Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bonus - Interview with Michiko Ito, Part 1

Note: The audio overlapping problem has been fixed and a new version of the episode has been uploaded. If the audio overlaps in your copy, redownload the episode.

This one's for all the Gerald acolytes out there, as he conducts an interview with Michiko Ito, professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Kansas. Tim Eldred, whom we interviewed in Show 14, is also present. Be sure to check out www.starblazers.com for Tim's Starblazers Rebirth and Tim's excellent documentary Space Battleship Yamato: The Making of an Anime Legend. Listen on, would-be otaku, and discover exactly what inanimate objects YOU should be praying to in order to guarantee that you see that next episode of Gundam!

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2:25 – Michiko talks about anime in Japan when she was growing up, and that it was called “terebi manga.”

3:15 – What it is that separated Space Battleship Yamato from the rest of the anime on at the time, which was largely sports anime. When Michiko talks about "the end of each episode," she is referring to the number of days remaining until Earth is rendered uninhabitable, which added dramatic tension to the series. Michiko also talks about being fond of Starsha:

4:40 - Tsunehiro Okasako was the character designer for the original Space Battleship Yamato.

5:55 – Michiko explains that the competing program to Yamato was the Hayao Miyazaki classic Heidi of the Alps.

7:00 – Michiko and her brother call in to local radio stations to request the opening theme of Yamato, aptly named Uchuu Senkan Yamato, sung by Isao Sasaki.

8:10 – Chibi Maruko-chan is another powerhouse show in Japan. She also mentions that Yamato was able to widen the appeal of animated shows outside of the elementary school crowd; however, almost no merchandise for that audience was available.

10:50 – The Yamato radio specials, possibly the biggest promotional tease in history.

15:00 – Michiko explains how Yoshinobu "The Nish" Nishizaki wanted to portray the ideal man with his own ideals and his own goal as a major theme of Yamato.

18:35 – Michiko explain “Golden Time” to us, which is the equivalent of "Prime Time."

19:50 – Michiko explains her disappointment with continuing the Yamato franchise with sequels such as The Comet Empire after Saraba Uchuu Senkan Yamato - Ai no Senshitachi (aka Arrivederci Yamato) ended the series.

21:15 - Ribon no Kishi (aka Princess Knight) was the creation of Osamu Tezuka.

21:45 – Tokusatsu, the all-encompassing term for special effects shows. She also mentions the classic Kamen Rider and Kikaider. Michiko also mentions the very well known Candy Candy, a show that was so popular that episodes of it were made just for Italy.

22:15 – At this point Gerald says "Kodai or Desslar." Kodai was the Japanese name for Derek Wildstar and Desslar was the Japanese name for Desslok. The big debate between female fans of the time was "who was the more popular character?" as each had fanclubs for their voice actors.

22:50 – VOTOMS, or Armored Trooper VOTOMS, the show Tim Eldred is nearly singlehandedly responsible for bringing to the English speaking world [Daryl: Neil Nadelman will have our heads for this outrage]. She also mentions Fang of the Sun Dougram, which was a prototype of sorts for VOTOMS as it was done by the same director and had the same atmosphere.

25:25 – Mobile Suit Gundam. Like this needs an explanation.

27:50 – Blue Noah, Nishizaki’s desperate attempt to recreate Yamato which failed miserably. And then, of course, there’s Odin. Just listen to Show #12 for more information than you ever wanted to know about that one.

29:10 – Saiyuki, also known as Journey to the West. The basis for tons of anime including Dragon Ball and--of course--Gensomaden Saiyuki. You can find out more about Journey to the West here.

30:45 – Michiko brings up the importance of “romance” in Yamato, also seen as a “otoko roman” or "men’s romance." Not to be confused with “shonen ai,” which Clarissa can tell us more about.

33:25 – Michiko is referring to the Americanized version of Uchuu Senkan Yamato known as Star Blazers, and she brings up Gojira also known as Godzilla.

