or anything like that. It's simply that there's a very distinct market for manga as a genre, much like how there's a market for superhero comics and independent graphic novels and everything in between, and for the most part, only the most adventurous readers go looking for stuff they're unfamiliar with.

Dear Answerman,

I have a series of questions based on a few assumptions, but there is a theme. It seems increasingly that the majority of anime titles have main characters who are either in high school or are teenagers. Generally there seems to be less adult main characters or adult characters in general or stories with adults in mind. I wondered whether this was also the case for manga titles, as I understand that this is where the large majority of anime material is sourced from. I turned to the 'seinen' genre, as it seemed to be aimed at my demographic (the 18-30 year old male) but found here too the majority of stories were anchored in high school with adolescent protagonists. I find this confusing, why aim at a demographic with characters that are younger than they, in a situation in which they no longer find themselves? This would surely make it more difficult for readers to relate to. The sheer dominance of these settings and character types must be alienating many anime fans who have 'grown up'. It would seem to me that many of the themes found in today's anime and manga could successfully and easily exported into adult settings; perhaps a workplace or university and not lose the same sense of comedy or adventure. I also understand that Manga and anime is made chiefly for the Japanese market. So my assumptions are (perhaps unfairly) thus:

1. The market for adults is small in comparison for that of teenagers and children. What I thought was a vibrant and entertaining form of entertainment that actually wasn't 'cartoons for kids' was actually (mostly) 'cartoons for kids' all along.

2. High school settings and adolescents make good plot centers and nostalgia is as effective as crack for marketing purposes.

3. Anime and manga fans in Japan live in a permanent state of adolescence. They don't want change so the market doesn't respond.

4. That the lack of adult oriented titles reflects a cultural condition in Japan where anime is no longer consumed past a certain age point.

5. That the culture of youth has permeated through to anime and manga. I understand that Cute sells big in Japan. Is this a reflection of it?

6. Anime and manga have created their own genre norms where the high school/adolescent/hot springs/beach generator machine is as recognizable and distinctive as the art style. This is useful for selling stuff (but is also stagnant and insipid).

7. Poor prevailing economic conditions have caused Japanese anime/manga creators/companies to focus on their core audience (possibly mentioned in point 3...)?

8. That we mainly receive High school/adolescent based titles here in the west.

I think points one to six reflect cultural/market conditions in Japan (which I know relatively little about outside anime and manga). Point seven reflects something about our market/cultural conditions. Clearly not all the points can be right, they all may be totally wide of the mark and clearly not all anime/manga set in High schools etc is rubbish, some is still very good but the numbers are disproportionate. But its till no GITS:SAC, Cowboy Bebop or the most recent title available on my shores which bucks the trend: Baccano.

Perhaps I should summarize my question: 'What does modern anime offer the aging anime fan'? Answerman, please help me make sense of this!

Kinda surprised you haven't picked up on Tiger & Bunny yet. The premise is the sort of thing that would typically feature nothing but high school kids - what with it's colorful pyrotechnics and superpowers - but the main character is an older guy with a kid. Great stuff.

Anyway, the mistake you're making is that seinen manga is made "specifically" for readers 18 to 30. That's a pretty wide gap, at least from a demographics and marketing perspective. I'd say the range is a bit more narrow than that. Much younger, essentially.

Not to belabor the point, but the reason that most seinen manga and anime feature nothing but teenagers is because... they're still marketed towards teenagers. Older teenagers than, say, One Piece, for sure. But teenagers regardless. High School of the Dead is rife with nudity and gore, which puts it firmly in the range of age 17+, but I'd hardly call it "Mature" in any sense. It's the same problem that's plaguing the video game industry, in my opinion - something like God of War 3 might be considered "Mature" because of all the blood and guts and stuff, but the actual "maturity" of the game breaks down into nothing but puerile adolescent rage at the core of it. I don't personally empathize with a hostile dude with a Static-X beard any more than I do with some Japanese high-school kid who kills zombies and gets nosebleeds when boobs touch him.

But what the hell do I know? God of War 3 sold millions of copies and High School of the Dead is quite popular. And that's something that you yourself pointed out - there's a market for this stuff. There's an easy market, that is easily codified and easy to sell to, who simply want the same sort of stories with the same sort of characters in the same sort of situations, but maybe with some added blood, cursing, and nudity. That's about the long and short of it.

