Hey, Answerman! - Colorfully Clandestine

by Brian Hanson,

Hey everyone! It's Hey, Answerman time once again!

At this very moment, right now, I'm having a crisis of conscience. Do I, a young dork in his late 20's, succumb to the advertising blitzkrieg and attend the midnight premiere of The Avengers? Certainly, I don't have anything better to be doing at midnight on a Thursday evening. After watching Cabin in the Woods, Joss Whedon has worked his way back into my Good Graces. (If you're a part of my Good Graces Club, you get a nice little card that'll get you 10% off any entree at participating Red Lobster restaurants.) Certainly, it would provide fun conversational fodder for my friends back home on the West Coast, who will be doing the same.

But, I don't know - there's just something about big summer blockbusters, as I get older, that become so much less exciting to me as the years wane. The conversations I have about them become far less interesting through the passage of time. It used to be GREAT CONVERSATIONAL JOY to pick apart these big movies with friends. Now, it just boils down to, "I saw that movie. It was pretty good. How's the family? Did you finally renovate your office?"

Getting older certainly has its perks. There's the whole "gained wisdom" thing. That's pretty neat. It just sucks that the fun of big Hollywood movies dissipates so rapidly.

Or maybe I'm just being unduly cynical for the sake of having something to offhandedly mention in the opening of my column. There's probably a bit of that going on. Let's just get to the questions then!

Heya Answerman,

I've been darting about trying to finish off old manga series I'd started collecting a while back in the wake of things like the Tokyopop shutdown and Del Rey being absorbed by Kodansha USA. One thing I've noticed in all this is that manga publishers don't say much; they're very tight lipped over stuff like print runs and intentions for licenses. So my question is, what's the deal with the clandestine nature of manga publishers? Vertical seems to be the only guys I can ever get a reply from.

Well, Vertical is a special case, because they're considered somewhat of a boutique label that specializes in manga that have a certain, shall we say, cultural significance of one form or another. They're also a much smaller operation that caters to a much smaller audience. None of their titles are going to dent the sales charts the way that something like Sailor Moon or Naruto will.

So, why don't most manga publishers stateside ever talk about stuff like print runs and the like? Because to be honest, it's pretty inside baseball talk - stuff that hardcore enthusiasts like ourselves sniff out like nerd kibble, but broader audiences (i.e. the sweet 12-24 demographic that manga mainly targets) don't necessarily share the same enthusiasm for. In the case of Vertical, it behooves them to go into detail about all their inside baseball, because their smaller and more dedicated audience cares and understands about stuff like print runs and general distribution inquiries. Us ardent enthusiasts all share a concern and an undying thirst for understanding everything about the way this manga and anime stuff works, from the way it's produced in Japan all the way to the nitty-gritty of how it's presented to us.

The kids and teenagers that devour every volume of Black Butler? Their enthusiasm begins and ends with the content itself. The broader market is more concerned with other things - like making sure they read the latest volume of (insert popular title-o'-the-month here) so they can chat about it with their friends and make costumes and internet memes and so forth. At some point, perhaps, they'll be so inclined to become a little more curious about the intricacies of the market, but not all of them. Sort of like, there's been a lot of hemming and hawing over the recent footage of "The Hobbit" that was shown at a new 48 frames-per-second display, and there's been no shortage of cinemaphiles arguing with one another about whether or not this is a good thing for the film industry or a bad one. Meanwhile, 98 percent of filmgoers are going to see The Hobbit this December without any of that chatter entering into their minds.

So, aside from general audience apathy, the other reason most manga publishers shy away from production specifics is because... they can't. At least, they can't while still maintaining decent relationships with their Japanese publishing partners.

While Vertical is content to do their own thing, Kodansha USA has to maintain the Kodansha Japan company line, while Viz has to do the same with both Shogakukan and Shueisha. And bear in mind, these are huge, huge publishers in Japan, with a reach that extends far beyond simply manga. I have a feeling, and bear in mind this is just my hypothesis, that many of these Japanese publishers would be pretty embarrassed to have some of their lower print runs exposed to the general media. Basically, it would be a huge blow to a Japanese corporate giant's ego to let them know that a title that sells in the millions in Japan might only be moving 2,000 units in the West.

At least, that's my circumstantial guess based upon the fact that Japanese companies are notoriously tight-lipped. About everything. And when you're in the business of keeping a healthy working relationship with these companies, or worse, being owned by them outright, the same freedom by which a company like Vertical can operate becomes kind of impossible. You play by their rules, or Kodansha Japan takes away all their toys and goes home.

All that said, understand that companies like Viz and Kodansha USA still play the social media game - they're not invisible. They appear at conventions and they're open to questions and comments. Are you always going to get a clear and honest answer? Not always. But if you've got a concern, look 'em up on Twitter, or fire off an email. They'll at least respond to you. Probably not as detailed as we'd like, we of course waiting with baited breath to hear statistics and numbers to argue over in the forums, but so it goes and goes.

First I want to thank you for all the industry info you have been giving in recent Hey, Answerman articles. Later this year I will be starting my education in the animation field. Till then I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the animation industry I will be going into after my schooling. Recently I watched an anime called Animation Runner Kuromi because I heard it's a comedy about the hardships that goes into creating anime. My question is, is this show accurate enough to be considered educational or is it nothing more than an entertaining spoof on the industry?

This is a short answer, because hoo boy, the next question is a damn doozy.

The show is a little of column A, but mostly column B; Animation Runner Kuromi is mostly a high-energy, self-referential anime comedy, with a couple of nifty tidbits of info for good measure. But it's mostly a comedic romp.

Which is, by the way, totally worth watching, even if you have no interest in animation production. It's a hoot! With swell character designs by Hajime Watanabe and expertly directed by Akitaro Daichi! The guy who directed Fruits Basket and Kodomo no Omocha! Cheggidout!

I'd say, though, if you're serious about learning the intricacies of animation production and animation history, there's plenty of books worth checking out. "The Illusion of Life" by Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston is back in print and a terrific resource, and of course the definitive textbook on animation is still the great Richard Williams' "Animator's Survival Kit." There's also some great books written by animation historian Michael Barrier that are worth a look, and if you're looking for something perhaps a bit more contemporary, make sure to check out Cartoon Brew on a daily basis to bury your nose in animation geekery.

Good luck surviving the horrendous gamut of hair-pulling intensity that is animation school!

Hey Answerman,

Sorry this is going to be a bit long, but I have a few semi-related questions for you. I just saw an anime movie that I really liked, Colorful. It is a fairly recent movie (2010) that still does not have an R1 licensor (or even a UK or Australia licensor). How can I tell anime companies that I think they should get this movie and that the R1 industry would be better for it? Would they even pay attention to my plea or would it fall on deaf ears as a "license my favorite thing X" demand from another whiny random anime fan who might come off as sounding way too self entitled and possibly smell of Pocky and Ramune? It's not even an entirely obscure movie that no one else would ever buy if it came to DVD and/or Bluray as it won the Mainichi Film Award in Japan and the Special Distinction at France's Annecy (there's two big awards already they can put on the cover!) It seems to have critical acclaim in both Japan and Europe, but there doesn't seem to be even the slightest mention of it for North America. Is there no hope for the fantastic and widely acclaimed Colorful movie to ever come out here (while that horrific ecchi of the same name somehow made it over here no problem) even if I (and other fans of the movie) were to go around asking very very nicely?

My second question is, the movie came out in Japan in 2010. These days, licensors (like Funimation and Sentai) seem to either license things within a year of their initial airing (if not 2 weeks after the season has started and sometimes before the first episode has even aired), or are licensing really old stuff (mainly Discotek). 2010 suddenly seems like it would be too old of an anime for Funi or Sentai to license, but clearly not old enough for Discotek either. And sure, there are other players, but I don't feel like they've been licensing as much lately, and certainly not stand alone movies (I could totally be wrong here, but I haven't really seen a lot of movie licenses in the news lately unless they were from one of the three aforementioned companies). Then again Redline sure took its sweet time coming out, that movie came out in 2009, got licensed in 2011, and was finally released on DVD and Bluray only months ago. Should I still maintain hope for a 2010 movie? Do movie licenses just plain work differently and perhaps don't have the timer on them that TV series seem to have these days?

