This discussion is motivated by https://anime.stackexchange.com/questions/11561/sad-anime-about-a-poor-boy-and-his-dog.

Now, as we all know, Stack Exchange policy encourages self-answered questions. However, before we apply this policy blindly, we should be careful to consider why this policy exists. According to the help center,

If you have a question that you already know the answer to, and you would like to document that knowledge in public so that others (including yourself) can find it later, it's perfectly okay to ask and answer your own question on a Stack Exchange site.

Here is the thing: self-answered questions are great when ― and only when ― they provide useful knowledge to future readers. However, as previous discussions have already established, identification-request questions are generally not useful to future readers, since no two people will remember a given anime in the same way. As such, I am not really sure that the standard rationale for permitting immediately-self-answered questions really applies here.

Please note that I am not saying that users should not be able to self-answer an identification-request if they later find the answer to their question; this discussion is strictly about cases where the OP knows the answer at the time they ask the question. While I grant that in practice, it is not 100% possible to distinguish between these cases (OP could always pretend not to know the answer and then post it some hours later), it may be productive to discourage the asker-already-knows-the-answer questions anyway (provided that we come to the conclusion that these questions should not be allowed).

(The purpose of this post is not to impugn the asker of the question linked above, but rather merely to come to a consensus about these questions for future reference.)

  • I think it's probably gonna be fine in case where the description is along the lines of how an average person would describe it. Which is somewhat difficult to ascertain beforehand, but is not impossible.
    – Hakase
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 22:13
  • 1
    I don't see the problem with this unless you are concerned that he is trying to harvest rep (which it doesn't seem like it). If he was doing it consecutively one after the other then I guess but I don't see why it should not be allowed. Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 4:32
  • 1
    @アズーサ Frankly speaking, I was trying to introduce an anime/movie that I enjoyed watching very much, to the community. So this question could be changed accordingly. I have been introduced to a couple of interesting mangas through the set of questions asked here before, so I though I'd try and contribute in the opposite direction, since recommendations can't be asked for in general. Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 16:32
  • @PeterRaeves That's a perfectly fine motivation for asking a question; I just think that a better way of doing it is to ask and (possibly self-answer) a question about the series (see e.g. nhahtdh's question about Koe no Katachi: anime.stackexchange.com/q/3731/1908). That way, you still bring more eyes to the series while also increasing the odds you answer a question somebody else also had.
    – senshin
    Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


I disagree that we should dismiss them as "not useful to future users."

While yes, by nature, identification requests will be helpful to fewer people, there are still people who benefit from them. Take, for example this answer of mine, which still continues to receive occasional upvotes, and which has a comment from a second user who was looking for the same anime. While this is the only concrete example I have, I think it's fair to say it's a possibility for all (good) requests. (This question also gets occasional upvotes, but that may just be because it's about lolis.)

And, as Oded said,

so long as both question and answer conform to our quality guidelines, what's the problem?

So, in short, I think identification requests, asked when the OP already knows the answer, are perfectly acceptable.

  • For me I find it a bit awkward so I don't really do it that much. Lol. Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 4:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .