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Is asking about when a specific event happens in an anime or manga on- or off-topic? For example:

In the NANA manga, when does Nana Komatsu break up with Shouji?

In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, when do the brothers find the Philospher's Stone?

In Katekyo Hitman Reborn! the anime, when do the Tenth Generation Vongola Family gain the half Vongola Rings?

In the manga of Ouran High School Host Club, in what chapter does Tamaki realize Haruhi is a girl?

I thought these may be of-topic because:

  • They show a lack of research
  • They're simple, one-word-provoking questions

They also may not be fit for other reasons.

Thanks in advance.

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Lack of research is not a close reason, that's what down votes are for. This is an issue which has come up on multiple Stack Exchange sites, and was implemented with the General Reference close reasons. However, that was considered to be a massive failure and has since been removed on all sites which implemented on it. It just results in users drawing arbitrary lines in the sand for when a question is too simple, which is also why I disagree with your second reason for why these questions should be deemed off-topic.

Do think these are good questions? No, they're crap, but that's what down votes are for, not close votes.

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  • I agree with that more than Alenanno's answer. If it is a dupe, close it. If it's not unanswerable, close it. If it lacks research, downvote it. – Madara's Ghost Dec 17 '12 at 21:34
  • @Wipqozn: It hasn't been removed on English Language and Usage. Which is currently a contributing reason to a massive shitstorm there with increasingly obscure resources considered GR... which probably just supports your case here. – SF. Dec 18 '12 at 9:27
  • @SF. It was on SciFi until ~ month ago, which was also the cause of quite a few shit storms. GR is just more trouble than it's worth. – Wipqozn Dec 18 '12 at 17:34
  • Pretty good distinction here. What are exactly "shit storms"? Something like edit war on Wikipedia? Sorry for the meta-meta answer on meta. :D – chirale Dec 18 '12 at 23:24
  • Where do you see General Reference being a massive failure? On some sites it has been removed because it was probably abused, not sure, but on EL&U it's still successfully used and it hasn't been removed. So you should probably reword that part. :P – Alenanno Dec 20 '12 at 11:46
  • @Alenanno It's considered a failure by Stack Exchange, and was the cause of a lot of problems on SFF. – Wipqozn Dec 20 '12 at 19:04
  • @Wipqozn Where is that stated? – Alenanno Dec 20 '12 at 19:05
  • @Wipqozn That's different from saying it's a failure: The close reason won't be added by default by only to the sites that really need it (and indeed, EL&U has it). – Alenanno Dec 20 '12 at 19:09
  • @Alenanno: I haven't looked into GR on EL&U, but on SFF the close reason was abused in the worst possible way, with users drawing arbitrary lines in the sand for when it should and shouldn't be applied. Sometimes resulting in brilliant answers be deleted since a part of the answer could be found on wikipedia. – Wipqozn Dec 20 '12 at 19:09
  • @Wipqozn That is something we should avoid, but my point was that I don't think it's the close reason's fault, rather its abuse. – Alenanno Dec 20 '12 at 19:10
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My thoughts on this are: questions with lack of research effort are not by default off topic. But this can be set by the community. Asking any question without providing your effort will make this site a sort of "Do this research for me, I'm too lazy to type on Google".

I don't think we should be too lenient against those. And by the way, it's not true that the General Reference has been totally removed. It still exists on EL&U, for example:

enter image description here

Besides, episodes numbers aren't necessarily the same across countries (Japan and Italy for example are different). But your points are even more compelling:

  • It asks for one-word answers... Not the best, but perhaps this can be fixed by making the question look for a more deep answer.
  • They usually show lack of research, unless the OP proves their own research.

So the point is: Should we decide what questions are too basic?

For me, any question that is really too basic such as What is Naruto's last name? should be closed (if we decide this, the close reason would be off topic) and let other questions opened when the question might look basic but is more complicated, and especially if the OP shows some effort on their part.

So, General Reference being there or not, as long as it won't be there, we should probably close as Not A Real Question or Too Localized.

We're not here as a sort of quick encyclopedia resource.

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