Continuing on from the idea of striking while the fan base is hot, I understand that licensing new shiny stuff generates a lot of buzz and excitement and the show is still fresh in people's minds, but so many fan favorites seem to be overlooked these days in favor of licensing shows for eventual home release that haven't even been aired yet. Many fan favorites have been left in the dust over the years (or came out in the R4 region, where US fans are importing them from *cough*Kaiba*cough*, which only proves to me that people in North America will buy the series even if they have to import it so long as it has an English sub) is there any way to perhaps get an older title out to home market, or is anything produced in 2010 or earlier doomed to never come out at this point? Why don't companies like Funimation and Sentai seem to license anything older than two years these days (not counting re-releases and the occasional license rescue) in addition to the shiny stuff? It seems odd to me to put one's eggs in a basket that is not yet even built and might or might not turn out to have been constructed of hideous rotting driftwood instead of one with an established and loyal fanbase that happens to be an older show (like Paranoia Agent, which I am inches away from just buying the UK release and a region free DVD player because if Satoshi Kon's unfortunate death couldn't make Funi take that out of Geneon's corpse, I don't think anything can).

Yikes! That's a lot of ground to cover. Apologies to everyone if I miss everything, but there's a lot of fascinating stuff to cover in this question.

I'll get to the "how 'old' is 'too old to license'" aspect a bit later, because that discussion doesn't really apply to a film like Colorful. You got it right when you said that "movie licenses work differently," because they certainly do. See, a film like Colorful - a restrained, character-based drama, dealing with suicide and trauma, that runs for over two hours - exists far far beyond our anime fantasy mainstays of wacky ecchi comedies and shonen action and whatnot. That's not to say that it puts it completely out of the realm of anime licensors, but the elephant in the room here is the completely borked and utterly shambled state these days of film distribution.

Films cost a lot of money to make, and consequently, a lot of money to distribute. That's the tricky part. One of the ways you can offset the cost of distribution is by building lots of good word-of-mouth and winning awards - I have no doubt in my mind that part of the contract for releasing a film like Colorful would be to mount an awards campaign to have it qualify for the Best Animated Feature Academy Awards. But guess what? That also costs money. You've got to take out print ads, and more importantly, you've got to make sure the film is screened for a good, solid week in both New York City and Los Angeles. Which means you've either got to strike up some 35mm prints (super expensive) or make sure you've got a presentable 4K digital print ready to ship (less expensive, but still expensive). And booking those theaters is a pain, too - I can't imagine too many theater chains would be too pleased to screen a dark, introspective two-hour animated film that doesn't have the name "Studio Ghibli" attached.

The film's content is a really tough sell, and the cost of exhibiting this tough-sell film in order to gain enough positive word-of-mouth towards a successful home video release would probably be none too pleasing for most anime licensors, even the likes of a Funimation. A major Hollywood studio could probably take care of that, though - a Disney, Universal, or Dreamworks. But those companies aren't terribly interested in animated films that aren't CGI and likely to bring in millions of dollars of merchandising. During the "anime bubble," a company like Bandai was able to somewhat successfully launch theatrical campaigns for things like Escaflowne and Jin-Roh; but then, there was a rash of bad mojo from the diminished returns of things like Sony's release of Steamboy, and Dreamworks' abortive campaign for Millenium Actress, or Sony once again for Paprika.

So, essentially, marketing a movie like Colorful would take some relatively deep pockets in order to be considered "successful." The subject matter of the film is so purposefully anti-commercial, though, that it's positively uninteresting to any potential major Hollywood film label - and even within our realm of anime fans, I can't fathom how there would be any marked enthusiasm for a slow-paced, contemplative film without moe girls or hot dudes or ridiculous action a la Redline.

