2006
11.22

We’re officially over the hill. Can you believe we’ve been babbling for 40 episodes? Daryl–whose gain level introduced lots of static whenever he spoke–reviews the semi-obscure 1980s film The Dagger of Kamui, Gerald reviews the quite obscure 1980s TV series Future Police Urashiman, and Clarissa gets the ball rolling with Part 1 of our Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure review.

Introduction (0:00 – 33:28)
We didn’t get a whole lot of responses regarding the state of your local anime clubs, but we did get a few, which we read here. Shocking as it may seem, there are some people out there actually taking our recommendations to heart and enjoying what they’re watching, and so we read one letter from a male MIT college student (Chemical Engineering major…wonder if he was able to finish reading Orion?) and another from a female middleaged…not a college student. Our listenership is DIVERSE! Here now is a picture of what those evil Bostonians do to their fair city:
No wonder people from Boston were portrayed as evil in that totally lame Call of the Wild anime. Hey wait a second, Daryl’s originally from Boston! Also, the winners of the Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid Vol 1 giveaway are announced! Thanks go out to Funimation for donating the prizes.

Let’s News! (33:28 – 42:04)
Koichi Murata and Ken Ishikawa are dead, people. Who’s going to protect us from moe now?! For those who bought the newly recently Lupin the Third movie/TV special compilation that Funimation released, it accidentally contains an edited version of The Secret of Twilight Gemini, and unlike those jerks at Bandai who won’t swap out Zeta Gundam DVDs, they’re letting people exchange their edited discs for the unedited one. Oh, and check out the upcoming Gunbuster DVD set. In the “huh, how about that” department, Death Note isn’t actually the most popular new anime of the season since twice as many people are watching Onna no Hataraki Man. Not like Japanese popularity translates to US fan preference, but hey. Finally, ADV’s licensed Sergeant Frog, presumably in the hopes that it’ll be another Excel Saga for them. Here’s hoping they don’t let Steven Foster dub it. Or anything else ever.

Promo: Dave and Joel’s Fast Karate For the Gentleman (42:04 – 43:11)
As heard in the beginning of this episode, Dave has graciously offered to host AWO if Daryl hosts Fast Karate. One dare not imagine what would result if Dave, Joel, and we were all gathered together in one podcast.

Review: The Dagger of Kamui (43:11 – 1:00:40)
Daryl tackles this one, as it was one of the first anime he ever saw in his formulative teenage years. This is a theatrical animated movie about ninjas. REAL ninjas, not those Ninja Scroll/Naruto weird dudes who claim to be ninjas. It also contains pirates, cowboys, Indians, quasi-zombies, Mark Twain, and multiple bears being chopped in half. Very special thanks go out to Michael Minnott for providing us with the OST to this film, which has been out of print for decades. Sasuga Books managed to track it down for him, so check them out even though their dealer’s room booths at anime cons stock the gay porno right next to the regular artbooks.

In this picture there are forty ninjas. None of them can be seen. In this film we hope to show YOU how not to be seen.
See this, Japan? This is what REAL ninjas look like. Apparently you didn’t teach this to a generation. Even Michael Dudikoff knows this.
But unlike the ninja which Michael Dudikoff and Carl Weathers would face off against, these ninja know how to LOOK UPWARDS and attack in swarms. Mr Ninja, would you stand up, please?
This demonstrates the value of not being seen. Face it, they’re in black ninja outfits; they’re meant to be fodder. Didn’t you people ever watch WMAC Masters?!
Okay Devious, don’t move! The Bishop…Tenkai! He’s the one on the left, and Jiro’s on the right. Told you he was big.
Jiro’s got the touch. Jiro’s got the power…YEAH! Yes, I’m done with the worn-out Flying Circus references. What can I say? I just got the DVD set.
This is what modern anime is missing: people being cut in half lengthwise. I think more people get cut in half lengthwise throughout this one film than in the entire history of Mortal Kombat tournaments.
With this kind of cinematography, I don’t think anyone will have trouble realizing this movie’s from the 80s, which for Japan is more like the 70s for us. Then they were stuck in the 80s for a while, then skipped the 90s entirely. Pretty good strategy when you consider how comicbooks turned out thanks to the 90s.
This is what Gerald means when he mentions in the next segment how Kaneto Shiozawa built his career off of voicing beautiful men. The “Unicorn Power” shirt I plan on buying is less flaming than that. GET IT? FLAMING? CAUSE THERE’S FIRE ON…eh.

