The Movie Database Support

Ever since the creation of the TV db there has really a distinct lack of guidance for it's content along with some missing implementations. One area where it has gotten especially noticeable for me is "Anime" - aka the cartoons from Japan. With one of the mods recently quitting that wanted to help in that area I think it is about time to tackle the issues. Now don't get me wrong, I do not want any "special" treatment for this type of content per se but guidelines addressing the issues that come up when entering it here. Currently it's just random depending on who is entering stuff (which is at a low standard for anime anyways) and I mostly limit myself to just clean up a little once it affects me (via trakt).

See some discussion points below. I didn't feel like writing it all out again so I linked some threads there. I'm sure there are things I forgot about just now.

Shows vs Productions Anime is usually aired in cours, which is a three-month long television season. Sequels and the like always get a new title for a cour and can have completely different staff and studios behind them (along with production committees, etc.). For those reasons you find the entries in anime specific databases separate to each other. Western sites do however treat them as a main show with seasons (tvdb, tvrage, etc.). Going by the discussions linked below it was never established as to how TMDB wants to go along with it. At the moment you can find single seasons in the DB however most shows are "westernized" given the db dump...

Anime production? (http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2012-03-05 / https://washiblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/anime-production-detailed-guide-to-how-anime-is-made-and-the-talent-behind-it/ / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wMqH0sJ-zE)

➥ Easy decision to make. Either separate them and clean up all existing data or keep them as it is (season titles help here).

https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/575c3f17c3a3685d8000063e, https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/586fbfa7c3a3686dc7004c34, https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/5869a1c09251414e7a011dc4

Absolute numbers I'm sure you encountered this more than enough. Certain shows are just continuing on like One Piece. TVDB, Wikipedia, etc. do arc splits for them; TMDB has also taken over this practice (unofficially). Unlike TVDB you do not however not carry absolute numbers. So in case of One Piece the first episode of Season 16 is number 632 (or smth) in your DB... certainly doesn't make sense. Then there are other shows like Gintama that get released on streaming sites per absolute numbers but actually carry cour titles which anime dbs separate for the numbering (http://thexem.de/xem/show/305).

➥ Decide on arc splits, deal properly with absolute numbers.

https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/575b883dc3a3684841000353, https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/5759c7dfc3a3684ea9002c1b

Split cour In recent years we saw more "split cours", aka shows that get their second half with a season gap in between. TVDB has decided to merge them together, anime dbs do however split them. A good example for this would be Durarara with three separate cours for season two (x2: Shou, Ten and Ketsu).

➥ Do you want to merge split cours? You'll find both practices in the db...

https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/54bd63bdc3a3681421007ede (here is me getting it done the old tvdb way... s1 is a mess)

OVAs etc OVAs are disc releases of anime. TVDB for example does not allow them in their DB unless they can be paired with a show. They can be standalone series (only 2-3 episodes long) but also unaired episodes for tv shows. In plenty of cases when they're unaired episodes they're not bundled with the shows actual disc release but for example their original manga. It goes so far that those episodes then get labeled as say "Episode 14". The TV section also needs the adult tag for hentai content (last example)

➥ Are they welcomed in the DB? Where do you put standalones (movie, shows)? Can they become an additional season of a show? Can they be part of a season`that aired on TV?

https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/5873f0559251410e6d010d3e, https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/575c3f17c3a3685d8000063e, https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/589714cf9251415a5b012b61

Rebroadcasts Apparently there are no rules as to how to deal with edited rebroadcasts of shows in the US. At least it looks like that.

➥ I mean this is easy for me... Just don't allow those entries like recuts of movies etc.

https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/54ac29fa9251415679004145

Various luckily we're getting rid of mini-series https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/56aca3e9c3a3681c340054d5...

Things that will also greatly help here:

118 replies (on page 2 of 8)

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Did we decide something on arc splits or continuous numbering, dvd volume release (Japanese, USA?) or year based or something?

I must say I'm not too big a fan of arc splits I think..

@alltimemarr said:

Did we decide something on arc splits or continuous numbering, dvd volume release (Japanese, USA?) or year based or something?

I must say I'm not too big a fan of arc splits I think..

