2007
01.25

Daryl reviews the gekiga/manga titles The Push Man and Other Stories and also Abandon the Old in Tokyo by Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Clarissa reviews the recent anime series Black Lagoon, and Gerald reviews the second of the Robot Romance Trilogy, Voltes V. The comics contain lots of dead babies, they probably shoot babies in Black Lagoon, and women are repulsed enough by 70s super robot anime such as Voltes V that they miscarry.

Full show notes to be added soon, though in all honesty they’re not quite done on the last several shows because there’s links to be added.

Introduction (0:00 – 33:10)
Yes, it takes us the length of most entire podcast episodes just to say what we’re going to talk about. But we also have listener feedback to go through…sort of. Naka-Kon‘s in Kansas City–not Kansas–on the first weekend of March, where their guest will be none other than Stevie B, or as they used to say in the IRC days, STEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVVVVE BENNNNNNETTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT! “Stevie B” is shorter and more accurate. For the umpteenth time, we talk about the whole issue of people using “manga” to describe non-Japanese comics, but apparently there’s what we believe and what everyone else seems to believe. They laughed at Galileo, they laughed at Copernicus…and right now we’re not looking so good. And what is a TRUE cosplayer, anyway?

Let’s News! (33:10 – 54:08)
ADV has acquired the rights to release 009-1, a recent series which nobody bothered to fansub because nobody seems to ever fansub Shotaro Ishinomori-based properties. We haven’t seen the show ourselves, but it involves something ribald, no doubt. Funimation’s going to be remastering all of Dragon Ball in widescreen, except the show wasn’t originally in widescreen. We strongly suspect it to be a Project A-Ko job, since when you look at the comparison footage sections it is TOTALLY OBVIOUS THAT THE TOP AND BOTTOM OF THE PICTURE HAVE BEEN CUT OFF. Hopefully the Daizenshuu EX podcast knows the score, as their latest episode is all about Funimation’s “cover-ups” over the years with regards to releasing the series.

Actually, upon further investigation over at this forum thread on Daizenshuu EX, we were wrong. It looks as though not only the top and bottom of the picture are being cut off…BUT ALSO THE SIDES. No really, take a look at these comparison screenshots:

And Funimation’s spending HOW much money to do this? Oh, there’s also not going to be any next episode previews apparently…and the “CHA LA HEAD CHA LA” opening theme song won’t be the same version. How is THAT supposed to be a definitive release? You tell us. Oh well, other news:

Viz is going to be releasing digital downloads of Death Note, presumably in high-quality fansub format. We really hope this gets done properly (that is to say, not like how other paid anime digital downloads are), and more importantly, priced reasonably. In addition to Vertical Inc’s upcoming English-language release of the 1970s shojo manga “To Terra…”, there’s also going to be a new Towards the Terra television series. Finally, Sony really screwed the pooch on this BluRay thing. Wait a second, I thought this was supposed to be NEWS!

Promo: Weekly Anime Review (54:08 – 54:42)
Due to the grim nature of existence, Aaron hasn’t been able to do a new episode for the last month and a half, but he’s back with a review of Perfect Blue. Well, actually the review is by someone else because people record reviews and send them to him for him to play. Be sure to do that CHAM dance as you listen.

Review: The Push Man and Other Stories / Abandon the Old in Tokyo (manga) (54:42 – 1:25:17)
In reviewing these publications by Drawn and Quarterly, Daryl offers forth a brief primer on gekiga, before speaking at length about dead babies and film noir. But to be serious for a moment, while Yoshihiro Tatsumi never really got a whole lot of financial success or critical acclaim, his contributions to the development of Japanese comics shouldn’t go overlooked. That’s where we come in!

  • Gekiga: The Flipside of Manga by Paul Gravett – not safe for work; no wonder the books he writes get banned from libraries!
  • Interview with Yoshihiro Tatsumi in Publisher’s Weekly — this is how Daryl pretends to be knowledgeable; he reads things other people wrote and then regurgitates the information. What separates him from a scholar is that scholars can actually process and analyze this information. Also, they remember the things they read.
  • Dave and Joel’s Forums – I bet more people would post there if they ever mentioned that these forums existed on their show! This is the thread Daryl was ripping off from.

Promo: Ninja Consultant (1:25:17 – 1:27:04)
Erin and Noah just got back from Japan! Be sure to leave comments in their Livejournal asking them what they thought of their contribution to our one year anniversary show, because they’ve been in Japan all this time and probably haven’t heard it yet!

