Anime World Order Show # 78a – Look, Mr Takazawa! An AAAAA-NGEL!

Once again, we’re splitting this one in two due to the ever-increasing running time. In this first half, Gerald reviews Roujin Z and Daryl finally breaks his silence on Mamoru Oshii to talk about Angel’s Egg.

Introduction (0:00 – 34:15)
As we feebly attempt to make dents in our inbox, Daryl opts to answer an email from a year ago. Technically, he’d answered it a year ago, but this time we’re reading it on the show: how do you keep track of which Lupin III is which? We recommend the Lupin the Third Encyclopedia. What’s our take on this whole FUNimation thing? Are they the lord…of the martial world? Where do you find those old Streamline Pictures dubs at this point? And what are our thoughts on Slayers? Our response effectively means we no longer need to review Slayers, since we covered it all right here.

Promo: Robotronic Dynamite! (34:15 – 35:19)
Despite being around for over 70 episodes, it took Daryl’s guest appearance on Robotronic Dynamite! to convince them to actually put a link to the podcast’s feed up on the site, not just the iTunes-only version. Well, it’s not there NOW, but it will be. Maybe.

Review: Roujin Z (35:19 – 59:08)
Gerald does the responsible thing by making his review be as long as how we initially envisioned our reviews to be. This is hands-down the best anime about a mechanical bed wrecking Japan ever made. A bold statement considering the tough competition it’s got, yes.

Promo: Anime 3000 (59:08 – 1:00:19)
You hear that promo? How could you NOT go on this podcast after hearing that promo? Daryl sure couldn’t not do it, which is why Daryl’s guest appearance on Anime3000 was SOOOOO GOOOD [because he didn’t need to edit anything]. The AWO’s standing offer to be on your podcast as long as we don’t have to edit anything STANDS, and that’s true for all three of us. This is yet another podcast that did not have a link to their podcast feed until Daryl zoomed in and changed their lives FOR THE BETTER.

Review: Angel’s Egg (1:00:19 – 1:44:21)
What better way to kick off a review of this than with one of those things done solely for the entertainment of various former guests of this very podcast? If you don’t get it, worry not for there’s corn pone a plenty. Daryl knuckles up and reviews this film, which he has taken to classifying as “the real sentais.” Be warned that softer, weaker folk than the AWO, ones who never tempered their wills in the fires of Odin: Photon Space Sailer Starlight to the point of immunity simply won’t have the power, patience, or will to sit through this movie. Nobody quite knows what it all means, so perhaps what you get out of it is an indication of that which consumes your being. On second thought, everybody who disagrees with us is wrong. We are the bastions of original thought, even when we’re reading other people’s writings and claiming them as our own ideas. WHICH WE’D NEVER DREAM OF DOING.

63 thoughts on “Anime World Order Show # 78a – Look, Mr Takazawa! An AAAAA-NGEL!

  1. The obvious subtext behind the fishermen was totally lost on me when I watched Angel’s Egg way back then. Thanks, AWO!

  2. Cal-Animage Alpha*, at the time probably the largest single club chapter in the English-speaking world (they were known to get 200 people or more at their weekly meetings), actually did show “The Angel’s Egg” in 1994. I wrote the show notes for the newsletter:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20041016012531/
    http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~animage/v8i9AE.html

    The odd thing looking back at what I wrote was realizing Evangelion didn’t come up in the discussion, because it wasn’t out yet ^_^ Yeah, maybe about half the room left, but the other half stayed.

    Daryl mentioned his ideal club double-bill would be “The Angel’s Egg” and “Honneamise,” with directions to the fucking door clearly marked for those who need it. This, oddly enough, was exactly the bill C/FO Santa Monica had one month in late 1987, billed as “an evening of Ars Gratia Artis animation.”

    It was before the first fan translations of Honneamise, and there was still some debate afterwards–even though there was no real evidence for it–as to whether it was supposed to take place in an alternate-history of Earth (GURPS’ Infinite Worlds sourcebook actually advises people to see Honneamise for suggestions on creating the look of an AH campaign, while acknowledging it isn’t really alternate history).

