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The List - 7 Super Bizarre Dating Sims

Dating sim games have become increasingly awesome over the years, allowing you to date dinosaurs, bug men, alpacas, and all sorts of strange stuff. Here are seven of the weirdest! ― Romance simulators, and more recently romance training game hybrids, are always looking for a new way to spin the "one protagonist, many love interests" set-up. A company can only push so many run-of-the-mill high school...
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ANNCast - Nicholas' Cage

Zac took a trip to the Lost Village and wants answers from Jacob and special guest Nick Creamer, who joins the show for some live questions and a whole lot of debate about this season's big shows! ― ANNCast Episode 259: Nicholas' Cage Zac took a trip to the Lost Village and wants answers from Jacob and special guest Nick Creamer, who joins the show for some live questions and a whole lot of debate a...
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Answerman - Why Do I See Pixels In Theatrical Anime Releases?

A disappointing theatrical exhibition of a Ghibli classic leads one reader to ask Justin why we sometimes see pixels and other low-resolution artifacts even on the silver screen. ― Will asks: I've had the good fortune to be able to see numerous anime films at the cinema over the years - most recently your favourite, Only Yesterday. As I like to immerse myself in the visuals I prefer to sit towards t...
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The X Button - Crowdfunding in Zombie Space

This week: exploring new Kickstarters with zombie girls, galactic knights, and self-indulgence! Plus Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius, Wild Guns Reloaded, and two potential game-industry icons! ― Last week brought important news for the world of game-company mascots. Hideo Kojima remains coy about his first game after his departure from Konami, but the creator of Metal Gear and Snatcher (and, yes, Police...
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Answerman - Why Isn't Korean Anime More Of A Thing?

It seems like South Korea's anime industry should be a force in the world; is there a reason it hasn't quite developed? Justin gets into it. ― Mantaray59 asks: My question is about Korean animation. I remember back in 2009 there being an anime ‘Winter Sonata’ that was a Korean production and aired in Japan with Japanese subtitles, and how rare this was. Now I know South Korea and Japan don't exactly...
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Answerman - Will Anime Discs Keep Being Sold At Major Retailers?

Many fans have noticed the dwindling real estate held by anime DVDs and blurays on retail shelves nationwide - is this trend eventually going to spell the end of anime in major retail locations? ― Dominic asks: When it comes with selling anime to physical retailers, some publishers, such as Aniplex of America, PonyCan USA and NISA, only sell to specialist anime stores (for example: Anime Jungle in L...
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Shelf Life - Date A Live II

Paul takes on the second season of Date A Live, which unbelievably manages to cram in even more superpowered girls than the first season. PLUS: This week's new anime releases! ― I had a very small, very nerdy epiphany this week. I was shopping around for some new miniatures for the X-Wing tabletop game when it occurred to me that some things change very little from childhood to adulthood. I still pl...
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The Mike Toole Show - Night of the Hunter x Hunter

The beloved shonen adventure anime Hunter x Hunter is coming to Toonami, which prompts Mike to launch into a full appreciation of this often undervalued action masterpiece. ― A few years back, the 2011 version of Hunter x Hunter was appointment TV for me. I watched it every weekend (and later, every Tuesday), eager for its thrills, plot twists, and the fun chemistry between heroes Gon and Killua. Lat...
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The List - 6 of Anime's Less-Than-Finest Officers

When you're in trouble, call the police - just hope you don't get any one of these particularly unqualified officers. ― Incompetent cops are a common foil in Western fiction, especially if the main character is a vigilante superhero or the victim of a crime that's gone unpunished. It isn't nearly as common in anime though, where blue bloods are filled with types like Akane Tsunemori, Natsumi Tsujimo...
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Answerman - What Determines Whether Songs In Anime Get Dubbed?

When an anime has a musical number or an insert song, they're only occasionally dubbed into English - why is that, and how are those decisions made? ― Dustin asks: The English dub of Love Live! transitions from English dialogue to the original song performances of the Japanese seiyuu. In other cases like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the insert songs are sung in English. What's the process of d...
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The X Button - Bandai Namco's Anime Wave

This week: Bandai Namco’s staggering anime videogame lineup of Jojo’s, Sword Art Online, One Piece, and more! Plus Persona 3, Phoenix Wright, and the best new Pokemon! ― When the Pokemon craze enveloped children everywhere in the late 1990s, comedians and parents and cultural pundits opined that it would soon give way to some other fad. I wonder if any of them still predict that. Bolstered by Ninten...
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Answerman - Would An American Creator Have Control Over Their Anime?

If JK Rowling agreed to an anime adaptation of Harry Potter, how much creative control - or even input - would she really have? Justin gets into it. ― Branko asks: Japanese authors appear to have a lot of control over how their works get adapted into anime. However, that is not true everywhere especially in Hollywood. So if an American author, like say George R.R. Martin wanted to produce an anime a...
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Answerman - Why Do Older Funimation DVDs Have Multi-Angle Credits?

