Friday, August 21, 2009

Anime World Order Show # 82a - Carmencita Is A Bird, Your Argument Is Invalid

Otaku USA deadlines are (mostly) behind us, our panels at Anime Festival Orlando are all done, which gives us a window of opportunity between now and Anime Weekend Atlanta to actually post something. Better get to it! This time, Clarissa's picking the shows for everyone. In return for what Gerald made her review, she's assigning him to review the Starship Troopers anime.

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Introduction (0:00 - 29:45)
We forgot to put this in before. Fortunately, we're just answering emails as usual. None of us can identify the anime that is requested of us, but we did at least properly conclude that the film in question was not Japanese in origin. It was the French film Gandahar. We also find out that someone exists on this planet who has seen Voltage Fighter Gowcaiser entirely too many times (more than once!), and end with some discussion regarding how the Japanese handle lip sync in animation.

Let's News! (29:45 - 59:32)
Weird things are happening and it seems that Andrew WK, possibly the nicest guy in music, is bringing the world an album full of Gundam songs. The world is curious how on Earth this happened, and if we can get a sequel of just lectures about Zeta Gundam from Andrew WK too! Susumu Takaku has died, very sad considering he is probably responsible fo screwing up an entire generation of Japanese anime fans with having written Cutey Honey, Mazinger Z, Fist of the North Star Movie, and Devil Man. Also, Yoshinori Kanada has died, tragically early too, who also has a wide repertoire of works, we can forgive him for Birth, the show we secretly all love and hate. NO LONGER A SECRET NOW IS IT!? And because two isn't enough and four is too many, we have THREE deaths for this episode with the passing of Takuji Endo creator of Clarissa's favorite work EVER, Zetsuai 1989. In less death-y news, Noboru Ishiguro, director of Macross and, honestly, Yamato too, confirmed that a live action Yamato is in the works. Normally we wouldn't talk about this, but since it's Japanese, there is a slight likelihood it'll be made, we'll see if it can possibly be as good as the upcoming TV series! Then we talk about other stuff for a long period of time and show the world how unlistenable we are when we are not heavily edited.

Starship Troopers (59:33 - 1:34:44)
Oh man, Starship Troopers. If you can, watch this opening video along with us and maybe you'll see somewhat prepared for this rather awful piece from 1988:


Yes, as awful as that show is, it is reponsible for give us some of the greatest anime ever, specifically many of those 1980's real robot shows, and we owe it to the artwork in the 1977 re-release of the book. Here's the cover to give you an idea:

This, however doesn't allow for this show to have some of the very worst character designs to ever grace anime. While everyone in this show looks awful, its the females the suffer the most, and Carmencita suffers the most of them:

That's not even the worst shot of her, in face, that's pretty much how she looks in every shot.

The REAL show is below:
Look in to that picture, and just see if you can get that out of your nightmares!

Anyway, we talk about the awful show, how the book is one of the most important books in anime, and how making something 90% training and only about 5% fighting is really boring. UPDATE: Anime News Network reports that the man responsible for the art direction of this series just won an Emmy.

We'll have the rest of the show up soon.


48 comments:

Anonymous said...

BTW, speaking of Heinlein, I'd love to see some anime company have the balls to adapt Stranger in a Strange Land.

The Moogle Master said...

Or they could do some philip K Dick works insted.....

Anonymous said...

I am an untrusty human being, I was entertain by ST from beginning to end.

Johnnie Pens said...

To the listener who watched that movie when he was 6, that was fucked and the movie sounds like Gandahar aka Light Years and it's French Collection DX reviewed it in back in November of last year http://www.collectiondx.com/node/3227

Vincenzo Averello said...

There is an old board game that is bad and slow by modern standards. It may have been considered good in it's day but I don't want to look at battle charts for each and every attack. Also, I saw the scene when they first meet the vaginas.

VZ said...

Looking at that pic you posted (is that a nun?), now you know why anime girls have tiny, barely noticeable noses.

I thought you would have mentioned the NYtimes article on the internet famous SO RONERY hug pillow guy.

