Q&A

Here is a collection of questions I’ve gotten either on the blog previously or otherwise, and some I just wanted to answer before getting asked. I’ve tried to have them in categories (as much as possible) and they are as follows:

Blogging
Anime
Manga, Comics & Light Novels
Visual Novels
Games

Last Update: 2017-08-09

BLOGGING

My question isn’t answered!
Please take a moment to comment with your question and I’ll reply asap.

Do you take requests?
Not anymore. I do occasionally ask for recommendations and request on Twitter for mobile game polls, but that’s it. Otherwise you can find polls on what to play, watch or read next either in the sidebar, on Twitter or Patreon (I’m trying to move all material related polls to Patreon, eventually).

What is that header from? How many headers do you have?
I use several different headers and they are all randomized, so it would be difficult for me to answer that question without more specific details. However these are the following titles with featured headers (numbers indicate how many headers there are for that title):

  • .hack (2)
  • Amnesia (31)
  • Another (7)
  • Ao Haru Ride (3)
  • Atelier Meruru (1)
  • Harem Tengoku da to Omottara Yandere Jigoku datta (11)
  • Little Witch Academia (3)
  • Prisma*Illya (2)
  • Rozen Maiden (6)
  • Sailor Moon (24)
  • Spice and Wolf (13)

Total amount of headers: 103

You misspelled ____ in the post/page ____!
My native languages are Finnish and Swedish, but as you can no doubt tell I primarily write in English. Writing in English just feels more natural than writing in my native tongue, however because it isn’t my native language, I do make mistakes. From time to time you may notice a few misspellings and typos, but rest assured I am doing my best to catch them all. Typically, I write my posts in one sitting, so if neither Safari’s nor WordPress’s spellcheckers catch them, I usually don’t notice errors myself. I am constantly reviewing my posts (both old and new) in order to correct any typos, double words, bad grammar and spellings as I notice them, so please bear with me, I’m doing my best to give you all quality content! .

Why is it called “A collection of thoughts on Literature and Visual Arts”? You don’t write about paintings/sculptures/etc.
It’s a little bit of a pun, if you don’t mind. Visual arts include ceramics, sculptures and paintings, but it doesn’t exclude everything else. I personally think animation and games are both forms of art, just like literature. So, I thought visual arts would be better term to use rather than the typical categories of “games, anime, films and more”. Of course I realize there are people who’d argue against me on these things being included along with traditional visual arts, and in those cases let’s just agree to disagree.

I might also add that visual novels, such as the otome games I sometimes write about are counted as literature, not games. Why? Because literature is by definition everything written and since visual novels are written, it’s safe to assume that visual novels are a form of literature (if not a slightly more interactive form of it).. However on this blog, visual novels are included under the games category, simply because they are generally available on gaming platforms (ie. consoles, computers, mobile) so I felt it was more prudent to categorize them as such to avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings.

How does the commission work?
If you are a publisher, developer, author or have the rights to a work you can send me a mail to theannyblog@gmail.com to have a post in Request Friday. If your work is free, I’ll play it for free when I have time. If your work however is paid for, I request to receive the work for free to be able to review it.

If I already own the work and have paid for it, we can discuss a fee, or you can wait and see if I review it. I have a schedule I follow for my regular posts (last Sunday/month) and even if your work is in it at the moment, it’s not a guarantee that it’ll be posted any time soon. To guarantee a quickly posted review, being in Request Friday is better for you, as they have the same priority as regular posts, but will be posted as soon as I have enough content to review it, which means I may not have finished your work at the time of writing the review.

If you want me to add a certain tag/hashtag, give it a tweet review, post a short review on it on Instagram and link to a non-affiliate site, I request a small fee for the extra work. It’s dependent on your wishes, but doesn’t go above 3o SEK (approximately 3 USD/EUR), unless you have a very specific request. If you have a very long work and and want me to review it after finishing it, this is an example of a specific request.

Requests that I don’t accept are the ones that ask me not to mention things I don’t like, or certain bugs for you to make sure you receive a good review. I sincerely believe in honest reviews, and that is what you will get.

I also don’t take request on content that are 18+, due to personal values and my blog is not targeted to an 18+ rated audience only, or works that doesn’t have anything to do with the focus – which is fictional books, comics (from anywhere), games of any form, and animated shows and films.

Are you affiliated to any sites?
I’m affiliated with CDJapan, MangaGamer, Play-Asia and The Book Depository. You can also find banners for all of these sites in the sidebar on the home page.

I haven’t gotten enough purchases on Amazon, so they closed my account for a second time. I’m no longer affiliated with Amazon, until I make a new account and at this time it does not seem likely that I will be affiliated with them, unless the purchases through my blog goes up.

