Bonus – 2003-2004 In Review…Also With TV’s Matt Alt

The AWO decade in review soldiers on, and we are joined once again by TV’s Matt Alt! We only got through two years this time, but there was a lot to talk about.

Next week is Megacon which we will be attending. If you’re there early enough, check out our manga panel at around 10:00 AM!

106 Replies to “Bonus – 2003-2004 In Review…Also With TV’s Matt Alt”

  1. Awesome, Gungrave has finally been mentioned on AWO. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of you mention that show before, which is one of my favorites despite the obvious flaws it may have.

    Mouryou no Hako has been fully fan subbed, by the way. Very good mystery show, but it’s also incredibly dense and difficult to wrap your head around at points, which can be a turn-off to… certain viewers.

    A few shows I thought were worthy of notice:

    Koi Kaze – I suppose none of you could get past the subject matter?
    Elfen Lied – Would have loved to hear your opinions on such a controversial show.
    Scrapped Princess and Kurau: Phantom Memory – Two earlier, quality BONES shows which appear to have been completely forgotten in the wake of FMA and Eureka Seven.

    And a few obscure anime not mentioned which I think are worth watching:

    Someday’s Dreamers
    Ultra Maniac
    Windy Tales
    Uninhabited Planet Survive
    Le Portrait de Petit Cossette
    Ojamajo Doremi

    1. None of it is knee jerk, I do have reasoning behind all of it, but I doubt anyone would want to listen to it all. Planetes is the type of show I WOULD like, but I just couldn’t and the characters were just too unlikable for me. It’s tough sometimes, since one rarely has to justify why they LIKE something nearly as often as why they don’t like something.

      1. I really liked the Planetes manga but didn’t like a single thing the anime added. You might want to try it, there aren’t as many long speeches with really obvious moral points and such.

        My favorite part is that, when he does try to make a moral point, it never seems to make any sense.

  2. “Animatrix might be #1” – Doubt it, since the Ghibli stuff, Naruto, DBZ probably have the edge with kids. That was at least in development for three years. No one seemed sure it was actually happening until they put out the images and trailers. I think some of the sites which played certain segments for free also crashed from the hits. What else? Fist made a come-back in new OVA + movie installments/spin-offs.

    “I don’t think anyone here believes there’s no homeless people.” – Well, except for Bill O’ Reilly… [Irrelevant. Bill O’Reilly lives in New York, not Japan. –Daryl]

    RE: Iron Man + Wolvie anime reactions. Weren’t those supposed to be test reels and not what the final product would look like?

    RE: Appleseed 1. Compared to the sequel and the OVA, it’s good. Though in terms of Shirow plots, I’d say Orion and GITS 1 are the most obtuse.

    RE: Steamboy. As an Otomo fan, it pains me to agree with that movie sucking. I had high fucking expectations for it, too. On the positive, though, it’s the first time anime and Star Trek finally collided via Patrick Stewart’s dub.

    “Had a right to be worried [about Diebuster]” – Yeah, I’ve avoided even getting used copies, because it made me think “Dead Leaves meets moe”. I still don’t get why there’s a cult following for Dead Leaves, either.

    “tactical error releasing it here as Gunbuster 2” – The real tactical error is charging forty fucking bucks for two eps each and without a dub.

    RE: Tetsujin 28 ’04. Might’ve been more interesting if they semi-modernized it.

    I’m surprised Dreamworks/Toei/4Kids doesn’t get a mention [You should NOT be surprised because as we said at the beginning, we are deliberately putting our focus on the actual anime titles made than the year-to-year manuevers of specific US anime companies because every other decade in review blog post/podcast has looked at it from that angle already. So I’m not deleting all your industry speculation that you state as fact because I’m “in Al Kahn’s pocket,” I’m deleting it because that angle’s been thoroughly beaten into the ground. –Daryl].

    “[Satoshi Kon]’s a secretive otaku as well” – He’s an Ultraman fan, and he uploaded pics visiting one of the museums a while back. He seems to be in a current Hitchcock/Eastwood renting kind of mood right now, but he was talking about Die Hard 4 a while back.

    As for the Phoenix show, it’s not really as good as the manga in terms of pacing and the way they try to cram bisecting stories together to keep it under budget.

    “Most disappointing show of the year, Yugo the Negotiator” – Yep. It’s like Keaton with 10x the dull stuff.

    RE: Mind Game. You forgot about Nasu: Summer in Andalusia, too. Both are classics which make American companies skittish about acquiring, even though they probably cost a lot less to license than the shows they want to release here.

  3. Sgt. Frog is actually pretty darn mainstream as far merchandising goes. I live in Japan and sometimes I turn on the TV on the weekends and the show airs on Saturdays at 10am. It is chockful of Gundam references but there’s a bunch of broader slapstick that the kiddies like and a think a couple of theatrical movies on top of that. I see the kids and even teachers with a bit of merchandise like pencil case straps and such.

  4. What exactly was so terrible about the first episode of Samurai Champloo, Gerald? I thought it did an admirable job of introducing us to the characters, their personalities, and the (legitimately weak) plot device of “searching for the samurai that smells of sunflowers.” The episode starts at the end and then rewinds to show us what happened, and it does so in a humorous, exciting, and entertaining way.

    1. Well obviously we’ll never come to an agreement on this, but I really hated the “scratching” effect that they used constantly as well as the manner that they wanted to do the episode. I’ve got no problem with telling a story out of order, but if a writer wants to do that, then they have to do it very well, and the first episode didn’t do that for me.

      I think that if they really liked what they were doing in the first episode, they’d have kept doing it, but obviously they didn’t and it worked out better for the show.

      1. I think it was well done, but I will concede that it was definitely not necessary to tell the story out of order. To me, it almost seemed like one of those “one-off” episodes in Cowboy Bebop (like the one where the entire crew gets sick via the alien-blob-thing and jettison a disgusting old refrigerator).

        So yea, I don’t think they approached it as a template for the rest of the episodes, but more along the lines of Shinichir? Watanabe saying “hey, let’s do this for one episode. It’ll be cool.”

      2. Actually Gerald, the “scratching” effect was used very well in the show theme. Scratching is very common in hip-hop as DJ will use it to go the next song ever if the that one is already playing far from over. If the DJ is really good at it, he can put on a show that can ever put professional artists to shame. I agree the effect would have gating little old after a while, which why is they probably stop after 2 or 3 episodes, but make perfect sense for a hip-hop theme show to have it.

  5. I have to agree with what Clarissa said when talking about the Z Gundam movies. It’s not so much that Japanese studios don’t have enough money, it’s just that America (specially Hollywood) is the only place really that has the money to do the high budget effects that are demanded for some films.

