Hey, Answerman! - Occupy Anime Streetby Brian Hanson,
Well hello there everybody out there in the internet.
So, I am officially a Bad Person because this season's crop of shows has come out, and I haven't seen a single one of them yet. In fact, I've been having some serious consideration about slacking off on writing this thing so I can pop over to Crunchyroll and watch the first episode of Un-Go, because it is taunting me, as it is right now open in another tab, just waiting for me to be finished editing and writing this thing. And it's RIGHT THERE, looking at me and judging.
Can internet sites judge you? It feels like they can, sometimes. But let's get on with this! Some great questions this week, so onward we go:
Last week a friend came across a website with anime- and game-themed T-shirts for sale. Several of us were excited about them, but agreed that the prices (¥3990 apiece) were a little too high for fun.
Lately I've been looking into importing anime from Japan that aren't available elsewhere. However, prices like ¥59400 for Idolmaster Xenoglossia (€579 / US$774), ¥37000 for Dennō Coil on BD (€361 / US$482), ¥75400 for Fairy Musketeers (€735 / US$983), or ¥40600 for GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class (€396 / US$529) make me feel rather disheartened.
All this has made me wonder how Japanese otaku afford our hobby. Are they all super rich? Or do they have to work so many extra jobs that they don't have time to watch their acquisitions anymore? I just don't get it. Can you shed some light on this matter?
As is the case with many great nerds throughout the years, oftentimes Otaku are made to make certain... sacrifices in regards to their traditional standards of living in order to keep up with their favorite hobby. Otaku live in squalid hovels, stock up on cheap junk food for sustenance, and generally don't care about things like "decent clothing" and "appearance in general" so long as they can afford to buy that sweet new Rei Ayanami figurine. Their money, such as it is, typically comes from their parents, seeing as how Japanese Unemployment benefits have a rather strict set of guidelines, or from menial low-wage work.
Now of course that's not to say that there aren't any Otaku who actually have decent paying jobs that allow them the financial freedom to enjoy anime and such while still enjoying a decent standard of living, but honestly who likes to report on SUCCESSFUL nerds instead of the sad ones that make other people feel good about themselves?
Either way, there's a close correlation between what you and I traditionally consider "Otaku" in Japan with the relatively recent rise of NEETs ("Not in Employment, Education or Training") and "Freeters" ("people between the ages of 15 and 34 who lack full time employment or are unemployed") and the associated media brouhaha therein. Which is something that Welcome to the NHK touches on quite a bit, or at least before it becomes a melodramatic love story; that series does a pretty good job of showing the day-to-day financial struggles of being an Otaku, who hands over their meager allowance to satiate their nerdy impulses. And who of course can forget the avid eroge fan from Otaku no Video, whose entire domicile consists almost entirely of a PC that lies on the floor and is surrounded by discarded fast food wrappers?
But honestly though, I find the whole Otaku/money thing not dissimilar to what goes on here in the West. It's hardly uncommon here for folks who just NEED to get the latest iPad or whatever to skimp on certain "necessities" in order to afford them. And honestly, I think I can speak for just about everyone here when I say that. Just think to yourself for a moment: think about the latest, somewhat expensive geeky thing you just bought. Think about all the sensible, useful things you could've done with that money. Your car's gonna need some work soon, could've saved up for that. Maybe replace that broken ceiling fan, finally. But, eh, whatever - peace of mind is one thing, but does that peace of mind beat the SHEER ENTERTAINMENT VALUE you got from buying that sweet Blu Ray boxset of all the Alien movies?
No. No sir.
Recently, I've observed that anime companies have focused their energies on trying to sell DVDs (or digital copies of episodes/movies), manga, light novels and/or related merchandise. At the height of anime's popularity, those companies released "anime guides"/encyclopedias for specific shows. You know, those books that have character profiles, interviews, etc.. Think of the guides that we have for TV shows, such as the Complete Guide to Buffy, Lost, True Blood, Star Trek, etc.. Most importantly, they have episode guides that may be short or comprehensively detailed. If memory serves, there have been guides for Fullmetal Alchemist, Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Hellsing and Bleach. Look how popular those series turned out.