    Now, the thing about the C/FO Santa Monica that really recommended itself was that they were the kind of club that, the month before, had shown “M.D. Geist.” There was a fellow who was kneeling maybe a foot in front of the screen during the sequence where Vaiya tries to seduce Mr. Most Dangerous. Everyone else was at least ten feet away, not only to get a better view of the anime, but because the dude kept saying breathily “Oh, wow…Oh, wow…Oh, wow…” I mean, he couldn’t just whip it out and start beating it in front of the entire club, but he was clearly at the point where only some mechanical fail-safe was keeping him from doing so–he could have no longer explained why in the abstract.

    –C.

    *On the U.C. Berkeley campus, so the opportunity to “terminate hippies with extreme prejudice,” as Daryl would put it, was nearby in the street stalls on Telegraph Avenue. This is the same chapter which Radman in FANBOY GENERATION X^2 plotted to join in order to “steal their women,” since several of their officers were, in fact, cute girls. In retrospect, it was kind of a live-action GENSHIKEN.

  3. Speakin’ of Watchmen, the Afro Samurai creator cites it as one of his favorites, along with LW+C. I used to think that, outside of Hollywood movie adaptations, American comics were as niche in Japan as manga was in 80s America. But seeing the X-Men make unofficial “cameos” in Watsuki’s manga, and hearing the manga-ka for Murder Princess cite Captain America as his favorite character changed that perception. [Oh, and that Mushishi director wore a Spider-Man t-shirt at AX ’06 or ’07, I think.]

    I thought the Japanese just had the same view as proto-American otaku, which is that Marvel and DC tended to wimp out on the mature content, while Frank Miller was just basically going for an R-rated version of the Punisher with his work, [Ok, that opinion was solely mine.]; and there wasn’t much in-between for regular readers. The last part is still true here, but it seems that Japan also likes our superheroes, regardless of the amount of depth and realism on display.

    Though it’s still kind of weird for a guy like Captain America- who would be considered Japan’s enemy during the war-to be embraced by anyone over there-especially when you realize that he probably would have had no problem dropping the A-bomb, if they were allowed to deal with that kind of stuff in war-time comics. But I guess it’s just decoration for them, which is why you get Brocken, Jr. in Kinnikuman.

  4. Just finished watching Angel’s Egg and listening to your review again. I stopped your review at the point where you talked about the egg, for obvious reasons. It was an excellent looking film, and a bit of a mind-fuck for me. The music for the film was perfect, it fit the visuals.

    I’ll say here that I was under the impression that there was something in the egg, and that it was gone when the girl awakened. My take after watching it the first time, is that the girl thought that whatever was in the egg, was going to help the world in some way. It was some bit of hope. Could’ve also been her innocence, which allowed her to remain somewhat unaware of how horrible the world around her actually was. I’ll stop here.

  5. Calling Katsuhiro Otomo a “one trick pony” when it comes to anime seems a little harsh to me. I liked “Order to Stop Construction” from Neo-Tokyo and “Cannon Fodder” from Memories a lot. He also wrote the screenplay for Rintaro’s Metropolis, so I think he deserves some credit there. He even directed the wonderful opening and closing sequences from Robot Carnival (although I think that was actually co-directed with someone else).

    Akira is his only major directorial work in anime, but don’t dismiss his other work. I like pretty much all of his anime work except Steamboy, which was at least pretty to look at.

  6. I don’t think American comics really have that much of a high profile in Japan because of that example. In fact, I don’t think Japan really cares about our superheroes at all, even in movie form. (Note that Spider-Man is exempt from this…but only because people CLEARLY remember the grand Japanese tokusatsu Spider-Man TV series which is currently being streamed on Marvel’s website!) Rather, I think Japanese comic artists are simply a lot more aware of American comicbooks than the general manga-reading public. Nobuhiro Watsuki, creator of Rurouni Kenshin and Busou Renkin, absolutely idolizes Jim Lee. And while he’s not really associated with American comics, Moebius was hugely influential on Katsuhiro Otomo. I think a big part of the reason why the Akira manga caught on in America to the extent that it did (as in, prior to the Dark Horse manga release) was because Otomo’s paneling and artwork draws so much from American and European comics.

    Anyone who thinks Otomo is a one-trick pony hasn’t read Legend of Mother Sarah.

