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Answerman - Why Do Some Releases Of Older Movies Have Black Borders?

What's the difference between letterboxing and pillarboxing? And what are those tiny black borders you see on some old anime that don't have any of that? Justin Sevakis explains. ― Duc asked: Every once in a while, especially when I'm watching an older movie on Blu-ray, I'll see a thin border around the picture. Why is that there? Also, can you explain the difference between pillarboxing and letterb...
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Answerman - Quick Answers Part 6

It's time for a speed round! Netflix original anime, Japanese daylight savings time, anime spinoff justification and much more! ― Looking at the Answerman inbox, it looks like it's time for another one of these. Samuel asks: Does Japan observe Daylight Savings? Please be more broad than a simple YES or NO. No. Heh, sorry, couldn't resist. The answer is still "no, and they never have." Every once in ...
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This Week in Anime - How Does Fate/Apocrypha Compare to Other Grail Wars?

The first half of Fate/Apocrypha has finally landed on Netflix! We break down the best and worst of everything this series has to offer compared to its predecessors so far. ― The first half of Fate/Apocrypha has finally landed on Netflix! This week in anime, Jacob and Steve break down the best and worst of everything this series has to offer compared to its predecessors so far. Disclaimer: The views ...
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Answerman - How Is Christianity Regarded In Japan?

Christianity doesn't come up all that often in anime - where does it sit, culturally, in Japan? Justin breaks it down. ― Chris asked: After watching Strawberry panic and Maria sama watches over us, I was wondering how popular Christianity is in Japan. I know that the majority of the Japanese are irreligious, but how do they react to someone who is Christian? While there aren't a TON of Christians in...
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This Week in Anime - How Anime-Gataris Does Reference Humor Right

This season's slice-of-life comedy about an anime club is far more than it seems on the surface. We get into all the little details that make this series something truly special. ― Though it looks simple on the surface, Anime-Gataris is much more than just another slice-of-life comedy about an anime club. This week in anime, Nick and Micchy get into all the little details that make this series so spe...
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Vice & Luna - Down to the Last Detail

Vice has to get every last detail of his cosplay right to make sure everything appears exactly as it does in the anime. It's very important.
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Answerman - Why Don't DVDs Contain Japanese Commentary Tracks Anymore?

Once upon a time, anime DVDs occasionally came with commentary tracks from the Japanese artists who made the film. What happened? ― Tyler asked: On some of Central Park Media's DVD releases, like MD Geist and World of Narue, one of the “disc set-up” options were commentaries from a few of the original Japanese staff, which I think is really cool. However, when ADV released these titles, they scrappe...
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Shelf Life - The Amagami SS Collection

James checks out both seasons of Amagami SS plus the OVAs to see if this girlfriend-swapping romance is worth watching. Plus, Paul breaks down this week's huge load of new releases! ― I noticed something cool about the current anime season this week. I normally start falling behind on the shows in my streaming queue at around the six-week mark, but at the moment I'm still up to date on everything I'...
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The Mike Toole Show - Gothicmade in Japan

Mike digs into Mamoru Nagano's lost anime film from 2012 to ask just what was up with Gothicmade and if we'll ever get to see what it would have been. ― There's a short list of anime movies, OVAs, and TV episodes that you can't watch. The majority of them are from the 1960s, and are episodes of fare like Perman and Robotan and Big X, which were either inadvertently destroyed or intentionally tossed o...
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The List - 8 Nostalgic OVAs That Are Out of Print

Lynzee takes a stroll down memory lane with these straight-to-video oddities from yesteryear that you've probably either forgotten or never heard of at all! ― This week saw the publication of Anime News Network's Fall Manga Guide, something my peers and I have been working hard on for the last month. One of the titles featured is Battle Angel Alita, a quintessential sci-fi action manga and OVA from ...
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ANNCast - I Can't Believe I Fate The Whole Thing

Jacob and Zac saw Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel AND Fate/Apocrypha and can't wait to argue about them. PLUS: Ancient Magus Bride, Mary and The Witch's Flower and more! ― ANNCast Episode 310 - I Can't Believe I Fate The Whole Thing Jacob and Zac saw Fate Stay Night Heaven's Feel AND Fate Apocrypha and can't wait to argue about them. PLUS: Ancient Magus Bride, Mary and the Witch's Flower and more! Yo...
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Answerman - Why Do American Actors Show Up In Japanese Commercials?

