Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Anime World Order Show # 78a - Look, Mr Takazawa! An AAAAA-NGEL!

Once again, we're splitting this one in two due to the ever-increasing running time. In this first half, Gerald reviews Roujin Z and Daryl finally breaks his silence on Mamoru Oshii to talk about Angel's Egg.

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Show notes to come...maybe.

Introduction (0:00 - 34:15)
As we feebly attempt to make dents in our inbox, Daryl opts to answer an email from a year ago. Technically, he'd answered it a year ago, but this time we're reading it on the show: how do you keep track of which Lupin III is which? We recommend the Lupin the Third Encyclopedia. What's our take on this whole FUNimation thing? Are they the lord...of the martial world? Where do you find those old Streamline Pictures dubs at this point? And what are our thoughts on Slayers? Our response effectively means we no longer need to review Slayers, since we covered it all right here.

Promo: Robotronic Dynamite! (34:15 - 35:19)
Despite being around for over 70 episodes, it took Daryl's guest appearance on Robotronic Dynamite! to convince them to actually put a link to the podcast's feed up on the site, not just the iTunes-only version. Well, it's not there NOW, but it will be. Maybe.

Review: Roujin Z (35:19 - 59:08)
Gerald does the responsible thing by making his review be as long as how we initially envisioned our reviews to be. This is hands-down the best anime about a mechanical bed wrecking Japan ever made. A bold statement considering the tough competition it's got, yes.

Promo: Anime 3000 (59:08 - 1:00:19)
You hear that promo? How could you NOT go on this podcast after hearing that promo? Daryl sure couldn't not do it, which is why Daryl's guest appearance on Anime3000 was SOOOOO GOOOD [because he didn't need to edit anything]. The AWO's standing offer to be on your podcast as long as we don't have to edit anything STANDS, and that's true for all three of us. This is yet another podcast that did not have a link to their podcast feed until Daryl zoomed in and changed their lives FOR THE BETTER.

Review: Angel's Egg (1:00:19 - 1:44:21)
What better way to kick off a review of this than with one of those things done solely for the entertainment of various former guests of this very podcast? If you don't get it, worry not for there's corn pone a plenty. Daryl knuckles up and reviews this film, which he has taken to classifying as "the real sentais." Be warned that softer, weaker folk than the AWO, ones who never tempered their wills in the fires of Odin: Photon Space Sailer Starlight to the point of immunity simply won't have the power, patience, or will to sit through this movie. Nobody quite knows what it all means, so perhaps what you get out of it is an indication of that which consumes your being. On second thought, everybody who disagrees with us is wrong. We are the bastions of original thought, even when we're reading other people's writings and claiming them as our own ideas. WHICH WE'D NEVER DREAM OF DOING.


Anonymous said...

I remember seeing Rojin-Z on Sci-Fi I was 9 or so at a time the Movie was a trip. All I could think about is how the hell did that old man get such a cool Robot and why isn't he doing anything with it.

R.T.Inoue said...

Japanese credits of Roujin Z:
美術館督: Art Direction
今敏: Satoshi Kon

It's interesting to think that Roujin Z might have been a visual inspiration for Paprika.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting background on Oshii, I wonder how old he was when his change in direction occurred and if perhaps it was influenced by some specific event...

How does this theory sound: Oshii has his faith rocked after some priest touches him with a noodly appendage. We all know that this is what churches and the clergy are really about. So in Angels' egg, perhaps the little girl is representative of Oshii's faith and the soldier breaking the egg is actually Oshii's mind being destroyed by the molestation of some priest/bishop/pope. The Egg is SHATTERED am i right?

VZ said...

I need to get Roujin Z if I see it at a con. Yeah, Gerald's review was spot on.

I'm worried about ADV going under since they have a (mostly) great catalogue. I think I'll be getting some Funimation stuff just by the virtue that they're most of the market now.

Jive Turkey said...

Daryl, I enjoyed your appearance on Anime3000 podcast. I like how you made everyone on there uncomfortable - good stuff. By the way, Watchmen is the greatest anime ever.

Gilles Poitras said...

Regarding Lupin the second manga series Lupin III World's Most wanted is better than the first series. I think it is v.1 that has a scene where Lupin is talking to Fujiko, then you see him jump her while still talking, rip her clothes off and proceed to hump her.

Then... but that's the punch line so I'll let you read it yourself.

And what about the live action movie, I have avoided it as I heard it was not good but when I did see it found it was lots of fun and recommend it.

wah said...