  6. Is it me, or did Daryl not note about one of the most atrocious anime of all time, Gundam Seed Destiny?I feel insulted back then, for I found solace in Bleach AND Destiny at the same time,instead of Gankutsuou. For shame,for shame…….

    1. Unlike Gerald, the only things I bothered to list for a given year were things that were good. As such, I deliberately did not mention Gundam SEED: Destiny, since it’s the single largest disappointment of the entire decade. It was supposed to be the new Gundam generation’s version of Zeta Gundam and ended up being the new Gundam generation’s version of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. So even though everyone likes to say that I hate everything because the human mind is set up to latch onto the things you find disagreeable and ignore the rest, I figured it better to just not acknowledge its existence at all to let it remain forgotten.

      I did not mention the New Fist of the North Star OAVs either. They are not bad; I certainly bought them one disc at a time and even had it written down on my list of things. But I guess I didn’t actually mention it in the end. I guess it’s true that Takehito Koyasu is no suitable replacement for Akira Kamiya, Gackt can’t act at all, nothing happens in the entire second episode except for the only on-camera rape scene in all of HnK, and for the majority of the third episode Kenshiro is trapped behind a caged door. Considering that the very first thing we ever saw Kenshiro do was break apart the bars of a steel cage door, I find it hard to believe that that door or any other would really impede him from getting to where he wants to go for more than 10-20 seconds. On the other hand, it’s the most graphically violent HnK anime to date, so short clips from it are great to use at panels.

  7. Few of my thoughts,

    Gungrave was a show I got into recently with the cheap Funimation re-release, what’s funny is I watched that first episode and didn’t pick it up again for like 3 months. Began watching it again and loved it, like Daryl said the mob story is excellent and really blindsided me to come out of nowhere. One thing I really found refreshing about this show was the fact that everyone is an adult and it’s more or less an all male cast which is a rarity these days.

    Diebuster I picked up the Honneamise release of that a few weeks ago ($25 CAD for all 3 disks). I agree with Gerald I was really disappointed with this as I love the original Gunbuster. The first 2-3 episodes were outright awful but I have to say it did pick up in the back half and ended on a good note. Personally I thought it was too much like Gurren Lagann for my tastes (which I don’t like either). But yeah I think the original Gunbuster is a great tribute to classic sci-fi which Diebuster does not follow up on which is why I think old-school fans don’t take to it as well (aside from the moe and the maids). And yes the Gunbuster fans I know do like Diebuster a lot as well, like you guys said I think people balked at it when it first came out but it’s looked on much better now. Daryl nailed it by saying all they have to do to market this show is describe it as FLCL meets Gurren Lagann and that’s it.

  8. Loving this decade round-up. There’s been a bunch of anime mentioned that I’ve somehow missed that I need to catch. For 2005, will you mention “Mushishi”? I think that was my favorite anime of the decade, after “Baccano!” and “Kino no Tabi.”

    Also, not to hijack the comments section, but this may be relevant to Clarissa’s interests: I will be giving a panel at Anime Boston entitled “Beyond Bishounen” about boys’ love works that are not overrun with pretty boys. Bara and manga for actual gay men in Japan will also be touched on. I would be absolutely delighted if you could attend, and I’m looking forward to the panels AWO will be presenting at AB.

  9. Have to agree with your assessment that Tokyo Godfathers is the most accessible of Satoshi Kon (clearly one would have to be insane to think otherwise!) and I loved Clarissa’s comment about it being “Oscar bait”-ish because I’ve always felt that way personally about it as well. Btw, I’m still having a hard time digesting that Gerald doesn’t like Millennium Actress, because that’s such a fantastic movie (but should it surprise me that Gerald hates something? nah… it shouldn’t).

    2004 was a great year for anime indeed, made greater by the fact that we got some good releases here that debuted in earlier years as well. I was psyched about the American release of Azumanga Daioh and Tenchi GXP, for example. I couldn’t really torrent back then because I was in a dorm room and we had dial-up at my parent’s house. So it was great to get these releases and relish in them back in that magical year of ’04.

    Looking forward to what you’ll have to say about ’05 and ’06, because they seemed to be a bit slower on releases and good stuff when compared to the earlier parts of the decade, at least in my own personal estimation. Were these also the years when Moe hit us hard? Ah, but that’s for the next podcast! Looking forward to it and keep up the good work!

    1. Maybe one day when we review the movie I’ll do in to why I hate it so much, since it would be too much for me to go in to here. Of almost anything out there, that’s the one that seems to surprise people the most, the mere possibility that someone couldn’t like that movie, UNHEARD OF!

      1. Understood completely, Gerald. And believe me, I’m not knocking you at all for not liking it. I know you’re not an internet troll. There are plenty of “sacred cows” out there that I personally dislike as well. For instance, I’ll never understand the appeal of FLCL.

    2. I hated TG for having unusually low-brow comedy and lazy plotting-at least by Kon’s standards. Plus, the thing has the Jersey Girl-esque problem in which the director can’t seem to want to decide whether to be more light-hearted this time, or to continue to cling to his dark side, and he ends up failing on both counts.

  10. Do the doors to Megacon even OPEN before 10am on Saturday? Jeez. I’m probably going to wander down there for a bit to admire the dealer’s room since it’s in town, but I dunno if I wanna drive down to Tourist Land that early.

  11. Now I take Bradley Meek job and post the list this time.

    Air Master
    Wolf’s Rain
    Stellvia of the Universe
    Wonderful Days (Korea Animated)
    Fullmetal Alchemist
    Astro Boy
    The Big O II
    Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu & The Second Raid
    Tokyo Godfathers
    Cromartie High School
    Kino’s Journey
    Narutaru: Shadow Star
    The Diary of Tortov Roddle
    Urda: The Third Reich
    Last Exile
    Requiem from the Darkness
    Twin Spica
    Machine Robo Rescue
    Kaleido Star
    Early Reins
    The Animatrix
    Kill Bill Vol. 1 (Chapter 3, movie segment)
    Appleseed (Movie)
    Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG
    Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation (movie trilogy)
    Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO
    Howl’s Moving Castle
    Casshern (live-action)
    Cutey Honey (live-action)
    Re: Cutie Honey
    New Getter Robo
    Tetsujin 28-Go
    Sgt. Frog
    Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
    Paranoia Agent
    Yakitate!! Japan
    Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
    Samurai Champloo
    Maria-sama ga Miteru
    Slutty-Princess Diaries
    Black Jack (TV)
    Mind Game
    Tamala 2010
    Ring ni Kakero
    Nintama Rantaro
    Jubei-Chan 2
    The Place Promised in Our Early Days
    Animation Runner Kuromi 2
    Yugo the Negotiator
    Dead Leaves
    Lady Death
    School Rumble
    The Adventures of Tweeny Witches

    I like Blueface ever those it’s a hour too long, the 3D is unnecessary, and it’s FernGully the live-action movie. Sadly Clarissa, Titanic, THE MOST OVERRATED MOVIE EVER MADE, already made Cameron a “can’t say no to” director.