Why do Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and even Sean Connery appear in Japanese commercials sometimes? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Ava asked: I stumbled upon a YouTube channel one night that plays Japanese commercials. Not just the "wacky" or "crazy" ones but it seems to be everything. I noticed a lot of familiar celebrity faces in the many many commercials for cars, women's fashion, and cel...
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This Week in Anime - Why Himōto! Umaru-chan R is Better than the Original

UMR is back for a second season, but if you haven't seen the show before, this vastly improved continuation might be the best time to jump in! ― Himōto! Umaru-chan is back for a second season, but if you haven't seen the show before, this vastly improved continuation might be the best time to jump in. This week in anime, Jacob and Steve explain what's different about UMR. Disclaimer: The views and op...
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This Week in Games - .hack//G.U. Last Recode

Dustin closes out his tenure on This Week in Games with a look at this nostalgic RPG trilogy, remastered and rereleased for the first time on PS4 and PC! ― Well, this is it. My final installment of This Week in Games. The column should be continuing shortly under new management, so this is goodbye—er, well, actually, I guess I'll save that for the end. In the meantime, you can catch me on Twitter, wh...
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Answerman - How Long Will Anime Stay Up On A Streaming Site?

So how long do you have to watch that series in your queue before it disappears off a service like Crunchyroll, Hulu, or Netflix? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Aakash asked: My question is in regards to license lengths. I know for DVDs and Blu-rays some licensees from publishers have expired for some older titles. My question is in regards to digital licenses. As streaming is the big trend now, ...
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This Week in Anime - What Makes The Ancient Magus' Bride's World So Magical?

The world of The Ancient Magus' Bride mesmerizes us in ways we usually don't get from TV anime. This week, we explore what makes this series so uniquely captivating. ― The world of The Ancient Magus' Bride is magical in ways we usually don't get from TV anime. This week, Nicholas and Steve explore what makes this series so uniquely captivating. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the part...
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Vice & Luna - The Killing of a Sacred Meme

Vice has a few choice words for Luna's old Nyan Cat shirt, but he's got plenty of skeletons in his meme closet.
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Answerman - Why Does Anime Often Feature Ear Cleaning?

What's with the practice of intimate ear cleaning in so many anime? Justin Sevakis gets into the gritty details of Japanese ear wax. ― Amy asked: This is a weird question. Do you know why so many anime feature ear cleaning? (And why it's considered romantic? The intimacy of the gesture?) Is this a common Japanese cultural thing or does anime exaggerate it? Don't doctors here say it's potentially dam...
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Shelf Life - The Dragon Dentist

Gabriella takes a look at this TV movie from the artists behind Evangelion and many other Gainax classics, while Paul runs down this week's mountain of new anime releases. ― You know the overused comedy scene where a character sprints at full tilt toward a bus stop or train station, only to watch helplessly as their chosen form of transportation rolls away without them? That actually happened to me ...
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The List - 7 Fantastic Filler Episodes

Filler episodes are the bane of any anime marathon experience, but there are some enjoyable exceptions! These seven pit stops are fun enough to be worth putting the main story on hold. ― There are few things more dreaded than endless filler episodes in an otherwise tightly-paced action show. Filler usually diverts from the main plot for inane comedic adventures at hot springs, beaches, or ski trips....
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Answerman - How Are Theaters For Theatrical Releases Decided?

Anime has been showing up in movie theaters across America more and more these days - but how is it decided which theaters it plays at? Justin digs in. ― Peter asked: How do companies decide which cities these movies will play in? I've been fortunate enough that my city, Windsor, Ontario, has gotten screenings of a lot of anime so far, but I'm not sure why. There's nothing particularly noteworthy ab...
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This Week in Anime - Why is the Post-Apocalypse in Girls' Last Tour So Comforting?

Despite its bleak premise, watching Girls' Last Tour feels like snuggling up in a warm blanket on a cold winter's night. What's the secret behind this show's surprisingly soothing atmosphere? ― Girls' Last Tour takes place in a frozen wasteland where two girls struggle for survival after civilization has fallen. This week in anime, Michelle and Steve explain how this bleak premise resulted in such a ...
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This Week in Games - Super Mario Odyssey

Dustin digs into the fastest-selling Mario game in history, along with this week's other big news from Nintendo and Sony. ― Folks, I've some sad news to share. The next edition of This Week In Games will be my last. It's been a wonderful ride, but I don't have the time I once did to bring you my entirely unimpeachable views on video games every single week. I know, I know, it'll be tough—but let's be...
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Answerman - How Will Netflix Producing Anime Change the Industry?