One reader uncovers an ambitious DVD extra from years and years ago, one forgotten by time that makes little sense to modern man. Justin explains the mystery. ― Chris A asks: A handful of my older Funimation DVDs (“Rumbling Hearts” and the 2003 “Fullmetal Alchemist” come to mind) will show an English or Japanese logo in the opening titles based on what the selected audio language is. They accomplish...
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Shelf Life - C3

The fanservicey supernatural drama of C3 baffles and intrigues Gabriella Ekens, but is it enough for a recommendation? PLUS: all of this week's new anime releases! ― About once or twice a year, I find myself putting off watching the last few episodes of an anime series for an unreasonably long time. It's almost never because the show is bad, but rather because I have a subconscious desire for it to ...
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The List - 7 Twisted Wishes Gone Wrong

The monkey's paw rules are simple: you get one wish, anything your heart desires, but there will be horrible consequences as a result. It's happened at least seven times in anime! ― Last week's list was all about lovable monkeys, but this week I'm taking on a side of our furry relatives that's a whole lot more sinister: the Monkey's Paw. Thanks to a famous short story by William Wymark Jacobs, this ...
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ANNCast - RahXephon

Zac, Jacob and a special guest revisit the beautifully composed and thoughtfully constructed Evangelion-alike RahXephon after putting it off for way, way too long. ― ANNCast Episode 258: RahXephon Zac, Jacob and listener Alexander Smit (Twitter @BioD42) revisit the beautifully composed and thoughtfully constructed Evangelion-alike RahXephon after putting it off for way, way too long. You can listen ...
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Answerman - Why Do American Companies Bother To Release Filler Episodes?

Everyone's irritated by filler, so why do American companies even bother dubbing those episodes and releasing them? Justin gets into it. ― Oni asks: Why do American companies dub, and show, filler episodes? I'm talking like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, why do they bother? These shows have MASSIVE backlogs, both Naruto and One Piece are like 4-5 years ahead of the US Toonami broadcasts at this point, w...
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The X Button - Import Roundup With Gundam Breaker

This week: it’s an import recap with Gundam, Digimon, and a deadly, mist-filled castle! Plus The King of Fighters, Cave shooters, and Nintendo’s next move! ― I think I'll get my inevitable Valkyrie Profile update out of the way at the start of this column. I'm still playing Valkyrie Anatomia, the mobile-game series prequel that hit Japan last month, and I'm still enjoying it. I concluded long ago th...
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Answerman - Are Japanese Bento Boxes Really So Extravagant?

Increasingly elaborate and beautiful bento boxes show up in anime all the time - are they really that over-the-top and difficult to make? ― Jake asks: I have watched a lot of anime and I have noticed something interesting with the food most characters eat. It seems like a lot of time and attention is put into the average breakfast and bento box lunches, which appear to be really extravagant. I might...
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Answerman - Why Do Manga Artists Prefer To Stay Anonymous?

Famous mangaka for series like Death Note can be famously withdrawn from the public eye, rarely granting interviews or even pictures. What's with that? ― Federico asks: Why in recent years are manga artists so obsessed with privacy, to the point we know next to nothing about them? Decades ago they had no problem in being interviewed, filmed, photographed, and mostly anyone who was interested in thei...
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Shelf Life - Eden of the East Limited Edition

Eden of the East made a huge splash back in 2009, but how well has its techno-thriller storyline aged? James checks out Funimation's fancy new special edition. PLUS: this week's new releases! ― As amusing as I find Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto, I'm increasingly convinced that I'm primarily watching it as an excuse to enjoy its opening theme once a week. It's cool, cooler, coolest. Before we dive ...
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The Mike Toole Show - Food Wars for Thought

Mike tries out the flashy shonen cooking action of Food Wars, but an enticing aroma leads him further to Oishinbo, the series that really catapulted food manga into popular consciousness. Let's eat! ― I've spent the last couple of weeks commuting back and forth to the library, in pursuit of a particular manga series. You may remember, from my Monster Girl Hoedown column, that I'm quite fond of levera...
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The List - 12 Lovable Anime Monkeys

They said it couldn't be done, but when asked to compile a list of monkeys in anime, you simply can't have less than twelve, including Dragon Ball Z, Blood Blockade Battlefront and much more! ― Our regular list-maker extraordinaire, Lynzee Loveridge, is going on hiatus for a couple weeks, so I'll be filling in while she's away. My name's Jacob Chapman, and this week, I've got monkeys on my mind. Why...
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Answerman - Is Funimation Entering the UK Market?

