Bonus – Answering Emails the Otaku Way: On Christmas Eve

Christmas is typically a time for family and loved ones. But for us, it’s just another day. So let’s answer some emails. Oh, and announce the winners of the contest we’ve been running for the last several months.

Recording quality is a little tinny/below par since we didn’t run these through the usual filtering methods. We’ll list the notes and links…another day…

  • Gunshow Comic – Daryl will state for the record that he was down with the GSC before the Anime Club saga elevated it to immortality; for ease of reference the Anime Club arcs have been linked via the site. In the event those links someday go down: Part 1 Part 2 Part 2.5 Part 3 (For the record, if you want to know which Anime Club members we all correspond to, all three of us are Mort. We may think otherwise–Daryl thinks he’s Dave, Clarissa thinks she’s Mark, Gerald knows he’s Mort–but we’re probably all Mort.)

94 Replies to “Bonus – Answering Emails the Otaku Way: On Christmas Eve”

  1. I believe what Daryl is saying is as a franchise, Gundam is known well enough that opinions are already fixed, it doesn't MATTER which parts have been brought to America whatsoever.

    THIS Gundam is better than THAT one because it has Gundam in it.

    I still say Rambo's Law should be enacted on all unsigned anonymous posts. If you're not confident enough to identify yourself you deserve no voice in the matter. Carl can do it, why can't everyone else? Besides the fact that Carl is just a class act all around anyway?

  2. Daryl: Even if everyone's minds are already made up, that's not really the point here. I think more importantly people (like me) are more interested in hearing what YOU guys think.

    For reasons similar to what were stated earlier: it's nice to indulge in well thought out, informed, legitimate opinions and not just rants/raves. It just so happens that with AWO said opinions turn out to be entertaining as well. Regardless of where you stand, the WHY's are no less interesting. Also you guys have some pretty fascinating and/or humorous insights.

  3. I think it's fair to ask that you scroll up by a whopping 4 comments and read what I already posted mere hours ago preemptively answering that very question. 😛

  4. Your probably right on not reviewing shows like Code Geass and Gundam or any popular shows that people already know about. That being said just because a shows popular or well known does not necessarily mean everyone's seen it. However considering the main objective of this podcast seems to be talking about shows that might have gone under the radar or that people (who are already familiar with anime) arnt necessarily aware of it probably doesn't make sense either.

    It's still nice to hear Gerald go off on Zeta Gundam though. I never quite understood why that show is held in such high regard as it is. And it's still interesting to hear what you guys do have to say on the popular stuff regardless so I hope you guys at least try to fit some of that conversation in there even if you dont do a proper review.

  5. Maybe reviews for popular shows could be kind like this bonus round. Doesn't have to be a meaty review like the rest just your thoughts and such as that is apparently what people are interested on.

  6. Yeah I was thinking that as well after my last post.

    One more thing about reviewing Gundam shows too I would also think it's kinda pointless as well seeing as how most of them are pretty much the same in terms of formula. If you think about it the only main difference is between the Tomino and non-Tomino Gundam shows and even then it's still kinda the same formula.

  7. Turn A Gundam would beg to differ, if nothing else because it was a pretty big departure from Tomino's earlier work on the franchise.

    Anyway, I guess in the end this is just a matter of what Daryl & co. want to review at any given time. Sometimes that has included ridiculously popular shows, sometimes (or arguably most of the time) it hasn't. Who knows, we'll see how that goes in the future.

  8. I'd agree with the above commenter.Heck,no matter how many treehuggers keep on telling me how Avatar is the best(Note:I'm somewhat of a treehugger myself) movie to save the environment,Turn A Gundam is better treehugger show.

    P.S.:If what I said made no sense,just ignore it.

  9. When people are interested in one show or another being reviewed it's seems likely that it's not just personel preference or whether the show is new or old but because people desire some form of criticism for anime.

    Besides the limited amount of Anime magazines avialable the rest of the buisness of reviewing/discussion is left up to random blogs and podcasts and so quality of discussion on any particular topic will fluctate wildy. Therefore when you find a particular group of people whose opinions either knowledge or critical you wish to hear more stuff from them. It's not like film or music where you have hundreds of possible choices for reviewers you can trust, or at least the possiblity of trusted reviewers. This leaves only a small percentage of people with a whole lot of possible anime.

  10. When people are interested in one show or another being reviewed it's seems likely that it's not just personal preference or whether the show is new or old but because people desire some form of criticism for anime.

    I would believe that except I've spent far too much time in the pit, and by "the pit" I mean "the Anime News Network forums." I may have made Erin a better hero through tragedy such that she can now write the Shelf Life column, but every week she's learning the simple truth of the modern media consumer: people by and large don't really want "reviews." They want someone else to provide validation of their already set and determined viewpoints. That's true for mainstream and enthusiast media alike.

