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:

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@travisbell said:

I edited my post for slightly better clarity.

Grouping shows is one thing but more specifically look at how we'll be able to handle big long running shows that don't necessarily have seasons, and more story arcs or DVD releases, etc... What I want to do is build a system that won't have this constraint at all.

Ok but then I'm still missing my answer I guess (since you're not addressing the grouping "shows" specifically)... Splitting anime per season or not. Because that is what multiple users suggested and OrangePrincess initially wanted to do. https://www.themoviedb.org/search/tv?query=fate%20kaleid for example had it's seasons deleted and each added as a separate show. This is kinda important to define for adding content here... there are also multiple support tickets pending due to this. The two approaches regarding these "productions" are "season = separate show" but held together by a relationship mapping (MrTimscampi's suggestion) or "season = season n to a show" but allowing to add season based production credits (my suggestion).

Because I haven't sat down to build it, I haven't worked out everything but...

Shows vs Productions: Given the separated crews and production staff between cours, I'm wondering if separating them as shows makes sense. Then in the future, if there was a way to group shows together, we could create a continuous timeline of the show as a whole. This has the added side effect of being something we can do now, and not having to wait until I get to the extra features.

Does that part make sense to you from a moving forward perspective? I appreciate any feedback. My primary concern here would be that some of the external id logic starts to fall apart since some sites treat these like a single show. I'm not sure how that would be handled.

Absolute numbers: Absolute numbers could be tied together within these groups. So each episode can have an absolute number and then across multiple "shows" you'd see a consistent timeline.

Split cour: I have no idea. Do you lean one way or the other?

OVAs etc: I don't care too much about this either way, a separate "season" would probably work to group these together. Is that good enough?

Rebroadcasts: Agreed, I think they're are just not allowed.

@travisbell said:

Because I haven't sat down to build it, I haven't worked out everything but...

Shows vs Productions: Given the separated crews and production staff between cours, I'm wondering if separating them as shows makes sense. Then in the future, if there was a way to group shows together, we could create a continuous timeline of the show as a whole. This has the added side effect of being something we can do now, and not having to wait until I get to the extra features.

Does that part make sense to you from a moving forward perspective? I appreciate any feedback. My primary concern here would be that some of the external id logic starts to fall apart since some sites treat these like a single show. I'm not sure how that would be handled.

Absolute numbers: Absolute numbers could be tied together within these groups. So each episode can have an absolute number and then across multiple "shows" you'd see a consistent timeline.

Split cour: I have no idea. Do you lean one way or the other?

OVAs etc: I don't care too much about this either way, a separate "season" would probably work to group these together. Is that good enough?

Rebroadcasts: Agreed, I think they're are just allowed.

A bit off topic Travis but do you have a timeline for the option of staying logged in (always)?

A bit off topic Travis but do you have a timeline for the option of staying logged in (always)?

At this time, I do not. The current 2 week expires hasn't yielded very many complaints over the years so it's a relatively low priority item given the other things I need to work on.

@travisbell said:

Rebroadcasts: Agreed, I think they're are just allowed.

I think there is a not missing? :thinking:

Fixed! :thumbsup:

If we"re gonna move to a collection bases show level thing. We could put the show ids there. And season ones at show level? :thinking:

I like sp1tis suggestion of seasonal production/airing info too. I don't really mind having all monogatari shows in one entry for example (although i don't know why Some that did air on tv are ib specials... Probably because tvdb does so or theu are shorter than normal but yeah)

@travisbell said:

Because I haven't sat down to build it, I haven't worked out everything but...

Sorry for the late reply. I didn't mean to have you answer all those, just the one about seasons :wink:

Shows vs Productions: Given the separated crews and production staff between cours, I'm wondering if separating them as shows makes sense. Then in the future, if there was a way to group shows together, we could create a continuous timeline of the show as a whole. This has the added side effect of being something we can do now, and not having to wait until I get to the extra features.

Does that part make sense to you from a moving forward perspective? I appreciate any feedback. My primary concern here would be that some of the external id logic starts to fall apart since some sites treat these like a single show. I'm not sure how that would be handled.

I'm not sure why you're not seeing the concern of managing this..? When do you decide that it's no longer a season but a new show with the cours? How much of the staff has to change? Switching out a showrunner for example seems to be a big thing but hey, ideally you wouldn't notice as a viewer? Production committees do not change completely for cours and the end result should still be more of the same product... same stories and same characters (with respective voice actors)... Staff is flexible between studios and includes a lot of freelance work. And it's not like things have to change that much... taking popular sequels this season:

There are also plenty of anime shows that refer to themselves as seasons for example? We know "named/subtitled" seasons too like for example Gotham ("Gotham: Rise of the Villains", "Gotham: Mad City").

I'm not against building a feature to allow something like this but I really wish for an easy to follow conclusion as to why and when something shouldn't be a single show anymore.

Absolute numbers: Absolute numbers could be tied together within these groups. So each episode can have an absolute number and then across multiple "shows" you'd see a consistent timeline.

