2007
07.01

After a month of procrastination and being occupied with actual work, we conclude the super-extended Show # 54 with Clarissa’s review of Ai no Kusabi. Its DBR–Dudes Bein’ Rude–rating is quite powerful indeed. This hopefully concludes the “non-standard format” episodes of the last month and change, but once again, if you’ve never heard the show before, you may not want to start with this one since our other episodes aren’t like this.

Introduction (00:00 – 13:19)

It’s somewhat difficult to select emails that are appropriate to read without all of our powers combined to answer them, but somehow Clarissa manages to select three whole messages. First of all, we deviate briefly from the mansex theme of this episode to talk about hot girls making out with each other–more specifically, why yuri manga is so hard to find and whether there’s any of it that’s good. Clarissa mentions a few titles, then directs everyone interested to Okazu since Erica is awesome and can school people on this better than anyone at AWO. The question of whether or not YesAsia sells bootlegs is addressed (the answer appears to be no), and Clarissa points people looking for Japanese DVDs to CD Japan, whose prices are cheaper, though they don’t have free shipping and you should probably check which one ends up costing less with that factored in. We close with a listener who wants us to review Wings of Honneamise, Angel Cop and Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Also, is Koichi Ohata the Japanese Rob Liefeld? Perhaps you can help us answer that.

News (13:20 – 23:25)

Clarissa, unchecked by cohosts talking about things that don’t involve Dudes Being Rude, ends up talking about a lot of news that has to do with that. Sanami Matoh is doing more FAKE, and Clarissa hopes that if it gets licensed, it’ll get a translation she can read without stabbing her eyes out. Also, Yuu Watase may be doing her first Boys Love manga (or maybe just another shoujo-which-happens-to-have-gay-boys-manga) as part of another magazine, which will also feature Alexander Daiou. Finally, AX happened, which means lots of licensing announcements and other news. Clarissa talks a few new licenses, the continuation of Yotsuba&!, and the keynote about the manga industry.

Review: Ai no Kusabi (23:26 – 53:27)

Future societies on human-colonized worlds, genetic engineering, highly-stratified class systems, supercomputer leaders, sex slaves and hot mansex. Plus Kaneto Shiozawa in possibly his hottest role? It must be Ai no Kusabi.

Though Clarissa generally wouldn’t look to BL manga for serious science fiction literature, since well, that’s not really the point, this one is actually pretty neat for the interaction between society and human emotion/desire. But the main focus is still definitely on incredibly handsome men and their torrid affair.

Clarissa forgot to note over the course of this review that this show is solely responsible for her bulletproof kink of the indirect cigarette kiss. It’s only fair that others should be warned before watching. It could happen to you!

Also, for the record, this is the concept art of the bikes looked at during the episode:

Promo: Robotronic Dynamite! (53:28 – 54:58)

Since this episode is a veritable buffet of mansex, it’s only fitting that we endorse the gayest podcast ever, using an appropriately-themed promo. This ‘cast features Joseph Luster, who can currently be found in Otaku USA, along with the AWO.

Closing (54:59 – 59:13)

And thus ends the most ridiculous episode of this podcast ever. Which for us is pretty severely ridiculous. The next episode’s already recorded, so there shouldn’t be another crazy gap between this one and the next. Next up, our powers combine once again, but instead of Captain Planet we end up with Daryl’s review of the Sanrio film Sea Prince and the Fire Child, Gerald’s take on the classic Gainax series Nadia: Secret of Blue Water, and Clarissa’s initial reactions to MPD Psycho.

62 comments so far

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  1. Great show as always, but what ever happened to the follow up review of Zipang? Also, i remember Daryl mentioning that he had trouble finding GiantRobo merchandise, if it helps, i found a site that has a GinRei model in stock; here

  2. Yatta! We missed you, Clarissa! Great review. But what was the other “omg OW” moment?

  3. So what about this news that Megatokyo is going to be published in Japan… Does this make Fred a mangaka now?

  4. Does the fact that Naruto is published in English in America somehow make Naruto a US comicbook? Reasonable people would immediately say “no” since the matter requires zero thought; the exact same logic applies to Megatokyo being published in Japan. Period, end of discussion.

    I swear, this whole “anime/cartoons” / “manga/comics” thing has got to be the highest point of contention levied towards us, and there’s no good reason for it. A lot of people on the Internet get awfully mad when they hear my super-hardline stance regarding my criteria for “anime” and “manga” such that the terminology will have any continued use in the English language, and they’re awfully eager to try and prove me wrong.

    Indeed, of all the subjects we’ve talked about in the history of this podcast, I think that one has been revisited more than any other thing, but every single time it’s the same old story. Time and time again, the definition I go with–that terms such as “anime” and “manga” as used in English should denote point of origin and nothing more–is simple, straightforward, and easy to apply, with no “but what about THIS?” examples able to trip it up. From a pragmatic perspective, it’s simply a better and more useful definition than the crap concepts being fed to you by the “OEL” and “How to Draw Manga” publishers of the world.

