Anime World Order Show # 60 – Osamu Tezuka, the Beret-Wearing Cyborg God-King

Sure we talk about him a lot, but for our sixtieth episode we’ve decided to devote the entire show to talking about the God of Manga himself, Osamu Tezuka. Daryl’s reviewing the Astro Boy TV series (take your pick), Clarissa’s reviewing the Black Jack OAVs and movie, and Gerald’s reviewing the manga Apollo’s Song.

Show notes will be put up…later! Otaku USA doesn’t write itself, you know!

Introduction (0:00 – 43:27)
Does Stan even remember his role in the Ozone Commandos? Wait, nobody can remember it, since it wasn’t released [yet]! In the emails, we’re asked our opinion on Fushigi Yuugi (which is still really expensive!). Short answer: Yu Watase is a hack. Can we recommend good romance anime? Short answer: no. What’s our thoughts on fanfiction? Short answer: just look at all the slash-related Livejournal communities Clarissa’s a member of. Wait, that’s not a very short list after all! It took us nearly 45 minutes to say this!

Promo: Greatest Movie EVER! (43:27 – 44:05)
It’s the Big Month of Dick over at the Greatest Movie EVER! podcast, where they’re talking about film adaptations of Philip K. Dick exclusively! Featuring a bunch of guest reviewers, including Jeff “Rich Lather” Tatarek, who made this promo instead of making his own podcast. As late as we are in getting shows up, his Robot Carnival review still isn’t there! In any case, we remain satisfied that people start off by listening to AWO, hear promos for Dave and Joel, Greatest Movie EVER!, Lather’s Blather, etc. then determine that they’re more entertaining to listen to than us (and shorter, too!) and stop listening to us. If we were concerned about listenership, we wouldn’t be pulling stunts like…

Review: Astro Boy (44:05 – 1:39:07)
Daryl doesn’t care that absolutely nobody in America cares about Astro Boy. He’s going to talk about the Birth of Astro Boy storyline as portrayed in the original manga, the 1960s TV series, the 1980s TV series, and the 2003 TV series, no matter how many people don’t give a crap. The cool people are interested and not at all bored to tears. Both of them.

We’ll post the Black Jack and Apollo’s Song bits later. And you didn’t really think we had nothing more to say about this Geneon situation, did you?

81 thoughts on “Anime World Order Show # 60 – Osamu Tezuka, the Beret-Wearing Cyborg God-King

  1. Tim Eldred said…
    If anyone’s interested, I have a passing connection with the American edition of the ’03 Astroboy. One of my friends from Sony Animation named David Hartman was put in charge of editing of that series. I don’t think he was part of the writing or recording process, but he was definitely the guy whose task it was to cut the shows down to match the usual length of American cartoons. For anyone who doesn’t know what I mean, US ‘toons are almost all broken into three acts to accomodate two commercial breaks. When I started in the biz in ’96 a typical half-hour show was 22 minutes long. These days I think it’s just barely scraping by 18. Anime, by contrast, is broken in two acts with one commercial break. To my knowledge, the only US network that ever uses that format is Nickelodeon. Anyway…

    Like I care to know how much ad time they want nowadays. I wish there was a way to stop it! 16 minutes isn’t that long away. 🙂

    My sympathies were with Dave the whole time. It must have been a very painful job. I know I wouldn’t have the stomach for it.

    The DVD box cover alone doesn’t help out. That pissed-off Astro didn’t make me anymore eager to buy it. 🙂

    I think the only way to obtain the uncut ’03 Astroboy is to hold your nose and buy the Hong Kong bootlegs. That’s how I solved the problem.

    it solves everyone’s problem! I even have the banned episode involving some Peter Pan-type bit in it I found online.

    Carl Horn said…
    Ochanomizu is called O’Shea in the 2003 dub? As in Ice Cube’s real name? As in “He got in the Benz and said/’Dre, I was speakin’ to your bitch O’Shea”?

    I think his full name in the dub is “Rick O’Shea”, an obvious pun to the word “ricochet”, though this time around it’s not about his nose.

