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Hey, Answerman!
True Fans

by Brian Hanson,

Hey folks! This is Weekly Column About Brian's Illness and Hey, Answerman!

Actually, let's forego the usual chatter about my failing health - although I'll quickly mention that I'm on the mend, at least - and let everyone know that hey! I'll be at Otakon this next weekend, in case any of you will be there! Chances are that I'll be running around making panel reports and generally being busy beyond rational belief, so if you see a skinny dude panting and marching with a determined gleam in his eyes, that's probably me! Or possibly another equally skinny, equally busy dude. Either or.

Let's get to the questions that you all had, then!

Hey, Answerman!

I had recently been reviewing my list of past anime I had watched fansubbed that I needed to add to my physical collection now that they are licensed. (Yes, I try to stay legit, but no, this isn't a fansub question.) One title that came up was Kurokami, which I didn't actually watch, but looked interesting. While reviewing the licensing status of this title, I was reminded that this was one of the shows that created some controversy for Bandai Entertainment by being released on Blu-ray in Japan with an English dialogue track, but no English subs, released in the US on Blu-ray with English subs, but no English dub, and released on DVD in the US with both. The Blu-ray was also released with fewer episodes (despite the obvious space advantage of Blu-ray) than the DVD, meaning collectors had to buy more BD discs for the same show.

With this sort of hair-brained marketing strategy being part of the reason that Bandai Entertainment finally went out of the Manga/DVD/BD sales market, who is Bandai Visual targeting with their titles now for US releases? And has the fallout of this sort of marketing changed the way in which they release titles for bid now that they don't have a single company to stranglehold in the US market? I was hoping a box set of Kurokami would be forthcoming, possibly in BD with a dub/sub, but I'm guessing that will probably not happen any time soon.

Yep, that was some confusing falderal. (One minor correction: The American Blu-ray actually is dub-only, not subtitle-only. ) But you're making a mistake to lay the blame for this entirely on the shoulders of Bandai Entertainment. In fact, this is where things get even more confusing: you have Bandai Namco Group, which owns Bandai Entertainment (the American release company that is semi-shut-down), as well as Kurokami's producer Sunrise, as well as Japanese publisher Bandai Visual (which they now own outright but was actually an entirely separate company up until a few years ago). To muddy the waters further, Bandai Visual opened an American release company, filled with half-baked ideas about how the American market should work more like Japan, screwed up royally, and got folded into Bandai Entertainment in defeat.

Now, "who" is Bandai Visual targeting with their "US releases"? What releases are these you speak of? There ARE no more American releases from either Bandai Entertainment or Bandai Visual, just Japanese ones that happen to have English subtitles or a dub track. Americans are more than welcome to import them, of course; the region code is the same, and tacking on English subtitles that were presumably already made for streaming costs them almost nothing, so that handful of additional sales are a nice bonus. As has been written about many times before, the high cost of Japanese discs make them way, way, way more profitable than American ones, so anything that makes the Japanese releases stand out as a clearly better value seems like common sense to a Japanese publisher. And ultimately, Bandai Entertainment spent most of their time having to bend to the will of their Japanese owners and licensors -- I don't think at any time they ever had what could even vaguely be considered a "stranglehold in the US market".

In the case of Kurokami, you had a show that was noteworthy really only for being the first TV series being simultaneously dubbed and broadcast on American television (even if it was on a tiny cable channel nobody watched). Presumably, the home video releases would also follow the Japanese street dates pretty closely, and so more likely than not the producers, worried about Japanese customers importing the cheaper American discs, insisted Bandai Entertainment cripple them by leaving off the Japanese audio track. It didn't work -- the show tanked on both sides of the Pacific. But as sites like Amazon Marketplace make it easier and easier for Japanese consumers to import cheaper American discs, you can bet that paranoia about "reverse importation" is not going away. In fact, from what I'm hearing, it's getting worse, and may lead to even more crippled discs and non-Blu-ray releases in the near future.