CDJapan
When you click on an item on CDJapan, a cookie is active for 30 days (or until you clear your cookies). If you buy the item you clicked on within 30 days, I receive a commission of 5-7% of the item’s value. Just clicking a link gives no commission and the cart’s full value doesn’t matter, just the item you clicked.

MangaGamer
As with the site listed above, if you see an item featured on my blog and decide to purchase said item, I will receive a small commission for that item. You must purchase the item in order for me to receive a commission for that item, clicking links alone will not generate a commission.

Play-Asia
When you click a link to Play-Asia, I receive a few cents. If you buy an item I receive additional commission that is 3-8% of the value of the item you clicked and bought. The full value of the cart doesn’t matter, just the item you clicked.

The Book Depository
Like with CDJapan and MangaGamer, I receive a commission if you choose to purchase something. When you click on a link, a cookie is active for 30 days and if you make a purchase, I get a 5% commission.

What does the money you get from donations, Patreon and affiliate links go to?
All income from affiliates goes first to actually paying for the content on my blog or actual blog expenses. These would be things like the domain name or games, books, comics and anime.

If those are covered it goes to anything I might need to blog or to get content. Like, if my computer suddenly broke, the money would go to paying for a new one so I can keep blogging, or if my computer needs an upgrade to play a game, a console, or a new tablet or eReader.

Finally, if there’s something left, it goes to the Mahou Shoujo Guide. The Mahou Shoujo Guide’s expenses are things like old mahou shoujo works in physical or digital form. Some of them are really expensive and/or hard to get. Not everything are things I cover on the blog either, because the genre got influence from things outside of anime and manga.

If, for some amazing reason, I can get all of these, it ends up being my pay (or maybe more, paying back the money I set into this blog every year aside from the money I get from other sources), at the end of the year. But I doubt will happen any time soon.

Why are all your links to anime DVDs?
I pretty much stopped watching anime, so I don’t post much about it anymore so I don’t add links to them. But, I used to pick DVDs over BDs when I did write about anime in older posts, since I live in Europe(Europe and Japan share the same DVD region). I’m currently going over all of my posts and adding links for both BDs and DVDs.

How do your tags work?
I tag the following in each post:

  • Voice Actors (in the original language, if applicable)
  • Author (if applicable)
  • Illustrator (if applicable)
  • Series/Title
  • Based on anime/comic/game/novel series/novel/visual novel (if applicable)
  • Year aired (if applicable, when it’s starting)
  • Season aired (if applicable, when it’s starting)
  • Magazine (if applicable, original magazine(s) something ran in)

Occasionally I also tag:

  • Composers
  • Publishers
  • Translator (if applicable)

As you see, I don’t tag when books or comics were published. There are several reasons for this, the most important being that many comics have different release dates (like, one for magazine release and one for book release) and different editions of books have different releases and some older titles don’t even have a known year. The whole thing is more complicated than it needs to be, so I have opted to omit the dates altogether.

I don’t tag when games are released either, mostly because release dates may vary by region and version and I usually play the Japanese version (otome games and other visual novels) or European editions, and adding just the release of those would have people throwing a fit at some point.

Finally, I don’t add every single season a show is airing or every year it airs, so if it aired from winter 2006/07 and over 6 seasons, it will be tagged “2006” and “winter 2006/07”, not “2006”, “2007”, “2008”, “winter 2006/07”, “spring 2007”, “summer 2007”, “autumn 2007”, “winter 2007/08” and “spring 2008”.

What voice actor do you tag? Do you tag all that appear in a series/film/game?
No, I don’t tag them all. Tagging them all would be impossible because once in a while actors simply aren’t credited or use an alias. There are times I could swear on my excessive fangirliness I heard either Kappei Yamaguchi or Tomokazu Seki as background characters, but when I looked at the credits I couldn’t even find said background character, let alone a voice actor for them. As a rule I tag the voice actors for the main characters, the most important supportive characters, and voice actors I know are well-known. So in general you will only find the voice actors voicing main roles and important supportive roles in the tags. If a character appears once, chances are I won’t add them, unless they are very, VERY popular. Like Hiroshi Kamiya.

How are you writing the names of people in tags/posts? Why do they differ?
In posts I write it as Given Name-Family Name. As example we have Kappei (given name) Yamaguchi (family name) and Jean M. (given name) Auel (family name). In tags however, I write them Family Name-Given Name, which with previous examples are written as Yamaguchi Kappei and Auel Jean M.. This is for me and anyone else to have an easier time finding people among the tags. It also helps locate individuals with similar last names.

I commented a few days ago but my comment isn’t showing!
Sometimes comments end up in the spam inbox. I check it every time I log into the dashboard, but I don’t do that every day, only when I’m going to write a new post and a day or two after a new post has been published. So it might take up to a week for your comment to appear if it’s caught as spam. Don’t worry though, if it happens once and I approve it, it shouldn’t happen again!