    Yeah, and anyone who responds with examples from Otomo’s manga works as a refutation of the notion that Otomo’s work IN ANIME is largely all cut from the same cloth didn’t bother to listen hard enough to what we said! Seriously people, I like Otomo’s stuff, but every single time we get a scene where everything explodes, or the military/government can’t stop the one super-powerful humanoid (resulting in everything exploding), or there’s some sort of city-spanning motor vehicle chase (possibly in an attempt to stop said superpowered individual and thus resulting in everything exploding), everyone in the audience that’s already seen Akira is instantly reminded of it and starts drawing comparisons. And usually when that happens, Akira wins. Much like how Yoshinobu Nishizaki is eternally trying to recapture the lightning in a bottle that was Yamato, Otomo’s anime productions always feel like they’re trying to revisit Akira on some level. As such, one shouldn’t just write off the fact that Steamboy was so underwhelming as “oh, that was just one movie and maybe he was off on his game.” Not when that one movie took over a decade to be made.

    That is not to say that calling Katsuhiro Otomo a one-trick pony means that I don’t like him. Hell, the guys I talk up the most tend to all be one-trick ponies: Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Takao Saito, and Tetsuo Hara to name a few.

    I would love if 78b was posted more or less straight after as the gap between parts i feel hurts the flow of the show.

    That was originally the plan, but a few events happened to throw all that into disarray such that any podcast-related stuff went on the back burner for a while. We’ll probably make mention of that next episode.

  7. Otomo’s admittedly got a certain “familiar” style of directing, but I still feel he tackles different subjects better than other directors. (*cough* Oshii *cough*) As for Steamboy, he was arguing that it was more of research in computer-aided cel-shading animation
    than a story-oriented production.
    But I still haven’t seen that overpriced SOS! Tokyo Metro Explorers, the LA Mushishi[I’ve already gotten bored with the manga at this point…] and Freedom; so you might be right. I’m just glad I can get the latter title in a collection like I should have been able to do when it was first released.

    Speaking of Akira, I really want the BD, but not enough to chip in for a player. Those suckers need to be under $100 like regular DVD players, before I’ll buy one of ’em.

  8. “As for Steamboy, he was arguing that it was more of research in computer-aided cel-shading animation
    than a story-oriented production.”

    That’s like saying Nascar is more of research into boredom-inducement than a sport-oriented event. It’s just a crappy sport. No excuses, please.

  9. Where did the information about Oshii’s religious background mentioned during the Angel’s Egg review come from? I had never heard that he was actually a Christian for a while and was planning to become a (Catholic?) priest. If that’s true, it puts Angel’s Egg in a somewhat different light.

    This may be incorrect, but my understanding was that Oshii was fairly agnostic all along and that his interest in the Bible had more of a cultural/historical/literary nature.

  10. I watched Angel’s Egg last night, and I actually really liked it. I can certainly understand why it would be a hard sell for most people, and there were a few places where the movie tried my patience a little bit, but I think that it’s really an essential movie if you’re a Mamoru Oshii fan. I was struck by how much imagery there is in Angel’s Egg that Oshii ended up reusing in some form or other in the first Ghost in the Shell movie.

    The audience that will appreciate this movie may be fairly small, but I would still recommend it to people because I think that it’s a pretty important piece of the Mamoru Oshii “puzzle.”

  11. BTW, I’m over 50 (sure, I’m skewing your demographic), and I’ve been on computers since 1984. So, watch what you say!

  12. Somehow I never did get around to see Roujin-Z at all, bothered noticing a raw copy is floating out there in BitTorrentLand so I bothered getting that for now!

    Thanks for the classification of the different jacket color Lupins out there. It is quite easy as long as you know which one is which. I remember seeing the “Babylon Gold” movie and thought it was pretty silly on it’s own, let alone I had to buy it on LD from AnimEigo when they were clearing out their inventory of Laserdiscs.

    Regarding Lupin the second manga series Lupin III World’s Most wanted is better than the first series. I think it is v.1 that has a scene where Lupin is talking to Fujiko, then you see him jump her while still talking, rip her clothes off and proceed to hump her.I need to look for those books, as I’ve bought the first series (missing one volume of it though). I thought what I read was still pretty amusing in it’s own right, and it was the earliest stage of Lupin’s creation long before he appeared on the small screen.