I dunno--green jacket, first series Lupin always struck me as the most bastard TV series Lupin, especially in the earlier episodes; while the second series Lupin always struck me as more for-the-family. I don't really think it makes sense to attribute characteristics to Lupin by coat colour, since he really changes drastically between most productions (and most productions have him in the red jacket these days.)

I'm disappointed in you, Daryl. The Lupin III manga is a great comic. It's probably my most favourite incarnation of Lupin (save for the series 1, but on the whole the entire franchise is great.) My main complaint with Lupin in general lately is that Zenigata all too often plays the fool, while in the original manga he wasn't a complete and total jackass.

Daryl Surat said...

By the way, Watchmen is the greatest anime ever.

You're the second person to "hilariously" talk about Watchmen after I said "hey, don't post off-topic things that have nothing to do with this show because there are dedicated forums for that." Doing this neither makes me mad nor greatly inconveniences me, since I only need a few mouse clicks to delete a post.

I think it is v.1 that has a scene where Lupin is talking to Fujiko, then you see him jump her while still talking, rip her clothes off and proceed to hump her.

Yes, that would be every chapter of every volume I read.

I think the live-action movie, Strange Psychokinetic Strategy, is pretty funny. Discotek released it way back when. I don't actually own my own copy, but you can still get it online for about $15 after shipping.

I'm disappointed in you, Daryl. The Lupin III manga is a great comic.

I firmly stand by my statements. The original Lupin manga is drawn so badly that you can't tell the difference between Lupin and Zenigata even when you're supposed to. There's no Jigen. There's no Goemon. Every single time Fujiko shows up she gets violently raped. When Jigen does show up (after like 6 to 8 volumes, which means I spent like $80 by this point), he's just an occasionally recurring villain who DOESN'T shoot things real good. Notice how none of these traits carry over to any Lupin anime made within the last like, 30 years?

I imagine that much like the second TV series, the second manga series is much more in keeping with what we commonly think of as being Lupin the Third. But I've never read or bought any of it because I was so dejected after having sank so much money into partially buying the original series.

How does this theory sound: Oshii has his faith rocked after some priest touches him with a noodly appendage.

Sounds like something PT Chapman would say, for in his world all villains in all media are either secretly gay, molested/raped as a child, or both. (Note: his world is where fujoshi draw their energy.) I understand that "noodly appendage" is supposed to not only mean the Flying Spaghetti Monster but also the penis, but seeing as how the FSM started in a Something Awful thread I actually read when it was initially made, I am not exactly blown away when I see people reference it.

wah said...

>>There's no Jigen. There's no Goemon. Every single time Fujiko shows up she gets violently raped. When Jigen does show up (after like 6 to 8 volumes, which means I spent like $80 by this point), he's just an occasionally recurring villain who DOESN'T shoot things real good. Notice how none of these traits carry over to any Lupin anime made within the last like, 30 years?

This doesn't make much sense, because I only bought the first 6 volumes (haven't gotten around to getting the rest) and Jigen and Goemon appear a good amount throughout those books--Jigen moreso than Goemon.

But I appreciate Lupin in the same way that I appreciate something like, say, Tintin (they're completely different in subject matter, I release this.) I don't really appreciate it in the same way I appreciate most Japanese comics. I just read it as some funny cartoons.

Also, Daryl, are you watching Tentai Senshi Sunred? Because you should.

wah said...

release = realize. I'm not really in good form today.

Carol said...

Holy crap Daryl, you totally schooled those young pups in Gundam. And I mean school, because I was getting this whole High School Book Report vibe from those Anime 3000 guys.

Anonymous said...

Hey Daryl. Thanks for the links to your guest appearances on the Robotronic & Anime3000 podcasts.

I have yet to listen to AWO Show 78a. That is because, after listening to the 2 aforementioned podcasts, I came to the conclusion that I had come dangerously close to just having too much of Daryl Surat for one day.

What could have happen if I had decided to listen to AWO Show 78a? While I erred on the side of caution in not listening to it today, I hypothesized that it could have been the equivalent to coming face to face with one of the "Old Ones".

The experience would surely have driven me totally mad. The horror would simply be indescribable. Thankfully, the fact that I am able to write this shows that I have played it safe and that I did not go off the deep end. Or did I...


Gooberzilla said...

I don't know where I got this reputation for attributing repressed homosexual tendencies to every American film villain ever...

Oh, wait.

I think Roujin Z is a fair bit better than you guys give it credit for. Honestly, I prefer the story of Roujin Z to the story of Akira, because it is more humorous and has a more relevant and resonant message. Everyone can identify with a fear of growing old; not everyone can identify with having psychic powers that force you to mutate into a hideous amoeba-baby. I like it when Otomo takes a humorous approach, and as unparalleled as Akira's animation is, it is largely humorless.

reggaenights said...