I'll probably watch the ST OVA someday.

VF5SS said...

Akira Kamiya played the black guy :<

Anonymous said...

i think the movie was Gandahar aka Lightyear a French movie

Anonymous said...

Starscream didn't kill Prowl, Daryl, Scavenger did. OUTNERDED.

-Dreg

Daryl Surat said...

I would be talking about the Starship Troopers anime except only CollectionDX types like that poop. The news actually went far more off-topic than the final edit suggests, and even that's pretty off-topic. News addendum while we're at it: Cartoon Network's live-action block is utterly tanking, save for Destroy Build Destroy which is getting a second season. The power of Andrew WK compels us all.

Dreg: I'm sorry to inform you of this, but Starscream is the only Decepticon who matters. Therefore Starscream killed Prowl, Wikipedia is wrong, and any video footage suggesting otherwise is an unintended animation error because nobody cares about individual members of the Constructicons when they're not Devastator anyway. I'm sorry to also inform you that The Undertaker is a zombie, not a vampire. YOU THOUGHT I FORGOT ABOUT THAT ONE, DIDN'T YOU.

Tim Eldred said...

Whoah, where to begin...I had to pause as the ST review started so I wouldn't forget all the comment-worthy points...

On lack of lip-synch: this was mainly a result of the production model inherited from the first generation of TV anime in which every possible corner was cut to make it affordable. Think of it as the aural equivalent of the 4-fingered hand where the last two fingers were merged because they generally move the same way and it saved drawing time to eliminate one.

The Japanese production model evolved NOT to include lip-synch, so having it became the exception to the rule, which meant the schedule and budget would have to be expanded to accommodate it. (You can imagine how delighted a producer would be with THAT idea...)

And consider this: in order to make lip-synch possible you have to scrub through a voice track one syllable at a time, match each one to a mouth position (US TV animation generally uses a set of 8 mouths) and time it out on an exposure sheet. If you think that sounds like a lot of work, you're right. Plus you need a very specific skill set to do it efficiently. That skill set was probably very rare (thus expensive) in Japan back in the early days.

Another benefit of this process was that voice actors could respond to a picture and give a better performance rather than just reading words off a page and trying to imagine the image. This is still the case today.

The US production model inherited full lip-synch from Disney features and it's been part of the process for so long that nobody thinks about removing it. Though I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out someone tried it once; US studios are ALWAYS looking for something to chop out of the model. Somebody take a look at an episode of 'Hammer Man' and see if that was the culprit!

On the passing of Yoshinori Kanada: this is pretty sad. He was one of the first to inject real noticeable energy into TV anime and became a superstar for it. He was also one of the first guys to be brought up from the ranks of the fans, and he published his own doujinshi while he was working as a pro. He might have even been the first. His earliest anime work I know of was in Blue Noah ('79) before he became a sequence director in Be Forever Yamato. He was also a big go-to guy for opening titles in the early 80s.

The Gundam cover album: the first one was by Richie Kotzen, came out in 2006, and consisted of OP and ED titles with new English lyrics. Not great, but fun to listen to. Most were from earlier shows but there was also a cover to a Gackt song from the first Z Gundam movie. Cindy Lauper was supposed to participate, but something got in the way so all she did was apologize in the liner notes. But she was impressed with the world of Gundam. Finally, some recognition. Maybe someday Gundam will go somewhere.

Live action Yamato: I know no more about this than anyone else, but Uncle Nish did state last year that he would retire after the new movie is done, so he might not be actively involved in whatever comes next. Somebody pass that suggestion along to George Lucas, please.

OK, back to the ST review. I don't know yet if you guys talked much about Roughnecks, but I was tangentially involved in that show so I may have something to share on that score.

TJ said...

Don't give Tetsuro Amino too much credit for Layzner's direction. Much of that goes to Ryosuke Takahashi; Amino was basically an assistant, so I'm guessing his involvement wasn't that great. Overall, Amino's a fairly lackluster director.