Promo: R5 Central (1:00:40 – 1:01:40)
Actually Mike, most people I see pronounce GAIM as “gee aim,” but any excuse to make Tomino references and throw in songs by MIO is welcome around these parts. Not like anyone here ever really cared about Heavy Metal L-Gaim in the first place…

Review: Future Police Urashiman (1:01:40 – 1:21:27)
Here’s a show that was somewhat popular among American anime fandom in the very early 1980s, and since “the 1980s” is what Gerald loves most (but wait, he’s never seen any of the Rocky movies, not even Rocky IV!) (Actually Gerald HAS seen Rocky and Rocky III), he takes the plunge and reviews this 52 episode series, which ranks among one of the most obscure titles we’ve covered. It’s not licensed in the US, the DVDs are out of print in Japan, and nobody ever fansubbed this show, not even in the VHS days. So how will people ever see this show? Well, we’re going to put some episodes up on BitTorrent, albeit with crappy Hong Kong bootleg subtitles. Watch this space. Oh yeah, what we said about Koji Morimoto being a protege of Katsuhiro Otomo? That wasn’t quite right since Morimoto was working prior to collaborating with Otomo…on this show. And The Dagger of Kamui. Then again, Tugboat was Hulk Hogan’s protege and he was wrestling prior to that, but we’d rather not remember that dark time. We’d rather remember the glory days of the Shockmaster instead.

Promo: The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast (1:21:27 – 1:22:16)
We said last week that something had to be done to straighten Paul out. That something has happened, for Daryl has guest-starred on the latest episode. Appropriate background music has been added to this promo to illustrate this fact. WE FIGHT FOR LOVE!

Review (manga): Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Part 1 (1:22:16 – 1:49:41)
Buckle up, folks. After months of putting it off, Clarissa’s thrown the gauntlet down and started on what will be a series of parts dedicated to reviewing the single longest shonen fighting series ever. And one of the gayest. But also one of the most awesome and violent due to its being heavily influenced by Fist of the North Star. At least the story is pre-broken up into about seven parts (to date); this review is for Part 1 of the manga, “Phantom Blood.” Like all long-running manga, the artwork and storytelling haven’t quite hit their stride at this point, but at the very least, it lives up to the name.

This is Joseph Joestar. Observe the beginning of Araki drawing people in weird poses. Also the clothes are a bit strange for Victorian England, but just FYI this is nothing compared to Araki’s fashion obsessed nonsense later.
This is Dio Brando, and by the way he would like you to note that he is fabulous. The first clue to his being evil is when he kicks Joseph’s dog upon meeting him. Worse things will happen to that dog later. This is another ongoing thing with Jojo’s: animals (also Italians) never fare very well. I think Araki might have had a traumatic experience at the zoo when he was young (I’ve got no clue what’s going on with the Italians).
You can tell that Dio’s a vampire now because 1) he makes that screeching WRYYYY sound (yes, it’s spelled about four different ways throughout the manga, so all those people arguing about how many Ys are correct should shut up) and 2) he sucks people’s blood. As you can maybe see, even though they have fangs vampires in Jojo’s drink blood through their fingers. I don’t know why, I guess biting wasn’t weird enough.
For the heck of it, here’s the trio. That weirdo Zeppeli (the one Gerald mentioned as having only one facial expression) is in the front, Joseph in the middle, and THE INTERFERING SPEEDWAGON smirking at his idol in the back.

Closing (1:49:41 – 1:53:29)
Next time, and by next time that’s later today for us, Daryl is continuing his trend of reviewing shows with strikingly unique art styles by talking about the 2004 series by Studio Gonzo, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo. Does the “Gonzo Syndrome” apply here, too? Gerald’s got a manga review of Voyeur and its followup, Voyeurs Inc. by Hideo Yamamoto, author of Ichi the Killer as well as Homunculus which Clarissa reviewed way back in Show # 10. Speaking of Clarissa, she’s going to review what just might be Studio Ghibli’s best movie, and it’s not even one of Miyazaki’s: Omoide Poro Poro, better known as Only Yesterday. Thanks go out to Eeeper from the Eeeper’s Choice podcast for sending the three of us the Region 2 DVD release of the film after we complained about how they played it on Turner Classic Movies but didn’t release it on DVD yet in the US.

