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Answerman - Why Are Teen Sex Comedies Only Acceptable When They're Live Action?

Some folks find lurid anime sex comedies featuring teenagers like High School DxD deeply offensive, but won't bat an eye at an American live-action sex comedy set in high school. What gives? Justin gets into it. ― Dave asked: Recently an anime company was on facebook promoting an upcoming release of a fanservice heavy show set at a Highschool. The comment section got pretty toxic pretty quickly with...
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Shelf Life - No Game, No Life Zero

Paul takes a look at this prequel film that might be better than its source series, along with a breakdown of all this week's new anime releases! ― This week, I learned that those generic plastic Blu-Ray cases are surprisingly resilient. My review copy of No Game, No Life Zero got absolutely pulverized in the mail, to the point where the case now looks like somebody tried really hard to karate chop ...
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The Mike Toole Show - Canada's Anime Legacy

Mike embarks on a voyage to the Great White North to discover Canada's history of English anime dubs both great and terrible! ― One of the best things about anime being a fairly hot ticket in global entertainment is the multitude of ways it just suddenly shows up, be it in theaters, on TV, or online. Once upon a time, you could keep track of pretty much everything that was being aired and screened in...
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Manga Answerman - Why is Summer the Season for Spooky Stories in Manga?

In North America we usually bust out the skeletons and draculas in October, but in manga, it seems like summertime is a much spookier season. Deb is ready to explain why! ― Why is Summer considered the season for spooky stories in manga, not Autumn / October like it is in North America? Much as Halloween at the end of October is the holiday that anchors the season for spooks and ghouls in North Amer...
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ANNCast Live at Otakon 2018

ANNCast is back with the audio from our panel at Otakon 2018, featuring special guest Mike Toole! Zac and Mike take a quick tour of 20 years of ANN history, followed by a Q&A session with the audience. ― ANNCast Live at Otakon 2018 ANNCast is back with the audio from our panel at Otakon 2018, featuring special guest Mike Toole! Zac and Mike take a quick tour of 20 years of ANN history, followed by a...
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This Week in Games - What's up with Sekai Project?

There's some unsettling news coming out of visual novel publisher Sekai Project right now - Heidi files some editorial commentary on what we might expect. PLUS: Zelda-flavored Diablo on Switch, Fist of the North Star and more! ― Hey, you know what makes any day more exciting? A whole lot of exploding Fist of the North Star heads. Thanks, Sega! Now that we've had our dose of Kenshiro, let's move on to...
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This Week in Anime - Hanebado! Has No Chill

Hanebado! came on strong as the world's most melodramatic badminton anime, but has it taken those heights of angst too far? Micchy and Steve hang on for dear life through this series' wild mood swings. ― Hanebado! came on strong as the world's most melodramatic badminton anime, but has it taken those heights of angst too far? This week, Micchy and Steve hang on for dear life through this series' wild...
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Answerman - What Will Become Of Takahata's Legacy?

Shocking revelations about Isao Takahata's treatment of his staff in Toshio Suzuki's recent book have some fans asking: what are we supposed to think of his films and his legacy now? Justin considers the angles. ― Fartball asked: Isao Takahata was one of my favorite anime directors, and I was heartbroken when he died a few months ago. Now Ghibli's producer Toshio Suzuki is saying Takahata was an awf...
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This Week in Anime - What the Hell is Happening in Planet With?

Planet With is the first original anime project written by beloved manga author Satoshi Mizukami, and it's been absurd and exciting from the start to its shocking halfway point cliffhanger. Nick and Jacob try to make sense of this mecha action rollercoaster. ― Planet With is the first original anime project written by beloved manga author Satoshi Mizukami, and it's been absurd and exciting from the s...
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Shelf Life - Aura Battler Dunbine

Back in the early 80s, the godfather of Gundam tried his hand at a fantasy-flavored mecha war epic - the result was Aura Battler Dunbine, a dizzying 49-episode Tomino tale finally out on bluray. PLUS: all of this week's new anime bluray and DVD releases! ― I'm finally getting a permanent office (read: cubicle) at my day job, which is a welcome step up from the computer on a table in a hallway I've b...
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Answerman - Are Dub Crew Members Taking Over Voice Actors' Jobs?

Oftentimes in the credits of an English dub, you'll see the same name in a couple different slots - maybe director, producer, and also the lead actor. Is the crew invading the booth? Justin explains. ― Tess asked: Looking at the dub credits on various anime, I noticed that a voice actor (who is often a lead) may also be credited as a producer. Because they're a producer on a series' (or an episode's...
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The List - 7 More Deadly Games of Survival

Can't get enough of battle royale tournaments where only the strongest and wittiest survive a gruesome demise? Here are seven more survival game anime to scratch that itch! ― There are few quicker ways to ramp up tension between a group of strangers than throwing them headfirst into a battle of kill or be killed. There are tons of manga centered on the topic, for example Yen Press' release of Though...
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Manga Answerman - Do Foreign Manga Sales Matter to North American Publishers?