34:30 – The joke that Gerald is referring to here occurred in the series where characters would appear in ships that would explode and they would instantly cut back to other characters that looked nothing like the guy in the ship that just exploded and say “just made it back in time,” to hide the fact that someone died.

40:25 – Japan’s Article 9

44:55 – Revenge of Mouflon

48:10 – Animentari Ketsudan and Zero-sen Hayato are some of the anime that depict war.

49:50 – Kamui Gaiden better known as The Legend of Kamui, by the legendary Sanpei Shirato. This is not related to the theatrical film Kamui no Ken (aka The Dagger of Kamui) that Daryl will be reviewing very soon.

54:35 - The Spiriting Away of Sen and Chihiro aka. Spirited Away.

55:40 – We haven’t been able to find this image that Tim says appeared on the cover of The New Yorker magazine. If anyone has it, email it to us so we can add it to the show notes.

58:45 – Chinmoku no Kantai aka. Silent Service by Kaiji Kawaguchi. Gerald mistakenly said “Kenji Kawaguchi.”

1:00:25 – Fax from Sarajevo

Next week, we have an actual show! Gerald does his review of the Kazuo Koike "jigoku manga" Lady Snowblood, Clarissa reviews Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and Daryl takes a look at the theatrical film Hokuto no Ken: Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen because he's not done watching Twelve Kingdoms yet.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Anime World Order Show # 37 - Interview with Marc Handler, Writer for Voltron and Lots More

Departing from our typical show format, our special guest this week is Marc Handler, who's worked in various roles on localizing titles such as Voltron, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, Transformers, FLCL, Naruto, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Astro Boy, Avalon, Zatoichi, and much, MUCH more.

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Opening bumper courtesy of Vic Mignogna, who is officially living the dream. This interview is the entire episode and the topics are all over the place, so here's some approximated time markers. Sorry Clarissa zealots, but she wasn't present for this recording.

3:45 - Who Marc is and how he got his start with working on Voltron. Some subjects include: the unorthodox manner in which Voltron was recorded, how anime scripts at the time were written, and what the heck was up with the animation at the end of Voltron: The Movie, anyway?

15:00 - Working on Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, and how the approach to that was both similar to and different from Voltron.

17:00 - Marc's involvement with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and how Voltron and Ninja Turtles helped change TV.

19:00 - The difference between writing for original shows and writing for already-existing ones, and what Marc considers essential when writing ADR (dub) scripts.

21:25 - What it was like working for Saban on things like Superpig, Honeybee Hutch, Eagle Riders, and such.

25:00 - Working for Pioneer on Tenchi Muyo and how much different their approach was compared to everything else, in addition to Voltron: The 3rd Dimension. Plus, whether or not Marc was involved with that Sprite commercial where the rappers were piloting Voltron.

27:00 - The number one aspect that most anime dubbing studios focus on and why this is a bad idea. Plus, the companies that DON'T do that stuff and why it is that others don't follow suit even when there's such a noticeable difference in the quality.

32:00 - Marc's involvement with FLCL and Cowbop Bebop.

35:10 - Working on Transformers: Robots in Disguise along with Transformers: Cybertron and the difference between the handling of the two.

Promo: Weekly Anime Review Podcast (36:52 - 37:25)
Aaron's got "FORM BLAZING SWORD" right there in his promo, so how could we not play it during this episode? He was also a guest at SITACon, but the only real photo of him we have is of him holding pornography while sticking out his tongue.

37:25 - Optimus Prime on semiotic cohesion in poetry, and how in the world that made it into the script.

40:00 - On American TV Standards and Practices, how this affected the production of the 2003 Astro Boy series, and whether we think this is actually having a productive effect or not.

43:40 - Why Astro Boy (and similarly, things like Saint Seiya and Fist of the North Star) was popular everywhere else in the world but not in the USA. How Astro Boy introduced thematic concepts we've seen in anime for years that are generally still not present in many American cartoons.

