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We've previously voted that we need a set of guidelines to quality control (QC) questions that will be added to our help center. These guidelines will be applied to ALL (new and old) question since the tag's inception.

So I ask the community, how should we go about making these guidelines?

Please format and present your list of guidelines for in the form you wish for it to appear in the help center.

The guidelines should include, but are not limited to the following:

  • List of criteria to follow
  • Examples of things that fit the criteria (i.e. are certain criteria more welcomed, like images, audio, and/or video?)
  • Minimum number of criteria that must be present in the question
  • Any what to do for certain exceptions (e.g., What if the criteria are fulfilled but the details are too vague?)
  • What action should be taken for questions that fail this criteria?
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Please note that as of May 8, 2016, ALL questions are now off-topic.

However, such question are still welcome in our main chat for users with with at least 20 rep (globally on StackExchange).


The following is outdated and exists solely for archival purposes

Hey you! You're probably here, because you asked an question that was "put on hold" or "closed." If you would care to know why, please take sometime to read this meta.

In short, these guidelines are here to help us help you find what you're looking for. We realize you can't remember everything, but every bit of detail you can remember (no matter how insignificant it may seem) can be a lot of help. All we ask for you to fulfill, at minimum, three (3) of these guidelines.

If you are unsure of what you need to include, please look over the checklist in this meta.

Please note that questions with ONLY an image(s), audio, and/or video(s) are off-topic.

Please please try to doing a reverse image search yourself, instead of asking us to find it.


Taking cues from sites like TV & Movies.SE, Sci-Fi.SE, and Arqade, I've come up with the following guidelines:

An should have as many of the following points as possible:

  • Any description of the leading/recurring character(s) (i.e. physical description, behavior, etc.)
  • Any description of any distinctive features, including the plot and related elements (e.g. girls who are soda cans that do battle, or i.e., the setting, the plot)
  • What the genre or cinematic style was (e.g. mecha, sci-fi, fantasy, shonen, shoujo, seinen, noir, cyberpunk, etc.)
  • What the drawing/animation style is like
  • When and where you saw it (if you saw it when you were a kid, don't give your age, give the approximate year, and month if possible)
  • Who the publisher, licensor, and/or distributor was
  • Type of media: TV show, OVA, movie, manga, web-series, one-shot, etc.
  • Any image(s), audio, or video(s) related to the series (an exception may be made for questions with one or more of these items)

If you are unsure of what you need to include, please look over the checklist in this meta.

For a detailed example and explanation of how to properly ask for questions w/o any audio-visual artefacts, please read this answer.

For a more in-depth explanation of the why we're asking you to provide such details, refer to this post.

In addition to the above guidelines, here are some suggestions to improve the quality of your questions:

Make Sure To Have A Descriptive Title

All questions should have a title that is phrased or edited to be phrased as a question containing at least one pertinent detail from the body of the question. Vague titles like "Requesting an anime identification" or "What is this anime show?" will lower the visibility of your question by fellow users since they'll have to click on it to find out what it's about. This shows a lack of effort on your part. Why should someone make an effort to help you if you can't properly format the question in your title?

Don't Ask Too Much All At Once

Please limit your questions to ask for only one series or piece per question. Questions asking us to identify multiple unrelated media will only dilute the quality of responses with partial answers.

Try Searching For The Image First

Please questions with ONLY an image(s), audio, and/or video(s) are off-topic. If you're looking for the source of an anime image try doing a reverse image search search yourself.

We want to maintain a consistent quality for question and have no choice but to enforce a minimum standard of acceptable quality.

We're not asking you to write an essay, but we expect you to at least make an attempt to fulfill the bare minimum, so we have some solid leads to go on:

The Bare Minimum

As a bare minimum your question needs meet three of these guidelines. If you are unsure of what you need to include, please look over the checklist in this meta.

Questions with ONLY an image(s), audio, and/or video(s) are off-topic. Please try to doing a reverse image search yourself.

Even if the aforementioned minimum guidelines are met, if the description provided is determined to be too ambiguous or generic, it will be put on hold as:

  • "Off-Topic: This question does not meet our minimum standard for identification-based questions."

Even if you question has been closed, it doesn't mean that it's the end of the line. Please try to review your question and make an attempt to addition details.

If you are unsure of what you need to include, please look over the checklist in this meta.

If you need help, feel free to reach out to the moderators or other users. We'll try to help you as best we can.