Now that Netflix is pushing to create more original anime content for their service, how will this affect production and the industry as we know it? ― Jacob asked: Recently there was an announcement that Netflix was making an aggressive push for creating new, original content for 2018. What shocked me was that they were planning on funding and getting exclusive rights to over 30 anime series over th...
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This Week in Anime - What the Heck was ID-0 About?

This 3DCG sci fi series from last spring recently arrived on Netflix with little fanfare, but is its confusing story worth checking out? ― Netflix snapped this 3DCG sci fi adventure up last spring, only to finally release it this month to little fanfare and a lot of head-scratching. This week in anime, Nick and Jacob try to decipher what ID-0 was even about and whether it's worth anyone's time. Discl...
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Vice & Luna - The Top 5 Most Kissable Anime Skeletons

Perry doesn't understand why anyone would want to hook up with the skull-faced guy from The Ancient Magus Bride, but Blume and Luna are here to help!
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Answerman - Quick Answers Part 5

Justin's back with a lightning round of questions about sexual harassment in the industry, K-Pop, Japanese perceptions of English dubs, and the social problems posed by this season's Inuyashiki. ― It's been a while, and I've gotten some good questions lately that have pretty brief answers, so it's time for another lightning round! Branko asks: With the wave of sexual harassment reports spilling over...
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Shelf Life - Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Rikka Version

Paul finds out if this compilation film is worth watching for prior fans or Chunibyo newcomers. Plus, all this week's new anime releases and a Shelf Obsessed full of bishounen figures! ― Recovery of an MMO Junkie is one of my streaming review shows this season, and it's gotten off to a really good start over the last couple weeks. Between its charming romantic comedy and the inspired chaos of Gamers...
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The Mike Toole Show - The Anime-Ville Horror

Everyone knows there's a whole lot of horror anime out there, but what about HALLOWEEN anime, specifically? Mike's on the case! ― As the Andy Williams song goes, it's the most wonderful time of the year, because it's October and Halloween is right around the corner! Yeah, I know that the song is actually about Christmas, but tell me this: why are there thousands and thousands of Christmas songs, but ...
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The List - 13 Terrifying Anime You Can Stream for Halloween This Year

In this spooktacular edition of The List, we have a truly hellish supply of anime from every genre of horror that you can marathon all October 31st! ― I've made no attempt to hide my affection for horror fiction of every stripe. Manga, novels, anime, and live-action TV or film, whether produced in the States or abroad, horror stories are some of my favorites to sit down and watch with a bowl of popc...
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Answerman - How Tough Is It To Get Into College In Japan?

Anime often depicts the incredible stress of college entrance exams in Japan - is it really that hard to get in, and what happens when it all goes south? ― Jacob asked: I have watched many anime where there is generally a male student who is studying to take his college exam that has failed one or multiple times to get in. One of the best examples I can think of is from the dub of Shin Chan where on...
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This Week in Anime - What Does Vanishing Line Have to Offer GARO Fans and Newbies?

Garo is back for another war between Knights and Horrors in this season's retro-cool Vanishing Line. We compare the new series to its demon-slaying predecessors. ― Garo is back for another war between Knights and Horrors in this season's retro-cool Vanishing Line. This week in anime, Nick and Jacob discuss this reboot's watchability for newbies and compare the new series to its demon-slaying predeces...
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This Week in Games - Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon

Dustin take a look at the last game in Gust's "Beautiful Girl Festival" project, along with this week's big Animal Crossing news and other upcoming Japanese game releases. ― The new Switch firmware added support for Gamecube controllers through the Wii U adapter. Yes, obviously this means that a Smash Bros. announcement is incoming. But I have to wonder if this is also a step toward putting Gamecube ...
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Answerman - Where Do "Seasons" On Long-Running Anime Begin And End?

For ongoing shonen series like Naruto, Fairy Tail, and Dragon Ball Super, where does a season of TV really start and stop? Do "seasons" even exist at all? ― Kira asked: Years ago, most of anime I saw were long-runners like Naruto or Bleach. When looking up episode lists on Wikipedia, I always get confused about what they refer to as "seasons". Sometimes it corresponds to the story arc, but other tim...
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This Week in Anime - Why is Recovery of an MMO Junkie So Relatable?

If you've ever felt like your online life was actually more real than your "real" one, this nerdy romcom has your back. We get into what makes this show feel so true to virtual life. ― If you've ever felt like your life online was actually more real than your "real" one, Recovery of an MMO Junkie has your back. This week in anime, Michelle and Steve get into what makes this extremely nerdy romcom fee...
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Vice & Luna - A-Rank Cosplay

Vice has some extremely strange ideas about what constitutes a great cosplay photo.
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Answerman - Why Do Japanese-Owned Publishers Still Have To Pay For Licenses?