    The sad truth has just got to be that there exists a vocal contingent of would-be aspiring artists (you see, they’re not quite merely aspiring artists yet) that simply don’t want to accept the idea we put forth that there is nothing about “manga” that is intrinsically superior to “comicbooks.” The people espousing the “ANYONE can draw manga if you do this, this, and this” message are telling them exactly what they want to hear. So it is that they desperately want to be considered a “mangaka” rather than a “comicbook creator.”

    These people can all go get their pet rings removed. Don’t mind that elevator.

  5. I think one possible definition is the intended audience, and the context in which your work is created. Most of what we consider anime and manga is after all not only made (or principally created, even if tasks are subcontracted out) by Japanese, and are intended to speak to a Japanese audience.

    This doesn’t mean you should be beheaded as the filthy foreigner you are if you dare create something influenced by a manga or anime, only that manga and anime were there to influence you precisely because they were different, and created by different people. Not aliens beyond comprehension–just definitely different. If there weren’t profound cultural differences between Japanese and Americans (and remember, there are profound cultural differences even between Canadians and Americans), we would never have taken note of “anime” and “manga” as anything special, after all. You know the Venn diagrams– where two or more circles show a certain area of overlap? That’s the gaijin otaku, or the foreign artist inspired by anime and manga. But they still aren’t all the same circle.

    The Japanese editions of such American comics as HELLBOY, SIN CITY, and 300 (in which the Spartans tend to end every sentence with “zo”) are likewise read by Japanese looking for something different. It’s interesting to look at Frank Miller and Fred Gallagher and realize both artists have been seen as representing “American manga” in their time.

    –Carl

  6. Well sure, but that isn’t actually what I was talking about. I’m not trying to suggest that “manga” and “comicbooks” are not different from one another. I’m saying that despite those differences, one is not necessarily better than the other as a given matter of course. My experience has shown that a lot of the self-proclaimed “American manga” authors–which Gallagher and Miller, last I checked, make no claim of being and are thus exempt from this–are summarily dismissive of all non-Japanese comics, and conclude that for their comic to be of worth, it has to somehow be considered Japanese as well. Perhaps they listened to The Vapors too much.

    By all means, people can pull their inspiration from wherever their heart desires, but it’s one thing to say you’re “inspired by” something and another matter entirely to state that you ARE that something. One part of why the Akira manga resonated so well over here was precisely because of the European/Western comicbook influence on Otomo’s style. But Akira isn’t an American comicbook even though the last issue of the Epic Comics colorized release of Akira has bonus content provided by Warren Ellis with artwork by guys like Moebius and John Romita. So is it too that Frank Miller’s Ronin isn’t manga even though he certainly took inspiration from such.

    Just because we say something is “not manga” doesn’t mean we’re saying it’s “not good.” Frank Miller’s work since the dawn of the new century is terrible for totally different reasons that have nothing to do with the fact that his stuff isn’t manga. The only real area where I’d argue that manga is objectively superior to American comics is on the publishing side of things. Formats, pricing, stuff like that. But that’s never what people are referring to when they get wrapped up in the “but what does manga truly MEAN?” discussion, now is it?

    And as I was checking through that Issue 38, I saw Satoshi Kon credited as doing “additional artwork” for the Akira manga. You forget about these things at 1:30 AM.

    Also. The next episode of AWO, as it currently stands, is four hours long. I’m not sure if I should break it up or just go with it.

  7. Four hour episode of Anime World Order? That’s amazing! Please do release it in its unaltered form.

  8. Daryl, to quote a great HK dub, “I agree that.” As I said, they “have been seen” as representing “American manga,” not necessarily that they themselves claimed any such thing. I also agree that creator-for-creator, title-for-title, there is nothing inherently superior or inferior about manga. It’s true that manga has a much wider demographic range, but U.S. comics are pretty good at doing seinen, and certainly AFTERNOON or BIG COMIC SPIRITS would count themselves lucky to have many of the talents you can find working in the U.S. industry today. Manga is indisputably a greater *industry* than American comics, which is the reason I truly admire it. And that’s what I try to talk about when I talk manga. But I also admire the attempts that have been made over the years in America to get comics before a wider audience, and they have had some success–as you say, much of it is an issue of format, price, and packaging.

    –Carl

  9. Please, for the love of god, keep the next episode at 4 hours! I think it would be really entertaining to hear you guys talk for 4 hours straight.

    And Daryl, I agree with all the points you made in your manga vs comics rant. I definately agree with your “super-hardline stance” towards the subject.

    PS- I’ll be waiting for that Angel Cop review.

  10. I finally got around to listening to the episode. It was really interesting. Thank you for the information about Yuri manga. The few volumes I own are in French but I’m glad to know why I can hardly find any.

    Speaking of French things, as a French Canadian from Québec, I’d be curious to know what we did to Daryl? In any case, I was amused by Québec rant.

  11. Think it’d be great to hear the conversation in it’s entirety, but huge files are a pain. It’d be super awesome if you broke it into 80-minute chunks such that listeners can choose whether to play them chunk-at-a-time or all-at-once. Just a thought.

    -clay

  12. Yes! Four hour episode please! That would be so awesome, AWO for half a workday.

    Also, Clarissa: More yuri talk please, would love to hear some more reviews in that field.