Anime World Order Show # 77b – Please Don’t Take My Baby Robot

Here’s the second half of Show 77 with our special guest Mike Toole. It contains Gerald’s review of Five Star Stories and Clarissa’s review of The Big O.

Gerald and Clarissa have their notes for their segments, so pictures and such are forthcoming. Hopefully they can add them in less time than it takes for Daryl to add notes for his.

Review: Five Star Stories (0:00 – 39:42)
As Howard Stern so deftly put it one New Year’s Eve so very long ago, FIND OUT WHICH ONE OF THESE GIRLS IS A MAN

Review: The Big O (39:42 – 1:25:35)
This segment TOM JOWNS. Let me show you the REAL Big O:

Closing (1:25:35 – 1:29:29)
Next time, Daryl’s getting himself into trouble by finally talking about Mamoru Oshii for the first time on this podcast. May as well go for broke: he’s talking about Angel’s Egg…and yes, In The Aftermath. Gerald will be reviewing the much-requested Roujin Z, and Clarissa completes her jailbait dudes in armor trifecta by reviewing Shurato. We haven’t recorded this yet, and this weekend is technically a convention. So uh…see you when we see you!

48 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 77b – Please Don’t Take My Baby Robot”

  1. Great show so far!

    I liked FSS, I had no liner notes, but I knew there was a bigger world behind it all. I kinda ignored all that though, and just watched. THIS is what anime should be for: to show us untold animated awesomeness. In the over-saturated relatively cheap anime world we have today, people like me will stick to manga more often than not, unless there is an exacting reason not to. FSS is exactly that sort of reason.

    MD Geist is good. I’ll never understand why it gets so much hate. I’ve seen far far far worse anime.

    Just throwing my (insane) opinion out there.

  2. Yay! I get to be the first to post about the dopey connection between L-Gaim and Five Star Stories.

    In L-Gaim there’s a goddess-like character named Posaydal.

    In FSS there’s an important character named Ladios Sopp.

    Just for fun, spell ‘Posaydal’ backwards.

    Now then.

    Having bought every damn volume of the FSS manga and gotten increasingly conflicted about it with each issue (tastes great/less filling) I have to come down with this judgement:

    Mamoru Nagano is a failure as an author.

    Why? Because he forgot (or dismissed) the single most important factor your work needs to attract and keep an audience: accessibility.

    The story is so convoluted and so broken up that you just can’t get any meaningful traction with it. So little of it stuck with me from book to book that I had to re-read the previous volume when the new one came out, and I still couldn’t grab onto anything.

    Why did I keep buying it? I thought it would be one of those works that becomes clear after a foundation is laid over time. What I found was that the foundation was just a blueprint–those liner notes in the back of each book.

    And that’s the other reason Nagano is a failure as an author. You know that most basic writer’s rule, “show don’t tell?” The foundation for the story is in those liner notes, which are all TELL TELL TELL. The foundation should have been in the story itself, which would have made them SHOW SHOW SHOW.

    I make many of the same charges against Masamune Shirow. And whattaya know, both those guys came out of the same timeframe.

    I understand that others have risen to the FSS challenge and dissected all those liner notes and made their own personal flow charts to follow everything, but really–should this be necessary? I say absolutely nicht.

    Also, the McFarlane comparison is one I’ve held many years myself. Thanks, Daryl.

  3. I like both the FSS movie and M.D. Geist legitimately.

    FSS is getting a rerelease on DVD from ADV incase you missed it the first time around.

    I’m very into visual style and if the visuals don’t impress me, then you failed you impress me. That’s why I liked the FSS film. Also Nagano is one of the best mecha designers ever.

    I didn’t care for Big O save for the mecha fights and the OP theme. I think simplified character designs only work when the animation is fluid such as Batman TAS but not Big O.

    I still want you to review SOMETHING moe, Daryl. Ok?

  4. Man you guys are disappointing me with your robot name pronunciations. Also Mortar Headds aren’t impossibly tall. They’re around Gundam sized.

  5. The Big O is stylish as heck, but I must strongly disagree with Mike’s assessment of the ending as “intellectually satisfying”. Chiaki Konaka’s writing has only worked for me in two instances, serial experiments lain and Marebito.

  6. Review Kiba.

    Do it.