Let's say there's a manga artist whose work is a huge smash hit in, say, Finland, but not a single volume of their work has been published in America. Do American publishers take that success into account? Deb gets into it. ― It's well known that not all manga are smash hits in the US, but when a previously "unknown" manga starts doing well in another country, shouldn't that catch other countries pu...
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This Week in Anime - Is Flavors of Youth Worth Watching?

Flavors of Youth blends Makoto Shinkai's aesthetic with the work of talented Chinese artists and storytellers. Micchy and Steve offer their take on the Netflix debut of this film about change and nostalgia. ― Flavors of Youth blends Makoto Shinkai's aesthetic with the work of talented Chinese artists and storytellers. This week, Micchy and Steve offer their take on the Netflix debut of this film abou...
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This Week in Games - EVO Extravaganza

Heidi returns from the biggest fighting game championship in the world with an enormous mountain of fighting game news and updates! Smash Bros, Tekken 7, Soul Calibur VI and much more! ― Well, EVO was sure a big ol’ thing, wasn't it? There's a lot that can be said about the EVO Grand Finals, but I think I can sum it up succinctly by pointing out that the real winner of EVO was Norio Wakamoto and all ...
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Answerman - Why Are Big Hollywood Studios Buying Anime Distributors?

The entire entertainment industry is a swirling mass of mega-mergers and anime seems caught right in the middle of it. Justin discusses the current climate, how we got here, and what we might expect to see next. ― Anonymous asked: I just read that Crunchyroll's parent company, Otter Media, was officially bought 100% by AT&T, who says they plan to integrate it into Warner Media (which is Warner Broth...
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This Week in Anime - Asobi Asobase is the Filthiest Comedy of the Season

It seemed like just another slice-of-life series on the surface, but there's something strange going on under this show's pastel facade. Nick and Micchy share their appreciation for this oddly hilarious gem. ― Asobi Asobase seemed like just another slice-of-life series on the surface, but there's something strange going on under its pastel facade. This week, Nick and Micchy share their appreciation f...
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Answerman - Why And How Was Fist Of The North Star Censored?

Justin digs in to the (many) urban legends and tall tales surrounding the original theatrical cut of Fist of the North Star, which has never been seen outside of its original run in Japan in the 1980s. ― Joseph asked: I have read that people who used to rent Streamline Dubbed Fist of the North Star movie on Orion pre-release VHS rental copy, remember all gore scenes uncut and uncensored with no blur...
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Shelf Life - Armed Girl's Machiavellism

Paul looks for a silver lining in this uninspired fanservice-fueled fighting anime and breaks down all this week's new anime releases! ― Since I forgot to mention it last week, I'll say it now: Nichijou is finally streaming in the US again, and you should go watch it. It's a clever, creative comedy with some fantastic moments of animation, and I regularly use it as a benchmark to judge any new serie...
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The Mike Toole Show - Irrational Treasures

Mike celebrates his favorite shocking, controversial, or just plain oddball episodes of anime, ones that launched enduring memes or years-long divisive fandom arguments, from Haruhi Suzumiya to School Days! ― Earlier this week, The Ringer ran a fun little feature about their writers' irrational favorite episodes of the 21st century so far; rather than being about the more widely acknowledged best stu...
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The List - 6 Worst First Kisses in Anime

From Dio's infamous stolen first kiss to the unspeakable acts inside Prison School, these are six of the absolute worst first kisses ever depicted in anime. ― A first kiss can be a special, a treasured moment shared between two romantic partners. Or it can be haphazardly stolen by some jerk trying to one-up his friend or caused by a pratfall down a flight of stairs. Today's list ticks off the absolu...
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Manga Answerman - Is It Common For Mangaka To Have A Lot Of Uncredited Assistants?

One reader wants to know if it's common in Japan for manga to be produced chiefly by one artist (named on the cover) along with a bunch of uncredited assistants. Deb pulls out the facts! ― We're now into August, and anime and comics convention season is in full-swing. I'm still digging through the transcripts from the various interviews and panels from SDCC and AX, but in the meantime, let's try to ...
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This Week in Games - Crossing Over

It's a smashing week of game news as Taiko Drum Master finally returns to the West, Earth Defense Force revives once more and Yakuza 0 hits the PC. Get caught up on this week's big gaming news, all in one place! ― It's EVO week! It's EVO week! And I still have to pack for my trip to Vegas! Crap! Forgive me if this week's column seems a bit shorter than usual, since I'm writing this on the day before ...
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This Week in Anime - Cells at Work! Makes Learning Fun (and Disgusting)

Cells at Work! turns the human body into a thriving civilization with wildly entertaining results. Jacob and Steve share their favorite things about this unusual piece of edutainment. ― Cells at Work! turns the human body into a thriving civilization with wildly entertaining results. This week, Jacob and Steve share their favorite things about this unusual piece of edutainment. Disclaimer: The views ...
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Answerman - How Do Anime Staff Feel About Working On Controversial Anime?