    We don't get much direct reader feedback for what we write for Otaku USA (it goes to the editors), but all of the hate mail that Paul Chapman, Clarissa, and I have ever received has come from people who have already seen the show, read the manga, bought the porn doujinshi, etc. They don't really need the review to determine whether or not they should watch or purchase the title. Their minds were made up long ago.

    Book and movie reviewers aren't subject to this, because they get to read the book/watch the movie before the general public can. Anime's in a unique situation in this regard, because for the most part, there isn't anything any reviewer can cover that isn't something most everyone has had the chance to go see for themselves. I guess talking about things nobody's heard of or remembers circumvents this, but the downside is that you'll never conquer the Internet.

  11. @Daryl

    Well that somewhat disheartening if not terribly surprisng to hear. Sounds similar to why lots of people go on to gaming forms in defense of some product.

    I was somewhat projecting my own views in the hope that there is exists some fraction of anime fans do wish to engage in some fruitful discussion.

    I think the film review thing is more interesting because it was the likes of Francois Truffaut who heped develop film criticism because he wanted to defened the American films he was watching to the french who at the time didn't consider them worthy of discussion in a series fashion. In the same way it would be nice if anime discussion could paint a more generous light on a medium which is subject to many
    preconceived notions (although not all of them would be incorrect.)

  12. @Jack:
    All mediums have some crap in them. I agree though that there needs to be some serious discussion about Anime in major film circles to bring it to the attention of the average American who's preconceived notions are that Anime is little girls getting raped by alien tentacle monsters.

  13. @Anthony.La.Berge

    Indeed, although I suppose it's even more important for anime to just be on regular television so that people can watch it without needing to hunt it. The only reason I started watching anime was because a friend forceably showed me some and gave recommendations. This was probably the only was I was ever going to get involved because there wasn't much/any anime on TV when I was growing up (UK). If people don't get exposed ot it then they have no interest in it. Thent they here negative things. Then they don't buy any and you don't have any kind of buisness.

  14. Exactly. One of the big networks needs to grow some balls and get something like Eden of the East, or Monster (yeah I know Syfy has it), or maybe a Black Lagoon or FMA:B. and show it at something like 6 or 6:30 (I'm thinking of America on this one. More specifically, Fox in the Midwest, where there are reruns of Seinfeld and The Office.) That way it's still kinda filler time, Not quite prime time, but still quite visible. And I think those shows would be able to fit in nicely with American audiences as they seem to be targeted at slightly older audiences. Americans love mindless violence and political drama(CSIs, 24, blah…) so Black Lagoon and EoE fit the bill there. And it's been shown we can handle mainstream Sci Fi with Lost, Heroes, Fringe, and to some degree Flashforward. So FMA:B fits there. There's also crime procedurals, like CSI's, NCIS, and, well, Fringe again. So Monster would fit in there.

    I don't know nearly as many shows as the AWO cast, so I'm sure there are many more that fit the bill here. The only contention would be that they have to be more recent. Americans can be fickle when it comes to quality, and 80-90's won't cut it for the mainstream population.(Not true with everyone though, I'm still working through Saint Seiya)

  15. The sad thing is there's actually a fair number of shows with real or potential mainstream appeal, Black Lagoon included, that have unfortunately ended up being broadcast by some random network or other without really having the chance to be seen by a larger audience.

  16. Yeah there are plenty of shows that could be shown, in a perfect world. I don't know if the age of the show would be terribly important as long as it mainted some sembelance of realitic looking characters. When anime fans complain that stuff looks 'old' that's just because they are somewhat inflexiable in their views.

    Yet even if you had the perfect shows to show on TV (Monster is obviously the best example, although shows with stand alone episodes are also important so people can feel like diping in and out) you still would have to get passed peoples notion that 'animation is for children'. Some network could indeed ivnest money in trying to alter perceptions, but why would they bother? They don't own the properties, they have to pay crazy liscencing fees etc so it just makes sense for them to produce their own regular tv. As opposed to embarking on some risky venture. In the end it's something that you have to install in kids before their ideas about things get set. Kind of like with repeat criminals – one they reach a certain age you won't change them out of their ways.

  17. "Get em while they're young" -Carlin in Dogma

    I didn't fit with this. When I was in Junior High, mid 90's, I thought of Anime as retarded nerd stuff. It took me seeing FLCL and .hack on Cartoon Network to really begin to enjoy it. It is a good idea to try to hook kids on Anime when they're young, so in that case; Pokemon, Naruto, Yu gi oh(Sp?),and all that stuff, is good for the Anime industry.

  18. >>>…the average American who's preconceived notions are that Anime is little girls getting raped by alien tentacle monsters.<<<

    Funny how that works, eh,?