    1. And what, precisely, is the POINT of this list? You’ve just written down a list of every single show we named, regardless of whether or not we said it was good or bad. So yes, this is indeed a list of anime that exists. But are they good? Bad? Do we disagree over them? The list doesn’t say.

      I didn’t actually bother to list them out in the first place in the show notes since I didn’t think doing so would actually be beneficial to people. I wasn’t especially keen when the list got posted the last time even though that one had a marking to denote which ones we didn’t like (which wasn’t accurate), since it results in people just reading the list, noting whether we thought the show was good or bad, then replying without actually listening to what we said.

      1. I made it so people who hear the podcast don’t have to waste papers or forget shows that catch they ear because most people listen to the podcast before they go on comment board. The people who just look at the list and hear if you agree or not probably doesn’t listen to podcast to begin with because of your format. I also didn’t show which one you would or would not like because I figure they listen to the podcast aging or you would gonna do it. I like doing it honestly, but if you don’t want me to do it aging I won’t.

      2. As you’ve been bitching about on Twitter, people already routinely don’t pay attention to whether or you say you love or hate certain cartoons and just wrongly disregard all evidence to the contrary and assume you hate everything because you said you hated something they like. So what the hell kind of a difference will a list on your own site make? I certainly have found it useful even without the asterisks.

        So thanks for taking the time to do this, waytothe7thart.

    2. Awesome, the list of the stuff that was discussed so I don’t have to waste time to listen to the podcast again to say “Hey here is what I liked/disliked”, thank you.

      Some of this stuff I do remember seeing on Adult Swim/CN back in the day, so I can sorta state why I liked/disliked this and that.

      Wolf Rain, after 2 episodes, I kinda thought it was boring and never got around to finishing it when I’m sure it hit Adult Swim back in 2004. I did like the ending song though.

      Fullmetal Alchemist, is something that I have seen maybe a total of 10 minutes of in random episodes. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this series, but, I am suffering from a severe case of procrastination and may or may not ever get around to watching this series.

      I do remember when Astro Boy was on Toonami, and I thought it was pretty cool to watch. My only thing against it is I kept making fun of the guy who uses his nose hair as a mustache. Seriously?

      Big O II. I really liked how Big O ended, and I do remember taping it for a friend during my summer break in 2003 when Adult Swim started from the first season and merged with the second season, which gave me a chance to see what I was missing out on when I did not watch it 2 years earlier on Toonami. As a matter of fact, since I liked how Big O ended so much, that I spent (more wasted) 45 minutes of English class writing out the whole hidden theme and how I interpreted on like 4 or 5 pages of paper. My teacher didn’t care and I know I got that paper in a box somewhere in storage.

      As for the Animatrix, I honestly cannot remember much of what was in it because I haven’t watched it in like 7 years or so. That was something else that made it on Adult Swim as well, I’m pretty sure Halloween night of 2003 because I do remember them showing that then the Read or Die OAV that same night next to each other. Something else I stayed up till like 3 some in the morning to tape/see.

      Kill Bill vol. 1 was good, though I remember some of the jocks/prep kids in school who thought that scene was stupid, yet me and maybe a few other people were the only ones defending that scene.

      I liked the Aramaki Appleseed movie, I’m sorry but I do. I rented it a few years back and thought it was pretty good, then again I didn’t put to much thought into the story because I just didn’t care. I do like the anime, but I remember liking the movie a bit more.

      The Gundam Zeta movies/IGLOO is something else I did enjoy, more IGLOO than the Zeta movies. I know Tomino was going for a “light hearted” version of the series, but you guys are right, they should have just reanimated the whole thing. Granted, its conflicting against the Zeta series (like how Four was killed trying to help Kamille escape on the plane, so she wouldn’t show up at the battle for Kilimanjaro… I like Four alot) and such. I really liked IGLOO despite the 3D modeling is considered “dated” for today, but there not bad side stories.

      Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence wasn’t that bad. I remember renting it and not hating it (I do have a copy of the movie on my shelf, but I got it used from Blockbuster for 3 bucks, not a real loss), for me that counts as something. I never finished Stand Alone Complex so 2nd GIG isn’t something ill get around to anytime soon.

      Dead Leaves, is something I don’t think I will ever make myself watch. It was on Ani-Monday over a year ago and I remember watching it for 20 minutes (so really 10 minutes of footage due to SyFy airing commercials every 5 seconds) and thought “…No, not happening” and turned that off real fast.

      As for that James Cameron quote, I’m going to wait for Battle Angel Alita. It’s going to be quite a while, but I can wait.

      One other thing I do wanna mention before I shut up till next time, you guys didn’t mention Initial D Fourth Stage at all. ,Ooooooooh well. I guess that is an anime you guys may or may not ever touch/review. If it’s not your cup of tea, that cool.

      BTW, I didn’t know if you guys were going to mention manga either, but Gunsmith Cats: Burst started in 2004 as well. It’s pretty good. And hey, more Bean Bandit !!! 🙂

      1. As much as I love Gunsmith Cats, Burst is meh at best. I hate to say it but Sonoda needs to come up with something new as he’s run out of gas on idea’s for GSC.

        I’m wondering if he cant do a straight up Bean Bandit comic now? I know there’s rights issues which is why he started GSC in the first place but I’m wondering if those are still in effect now in 2010. Even if they are he could at least do some sort of other GSC spinoff series, featuring Riff Raff perhaps?

        Either way Sonoda needs to move on to something else. On that note as well I would still like to see the rest of Exaxxion released.

      2. Well, Sonoda was doing a Riding Bean manga series before Riding Bean OAV was made into and anime. You can see one part of that in volume 4 of the GSC Omnibus collection at the last part. It is pretty cool looking. Regarding the rights, that is something that Sonoda and AIC/whoever owns the rights to Bean charactor.

        But, a Riff Raff series would be cool, I do like Raff as a charactor even though she shows up briefly in the series from time to time. But that sounds more one shot than something that can continue into more chapters. I was thinking Percy but that wouldn’t be a good, who wants to see the life of a burnt out detective obsessed with the “Road Buster”.