  2. Wow, this episode has been out for only 5 days, and already there’s over 50 comments. Insane!

    Anyway, I just have a random comment I thought I’d share. Today, at my high school anime club, I showed the Fist Of The North Star TV series. And, much to my surprise, nobody hated it! In fact, everyone there was quite entertained by Kenshiro’s wacky antics! See? There is hope for modern anime fandom after all!

  3. My appreciation of the Tezuka is more of the kitsch 60s Maguma Taishi/Wonder 3/Captain Ken/ stuff, the stuff where they make a tin toy car driven by Kimba. The longform adult stuff, either I’m too lowbrow or it’s too highbrow for me. The Tezuka exhibit that just closed in San Francisco (we picked the wrong year to visit that town, believe me) has a great accompanying book that tells how Tezuka loaned original Jungle Emperor art out to a guy who then went and died from alcohol poisoning and everything in the guy’s place was packed up and shipped off somewhere, including the artwork.

    They talk of him being the Jack Kirby of Japan, but I think of him more of a Will Eisner, always pushing the form, trying new things, encouraging the young.

  4. vz: That depends on whether Bandai Visual or APPP really owns the rights. I heard there were some legal problems in Japan…

  5. kolibri: If you’re into josei, you might want to consider reading Eternal Sabbath. It’s not that good, but some people have like it…

  6. I’ll never figure out how Daryl can equate me with the rise and fall of Apollos Smile. Reminds me of that line in Red Dawn about killing a pig seeing a fox steal chickens… or something like that. I guess there are things in this world he just can’t figure out no matter how you explain them.

  7. I guess there are things in this world he just can’t figure out no matter how you explain them.

    This is indeed true, since when your name is brought up, I am rendered incapable of all rational thought due to the fact that all I can think of is this picture of you wearing a fedora without a suit along with a Bluetooth headset.

    That picture is infuriating. At least you weren’t also smoking a pipe.

    Is [Black Lion] better than Kabuto? ‘Cus I’m getting a similar vibe from it.

    God, don’t remind me. Kabuto was one of the first anime I ever saw. I had no intention of ever seeing it and had never even heard of it, but my dad picked up the tape and say “hey, rent this.” THANKS A LOT, DAD. At least I was able to show Kabuto during Anime That Sucks, and people seemed to laugh at its utterly generic lameness. Black Lion is probably a little more entertaining than Kabuto, but they do feel like they were cut from a similar cloth.

    Now that I think about it, I always seem to be let down by Buichi Terasawa. On paper, the stuff he makes seems like it should all be incredibly awesome. But in execution, they never live up to my expectations. Take Goku: Midnight Eye. You read the short blurb for that and it seems like it’d be the best thing ever. But it’s actually pretty boring. Same thing goes for Raven Tengu Kabuto. Hell, I can’t even remember much of Space Adventure Cobra outside of the fact that it has a screaming gold robot skeleton.

  8. “We know what anime fan want.” should be Bandai Visual’s slogun for now on.

    So how many people you’d think will actually buy Wing of Honneomeise? (I can never get that title spell ed right and Im too lazy to look it up).

    I think both Daryl and I have similar tastes in anime even though two exceptions are:

    a)I like moe/cutness but more like Azumanga Daioh, Strawberry Marshmallow and esspecially Lucky Star which IMO has been the best anime of 2007. I do agree about the creepniess factor of some anime but sometime that leads to unintentional hilarity like that of Moetan and Komodo no Jikan (aka what would have been called Nymphet if that manga was released). DearS sounds like the most hilarious awful thing ever even though I can forgive Peach-Pit because Rozen Maiden was quite a good show (same manga group).

    b)I love M.D. Geist, I really do. At least the first one. I totally acknowledge its problems and in no way is it high art but I love those really over the top 80’s OVAs that were trying to be like well known American Sci-fi films of that time. The Final Striker is one of my favorite mecha designs even though its what I’d say is Reideen on steroids along with Getter’s axe. I still need to see Odin so to see if I can agree with you guys (I’ll only settle for the uncut version).