One reader wants to know if Funimation's streaming expansion into the UK means they're interested in selling blurays in the UK too. Justin gets into it. ― Marco asks: Last year Manga Entertainment's sub-license of Funimation titles for release in the UK ended. Today Funimation titles Funimation appear on Amazon UK, offered directly from Funimation themselves. This month Funimation Launched their Fun...
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The X Button - Interview: Tekken 7

This week: Producer Katsuhiro Harada on Tekken 7 and the world of fighting games! Plus a Suda51 classic, Exist Archive, old computer novelties, and the return of Valkyrie Profile! ― It's hard to know where to start when discussing Prince. He leaves behind an immense body of work, even if you ignore the massive archive of material he never released in his lifetime. Well, this is a column about video ...
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Answerman - Is Hollywood Pillaging Anime And Manga For Material?

Everyone's up in arms about Ghost in the Shell, but the charge that Hollywood steals material from anime and manga has been around forever. Is there any truth to it? ― Eldar asks: In a wake of Ghost in the Shell whitewashing controversy, I keep hearing rants about how creatively bankrupt Hollywood is and how it's going to ruin every anime ever made. But, I can count the number of anime/manga adaptat...
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Answerman - How Hard Is It To License Western Music For Use In Anime?

Savage Garden is in Jojo's Bizarre Adventure! How does that happen, how much does it cost, and how tough is it to get those music rights for anime? Justin dives in. ― Chris asks: With the release of Jojo 4 using the hit song "I Want You" by Savage Garden. I am wondering how do they get this song to play on legal streamers? Considering it may be an expensive song. Is streaming not the same as buying ...
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Shelf Life - Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie

There's a brand-new Ghost in the Shell movie, based on the ARISE series - does it retain the cyberpunk charm of the original? Paul finds out. PLUS: All of this week's new anime DVD and bluray releases! ― I've gotten into the habit of taking notes as I watch anime for my episode reviews here on ANN, but it's usually nothing all that extensive. A few character names here, an important item or location...
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The List - 8 Dubious Anime Dub Opening Songs

There once was a magical time in anime dub history where North American anime licensors dubbed over Japanese opening and ending songs. These eight songs represent the very worst the English anime song genre has to offer. ― Lynzee Loveridge is on a short hiatus, so this week we're reprinting a classic List. New columns will return next Saturday! There once was a magical time in anime dub history wher...
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Answerman - Why Do Streaming Anime Websites Still Use Flash?

Most anime streaming websites use Flash, which most people agree is a huge pain. Why don't they use the more accessible HTML5? Justin digs into it. ― Stefan asks: I notice that all the major anime streaming providers use Flash-based players for their desktop services. In view of the performance and compatibility advantages to HTML5 videos, why do you think this is the case? Is it a requirement impos...
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The X Button - Interview: Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness

This week: Star Ocean producer Shuichi Kobayashi talks sequels, scandalous attire, and Valkyrie Profile! Plus Let it Die, Nier: Automata, and a dangerous new direction for games. ― Welcome to another edition of the X Button. I must interrupt your regularly scheduled Valkyrie Profile updates for some news about Sony's new PlayStation 4. Yes, some solid rumors point to Sony releasing an upgraded versi...
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Answerman - Is Anime Translated Faithfully In Other Languages?

Do non-English anime translations come directly from the original Japanese, or are they translated from the English version? Justin gets into why Spanish-language Pokemon sounds a lot like English-language Pokemon. ― Alfonso asks: The Latin American Spanish dubs of Sailor Moon and Pokemon used the American names of the characters on this region. While I haven't verified it myself, I would assume the...
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Answerman - Are Physical Anime Releases In Danger?

Common wisdom dictates that most people watch anime streaming now - are DVD and Bluray headed for the dustbin of history? Justin chimes in. ― RPGothic asks: With streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon getting exclusive rights to series and anime programming blocks, plus the recent crunchyroll/kadokawa deal, what does this mean for the home video market? I know dvds and blurays sales are on th...
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Shelf Life - Tonari no Seki-kun

Paul kills time and goofs off with Tonari no Seki-kun, a short-form sleeper hit out on bluray now from Sentai Filmworks. PLUS: an avalanche of this week's new anime releases! ― It's rare for one single scene to sell me on an entire series, but that's exactly what happened when I watched the first episode of Flying Witch last week. Near the end of the episode, the main character wanders off into the ...
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The Mike Toole Show - Macross the Universe

A search for the Macross: Do You Remember Love bluray in Japan's DVD shops sends Mike on a trip through the storied franchise's history and all the weird legal problems that keep it out of American hands. ― Over a week into my Japan trip (yep, I'm still talking about that damn trip! Don't worry, it's almost out of my system), I still hadn't managed to figure out how alphabetical order worked in DVD a...
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The List - 7 Weirdest Short Programs

Short-form anime has exploded in number over the last few years, ranging from comedy to drama to the downright surreal. Here are seven of the strangest! ― Japan's offering of short anime programs, ranging from five minutes to 15 minutes, has gotten more diverse in recent years. The format was previously relegated to flash-animated comedy like FROGMAN'S long-running Eagle Talon series or shoddy attem...
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ANNCast - Spring Forward, Fall Back

Zac and Jacob wrap up the spring season and pick their favorites from the lot, including My Hero Academia, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and much much more, plus live questions! ― ANNCast Episode 257: Spring Forward, Fall Back Zac and Jacob wrap up the spring season and pick their favorites from the lot, including My Hero Academia, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and much much more, plus live question...
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Answerman - Why Are Some Manga Printed In Such Limited Quantities?

