The tag is, in my opinion, a pox upon Anime.SE.

  • One cannot be an expert on "references". However, one can be an expert on some related topics:
    • Some references are Japan-cultural and can be tagged with ; some are puns/etc and can be tagged with . Both of these are topics on which we have experts.
    • Some references are to other franchises. For these, we have two options. If the asker knows what specific franchise is being referenced, the asker can tag that specific franchise. If not - well, we could tag it with hypothetical or tags, but this is an anime/manga site, so those are basically implied.
    • (Are there any other cases I'm missing?)
  • This tag is bad for SEO. If it were used consistently in all questions that are about "references", I estimate we would have at least 40 questions with this tag, putting it in the top 8 tags on the site and thus swamping more interesting, franchise-related tags.
  • This tag is "meta-tag-like" (which is bad) - it cannot stand alone (and indeed, does not stand alone on any of the 19 questions in the tag so far).

I think we ought to do away with . Thoughts?

EDIT (Dec 20): Given that there is some support for removing and no opposition, I'm going to start going through the questions tagged and eliminating the tag (plus doing whatever other cleanup is necessary) at the rate of 2-3 a day (so as not to swamp the front page).

  • 4
    I think I was the one who tried to get this tag to be used more frequently, but I don't really care for it anymore. The original motivation was that reference questions can often be answered even if the answerer doesn't know anything about the source material. In practice though it's not terribly common. If you want to delete it, given that no one has expressed any strong reason for keeping it, I say go ahead.
    – Logan M
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 7:14

3 Answers 3


I don't see a need for such a tag. If you're looking for a reference within an episode for a series, all you really need is the series name. WE should also remove the synonym, too.


It feels somewhat unnecessary and too ambiguous/open-ended in terms of what it could cover on its own - as stated above, for identifying something within a series, the name itself (and maybe some additional tags, such as or , should be sufficient. Moreover it really does seem problematic as a meta-tag.


has been slain.

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