I spotted this question — What software is used for making anime? — and would love to answer it, but I'm not convinced it's gelling with the other questions asked so far. Moreover, I know there's a Graphic Design SE that may be more appropriate for these types of questions. So are questions about how to make anime and manga off-topic?

3 Answers 3


I believe they should be off-topic. They're, as you said, better suited to Graphic Design and are more about the animation process (not unique to anime) rather than the medium itself.

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    I agree. Unless the question deals with the cultural part of making Manga/Anime. If it's purely about how to draw/design something, it should go to Graphic Design. Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:19
  • There are a lot of aspects that involve making a manga that don't involve graphic design, aren't there? Like how to plan a story?
    – LeeHai
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:42
  • @LeeHai Then that would be on-topic on Writing. These are not unique to the anime medium and thus would fit better elsewhere.
    – Aarthi
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:44
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    @chirale It seems you feel very strongly. I suggest you make a competing answer.
    – Aarthi
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 14:44
  • Or Audio/Video Production. Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 10:15
  • see my comment on anime.stackexchange.com/q/4/244 . This has no place to be asked on avp, nor on japanese, nor on graphic design. It would generate speculation. They are no experts in japanese internals. Western internals are not interesting in anime production. Many consider western inferior. (Personally I so very seldom read western comics or watch cartoons, but love anime - it's for a reason: Japanese are generally much more advanced with it.) Japanese.SE won't do anime production, avp and graphics design are not japanese-specific. The only on-spot answer is here.
    – n611x007
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 19:46

As per my comment on What software is used for making anime? and on OP:

  • The question should be about real knowledge of Japanese production internals.
  • The question must have nothing to do with "may Adobe After Effects be good for" kind of speculation. Speculation is bad. Speculation is what makes these questions 'off-topic'.
  • The question should not be about software.
  • The question must be focused tightly on the knowledge of how Japanese actually make anime, not on how they might.
  • The question has no place on Video Production, nor on Japanese Language, and definitely not on Graphic Design. Western artists and craftspeople don't work in Japan, and most of them probably have no clue how Japanese actually make anime. They are no experts in Japanese internals, and western internals are not interesting in anime production.
  • There is a real question hidden there about Japanese commons of anime production that could be very special and quite distinct from anything else. Personally, I very seldom read or watch western-style, but love manga and anime. It's for a reason: Japanese are so much more advanced in them. Just like their seiyuu are of much, much higher quality and thus the seiyuu training internals would be equally interesting as the anime production internals.

Strictly throw away all speculation about any method or tool. Throw away all western stuff. Focus on actual Japanese production.

And then it is on-topic, and only on topic here.


Questions like How are visual novels written? [closed] would be very interesting and on-topic if they would ask how Japanese actually create manga, anime and visual novels.

The problem is that instead they ask how these things could be created. But that is not interesting and is off-topic, because it results in speculation and advice that doesn't explain how actual Japanese achieve their generally very high quality. It is true that any general western software, graphic design or AV expert could give speculative ideas about how "some kind of animation" could be made. They would make actual facts about western methods, but most of them could only give speculations about Japanese methods on other SE sites.

But if these questions are re-worded to focus only on actual Japanese production method knowledge, then it makes them a very interesting and on-topic question.

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    I think this is consistent with what we are actually doing, just not documented very well. Questions saying "I want to make anime/manga, tell me how" are closed as off-topic, but questions asking "How is this particular step in creating anime/manga done?" are allowed. We have anime-production and manga-production for such questions, though unfortunately those tags have become somewhat broader and now include questions about the production of a particular series as well.
    – Logan M
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 20:16
  • 1
    @LoganM thank you for pointing that out! I would love to read about actual jap. production. I'm still afraid that many like me may see two meaning in this questions title: after all, it's perfectly logical that you want to know about actual japanese production because you want to learn what it takes to learn to achieve it yourself. And at the same time, this same motivation makes you completely disinterested in speculation - however, the question's title doesn't decide on this, and actually incorporates both cases. This makes the title a little dangerously ambiguous in my opinion.
    – n611x007
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 20:31
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    Regarding that particular question, it's one of the first ones from private beta (as is this meta question), and the rules were not established at that time. It's probably easier to re-ask the question in a more focused way than to try to get it reopened at this point. Also, while we do allow questions on anime production, specific production methods aren't something we have many experts in, so technical questions are likely to go unanswered here. They might get migrated to Graphic Design or some other SE site if they don't seem particularly anime-specific.
    – Logan M
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 20:42
  • @naxa We're having a chat session this Saturday (25th May) at 1800 UTC. We are going to talk about some other stuff first, but we should have enough time to debate this matter afterwards. We'd be happy to have you there.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 20:48
  • @LoganM yes I agree; but anime-specific production, I believe, has still the biggest chance here. It would make this site greater too! (I think it could make use of boost in users.) But I agree that there are few experts now. I have a hypothesis: if the site would advocate using kana for specific questions (boot with Qs on right jap. terms, maybe?) then it could attract actual Japanese people (I'm sure they are also interested and to lesser degree but also use stackexchange.) (Eg. japanese.stackexchange.com seems to be doing very well.) Then we would got experts eventually.
    – n611x007
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 20:52
  • Adding a personal FYI to my prev., I'm surprised that there are not more kana here. I expect a lot of kana on an anime site. (See, well, any other anime site! ;) )
    – n611x007
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 20:55
  • @JNat thank you very much I keep it in mind! Can't make promise -I got so much at workplace + exams in uni- but will see what can I do!
    – n611x007
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 20:57
  • Like JNat here said, we have a chat cast soon, jump in and raise it there. Other than that, if you feel that the question should be reopened, edit it to improve its on-topicness then vote to reopen or flag it. Make sure to make it clear in a comment or the flag message why it should be reopened. Also, we're almost always active in chat, jump in and discuss it with us as well. Good luck and happy browsing :). Commented May 23, 2013 at 9:33

I strongly disagree to banish this kind of interesting and smart questions from Anime & Manga. At a question like that, the right answer is to back in topic by listing software used in a specific anime as an example. I'm thinking about Hoshi no Koe, the first self-producted anime by Makoto Shinkai: in the booklet, software he used back in early 2000 are listed: Photoshop 5 (2D), Lightwave 6.5 (CGI), Commotion DV3, Adobe After Effects 4.0. Is this information irrelevant? Are question about techniques a taboo?

Note: this was previously a comment, moved here after Aarthi suggestion above.

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    Questions about techniques are not off topic. However, if you start getting into to much detail regarding, let's say Adobe After Effects 4.0, it will get very technical and would be better suited for GraphicDesign.SE. At least IMO
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 16:36
  • 1
    Agree, in-depth talk about a specific tool are off-topic. It's about seeing the difference about "hey, I want to make an anime, what software I can use?" (off-topic) and "What software Makoto Shinkai used in his first self-made movie?" (ok), as I replied in this meta question about creation processes.
    – chirale
    Commented Dec 16, 2012 at 20:55
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    @JNat See my comment on anime.stackexchange.com/q/4/244 and on OP. This should be about real knowledge of Japanese production internals. This must nothing to do with "may AE be good for" and that kind of speculation. Speculation is bad. Speculation is what makes these 'off-topic'. The question must be focused tightly on the knowledge of how Japanese actually make anime. (Not on how they might.). And then it is on-topic, and only on topic here.
    – n611x007
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 19:51
  • @naxa Yes, you make some very good points. I agree with your point of view.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 20:32

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