    Being reminded I bothered picking up a copy of that “In The Aftermath” tape, and noticed the movie itself is only 72 minutes long (not 90 minutes as Daryl stated, but I think it was stated on the box cover anyway), nearly the same length as Angel’s Egg itself! From what I understand, they used about 30 minutes of footage from AE to make that schlock crapsterpiece.

    In this version, the guy and girl are a brother and sister, their names are Jonathan and Angel, and they’re both ANGELS! Somehow the plot involves Angel (though narrating as an adult recounting her experience as a kid) being informed by her brother how she needs to take her egg to those that are in need of it or whatever.

    Apparently the place they live in I guess is a representation of the galaxy or something, reason for the stupid lines about “spaking me with asteroids” and all that.

    At the same time, we have the live-action deal where two guys in suits are roaming some warehouse district and ending up getting killed by some guy looking or clean air, one of them though is saved by a lone female doctor and locked in a hospital room where clean air was piped in from some basement filtration system. He gets visions of Angel in his mind and ends up ruining a X-ray chart with a Sharpie just to draw her face on the screen. In the end, he gets the egg finally and they live happily ever after (if the movie could make better sense of it).

    The “Tazeria” was what they ended up changing the Noah’s Ark bit into in the film, with the guy telling the girl this story of a man who lost his fish to some hunter who stole a map he had or some shit. If anything, I think it was meant to explain what came up next with the fishermen trying to hunt down fish with spears in a later sequence they showed.

    One of those goofy moments in the film I can’t help but recite here was the following, involving those two guys from the opening (one of the guys, Goose, apparently is what I think made the film Australian/British to some who mistook it as being foreign)….

    OTHER GUY: You scared the piss out of me!
    GOOSE: I see HQ on the other side.
    OTHER GUY: Goose, get your ass down here.
    GOOSE: I know I didn’t scare the piss out of you.
    OTHER GUY: Yeah, what make you so sure?
    GOOSE: Because I haven’t pissed for days, have you?
    OTHER GUY: Nope, I got nothing left to do with the ‘ol boy’.
    GOOSE: Yeah, well it’s good thing Daisy’s not here!
    OTHER GUY: Shut up, Goose!

    I don’t think In The Aftermath was ever on DVD though, I would’ve known about it by now if I did via Anchor Bay/Starz. As for it’s whereabouts, you can always pick up an old VHS copy on eBay. I found a copy pre-viewed at a store near my house some years back.

    There’s also this silly piece of departure in the form of a piano that just happens to be outside the room the guy’s in that he gets out with a mask on and plays some tune while the doctor gets all emo and visions of the good life with the Angel’s Egg girl thrown in for good measure!

    Perhaps Angel’s Egg could’ve been saved if they had that ditty running after the big reveal in the end of the flick, while you leave the theater in disgust! I’m only amused there are those that liked “In The Aftermath” despite it’s reworking of previous footage and the sensible ending.

    Good review on Angel’s Egg. This sounded like it was probably Daryl’s toughest review yet, especially when he said the film is open to multiple interpretations and even Oshii stated he wasn’t quite sure what the film meant.

    Good job.

    VincentSounds like the kind of film I would make as an early start to ruining my career forever! What does it mean, you tell me?!? 🙂

    Milo said…
    There aren’t new fansubs of Golgo 13 coming out at a steady pace… there was ONE episode released a few days ago, and the group that released it said not to expect any more releases because they didn’t have an interested translator.
    I think it’s pathetic the way some shows take nearly a year for a new episode to finally show up.

    As of this writing, [Live-Evil] has starting working on Future Boy Conan, nice to see someone else picking up the slack despite there being a previous fansub already (but I guess after losing Galaxy Express 999 to CrunchyRoll, they had to look elsewhere).

    click? said…
    Thanks for explaining what the hell In the Aftermath came from. Oddly enough I never thought to check the IMDB page that explained it.
    I remember going to that IMDB page and finding that editor’s comment so amusing he had to plug his biz, can’t he do that on a resume!

    Too bad there’s no simple way to get that. Wish it were on DVD or something for a pretty picture. Say no more, eh.Because some may read this right now, here you go, don’t say I didn’t help!
    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=8YE2RSA8

    Anonymous said…
    BTW, I’m over 50 (sure, I’m skewing your demographic), and I’ve been on computers since 1984. So, watch what you say!
    Glad to see some pros here too!

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