Anime World Order Show # 78b – It’s Totally Off-Topic, Except Not

Here’s the second half of Show 78. This was actually completed and ready to post some time ago.

Let’s News! (0:00 – 42:00)
Perhaps you’ve noticed that Best Buy has cut down their anime section rather drastically. There were some clearance sales that came and went, but there wasn’t much worth picking up anyway…because all the copies of Akira on Blu-Ray were long gone. Riyoko Ikeda, who at some point started getting that extra “i” in her name so she wouldn’t just be “Ryoko,” got great accolades from France for helping to popularize French culture amidst the Japanese. We think the award is fully deserved due to this car advertisement. If you haven’t really gotten into the whole “streaming anime” thing, perhaps you should give it another look because there’s a lot of titles coming out for which streaming just might be the only way you’ll see a translated English version officially available. There is probably not going to be an official translated English version of the Japanese porn comic with Barack Obama and John McCain. Sorry ladies, but it is not yaoi…YET. More bad news on that front: Sunshine Creation is canceled…again! Fortunately Figma is there to save the day in this time of need.

Review: Heaven Wars Shurato (42:00 – 1:26:22)
Clarissa concludes her reviews of all the “[pretty] boys in armor” anime series with this. Previously–and by that we mean about three years ago–she had reviewed Saint Seiya and Yoroiden Samurai Troopers. If you liked those, then you will probably like this! Probably.

This is a story about reincarnation and fighting godlike beings while wearing cool armor, but also about bros.
Well, until Lady Vishnu decides to show up, anyway.
Then it’s off to Tenkuukai, which to be fair is pretty gorgeous.
After that horrible things happen and Shurato is very sad, and kind of pissed off at Gai suddenly being evil. Hmm, I wonder how much of that Kamui and Fuuma nonsense in X derived from CLAMP’s love of Shurato…
This is pretty much the gang of major characters for Shurato, with a couple of exceptions. There’s something I find very pleasant and “human” about Okuda’s character designs that makes it stand out from Saint Seiya (with it’s crazily beautiful and exaggerated designs) and Samurai Troopers.
As we mentioned, these shows are largely about cool-looking armor. So here’s an idea of what they look like.
Here’s Reiga’s. Am I the only one who just doesn’t think the bird head works as well?

In addition to the show, I highly recommend any of the artbooks with Matsuri Okuda’s original illustrations. There are some really beautiful and melodramatic pieces, along with lots of silly stuff. Here’s some good samples. BTW, a lot of nice images including the ones here can be found at Arcadia’s Shulato Shrine.

Closing (1:26:22 – 1:31:22)
Next time, Gerald is a terrorist straight out of Hell because he’s reviewing Chi’s Sweet Home, and Clarissa lives a happy, peaceful, lighthearted existence within Detroit Metal City. For a moment we thought we might have those backwards, but no. Definitely not. Daryl’s reviewing Queen Millennia: The Movie.

39 thoughts on “Anime World Order Show # 78b – It’s Totally Off-Topic, Except Not

  1. Interesting discussion on Best Buy. I went to a Best Buy a few months ago, and it was one of the stores that had SHITLOADS of anime. I mean, rows and rows of it, almost half of their DVD collection was anime. And I went to Best Buy for one purpose: to spend money. I checked their DVD section maybe 3 different times, looking for Gaogaigar (and this was right when the second box set had come out), but no, nothing. Not even the first season. Then I looked for stuff I had been meaning to get, but hadn’t gotten yet (Astro Boy, Panda-Z, etc), but no, they didn’t have those, either. I ended up buying a PSP.

    That tremendously shitty experience left me lacking the desire to buy anime from brick-and-mortars ever again. Nowadays, I’ll buy online, from Deep Discount, Amazon, or used on Ebay.

  2. As one of those crazy otaku, I’m one of those that likes the really otaku centric shows that normal people wouldn’t get. At the same time, I do understand what Daryl was saying about shows that get TOO serial in their stories and it’s impossible to start at any point. I like the original Transformers show because the episodic nature made it easy to watch where as the anime ones (specifically Energon and Cybertron) were too serial in their storylines and events that would have been resolved in an episode or two in the original TF show took like ten or more episodes.