As far as the "fallout" of Bandai Entertainment's "marketing"... That's a tricky thing to parse. The reason Bandai Entertainment was given the hook by their parent company was due to their simply not being a profit driver anymore. The writing was on the wall that they were soon going to be a money-losing enterprise, the DVD era was waning, and at a certain point, Bandai - concerned with profit above all else - decided that they simply weren't worth keeping around. It could be argued that some questionable marketing choices and release strategies played a part in that, but the reality probably has more to do with the crumbling market for DVDs in general. Bandai Entertainment still technically exists, and they still have the license to Kurokami. The discs are still in print, and the company is putting a few shows online for streaming as well (Kurokami is still on Crunchyroll, albeit in dubbed form), so despite the Blu-ray release not being what it could've been, there's still plenty of Kurokami to go around for the time being. Once the rights expire, any of the American publishers COULD presumably go after the rights and re-release it in a way you'd more likely want (and by then, the producers would be less likely to care about cannibalizing Japanese sales). The question is... would they WANT to?

Hey Brian,

I've had this happen at least three different times, so I'm curious what's up. The other day I was discussing Fairy Tail with another fan, and when I mentioned I mainly followed it in the manga format and not the anime one, he got really pissy with me. "You're not a true fan," he said, which is ridiculous because it's the same material, I just like reading more then watching. And didn't the manga come first?

Thinking back I've realized I've seen something like this happen before, not to that extent. But once in a group of people discussing a series, when I bring up how much I love the manga, one of them said, "But you DO watch the anime series, right?" And I answered, "Some but not really." And while some of the people in the conversation didn't seem to care at all, that person got really incessant in asking me why I preferred reading it over watching it.

Is this a thing, or have I just run into a few wierdos? They act almost like they think I think I'm superior to them, I don't, I just like reading over watching something, but they seem like they're projecting a lot. Did they run into manga readers who acted like jerks because they watched the anime? I have no idea what to do about this, or really understand what they are going on about? A little help?

Here we have, what I like to call, "You Can't *Possibly* Like This As Much As I Do" syndrome. A common occurrence in nerds who profess themselves to be super-fans on any specific title. "I've spent far longer reading, watching, and amassing all knowledge about this one specific property than any other human on Earth," they tell themselves, "or at least, of anyone that I'm familiar with." They live as legends within their own heads, so assured of their mental superiority above all others who worship This One Thing, because they clearly have spent years in penance for their devotion, and nobody else has spent the time and energy Worshipping This One Thing as faithfully as they. Which means you are not a "True Fan."

This is, sadly, a pretty common phenomenon. I mean, I've always been a huge fan of The Simpsons - if it's an episode from seasons 3 through 8, there's a pretty good chance I have every joke memorized - but the "Simpsons Fandom" is a scary place, because it's filled with these "True Fans" whose entire lives exist to put people like me to shame. So what if I've got every episode memorized! They have replicas of the original scripts! The only piece of Simpsons "merchandise" is an unofficial book on the history of the series (written, entertainingly, by one of these True Fans), whereas the True Fans have entire hovels filled with action figures and collectibles of varying shapes and sizes. How can I consider myself a True Fan when I don't have enough Simpsons Merchandise amassed to personally put Matt Groening's children through college? I should just hang my head in shame instead! Pfuhh!!

In all honesty, I'm not shocked that people would treat you condescendingly for not enjoying a particular title as fervently and as correctly as they do. But, I'm a little puzzled that, apparently, they're upset at you for preferring the manga as opposed to the anime. Usually, it's the other way around, I've noticed - the manga fans, many of whom have been reading a series since it's initial inception many years back, sneer and look down upon the anime fans, who merely passively watch the action unfold as opposed to reading it. At least, that's how I remember being treated in the early 'aughts, as I tried to explain to people that I was perfectly content watching Yu Yu Hakusho, and so I had no real desire to read what I had already seen.

No matter; the issue here is with fans being unjustly cynical and dismissive towards their fellow fans. Are they being dicks about this? YES, ABSOLUTELY. What are we supposed to do, then?