Reopening a Closed/On-Hold Question

If your question has been "put on hold" or "closed", it's not too late to edit your question to include more details, we'll be more than happy to reopen your question once other users have reviewed and determined that there is sufficient detail to go about to helping you identify what you're looking for.

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    I think at least 3 would be significantly better than 2 – Toshinou Kyouko Mar 24 '14 at 17:34
  • Should we require specification of manga vs. anime? – kuwaly Mar 24 '14 at 21:36
  • @kuwaly i think that fits into 'type of media' – Toshinou Kyouko Mar 25 '14 at 8:46
  • @ToshinouKyouko I meant that it be required, instead of just one of the possible pieces of information to provide. – kuwaly Mar 25 '14 at 12:22
  • @kuwaly ah, yeah that does make sense – Toshinou Kyouko Mar 25 '14 at 21:33
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    I don't think it makes sense to require 2 more of these in the case that the post has an image or video. In that case, the other points are typically mostly useless for the purpose of identification anyway, and in most cases wouldn't be known to the OP. Almost all questions we've had of this kind in the past haven't satisfied the, but as far as I know only one is unanswered. – Logan M Mar 30 '14 at 3:22
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    Should description of plot elements or events also be part of the list? – Jon Lin Apr 14 '14 at 22:33
  • "Try Searching For The Image First" is a nonsense. If the OP was able to find the image of the serie he is asking about, and had small knowledge about the serie beforehand except for the name, finding an image for the sake of the question rules in this SE site would automagically answer his question. – Luis Masuelli Mar 15 '16 at 16:49
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    @LuisMasuelli you underestimate the laziness and technical expertise of the average internet user. More than half of them don't even know they can search for a word in a browser using "Crtl+F." Site the SO and SU expect a minimum level of technical expertise when using their site, but we're a recreational site about Japanese cartoon and comic. Even though we're part of the SE family of site, expectations are set pretty low, since most of our traffic comes from the great wilderness that is internet search engine results. – кяαzєя Mar 15 '16 at 18:05
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    @LuisMasuelli Just like "homework" questions on certain SE sites and questions asking ppl to write code solutions without showing any work, we're telling users, if you just want us to do your work for you, sho that you've at least made an attempt yourself and why it didn't work. "I'm lazy, do this for me" is not an acceptable reason. – кяαzєя Mar 15 '16 at 18:10
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As of 08/02/2016, Image-only Identification requests are off-topic.

If you wish to identify an image, please check out how to Reverse Image Search.

Alternatively, if you have enough reputation you may ask in our chat room.

There are several other websites that may assist you in your search, but because of consistently low-quality issues, we have elected to not have these questions on our site

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Step 1
If possible, do a reverse image search

Step 2
Copy template, fill in details, tag

Step 3
If you're already -4 votes before you got here...
delete your question and ask again using the template below

Note: if you can't delete it due not not being registered, leave a comment and if we see it, we'll delete it for you

Identification Request Template (minimum of three):

  • An Image
  • When and where you saw it
  • Media
  • Genre
  • Animation/Art style
  • Distinctive Features and the story
  • Character Descriptions
  • Studio/Publisher/Distributor

Example Identification Request:

What anime are these purple, red, and blue robots from?

  • An Image: any picture, youtube, sound clip, that's related

enter image description here

  • When and where: Bad- I was 10; Good- 2010; Best- Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter of X year
    Fall 1995

  • Media: manga, show, movie, etc...
    TV Show

  • Genre: shonen, shoujo, sci-fi, fantasy, slice of life, etc..
    Shonen, Action, Mecha, Sci-fi

  • Animation/Art style: hand drawn, cg, sloppy, detailed, ghibli, etc..
    Apocalyptic, Dark, Stylized

  • Distinctive Features: plot, tropes, environment, themes
    giant purple humanoid robot, plug suits, under ground city, angels wiping out mankind

  • Character Descriptions:
    -Main character has repeated mental breakdowns, is a student, wears a white plug suit, constantly whining, etc..
    -Red head tsundere, red plug suit, red mech
    -Blue haired quiet girl, white plug suit, blue mech

  • Studio/Publisher/Distributor:
    Gainax, Production I.G., Deen
    other examples: Shaft/Bones/Sunrise/Kishimoto/Tite Kubo/Clamp...
    Kodansha/Square/ASCII Media Works/Jump...
    Funimation/Viz/CrunchyRoll...

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