Review: Voltes V (1:27:04 – 1:50:14)
We are so totally jazzed over all the hits from the Philippines that’ll inevitably result from this…MAYBE. Marvel and be amazed as grown adults talk about a show for 8 year-olds. You know it’s for 8 year-olds because the toy commercials for Voltes V teach all the important life lessons you should be aware of before you’re grown up, namely that it’s better for the robot to take the beating than you:

American Otaku People Retsuden, here we come!

Review: Black Lagoon (1:50:14 – 2:17:16)
This is one of Clarissa’s favorite shows that have recently aired. It’s one great big homage to Hollywood action movies, and you either understand this from the start or you don’t. It’s pretty violent, but if you were an 8 year-old that watched it, the lesson you’d learn would be “if you shoot enough people, nobody will notice how crappy your tattoo is, or perhaps they will notice it but they won’t bring up how dumb it looks out of fear of being killed, just like how nobody makes fun of Dio or Zangetsu the Mid-day.” Daryl can’t stop talking about Jay Karnes, unless he’s talking about the Greatest GREATEST Movie EVER of course. He’d make a damn fine action hero, that Jay Karnes. And Kenneth Johnson should be cast as Max Payne, if that movie ever gets made.

Promo: GeekNights (2:17:16 – 2:18:15)
Rym and Scott are not really a fan of playing promos, since promos people record are never indicative of the nature of the actual show (we’re living proof). It’s far more productive promo-wise to just mention the name of another podcast and talk about it positively, sort of like how in AM talk radio they just suddenly start talking about riding the NordicTrack for 15 minutes. That said, we gotta have SOMETHING to give people a break from our terrifying voices.

Closing (2:18:15 – 2:24:13)
We’re all losing our minds. See that running time? Yeah, our sanity? It’s broken. And as proof of that, THE NEXT EPISODE OF AWO IS ENTIRELY ABOUT HENTAI. Gerald, the architect of this scheme, shall be reviewing Urotsukidoji aka Legend of the Overfiend. Clarissa’s reviewing a hentai manga entitled Pink Sniper by her favorite hentai artist, Yonekura Kengo. And Daryl’s mental state is at the point where he can watch Kanashimi no Belladonna and live to tell the tale.

Brace yourselves.

2007
01.23

After over a week, our blog access has been restored! This week, the theme is unbridled optimism in the face of adversity, so who better to have on as a guest than veteran anime fan and Corn Pone Flicks personality Joe Vecchio. Daryl reviews Studio 4C’s 2004 theatrical film Mind Game, Gerald weighs in with his thoughts on Vertical Inc’s release of the Osamu Tezuka manga Ode to Kirihito, and Clarissa feels all warm and fuzzy inside as she shares with us her thoughts on ADV’s manga release of Yotsuba&!

Introduction (0:00 – 31:38)
We talk to Joe about how he first discovered anime and manga as well as his experience in Japan circa the 1980s, as well as his other fandom experiences such as conventions and clubs, such as JACO and the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization. The more we hear about the C/FO, the more we realize that the “fantasy” really meant [WORD OMITTED IN AN ATTEMPT TO ENSURE THOSE "PEOPLE" DON'T FIND OUR SITE VIA GOOGLE SEARCHES] all along. In the emails, one guy is quite upset that we said mean things about Kanon. We read his pro-Kanon counterargument in its entirety. What are our favorite comedy anime/manga? Note that Daryl’s assessment was off the mark, as UY encodes are quite readily available indeed. Also, Gerald’s recommendation for Akitaro Daichi just shows how much he secretly loves Fruits Basket after all.

Let’s News! (31:38 – 1:07:52)
The upcoming Super Robot Taisen W title for the DS which is set for a Japanese release in March is going to include Go Lion! And also Detonator Orgun. If it weren’t for the fact that US anime companies are playa haters (that means they despise the beach–The More You Know), we’d swear they were catering to the US audience. You know, the twenty people or so who bought the GBA titles (not because only 20 people care about the series, but they only printed 20 copies of both games…total). A new Dr. Slump movie’s in the works, and the American Anime Awards is um…yeah. Listen to our piece on it, then read this interview. Also, vote for Apocalypse Zero as the best manga, because it is. And even though we’re over three weeks late to talking about it, Animecons.com has put up their list of the largest anime cons in North America for 2006. Want to know if there’s anime cons in your area or what date a con’s happening? Check that site. Also, who’s scarier: Apollo Smile (best known nowadays as being Ulala from Space Channel 5) or Danger Girl? Okay fine, so that isn’t news, but eventually we just start talking about…stuff.