First of all, the *second* anyone brings up what separates a "true fan" from everyone else, you can guarantee yourself that this person is worthy of being completely ignored. What makes these people decide who is and isn't a "fan" in the first place? These people have no real connection to the property itself - they just like it an awful lot, usually to the exclusion of many other things. Since they have (typically) created nothing themselves, their validation comes from excluding people in order to create the illusion of privilege and status. This is, of course, silly and dumb. They must be re-educated; informed that their exclusionary thinking is rather mean-spirited and socially backward. And if they can't learn that, then they must be shunned and ignored. We deal with enough stress and idiocy on the internet; why add more chum to the bucket than necessary?

Normally this behavior is just silly and dumb, but there is a point where it becomes rather disturbing. Like, say, GIRLS CAN'T BE GOOD AT HALO - THEY'RE NOT TRUE FANS. HOW CAN A MEXICAN GUY BE A TRUE STARCRAFT PLAYER? HE'S NOT KOREAN. Things like that. That's why I advocate nipping this line of thinking in the bud as early as possible. Consider this a doctor's warning: if you notice you or any of your friends arbitrarily delineating what defines a "true fan" from the rest of the rabble, please re-evaluate your line of thinking to include the idea that a) Everyone is a "true fan" if they genuinely like something, and b) There is no social caste system which determines which faction of fan is better than the other. Fans who read more manga than watch anime are not better than the people who prefer the other way around. On the flipside, fans who write fanfic are no worse than fans who create fanart. Fans who cosplay are not "more dedicated" than fans who don't. And so on. So forth.

We all like Japanese drawings and the stories that go along with them. We might like different aspects of that moreso than our brethren, but there's still no real reason to divide ourselves into cliques and factions and assign relative worth to one another, other than to prove to the world that we are just as petty, vindictive, and insecure as they assume we are. And I'd rather prove them wrong, if I could.

Hey Answerman!

I had some questions about series structure. How is it that lovely guys like Yosuke Kuroda or Yoji Enokido are able to write all of the episodes of shows they work on? How is a series structured? How much input do producers, the series director, episode writers, ETC. have in the process?

What is the difference between plotting a manga/novel adaption and an original work? How about an anime adaption of an ongoing manga? A series of standalone episodes? I know that's probably a few to many questions for you to answer, but if you could bring up even one I would appreciate it.

Yikes, that is an awful lot of ground to cover. But I'll do my best.

It's actually not entirely impossible to write an entire season of a TV series by yourself - the annals of cheap-o American TV animation are filled with scriptwriters writing entire seasons (or more) of cartoon shows entirely by their lonesome. But it's also highly frowned upon, because the demands of scripting an entire 13-to-26 episode series obviously demands quite a lot of man hours - and without a dedicated staff to shoulder some of the burden, quality often suffers when one person attempts to carry the entire task.

But, considering that both Yosuke Kuroda and Yoji Enokido are considered luminaries in the anime scriptwriting world, the two of them are often prime candidates for the much-lauded, all-important "Series Composition" credit. The writer in charge of Series Composition is in charge of writing the outlines and story beats that serve as the guideposts for the entire series. Once those outlines are completed, the writer in charge of Series Composition - usually the Head Writer - then assigns scripts to any number of other writers on staff. Or, since they're in charge, they can simply assign the scripts to themselves. Sometimes both! Either way, looking over their combined credits, these dudes are God damned insane; between of the two of them, they've probably written more episodes of anime than I've seen so far in my lifetime.

But, it's a fallacy to say that they write *ALL* episodes of *EVERY* show they work on. Nobody has that much time in their day. I mean, Yoji Enokido was credited with Series Composition for Sailor Moon SuperS, but there were several other writers on staff of that show. Yosuke Kuroda was the Series Composition-er for Big Windup, but, again, there were many other writers involved. And that's the usual way anime series are written and produced; the Head Writer sets the overall tone and dictates the ins and outs of the major plot points, and those outlines are divvied up into the hands of a crack team of writers. It's a pretty standard process when compared to how most TV shows are produced here; most animated series produced by major networks have a "Show Runner," which is to say the head writer & producer, who brings along their own specific writing team to create scripts and record voices, before assigning that material to the animation team.