Kodansha USA has to pay Kodansha licensing fees for the manga it releases in the US. What? Why? Justin explains it. ― Mason asked: There's something that I've been curious about for a while. Why do manga companies, like Kodansha USA or Viz, still have to pay licensing fees to companies like Kodansha or Shueisha when they're pretty much owned by them already; they pretty much ARE them. It seems count...
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Shelf Life - Ushio & Tora

Gabriella takes a trip back in time to the '90s with a modern adaptation of a forgotten shonen gem, as Paul runs down all this week's new anime releases. ― I recently discovered that one of my coworkers at my day job plays the Fate/Grand Order mobile game, and we've been bonding over our experiences with the game's fickle character gacha system. He left me seething with envy when he picked up Franci...
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ANNCast - Danganronpa Deep Dive

Jacob, Sam, and Oren revisit this series' legacy from the first game all the way through the controversial new V3: Killing Harmony in this thrilling, chilling, killing retrospective. ― ANNCast Episode 309 - Danganronpa Deep-Dive Jacob, Sam, and Oren, who was the first fan to translate Danganronpa into English, revisit this series' legacy from the first game all the way through the controversial new ...
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The List - 7 Anime Genre Trends of 2017

Now that all the hottest shows of the year have premiered, it's time to run down what popular trends are on the rise for more series to come in 2018! ― Guys, we've survived another year of anime! It's been four seasons of 30+ premieres each vying for our unwavering attention. Last year I ran this list at the midway point, but I've decided going forward that it makes more sense to run it after the fa...
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Answerman - Are There Really Gangs In Japanese Schools?

You see delinquents and gang members of all stripes in anime high school - but are they really a thing in Japan? Justin gets into it. ― Kevin asked: Are gangs really prevalent among high schoolers (off the top of my head, gangs chasing Yusuke in YuYu, Baki, Shinici in Parasyte)? They do exist! They're not THAT prevalent, but they are definitely a prominent part of Japanese society. Every society has...
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This Week in Anime - Why You Should Watch Blood Blockade Battlefront

With the arrival of its second season, there's no better time to marathon this action-packed sci fi dramedy extravaganza! We make our case for BBB(&B) and share our hopes for its new season. ― With the arrival of its second season, Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond, there's no better time to marathon this action-packed NYC-themed sci fi dramedy extravaganza! This week in anime, Nick and Jacob make ...
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This Week in Games - Bad Apple Wars

This edgy otome game makes its way to English-speaking players on the PS Vita, along with more news on The Good Life and Fire Emblem Warriors. ― Yoko Taro said he hopes to someday make an adult video. Should this be surprising? I don't know. For all its existential despair, Nier: Automata kept things pretty sexy, with 2B's finely-sculpted robo-booty ready to peek out from under her skirt at any momen...
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Answerman - Why Do Westerners Make Assumptions About Japan Because of Anime?

Western anime fans sometimes carry around a lot of incorrect assumptions about Japanese society thanks to anime, but what can be done about that? ― Hiroki asked: I'm Japanese, and I'm wondering why so many Americans seem to analyze all of Japan through late-night anime that very few people watch. They get a lot of misconceptions, thinking that we won't kiss people we like because we're all shy, and ...
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This Week in Anime - How Does the Kino's Journey Remake Compare to the Original Series?

This season delivered a truly unexpected reboot in the form of a new Kino's Journey anime, so we compare notes on these two versions, what's changed, and why. ― Well over a decade has passed since Kino's Journey was first adapted into anime, but this season brought us an unexpected remake with Kino's Journey - the Beautiful World-. This week in anime, Jacob and Steve compare notes on how the characte...
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Vice & Luna - "I'm Watching It Ironically"

Luna has a solid plan to let Netflix know that her multiple repeated viewings of Death Note are not intended as an endorsement.
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Answerman - Why Does Anime Occasionally Use English Songs?

