Bonus – Interview with Michiko Ito, Part 1

Note: The audio overlapping problem has been fixed and a new version of the episode has been uploaded. If the audio overlaps in your copy, redownload the episode.

This one’s for all the Gerald acolytes out there, as he conducts an interview with Michiko Ito, professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Kansas. Tim Eldred, whom we interviewed in Show 14, is also present. Be sure to check out for Tim’s Starblazers Rebirth and Tim’s excellent documentary Space Battleship Yamato: The Making of an Anime Legend. Listen on, would-be otaku, and discover exactly what inanimate objects YOU should be praying to in order to guarantee that you see that next episode of Gundam!

2:25 – Michiko talks about anime in Japan when she was growing up, and that it was called “terebi manga.”

3:15 – What it is that separated Space Battleship Yamato from the rest of the anime on at the time, which was largely sports anime. When Michiko talks about “the end of each episode,” she is referring to the number of days remaining until Earth is rendered uninhabitable, which added dramatic tension to the series. Michiko also talks about being fond of Starsha:

4:40 – Tsunehiro Okasako was the character designer for the original Space Battleship Yamato.

5:55 – Michiko explains that the competing program to Yamato was the Hayao Miyazaki classic Heidi of the Alps.

7:00 – Michiko and her brother call in to local radio stations to request the opening theme of Yamato, aptly named Uchuu Senkan Yamato, sung by Isao Sasaki.

8:10 – Chibi Maruko-chan is another powerhouse show in Japan. She also mentions that Yamato was able to widen the appeal of animated shows outside of the elementary school crowd; however, almost no merchandise for that audience was available.

10:50 – The Yamato radio specials, possibly the biggest promotional tease in history.

15:00 – Michiko explains how Yoshinobu “The Nish” Nishizaki wanted to portray the ideal man with his own ideals and his own goal as a major theme of Yamato.

18:35 – Michiko explain “Golden Time” to us, which is the equivalent of “Prime Time.”

19:50 – Michiko explains her disappointment with continuing the Yamato franchise with sequels such as The Comet Empire after Saraba Uchuu Senkan Yamato – Ai no Senshitachi (aka Arrivederci Yamato) ended the series.

21:15 – Ribon no Kishi (aka Princess Knight) was the creation of Osamu Tezuka.

21:45 – Tokusatsu, the all-encompassing term for special effects shows. She also mentions the classic Kamen Rider and Kikaider. Michiko also mentions the very well known Candy Candy, a show that was so popular that episodes of it were made just for Italy.

22:15 – At this point Gerald says “Kodai or Desslar.” Kodai was the Japanese name for Derek Wildstar and Desslar was the Japanese name for Desslok. The big debate between female fans of the time was “who was the more popular character?” as each had fanclubs for their voice actors.

22:50 – VOTOMS, or Armored Trooper VOTOMS, the show Tim Eldred is nearly singlehandedly responsible for bringing to the English speaking world [Daryl: Neil Nadelman will have our heads for this outrage]. She also mentions Fang of the Sun Dougram, which was a prototype of sorts for VOTOMS as it was done by the same director and had the same atmosphere.

25:25 – Mobile Suit Gundam. Like this needs an explanation.

27:50 – Blue Noah, Nishizaki’s desperate attempt to recreate Yamato which failed miserably. And then, of course, there’s Odin. Just listen to Show #12 for more information than you ever wanted to know about that one.

29:10 – Saiyuki, also known as Journey to the West. The basis for tons of anime including Dragon Ball and–of course–Gensomaden Saiyuki. You can find out more about Journey to the West here.

30:45 – Michiko brings up the importance of “romance” in Yamato, also seen as a “otoko roman” or “men’s romance.” Not to be confused with “shonen ai,” which Clarissa can tell us more about.

33:25 – Michiko is referring to the Americanized version of Uchuu Senkan Yamato known as Star Blazers, and she brings up Gojira also known as Godzilla.

34:30 – The joke that Gerald is referring to here occurred in the series where characters would appear in ships that would explode and they would instantly cut back to other characters that looked nothing like the guy in the ship that just exploded and say “just made it back in time,” to hide the fact that someone died.

40:25 – Japan’s Article 9

44:55 – Revenge of Mouflon

48:10 – Animentari Ketsudan and Zero-sen Hayato are some of the anime that depict war.

49:50 – Kamui Gaiden better known as The Legend of Kamui, by the legendary Sanpei Shirato. This is not related to the theatrical film Kamui no Ken (aka The Dagger of Kamui) that Daryl will be reviewing very soon.

54:35 – The Spiriting Away of Sen and Chihiro aka. Spirited Away.

55:40 – We haven’t been able to find this image that Tim says appeared on the cover of The New Yorker magazine. If anyone has it, email it to us so we can add it to the show notes.

58:45 – Chinmoku no Kantai aka. Silent Service by Kaiji Kawaguchi. Gerald mistakenly said “Kenji Kawaguchi.”