Nothing happened at all :wink: , did not find the time or interest to advance this (or anybody else).
Huge seasons is something Travis would be better suited for answering. No idea if the site/api/user experience can deal with 1k episode seasons or would need a pagination in place first.

@sp1ti said:

@alltimemarr said:

Did we decide something on arc splits or continuous numbering, dvd volume release (Japanese, USA?) or year based or something?

I must say I'm not too big a fan of arc splits I think..

Nothing happened at all :wink: , did not find the time or interest to advance this (or anybody else).

Yes, I got reminded of it thanks to this report :see_no_evil:
https://www.themoviedb.org/talk/58dcff73c3a368228300a8b0

Huge seasons is something Travis would be better suited for answering. No idea if the site/api/user experience can deal with 1k episode seasons or would need a pagination in place first.

Good point, not to mention, a user having to scroll through hundreds episodes to get to the one he needs/wants to check whatever

I don't know, but it sounds like we're going to have to figure out the "righter" way to split them. :speak_no_evil:

Imho, the TVDB way is really bad.

We have named seasons here, which is better, but a lot of clients that use the API don't support them (Plex and Kodi being an example). And scrapers for those usually suck at finding the typical anime file name's information.

Fansubs usually do absolute numbering, without any concept of seasons. Most modern DVD/Blu-ray releases of anime does the same. As a result, I think we should do the same, as it makes the most sense given how it was originally presented.

As far as sequel shows, they often have WILDLY different production staffs and sometimes even different production studios altogether. Combining them doesn't make sense from an information standpoint, if we want to be precise in the information we give for shows.

Separating by arcs doesn't make sense either. It's an arbitrary thing.

For me, good anime guidelines would be along these lines:

  • Use absolute numbering, with only one season for long running shows
  • If a show has a different title or the same title but is a reboot, it's a different show (Berserk (1997) and Berserk (2016) should be different shows. Hibike Euphonium and Hibike Euphonium 2 are different shows as well)
  • If a special episode is bundled on a DVD/Blu-ray as a main episode, it is included in the season that it shipped with (The Oreimo OVAs, for example, come directly after their respective seasons and are part of the main plot. These are essentially part of the season that didn't get to air on TV due to the show being too long for its time slot or production issues during the original airing)
  • If a special episode is bundled on a DVD/Blu-ray but isn't part of the main continuity, it goes into a Season 0
  • "Season 0" only contains TV specials or OVAs directly bundled WITH the show on Blu-ray/DVD releases
  • OVAs/Specials not bundled with the release of a show are their separate TV show or movie
  • "Season 0" doesn't contain textless opening and endings. Those aren't part of the show, they're bonuses on the DVD/Blu-ray release and, imho, have no place on a TV database

There's some special weird cases, like Haruhi Suzumiya, whose second season was basically a rebroadcast of the first one in a different order, with new episodes thrown in by surprise.
For that, we can either have two entries or a single one with every episode and their original, first, air date.

These rules could also be extended to Tokusatsu shows, like Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, which often act in the same way. While Kamen 555 and Kamen Rider Kabuto aired in the same time slot, the shows have nothing to do with each other aside from being part of a franchise and should, as a result, not be part of the same TV Show in the database (It would be like making Deep Space Nine part of The Next Generation, for example).

Yeah, imo the MrTimscampi's suggestion is the best way to do this. Actually, this would solve another problem that we have here with the telenovelas from the latin america. Here in Brazil we don't usually have the concept of seasons for telenovelas, they are aired daily for long periods, more than a year sometimes, and they don't really fit into a TV show format at all.

Maybe you could add an option when editing a TV Show that changes the format, with a description for when each one should be used, series for the typical season format like american series and asian doramas, and an absolute one for anime, tokusatsus and telenovelas.

Basically, just take a look at how the https://anidb.net/ organizes the shows. Maybe we could got something like their "prequel of", "sequel of" and "alternative version of" fields, or at least a format similar to the movie collections to link these sequels and prequels.

Yes, these sound like easy to follow suggestions. Thanks for the input @MrTimscampi. It's really hard to build features for users when you don't have the first clue about the content :wink:

@sp1ti Since you're the original one to bring this stuff up, do these suggestions seem in line with what you were thinking?

There's a good chance I can get to this in the near future.