Sometimes even famous English pop singles from artists like Duran Duran or Savage Garden get used as anime theme songs, but how does this process work and why? ― Jake asked: I have noticed in a few rare instances that openings or closing songs are in English. On the other hand you have some very old song selections like in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, which I understand has tons of music references, us...
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Shelf Life - Occultic;Nine Part 1

James Beckett gets into the most challenging spinoff of the Science Adventure Series, while Paul runs down all this week's new anime releases! ― I don't think I fully realized how much I'd missed Mr. Osomatsu until the second season started. That show really is my kind of anime comedy: wildly creative, totally bonkers, and not at all afraid to toss the viewer's expectations out the window. While I'm...
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The List - 7 Anime That Almost Were

Given how difficult it can be to produce animation, sometimes it's a miracle anything ever gets completed! Here are seven projects that never quite crossed the finish line. ― One of the first columns I wrote for The List was a rundown of six anime projects that never made it out of the studio. It includes the likes of Lupin VIIII and t.A.T.u. Paragate, the latter of which was supposed to star the tw...
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ANNCast - Fall 2017 Anime Roundup

Zac and Jacob run through as many Fall 2017 anime season premieres as they can, from Ancient Magus Bride to Inuyashiki, and have nothing but hot takes for you. Plus twitter time! ― ANNCast Episode 308 - Fall 2017 Anime Roundup Zac and Jacob run through as many Fall 2017 anime season premieres as they can, from Ancient Magus Bride to Inuyashiki, and have nothing but hot takes for you. Plus twitter ti...
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Answerman - Is Anime Streaming Consumer-Friendly?

Justin follows up Wednesday's Answerman with a conversation about competition, service and consumer friendliness in the world of anime streaming. ― On Wednesday I wrote about the current state of anime streaming to North America, and how it might be better than there being a single place to stream everything, because that would've created a monopoly. While the column was fairly well-received, there ...
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This Week in Anime - Why You Should Watch Mr. Osomatsu

The biggest anime comedy of last year has finally returned to go all-out this season. We explain why you should catch up on the Osomatsu-san phenomenon. ― The biggest anime comedy of last year has finally returned to go all-out this season. This week in anime, Micchy and Steve explain why you should catch up on the Osomatsu-san phenomenon. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participa...
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This Week in Games - Seven Months With Nintendo Switch

Dustin runs down the highs and lows of Nintendo's newest console over the past year, along with this week's Japanese gaming news and new releases. ― The focus of this column is definitely not the SNES Mini. That's both because Todd already did an excellent write-up, and because the past week has seen me playing games on the Switch pretty obsessively—so much so that exploring the classics has been lef...
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Answerman: Why Don't Streaming Sites Work Together?

Wouldn't it be great if every legal anime streaming company got together and made one platform where you could watch everything? It might SOUND good, but there's more to consider... ― xNightshade 22 asked: A simple question for you. Why don't they put all the anime streaming services together on one platform and charge a monthly fee for it? I believe this is a crucial reason why people use pirate si...
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This Week in Anime - Why You Should Watch Food Wars!

Food Wars! makes its grand return this fall with a third helping of culinary competition! This week in anime, we discuss what's made the show so delectable so far. ― Food Wars! makes its grand return this fall with a third helping of culinary competition! This week in anime, Nick and Jacob discuss what's made the show so delectable so far and what they hope to see from the Elite Ten this season. Disc...
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Vice & Luna - All In The Family

Your friend tells you they want you to recommend some anime. They love "Game of Thrones". What do you tell them to watch? Vice already has an answer!
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Answerman - What Is "Digipaint"?

People say the term "digipaint" all the time when discussing old anime from the early 2000s - but what do they mean? Justin breaks it down. ― George asked: What exactly is digipaint? Why was it so prevalent in anime production during the 00s, and why does it make anime made with it so hard to remaster into HD? Has this product essentially made a part of anime's existence, the 00s, relegated to DVD, ...
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Shelf Life - Shin Godzilla

Godzilla stomps his way to blu-ray this week, as Gabriella Ekens examines the footprints Hideaki Anno's version of the legendary monster left behind. Plus, all this week's new anime releases! ― My apartment building switched from air conditioning to heat this week, which would have been fine if I had been home at the time. I wasn't, of course, and so I eventually returned home to a 90-degree room wi...
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The List - 6 Unique Takes on Edogawa Ranpo

Ranpo Edogawa is a well-known mystery author in Japan, but western whodunnit fans may be less familiar with him. Here are just six anime that have taken on its legacy. ― The first week of prime spook month is over and as we edge closer to Halloween, I'm going to attempt to make every List column focus on the macabre. This week we'll take a look at mystery and horror novelist Edogawa Ranpo, a househo...
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Answerman - Where Did The Idea Of 100 Ghost Stories Come From?

