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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Anime?

Anime (pronounced "ah-nee-may") is a Japanese loan word taken from the English word animation.

The Japanese use the word Anime for any animation regardless of origin, whether it be Japanese, American, British, Czechoslovakian or any other kind of animation.

"Western Fans" use the word anime to describe Japanese Animation and no other.

Unlike western cartoons Japanese animation is aimed at a different audience and appeals more people than just children, as a result there is a huge amount of anime available covering a large amount of topics and issues, with a wide selection of genres.

Since Japanese censorship laws and cultural values are different from many other countries some anime is incredibly violent, this is only one end of the scale at the other anime is incredibly cute and saccharine.

Japanese animation is often of a very high quality, the characters are well developed and the story lines are written to a high standard. Anime normally has superb design, with vehicles, buildings, robots and weaponry being very detailed.

Of course like television programmes not all anime is well produced there is a large amount of anime that lacks quality of any kind.
Most anime stories originate from manga.


What is Manga?

Often confused with anime, manga is the Japanese word for comic book and is used by English speaking fans to describe Japanese comic books and graphic novels.

In Japan manga is mainstream and millions of people of people enjoy reading their favourite stories each day. Manga tackles a huge range of issues, just like paper back novels do. There is manga on history, sporting fiction, everything even the stock exchange!

No one really knows who the first manga artist was since loads of people draw and doodle, but it is unanimously agreed that in the early 12th Century Bishop Toba drew the first cartoon masterpiece - The Animal Scrolls, a satirical picture scroll that pokes fun at the Buddhist clergy.

Manga often gets made into anime and it creates a cross over appeal, existing fans of the manga will want to watch the anime, while fans of the anime will want to track down the manga and read it.


Where can I buy anime, manga and related merchandise?

Look at the links on the right menu bar for a selection of retailers. Make sure you're viewing the US or UK edition for a more suitable list.


What is the concern about piracy?

Every otaku wants to collect anime and manga merchandise, from DVDs to plush toys and even strange rare collectables. Unfortunately for many reasons pirate items exist, eBay is flooded with them and many people are unaware that they are buying pirate goods. If you want to avoid pirate / bootleg merchandise then we advise you to read the Pirate Anime FAQ, it was written by our editor!


I'm doing a project / paper / thesis / degree related to anime and manga, what books do you recommend?

Lots of books have started to appear about anime and manga on the market. We highly recommend the following books.

Frederik L. Schodt is the man when it comes to manga. Not only has he produced some of the best translations he has also written two fantastic books on the subject:

Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics
Frederik L. Schodt.
Kodansha International
1983 (First paper back edition 1986)
ISBN 0-87011-752-1

Dreamland Japan: Writings On Modern Manga
Frederik L. Schodt.
Stonebridge Press
ISBN 1-880656-23-X

Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy have been involved in many projects together. The Anime Encyclopedia is one of those must have references to Japanese Animation.

The Anime Encyclopedia : A Guide To Japanese Animation Since 1917
Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy
Stonebridge Press
ISBN 1-880656-64-7


What's the difference between the different editions of Otaku News?

We always get quite a bit of news for fans of anime, manga and other cool Japanese things, but it isn't always relevant to our readers in other countries. To make things easier for our readers, the site has been split up into different editions.

The World edition displays all the news. The UK and US editions will only display news our contributors feel are relevant to each country (when we say US, we really mean North America, but you get the idea). News stories can appear in more than one edition. This way if you really do want to hear about news all around the world you can read the world edition. If on the other hand you only really want to know about news in your region, then you can read the relevant edition, it's your choice!

The search feature will search the whole site and is not restricted to a single edition.


How can I join Otaku News?

We are always looking for good contributors to the site. You could simply help out by e-mailing and telling us about relevant news stories now and again. On the other hand if you really are crazy about Japan, especially anime and manga then you could become a contributor to this site. We normally like people with good written English skills, and the ability to communicate.

What can we offer in return? Well apart from the satisfaction of sharing your hobby with others and knowing that a lot of people will read what you write, you may also get the chance to attend press events and get the odd review copy or sneak preview at various anime and manga titles.


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