Eric's post a few days ago about identification requests contains a problematic paragraph:

First, let it be clear that I am talking about identifying an anime or manga from one or more images. Some questions, while tagged with , are not identifying anime or manga, but rather elements of a series. (This question is one example.)

The fact that Eric has to specify that he is talking about one kind of question but not the other kind of identification-request question strongly suggests that we are using the tag to refer to too many different kinds of things.

Let's take a look at the tag wiki excerpt:

For questions which ask about the identification of an anime/manga/character using a description; specific elements (like a character or song); or screenshots.

There are two entirely different types of questions here. First, we have questions in which the user does not know the name of the anime/manga/franchise they are looking for. This is the "conventional" sort of identification request, and I think it is uncontroversial that we should tag them with .

But on the other hand, this tag is also being used for questions where the user knows what franchise they're in and seeks to identify a "specific element". For example:

I see why people are tagging these questions with - the asker wants something "identified", right? But this is a dangerous line of thinking. Should we tag Is Nadia voluntarily inspired by Castle in the Sky? with because the asker wants to "identify" the connection between Nadia and Castle in the Sky? What about The Kamisama Hajimemashita anime covers the manga up to what chapter? - doesn't the asker want to "identify" the chapter at which the anime ends? No, of course we shouldn't.

This latter type of question is a completely different beast than the "conventional" identification request. Indeed, they even require different skillsets to answer - to answer a "conventional" identification request, you need to be good at Googling and mind-reading. Whereas, to answer a question like What is the context of this reference to Chrollo Lucilfer in Inou Battle manga chapter 1?, you need to know things about Hunter x Hunter and Inou Battle.

As such, I move to amend the tag wiki excerpt for to read something like this:

For questions in which you want to find the name of an anime, manga, or other work based on screenshots/recollections/etc.

Then, we ought to remove from all the places where it's inappropriately used (probably somewhere over half of these: http://data.stackexchange.com/anime/query/295881).

Here is another example: Who is the creator of the manga Yu Yu Hakusho?. It was not tagged with . But it asks for the author (a tangible entity) to be identified. Should we tag this with ? If one wishes to be consistent with the tagging decisions I describe above, I would think so. (For the purposes of this discussion, ignore the fact that the question sucks.)

tl;dr Let's stop using on things that aren't "conventional" identification requests.

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    I mostly expect [identification-request] to be used on questions that identify tangible things (whether in-universe or out-of-universe). An anime, manga, or sound track is tangible, as is a specific character within a series. This was touched upon in an earlier meta post.
    – Cattua
    Apr 2, 2015 at 16:36
  • @キルア Okay, sure, that's how we've been doing it, but why? What value do we get by tagging questions like "what is this song from this show called?" with [identification-request]? From the perspective of "tags should help experts find questions they can answer", does it make sense to send the experts on googling and mindreading to answer questions on in-universe things?
    – senshin
    Apr 2, 2015 at 16:52
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    I agree, if we already know the work, there's no need for id-req to be on it. we get enough flak as it is for that tag, lets just keep it for id-ing works we don't know.
    – anon
    Apr 2, 2015 at 16:53
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    @senshin I tend to agree, though I feel like those questions need something. I don't think every expert in FMA knows the OST as well, for example, so keeping just that tag on there is perhaps undesirable. I think other sites use [*-identification] (where * is music, game, movie, etc.) but I don't think we can change that at this point. To me, a question asking for an OST track needs more than just [series][music].
    – Cattua
    Apr 2, 2015 at 16:59
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    There is also the case of identifying reference. Is it correct to assume that this meta post doesn't touch on this type of questions?
    – nhahtdh
    Apr 3, 2015 at 5:28
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    @キルア My position seems to be the opposite of yours - I don't think we should even use [music] on questions like that (though I don't feel very strongly about this). Consider the consequences of this if we were to carry this through more thoroughly - should we use [plot] on questions about plot of FMA, or [characters] on questions about characters in FMA? If we do, we end up with a tagging scheme like at Movies.SE. Now, one thing that would work here, in my opinion, would be to tag questions with something like [fma][fma-music], just like on SO we would tag questions with, say, (...)
    – senshin
    Apr 3, 2015 at 19:34
  • (...) [android][android-resources], or whatever. The problem, of course, is that none of these "subsidiary" tags would have enough questions to be worthwhile on a site our size. But the current paradigm of [fma][music] is analogous to [android][resources], which is of course frowned upon on SO because people are typically not experts on "resources" but rather on resources in the context of a particular system/framework/etc. Expanding that to [fma][music][id-request] is like... I don't know, [android][resources][programming] or something.
    – senshin
    Apr 3, 2015 at 19:38
  • @senshin That's part of what makes this so hard (our size, that is). Ideally we would have [fma-music] tags. But at the same time, I think it's rare that an expert solely in [fma] would be able to answer all OST questions, while some would be able to. I can see both sides of this, though, and the problem is that I'm not sure either one works perfectly.
    – Cattua
    Apr 3, 2015 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


You bring up a very good point. But comments have also brought up a good point in that it is, nonetheless, the identification of something.

I therefore propose a new tag — or better: a series of tags — to be implemented which signifies you know the series but you want to know details.

If it's a single tag, something along the lines of , or similar.

If a series is preferred, it is easier to name them:

Of course it is a lot of work to skim through the 1250 questions tagged with at the time of posting this suggestion to potentially retag them, but I think it's possible.

Maybe in that context, might also be migrated into , or similar. It would stop people using when they want an anime identified, because when they type manga the 'correct' tag would be suggested.

  • 4
    "It would stop people using [anime-production] when they want an anime identified" - for this, we actually do already have [anime-identification] synonymed to [identification-request]
    – senshin
    Apr 15, 2015 at 14:28
  • I don't see why this is being downvoted as it's essentially the solution to the problem (if it is a problem) Aug 28, 2015 at 18:36

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