Recent examples are https://anime.stackexchange.com/questions/34353/rezero-kara-hajimeru-isekai-seikatsu, In the Erased manga do Satoru and Airi get together?, and Does Ash walk away from the starting pokemon in the anime?.

The common thread among these questions is that the OP is familiar with one form of a story (the anime, the game) and is asking questions about what happened in some other version (the manga, the anime) which are obvious to someone who's actually read/watched that other version.

We seem to be entering a bit of a close/reopen war on these. I keep going back and forth; in my opinion, they're not good questions, but I'm also not sure they should be closed. Downvoted, yes, but I don't know about closing.

Anyone have an opinion on this? Should we allow these in general? Should there be any criteria to decide which ones are too silly to allow?

  • 2
    To me, the worst cases (e.g. the Re:Zero example) tend to fall into the category of "uninteresting questions without much value to others that could easily have been researched." (For comparison, it would also contain something like this Code Geass question.) Downvoting seems somehow more appropriate than a VTC though.
    – Maroon
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 7:08
  • 1
    I also imagine there are good instances of such questions. (For instance, if only one adaptation of the content has been localized and licensed and the OP has already seen one version and has a fairly specific question, or if locating the relevant chapters in a very long-running series is difficult.)
    – Maroon
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 7:09
  • @Maroon That was my thought too. For instance, I asked a question about the Yuru Yuri manga that was similar to these ones.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 16:44

2 Answers 2


In response to the latest edit:

Should we allow these in general? Should there be any criteria to decide which ones are too silly to allow?

I think there should be some quality threshold to avoid having to answer and keep questions like this one. For example, if answer can be found on:

  • Wikipedia or anime database page for the work;
  • First page of a google search (somebody already asked this on forums or answered in reviews);
  • The thing in question is made pretty obvious at the beginning or the end (which are both easy to locate), except where that something is implied and you think some viewers could miss it (which is probably evidence they didn't pay enough attention, and so they're being lazy by asking such a question).

If answer can't be found like that, I think it's reasonable to say it's not easy to find it, and it deserves a place on the site.

  • 1
    i think that this is a pretty hard summary for moderators to maintain. you have to check some knowledge sites (wikis, dbs), check google results and have to watch the beginning and the end of the episode/anime. that's a lot of work for a moderator to do before you can decide whether it should be off topic or not.
    – Armin
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:45
  • 1
    I agree with having a quality threshold, but I also agree with @Armin that I don't like the idea of having to do research to figure out if a question is on-topic (like we did with image-only id requests).
    – Torisuda
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:47
  • Also, the question you linked is horrible, but I think its main problem is that it's primarily opinion-based since it depends on someone's definition of "real romance". I voted to close on that basis.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:48
  • Maybe we could treat these criteria as an upper-bound: if a question falls under these criteria, it is definitely off-topic, but close voters can also apply some judgment to decide if the given question is likely to fall under these criteria, and anyone who disagrees with the closure can do the research and start a reopen vote.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:53
  • 1
    Basically, if it's worth a downvote, you probably already know it's easy to google it up, but just to be technically correct and precise and be able to back up with written rules, this is what I've come up with. When in doubt, ask yourself if a question is what you think this site is about and if you expect it to be part of the site's main focus. Remember that your vote may express your personal opinion in addition to indicating "research, usefulness and clarity" (as explained in hover text of vote buttons).
    – Hakase
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 17:59
  • Linked question has been removed.
    – Tyhja
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 2:57

Re zero is just too silly to even consider as a valid question, so let's not mix it in together with the other two.

Regarding Erased question…

There are cases where you can get an answer relatively easily, like (in my opinion) in case of this Erased question, by just browsing the manga's last pages and seeing how it diverges from anime. But these are just 2 versions, so as I see it, OP didn't bother to look it up, and so I downvoted the question for lack of research.

And then there are not so easy to answer questions like works with multiple continuities, different twists on the same story, alternative setting, etc. For example, Ghost in the Shell which has many movies and series.

I don't think it should stay closed, as it's a valid, even if not a very good question of its kind.

Regarding Pokemon question…

OP says:

I've not seen the show, but I used to play the video games.

It is not stated which games, but I've played Yellow and you just don't get the pokemon you were supposed to get because your rival is mean, and it's within the first few minutes. But I assume that OP wasn't playing Yellow, and the newer games do give you some choice of a starter pokemon (haven't played any myself).

But that's not why it was closed. Because it was put in a way that it asks about the Pokemon Go game, it's not on topic here. The answer was given to a very related, but not the same question. I think we can fix this case by editing the question to "How does Ash get Pikachu in the anime?" and then it would be on topic.

update: I edited the Pokemon question to be on topic.

  • 3
    Good edit on the Pokemon question; I voted to reopen it. I've also voted to reopen the Erased question; it's not a great question, and I can certainly see how it would earn a downvote, but I don't find it close-worthy. I also agree with you that the Re:Zero question was silly and too forum-like (also, the OP can just wait until next week).
    – Torisuda
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 4:56
  • in regards to the Pokemon games, to my knowledge (which is up to the Gem before Black and White) Pokemon Yellow is the only game (excluding spinoffs like Ranger) in which you don't choose a starter pokemon, in fact it more mirrored the anime as your Pikachu doesn't go back into it's ball, follows behind you and actually had proper line in comparison to the weird tones all the other pokemon do in every other game. it also had affection which if it got too low would act like a high lv traded pokemon that your missing badges for
    – Memor-X
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 15:04

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