Gotta agree with Paul that Roujin Z deserves a little more credit than Gerald gives it, but I don't think Akira is inferior for having less humor either.

As for Angel's Egg I was lucky enough to see it in a proper theater (albeit without any subtitles) at UCLA years ago. And this wasn't for an anime club screening, this was a real deal film school screening (as a side note, I was also lucky enough to see many of the Ghibli films subtitled in that same theater.) I am glad to have had Daryl provide the precedent of Oshii's history with religion, which I really had no idea about, and now I definitely wanna check out Angel's Egg again because of that.

Thanks AWO, your podcast is always great.

PS: I still think you guys could review Future Boy Conan, even if Daryl doesn't like it when fans of the podcast keep pestering him about titles to review.

ScottGreen said...

"wah" you may have been picking up the "World's Most Wanted," rather than the first Lupin III manga series

Brack said...

I'm the guy who quite likes Neon Pink Jacket Lupin III. Unlike a lot of the later TMS TV specials, it at least looks like a Monkey Punch show.

The recent TV specials have suffered a lot from the cold hard fact that the cast are getting on in years. Goro Naya's throat cancer has meant Zenigata's been quite limited in his appearances in a lot of them in the past few years.

Kiri no Elusive, which benefited from some strong character designs and a villain straight from the manga, suffered due to Zenigata's lack of dialogue.

So it was good to see Goro Naya have a longer role in Green Vs. Red, hopefully there's a fair few years in him yet.

I think the early Masaaki Osumi episodes from the first (green-jacket) Lupin series are probably the wildest in the anime incarnation's existance. As should probably be expected from the man man who gave the Moomins guns...

Anonymous said...

Good review on Angel's Egg. This sounded like it was probably Daryl's toughest review yet, especially when he said the film is open to multiple interpretations and even Oshii stated he wasn't quite sure what the film meant. Good job.


Luis Cruz said...

Hello; just saying thanks for mentioning the Lupin III Encyclopedia. I'm always happy when someone else hypes my site.


Milo said...

Thanks lady and gentlemen. I enjoyed this episode, because it brought these two movies to my attention that I had never heard of before. I’ll also be checking out the two AWO-guest-hosted podcasts mentioned.

I hope you get the t-shirt shizz figured out, I’m hesitant to order one right now since you’re not hearing from the t-shirt guy at all. I’d love to have an AWO shirt to wear to Otakon, mainly as a sort of filter to see who’s worth talking to.

I’m just going to share my opinion regarding religious symbolism, even though it’s not especially pertinent to anything: I’m tired of it. The same way that the whole fantasy milieu and magical aesthetic is just so overdone and boring to me, religious symbolism is something that I’m familiar enough with to say with some degree of confidence that no one is doing anything interesting with it in the stories that I’m encountering, anime or otherwise.

JD said...

The thing about Roujin Z that has side-stepped me is "what would actual elderly people in a nursing home think of this?" I can't seem to convince anybody at the nearby nursing home to show it, but I would love to know what the residents' reactions would be.

Anonymous said...

Roujin Z's probably more relevant here than in Japan, since their corporations aren't the ones trying to gut social security. I can seriously imagine the scumbags at Blue Cross salivating over the prospect of hospitals laying off more health care workers while forcing patient to pay for machines to tend to their needs. I know that wasn't the intent of the
builders of that computer in the movie, but there's no doubt that scummy executives would be taking notes on the idea.

Akira is more an indictment of the social decay created during Japan's boom than a sci-fi flick per se. But I guess you could apply it as a middle finger to the Boomers here.

As for Lupin manga, I like the original for being zanier in a Daffy Duck sort of way; but I will admit that the art is not as detailed as in the second series.
Still, unlike Trigun, at least I can actually tell what's going on for most of this installment. But I'm actually surprised that the second one did worse for Tokyopop than the first one, since the second one looks less old.

BTW, Sexy Losers is back again.

McGrady said...

Daryl, have you seen 1001 Nights? It was also drawn by Amano and unlike Angel's Egg, it bears the same whispy water color look Clarissa and you were talking about. I couldn't exactly stand watching the whole thing, but it did look interesting.

Also, if you haven't noticed there are new fansubs of the recent Golgo 13 show coming out at a steady pace. I am sure you probably have heard, but maybe others have not?

Milo said...

There aren't new fansubs of Golgo 13 coming out at a steady pace... there was ONE episode released a few days ago, and the group that released it said not to expect any more releases because they didn't have an interested translator.

click? said...

