Anime World Order Show # 44 – Unrelenting Optimism and Happiness with Joe Vecchio

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.”

30 thoughts on “Anime World Order Show # 44 – Unrelenting Optimism and Happiness with Joe Vecchio

  1. YES! The site is finally fixed. Oh, and good episode this week. Mr. Vecchio was a very entertaining guest that knew alot about anime and manga and had some pretty interesting storys to tell. Plus the reviews of Mind Game and Yotsuba& really pleased me. I cant say anything about Ode to Kirihito because I have not read any of it, but it does sound like something along the lines of my taste in manga so I might have to check it out.

  2. Awesome, the site is fixed.
    Gerald how come you don’t like “Jeeg”
    And guys how come you all forgot to mention “School Rumble”

  3. I think I LOVE Joe Vecchio! Too bad I didn’t bother with joining the army, or I couild’ve got stationed over there if I had been lucky.

    There’s a lot I want to say as well, but maybe I’ll just e-mail it anyway.

    (and all this time I was contemplating giving you guys my own blog to do your podcasts from, namely since I hardly use it anymore)

  4. Ill probly buy Super Robot Taisen W if someone does a complete game translation(well the dialoge and menu translations). I bought the gamecube version and I enjoy that one, even though I have to look at my FAQ every 3 minutes to read whats what in the menus.

  5. Totally unrelated question to this week’s podcast, but can someone tell me where to snag English subs of Saint Seyia past the ADV release. I blame you guys for reigniting my previously dead love of anime.

    Also Daryl, your blasting of moe on the SA Forums was fantastic. Sadly, there will always be a few people who enjoy any and everything.

  6. Congratulations on getting taken off the black list.

    Mind Game: I had never heard of this movie, and really enjoyed watching it after your recommendation. Exactly why I listen to your show; it is wonderful to find out about these hidden gems.

    My best to the whole AWO gang.

  7. Gerald how come you don’t like “Jeeg”

    What I really don’t like about Jeeg is the robot design above all else. The robot isn’t very appealing and looks like he’s wearing his underwear the entire time although I don’t believe the show’s been released in English, but then again, I wasn’t a big fan of the mech design in Ideon and that’s slowly growing on me even if those damn shoulders are still annoying to me.

  8. You are right Gerald. I watched it spanish when I was… 12. And know that I think about it , it is kind of weird.
    I watched the first episode of Jeeg in youtube in spanish, and it was hilarious. If only because of its mistakes 😛

  9. You guys need to take it to your boy Joe about HK DVDs and piracy and what not. As you’ve voiced so many times on your own show, quirky Japanese cartoons aren’t a right, and “The HK DVDs were $30 and the Region 1s were $80/season)” isn’t really an excuse. If money’s tight, that’s life, but nobody deserves cartoons.

    On a more positive note: I would kill a many for the Super Robot Wars OG remake for PS2. That ten minute promo video they released so many months ago was just -damn- hot.

  10. You are also right Dave.
    However, I will cut some slack to the countries that would like to get stuff but they can’t. Such as many countries from south america (ok, many of them can watch them on tv). I haven’t being in my country for 6 years but I think in Peru dvd is standard now. However most of the dvd movies are the normally Hollywood movies and very little from other countries. I think Funimation tried to take a little of the Spanish speaking audience by releasing those “ultimate un-cut editions” but the failed

  11. Dave, that 10 minute promo WAS hot. I would buy another ps2 just for that game, but you cant play import games on a ps2. I would have to buy a japanese ps2 and that would do me almost no good, except for playing japanese games which would be few.

  12. Hey guys, great show as usual.

    Just thought I’d let you all know that the first episode of the new Giant Robo is being offered in streaming format at:

    http://sg-tv.jp/

    I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet…here’s hoping it’s decent.

    ~Kamon

  13. No more Yotsuba?! Por que ADV?

    Joe Vecchio sounds like the embodiment of people who seem to believe that anime is a right, not a privelege. I didn’t like that so much, but as for the rest of his comments, he seemed like a smart man who has been around.

  14. I remember a classmate bringing a Jeeg toy back from Spain to the UK and being awestruck at it’s diecast-ness and removable magnetic bits.

    Magnets are still pretty awesome when you are 7 or 8.

  15. for the Yotsubato review:

    (or yahtsu batoh as he said…)

    The ADV publication, while has good approach and formatting, gets LAMBASTED for some horrible and weak error checking omissions more than anything else.

    The translation itself works okay, but in a few scenes, wrong names for people not in the current scenes are used and various other glaring editing mistakes.

