Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Anime World Order Show # 5 - Smaller Files, Longer Segments, They Were Eleven, and Part 1 of the Patrick Macias interview

For Show # 5 we talk about why “voting with your dollars” doesn’t really work, discuss the Often Overlooked classic anime They Were Eleven, and conclude with Part 1 of our interview with Patrick Macias, author of “Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo Tokyo” and the Most Dangerous Man Alive.

Click Here to Download

The Patrick Macias interview was as good as we'd imagined, and since Patrick is more machine than man, he was able to stay with us as we recorded for about five hours. I haven't got the heart to pare it down, so based on listener feedback we've decided to try going with longer segments while simultaneously dropping the quality settings down to make the file smaller. This one's encoded at 64 Kbps 22.050 KHz as opposed to our typical 96 kbps 44.100 KHz, so let us know if the sound quality is too awful to bear and I'll upload a higher quality encode.

Introduction (0:00 - 9:25)

Since the segments are longer this time around, instead of having three 15 minute segments we'll have pretty much one that takes up most of the time. We respond to your emails and deny allegations of being nice to one another.

Let's News! (9:25 - 20:59)

Tokyopop lays people off, prompting Daryl to complain about so-called "OEL manga." The prices for the Patlabor 1 rerelease have been set, prompting Daryl to complain about stuff costing too damn much and how the tactic of "voting with your dollars" just doesn't work. Daryl feels like complaining about something, prompting Daryl to complain about the terrible subtitle inaccuracies on the Zeta Gundam box set, which in turn leads to Daryl complaining about how the 2-disc rereleases of Zeta Gundam have fixed subtitles and Bandai told nobody and offered no exchange program. Do you notice a pattern developing here?

Promo: Anime HELL (20:59 - 22:16)

Sixty thousand volts of black power will course through your veins as you hear this classic gem of badfilm.

Often Overlooked: They Were Eleven (22:16 - 44:52)

Clarissa talks all about the overlooked sci-fi shoujo classic They Were Eleven, which all of you should watch considering it costs $10 on DVD, people!

Interview -- Patrick Macias, the Most Dangerous Man Alive, Part 1 (44:52 - 58:47)

Our very first guest on the show! Patrick Macias is an expert on Japanese pop culture who is smarter and cooler than all of us. He is the author of Tokyoscope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion as well as Cruising the Anime City: An Otaku Guide to Neo Tokyo, both of which should be available at bookstores near you. If not, there's always Amazon! He's often referred to as "the Hunter S. Thompson of anime fandom that natively speaks English" by those who read his almighty blog, and by the time this interview is over, you'll know why.

This interview ran for about five hours in all, and I just don't have the heart to edit it down the way I would my own segments. So what I'll do is this: I'll release the remaining parts of the interview in roughly one hour segments, each segment of which will loosely center around one particular topic. For instance, one segment would pretty much be all about Kazuo Koike, even though we'll go off on wild and crazy tangents.

Closing (58:47 - 60:14)

So the episode doesn't just abruptly end, I recorded some sort of closing here. It was 1:30 AM when I did that. It is 3:30 AM now. I have work in four hours. Something tells me my vote will be for the one hour interview segments to be posted in lieu of actual episodes instead of in addition to. But while I'm here, it seems we have another iTunes issue. The show descriptions in iTunes always appear as one giant block of text with no line breaks in them. Anyone know how to fix that? Ideally I'd want the iTunes show description to just be the Comments in our ID3v2 tag, but for now I've edited every post to start with a short summary of the episode.


Kendra Kirai said...

Kendra here! Thanks for reading my e-mail! :) I realize that a lot of anime does repeat the show's title a lot...but much more of it doesn't. You're Under Arrest, Ah! Megami-sama, the Alternate-universe Gundam series, many, many others. While, as I noted in the e-mail (But wasn't read, alas) *every* non-instrumental american cartoon theme song I can think of has it a dozen times.