Thanks for explaining what the hell In the Aftermath came from. Oddly enough I never thought to check the IMDB page that explained it.

Too bad there's no simple way to get that. Wish it were on DVD or something for a pretty picture. Say no more, eh.

Tim Eldred said...

Having absorbed almost every form of Lupin, I'm in general agreement with everyone here; my favorite will always be the first TV series for being so well crafted and absolutely drenched in cool. It is absolutely the spiritual father of Cowboy Bebop.

Series 2 and 3 suffered from low-budget animation overall (except for the episodes that became famous later), the first two movies are classics, and everything after that is hit and miss. Mostly miss. It's very difficult to distinguish one TV special from another. After roughly two dozen of them, there isn't a whole lot of originality any more.

On the other hand, they do create a level of background noise for a good idea to occasionally rise out of. I back up Daryl's endorsement of Episode 0/First Contact--it easily elbows all others aside.

Bye Bye Liberty and Fuma Clan are also worthy, and I have a soft spot for Walther P38/Island of Assassins for actually giving Lupin some fangs again. There are others that should have been great, like Return of Pycal (a villain from series 1) and Fujiko's Unlucky Days, but they commit the worst felony any Lupin story could--they're boring.

Green vs. Red is one of the latest installments, and it's a real oddball. I saw it raw, so the story was practically incomprehensible--I have no idea how or why an army of Lupins could share the same planet--but I have to say the animation is absolutely stunning. If you get a chance to watch it, do so for that alone. I'm serious, this one rivals Cagliostro for visual quality. I'd be very happy if it became the standard for everything to come.

My opinion of the manga? Like all comedy, it's an acquired taste.

Josh said...

I can't find any info on a North American release of the first Lupin III TV series--seems we can only get the second show (the one that ran on Cartoon Network)? That's a shame, if it's as good as some of you've said it is.

Brack said...

On the subject of Green Vs Red, I'm not sure it's that much more comprehensible translated...

The big, big, big problem with it is they crammed to too much into the running time, there's one plot that's thrown away almost as soon as it appears, and another that either didn't need to be there at all, or they needed another 30 minutes to get it (and few other things) to work.

That being said, visually it's swish, Zenigata gets a better role than he's had for a while and the general message it has about what it means to be Lupin III works well for what is supposed to be a celebration of the character.

Thomas P said...

Episode 0/First Contact is an excellent special. I also liked the Return of Pycal OVA mostly because I enjoyed a the first Lupin tv series a little bit.

Tim Eldred said...

Holy shit, Daryl. I just listed to as much of the Anime 3000 podcast as I could (a little over an hour) and just had to bail. After leaving a very lengthy comment.

Thanks for helping me appreciate once again how much work you guys put into AWO and what a rare jewel it is. If it takes a month to make a show that maintains your standards, then take a month. It's worth it.

The Robotronix show was much more enjoyable. I don't think it had a single "y'know like" in it anywhere.

reggaenights said...

Another note on the topic of Lupin the Third: I wonder why Geneon never released the famed Miyazaki episodes. I remember searching for them on their steady release of series 2, but I guess they never got to them. If they had the license, why didn't they just package that as a stand alone release, and market the hell out of it with name Miyazaki printed all over?! I sure miss Albatross: Wings of Death, that's for sure, and add to that, the fact that fansubs of those last 2 eps are very hard to find... ah I miss the old Miyazaki...

Jefferson Pierce said...

Great show, keep them coming. Something got to fill this hole left in my soul from the completion of Battlestar Galactica.

Patrick McNamara said...

I have yet to see Angel's Egg, but from the sound of it the movie's about Japan and WWII. It would probably be better understood from a Japanese point-of-view. I suspect there's a lot lost in translation, which would make it harder to understand.

During WWII, the Emperor was God to the Japanese. When Japan was defeated, the Emperor fell from grace and was no longer a god. This was a hard thing for a lot Japanese to accept and would have haunted them for decades.

In terms of the movie, the egg would then represent the divinity of the Emperor. Thus the "soldier," representing the Americans, broke the egg it destroyed the faith of the girl. In terms of Pandora's Box, she lost the hope she had left. This discovery of that her efforts on part of the egg (or her Emperor) were pointless destroyed her spirit.

s said...

Another great show guys keep up the good work. I would love if 78b was posted more or less straight after as the gap between parts i feel hurts the flow of the show.

shawaazu said...

I'm pretty sure that the R4 Australian Akira dvd has both english dubs on it.

VZ said...

You know that thing you were saying about the guy that got the Gatchman poster and didn't know what it was. When I was in NYCC, someone was trying to sell the DVD's of the Blackjack OVA to a teen and he didn't even know who Tezuka was.