Not sure if it would be that easy to implement absolute numbers for spanning different shows. If they're chronological sure, but that would suck for everything else. I mean would you want to cover something like this https://trakt.tv/users/odelally/lists/marvel-cinematic-universe-watching-order (aka complete different shows between episodes/seasons)? What if it's a prequel that is making up season 2 for example? The usage for absolute numbers on TVDB is just a continuing number for a single entry and nothing spanning over things not directly linked.

Split cour: I have no idea. Do you lean one way or the other?

For me they belong together since we know mid-season breaks also happen for other shows. It's just that they usually add a season title to them (usually the numbering continues).

Examples:

or

OVAs etc: I don't care too much about this either way, a separate "season" would probably work to group these together. Is that good enough?

I don't think this really answers the questions I posted in the OP... as of now they already end up being in the specials of a TV show they're best matching or when standalone separate entries.

The questions:

  • Where do you put standalones (movie, shows)? -> A recent example would be https://www.themoviedb.org/search?query=dragon+dentist which has two episodes. Is that a legit show entry or two movies? / Older OVAs are often three episode disc only releases, can something like that become a "tv show" (official site description)? / Is something like https://myanimelist.net/anime/34742/Youjo_Shenki that is bonus to a show a new series or a special? Or a separate "season" even?
  • Can they become an additional season of a show? -> The example being something like Strike Blood II that releases on disc only (after the TV show).
  • Can they be part of a season`that aired on TV? -> In the example case where a bonus episode (say "Episode 14") is bundled with the manga (not DVD/BD) for example.

@alltimemarr said: although i don't know why Some that did air on tv are ib specials... Probably because tvdb does so or theu are shorter than normal but yeah

Nekomonogatari Black, Hanamonogatari and Tsukimonogatari aired/streamed in bulk and were short arcs and were thereby not treated as "seasons". Koyomimonogatari with it's shorter episode length was released via mobile app.

I was re-reading the thread to try to make sense of it all (spoiler: I really can't), but I think the following are great ideas:

  • The adult flag for TV series. Unflagged entries like this one makes me uncomfortable!
  • Language specific official website fields. That one is a bit overdue. :dolphin:
  • Subtitle story arcs. Maybe not as urgent/necessary, but it would be great for series like Gotham, Agent of Shields and Heroes.
  • Better support for romanized title. I know I proposed a new field a little while ago, but now I'm thinking maybe something like a drop down list for the type of alternative title (e.g. working title, festival title, romanized festival title, original title, romanized original title) would work better?

Now, regarding the animes, I'm probably about to ask some really dumb questions (again):

  • If I understand correctly, cours are seasonal broadcasting blocks. How are anime different or similar from American series? Does it change anything if the next block of episodes airs during the next cour, skip a cour or only airs the following year?
  • Are the different arc splits simply different block arrangements? Or can a story arc split a block/cour in the middle?
  • If we separate the cours as "shows", do you guys think it would help dealing with the stuff in the Specials or would it somehow complicate things?

Also, if we have to move a lot of episodes around, I hope you can build us some pretty powerful tools @travisbell! :smile_cat:

EDIT: A lock to prevent bad seasons from being created over and over again would come in handy too. :angel_tone4:

If I understand correctly, cours are seasonal broadcasting blocks. How are anime different or similar from American series? Does it change anything if the next block of episodes airs during the next cour, skip a cour or only airs the following year?

That is correct. There are four cours per year: winter, spring, summer and fall. Each cour is around 13 episodes and gets a whole bunch of new shows, as well as "returning" shows, that continue from the previous cour. When there is a skip, usually, shows are advertised under different names. These can be an added "Season 2", a number, a subtitle denoting the arc it adapts or even weird stuff like adding punctuation (Gintama is a good example for this, with Gintama, Gintama', Gintama° and Gintama. all being different shows, some of them aired years apart from one another). Usually, the anime community (and Japanese TV) classifies shows not directly aired in successive cours as different entries. So for Gintama, every show I've mentioned above is classified as a different show by most anime database (MyAnimeList and AniDB being the two big ones) Shows usually continuing from one cour to the next are treated by everyone (Japanese TV and the anime community) as one show. So, for example, a 26 episode anime would be split into two successive cours and be handled as one show by every anime database.

Are the different arc splits simply different block arrangements? Or can a story arc split a block/cour in the middle?

Arcs are not bound by cours and are usually not an official split. Openings and endings (Those usually change on a cour by cour basis) can change in the middle of arcs and a new cour can similarly start in the middle of an arc. They are mostly used by the anime community as a way to talk about a specific block of episode. Japanese advertising can sometimes talk about a specific arc when promoting a show (For example, Gintama sometime has subtitles noting the arc in the opening of the episodes from that arc), but it isn't considered a split.

If we separate the cours as "shows", do you guys think it would help dealing with the stuff in the Specials or would it somehow complicate things?