You were right about the basic definitions of Super and Real robots, too. Super Robots are basically one-of-a-kind mechs, with immense power, all but invincible (In fact, that's something to check if it's a super robot show; if the *title* has 'Invincible' in it, it's almost certainly a Super Robot), and almost always, as Clarissa said, powered by BS. :) Real Robots are typically mass-produced, they get damaged and blown up a lot (Maybe not the TITLE mechs, but they usually get damaged too) Super Robots typically only have one special pilot (Or multiple pilots in the case of the combiners), such as Akira...I don't know his last name..with Raideen, Kabuto Kouji with Mazinger Z, etc. While Real Robots are more or less interchangable. With training, anybody can pilot a Real Robot, while Supers are typically very restricted, either by 'brain wave' security systems, 'hearts must be as one' or something else that keeps people from just plunking another pilot into the robot when the pilot is hurt, or something.

Basically, it's like this: If the robot is self-aware, one-of-a-kind and impossible to mass produce, or has a face which is humanlike and capable of changing expression (The vast majority of the robots from the Brave Saga of anime series' are good examples of this, as are Transformers) or transform to and from forms which they have no right to be able to achieve (Transformers, the many Getter series) or if the robots don't have visible joints, but which are capable of the full range of humanlike movement, or are 'The most powerful robots in the world' or 'The last line of defense for mankind against the invaders' chances are *EXTREMELY* good it's a Super Robot. Chances become even better with each additional item on the checklist.

A Real Robot on the other hand, is made in factories, the pilots may have special powers, but they don't *require* them to pilot the robot, they require ammunition, while Super Robots typically have infinite ammo codes input. There's many more pilots, they tend to switch their robots around and upgrade as the show goes on (While Supers get new weapons/attacks, Reals get new *mechs*.) and there is almost never a joke/mascot, or Pilot's Girlfriend Who Pilots a Weaker Robot And Is Mostly For Getting Into Trouble Or Helping Out The Main Robot character. (Okay, there's Haro, for the mascot, but he *does* help out from time to time..and there's Fa Yuriy from Zeta and Double Zeta Gundams, who's a *horrible* pilot who pilots a Mobile Suit which has less survivability than a grunt Zaku II, but they're the exceptions, really.)

In character terms, Super Robot shows are generally personified by 'Courage/love/compassion/'insert positive emotion here' conquers all' and Real Robot shows typically fall into the 'War sucks' or 'If we could only talk to one another we'd find we're really alike' mindset. Though of course, there are exceptions...Ideon, for example, is *definitely* a Super Robot, but is deeply in the 'War sucks' category. Of course, it's also a Tomino series, so folks die left and right.)

With the Era of 'Giant Robots are Fun Again' I meant, the stories are much more lighthearted than they were in the 80's and 90's. They're FUN to watch, they're colorful, they're a bit formulaic, but comfortingly so..The 'New' Tetsujin 28 Go, Godannar, Gravion, King Gainer, Vandread, Hikarian, Kannaduki no Miko (Also called, on a weblog, Marimite X Gundam.). There doesn't seem to be nearly as much angst. Well, barring Infinite Ryvius, the starship fueled by the infinite power of TEENAGE ANGST, but that's a bit of an exception. :)

Also, a minor complaint...Daryl's microphone was very quiet, much of the time. I doubt it was because of the new compression, but it's odd that it cropped up the same time you went to the lower bitrate...

Daryl Surat said...

I think the reason why my microphone was quieter this time was because I switched off the Automatic Gain Control when trying to diagnose why episode 4 ended up sounding the way it did. Eventually I discovered that the problem was that for that one episode, I tried separating the audio into separate channels, and for some reason it'd add static into the tracks when someone wasn't talking. It doesn't do that otherwise, but I guess my mic will be sounding like that for most all of the interview segments we put out. Ah well.

In case you didn't already remember, the pilot of Raideen is named Akira Hibiki.