And, as I'm writing this comment, Andrew WK's "Party Hard" is playing on the radio. I'm absolutely terrified to hear what his cover of "Soldiers of Sorrow" is going to sound like.

Zack said...

Hey guys... just finished the new show. It was great and brightened up my day quite a bit, so thanks for that!

I first became aware of the ST anime in 2004 after attending Neil Nadelman's Totally Lame Anime panel. I believe he referred to Carmen as "the most disturbing female character in anime next to Releena Peacecraft" if I'm not mistaken, and I hope I'm not because I agree with him wholeheartedly. I really wish Acen would ask Nadelman back. We need his presence here in the midwest.

Daryl, nice Upright Citizen's Brigade reference as well. I haven't thought about ass pennies in years.

Tim Eldred said...

Well, not much on Roughnecks, so I'll refrain unless anyone else wants to know anything.

One thing though...every time Gerald pronounced "Char" with a hard R sound, I wanted to beat the daylights out of him. Not his fault, it's this conditioned response I've had for the last 25 years or so. Just be careful how you say it in my presence or there could be trouble...

Anonymous said...

Moogle: Does BGC count?

reggaenights said...

Sometimes I say "Char"... can I still be your friend Tim? ;)

Great podcast AWO. I like these less edited podcasts. You guys sound more natural.

Anonymous said...

Please, please, PLEASE make a board!

Anonymous said...

I would also enjoy for there to be a board.

Gerald said...

We've addressed this before, but it's highly unlikely that we will start a board, in fact, I'm very much against the idea. First off because I can barely spend any time on boards that I DON'T have to administer. Second, there's absolutely nothing that a board we start up would talk about or accomplish that is not already accomplished by the boards of Fast Karate, Something Awful, Arin Fantasy (which I'm spelling incorrectly, but oh well), or Anime Jump. Those boards have a large mix of people that are largely the same (except for Clarissa's board) all talking about the same topics. We spend an enormous amount of time already putting out the podcast, so it's doubtful we'd want to voluntarily contribute to our workload.

nj said...

I have to preemptively thank you guys for NOT creating a board, since I already have too much trouble keeping up with everyone else's. Adding one more to the list will just make things worse. Perhaps creating a message board some years back would have been a good idea, but not so much now. Still, if you ever do I'll bite the bullet and won't complain...at least not loudly.

About the show...I have no desire to see the Starship Troopers anime anytime soon, especially not after this review, but since I'm feeling a little cynical...perhaps one of the things lacking in this OVA is precisely TEH GAY subtext? Sci-Fi classics like Legend of the Galactic Heroes and To Terra have it in spades, so at the very least a more generous use of that could make this unfortunate production a lot less boring. *Shrugs*

That aside...I'm probably wrong on this, but Cobra: The Psychogun seemed almost completely self-contained. I can't really imagine the next Cobra installments having anything more than a very rough sense of continuity between them after this OVA. Which doesn't really matter since nobody (including myself) is ever going to watch Cobra for continuity, of all things, but whatever.

PS: SPT Layzner was/is awesome. It probably won't match Votoms, given the abrupt ending and all, but after seeing six or seven episodes the series is probably going to end up there as one of Ryosuke Takahashi's better works, at least as far as I'm concerned.

-NJ

Andrew said...

Hiro Tsunoda was the guy who sang the two theme songs. He sings a mean MARY JANE song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0kBG9x3XXA

No mention of the first OP? I guess its just too plain and even somewhat relevant. Its kind of weird they made another OP for no reason.

Chris Sobieniak said...

I see someone beat me to "Gandahar" bit already. This was the third of Rene Laloux's trilogy of mind-warping animated features he made within a period of a little more than a decade. This film was later acquired by Miramax who decided to alter it a little and released it as "Light Years". The Collection DX review of the film is a must to check out, though the one consolation I could give is that the film was animated in North Korea of all places! In the podcast review, one of the guys mentioned how the one thing about the production that amused the French guys was how the North Korean animators got rather embarrassed over drawing nude people in the film, no doubt those guys aren't up to par with their Eastern European counterparts (especially when your best output is a squirrel battling weasel overloads and other rodent spies). It's also interesting as a theme that Laloux's films got animated in Communist-led countries (Fantastic Planet=Czechoslovakia and Time Masters=Hungary).