It comes up in anime from time to time: telling 100 ghost stories in a single night. Is that a real thing? Justin explains. ― Ian asked: I wanted to ask if the 100 ghost story night idea from xxxHolic is a real cultural aspect of Japanese society. Or did CLAMP make it up? If not, are there any reports of events where literally 100 ghost stories are told? The idea of 100 ghost stories has made an app...
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This Week in Anime - Will Bakugo Become a Hero or a Villain?

As My Hero Academia's second season comes to a close, Bakugo's future still seems uncertain. Is there anything that could turn him over to the dark side? ― My Hero Academia's second season has come to a close, and Bakugo's future seems uncertain as the League of Villains begins to reform. This week in anime, Nick and Micchy predict what might be in store for U.A. High's most fiery student. Disclaimer...
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This Week in Games - Gundam Versus

The entire Gundam franchise gets crammed into an arena combat blender in Gundam Versus, plus Nioh on PC, Breath of the Wild production secrets and more! ― As if 2017's nonstop parade of excellent video games wasn't already enough, the past few weeks have seen the Switch's indie line-up upgrade from “good” to “positively bonkers.” Most of these games are out on other platforms, but the option of porta...
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Answerman - Why Are Sentai Titles Showing Up On Anime Strike?

Sentai Filmworks titles have been showing up on Amazon's Anime Strike service - what might we expect from this partnership? Justin considers the angles. ― Austin asked: Within the last few days/week, Sentai Filmworks has announced 4 new show licenses for the coming season (including the second season of Umaru-chan). They said in the press release that these shows will be made available through Anime...
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This Week in Anime - Made in Abyss Made Us Cry Like Little Babies

Made in Abyss' first season ended this week, leaving behind an ocean of tears for many fans. This week in anime, Nick and Steve pick up the pieces in the wake of its emotional conclusion. ― Made in Abyss' first season ended this week, leaving behind an ocean of tears for many fans. This week in anime, Nick and Steve pick up the pieces in the wake of its emotional conclusion. Disclaimer: The views and...
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Vice & Luna - "Vice Writes an Isekai Novel"

ANYONE could write one of those novels where an ordinary teen gets sucked into another world - right?
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Answerman - Why Do Dub Voice Actors Stick To The Same Studios?

Most anime studios in the US have a "stable" of regular voice actors that you'll hear in most of their dubs, without much crossover - why is that? ― Justin asked: Over the years, I've seen many voice actors stay in one circle only (Viz, Funimation, Sentai, or 4Kids). I've asked myself some questions and created scenarios in my head which gives an idea of the kind of things I've wanted to see, but ha...
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Shelf Life - The Boy and the Beast

Paul Jensen takes a look at Mamoru Hosoda's most recent film along with all this week's new anime releases, and Shelf Obsessed is officially open for submissions once more! ― I was briefly tempted to buy a model kit the other day, but then I remembered one of my favorite stories from the old Calvin and Hobbes newspaper comic. Calvin buys a model plane, struggles with the tiny parts and incomprehensi...
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The Mike Toole Show - When Anime Was "Cool"

The Blade Runner 2022 anime short sends Mike back to the early 2000s when everyone was very excited about both The Matrix and the internet, and anime was a very specific kind of "cool"... ― There was a brief period of time in the early 2000s when anime was cool. It wasn't just cool with dorks like me and you, the true tastemakers, but also cool with the general entertainment-consuming public in North...
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The List - 7 Excellent Exorcists

If you've got a demon infestation in your neighborhood, these onmyouji may be just what the doctor ordered. Plus, your rankings of the best CLAMP series! ― Something seems different about your best friend. They hardly ever sleep, they're unsettlingly flexible, their voice has changed drastically, and they have a bad habit of projecting pea soup from their face. Not to mention they keep saying really...
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ANNCast - Kemono Replicants

Zac and Jacob spit a whole ocean of hot takes on the Blade Runner anime, the untimely betrayal of Kemono Friends, One-Punch Man Season 2 and your Twitter questions! ― ANNCast Episode 307 - Kemono Replicants Zac and Jacob spit a whole ocean of hot takes on the Blade Runner anime, the untimely betrayal of Kemono Friends, One Punch Man Season 2 and your Twitter questions! You can listen to the show on ...
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Answerman - How Can You Tell If An Anime Is Popular?

Can you tell if an anime is popular by relying solely on disc sales? With so many different revenue sources, how do production committees determine "success" in 2017? Justin gets into it. ― Ricardo asked: More times than not, Anime Fans seem to take sales figures as gospel of a series's popularity, if there's a chance to hope for a sequel, etc... but I've seen some authors, among them Durarara!'s, s...
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This Week in Anime - Where Did "My First Girlfriend is a Gal" Go Wrong?