      3. Probably the reason that we haven’t mentioned anything Initial D is that everyone on the podcast who have watched any of it (myself and Daryl), have absolutely hated that show. Maybe myself more than Daryl, but I can’t stand that show and I don’t really think that Initial D Fourth Stage would change my mind much.

      4. I finally got an answer to this, thank you.

        Inquiring minds like my self wanna know why you guys hate it so much. Sure, it can be best described The O.C. with Fast and Furious but 10 times better (well, that’s what I say), but I mean, what particular reason that the AWO group hates it? Wait a sec… you guys didn’t watch the Tokyopop dub did you? …Please, tell me you didn’t!

        I guess what it does boil down to is what types a people like a show, and Initial D does cater to a certain group of people (such as myself) and that it really isn’t for everyone. I pretty much got my answer as you guys may never review this series. Then again, maybe it is good you don’t review it because word would get around the Initial D community and well… you would have some hate mail for some time. But hey, at least the arcade games are ridiculously fun (if you have played them, then you know what I’m talking about).

      5. 10 times better than 0 still equals 0.

        Listen. I don’t give a fuck about cars. At all. Not one bit. If there’s a gene required to make you like cars, then I don’t have it. Initial D is ONLY for people who care about cars, and NOBODY else. It’s for people who actually think Gran Turismo and its kind are good games. (Also, that Initial D arcade game fucking blows. No wonder arcades are dead.) The mark of most GOOD sports series is that you don’t have to like or even know about the sport/activity in question to like the show. This is absolutely not the case with Initial D. The characters, character art, dialogue, and the like are worthless and terrible. All of the attention is placed upon the cars themselves, and even those are rendered in terrible CGI that, despite improving over time, never actually reaches the “not shitty” level. If people like the Eurobeat soundtrack of Initial D, they are better served by just downloading the MP3s or something and listening to that on its own.

        The only way a person can like Initial D is if they are really invested in automobiles, technical details like “gear ratios” (whatever that means), and extended inner monologues between a man and his goddamned foot. And not just any man. Takehito Koyasu, who as a result of his tremendous overexposure and homogeneity was for several years my least favorite voice actor of all time. These days, I’ll tolerate him in a supporting role. But I’ll never LIKE him. Ever.

        So the reason I never responded to you is because contrary to popular belief, I find it a much better use of my time to write and talk about things I actually like than things which I think are absolute shit, such as Initial D for which I have nothing good to say about whatsoever. And no, I have never seen the Tokyopop version of Initial D. I’ve only ever seen the “real” one. Entirely too much of it, at that, as I’ve had multiple friends who loved it over the years. These people are no longer ones that I speak to.

      6. Well, thanks for spending the time to respond to my question, even though you thought of it as a waste of time. Again, it is a series that caters to certain people.

        At least that we can agree the soundtrack is good.

      7. “a number times 0 still equals 0” line was in Yu Yu Hakusho. [It’s also from this little known thing called “basic arithmetic” –Daryl]

      8. I guess I watched a different show then.

        The Initial D I watched was about some guy who didn’t like cars or driving beating the shit out of a bunch of ricer douche bags with a shitty old car.

        By the 4th stage the main character enjoys racing and only likes his beat up old car.

        One of the running themes of the show is that talent and skill wins over the assbag in his super expensive and powerful car. The payoff is watching these gear head douche bags on the shoulders babble on and on about cars and shit only to mentally bitch-slapped by some dude in his dad tofu delivery beating some guido in his supped up sports car.

        Not to say it’s a great Anime mind you, but it’s no more vapid than your average shounen jump series. I’m hardly a car person, but I enjoyed the show.

    3. (note: this was support to be next with the list, but I cut it)

      I know Ichigo said just watch the first 12, but I said just watch Wolf’s Rain OVA because more happen in those 4 ep than the whole TV run. Plus the lame characters get axe.

      Fullmetal Alchemist, while I like it, I have problems which how it try to be light heart comedy and serious drama, to the point of being melodramatic, at the same time.

      Godannar KICK ASS!! Dave and Joel if you reading this WATCH IT NOW! After you get pass the T&A, it all worth it.

      I show my sister, who not a anime fan, the first two Full Metal Panic and the first DVD of the Second Raid. We both said the FMP went downhill while Fumoffu was really great. I have no idea she will like the Second Raid but I try it some day.

      Cromartie High School have gorillas, robots, and Freddie Mercury. What not to like.

      I think Kino’s Journey success in the same way that Boogiepop Phantom did. the main characters is usually in action story, but it focus more about the people she come across than her.

      Last Exile suck. It’s maybe Gonzo best show, but like Daryl said “10 times better than 0 still equals 0.

      I like 5 out of 7 in the Animatrix while my mother, not a anime fan, hate all of it.

      To be fair, Dave, Joel, and Paul all said the fight scenes was the only point to watch Appleseed.

      Diebuster was OK, would have I like it more if I didn’t watch Gunbuster just before, but I feel it would be a better 12-13-maybe 24 episodes show.

      Bleach have a shot to be great.

      I try to watch Ghost in the Shell: Innocence on subtitles, but kept falling asleep where Batou feed his dog. Next time I watch the dub.

      Samurai Champloo was my fav show that year because it done a great job mixing samurai and hip-hop (old school) culture together.

      Also after listen to your guys, I watch Requiem from the Darkness, Phoenix, and Genshiken. I didn’t like Genshiken, but love everything else.

  12. I picked up the Tetsujin 28 remake recently. I really enjoyed the show, but it’s almost a completely impossible sell. I think the only reason someone would have for intentionally picking it up would basically be if they were a fan of Yasuhiro Imagawa, and I definitely am.

    The animation in most of the episodes is pretty low-budget, although the background art and art direction in general often works really well. The retro character designs aren’t really very good, and I usually do like retro artwork like Giant Robo or Cyborg 009. I guess Giant Robo’s retro art worked because of the great animation and the slight blend of 90s style, but Tetsujin 28 doesn’t really have the great animation or the modern blend–something about the digital animation and ultra-retro art was off with the show.

    But somehow the series still managed to pull me in, even if a lot of that was Imagawa being attached to it. It takes a while to really get going, but the latter parts were pretty damn engaging. It is, in a lot of ways, the polar opposite of Giant Robo in terms of tone, and I guess that’s why it worked for me, because Imagawa could have very easily just repeated himself. Of course, maybe I would watch more new anime if anything coming out even approached the level of quality that GR was, but what can ya do?

