Anime World Order Show # 92 – Genericon Is This Week, Now You Know

We haven’t posted anything lately, and with our convention appearance at Genericon impending, Daryl figured we may as well let people know that…the convention appearance at Genericon actually exists!

The Genericon website is here. In other convention news, the Florida Anime Experience is coming Memorial Day weekend courtesy of Wasabi Anime/Green Mustard Productions and many of the former JACON staffers. We’ve provided them with a list of AWO-approved titles to show in their video room. More announcements on that to come.

For those who don’t have the Otaku USA website in their RSS feed, Daryl wrote a peachy-keen Macross Plus web article. Also mentioned in this podcast: Battle Angel.

It’s hard to believe that the episode of Dave and Joel’s Fast Karate for the Gentlemen about MADOX-01 was from so many years ago, but it was.

The episode of Anime3000 where we talked about Miyazaki was a supplemental or bonus to this episode that was distinctly NOT about Miyazaki, but I’ll be damned if I can find the link. It’s there…somewhere. Maybe.

PS: we would never dream of putting anything weird after the end credits. We wouldn’t do that to you guys. Especially not twice in a row.

48 thoughts on “Anime World Order Show # 92 – Genericon Is This Week, Now You Know

  1. HA! I’ve figured it out! They’re both covers of songs sung by [INFORMATION REDACTED BY THE MINISTRY OF THE TRUTH…even though this one makes it really obvious –Daryl]. Why these are posted on the end of this podcast now is a total mystery.

  2. It seemed like you were leaning away from the “you need to be older” angle you were on in response to that first e-mail, and I’m here to push you completely away from it. For you see at that tender young age of 19 (read: 3 months ago) [19 is pretty old for what I’m talking about. That’s college age. I’m thinking more like 12. –Daryl] I watched, and liked, SDF Macross and DYRL. Mind you it’s not just those two, I like me some Bubblegum Crisis, Gunbuster, Fist of the North Star, Riding Bean, ect. Make no mistake either I haven’t always had such tastes. When I first started my descent into the madness that is anime fandom about 6 years ago I only read/watched the stuff the Shounen Jump crowd is associated with. In fact I still enjoy those things, albeit to a lesser extent. I also stay more or less on the cutting edge, at season behind because I’ve decided not to watch stuff that’s still airing, and love stuff like those damned “moe” shows such as K-ON! and Hidamari Sketch. I even love fairly obscure junk like Studio 4C.

    TL;DR I’m young and like all kinds of different shit, basically irrespective of genre, demographic, or age.

    Now in the spirit of full disclosure it is through as series of crazy coincidences, one of which is stumbling onto your podcast a few years back, that has made me into a for real anime otaku, so it might be fair to say that I’m just a rare anomaly. I do however have an alternate theory as to why more people don’t end up similarly to me, that being the elitism, actual or perceived, that quite a few older fans exude. I believe this stems from the inability of such older fans to express that an older show is good without suggesting, or outright saying, that everything new is radically inferior/total garbage. I mean that’s the reason that I’ve only just recently been to be able to think about, just think about not even watch, Legend of the Galactic Heroes without becoming filled with rage, which isn’t even a little bit fair to the show. (I wrote this before I listened to the Airbender/mecha fans part. It’s like you’re in my mind!)

    The big thing though is that people just seem to forget that we’re all watching cartoons. It doesn’t matter if they’re about Space Prussia or teenage girls playing awful J-pop, they’re all cartoons, so no one needs to act like they’re better than anyone in this respect. That’s just my 2 cents, but what would a whipper-snapper like me know?

    As an aside to my wild ramblings, AWO is a super great show and generally avoids these problems. At least for now old man.