Straddling the line between romcom and fanservice show is no easy feat, but this gal-stacked effort falls on its face. We break down where this milkshake turned sour. ― My First Girlfriend is a Gal could have straddled the line between romcom and fanservice show gracefully, but the end result was less than successful. This week in anime, Jacob and Steve suss out where things went sour for these gals....
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This Week in Games - Blue Reflection

What if the Persona games had magical girls in them? Dustin Bailey seeks to answer this question in his first look at Blue Reflection on the PS4. ― I'm finally filling in the holes in my Yakuza series knowledge, largely thanks to that reprint earlier this year that finally made the second game affordable again. I finished Yakuza 2 this week, and it deserves its fan-favorite position in the series. De...
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Column - Why Don't Manga Publishers Announce When Books Go Out Of Print?

Manga volumes go out of print all the time with no warning - why does it work that way? Justin gets into it. ― Bill asked: Why are manga licensees so cagey about when books are close to going out of print? Usually theres no way to tell If something is on its way out, or even fully out of print, until it's only available for jacked up prices on eBay. As consumers we tend to think of physical media --...
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This Week in Anime - What the Hey is Wrong With Heybot?

This brain-meltingly stupid kids' show has been a punchline on This Week in Anime since it started, but was there secretly a method to Heybot's madness in the end? ― It's been a go-to punchline on This Week in Anime since the column began, but now that Heybot! has ended, just what the hey was this series anyway, and why was it so incredibly weird? This week in anime, Micchy and Steve put this bizarre...
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Answerman - What's With All the Bondage Humor in Anime?

Why is something as risqué as S&M such an easy go-to for comedy even in family-friendly anime? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Brandi asked: what is up with anime and the S&M fetish? I'm not talking about hentai. It mostly comes out in the form of one of the men on the show turning out to be some kind of over the top masochist. I've seen this joke over an over again. Most recently in D-Frag! and i...
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Shelf Life - Fruits Basket

Gabriella Ekens revisits the classic shojo romcom on blu-ray, and Paul Jensen breaks down this week's huge heap of new releases! ― We've got a pretty wide variety of new releases this week, which means we also have a whole lot of options to explore. Let's jump right into it! Welcome to Shelf Life. Jump to this week's review: Fruits Basket On Shelves This Week Crusher Joe - OVA Collection DVD Discote...
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The List - 7 Drastic Character Design Changes

When a manga's art is too complex to animate or a series has been on the air for a long time, artistic changes are bound to arise. Here are seven of the most striking shifts in a character's style. ― The transition from manga to anime isn't always a seamless process. Projects hire character designers to reinterpret static artwork into something that can be animated in a manageable way. This can mean...
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ANNCast - Nap Squad

Zac and Jacob tackle Kenji Kamiyama's Napping Princess, plus the end of summer anime, new movies, and plenty of your questions! ― ANNCast Episode 306 - Nap Squad Zac and Jacob tackle Kenji Kamiyama's Napping Princess, plus the end of summer anime, new movies, and plenty of your questions! You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download the MP3 version here, check out the show on Stitc...
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Answerman - Why Don't Anime Musicals Get US Releases?

Japan has an ocean of stage musicals based on anime, from Naruto to Sailor Moon - why don't they ever get released in the States? Justin considers the angles. ― Bunny asked: Sailor Moon's new musical cast were guests at a state anime convention, but I don't see it getting much further than that. We only have fansubs as a source, but I'd like to support it legally. I was wondering what would it take ...
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This Week in Anime - The Best and Worst Moments of Re:Creators

Now that Re:CREATORS has concluded, did it live up to the promise of its premise? This week in anime, we break down where the series soared and where it sank. ― Now that Re:CREATORS has come to an end, did the show live up to the promise of its premise? This week in anime, Nick and Jacob break down where the series soared and where it sank. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the particip...
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This Week in Games - Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash

Dustin gets wet and wild with the girls of Senran Kagura on the PS4, along with this week's biggest news and other new game releases! ― You may have heard that homebrew developers—hackers, if you're feeling nasty—found a fully emulated version of NES Golf on board every shipping Nintendo Switch. After seemingly endless mystery surrounding why the ROM was there, they eventually discovered how to activ...
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Answerman - Why Is Sentai Filmworks Phasing Out DVDs?

