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interview

Bringing Anime to Southeast Asia: Interview with Medialink, Ani-One Co-Founder Lovinia Chiu

Chiu shares how she brought the SEA simulcast service to the forefront after founding it at 17 years old. ― Over the past six years, many streaming and simulcast services have catered to otaku in Asia, offering simulcasts of seasonal anime and theatrical anime screenings. One such service is Ani-One Asia, a Hong Kong-based Medialink Group brand that offers a competitive lineup of simulcasts every se...
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Sex Work, Kink, and Consent: Here's How the Anime Community Can be Better With Adult Content and Its Creators

"I'll spit on you for $5!" Lucas DeRuyter spoke to pro adult content creators about con attendees LARPing as sex workers, and how a more consensual experience is better for everyone. ― Note: The images in this article are likely NSFW. Cosplay model, panel host, and sex worker Ronnie/Bunni Black described the anime community as having "cognitive dissonance" towards adult content. As sex workers in th...
interview

Veteran Animator Terumi Nishii on the Problems and Future Facing the Anime Industry

"...Full-time employees have been forced to work hard for the past 20 or 30 years—but it seems that instead of becoming 'full-time employees,' it's more like they are 'slaves.'" ― Recently, I was able to sit down and chat with Terumi Nishii, a veteran animator and character designer with credits ranging from Rurouni Kenshin and PENGUINDRUM to Jujutsu Kaisen and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. But rather th...
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Why International Anime Co-Productions Are So Rare

International interest in anime has never been higher, but the production committee system and small government funding windows are a roadblock. ― With anime growing ever more popular with a global audience, more and more international companies have become interested in working with Japanese companies on their latest projects. This isn't a new phenomenon; Ghost in the Shell was an international co-p...
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Studio Chizu Shares Vision of the Future at JX '23

Studio producer Yuichiro Saito emphasized family as the global core value, which the studio uses as a compass to “chart a map” into a “brighter, more hopeful future.” ― Hosted at the Grammy Museum, the inaugural JX '23 honored Studio Chizu as a cultural pioneer for its global success in film. JX, which stands for Japan Crossover, brought together guests from all facets of the entertainment industry u...
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Interview: Shuzo John Shiota, President of Polygon Pictures

Polygon Pictures president recounts his earnest beginnings, trying to win over overseas fans, and competition with Studio Orange in our newest interview. ― In December 2022, I had the privilege of visiting the Polygon Pictures Digital animation studio in Tokyo when it was about to enter its 40th year of production. One purpose of the visit was to learn more about the studio's latest TV series, Kaina...
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ANN's Most Read News and Interest Articles of 2022

We bid one last goodbye to 2022 with our top stories from the year. ― 2022 was a very different year compared to 2021 and 2020. The pandemic continued, but it no longer dominated the headlines, and its effects were much less apparent in most of our readers' countries. Although it didn't make the top ANN news itself, one of the biggest stories worldwide was, of course, the return to “life as usual,” o...
interview

Production I.G and Studio Wit President George Wada

The newly minted president and CEO of Production I.G talked to us about why Wit Studio has seemingly passed on later seasons of its hit series, whether work-life balance has improved for animators, and how Netflix could better promote anime. ― George Wada at Anime NYC. Photo by: Lynzee Loveridge. George Wada has forged a considerable legacy in the anime industry in the last 20 years. The newly minte...
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A Discussion Among Unions - 100% Union Power at Little Secret

Voice actors Kyle McCarley and David Errigo Jr,. discuss the hurdles of unionization with colleagues from the VFX and gaming industry, including how Crunchyroll squashed a potential union contract for Fena: Pirate Princess. ― Members from the animation, gaming, voice acting, and VFX industries came together to discuss unionization efforts across games, VFX, animation, and voice acting. Initially sch...
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Interview with ANN's CEO and Publisher Christopher Macdonald

Following the news of Kadokawa's acquisition of Anime News Network, many of our readers have asked questions about what this means for the site going forward. ANN CEO and publisher Christopher Macdonald answers your biggest questions. ― Following the news of Kadokawa's acquisition of Anime News Network, many of our readers have asked questions about what this means for the site and its content going ...
interview

Mob Psycho 100's Kyle McCarley on Anime Dubbing and #JustAMeeting

McCarley gives a detailed breakdown of the negotiations with Crunchyroll, discussions with other cast members, concerns between Texas and Los Angeles-based voice actors, and his opinion on the benefits of unionization for the anime industry. ― On September 20, voice actor Kyle McCarley dropped a bombshell video announcing he would likely not be returning to voice Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama in the dub of t...
interview