Colorful's problem in finding a release is endemic to itself, but "how old is too old" you ask? That depends. The argument that Discotek "only licenses super old stuff" doesn't exactly hold water, because what Discotek is doing is picking up older titles that still maintain a healthy amount of brand recognition - things that were either on TV back when anime was kind of a "thing" (your Samurai Pizza Cats and whatnot) or titles that have a strong cache with older fans who are more likely to purchase physical media (Galaxy Express 999 and so forth). Not to mention that they throw in more recent fare like DN Angel and Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo. "Retro" titles might be their mainstay, but not their exclusive focus.

To be honest, I'm not really sure, anymore, how old is "too old." I don't think there is such a thing, to be perfectly honest. The problem really stems from risk-averse media companies reading the tea leaves the wrong way after being burned one too many times by "older titles" that didn't exactly sink in to the US market. Meanwhile, what with simulcasting being the market leader, anime companies have an easier time maintaining a certain amount of control over their sales by watching that data and tracking trends from "new" titles versus titles that have sat on the shelf for a year or two. Every once in a while, though, a company like Funimation will attempt to do a new take on an "older" title like Shin Chan or Detective Conan to see if it sticks; usually it doesn't, so it's back to business as usual.

The other "problem" is that much of these "older" titles are generally undersold by their Japanese licensors; they don't care about them anymore, they see no profit motivation for them, so they are more than willing to sweep them under the rug as they roll out something like Majikoi. Or, if it's a very popular series in Japan - like Doraemon - they get a bit overzealous, thinking that this Big Hit Japanese property can be just as big as Pokemon if it's marketed properly, which of course is downright silly. Everyone always gives companies like Viz grief for missing much of what "anime fans really want," but when it comes to the Western market, nobody misses it by any mile greater than the Japanese production companies themselves.

And in the midst of this Grand Misunderstanding is an austere, honest production like Colorful. Alone it sits, pouring out its poor little heart and soul for anyone willing to watch it, while companies from both sides of the Pacific run back and forth between What's Popular Right Now vs. What Was Popular Many Years Ago and generally create comedic misunderstandings. A film like that simply doesn't fit neatly within the parameters of any company's bottom line.

If you would like to be an advocate on behalf of the film, I say go for it - it certainly worked for Redline, which was proselytized to heck and back by aggressive supporters before it landed with a thud on Blu Ray. I think the key for Colorful is to keep playing festivals, keep racking up awards, and cross their fingers for an intrepid film distributor to simply say "hey, let's just take a chance on this, there's nothing else really like it out there," and hope for the best. Because, to be honest, that's Colorful's selling point - it isn't at all like all the other anime that sells right now. There is an audience for it, I'm certainly a part of it (I've been curious about it since it played in Annecy), and once the word gets out, there could be a really explosive reaction. That's the exciting part about finding a new audience for something; you never really know how big or noisy that audience is. It could be huge.

Of course it could also be small and useless, but you know. Let's stay positive here.

Moving along from the topic of screwed-up distribution, now we turn to... screwed-up international distribution! I feel like it's kismet, almost, that "Road to Nowhere" by Talking Heads popped up just now on my Spotify. The universe is listening. Or something.

Last week, I wanted to see what you had in mind about how to fix the one thing we all love to hate: Region Locking!

Let's begin with Matt, who dives right into the video game angle:

Hi Brian. To answer your question about region locking, I've always been annoyed by this because I like to import stuff and this of course makes it more difficult to do. I personally ended up buying a Japanese PS2 so I could play imported games. I also found ways around it for other game systems or DVDs. Using a computer for DVD playback makes this a simple task recently.

To answer why region locks are put in place, I think it's because companies put money into branching off to local companies (like Nintendo of America) and putting together a local region version of a show/game. They want to know how those efforts are going by seeing how many of the local version is sold. Region locking is a way of making sure that people buy the local version of the game. I think that because of this region locking won't go away unless say Nintendo decides it wants to be a lone global entity and do all of the work. I don't think this will ever happen because it is such a huge company it needs to be divided, and if it were ever to downsize to be small enough for this to happen they wouldn't bother putting in the time and money to sell just a few copies of a game/anime in America.

