Bonus – 2007 In Review…Because 2008-2009 Took Too Long

What should have been the final installment of the AWO 2000-2009 Decade in Review is now the penultimate since the recording went too long. No matter! That makes this a “mere” 45 minutes long!

If that’s just not enough podcast for you given our extended hiatus due to Anime Boston and Otaku USA deadlines, here’s what we’ve been up to in the interim:

60 thoughts on “Bonus – 2007 In Review…Because 2008-2009 Took Too Long

  1. Just finished, just wanted to comment that for those who watch the Claymore anime that you can literally pick up and continue the story at volume 11 of the manga instead of watching those last 4 or so episodes as it’s a clean break from were the anime breaks from the manga. Not sure Berserk is the best comparison but I would say it does have similar elements, I think Daryle you mentioned that Claymore was more in the Shonen-Jump tradition and format which I would say is a pretty fare assesment.

    Either way I have to say its one of my recent favorites and it’s a show that got me back into anime after 2-3 years of not watching anything (aside from maybe Gundam SEED when that aired on TV).

    Speaking of Gundam I’m surprised by the things I hear of Gundam 00. I honestly did not start getting into this show until the end of the first season (which for the most part I thought was pretty boring). After receiving the first part of season 2 on DVD in the mail on Friday I have to say I think it gets better as it goes along. If it falls apart later in season two I don’t know but considering what people were saying about the second season of Code Geass I’m not putting a lot of faith in that assessment until I see it for myself.

    Also just to give my two cents on Macross Frontier I have to say as someone who’s a huge fan of the original (TV series & DYRL), Macross Plus, and currently enjoying Macross 7 I personally did not like Frontier. It has some solid action and I love the design work for the new Valks and so forth (just got the Bandai Chogokin Macross Quarter in the mail not to long ago) but everything else did nothing for me. Biggest complaint has to be the characters as I personally thought Frontier had one the most uninteresting cast of characters I have ever (both in personality and design) seen in an anime. Tried to like it but overall it just did not do it for me.

    • I’m not sure why people don’t like the comparison of Berserk to Claymore. They’re both dark fantasies set in European-influenced worlds with horror elements… both Clare and Guts swing massively oversized swords around (though Guts’ sword is definitely a bit more exaggerated.) It’s not as though there’s an abundance of material that fits those criteria.

      That being said, I’m glad Daryl liked Claymore, because I felt that it is a great show. In particular, the second arc (episodes 5-8) is utterly fantastic in its pacing and characterization. Anyone who likes Berserk / fantasy based settings should definitely watch/read Claymore.

      • Both shows have there their similarities and I by no means would argue otherwise, but in terms of feel and overall vibe I get from each show I guess I don’t make as strong a connection between them. In terms of comparing them the point I would argue is Claymore has more of a Shonen-Jump vibe then Berserk is all.

        Either way both shows are awesome in my book.

  2. 2007 was the year of GR: Giant Robo. That was a show I was really excited about, especially because the website that launched to promote it was both in English and Japanese. But it was so terrible that literally no one talks about it.

    My experience with Afro Samurai is comparable to my experience with Snakes on a Plane a year before: my anticipation did not match up with the end product, and I was left disappointed. The difference is that Afro Samurai is still a beautiful technical achievement as far as its animation is concerned.

    Regarding the Skull Man manga which was licensed: it was drawn by Kazuhiko Shimamoto… and it’s not very good. The mangaka is actually terrific, and well-known in Japan for his original manga which are all about being hot-blooded in a humorous way. American fans only know him (if at all) for the Anime Tenchou character he designed and for the Blazing Transfer Student OVA (an adaptation of the beginning of a very long and awesome manga, and my favorite thing Gainax has done). But the Skull Man manga is just not compelling in any way.

    Also, Daryl: New Getter Robo is based on the manga, which owes far more to Ken Ishikawa’s sensibilities than Go Nagai’s. They are similar, but different. Ken Ishikawa isn’t a fetishist, and he doesn’t really do ecchi, for example. But he was the one who drew all the (badass) Getter Robo manga. [You do know I mentioned that it’s based on the original manga in my review of it, right? RIGHT? –Daryl]

  3. “5 cm Per Second” – Wish I didn’t sit it out when CR had it for free.

    “Appleseed 2” – Its doc wasn’t the only thing obnoxious about it.

    “Gurren Lagann” – Gonna probably see the legal Youtube eps eventually. And yeah, I’ll be honest. If the mecha looks like it can make the Bay Transformers its bitch, then I’m more likely to watch it.

    “The reason you hated it is the reason you hated New Getter Robo: it adheres to the old-style shonen properties.” – I hated New Getter Robo but liked Mazinkaiser, Shin Getter Robo, and Enma. All have decent female characters, but that’s not why the NGR revival sucks. It’s supposed to be about the mecha, and it ends up being about the pilots’ fight moves, which makes it a tad redundant. Plus, it has the most plodding story I’ve endured since Shuten Doji. Though the Jeeg remake at least could be dumb fun, if it ever gets an R1 release.