    • Perhaps it’s because it’s 1:15 AM and the main thing on my mind for the last few hours has been “do I or do I not have food poisoning, don’t throw up don’t throw up don’t throw up,” but this comment seems to consist of a series of statements that are largely independent from one another. I don’t think it’s one argument you’re putting forth, and I’m not even sure as to whom it is directed to. I’m guessing it’s directed towards me and what I said in this episode, given that I was the only one talking. But what is it in response to? “I like shows that are old, but I also like shows that are new, and I like shows across multiple genres” is not a contentious point. That is basically how everybody thinks, including myself. If you’re saying it to imply that my viewpoint is NOT that…wasn’t the very last episode favorably reviewing something that just came out? Haven’t we (mostly me) reviewed plenty of 4C titles in the past? Did I not speak at length in this very episode about how I like currently-running shonen fighting titles? Are you agreeing with me on something or are you disagreeing? I cannot tell.

      Perhaps you’re saying “maybe there isn’t such a disconnect between what older fans like and what younger fans like after all, and I am living proof.” But as I alluded to above, your being a 19 year-old anime fan is relatively equivalent to being in your late 30s/early 40s in “the real world.” You’re not a “young, whipper-snapper” anime fan if you’re 19 like you would be in the eyes of the white collar work force. 19 is college-aged, and most people into anime now are of middle school/high school age. 19 is how old I was when I was watching all that “old stuff” you listed (and it was considered “old stuff” back then too). What I’m saying is that stuff people of that college age and up demographic like can be quite different from what the “young adult” sector would enjoy. Hence, widespread critical praise originating from college-aged people and older doesn’t necessarily translate into widespread fan acceptance. Naoki Urasawa’s body of work (Monster, Pluto, 20th Century Boys, etc) is a great example of this phenomenon.

      The big thing though is that people just seem to forget that we’re all watching cartoons. It doesn’t matter if they’re about Space Prussia or teenage girls playing awful J-pop, they’re all cartoons, so no one needs to act like they’re better than anyone in this respect.

      I’m going to put my foot down and say this argument–I should ascribe a name to it, like “The Apple Jacks Commercial Mentality”–is 100% no good and should never be advocated by anybody, ever. Nobody is “forgetting” anything. Nobody is “losing sight of the big picture.” We all know these are cartoons that we’re watching. I say the fact that they’re cartoons doesn’t matter. What makes this argument so odious is its implication that everything is equally valid and that “quality”–let’s not get into motorcycle maintenance–ultimately, doesn’t exist. From my point of view it is far more constructive to say what things are good/terrible and why that is the case (even though much of that is irreconcilable) then to begin with “all things are good to certain people” as a given.

      You don’t hear this “it’s ALL good” sentiment–which is basically what the argument is implying–put forth for books, movies, or television as often as you do for anime. I don’t know why that is. Perhaps the confrontation-averse aspect of Japanese culture carries over into their entertainment, which in turn appeals to people who are themselves of similar disposition? From my point of view, it strikes me as something one would say if they really didn’t want to have to articulate why they enjoyed or disliked something. I don’t see the appeal or merit of the stance. I certainly wouldn’t directly compare LoGH to K-On! since they occupy different genres and thus set out to accomplish different goals, but I could easily tell you that I liked the former but not the latter, and why.

      The only part of that which is probably true is the “you’re not better than someone just because you like entertainment you consider better” part. Indeed, I am better than people for reasons OTHER than that! B) [Note: most of these “reasons” are variations on “because that is my ability,” so y’know, whatever]

    • Great stuff ShadowEdge, couldn’t have said it better. [The entire point of my reply was that it really COULD have been said better! –Daryl]

      Personally I’ve watched the Airbender tv series and to be honest it is quite good but not because of what it borrows from anime but how it tells a story. That aspect of story telling is what’s most important to me.

      And I also haven’t seen the movie, although my brother has and he was not pleased. Luckily I’ve already been burned by the GI Joe film [aka the Greatest Movie EVER] so I knew better.

      Clone Wars: Can’t stand it. The CG-esque art style. Not for me. It comes off to me as lazy.

      Daryll: Great episode, surprising how someone can just talk straight through solo for over an hour while still maintaining a sarcastic tone and witty retorts that entertain me. Ya got talent there man. You should consider stand up during cons. I would pay to see that.

      • @DaryllSurat I was referring to the “The big thing though is that people just seem to forget that we’re all watching cartoons.” Portion. Sorry that I wasn’t clear about it.