If you're a fan of lesser-known manga (or in some cases, middle volumes of popular long-running series) tracking down copies can be a nightmare. Justin explains why. ― Melissa asks: I've been a longtime fujoshi and now that I've got a stable job and can really expand my yaoi manga collection, I've noticed that many series are out of print, making it hard for me to track them down. I know a lot of ya...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Bravely Second: End Layer

This week: a look at Square Enix’s brand new Bravely Second! Plus Valkyrie Profile’s long-awaited return, a newly lost RPG, and a rediscovered fighting game! ― I hope you like Valkyrie Profile, because it comes up in this week's column yet again. And I actually have an excuse for discussing it, too! But first we have a mystery on our hands. It's rare for an unreleased video game to turn up, and it's...
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Answerman - What Does The Deal Between Crunchyroll And Kadokawa Mean?

Kadokawa and Crunchyroll announced a very significant partnership this week, but what does it mean for those companies and for the industry? Justin gets into it. ― Notorious2122 asks: I'm a little confused by the recently-announced deal between Crunchyroll and Kadokawa. Does this mean that CR will get all of the anime that Kadokawa publishes in Japan? Do publishing companies in Japan make the deals ...
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Answerman - What Happened With Anime Sols?

A few years back, a new anime crowdfunding platform emerged, promising to stream classic unreleased anime while raising money for DVD releases - and then it folded. Justin gets in to what happened. ― Sam J. asks: My question is the following (though whether it's an appropriate question for this column, I'll have to let you judge): What happened to Anime Sols? Did it have to happen? What lessons are ...
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Shelf Life - Lupin the Third: Jigen's Gravestone

The Woman Called Fujiko Mine gets one more shot at glory with Jigen's Gravestone, a spinoff movie set in the same Lupin universe. Paul gets grim 'n gritty with it. PLUS: all of this week's new anime releases! ― So many new seasons have been starting up in the last week or so. New anime season! New baseball season! OK, those are the only two I can think of off the top of my head, but it still feels l...
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Answerman - How Common Is It For Japanese Kids To Spend Time Overseas?

The mysterious overseas transfer student who is suddenly at the center of the story: you see it in countless anime, but how common is it? Justin gets into it. ― David asks: I've noticed that a common practice in anime to have a "foreign" character is to have them be someone born in Japan, but who moved to another country (it usually seems to be the US, although I believe I remember a few cases where...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Star Fox Zero

This week: the sights, sounds, and gimmicky little robots of Star Fox Zero! Plus Assault Suits, Mega Man, and yet another game-industry departure. ― Last week, we heard a little bit about Valkyrie Profile 3. To be specific, we heard about Shuichi Kobayashi, producer of the new Star Ocean, keeping a Valkyrie Profile 3 proposal in his files. That's no real shock, of course. Game companies have plenty ...
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Answerman - Why Would A Licensor Require a Dub?

Just how common is it for a Japanese company to require an English dub, like with Skip Beat, and why would any licensor demand that in the first place? Justin gets into it. ― Ryan asks: I have never thought of this until I read about the Skip Beat! kickstarter. Why would a Japanese company require a english dub for an American company to license a property? Wouldn't they be just as happy with a sub ...
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Answerman - What's With All The Censorship Lately?

Justin cuts to the chase about what is and is not "censorship" and where all the content edits in anime and video games are coming from these days. ― James asks: I have been seeing much news about censorship in video games, recently, and I am wondering why it is still occurring; in this day and age, when people can access virtually anything instantly on the internet, how can companies still think th...
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Shelf Life - Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Advance

The third Evangelion movie gets another look from Gabriella Ekens, who has some advice for poor Shinji. PLUS: This week's avalanche of new anime releases! ― With most of the shows I was following over the winter already over (Is it time for Haikyu season 3 yet?), I started watching Gate on a whim last week. I've always been a little bit of a military otaku at heart, so I'm having a blast watching ta...
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The Mike Toole Show - Grudge Match

All the ruckus over Batman v Superman gets Mike thinking about all the crossovers and team-ups anime has attempted over the years, including the new Cyborg 009 vs. Devilman! ― Since the movie came out a couple of weeks back, the entire nerd section of the internet has been buzzing about this new Batman v Superman film. Is it good? Is it really bad? Is Ben Affleck Batman better than Ben Affleck Darede...
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The List - 7 Anime from When Maids Ruled the Earth

