Anime World Order Show # 126 – Your Options Are Sit and Watch the Show or Possibly Get Knifed

After months of general unwillingness to record due to general unwillingness to edit the difficulty of assembling a proper review without spoiling everything, we’re back! Clarissa reviews the recently completed television series Samurai Flamenco.

Intro (0:00 – 27:53)
In the emails this week, we talk about our differing philosophies regarding how anime clubs should operate in the year 2014.

  • Skin Crawling Comics is too cool to actually explain what it’s about on its own website, but it’s an anthology of short horror-themed comicbook stories from a variety of creators, one of whom is Gerald (so all the other ones are of lesser importance). They’re for readers age 16 and up, with the idea being to not rely on excessive gore, titillation, etc that dominates much of contemporary horror storytelling. Two new pages get posted each week, and it’ll be about 180 pages total. This is all pretty vital yet basic information about the project, which is why it’s interesting that none of what just got written is actually present on the website itself. Might want to look into that, guys.
  • We have totally mentioned the Royal Space Force 25th Anniversary Fanzine in these show notes before featuring a contribution from Gerald and other people less important than Gerald, but there is little harm in doing so again.

Review: Samurai Flamenco (27:53 – 55:11)
Clarissa takes point in discussing this recently-concluded noitaminA offering, which we have deemed equally as enjoyable and insane as Kill La Kill with an equally grand finale that got only a fraction of the fan attention despite its concurrent simulcasting. Articulating the reason for this as well as the majesty and glory of this series without really spoiling anything is a daunting task: the kind that makes you wonder for months just exactly how you’re going to do it. What this means is that if you comment cavalierly on such matters, your post is getting edited to ribbons. We know everything’s on Wikipedia. We know you people will read those Wikipedia entries and think you know what the appeal of this show is based on that. But you won’t. Something like this has to be seen.

As far as conventions go: Memorial Day weekend is the biggest weekend of the year as far as simultaneous anime cons are concerned, but it’s unlikely that we’ll actually be at any of them! But as far as ones where you’ll have a good chance of running into past AWO guests are concerned, there’s FanimeCon in California, the Florida Anime Experience in–yep–Florida, Animazement in North Carolina, and the big one’s Anime North way up in Ontario, Canada. To think, that’s not even ALL of the cons happening this weekend! The reason we’ll be MIA is a few weeks away, since Gerald and Daryl will be in New Jersey June 6-8 for AnimeNEXT. It’d just be too many flights to catch/days missed from work. Florida Anime Experience is local…but it’s on the same days as the Central Florida BBQ Blowout!

12 thoughts on “Anime World Order Show # 126 – Your Options Are Sit and Watch the Show or Possibly Get Knifed

  1. Objectively speaking, or rather what is often cynically treated as being “objective” since the standards employed to determine this are ultimately nothing more than a social construct created by poor mortals, Samurai Flamenco mostly derails.

    This show is full of examples of things that are not collectively considered to be good writing, good direction or good animation. By any completely serious (or, again, cynically “serious”) critical viewpoint, that would break the show into tiny little pieces. And you know what? For a bunch of people, that’s exactly what happened. I can’t really blame them for turning away disappointed.

    But that’s also the point where the beautiful thing known as subjectivity that makes the world go ’round comes in.

    Did I have a very good time watching Samurai Flamenco? YES. Did I enjoy seeing the narrative collapse under its own weight repeatedly? Yes. Did I like the humor? A lot of the time, though a few jokes fell kind of flat due to lacking genre knowledge. Did I like at least handful of the characters? Yes, very much so. Surprisingly enough, in fact. That’s probably the area where the show came the closest to genuinely working in the standard sense for those willing to stick with it.

    At the end of the day, I’m often the sort of person who tends to place characters over plot and entertainment value over perfection of form, which explains why I’m closer to your side of the argument on this one, rather than to the opposite end. A few plot holes here, a few nonsensical shifts there…honestly, you shouldn’t worry about that. Just chill out. It’s a wonderful thing to be free and enjoy a crazy ride for what it is. People should be able to do that more often.

  2. I really, really loved Samurai Flamenco up until the end of the first arc. I truly thought it was going to be my favorite show of the season. By the end, I was glad to be done with it. Yes, I get the jokes. But with each twist and each raise of the stakes it only made it harder and harder in my mind for it to make a satisfying conclusion. The characters were fine, and the revelation was cool, but the show wrote a check that it couldn’t cash, so to speak.

  3. I enjoyed this podcast, mostly because of AWO’s review-non review (many thanks for not spoiling anything) of Samurai Flamenco a show that passed under my radar last year. It really piqued my interest and so I’ll be watching it. As a counterweight to Knights of Sidonia (interesting but such a depressing storyline) it should work quite well 🙂

  4. Great episode. My anime club in college was a mix of dictatorship and democracy. With our two main shows we watched each semester, one was picked by the officers and one was voted on by the people at the club from a group of five to six shows the officers picked. The only thing totally decided by the members were the weekly shows where we’d just watch the first episode of two shows that won a poll suggested by whoever. The first episode stuff felt a bit superfluous, though. Maybe that time could’ve been better spent on another show. There was also a “No talking” policy during the episodes. Honestly, most of it would’ve been some asshole attempting to MST3K it, and those folks are almost never funny yet they think they’re being so witty.