    The latter half of Tetsujin 28 becomes fairly compelling in terms of the overall plot, but by the end I was really impressed with the direction they took the story in. The ending was pretty ballsy.

    Hopefully you guys will review it sometime. It’s a very interesting show with some glaring flaws–not a total success, but I’d rather watch Tetsujin 28 than a lot of what’s around now, because it never felt very predictable or unoriginal in terms of what it set out to do and what it accomplished.

  13. Incidentally, Warren Ellis, who is scripting both the Iron Man and Wolverine anime series, says that he was not involved *at all* in the concepting of those trailers, they were entirely put together by the Japanese studios responsible, as sort of ‘proof of concept’ shorts. This has good and bad sides – Good: The Wolverine anime may not suck Bad: No Iron Man vs. Black Jack.

    1. I was under the impression that the Wolverine anime would suck due to what was shown, and that was “Wolverine… with a mullet!” Plus, it looked like Wolverine had slimmer claws, which I thought looked stupid. Iron Man did look really good though, even though it was just a minute long with him crashing into stuff.

  14. Finally Texhnolyze gets mentioned, though I could still use a full review.
    Clarissa, you must watch it, it the greatest anime of all time.
    Daryl, how could you not love it?
    Gerald, you are out of your mind. Episode 1 is a classic! The best opening ep to any anime(it also has the best ending ep). Watch it again, maybe you were sick and delirious that day.

    1. I think I had similar feelings to Gerald during the first couple of episodes, but me and my brother had just watched Lain and were both keen to see where it went so we kept on getting the DVDs. We were not disappointed.

      It starts gaining momentum after about episode 4.

    2. I only have so much tolerance for artsy wankery. I appreciate that they were trying to do something different, but I don’t appreciate abusing your audience for your own artistic gratitude. There are a million ways they could have done those early episodes that would have gotten the point across in artsy ways without being as overly obtuse and abusive.

      1. Gerald, do you feel the same way about Shigurui, also directed by Hirotsugu HAMAZAKI? In my opinion, the main problem with anime is it to short attention spanned, and lacks patience and sophistication. But not Hirotsugu HAMAZAKI, he is a genius.
        It’s not just about “getting the point across”, it is the way in which you do it. And it is that style that makes Texhnolyze the greatest anything ever.
        Gerald, you should try finishing the show, maybe you will like the ending.

      2. This is tough, I watched multiple episodes of that show a long time ago. (I don’t remember exactly how many but I think it was about 6 – 10). The thing is, this show is 26 episodes long, how long am I supposed to give this show before it gets good? I think I’ve given just the right amount since my rule is “one disk worth”. If the show has not given me a reason to like or care about it, then why should I both putting the next disk in or purchasing it? This is usually about five episodes.

        You say the ending is great, but is there anything to keep me watching up to the ending? There certainly wasn’t for sure in those episodes I watched.

        Also, I’ve never seen Shigurui so I can’t comment, but if it has the same artsy wankery going on and audience abuse that the original show has, then I’ll probably hate it as much as I hated Texhnolyze.

      3. I saw Texholnyze and gave up on it after 3-4 episodes. But I did see Shigurui to the end, and I thought it was somewhere between okay and good. The Shigurui anime has a very leisurely feel to it, which the manga does not, probably due to budget and Hirotsugu HAMAZAKI’s style.

        That said, I had to try watching Shiguiri twice. The first time, I saw the first episode, didn’t care about any of the characters and was slightly confused about the flashback/forward aspect of things, and dropped it. The second time, I had read a tiny bit of the manga, and was determined to push forward to the next episode. That was all it took to get me hooked.

        I also think that as a rule, “artsy” or “experimental” type anime shouldn’t last for more than 13 episodes. Hell, in my opinion most anime is so short on budget/plot/characterization that reducing their length to 13 episodes wouldn’t hurt.

    3. I agree with Gerald. The first episode being artsy is fine, but if you give me no story, no character development, and the only reason I should watch the next episode to see why that guy do it. Why should I watch it?

      1. “No story”? Take your A.D.D. pills and have patience! Who can complain that they don’t know everything that is happening after just one episode?

      2. [My having to constantly correct every single sentence you write for proper spelling and grammar is starting to wear thin –Daryl]

        My complaint is not knowing what going on, but why should I care? All you‘re telling me is that I am wrong because it is a classic. Labeling it a classic is not just gonna change my mind if the first episode doesn’t get me interested in it. If you give me a good reasons in why should kept watching it than a good reason for why I should keep watching it, then I will, but don’t go after me just because I can’t agree with your viewpoint.

      3. Apart from cyborg armies, the main character being a badass ever other episode and what exactly is going on with all those people living underground, Gerald. I haven’t watched it since 2004, so that’s all I remember.

        I will add that it doesn’t cut back a whole lot on the artsy fartsy front. It’s still weird as fuck.

      4. Every other episode? I only remember him wandering around, grunting and occasionally getting beating up, then he suddenly turned into a different character after episode 10 when it stopped being about Yoshii.

        It was pretty good from 10-20, but the beginning and ending really weren’t that good…

  15. Never realized that Godannar was as unappreciated as Daryl mentioned. I’ve got all seven discs at home, bought it as they were released. Loved it…

  16. Oh my god, THANK YOU for being three other people who weren’t hyp-mo-tized by CG into thinking Avatar was a good movie. I was starting to feel like the only one.

    About the Sgt. Frog manga; doesn’t come from Gundam Ace. It must have come from somewhere else. There is, however, a parody called Keroro Ace. No idea what’s in it.

    Very happy Daryl brought up Planetes, since it earned its way into my personal top-10-for-all-time list. I love the anime and the manga equally and for different reasons. Both accomplish their separate missions with flying colors.

    Really liking the weekly dose that comes from this format. Hope it continues. Are you recording the next show independently of your sessions with Matt?

  17. Also wanted to comment that Matt is also not the only one who discovered this stuff through the toys. That’s pretty much how I stumbled across anime originally as well as for me collecting Transformers lead to discovering Macross, Gundam, and the like. I know with Macross for example I bought all the toys long before I ever sat down and actually watched the show. Heck I own all the 1/60 Yamato figures for Macross Zero and have only seen bit’s of pieces of the show itself (mostly because the show itself is unwatchable as you’ve already pointed out).

    Anyway dont mean to veer this off to talking about toys as I know you guys like to keep this on anime but I just wanted to bring this up as I dont think it’s as much of an anomaly as you might think.

    (also Clarissa I highly recommend the SoC Big O figure, let’s just hope Bandai gets on the rest of them, especially a Big Duo)

  18. Off topic, but I’m sure it’s going to be in the news section in the next show, so it’s preemptively on-topic: what do you guys think about the Vampire Bund censorship? I can guess what you’re going to say, of course.