  3. OMFG is that [REDACTED SO IT CAN DAWN ON EVERYONE ELSE BECAUSE IT’S FUNNIER THAT WAY (but the answer is yes) –Daryl]!!?? Good lord…

    Mind = blown. Fun episode, as always dude.

  4. What has been heard cannot be unheard, what was realized thereafter is also as unrealizable. That said I’m sure its sufficiently obscure to at least get another track in the next episode.
    On a more on topic note If Miyazaki is in the god-emperor of anime to who can we look for to be the renegade space marines? [I can at this point only note that Isao Takahata’s first film, as reviewed in Episode 2 of this podcast, was named “Horus, Prince of the Sun.” –Daryl]

    • The renegade space marines would be led by Miyazaki’s professional rival, Mamoru Oshii. Oshii always found Miyazaki’s methods to be too ordered, equating his animators to Olympic athletes from Communist bloc countries.

      But, yeah, that image of God-Emperor Miyazaki and 100s of animators being sacrificed every day is too hilarious for words. Thanks Daryl.

  5. Daryl, did you forget about the release of the Black Lagoon DVD or do you just not care? Also, when are you going to review D.A.R.Y.L. on PT’s podcast? Seriously, he needs to get on that!

    • Something in my brain just makes me consider Roberta’s Blood Trail as a “last year” thing since that’s when it started, even though it’s still coming out. Redline is also a “last year” thing; when I spoke of “what’s coming out” I was speaking more of “what is being made right now.” So the answer is “forgot,” I guess.

      I’m pretty sure there are some other prospective movies/OAVs set for release this year, but TV–the majority of what’s being made–is looking bleak for the most part. All I typically ask for is one or two shows a season. I don’t always get that. It’s not so bad for me personally since I rarely watch series as they’re airing anymore (though yesterday I did watch 16 episodes of Clone Wars since I didn’t realize Season 3 had started months ago), and I have a lifetime of unwatched media in the backlog. But as far as “the future of anime” goes, it’s a bit more bitter a pill.

  6. Daryl, I’m going to be 29 this week and I refuse to watch LOGH.

    Also, Miyazaki’s a loon, plain and simple.

    [Boy, this post sure showed me and disproved everything I said! –Daryl]

  7. I now realize what a missed opportunity the “Coming Out of Our Shells” tour really was.

    Clone Wars is definitely a lot of fun, Daryl (loved the faux-Kaiju “Zillo Beast” episodes); however Season 3 suffers a lot from trying to put the focus on Senator Amidala. It ends up becoming C-Span in Space with a lot of politicians bickering about bank de-regulation and trade sanctions [I liked the Space Iraq War episodes :-/ –Daryl]. Look, I get that the writers wanted to remind the fans of its strong female protagonists, but Amidala is definitely NOT one of them. She’s blander than flour-flavored oatmeal and at her best only reminds us of why Princess Leia was a much better character. Also, f*** the space gov’mint. I’m not voting for any of these three-eyed goat monsters or snake people, so why do I have to be on the receiving end of all their propaganda? Don’t blame me, Lucas, I voted for Kodos.

    Also, were you guys really under the impression that you could just walk from place to place in Troy? Not to question the physical conditioning of the AWO power trio, but most of Troy’s on a giant hill, and it’s a bit of a hike from RPI to the downtown area in what Daryl is correct in assuming is cold weather. We just got hit with two blizzards this week, in fact. Hopefully you guys have already secured transportation, but let me know in the event that you haven’t.

  8. I’ve seen Avatar: The Last Airbender. I actually really liked the series, though I wouldn’t be surprised if someone stopped in the middle of the Earth Book (they call the seasons “Books”; personally I’ve never been big on Book 2). Anyway, I actually consider it anime just as I’d consider Samurai Jack an anime (which I kind of do, even though it’s American). Anyway, maybe its just on that side of the U.S. but here [in Bakersfield, CA] the people who liked Avatar: The Last Airbender are actually guys out of a relationship who (in my experience) are card nerds. Basically the otaku group of my school is a little widespread. I’m more of a shojo otaku, my friend’s a straight-up shonen one, I have a mecha friend, and then my other friend is a moe fanatic (He Is My Master, To LOVE-Ru, etc.) I, being one of these card nerd anime freaks, can say that here people aren’t big fans of the show UNLESS they’re anime freaks.