Insofar as the "difference" between an original production and an adaptation? When it comes down to the brass tacks of production, there's very little difference between the two. In both cases, you've got a head writer scrambling to nail down the broad strokes in the form of an outline, so they can be assigned to other writers and scripts can be made as quickly as possible. Obviously, in the case of an adaptation, those "broad strokes" come from already-existing materials, but the actual production process is largely the same. Whether it's 12 episodes or 26; a 6-episode OAV, or a 12-episode story arc adaptation of a long-running manga; in each and every one of those cases, it's a race against time to get the scripts completed as soon as possible. The actual animation is the expensive and time-consuming part of the production process, so the quicker they can nail down all the specifics on paper and get to the hard part, the better.

I saw the sign - and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign. Time for me to just shut up, and get back to the line where YOU belong - dear readers, YOU belong. (*jazzy keyboard riff*)

By "YOU belong" I'm referring to Hey, Answerfans! of course. You know, that splendid time where I ask a question and you wonderful, bright minds respond in kind. Last week, I wanted to pick your brainparts with this question of collecting-ness:

We begin with Ahren, whose shelf space is about to be limited, what with all these Limited Editions;

When it comes to DVDs and Blu Rays my spending will probably not change for a while.

I actually prefer my media to be in solid form. I find services such as netflix are of little use to me. I decided this for certain when during my last Halloween party the power went out. So the party was continued at a friend's house and we watched horror movies on netflix. We then decided we all wanted to watch the film Beetlejuice, but it wasn't available on netflix and I vocally lamented the fact that I had the dvd of it back at my house, but by then the snow had made the roads too dangerous for us to return there. Because of things like this I will continue to purchase dvds and blu ray as long as they keep selling them. I prefer to be able to watch my anime whenever I want and not just when it's available.

At this point there are pretty much no video stores in my area left that sell anime. So I have no choice but to buy my dvds and blu ray online. I try to limit my credit card use to a fixed amount so I don't overspend. I will usually buy an expensive limited edition no more than once a month. I buy them in order of which ones I think will sell out first and save the regular anime that isn't limited edition for another time. I've bought the Garden of Sinners, Puella Magi Madoka Magica all 3 volumes, Fate Zero, and I've preordered the next season.

I guess if anything changed in the way I purchase anime, it's that I make limited editions my top priority. I'll still buy as much as I can though. I like supporting American companies that release anime as there so few companies left. Purchasing so many dvds and blu ray has given me an evergrowing backlog but I have plenty of time to catch up on it and it won't suddenly be unavailable.

Lori missed out on some primo, 2004-vintage Limited Edition Aika panties:

It all depends on the what is in the limited edition. If it has a bunch of stuff that I really wouldn't be interested in, I'll opt for the cheaper version. For example, I'm less likely to buy "Hetalia" limited editions just so I can get a bandana.

The other thing I have to think of is if any of the extra items have things that can be easily broken. I have a toddler, and I would hate to buy something that has an extra toy only for him to get his hands on it and destroy it.

And since I'm on a budget, I have to consider whether its worth it. Right now, I'm waiting to see if "Madoka Magica" get a full series release, and if THAT comes with the limited edition goodies that the volume sets have come with, it might just be worth it for me.

Congrats to Mark, ya sly fox!

Hey Answerman!

Publishers moving to the more expensive limited edition sets has played an affect on the things I purchase. I am 24 and getting married (*gulp* this Saturday the 21st!) and my future wife is not an anime fan. In fact, it took me probably 4 years before I even told her that I really enjoy the stuff. (that story for another day) But as my wallet is now tied up with weddings and other life events, I have to be more choosy. I typically only go out and get the for sure hits for me anymore. (Gundam Unicorn for example) I still take a shot in the dark at some of the sets where they get good reviews and seem intriguing but its far and few between now especially with rising prices. Thankfully, Crunchyroll and Netflix have really come in handy to satisfy my anime niches for titles that I would like to see but wouldn't necessary want to add to my permanent collection. Sometimes, I find gems in these (Angel Beats was one of them) and I will gobble those up. So yeah, the more expensive sets are slowing down what I purchase. Life happens, and I need to budget out my money and where I would impulse buy a $25 thinpack set in the past, I wont do that now when they are $50 and up. Oh and I love my HD so *wanting* everything in Blu-Ray doesn't help.