Sentai Filmworks made a big announcement about phasing out DVDs forever - but why? Justin has a few ideas... ― Jake asked: I was reading a recent article that stated Sentai Filmworks was essentially phasing out their DVD releases by 2019 and are primarily going to release Blu-ray only with a few exceptions. I know you have got this question in the past on who buys DVD's Vs. Blu-rays which seems to b...
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This Week in Anime - How Meta Does Re:Creators Get?

What did this anime about fictional characters confronting their makers have to say about the creative process? This week in anime, we tackle the conclusion of Sota and Altair's story. ― Re:CREATORS is a story about fictional characters meeting the people who created them, but just how far does its metafictional rabbit hole go? This week in anime, Micchy and Steve follow Sota and Altair's tale all th...
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Answerman - What is "Video Post-Production"?

You see it in the credits of anime blurays and DVDs all the time - but what does "video post-production" actually entail? Justin has the answer. ― Craig asked: Just finished watching the third Berserk film, The Advent and in the credits I saw your name. for Video post production. What exactly do you do in terms of post production(clean up, video/audio compression, restoration?)? Do all companies who...
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Shelf Life - Hyouka Part 1

Paul Jensen takes a look at the long-awaited blu-ray of Kyoto Animation's unusual mystery series, along with a rundown of this week's new anime releases! ― I went to a screening of Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro last week. It was my first time seeing the movie, and I have to say it was a blast. If you're a Lupin fan or are interested in Hayao Miyazaki's early work as a director, it's definitely...
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The Mike Toole Show - All About 'I Give My All'

Mike's quest for unlicensed anime leads him to the strange case of "I Give My All", a racy OVA from the 80s that was very nearly released here... until it wasn't! ― As part of the work I do with the Discotek gang, I occasionally work on some cool shows that were once licensed, but never really released on video in the west—you know, the really good anime, like Fighting Foodons. As the years pass, the...
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The List - 7 Worst School Teachers

School is back in session for the fall, but you'd better hope your new instructors aren't anything like these terrible tutors! ― It's the final week of summer, although most retail stores skipped straight to pumpkin season a few weeks ago. Deny it all you want, but the back-to-school grind is here which means notebooks, packed community college parking lots, and a handful of new instructors trying t...
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ANNCast - Little Witch Academia

Zac and Jacob smack their brooms together and head on a magical journey through Studio Trigger's foray into family-friendly fantasy: it's Little Witch Academia! ― ANNCast Episode 305 - Little Witch Academia Zac and Jacob smack their brooms together and head on a magical journey through Studio Trigger's foray into family-friendly fantasy: it's Little Witch Academia! You can listen to the show on our ...
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Answerman - What's The Worst Anime Release You've Ever Seen?

There have been a LOT of really screwy anime releases, discs with the wrong subtitles and audio tracks, but what's the WORST one? Justin has one in mind... ― Anonymous asked: Just curious, what's the single worst anime home video release you've ever seen? From any era, VHS, DVD, bluray, whatever the single worst one you can think of is. In Japan, the worst release has to be of the film Gundress, whi...
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This Week in Anime - What the Heck is 18if?

It's hands-down the weirdest anime of the summer season, but does its uniqueness alone make this indescribable oddity worth watching? This week in anime, we delve into the mysteries of 18if. ― Slipping under the shadow of bigger titles this season is 18if, an inscrutable little Gonzo series that doesn't really look like anything else out there, because it looks totally different from episode to episo...
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This Week in Games - Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light

An MMO-themed J-drama comes to Netflix, and Nintendo Direct unleashes a slough of new announcements like Project Octopath Traveler. All this and your new game releases with Dustin Bailey! ― I finished up Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle a few days ago, and it was a rad bit of tactical adventure throughout. In the column a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that its relative lack of randomness makes it fe...
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Answerman - What Are School Culture Festivals Really Like?

The cultural festival is a staple of many slice-of-life anime, but are their depictions true to life? Justin Sevakis has the answers. ― Nadia asked: I was wondering if Japanese school cultural festivals are really a thing and if so are they really like they are in anime? So will there be the usual maid café/haunted house, and does everyone stay over at the school? Who's allowed to attend them (as a ...
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This Week in Anime - Does Made in Abyss Have to Be So Disturbing?

Made in Abyss has always been a little gruesome around the edges, but its newest episode took Riko and Reg's quest to a much darker place shockingly fast. Will all this pain and hardship be worth it in the end? ― Made in Abyss has always been a little gruesome around the edges, but its most recent episode took Riko and Reg's quest to a much darker place shockingly fast. This week in anime, Nick and S...
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Vice & Luna - Convention's End

Luna helps Maybell discover the best way to have a great time at comic-con.

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