    Back in my day, anime was "all giant robots and teen sex comedies."

    Sorry to hear that, after 30 years, you're pretty much still fighting the same fight.

    RWG (we always showed 'em the Golgo-13 film to shut 'em up 🙂

  19. Anything that makes money is good for the industry, as long it is not the snake-eating-it's-own-tail that pandering exclusively to Otaku's produces. Futhermore it's after brainwashing them that they are young that you have to hook them somewhere else. Lots of people watched some anime when they were kids, but that is all they watched. Sure some of those people may only enjoy one type of thing i.e. shounen fighting. Yet it is hard to tell without there being anime that fit in the range for people who grow out of the kid's stuff and want something more mature/complex. At least nothing avilable that is as easy for people to watch as the kids stuff was.

  20. Dear Daryl,

    I wanted to say that I personally use AWO reviews to check out things I haven't seen, and therefore have no opinion on as yet. I get the impression that's true of many people who listen. The reason I don't usually then give feedback is because, by the time I see the anime or read the manga that was reviewed, it's usually several shows later and AWO has moved on to different stuff.

  21. "They want someone else to provide validation of their already set and determined viewpoints. That's true for mainstream and enthusiast media alike."

    I'm having trouble following Daryl's rationale here. Can that really be said of the AWO audience? Yes I use the archive to listen to reviews of stuff that may be interesting, but I also use it to see what you guys had to say about stuff I had already seen. In fact I'm more interested in your reviews of things I've already seen than stuff I have no opinion of either way. So it's disappointing that there's no way to get your take on anything remotely contemporary (other than Otaku USA I suppose).

    I guess the part I don't get is why just because there are some tards in the world who only want to confirm their biases that that's reason enough to not put your views out there for the rest of us who value your opinions. Am I alone on this?

  22. Throw me in with Carl. If it wasn't for the AWO, I wouldn't own any anime or manga. I definitely wouldn't go to Borders and drop money on 4 volumes (so far) of Pluto and Ode to Kirihito without your guys/gals advice. Nor would I have bought Gankutsuou or Baccano. I mean, how would I find these things? Among my friend group, its my close buddies who find out about stuff through me listening to this podcast, or my not so close friends who watch downloaded episodes of Desert Punk or some other bullshit fanservice or straight up pedophile show thats their 'favorite' yet they can't be bothered to actually get it on DVD, yet chew my head off when I dare to call an anime a cartoon.

    I know that when I listen to this podcast to kill time when changing fryers, cleaning floors, or washing dishes at work, that I'm going to not only be entertained but also informed. Honestly, I don't care what kind of show is reviewed. All you have to do is give your honest and informed opinion on it, with the occasional tangent or interesting historical or trivial fact, and I'll never have a complaint one way or another and I'll keep listening happily. I'll also keep buying copies of Otaku USA to salute what you and your peers do, regardless of what inane complaining fills your letters section.

  23. I completely agree with Daryl's assessment of what's holding back anime criticism in the US, or at least lessening it's impact. At the same time, it's hard for me to view it a bad thing. I'm sorry access to information is so horizontal and free…? It feels inappropriate to think that way. The "excessively" level playing field of this hobby still seems to be what's holding it back, and at times, what's holding back my enjoyment of it.

    Nevertheless, where the hell do you go to have intelligent discussions about anime? I still don't know the answer. ADTRW, by virtue of charging it's users, is far better than most of the Internet, but there isn't any in-depth analysis or discussion that makes me feel like I NEED to be there (It's a comedy website, should I even expect that from it?)

    If anime criticism is going to conquer the Internet, it's probably going to have to do it by answering the question: "there's too much stuff, what the hell do I watch (and where did it come from)?" I attribute AWO's success to the fact that it's always answering this very question.

    But I'm greedy, I still want more. For example, I read Jason Thompson's 2-part article about the "Manga" anthology with the enthusiasm of a jonesing crackhead. These sorts of things are all too rare.

  24. >>But I'm greedy, I still want more. For example, I read Jason Thompson's 2-part article about the "Manga" anthology with the enthusiasm of a jonesing crackhead. These sorts of things are all too rare.

    Do you mean Joe Mcculloch (Jog)'s article, or are you talking about something else?

  25. I find that criticism of stuff I like may not bring me around to the critic's point of view, but, if they have a problem with specifics and explain the problem, it may prompt me to try and think a bit harder about the things they're criticizing, and whether I think my point of view is defensible. Examples of situations like that have been the attempted rape in Royal Space Force, or the religious content in Evangelion. But if a person's criticism is simply that something's boring or WTF, that's not really the kind of thing you can have a debate over.