Troy's abhorrence for abominable downloads is absolutely un-abstruse;

Let me establish my credentials first: I've been buying DVDs since 1998. I have approximately $34,000 worth of them, and I had an abhorrence for downloads. That said, I was deeply saddened when anime companies scaled back their limited edition releases. I didn't want the cheap sets, I wanted the collectibles. I had always bought the volume ones with the nice boxes that included the plush figures, T-shirts, and whatnot. I also took greater pride in being thrifty, as I religiously held off on all my purchases until TRSI had a 40% off sale.

But as for NOW... [rage-rant in 5, 4, 3...] Yes. Ohhhhh yes, the methods of these "limited" edition releases and pre-orders have indeed affected my spending habits, and it has affected them quite negatively. My wallet has been quite happy with me lately.

It's not because I don't want the limited edition releases. I very much do, and as I established before, I'm willing to pay a little extra for them, but I'm not willing to pay through the nose for them. Allow me to illustrate what I mean:

Let's compare with what special edition releases were like back in the heyday of 2005. Take, for example, the MSRP for the Wolf's Rain box with plush, CD, and 5-episode Volume 1 disc. It was $40 MSRP. Compare that with the 4-episode Madoka Magica release, which has a $95 MSRP.

That's a 137% spike. And I'm comparing apples to apples here, from back when single disc releases were the norm. I'm completely disregarding the post-2010 trend of releasing complete sets. I could give other examples (NIS, I'm glaring at you too), but I'd end up consuming your entire article.

And to add insult to injury, on these new releases you'll never find a RightStuf 40% off sale on them. That part frosts me most of all. So then. As for how my spending habits are this year, I'll put it this way: My strict abhorrence for downloads has had moments of weakness. I guess you could call it a mutual betrayal.

For Jacob, Mo' Money, Les' Anime:

Seeing a question like this one, I just couldn't resist responding. With the increase in the number of expensive anime, especially in the realm of limited edition releases, I can only imagine that a lot of people are growing rather frustrated with both the prices and limited availability in many cases. I'm thinking of you, Garden of Sinners. But more importantly, from some conversations I've had with other people, whether online, offline, or some strange mix of the two I gather that a good number of people are starting to decrease the amount of anime they buy. Is this solely the result of the growing price tag of owning anime? Of course not. But it is most certainly related.

And now it's time for me to get to the meat of things. How has this change in price affected my spending habits? The honest truth is that I've been spending more money on anime recently than I was in the past, but my habits have most definitely changed. A few years ago, I'd pick up just about any series on the market as long as I had some spare cash and it seemed like it could be an interesting series. In those times, I've met with both great discoveries as well as some real stinkers, but since I normally didn't pay that much in either case, it all balanced out pretty well. Unfortunately, this kind of impulse buying has begun to decrease lately; about the only time I buy things impulsively now is if I see some random set in the bargain bin somewhere for really cheap.

It's kind of sad that my impulse-buying days are growing fewer and further between, but with the increasing prices, I've had to focus more and more money on getting the things that I really want and available funds to buy things on impulse have grown steadily less. In fact, there's a good chance I won't be buying anything on impulse this fall, with things from Aniplex, Funimation, and NISA on my to-order list I'm going to be completely swamped.

But this is the changing nature of the industry, and I'll just have to cope. If nothing else, I can say that even though I've been buying less, I have been satisfied with a larger percentage of the things that I do buy. And I guess that's one thing I can be happy about.