Journey with us back to a land before time, an era when sea, sky and land were dominated by the majestic, the proud, the beloved and eternal Maido. ― Anime cycles through trends, like all fictional media. Twilight gave rise to plenty of supernatural teen lit romance series trying to mirror Meyer's success while other authors are turning to fairy tale reimaginings to cater to Once Upon a Time viewers...
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ANNCast - From The New World

Zac and Jacob didn't know going in that From The New World would become one of the best anime they've ever seen, but it sure was a nice surprise. Guest Max Holl joins the discussion. ― ANNCast Episode 256: From The New World Zac and Jacob didn't know going in that From The New World would become one of the best anime they've ever seen, but it sure was a nice surprise. Guest Max Holl joins the discus...
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Answerman - Why Don't We Have A Subscription Manga Service Yet?

One reader wants to know why "The Netflix of Manga" doesn't appear to exist yet, and Justin digs into the many possible reasons why. ― Matthew asks: What's stopping an English language manga distributor (Viz, Yen Press, etc.) from incorporating an all access subscription model to their online libraries? Unlimited access for a monthly or yearly subscription fee seems to currently work well for the an...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Nights of Azure

This week: A look at the darker turns of Gust’s new action-RPG! Plus arcade comebacks, Fire Emblem fallout, and a long-lost relic of the 1990s! ― I came down with a stomach virus last week, and it made me think about the mixed blessing of staying home sick when I was a kid. I'd stretch out in bed, sip flat 7-Up, read books and magazines, and maybe get propped up in front of the TV if I was well into...
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Answerman - Why Haven't Light Novels And Visual Novels Caught On In America?

Light novels and visual novels have both had plenty of niche success in the US, but neither medium has broken mainstream - why is that? Justin considers the possibilities. ― Carl asks: I was wondering why light novels and visual novels haven't caught on in the US the way Anime and Manga have. While some Light Novels and arguably less Visual Novels have been translated they seem to be huge in Japan b...
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Answerman - Is There A Future For "Spinoff" Anime Conventions?

Japan Expo USA is on hiatus indefinitely and a few other conventions "spun off" from larger events seem to be having a little trouble - is there a future for these shows? ― Chris asks: I see Japan Expo USA has gone into hiatus mode, and we're waiting on dates and a location for the next Otakon Vegas. Are these spinoff cons going to make it, and what's holding them back? Despite their popularity, ani...
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Shelf Life - Kingdom Season 1

Funimation quietly released season one of Kingdom, a little-seen anime about China's Warring States period in a big DVD box. James takes a look. PLUS: this week's new releases! ― There are some weeks when nothing on the new release list really catches my eye, but this week ain't one of them. There's some really good stuff coming out, and a lot of it comes in comes in a big, shiny box full of merchan...
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The List - 6 Steampunk Anime to Whet Your Whistle

If it looks Victorian and it has a bunch of gears and watch parts on it, then it's Steampunk! Anime has a rich tradition of embracing the steampunk aesthetic - here are six of the coolest! ― Steampunk is one facet of geek interests that even the uninitiated has probably seen at anime conventions thanks to cosplay. Steampunk versions of popular characters, be it Disney princesses or Ghostbusters, hav...
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Answerman - What Holidays Are Celebrated Only In Japan?

Holidays are frequently strip-mined for use in anime storylines, but Japan's holidays often look a lot different from those in the West. Justin breaks it down. ― T. Brown asks: So many animes cover holidays like Christmas, Valentine's day, and White day, but at there any other holidays that are celebrated that are specifically Eastern or Japanese? It's true that Western holidays tend to get most of ...
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ANNCast - Patience Rewarded

Zac and Jacob take a break before Spring Preview Guide to wrap up the winter season, hype up the spring and discuss the FLCL rebirth, the Escaflowne kickstarter and more! ― ANNCast Episode 255: Patience Rewarded Zac and Jacob take a break before Spring Preview Guide to wrap up the winter season, hype up the spring and discuss the FLCL rebirth, the Escaflowne kickstarter and more! You can listen to t...
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Answerman - How Do Anime Companies Quality-Check Their Work?

There are a million little factors that can go wrong with any bluray - how do anime companies catch (or miss) all those little mistakes? Justin dives in. ― Brian asks: What sort of QA process to anime companies have? I ask this because it seems to me that I've come across a whole variety of issues that at points seem unacceptable for a retail release, such as a sub only show completely missing a spo...
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Answerman - Why Aren't More Dubs Available For Streaming?