I'm not really a fan of Tezuka, but I at least acknowledge the contributions for the medium. Geesh, some people. I did enjoy the Phoenix manga though (was for a class in art school).

VZ said...

Oh and to Daryl. I lol'd when you said "the bed symbolizes moe."

HightopNinja said...

Great Episode per usual. Really enjoyed Daryl's review of Angel's Egg. Saw this in my college days, and while I was most certainly on some type of hallucinogenic, it always stuck out in my mind as a really religious experience. Maybe because of my wilder ways back then.

Rojin-Z was probably my favorite of Otomo's work. Sorry that Gerald didn't like it as much as I do, but to each their own.

Keep up the good work! Looking forward to Part 2!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else here been watching the little videos that manga artist Shintaro Kago has been posting on YouTube? They're pretty fun:

IAmZim said...

Urgh, guys not EVERY episode has to be split into two parts.

regan strongblood said...

Mr.Gerald Im Regan Strongblood I just wanted to let you know over at box subs (box torrents fan subs)we plan on bringing Cali-crisis to the english world.The one problem is our copy is a little on the worn out side.We still plan to release it,but I did hear you have a copy. If theres any chances you would be able to encode a better copy online we would give you full credit for raw provider.You can email me at if you think you can help.
much thanks
also thanks to Daryl for letting folks know about my Angels egg review.

Brandon D. said...

Gerald I'm interested in those VHS tapes you mentioned about you wanting to get rid of. I'm willing to pay shipping for the tapes, but knowing what titles you have

Josh said...

As far as those VHS tapes go, it might be good to get them into the hands of someone who has the technology to encode them.

I dunno what exactly you have, but there could be some rare/lost dubs (as in stuff that isn't around on DVD) or other hard to find things that might benefit from a digital preservation.

'Cause you know those tapes are going to melt themselves one day.

Aaron said...

Too bad Otomo or Oshii didn't direct Watchmen. :P

The Moogle Master said...

I actully rented Rojin Z from blockbuster some years ago. As for Angel's Egg..... I really want to see this now.

MikeL said...

Since this great episode of AWO left me hungry for more, I checked out that Robotronic Dynamite show...

Who was that shrill motherfucker who talked over Daryl and basically had a hissy fit every time Daryl said something? I had to turn the volume AND the treble all the way down just so that guy's nails-on-chalkboard voice didn't pop my eardrums. I've never wanted to choke a bitch more in my life.

But it was worth it to hear "Lost is the Evangelion of America".

Gooberzilla said...

For more hysterical Watchmen / Daryl-related drama, be sure to check out the comments page and forum posts pertaining to that episode. I got called "crazy" and accused of cronyism twice for saying basically exactly what you said. :-)

Anonymous said...

Aaron: Watchmen did rip off Akira's destruction scenes, though. Oh, and Snyder ripped off VHD: Bloodlust's multiple arrow shots for 300. He should totally direct the live-action Ninja Scroll movie so it won't be a pointless discussion about the economic and feudal system of that period, or some lame indictment of the military-industrial complex like the Wachowskis' recent adaptations. And the LA Wicked City should go to Eli Roth.

kaiki's sketch blog said...

I am watching Angel's Egg based on your review. It's one of the few animes that I can feel confident in recommending to all my friends! Soooo awesome ^_^

Thanks a million!
Are yall going to Otacon this year?

soundwaveCA said...

Watchmen was ok, I also agree with Daryl's assessment good movie (though like all movies now to #$%# long) but nothing I'd really revisit.

But ya funny thing you guys compared Angels Egg to Utena in that it can clear out a room fast, I made the mistake of watching them and got about half way through before my brain exploded. At least with Utena the TV series was alright.

Looking forward to the next show and getting my monthly does of old news :P

abstract-alchemist said...

I just watched Angel's Egg last night, after listening to episode 78a. And, wow, I'm not really sure exactly what hit me. As per the recommendation, I'm going to watch it again in order to try and understand the show.

I have to admit, I think this movie is much more difficult to pierce if you don't have that back knowledge about Oshii; the first time I had heard about the movie was in that biography of Oshii, Stray Dog. The review was excellent as always, but I think there's so much in the movie that it is impossible to completely cover it in even one episode of AWO ( unless it's a 3 hour show or longer ). I think I'm rabbling at this point, so I'll end it by saying that, yeah, this movie is definitely a room-clearer, but it isn't a movie that should be avoided.

Anonymous said...

The obvious subtext behind the fishermen was totally lost on me when I watched Angel's Egg way back then. Thanks, AWO!