48:10 - Marc's English-language pilot for Astro Boy (that was not used in America) and how it was entered into the Tokyo Animation Fair.

50:45 - On being a story editor for the initial episodes of Naruto and WHEN IS THE FILLER ARC GOING TO END????

51:45 - Mix Master (a Korean animated program that Marc's currently working on) and the Korean animation approach in relation to the Japanese one.

54:00 - Marc's involvement with Steamboy and why it was exciting yet a disappointment for him.

56:30 - The Cowboy Bebop movie as an example of how there's no such thing as a "direct translation."

59:20 - Working on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

1:00:50 - Translation considerations when working on Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis.

Promo: Dave and Joel's Fast Karate for the Gentleman (1:01:54 - 1:03:00)
When this episode came out on Friday evening, Dave took me to task for not releasing the episode in time for him to listen to it at work. Now THEIR episode is the one that is late! Wait a second, if you believe hard enough, this interview was actually posted like five days EARLY.

1:03:00 - Working on live-action dubs such as Avalon and Shaolin Soccer, and why it's more difficult than working on anime.

1:07:45 - Regarding Marc's work on videogames, which is less stellar a track record than his anime and film pedigree since he worked on Seven Samurai 20XX which has a rap scene that's right up there with the animated Titanic.

1:14:00 - What Marc thinks the future has in store regarding anime's popularity.

1:16:00 - Do anime companies really listen to the fansub watching fans when they license something that's super-popular even before it's picked up for release in the US?

1:17:00 - Why being too close to the Japanese can result in bad dubs too.

1:19:30 - More on Astro Boy and Cowboy Bebop.

1:22:00 - Final comments.

The next episode of AWO is for all you Gerald lovers since it'll consist of his interview with Michiko Ito and Tim Eldred that he conducted back at Anime Weekend Atlanta. Yep, no Daryl or Clarissa to cramp his style and not let him talk for once! Plus, there might also be Gerald's review of Kazuo Koike's manga Lady Snowblood! HELLO, LADIES.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bonus - Our Boring Panel at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2006

This isn't really an episode. Well, it was until we decided it was cosmically lame. See, it's mostly composed of the audio to our panel at AWA 2006, and it was pretty boring. Oh well.

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Introduction (0:00 - 32:20)
This is our first go at using the Levelator. It seems pretty good, but Daryl's mic was acting up and so there was a lot more noise than usual in the recording. So despite dire results previously, we used Audacity's Noise Removal filter to get rid of it. The result is that everyone, particularly Daryl, sounds slightly robotic during the introduction. Still, we answer messages. James from AnimePodcast.net calls in to let us know about how we really need to stick it more to the large retail outlet chains as far as anime pricing goes, we talk about the fatal mistakes being made by ADV Universe and Anime Village, and Walter Amos writes in with a rebuttal to some of the things said in Show 32's Otakon report with Zac Bertschy. Plus, a mysterious individual writes in to settle once and for all whether Gerald or Daryl emits the most anti-girl rays, and per Carl Horn's request, Gerald and Clarissa make mention of some of the doujinshi they bought at AWA. The way Daryl sees it, if he's unwilling to pay $2.50 - $4.00 for a 32-page comicbook, he sure as hell isn't going to pay $20 for one. Or even $5-$10 if you get a "great deal" on them. Paying money for porno? That is SO pre-Internet.

There are two things YOU can do to get Gerald and Clarissa up to speed on this modern Internet age. The first is to submit reviews of our podcast on iTunes. The second...is to draw AWO doujinshi. In fact, people have been submitting fanart to us for a while. Here are some of them (more as we find them):

Jared and Lindsay, the creators of Peach Fuzz (which is like, syndicated in newspapers and published by Tokyopop), sent us this freaking awesome logo way back when we asked for someone to draw this for us. Man, why don't we use THIS as our official logo?!