One reader observes that while subtitled anime is plentiful in the streaming world, dubbed shows still lag behind - why is that? Justin gets into it. ― Scotty asks: Do you know why site likes Hulu and Crunchyroll only let you steam the subbed versions of anime even if there is a dub available. I'm a paying member of both but they only have some dubs there but I know some shows actually have them. Ar...
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Shelf Life - Free! Eternal Summer

Those swim boys are at it again, this time with a controversial dub - Gabriella Ekens dives in. PLUS: Your complete list of this week's new anime releases, and a new anime collection! ― Spring has sprung, and in my corner of the world that means that racing season is back in full swing. Just as some people obsess over baseball or football, I waste nearly every weekend from March through November wat...
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The Mike Toole Show - The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Gerry Anderson's puppet adventure show Thunderbirds had an enormous impact on anime; Mike takes a tour through some of the franchise's weird, wild and occasionally successful anime adaptations. ― When I'm lucky enough to hit the road and head overseas, I often find myself looking for two distinct experiences. Of course, I'll seek out completely new things—unfamiliar food and drink, and local art and ...
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7 Original Pokemon Rumors Unmasked

Back in 1998, the original Pokemon game spawned countless urban legends and rumors about hidden secrets in the game - here are seven of the most outlandish! ― The Pokemon game franchise's 20th anniversary is in full swing this year, with nostalgic revisits to Red, Blue and Green in the form of merchandise, game ports, and event tie-ins. When the games first debuted in the U.S. in 1998, few were expe...
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Answerman - Why Do Companies Buy Rights For Territories They Don't Service?

Amazon is getting into the anime simulcast game, but their Prime service is available in a limited number of countries. Justin gets into the nitty-gritty of those rights. ― Corey asks: Hi! I'm asking this on the heels of the recent announcements from Amazon regarding Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, and now the entire Noitamina lineup. Amazon announced global streaming rights to Kabaneri, even though ...
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ANNCast - Beat The Clock

Ann Tomoko Yamamoto got Time of Eve off the ground on Kickstarter, and now she's back with the beloved - and underseen - shojo comedy Skip Beat, which has a big crowdfunding mountain to climb. ― ANNCast Episode 254: Beat The Clock Ann Tomoko Yamamoto got Time of Eve off the ground on Kickstarter, and now she's back with the beloved - and underseen - shojo dramedy Skip Beat, which has a big crowdfund...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

This week: a rundown on the new Senran Kagura: Estival Versus cavalcade of ninja! Plus the PlayStation VR, Romancing SaGa, and a shocking piece of Fire Emblem’s past! ― I hope you're enjoying Anime News Network's expanded video-game coverage, including Gabriella's look at Fire Emblem's history. It's very thorough, but there's one minor piece of the series I'd like to examine in greater detail: its e...
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Answerman - Who Watches Late Night Anime in Japan?

One reader wonders exactly who is watching something like Haruchika at 1:35am on a Wednesday. Justin has some insight. ― Ashley asks: Who does late-night anime in Japan target, age-wise? Lately it seems like when I talk about the intended audience for a late-night anime with my friends, a lot of them who only experience anime through a Western lens (i.e., only on Funimation, Crunchyroll, Adult Swim,...
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Answerman - Are AMVs And Other Fan Works Really "Fair Use?"

Arguments about this one have raged forever: are AMVs and other fan works that use clips from anime really "fair use" or are they just copyright infringement? Justin digs in. ― Jake asks: I have been hearing a lot discussion over the last few months about fair use and how many artists are getting a lot of push back from the copy right holders. It has made me think about AMV's and there position at c...
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Shelf Life - Terror in Resonance

Shinichiro Watanabe's terrorist teens get another look, plus this week's new releases and an anime collection you need to see to believe! ― I've been writing episode reviews for BBK/BRNK this season, and it's been an interesting little series to follow. The show uses CG character models instead of more traditional two-dimensional drawings, and it doesn't always work from an aesthetic standpoint. The...
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The List - 6 Most Dangerous Military Organizations in Anime

Sometimes our heroes aren't fighting against just one villain and a few henchmen - sometimes they're taking on an entire globe-conquering military force. ― There are few tropes capable of mirroring real world fears like a world power gone corrupt and its military running rampant. The backdrop is a common one, be it a dystopian future or a righteous war against a neighboring nation. Heroes have fough...
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Answerman - Why Do Voice Actors Work On Yaoi Drama CDs?

One reader wants to know why some Japanese voice actors (the straight ones, mostly) take yaoi and boys' love drama roles. Is there no stigma attached to playing gay in Japan? Justin gets into it. ― "Minako Sempai" asks: So this is something that I've always wondered about, most Yaoi manga tend to get adapted into drama cds or BL cds as some would like to call them. The male voice actors in these thi...
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The X Button - Import Roundup with Shin Megami Tensei

This week brings imports for Raiden, Shin Megami Tensei, and bug superheroes! Plus Ace Attorney’s best news yet, Zero Escape victims, and Kirby in a robot! ― So what was your favorite part of last week's Nintendo Direct? Wait, scratch that. What was your least favorite part? The front-runner there appears to be Nintendo's announcement of Super NES games arriving on the 3DS Virtual Console...the New ...
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Answerman - Are Manga Sales Increasing in the US?

