Anime World Order Show # 35 – Cromartie, Lain, and THE TRUTH behind Metrocon 2006

No time for a final quality check listen, we’ve got to drive to Anime Weekend Atlanta! Gerald reviews Cromartie High School, Clarissa continues the ABe kick from last week with Serial Experiments Lain, and Daryl unveils a small portion of THE TRUTH he discovered at Metrocon 2006!

Introduction (0:00 – 41:25)
The Garbage Stanley captured in this recording is actually not the current Garbage Stanley. More on that later. In the ever-growing listener mailbox, we’re told that Baltimore isn’t as bad as we think it is, but we remain skeptical since we watched not only Homicide: Life on the Street, but also The Wire aka “a step by step tutorial on how to be a criminal and not get caught by the police.” Then, Paul S. writes in with some proposals about how to combat anime piracy, which means we end up yelling for 20 minutes. Finally, Alex requests recommendations on what anime he should show to people to get them interested in anime, and we each give our thoughts.

Promo: Ninja Consultant (41:25 – 43:10)
Erin and Noah shared a room with Gerald and Clarissa over the weekend, and according to Erin’s testimony, the amount of dirty group intercourse that took place was less than 1%. However, she fell quite ill during the weekend and had to get an emergency pierrotectomy, so perhaps her words cannot be trusted.

Review: Cromartie High School (43:10 – 1:02:56)
Finally, the time has come to answer the burning question! Which is the greater force: the comedy level of Cromartie or the Aryan humor deficiency which flows through the fiber of Gerald’s being? There’s only one way to find out!

Promo: Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast (1:02:56 – 1:03:42)
Multiple episodes of Paul Chapman’s podcast are what we listened to for a good portion of the drive up to Atlanta. Gerald and Clarissa would like to suggest that instead of using only the stock sound effects, he should also have audio clips from the movies thrown in too. Daryl thinks having his mom be on the podcast is a stroke of genius, but Gerald dismisses the opinions of all people who hold PhDs and Clarissa dismisses the opinions of anyone who would state that Halle Berry was the best Catwoman.

Review: Serial Experiments Lain (1:03:42 – 1:26:29)
Clarissa keeps the Yoshitoshi ABe ball rolling by talking about the show that pretty much put him on the map. Logic dictated that Gerald would have to then review Texhnolyze, but he refused so the ABe motif has officially died after a mere two weeks.

Promo: Fast Karate For the Gentleman (1:26:29 – 1:27:34)
In a city ruled by the mob, Dave and Joel have no choice but to fend for themselves, with only their toes and fingers at their disposal. But rather than use those fingers to form a fist, they use them instead to watch anime that is either awesome or awful. But mostly awful. This is why Daryl steals jokes from them constantly, and his next bad anime panel will feature dub clips from Megazone 23 Part 3.

THE TRUTH: Metrocon 2006 (1:27:34 – 1:46:03)
“That had to be the dumbest and most annoying segment I’ve ever listened to…in fact I didn’t listen to most of it.” — the most positive praise we’ve received thus far regarding this segment

With Amano’s World coming up in a few weeks, Daryl thought it wise to actually get the Metrocon segment out. Of course, seeing that this entire segment is a fabrication and doesn’t accurately portray much of what took place at Metrocon, the likelihood of his getting a press badge for that might be low, especially since they listen to this podcast! Whatever, it’s for the sake of jokes.

Pikabellechu, renowned costumer, fanartist, and CONJURER OF FRIGHTENING GHOSTS:

The Brain, wearing my La Parka mask during the Fantasy Masquerade:

The official Fantasy Masquerade concession stand:

Henry (blue helmet) and Spooky Electric (cosplaying as Monkey Punch):

Misha, the Life Master, got to be on Fox News because of this Bridget outfit; the local Fox News affiliate had a TRUTH search going on as well, you see:

A hotel room we’ll NEVER FORGET:

Al Pipes (RIP) and the Melonnaut (RIP):

A sample page from the Metrocon Anime Human Chess Match script, their top event of the weekend:

Stevie B, being a bee and not a puppy:

Click here to see an autograph/sketch made by Stevie B (not work safe)

The Beast of Nature is given a hand in the phat larpz by Ham Samael…

…but the moods of all turn to shock upon seeing that Henry has become the new Garbage Stanley, since the way you become Garbage Stanley is that you have to eat the previous Garbage Stanley:

Garbage Stanley later participated in a vampire LARP and survived.