    On the other hand, several times I've found that on anime or manga I thought I disliked, or wouldn't give a chance, someone turned around my opinion with a thoughtful review, endorsement, or some other new way of looking at it. For me, this goes all the way back to Patlabor and Gunbuster, both of which I dismissed when they first came out, and very much came to appreciate years later. So at least for me personally, it's much more often that a positive review can change my mind on something I disliked, than a negative review can change my mind on something I like.

  26. Yeah the only other forum (that I frequent) with really any level of near-human discussion is NeoGaf : because you need a non-free email address, it takes ages to be approved membership and there is heay moderation. Well it's where I went for the top anime list and retro anime lists that I am slowly working through.

    Yet for straight up articles that are worth reading I usually head on down to Colony Drop.

    On the topic of "why isn't there more interesting stuff?" it's usally because not enough people care, all they want is a bunch of screenshots.

  27. Colony Drop's usually good and a consistently informative read…provided you don't mind all the circle-jerking involved or, heaven forbid, try to interrupt it.

  28. To beat on some dead horses. AWO make there stand on Gundam clear. Daryl did it on Anime 3000, and Clarissa did it on 3 Destroy All Podcasts DX. Gerald just the only one who view on the show.

    I think one of the reason why anime haven't pass the level of success that it did in late 90's early 2000's, Because a good amount of fan don't want it be the too popular. I may be over thinking this, but a lots of podcasts and blogs are putting off that "I hear it first" vibe when anime get a little mainstream attention. Anime not indie thing now, but at the same time people always put Anime/Manga higher than American Cartoon/Comic because it look and sound differ than Spider-Man.

    Ever generation have something that was big in there young years that was difference from there mom and dad years. We just have to see if anime become the next video Games or sci-fi?

  29. As if to sum up the modern anime fan scene entirely we have exhibit A :

    Watch : As that small group of people who actually enjoy anime on a fairly reasonable forum DESCEND into a group of gibbering monkeys.(Few remain sane!)

    Shudder : As people argue about such things as cel vs digital in 2010! Whats witht these old men?

    Gawk : As people who walked in with reasonable arguments refuse to back down from their insane positions and claim things like "There weren't 50 shows made in the 2000's that weren't otaku bait."

  30. I'm really,really sorry if this sounds offensive,but Mr/Mrs. wayintothe7thart,are you Chinese?The way you type out your sentences are somewhat…..familiar.

  31. Still reading comments for this thing? SUCKERS! Anyway, the only thing remaining to be recorded for the SUPER LONG (or super short!) Show 86 is the news, which is getting recorded…today! Ish.

    In the meantime, I need your feedback. As anyone who's ever seen this site can attest, I don't have the first grasp of what makes a website layout good. We're switching this thing over to WordPress SOON, but before I do that I want to hear what you think of the design:

    Check out That's my test mockup using a pretty standard theme I just downloaded. For now it kind of just looks like a sort of replica of what we got here, only with less stuff on the sidebar and fewer links. (Best I can tell, Blogger widgets don't carry over to WordPress widgets so I have to recreate them from scratch.)

    But go there and let me know what would be good to have (or NOT have) on the site. Don't be vague, because I say again that I don't know anything about design. I can understand specific commands like "add this," "take that out," "move this," "make that a different color" and all that.

  32. Well on the right side I see two search bars, pretty unnecessary just leave the top one. Same deal with the rss feed. You have two at the top and the another on the side.

    Personally I never saw the point on the calender but not sure about other people.

    Thats all I see

  33. Oh. I should note that I can switch themes from one to another dynamically and have been cycling through them based on what people are telling me on Twitter. So what you see at one point might look totally different than what you see at another point!

    The logo should be there, though. Right now I'm hearing it's too small for all the themes I'm trying out. The full sized logo doesn't display right without me changing things around, but there are hundreds of these things. Basically, I'm only picking the themes that let me do nested comments.

  34. uh, the colors could use some work. The black on gray with darker gray is kind of drab. Some more light colors like yellow or white might help. Looks too plain and "boring" without some kind of contrast

  35. I think the colours look fine, although it could be a bit brighter. What I appreciate most is the move to horizontal posts which look a lot neater and easier to read then vertical posts.

  36. I no one comments on this site in a while. So is everyone on the new site now or just waiting for the new show to be poster. If the fist one, tell me the name of the site because I lazy and don't want to check up on old episodes.

  37. I dont know why I’m thinking about this again now but if I were to resend my contest entry I would have chosen Gunbuster for Clarissa, Gunsmith Cats for Gerald and Now and Then: Here and There for Daryl. Random I know.

    I presume the “prizes” have all been mailed?

  38. Oh my, you made me think for a second that your fabulous prizes are some kind of anime toilet paper! xD But you wouldn’t do such a thing, right? …Right?

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