Caught up by Royalton Motors-level greed brought on by the war economy and the stardom promised by Irving K. Muscleman from Hollywoodland USA, this episode is all about the pursuit–and parting–of cash. Clarissa reviews the Black Jack TV series, Gerald opines on Tekkon Kinkreet, and Daryl gambles it all away on Kaiji.
Show notes to be posted later today. Note: even though it is exceedingly common knowledge everywhere else the show is discussed, anyone who spoils THE GAME in Kaiji is getting their comment deleted.
Introduction (0:00 – 40:16)
Remember last episode when we said how vulnerable we were to spending large sums of money when crazy sales happen? We start things off by talking about the financial peril we’ve placed ourselves in as a result of Right Stuf’s latest Geneon clearance and Deep Discount’s 20% off sale. Daryl’s still short one or two Dragon Dynasty Shaw Brothers releases, but to be honest he never cared that much for King Boxer/Five Fingers of Death anyway. The next Deep Discount sale is around November, but you may want to get your preorders in for GaoGaiGar Premium Box 2 before then since even though it’d be totally sweet to get that for under $19 they probably won’t print up very many. Being dedicated and serious journalists, we take this time to read an email from an associate of a known sexual tee-ranosaurus to SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT before giving our thoughts on JACON 2008, which was in a new hotel and location this year. As these pictures clearly demonstrate, the hotel wasn’t exactly the greatest.
Let’s News! (40:16 – 1:10:30)
Tomohiro Kato’s otaku expiration date came up five years early, and rather than just commit suicide like all true otaku, he opted to murder a bunch of people in Akihabara. Whether this will help accelerate the future world as seen in Chapter one of Ressentiment remains to be seen, but in true Hudsucker Proxy fashion, Tsutomu Miyazaki has made way for him to inherit the moniker of “otaku killer.” Funimation licensed Ookiku Furikabutte which will be released under the name Big Windup, which is kind of surprising given that sports anime has never really caught on in the US because fans just don’t realize that the sport being played doesn’t matter. In a truly shocking and completely unforeseeable development, PiQ magazine has gone under. The post we mentioned as being on their website has since been deleted, so here’s a mirror of it. We cannot possibly imagine what led to this turn of events, so don’t take our BIASED AND UNPROFESSIONAL word for it: read for yourself what the former writers of PiQ and Newtype USA are saying about it all (see here, here, and here for starters). Tokyopop (perhaps finally accepting that nobody is buying this stuff) is opting to release their so-called “OEL” properties as Web exclusives, and a third otaku’s expiration date clearly passed because following an earthquake in Japan, a corpse was found buried under massive toppled stacks of manga. PS: if you want a free Black Jack poster, please send in your erotic fanfiction about other podcasters besides us.
Promo: Anime Genesis and Anime Diet Radio (1:10:30 – 1:12:53)
Benu x Mike is a lazy choice for a submission considering the content of this promo. This weekend at Anime Expo they’ve got a live podcast panel on Friday at 7:00 PM in LP 4, so be sure to show up and let Benu know that Dave and Joel were doing anime podcasts before he was. Hmm, LP 4…why, that’s the theater in the LACC! It so happens that TV’s Patrick Macias also has a panel in the very same room Sunday at 1:30 PM, so be sure to chant “nerd girls aren’t the future” throughout the proceedings! Show up in your anime-themed club shirts and get a free issue of Otaku USA! Say, if anyone gets a spare copy of Issue 3 (the one with The Third on the cover), let us know so we can send it over to “Sweet n’ Sour” Larry Sweeney.
Review: Black Jack TV / Black Jack 21 / Black Jack: The Two Doctors of Darkness (1:12:53 – 1:36:10)
Voicemails remind us that The Serpent and the Panda (aka Panda and the Magic Serpent) can indeed be purchased from Wal-Mart for $1, but it’s dub-only and not restored. Art style aside, it’s commonly considered one of the first (if not the first) “modern” full-color theatrical anime films. Here, Clarissa expands upon her previous Black Jack review (which you should probably listen to first if you haven’t already) to talk about the newer Black Jack animations that have been released this decade. They’re much more faithful to the original manga, though how much more faithful won’t be fully known until we actually get a proper release of it in English. Which, thanks to Vertical Inc, will be happening soon enough. Expect a Black Jack manga review then. Black Jack is certainly a miracle worker, but wherever there’s a Black Jack there’s ALL-WAYS Pinoko / Wherever there’s fun there’s always Coca-ColAAAAAAAAAAARGH
Review: Tekkon Kinkreet (1:36:10 – 2:01:33)
In the voicemails, Emily understands the quickest way to our hearts is through being sycophantic, and talking about how and we’re so much more awesome than AnimeTV. It’s true. It’s true. Gerald reviews this theatrical film from Studio 4C that marks the very first time an American director has directed a Japanese animated film through the very same system that a Japanese director would. The results are…something, all right.
Review: Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji – The Suffering Pariah – The Ultimate Survivor (2:01:33 – 2:30:21)
Daryl reviews Season One of a series that doesn’t seem like the sort of thing which would develop a following among American anime fans. Kaiji is a series with no pretty girls in it or pretty guys. The character designs are by most standards ugly. The budget is relatively low. The episodes are only about 20 minutes long. There are no robots, ninjas, magic spells, cute mascots, gun fights, or sword fights. So what does it have? It has gambling. High stakes gambling. And that’s all you really need. Since it was not explicitly stated during the review, please note that there IS going to be a Season Two of Kaiji, but since the series just wrapped up in April it’s probably still a year or two away. Worry not; the future is in our hands. You can read an awesome article by Ed Chavez excerpted from Otaku USA magazine which Daryl ripped off wholesale for this review over here.
Closing (2:30:21 – 2:32:16)
New issue of Otaku USA’s out this week, and while you’re at it, check out the newly redesigned website, featuring web-exclusive articles from both Clarissa (doujin events) and Daryl (Yoshiaki Kawajiri). You might want to bookmark that site now since we might have more articles show up here and there, though Safari users be warned: all that fancypants Java stuff probably isn’t going to play nice with your browser. Next time on AWO: Daryl might review Part 3 of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (but might not!), Clarissa will probably review the bad thing she was going to review this episode but didn’t have the willpower to sit through again, and Gerald is probably going to start digging into the depths of his latest Deep Discount purchase if he doesn’t review Nobody’s Boy Remi first.