    The guy that you’re thinking of that’s seen on 2chan all the time. Yeah, I know what you’re talking about. They call him Mangeres or something. NO ONE knows what the inside joke for it is.

    And yes, that Dangaioh figure was one of the Revoltech figures. Awesome figure.

  3. I was also wondering, does Best Buy stock ADV’s Sentai Works labeled stuff? I pretty much get all my anime either online or at conventions so this notion doesn’t bother me at all but I can see how it can effect the industry.

    Clarissa-While there weren’t many pretty boys in armor shows, the armor concept became very popular for toylines at that time and you can see it with Gundam stuff that was released at the time (they had ones with armor that could be taken off). Don’t forgot those Saint Mutation TMNT figures. Unless it was something done cheaply, I haven’t see ANY evidence of Shurato figures.

    P.S. Please someone review Hidamari Sketch.

    Great show. Thank you for not taking too long for this segment to come out.

  4. VZ –

    Yeah, there was some minor stuff that took off from it. Don’t actually remember those particular Gundam toys though, I’ll have to look those up.

    I haven’t seen any Shurato toys either. Saint Seiya is still holding down the fort admirably with the Saint Cloth Myth stuff on the high end and lots of gashapons and occasional PVC figures for the lower and middle. But I haven’t seen nearly as much continuing effort for Samurai Troopers, despite the fact that fans still churn out doujins for it and have anniversary events.

    Of course, Saint Seiya has had an almost continuous presence through the various spinoff manga that have been happening. The anime took a while to restart with the Hades OAVs, but they seem to consistently put out manga done by other people like Episode G and Lost Canvas. I think they’re actually animating Lost Canvas now, and making Cloth Myth figures (I saw an announcement for Pegasus Tenma recently), so that one seems to be doing very well.

  5. There are indeed more pretty boy in armour shows that Clarissa is forgetting about, namely a trilogy of middling to poor series from Sunrise in the 90’s:

    Beast Warrior Gulkeeva (Two pretty boys and three furries) – Fun, but nothing special

    Reideen the Superior (Ten boys in two rival bands) – Very tongue in cheek and obvious doujin fodder

    Brave Command Dagwon (Lots) – They went so far in the direction of appealing to fangirls with vehicular power armour that they had to add live action “Club Dagwon” segments at the end to remind the few boys willing to watch that this was a kids’ show with toys to buy. Needless to say, Dagwon’s pretty crap.

  6. I’m actually surprised Akira did well on BD, because every theatrical screening with the Geneon print I’ve been to in L.A. has had a small turn-out. [Even the Metropolis screenings had more people, and it’s based on an older manga!] Plus, you can still get the original flick on DVD for a 1/3 of the price. But then the Geneon transfer always blew, so there’s at least an incentive to double-dip. Though I’m more willing to bet that that Kanye West video and Leo being attached to that remake [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jafd97yJFOI ] helped sales.

  7. Is anyone else having trouble trying to listen to this one? Itunes chokes on the download, the link from the home page plays for about 15 seconds then freezes in the same spot every time, and no other source seems able to improve on this.

    HALP! Need my fix!

  8. I’m also having problems. Tried on Firefox 3.0.8, Safari 3.2.1, and iTunes 8.1. The problem might be on raspberryheaven.net.

  9. The hosting appears to have recently gone a little wonky. It’s not completely gone though, so you should be able to download the show via BitTorrent. I just tried it and was able to reconnect to the tracker.

  10. BTW, could AWO please do some sort of Rifftrax-type thing for DB: E when it comes out on dvd? Oh, and be like the South Park and do it drunk for added comedy gold.

  11. Can’t wait for the Chi’s Sweet Home and DMC reviews next time. I watched all of DMC in one night because it was so good (I guess it also helped that it was 13 ep @ 13 mins). Haven’t finished Chi’s Sweet Home yet even though I’ve had it for a while but since it is, as you say, very episodic so I don’t feel too bad.