Because honestly, the sad truth is that, for most Japanese fans, they simply do grow out of their love for anime. They grow up watching Gundams and Dragonballs and then they reach adulthood and work in a soulless corporation until their pension kicks them out and occasionally they'll watch an episode of Detective Conan or the latest Studio Ghibli movie, and that's it. Only the dedicated few tend to stick with watching anime, hence why so much anime is targeted directly at otaku, the people who are still watching and have disposable incomes.

Luckily for you, though, just beyond the surface, and beneath the crusty veneer of all that stuff, is a vast and glorious trove of wonderful shows, movies, and OAV series that exist specifically for you. I'm talking about Tiger & Bunny, which I mentioned above. All the shows you mentioned, like Ghost in the Shell and Cowboy Bebop. Anything Satoshi Kon has ever done. And if you dig a bit deeper, you can find tons of older shows, like Legend of the Galactic Heroes, that will gladly scratch that aging anime fan itch.

Bear in mind that a lot of the time these things won't present themselves to you - you've gotta go out and find them yourself. But they are oh so worth it. Just because there aren't as many of them as there are, say, fanservice shows and shonen shows, doesn't mean they don't exist.

The following email is presented in its entirety, uncut, and uncensored. Wheeee

Dear Answerfraud,

It's been a while since you've had a Flake of the Week, probably because everybody who's since had a brain has moved on to better sites or better yet crawled out of their basements and quit anime in favor of actually having a girlfriend.

Now I could point out all of your fraudulent positions, but that'd be too easy. Instead it'd be much more fun to simply point out how much of an idiot you are, in your own words, in your own past Answerman columns!

January 8: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-01-08 You apparently do not like T-Rex's. Your sexuality is automatically in question.

January 22: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-01-22 You don't even bother to address the FotW, preferring your old standby of personal attacks instead, and BTW you ARE overweight and do not have friends (your lover Zach Bertchy doesn't count) Same the next week

February 12: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-02-12 Too dumb to answer a simple Yu-Gi-Oh question? For shame, Mr. Answerfraud

March 5: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-03-05 Rather hypocritical considering you're as smart as a cartoon character

March 12: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-03-12 Truth too hard for you to handle Hanson?

March 19: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-03-19 Anti-Digimon AND anti-Darkstalkers

April 10: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-04-10 Now you're just unwilling to share

April 16: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-04-16 Answerfraud fails again

April 23: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-04-23 Answerfraud's phobia for sex shows through (would explain EVERYTHING) Amazingly this happens AGAIN the next FotW column

May 22: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-05-22 Nice smear campaign to protect yourself from criticism/the truth

June 12: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-06-12 Snarky indeed, because we all know you're incapable of answering anything truthfully

June 25: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-06-25 Thank goodness you're not a crappy webcomic artist. We all know the internet is already too polluted with that dreck (though your current contributions are noted).

July 4: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-07-04 Answerfraud's sexual phobia is on public display once again. I imagine Answerfraud would love nothing more but to be independent of vaginas.

July 9 http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-07-09 Hanson's fraudulent nature on display again

July 17: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-07-16 Ah yes, full-blown Answerfraud. considering how your occupation is to literally help out Answerfans, well, you seem to fail significantly here. Perhaps you should change occupations for something more befitting - perhaps as a crossing guard near a local grade school? Though I could imagine most moms objecting to that, for obvious reasons (don't be afraid to admit it, it's probably a part of public record anyway).

July 30: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-07-30 HA HA HA OH WOW the hypocrisy doesn't even require comment. If it were only this easy to expose you for the illegitimate fraud you are (oh wait it is)

August 8: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-08-06 Your sexual phobias, admittedly, are becoming a tired trope

August 20: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-08-20 The fact of the matter is that Answerfraud is embarrassed that someone's uploaded his vacation videos

August 27: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-08-27 Answerfraud, if you don't know the monthly budget of a manga, how can anyone take you seriously?

September 3: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-09-03 Really, Hanson, if you don't want to help people, you should just be removed from the site alltogether. And that goes for your lover Zach too.

September 17: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-09-17 Yes, Hanson, I realize this is Zach, but he's correct in that we don't want him back. Nor you.

September 24: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-09-24 Ah yes, Answerfraud's unwillingness to help his fellow otaku is also become a tired trope.

October 1: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-10-01 Yet more Answerfraud living up to his true alias.