How Kadokawa is Redefining the Anime Market (Updated)

Japanese publishing giant Kadokawa has its hands all over the manga, light novel, and anime industries. ANN sat down with the heads of Kadokawa's Anime Business Division to discuss its expanding ambitions in the anime sphere. ― Japanese publishing giant Kadokawa has its hands all over the manga, light novel, and anime industries. ANN CEO Chris Macdonald sat down with Kadokawa's Takeshi Kikuchi (CEO o...
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Interview: Viz Media Senior Vice President of Animation Brian Ige

Ige talks about Viz's strategy with regards to anime licensing and cross-promotion, possible shifts in anime licensing prices, and the future of the U.S. anime market. ― ANN CEO Chris Macdonald sat down with Viz Media's Senior Vice President of Animation, Brian Ige, to talk about Viz's strategy with regards to anime licensing and cross-promotion, possible shifts in anime licensing prices, and the fut...
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How True Is the Trickle Down Effect in Anime?

Disney's Gaku Narita claimed in a recent interview that “It's not just the select few who are getting rich; the artists on the ground are starting to make decent money,” but the truth is much more complicated. ― Anime is bringing in more revenue than ever, even through COVID times, but to what extent is the workforce at large feeling the trickle down effect? Gaku Narita, executive director of origina...
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Crunchyroll's Move Back to In-Person Dub Recording Sparks Union Discussion

ANN confirmed with multiple industry sources familiar with Crunchyroll's dubbing procedure that the company is focusing on casting Texas-based talent in its dubs. This season's dub cast list has half as many actors outside the Lone Star State. ― In March, I wrote about a growing group of anime voice actors demanding more union productions in the anime dubbing industry. Since that article was publishe...
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Manga's Growth In Popularity Is Here To Stay, Industry Leaders Predict

The momentum behind the likes of Jujutsu Kaisen, Chainsaw Man, and Demon Slayer continues to outpace domestic comics. ― It has been over two years since My Hero Academia landed a spot as the first manga to crack the top three in the New York Time's best-selling graphic books list. Since then, manga has continued holding its place among the top of the list – with My Hero Academia, Jujutsu Kaisen, and ...
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The Battle for Union Anime Dubs

The Crunchyroll merger has created the largest and most powerful anime company outside of Japan. Yet, pay rates for dubbing are among the lowest in the acting business, and the problem is even worse in anime. ― Crunchyroll and FUNimation are competitors no longer. Now merged into a single company under their parent company Sony, this new incarnation of Crunchyroll is the largest and most powerful ani...
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Maid Cafés Aren't Just For Male Otaku Anymore

The maid cafés of Akihabara need no introduction. Yet unbeknownst to many, maid café culture has been undergoing a sea change in the recent COVID years. Kim Morrissy visited two cafés to see how the iconic establishments are adapting. ― For anyone with a keen interest in anime subculture, the maid cafés of Akihabara need no introduction. Despite their ubiquity in anime, however, they feel representat...
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What We Know About the Funimation-Crunchyroll Merger

Crunchyroll brand will takeover home video releases, company is working on streamlining sub, dub options ― With Funimation's anime content heading to Crunchyroll, fans have raised many questions about how the transition will be handled from a consumer perspective. After speaking with representatives of Crunchyroll and Funimation, here is everything we know right now: Which Funimation titles will be ...
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What Is Happening In the Anime Industry in 2020-2021? An Analysis of The Animation Industry Report 2021

The global anime market, which was enjoying record-breaking growth for the past decade, contracted for the first time in 11 years. Acclaimed anime industry journalist Tadashi Sudo gives his full analysis. ― The Anime Market Shrinks For the First Time in 11 Years On November 4, the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA) released its annual “Animation Industry Report,” which details the latest inform...
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In a Struggling Anime Workplace, “Cool Japan” Feels Like a Joke

On paper, the Japanese anime industry may be seeing impressive growth in the short and medium term, but its continued success is far from certain, especially as the chronic labor problems remain unaddressed. ― More than ever before, Japanese pop culture is “cool.” Anime has made its way to Hollywood, video games were shown off at the Olympics, and celebrities across the world have been loud and proud...
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How Anime Dubs Were Made During COVID

Abhi from The Cartoon Cipher walks us through how simuldubbing adjusted during the pandemic and the positives and negatives of this new work-from-home approach. ― Like everything else, anime was undeniably affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including anime voice actors. There were delays, hiatuses, plus the introduction of remote work and recording voice acting from home on a large scale for the sak...
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How Much Does It Cost to License Anime Series?

