Let's talk about TMDB

For some time now, I have been reporting problems with the TMDB database, specifically with anime series. I have also done so on TMDB’s own page, although there their moderators are bound by the absurd rules of that site.

I will give as an example this series: Urusei Yatsura - Trakt

At the time of creating this post, the series aired 13 episodes. But on TMDB, they have divided the segments of each episode as separate chapters, thus causing an incorrect increase in the number of episodes.

This also causes problems on Trakt, as they increase the watched episode stats, and to be honest, I don’t pay for a service to give me wrong stats.

I know this is not up to those who run Trakt, in fact, I consider you guys do an excellent job with the website, applications, and support; but these gross database errors worsen the experience in a big way. And it happens in many anime series especially.

TMDB rules are wrong, I am not the only one who has complained about this, just check the discussions created on the site. I know you have made the decision not to return to TVDB and I respect it, but I kindly ask if you can take action in some way with these big mistakes of TMDB, the Trakt community is large, and therefore it is unfair that a supposedly reliable source, as TMDB should be, worsens the user experience here as well.

Best regards!

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I just wanna shed some light on the thought process there.
It’s because those kids animated shows with multiple segments. When released in other countries, it’s often in a whole different order, and shuffled in DVD releases. But with the episode groups it’s super easy to make special localised (DVD) orders. (for example Calimero, even thought that doesn’t mean that’s always how it’s working. look at this hot mess Calimero: Season 1 (1974) — The Movie Database (TMDB) hahahaha)

It’s just that they made that rule for all animated shows. Because otherwise when would it be needed and when not.

But I agree that in this case, and other cases, it’s not the best decision to split it.

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While I don’t know anything about this particular show (or anime generally), I think the TMDB approach to split independent segments into separate episodes is a sound one. The 80s Twilight Zone revival or Night Gallery are great examples as even though they were originally aired as hour long episodes, they were usually 2-3 independently produced segments with separate casts and crews that were later syndicated and released in different combinations.

It sounds like maybe that approach wasn’t appropriate in that case, but I can sympathize with the mods that have to deal with a lot of dumb content issue reports that are often straight up incorrect. I have generally been able to get them to handle the issues I have run across appropriately if I can show sources, but it can be frustrating at times and I suspect I have an easier time since I am entirely working with English language shows and sources.

The unfortunate truth is there is no great solution to any of this. TVDB is much laxer about what they consider a “series” which has many in these forums stumping for them, but they have many of the same moderation issues as TMDB and their interface is significantly less user friendly (at least in my opinion).

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Tmdb dont want to create episodes Groups, that is what i have been baned and removed for multiple times by stupid tmdb moderators for.

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Stupid moderators ? :joy:

You’re probably just misunderstanding their guidelines.

Episode groups are exactly for dvd orders and localized airings.

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Well, in this case it is wrong. Episodes are broadcast at 24 minutes and are usually split into two parts, but with the same cast, showing a different story, but part of the same episode, not a different one.

I’m talking exclusively about anime series reports on TMDB, because that’s where their rules are wrong. It happens with the seasonal division as well. There are many anime with two seasons that TMDB counts as one season. For example: Tokyo Revengers - Trakt

Tokyo Revengers has two seasons, the first one aired in April 2021 and the second one started airing on January 8 this year. But, due to the absurd rule “When a series is released in two or more parts, the new episodes should also be added to the same season when the episode number are continuous” they count it as one season, which makes no sense at all. The continuous numbering itself does not determine this parameter for anime series, other production factors must be considered, which are announced by the production companies themselves.

There have been too many such reports, but the moderators are sticking to their guns despite the negative reaction to these changes. Unfortunately, this affects the stats here on Trakt, as they double the number of chapters (in Urusei Yatsura). I’m not paying for VIP just to get wrong stats, if this problem isn’t fixed I’m going to cancel my subscription and look for an alternative to Trakt, which is a shame as I really liked this site.

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The thing is, unlike TVDB, they have a clear set of rules for people to follow.
I do not like the split into segments rule, but it is the way they found to deal with old shows that air out of order in different parts of the world, or that mix old and new episodes. Unfortunelly they don’t apply that rule only for those cases.
Listing episodes in one season when the order is continuous is another way they fond to deal with big shows that are divided in the rest of the world, but not in japan. However that rule basically sets that they need to do it for new shows too. It is not only Tokyo Revengers this season. Bungo Stray Dogs and In/Spectre are also listed in one season, since they have continuous numbers. Again, this is just the way they found to keep things organized.
Those two things might be upseting, but in reality there isn’t a perfect database. TVDB also has a lot of issues, specially on anime. Look at Saint Seiya, they consider the all the spin-offs as part of the show when they are completely different things. Another example is Captain Tsubasa. There are 2 remakes listed there. They list movies as specials and are not clear on what is considered a special or not. The lack of clear rules makes people add things how they think they are, and they don’t correct this type of thing.
I do wish TMDB changes that split into segments rule, but unless they do, unfortunelly, there is nothing we can do about it.

Update: January 27th.

After several days and further insisting on this issue, TMDB moderators have not fixed the problem. Instead, what they did was to give a totally absurd justification, which I will quote below:

“They are not airing separately NOW. But who knows in the future… This is the basis of the segmentation rule.”