    • As I noted in the podcast: at every convention I go to, Genericon included, I offer to run a panel entitled “Anime 101” which is the exact same panel every time but is nonetheless necessary because of posts like this one I’m replying to now. During the panel, all I do is cover three topics: “what is anime,” “what is manga” (covering this accounts for 50% of the panel), and a highly truncated overview of anime’s history from the early 1900s to present.

      I said this during the Peepo Choo podcast among other times, but since Genericon is this weekend and I’ll say it there too, I may as well say it again: if you try to categorize what is and is not anime based on factors intrinsic to the title in question, you will only become incredibly confused and thus subject to being misled by people for the sake of their own monetary gain.

      Intrinsic properties of an animated title, such as the manner in which a series is drawn, have no bearing whatsoever on whether it is or is not “anime” and here’s why: for any set of “it needs to look like this / be structured like this / have elements like this” list you can generate, I can find you something that doesn’t adhere to those criteria which is most definitely a Japanese cartoon.

      The most usable, intuitive definition of anime is therefore one that solely evaluates the extrinsic. How was the title produced? What is the title’s point of origin? That’s it. There is no qualitative assessment at play here. Just because something is “anime” doesn’t make it good, and just because something is not “anime” doesn’t make it bad. There are titles that are “anime” that are great, and there are anime titles that are absolutely awful. So it is that all the word “anime” exists for is to denote a point of origin.

      Because both Avatar: The Last Airbender and Samurai Jack were created, written, directed by, and produced by Americans for Americans we can logically conclude that neither of them are anime despite their visual and narrative influences. Does this in any way diminish their status? It does not in the slightest.

  9. On behalf of Colony Drop I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of AWO making an appearance at Fanime 2011 as the entirety of the CD West Coast Bureau is in attendance more or less every year. Fanime is a solid con in a solid venue (save incidents of having to run across the entire perimeter of the convention center to reach a Hiroyuki Yamaga panel on time). It’s also smack dab in the middle of downtown, so good, affordable food is to be found in abundance nearby, as opposed to Westin-era Fanime in the Santa Clara boneyard, where the only recourse was $5 corndogs.

  10. I have to say, I’ve enjoyed listening to this podcast for over a year at this point. I’ve watched Crusher Joe and Macross: DYRL per your recommendation and found them to be incredible. Other recommendations have gone similarly well.

    I’m not here to praise you though, you get enough of that already. I’m here to ask about a manga that I ran accross recently. It’s called Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. It’s a post-apocalyptic story in which the human race is dwindling off, and there’s a cafe being run by a robotic girl who will wait forever for her master to return. It was serialized in Afternoon, the same magazine that Genshiken ended up being serialized in. It has good artwork, and I’ve heard some good things about it, but the idea of a robotic girl that calls her creator “master” puts me off a little bit, even if it was written before Chobits and other “robot girlfriend” stories were created. So, is it worth reading, or would I be wasting my time by considering this title?

  11. Avatar, The Last Airbender is not my cup of tea. I didn’t really dig the the idea that they’d just use their powers haphazardly. In most shonen there’s more of a grind and it’s far more rewarding. I don’t really like any of the characters, story and setting too.

    Yeah, sorry, there are a lot of anime out there with similar themes that I found far FAR more entertaining.

    Go on any anime forum where a significant portion of the posters are female and you can lose a big hunk of your social capital giving an opinion like this. I know, the sheer number of whiteknighting males jumping in, while you argue with some vagina peddler will stagger you.

  12. What everybody needs to do is see the live action Avatar movie and then see the episode in season 3 where the characters go to a play based on their lives. It is prophetic in that it takes the piss out of both the live action movie and the legions of shippers that watch the show.

  13. All I know is that LoGH is getting more attention due to hearsay and praise it gets from everyone who watched it (in fact, it’s how I got to know about it). It’s not enough to get the fanbase at large, but at least it’s something.