    “[Eva Rebuild] Made for a specific group of people.” – Yeah, people stupid enough to buy into the dating sims, the shitty manga side-stories, and Death and Rebirth. Though, ironically, the fans who over-hyped the hell out of the original series in the States have been more quiet about these installments. This probably means that they’re finally starting to admit what the rest of us were saying all along, which is that Eva was just some otaku existential wank-fest meant to fool people into thinking it was “deep” and help Anno pay off his therapy bills.

    “closest parallel [to Eva Rebuild] I can think of is the Utena movie…Naturally they released the [Utena] movie in America before they were done releasing the tv show.” – Except the Utena movie was actually good, and worked as a stand-alone. In CPM’s defense, they had the rights to the show, but Japan kept dicking them out of the home video releases for the later episodes.

    “Afro Samurai, one of the most hated shows on the Internet” – It’s probably a bigger double standard when you’ve seen how much Internet anime fans have sucked off garbage like Gantz and Elfen Lied all this time. Though I will admit the manga’s better.

    “Bandai’s Lucky Star was the last limited edition” – Bandai and Aniplex are doin’ it w/ the Gurren Lagann movies, though.

    “[Highlander: Search For Vengeance is a] Horrible movie” – If Highlander’s good enough for Ask John, it’s good enough for me. I dunno, though. I was absolutely bored by that X TV show Kawajiri directed, and everyone thinks it’s the best evar.

    “Sword of the Stranger” – It works in small spurts, but the kid and the dog drag it down.

    “Bo^7” – I can deal with the anime, but the manga is really getting old at this point.

    “Claymore is very similar to Berserk, but with a female lead” – Well, that’s what Berserk’s become at this point, so I don’t see why anyone would be pissed about it. Though I still think Berserk’s stronger now at 30+ volumes than Claymore has been after 15+ volumes.

    “Skull Man” – Hoping to fit that in one of these days.

    Also, you missed Devil May Cry and the fact that Cartoon Network stopped airing cartoons.

    dx: Snakes was fun, but could’ve had a better final stand-off.

    • Have to agree on the EVA movies – I had seen the series first and so I liked the first movie, even thought it was somewhat better telling of the same story. But for those who haven’t seen the series first, can’t say I’d recommend to watch the movie, it would be confusing (and boring I guess) as hell.
      About the 2nd movie .. it is drifting away from the series storyline but I still liked it a lot, I think it is a little different but still what the fans know and expect from the series. And for the next movies I just hope that Hideaki Anno knows where he wants to go with it (this time) ..

    • I partially agree with what was said about Eva. I think it’s only natural that fans of the original show will get the most out the movies, in that they will notice certain details like the aforementioned DAT player changing tracks. However, I don’t believe for a second that such elements will preclude a newcomer from enjoying the films. If anything, the movies could serve as the perfect introduction to Eva. In comparison to the TV series, the pacing is much improved, the characters are less one-note and the story isn’t nearly so deliberately impenetrable.

      I’m a huge Eva fan though, so make of that what you will. The acid test will come next month when I take some friends to see the screenings of 1.0 and 2.0 in London. They’ve never watched any Eva before so it’ll be interesting to find out what they think.

      As a side note, there’s a (slightly questionable) source used by the Rebuild of Evangelion Wikipedia entry which states that the films really are meant to be a new Eva for a new generation:

      http://www.evaotaku.com/html/neweva.html

      Funnily enough, the source also references the fans of the pachinko games that Gerald spoke of.

    • I think you’re mistaken about the Eva movies–apparently they were fairly popular amongst the general populous. In fact, when Eva 2.0 dropped, it was the best performing movie at the box-office in Japan, while Transformers 2 was at the top of the list for every other country that wasn’t Japan.

      Also, while the first movie is fairly boring recap, the second movie is completely different. If anything, only 5% of that second movie is recycled from the TV show. The rest is brand new. It does follow a lot of the same general ques cues story wise (by that I mean they fight some of the same Angels), but a lot of aspects of the story are different, and the end takes things in a completely new direction. It’s a far better movie than the first one.

      But not like any of you care…! [Not especially! But that’s also pretty close to what we said. I’d need Matt Alt to clarify what went down as far as Japanese box office matters is concerned and why. –Daryl]

  4. Perhaps I shouldn’t open my mouth, as I have yet to track down the giant robot shows you mentioned on this episode, but I’d wager that Gurren Lagann does something different from those to earn it’s place. In other words, I’m agreeing with Clarissa based on no evidence. [A bag of tea for you, then! Party on! –Daryl] Nevertheless, I feel that the show has numerous interlocking properties that made it succesful successful and appealing, although untill until I see those other shows my case cannot be stated.