    That Golgo figure does look like something I’d wanna get, even though I don’t really collect figures. The first one I got was this huge Kenshiro on Kokuoh-Goh figure and I only got it because it came with one of the R2 DVD Box Sets. Haven’t taken it out of the box yet, partly because it looks really nice and partly because I don’t have anywhere to put it in my room ^^;;

  12. Good work, as usual.

    Shurato…sounds good enough for what it is. Watching it in small doses without any real expectations could be fun. I was a huge Saint Seiya fan -all the way since middle school or so until just a couple of years ago- but in recent times the whole shounen fighting show formula hasn’t really been working for me. The last entirely “new” thing related to that genre which I honestly enjoyed (for better or worse) was Scryed, of all things, but Shurato might have its own appeal, including just pure nostalgia value. Unless they have to walk up those endless stairs like Seiya and co. did, but apparently that’s not the case.

    The next reviews should be pretty interesting. I’m not familiar with Queen Millennia in particular but Matsumoto’s works are definitely fine by me overall. DMC is one of those things that’s incredibly funny but it’s also…very, very wrong, as opposed to just guilty or something. Chi’s Sweet Home’s had good buzz, I just never actually tried to check it out (yes, shame on me!).

    -NJ

  13. Rogue Zentradi –

    Thanks for noting those!

    I always forget to classify Reideen the Superior remake along those lines, even though I know it should be. Perhaps my brain just always shelves it with robot shows due to the Reideen name. D’oh.

    As to Dagwon, I planned to check it out at some point since after Gaogaigar I was curious about the other Brave series. I assumed it was a standard giant robot show. Interesting!

    So I guess they tried it again in the mid-90s and it didn’t go anywhere, *then* they largely dropped it. Makes sense.

  14. At least Best Buy carries anime in the US, here in Canada the selection at any retail store, Best Buy or otherwise, is next to nil.

  15. Around the same time as the pretty boys in armor, another trend was emerging. The SD robot! During that time, there was a bunch of super deformed mecha shows, mainly fueled by the popularity of SD Gundam. Wataru is the most well known of these but Mado Oh Granzort will always remain a nostalgic favorite of mine.

    Here’s one of the Gundam Cloth figures I was talking about.

    http://dennis-toys.blogspot.com/2008/06/i-want-this.html

  16. I’m all for seeing some reviews of some aggressively terrible Pretty Boys in Armor shows. Can we start with Saint Beast?

  17. This bishonen team-up discussion makes me think FOX should have just gotten the LA rights to Saiyuki, instead of DB. Then it’d be a helluva lot easier on them.

  18. I enjoyed the crap out of Dagwon. Loved the mecha design and animation. Feels more like a sentai send-up than a play at the demographics game.

    The follow-up OVA, however, is another story. Definitely a little bit of gay in there.

  19. I just had a thought…
    Would the fourth season of Digimon (Digimon Frontier) count as a ‘Warriors in Armor’ show? The kids transform instead of their digi-pet/best friends.

  20. Does Sonic Soldier Borgman count? I think it does even though it was a sci-fi take on the genre as opposed to the mystical magic of the other bishonen armor shows. Plus the toys for those ha d armor as well.

    You know what I want to see? Bishoujo in armor anime! Well, Galaxy Fraulein Yuna is pretty much that.

  21. As a proud owner of the Hokuto No Ken revolution toys, I can attest to their quality; Especially the underling fellow who can ACTUALLY EXPLODE and has a fold away spinal cord.

  22. VZ –

    You’d think that they’d have done that more, as an extension of the whole magical girl thing. But they seemed to go for the sci-fi type power armor instead a la Bubblegum Crisis.

  23. Have you heard if that Obama/McCain porn comic is done by Tuna Empire, the guy who put out that “Viva Freedom” manga that has the heroine doing Osama bin Laden and Bush and Saddam DPing a Rei looklike?

  24. Tsk,tsk Clarissa… talking about the production staff of Shurato and not emphasizing that the character designer for the show is the same as for the 1988 Galactic Heroes movie “The Stars, My Conquest”!

    Seriously, compare the more pouty, full-lipped illustrations of Shurato with the LD art for Yang Wenli on the first LOGH movie and you’ll notice it at once. When I first saw LoGH in 1990 or so (after already having seen Shurato, so in my mind, Shurato “came first”) this similarity jumped out at me immediately.