    And Serei no Moribito is selling enough for Media Blasters to warrant a Blu-ray release, which is a good thing if you ask me.

  14. See you at Genericon. I can tell you which of the 2 Denny’s is the “good one”… because you’ll really need to know that. Bring boots, there’s snow. [I don’t have boots! Maybe I’ll just stay indoors the whole time, but today someone suggested we’d have to walk like, FIVE BLOCKS. That is like, more than 0.1 of a mile! –Daryl]

  15. This is awesome! Daryl is on fire, this should be a thing, the Darylcast, just give him a topic and have him go off on it. That’d be awesome, I’d listen.

  16. Daryl:

    Several minor points: I am not, at present, scheduled to discuss anything about last December’s Japan trip nor Tea With Leiji at Genericon. I am doing the “It Came From France!” panel and a reprise of “Hetalia History”. Basically a repeat of the stuff we did at last year’s AWA.

    I am a straight white male who liked Avatar:TLA from the outset. If one pays attention there are rather a lot of well thought out touches, such as how non-bending-endowed people would develop skills and tactics to fight benders over time.

    You’ve never heard the word “Sagacity”? (the quality of being sagacious)

    … hopefully the predicted Nor’easter for Thursday delivering Snowpocalypse V will not materialize.

  17. Joke of the year? I can’t believe I wasn’t nominated. What do you get when your puppy and kitty fall into a blender? “Pity.” That should have been an honorable mention at least.

  18. Glad I don’t have many Anime fans in my social circles.

    Most people I know who like Avatar: the Last Airbender are general interest “geeks” who are more into movies and comic books. They seem to accept it’s a children’s show on Nickelodeon and appreciate it’s well structured story.

    I watched most of the first season and enjoyed it. Rufio from Hook plays the antagonist. But, yeah, nothing mind-blowing but a solid show.

  19. Just wanted to let you know, Daryl, that I bought Macross Plus after reading your review. It was always something I planned to get, considering it’s about $10 for the set, but your review pushed me over the edge, so I finally purchased it. It’s currently in the mail, but I’m excited to watch it when it arrives.

  20. It’s funny that Daryl says that he hasn’t seen Avatar: The Last Airbender, because of the fanbase. Usually I just ignore the fans when I try to watch a series, when I get around to it. I feel it’s more fulfilling to me to ignore fans when I watch a show.

    Then again, the AWO reviews of Crying Freeman and Wicked City pretty much killed my interest in both series, so I don’t really know if that is any better. It’s kind of offputting for me to listen to a review of a series, and hear frequent descriptions of rape on it…

    • Prefacing your post with “it’s funny that…” suggests I’m being inconsistent or perhaps hypocritical in my stance; that I’m condemning behavior which I myself am party to undertaking. The usage of the fact that our reviews convinced you to not want to watch certain titles as examples is presumably meant in support of this.

      If that is the intent, then I note the two scenarios are really not that comparable. Everything we mentioned in those reviews that turned you away from watching either are things that actually happen within the span of the title’s running time, such that had we NOT mentioned them and you’d ended up watching them you would have disliked what you saw quite a bit. In light of this, the reviews did their jobs. What I’m talking about is fandom at its extreme: people talking at length and directing their obsession over the ancillary matters that DON’T canonically happen. In other words, it’s possible that you could not care for any of that stuff in the slightest and still be a fan of the source material. By contrast, it’s hard to strongly dislike the stuff we mentioned as happening in those anime titles yet still be a fan of the work. It’s possible–after all, I’m not particularly keen on the creepy sex stuff–but unlikely.

      I’m 100% with you that it’s far more fulfilling to ignore fans when watching something…but that can’t always happen. In fact, that only works if I know to make a concerted effort to avoid such things, and if nobody else I know knows about the property. My viewing habits for media make this hard since I typically wait for anime series to end before I decide whether to watch them or not. So if several people I know are watching something, there’s no not hearing about it in the interim.