    These errors were put under a microscope by image boards like iichan, wakaba, 4ch, and so forth a while ago. I dunno if that had anything to do with ADV stopping production on it…

    I have misgivings, is it enough to detract from the story? No, not really.

    Is IS enough however to make me balk at paying money for a crap product. And then the company not acknowledging that it is in fact their fault. I’m not going to give them my money to legitimise their yucky-ness.

    Although i luv Joe, and i disagree with much of his world view, I can say I don’t blame the Scanlation fan who downloads when his only choice is buying an actual crap product, and a company that doesn’t acknowledge their work…

  16. I’m happy to see that your website has been restored. Blogger can be a pain a lot of times, but in the end, they do pull through, so we’ll have to give them credit for that.

    Glad to see more attention paid upon Mind Game. Ben Ettinger, I’m sure you know, has been a great champion of Yuasa, and there’s a wealth of information on his career.

    I’m surprised sometimes that Mind Game hasn’t become a cause celebre among the anime community. This furthers my own personal theory that the “anime crowd” is really only interested in naked cupie dolls and giant robots and explosions. They’re only interested in copies of what they’re currently consuming. That’s unfortunate if that’s the case, although not surprising for any small underground scene. It happens to nearly everyone in some fashion.

    My hope is that we can become more aware of the great diversity of Japanese animation, besides the stuff you see on Cartoon Network. The trick, of course, is that a lot of that diversity hasn’t trickled down to America. There’s a lot of great anime like Goku’s Big Adventure, Belladonna, Night on the Galactic Railroad, Kondo’s Nemo pilot, and obviously artists like Yuasa and Takahata and Miyazaki and Otsuka…yadda yadda. I can’t imagine anime without Cat Soup or Mind Game or the World Masterpiece Theatre. Heck, throw in Ringing Bell, which really needs to be seen at least once.

    Ah, well. No need for preaching on my behalf. That’s what Conversations on Ghibli is all about.

    I do think the Japanese R2 DVD of Mind Game includes English subtitles, so importing is always an attractive option. Also, I’ve included a link to the fansub version from the Ghibli blog.

    Best wishes for future shows. Hope the suits don’t pull the plug. Mata.

  17. The Jolly Roger is dead but there’s a torrent with their entire output. Get it at http://shortner.com/b0

    Some of the more leftfield anime movies and series should be marketed not as anime, but simply as animation. There may be still a lot of misconception about what anime is and isn’t.

  18. Daryl, don’t forget that PULP was into Tatsumi before any of them dudes–his manga was the very last image printed in the magazine (taken from the first English edition of his work, GOOD-BYE AND OTHER STORIES). We also pioneered the correct pronunciation of the name “Tomine.”

    –Carl

  19. By the way, as for the issue of the affordability of manga (or anime)–this may sound a little too wholesome, but a lot of public libraries these days have decent holdings. The young adult librarians around the U.S. have in general been very supportive of manga. Even though I’m in the industry, I also use the library for this purpose–not only Yotsuba, but Genshiken, I read by checking them out (a little weird, as I already have the last five years of AFTERNOON on a shelf across from my desk ^_^). But I also like checking out manga from the library because of the communal sense, knowing that other people are enjoying these books, too.

    –Carl

  20. Hey, everyone…

    I’ve known Joe for years but now I feel like I know him a lot better after listening to this show. Thanks!

    Regarding Dr. Slump (which is also MY favorite comedy anime), I’m glad to hear about a new movie coming up, but I should point out that this is NOT the first Slump anime project since 1985. There was an OVA about 3-4 years ago that revisited the characters. Unfortunately, it was a little too slick for my taste. Part of the charm of the original was how simple and unpolished it looked. With modern animation techniques it stops looking like Toriyama manga and becomes hard to distinguish from other stuff. Regardless, I’m always up for another Slump.

    (I’m also really glad the series is finally coming out on R2 DVD, though with over 230 episodes it doesn’t even come close to being affordable.)

    -Tim


  21. Rheinhard (to chris): I have made only one short LoGH video like yours – I stuck the “Gathering the Fleet” music from Space Battleship Yamato (the song I always called “The Gamilon March” before I knew the actual title), and dubbed it over the fortress Iserlohn docking sequence from the first movie. It syncs almost perfectly, time-wise and thematically! And considering Noboru Ishiguro directed both shows, and the voice actors for Kodai and Admiral Okita are also in LoGH (Yang, Merkatz respectively), this adds just one more bit of happy synchronicity!

    halojonesfan: Have you posted this video anywhere? I’d like to watch it. I’ll also probably link it in the thread on the SomethingAwful.com forums.