In my opinion, "anime guides" that have episode guides or synopses can serve both the anime licensees and consumers. For example, when the fans can read about the entire Naruto "filler" arc, without having to suffer the indignity of watching the episodes and/or listening to English dubs they don't like. Anime licensees benefit, because the guides tell them what is contained in the episodes that they purchase from licensors. That way, companies don't destroy customer interest and waste money broadcasting episodes that people won't watch. Or, produce DVDs that customers won't buy. Caveat emptor.
Finally, it may seem that sites such as Wikipedia or other fan sites already fulfill this function. Anime fans should be wary of these sites, because the authenticity of the information is doubtful, unless it can be verified by a reliable source. Inaccurate or biased Wikipedia articles can also destroy market share for anime/manga.
Hence, I believe that this is where anime guides/encyclopedia for shows can help consumers (anime fans/licensees) know more about the shows they buy. There will be less wasting of time or money for both companies and fans and the anime/manga industry will be much better for it.
Right on. I actually love those collectable episode guides and art books; I have no real use for them, honestly, but if I were in the position in life to surround myself with cool anime-related stuff to collect, I'd definitely go with art books and guides instead of, I dunno, action figures or whatever.
Now then! Let me tell you why it's very, very hard to get those guides printed here.
And, of course forgive me if I sound like a broken record every week, but it's got to do with one thing: books like those aren't exactly cheap to make. And that of course means they're not cheap to sell.
And in all honesty, just take a cursory look around the publishing business these days. Big retailers have gone under, digital devices selling like crazy. Not exactly the best time in the world to get into the book-printin' racket.
So, that's why these episode guides and art books and other things in general don't seem like a good idea, financially. With that out of the way, I actually totally agree that having actual, printed books of this stuff is a much better and more elegant solution than Wikipedia, and a good portion of those books tend to have interesting insights from the creative staff involved that would otherwise be lost to the void. As a fan, personally, I dig it - I'm a sucker for behind-the-scenes stuff, and any chance I get to look at rough drawings, storyboards, layouts, and interviews with the directors and such, sign me up because I'm there.
Aside from myself though, honestly... I think you're exaggerating the market for these kinds of books, here. There's a reason why the majority of these types of books that get published here - at least recently - tend to lean more towards a straight up "Art Book" than "Encyclopedia." That's because the sort of people who tend to buy them are collectors. The collectors who love That Show, and then feel compelled to buy up as much merchandise as possible that is related in some fashion to That Show. And Art Books have a much higher cachet with collectors than a simple Encyclopedia or an Episode Guide.
In fact, the only thing I can think of that's been "official" and everything have been the Shonen Jump Profiles books, and even there, the only one where they target the anime as opposed for the manga has been 3-volume set of Naruto episode guides. The rest are either art books or character guides, based almost entirely on the manga.
Now, of course there's dozens of "Unofficial" episode guides and books and things floating around out there, mostly for popular shows like Inuyasha or Evangelion. But those, of course, are just quick cash-ins by eager publishers looking to score a few quick bucks on the back of something that's currently popular. A veritable fountain of reliable information they are not.
Really, I just don't see enough of a demand there for something like this to be worth anybody's time. Art Books, sure, there'll always be room for Art Books - because collectors love collecting stuff that features their favorite characters on them. Which means they'll sell. Straight-up episode guides, though... I mean, I hear ya in that the internet is far from a reliable source, but sadly for most people, it'll do.
I have a question for you. Now this has been bothering me for many, many years as it's a highly disturbing story that I still cannot comprehend. So there's this manga called Boys Over Flowers... about this poor girl named Tsukushi Makino that goes to a rich school where she gets bullied a lot.
Well there's a leader of this group of 4 bully boys named Tsukasa. At one point he gets so evil and twisted that he authorizes several of his underlings to - literally, I am not making this up - gang-rape Tsukino! Fortunately one of his friends intervenes and saves Tsukino from being raped. At this point one would either expect the cops to get involved or to see some vigilante justice served up... I mean, you don't just nearly get a girl gang-raped and get away with it scot-free.