Fred M sent us this back in June, and if you want to see more here's his Photobucket:

Chris B sent this one to us back in August:

Erin from the Ninja Consultant podcast drew this shortly after Otakon. Despite implications made in this episode, she assures us that "Geraldarame" has NOT gone wee wee in his pants:

Someone mysterious that was probably also Erin drew this picture, which seems to be Daryl Surat vs Dave Riley from Fast Karate for the Gentleman. Clever enough to reference Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo? Some credit is due, but not quite full credit since they should in fact be teaming up with one another!

And Carl Horn had this masterpiece commissioned for his AWA room party:

As Jodie Foster said in this movie about aliens that didn't have aliens in it, it's beautiful. So, so beautiful.

Let's News! (32:20 - 44:39)
Yoshihiro Yonezawa, the creator of Comiket, has died, Geneon's release of Sherlock Hound is going out of print, and Animeigo proves once again that they actually give a crap because Yawara is going to be released 40 episodes at a time. We then totally steal everything that was said on this episode of Otaku Generation with regards to Animeigo. Oh, and despite mentioning it and probably retracting it a few times already, there is going to be more Genshiken. Really. But it's only going to be three episodes worth.

Boring AWA 2006 Panel: "Conquering the Internet" (44:39 - 1:36:25)
Yeah, this is pretty bad news. Special thanks to Daizenshuu EX and the Ninja Consultants for showing up. Also, other people from other powerful places were present, but bottom line: we talked about podcasting and didn't really do that great a job. And by "we" we mean "Daryl."

Closing (1:36:25 - 1:39:54)
Next week is yet another "bonus" episode as Gerald and Daryl interview Marc Handler. Marc has worked on Voltron, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, FLCL, and oh yeah, the dub of Naruto. Believe it!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Anime World Order Show # 36 - Cagliostro, Phoenix, and Embracing Love

This episode is a week late due to computer troubles, but hopefully the wait is worth it. Gerald reviews Hayao Miyazaki's theatrical directorial debut The Castle of Cagliostro, Daryl reviews the 2004 anime remake of Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix (aka Hi no Tori), and Clarissa reviews the yaoi manga Embracing Love by Youka Nitta.

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Man, we're totally slacking off on these show notes as of late. But hey, we've got a Review Index now! It's incomplete because it doesn't yet include all the instances where we waste time on "weeaboo" when someone asks us "what do you think about..." but it's a start. Did you just read "weeaboo"? 'Cause I think you just saw someone write "weeaboo." Forget about yaoi paddles, for I have seen the future and it is the past.

Introduction (0:00 - 32:03)
Carl Gustav Horn is officially smarter than us, but he was suffering from an inflamed farceurix which required immediate care. This week, we realize that if we keep asking people to send us Odeo feedback, it would do us well to actually PLAY some of them and respond to them on air. Subjects include: cons and cosplay stuff, Planetes, Chobits, Street Fighter II, and why Fist of the North Star is popular everywhere else in the world except for North America. On a highly related note, the US DVDs released by Toei are officially no longer available. This picture sums up AWA in a nutshell:

Promo: GeekNights (32:03 - 33:11)
Rym and Scott exhibited their full recovery from their pierrotlectomies by informing us that the Monty Python Spanish Inquisition-style promo of theirs was not actually meant to be seriously played by anyone, so we're playing the Blues Brothers-style one instead. And you thought it was going to be the Blues Brothers combined with the Inquisition...what a show. They'll be guests at SITACon in New York this weekend, so to help you identify them, here's a picture (Rym is on the left and Scott is on the right):

Review: Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (33:11 - 59:12)
Man. Thirty-six episodes before we officially covered anything directed by Miyazaki, "because everyone knows about him already." Gerald reviews the newly-released special edition available from Manga Video, compares it to the previous DVD release, and in so doing answers the question on the minds of everyone who's ever been hit by a double-dip DVD release: is it worth picking up the new release if you already own the original one? Sure, every other anime podcast has reviewed this movie by now, but only OURS has the foresight to point out how this movie inspired Time Crisis!