Closing (1:46:03 – 1:48:39)
Next time on AWO, which really should have come out by now except Daryl spent the last two days not editing anything, Daryl will review the 2004 remake of Hi no Tori, Clarissa gives us another yaoi title review with Embracing Love, and Gerald reviews Manga Video’s re-release of Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro. Or, as the packaging reads “Lupin the III.” That’s like writing “$10 dollars,” people!

37 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 35 – Cromartie, Lain, and THE TRUTH behind Metrocon 2006”

  1. First? I ROOL!

    Have a great time at AWA, podcast rocks as usual, pour out a glass of soft drink for me at Carl’s party. I hope he does the Golgo 13 slideshow again.

  2. Oh, and as I always seem to forget things, my High-School just started up an anime club. Today was the first meeting and it was OK. The TV was too small to watch it subbed (plus people were complaining) so we had to watch the dub. The show we watched was X. I guess we will watch whatever we bring in, so I am going to bring in my Giant Robo and a burned dvd of Fist of the North Star, then people will know what good anime is.

  3. AWA, can’t wait for it. I hope to see you guys there. You say you guys usually don’t go to viewing rooms, but I hope I see you at D’s Mech viewing room on Saturday.

  4. I feel compelled to voice my objections over the term “cyber-punk” applied to Serial Experiments Lain again. Although it explores dehumanization in the onslaught of technology, it doesn’t have the Cold War mentality that is so critical an element in classic cyberpunk.

    I think “techno-spiritual” is a much better term to apply to Lain, especially when you consider the existential themes that crop of toward the end of the show.

    Thanks for playing my promo, too. (^_^)

  5. Probably my favorite thing to show to the anime-illiterate is the Read or Die OVA. It’s short but sweet, and has lots of great Hollywoodish action scenes, with a reasonably intelligent and interesting plot as well.


  6. I’d seen some of the Lain PSX game played a long while ago. There didn’t seem to be much to it, really. It was a lot of watching video clips and then navigating a menu to watch more video clips. Not exactly ‘game of the year’ material.

  7. Regarding the work of Stephen Foster at ADV: I recently watched all of Gilgamesh, the series he voice-directed after Cromartie. I picked up Gilgamesh purely on the basis of it being a Shotaro Ishinomori story, and didn’t care at all that it had the Goth vibe. (I have no position either for or against Goth; it is what it is. There are better things to get worked up about.)

    The show has a very slow start, but gets very compelling as it builds to a shock ending that left me pretty much drained and jelly-like, thinking “did that just happen? Holy cra…uh, shi…uh, fu…” I couldn’t finish any of those words. If you aren’t violently opposed to Goth and you can get past the low-budget animation in the show, you’ll have a good ride.

    Anyway, I only bring this up because there are a lot of actor interviews on the DVDs that score higher with me than others I’ve seen. For starters, the actors are mostly new to the medium and were chosen partly by how much they resembled their characters. If a live-action Gilgamesh were produced, they’d make a great cast. And to a person, I thought their acting was uncommonly good. They had a tough job of capturing the low-key mood of the show without sounding bored, and they all nailed it.

    There was also a lot of talk about how the recording booth was decorated to get everyone in the right frame of mind, and also that Foster kept each of them in the dark about story details so that they only knew what their characters knew at any given time, thus bringing more authenticity to the performances.

    All of this together added up to an excellent production for which Foster is largely responsible. The clincher comes on the last disc, in which Foster himself reads from his Gilgamesh production diary. It’s an unusual extra I’ve never heard elsewhere and it provides a rare glimpse into the workings of ADV and Foster’s own head.

    I know Gilgamesh isn’t for everyone and some of Foster’s previous projects may have already polarized others against him, but I thought it would be worth throwing in my four cents here after the charges leveled against him in the Cromartie review.

    Okay, off to Atlanta!