    Anyway, next time you guys do a review on bad anime, you should do if you’ve seen these:

    Eikan
    Battle Can Can

    Both of these I can’t tell if they were intentially trying to be erotic and just failed horribly or were purposly trying to disgust viewers.

    One more thing, since you like to talk about doggy style pedophile Umetsu, will you want to review his other stuff like Kite and Mezzo?

  9. …That’s a Panama hat, string-bean. The kind made from straw. Baltimore is hot, you wear a suit I’ll wear whatever I feel like.

    …I have no defense for the bluetooth other than I stole if from a dead guy.

  10. daryl: “Take Goku: Midnight Eye. You read the short blurb for that and it seems like it’d be the best thing ever. But it’s actually pretty boring.”

    The manga was entertaining, but Kawajiri had nothing to add to the anime.

    “Hell, I can’t even remember much of Space Adventure Cobra outside of the fact that it has a screaming gold robot skeleton.”

    The U.K. dub was worse, cus it had some awful interimposed music from a Brit band which only did one song here for a David Spade movie called “Senseless”

    vz: “So how many people you’d think will actually buy Wing of Honneomeise? (I can never get that title spell ed right and Im too lazy to look it up).”

    Probably the same number of people who bought the last dvd…

  11. Hell, I can’t even remember much of Space Adventure Cobra outside of the fact that it has a screaming gold robot skeleton.

    Space Adventure Cobra is an amazing show on every level. It’s starts out with a sort of ironic amazement and quickly goes to real, honest to goodness amazing entertainment. Daryl’s talking about the first couple of episodes which featured Crystal Boy who is one of the greatest villains in anime. The story goes a lot more places after that.

    As for Bandai Visual, well they’re releasing shows that have a modicum of a fanbase, but they’re now going to be releasing stuff like SOS! Tokyo Metro Explorers: The Next, I mean, who’s heard of that? I really wonder if someone will but that for $65.00?

  12. I have to say I agree with Fushigi Yuugi having major problems. I liked it before I’d seen much else, but now…yeah.

    I completely agree with Clarissa that Miaka is REALLY annoying, as is her romance with Tamahome. I think FY could’ve been really good if Watase hadn’t tried to HOMGZ DRASTICALLY CHANGE THE TONE LIKE WHOA! and kept it light-hearted and fun, like most of the first half.

    Also, her killing Nuriko basically ruined the series for me, since the only character that got sufficient screen time that I liked was him, and without him it was the “Miaka!” “Tamahome!” “Miaka!” “Tamahome!” crap, with Hotohori angsting about Miaka not loving him, and characters that I actually LIKE doing nothing (except Hotohori, who I liked but was being annoying), then dying. Screw that.

    On a semi-related note, I’d love it if you guys would review Kyo Kara Maoh, since it’s my current favorite anime…even though I get the vibe that you don’t like it from the passing comments about it you’ve made. I’d just like to hear your views on it.

  13. gerald: “As for Bandai Visual, well they’re releasing shows that have a modicum of a fanbase, but they’re now going to be releasing stuff like SOS! Tokyo Metro Explorers: The Next, I mean, who’s heard of that? I really wonder if someone will but that for $65.00?”

    For real! It makes Hipira look cheap by comparison! But I imagine some “genius” at the company thought it would cross over to people who liked Monster House. But they failed to realize that people are gonna buy Ratatouille instead.

  14. On a semi-related note, I’d love it if you guys would review Kyo Kara Maoh, since it’s my current favorite anime…even though I get the vibe that you don’t like it from the passing comments about it you’ve made. I’d just like to hear your views on it.

    I think it would have to be Clarissa doing the review to get any kind of positive comment out of it. Daryl is not fond of the show IIRC, and I know that Gerald loathes it.

    I dig it quite a bit, though, and am watching through from the beginning, now that I’m caught up on the DVDs that will never be finished…

    Also, re: Tokyo Metro Explorers, it’s actually a pretty cool piece with a good concept, but it’s not worth $65.