      When we’re exposed to the fandom before the work, then the fandom forms a prism upon which our impressions of the series are affected when and if we see it. It forces us to develop a bias whether we want to or not, and since I try and make good faith attempts to be UN-biased, it means the only way that can happen is for me to wait it out until everyone forgets. However, seeing as how almost every single reply to this podcast is people feeling the need to “defend” this one cartoon from a non-existent “attack,” I’ll be waiting a little longer before I watch the cartoon that I was planning to watch someday because it has Rufio in it.

      • You seem to be under the impression that I was trying to link AWO putting me off Wicked City and Crying Freeman, and the fans putting you off Avatar TLA, as a way to attack your stance. It’s not really, I was really thinking that what happened to me regarding those anime and you with Avatar are, in fact, rather similar.

        It’s sad to see that you’re delaying watching Avatar just because of the people defending it. For me, it’s pretty easy to divorce the actions of the fandom with the work itself. I can ignore the Rose/Ten shippers and the Rose, Donna and Martha haters when I watch Doctor Who, for example. The work itself isn’t really responsible for anything it’s fandom might do to me. All the fandom can do is make me not want to join in with the fandom, and go elsewhere.

        I’d say you’re missing out if you’re going to wait more for watching Avatar TLA, but hell if I could do anything to make you change your mind…

      • I don’t think it’s unfair to at least form a bias about a work on the basis of its fans. The amount of content available to an anime fan these days is staggering; I know I try to find reviews and pointers about what to watch and what to avoid based on people whose interests appear to mimic my own. (I’ve watched several shows based off of AWO recommendations that I might not have otherwise, and not been disappointed.)

        Does it not stand to reason that if there are people who appear to have NO common interest with me gushing and slobbering over a work, I might put that work aside and look towards something more promising?

        That’s not to say that I will like everything that someone who shares my tastes recommends or dislike everything that teenage girls fawn over, but it’s at least a starting point in the endless sea of crap out there.

        I can think of two examples of work (one anime, one not) that I would have avoided if I had been exposed to the fanbase. InuYasha—this was my gateway anime on Adult Swim. I enjoyed watching this show at the time, but wouldn’t have bothered for a second had I interacted with the fans. Another example is the “Twilight” series. I knew nothing about this series when my girlfriend wanted to go see the first movie. I thought it was crap and haven’t seen anything of it since, so my instincts would have been right on this one. This type of judgment isn’t perfect, but it’s helpful.

  21. I lol’d when Daryl mentioned Wandering Son with how it was a coming of age story and said “I never came of age.” I like the show too even though I refer to it as ‘Traps: Serious Business.”

    I’d like to know why [Enough with the passive-aggressive already. Either name names and direct your inquiries towards them specifically or stop asking “impossible-to-prove-as-given” leading questions. –Daryl]

    Finally for the other anime this season you should give Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica a try. It’s NOT what you think it is. I don’t want to spoil anything but bad shit goes down in it.

  22. No one’s gonna watch LoGH, because it’s fuckin’ long and expensive, and I doubt even fan-subbers wanna touch it, because they have lives. [All of it’s fansubbed, including side stories. No harder to get than any other anime nowadays. Translation by…the same person who did the VHS ones! Took years and years. –Daryl]

    Clarissa: If it helps your paper, I’ll let you know that a guy I talked to who was escorting Ikuhara around back when he was in L.A. took him to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and he hated it. He also doesn’t like most Spielberg movies besides Duel.

    “Tell me who the Skull Knight is.” — I’ve had a theory that he’s a futuristic version of Guts.

    RE: Panty and Stocking. Forget “offensive.” It’s another lazy otaku in-joke jerk-off fest from great hacks. Family Guy and South Park work because they have a little thing known as “writers” who bounce ideas off each other, so they don’t suck.

    “Even Katsuhiro Otomo himself couldn’t make another thing as good as Akira.” — Funny you brought that up, and then ignored Memories. [Otomo’s short, Cannon Fodder, isn’t as good as Akira. It’s not even as good as the other shorts! –Daryl] Plus, I think he’s better as a producer than Oshii, since I liked Spriggan and Metropolis a helluva lot more than Jin-Roh. And the live-action Mushishi movie wasn’t bad, either.

    “Go Nagai” — If Bandai Visual managed Enma better, it could’ve gotten a lot of non-Go Nagai fans into his work.