    On the Evangelion movie: I agree that it was made for frans fans of the original show, for the reasons you mention in your show. However, for me personally, they’re very annoying. Rather then focusing on what I personally enjoyed about the show, the characters, the movies focus on some mindless action set pieces, which were not as lengthy in the TV version.

    I found this especially problematic in the second movie, where some of the main characters get ‘moe-ified’. Yuck. It manages to be all fanservice (in every sense), with none of the qualities that made the original show appealing to (some) people.

    I almost forgot : Kaiji was so riveting it nearly destroyed our house. Long story.

  5. In my experience, many of the western Votoms fans (other than /m/ people) are the old guard of the toy collecting community. Many of the CollectionDX and ToyboxDX veterans cut their teeth gathering the plentiful caches of Votoms toys that made their way over to our markets early on. One of the old guys in particular told me that Pailsen Files was one of those things that totally didn’t fit in with the TV series, story wise.

    In and around Pailsen files there was an interesting phenomenon with the merchandise. Suddenly there was 4 or 5 companies all making merchandise from all aspects of the franchise. Sadly, this quickly lead to what some of us call “Peak Scopedog” where every toyline had a Scopedog and very little else. And now there’s really no current merchandise.

    • Pailsen Files has its good points and bad points; baddest point is that it trips over continuity in a pretty big way. There are things in it that completely contradict what happens “next” in the TV series. The sorts of things that should never have gotten past the series creator. But they did.

      Second baddest point was they completely threw out the old sound effects library, which REALLY makes it seem like an imposter.

      Goodest point? It’s more Votoms. That’s always a positive with me.

      The new Votoms OAV series ‘Mirage Chapter’ just started and so far it’s an improvement. 5 more volumes to go, though…

  6. My daughter wears the Lucky Star T-Shirts. I guess I’m one of the few people that bought the show that actually had someone to give the shirts to where the shirts wouldn’t look creepy

    • How could you forget Hidamari Sketch? You NEED to see this show Clarissa and Gerald.

      Also despite being king Lucky Star fan, I only bought the regular DVD releases. The extras on the discs were the same as the SE, and even I didn’t care for the shirts that those came with. There’s an Anime Legends release out now which seems to be selling good (judging solely by how it sold out at Rightstuf).
      I think the only time I went with BOA/Kadokawa’s SE editions of their DVD’s was for their Silent Moebius movies (note to Gerald, review those) which came with the OST which couldn’t be found on the internet as easily like the Lucky Star or Haruhi OST.

      I like extras yes, but it has to be things that the fans can’t get easily. Putting director commentaries (from ACTUAL Japanese directors, not dub people) and booklets with juicy info about the series is a start.

      I wonder if Clarissa seen Bamboo Blade? That was from 2007 and I know you like sports anime.

      2007 was my favorite year for anime, 2009 being second.

      Daryl: There are still mecha shows that use line drawing besides Gundam. Sora o Kakeru Shojo, Dancougar Nova, Gurren Lagann and the Go Nagai revamp shows all use 2D mecha.

      • Bamboo Blade is a show where it really has NOTHING to do with the sport. Even shows like Big Windup! had episodes that focused on the sport. Bamboo Blade was a show that was moe cleverly vieled veiled within a sports show. It was cute and funny for a little while, but it eventually overstayed its welcome.

  7. Claymore is great overall, no question about it, but I’m still not happy about the forceful attempt at closure in the anime adaptation either. Doesn’t ruin the show or anything, it just makes me wish they would have gone ahead and ended with a cliffhanger, if necessary, instead of what actually happened.

    It’s true that Gundam 00 probably wasn’t as commercially successful as SEED, much less SEED Destiny, but Sunrise is still going to release a movie. That being the case, I don’t think they’re quite as disappointed as one might believe at first sight. I also seem to remember that the Saturday time slot “disappeared” (or apparently morphed into the Sunday slot the new Fullmetal Alchemist is using right now, to be fair) because apparently every other show in it had to compete with Major, of all things.

    For whatever reason, I intend to watch the whole Rebuild of Evangelion project when it’s finally done and not one minute earlier. I’m not that interested going by what I’ve heard so far, but I’m basically giving it the benefit of the doubt for the time being. They could always come up with a better ending…or maybe not.

    Afro Samurai, or at least the first one, was trashy as hell yet about as entertaining as your average Hollywood blockbusters. That sums it up for me, but I do hope that more interesting projects will hopefully come out of similar endeavors in the future.

    Baccano! is absolutely excellent. From what I can recall, what I saw of Kaiji was pretty good too. I seem to have run into some technical problems at the time, but I could probably solve them now.

    You know…I apologize for bringing the subject up again, but the use of cel shaded CG still isn’t that generalized in mecha anime. The mecha in Macross Frontier are all cel shaded CG, yes, but that’s still the exception rather than the rule even in this day and age. Most mecha shows (or, if you prefer, shows with mecha in them) aren’t like that.