    Also, I haven’t been able to follow you on twitter, Daryl, yet I’m able to follow Clarissa and Gerald with ease. Any reason in particular?

    • For some reason, it says I have you blocked even though we don’t seem to have spoken before; I’ve fixed it. If I had to speculate a guess how that came about, I think I must have just auto-blocked everyone who followed both me and this one guy “Sheep” who habitually harasses me in a boring, unfunny manner (think “50+ replies in a row”) because one day I said that I don’t care for the practice of streaming videogame playthroughs of games that are less than 3 months old and that I don’t consider “opinion journalism”–what I do–as “journalism.”

      His Twitter accounts keep getting suspended (his most recent one, “NEETHeadMaster” appears to currently be suspended, though ) yet he keeps making new ones that people find and follow, so he must be popular on some sort of message board/community that I don’t read. I understand the fact that I don’t know who he is factors into the “why I’m so lame” rationale.

      Anyway, you must have favorited or RTed one of his many extended invectives that was directed towards me. If you know who this person is, by all means tell me where/why you dig him so I can at least understand because he’s not interested in telling me since “I should know.”

      • I have honestly never heard of this guy. If I favorited/shared any of his junk, it might’ve been one of those Charles Barkley + something images that Google tells me he used to post. I didn’t know this was the dude that was internet-stalking you. A quick Google search for “NEETHeadMaster” shows that he’d pull this kind of crap with a few other folks. Although, if it must’ve been one of his insults, I may have thought one of them was in jest and found it funny; I don’t really remember. Anyway, I hope he leaves you alone.

  5. Running a public anime club is a public service. That’s why I ran an anime club, anyways. The creepy guys (and creepy ladies now, too) are creepy sure, but I’ve been that creepy guy before, and for some of these guys, that weekly meeting is their lifeline. Are some of them hopeless cases? Yes, yes they are. But for others, it would be a lot more hopeless if that anime club wasn’t there.

  6. I sort of get together with friends online and we watch Toonami together. Three of them consider themselves to be riffers. I used to just pull the headset off for Space Dandy. Much like with a real life anime club, we all stop watching the show once Bleach starts and sometimes don’t remember to watch again until halfway though One Piece.

    We do an anime podcast/livestream were we watch the first episode of an anime and then talk about our impressions. We just sort of broadcast our comments while watching and don’t actually show any footage. I try to pick older shows, so I’ve forced people to watch first episodes of Harlock, Fist of the North Star, and Space Adventure Cobra. I’m like “old school night” when it’s my turn to pick. We and our viewer do pick things we’d like others to see or just pick out things we’d like to try but haven’t watched before. For an anime podcast, my cohosts had sort of lapsed in their anime watching.

    I did have them watch Samurai Flamenco but they were sort of on the fence after the first episode. Shades thought he’d have to watch more before passing judgement.

    I look forward to seeing the guys at AnimeNext.

  7. Honestly I wish there was a spoiler cast. I appreciate that you want people to watch the show. but its a show that kinda needs to be gone over in detail, especially how it handles [IF THERE’S ONE THING I CAN’T STAND IT’S WHEN PEOPLE POST THE SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS! NOW GET ME PICTURES OF SPIDER-MAN! –Daryl].

  8. I was an officer at the UT Dallas anime club and am currently a semi-officer at the University of Houston’s club. From what I can tell, the crowd that usually shows up are are often the less “hardcore” anime fans who are there for the social aspects. They are usually playing on their DSes or laptops during the shows that don’t interest them and hang around to go to the events held after meetings like going out to eat, tabletop games and CCGs or LARPing. I have noticed that many new members that I suspect are the hardcore fans who keep up with the latest shows often don’t show up after a meeting or two because the club has nothing new to offer them that they can’t get off Crunchyroll or Bittorrent. It also helps that the officers put on a skit at the first meeting of every semester about “How not to be a weeaboo” showing that we don’t put up with elitist jerks or creepy socially awkward BS. [But Black Dynamite… –Daryl]

    As for choosing what to show each semester, the two clubs I have been in did it differently. One did a “gauntlet” deal where during the Summer the officers would hold unofficial meetings where anyone could bring what they wanted the club to show. If the anime could hold everyone’s interest for 3 episodes then it was passed to an officer to screen and review. A lineup would be created during an officer meeting right before the semester started.

    Another way I’ve seen it done is through a Facebook poll on the club’s group page. The officers would go through the 60+ suggestions and weed out and make a lineup by ourselves. We would try to make a balanced lineup that had both the popular shows that’ll bring a crowd (Attack on Titan, Space Dandy) and the unknown gems to expand our member’s horizons (Dennou Coil, Now and Then, Here and There). I can see strengths and weaknesses on both methods. Personally, I prefer the first because it makes it easier to discover the more obscure anime since we have to watch the first episode of whatever is brought in. With the Facebook poll it is easier and necessary to dismiss the shows that only one or two people voted for, none of us has seen, and no one owns the physical discs.

  9. Questions for Daryl:
    1.) Why don’t you have someone film your panels and post them here?
    2.) Can you still relate with modern anime fans?
    #.) Do you listen to Steve Austin’s podcast?

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