The issue I had with the specials is that a lot of these should be handled through relationships instead of a "specials" season. But it's also a very "case by case" thing. For example, if a show has a series of OVAs (A bunch of episodes released directly on DVD) it can be either a spin-off series or direct-to-dvd movie related to that one (Dirty Pair has this, for example), this should be a separate entry in the database (These can sometimes be released years or even decades apart. Urusei Yatsura, aired in the early 80s, had OVAs as recently as late 2000s). On the other hand, some (recent) anime have more episodes than fit into a cour, but not enough to fill two cours. As it would screw TV programming to have a show end in the middle of a cour, what happens in 99% of these cases is that a bunch of the unaired episodes will be available on the DVD/Blu-rays of the show as "OVA" (OVA is basically "direct to video animation"). In these cases, the episodes are usually referred to as "Episode 14", "Episode 15" and so on, continuing directly after the episodes broadcast on TV.

In both of those cases, they don't fit into the specials format. Typical TV specials like Making of don't really exist in anime and stuff like recap episodes is often incorporated into the actual run of the show (as numbered episodes) or into the story itself (a character retelling the events to another one, for example).

Imho, a show that runs on two successive cours should be only one show in the database, while the rest should be separated (See AniDB and MyAnimeList for example) Specials should be integrated into the run of the episode where they belong if they're an additional direct-to-video episode or split off into their own entry if they're a direct-to-video movie or series.

Edit: An argument against splitting by arcs is that certain long-running shows (Gintama being a famous example again) have VERY short arcs. Splitting by arcs would mean that a 200 episode show could have 60+ seasons of 2-6 episodes, with a whole bunch of stand-alone episodes in-between. Even shows that have longer arcs sometimes have single episodes between these arcs or have filler episodes totally unrelated to that arc in the middle of the arc (Bleach and Naruto being famous examples of this practice)

On the other hand, some (recent) anime have more episodes than fit into a cour, but not enough to fill two cours. As it would screw TV programming to have a show end in the middle of a cour, what happens in 99% of these cases is that a bunch of the unaired episodes will be available on the DVD/Blu-rays of the show as "OVA" (OVA is basically "direct to video animation"). In these cases, the episodes are usually referred to as "Episode 14", "Episode 15" and so on, continuing directly after the episodes broadcast on TV.

I don't really agree. For most shows I've seen, it's usually just a fanservice-oriented bathing/beach/swimming pool episode! :-P I think those released-with-the-DVD "episodes" are the perfect example of what should be in the specials section.

Edit: And I don't think they deserve their own entry in the movie DB, because it's just an "extra" on an existing DVD/BD, or as extra when you buy a manga/light novel. If it was for sale on its own, than it would be another thing~

For those, perhaps.

But let's take Oreimo, for example, the OVA episodes are actually part of both seasons and, for the second one, actually contain the ending of the anime. Same for Kokoro Connect, the OVA episodes form the last arc of the series.

Usually, those fanservice episodes you talk about are not advertised as sequential episodes but as "stand-alone-ish" OVAs. Like the Monster Musume pool half-episode, it wasn't a sequential episode but a bonus on the DVDs. For those, I agree, they belong to the "Specials" season.

However, it's very much a case-by-case thing.

well, I feel enlightened now. I'm up to speed on how the site wants to proceed, but I may have glossed over the answer to my question/suggestion.

With anime being different than normal US TV shows in that it doesn't have a season, why can't there be a selector when creating a new Show for anime that sets a format for how a user can create new episodes? You can remove the Seasons creation option entirely, and if the decision was to use Season 0 for OVAs and such then Season 0 and 1 are created with a continuous episode counter being available.

I use Subler to make my movies/shows awesome for my iTV, so these things that simplify the search of metadata for the often 500+ episodes of a anime is awesome.

@irkillroy That is actually largely my plan. I've given this some thought and I think the easiest path forward to get the right content built is to create a pseudo new TV show type. The downside to this would be that 3rd parties will have to probably code around some slightly different structures but I think it's the right thing to do given that I want to make sure anime is given a proper home here on TMDb.

So @travisbell idk how doable this is or even if I should open up this can of worms again, but would it be possible to make all TV Shows use an absolute numbering by default (S02E04 of Game of Thrones would be E014), since it's the more one size fits all solution, and let the users set up different splits for the same show?

E.g.: JoJo's Bizarre Adventure http://thexem.de/xem/show/3334

  • Default: E001-E113
  • Seasons: E001-0026 / E027-050 / E051-074 / E075-113 (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Stardust Crusaders, Stardust Crusaders - Egypt Arc, Diamond is Unbreakable)
  • Sagas/Arcs: E001-0026 / E027-074 / E075-113 (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Stardust Crusaders, Diamond is Unbreakable)

The default one would be all the episodes on air order, the seasons would be the split cours according to the AniDB, and the sagas/arcs the one used here and at the TVDB. I just don't know how this would handle special episodes, the season 0, but maybe with some brainstorming here we could figure it out. :p

Most TV Shows really would only use the seasons one, but animes, cartoons and sentais could benefit of these different splits. Just take a look at Dragon Ball Super https://www.themoviedb.org/tv/62715-dragon-ball-chou/seasons people simply can't choose only one way to split the episodes, they're adding all the episodes on the first season for an absolute numbering and duplicating them is other seasons to have the Sagas. This is a mess. lol

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