Dark and edgy anime like Future Diary and this season's Happy Sugar Life attract controversy with gritty storylines, but how do the staff working on shows like these feel about it? Justin has a few ideas. ― Alen asked: Lots of anime has extreme amounts of violence, adult situations and abuse of its characters, or a combination of all three. At the top of my head the (in)famous Future Diary/Mirai Nik...
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This Week in Anime - Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle Isn't Quite What Fans Were Expecting

The second in Netflix's new trilogy of Godzilla films from Polygon Pictures and Gen Urobuchi has finally arrived! Nick and Jacob break down how this movie betrayed our expectations in both good ways and bad. ― Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle is the second in Netflix's new trilogy of films from Polygon Pictures and Gen Urobuchi. This week, Nick and Jacob break down how this movie betrayed our exp...
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Answerman - How Do Lucky And Unlucky Numbers Factor Into Anime?

You often see the number 4 (and sometimes 9) mentioned as "unlucky" in anime and manga, but is there anything behind that? Justin digs in to a little bit of number trivia. ― Evan asked: As a westerner watching anime, should seeing the number 4 or 9 immediately set off alarm bells? I know that both 4 and 9 are considered "unlucky" in Japan because in Japanese. This comes up in Outlaw Star where the C...
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Shelf Life - Lupin the 3rd: Bye Bye, Lady Liberty

Paul Jensen takes a look at the very first Lupin III TV special, and delivers a breakdown of all this week's new anime releases! ― Ah, it's good to be back! I had to take last week off because I was busy floating down a river. No seriously, I was white-water rafting as part of a friend's bachelor party, which was a lot of fun for those of us who weren't suffering from terrible hangovers. As for the ...
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The List - Anime's 6 Most Haunted Homes

These spooky spirit roommates just aren't worth the tradeoff for low rent. Here are six infamous anime haunts to avoid. ― I don't know about you, but I watch series like House Hunters and other HGTV real estate programming to debate which home most likely has a few spectral residents. By contrast, I don't usually watch those paranormal investigator shows because I can only stand so many dudes standi...
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Manga Answerman - Why Isn't My Favorite Manga Licensed In America?

Deb gets in-depth on a long list of some of the most common - and sometimes misunderstood - reasons why your favorite manga hasn't been licensed for release in America yet. ― Got back from San Diego Comic-Con, where I moderated a panel with a bunch of manga publishing professionals, including editors, translators and publishers. I'll try to share some of the questions and answers that came out of th...
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This Week in Anime - Can Free! Season 3 Recapture that Iwatobi Swimming Club Magic?

Free! Dive to the Future brings Kyoto Animation's beloved swimming boys back to the small screen, but is the show still worth watching nearly half a decade later? ― Free! -Dive to the Future- brings Kyoto Animation's beloved swimming boys back to the small screen, but is the show still worth watching nearly half a decade later? This week, Nick and Jacob plunge back into this summer spectacle. Disclai...
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This Week in Games: Classic Compilations

The Megaman X Legacy Collections inspire Heidi to dream about the classic game compilations that could one day come our way, from Bubble Bobble to Castlevania. PLUS: more fighting game news, Phantasy Star returns (sorta) and much more! ― It sure is summer, alright. I'm going to Las Vegas late next week for EVO, but it feels like I'm already there, as it's been in the high 90s all week. A lot of apart...
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Answerman - Is Ecchi Anime As Controversial In Japan As In America?

Fanservice can be a selling point or a deal breaker for North American anime fans. But is the same content a big deal in Japan? ― Shaun asked: I am among probably the most vocally reviled groups of American Anime Fans, the one who unabashedly enjoys Ecchi and Heavy Fanservice shows. There is a debate waiting around every corner in online anime communities to discuss how distracting Fanservice is, Ho...
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This Week in Anime - Does the '80s-tastic Banana Fish Work For Modern Anime Fans?

Banana Fish brings the grit and scandal of a 1980s BL-flavored crime drama into the 21st century. We scope out how well this material has aged and what it can offer the anime fans of today. ― Banana Fish brings the grit and scandal of a 1980s BL-flavored crime drama into the 21st century. This week, Micchy and Steve scope out how well this material has aged and what it can offer the anime fans of tod...
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Answerman - Why Don't More Publishers Take A Chance On Older Titles?