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ANIME RELATED QUESTIONS

How did you start watching anime?
The first anime I remember watching is Sailor Moon, and then Digimon and Pokémon. I would watch re-runs of Sailor Moon whenever there were any on TV (it got to the point where I had memorized the lines) and I even got the magazines. When I was 13, my mother knew a co-worker that was interested in anime and the like. He had a Sailor Moon live-action TV-show, so my mother downloaded a copy of it from him to show me. Being the Sailor Moon fan I was, it was a given that I started watching it immediately. In addition to the Sailor Moon live-action TV show, my mother also got copies of other anime from him like, Ah! My Goddess and Ranma 1/2. Around the same time, she also bought me volumes of Dragonball which got me into Japanese comics. So basically, my mother – rather than getting me out of the geekdom – introduced me to it.

Where did you watch anime? Where can I get them?
I watch a lot of shows while they are still airing. So, if you can’t watch it on your own TV, Crunchyroll and Funimation are streaming services that let you watch various shows that are being aired. At least CR works through web browsers and apps to smartphones, tablets and TVs, so there’s a lot of options to watch them. You can also buy them from CDJapan, Amazon to some extent and Play-Asia, just to name a few sellers.

Why did you stop watching anime?
I haven’t entirely stopped. I had a habit of watching the most anime when I had the least amount of energy due to family-related issues (ie. my mother had cancer, died and left unfinished heritance business after my grandmother) and feeling the most down in my life because of illness, school and family things. As of early 2016 I will only review anime whenever something genuinely piques my interest or if I’m watching a show for my mahou shoujo research. So for those who come to my blog solely to read those reviews, I’m happy you’re still sticking with me.

What is considered a magical girl/mahou shoujo anime/comic/manga?
This is a very subjective matter. Let’s start with Wikipedia’s list of magical girl anime and manga. There’s also a short article about magical girls on Wikipedia.

Other than those, I’m working on mahou shoujo/magical girl guide which will explain the genre and give recommendations for each sub-genre.

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MANGA, COMICS & LIGHT NOVEL RELATED QUESTIONS

Where do you read manga?/Where can I buy manga? Where do you get your light novels?
Try hitting your local book store or comic store. I read a lot of comics and books in English (Swedish-translated Japanese comic publishing is more or less dead) or in Japanese, and I buy a lot of my comics and books in physical form from either local stores or sites shipping only in Sweden or Europe. Digitally I tend to get comics or light novels in Japanese which I buy from Rakuten through the Japanese Kobo Store. I also get light novels in English from Google Play, Amazon or Adlibris’ website. No extra import or shipping fees when I do that. From time to time I might import all the way from Japan if I really, REALLY like a series.

But if your local store doesn’t sell you could try the following sites:

  • Adlibris.com (available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark)
  • Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
  • Random House
  • CDJapan (Ships from Japan, also sells manga magazines)

If you don’t want to collect the paperbacks (or import), I recommend using a digital service, and getting an ebook reader app, or even getting an eReader.

Some suggestions are, if you read both comics and light novels (or just, you know, BOOKS):

  • Amazon’s Kindle eReader or app (Digital Manga Publishing, Kodansha Comics, One Peace Books, Seven Seas, Viz, Yen Press) – Android, iOS, OSX, Windows, Blackberry.
  • Rakuten’s Kobo eReaders or app (Digital Manga Publishing, Kodansha Comics, Yen Press) -Android, iOS, OSX, Windows, Blackberry. Stores are region-locked based on your IP. You can bypass it on computers, with a Google search.
  • Barnes & Nobels’ Nook eReader or app (Digital Manga Publishing, Kodansha Comics, One Peace Books, Seven Seas, Viz, Yen Press) – Android, iOS, Windows Barns & Nobels decided to kill their Nook service, apparently
  • iBookstore (Crunchyroll, Darkhorse comics, Harlequin Comics, Viz, Yen Press) – iOS, OSX
  • Google Play Books (Crunchyroll, Darkhorse comics, Harlequin Comics, Viz, Yen Press) – Android, browser.

And if it’s for just comics I suggest:

  • comiXology.com or comiXology.eu (website, app; Digital Manga Publishing, Harlequin Comics, Seven Seas, Tokyopop, publishers of non-Japanese comics)
  • Crunchyroll (website, app)
  • eManga.com (website; Digital Manga Publishing)
  • Manga Box (website, app; Manga Box)
  • SuBlime (website)
  • Zoom Comics (website; Seven Seas)

A friend of mine has posted about some options for Japanese comics that she has tried.