And now from Jon, The Australian:

Region locks have always seemed to me to be anti-competitive and fairly pointless in the long run. With so many technological means to overcome the lock, varying from multi-region DVD/Blu Ray players and mod chips, to ripping the contents to a PC, or importation of foreign hardware, it seems... vulgar to be honest. In no way does it help the companies involved since the people who are most likely to lack the knowledge of how to circumvent the lock are the exact same people who are most likely to just purchase the DVD straight off the shelf. It fails to accomplish even the most basic tasks that it is created for. Admittedly I'm fairly fortunate in that, as an Australian, multi-region players are commonly available (indeed, it's harder to find single region players) and fully supported by the manufacturers and our right to them is supported by Federal organisations, so perhaps I'm speaking from a privileged position.

Looking into the future, I can't see region locks lasting very much longer. Already many DVD, Blu Ray and games licensors/distributors are no longer including region coding on their disks and the trend toward digital distribution is just going to make this more common as physical media must increase its potential market if it is going to be sustained. Ultimately, physical media will be replaced entirely, but as long as digital services keep using their own equivalent in geographical lockouts of content based on IP address it will take a lot longer than many people imagine.

In the meantime, I'm just gonna chill out and watch my collection of region 1, 2, 4 DVDs and A/B/C Blu Ray disks, while utilising proxy servers to access the digital media that I enjoy ;)

And now from Daniel, The Canadian:

The whole issue of region locking comes about because in the "home market" the price of the product is set at one amount but then when the product is sold in other markets, they may be sold at a lesser price or with different packaging that would make "reverse importation" attractive to the home market, hence region locking.

As to whether it will ever go away? Not unless there is a way to make it financially impossible to do. For example, even though the Canadian dollar and the US dollar are at par with each other, there is still a healthy market for bringing US cars to Canada, especially luxury models, because the manufacturers insist on gouging in the Canadian market for the same product. Will electronic distribution solve this? Considering that there is still "region locking" happening with the distribution of electronic content (See ITunes US, iTunes Canada, iTunes Japan etc. ) I would say not.

And now Misogi, The French Person:

I think there are two cases of Region Locking that exist these days.

First, there are the DVD/Blu-ray/Games. If a series or a game officially released in your country is officially available in another one, with a language you understand and sold cheaper, you could buy it there. It gives money to the creators, even if you didn't buy it in your country. But in this case, using a Region Locking worldwide is quite understandable for the companies in the country you live, as they lose some profit. They want you to buy a product from your country, not from another.

Now, let's speak about series or games not released officially in your country. If you want to support the creators, you would consider importing it. It is better than pirating. But thanks to Region Locking, your imported product could be useless. You might have bought something for nothing, and that's really stupid. Then, pirating is the only way to access it simply, and that's a loss of money.

Companies think that Region Locking is something to protect their products. It's right in a way, but wrong in another. It doesn't allow people to import products they want to have, even those which will never be released in their country. As long as it allows companies to sell their products in their country, they won't care about the second point and they won't change their system. That's the problem of worldwide systems: if someone doesn't agree to change the system, it won't change. So, unfortunately, we'll still live with some region-locked products.

Then, there's the case of simulcasts. They are a good solution against piracy. Simulcasts are licensed for countries that speak the same language than the company, that's obvious. Rights are bought for each country, and they are expensive, so locking videos is logical.

But, there is a problem. Some countries are forgotten, mainly because they don't have enough audience. Other countries only have access to simulcasts by paying money in a VOD-like system. And the others have the choice between paying for watching simulcasts and access to free and legal simulcasts. Because of that, piracy will always exist, first for the forgotten ones, but even for those who don't want to or can't pay for their weekly dose.

We shouldn't forget Canadians, since they either speak English or French. Only one company can earn the license for simulcasting, a French one or an English one. There will be only one language available, or even no simulcasts there in some cases.

Only companies can find a solution to that worldwide problem, but they are really slow. Look at the music market. The CD market collapsed, because of their expensive prices compared to the mp3 files. Same thing for electronic versions of mangas, too expensive for some files. But some of them really make an effort, by doing quality work and cheaper products, with a free but legal alternative.

If we want content available worldwide, we should think of a better model, one that doesn't limit the buyers' rights (DRM) but also the creators' income. Free access and choice of the language opposed to paid access and profit guarantees, these are the two positions that prevent Region Unlocking for now.