Long-running action shows that aren't called Naruto or Dragon Ball frequently struggle to find an audience big enough to justify the licensing cost - why is that, and why aren't more publishers willing to take the risk on something like Toriko? Justin gets into it. ― Warsama Omar asked: Should licensing and Publishing companies give older series a second chance? I asked this because as I was pre-ord...
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The Mike Toole Show - J-Pop vs. America

After The Pillows' comeback tour across the U.S., Mike Toole is inspired to revisit the history of Japanese artists' attempts to make it big in the west, and how American music has affected anime in kind. ― Last week, I did something I'd been meaning to do for about sixteen years – I saw the Pillows perform live. The concert, at Boston's Royale nightclub, was part of a tour the storied alt-rock band ...
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The List - 7 Horrifying Magical Girl Anime

Magical Girls aren't just sugar, spice, and everything nice anymore! Here are just a few dark magical girl series to watch between your fingers with the lights off. ― One of the first Lists I ever wrote was titled "6 Trailblazing Shojo 'Deconstructions' You Should Be Watching." At the time, I wanted to write about other magical series that approached their formula the same way Madoka Magica was at t...
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Manga Answerman - Why Are American Manga Publishers So Coy About Licenses?

If you ask an American manga publisher about whether or not they're going to license a title you love, they'll be super coy and weird about it even if they have every intention of releasing it. Why is that? Deb digs in. ― Just got back from Anime Expo, and I'm at San Diego Comic-Con as you read this, where I'll be doing more of the same: going to the manga publishers' panels and reporting on what I ...
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This Week in Anime - What the Hell is Happening in Fate/Extra Last Encore?

F/E LE premiered on Netflix last month to plenty of head-scratching from even experienced Fate fanatics. We run down this show's often baffling plot and what went wrong in adaptation. ― Fate/Extra Last Encore premiered on Netflix last month to plenty of head-scratching from even experienced Fate fanatics. This week, Nick and Jacob run down this show's often baffling plot and what went wrong in adapta...
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This Week in Games - In Memoriam: Hiroshi Kajiyama

Heidi memorializes the distinct and uniquely evocative designs of Hiroshi Kajiyama, illustrator for Shining Force, Dragon Quest and more. PLUS: Dragon Ball FighterZ, Sonic Mania Plus, Granblue Fantasy and much more! ― I hate to start this week's column out on a downer note, but I feel like I need to make the most of an opportunity to eulogize a creator I really admired who suddenly passed on this wee...
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Answerman - Why Did US Anime Publishers Experiment With Western Cartoons?

Once upon a time, Funimation and ADV Films licensed western cartoons for release into the fabled "mass market". Justin gets into this bit of history. ― Taylor asked: I've gone through Funimation's catalog on DVDEmpire and watched the "not-so-hidden secret" videos from Skippy on Youtube, and from what I saw, during the mid-00s, Funimation licensed several cartoons for release on DVD and VHS (includin...
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This Week in Anime - Did FLCL Progressive Live Up to its Predecessor?

FLCL Progressive came to an end last weekend, and fans are still divided on the results. This week, Nick and Steve parse their gut feelings on this highly anticipated sequel. ― FLCL Progressive came to an end last weekend, and fans are still divided on the results. This week, Nick and Steve parse their gut feelings on this highly anticipated sequel. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the...
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Answerman - Who Dominated Dubs Before Funimation?

Funimation produces a towering mountain of English dubs every year, but they weren't always the most prolific dub studio in the country. Justin gets into the history of it all. ― Samuel asked: Before Funimation was founded, what was the big-time, English-dubbing company and is it still in existence? Maybe it's because I've been in the anime business so long (20 years!!), but until I got this questio...
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Shelf Life - Like the Clouds, Like the Wind

This made-for-TV romantic period piece might have been lost to time for English audiences if not for a recent license rescue. Paul enjoys this oddity along with all of this week's new anime releases. ― Since I didn't mention it last week, I'll use this space to point out that the Preview Guide for this season is up and running. In fact, by the time this column comes out, we should be just about done...
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The List - 7 Drastic Character Design Changes

When anime characters get a facelift, the results aren't always beloved (or even recognizable)! Here are just a few examples of art style shifts radically changing a beloved design—for better or for worse. ― I'm in Anime Expo recoup mode, guys. I braved miles upon miles of foot traffic, over 100,000 people crammed into Los Angeles Convention Center and lines out the door to get those panel reports a...
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Manga Answerman - Do English-Language Publishers Ever Collaborate On Manga Releases?

One reader writes in with an interesting find - an old copy of Hellsing with both Dark Horse AND Digital Manga logos on it! Deb gets to the bottom of this mystery - and talks with Dark Horse about how such a thing came about. ― Today's Answerman question comes from Ara, who found a manga that had a curious quirk: I just came across a copy of the English Hellsing manga in the wild and was surprised t...
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This Week in Games - Anime Expo Extravaganza

For Japanese game enthusiasts, Anime Expo 2018 served as an afterparty for this year's E3, overflowing with new games from Japan! Heidi goes through everything at the show, from Tokyo Ghoul to Kill la Kill to Soul Calibur VI! ― For niche Japanese game loving folks like me, Anime Expo may as well be the E3 afterparty: there's just as many announcements from AX that I'm super-excited for than there was...
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The Mike Toole Show - Spinoff City

This season's Kaiji spinoff Mr. Tonegawa: Middle-Management Blues sets Mike off on a journey through the long history of anime spinoffs - the good, the bad, the confusing and the sublime! ― Five years ago, I wrote a column about some of the works of Nobuyuki Fukumoto, a manga artist sometimes affectionately called FKMT by his fans. It was a celebration of milestones like Akagi and Kaiji, and several ...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Old Anime Never Re-released?