Well, guess what? Tsukasa does get away! The girl never bothers to call the cops on him or his henchmen. And the only punishment he gets is one good punch to the face from his friend. Of course, a punch to the face is practically a slap on the wrist given the severity of his crime.
But he gets worse. So, this Tsukasa bastard never gets punished and never even bothers to apologize... but later, the manga repeatedly portrays him as some kind of grand, romantic, sympathetic hero vying for the girl's affections. The whole, "I almost got a girl gang-raped" incident isn't even referenced again, as it if was something utterly trivial! He doesn't even apologize or say, "my bad about the whole rape thing, lol." Worst of all, this Tsukasa guy is constantly getting high ranking from female fans in Japanese polls!
Now this is seriously, seriously messed-up. The message this manga seems to deliver is that rape is not a very serious issue at all and that it's little more than a particularly mean prank. This manga trivializes rape and rape victims and I consider it an atrocity that fans of this manga are able to accept the actions of Tsukasa in such a blithe manner.
My question is, why is rape not treated very seriously within this manga? Why is it dismissed as something trivial for which the attempted instigator doesn't even need to bother apologizing for before being portrayed as a wonderful Romeo-like guy? Please explain the insanity of this manga - and fangirls of Tsukasa - to me. It's been disturbing me for years and I'd like some kind of explanation regarding the utter trivialization of what Tsukasa and his posse tried to do to poor Tsukino.
Oh, oh. I see. I see what you're trying to do here. I get it.
You are trying to get me to make a statement about rape on the internet.
Because, as we all now, rape, much like Hitler and politics, is just one of those things on the internet that causes everybody ever to put their Stupid Hats on and rant and rave and say really dumb things, to the point where everybody ends up name-calling each other until the forum thread is nuked from the sky and the land is razed and salted, where nothing good can ever grow on it again.
Kidding aside! Here's what I'm going to say about Boys Over Flowers, though. You are, in actuality, so not alone on that. It's a series that definitely has more fans than detractors, but! The reaction that the gang-rape plot point is "icky" is not an uncommon one. In fact I was surprised when I first learned about it, because I was only familiar with the anime; Tsukasa was still a cruel prick in the beginning of the show from what I recall, but they wisely omitted the whole, uh, gang rape subplot.
Now, why was that a thing in the first place? What was the author thinking? I'll be upfront: I have no idea! And honestly, the less of an idea I have, the better. I am happy having no idea as to why the creator of Boys Over Flowers decided to have the "sympathetic" character nearly gang-rape a girl.
And now, even though I totally trust you guys and girls in the forums to be adults about this, I also totally expect the usual 7-8 page Weird Stupid War of Dumb that happens any time the subject of rape is discussed on the internet. I can't wait! I'll bring a sixer of Grolsch and a bag of Fritos.
Whew! Moving on to lighter, less controversial pastures, let us bask in the azure haze of conversational glory that we all know and love... Answerfans! Yessir, since it's the new TV season, I wanted to throw the mic to you guys so I can know what's good and what's bad from your perspective:
Shawn, you get to start this week because you used the words "jubilation" and "bevy" within the first few sentences:
Fall is always my favorite time of the year for various reasons, such as the upcoming holidays and big video games releases. But probably the biggest reason that trumps all those for me is the jubilation I feel when I get to delve into a bevy of new great anime series. And from what i have seen, this season promises to have that in spades.
First i will start with the list of shows that I will most definitely be giving my undivided attention every week. The first on this list will be Fate/Zero. I watched the original Fate/Stay Night anime series and absolutely loved it from beginning to end. Saber is without a doubt my favorite servant. I ask you is there anything hotter than a beautiful girl with a sword? I think not and I will challenge anyone to a war of words who says otherwise. But this lastest offering from the Fate universe is a prequel taking place ten years before the start of Fate/Stay Night, and shows us the events of the 4th Holy Grail War. The first episode was amazing! There were no battles and the servants didn't appear until the last few moments of this extended episode (it came in at about 47 mins I believe) but, they did so in grandeur fashion. It was just a lot of talking and information given to the viewer, to set up what is surely to be a great series with lots of great and epic battles to come.