8Man is a lot different from 8Man After no doubt, and I had seen 8Man After on Sci Fi back in the day (and nothing like the Syphilis Channel of today). The original 8Man of course was a product of the 1960's when Japanese TV cartoons was beginning as an industry in Japan, though it is intereseting that it took that long to continue it's storyline with the 90's OAV.

It should be noted that the "Planet Busters" dub was actually done by Harmony Gold from what I've read somewhere (where it was seen in some countries as "World of the Talisman"). The "Birth" film on it's own was pretty bad and I couldn't agree more with the people who walked out of that screening with that look on their faces! It's the sort of "Disney's Black Hole" type ending you just don't know what to think.

Tim Eldred said...
Think of it as the aural equivalent of the 4-fingered hand where the last two fingers were merged because they generally move the same way and it saved drawing time to eliminate one.


Ah 4 fingers! You wonder how they ever did without 'em!

Thanks for the info Tim on the lip-synch (or lack thereof) in anime. I was reminded more of the early days of sound cartoons in the US where the Fleischer Studios' idea of sound recording was to have it all done after the animation was finished, and doing it this way, gave the actors some fun in coming up with small ad-libs during the production of the cartoons. If you see those Betty Boop or Popeye cartoons of the 1930's you see what I mean. If only really stopped for them once they set up a studio in Miami to do "Gulliver's Travels" and finally learned how to animate proper lip-synch to pre-recorded dialogue.

Thinking of the 3 drawings used in anime lip flaps, it became really noticable to me with "Sazae-san" which really uses only 2 drawings (no wonder they could keep that up after 40 years)!

And consider this: in order to make lip-synch possible you have to scrub through a voice track one syllable at a time, match each one to a mouth position (US TV animation generally uses a set of 8 mouths) and time it out on an exposure sheet. If you think that sounds like a lot of work, you're right. Plus you need a very specific skill set to do it efficiently. That skill set was probably very rare (thus expensive) in Japan back in the early days.

One of those things people end up learning when they get into animation in general 'round here, assuming you end up being a timing director on doing these 'dope sheets'.

Somebody take a look at an episode of 'Hammer Man' and see if that was the culprit!

God, don't mention that toon! It was our generation's Clutch Cargo! ^_^

Thanks for the Starship Troopers review. Not sure if I can watch it now without pulling my hair out at it's flaws or be creeped out by that chick's lazy eye!

Anonymous said...

Chris: "The "Birth" film on it's own was pretty bad and I couldn't agree more with the people who walked out of that screening with that look on their faces! It's the sort of "Disney's Black Hole" type ending you just don't know what to think."

If Birth's good enough for Gainax to reverse-engineer into Gurren Lagaan, and then claim it's a "tribute" to anime of that decade in general, it's good enough for me.

"though it is intereseting that it took that long to continue it's storyline with the 90's OAV."

It's because of a certain Paul Verhoeven movie, that they made a sequel. ^_- I also saw footage of the LA 8 Man back in the day, and it looked more like an unused Kamen Rider pilot than an adaptation of the anime. The dub was also one of those Fox Lorber-style hack-jobs which made me glad that Media Blasters was at least able to rescue Zeiram from Image Hell. It also makes me wonder why MGM doesn't just get the remake rights to the anime, because no one wants to see a pussified, er, PG-13, Robocop. That's partly why the third one bombed.

Speaking of Gulliver, Jerry Beck's hosting a new 35 mm print of the toon at the Egyptian in L.A. next month. I haven't seen that sucker since it was on tv, while the last Fleischer print I saw on the big screen was when John K. hosted Popeye vs. Sinbad. [There was also some dude a while back who played one of those Fleischer Superman toons on some portable projector. I didn't know you could *get* reels that small.]

Chris Sobieniak said...

