Sunday, July 01, 2007

Anime World Order Show # 54d - Clarissa Isn't Dead, She Was Hibernating (like Superman)

After a month of procrastination and being occupied with actual work, we conclude the super-extended Show # 54 with Clarissa's review of Ai no Kusabi. Its DBR--Dudes Bein' Rude--rating is quite powerful indeed. This hopefully concludes the "non-standard format" episodes of the last month and change, but once again, if you've never heard the show before, you may not want to start with this one since our other episodes aren't like this.

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Introduction (00:00 - 13:19)

It's somewhat difficult to select emails that are appropriate to read without all of our powers combined to answer them, but somehow Clarissa manages to select three whole messages. First of all, we deviate briefly from the mansex theme of this episode to talk about hot girls making out with each other--more specifically, why yuri manga is so hard to find and whether there's any of it that's good. Clarissa mentions a few titles, then directs everyone interested to Okazu since Erica is awesome and can school people on this better than anyone at AWO. The question of whether or not YesAsia sells bootlegs is addressed (the answer appears to be no), and Clarissa points people looking for Japanese DVDs to CD Japan, whose prices are cheaper, though they don't have free shipping and you should probably check which one ends up costing less with that factored in. We close with a listener who wants us to review Wings of Honneamise, Angel Cop and Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Also, is Koichi Ohata the Japanese Rob Liefeld? Perhaps you can help us answer that.

News (13:20 - 23:25)

Clarissa, unchecked by cohosts talking about things that don't involve Dudes Being Rude, ends up talking about a lot of news that has to do with that. Sanami Matoh is doing more FAKE, and Clarissa hopes that if it gets licensed, it'll get a translation she can read without stabbing her eyes out. Also, Yuu Watase may be doing her first Boys Love manga (or maybe just another shoujo-which-happens-to-have-gay-boys-manga) as part of another magazine, which will also feature Alexander Daiou. Finally, AX happened, which means lots of licensing announcements and other news. Clarissa talks a few new licenses, the continuation of Yotsuba&!, and the keynote about the manga industry.

Review: Ai no Kusabi (23:26 - 53:27)



Future societies on human-colonized worlds, genetic engineering, highly-stratified class systems, supercomputer leaders, sex slaves and hot mansex. Plus Kaneto Shiozawa in possibly his hottest role? It must be Ai no Kusabi.

Though Clarissa generally wouldn't look to BL manga for serious science fiction literature, since well, that's not really the point, this one is actually pretty neat for the interaction between society and human emotion/desire. But the main focus is still definitely on incredibly handsome men and their torrid affair.

Clarissa forgot to note over the course of this review that this show is solely responsible for her bulletproof kink of the indirect cigarette kiss. It's only fair that others should be warned before watching. It could happen to you!

Also, for the record, this is the concept art of the bikes looked at during the episode:





Promo: Robotronic Dynamite! (53:28 - 54:58)

Since this episode is a veritable buffet of mansex, it's only fitting that we endorse the gayest podcast ever, using an appropriately-themed promo. This 'cast features Joseph Luster, who can currently be found in Otaku USA, along with the AWO.

Closing (54:59 - 59:13)

And thus ends the most ridiculous episode of this podcast ever. Which for us is pretty severely ridiculous. The next episode's already recorded, so there shouldn't be another crazy gap between this one and the next. Next up, our powers combine once again, but instead of Captain Planet we end up with Daryl's review of the Sanrio film Sea Prince and the Fire Child, Gerald's take on the classic Gainax series Nadia: Secret of Blue Water, and Clarissa's initial reactions to MPD Psycho.


62 comments:

Anonymous said...

YAY!!! Clarissa has risen from the dead!!

Erwin Rosales said...

Yeah , the episode is out :D

James Leung Man-Fai said...

WOOO HOOO!!! YAAAAA!!! Form feet and legs; form arms and body; and Clarissa forms the head! Much love for the Clarissa podcast!

Eeeper said...

BOOO-YAAA!!! Clarissa kicks ass and takes names! Take that Space Coyote!


JSYK: Yesasia.com do legit live-action flicks. I've bought The John Woo collections, Police Story Trilogy, Battle Royale 2 and lot of Jet Li films from them as well as some Korean DVD's to boot. They have insane prices for Japanese media but as Clarissa said this is to be expected. They DO sell VCDS alongside their DVD's. Maybe this is where the confusion comes from.

Anonymous said...

Clarissa, I just wanted to let you know that you got a big cheer today when Patrick spoke your name in the Otaku USA panel at AX.