Alex mentions this "streaming" nonsense, whatever that is;

My buying habits have certainly changed, but I think it has more to do with the widespread ability to stream anime than any sort of price difference. Nowadays I only buy series that I know I'll watch again and again or completely blew my mind. For series like that, I'm more than happy to throw a little extra money in, particularly when you get some nice goodies. I've got a few NIS special editions on my shelf and some Rightstuf releases that are practically overflowing with extras, but I'm also looking forward to releases by Discotek that are about as bare-bones as you can get.

Ouch; as a fellow minimum wage-slave, I feel your pain, Grant:

To get straight to the point of this question asked to the fans and also because I can't think of any fancy opening paragraph, the anime publishers releasing their DVD/Blu Ray has caused me to buy less. I am a minimum wage (7.25) making man that lives on his own, so I don't always have the money to throw at releases even though I want to. One key example of this happening is when Oreimo first got released (not the recent release). I had heard about it getting released and I read some good buzz about the show over the internet. When it did get released, I didn't have the money to purchase it at the time and by the time I did, it was sold out. Luckily a second run was released and I jumped all over that one. Madoka Magica is another example of this along with most of the stuff that NIS America releases. Am I saying release the stuff for less? No just release the stuff in chunks or by single DVD/Blu Ray (Madoka Magica is exempt from that statement because those Blu Ray/DVDs aren't cheap).

As for these releases inciting me to spend more or less is kind of a trap. I end up spending more and buying less. I am slowly working on catching up on some of my series that are expensive, with slowly being the keyword in that sentence. I would love to buy more things, supporting the industry in the process while getting my gratification of being a collector, but it ends up costing way too much for me. I need to plan out when I am going to buy certain things causing other releases to get put on hold. Even with all the planning I still come out happy in the end. Most of the time the expensive releases are the limited editions and if Anime has taught me one thing, it is to be happy about the little things (In this case the limited editions)

Steve has fallen under Madoka Magica's dulcet spell:

I usually find the "Limited Edition" sets to be cringe-worthy price-wise, until I look deeper into them. Some of them include items that would easily rack up the $ if you bought them individually. Specifically, while I hated that Madoka Magica came in three sets (I think "Limited" or "Special" editions should be the entire series in one bundle these days), they seemed reasonably priced to me after I really looked at everything that came in the sets and considered the cost of having to import all of those items from Japan.

So I do find that I've been spending a little more money on them. And I don't mind if the series is good and the extras are worth it, such as artwork, a soundtrack CD or being a DVD/BD combo set. Conversely, while I loved the Kara no Kyoukai series, the Garden of Sinners US release still seemed extraordinarily expensive to me, as a collector, despite the bells and whistles. That didn't stop me from seriously looking at my finances and debating when it came out, however. An advantage, if you want to call it that, of being willing to shell out the cash for these "Limited Edition" items is that when you order a normal DVD release of a sub-only 13 episode series, you feel like you scored a bargain at $35 or so.

Lastly, Phil makes an interesting point regarding the rising shares of anime both present AND past:

I'm a collector of anime. My favorite distributor at the outset was Geneon back in 2007, but that honor has shifted to Aniplex, and Nozomi. I used to be a normal anime fan, but I couldn't resist the Garden of Sinners siren call.

I've been digging all these limited editions, But the only one that I had to have was the Garden of Sinners, the others have just been for fun. Would I have bought Revolutionary Girl Utena for Aniplex's prices... No, but what I got turned out to be a very nice release by American standards, and by Japanese import standards. I can point out the pros of both. Pros for Utena, it's a great price and the content is comparable to Fate/Zero in length if you choose the Dub over the extras. The show has never looked better. Pros for Fate/Zero, the artbox is waterproof and would probably survive a spilled drink, though I really don't want to test that assertion, the episodes are hot off the TV, and the show probably won't have a stateside Blu-ray release in the states for a year or two... a gamble I and a few others are willing to make... The artbooks between Utena and Fate/Zero are comparable, but English speakers will be able to read Utena's without a translation handy. In short, if you want an artbox set comparable to Aniplex's imports without the debilitating cost go get a Nozomi/Right-stuf limited edition.