Review: Phoenix [Hi no Tori] (59:12 - 1:26:08)
Daryl didn't exactly write any notes to himself whatsoever prior to doing this segment, but he figured he'd try and schmooze his way through this one anyway. The result is that he takes nearly 30 minutes to say what could have been said in 15, and he completely forgot to fully say exactly what the Phoenix was in the story. It's essentially the Power Cosmic incarnate, or for you Excel Saga fans, the Great Will of the Macrocosm. The will of the universe incarnate, as it were. Phoenix is Osamu Tezuka's life work and perhaps his grandest achievement, having been remade multiple times over the years. The Phoenix being reviewed in this segment is the 2004 remake, but since Daryl can't ever stay on topic, he ends up talking about the other stuff too. Under the guise of "putting things in context," you see. Of course, like all of Tezuka's work, almost nobody in America cares about this even though it's really good. PS: Vertical's English-language release of Ode to Kirihito comes out on October 24th.
  • Media Blasters told us at AWA that they do actually plan on releasing the anime, so instead of linking to a torrent for the series, here's the opening so you can see how nice this show looks; Youtube/Google Video doesn't cut it
  • Viz Media's excellent release of the Phoenix manga - which nobody except Daryl seems to be buying as it comes out, provided he can actually FIND IT because much like Golgo 13, stores and anime con dealers don't tend to carry it...in addition to what's listed on the Viz page, volumes 7 and 8 of are also out, but they're practically out of stock at both Amazon and Right Stuf
  • Tezuka in English - a fantastic resource for those who wish to learn more about Tezuka's output and derivative works over the years
  • Osamu Tezuka World - Tezuka Production's official English-language webpage
  • This was going to be a link to the full English-language text of the February 10, 1989 article that ran in Asahi following Tezuka's death, but we can't find it anywhere. It's got to be out there, but in the meantime, here instead is the often-repeated quote from said article: "Foreign visitors to Japan often find it difficult to understand why Japanese people like comics so much. One explanation for the popularity of comics in Japan, however, is that Japan had Tezuka Osamu, whereas other nations did not. Without Dr. Tezuka, the postwar explosion in comics in Japan would have been inconceivable."
  • Japan Media Arts Festival poll where about 80,000 people voted and declared Phoenix the #6 manga of all time - though bear in mind, the list is almost entirely shonen action and Slam Dunk was #1
Review: Embracing Love [Haru wo Daiteita] (1:26:08 - 1:47:35)
But it's not like the Viz Signature line is the only manga imprint you can't find sold anywhere! It's been a while since the last yaoi review, but Clarissa was finally able to track down this Youka Nitta manga released by Be Beautiful. Why the Be Beautiful releases are so much more expensive than all other manga releases despite not really being of superior print quality or page count strikes us as being particularly blatant on the "we charge more because fans are willing to pay extra and that's it" front, but that's CPM for you.

Promo: Happy House of Hentai (1:47:35 - 1:47:58)
Last we checked, "Lord Kaosu" and "Hello Kitty" both live in New Mexico, but they're both guests at SITACon in New York on October 6-8. They're inviting a whole bunch of podcasters to be guests there, but we unfortunately cannot attend. Not only would it be tricky for the three of us to all get time off from school/work, we'd have to pay to fly ourselves there. Between Anime Weekend Atlanta and Right Stuf's sale on Geneon DVDs, we're about spent. So if you head to SITACon and you see these folks, be sure to say hello because they totally traveled across the country to be there:

Say, we've got Ninja Consultant T-shirts, too!

Closing (1:47:58 - 1:51:13)
This episode is like, an entire week late. What this means is that in order to catch back up, the next episode will have to come out in a few days. Fortunately for us, the next episode will consist mostly of the recording of our AWA panel on podcasting, which turned out mostly well, boring. Perhaps it would be best to throw in some extra bits while we're at it for the sake of adding excitement.