    Kiba is painfully mediocre and there is nothing about it whatsoever that deserves my time or attention. I have a friend who keeps insisting on showing it to people even though he admits it only becomes mildly interesting around episode 40. Note that the entire show is 51 episodes long. It is absolutely forgettable and I am highly doubtful that it’ll make ADV any money. The preceding is literally my entire opinion of Kiba, and as such there’s no point in reviewing it. It also applies to Blue Dragon as well as many other things that don’t come to mind precisely because they’re forgettable.

    I still want you to review SOMETHING moe, Daryl. Ok?

    Considering that you were the one who wrote THIS over in a place where you thought I wasn’t looking:

    I’m rather glad that stuff like Strike Witches and Nogizaka are getting a second season rather than stuff that looks boring and isn’t indicative of now like Baccano! or Golgo 13.

    I am under no inclination to give one flying fuck what you want or think about anything. Oh, I’m sure you’ll try and pull some “but that was SARCASM!” lie, but you know what? Go back to bothering Andrew, AND SPEAKING OF WHICH:

    Man you guys are disappointing me with your robot name pronunciations.

    Oh yeah? Well YOUR MOM disappointed me, OHHH SNAP

  7. If you really want them reviewing new shows, the only one I could think of is the highly important Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. The OADs just finished too, which is too bad since it’s going on the “every episode is better than the last one” model of anime writing.

    Or Daryl could try to get people to watch Golgo 13 TV.

  8. Kurogane no Linebarrels is actually pretty alright. Once you get past the first four or five episodes, the show develops into a pretty awesome and corny youth soap opera. The female cast is also pretty good. I won’t watch it again, but it’s pretty solidly entertaining.

    Anyways, on to true quality–The Big O! I love the Big O, and it seems no one else does. I’m glad to see so much love lavished upon it in this episode, since it’s an odd little show that really deserves it. I kind of wish Sunrise would keep pushing out shows like this between the Mai Himes and Code Geasses (which are quite fine in their own right)

    I’ve only seen it dubbed, though. I watched Big O back when I wasn’t a strict sub snob, and turned on the English track simply because it made sense along with the art style. My next re-watch will most certainly be in Japanese, if not just to hear the next-episode-preview guy.

    Also, while season 2 was great season 1 had a certain charm about it… I really wish it hadn’t been canceled, and they could’ve just finished it all in one go. Oh well, I guess the Cowboy Bebop trick only works once.

  9. Hail Daryl feel free to delete this after you read it as it breaks Rambos law sorry.

    I hear your a big fan of The kids in the hall show,well they are returning to Canadian tv at least with a new show called:Death comes to town.
    Its the entire Kids in the hall group involved.

    If you like The kids in the Hall I reccomend you check out the bbc show The Mighty Boosh.

    That is all sorry if I bothered the mighty AWO with my pointless comment.


  10. Great Big O review. Of course, the anti-robot contingent of anime fandom may have little interest in this show, but after watching some of it last night, I happen to think it has one of the best first episodes of an anime ever.

    I also think it’s hilarious that you mentioned an episode that was spent mostly chasing a cat around, because there was an episode exactly like that in Code Geass, and it’s the exact episode at which I dropped the series. I have no doubt that Big O will execute that basic premise far better, though.

  11. Hey guys,

    I loved hearing about Five Star Stories. I don’t remember when I first heard about it (I stumbled across something about on the web around ’97 or so), but I’ve been fascinated with it since; I think it’s the massive world-building and lore. I actually haven’t seen the anime yet, but I was able to pick up most of the first 12 volumes of the manga on clearance at Hastings (a video rental/music/book store) in Brownwood, TX, for $1.47 a volume several years ago, which is the only time I’ve ever seen them in a store before. After listening to the review, I’m definitely going to pick up the anime if I can find it.

  12. I imagine Clarissa looking like the fujoshi character from Kannagi Crazy Shrine Maidens. That's not a bad thing if you've seen the show.

    >I am under no inclination to give one flying fuck what you want or think about anything. Oh, I'm sure you'll try and pull some "but that was SARCASM!" lie, but you know what? Go back to bothering Andrew, AND SPEAKING OF WHICH:<

    Aw, you don't want me to laugh my ass out of my chair as you try to rip apart Strike Witches or Moetan?

  13. Strike Witches rips itself apart.

    Strike Witches tells the story of a fight to protect that world using a combination of magic and technology. The titular Strike Witches, a group of young women with high magical potential, have been gathered together from various nations in a task force to fight against the enigmatic Neuroi… In order to bring out their potential for use in battle, each Witch equips a unique machine onto their legs: the Striker Unit. With the Striker Unit equipped, they gain the ability to fly and their tapped magical potential provides the strength to utilize weapons far too heavy and powerful for a normal person.