    I think it’s worth directly addressing the issue here. Take a step back. Just find a screen capture or Youtube clip of almost any random mecha in Gundam 00, Geass, Gurren Lagann or even Unicorn and then compare it to any of the Valkyries in Frontier. Those series aren’t using cel shaded CG outside of the occasional ship, background or larger structure. People are still drawing most of the mecha involved and this can also be proven, for instance, by pointing out some of the occasional animation errors or inconsistencies that would never apply to actual CG models.

    Darker than Black was fun. The second season’s buzz isn’t that good though, but I haven’t checked it out myself yet.

  8. Below is Gerald’s originally-submitted review for Afro Samurai, exactly as it was submitted to me. If anyone (who is not in the AWO already) can correctly guess why this never ran, I’ll send them a FUNimation Blu-Ray anime box set because like Fangs of the Sun: Dougram, our motto is “Fight for what? Not even justice, Fight for whom? I want to get truth.”

    “AWWWWWW HEEEEELLLLSSSS NAW!” If a show decides to use that line semi-seriously then you might have to prepare yourself for what you’re in for. Take equal parts wannabe Nina Scroll, blaxploitation, Trigun, The Matrix, with just a pinch of Golgo 13 and you’ve got Spike TV’s attempt to get some original animated content that’s not Stan Lee’s Striperella or crappy and gay Ren and Stimpya. The thing is, those parts are sort of like food, sure I like peanut butter, mayonnaise and pickles, but that one morning I tried to experiment and put them altogether in a sandwich is one I won’t forget. Anyway, Afro Samurai is the story of a man, aptly named Afro (what luck is that!) and his attempts to avenge the death of his father at the hands of Justice, a sort of wannabe Brandon Heat/Monev the Gale. In fine blaxploitation style Afro’s off to fuck up a mutha fucker with the required sidekick ninja named…WAIT FOR IT: Ninja Ninja. I shit you not, and doesn’t this just sound awesome?! Oh, how much better this seems on paper. The thing is, when a show tries to hard to push the “cool” factor on you too hard it then becomes painfully obvious, sort of like watching G4TV or one of those badly edited movie promos that cut between Martin Lawrence saying “Oh HELL NO!”. I mean, how much effort does it take for a show to make cutting bullets in half with a sword seem kind of boring; it might have to do with the fact that Afro does it about 300 times an episode). It also doesn’t help that there are many, MANY flashbacks in the show (for a show that’s not one entire flashback, it gets pretty tedious), most of which featuring Afro as a kid who has a terrifying old man’s face (think Gary Coleman age 55)! The problem is that Afro Samurai firmly seems to know what it wants to accomplish and knows what elements are required to do so, it just tries too hard and in the process sort of looses focus. Every interesting fight scene is interspersed with a longer, drawn out fight scene or some rather uninteresting back story, including some fight scenes that ended with just a “What, that’s it?” feeling, and considering it’s a rather short show to being with, some episodes are practically throwaway, which happens to be a somewhat apt description of this show. Those looking for find samurai action may want indulge in something like the Rurouni Kenshin OAVs, Ninja Scroll, or the latter parts of Black Lagoon (which anyone should watch anyway if they want some fine action and bullet cutting).

    • …because he insults everyone equally and continually and it seems he hates this show largely because it’s very ‘black?’

    • Lots of repeated words in the same sentence?
      Multiple digressions?
      Because it’s more about the reviewer than the show being reviewed?
      All the non-Disney words?
      Or was it just too long?

      (No offense, G. But you can and have done better.)

      • CLEARLY you haven’t read some of Daryl’s reviews if there’s a problem with that being a rant.

        Actually I was told or it was relayed to me that rants are fine (it might have been, something like, it’s fine to be insane), tangents are acceptable, don’t summarize, make it interesting, tell us what YOU think, not what you think others want you to think, and give it your own voice.

    • Well, one thing I noticed was at no point did he actually say “I’m talking about a video called Afro Samurai.” I guess Gerald was assuming that would be covered in some way by the article title.

      Me being my evil self, I would go with “don’t piss off the advertiser” as at least ONE reason.

    • Tim’s got the right idea. This is very poorly written. Not even just scattered (very little info about Afro Samurai itself), there are typos and grammar and punctuation errors. Nobody’s perfect, but you need to do better for print. Also, a lot of comparisons are incomprehensible (how many people know who Monev and Brandon Heat are without Google’s help? Even I couldn’t recall the former).

      Most problematic, IMO, is that after years of listening to Gerald on AWO and conversing with him in person, I point to this review and say without hesitation that he is not writing in his own voice. He’s trying to be edgy and punchy, but a jocular, catchphrase-y deconstruction isn’t what he’s all about. IMO Gerald is at his most appealing when he plays the role of the perpetually unsatisfied aficionado: unceasingly grumpy and indignant that even many fan favorites, the shows that most fans find pretty good, fail to live up to his expectations and is therefore utterly intractable when presented with opposing arguments. He’s a bit more of a curmudgeon than Daryl, which makes it very funny when he cops to watching agreeably filthy rubbish like Queen’s Blade, and which makes it absolutely delightful when he finds something that he unreservedly likes and gushes over it (Crusher Joe is my favorite example).