  19. It’s nice to see 2004 leading in the poll as it really was the standout year of the decade. You guys covered just about everything I could think of and gave me a few suggestions to check out as well. However, I think two really underrated, but equally superb shows that came out this year were Beck and Fantastic Children. It seemed Gerald was fairly apathetic towards Fantastic Children in his review so I wasn’t surprised to not hear it mentioned (and even though this excuse is oft-stated, I still think you gave up an episode or two before it “got good.”).

    I’m looking forward to the next installment(s) even if the output wasn’t as stellar.

    1. I gave up just before it got good?! What the fuck? How many episodes am I supposed to give that shitty show before it gets good? I watched at least 10 episodes of that show and it was shitty and obtuse the entire way through. If a show doesn’t want to throw me a bone by then, then it’s a bad show.
      No, I gave that show a VERY fair chance to impress me and it failed and all the glowing reviews and recommendations in the world are not going to change that. That show needed to figure out how not to try and conceal them same thing over and over. Sure, it’s a smaller show, sure it was a failure over here and frankly, I’m glad about that, since the show frustrated me.

      Beck’s another show that pissed me off since I don’t have the gene for indie rock so those dozens of scenes all throughout the show with nothing but people listening to boring rock music did nothing for me. I also gave that show a fair shot, but that’s much like Initial D for me in that it’s a show that requires your enjoyment of the thing it’s about before you start watching it to enjoy it, otherwise you’re screwed.

      1. I wasn’t arguing that your reasons for giving up weren’t valid. The show isn’t well-crafted in the sense that it answers something for each question it brings up, but instead relies on splurging it all in a giant deluge around the midway point. Yes, it’s a totally weak method, but the narrative that unfolds reminded me a lot of the older, dark fairy tales (and quite a few of Toei’s productions in the 70’s), and in retrospect I felt it was one of the few series that could actually pull it off. But then again, while I found the first disc brutal to get through, the second disc managed to keep me interested long enough to get to the mythical “good point.”

        However, I can now see that perceived apathy is actually ardent rage so my apologies.

        As for Beck, I felt it was able to succeed as a coming-of-age story, not due to it’s namedropping. But I do have to admit, I have a strong bias for that genre, so you may be entirely right.

      2. Alright, so the way I take it, if AWO says nothing about an anime, it’s either:
        a) They hate it for whatever good or lame reason it maybe. (Such as Daryl statement of “Also, that Initial D arcade game fucking blows. No wonder arcades are dead.” Really ? Arcades are DEAD because of Initial D ?)
        b) It just pain sucks.
        c) Amnesia
        d) All of the above.

        I have fully learned my lesson, and will fully assume it follows under those 4 choices if something is not mentioned. Because not only is it a waste of our time to bug and pester you guys to get feedback on an anime that was not mentioned, but its a waste of your time to respond back to us in strong, detailed rantings/reasons.

      3. First you say “thanks for spending the time to respond to my question,” now you say it’s a waste of your time to ask for feedback on things that weren’t mentioned because you didn’t like what I said? Listen. YOU asked me for why it didn’t get mentioned, and I GAVE you my list of reasons. My comments on the Initial D arcade game were a terse aside because you didn’t ask me about the game. You asked me about the show. That you interpreted my statement to mean “all arcades died because of one videogame” shows you’ve got tunnel vision, as most people understand that arcades are dead thanks to superior home console releases and arcades gravitating towards increasingly expensive setups that are almost all either rail shooters or driving games. Initial D is one of the last of these such games. Around here (where there’s still one arcade left), that Initial D game tends to cost like, a dollar to play. Maybe it’s even $1.50. That’s a lot for a game that only lasts for a few minutes, and it’s obvious when someone’s never played the game before because the controls are set up such that newcomers can’t drive or turn easily. Don’t have your own Initial D card, the sign of fanatical devotion and a repeat player? Then you probably don’t bother with that game. Or attend arcades at all.

        You said it YOURSELF: “Initial D does cater to a certain group of people (such as myself).” I couldn’t have said it better. If you’re not part of that group, then the show has less than nothing to offer you. We’re in agreement, only you’re part of that group and I’m not. In future episodes you’ll see that this is the road which anime decided to embark upon overall.

      4. Well, your comment did answer my question, it may have not been the answer I was looking for, but it is something that I have to take it as “Well, it is his reason/opinion regardless if I may disagree with it completely.”

        My whole comment above was what it seems how you and Gerald answer other people questions on the same things I asked, and all I seem to see is “we didn’t like it” or “it was that terrible to not mention.” Plus, I was getting smart and messing with you guys.

        Look, I will come out and say it, if I rubbed you the wrong way, I am sorry. I have no problem admitting if I was at fault for something. I hate to be looked at as a jerk in the group. If you want to shoot me an email on something that you don’t want to say in your comments, you are more than welcome too. I think my comment took things overboard or was about to get there.

        But I seriously took your comment to heart and thought “this guy cannot be serious ?” Putting that to what I said above as an example, I seriously thought that was the lamest thing I have ever read. What got me into Initial D WAS the arcade game when I went to some mall to visit a friend in Connecticut back in 2003, and Initial D actually turned me into a car nut truth be told. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world when I got into it, and I didn’t give a second thought on spending money at the arcade. Plus I am really good friends with someone who loved Initial D as much as I do and we would hit up the nearest arcade that had Version 3 and 4, just because it was the greatest thing to us, and still is.

        But I do see your side regarding to a person that would never waste money on something they think they suck at. It took me like 5 dollars to realize I suck at Dance Dance Revolution, but I consider that cash as “lesson learned” money. I do wish arcades were strong in the states, people really need to get out of their houses and play games with others in society.

        Sure, I can go through 20 plus dollars on that game in a couple of hours, I guess it’s no different than if I was to waste money on some Go Nagai Jumbo Grade Mazinger model, whatever made me happy and catered to my nerdness.

        Again, bottom line is I am sorry if I did sound like a jerk and I will make sure I do not take your words to heart other than “Ah, Daryl is just pissed today” to describe something. 🙂

        Well, you guys have fun at MegaCon.

  20. “The mark of most GOOD sports series is that you don’t have to like or even know about the sport/activity in question to like the show.”

    This is exactly why I got hooked into Mitsuru Adachi’s manga, and probably the reason why his work still so popular, even though he tells the same story over and over again…

  21. I know this a comment unrelated to the current topic,but once again,can you guys over at the A.W.O. visit the M.A.H.Q. guys over at their panel or something along those lines?Just to “have a civil forum of sorts” or just discuss Gundam. Either way, I wish you a happy Megacon 2010.