  14. I have one question. Who ceeps paying money for this crap! There must be a way to fined them and, “COVINCE” them that they are destroying every thing that does not suck in this world. I mean realy who the hell are they!
    Baccano was good,dub not as bad a serat said, I tired can’t spell..

  15. I really hate spamming up the comments, but–

    I didn’t realize the new Big O opening they made for season 2 was such a rip off on UFO until Mike Toole mentioned it. I was wondering why it wasn’t on my DVDs.

    Funny how that song is still used as BGM in some episodes, along with another piece of BGM that sounds just like the Twilight Zone opening.

  16. >I have one question. Who ceeps paying money for this crap! There must be a way to fined them and, "COVINCE" them that they are destroying every thing that does not suck in this world. I mean realy who the hell are they!<

    Um because a sizable portion of fandom wants to see shows like Strike Witches and Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu get second seasons.

    I lament the fact that a show like Strike Witches is more or less unlicensable and yet Dragonaut (a show that bombed horribly in Japan and was the laughing stock of the internet fandom) does. I guess poorly drawn boobs are more sellable than loli pantsu.

    On the subject of Mamoru Nagano. His work along with others is going to be featured in the NYC Japan Society.

    I also wondered, what the hell happened to his plans for Gothic Made (no, not Gothic Maid)? I THINK it was meant to be a more mainstream version of FSS (although that's what L-Gaim is basically was). Review L-Gaim. Best Tomino series IMO.

  17. I haven’t seen Big O -which gives me one more reason to thank the local CN for their lack of kindness- but my appreciation for Giant Robo is enough to make me quite interested. In addition to that, knowing both series are in a couple of the SRW games can’t possibly hurt, can it?

    I’ve always heard that Big O is sort of weird in places but that doesn’t meant the noir elements (being influenced by Batman: The Animated Series is another plus) and Super Robot action can’t be pretty fun in their own right, whatever I may eventually think of the show’s philosophy or its loose ends. The cat episode, at least going by the way you’re promoting it, seems quite funny…and sorry to disagree with emilio, but I didn’t have a single problem with the cat episode in Geass, which I actually liked for what it was. If that’s something of a bother though, then it was probably the right choice for him, which I respect.

    Anyways, I’ll try to look for both seasons of Big O and maybe that’ll keep me busy for a while.

    Five Star Stories sounds alright, knowing its limitations and not having much of a chance to read the manga, unexplored alternative means aside…style over substance can still be fun, so I just won’t expect too much (or maybe I’ll love it all the same, who knows?). In a related area, I’ve also heard L-gaim is one of Tomino’s better non-Gundam series, at least considering the time period it was made, which ties into what VZ mentioned above. No, not because it’s old, which is absolutely fine, but just looking at the rest of his contemporary works. I still think Turn A Gundam is hard to top, but that’s something else entirely.

    Great show and kudos to Mike Toole for his added commentary.

    Random review request, for no particular reason: Arion.

    Greek mythology (yay!) from Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, the guy behind Crusher Joe, sounds like good show material.


  18. I’ll have to pick up the Big O bricks, even tho’ I’m a commie.

    By the way you referred to the unfortunate use of the phrase “Big O”. My British friends tell me there was a bit of humor over the line “Roger the Negotiator”. Apparently in the UK to roger someone is to have very aggressive sex with them.

    I’ll toss in my request for a whole title to be reviewed:

    Goku Midnight Eye, especially the anime.

  19. Ahh, yes, the most often used “witty retort” of a typical dumb paranoidal USian : “Whoever disagrees with me is a communist”.

  20. Wow, just the episode title had me giggling for a couple minutes.

    I got ahold of the Big O soundtrack long before I heard of the show. Listened to it quite frequently because it had a nice mix of jazzy pieces. In fact, its probably the one of the few anime soundtracks my (non-otaku) brothers kept in the computer swapping.

    And Gerald, I’m looking forward to you’re review of Roujin-Z. That was one of the most bizarre anime I was exposed to on the Sci-Fi channel back when they showed CPM dubs on Sat. Mornings. It made even less sense than any bit of Robot Carnival. Esp. the Dancing Coke Can.

    No, no, Clarissa looks much more like Natsuko from the Cutey Honey movie.

    Strike Witches is a creepy seinen lolifest without the more enjoyable facade that Nanoha or *gasp* Moon Phase had.