      But yeah, mainly this review didn’t pass muster because it would’ve required Patrick to completely rewrite it, 100%. An editor can only do so much. Hope my analysis doesn’t sting, Gerald– to quote Cole Porter, “You’re the National Gallery, you’re Garbo’s salary, you’re cellophane!” (God, I love that song.)

      • While some of the comments here were factors as well, Mike just nailed it: “very little info about Afro Samurai itself.” Congrats! You win a Blu-ray box set of Samurai Champloo that will go out in the mail tomorrow!

        Sorry to put good old Gerald on the spot like this, but I’m the guy who was accused of a.) running a magazine that’s on the take (I wish) and b.) not doing my job!

      • I was pretty much writing what i was thinking, but I very well doubt anyone would want to read anything I have to say when I’m upset about something.

        And, if we want to use the all powerful world of Twitter as any sort of basis, I’m clearly the least popular since, well, who wants to listen to anyone crap on their favorite work and complain all the time, especially if it’s a situation that Daryl and I deal with constantly. One of, “This show is utter crap for this reason,” which then causes a response of “NO, that is the exact reason why this show is so good,” it’s like running in to a brick wall.

        I guess I tend to dislike a lot more things than I like, and as it is with extremes, I either really love something, or hate it with a passion. Perhaps people will understand when we can do a more substantial review of Summer Wars and I can explain myself.

        Well, at least we can put this all to rest…hopefully.

      • Gerald, I, for one, was disappointed when you weren’t given the chance to rant about Code Geass in the last podcast.

  9. hey guys another great show 🙂 I don’t know that i have ever written a comment before, but I have been a fan for some time.

    You talk of doing Macross Frontier in an episode made me think of something: WOuld you consider an all Macross episode? The original, Plus, Seven, Zero and Frontier gives you a lot of material to work from, and I’d be curious as to your thoughts (Though i know Darryl is a fan of the series).

    Also with the sad news of Carl Maceks death today, a show with Macross/Robotech talk would be a good fit.

    • I now feel annoyed that we missed out on the opportunity to interview Carl Macek at a con in West Palm Beach, but no one wanted to make the drive to do it, and there was no real guarantee that we’d be able to interview him at all since we had not applied as press.

      Thankfully the ANNCast managed to do an interview that covered about 90% of everything we’d have asked him, to the point that anything more would have been fan rubbish that would have probably just pissed him off.

    • True story: a friend of mine and I actually did drive out to that convention (Chibi-Pa, 2007). We had…reservations about doing so. See, the con had actually started in 2004-2005, literally because the people running it (I think it was an anime club…that had split up into two clubs due to…man, who cares) took offense to the fact that someone else posted on Livejournal that Florida had too many anime conventions. WELL, THEY’D SHOW HIM! They flew in Internet sensation “Man-Faye” as their key guest from across the country and had the local taiko drummers (which their website to this day refers to as “Daiko drummers”) present. Shockingly, very few people showed up and they lost tens of thousands of dollars on the con, which they attributed to a hurricane as opposed to “not having anything I care about whatsoever on the programming.” So the con didn’t happen in 2006. They then announced their return in 2007, with Carl Macek and Harmony Gold’s Tommy Yune as guests.

      I showed up at the hotel, not entirely certain if a convention would actually be there or not, and saw a few “anime con people” about. Animecons.com lists the attendance as over 800. I only saw about 20 of them. On the schedule, it said that Carl’s panel was going on right as I arrived. As I started to head over, I was IMMEDIATELY stopped by a middle-aged woman demanding I purchase a wristband. Since I hadn’t applied for press, panels, or anything and could tell this woman was–as is the case for pretty much ALL Florida conventions–in all likelihood the mother of someone in charge of the event (and therefore a person putting up the money for it, and therefore the person at the registration table handling all the money…and therefore the person who was probably $15K-$20K in the red), I did what anyone else would do in the situation:

      Deny any knowledge of what Japanese cartoons or anything of the sort were and act like I was just a regular hotel guest who was highly confused at what was going on that just wanted to use the restroom, which was actually pretty close to the truth. Understandably, she remained in full-on Gandalf “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” mode, only without quite the furor and histrionics so much as stern middleaged/old lady glare, so we just left and drove back home. So no, I never saw Carl Macek or heard him talk aside from whatever could be heard from outside the room. But it’s no big deal. I mean, I would have had to spend TWENTY BUCKS, man. But yeah, that’s the closest I ever got to the guy.