Carl said...

Cal-Animage Alpha*, at the time probably the largest single club chapter in the English-speaking world (they were known to get 200 people or more at their weekly meetings), actually did show "The Angel's Egg" in 1994. I wrote the show notes for the newsletter:

The odd thing looking back at what I wrote was realizing Evangelion didn't come up in the discussion, because it wasn't out yet ^_^ Yeah, maybe about half the room left, but the other half stayed.

Daryl mentioned his ideal club double-bill would be "The Angel's Egg" and "Honneamise," with directions to the fucking door clearly marked for those who need it. This, oddly enough, was exactly the bill C/FO Santa Monica had one month in late 1987, billed as "an evening of Ars Gratia Artis animation."

It was before the first fan translations of Honneamise, and there was still some debate afterwards--even though there was no real evidence for it--as to whether it was supposed to take place in an alternate-history of Earth (GURPS' Infinite Worlds sourcebook actually advises people to see Honneamise for suggestions on creating the look of an AH campaign, while acknowledging it isn't really alternate history).

Now, the thing about the C/FO Santa Monica that really recommended itself was that they were the kind of club that, the month before, had shown "M.D. Geist." There was a fellow who was kneeling maybe a foot in front of the screen during the sequence where Vaiya tries to seduce Mr. Most Dangerous. Everyone else was at least ten feet away, not only to get a better view of the anime, but because the dude kept saying breathily "Oh, wow...Oh, wow...Oh, wow..." I mean, he couldn't just whip it out and start beating it in front of the entire club, but he was clearly at the point where only some mechanical fail-safe was keeping him from doing so--he could have no longer explained why in the abstract.


*On the U.C. Berkeley campus, so the opportunity to "terminate hippies with extreme prejudice," as Daryl would put it, was nearby in the street stalls on Telegraph Avenue. This is the same chapter which Radman in FANBOY GENERATION X^2 plotted to join in order to "steal their women," since several of their officers were, in fact, cute girls. In retrospect, it was kind of a live-action GENSHIKEN.

Anonymous said...

Speakin' of Watchmen, the Afro Samurai creator cites it as one of his favorites, along with LW+C. I used to think that, outside of Hollywood movie adaptations, American comics were as niche in Japan as manga was in 80s America. But seeing the X-Men make unofficial "cameos" in Watsuki's manga, and hearing the manga-ka for Murder Princess cite Captain America as his favorite character changed that perception. [Oh, and that Mushishi director wore a Spider-Man t-shirt at AX '06 or '07, I think.]

I thought the Japanese just had the same view as proto-American otaku, which is that Marvel and DC tended to wimp out on the mature content, while Frank Miller was just basically going for an R-rated version of the Punisher with his work, [Ok, that opinion was solely mine.]; and there wasn't much in-between for regular readers. The last part is still true here, but it seems that Japan also likes our superheroes, regardless of the amount of depth and realism on display.

Though it's still kind of weird for a guy like Captain America- who would be considered Japan's enemy during the war-to be embraced by anyone over there-especially when you realize that he probably would have had no problem dropping the A-bomb, if they were allowed to deal with that kind of stuff in war-time comics. But I guess it's just decoration for them, which is why you get Brocken, Jr. in Kinnikuman.

matt e. allen said...

Just finished watching Angel's Egg and listening to your review again. I stopped your review at the point where you talked about the egg, for obvious reasons. It was an excellent looking film, and a bit of a mind-fuck for me. The music for the film was perfect, it fit the visuals.

I'll say here that I was under the impression that there was something in the egg, and that it was gone when the girl awakened. My take after watching it the first time, is that the girl thought that whatever was in the egg, was going to help the world in some way. It was some bit of hope. Could've also been her innocence, which allowed her to remain somewhat unaware of how horrible the world around her actually was. I'll stop here.

Anonymous said...

Calling Katsuhiro Otomo a "one trick pony" when it comes to anime seems a little harsh to me. I liked "Order to Stop Construction" from Neo-Tokyo and "Cannon Fodder" from Memories a lot. He also wrote the screenplay for Rintaro's Metropolis, so I think he deserves some credit there. He even directed the wonderful opening and closing sequences from Robot Carnival (although I think that was actually co-directed with someone else).

Akira is his only major directorial work in anime, but don't dismiss his other work. I like pretty much all of his anime work except Steamboy, which was at least pretty to look at.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks Otomo is a one-trick pony hasn't read Legend of Mother Sarah.

Daryl Surat said...