Speaking of Gulliver, Jerry Beck's hosting a new 35 mm print of the toon at the Egyptian in L.A. next month. I haven't seen that sucker since it was on tv,

I mostly saw the basic Public Domain VHS tapes of the film myself. It might be a nice surprise if it turns out to be a decent and colorful print than one that we've seen many times before.

while the last Fleischer print I saw on the big screen was when John K. hosted Popeye vs. Sinbad.

Probably the same one that's out on DVD now for all of us to enjoy! I always hated how dull and washed-out the colors of that was before when the best you ever saw of it was from those VHS tapes in the 80's. Now we have this beautiful Technicolor beauty that should be in everyone's mind from now on!

[There was also some dude a while back who played one of those Fleischer Superman toons on some portable projector. I didn't know you could *get* reels that small.]

There have been 16mm and super-8mm dupe prints of those Superman shorts for years. A late friend of mine once let me borrow a super-8 print of "Volcano" I showed on my Bell+Howell projector. There were many films and cartoons that used to be available on Super-8mm in the past, so that was not uncommon. Such copyright-expired stuff like those Superman cartoons often fell victim to such duplicated messes that were sold to the public through such distributors and other venues.

VZ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daryl Surat said...

FOR FUCK'S SAKE VZ, GET A GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING CLUE AND STOP POSTING THE SAME GODDAMN THING EVERY SINGLE EPISODE EVERY SINGLE PLACE YOU POST

NOBODY GIVES A FLYING FUCK ABOUT GUY DOUBLE TARGET AND LEGEND OF LYON FLARE

halojones-fan said...

Haha, the 'Gandahar' podcast. Come for the movie, stay for girls getting tanked on Manischwietz...

Patrick McNamara said...

My first thought for the strange movie was Fantastic Planet, which I do recall seeing when I was young. Gandahar I didn't see until recently. However, I do recommend seeing these films. They are weird, but much more mind blowing for their times than any anime of the day. Both can be found on YouTube.

It is possible to do a podcast for free if you go the Archive.org/Blogger/Feedburner route. And if you can keep your podcast under 10M there's a few free sites you could store them on. It might not be enough for a popular podcast but it's enough to get started with.

Anonymous said...

Searching for the manliest piece of animation ever produced in Japan? Search no more! I give you...Ultimate Muscle Roller Legend!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6_P_5VSc0E

(Many thanks to Peter Serafinowicz for posting a link to this on Twitter.)

I'm told that this is a mashup of several Nico Nico Douga memes.

Anonymous said...

I think you guys missed something worth mentioning in your review of the Starship Troopers anime.

Freddie Mercury is in the first episode or atleast his body double is.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that Ultimate Muscle Legend thing from Choaniki?

subatomicbrainfreeze said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzETpugsaYI

In case you guys are curious, this is Andrew WK's cover of Ai Senshi, which had already come out on his album of Japanese song covers.

astrange said...

A few recent anime have done their recording before animation - I remember people saying this about kurenai and Sunred, though they didn't actually bother improving the lipsync after that.

Chris said...

Just finished listening to the episode. By the way, I now have to see Starship Troopers, because y'all said I shouldn't. Like Odinnnnnnnnnnnn!

Robert said...

That Starship Troopers opening sounds like the guy singing on the Mospeada opening trying to do a Jem and the Holograms cover.

Also, I think I figured out why the episodes aren't so good unedited, you have to edit out all of Daryl's off-topic ramblings and dumb jokes he's always making. I think this also explains why AWO episodes run so long!

Gerald said...

A few recent anime have done their recording before animation - I remember people saying this about kurenai and Sunred, though they didn't actually bother improving the lipsync after that.

I think that often happens not because they were trying to get a lipsync, but because the show was so cheap, and the animation wasn't done in time. I know that happened with Dragon Ball at times, which was done so cheaply that they sometimes all the voice actors had to go by was a character design. As cool a show as Sunred is, it's pretty obvious that show was done on quite a shoestring.

Tim Eldred said...