Yeah, imo the MrTimscampi's suggestion is the best way to do this. Actually, this would solve another problem that we have here with the telenovelas from the latin america. Here in Brazil we don't usually have the concept of seasons for telenovelas, they are aired daily for long periods, more than a year sometimes, and they don't really fit into a TV show format at all.

Indeed, I noticed that "problem" for telenovelas from mexico/Brazil/spain/USA(Telemundo) etc too, when going over some changes of a user adding all 200+ episodes with the current date, (instead of the original airdate back in 20xx :stuck_out_tongue:)

Use absolute numbering, with only one season for long running shows

What about the regular cast and crew? :thinking:

For that it would be neat if we could select guest stars to appear in multiple episodes, instead of adding them one by one to each episode!

But usually there's one or two characters appearing in most/all episodes (excluding certain specific episodes focussing on backstories of other characters), like Luffy in One Piece! It's just his crew that's changing throughout the show!

Or the regular cast tool we all want that would allow us to select only the right episodes. :heart_eyes:

Not sure if they are realistic solutions, though? :smile_cat:

For regular cast, @alltimemarr is right, usually, there's a few "key" characters in a show. For One Piece, I'd put Luffy's crew as regular characters, for example, as the show revolves around them. Going with a "Who are the main characters of the anime ?" approach for the regular cast would cover most shows, I think.

The rest could be guest stars that would be assigned, if needed or possible, to specific episodes instead of seasons.

And the character pages on anime websites (the official ones I mean) are usually bad references (for non long-running shows), as, for the shows I've seen/checked, they also listed just characters that do have some sort of influence on the story but only appear in like 4 out of 12 episodes!

@travisbell said:

Yes, these sound like easy to follow suggestions. Thanks for the input @MrTimscampi. It's really hard to build features for users when you don't have the first clue about the content :wink:

Which of those options are you considering? Just doing big seasons or actually changing shows between "season" based and "absolute" based?

@sp1ti Since you're the original one to bring this stuff up, do these suggestions seem in line with what you were thinking?

My cents to MrTimscampi's post

Imho, the TVDB way is really bad. We have named seasons here, which is better, but a lot of clients that use the API don't support them (Plex and Kodi being an example). And scrapers for those usually suck at finding the typical anime file name's information. Fansubs usually do absolute numbering, without any concept of seasons. Most modern DVD/Blu-ray releases of anime does the same. As a result, I think we should do the same, as it makes the most sense given how it was originally presented. Separating by arcs doesn't make sense either. It's an arbitrary thing.

I just want to note that it does not matter what scraper clients support or not, it's up to them to do proper implementations (it shouldn't be made unreasonably hard however). As for fansubs and scene customs: irrelevant.

(concerning long running shows) The statement about modern disc releases is only partially correct. Yes they use absolute numbering but they still group them in arcs or even name seasons (see for example funi http://onepiece.wikia.com/wiki/FUNimation_Entertainment/Episode_List_and_DVD_Releases or https://one-piece.com/dvdcd/season_package). So the question still stands from my initial post: still split them but retain the numbering? I don't follow any long running shows but if I had to pick I would either implement "dividers/headers" in episode lists (like discogs has them, ex https://www.discogs.com/Nagelfar-Alte-Welten/release/9939222) or keep the arc "season" splits. They might be tricky to define while airing (the manga gives pointers however) but there are only a few shows affected by this (only talking anime for that matter, telenovas probably make sense to keep in a single season).

Regular sized sequel seasons do not care about absolute numbers at all and there even fansubs have season indicators (be it an actual SX or just the different title).

As far as sequel shows, they often have WILDLY different production staffs and sometimes even different production studios altogether. Combining them doesn't make sense from an information standpoint, if we want to be precise in the information we give for shows.

That is why I would like the option to set that information on a season level. Staff, showrunner, studio, channel changes etc. are not unique to anime... just more common. The shows themselves are sequels of the same properties and usually share a common interest party in the production committee anyways. It's better to address the problem with the db structure instead of splitting them up just because you want to fill in different data.

Use absolute numbering, with only one season for long running shows

You want to apply absolute numbering to all anime shows? I don't like that idea at all. Yes there should be support for it but again, this is only required for a selected few shows (relevant to maybe 20 popular shows?).