If you have other ways to get your reading legally, let me know. I’ll add it. Also let me know if anything is out of date or if you want me to add some specific info (like region-locking)!

Do note that I don’t link to shops not affiliated to this blog!

Could you list some publishers of manga?
Sure! This list could get long though, so I’ll only list publishers of English-translated stuff! I will even tell you if what they release in physical or digital form! Not all of them are Japanese comics only, so don’t complain, I’m just listing all I know that does publish the stuff.

  • Crunchyroll (digital)
  • Dark Horse Comics (digital, physical)
  • Digital Manga Publishing (digital, physical)
  • Harlequin Comics (digital)
  • Kadokawa Manga (Japanese publisher, but publishes a few titles in English on their site Book Walker; digital)
  • Kodansha Comics (digital, physical)
  • Manga Box (digital)
  • One Peace Books (digital, physical)
  • Seven Seas Entertainment (digital, physical)
  • Tokyopop
  • Vertical (physical)
  • Yen Press (digital, physical)

Do note that I don’t link to shops not affiliated to this blog!

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VISUAL NOVEL RELATED QUESTIONS

How did you find visual novels?
This is a tricky question, as I honestly don’t know how I found them. I had heard of some titles – like the Tokimeki Memorial series and La Corda d’Oro – but I didn’t really know much about them. I am assuming I started to get interested in galge, but I wasn’t interested for real until I found Heart no Kuni no Alice. But how I found them, will remain a mystery, because I just don’t remember.

Where do you get the otome games? Where can I download them?
If you’re seeking downloads, look elsewhere. Non-English games I’ve bought are mostly from CDJapan, but I’ve started buying them through Japanese Playstation Store. I’ve also used Amazon to get games that haven’t been released in Europe but in the US. Other places to get them are Play-Asia, AmiAmi and YesAsia.

Where did you get a localized version of _____?
Not all games I play are in English. If you can’t find a legal localization of a game, I played it in Japanese. It’s as easy as that.

Are there any otome games in English?
Yes, there are. Here is a list of otome games with English as their original language (but any games tagged with sexual content has been removed). Most are made by indie game developers, but that doesn’t mean they are any worse than the big names.

What otome games are suited for beginners in Japanese?
I’m working on a guide for different levels, but Alyssa over at It’s a Wonderful World, is working on a list of games fit for beginners.

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GAME RELATED QUESTIONS

How did you get into gaming?
I got into gaming kind of late. As most people, I’d heard of many of the really popular titles like Pokémon and Final Fantasy VII, but except for playing Sonic the Hedgehog on my dad’s neighbour’s Sega Megadrive, I didn’t really game much. In fact, for a long time aside from educational computer games,all video games and consoles were banned in our household. This left me with Tetris, some traditional board games, and a handful of card games.This gradually changed when it became apparent that the only “reading” my brother did came from video games. So, when I was one week shy of my 15th birthday (the year would be 2005), I got my first video game, Final Fantasy X-2, which I played on my brother’s Playstation 2. After that, I kept getting games that interested me, playing them on whatever I could get my hands on, usually borrowed consoles. It didn’t matter, I was hooked.

What are your favourite games and genres?
My favourite genre is RPG, which is also the genre most of my favourite games are in. Other than “pure” RPG, I also play a lot of Action RPGs, but haven’t really gotten around to trying Tactical RPGs. I also really enjoy Action-Adventure games and the occasional puzzle game. On the other hand I’m really not good with genres like fighting or racing, not that I like them much anyway. I like games with an achievable goal, that allow me to use my head..

If I had to choose, some of my favourite series are, it’s Project .hack, Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. Single games that are in my top favourites list are Final Fantasy I, Kingdom Hearts, Okami, Y’s Book 1 and Atelier Meruru. If you want to add visual novels as games, Black Wolves Saga -Bloody Nightmare- is another favourite.

Have you’ve played this game?
I may have, I may not have. Any games I own or that my partner have and that I’ve borrowed from him to play are listed on my Backloggery. I suggest you check it out to have an idea of what I’ve played. There are games I have borrowed from elsewhere or sold that I have played as well, but as those are few, so is it not in my list it’s highly likely I haven’t played it.

I want to game with you! Do you have any online information to share?
Yes, I do. Here’s a list of game IDs, friend codes and other game related information:

  • 3DS Friend Code: 4012-8193-3253
  • Chain Chronicle ID: (CC Global was put down. If I get the Vita version from JP, I’ll let you know the ID)
  • Final Fantasy XIV: X’tosh Nuhn (Ragnarok, EU server), Keifuu Usawa (Ragnarok, EU server)
  • Origin: ortitia
  • PSN: Annybori (also, danderedere, but I don’t really use the account)
  • Steam: Danderedere

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