Anime World Order Show # 67 – The Synthesizer Has Not Been Stolen Yet

Daryl gets back on the horse [heroin…?] with his review of Paprika, Clarissa’s tackling School Rumble, and Gerald double-dips on Detonator Orgun.

This episode of the Anime World Order podcast is brought to you by Sweet and Sour Inc. Of course, perhaps we should have informed them that this was the case before we went and depleted one of their accounts at the Redondo Beach Savings and Loan:

IS LARRY SWEENEY LOOKIN’ GOOD TONIGHT OR WHAT?

Introduction (0:00 – 19:22)
We decide to try recording ourselves separately then synchronizing the tracks like all real podcasts do, but the last time we tried this was in episode 4 or something and it didn’t turn out well. Do vote in that poll on the sidebar and let us know if there’s any discernable audio quality difference. With so many folks listening to the show from school or work, people might be able to pick up on that weird underwater robotic distortion that the old Audacity Noise Removal filter induces. Daryl uses the beta version of Audacity which supposedly has better noise removal capabilities. Let us know. And while you’re at it, since there’s so many other podcasts out there–anime or otherwise–let us know about your show already! If you want any of us on as guests on your podcast, we’ll be glad to do it! As long as we don’t have to edit anything.

As far as emails go, “Kira” from Koibito Anime, an anime blog written by a husband/wife duo, wants recommendations from us regarding what anime is good for couples to watch since they’re currently spending most of their posts watching filth like Clannad and ef – A Tale of Memories. Eff A Tale of Memories, indeed! For the record, guys: the most recent season of 24 was the worst season of 24 EVER. Maybe now that there’s no 24 this year they’ll take the extra year to actually write out the full story in advance like they did for the first half of Season 1 instead of just taking spin upon spin at the Xanatos Roulette table. On the subject of those, the rest of Prison Break had better get made STAT. It turns out we can’t really offer much help regarding their question, even though Gerald and Clarissa also watch anime together every week for about 7 hours. Such is otakudom.

Let’s News! (19:22 – 44:12)
We finally talk about the now-three-weeks-old news bit regarding how the website Crunchyroll got $4 million for streaming fansubs (also, DVD rips! We neglected to mention that part! Seriously, read this and then try and argue these people are on the up-and-up), which judging from their response here didn’t exactly sit well with FUNimation, Bandai Entertainment, or anyone not retarded. That last bit of course rules out the masters of “quantity over quality” themselves, Gonzo since they decided they’d partner up with Crunchyroll and Youtube to stream their newest inevitable disappointments. Perhaps this move will someday lead to an actual worthwhile studio taking similar measures with websites that are NOT infested with Trojan viruses and the like, so it’s almost a guarantee that studio WON’T be Bandai Visual, who in this press release noted that they’ve got to delay the release of a few of their titles since–surprise!–nobody’s buying any of their stuff. As the US executive branch often says, “nobody could have possibly foreseen this turn of events.” Well, except for everyone who DID that subsequently got ignored. Speaking of stuff getting ignored, two more volumes of the Barefoot Gen manga were released in English (which nobody here will buy) AND we’re getting even more Fist of the North Star anime (which nobody here will license)! Everyone will probably be going nuts over Slayers Revolution and Haruhi Suzumiya Season 2 instead. Plus, there’s a Blade of the Immortal anime coming soon, but unfortunately it’s being made by Bee Train, which if we’re not mistaken has never made a single good anime ever.

Promo: Viga the Otagal (44:12 – 45:02)
Victoria Gadson may not have been watching anime for THAT long, but she’s got enough savvy to know how to come up with a nickname derived from taking the first syllables of words and smashing them together. Not to be confused with Vigo, the villain from Ghostbusters 2, Viga releases three episodes a week through the power of working that sweet Creative Commons magic. Be sure to check her out! Then remind her that “intershiz” is the most infuriating word this side of “blogosphere” or worse yet “podcastosphere”!