ANN CEO Chris Macdonald spoke with multiple industry experts to get you the figures on how much it really costs to bring anime stateside. ― Hint: it's not cheap Recently there's been some discussion about how much it costs to license an anime series, especially in the wake of the recent AnimeTube Kickstarter campaign. There are many factors that impact the cost of the license, including, but not limi...
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'I Have Some Horror Stories': Animator Talks Industry's Problems, Hopes for the Future

According to former Science SARU animator Joan Chung, the studio's positive work environment was tainted by the anime industry's chronic problems. ― Overwork and overproduction – these are some of the main problems currently facing the anime industry. Animator wages remain low even as the demand for anime climbs and mega corporations become steadily more involved on the financing side. Under these ci...
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Crunchyroll Originals Have Been A Disaster

Callum May evaluates the streaming services attempts at original content and Crunchyroll's questionable lack of clarity about its own projects, including its seemingly shuttered Tokyo studio. ― It's difficult to sum up exactly what a “Crunchyroll Original” series is. If you ask Alden Budill, head of global partnerships and content strategy, she'll tell you that “a CR Original is a piece of content th...
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Imitations, Fakes and Piracy in Manga and Anime

LUDiMUS COO Takumi Furusato details the history of piracy in Japan from the 1950s on and how the government continues to combat leaks, fakes, and knock-offs. ― 150 million copies; 39.6 billion yen (US$364.67 million) of box office sales; 28.7 million viewers. The numbers above are all related to Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Since the manga debuted on Weekly Shonen Jump in February 2016, this dark ...
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Why Seven Seas Altered Its Light Novels

The recent discoveries of omitted paragraphs and rewrites in Seven Seas' light novel releases reignites censorship fears in the fandom community. What led to the changes and why was the negative reaction so strong? ― Back in January, light novel fans on Reddit pointed out something disquieting about Seven Seas Entertainment's English version of Classroom of the Elite volume 7: Entire paragraphs from ...
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Derivative Content and Property Rights: How Does Fanfiction Work in the Anime and Manga Industry?

The rapid growth of the doujin market and its popularity is bringing controversy to its continued existence. LUDiMUS' Takumi Furusato discusses the changing landscape for fan works in Japan. ― The last year has been a nightmare for Japanese doujin (fanfiction) creators. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 is remembered as the first year in the last 45 to not have a Comiket event. In addition, a nu...
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How Black Creatives Are Influencing The Anime Fandom

One of the most delightful aspects of fandom is how it brings so many diverse people together to celebrate one thing. Dennis Banda interviews creators like Adorned by Chi's Jacque Aye to find out how the Blerd community is transforming fandom. ― One of the most delightful aspects of fandom is how it brings so many diverse people together to celebrate one thing. In this atmosphere of diversity, it is...
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Hunting for Anime Fandom in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican native Jean-Karlo Lemus discusses the flourishing fandom on the island despite hurdles of availability and a slice of the series that thrived on local TV. ― Even though Puerto Rico is a U.S. colony, anime consumption on the island was for a very long time fairly unrecognizable to anime fans in the United States. The island lies in a very convenient geographical position, putting us betwe...
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How Is Voice Recording in Japan Adapting to COVID-19?

We interviewed Seiichi Nakayama, head of sound engineers at the production company G-angle, to gain some insight into the voice recording process post-COVID. ― For the past few months, we've been hearing about one delay after another in the entertainment world. There's no doubt at this point that the pandemic has affected production and voice recording, among other processes integral to the creation ...
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How Many Black Guests Are There at Anime Conventions?

Evan Minto takes a look at the data to see how many Black guests are invited to North America's biggest conventions — and the numbers could be much better. ― A few weeks ago, amid the global Black Lives Matter movement against racism and police brutality, this screenshot made the rounds on social media: Tweet from Professional Bald Nerd @Proz, posted on June 4, 2020. Tweet 1: We got tagged asking why...
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Amplifying Black Voice Actors in Anime

It's time to spotlight some of the Black voices behind your favorite characters. You know Jet Black, Hawks, Chise, Char Aznable, and Boruto, now get to know the VAs bringing them to life. ― The art of localization is one that often goes underappreciated, and a lot of the talent behind it tends to go unnoticed. Anime dubbing is unfortunately, no real exception. While dubs themselves have a much better...
interview

CygamesPictures Company Director Nobuhiro Takenaka

CygamesPictures is the new anime studio on the block but the company's director Nobuhiro Takenaka has big dreams for the mobage company spin-off. ― While you may not have heard of CygamesPictures, you've certainly heard of Cygames, the mobile game developer that has expanded into anime, manga, music, and so much more. The anime branch of the company, CygamesPictures, was established as a way of creat...
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The Pokémon: Twilight Wings English Release Should Credit the Staff

Kim Morrissy explains the importance of giving credit where it's due; an animator's career could depend on it. ― The web mini-series Pokémon: Twilight Wings directed by Shingo Yamashita at Studio Colorido is an incredible piece of work. Every episode so far tells a heartfelt and beautifully animated story about people and their bonds with Pokémon. The soft, gentle directing style and the nuanced char...
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How Deeply Is COVID-19 Impacting Anime Production?