  8. Oops, one other nitpicky thing…

    Daryl mentioned the neighborhood in New York, Bedford Stuyvesant, pronouncing it “Stoo-ee-vesant”. The actual pronunciation is “Sty-ve-sant.” There’s a similarly-named community in LA called Van Nuys. (Pronounced Van-Nize.) Once in a while I hear it called “Van Noo-eez,” and I’m conditioned to respond.

    There. My work is done.


  9. Guys the show was awesome. The truth is like Fenix that wil rise from its ashes…. right? right people?

    Lets hope for the best.

  10. I found Daryl going to Metrocon very amusing. It’s like Superman sitting down with the morning paper and saying, “Wow! This weekend is going to be kryptonite-kon. 300 different varieties of deadly kryptonite will be on display. As hosted By Lex Luthor. I am so there.”

  11. Tim,

    Just a thought, but casting people based on physical appearance when how someone looks is the least important qualification for doing voice work doesn’t strike me as a particularly bright idea. Likewise, deliberately withholding information from the actors. These choices may make for an interesting or avante-garde production, but they don’t increase my respect (or lack thereof) for Steve Foster in the slightest. If anything, they hurt his case.

  12. Bed-Sty is definitely not safe at night, but Bensonhurst isn’t that safe either. But it beats Baltimore, huh? Great work on the Lain review, Clarissa! Looks like I may have to re-examine Cromartie as well. My old club would lead off with Ghost in the Shell (which you guys mentioned) or Akira. The shorter the stuff, the more likely they’ll pay attention. But interestingly enough, my friend saw Ep 1 of Bebop and was hooked.

  13. That, my dear Sub, is Isao Sasaki singing a cover version of Ichiro Mizuki’s Mazinger Z, produced sometime in the late ’70s and used in a truly strange ‘export dub’ version of the show.

    Sasaki did the three key songs (Mazinger Z, Z Theme and Our Mazinger Z, otherwise known as ‘the opening, the fight the bad guys song and the ending) and they’re all mind blowing.

    Research is turning up a blank on just WHY Sasaki did English cover versions of Mazinger Z, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999 and Space Battleship Yamato. Nippon Columbia released a series of English Dub ‘drama’ albums, but the only ones I know for sure (having owned them or listened to directly) that USED the English Sasaki was the Mazinger Z LP. The English Yamato drama is taken from the ‘Space Cruiser’ movie which doesn’t use any of the songs. I *suspect* the English Harlock LP (which is NOT any of the Ziv dubs) *probably* uses the English Sasaki songs, and I can’t tell if there is an English GE999 LP.

    Which is likly way too much information for anyone at this point. I’m just burning thru my ‘not at AWA’ bummer feeling by being a know-it-all….

  14. Hi, Goober…

    I appreciate your view, and if Gilgamesh came out no better than any other ADV project, I’d agree that it was senseless (maybe even pretentious) to take all those extra steps. But this isn’t the case. In my opinion, Gilgamesh is an outstanding dub and everyone involved praises Foster’s out-of-the-box thinking for getting the best possible performances out of the actors.

    This is not to say that Foster deserves a free ride from here on, or that this should become a standard approach to voice direction. I just thought the results were significant and worth bringing to the discussion.


  15. I really agree with gooberzilla in the stretched and vague field that is cyber-punk to SEL. not in the definition of the genre itself, but rather the common misunderstanding of the true application of the genre, which seems to get slapped on a lot of creepy, future, space, wierdness animes that don’t do the type the justice it deserves. just my thoughts.

  16. I applied cyberpunk to Lain not simply because it’s futuristic and creepy, but specifically because it deals with the crossing of the boundaries between human and machine, ‘reality’ and online existence. Its focus is not so much on actual cybernetic implants, true, but that combined with the focus on information and hacking, etc seems to fit with many of the themes addressed by Gibson and other cyberpunk works.

    I’m sure that there are other categories one can slot Lain into, and perhaps it does not completely mirror other works in the cyberpunk genre. But it seems to have enough of those themes to qualify IMO, and frankly I think science fiction has become somewhat excessively fragmented into tiny genres that are more confusing than actually useful. (Kind of like music, really.)

  17. ABe is most certainly NOT a pedophile >:(

    He’s done lots work in both Robot and Tareme Paradise, an artbook and doujinshi respectively that are full of lolicon and other such japanese delights, but his contributions to those are really anything but pedophilic. I’m sure a. strange will back me up on this one!