Review: Paprika (45:02 – 1:26:15)
Daryl decides it’s time to MAN UP~! by reviewing Satoshi Kon’s latest movie, available on DVD as well as Blu-Ray from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Only he probably forgot to talk about the movie with any degree of substance within the span of these 45 minutes. OR DID HE? Paul Chapman aka “White Daryl” (or as certain cosplay MEAN-kos say, “Light Daryl” implying that Daryl is “Dark Daryl” the way that there’s “Dark Gerald” in comparison to Gerald!) will not be pleased since we didn’t talk about the very end of the movie. Or the beginning or the middle.

Promo: Destroy All Podcasts DX (1:26:15 – 1:27:31)
The best part of this promo is when Jeremy (aka “White Tony”) starts talking all INTENSE AND SERIOUS-like. Their latest episode is about Black Belt Jones, and all kung fu related episodes of DAPDX (or DAPST) inevitably result in people asking “do they even LIKE kung fu movies?” The answer apparently is yes. Maybe.

Review: School Rumble (1:27:31 – 1:44:15)
Clarissa reviews the first season of yet another anime that’s been highly requested, even though there is zero fighting in the show despite the name. It’s actually a romantic comedy, only the main characters are blithering idiots. On purpose, for a change! Do check out Otaku USA magazine to see Clarissa’s print review of School Rumble as well. If you’re going to notice any audio quality difference brought on by the different versions of the Audacity Noise Removal filter, from this point on would be the place.

Promo: Eeeper’s Choice (1:44:15 – 1:45:33)
Good idea: our favorite Irish anime fan has a new promo out! Bad idea: he assumes that people know how to spell “Eeeper” just by hearing it. How do we know it’s not “Ypres Choice,” man?! This is like that time he mailed us those DVD-Rs of Osamu Tezuka’s experimental films as well as Phoenix 2772 (dub and sub!), but then he wrote on the back of the paper sleeves with ballpoint pen, thus destroying the backs of the discs. Must be all the alcohol mixed with the DEEDLY DEE, POTATOES!

Review: Detonator Orgun (1:45:33 – 2:01:19)
Gerald wraps things up by talking about this short OAV by Masami Obari that he also covered in a recent episode of Destroy All Podcasts DX. The DVD of this one is kind of hard to find, plus there’s an annoying audio problem that could’ve been caught had someone just…WATCHED the disc first, but oh well. If you like Tekkaman Blade, you’ll want to hear about this one.

Closing (2:01:19 – 2:04:09)
The next episode was originally just going to be an all-moe episode out of nowhere, but Clarissa jumped the gun with Potemayo already! So next time the rest of us are putting our moe cards on the line: Daryl’s going to cover The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Gerald’s breaking down and reviewing Lucky Star. Lucky Star? LUCKY STAR?! Potemayo? Shuffle? …NAJICA?! Gerald and Clarissa are clearly venturing into Koibito Anime territory at this rate! Clarissa incidentally is opting to pace herself now that she’s prematurely jumped the gun so to speak, and since all the advice manuals on this subject state to “think about baseball,” next episode she’ll be reviewing the baseball anime Ookiku Furikabutte aka Swing Big.

116 thoughts on “Anime World Order Show # 67 – The Synthesizer Has Not Been Stolen Yet

  1. ADV said that they had Keroro Gunso over, god it must over a year now, and they still haven’t done anything. And Gunso was, like, mega popular in Japan (and yes I know very damned well that Johnny and Janey Amerika won’t necessarily eat up everything Japanese now that the all important kids programming block is gone or replaced with homegrown material) and that can at least translate into the mystical chemical compound known as “buzz”.

    So if they have, what could be in the right hands, something akin to crack cocaine in a televisual format and are NOT doing anything with it, you have to wonder: do they know something we don’t?

    For months they lied through their teeth about GL. And yet their rabbit-out-of-the-hat title still sits gathering dust despite the fact that it has already been released in a number of non-English speaking territories with moderate success.