Honestly it seems like a bad joke, the discussion is here: Reported Problem for Urusei Yatsura - Discuss Urusei Yatsura — The Movie Database (TMDB)

As I said before, I respect your decision not to return to TVDB, but since you bring it up, I will say that the amount of errors TVDB has in anime series is much less than TMDB. Even their moderators are more considerate and attentive than TMDB’s overbearing moderators.

In fact, you guys had come up with a solution to this when I reported it on Trakt. You moved the show to TVDB, which has the right number of episodes, at least until they shut down their API. But the next day you moved it back to TMDB. As you can see from the discussion on TMDB, I am not the only one complaining and not the only one willing to leave Trakt for other alternatives, the bad reputation TMDB is gaining is affecting you too.

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Their anime “guidelines” are weird asf.
Not only that, many airdates are wrong, a week behind, some days behind, triple episode count…

Honestly, I won’t renew my vip.
I found an alternative, not as shiney as Trakt, but with better anime support and tvdb on board.

Sorry, I really like Trakt, but tracking should make things easier, not complicating everything, especially for (simulcast) anime watchers.

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Trakt should think of another source for anime, because after discussing with the moderators following the disparitions of the “arcs” (~equivalent of seasons for anime) for “Bleach” (Bleach (TV Series 2004- ) — The Movie Database (TMDB)). (you can have a taste here : Reported Problem for Bleach - Discuss Bleach — The Movie Database (TMDB)). They confimed that they are in the project of enforcing the rule of having only 1 season per anime. So every anime will be flattened to one season except the ones with sequels, wich are going to be added as supplementary seasons. So shows like “One Piece” will not be divided in arcs but will just be a big bunch of episodes without any separation…
It could be a good thing for episode numerotation, but Trakt should think of a way to display groups of episodes, if its the only way of having arcs back and avoiding infinite episode list

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And they even have the nerve to say: “Our rules are perfectly accurate”. It’s a shame.

I have decided that if these kinds of issues are not resolved, either by TMDB or Trakt, I will cancel my VIP and find an alternative, there is nothing more we can do about it.

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Let’s agree to disagree :grin:

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Hence the ~ (more or less) before the “equivalent”, at least it’s a way of making subdivision or groups of episode and not having just a flat bunch of episode without context or classification. After enforcing the rule on TMDB, some anime shows are gonna be really long lists of episodes.

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There is nothing wrong with the seasons not being split on Bleach, it is the way it aired on Japan, and any anime that aired like that should be listed in one season. On that part I agree with TMDB.

We do have a way for users to see any episode groups present on TMDB, so, there isn’t any problem with how Bleach, at least, is listed.

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I didn’t know it was possible, I wish it was possible to put cover to groups of episodes on TMDB because this way is pretty boring compared to seasons covers but it’s less a problem than I thought and I can live with that. Thanks

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Well, I see this shit is still sandwich-shaped.

I would be more upset if I didn’t already keep a dumb database in text form on my computer. I only use Trakt to keep… track of what’s airing and when. And I like the community here. And I want to contribute and recommend things and support the devs with VIP…

But problems like this (and more so the lack of any meaningful, public-facing desire to correct it) are making me think twice.

You can move to a database that isn’t trying to be a precious snowflake, that’s what you can do about it.

anidb.net

It’s the most complete, most accurate Anime database. It’s a pretty dry experience via the site, but the data is scrapable.

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There have been suggestions from users, but the administrators do not take them into account: Better Support for Segmented Episodes - Talk — The Movie Database (TMDB)

TMDB is already ridiculous, they don’t have the will to change their stupid guidelines. As said in the previous comment, Trakt could use anime specific databases for anime series, but again, if there is no will to solve anything, everything will stay the same. It’s disappointing.

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Well, it’s been almost a month and the problem hasn’t been solved. TMDB hasn’t done anything, nor has Trakt. Like I said, I canceled my VIP subscription and I invite everyone who is affected by this situation to do the same.

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So now there’s an additional annoyance with this issue; Animaniacs (2020) season 3, episode 1.

The episode has four segments: Previously On, Season 3 and WB (part 1), How To Friendship, and Season 3 and WB (part 2). The expectation is that TMDB will split this into four episodes, right? No. Two segments. Season 3 and WB & How To Friendship.

It seems that because parts 1 & 2 are in the same (don’t say) episode, it’s counted as one segment. And Previously On, the entire cold open segment, is either not taken into account or rolled into Season 3 and WB. This is mind-numbingly stupid because they’re not even following their own rules anymore. And merging a two-parter together defeats their own rationale for splitting them apart (re-broadcasting segments out of order or at different times) in the first place!

The whole point of a tracking site is to keep track of things. This only makes it harder and more confusing, especially for people who are not aware of what’s going on and just marking one episode per watch because that’s how they expect things to operate.

So, what is Trakt going to do about it?

I’m not going to appeal to TMDB anymore, I don’t care about TMDB. The servers hosting that site could sink into the ocean tomorrow and it wouldn’t affect me. I do care about Trakt. But if issues like this are left unresolved, I no longer care enough to support Trakt financially.

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People can make mistakes! I would just report that if it’s a mistake like that! I just quickly looked up the video and could clearly see at list the two title cards with “Season Three and WB: Part 1” and “Season Three and WB: Part 2”

And previously on is not a segment, obviously… then pretty much every show would have a previously on and what you see next time segment… and why not add a segment for intro’s and outro’s too! :woman_facepalming:

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