  18. I think there’s a tendancy to slap the cyberpunk label on things based solely on the “cyber-” part, without considering if the thing is also punk.

    Which is why as a genre it’s pretty much been dead since the mid-eighties. There’s plenty of things that pick up similar themes, and thus get labelled as cyberpunk, but very few have a punk energy or attitude about them.

  19. Brack said
    I think there’s a tendancy to slap the cyberpunk label on things based solely on the “cyber-” part, without considering if the thing is also punk.

    Which is why as a genre it’s pretty much been dead since the mid-eighties. There’s plenty of things that pick up similar themes, and thus get labelled as cyberpunk, but very few have a punk energy or attitude about them.

    I find it strange that cyber-punk anime kind of died when it’s elements, cyber-centric in it’s outlook to everyday life and punk in it’s anti-establishment culturism, would and should have more relevance today. But there seems to be an acceptance these days of the limits of our horizons when back in the 80’s the individual was pushed to make it in the real world against all comers, civilian and government alike. I may be wrong. I was a child of the late 80’s and so can’t speak with solid authority.

  20. “Which is why as a genre it’s pretty much been dead since the mid-eighties. There’s plenty of things that pick up similar themes, and thus get labelled as cyberpunk, but very few have a punk energy or attitude about them.”

    I pretty much feel the same way. It’s kind of like film noir. Lots of movies attempt to replicate the look, style, mood, or themes, but noir is pretty much a product of the fifties in much the same way cyberpunk is pretty much a product of the eighties.

    “But there seems to be an acceptance these days of the limits of our horizons when back in the 80’s the individual was pushed to make it in the real world against all comers, civilian and government alike.”

    I think the biggest reason cyberpunk lost its relevance is that the U.S. won the Cold War. Without the threat of monolithic communism and cultural implosion, the “-punk” element kind of disappears.

    “But it seems to have enough of those themes to qualify IMO, and frankly I think science fiction has become somewhat excessively fragmented into tiny genres that are more confusing than actually useful. (Kind of like music, really.)”

    Totally. Perhaps we should come up with more clear methods of defining subgenres? I propose the Monofilament Wire Rule, which states that if it lacks monofilament wire, it’s not cyberpunk.

    I’m kidding. It’s hard. Not even the authors that created cyberpunk agree on what it is. Every time I see Gibson’s The Gernsback Continuum lumped in with the cyberpunk subgenre, I want to grind my teeth. Yes, it has drugs; yes, it has nihilism; yes, it has technology, but it’s the wrong kind of technology, the wrong kind of nihilism. Apples and oranges, you know?

    I frankly think the Japanese cannot really do cyberpunk in the same way Americans cannot really do manga. One of the huge elements of cyberpunk is the interpration of Japanese culture as seen through Western eyes. That’s why you see things like the ramen shops and the neon kanji signs and the kabuki-esque advertisements in Blade Runner. These things seem foreign and alien and new when thrown in the mix with an American cultural landscape.

    That’s one of the reasons I’ve been clamoring for the “techno-spiritual” subgenre. I think lain has more in common with films like The Ring, or series like Boogiepop Phantom, or any of those other crazy shows where electricity serves as a spiritual medium and ghosts can call you on your cell-phone. I think lain lacks the “-punk” element, as Brack already mentioned. Sure, Lain is an outcast, but she’s an outcast through inaction, not through action. There’s no sense of defiance, no spitting in the face of the forces aligned against you.

  21. This has nothing to do with anything previously discussed, but come on! Tetsuro Tanba has died. You anime fans who don’t know his name need to get on that and educate yourselves.

    Best known in the West as Tiger Tanaka from You Only Live Twice, Tanba was always one of the absolute coolest, loopiest b-movie stars in Japan. Whether he was fighting space aliens, engaging in espionage, or throwing tombstones at Riki-Oh; whether he was narrating “in search of” style pseudo-documentaries based on a tripped out religion he sort of made up himself, or whether he was sitting around on late-night TV, surrounded by scantily clad women, answering questions from the audience about love, adventure, and being a bad-ass — there were few cooler than Tanba, the man who never turned down a role, never memorized a script, and never finished watching any of his own movies.