    How much do you think that Gunso will go on to be the equivalent of Saint Seiya or Hokuto no Ken?

  2. Steve: I don’t think Bandai are planning to drop the dub on GL – rather they know that every week the DVDs aren’t on the shelves people are downloading instead of buying. Since ADV massively dropped the distro ball, Bandai want SOMETHING on the shelves to plug the leak. Either way I won’t be buying GL as it bored me senseless, but congrats to the fans who can get 9 eps/$30 MSRP. I’m just stoked that Code Geass is getting a sane release pattern (double disc sets every 2.5 months).

    As far as Gundam 00 goes, it’s making money where it counts – Japan – and will be returning to broadcast when Code Geass R2 ends in six months. This way they can sell through the first round of 00 toys before coming out with an entirely new set for the second half. Personally, I kinda dig this arrangement as it means the staff get some time to breathe and there’s less chance of filler/recaps. Shounen Jump could learn a lot from this…

  3. steve: A lot of companies spend money on licenses they don’t own. FUNimation probably lost money on that OP dub which still led to 4Kids temporarily owning the show. That’s just the nature of the business.

    Though you’re probably right on FMP and GALS! in the sense that ADV probably didn’t buy all of GL in this case.

    The sub of Innocence clearly sold well enough for Bandai Ent. to redub it. GL is not artsy like Millennium Actress or Memories or perverted like High School Girls; there is actually a potential wider fanbase beyond the sub-only crowd. And if MB can dub Gaogaigar, then I don’t see why Bandai can’t do the same for GL.

    Also, as I’ve said before, Seed has clearly done well enough for Bandai to continue licensing 00. The older arcs may not be huge in sales, but Gundam is still not dead in the U.S. in spite of them.

    eeper: St. Seiya and Hokuto No Ken have crappy animation, so Keroro won’t suffer from that issue. The real problem for ADV is how to insure that it goes the way of Family Guy and even Futurama, and not the way of Duckman and The Tick.

  4. Given the time in which everything happened, if ADV wasn’t already producing Gurren Lagann DVDs, they were about it. Despite David Williams’ effort to bull doze direct questions at cons, it’s fair to assume that ADV is not particularly healthy at the moment. Their upcoming schedule suggests that they are going to into an early 2006 or CPM stance of focusing on re-releases. Given that, the loss of the Gurren Lagann title, along with what they must have spent preparing and promoting the aborted release must be quite a blow.

    What I’ve wondered about is whether the loss of the license is tied to the fact that they started streaming episodes on the Anime Network’s website.

  5. eeeper: The problem with Sgt. Frog is well known to the smart people like you. Without the ‘global support structure’ it has in Japan (toys, manga, CDs, models, candy, fish sausage, etc and new episodes every week, constant CONSTANT advertising) Sgt. Frog is ‘just another’ comedy anime. If you add to that what might be a contractual obligation to remove all mention of Gunpla (which, keep in mind is the REASON the show exists) you’ve got a 200+ episode money pit.

    Why do I think there might be a contractual clause to sanitize Sgt. Frog from Gunpla? Because when ADV announced they had ‘worldwide merchandising rights outside of Japan’ you have to wonder what’s up with that. Bandai give up that sweet Euro and South America money? No way man. no way.

    Having this problem would be a pretty good reason to not move forward with the show, even if the main reason, not being able to talk Cartoon Network into broadcasting, is discounted.

    In terms of failure, I wouldn’t mark this as similar to St. Seiya, that was just f**ked over from the start, but yes, the Hokuto no Ken bungle by Manga Ent is a match. And of course Case Closed.

    Exedore: Well, if Bandai Ent. was REALLY concerned about the downloading folk (and really, isn’t GL an ‘old’ show now and thus meaningless to that crowd?) they would have made an arrangement with ADV to use their dub studio and actors, whip out that delayed v.1 and probably v.2, then chugged thru the rest as fast as possible. It could have been done, it might have had interesting ramifications, but Bandai wants all the pie.