Promo: Anime and Television in Toronto (35:46 – 36:20)
While we doubt that they’re really the Internet’s first anime and television podcast, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. The dread spectre of moe has infected Canuckistan, and so you can find out all about their maid cafe excursions and thoughts on Kanon. What day shall we listen to such a podcast? Hmm, I think maybe, perhaps…”ATTO DAY”! See what I did there? Huh? You see it? Huh? See it? SEE IT?

Promo: Blood, Crack, and Anime (1:07:52 – 1:08:44)
Taking a cue from the Mike Dent school of podcasting, this promo is done entirely by an unintelligible robot voice. Anyway, due to overwhelming schoolwork (we know the feeling), these guys probably won’t have new episodes until February. Still, there’s the old episodes. Man, everyone has more promos than we do…

Review: Mind Game (1:08:44 – 1:35:05)
Daryl, being a fan of Studio 4C, feels obligated to inform the world that yes, this movie exists. For you see, despite receiving lots of critical praise and having a Region 2 DVD release with proper English subtitles on it, nobody in America has bothered to license it for release. They’re too busy releasing stuff like Sousei no Aquarion instead or whatever. It wasn’t until starting this podcast that Daryl realized how good a year 2004 was for anime, and Mind Game is certainly one to be added to the list. Download links for Mind Game are actually not that hard to come by, so it’s probably not necessary to link one here.

Promo: R5 Central (1:35:05 – 1:36:34)
It just dawned on us that the promo to episode ratio for R5 Central is slightly greater than 1:2. Notice the complete and total lack of a joke to this, despite it being what it is. It was after hearing this that Daryl realized that Mike really should be featured in American Otaku People Retsuden.

Review: Ode to Kirihito (manga) (1:36:34 – 1:54:32)
In what has got to be the best deal for manga currently available, Gerald reviews this 832 page tale from Osamu Tezuka, available from Vertical Inc who also released the English-language edition of Buddha. This costs $25 (or about $15 if you buy it from Amazon), and on top of that it’s a really interesting medical-based thriller…and then some. Vertical’s next major manga release is going to be Towards the Terra. Here’s hoping we can actually FIND that one in order to do a review of it once it’s out; Clarissa still can’t find Kirihito in local stores, and Daryl had to order it online.

Promo: Dave and Joel’s Fast Karate for the Gentleman (1:54:32 – 1:55:38)
That Azumanga Daioh background music was deemed to be highly appropriate for ushering in the next segment. Still, you should listen to this show anyway because they destroyed Koi Kaze with a flaming baseball bat and made a video.

Review: Yotsuba&! (manga) (1:55:38 – 2:18:08)
Clarissa reviews the first three volumes of this manga by Azumanga Daioh creator Kiyohiko Azuma. This is good, because Daryl cannot pronounce “Yotsuba.” Somehow, despite running in a manga full of creepy artificially cute pedobait, both Azumanga Daioh and Yotsuba&! are like, actually good. If only we’d get more volumes of it released in English so that we wouldn’t have to download quite as many scans. Then again, it’s not like Azumanga Daioh was the gigantic seller it should have been, given the perceived size (and definite loudness) of its Internet following.

Closing (2:18:08 – 2:26:25)
Hey! Hey! Want to be famous…IN JAPAN? Are YOU the number one otaku on the block? Patrick “As Seen on Television” Macias is writing a followup book to Otaku in USA, and he wants to hear from anyone who believes they are truly Legendary Otaku. In other words, not people like any of the three of us. We’re far too casual. We mean the devoted. The ones who mean serious business. Actually, we could probably just choose anyone from Florida, provided they’re not too crazy. Wait, never mind. Daryl nominates R5 Central.

Next week, Daryl attempts to make up for his lack of comics reviews by reviewing two titles by the founder of gekiga, Yoshihiro Tatsumi: The Push Man and Other Stories as well as Abandon the Old in Tokyo, available from Drawn and Quarterly. Gerald’s finally finished watching Voltes V, which is the followup to Combattler V. Clarissa wanted to review that one but it got stolen from her, so in retaliation she’s stealing one from Gerald by reviewing Black Lagoon, the show that teaches the valuable lesson of “if you shoot enough people, then nobody will notice how crappy your tattoo is.”