I don't think American comics really have that much of a high profile in Japan because of that example. In fact, I don't think Japan really cares about our superheroes at all, even in movie form. (Note that Spider-Man is exempt from this...but only because people CLEARLY remember the grand Japanese tokusatsu Spider-Man TV series which is currently being streamed on Marvel's website!) Rather, I think Japanese comic artists are simply a lot more aware of American comicbooks than the general manga-reading public. Nobuhiro Watsuki, creator of Rurouni Kenshin and Busou Renkin, absolutely idolizes Jim Lee. And while he's not really associated with American comics, Moebius was hugely influential on Katsuhiro Otomo. I think a big part of the reason why the Akira manga caught on in America to the extent that it did (as in, prior to the Dark Horse manga release) was because Otomo's paneling and artwork draws so much from American and European comics.

Anyone who thinks Otomo is a one-trick pony hasn't read Legend of Mother Sarah.

Yeah, and anyone who responds with examples from Otomo's manga works as a refutation of the notion that Otomo's work IN ANIME is largely all cut from the same cloth didn't bother to listen hard enough to what we said! Seriously people, I like Otomo's stuff, but every single time we get a scene where everything explodes, or the military/government can't stop the one super-powerful humanoid (resulting in everything exploding), or there's some sort of city-spanning motor vehicle chase (possibly in an attempt to stop said superpowered individual and thus resulting in everything exploding), everyone in the audience that's already seen Akira is instantly reminded of it and starts drawing comparisons. And usually when that happens, Akira wins. Much like how Yoshinobu Nishizaki is eternally trying to recapture the lightning in a bottle that was Yamato, Otomo's anime productions always feel like they're trying to revisit Akira on some level. As such, one shouldn't just write off the fact that Steamboy was so underwhelming as "oh, that was just one movie and maybe he was off on his game." Not when that one movie took over a decade to be made.

That is not to say that calling Katsuhiro Otomo a one-trick pony means that I don't like him. Hell, the guys I talk up the most tend to all be one-trick ponies: Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Takao Saito, and Tetsuo Hara to name a few.

I would love if 78b was posted more or less straight after as the gap between parts i feel hurts the flow of the show.

That was originally the plan, but a few events happened to throw all that into disarray such that any podcast-related stuff went on the back burner for a while. We'll probably make mention of that next episode.

Anonymous said...

Otomo's admittedly got a certain "familiar" style of directing, but I still feel he tackles different subjects better than other directors. (*cough* Oshii *cough*) As for Steamboy, he was arguing that it was more of research in computer-aided cel-shading animation
than a story-oriented production.
But I still haven't seen that overpriced SOS! Tokyo Metro Explorers, the LA Mushishi[I've already gotten bored with the manga at this point...] and Freedom; so you might be right. I'm just glad I can get the latter title in a collection like I should have been able to do when it was first released.

Speaking of Akira, I really want the BD, but not enough to chip in for a player. Those suckers need to be under $100 like regular DVD players, before I'll buy one of 'em.

Anonymous said...

"As for Steamboy, he was arguing that it was more of research in computer-aided cel-shading animation
than a story-oriented production."

That's like saying Nascar is more of research into boredom-inducement than a sport-oriented event. It's just a crappy sport. No excuses, please.

Anonymous said...

Where did the information about Oshii's religious background mentioned during the Angel's Egg review come from? I had never heard that he was actually a Christian for a while and was planning to become a (Catholic?) priest. If that's true, it puts Angel's Egg in a somewhat different light.

This may be incorrect, but my understanding was that Oshii was fairly agnostic all along and that his interest in the Bible had more of a cultural/historical/literary nature.

Anonymous said...

I watched Angel's Egg last night, and I actually really liked it. I can certainly understand why it would be a hard sell for most people, and there were a few places where the movie tried my patience a little bit, but I think that it's really an essential movie if you're a Mamoru Oshii fan. I was struck by how much imagery there is in Angel's Egg that Oshii ended up reusing in some form or other in the first Ghost in the Shell movie.

The audience that will appreciate this movie may be fairly small, but I would still recommend it to people because I think that it's a pretty important piece of the Mamoru Oshii "puzzle."

Anonymous said...

BTW, I'm over 50 (sure, I'm skewing your demographic), and I've been on computers since 1984. So, watch what you say!

Chris Sobieniak said...

Somehow I never did get around to see Roujin-Z at all, bothered noticing a raw copy is floating out there in BitTorrentLand so I bothered getting that for now!

Thanks for the classification of the different jacket color Lupins out there. It is quite easy as long as you know which one is which. I remember seeing the "Babylon Gold" movie and thought it was pretty silly on it's own, let alone I had to buy it on LD from AnimEigo when they were clearing out their inventory of Laserdiscs.

