How about MyAnimeList onebox? It's a comprehensive source of all important information on any anime including:

  • User rating (very reliable, most recomend MAL for anime ratings, like IMDB for movies)
  • Genre (more accurate than Wikipedia)
  • Episode number and length
  • Related works (sequels, prequels, spinoffs, adaptations, etc)
  • User recommendations

Let's take Flag anime as a not so obvious example. Currently a Wikipedia onebox of it looks like this:

MAL onebox could look something like this:

  • The title of such onebox would include the English official title and the Japanese original title in parentheses, followed by media type (TV anime, movie, OVA, ONA, manga, novel, one-shot).

  • Subtitle would contain User Rating, as one of the most important bits of info, followed by episode count and length, and end with genres.

  • The body of onebox would contain plot synopsis.

There are two types of links for every anime title:


And similarly for manga:


MyAnimeList also has an accessible API with documentation that SE could make use of.

This is just a sketch, so if you have a better idea of how to use the limited onebox space, please post your own version!

  • 6
    Doesn't have to be just the Anime chatrooms. Might as well onebox them for the entire network.
    – Mysticial
    May 22 '14 at 18:38

The first thing that would be required would be an API method that accepted the id (1299 and 1859 in the above) or the full uri (any of the 4 links), and returned the data in a machine-processable format - something like the search response would be ideal, but the search does not accept ids (it does a title search). Technically we could scrape the html, but the layout of the page is not ideal for this, and I'd much rather talk to an API whenever possible. As far as I can tell, no such API is available.

The second thing that would be ideal would be a clear indication somewhere that they consider this "fair use" (of course, the fact that we'd be directly linking to them and attributing them helps here).

If there was a suitable API: it would be pretty trivial. If the html was convenient for processing (something like an id or class that made it easy to pull out the key fields), then it would be more work but possible. In the current state; not so easy.

Prix has kindly offered to speak to the site owners, and see what comes back.

In other news: I have a working prototype anidb implementation - currently stuck on a firewall rule change; note we can't link to the images, since they enforce http-referer checks to disable hotlinking.

enter image description here

And in a 2 for one deal: vndb.org; this is also waiting on a firewall change:

  • As an update, I am currently awaiting for Crave Online's response, currently a subsidiary of Evolve Media in charge of MAL and also pointed out Marc that anidb.net have an API that can fit all the needs above mentioned.
    – Prix
    Aug 16 '14 at 10:27
  • 1
    In regards anidb, I have talked to their staff and the bottom line to them is no hot linking, you may download the image returned from the API and reuse as you wish such as hosting it to imgur or else where but we have no intention of allowing any white listing for images. In regards MAL I doubt we will get any reply until Monday since its weekend but will let you if anything comes thru.
    – Prix
    Aug 16 '14 at 22:29
  • Does it still work fine from the debug and only locks from the server? Also did u make sure you put the client and proto version it as it was missing on the debug one, I remember you saying it? I could check with then why its being blocked but would most likely need an IP to provide them to check.
    – Prix
    Aug 17 '14 at 16:27
  • 1
    @Prix I haven't had chance to retry - it is the weekend, after all :) Aug 17 '14 at 17:23
  • :P I will curse cellphones for being so useful with its resources, can't stay without checking mine, which makes me also check SO since I have app installed... Hope you're enjoying your weekend.
    – Prix
    Aug 17 '14 at 17:59
  • Looking really nice hope the firewall gets accepted/updated some time soon.
    – Prix
    Aug 18 '14 at 20:47

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