    “Avatar: The Last Airbender” — Don’t really bother with it myself, because it looks like every other Saturday morning cartoon. Plus it just sounds like this generation’s Mysterious Cities of Gold, in that it’s more of a cult show, rather than something really must-see.

    “Castle of Cagliostro” — That’s not Ghibli.

  23. I’ve been wondering Daryl, do you have an opinion on Genndy Tartakovsky’s (Dexter’s Lab, Samurai Jack, Powerpuff?, Clone Wars-the good one) new super robot series symbionic titan? It’s less screaming Go-Nagai and a bit more too cool for school.. but I love it! then again I haven’t been one to disagree with Tartakovsky’s body of work in general…

  24. Caught that first part of Mazinkaiser SKL and it was sooooo good! While being quite a bit different than earlier installments but every bit as good! I don’t really understand why people don’t dig the giant robot stuff but I’m glad that they keep making it because I certainly enjoy it. I look forward to this release on dvd.

  25. Regarding Berserk and telling us who the Skull Knight is they did that AGES ago. Call it speculation if you like [This is all complete supposition on your part, and while it’s certainly POSSIBLE it is not in fact the case as yet –Daryl] but I think its pretty unlikely they would bring him up and the fact he wore skull armor if this wasn’t the case. Plus if you recall the tower that reached downward and represented a large sacrifice well from the past is more then likely where he sacrificed his people to make himself a apostle.

  26. I admit I enjoyed Avatar–but I was fortunate enough to watch it without the fandom.
    The way I see it, when I was younger, I got into anime because i was different. I enjoyed having a serialized story, more of the violence/sexuality, and complex character development. That’s not to say that there weren’t great Western cartoons–Batman The Animated Series, for example–but I still felt like a lot of cartoons were episodic and comedic.
    Avatar seems like a show I would have wanted to watch as a kid, because it has the serialized story, the character development, etc. Characters make mistakes, learn, and grow. That said, watching it as an early-twenties college student also made me aware that, yeah, it’s still a kid’s/young teens show at heart. So it is a bit odd that so many older fans glommed onto it and brought their own issues (call it the “Twilight mom effect”) like shipping into it. For lack of better words, it’s very “mature and complex” for a kids show, but it’s not as if it’s really groundbreaking.
    As far as it being anime-inspired, I think that’s a bit simplistic. The show is fairly respectful of several Asian nations–each elemental tribe is inspired by Inuit, Chinese, Korean, Japanese cultures etc. They put work into showing different clothing styles, different martial arts styles, etc. So it’s a bit more researched than just “let’s give them big eyes.”
    In short, I liked it, and I’m sad that the fandom has made you wary of it. But at the same time, it’s not like your life is ruined if you wait a few more years.
    PS: the new show is a sequel. Apparently it’s the same world, but if any of the original characters show up, they’ll be old and grey (but likely still kick-ass).

  27. Is there actually a complete fansub of Zillion? All I know of is the Anime Classic one and their last episode was #26, and that was last July. (Zillion has 31 episodes.) [A-C finished all 31 episodes plus the OAV. I’m deleting all of your other comments because you’re making this entirely too difficult. If you simply were to search for “Red Photon Zillion torrent” in Google, I GUARANTEE you will find everything. –Daryl]

    • With all due respect, I am not making it too difficult. Anime Classic did 1-26. Bubby-Subs (http://bubbysubs.wordpress.com/) did 27-31 using Anime Classic scripts. I have found nobody who has done the OAV; it’s available courtesy of “ARR” which stands for “Anonymous Russian Rippers” and is a rip only, containing no subtitles.

      Guarantee or not, googling red photon zillion torrent produces nothing containing a subtitled OAV (just the ARR version).

  28. Compared to other western animation, Avatar: The Last Airbender is about the best produced, although it might only seem above average compared to anime. WB has also been producing top quality animation, although most of their focus is on superheros. But we tend to not have the same amount of high caliber animation produced as the Japanese do, and what gets produced is often aimed at a young and simple minded audience.