Now up at starblazers.com I have a 1980 essay by Noboru Ishiguro who said something about that. The animation on Yamato series 1 typically ran so far behind that by the third episode there was nothing ready for the actors, so they went with the red-stripe method; literally drew a red stripe on a clear strip of film to indicate when an actor should start and stop talking. It was projected onto a screen where they would normally see finished animation or at least a pencil test.

He said this was the worst possible situation you could be in when making anime.

Anonymous said...

Ichiro Mizuki can still rock the mic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLYEICkkIOg I wish he'd do a U.S. tour.

waharmsheero said...

>>I think that often happens not because they were trying to get a lipsync, but because the show was so cheap, and the animation wasn't done in time.

Not so with Kure-nai. Kure-nai is a wonderful, lavishly animated show, and the recording-the-voice-before-the-animation is director Matsuo Kou's style (I believe he did the same in Red Garden.) When you watch the show, you notice that the character exchanges flow more naturally than in other anime. It's a subtle thing, but it does well to establish the unique atmosphere the show has.

As far as Starship Troopers goes, I saw clips from at a bad anime panel at Anime Boston. It just seems extremely boring, really. I feel sorry for Gerald--Butt Attack Punisher Girl--even with all its flaws--is better than that dreck.

Son_of_Zion said...

like always a good episode and hope to... no fuck that, you made me hate starship troopers you bastards... There will be blood to pay i say.

Or youst a hug whatever.
/cheers

The Moogle Master said...

Shuki Levy has not done anything involving anime since Saban ended around 2001 or so. He as worked on a musical.... Yup here's the link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagine_This

Haim Saban on the other hand is one of the richest men in the world, with his media empire.

P.S: Was the anime for Starship Troopers ever licsends in america?

Don't complain about my bad spelling, yes i know it's bad at times.

Tim Eldred said...

I'm sure all the newer Sony ST projects preclude that from happening, but how much you wanna bet that if the ST anime ever DID get licensed it would be renamed and all the original story elements sufficiently blurred to get around licensing fees?

It's a sad testament to the facts that (A) the adaptation was so genericized that this would actually be pretty easy, and (B) we're rapidly approaching the point where cost-cutting that actually compromises content is looking more likely. The shadow of Macek stretches forth again...

Chris Sobieniak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Sobieniak said...

The Moogle Master said...
Shuki Levy has not done anything involving anime since Saban ended around 2001 or so. He as worked on a musical.... Yup here's the link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imagine_This


I still thinking of the Shuki Levy of the 70's when he was doing this for a while...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB5OlJJ604A

He has a webpage apparently...
http://www.shukilevy.com/

Haim Saban on the other hand is one of the richest men in the world, with his media empire.

Still he hasn't escaped controversy over political fund raising.

halojones-fan said...

If you aren't going to market this as a ST property then what's the point of doing it at all? There's really no draw other than the ST name (unless you've really got a thing for screaming vaginas.)

And besides that, I've seen the "Starship Troopers Powered Suit" toy in several stores here, although I don't know whether it was a geniune US release or just a re-sale of something bought in Japan.

Anonymous said...

Wondering if you could answer this. A while ago, you had a segment on Osamu Tezuka's Dororo.

There's a more recent series called Madara, not by Tezuka, which has same premise: Madara has had his body parts divided among demons when he was a baby, so he's almost entirely made of artificial parts, and he must defeat them to regain his parts. Is there any connection whatsoever to Dororo? Or could there have been some folk tale that inspired both series?

Onomarchus said...

Don't forget, Andrew WK also created "The McLaughlin Groove."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KMV3dc2PbI

Karaoke Ninja said...

Diamond distributed a US release of the Studio Nue Powered Suit, which is not TECHNICALLY the Starship Troopers suit from the OAV but slightly different design from when Studio Nue/Miyatake was just ripping off Starship Troopers before they actually got a license. The only way you can really tell is that the feet are square instead of round. In Japan they only release it in one color, but in the US it came in three colors, tan, olive green, and white, the winter color. They were pretty cheap here, too. I got a couple of them for like $10 a pop at a comic store back in the day.