    I still say the idea is don’t do the dub until the TV deal pays for it, and if CN doesn’t bite, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the dub.

    And consider this: If Cartoon Network decides they’ll take ONE ‘robot’ show from Bandai, which will Bandai want to push more? GL or Gundam 00?

    Scott: I am convinced that the Sojitz Crisis was triggered by ADV’s talks with Geneon. and, maybe, by the constant failure to place Sgt. Frog on TV.

    Want a little conspiracy theory? Here goes. I think ADV has become uncomfortable with dealing with Sojitz. I think the talks about taking over distro for Geneon (in that ‘we do everything we just don’t own it’ way) was as a fallback position in case Sojitz did exactly what they did, hold up that slate of licenses hostage for some reason. with the Geneon catalog in their back pocket they would ensure product flowing to retail no matter what. The deal killer was likely Geneon demanding that ADV take on the HUGE burden of the CD catalog. ADV’s already pretty much bailed on CDs, AGAIN and I’m sure they didn’t want to get stuck with that as a contractual obligation. Geneon really thought the CD biz was due to become major…

    So, ADV wants to rid themselves of the Geneon CD catalog, Geneon says “UP YOURS” and pulls the plug, Sojitz says “hey, bitch! you been steppin’ out on me?” and they call whatever power/loan they have and *zap* suddenly 30-some licenses vanish overnight. After ADV already did drastic cuts to please them.

    So, like I said, no PROOF, but I think it hangs together logically, using observed events as a guide.

    but on reflection, the streaming of GL may have been a part of it. It could be Sojitz EXPECTED an actual broadcast on what used to be TAN’s ‘linear’ channel and this streaming BS wasn’t in the deal. ‘New Media’ still confuses people. No linear channel = breach of contract. maybe.

    Frankly, I think dumping the linear Anime Network channel was a huge mistake, as much at TAN is a mistake anyway. Now that it’s VoD only, there’s no reason for any web to carry them, not when there’s so many other options out there fighting for bandwidth.

    And remember, according to Al Kahn, “Japan is Over”

    Dan: ………..

    never mind.

  6. steve: Manga probably did more for Hokuto No Ken than any other company besides Raijin. They sold the series at a then-unprecedented 7+ episodes a dvd for $25, and they emphasized the action aspect of the series, rather than the Road Warrior-homage aspect Viz went for with their edition of the manga-not to mention the “It’s got a new coat of paint” angle touted by ADV.

    I also wouldn’t exactly compare Sgt. Frog to Case Closed, because comedy shows do make money here. Case Closed was botched for the same reason as Hikaru No Go, which is that FUNimation and Viz intentionally tried to emphasize the analytical style of both series, rather than emphasize the whacky characters.

    As for the ADV and Geneon deal, I imagine it was the *other* way around, with Geneon hoping to dump their library on the company with the deepest pockets, and thus at least temporarily inflating their stock to please the investors.

    Geneon was out of the CD business for a while, so I don’t think that was a factor in the deal ending. It was probably more a case of Geneon demanding ADV pay the same high licensing fees for shows which failed for them as they previously paid to get those shows, rather than take a loss; ADV sure as hell wasn’t going to pay whatever godforsaken fee it cost to get Rizelmine, just so they could get the rights to the Hellsing OVAs, and the rest is history.

  7. Just my two cents here –

    But Bandai hasn’t exactely been burning up the airwaves either. I mean for the last few years they’ve been really playing safe. Going with shows that they must think are going to be hits, and then going from there. I mean they’ve realeased a relative handful of series, compared to ADV and Funi.

    Although I do think that I’m going to be ticked if they don’t do a dub for GL. But I think steve has a point there about the whole getting it onto CN thing. In the end, I have a feeling they’re going to take Sony’s tack and try to get as much money out of the deal before they release it into the flagging DVD market. Bandai Ent strikes me as a company who plays it safe.