Justin goes in-depth on the numerous reasons your favorite unlicensed anime remains unlicensed, from music clearing headaches to personal grudges between licensing parties. ― Tony asked: One of my favorite anime in the early 90's, Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai, in Japan got a VHS release, but never got a single DVD release. It aired in Japan in October 1991, and got all 46 episodes released on ...
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Shelf Life - A Spirit of the Sun

James digs into a terribly uneven 2006 TV special from Madhouse about a Japan plagued by natural disasters, and Paul breaks down all this week's new anime releases. ― I didn't go to see fireworks on the 4th last week, but I did go to see Fireworks the anime movie on the 3rd. That's some clever timing on the part of whoever's in charge of promoting the film. The movie itself is alright, and it's cert...
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This Week in Games - Summer Holiday Chill

Heidi makes do with a slow July 4th week for gaming, knowing big things are right around the corner. Bleach characters head to Jump Force, the return of Taito, and more! ― Hey all! It's the 4th of July week, there's jack squat for new releases, and most of the big gaming announcements this week are going to come from publishers at Anime Expo. I've gotten wind of a few of these announcements, but sinc...
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Answerman - How Well Paid Are Dub Voice Actors?

It's a pretty simple question with a somewhat complex answer: how much do anime dub voice actors typically make for their services? Justin gets into it. ― Patricia asked: I've often wondered just how well paid voice actors are, are they contracted to any particular company or are they basically self employed? Is it a bit of both? Do they have managers or work for talent agencies who get them new pro...
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This Week in Anime - The Lovable New Thieves of Persona 5 the Animation

P5A continues to expand its cast as it barrels through the dense content of its source JRPG. We discuss our favorite Phantom Thieves and the highs and lows of their ensuing adventures. ― Persona 5 the Animation continues to expand its cast as it barrels through the dense content of its source JRPG. This week, Michelle and Steve discuss their favorite Phantom Thieves and the highs and lows of their en...
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Answerman - How Is A Dub Made in 5.1 When The Japanese Version Isn't?

In some cases, anime come with a Japanese 2.0 audio track, and an English language track in 5.1. How do they manage that? Justin gets into it. ― Troy asked: I've noticed that many US disc releases of anime titles (especially in the past decade) have English dub tracks that were listed as having 5.1 or "Dolby Digital" English audio, which would lead one to believe that it features "surround sound." H...
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Shelf Life - Initial D Legend 3: Dream

Paul reviews this conclusion to the theatrical trilogy remake of the original Initial D story to see if it's still worth revving up to watch. Plus, all this week's new anime releases! ― Sometimes my life lines up with my review schedule in amusing ways. Right after reviewing an Initial D movie for this week's column, I spent the weekend in the grandstands at an actual sports car race. As I sat there...
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The List - 7 Anime Counterparts to Marvel's Avengers

From alchemists to assassins to angry hunks of muscle, there's an anime hero to match every icon in Marvel's Avengers lineup. Here are just a handful who could go toe-to-toe with their spiritual siblings. ― Now that the Avengers: Infinity War memes have begun to die down, I can finally launch into my picks for the Anime Avengers. No, no, I don't mean Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers or Iron Man: Rise ...
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ANNCast - A Quick One While He's Away

We're losing our minds preparing for AX and the Summer 2018 Preview Guide, but we still had time to talk about the last couple weeks of Franxx, Full Metal Panic, a couple summer movies and more! ― ANNCast Episode 331 - A Quick One While He's Away We're losing our minds preparing for AX and the Summer 2018 Preview Guide, but we still had time to talk about the last couple weeks of Franxx, Full Metal ...
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Manga Answerman - What Kind Of Raw Files Do Manga Publishers Work From?

Deb explains in detail - and with helpful diagrams! - exactly how manga printing works, and the difference between first-generation manga art and 3rd generation reproductions. ― Q: Hi there, after a while since the last time i bought some good old paper manga, and I noticed some very good editing, maybe even TOO good, so a question came up in my mind: when a manga gets officially licensed does the p...
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This Week in Anime - My Hero Academia Reaches New Heights of Greatness

All Might introduced fans to a whole new world of smash this week, leaving everyone reeling from the fallout. Nick and Steve get passionate about what this drastic turn for the story means to them. ― My Hero Academia introduced fans to a whole new world of smash this week, leaving everyone reeling from the fallout. This week, Nick and Steve get passionate about what this drastic turn for the story me...
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This Week in Games - Denials of (fan)Service

Heidi investigates the strange case of Omega Labyrinth Z, a racy anime RPG once approved by Sony for release - and then suddenly yanked. PLUS: PUBG vs. Fortnite, Fighting Exlayer and this week's biggest gaming news and new releases! ― Hey folks! It's another relatively quiet week in terms of game news, so I'll take this opportunity to do my civic duty and remind you all that annual speedrunning marat...
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Answerman - How Expensive Is Housing In Japan?