Kendra Kirai said...

I've never seen it, alas, so I'll have to take your word for it. My only real exposure to most of the older Super Robot shows (Getter Robo, the Mazingers..pretty much all of the Go Nagai stuff, really) is through Super Robot Wars and some sporadic research.

I'm so far tending to agree with your general assessment of Gundam SEED by the way...it's not nearly as objectionable as I thought it would be, as I watch it through for the first time (My only prior experience being seeing a couple of episodes on TV, with that awful, awful Ocean Group dub. I've heard more emotion out of Ben Stein than all of those VA's combined.) It's not nearly as bad as, say, Gundam ZZ, which spent a dozen episodes just sitting in a colony's junkyard. Of course, I haven't seen 'First' Gundam, so maybe it really is completely derivative drivel...but I'm kinda diggin' it so far. Oh, it's not the *best*..I think I'd rate it about average for a giant robot series..around King Gainer or Kenran Butohsai The Mars Daybreak level (With Gaogaigar being the top of the scale, and, oh...Geneshaft or Gasaraki being the bottom.)

Personally, if I had to rate the giant robot series' I've seen at least halfway through, I think I'd do them in this order...

Full Metal Panic!
Dangaioh (The ORIGINAL one)
Combattler V
Brain Powerd
Overman King Gainer (Which feels a LOT like Brain Powerd)
Vandread (This series is lots of fun)
Gundam ZZ
Victory Gundam
Macross Plus
Big O (First season only, alas. Waiting to find a sub release of season 2)
Macross 7 (Would be lower, but I can't call the series that bad just because I loathe Basara.)
Machine Robo Rescue
Transformers Super Link
Transformers Galaxy Force
Gundam Wing
Gundam SEED
Great Dangaioh (It wouldn't have been so bad, if not for that HORRENDOUS 'ending')
Candidate for Goddess

Keep in mind that these are the ones I've seen at LEAST halfway through (I'm still working on Victory, ZZ, and SEED Gundams, Combattler V, Godmars, and the original Macross...I need to set aside like four days and do nothing but watch anime to catch up with what I have...) and in many cases, the rankings are *extremely* close...so close that a good or bad episode can raise or lower a series, or even just what kind of mood I'm in. Candidate for Goddess would probably be higher, if they didn't stop making anime for it at episode 14 and go to just drama CDs and novels.)

You may notice I haven't seen Zeta Gundam. That's because of a quite simple reason: Camille Bidan is a gigantic, firey, size-of-a-colony ASS. When I loathe the main character so much that I can't watch the series any more, that is not a good thing.

Abrupt topic change, anyone have a series that they wish people would see, but few people do, because of the title, basic premise, and first few episodes turn people off? I've got a big one: Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Yeah, the basic premise is cliche (Girl finds cute animal, turns out she has to fight monsters and collect magical doodads), the title is self-explanatory, and the first couple episodes are, by necessity of character development and explanation, fairly formulaic. But at about episode four (It's only 12 or 13 episodes) it changes, and becomes *NOT* your typical magical girl series. They recently completed a second season (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's) and it LOOKS like there's a third season in the works slated for august of this year. Anyone who's reading this and hasn't seen it should really watch the ENTIRE first season/series before judging it. I think you'll all be pleasantly surprised at how *good* a magical girl series can be. There isn't even much in the way of stock footage.

Wow, I just previewed this, and my posts are insanely long. Sorry for all of you who dislike scrolling. :)

Tohoscope said...

The show opening for ZAMBOT 3 (AWO podcast #3) is up at http://animehell.mypodcasts.net/index.php?id=46

Love that theme song...

mieko said...

You guys are great !! This old schooler is very happy to listen
to your show. I'm absolutely amazed
you guys knew about Crystal Triangle !!! A Indiana Jones who does goes insane at the end...
I lost copy of it 12 years ago :(
Keep up the good work :)