--Carl

TJ said...

Greetings AWO, I figured I'd join in on the insanity that is the comment section.

Anywho, I'm glad to see you guys are finally back!! I'm off to go listen to the show now. Yay!

The Last Otaku said...

Is play-asia and yes-asia the same thing?

Anonymous said...

"As a matter of fact, there's two: LEFT EYE and RIGHT EYE." It is lines such as these that demonstrate A.W.O.'s pitch-perfect understanding of how otaku think.

--Carl

halojones-fan said...

MY TROUSERS CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT

Eeeper said...

The Last Otaku said...

Is play-asia and yes-asia the same thing?


Nope different sites entirely.

Jeff Tatarek said...

My nipples explode with delight!

Always happy to see a new episode on my iPod.

TJ said...

So, I just listened to the show...

Clarissa, thanks for reading my email on the show. I'm personally don't read BL, but Ai No Kusabi sounds pretty interesting.

Gerald, I'm really looking forward to your review of Nadia. Even though it's terrifyingly uneven (just thinking about the movie and the Island Arc make me cry manly tears), I still really like the show overall. Any reviews of Gainax works are good with me.

Thomas P said...

Yes Asia and Play Asia are different websites. Yes Asia is all legit.

Clarissa, your episode will be the favorite of pretty much everyone because Daryl pisses off too many people and Gerald's too British for anyone to get behind.

TJ said...

Another awesome license out of AX that you didn't mention...

Dark Horse licensed another Koike manga! It's called The Color Of Rage, and it should be awesome.

Anonymous said...

It's about fucking time.

tricia said...

Dammit! Why does Daryl and Gerald have to steal this show too? Didn't they have their own shows to do that with? And why didn't Clarissa go crazy like on that Geeknights thing?! I'm disappointed. If Daryl and Gerald had so much comments on this type of show I think they should start reviewing that sort of material too. And then I'd be happy. Very happy. But not really.

Young Freud said...

DLing it right now. I sure hope someone calls AnoK "Wedgie of Love".

kevin g said...

Clarissa, you failed to continue the insanity that was episode 54. No one was punched in the balls. There was no parody promo.

...I can't decide if I'm disappointed or grateful.

On a side note, I finally got around to watching Golgo 13: The Professional. Suddenly my manhood seems completely inferior...

Chippy said...

Yay,new episode!You guy's are coming back together next week,w00t.If only i shared delight in yaoi,i probably would have liked the review a bit better,but i did hear the word Tombi.Now that was a good game,,,,,if only i had kept track of what it meant...

UberRobo said...

what fun. now it feels complete

Mahlon said...

Shit! I. Can't. Download.

Oh, well. At least Clarissa is back, which is freaking awesome.

halojones-fan said...

Oh spurn! HAHAHAHAHAHAH

Anonymous said...

I almost forgot to thank you for reading my email. Thanks for the podcasts. Finally we can get back to the normal format.

WRYYYYYYYYYYY said...

Ai No Kusabi's lack of manhole-ing is incredibly frustrating. Jeez, what am I supposed to do, use my imagination?

Anonymous said...

It's kind of an old site, but can AWO recommend http://ea.zeroesunlimited.com/ during your next update? Thanks. It's not safe for work, though.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys,

I just picked up the Otaku USA magazine at a local comic book shop here in Cape Town, South Africa. There were only 2 on the shelf, one of which now belongs to me. I paid R105 for it (approx. $15). I can't wait to read it. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the South African Otaku magazine.

Ivan Schalo said...

It's about fucking time. Nice review Clarissa.

Eeeper said...

Anonymous said...

It's kind of an old site, but can AWO recommend http://ea.zeroesunlimited.com/ during your next update? Thanks. It's not safe for work, though.


I've just finished visiting. My brain hurts. Christ it's like a serene walk through Dante's Inferno. Definitely NSFW.

Colin said...

So Daryl, are we going to get a follow-up on the To Terra review now that the final volume is out?

osoiman said...

I'm straight, but I would listen to Clarissa talk about mansex all day long.

Daryl Surat said...

Why does Daryl and Gerald have to steal this show too?

What? I don't remember stealing any show. I don't think I said all that much during the review or anything.

So Daryl, are we going to get a follow-up on the To Terra review now that the final volume is out?

Yes. At some point we're definitely going to do a segment or two where we update some of our past reviews that weren't reviews of the entire thing, and To Terra Volumes 2 and 3 will be among that along with things like Angel Heart, Hakugei, and so on. We'll try our best to not give too much away in the process.