Next on my list is Hunter x Hunter. Being a fan of the original series and OVAs years back, the news that a new retelling of this story about a boy named Gon who sets out to become a hunter like his father before him and eventually find said father, had me counting down the days to its release with joyous anticipation. And the fact that this series will be 45+ episodes and will stick more closely to the manga only adds to my further excitement. Another series making its way to my exclusive list is Persona 4 The Animation. Not only is this one of my favorite video game series of all time but this is one of my top 10 games of all time. Period. The Persona games have always had interesting and unique stories with awesome characters that all have various personalities. From the excellent character designs and backgrounds to the soundtrack which is always top notch and the looks of the personas which are impressive to say the least, everything just reeks of pure coolness. So you could imagine my level of enthusiasm when I heard it was being adapted into an anime series. And to add the proverbial cherry on top, the original voice cast, character designer, persona concept designer, and music composer are all returning from the game to work on this latest project. And Boy did they do a bang up job, coming out of the gate with a great first ep., that made me harken back to days old when I was staring at my tv hours on end, playing the game and soaking up all the greatness it had to offer. If this is any indication of what is in store for all of us investing our time to watching, then this is an investment I will be glad to make week after week.
The fact that Shakugan no Shana III (Final) is on this list should be no surprise since as I mentioned earlier there is nothing hotter than a beautiful girl with a blade. Shakugan no Shana III (Final) is as the title states the last season in the series. If you have watched and enjoyed the previous seasons as I have, then you should be familiar with the characters and the story. The newest season starts off with a shocker that had me wide eyed and very curious, as a character who was good has now become bad. Although not much is revealed in the enjoyable episode, it had me constantly wondering what is going on and what are the events that have led to this eventual outcome. I look forward to future eps with fevered anticipation as the mystery of this revelation is revealed. Guilty Crown is the new kid on the block on this list as it has no previous anime and the manga will not begin until November. From the trailers I have seen this looks to be a promising show. The story follows a 17 boy named Shu Ohma in the year 2039, ten years after an event known as the "Lost Christmas". Due to a certain encounter, he gains the "power of kings" which allows him to extract weapons from his friends. The premise alone sounds so cool that I was hooked the moment I read it. Oct 13 is just around the corner and I cant wait to watch what I hope to be is a very interesting and promising show.
And last but certainly not least on my list is Gundam Age. Way back when there was a little series called Gundam Wing and thus began my love for the Gundam series. Since then many series in the Gundam franchise such as G Gundam, Gundam Seed/Destiny, and Gundam 00 have become some of my favorites animes. So I can't WAIT to watch Gundam Age. From the mecha designs to story, if its anything like the previous incarnations it will truly be a compelling, powerful, and spectacular show with gorgeous and epic mecha battles aplenty. And now for the task of listing the shows I will be skipping this season. And the list is short but most certainly not sweet. From the unanimous reviews I have read from various sites, the hope that I had that Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere was going to be a good show were quickly dashed. Every review ripped the first episode for either being incoherent in terms of plot or being out right racist in its portrayal of an Indian character. These are BIG red flags that any anime fan should not take lightly. There are many other varied reasons why the first foray into this new series is not worth the journey but, that is another column in and of its self. All I will say is that some things in life are better left alone and from what I'm hearing Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere is one of them. o that concludes my list of what I will be watching and what I will be avoiding like the Black Plague. Enjoy the new season Y'all!