This season's Hinamatsuri raises a question: the rent is too high in pretty much every major metropolitan city, but what about Japan's housing market? Is it too expensive to live in Tokyo? Justin gets into the details. ― Cuspy asked: Affordable housing is a pretty big crisis in the States, but if there's an issue with affordable housing in Japan it certainly isn't shown in anime. Anime characters li...
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This Week in Anime - Why Hinamatsuri Was the Best Comedy of the Season

Hinamatsuri warmed hearts and busted guts this past spring with a treasure trove of unexpected gags. We reflect on our favorite moments and ponder on just what made this comedy special. ― Hinamatsuri warmed hearts and busted guts this past spring with a treasure trove of unexpected gags. This week, Michelle and Steve reflect on their favorite moments and ponder on just what made this show special. Di...
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Shelf Life - Grimoire of Zero

Gabriella Ekens reconsiders the adventures of a little witch and a mercenary tiger in Grimoire of Zero. PLUS: all of this week's brand new anime DVD & bluray releases! ― The library I work in is going through some renovations this summer, which sets up an interesting quandary: is there any point in telling people to be quiet when there's a bunch of dudes with power tools tearing up the lobby? Just a...
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Answerman - How Do TV Ratings Apply To Anime?

How do TV ratings work in Japan? Are they just using the Nielsen system like the US, and how much do ratings really impact late night TV anime? Justin gets into it. ― Rachel asked: Many Americans know that the Nielsen rating system determines which show stays on television and which show goes off the air. This is how many networks make or lose money. But not everyone knows that it doesn't just apply...
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The Mike Toole Show - Anime's Best Eleven

In the spirit of the World Cup, Mike digs through the wide world of soccer anime & manga to find his eleven best, most compelling, occasionally downright weirdest players for a winning team. ― You just can't separate anime from soccer. I'm not just saying this because we're right in the midst of the pageantry and drama and sporting skill of another World Cup, but because it's literally true—and it cu...
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The List - 7 Soccer Anime to Celebrate the World Cup

GOOOOOOOOAAAAL! Bust out the vuvuzelas, because it's time for some anime fútbol favorites to celebrate this year's main event! ― The World Cup is currently underway in Russia, and fans around the globe have been biting their nails as upset after upset showed how the underdog can pull ahead in a dramatic way. One of the biggest examples so far is Mexico's win against Germany, a first for the European...
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Manga Answerman - Why Did Yen Press Give Away The Latest Volume of Overlord?

Yen Press recently gave away the newest volume of their hit light novel series Overlord - not the first volume, the most recent one. What was the thinking behind this? Deb gets into it. ― Q: Why is Yen Press offering the latest digital volume of the Overlord light novel series for free (at least on Amazon and B&N)? I was rather surprised to get an email last night from Amazon showing a $0.00 price. ...
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This Week in Anime - The Rowdy Rogues' Gallery of Golden Kamuy

From horny hunters to crazed cannibals, Golden Kamuy has some of the screwiest villains of the anime season. Michelle and Jacob discuss their favorite (and least favorite) rapscallions on the trail of the Ainu treasure. ― From horny hunters to crazed cannibals, Golden Kamuy has some of the screwiest villains of the anime season. This week, Michelle and Jacob discuss their favorite (and least favorite...
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This Week in Games - Kill la Kill on Consoles and Super Smash Bros. Speculation

Trigger's Kill la Kill is going to be a videogame! Heidi has all the details, for better and worse. PLUS: Street Fighter V lootboxes, Mario Tennis and wild speculation about who will be in the next Smash! ― Well, it's that post-E3 lull time. There are a couple of new releases and a smattering of news bits, but it's kind of a recovery period for players and media folks alike. That doesn't mean that no...
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Answerman - Is Cosplay Copyright Infringement?

Is your anime cosplay in violation of copyright law? Would that even be enforceable? Justin digs into it. ― Chris asked: Following up on your column from earlier this week, you said most fan works are copyright violations. What about cosplay? I've heard that some creators don't like their characters being cosplayed. Is it possible that they can sue the fans that dress up as their characters? Legally...
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This Week in Anime - What the Hell is Happening in Darling in the FRANXX?

Darling in the FRANXX has given some viewers whiplash with its unprecedented plot twists over the last few weeks. Nick and Steve discuss where things went wrong for them in this ambitious mecha series. ― Darling in the FRANXX has given some viewers whiplash with its unprecedented plot twists over the last few weeks. This week, Nick and Steve discuss where things went wrong for them in this ambitious ...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Fan Works OK, But Some Get Shut Down?