The thing about Ecchi Attack is that the site constantly goes offline and I think it's moved to new URLs repeatedly as well. That's more a Gerald area of expertise.

Clarissa said...

All right, show notes are up!

Guilty as charged on not holding up the train of insanity. But somehow I just couldn't find the groove!

TJ -

I actually did see the notice about the Koike manga, and so did Daryl, but I figured it would be just too wrong for me to talk about that without at least one of my copilots there.

Dave Riley said...

Indirect cigarette kiss is totally "ftw"s.

A+++++ for you, Clarissa.

Anonymous said...

daryl: Well it's up for now, along with what's left of Sexy Losers ( http://hardartist.livejournal.com/91458.html#cutid1
). Anyway, I'm sure there are a lot of sites you've linked in the past which no longer exist, so you might as well get some quick traffic.

Joseph Luster said...

It's true, we really are the "gayest show in town."

Gerald said...

The thing about Ecchi Attack is that the site constantly goes offline and I think it's moved to new URLs repeatedly as well. That's more a Gerald area of expertise.

I only found out about Ecchi Attack a few years ago and have only been to the site a few times, and every time I go there and end up clicking on the this long and in depth article about Waita Uziga, that tries to examine the intricacies of a women being cut up in an egg slicer. WHY!?!?

Also, since the subject came up during the review, I completely forgot that Shinji Aramaki had directed MADOX 01, so he has already made his mark on anime directing before Appleseed.

Dave Riley said...

o/~ Drivin' along, robot fell into my truck, and then I shot a helicopter and orphaned some kids.

o/~ Gotta find my girlfriend she's waitin'formeinthetower'cozherdad'sgonnamakehergotoEngland.

o/~ I really hope I don't die in this robot suit

o/~ Ooooooooo, me and my robot. Ooooooo, me and my robot. Oooooo, me and my ro-o-bot.

Anonymous said...

gerald: Well apparently, "uziga-mania" has reached the domain of ANN's own Answerman. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2007-07-06

Gerald said...

gerald: Well apparently, "uziga-mania" has reached the domain of ANN's own Answerman.

Hmm, seems like Zack and I agree on something here :P.

Although the one thing that I think he doesn't really focus on enough, the one thing that makes stuff like Giger, MPD Psycho and Berserk so different from the Uziga stuff is that Uziga stuff is there with the only intent to be wank material while Berserk and MPD Psycho is just meant to be deranged and disturbing for atmospheric and plot purposes.

That alone is the thing that sends chills up my back, although I'm almost positive that Uziga is some semi normal guy who just puts on his "insane guro helmet" whenever he does photo shoots for his tankobons or is drawing his stuff. I think his site has a blog and it makes me wonder if anyone has translated it to see what he's thinking on a day to day basis?

Erica Friedman said...

Thanks for the plug, Clarissa!

Don't forget to let folks know about Yuricon's 2007 "Yurisai" event and the 100% Yuri manga from ALC Publishing!

Cheers,

Erica

Hungry for Yuri? Have some Okazu!
http://okazu.blogspot.com

James Leung Man-Fai said...

Dave you forgot the most important scene in MADOX-01. Eating ramen in a powered mech armor with chopsticks. You fail!

Robert Kelly said...

It was prawn tempura he was eating, not ramen.

James Leung Man-Fai said...

It was actually shrimp tempura. I think he was eating shrimp with ramen, because of two factors.

1. It's unusually for east asian food to be served without a serving of starch/carbs (usually rice, noodles, and more recently bread).

In many east asian countries, ramen (also called "chūka soba" - translated as "Chinese style soba") is usually eaten with other food (shrimp, pork, and eggs) thrown into the bowl. If you do a image search for "ramen", you can see a photo of it.

2. The container he was eating from didn't look like a bento box (usually contains rice).

Therefore, I surmise that he was eating ramen with tempura shrimp.

Just the way I see it.

Elizabeth Christian-Smith said...

Clarissa,

While I haven't read any translations of the Ai no Kusabi novels, I totally get what you're saying about the stilted prose style. I've found that a significant amount of both professional and amateur translations of Japanese prose have a very stiff feel. I mean what I've read of Haruki Murakami tends to flow pretty well, but Coin Locker Babies by his name brother Ryo seemed a little more stilted. Really, I guess of what I've read (not necessarily extensive, btw) H. Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto have had the most natural styles.

On the other hand, checking in at the Baka-tsuki wiki-translation site, the fluidity of the style seems to vary from author to author. The communal nature of the translation there seems like it would mitigate against a single person's style dominating a work.