    As opposed to ADV, which if it isn’t on the ropes then it’s going to be. I mean their tack has been to release EVERYTHING and then whatever sticks great. Which if the economy was great, and anime was still hot and the market was growing would be great. But since none of those things are true (or at least not in any way that that can be proven), it isn’t a good strategy.

    Honestly the only company that is looking good right now is Funi. Considering that Haruhi was evidently a failure (or at least according to that dated interview with Eric Sherman), and that I don’t think Lucky Star is likely to fair much better (out of sight, out of mind). I don’t hold out much hope for BEI either. But they’re likely to stick around longer than ADV.

    And don’t get me started about Gundam 00. I mean that wasn’t even hot on the blogs. I can’t imagine it’s going to burn its way off of the shelves.

    But that said, I’m taking bets on the last man standing. And is anyone else reminded of TSR shutting down in the late 80s? Or am I just being overly optimistic?

  8. cameron: Haruhi probably did better under Bandai than every awful dating sim adaptation did under Geneon. No, it wasn’t huge, but being able to make enough money to justify releasing similar female-oriented titles from Kadokawa is an accomplishment in itself, considering tha the only things American fangirls tend to go for is stuff from Shonen Jump and Final Fantasy.

    I also think your comment about ADV applies more to FUNimation, since they seem to think anything from Gonzo is gold. And for every Claymore, they seem to dump us with 3-4 shows like Shuffle and/or Aquarion.

    Finally, the internets has no impact on Gundam 00’s U.S. appeal. It will likely do as well as Wing and Seed before it.

  9. @dan – I actually agree that Funi is going for the grab everything and throw it out there and see what sticks. But the difference is that they have their back catalogue to fall back on. And while their division isn’t doing as well as expected, it is posting a profit (if not the expected profit) (I wish I could find that link, but I know I read somewhere that their division had fallen short of expectations, but not because of Funi.)

    Eh, but how well did Gundam SEED do? I mean really?

    See and that’s what I don’t get. I mean everyone says Haruhi tanked (everyone being ANN). But why license Lucky Star? I think you make a good point there.

  10. cameron: ADV’s got its own back catalogue, and gets royalties off the Ex Machina dub. Gundam Seed did well enough to sell every variation of it, at least. And Haruhi didn’t tank; it just wasn’t the next Love Hina/Please Whatever/Azumanga Daioh fans were hyping it up to be. But the fact that the manga and novels have been picked up clearly indicates it’s been profitable. Lucky Star got picked up, because, like Haruhi, it’s a show which appeals to chicks, and doesn’t just have chicks posing on the cover.

  11. Though I had not been able to comment at all on this episode, I just want to say Crunchy Roll (for which I shamelessly signed up for) sounds more like some nutty product sold by Cadbury!

  12. I was reading an article on the Mormon community (http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/national-news/portfolio/2008/05/12/Profile-of-Polygamist-Sects-Lawyer) and this little bit remind me of AWO.

    —–
    He recalls, “After I got appointed, I talked to a girl who was on a moving crew. They do it at night, 2 or 3 in the morning, to make sure nobody is looking. They could move a house in less than an hour. They’d go in, and they’d Saran Wrap the dressers; they wouldn’t unpack anything. Couple hundred people, trucks—boom.”
    —–

  13. This is an ancient post from an ancient episode, but this didn’t get brought up anywhere here or in the show and it’s too hilarious to not point out:

    Karasuma is voiced by the guy who played Saejima Kouga in GARO.

    This is the best thing.

  14. This is OT [I’ll move it to the Paprika comments then where it’s more directly relevant –Daryl], but I finally asked Christopher Nolan about Paprika, and he said he hadn’t seen it, but that he was interested in it, and moreso when I noted that Satoshi Kon name-dropped The Dark Knight amongst that selection of Dream Machine staff favorite films. On the cool side of things, Guillermo Del Toro did add that Kon was a “great director” during the Q+A he was moderating.

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