    1. Their recordings are scheduled on Friday and then Sunday. We’re only going to be there on Saturday.

      Your repeated posts on this matter on both this blog and the Gundamn! podcast blog make it seem like there’s some big fundamental disconnect between our view regarding Mobile Suit Gundam and theirs as to warrant some sort of debate over it. That may be true for Gerald and Clarissa since they’re the ones who hate Char’s Counterattack (and in Clarissa’s case at least, like F-91), but not me!

      1. Wait, what? I thought it was a pretty well done movie to sum up those two characters. Granted, the ending makes no clarification if Amuro Or Char are both dead or alive, but its still a great film.

        I liked F-91 when I saw it, even though it doesn’t hold a candle to Char’s Counterattack, but it’s still a decent movie over all.

  22. When Gerald (I think) said “If Monster had been dubbed…you wouldn’t think of it as anime” (or words to that effect)…I’m not sure if he was just trying to make a point, or if he didn’t know that Monster was dubbed. But in any case, I just want to point out that Monster WAS dubbed, and is currently being shown on SyFy.

    Also, I got the best luck when watching GunGrave. It was showing on TechTV/G4, and I happened to miss the first episode; so I saw all the episodes in the correct (IMHO) order. I was really confused because I knew it was about the video game but I could not figure out how it related in any way. But I kept watching because it was good.

  23. Great episode. I really hope you guys can fit in The Irresponsible Captain Tylor somewhere in 2008-9 because of its rerelease. I really want to know what your guys opinion on the show is. Hopefully you guys got in Solty Rei and Gun Sword in the next episode. Two of the most uneven shows this side of Nadia.

  24. @Daryl

    No,no it’s not that. The reason I kept on repeating about this is I wonder what sort of wacky hijinks would ensue if either one went on the other’s podcast. Curiosity, my dear Daryl. Curiosity. I’d also agree on the part of arcade’s dying due to the Initial D factor. However, in my country, the arcades are massacred by hacked K.O.F. 2002 machines( the ones with infinite gauge bars), Initial D and Rail shooters. God bless my country’s arcades…….

  25. Definitely glad to hear some love for my favorites of the decade (Monster, Kaleido Star, Gankutsuou, etc.). Gankutsuou in particular is a series that had the potential to be a trainwreck, but it’s just executed so well. Probably helps that The Count of Monte Cristo is near perfect for anime since it is so melodramatic.

    Also agree that 20th Century Boys and Pluto are both SCREAMING to be animated someday. I would watch — and buy — the hell out of both those series were that to happen.

  26. I think the new trend where we’re seeing in anime is what I’ll dub “hyper ecchi”. Not quite hentai since there’s no sex involved but more nudity (with actual nipples) than a regular fanservice show. Ex. Queen’s Blade, Seikon no Qwaser, Ladies vs. Butlers and Chu-Bra .

  27. Ok guys, apologies for this being way off topic but I need your input in helping me resolve a long standing dispute between myself and a colleague at work.

    “Who would win in a fight between Osamu Tezuka and Ishinomori Shotaro?”

    That’s it! Thanks!

  28. I think Fullmetal Alchemist is my favorite of the entire past decade. I was so enthralled by it every step of the way, even before it was a twinkle in Funimation’s eye. It was very thoughtful and had a world that immerses the viewer. The manga and its new adaptation are also very excellent.

    The second season of Big O is really bizarre, though it grew on me eventually. The ending was a little too weird for its own good. Supposedly there was supposed to be a third season, but it doesn’t end like there would be anything after it. While everyone else who loves the show always talks about how the show needs a third season, to me a short OVA that cleared up some parts of the ending would be fine.

    I liked Planetes better when it was called Patlabor.

    The Zeta Gundam movies were such a tragedy, especially for me, since Zeta Gundam is my favorite mecha anime of all time. Chopping up 50 episodes of pretty much non-stop story into three ninety-minute movies? If you think the animation was the big problem with those movies, you’re crazy. Not to mention Tomino’s bullshit “happier ending”.

    20th Century Boys is my favorite manga. I do like the live-action movies, but I’d love to see an animated series.

  29. For the record, my favorite Animatrix segment by far was World Record.

    The Animatrix DVD deserves a lot of credit for formally introducing people to anime (affectionately referred to by the Wachowski Brothers as “japanimation”.) It included a 20-minute special feature talking about the history of anime, with an unusually wide spread of pop-culture guests (Todd McFarlane, Harry Knowles, the Giant Robot guys, etc). Surprisingly well-done.

  30. One question: You guys say earlier up here that your decade in review podcasts is about the shows because so many other ones do the industry. Which other ones are there, aside from the Anncast?

  31. With Anime Jump being mostly dead, I just gotta rant here: TRSi has announced the original, real, Dirty Pair TV series. Hooray! 2 boxed sets at $50 each. $50 for around 14 episodes subbed. Boo. Right product, wrong price. Dammit, so close.

    And in other news, FINALLY something about Fist of the North Star TV:

    They could have put out a press release or something…

    1. Do you not see the giant 40% off sale that’s going on right now? That brings it down to $30 per set, or $60 for the whole thing. For those who have the Got Anime? membership, that becomes $27 per set, or $54 for the entire series.

    2. That’s good for those that can take advantage of that, right now. And just maybe that’ll push the pre-order numbers up which will bode well for future ‘old show’ attempts. I was worried about that, the whole ‘gee I like that but I’ll wait until the next blow it all out for $5 sale’ mentality.

      sucks to be someone who can’t jump on that right now, doesn’t it?

      1. Amen! These anime sales always happens when I broken I’m broke. [“I broken”? In any case, they don’t charge you until they’re going to ship the thing out. You could place the order and save $5-10 a month and have enough money by the time these are released. –Daryl]

    3. ~$2 per episode is definitely more than acceptable to me. The only time you’ll see it cheaper is possibly during one of Deep Discount’s sales.

      1. The first 36 eps of Fist are a good deal, in terms of quantity, but they also have the most filler of that entire series, including awful action sequences the Toei animators came up with after they took home their pay-checks for doing the in-between work on those “knowing is half the battle” segments from G.I. Joe. Of course, I already feel like I supported that godawful shit enough on the Mangle release of FOTNS, so you might actually feel obligated to save DT from its own folly. And I applaud that, and wish the company good luck, anyway.

        But I’m currently opting for Dirty Pair, instead, ‘cus Dark Horse doesn’t appear eager to publish more of the novels right now. Now, if some dumb company decides to put out the last 20 volumes of HnK in English and wide-ban, I’m so fucking there.