The COVID-19 pandemic is having far-reaching effects to businesses around the world. Evan Minto looks at how the illness has struck the anime industry. ― Unless you've been living under a rock (and maybe even if you have been) you've probably heard a thing or two about COVID-19, the pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus that's quite literally sweeping the globe. The flu-like virus has already caused...
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The Incredible Artists of Kyoto Animation: Part 2

Anime News Network continues its look back at the lives lost in the tragic Kyoto Animation arson and the art that the creators left behind. ― How do you write a responsible obituary for a tragedy of this magnitude? The attack on Kyoto Animation's Studio 1 was unlike anything the country had seen since World War II. It was a place overflowing with love that was imbued in each of the studio's works an...
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Anime News Network's Top Headlines of 2019

Vic Mignogna court case, KyoAni arson, Demon Slayer among most viewed ― The business of anime continues to be huge and 2019 was no exception. Anime News Network's team published over 6,000 articles this year whether it was about new anime licenses, the latest trailers, or up-to-the-minute coverage of industry's highs and lows. What headlines best represent what fans were wanted to know in 2019? Pleas...
interview

Interview: Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us Character Designer Shizue Kaneko

Get an in-depth education on the crucial art of character design from key animator and veteran designer Shizue Kaneko, the artist behind the designs of Pokemon the Movie: The Power of Us! ― It'd be difficult to overstate the importance of a great character designer on any anime. Not only are they responsible for creating the aesthetic and style of the characters themselves, but it's also their job to...
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Anime News Network's Interview Avalanche

We've had a real busy summer interviewing over 30 unbelievably talented artists, directors, screenwriters, musicians, animators and more both in Japan and across conventions in America - here's a handy guide to more than 30 of them! ― It's been a long summer, and an exceptionally busy one for our editorial team, who spent the last few months interviewing dozens of creatives from across the anime indu...
interview

Interview: Shinji Higuchi, Chief Director of Dragon Pilot

The internationally-known director of Shin Godzilla gets delightfully candid about the process of making Dragon Pilot: Hisone & Masotan, a creative collaboration with renowned screenwriter Mari Okada, due on Netflix this fall. ― Shinji Higuchi has been in and around the anime industry for a while. He's an old friend of Hideaki Anno and the others at Studio Gainax, and participated as a storyboard art...
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Interview: Studio Eallin Japan and Director Kenji Kawasaki

One of Japan's burgeoning short-project anime directors discusses his process and the growing trend of 3D with interviewer Callum May. ― Although the anime industry is open to new forms of creativity, there's always space for creative animation outside of a TV series. Eallin Japan is one such company that offers avenues for creative animated projects within advertisements, music videos and short film...
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Excerpt: Mari Okada's 'From Truant to Anime Screenwriter'

Curious what it's like to write anime for a living? Read a fascinating chapter from the biography of Mari Okada, the anime screenwriter behind Anohana and Anthem of the Heart. ― Earlier this week, we published our exclusive interview with anime screenwriter Mari Okada, the voice behind Anohana, Anthem of the Heart and a small mountain of instantly-recognizable works. 2018 is really shaping up to be O...
interview

Interview: Legendary Anime Screenwriter Mari Okada

The voice behind Anohana and Anthem of the Heart is having a spectacular year, with both her autobiography and her directorial debut seeing international release this year. Kim Morrissy goes in-depth in our exclusive interview. ― If you're an anime fan, you've probably watched an anime Mari Okada has worked on at some point. Most famous for her anime-original works Anohana and The Anthem of the Heart...
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Haoliners, Anime, and the Future of Chinese Animation

An in-depth behind-the-scenes look at Haoliners, the Chinese animation house that has aggressively entered the television anime market with some success, some failure, and a lot of ambition. ― It is often said that China has a huge impact on the Japanese anime industry. Although the Chinese government has had a habit of restricting access to anime titles even in recent years, the anime market in Chin...
interview