1:00:25 – Fax from Sarajevo

Next week, we have an actual show! Gerald does his review of the Kazuo Koike “jigoku manga” Lady Snowblood, Clarissa reviews Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and Daryl takes a look at the theatrical film Hokuto no Ken: Raoh Gaiden Junai-hen because he’s not done watching Twelve Kingdoms yet.

Anime World Order Show # 37 – Interview with Marc Handler, Writer for Voltron and Lots More

Departing from our typical show format, our special guest this week is Marc Handler, who’s worked in various roles on localizing titles such as Voltron, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, Transformers, FLCL, Naruto, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Astro Boy, Avalon, Zatoichi, and much, MUCH more.

Opening bumper courtesy of Vic Mignogna, who is officially living the dream. This interview is the entire episode and the topics are all over the place, so here’s some approximated time markers. Sorry Clarissa zealots, but she wasn’t present for this recording.

3:45 – Who Marc is and how he got his start with working on Voltron. Some subjects include: the unorthodox manner in which Voltron was recorded, how anime scripts at the time were written, and what the heck was up with the animation at the end of Voltron: The Movie, anyway?

15:00 – Working on Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, and how the approach to that was both similar to and different from Voltron.

17:00 – Marc’s involvement with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and how Voltron and Ninja Turtles helped change TV.

19:00 – The difference between writing for original shows and writing for already-existing ones, and what Marc considers essential when writing ADR (dub) scripts.

21:25 – What it was like working for Saban on things like Superpig, Honeybee Hutch, Eagle Riders, and such.

25:00 – Working for Pioneer on Tenchi Muyo and how much different their approach was compared to everything else, in addition to Voltron: The 3rd Dimension. Plus, whether or not Marc was involved with that Sprite commercial where the rappers were piloting Voltron.

27:00 – The number one aspect that most anime dubbing studios focus on and why this is a bad idea. Plus, the companies that DON’T do that stuff and why it is that others don’t follow suit even when there’s such a noticeable difference in the quality.

32:00 – Marc’s involvement with FLCL and Cowbop Bebop.

35:10 – Working on Transformers: Robots in Disguise along with Transformers: Cybertron and the difference between the handling of the two.

Promo: Weekly Anime Review Podcast (36:52 – 37:25)
Aaron’s got “FORM BLAZING SWORD” right there in his promo, so how could we not play it during this episode? He was also a guest at SITACon, but the only real photo of him we have is of him holding pornography while sticking out his tongue.

37:25 – Optimus Prime on semiotic cohesion in poetry, and how in the world that made it into the script.

40:00 – On American TV Standards and Practices, how this affected the production of the 2003 Astro Boy series, and whether we think this is actually having a productive effect or not.

43:40 – Why Astro Boy (and similarly, things like Saint Seiya and Fist of the North Star) was popular everywhere else in the world but not in the USA. How Astro Boy introduced thematic concepts we’ve seen in anime for years that are generally still not present in many American cartoons.

48:10 – Marc’s English-language pilot for Astro Boy (that was not used in America) and how it was entered into the Tokyo Animation Fair.

50:45 – On being a story editor for the initial episodes of Naruto and WHEN IS THE FILLER ARC GOING TO END????

51:45 – Mix Master (a Korean animated program that Marc’s currently working on) and the Korean animation approach in relation to the Japanese one.

54:00 – Marc’s involvement with Steamboy and why it was exciting yet a disappointment for him.

56:30 – The Cowboy Bebop movie as an example of how there’s no such thing as a “direct translation.”

59:20 – Working on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

1:00:50 – Translation considerations when working on Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis.

Promo: Dave and Joel’s Fast Karate for the Gentleman (1:01:54 – 1:03:00)
When this episode came out on Friday evening, Dave took me to task for not releasing the episode in time for him to listen to it at work. Now THEIR episode is the one that is late! Wait a second, if you believe hard enough, this interview was actually posted like five days EARLY.

1:03:00 – Working on live-action dubs such as Avalon and Shaolin Soccer, and why it’s more difficult than working on anime.

1:07:45 – Regarding Marc’s work on videogames, which is less stellar a track record than his anime and film pedigree since he worked on Seven Samurai 20XX which has a rap scene that’s right up there with the animated Titanic.

1:14:00 – What Marc thinks the future has in store regarding anime’s popularity.

1:16:00 – Do anime companies really listen to the fansub watching fans when they license something that’s super-popular even before it’s picked up for release in the US?

1:17:00 – Why being too close to the Japanese can result in bad dubs too.

1:19:30 – More on Astro Boy and Cowboy Bebop.

1:22:00 – Final comments.

The next episode of AWO is for all you Gerald lovers since it’ll consist of his interview with Michiko Ito and Tim Eldred that he conducted back at Anime Weekend Atlanta. Yep, no Daryl or Clarissa to cramp his style and not let him talk for once! Plus, there might also be Gerald’s review of Kazuo Koike’s manga Lady Snowblood! HELLO, LADIES.