When it comes to fan works - cosplay, fanart, fan films and games - copyright seems to be only enforced arbitrarily. Why is that - and which fan works are less likely to get the hook? Justin gets into it. ― James asked: I have noticed that most companies tolerate fanart, fanfiction, and cosplay of their works, but not fan-films or fan-made video games, which seems very arbitrary and random, to me. W...
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Shelf Life - Kado: The Right Answer

James delves into a divisive CG sci fi thriller from last spring while Paul breaks down all this week's new anime releases! ― I've officially hit the point in every anime season where I look at my streaming queue and think, "Aw, crap." Apart from the two shows I'm covering for streaming reviews, I'm weeks and weeks behind on everything. I sense a late-night marathon in my immediate future. Welcome t...
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This Week in Games - E3 Part 2: Game Announcements Ahoy!

This special sunday edition of This Week in Games collects E3's most exciting game announcements, plus the rest of this week's gaming news. If you feel like you missed anything at E3, catch up here! ― And we're back with the second part of our E3 news extravaganza! Except that, as I write this, the internet is losing its mind over something totally unrelated to E3: a tease by Studio Trigger that it's...
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The List - 6 Anime to Watch With Your Dad

Introducing anime to newbies can be a weird experience, especially if that newbie is your own dad! Here are some pops-friendly anime options just in time for Father's Day! ― I just got back from camping out in the woods (okay it was a state park) and roughing it old school (in a cabin) but while much of America is barbecuing with their folks, it's the perfect opportunity to turn on one of these show...
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ANNCast - Giant-Size Double Feature ANNCast

FIRST! Zac and Jacob return to the maddening world of DARLING in the FRANXX , PLUS FLCL2! THEN: Dave and Graziella from Friends from the Internet are back for 90 minutes of our E3 Game Show! It's all videogames! C'mon in! ― ANNCast Episode 330 - Giant-Size Double Feature ANNCast FIRST! Zac and Jacob return to the maddening world of Darling in the Franxx, PLUS FLCL2! THEN: Dave and Graziella from Fri...
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Manga Answerman - Do's and Don'ts of Meeting Convention Guests from Japan

Now that the 2018 summer convention season is in full swing, fans will soon have the chance to meet manga and light novel authors and artists from Japan! Here are some friendly tips for how to interact with your favorite creator. ― Now that the 2018 summer anime and comic convention season is in full swing, North American fans are in for a treat – the chance to meet some manga and light novel author...
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This Week in Anime - Why You Should Watch GeGeGe no Kitarō

Kitarō is a classic manga with a long history of different adaptations, but this newest series is surprisingly relevant to the modern day. We explain why you should check out this unusually biting kids' horror anthology. ― GeGeGe no Kitarō is a classic manga with a long history of different adaptations, but this newest series is surprisingly relevant to the modern day. This week, Nick and Steve expla...
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Answerman - Why Don't Drama CDs Get Released Outside of Japan?

Drama CDs are incredibly commonplace for anime from almost every genre, so why aren't English translations made available for them? Justin breaks down the practical problems with bringing this material stateside. ― Rachel asked: Many anime, manga and video game series sometimes get adapted into a audio drama CD, why aren't audio drama CDs released here in North America? Few people want them, and the...
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This Week in Games: E3 Press Conference Roundup

Heidi has all the best and most exciting trailers from this year's E3 press conferences, from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to Devil May Cry 5 and - of course - plenty of Kingdom Hearts III! Check it out all in one place. ― Hello, folks! Welcome to part one of a special two-part This Week in Games focusing on E3. For the first time in 15 years, I'm not actually at E3… but I've been glued to Twitch and T...
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This Week in Anime - What the Hell is Happening in To Be Heroine?

This truly unusual take on isekai stars a girl who must fight for her future using anthropomorphized articles of clothing, but is there more to this web series lurking under its silly surface? We delve into this ambitious Chinese coproduction. ― To Be Heroine is a truly unusual take on isekai where one girl must fight for her future using anthropomorphized articles of clothing, but is there more to t...
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Answerman - Why Do Credits Only Sometimes Get Translated?

How exactly do anime companies go about deciding how to translate anime credits into English? How come you almost never see English credits in an anime OP? Justin gets into it. ― Jayke asked: I love it when publishers translate anime credits and put them into the OPs and EDs in English. Funimation used to do this with like every release (although they've faltered on this a bit as of late), and other...
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Shelf Life - Tokyo Ghoul: The Movie

Paul finds out if this live-action version of Kaneki Ken's story can live up to the gore and gristle of its source manga. Plus, all this week's new anime releases! ― A few months ago, a friend of mine mentioned that there was a badminton-themed anime in the works. I assumed he was joking, but it's totally happening, it's called Hanebad, and it's coming out next month. I assume there will also be a s...
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Column - Mer-Maid in Japan

Ponyo, Lu over the Wall, Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch - there are a TON of mermaids in anime and anime about mermaids, so what better time for Mike to do a - wait for it - deep dive? ― A couple of months back, my friend and colleague Erin Finnegan (keep an eye on her VR Puppet Murder Mystery kickstarter, which just wrapped its initial funding period successfully!) hit me up on social media with a...
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The List - 6 Magical Boys

Punishing villains in the name of the moon isn’t just for the ladies anymore! Here are a few fellas with some sparkling superpowers of their own. ― Magical girls date back nearly 50 years but another group of transforming, magic-wielding, mascot-having characters are joining their female predecessors in the spotlight. MAGICAL BOYS. Sure, if we squint hard enough, Sentai heroes are a kind of magical ...
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Manga Answerman - Can Mangaka Work With Multiple Publishers At Once?