    Now if I was going to inflict a show on Surat as a punishment game for recommending Apocalypse Zero (without cosplaying as the first villain), I would suggest Magical Witch Punie-chan/Dai Mahou Touge or Jungle de Ikou.

    Ugh, Arion is a anime best forgotten, as its on par with Xena/Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules with the comedy removed and Fatal Fury the movie. Its like some Japanese writer watched one of these or Disney’s Hercules without subtitles and then went back in time and made their own. There were several record-scratch moments where I went back and re-wound thinking I misunderstood or the track was wrong. But no, there wasn’t enough soap opera in the original mythology so they added more and stirred.

    But then again, when has anime ever really handled a non-asian mythology without getting it ack-basswards?

  21. Kimichi Tsuzuku: It’s already all but forgotten…which would make Arion an interesting failure, assuming you’re right, plus an incentive to review it. Besides, the thing apparently predates those Disney movies and TV shows and would make for a nice contrast with Saint Seiya. But hey, I’m just throwing an idea out there, nothing more.


  22. Do you guys have any further comments on the music in the Big O? I ask as for me it was one of the few anime soundtracks I actually went out and bought a legit copy of right after I saw it. (from a source in Japan so I know it’s not some shitty HK bootleg) I really think it contributes to the overall mood/atmosphere of the show which is what makes this show so great for me.

    Little miffed by Gerald’s reaction to Big O though, I would have thought anyone who likes Giant Robo would have liked this show as well. I’m kinda the opposite as wile I like Giant Robo I liked Big O a lot more. Granted I saw Big O when it was first coming out on DVD and only saw Robo this past fall (on AwO’s recommendation) so it could just be the fact that I saw Big O first but still.

    On a sidenote just to give you guys a little story about meeting Michael McConnohie a few years ago at TFCon (a Transformers convention) I actually had him sign all my Big O stuff over Transformers as I’m a huge fan of his performance in this show. Only problem I have with the guy though is if you ask him about anime in general he will refer to it as “acquired animation”. My guess is while he didn’t say it in so many words he’s a big supporter of home grown animation over anime.

  23. Ugh, Arion is a anime best forgotten, as its on par with Xena/Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules with the comedy removed and Fatal Fury the movie.

    I don’t know what you’re talking about sir. The Fatal Fury movie was greatness. Perhaps you missed that time when Kim started walking forward and his clothes tore off to reveal his fighting outfit which he wears when taking his kid out on the town and then moon kicked Choi in the godamn face. How about that time when the energy giant was about to punch Terry and he won by just punching it that much harder?

    — Maybe you just can’t handle good quality boots and fists to the head?

  24. I haven’t listened to this part of the episode, but I have to say right now:
    The album art for the episode terrifies me.

  25. I happened upon the first 3 volumes of Eagle in the discount bin at the local games store and picked them up based on Daryl’s recomendation.

    I never realized how important the ability to swallow is to being a successful US Presidential Candidate. Finally I understand how Bush did it!

  26. In regards to soundwaveCA’s comment about Big O vs Giant Robo, I’m with Gerald on that one. I like Giant Robo a lot more than I like Big O. I think Robo tells a stronger, more coherent story, and although it does end on a cliff-hanger, it’s more satisfying for me because I’m left with the feeling that despite the various fatalities, the story continues with the surviving characters facing new challenges and new enemies.

    Big O on the other hand simply hits the reset button. All of that build-up with absolutely no pay-off. Konaka murdered that show.

    Also, Five Star Stories is pretty but pointless. It’s the Advent Children of 1989.

  27. In my case it’s more of a case that I saw Big O and was an uber-fan of it long before Giant Robo. Don’t get me wrong I love both shows but for me I hold Big O a lot closer as it along with Gunsmith Cat’s and Riding Bean got me seeking out more of these Japanese toons.

  28. Just to add, my only complaint with Giant Robo was I thought it just got a tad ridicules especially with all the Chinese warriors and such just coming out of woodwork doing crazy things. The mix of medieval and modern just didn’t do it for me all that much. That and Robo himself didn’t really do it for me as the robot designs in Big O did. I think for me its in Robo’s eyes, don’t know what it is but something about it is a tad creepy for the lack of a better word. I would describe it as looking to “human” I guess in the face were I like the more “robot” look of Big O (again in the face not the robots as a whole). I will agree with the point though that I think the overall plot and story were better in Giant Robo. Like it was stated in the review Big O is at it’s best when it’s episodic with stand-alone episodes which is why season two is not as great as the first. That and I agree the payoffs in Robo was excellent so you won’t get any argument there. But yeah, I don’t mean to pit these two excellent shows against each other as it’s all good, I just wish we got more anime like these instead of the endless barrage of moe trash that everyone else seems to like.