Regarding Lupin the second manga series Lupin III World's Most wanted is better than the first series. I think it is v.1 that has a scene where Lupin is talking to Fujiko, then you see him jump her while still talking, rip her clothes off and proceed to hump her.I need to look for those books, as I've bought the first series (missing one volume of it though). I thought what I read was still pretty amusing in it's own right, and it was the earliest stage of Lupin's creation long before he appeared on the small screen.

Being reminded I bothered picking up a copy of that "In The Aftermath" tape, and noticed the movie itself is only 72 minutes long (not 90 minutes as Daryl stated, but I think it was stated on the box cover anyway), nearly the same length as Angel's Egg itself! From what I understand, they used about 30 minutes of footage from AE to make that schlock crapsterpiece.

In this version, the guy and girl are a brother and sister, their names are Jonathan and Angel, and they're both ANGELS! Somehow the plot involves Angel (though narrating as an adult recounting her experience as a kid) being informed by her brother how she needs to take her egg to those that are in need of it or whatever.

Apparently the place they live in I guess is a representation of the galaxy or something, reason for the stupid lines about "spaking me with asteroids" and all that.

At the same time, we have the live-action deal where two guys in suits are roaming some warehouse district and ending up getting killed by some guy looking or clean air, one of them though is saved by a lone female doctor and locked in a hospital room where clean air was piped in from some basement filtration system. He gets visions of Angel in his mind and ends up ruining a X-ray chart with a Sharpie just to draw her face on the screen. In the end, he gets the egg finally and they live happily ever after (if the movie could make better sense of it).

The "Tazeria" was what they ended up changing the Noah's Ark bit into in the film, with the guy telling the girl this story of a man who lost his fish to some hunter who stole a map he had or some shit. If anything, I think it was meant to explain what came up next with the fishermen trying to hunt down fish with spears in a later sequence they showed.

One of those goofy moments in the film I can't help but recite here was the following, involving those two guys from the opening (one of the guys, Goose, apparently is what I think made the film Australian/British to some who mistook it as being foreign)....

OTHER GUY: You scared the piss out of me!
GOOSE: I see HQ on the other side.
OTHER GUY: Goose, get your ass down here.
GOOSE: I know I didn't scare the piss out of you.
OTHER GUY: Yeah, what make you so sure?
GOOSE: Because I haven't pissed for days, have you?
OTHER GUY: Nope, I got nothing left to do with the 'ol boy'.
GOOSE: Yeah, well it's good thing Daisy's not here!
OTHER GUY: Shut up, Goose!

I don't think In The Aftermath was ever on DVD though, I would've known about it by now if I did via Anchor Bay/Starz. As for it's whereabouts, you can always pick up an old VHS copy on eBay. I found a copy pre-viewed at a store near my house some years back.

There's also this silly piece of departure in the form of a piano that just happens to be outside the room the guy's in that he gets out with a mask on and plays some tune while the doctor gets all emo and visions of the good life with the Angel's Egg girl thrown in for good measure!

Perhaps Angel's Egg could've been saved if they had that ditty running after the big reveal in the end of the flick, while you leave the theater in disgust! I'm only amused there are those that liked "In The Aftermath" despite it's reworking of previous footage and the sensible ending.

Good review on Angel's Egg. This sounded like it was probably Daryl's toughest review yet, especially when he said the film is open to multiple interpretations and even Oshii stated he wasn't quite sure what the film meant.

Good job.

Sounds like the kind of film I would make as an early start to ruining my career forever! What does it mean, you tell me?!? :-)

Milo said...
There aren't new fansubs of Golgo 13 coming out at a steady pace... there was ONE episode released a few days ago, and the group that released it said not to expect any more releases because they didn't have an interested translator.
I think it's pathetic the way some shows take nearly a year for a new episode to finally show up.

As of this writing, [Live-Evil] has starting working on Future Boy Conan, nice to see someone else picking up the slack despite there being a previous fansub already (but I guess after losing Galaxy Express 999 to CrunchyRoll, they had to look elsewhere).

click? said...
Thanks for explaining what the hell In the Aftermath came from. Oddly enough I never thought to check the IMDB page that explained it.
I remember going to that IMDB page and finding that editor's comment so amusing he had to plug his biz, can't he do that on a resume!

Too bad there's no simple way to get that. Wish it were on DVD or something for a pretty picture. Say no more, eh.Because some may read this right now, here you go, don't say I didn't help!

Anonymous said...
BTW, I'm over 50 (sure, I'm skewing your demographic), and I've been on computers since 1984. So, watch what you say!
Glad to see some pros here too!