Abruptly changing subjects, I've always assumed that YesAsia had a mix of legit and gray market goods. I'm iffy on the legitimacy of some of their Chinese subbed Japanese DVDs, though at least some of them are definitely legit based on price alone.

In closing, Daryl thank you for your congratulations. After two long months, marriage still go well even though C.B. hasn't updated his blog since like January.

Joseph Luster said...

I'm pretty sure the Death Note DVDs that stores like YesAsia carry are the legit Hong Kong discs.

Joseph Luster said...

Speaking of the Live Action movies, of course.

Anonymous said...

I imagine "Uziga-mania" would be something like Beatlemania, except with more screaming. James Bond said it best in the original novel verion of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE: "a country with an unquenchable thirst for the bizarre, the cruel, and the terrible."

--Carl

Steve Harrison said...

Will someone please explain to me why that Ai no Kusabi picture makes me think of Tekkaman Blade? Or am I making a visual connection that doesn't really exist?

halojones-fan said...

Yes, I agree with you about the mech designs. They've got that classic 1985 look about them; all big boxy solid pieces with rounded corners, and they're connected by tubes. No internal detail or texture; anything that isn't smooth is 100% black shadow.

Anonymous said...

First, I wanna say that Clarissa got the whole Yuri thing dead on. Yuri fans are in a kind of perpetual dead zone when it comes to getting new stuff, and the vast majority of what has been animated has been mostly terrible (with the sole exception of Marimite and Utena). Maybe we'll luck out in the next year and get something decent like Hayate x Blade or Strawberry Shake, but I still remain cynical.

Second, I want to comment on Shintaro Kago. Certainly, he's one of those sick, depraved ero-guro artists... but amazingly enough, I find his stories a pretty enthralling and entertaining read. There's a sort of meta-level black humor to them that other guro artists never even attempt. I'm not a fan of guro or Waita Uziga in any way, but I still have to recommend Shintaro Kago, if you've got the stomach for it. Start with Head Prolapse Elegy, and work from there. I think he actually might be more insane than Koike.

Anyways, awesome podcast as usual. I've been listening to it for the last 3 weeks from the beginning to the end, and it's done the impossible: gotten a jaded former anime fan back into anime. Thanks, guys. Looking forward to your review of MPD psycho!

vInCeNt/ hIrO yUi said...

Great show as always, but what ever happened to the follow up review of Zipang? Also, i remember Daryl mentioning that he had trouble finding GiantRobo merchandise, if it helps, i found a site that has a GinRei model in stock; here

Anonymous said...

Yatta! We missed you, Clarissa! Great review. But what was the other "omg OW" moment?

Anonymous said...

So what about this news that Megatokyo is going to be published in Japan... Does this make Fred a mangaka now?

Daryl Surat said...

Does the fact that Naruto is published in English in America somehow make Naruto a US comicbook? Reasonable people would immediately say "no" since the matter requires zero thought; the exact same logic applies to Megatokyo being published in Japan. Period, end of discussion.

I swear, this whole "anime/cartoons" / "manga/comics" thing has got to be the highest point of contention levied towards us, and there's no good reason for it. A lot of people on the Internet get awfully mad when they hear my super-hardline stance regarding my criteria for "anime" and "manga" such that the terminology will have any continued use in the English language, and they're awfully eager to try and prove me wrong.

Indeed, of all the subjects we've talked about in the history of this podcast, I think that one has been revisited more than any other thing, but every single time it's the same old story. Time and time again, the definition I go with--that terms such as "anime" and "manga" as used in English should denote point of origin and nothing more--is simple, straightforward, and easy to apply, with no "but what about THIS?" examples able to trip it up. From a pragmatic perspective, it's simply a better and more useful definition than the crap concepts being fed to you by the "OEL" and "How to Draw Manga" publishers of the world.

The sad truth has just got to be that there exists a vocal contingent of would-be aspiring artists (you see, they're not quite merely aspiring artists yet) that simply don't want to accept the idea we put forth that there is nothing about "manga" that is intrinsically superior to "comicbooks." The people espousing the "ANYONE can draw manga if you do this, this, and this" message are telling them exactly what they want to hear. So it is that they desperately want to be considered a "mangaka" rather than a "comicbook creator."

These people can all go get their pet rings removed. Don't mind that elevator.

Anonymous said...

I think one possible definition is the intended audience, and the context in which your work is created. Most of what we consider anime and manga is after all not only made (or principally created, even if tasks are subcontracted out) by Japanese, and are intended to speak to a Japanese audience.