2006
11.16

By popular demand, here’s what we–and by we I mean Clarissa–think of the Fall 2006 anime lineup. What we watched of it, anyway. Death Note and D. Gray-Man were covered in Show # 39.

Introduction (0:00 – 29:29)
This episode proves why all audio editing should be done while wearing headphones. In trying out the new equipment, the resulting recording varied wildly in audio levels. Much of the audio had to be amplified a lot, which introduced a lot of static. We tried using the Noise Removal feature of Audacity at a very low setting, and while it sounds okay on speakers, on headphones you can hear this near-constant distortion/static in the background. Oh well, I suppose it’s steps that must be taken to learn how non-headset microphones, preamps, and all that jazz actually work.

Be that as it may, we read some more emails. Miraculously, someone went and read Phoenix per our recommendations! Perhaps it would be more than that if only people could actually FIND places selling it, since even online stores like Amazon don’t tend to have it. We then talk about the state of horror in anime, or rather the lack thereof. Dear Japan: vampires do not a horror anime make. We also give our thoughts on Hellsing as well as Lone Wolf & Cub. Plus, Michael Wishlow sent all of us a bunch of crazy untranslated things on DVD. Gerald reveals that the only thing in this world that causes him fear is the thought of nonhuman entities aboard spaceships, and in anime’s defense, it’s at least got a good bit of that. No wonder Michael gave him the copy of Roots Search.

Oh, one more thing. The Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid Vol 1 contest giveaway has concluded. We did the drawing on 11/16, so the winners will probably receive their prizes long before Show # 40 actually gets edited and uploaded.

Let’s News! (29:29 – 43:16)
The RahXephon thinpack set which ADV released actually has all the extras intact on it, Satoshi Kon’s new movie Paprika might be eligible for an Academy Award, Media Blasters isn’t licensing the second season of Ah My Goddess, Gerald’s hero Tomonobu Itagaki (whom Daryl refers to as “the Japanese Joey Snackpants” or “JapaNabbe” because of those shades he wears) is getting sued for sexual harassment, and DeepDiscountDVD had their 20% off sale this week. And to think, this time ADV didn’t remove all their titles from the sale! They only do two sales a year, so the next one’s in April.

This is the image Gerald was talking about when ADV has their sale, be sure to look carefully at the price they cross out and the price you buy it for (you’ll probably need to click on the image since it’s a bit small):

Promo: Chibi-Tokyo (43:16 – 43:52)
Ed and Dan went to PMX, which is officially the BEST CONVENTION EVER because it had an arcade Punchmania 2 cabinet. Let it be known that Daryl will pay the money to own such a machine in his home. He has tried contacting various arcade distributors, but since it’s a Japan-only game, the websites that stock it don’t tend to have sites that are in English. No point in getting the “Fighting Mania” game (English language release of the original Punchmania) because Punchmania 2 includes all the levels from that and then some.

Fall 2006 Preview
The rest of Clarissa’s initial impressions of the Fall 2006 season, as continued from last week.

Code GEASS (43:52 – 47:08)
Super Robot Wars Original Generation (47:08 – 50:29)
Bartender (50:29 – 54:51)
Red Garden (54:51 – 56:27)
Pumpkin Scissors (56:27 – 1:03:45)
Souten no Ken/Fist of the Blue Sky (1:03:45 – 1:09:38)

Promo: Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast (1:09:38 – 1:10:23)
Dear Gooberzilla: The Chronicles of Riddick and Ryuhei Kitamura are totally awesome. Accept this. The Dolph Lundgren Punisher, Tank Girl, Underworld: Evolution, and Stealth are not awesome. Something’s going to have to be done to straighten you out, STAT.

Sumomo Momomomo (1:10:23 – 1:13:45)
–> Kanon (1:13:45 – 1:20:38) <–
Black Blood Brothers…and more Kanon (1:20:38 – 1:22:05)
The Gargoyles of the Yoshinagas…and more Kanon (1:22:05 – 1:24:00)

Closing (1:24:00 – 1:28:10)
We wrap things up by mentioning a few of the shows we didn’t get around to watching. Daryl will tell you why the watermelon is there later.