Sana YOU TAKE THAT BACK ABOUT GUNDAM UNICORN, IT IS NOT CRAP AND IT DOESN'T MAKE ME TIRED:
Persona 4 is going to be this season's big winner. It's a stylish adaptation of a great game. All the fun without the hours of level grinding! I have high expectations for this show, and if it follows the game it will deliver on all of them. Unique character and demon designs, catchy music that's not generic jpop, interesting tidbits of mythology and psychology, and a group of characters that act like real high school friends, not moeblob stock characters or recycled shounen hero party members. The first episode had some great, genuinely creepy visuals, but quirky humor lightened the atmosphere. The main character, Yu Narukami, is a little flat, but in the game he's a "silent protagonist" whose actions and dialogue are controlled by the player. As in most Shin Megami Tensei series, the "side characters" are the ones who drive the story and articulate its themes, and so far they're all very distinctive in this adaptation. Even if Narukami is a little less vibrant than his friends in both personality and character design, he's easy to identify with. I have only one complaint about the series... how the hell does a high school in a town as dinky as Inaba get such awesome uniforms!?
I don't watch anime where female characters are introduced by crotch or boob shots, so I'm skipping over uh... pretty much everything this season. There's some passable slice of life stuff like Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai and Kimi to Boku, but neither is particularly interesting after one episode. This season's guilty pleasure for me is going to be the new remake of Hunter x Hunter. It's fairly standard shounen fare, but there's something almost comforting about watching a well-executed shounen anime. And it's satisfying to see characters emerge victorious by their earnest, out-of-the-box thinking instead of some gimmicky weapon. The occasional amorality of the main characters also sets Hunter x Hunter apart from other formulaic shounen series. But on the down side, the animation is pretty bad, the music is mediocre, and while condensing several episodes of the original series into one makes a tighter, faster-paced chapter, it also cuts out a lot of the nuance. The original Hunter x Hunter anime turned a lackluster premise into a surprisingly sweet and entertaining show, and I don't know if the remake will manage to do the same. I'll keep watching, though, if only for the nostalgia value.
So far, the major disappointment has been Gundam AGE... and I'm a big Gundam fan. Although I don't know, can you call something a "disappointment" if you weren't expecting much to begin with? I have no doubt that this half hour toy commercial will sell tons of Gundam models for Bandai, which is the real point of the franchise. Despite Gundam's almost religious following among adult and teen fans, AGE is directed towards the elementary school crowd, but it's lazily animated even by the standards of a kid's show. The character and mechanical designs all seem to be rendered in Play-Doh, and whatever plot elements aren't shamelessly ripped off from UC Gundam are stolen from Digimon. The nods to classic Gundam actually weaken the story and characterization. Come on, Gundam fans, are we ever going to move past the original Mobile Suit Gundam, or are we just going to keep accepting lazy rehashes? Flit, the hero and pilot of the titular Gundam AGE, is a virtual clone of obnoxious, self-righteous and sulky Mobile Suit Gundam protagonist Amuro Ray (but with a lump of quivering pistachio pudding where his hair should be). He may be the most unlikeable main character I've ever seen in a kid's anime. The other characters all have their counterparts in the original series too, but the story has been softened into mush that's only suitable for serving to children under the age of 10. Do yourself a favor and skip watching this show even if you're a Gundam fan. Sunrise is capable of creating smart, original, appealing shows like Tiger & Bunny, but they seem determined to run the Gundam ship into the ground. 2007's Gundam 00 had a promising start but suffered when the overgrown fanboys behind the scenes shoehorned in old UC Gundam cliches. Gundam AGE and its "grown-up" counterpart, Gundam Unicorn, are just more of the same tired crap we've been watching since Mobile Suit Gundam aired in 1979. Is anybody else bored yet
Good to know we've still got it in us to ruin your day, Robert!
Whenever someone posts up one of those nifty graphics that include all the new shows, I have a lot of fun picking out what is going to be watchable and what will flop right out of the gates, but I'm not gonna bother with posting my thoughts on everything that I'm going to skip (not that anyone would want to read any of it anyways). It should be noted that I do not read manga, so if any of these impressions seem strange to you, it's because every story here is pretty much band new to me.
Going to definitely watch:
Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing - Holy smokes! After watching through the entirety of the original Last Exile a while back, the idea of a second venture into this awesome world would have been enough for me to drool uncontrollably. So imagine my reaction that almost a decade after the airing of the original show, a new installment into the series got announced last season. It hasn't even aired yet and I'm already ready to assume that this is going to be the best show that this season has to offer.