      According to Animecons.com the con is still around, but like every remaining convention in Florida they’re in a holding pattern. In 2009 they were in the exact same hotel with the exact same local anime cover band guests they had from when I went in 2007. In 2010 I see their programming consists of a room dedicated to furry-related things, another one for Dollfie, one for cosplay…and that’s it. Their guests are local music bands and a webcomic artist. Their volunteers page says the primary thing they need volunteers for is to check badges at every door, which I sort of understand seeing as the number one pastime of con attendees here is to loiter in the hallways, which requires no badge.

      Look, it’s not because I got old (though I did get old). It’s not because I fell out of touch (though I am out of touch). There was just never anything for me at these places to begin with. I’m too much of a zealot with my “there’s not much actual anime fandom at these types of anime fan conventions, is there? It’s all just related interests!” observations. If I try and do my panels at cons of this nature, nobody really shows up because the types of people who show up to events like this don’t actually care about anything I would possibly have to say or present. With the exception of Anime Festival Orlando (maybe), I pretty much have to go out of state for my “proper” anime convention experience these days, which considering the amount of FL conventions is somewhat distressing. Whatever, at least I can crawl into the Internet.

      • Geez, someone’s still putting up the money for Chibi-Pa? Has that con EVER made any money? At some point the parents must finally say, “Enough is enough”.

      • I kinda feel that way with Animazement in Raleigh NC. I think the “guests of honor” look at it as “Raleigh NC is a sweet USA city to vacation at once a year.” I would be pretty shocked to see Kenichi Sonoda, Shinji Aramaki or Hideaki Anno showed up. I want Sonoda to sign a few things for me.

        As long as I get to pester Trish Leudoux to sign some really old and obscure Animerica and Animag issues, I’m cool.

    • The ANNCast interview with Carl Macek was really good; I’m so glad they got to do it in time. And I am genuinelyt genuinely upset that he died, and I rarely am by celebrity deaths (The last was Jim Henson, that really was heartbreaking for me). I mean Robotech was my gateway not only into anime, but into a whole group of things I love. And ever since it became available I have in some way or form bought every type of Macross show i can get, and many of the products. I remain a lifelong fan of the series.

      So yeah iu I hope you guys do somethong something Robotech/Macross related. I think a whole show would be awesome to hear (moreso than con reports for shows I will NEVER be able to attend, frankly) but recognize that may be a minority opinion.

      Anyway, till next time guys.

  10. I found Moonlight Mile to be a great anime for the simple fact that it was one of the last anime created for the hell of it. The first ten minutes of the first episode are unwatchable because they drop you in the middle of some cheap sci-fi setting without telling you anything. Not to mention there is only one respectable woman (who just happens to be African American) in the entire show who doesn’t drop her panties when she sees Goro or Lostman. Even the pre-modern tsundere, Ryoko drops her panties to Goro eventually.

    Why the second season hasn’t been licensed is beyond me. [I’ll wager a guess and say, as is generally the reason why the remainder of something isn’t licensed after the first part, “nobody bought it.” –Daryl]

    • I tried really, really hard to like Moonlight Mile, and most of the time I succeeded. Whenever the guys are out in space doing spacey stuff, it’s awesome. The stuff on Earth…not so much. But I was horribly disappointed to get to the end of season 2 and find a cliffhanger waiting. With no season 3 to pay it off. Yet, scenes from a prospective season 3 are littered throughout the opening title. With no hope of that being made or getting the damn manga in English, it’s just a whole lotta foreplay with no money shot.

  11. Wow, maybe AWO does need it’s own BBS, looks like people were just ITCHING to start posting!

    On Gurren Lagann, I wonder if part of the sales problem was caused by the whole release issue?

    ADV had it, it was going to be the “next big thing” for them, they were pimping it pretty good, then, the Sojitz Crisis hit, and *bam* instant information/communication vacuum hits. Fumble fumble fumble, then Bandai Ent. pipes up, announces the ‘speed release’ of the sub sets, and says they’ll release a dub later.

    This of course triggers all manner of AmeriOtaku ™ entitlement angst. “It costs too much! It’s sub only, I’ll wait for the dub! It costs too much! I won’t buy it now I’ll wait til a studio sale at TRSi! I don’t buy singles anymore I’ll wait for the complete series box set! It costs too much, I’ll wait for the studio sale of the box set!”

    And surprise, it seemingly,(as we never are given info) under-performs.

    But for some reason I have it in my mind that ADV had sent you guys a screener of the first disc and you were set to review it, then the Sojitz thing hit. maybe you didn’t get a screener after all, because I’m sure if ADV had sent a frantic email telling you to return the disc or sign something binding stating that you had destroyed it you would have mentioned that fact, NDA be be damned.

    (and if there was a NDA, how could it be binding at this point as ADV no longer legally exists?)

    Man, how far did ADV get in production before the Sojitz Crisis? I was under the impression they were ready to ship the first disc…

      • History, context, patterns, playbooks and action lines are outdated? Sweeping generalizations, I suppose guilty as charged, as there’s ALWAYS a case of ” but THIS PERSON didn’t” and such.