October 8: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-10-08 Yes, this is yet another example, third in a row, of Answerfraud deliberately ignoring an otaku in need. Seriously, Hanson, quit your job and stick to that pathetic little improv troupe you have (improv...lol)

October 15: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-10-15 Finally, someone calls you out on your bullshit, but as scientists are still developing numbers low enough to quantify your brain cell count, you completely miss the point.

October 22: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-10-22 Yes, it's Answerfraud defrauding his readership once again. It's almost as if Hanson here is completely obvious to the fact that generating story ideas is actually a substantial hobby of the fandom

November 5: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-11-05 Yes, Answerfraud, we get it, you have a phobia about sex, and you have a phobia about actually answering questions. We get it, you're a complete fraud.

November 12: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-11-12 Interesting word choice and perhaps a bit of hypocrisy as we all know you are the biggest fake I've ever encountered in my life.

November 19: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-11-19 No flake this week? No flake this week. No more examples of Answerfraud displaying his fraudulent incompetence on the Net for everyone to see, at least until next week.

December 3: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-12-03 Legitimately answering a question about hentai AND a question about making an anime? Amazing. Perhaps there is hope for legitimacy for you yet, Hanson.

December 10: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-12-10 HAHAHAHA I spoke too soon, Answerfraud! To believe that the great Brian "Answerman" Hanson would so willingly and ignorantly put on public display his own gross incompetence, being unable to recognize DMX's own "Where Da Hood At?"! A simple Google search would've saved you the embarassment, Hanson! Of course it's been far too late for that, as it just serves as yet another piece in the growing pile of evidence towards your illegitimacy.

December 24: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-12-24 Yes, not only do you skip over answering a probably perfectly legitimate question, even in your own typical incompetently snarky fashion, but you "treat" us to another one of your godawful "drawings." You're no artist, you're no anime expert, and I can only hope that your improv and acting skills are better - though I'm not adverse to the idea of seeing you starve in poverty, either.

December 31: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2010-12-31 Truly reaching for anything to insult, Answerfail? You have to resort to pirate request e-mails? Even I know better than to give them the time of day, though I have to admit it might be a modicum of a sign that you're improving your legitimacy.

And that's just after one year - and not even a complete year as you had so often refused to acknowledge any question that seriously threatened your legitimacy (like it already wasn't). Of course I need to reach back a bit further to expose your most damning and shocking example:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2009-05-22 A bit of a racist streak now?

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2009-04-03 And yes, you are f****** s*******

Face it Hanson, you're standing naked when you think you've got emperor's robes. Most of the Internet are already painfully aware of this; I'd suggest you'd check out your own Encyclopedia Dramatica (opps, I mean, Oh Internet!) article if you're willing to wake yourself up to the truth. Of course I already know you're not, and you'll most likely leave this e-mail buried, not even giving it the ignominy of being Flake of the Week, where at least some people would be exposed to the truth, the few who are still not aware between the many who are already enlightened and the many who slovenly kiss your ass for reasons I cannot possibly conceive. Or perhaps you dare cut out the truth just so you can provide something for your slovenly masses to laugh at as temporary escape from their permanent basement dwelling lives. Either way, you'll be expecting this over and over again until the whole thing, in its entirety, is exposed along with the truth of your lack of legitimacy.

Far be it from me to give this email any sort of validity, but let me make one thing clear -

It's not an improv troupe. It's a comedy troupe. Y'know, like sketch comedy. It's a common misconception, though. I'll let it slide.

Anyway! I'm posting this because I want to do a little public service. For the rest of you, out there, who might be thinking to themselves, that one day... maybe I would like to be paid to write stuff on the internet, my name displayed outward for all the world to see.

It's a combination of both jealousy and a simple clash of personalities - you'll make some enemies. They'll invent numerous ad hominem ways to tell you that you're terrible at your job and should be fired forever and banished into the nether-realm.

And for you, you can either meet them at their level and engage in a fiery debate of ever-growing stupidity, or... well, I'm a firm believer in the axiom that the best revenge is living well. I'd like to think I'm exempt from this argument because I'm still a paid contributor to Anime News Network, I'm trusted by my editors and peers, and my extracurricular activities have been appreciated as well.

This is not a gig for the egotistical and the short-tempered. Nobody tends to trust a guy who always seems to be on the defensive. So be prepared, I guess.

Moving on to happier things.