If a show has a different title or the same title but is a reboot, it's a different show (Berserk (1997) and Berserk (2016) should be different shows. Hibike Euphonium and Hibike Euphonium 2 are different shows as well)

The Berserk example is kinda obvious, but what you're talking about is making Berserk (2017) (season 2) a new show, aka the production entities. Again as mentioned above, I do not support this at all. Anime is not some kind of magical medium that cannot fit into any common established logic of shows and seasons. Western shows are also doing named seasons, they fit in just fine.

If a special episode is bundled on a DVD/Blu-ray as a main episode, it is included in the season that it shipped with (The Oreimo OVAs, for example, come directly after their respective seasons and are part of the main plot. These are essentially part of the season that didn't get to air on TV due to the show being too long for its time slot or production issues during the original airing)

For someone being very much in favor of keeping productions as pure as they are and like TV this is a surprising suggestion :wink: . I do not like that idea. It should be a clear cut difference between what "aired" on TV and what was released at some point later. An "all episode/absolute ep" view should give you the proper order for content instead of mixing it up in seasons (ex https://trakt.tv/shows/monogatari/seasons/all).

If a special episode is bundled on a DVD/Blu-ray but isn't part of the main continuity, it goes into a Season 0

Agreed :sweat_smile:

"Season 0" only contains TV specials or OVAs directly bundled WITH the show on Blu-ray/DVD releases

Do not agree. As long as TMDB cannot map movies into shows they should still be allowed there as specials.

OVAs/Specials not bundled with the release of a show are their separate TV show or movie

So something like "Strike the Blood II" is not part of the show "Strike the Blood" despite being a direct continuation (still from a viewpoint that "productions" do not get split)?

"Season 0" doesn't contain textless opening and endings. Those aren't part of the show, they're bonuses on the DVD/Blu-ray release and, imho, have no place on a TV database

This should be more of a site-wide decision as to include disc bonus features. No idea what the current ruling is. Not that I want to see them on here...

There's some special weird cases, like Haruhi Suzumiya, whose second season was basically a rebroadcast of the first one in a different order, with new episodes thrown in by surprise. For that, we can either have two entries or a single one with every episode and their original, first, air date.

This is where the official source should be considered. It's not up to us to decide if it's "not new".

TLDR:
I want to stress that I do not support production splits at all. Anime is not a snowflake medium :smirk: . Doing this would also render pretty much every existing anime entry faulty and there are already enough of those and other gaps ...

  • Arc splits: Probably more sensible.
  • Absolute numbers: Support should be added but not the default for "anime".
  • Split cour: Yes.
  • OVAs: Attach them to the matching show's specials. Allow short OVA series or spin-offs as "TV shows" instead of single movie releases (but not the bonus feature ones).
  • Rebroadcasts: Nope.

Anime isn't a snowflake medium, but at the same time, not every country follows the same format for their shows, tv shows in latin america follows a very similar format of the long-running animes like Dragon Ball and One Piece. Sure, it would be amazing if we could make all the tv shows in existence fit the same format, but this is really hard to achieve. So, i really think that adding a second format to the site would really help, the series with seasons isn't a supreme format to rule them all. :stuck_out_tongue:

Seems like the most common solution atm is using arcs as seasons. But, what do you do when you are editing a show that you didn't and don't plan to watch? Now you need to research where each arc ends, and this isn't a simple thing to find for most of the shows. And sometimes this is too arbitrary, just look at "Stardust Crusaders", the second season of "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" here on TMDb. If you look at sites like AniDB or MyAnimeList, they separate this season in 2, "Stardust Crusaders" and "Stardust Crusaders - Battle in Egypt", but in other sites considers it's only one season. You could argue that both of them are the "Stardust Crusaders Arc", but at the same time, they were exhibited as two different shows, if you look at their site, there's really these two arcs there. And now, why is Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z different shows, but JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders are the same? Shouldn't Dragon Ball Z be the second season of Dragon Ball then?

See? This isn't practical at all. If we use the same solution that the networks and sites like AniDB uses, any person could add and edit these shows, without any previous knowledge about them. How many times someone reports that an anime is wrong, but the moderators don't know what to do because we are so arbitrary on how we separate them. This is why I think that MrTimscampi's solution is the best way to solve this problem at the moment.

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