This doesn't mean you should be beheaded as the filthy foreigner you are if you dare create something influenced by a manga or anime, only that manga and anime were there to influence you precisely because they were different, and created by different people. Not aliens beyond comprehension--just definitely different. If there weren't profound cultural differences between Japanese and Americans (and remember, there are profound cultural differences even between Canadians and Americans), we would never have taken note of "anime" and "manga" as anything special, after all. You know the Venn diagrams-- where two or more circles show a certain area of overlap? That's the gaijin otaku, or the foreign artist inspired by anime and manga. But they still aren't all the same circle.

The Japanese editions of such American comics as HELLBOY, SIN CITY, and 300 (in which the Spartans tend to end every sentence with "zo") are likewise read by Japanese looking for something different. It's interesting to look at Frank Miller and Fred Gallagher and realize both artists have been seen as representing "American manga" in their time.

--Carl

Daryl Surat said...

Well sure, but that isn't actually what I was talking about. I'm not trying to suggest that "manga" and "comicbooks" are not different from one another. I'm saying that despite those differences, one is not necessarily better than the other as a given matter of course. My experience has shown that a lot of the self-proclaimed "American manga" authors--which Gallagher and Miller, last I checked, make no claim of being and are thus exempt from this--are summarily dismissive of all non-Japanese comics, and conclude that for their comic to be of worth, it has to somehow be considered Japanese as well. Perhaps they listened to The Vapors too much.

By all means, people can pull their inspiration from wherever their heart desires, but it's one thing to say you're "inspired by" something and another matter entirely to state that you ARE that something. One part of why the Akira manga resonated so well over here was precisely because of the European/Western comicbook influence on Otomo's style. But Akira isn't an American comicbook even though the last issue of the Epic Comics colorized release of Akira has bonus content provided by Warren Ellis with artwork by guys like Moebius and John Romita. So is it too that Frank Miller's Ronin isn't manga even though he certainly took inspiration from such.

Just because we say something is "not manga" doesn't mean we're saying it's "not good." Frank Miller's work since the dawn of the new century is terrible for totally different reasons that have nothing to do with the fact that his stuff isn't manga. The only real area where I'd argue that manga is objectively superior to American comics is on the publishing side of things. Formats, pricing, stuff like that. But that's never what people are referring to when they get wrapped up in the "but what does manga truly MEAN?" discussion, now is it?

And as I was checking through that Issue 38, I saw Satoshi Kon credited as doing "additional artwork" for the Akira manga. You forget about these things at 1:30 AM.

Also. The next episode of AWO, as it currently stands, is four hours long. I'm not sure if I should break it up or just go with it.

Anonymous said...

Four hour episode of Anime World Order? That's amazing! Please do release it in its unaltered form.

Anonymous said...

Daryl, to quote a great HK dub, "I agree that." As I said, they "have been seen" as representing "American manga," not necessarily that they themselves claimed any such thing. I also agree that creator-for-creator, title-for-title, there is nothing inherently superior or inferior about manga. It's true that manga has a much wider demographic range, but U.S. comics are pretty good at doing seinen, and certainly AFTERNOON or BIG COMIC SPIRITS would count themselves lucky to have many of the talents you can find working in the U.S. industry today. Manga is indisputably a greater *industry* than American comics, which is the reason I truly admire it. And that's what I try to talk about when I talk manga. But I also admire the attempts that have been made over the years in America to get comics before a wider audience, and they have had some success--as you say, much of it is an issue of format, price, and packaging.

--Carl

TJ said...

Please, for the love of god, keep the next episode at 4 hours! I think it would be really entertaining to hear you guys talk for 4 hours straight.

And Daryl, I agree with all the points you made in your manga vs comics rant. I definately agree with your "super-hardline stance" towards the subject.

PS- I'll be waiting for that Angel Cop review.

Gendy said...

I finally got around to listening to the episode. It was really interesting. Thank you for the information about Yuri manga. The few volumes I own are in French but I'm glad to know why I can hardly find any.

Speaking of French things, as a French Canadian from Québec, I'd be curious to know what we did to Daryl? In any case, I was amused by Québec rant.

Anonymous said...

Think it'd be great to hear the conversation in it's entirety, but huge files are a pain. It'd be super awesome if you broke it into 80-minute chunks such that listeners can choose whether to play them chunk-at-a-time or all-at-once. Just a thought.

-clay

doppler said...

Yes! Four hour episode please! That would be so awesome, AWO for half a workday.

Also, Clarissa: More yuri talk please, would love to hear some more reviews in that field.