It's biggest selling point? Original content. How often do we get to see that in the Anime industry? I've been a big believer in new intellectual properties and even though this is based in the original setting, the sheer fact that this isn't based off of a long-time preceding manga (I believe they published one back in the summer) or light novel is simply amazing.
The unfortunate thing about this show is that I'm going to intensely miss the original cast, and by the original cast, I'm specifically referring to the English Dub. Dio was by far my runaway personal favorite of the show, his Micheal Jackson-esque voice was somehow wildly appropriate for his childish, erratic behavior (something that the Japanese version totally lacked). If they can somehow replicate the success of the previous cast with an equally colorful and entertaining one, this could easily be one of my favorite shows of the past few years.
Giving them a chance:
Working!! - I watched bits and pieces of the original series. It wasn't entirely funny but it wasn't the worst thing in the world and frankly, I just don't have enough anime to be picky these days.
Un-Go - I've always been a sucker for detective stories. Never heard of it before this season, and judging from the two main characters, the show might have some BL undertones that will make me a tad bit uncomfortable. Though, if I was able to get through No.6 just fine then this will clearly be no problem.
Mirai Nikki - There's virtually nothing about this one yet and since it airs one day after the time of me writing this, I'll probably look back at this statement either patting myself on the back or regretting everything. The description gives it a sort of Eden of the East type of vibe.
Tamayura - Hitotose - A heartwarming slice-of-life standard fare show. This is a pretty conservative, low-risk choice for me.
Guilty Crown - The plot is stupid, but since it's just another action anime, that doesn't really matter at this point. Another conservative choice.
Bakuman 2 - Of course I'll have to watch the first season, but it doesn't look too bad.
Phi-Brain Puzzle of God - Zac Bertschy liked it, so it must be good.
Staying away from:
Hunter x Hunter - It's one of those shows that you really needed to be a fan before the reboot to truly enjoy.
Mashiro-Iro Symphony - Booooorrriiiiing
Boku ha tomodachi wa Sukunai - Originally had high hopes for the show. Turned out to be random harem.
Kimi to Boku - Never liked the Cute Girls Doing Cute Things format that the truly uninspiring shows have adopted these past couple years, so why the hell would I enjoy the same show, except without the cute girls?
Pretty much anything that has already been reviewed. Seriously, you guys ruin everything.
Roberto drops another dime in Fate/Zero's hat:
This week's question is an easy one.
I'm just going to keep watching Fate/Zero, since I'm just a big fan of the original visual novel, and all things Type-Moon. Granted, the show is an exposition train so far, but I've hopes for latter episodes.
As for the rest of the fall offer, I either don't know anything about the shows (C3, Phi-Brain, etc) and need more fan feedback; or I've heard about them before (Hunter X Hunter, new Gundam) and wasn't interested then, therefore, I'm not watching them.
Listen George, that chronic-masturbator audience is a crucial one with in the 12-24 demo:
So far this Fall anime season appears disappointingly average. Every season my friend and I select one show to watch and keep up with the simulcasts. After reading the Anime Spotlight (a nice new feature) and keeping up with the Fall anime preview guide there hasn't been any anime that has caught our attention. After watching the first two seasons I do intend to watch the third season of Shakugan no Shana; Mirai Nikki also appears to have some promise based on the plot synopsis. Unfortunately, it seems the anime industry is concentrating on the harem/fan-service/chronic-masturbator audience this season... wait that's been every season the past two years.
And finally, Jeff thinks he's so clever with his little joke, here:
What am I going to watch this season?
I'll get back to you at the end of the season.
As we move along, over the course of the week there was a bit of bizarre news about a company's, uh, unexpected rise from it's self-induced grave - and of course I thought it would be some fun fodder for discussion! Here is next week's question, people:
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 about all the content I've got in store for me this week, so have fun in the meantime and ONCE AGAIN don't forget to email me question-y stuff or answer-y things by dropping me a line over at answerman(at!)animenewsnetwork.com!
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