    Today, the world is a little less manly.

  22. Regarding ABe and loli. Why isn’t he? I was writing about the release of the Lain art book and I couldn’t remember the name of Tareme Paradise to suggest his involve in the early stages of the phenomenon. It seems like ABe should at least be guilty by association. Who he’s worked with, what he’s worked on, and especially how he renders the anatomical form of young-ish girls would seem to put him in the position to be labeled a lolicon creator. I don’t think he is, but I’ve never been able to deduce a rational reason for that conclusion. Does anyone explanation more substantial than gut reaction?

  23. A brief correction:

    It’s Joel’s mom from Fast Karate for the Gentleman that holds a PhD in Psychology, not mine. Also my Mom thinks Julie Newmar is the best Catwoman; Halle Berry is her second favorite.

    I do include the occassional audio clip from the movies being reviewed. See the Silent Hill and Deep Blue Sea podcasts, for example. But my method of recording these clips is so haphazard, I often just stick to stock audio.

    Hollywood Hunting was dissin’ on my sound clips the other day, too. I guess I’m the only person on the Internet that thinks using the Wilhelm scream at least once per episode is totally hilarious. 🙁

  24. It’s Joel’s mom from Fast Karate for the Gentleman that holds a PhD in Psychology, not mine.

    How the hell do you remember that when *I* don’t even remember that?

    You’re fired.

    And you’ll never know the joy of tasting Joel’s mom’s DELICIOUS TURKEY (not a euphemism for sex, she cooks a mean bird).

    (“cooks a mean bird” is also not a euphemism)

  25. Dave,

    You can’t fire me! I QUIT! ;-p

    p.s. I’ll still receive a paycheck, and some of Joel’s mom’s DELICIOUS TURKEY as severance pay, right?

  26. Now I have to do a total about-face. I completely understand (as I was told I would) why Daryl said that the TRUTH was dead. Those conversations were…. unsettling.

  27. I’m supposed to have been appalled by Stevie B, right? Because I was. Completely. I’ve listened to that segment three times, and I can’t hear the irony.

  28. Hey, Keith stole my ‘tonight the world is less manly’ line for Tanba-san’s passing, so deal.

    Doesn’t make it any less true. As I said over at Patrick’s blog, Sean Connery, Sonny Chiba and Duke Togo all have to put in overtime now, to maintain the manliness factor of the world.

    Goober’s review of Zardoz made me happy, if only we shared a similar event. My mom is a huge Connery fan, and when she found out that Zardoz was on DVD…it’s shameful to hear a 60-some year old woman squeal like a yaoi fangirl…

    Now someone review the insanity of ‘The Omega Man’

  29. I’m adding Omega Man to the List.

    I’ve never seen it, but who can resist a Chuck Heston remake of the Vincent Price movie “The Last Man on Earth” based off of a short novel called “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson?

    Soylent Green is people!

  30. Yay! can’t wait for the Gooberzilla report on Omega Man!

    It’s a really bizzare film, because you can tell it’s supposed to be a major Hollywood film, but dang if it doesn’t come off like a ‘movie of the week’. Heck, ‘Last man on Earth’ looks like it had a bigger budget!

    I hadn’t seen it for a long, long time, and was totally blown away to notice that Ron Grainer had composed the music.

    Now if only Paramount would put ‘Crack in the World’ on DVD…

  31. Huh-huh-huh…you said “crack.”

    I once took a roadtrip with a friend of mine from San Francisco to Little Rock, AR. He had just finished law school, and if you’re a politically ambitious young attorney, you go to one of two places–Washington, or whatever hick burg the President came from. The night before we took off, AMC showed “The Omega Man.” We agreed it was excellent spiritual preparation for the trip across the American West, where it is often quite easy to imagine you’re among the last men on Earth.

    In particular there’s a certain length of intersate in southern Utah where it’s red rock desert for 105 miles–no towns, no gas stations…the only thing that’s missing are scarecrows crucified in an X to mark the edge of The Forbidden Zone. Seized by sudden inspiration, we stopped in the middle and shot a mini-movie on the vidcam, consisting of me sneaking up behind my friend with a rock, raising it high, and then stripping the watch from his corpse, raising it high in bestial triumph.


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