    Interestingly, when western studios do oriental stories they tend to pick Chinoiserie, or stories using Chinese mythology, generally from a western point-of-view. Avatar:The Last Airbender was based more on Chinese mythology and history, although the Fire Nation could be considered Japan and their activities based upon the Japanese invasion of China.

    Avatar: The Last Airbender stood out because it had a plot which unfolded over the course of the entire show. It wasn’t the usual episodic storylines that western animation typically does. Characters and plots had time to develop.

    It’s definitely a show worth watching, although it’s still heavily influenced by western ideas about children’s cartoons and what is acceptable for the western audience. But even with those limitations they still manage to do a good job. Western animation studios do occasionally produce something worthwhile, especially the WB tends to produce high quality material on a consistent basis.

  29. It’s nice to hear that someone else found Miyazaki’s “Starting Point” amusing because of his complete disdain for anyone who isn’t himself. My absolute favorite part of that book was the audacious statement that everything Osamu Tezuka emphasized in his animation was wrong.

    Keep up the good work! I can’t wait to hear about Clarissa’s adventures at Comiket.

  30. As regards Avatar and its fandom, I would say that you have been exposed only to the more radical elements that tend to become very vocal at anime conventions and online. Speaking from personal experience (having just started high school when it first began airing) I know a great number of people, both male and female, who are really into the show and none of them ever got into the crazy shipper angle. My younger sister, who also watches a lot of anime, and most her friends are really big fans and even watched all three seasons back to back in one sitting together last summer, but they seem to be primarily attracted by the fact that the show actually has strong, interesting female characters. The same is true of my younger cousins, who just started getting into it through Netflix last year. The show appeals to such a wide audience (upon returning from my first year in university I was surprised to discover that both my parents had become fans) that I think judging it based on the portion of its fanbase that is also part of anime fandom is a bad idea, and not really fair to the rest of them. After all, I think we all know that anime fans are, by and large, horrible people (myself included).

    Patrick McNamara hit the nail on the head two comments up in saying that its primary influences are Chinese, although actually I would correct him to say that even the fire nation are distinctly Chinese in their visual aesthetic, fighting style, and choice of weapons. The fight choreography is all based on Chinese martial arts (its also really good, by the way. Especially in after the first season), written Chinese appears in numerous places throughout the show on signs and even on episode title cards, ancient Chinese coins are used as currency and almost all non-Chinese influences (as far as architecture, clothing, and scenery are concerned) come from its immediate neighbors to the south. I would venture to say that there is little to no overt Japanese influence in the actual content of the show, and much less in its presentation than people make out.

    I forget if it was this show or the last show that you mentioned Super Robot Wars and Star Driver, so I’ll comment on that here too. I can’t possibly understand how anyone who played even just the first Original Generations game (only worth it to get to the far superior second installment or if you’re playing the PS2 compilation) could possibly fail to understand what was going on in the show. I can, however, understand why someone wouldn’t like it. Obari isn’t a very good director and his pervasive, ludicrous fanservice undermines everything he makes (that kind of scene only worked in the games because you could only ever see peoples’ faces). On top of that, even some of the robot fights can decidedly lackluster compared to some other recent series and even the PS2 Super Robot Wars games. The only reason hard core fans like it is because it came after Divine Wars, which was so bad anything would appear great in comparison. Star Driver, on the other hand, just isn’t a robot show at all (this coming from someone who disagrees with Daryl about both Code Geass and Full Metal Panic! being robot shows). That doesn’t make it bad, but expectations should be adjusted accordingly. Honestly, it tends to have about four mediocre episodes and then a couple really good ones where it looks like it’s about to go somewhere and then go back to being mediocre again. It would also benefit from less blatant fanservice, although I don’t think it’s heavy enough to be a deal-breaker in most episodes.

    In closing, Emperor Miyazaki is hilarious (you should really get some kind of award or at least some good fan art of it). Also, please tell me who was singing. I’m tone deaf and can’t recognize voices very well. Oh, and thank you for recommending people watch Votoms instead of the current season. I’ve been enjoying it immensely and it dovetails nicely with its inclusion in Super Robot Wars Z 2 coming out in April.

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