At the end of the day the interviews within the artbooks are what I want, that's what I'm paying my good money for. Reading about the development of Utena from a dual personality to the two characters Utena and Anthy is fascinating, particularly since I'm an aspiring story writer myself. Reading about two guys creating the Garden of Sinners brings home how humble its origins are. That kind of work is not beyond me.

To answer the first question Mister Answerman I haven't slowed down my spending, I am sometimes forced to dig deeper to try and keep up with my backlog before something goes OOP... example Wagnaria!! Limited Edition, I did not think that show would be a sell out, and I thank NIS for printing a second run. It helps that I was never a hit with the Ladies, but Aniplex has pushed me to my limits and then some and I've been forced to slow my life down in exchange for some of these limited editions. I don't even bother with Hollywood releases anymore, the prices collapse too quickly to warrant my interest. I don't ask women out ever, why spend money you might never see again... and if she says yes, you're guaranteed to never see again.

One trick I've started to utilize is the gift card as a pre-order payment in advance. I never used this method before Fate/Zero, but honestly, what Janitor has those kinds of sums lying around. I pay it down to a more manageable number by the shipping date. That six month pre-order window is awesome like that.

The answer to your second question is yes, my spending habits have changed. I've become increasingly willing to sink a lot more money into an ever smaller pool of anime, but I've managed to keep a couple standard release shows rolling in at a reasonable rate; 1 a month new. Quality is up, quantity has leveled off to a pace I can actually find time to watch everything...win win. My Lego hobby has been on a massive retreat... but if this is the harshest curse of Aniplex then I say bring it.

I really can't think of any other show I'd pay Fate/Zero's prices for... if there is another one it will probably be Typemoon related. Garden of Sinners is about the most I'd want to pay again for a favorite, but general anime... forget it. One of the perks of raising the threshold of pain for anime releases is the high priced old OOP catalogue that has become more palatable to me. This opens up a world of possible choices. Such as Pioneer's Sailor Moon movies.

Quite true - suddenly, 80 dollars for an hour-long Sailor Moon movie doesn't seem as ridiculous after Aniplex USA made palatable spending exorbitant amounts of money on anime.

Moving along to next week's question! I have a hunch that a decent percentage of you folks are going to be in line this weekend for a certain film - a certain film about a "BAT human" - and that prompted me to realize that we've probably got quite a few comic book fans in our midst, which made me curious about this line of questioning I came up with:

Now you've got this week's question, and it's time to get answerin'.

For those of you new to Hey, Answerfans!, I'll explain the concept.

Believe it or not, I'm genuinely curious what you think.

That's right; as much as I love the sound of my own voice, I do love to listen to what other people have to say on a subject. I'm finding that over the last few years, the attitudes, reasoning and logic that today's anime fans use eludes, confuses or astounds me; I have so many questions for you, and I'm dying to hear what you have to say in response.

Welcome to Hey, Answerfans!

Basically, we're turning the tables. Each week I'm going to ask you a question, and I want you to email me your answer. Be as honest as you can. I'm looking for good answers; not answers I agree with or approve of, but good, thoughtful answers
. People feel passionately about these subjects and I'd like to see that in the responses I get. I'll post the best answers I get, and maybe some of the crappy ones. Sometimes there may only be one or two good ones; sometimes five or more. It all depends on what I get in my inbox! Got it? Pretty simple, right? Start writing those answers and email them to answerman [at] animenewsnetwork dot com.

We do have a few simple ground rules to start with.

Things To Do:

* Be coherent.
* Be thoughtful.
* Be passionate.
* Write as much or as little as you feel you need to to get your point across in the best possible way.

Things Not To Do:

* Respond when the question doesn't apply to you. For instance, if your email response starts with "Well, I don't do whatever you're asking about in the question... " then I'm going to stop reading right there and hit delete.

* Be unnecessarily rude or use a lot of foul language.
* Go off-topic.

That's all the keyboard-usin' I'm able to accomplish this week, so don't forget to email me your questions and Answerfans responses to my email! It's answerman(at)animenewsnetwork.com, you dinguses! Send me a message or a question or an answer or two! And until then, have a fun, happy, and safe Batman Movie Weekend, everyone!

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