That's right, it's Answerfans! Last week's assignment was:

To begin, Sakura Elric is far from sated:

Hey Brian! I love the question this week! Personally I would love to see more Yaoi/Shonen-Ai anime. There is a lot of manga out there but the anime department is somewhat lacking. Sure its a little 'taboo' but people like me love it! You always see the action genre, school girl genre(Insert more mainstream genres here and what not in every season but its rare to get a Yaoi or Shonen Ai series. With Junjou Romantica we saw 2 seasons in one year (Spring season and fall season) and we are seeing the same with Sekaiichi Hatsukoi(Same production company and Mangaka) which is nice, but personally I don't think this is enough. I love this type of thing. I even watch the Yuri Animes that air, which is also few and far between. It seems that with Shungiku Nakamura's recent popularity in the Anime industry, with the latest announcement being the Anime of Hybrid Child, Yaoi is getting in the spotlight more. Hopefully in a few years time we will be able to see 1 Yaoi a season but that could be a far off dream for the Fujoshi of the world. At least some manga (Sex Pistols, Koisuru Boukun, & Hyakujitsu No Bara to name a few) are getting OVA's once and a while, but that's far from an entire 11-13 episode season.

And then Melissa seconds the notion:

At the risk of being one of "those" fangirls, I'd honestly like to see more yaoi/boys' love manga titles made into anime. Right now, there are only about two dozen titles of truly BL/yaoi anime out there, and this is including everything from Kaze to Ki no Uta to the present. And even when a yaoi manga does get made into an anime, we're lucky to get maybe two OVA episodes. Very rarely are fans given an entire series like Gravitation or Junjou Romantica, and even these have been severely toned down for TV.

Now I'll admit some yaoi manga have been turned into really poor quality anime, but if you look at the astronomical amount of hentai on the market, I think a lot of us yaoi fans might settle for a mediocre production if we're just getting MORE overall. While niche titles allow for more freedom of expression (yaoi OVAs like Maiden Rose can only exist as niche titles), I'd like to see yaoi be taken seriously in the mainstream, because sexual orientation is a serious issue. Some will argue yaoi isn't accurately showing gay relationships, but contemporary yaoi has changed a lot over the last decade and isn't so stereotypically "I'm not gay but I love this guy."

More and more anime are confronting issues of sexual orientation or dealing with alternate sexualities, but like in Western TV, it's a side character or on the fringe of television. Anime companies should stop hinting and actually create some real romance, whether it's between two guys or two girls (a truly lesbian yuri would be nice to see instead of all this yuri aimed at male audiences).

I'm not asking for yaoi anime to flood the TV market, we don't need an over-saturation where it gets dull or becomes too ubiquitous. I'm just asking for some serious BL anime in the mainstream market that isn't some crappy niche OVA or isn't some gay side character to provide diversity.

Just as a quick aside, during Otakon, I was trying to pitch Mike Toole on an all-male version of Seikon no Qwaser that was all about ****s.

Anyway! Let's here what Kuma wants, which is more maturity:

Well, for me, nothing beats a well told, thought out, complex story full of twists and turns. Shows along the lines of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, NGE, Akira, and to a lesser extent shows like Cowboy Bebop, and Samurai Champloo. I know that is pretty much a list of all of Adult Swim's major releases since . . . well, ever, but I think it conveys my point. Sure, fluffy and fun shows like Fruits Basket and Inuyasha are a nice distraction from time to time, bu give me something I can sink my teeth into story wise. Challenge me, make me consider what I would do in those circumstances, and above all make me think! I believe that the reason many shows are not that memorable and do not become classics is due to the fact that you 'know' the good guys will win and the bad guys will be vanquished. But then again, that is just my two cents.

Annnnd Chaz seconds that notion as well:

One of the thing I feel has really been missing from recent seasons are shows that really make you think. Not the kind of show where you try to guess who's going to end up with who or which character is actually the mystery killer, but the kind that raise questions without simple answers. Some of the anime I've enjoyed watching the most are the ones that raise ideas and concepts that you can still be thinking about even after the credits begin to roll. As an example, one of my favorite anime movies, the original Ghost in the Shell, raises the issue of what it means to be human as an integral component of an action packed science fiction plot filled with cool robots and futuristic technology.