    Oh, and new Urashiman release this week. According to one of my housemates, the net here is finally uncapped.

  15. I actually care less about the Tezuka part (not to belittle him or anything cause it’s still interesting info you guys talked about). I just want to hear them discuss the Geneon situation.

    Hey kinda a wee little nitpick but I noticed how in AWO they pronounce stuff with a “Ja” sound when it’s clearly a “Ga” sound. Namely this words.

    Geneon
    Evangelion (despite the dub saying it with a “Ja” sound, they’re wrong).

    When I was in College (SVA graduate of 2005), the teachers always praised Tezuka and Miyazaki but never talked about the contributions of Go Nagai, Shintaro Ishamori (sp?) and how Gekiga (sp?) was what moved manga to be a more mature medium.

  16. exedore: Somehow, Gerald loathing Kyo Kara Maoh doesn’t surprise me in the least, and, as I said, I could care less if the review is positive or negative, since it won’t change my mind, I just want it to be reviewed.

    And I’m horribly sad about the DVDs likely never finishing, so don’t remind me about that.

  17. On the whole issue of romance, I think the scarcity of compelling romance anime is largely a result of two things. First, manga doesn’t have that many really good love stories. I’m a shoujo fanatic, but I find that the strongest shoujo manga are as much coming of age stories as they are love stories (if, indeed, they are love stories). The most satisfying romantic shoujo stories are often the more problematic ones. Acknowledging the actual difficulties couples face or the fact that the main characters of a story started out damaged and have ended only slightly less damaged makes for much more satifying relationship stories. The really good stuff has as much to do with the balancing act of figuring out what’s really important and how the happiest ending has some cracks in it.

    The second thing is that a series that focuses a lot more on human relationships is more likely to get turned into a drama than an anime. Anime is for kids and geeks. Drama stars dreamy guys who appeal to young women eager to cast off childish things. Certainly, the older a series skews, the more likely it is to get adapted as a live action series.

    On a mildly related note, I get irritated at the tags josei and seinen, even though I end up using them. The distinctions are pretty artificial and limiting. For example, Eternal Sabbath was described as a josei series. Now the artist, Fuyumi Souryo, is a shoujo legend who has graduated to adult oriented magazines. The trouble is this series was published in Morning magazine. I tend to have trouble categorizing Morning since it features a wide variety of series from Vagabond to some a series starring stray cats. I guess Japan is enough of a male-oriented society that if something isn’t explicitly indicated as “for the ladies”, then it’s aimed at men. Therefore, Eternal Sabbath isn’t josei, it’s seinen. On the other hand, while Eternal Sabbath is a lot more plot-driven than Souryo’s previous works (and weaker because of this to me), the series still focuses very strongly on relationships and emotions. The focus on character development and the artist’s past publishing affiliations make a fairly convincing case for calling it josei.

    Labels. Stupid yet necessary.

    Anyway, I think the real problem with Yuu Watase is that while she’s not good enough to be good (her much observed tendency to shaft her best characters, for example), she’s not bad enough to be a hilarious trainwreck. She’s a competent artist, so you don’t get the Mayu Shinjo/Arina Tanimura clumsy art laughs. Her main characters tend to be bland, so you don’t get the supposedly everyday girls who act as though they’re developmentally disabled or the heroes who are supposed to be intense but come across as impatient psychotics. It’s kind of the blandest of bother worlds.

  18. just bought Apollo’s song, and am looking forward to the rest of the show so I can see how good my choice was (as sadly I don’t have the time to read it, or write this message for that matter)

  19. “As for realistic romance series, how come there’s no love for Mars?”

    that was the first series that I owned!! My friends and I disagree about it. I enjoyed it, but my best friend thinks that it got repetitive. Of course, she didn’t actually finish it and just read a summary after volume 5. I then continued the series with another friend of mine. The next year, she became a whore. Coincidence? I wonder what happened to her. . .

    Go me for reminiscing about something that happened 3 years ago!