Interview: Bryce Papenbrook, David Vincent Chat Unlocked

Attack on Titan's Bryce Papenbrook and Kill la Kill's David Vincent sit down for a chat about their new approach to connecting fans and voice actors. ― Fans may recognize veteran voice actors Bryce Papenbrook (Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online) and David Vincent (Fate/Zero, Kill La Kill) from their work in a number of anime and video game series, but the two have a unique off-screen collaboration, as...
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Interview: Yuichi Terao, Chief of Ufotable's Digital Team

Learn how ufotable's stellar digital team blended 2D and 3D to create some of the most spectacular fights in anime history in Fate/Stay Night: Heaven's Feel! ― If you ask “What makes Ufotable anime so unique?”, any anime fan or creator will likely point towards their digital compositing. Ufotable productions blend 3D backgrounds, elaborate VFX and 2D animation to create exciting scenes that impress f...
interview

Interview: Gundam Wing scribe Katsuyuki Sumisawa

The prolific screenwriter behind Gundam Wing and countless anime from Inuyasha to Dragon Ball shares some incredible stories from his incredible career. ― One look at the incredible resume of screenwriter Katsuyuki Sumisawa and it's clear you're dealing with a legend – over his long career he's worked on everything from Inuyasha to Macross 7 to Saiyuki to Sailor Moon, having stood alongside industry ...
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Explaining the English Light Novel Boom with Bookwalker Global

There were 80 light novels released in English in 2016, and 2017 has already surpassed that number. Kim Morrissey takes a in-depth look at the blossoming light novel market. ― Light novels are becoming a hot new property in the English-speaking market these days. In 2016 alone, over 80 light novel volumes were published in English translation, a number that 2017 has already surpassed. These Japanese ...
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Why Affordable Housing for Animators Matters (and What You Can Do to Help)

Callum May takes an inside look at the Animator Supporters Dormitory Project that aims to give affordable housing to overworked animators. Find out how you can help support the lifeblood of the anime industry! ― If you're interested in finding out more about the anime industry, you'll undoubtedly come across numerous reports of struggling animators. For the most part, anime is not a practical way to ...
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The Art of Closed Captioning

Closed captioning the mountains of anime you see on streaming services is no small task; Justin Sevakis explains what goes in to making sure people can read their anime. ― For years, dubbed anime programming has been shown on video streaming services in the US – but without closed captioning for the hearing impaired. While both anime publishers and streaming providers knew that this wasn't ideal for ...
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Understanding Japan's Light Novel Rankings

Every year, the "Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!" rankings provide a snapshot of the books Japanese fans love most, from SNAFU to Re:Zero. LN expert Kim Morrissy breaks down this year's list! ― What is Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!? Every year, Takarajimashima publishes a light novel guide book called Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! (This Light Novel is Amazing!) which lists the top 10 light novel series of the y...
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What's A Light Novel?

Light novel adaptations have overwhelmed the anime industry for years - but what's a "light novel", anyway? Who writes them, who reads them, and how did they come to dominate anime? ― Light novels are some of the most common sources of anime adaptations today. While light novels have served as a basis for anime for many years (think of titles like Slayers and The Record of Lodoss War), they have beco...
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Your Ultimate Guide to Anime Ending Credits: Part III

The third installment of our in-depth look at the people who make the anime you love covers the most stressful jobs in the industry and what you might not know about outsourcing animation! ― It's been a while since the previous chapter of this guide following the ending credits of TV anime, attempting to shed some light into its production. Hopefully that break allowed everyone to catch up with the p...
interview

Interview: Legendary Evangelion Illustrator Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

The man behind the most iconic illustrations of Neon Genesis Evangelion and one of the most recognized character designers in the world opens up about his career and the state of the anime industry. ― During FicZone, a recent anime, manga and videogames event in Granada, in the south of Spain, we sat down to talk with Yoshiyuki Sadamoto about his current projects, hoping to get his thoughts about the...
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AnimeJapan 2016 Photos: Part I & II

The sights, the sounds, the booths, the cosplayers - this is the show floor at this year's AnimeJapan 2016, where everything from My Hero Academia to Macross Delta were shown off. ― It's finally here! The reason I flew across the country, over Alaska, and across the Pacific to Japan, the nation's biggest anime exposition, and it… …well, it seems kinda empty, doesn't it? Let's head inside Tokyo Big S...
interview

Interview: Neon Alley Program Director Kevin Kleinrock

We sit down and chat with Kevin Kleinrock, Program Director for Viz Media's Neon Alley. ― So, to get this out of the way, how did you wind up as Program Director for Neon Alley, given your rather well-known background in pro wrestling? It sounds like a fun story. Haha, fair enough question. I guess the short answer would be that wrestling and anime are both very niche markets with their own niche fan...

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