Here here, Sewingrose:

Now I could go on about Josei which does seem under-served, or stories featuring characters who aren't in high school, but I want to really talk about a subcategory I feel is unfairly under-served: Shonen stories with a legitimately interesting female protagonist. I'm talking the big beat-'em-ups, the whimsical fantasy, or maybe the ones that are more Seinen and think-y in nature, I want them all.

There are far to many that don't have a main female character, or feel content to leave her a void of a human who only cries for the main character while supporting a laughably large set of breasts. (Not that there is anything inherently wrong in fan-service shows, I just wish it didn't permeate 75% of the female characters portrayed).

I am a woman, and I was an American comics fan before I got into Manga, and one of the differences in culture that I still can't get over is how damn sexist a LOT of Japanese series are. (Granted there are more then a few problems the American comics still have, impossible bra sizes included). Of course there are some exceptions, where the women can fight, are allowed to be as silly as the guys, and are treated as actual human beings , and I'm happy for those, even if the ratio of women to men in those series is something like 1:10.

And I wish people would stop saying, “Oh girls don't interest guys” and “Stories for boys should feature boys”. No. It's this stupid cultural stigma that men are the “default” and women are the “other”, and a lot of series aimed at girls features male leads and apparently everyone can connect with him, but if it's a girl, suddenly she's this mysterious creature we aren't supposed to understand. Girls like Shonen, and are in fact a respectable percentage of the demographic.

I'm going to use Soul Eater as an example for it done right, Maka is the main character and she's as bad-ass as any of the co-leads. The fact that she happens to be a girl doesn't factor in to her ability to kick ass. And there are of course there are the Miyazaki movies. And I recently picked up Rideback, and besides the good reviews, one of the major reasons was because the protagonist looked like an interesting female character, and I was happy to see how little fan-servicey it was.

Is it really to much to ask for more series that have it be “her story” instead of “his story guest staring her”?

Poonk actually *does* want more Josei, as it happens, and yes Brian is fine:

Dear Answerman (or Brian-- can I call you Brian?):

The genre I'd like to see more often in anime is josei. I've grown so weary of seeing teenage characters (male or female) having teenage reactions to the stereotypical anime situations. I understand that there may be a Catch 22 in there somewhere (“Very little anime is made for women because women don't watch much anime… because very little anime is made for them,” ad infinitum) but there's no time like the present to start fixing this. I think-- no, I know-- that were more series made for the adult female audience I probably wouldn't have migrated so willingly to Asian dramas (where many if not most series focus on women), so I'd love to see the anime industry lure me back with some well-done josei adaptations. Give me a Kimi wa Petto (a.k.a. Tramps Like Us) anime! Or Ooku: The Inner Chambers! Or… well I've run out of manga to suggest as very little josei gets licensed & released here in the US (another complaint I have, pretty much parallel to those stated above re: anime).

Never settle, Joyce, never settle:

Well, Brian, since nearly anything with a supernatural theme dominates my collection, I will always be happy for something new to follow Black Butler. I am more than a little dismayed at the lack of a dub for Blue Exorcist but will check out Madoka Magica and light candles to ease the way for the rest of D. Grayman. But, what I really want is something to follow the footsteps of Escaflowne. It was my gateway anime and still my number one favorite. I know that there are fantasies out there but the current crop are not serious about it. I want something with a deep story and complex characters without the slapstick or fanservice or mad at the world girls found in much of the current fantasy offerings. I might add that I also want some more long series where there is time to develop characters and plot. I don't mean long as in Bleach but long as in FMA: Brotherhood or Code Geass; shoot, these days I would settle for 26 episodes.

And finally, Richard reminds us of what's really important:

All I what I want to see or read is a great story where I need to know what happens next filled with characters where I really care what happens to them. I've seen a great range of films and anime and read a lot of books and manga and it's not the style or genre, or even necessarily how well it's presented. I've seen and read much where I can see great effort has been made or large amounts of money have been spent, but I get bored, bored, bored!!!! In my view anime and manga is no different from what we had in the past in terms of the needs of story telling. The Tale of Gilgamesh is still a fantastic tale from millenia ago. And what about The Illiad, Beowolf or Romance of the Three Kingdoms? Of course a girl I can get a crush on reminding me of when I was a teenager and knew what was really important is nice too.

Good suggestions, all. Next week! I wanna dig a little deeper into your activities for non-personal reasons, I swear:

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.

And I'm off! Don't forget of course to send any questions and answers and incoherent rants to answerman((at))animenewsnetwork.com! See you all later!

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