Things seem pretty great in the world of manga publishing, but just how well is the industry doing? Justin breaks down some numbers. ― Cody asks: With book stores increasing their manga sections last year, and the amount of new series being picked up from different companies, is this a sign that people buying more manga is increasing? and if so do you think we'll reach a point where the price of man...
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Answerman - How Do You Cast Celebrities In An Anime Dub?

The casting process for your average anime dub is pretty well-known, but what happens when you have American celebrities in the mix? Justin explains. ― John asks: When you cast a dub full of celebrities like Only Yesterday, how is that process different from casting a "regular" anime dub that uses the usual pool of actors? Anime dubbing is a decidedly low-end affair when it comes to the entertainmen...
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Shelf Life - When They Cry Season 1

One of the most acclaimed horror anime series of all time finally gets a much-needed rerelease in America, this time on bluray. PLUS: the rest of this week's new anime releases! ― There are some weeks when one or two genres seem to dominate the new release list. I'll find myself thinking, "Wow, there's a lot of mecha stuff this week," or, "Son of a beach episode, where did this avalanche of harem co...
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The Mike Toole Show - Dark Side of the Moomin

If you've been an anime fan for a long time, odds are you've seen these weird creatures called Moomin at some point. If you've ever been curious what they are and where they came from, Mike's got the full report. ― I'm jetting off to Japan in a couple of weeks, the better to cover Anime Japan for this here website. This isn't purely a work trip, though—my wife is joining me, and we're building a vaca...
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The List - 7 Highly Questionable Videogame Adaptations

There are plenty of decent anime based on videogames, but the genre has kind of a crummy reputation for a reason: there are plenty of not-so-great game anime out there. Here are seven of 'em! ― Anime productions pull from a lot of places; in addition to manga and light novels, anime also routinely adapts storylines from popular videogames. While there are plenty of decent anime based on videogames, ...
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ANNCast - Criticproof

Zac and Jacob discuss the Psycho-Pass movie before gabbin' about anime criticism - what makes a good review, mistakes they've made, and much more. ― ANNCast Episode 253: Criticproof Zac and Jacob discuss the Psycho-Pass movie before gabbin' about anime criticism - what makes a good review, the mistakes they've made, and much more. You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download the MP...
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Answerman - How Important Are Hit Anime Series?

Does the anime industry need big hit shows to survive, or do people buy anime "because it's anime" and that sustains the market? Justin gets into it. ― Phil asks: Is the anime business hit-driven like other forms of media or do people buy it "because it's anime" and that sustains the market? Anime is, by and large, a hit-driven medium. By that I mean, the majority of anime series do not turn a profi...
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The X Button - Interview: Return to PopoloCrois

This week, we talk with XSEED’s Tom Lipschultz about the wonders of Return to PopoloCrois: A Story of Seasons Fairy Tale! Plus Black Rose Valkyrie, Bravely Second, and a retro-gaming debacle. ― A new Nintendo Direct airs later today, well after this column regularly shows its face. So I'll do what any proper pundit does: I'll make predictions. And when the Nintendo Direct actually broadcasts and con...
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Answerman - Who Actually "Owns" An Anime?

If you aren't familiar with what a production committee is, it's one of the most crucial components of the anime production pipeline. Justin lays it all out. ― Chris asks: While watching Clannad for the first time, I noticed that Pony Canyon leads in the production committee (they're listed on top of the credits). Do they own the show, or is it Kyoto Animation's? Is it like how there are higher ups ...
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Answerman - Who Polices Anime Copyrights?

If you've ever seen a Youtube takedown notice, you may have wondered just who or what is actually policing anime copyrights on the internet - Justin has the answer. ― Jacob asks: I'm seeing that there is Anime that is uploaded to YouTube by people that don't have copyrights. My question is Who is enforcing the Copyright (The Japanese Holder, The American License Holder, or the Manga Holder)? It depe...
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Shelf Life - Lord Marksman and Vanadis

It's all big swords, big fantasy, and big... well, adventure in Lord Marksman and Vanadis, and Paul's never been readier for it. PLUS: This week's new releases, and a new collection to admire! ― I took a look at the promo clips from the Terraformars live-action movie the other day. I'm not sure they made want to see the whole film, but they did make me briefly consider going back and rewatching Star...
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The List - Six Completely Dissimilar Twins

Everyone expects twins to be the mirror image of one another, but in these six cases, sibling rivalry takes on an entirely new meaning. ― Twins remain a topic that entertainment loves to revisit. Genetically identical people are used in horror to highlight fears of lack of individual identity. Fiction looks at twins as having a mythical connection from the time spent in the womb ranging from psychic...
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Answerman - Can English-Speaking Fans Critique Japanese Voice Acting?