    Rheinhard: No, the only time I put this together was on a VHS tape to fill out a tape to a friend with some LoGH fansubs on it. I don’t think the tape could be easily located anymore, but as I think about it, it would be fairly easy to replicate in iMovie, so maybe I’ll give that a shot. If I do I’ll definitely post it on youtube and link it here.

    Well I re-edited the thing last night and added a cute little credit bump that I may use in the future. You can watch it here:



    I have to figure out how to export a small size video at higher than 15fps from iMovie. If I use a higher quality format to get a smoother motion (this video seems a bit choppier than what I have in iMovie), the video is too large to be uploaded to youtube. But there is no built in setting for 30fps 320×240 video. The “CD_ROM” setting, the highest export quality below full DV, is 15fps 320×240. Maybe I should export a full DV quality video and compress that using another program or export setting.

  22. Tim Eldred said…
    Regarding Dr. Slump (which is also MY favorite comedy anime), I’m glad to hear about a new movie coming up, but I should point out that this is NOT the first Slump anime project since 1985. There was an OVA about 3-4 years ago that revisited the characters. Unfortunately, it was a little too slick for my taste. Part of the charm of the original was how simple and unpolished it looked. With modern animation techniques it stops looking like Toriyama manga and becomes hard to distinguish from other stuff. Regardless, I’m always up for another Slump.

    Are you thinking of the ’97 remake? I had to get the first 20-some episodes of that once off eBay (albeit, an HK VCD set dubbed in Cantonese). I sorta thought this would be up FUNimation’s alley if they had bothered licensing it someday.

    (I’m also really glad the series is finally coming out on R2 DVD, though with over 230 episodes it doesn’t even come close to being affordable.)

    -Tim

    True, and sad. 🙁

  23. Just stumbled onto this podcast while trying to find reviews for Mind Game after watching it. …I guess that region-free subtitled DVD version I bought off of eBay isn’t legit after all? Oops. Um, but I do have to say that I agree: Mind Game‘s plot and its final message are simple and also pretty standard fare — but lawdy, what a ride. I hardly ever react out loud to movies, but I caught myself laughing in just sheer delight more than once (especially when the characters make their final break for it). And yeah, the animation’s gorgeous, making me think of Bill Plympton (who reportedly liked Mind Game), of the older, crazier Looney Tunes, of the drug harvest episode of Samurai Champloo, and of any number of experimental cartoon shorts. While not having seen the manga, I suspect the character design stuck to it pretty faithfully, and its simplicity works great here with the hyperkinetic style. Am I gushing? I think I’m gushing. Yay for movie.

    Also, I also like Yotsuba&! so very very much. The message for today: Everyone enjoy everything, dammit! Unless, of course, you’re Yoshihiro Tatsumi.

  24. Oh, yeah — forgot to add that there were definite shades of Run, Lola, Run in the narrative structure of Mind Game; that could be another good measuring stick of whether or not you’d enjoy one work based off of your reaction to the other.

  25. I think one of the most defining elements of Mind Game is that it is so unabashedly uplifting and yet never falls into a pit of schmaltz. It’s like a purifying tonic for the weary 20-something soul.

    And in regards to the sentiments about there being little to get excited about anymore, I sometimes feel like I’m in a state of hibernation just waiting for a springtime of Madhouse or Studio 4C releases (Kon’s “Dream Machine” will be the last movie for a long time I’ll love just for the director). By the way, Daryl, considering your frequent rants about how they’re not making stuff that’s original and will also appeal to mainstream markets beyond the otakus, you must be as excited as I about Redline. RIGHT??

  26. Yeah, yeah, late response, but I only discovered this podcast recently and I’m now slogging through the archives.

    Mind Game’s music isn’t by Boredoms, but by Seiichi Yamamoto (who was the guitarist for Boredoms and had left the band by that time) playing with a side band called Fushigi Robot, which seems to have been formed to score Studio 4C work. The soundtrack includes a song by Yamamoto’s side band Rashinban (Compass) entitled “Atarashii Hito”, a piano piece by Yoko Kanno called “RHAPSODY,” and a theme by the singer Fayrasy.

    As for Boredoms’ MySpace page–they’re my favourite Japanese band, and I have no clue what the hell those field recordings are supposed to be, but they’re definitely not on any of their releases. Hit YouTube instead to get how they actually sound(ed).

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