        Take a look at the ANN forums in the discussion on the Aniplex release of the GL movies and get back to me on that ‘outdated thinking’ thing, mmkay?

      • Steve, you’re assuming that, if handled properly, GL would be a hit, but Haruhi’s been a disappointment for Bandai, too. Face it. Otaku-oriented shows just don’t have the same mass appeal in the U.S. that they do in Japan. In fact, I don’t even remember ADV officially confirming they had it. It’s more like they hinted they did, and then they tried to shop it around for broadcast purposes. But, like Sgt. Frog, the market for broadcast anime just wasn’t there, and ADV let Bandai handle it. [Though obviously Sgt. Frog went to a different company.]

    • I don’t think the ADV/Sojitz boondoggle hurt Gurren Lagann so much as the way Bandai decided to release it did. Like the AWO crew mentioned in the show, I think the initial sub only release hurt it more then anything as it created unnecessary confusion and might have killed the momentum it had going for it.

      However, like most anime the problem is that fundamentally at the end of the day no one is buying the stuff. I could not tell you how many people I know who are huge uber-fans of Gurren Lagann but who still wont won’t go out and buy the DVDs for it. I hear all the excuses but I just cant help feeling that despite people’s dedication to certain shows like Gurren Lagann, fans just continue to not put their money were where their mouths are in this respect.

  12. Missed you guys at Boston Anime Convention, sucks for me. You going next year?

    Here is a great show of 2007 that you didn’t mention… Red Garden. Probably my favorite of 2007.

    I have an idea, since Clarissa is the most intelligent of you three by far… I say she watches and reviews Texhnolyze, as it is the greatest anything ever. And Shadow Star Narutaru.

    [The only comments you ever leave and the only emails you ever send are to insist that we review Texhnolyze. Just like how the more VZ says “review Lyon Flare and Guy” the less Gerald wants to review either, the more you say “review Texhnolyze,” the less any of us want to. Find another tune, already. Also, Red Garden was a Gonzo show; of course we didn’t mention it! –Daryl]

    • Go easy on Gonzo, after all they did make Gantz. That is in my all time top ten. But after Strike Witches, it is getting pretty hard to defend them.

  13. Good show as always, though I’m a little surprised you didn’t even mention Mononoke. It was a really interesting and visually engaging noitaminA show, not that I would blame you for not liking or watching it since it was confusing at times and it was pretty obscure.

    I completely agree with your opinions on Baccano! and Kaiji. They are both excellent shows (waiting for second season of the later latter), but they probably will never be made considering no announcements have been made so far. At least that part is getting scanlated.

  14. Well, you’re kinda putting words in my mouth there, DZ. I think ADV thought it would be a hit, and I believe it would probably have done pretty well if it had come out in 2007 as planned.

    Hey, look at that. Guess ADV got further than I recalled!

    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-12-19/free-gurren-lagann-stream-subtitled

    So, reading the various news items, June ’07 ADV announces they got GL, end of Dec. ’07, ADV announces they’re streaming ALL of GL subbed. Then suddenly they backpedel backpedal and say just the first three episodes, then end of Jan. ’08 the Sojitz Crisis hits. April ’08 Bandai announces the rescue.

    Would it have been a big seller? Well, it’s ‘yet another Giant Robot Deconstruction show from Gainx Gainax, and that’s more accessible to the “mainstream” than yet another MOE MOE pantyshot show. If instead of pooping around with the streaming video thing and they had just gotten the discs out, ADV might have done OK with it. But, well, we’ll never really know.

  15. No mention of Bokurano?

    Not perfect, but quite original and dark for a mecha show, and a successor of sorts to NGE. Innocent kids get roped into doing bad things through psychological mindfuckery by man with creepy specs. The character focus, nasty floating rat thing, and the awesome opening theme kept me coming back for more.

    [Despite it receiving a lot of praise online, none of us watched/read Bokurano; I suspect we saw the repeated “it’s a successor to Evangelion!” statements and summarily wrote it off just as we did the many other such shows. –Daryl]

    • Denny, I agree Bokurano was great. Created by Mohiro Kitoh, who also created Shadow Star (another classic). I usually don’t like mecha shows, but Bokurano is the exception. AWO, since you neglected to mention Bokurano in your 2007 review, I suggest an entire 4 hour show dedicated entirely to it.

      One more show you skipped that is worth mentioning… Ghost Hound.

    • I would agree with this man wholeheartedly(or are you a woman?).

      Bokurano was to me, completely different to Evangelion, that every single time I hear a person praise Evangelion as if it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, they obviously haven’t seen this yet.

      Children the same age or younger than Shinji, having more emotion and willpower to Shinji, an even worse antagonist, constant reminder of the consequences, adults who are more involved in this, and so much child abuse. The only thing which could have sent me into depression is if everyone screamed and cried.