It seems like an enormous workload, but is it possible for a mangaka to work on multiple series at once, across different publishers? Deb gets into it. ― Q: Can a Mangaka work with two to three (or more) different manga publishing companies at the same time, all with a different series? Yes. They certainly can, and some certainly do. The astounding work ethic (or back-breaking workload) of a Japanes...
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This Week in Anime - Joe's Rough Road to Megalonia

The hits keep on coming in MEGALOBOX, but the road to dusty death is paved with fascinating foes. We examine the many multi-faceted fighters Joe has faced so far. ― The hits keep on coming in MEGALOBOX, but the road to dusty death is paved with some fascinating foes. This week, Nick and Steve examine the many multi-faceted fighters Joe has faced so far. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by...
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This Week in Games - The Unseen World of Pokemon

Heidi counts down the final moments before this year's E3 with the thrilling reveal of history's unseen Pokemon. Plus: Tales of Vesperia might be coming back, Tetris Effect, fighting game news and much more! ― We're getting close, folks. E3 is just around the corner. In fact, the official E3 Twitter account thinks it's already here. Can you feel the excitement in the air? Are you eagerly anticipating...
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Answerman - Does Getting Free Copies Of Stuff Sway Opinions Of Critics?

Anime and manga critics often get free copies of the shows and books they're reviewing. Doesn't that compromise their opinions? Justin gets into it. ― Anonymous asked: How do you feel about screeners and review copies? I've heard some people argue that screeners are problematic because reviewers end up "owing" publishers good reviews, in some form or other. Yet, every mainstream review source--your ...
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This Week in Anime - FLCL Returns in Two New Flavors

FLCL Progressive and FLCL Alternative have rocked their way onto Toonami to put a new spin on the classic series. Nick and Steve discuss what we know so far about these two very different approaches to the material. ― FLCL Progressive and FLCL Alternative have rocked their way onto Toonami to put a new spin on the classic series. This week, Nick and Steve discuss what we know so far about these two v...
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Shelf Life - Anonymous Noise

Anonymous Noise promises to rock you, but comes up a little short. PLUS: all of this week's new anime DVD and bluray releases! ― I learned something while getting my measurements taken for a suit this week: being part of a wedding party is absurdly expensive. Between the clothing, the bachelor/bachelorette party, the wedding gifts, and all the travel involved, celebrating the lifelong happiness of y...
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Answerman - Why Do Anime Conventions Have Raves?

"Raves" largely went out of style in the 1990s, but anime conventions all over the country feature one as a major programming draw. What's the story behind this phenomenon? Justin gets into it. ― Jacob asked: I have been attending conventions for a wile and one thing I have never really understood was the Saturday and sometimes Friday night dance/rave that almost every convention holds now. Honestly...
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The List - 7 Strangest Isekai Deaths

Reincarnation into a fantasy world is a common staple of isekai light novels, but in order to be reincarnated, first you must die! Here are some of the most cruel and unusual demises that protagonists have suffered before starting their new lives. ― Everyone in anime is looking for a new lease on life nowadays, preferably in an alternate world with a few new magic abilities to call their own. Some l...
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Manga Answerman - Why Do So Many Manga Artists Avoid Being Photographed?

Many mangaka are notoriously camera-shy, choosing instead to only represent themselves with an illustration. What are their reasons for this? Deb gets into it. ― Q: Why do a lot of manga artists prefer to not have their photos taken at events, like comic or anime conventions or book signings? This particular question has puzzled and bedeviled me for a while. As a journalist who occasionally intervie...
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This Week in Games: Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu!

It's a huge week for game news - including Pokemon finally coming to your Switch, in a whole bunch of exciting ways. PLUS: Fallout 76, Heidi's review of the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection and much much more! ― You can tell we're close to E3 season because the pre-announcement announcements are already coming in strong. I don't really understand why people watched hours upon hours of a dul...
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This Week in Anime - Is Tokyo Ghoul:re Worth Returning For?

Three years after the tragic conclusion of Tokyo Ghoul, Tokyo Ghoul:re has returned to soft reboot Kaneki Ken's story. We suss out whether this prolonged continuation offers anything special enough to bring fans back to the action. ― Three years after the tragic conclusion of Tokyo Ghoul, Tokyo Ghoul:re has returned to soft reboot Kaneki Ken's story. This week, Nick and Steve suss out whether this pr...

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