    Also I know a lot of fangirls of the period who were reaaaally into all the yaoi possibilities of the “Gay Garuda” Reiga…

  25. Rheinhard –

    Yeah, I probably could have talked about that in detail. I didn’t remember any covers/episodes in particular where the character design similarity was strong, but I definitely remember noticing it in retrospect. You’re right about that LD cover!

    Not surprising about Reiga at all. I’d love to see more of the old Shurato doujins, I’ve only seen a couple here and there. One of the CLAMP ones got scanned, I know, but last I checked I hadn’t seen any others.

  26. OK I just took a look at that Rose of Versailles car ad

    My mind is having one of its rare erotic outbursts because I can’t help but imagine H-jokes based on the illustrations of the seat mobility features at the bottom…

    “Move the seat closer to be near your true love, or tilt the seat way back for… we’ll let you work it out…” ^_~

    Oscar, je’t aime… Oui, Andre….

  27. The name of the guy that got his own Figma is Billy Herrington. He has an article on Wikipedia. The guy Gerald is talking about is probably Mageres. He is to Futaba as the cool troll face is to 4chan.

  28. Jigoku Shoujo is a good example of an episodic anime. And it’s still pretty popular in Japan as there was a 3rd season this year.

  29. Well, I haven’t watched Shurato but listening to this show reminded me that I had never gotten around to watching Saint Seiya which I intend to fix. I thought it was kind of odd that you guys kept referring to these shows as “pretty boys in armor”. It never dawned on me that they were meant to be attractive. Then again they were made before it became common place for all anime males to look like women.

  30. Damn, DB: E bombed even worse than people expected. I'm just surprised FOX tried to defend it longer than most studios would for Razzy-worthy material once the trailer got leaked. But now I hear some guy who knew Ramsey saying the budget is $150 million[!], and I can see why they're scared. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvYk7NG1u88&NR=1 , btw) Wolvie and that Watchmen settlement aren't nearly enough to cover something that over-priced, especially if you add P+A! And then they got that POS Chun-Li on their necks. So they're totally going to be re-arranging deck chairs at that company-unless they're still stupid enough to rape Bebop the same way after all this…

  31. I did the patriotic thing and watched the cam rip of DBE because I knew that giving them a single cent was
    not going to make it any better. And this is coming from someone that buys his anime on DVD’s.

    The one I fear the most yet sadistically curious on how they’ll do it is for the LA Akira.

    P.S. This is for Clarissa, since you’re reviewing DMC.

  32. Just for the record, although the main point made during the show remains valid, it’s rather unlikely that any future entries in the Geass franchise will be direct sequels. The story’s essentially done. I imagine anything else would be either a spin-off, alternate universe or remake/retelling.

  33. Interesting discussion on Best Buy. I went to a Best Buy a few months ago, and it was one of the stores that had SHITLOADS of anime. I mean, rows and rows of it, almost half of their DVD collection was anime. And I went to Best Buy for one purpose: to spend money. I checked their DVD section maybe 3 different times, looking for Gaogaigar (and this was right when the second box set had come out), but no, nothing. Not even the first season. Then I looked for stuff I had been meaning to get, but hadn’t gotten yet (Astro Boy, Panda-Z, etc), but no, they didn’t have those, either. I ended up buying a PSP.More power to you! I’ve been a PSP-user for the past 3 years!

    Guess your Best Buy was not on the list like the one I go to.

    Speaking of video games, I’m reminded of what Daryl and Mike talked about a few shows ago of having a Atari 5200. I had to admit I was a ColecoVision kid. I didn’t get Pac-Man, but settled for the slightly less retarded version of Donkey Kong. I miss those days well.

    That tremendously shitty experience left me lacking the desire to buy anime from brick-and-mortars ever again. Nowadays, I’ll buy online, from Deep Discount, Amazon, or used on Ebay.I hardly buy online otherwise except for something old on eBay (since you can never find 78’s at a real store). I still like going to stores if I have to.

    BTW, could AWO please do some sort of Rifftrax-type thing for DB: E when it comes out on dvd? Oh, and be like the South Park and do it drunk for added comedy gold.Don’t ask favors of AWO!

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