      Also, this is the only mecha show I can remember, where one of the characters eats and fights for roughly 1 to 2 days, non-stop.

  16. And so, the end of the world draws near, as ADV errrrrr Section23 announces the Golgo 13 TV series.

    What the melonfarmer f**k? And dubbed to boot? REALLY? Golgo 13?! In this current market?

    I think Duke Togo said it best.

    “…”

  17. I liked both Gurren Lagann and Gundam 00, for different reasons. Gurren Lagann has a great, crazy energy to it and Gundam 00 has several interesting concepts and characters. Both shows, however, don’t really impress me too much, though. I enjoyed Gundam 00 a lot better than Gundam Seed, though. Seed was so bland. At least some of the idiocy in 00 had flavor to it. Macross Frontier was okay, I guess. I think the real star was the music, though.

    While I agree that people would have had to watch the Evangelion TV series to appreciate everything about the Rebuild movies, I’m not sure they can’t be picked up by completely Evangelion newbies. As somebody who’s seen the series several times and love it, I’m not the right person to ask. I think the first movie is good in a way that it is very streamlined and less clunky that the beginning part of the TV series, but at the same time, seems a little too by the numbers.

  18. Daryl:

    My comparison is not so much a reference to their respective quality (and I hope to God I did not spark yet ANOTHER pointless debate), but rather to their approach i.e. dark and psychologically torturous duels for the characters, moral greys, and plenty of “sucks to be you” deaths. You may completely ignore this comparison, of course, since it’s really not that key to the show’s success. Bokurano isn’t an NGE clone – it just sort of filled that gap in the market in a way the Rebuild shows won’t.

    I wanted to recommend Mononoke to Gerald. (I do not remember it being mentioned this episode, but ignore this if I’m wrong.) It progresses with the episodic narrative style of Mushishi, has equal depth and subtlety, but also happens to be a scary horror show with the kind of eccentric art we expect from Studio 4C. It’s related to the last three episodes of Ayakashi Japanese Classic Horror and is a sumptuous feast for the senses.

    I point to Gerald because I’m hoping Mononoke might alleviate some of his cynicism… oh, and because I enjoy hearing his wry, melodious tones discussing my favorites, of course! *obligatory smiley*

  19. [You failed to spell my name correctly even once. –Daryl]

    Best decade review ever. 😉 I don’t care if it took you guys months to do and it goes on forever . It was great!

    2007 was a good year. Not my favorite, but it was a good year. 5 Centimeters Per Second was really good. So far it’s my favorite from him, nice mature, slow paced movie right there. Vexille was a good movie. Nothing to gush over, but I enjoyed it. It was better then Appleseed anyway. It’s worth a look in my opinion. Gurren Lagann I liked, but it has lots of problems. The first half was very weak; the second half was much better. Gainax has done much better then that.

    Afro Samurai is something I really did not like. I only saw like an episode or two, and it was pretty lame. I’m glad that it was made, and glad that it’s selling like crazy. And yeah I hope it keeps being made. But I didn’t like it. Lucky Star I just bought the box set too. I saw the first two episodes and it was OK. So far it’s not the best thing ever, but it’s OK. Might get better though…

    Highlander: The Search for Vengeance…oh Yoshiaki Kawajiri. I wish he could get other work nowadays. I really like his stuff, never seen that movie, should rent it or something though. Sword of the Stranger is another movie I haven’t seen yet. Looked good though. Since it has your recommendation Darly Daryl I’ll be sure to buy it now.

    I’m with Darly Daryl, I don’t hate the Excel Saga style, but I can’t watch too much of it at once. I can only do one episode at a time with those types of shows. But I do enjoy then. Same with Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo here too Darly Daryl.

    Moribito I REALLY liked. I’m not done with it yet, but this is easily one of my all time favorite fantasy series. Shame it’s not more popular. Claymore however I haven’t seen but I gotta check it out. Looks great.

    Darker Than Black…I saw like the first 6 episodes, but I don’t get what’s going on. I guess I’ll just ignore the giant mystery though like you said Darly Daryl, because that was bothering me. I did like it though, will have to buy the boxset and finish it. Moonlight Mile is something I’ve been thinking about buying. It doesn’t seem too good, but hey I’ll check it out. Shigurui I did not like at all.

    Some shows you guys didn’t talk about that I enjoyed at least include Baldr Force (it was pretty cool, lots head explosions and stuff), El Cazador (I know you guys don’t like Bee Train but I really liked this), When They Cry (great horror/thriller that kinda put moe on it’s head I think), and Romeo x Juliet. I’m sure there’s a few others I’m missing in there though.

    Anyway Great episode guys! Keep up the good work!

  20. – I still felt proud for having alerted an animator I knew to the way Anime Network used clips from his short in their “What is Anime?” promo.

    – Evangelion gives me a headache, that’s all I’ll say!

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