9

In light of this question, I'd like to ask what the community feels about questions similar to the aforementioned, ones related to where to buy, stream, anime or manga media or such related merchandise (such as character goods or music).

It's a given many people are not well-versed in being able to find the best places to watch their favorite anime (legally) or the best place to buy that limited edition figure or CD of featuring their favorite character or show. I'd like to open the site up to questions such as these, if we can make sure the answers draw from legal sources.

For an example, answers to questions related to where to watch/read anime/manga should only list legally available sources available either generally or within the asker's respective countries. Shopping advice and/or requests on where to download content from questionable sources will remain prohibited.

What do think? Should anything be added in terms of what should be allow or disallowed content-wise or scope-wise?

13

I think we should allow these questions (so long as they pertain to anime).

As far as I can tell, there are no legal issues involved as long as we restrict to legal releases. There's a bit of grey area as to what is a legal release in some countries, but it's pretty clear that in practice this means that licensed releases are acceptable, while fansubs aren't.

Since there's no legal issues, assuming the question asked is answerable (like the one linked above) the only arguments that I can see against such a question are that they are too localized and/or are typically too easy to answer. The latter isn't really true; wading through the difficult licensing issues, incomplete news articles, and various companies' websites is a pretty daunting task. By comparison, oftentimes an expert will know the answer immediately. If anime licensing were documented uniformly and well on Wikipedia or ANN, there might be a good argument for such questions being too basic, but the documentation there can out-of-date, incomplete, or altogether wrong.

As for the question of whether these questions are too localized, consider that we are allowing questions, i.e. questions about promotional materials released in conjunction with an anime. My interpretation of this question is that the community consensus is to allow such merchandise questions, though I suppose that's still up for some debate. We've even allowed cases where the merchandise in question was released in countries other than Japan (see e.g. What are the 2003 Wendy's Promotional Pokémon Toys?). If those sorts of questions are on topic, it seems like questions about releases of the actual anime should be at least as acceptable, if not more.

It might be worth creating a tag for all questions asking about home releases of an anime if this is something that a lot of people find uninteresting. could probably be used for this, though a different tag might be warranted as well since these questions require different knowledge to answer than most questions.

It's worth noting that we have precedent for allowing such questions. Here are four open questions which are in the same vein as the linked question, asking about releases of anime/manga. If we were to ban such questions, all of these would need to be closed:

For the question regarding Disney releases of Ghibli movies, the current phrasing is a bit non-constructive even though the underlying question (Is there any digital distribution of Ghibli films through Disney?) is fine. It could be improved easily by making the question more clear and objective. The title should also probably be clarified. This is all pretty standard cleanup, and assuming no one else does it in the meantime I'll try to do it soon, though I don't think it's strictly necessary here.

However, of the example questions listed in the OP, I don't think questions about the "best place to buy that limited edition figure or CD of featuring their favorite character or show" should be allowed here. These are shopping questions, and there are many problems associated to them. The "best place to buy" is always going to be a subjective question. There are plenty of questions about anime figures and other merchandise which I think would be acceptable, but anything asking us to compare products or vendors isn't constructive.

  • I concur with the last two paragraph: a basic cleanup can improve this kind of questions according to current rules. Since this is a kind of question usually asked by newcomers, an approach like this one about downvoting newcomers should be adopted. – chirale Jun 1 '13 at 6:26
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One can argue that these are too localized:

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, see the FAQ.

A question on where to buy certain manga/anime/franchise, will usually only apply to a certain city/town in a certain state/country.

An answer applicable to US folks will not apply to me, who live in Israel. Furthermore, an answer applicable to New York folks, won't necessarily apply to folks from Texas, etc.

  • 2
    I disagree with your interpretation of this. According to this MSO post, too localized is not the same thing as mentioning a location/time, but rather the location must be small enough that it really isn't useful to anyone. Since licensing is almost universally done by country (so that a question by someone in NY would apply to someone in TX), I don't think that one can argue it's a small geographic area. – Logan M Jun 1 '13 at 23:30
  • Also, there are really only a small number of countries in which anime/manga even get licensed. Wikipedia only lists licensing organizations from NA, Europe, and Australia, and outside those regions it's rather uncommon. Outside those regions, many people import those releases, which sort of makes these questions applicable to a pretty broad audience. – Logan M Jun 1 '13 at 23:35
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Questions on whether something has been licensed in a country (and by whom) are, IMO, acceptable. Questions on who is streaming a digital copy of a title are, IMO, not: too localised, unhelpful to most, and very likely to go out of date quickly. Answers to such questions will often result in the answerer's favourite service, and therefore, opinion.

This question in particular also appears to assume that everybody here is (presumably) in the US or that the default location for questions is the US.

-1, -1, -1. Chat is a better fit for such matters.

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