One reader's actor friend had some words for the Japanese acting in Fullmetal Alchemist, and asks Justin if it's possible for Western fans to critique Japanese voice acting. ― Eldar asks: Recently I showed an anime (it was Fullmetal Alchemist) to my close friend, who's a professional theatre director (he works on television these days) and while he liked what he saw (I think), one of his questions b...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

We dive into Digimon’s big North American comeback this week! Plus Super Robot Wars, Ys, Guilty Gear, and more! ― I wasn't kidding when I mentioned that Fire Emblem Fates spawned the first real video-game controversy of 2016. Nintendo's localization of the game changes a few things: the translators rewrote a scene where the player's avatar drugs a female mercenary to shake her fixation with beautifu...
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Answerman - Why Is There Still So Much Smoking In Anime?

Public smoking is largely a thing of the past in the US, but it's everywhere in anime even now. Justin explains the cultural gap. ― Chris asks: Nowadays it's very rare to see people smoking tobacco in Western media, wether it be on tv shows or films. When it does happen, it's usually seen in a very negative light, mostly due to people in this day and age being more knowledgeable of the adverse effec...
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Answerman - Why Are Dubs Only Made in L.A. and Texas?

One reader wants to know why every English dub they hear comes from one of two places: Texas or LA. What happened to all those other dub studios? Are they still around? Justin investigates. ― Luke asks: Since the turn of the decade, it seems the only places to record dubs are Houston (Sentai), the Dallas-Fort Worth area (Funimation) and Los Angeles (Aniplex, Bang Zoom!). Canada used to make dubs, in...
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Shelf Life - Space Adventure Cobra: The Movie

Gabriella goes on a Space Adventure with a guy named Cobra and discovers one of the trippiest (and coolest) sci-fi anime films ever made. PLUS: all of this week's new anime releases! ― I wasn't quite sure what to talk about in my intro for this week until I found out that the Assassination Classroom anime is going to include the manga's as-yet-unpublished ending. That doesn't sound all that unusual ...
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The Mike Toole Show - The Glitter Force Awakens

Netflix's Westernized version of Precure, the beautifully-named Glitter Force, sends Mike on a mystical journey through other bowdlerized versions of anime like One Piece and Cardcaptor Sakura. ― The last couple of times I've been down to visit my brother and his family, I've had the pleasure of talking to one of my nephews about anime. See, he's right in the middle of that sweet spot after first rea...
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The List - 6 Anime to Satisfy Your Need for Speed

Slam that NOS button and get ready for six high-speed racing anime that will take you on a breakneck trial through the Night of Fire. On your mark! ― Japan's obsession with racing hit an all-time high in the 90s with enthusiasts drifting around mountain bends or speeding down the Bayshore Route in Tokyo. This bled over into anime too, with series looking to capture the rush of hobbyists for the ente...
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ANNCast - Buncha Crunch

Victoria Holden and Evan Minto, the hosts of Crunchyroll's weekly podcast Crunchycast, finally stop by ANNCast to talk about what it's like working at Crunchyroll, the glory and the struggle of social media, and winter 2016 anime! ― ANNCast Episode 252: Buncha Crunch Victoria Holden and Evan Minto, the hosts of Crunchyroll's weekly podcast Crunchycast, finally stop by ANNCast to talk about what it's...
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Answerman - What's The Deal With Engrish?

You've seen it all over the internet: hilariously misguided English phrases on public signs and clothing from Japan and other Asian countries. Where does it come from? ― Michael asks: Something I've wondered for a long time is why in so many anime, the characters will be speaking in Japanese and then randomly say a few English words. An example would be in shonen anime when a character announces the...
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The X Button - First Impressions: Fire Emblem Fates

Find out everything you need to know for this week's biggest release with hands-on impressions of the Fire Emblem Fates special edition! PLUS: Street Fighter controversy and much more! ― Controversy grips the game industry this week, and it all stems from a single shocking issue: the newly released Street Fighter V makes Chun-Li's chest preposterous. This matter goes back to earlier exhibitions of S...
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Answerman - How Come More Anime Characters Don't Have Tattoos?

We live in a world where anime characters suffer from a woeful lack of sweet tattoos. One brave reader wants to know where all the ink is - Justin gets into it. ― Matthew asks: Something I've noticed in anime is that they're aren't a lot of characters that have tattoos. By tattoo I mean purely aesthetically ink tattoos used as a means of self expression. Most tattoos that I've seen in anime are tatt...
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Answerman - Why Did Saint Seiya Bomb In North America?

It's one of the biggest and most influential anime franchises in Latin America, but the mythical golden warriors of Saint Seiya just never found a big audience in the states. Why is that? ― Geoff asks: Saint Seiya is one of the most popular anime of all time worldwide, especially in Europe and Latin America, even bigger than Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon. It is a Shonen fighting series, the most suc...

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