@BruceMcF makes an interesting argument for "country of origin" as the one allotted restriction:

You ask two questions, and the answers are No, and Yes.

Will region locks every go completely? No. There are four reasons for region locks. One is that the licensing of streaming rights is broken into regions from the outset, and the value of an additional region is not worth the cost of an additional contract. A second is when one company is only interested in getting the license for one region, and another is willing to pay for the license excluding that region. A third is when the income from distributing to a particular region does not cover the bandwidth costs. And a fourth is when there are content restrictions imposed by national governments.

The first and third are going to go away. As revenues available from various forms of digital distribution rise, which includes the growing maturity of global brand management, and as bandwidth costs continue to fall, the incentives will increase for the original licensor to have global rights available for license. And with the same revenue growth, plus ongoing decreases in bandwidth cost, the "break even boundary" will be converted from a region block to a regional bandwidth cap.

The first and third going away will get rid of a lot of the region blocking we experience, but not all. There will still be circumstances where there is more revenue from splitting the rights up and contracting different regions to different licensees. However, as revenues rise, and especially as revenues from global brand management rise, it will become less common for large parts of the globe to fall through the cracks as a result. And there will always be particular national governments which attempt to regulate access to content, and as today, licensees will find it simpler to avoid the fight by region blocking that country.

As far as the second question, whether someone will FINALLY find a way to turn a dime on content distributed globally, the closest we have in Anime are Crunchyroll and Viki, both of whom have some limited anime content with global-ex-Japan rights. And in both cases, the platform seems to be critical mass: for Crunchyroll, a critical mass of subscribers in the main license regions to cover fixed costs, so that the cost of additional regional coverage on the same contract is limited to bandwidth and licensing costs alone. And in Viki's case, a critical mass in terms of its global audience, brought to the site by its existing selection of live action content originating in a variety of countries.

Of course, both of those are "close" rather than quite there. The Crunchyroll licenses all seem to be from production committees with TV Tokyo participation, so it can be seen as an effort to prove that global licensing can work. If in Fall 2012 or Spring 2013 we start to see similar licenses from beyond the reach of TV Tokyo, we will know that the experiment proved successful. And the Crunchyroll licenses are mostly worldwide outside of Japan for subscribers only, with free access limited to the more conventional Crunchyroll licensing regions.

And for Viki, we only actually see one simulcast, a six episode series with Viki listed on the production committee, and a handful of catalog titles. So this too can be seen as an experiment, and we will not know for sure that the experiment was successful unless we start to see an expanding range of catalog titles and simulcasts on the site.

And in both cases, its not actually distributed globally, but rather "global outside the country of origin". It may be that if those ventures are successful enough, that by 2020 the most common region restriction in place will be that "country of origin" restriction.

We always might see progress toward global distribution stalled or stymied, but the present indications are that we are slowly making progress in that direction.

Closing us this week, Ken defeats my question with... MY OWN QUESTION:

This week's question answers itself if you look at it logically:

(1) Everybody hates region locking. (2) Region locking is used to control income by media companies.
(3) Eventually some media company will "break ranks" and eliminate region locking in the quest for more sales.
(4) Otaku will respond by flocking to this progressive company (assuming they have IP that will sell).
(5) When one media company finds it makes more money by selling unlocked media others will follow.
(6) Region locking will disappear in the future.

In my opinion the above logic string is inevitable. The only thing delaying it is the reactionary thinking of today's media moguls.

Yeah, those moguls. Moguls is one of those words that just sounds incomparably evil. Moguls. Why do you persist being nefarious, moguls?!?

RANDOM ASIDE: I hope that at some point Emma Watson is convicted of robbing Rupert Murdoch, so I can be the one responsible for the headline "Mogul Mugged By Mudblood."

Kill me.

Anyway! I have next week's question all ready to go, inspired as it were by the plight of the film Colorful, as outlined above:

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.

Okay guys, have at it! Respond and send me your questions of burning, impassioned desire over at answerman(at)animenewsnetwork.com! Now to continue my heated Avengers debate! Or maybe I'll just get drunk somewhere and forget everything. Either or. Good night!

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