  29. Well, ridiculous is what Yasuhiro Imagawa does.

    People talking in unison while running at high speed and fighting, techniques being pulled out of nowhere you never see again, robots randomly spouting tears are just a few things that let you know you’re watching something by Imagawa. The best part is that he makes it seem like there’s no hidden joke to any of it.

  30. I have to agree with that. I haven’t seen Giant Robo yet, but I have seen G Gundam, and I have looked over the raws for the ongoing Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Burned manga.

    Glad to know he’ll be working on Shin Mazinger.

  31. Here’s something you guys might know. When I watched first season of Big O (the brick) the opening song music isn’t the great Flash Gordon-esque music that you have in this episode. It’s some other music that sounds nothing like it (though they say Big O! A lot in it).

    Is this version one made for cartoon network because the original sounded too much like flash gordon? And how come no one mentions that this DVD brick doesn’t have the original music in it? Or is this music from season 2 (which I still haven’t seen) that they decided to put on season 1 too?

    The other thing I love about Big O is the tremendous amount of collateral damage before the fighting even starts. I don’t know what the city must think about a robot that tears up its streets every time it’s summoned.

    Piston punch rocks!!!

  32. From the afterword to Eagle it really seems like Carl Horn was positioning it to be some type of breakthrough to a mainstream audience like West Wing fans or something.

    That seems like a total pipe dream.

  33. So, I guess we won’t see any photos of Clarrisa any time soon. Clarissa can you post your ankles? There’s nothing like a well turned ankle to gaze upon.

  34. I can never get the Crayon Shin-chan voice out of my head whenever I hear the Japanese voice of Dorothy.

  35. Ahh, yes, the most often used “witty retort” of a typical dumb paranoidal USian : “Whoever disagrees with me is a communist”.

    Was that directed at Gilles Poitras? If it was, you are a colossal fucking idiot. Also, “paranoidal” and “USian” are not words.

  36. I like how AWO is the only podcast I listen to that has an image inserted into the MP3 file, and how all of the other podcasts I listen to are automatically assigned that same image as their album art by Windows Media Player, so that now Fast Karate and the Penny Arcade podcasts currently have that Pikabelle-chu fanart displayed alongside them.

    No, wait, it makes me paranoid and afraid. I get those confused sometimes.

  37. And I listened to this episode while playing SF4, thus completing the circle of sloth. I almost lost a match when that next episode stuff played: my gut kind of exploded from all the laughing.

  38. I’ve been waiting for Angel’s Egg to be reviewed….. I was going to send a voice mail, but i have not recorded it yet.

    There’s a few things i could rant about, like about how much Adult Swim sucks ass now…..

    FUCK TIM AND ERIC, AND THERE PIECE OF SHIT SHOW. I mean Tom Goes Mayor was a big pile of dog shit, did we need another unfunny excuse for a fucking show……

    HELL NO!

    At least there now playing clerks, too bad they made only 4 episodes. 🙁

  39. I can’t believe that Koichi Ohata is mentioned in the first part and ?!PoN gets no plug for our video interview in 2006 where we f-ing broke that shiat. Just for that, I’m not sending you anything nice from the TAF.

  40. Another episode that deserves my comments (finally)!

    There’s a few things i could rant about, like about how much Adult Swim sucks ass now…..

    FUCK TIM AND ERIC, AND THERE PIECE OF SHIT SHOW. I mean Tom Goes Mayor was a big pile of dog shit, did we need another unfunny excuse for a fucking show……

    HELL NO!If you don’t like it, you’re entitled to not watch it! I’ve learned this lesson long ago!

    At least there now playing clerks, too bad they made only 4 episodes. 🙁There was six. I find it difficult to watch it again though after so long (the show’s already a decade old), kinda wish the View Askew guys got around to doing that animated video they were going to do featuring those characters.

    The Big O was one of those I had watched when I had the time to, and I can remember getting that Batman: TAS vibe while doing so, I had to turn off all the lights and drape the windows just to be immersed in it! No other show gave me that since then. Never did see the second season though, and didn’t mind the way it ended the first time around.

    There, my two cents is done, though hardly anyone will ever read these besides the AWO crew and a few others who may show up here from time to time!

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