  20. “just bought Apollo’s song, and am looking forward to the rest of the show so I can see how good my choice was”

    Apollo’s Song comes off Twilight Zonish, which is good, if you liked f’ed up endings, but bad, if you hate preachy commentaries. I liked it more than Kirihito, though, because the latter title just seemed like an excuse for Tezuka to push the envelope more than do anything stylistically challenging.

  21. Did Tezuka really die of Stomach cancer? I wonder if was the fact that he just did SO MUCH that he couldn’t keep up with himself.

  22. BTW, it looks like Dark Horse is finally re-releasing one of their older Shirow titles, as Appleseed 1 is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 7. (At least on their site…)

  23. Great episode, all. It’s because of you that I actually gained an interest in Osamu Tezuka and his works. And I can’t wait for the Black Jack segment!

    On another note, I’d like to request a review of Great Teacher Onizuka – anime, manga, whatever. It’s one of my favorite comedies, and it’s sad to see how little love it gets from the new generation.

  24. Bad fanfiction is pretty damn funny! Also will the ever be a review for 1001 Nights it sounds amazing.

    I’ve seen worse then gay Fat Albert porn, like horrid Sonic The Hedgehog Yaoi lemons, Don’t get me started on that.

    I saw 1 doller kimba the white lion DVD’s at wal-mart. I’m guessing there bootlegs, or has the show slipped into public domain?

  25. I saw 1 doller kimba the white lion DVD’s at wal-mart. I’m guessing there bootlegs, or has the show slipped into public domain?

    I still don’t know myself. Quite possibly those DVD’s are also of the Canadian dub of the 90’s as well, but I’m not sure of that. One such DVD cover from a company called “EastWest DVD” already redesigns Kimba to resemble more a koala than a lion! 🙂

    And you gotta love their “Captain Harlock & Friends” DVD’s too!
    http://cgi.ebay.com/CAPTAIN-HARLOCK-FRIENDS-DVD-HARD-TO-FIND-BRAND-NEW_W0QQitemZ190163094678QQihZ009QQcategoryZ617QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    http://cgi.ebay.com/CAPTAIN-HARLOCK-VENGEANCE-OF-THE-SPACE-PIRATES-DVD-NEW_W0QQitemZ190162460580QQihZ009QQcategoryZ617QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Really, people have better things to do than to waste their Georges on this crap!

  26. Listening to the APOLLO’S SONG review, and the chatting about animal sex, put me in mind of the fact Tezuka had certain, well, furry sympathies. Now at first that might seem shocking, but if you stop to think about, it provides an always-welcome PLANET OF THE APES ending for fans seeking to dig into the secrets of our world’s past, where otaku evolved from men.

  27. Astro Boy, while having been distributed by NBC, did not meant that it aired on NBC itself. It was handled through their film division.
    [SNIP]

    I would be remiss if I didn’t compliment Chris on doing a much more succint (and much much less inaccurate) job of accomplishing what I tried (and pretty much failed) to do here.

    here are two English dubs for the 1980’s Astro Boy series. One of course is what is released on DVD here and in Australia

    Forgive me if I already posted this, but when Manga Video first released this series on VHS, I emailed them asking if it was the Canadian or Aussie dub, and they told me it was the Canadian one. Why am I not surprised they were wrong (especially since an article I’d read said the Canadian one didn’t truncate the first two episodes while the Australian one did)?

    Quite possibly those [$1 Wal-Mart Kimba] DVD’s are also of the Canadian dub of the 90’s as well, but I’m not sure of that.

    Well, they’re definitely not the 1960’s dub released by Right Stuf (and, at one, time Rhino).

    Speaking of 60’s dubs, I was going to call Shenanigan on Fred Ladd’s (I think it was his) claim that the childrens’ chorus on the Astro Boy theme was his idea, but then I realized the first 29 Japanese eps have an instrumental version (same tune, same footage, just no singing), and the first episode to use the vocals was broadcast July 23, 1963. The series debuted in America on September 7, barely a month later, so the English language version of the theme would most assuredly have been recorded and shown to Tezuka by that point, so the story holds up.

    E. Bernhard Warg

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