      2. I have a feeling it’s not going to sale because the perfectly good movie that RECAPS THE ENTIRE FIRST HALF OF THE SERIES FOR 19 DOLLARS is right there. Hopefully the company won’t think no one is intersted in Fist and just drop it then and there.

    4. Full retail prices make an easy and useful point of comparison even if you’re never going to buy the series at full retail price. You can still compare the series against another, cheaper, series; the existence of discounts doesn’t affect the comparison because the other series will also be discounted sooner or later.

      The two series I’m buying or planning to buy right now are Fist of the North Star and Dragon Box. They are both fairly old series and they’re less than half the price per episode of Dirty Pair. I also just ordered a Slayers season 1-3 set (season 4 is worse than Dirty Pair). Full retail price is $70 for 78 episodes and it’s already discounted by more than Dirty Pair is.

    5. Well, this is where it gets all complex, and you have to weigh value to you Vs. the ‘common wisdom’ of what is ‘value’. We’re used to comparing price by comparing volume, but volume has its owe factors. That’s why a 2 liter of Coke usually costs about the same as a 20 oz. bottle, and many times is cheaper. It’s crazy but that’s reality.

      So it’s logical that FotNS is cheaper per episode than Dirty Pair TV, as one is a 36 episode chunk while the other is (probably) 13 episodes. OTOH there’s a quality issue, as from what I’ve gathered Toei really crippled what Discotek planned to do with the FotNS movie and that same stupidity may follow the series, whereas Nozomi is fairly respected for going balls out on their releases and managing to avoid that sort of thing. So might the careful work anticipated for Dirty Pair make the higher per-episode price worth it? Might Discotek screw the pooch and end up being forced to use Toei-generated subtitles which make us all cry manly tears of shame, making the product less valuable?

      (ha, imagine Toei demanding hard subs to prevent reverse importation. It COULD happen)

      But Ken is right, you have to use the MSRP when you talk about releases or there’s no baseline to make honest comparisons.

    6. [I’m reducing the max level of threaded comments from 5 to 4. That should help with the indentation issues. –Daryl]

      The reason that a 20 oz Coke costs about as much as a 2 liter is that Coke is cheap enough that the price of a container of Coke is dominated by other factors than the price of Coke. I doubt that this applies much to the price of anime.

      I think the problem is that something like Fist of the North Star is actually priced like a TV show, and something like Dirty Pair is priced as if it was a bundle of singles with cheaper packaging and a slight bundle discount. That $100 would be six $16.67 singles. Slayers Revolution is three $20 singles. It’s an attempt to stick to the old pricing model as closely as possible even though we’ve learned it doesn’t work very well

    7. I’m not sure why you are hung up with using MSRP as the baseline for comparing pricing structures as, yes, that is the most appropriate manner. The issue is with what kinds of titles are being used for the comparison. The Slayers 3-season release and (arguably) the Dragonboxes are re-releases subsidized through previous releases and are now priced accordingly to appeal to different markets than early releases. When videogames started releasing budget lines (Greatest Hits, etc.), did you expect all future releases to follow that model?

      $50 MSRP for 13-eps is the current standard so I’m not sure why Dirty Pair’s sticker price should come as a shock to anyone. Nozomi/Right Stuf’s releases have followed this standard for a while now, the only difference is that it is a 25-year old show. And this falls right in-line with other companies current offerings. ADV/Sentai/etc ranges from $40 to $60 MSRP but the most current releases have been $50 MSRP for a barebones release. Funimation is $60 MSRP but you get a dub. Viz ranges from $50 to $60. Media Blasters is the only one truly sticking to the old model by releasing $30 MSRP singles as their initial release.

      I’m also missing how this new standard is “sticking to the old pricing model as closely as possible… with a slight bundle discount.” It’s HALF the old pricing model (2*$50 compared to 6 (or 7)*$30). And in Nozomi’s case, there really isn’t “cheaper packaging” either.

      Anyhow, regarding the FotNS release… I’d assume it’ll just be what has been streaming the last couple months. I can’t stand watching on the computer, but has anybody checked it out? Any issues with the subtitles there?

      1. You’re certainly right in that it’s pretty common and not just a single case of a company being egregiously bad. I’m still not going to buy it until it goes to the equivalent of Greatest Hits. I might rent it instead if it shows up for rental.

        It’s really a problem with the whole concept of building an industry that’s like TV, but where the main source of profit is expensive purchases from rabid fans.

        I rarely buy video games at full price either.

    8. Toei’s not demanding hard subs because the first set also includes the lame-o Manga Video dub. However, the subtitles ARE the exact same subtitles that are used on the streaming version. Those subtitles are kind of crappy both from a font as well as translation/spelling/grammar (after episode 31, anyway) standpoint compared to the fansubs, but they’re also “official” and Discotek–being a company consisting pretty much of two guys–doesn’t have $40,000 or whatever to spend on new subtitles. It’s not like anyone forced them to use those subtitles against their will.

      I also don’t buy videogames at full price. You know what else I don’t buy at full price? Everything. That’s why I don’t actually care about MSRP at all. Oh sure, I’ll mention it offhand for the sake of reference. But I’m never ever going to buy something at that price if I can help it. Therefore, “the equivalent of Greatest Hits” = “when it’s on sale.” For me, my personal cutoff limit for games/DVD box sets is somewhere around $25-$30. $15 or less for Blu-Ray discs. If I can’t get something for about that price, then I wait until I can get it for that much.

      Oh, right. Next installment of this nightmarish recap’s recorded. Just gotta edit the thing…

      1. Well, in that case, Daryl, I agree with you. I don’t buy at full price anyway and my limit’s only somewhat higher than yours. I just mention MSRP to compare against the MSRP of other things, since the comparison will still be pretty similar after they’re both discounted.

        I’m not sure about the subs, though. Discotek, I believe, was going to have better subs on the Fist of the North Star movie, but Toei forced them to use the bad ones against their will. So it could have happened again.


        And that would make me sad.

        Here’s the problem however in the ‘I’ll buy it later” mindset. You kill the momentum of the release and “teach” the company that “nobody” wants to buy “that old stuff.”

        Seriously, the main thing they’re looking at are those initial pre-orders. I doubt very much the announcement of Dirty Pair during a Nozomi sale was an accident. I suspect TRSi is hoping the temptation of the sale price “up front” if you will would push the numbers over the couple of thousand we all expect it to do. But if you wait until after the release the “order cycle” is over and all they want to do is blow out the dead stock to avoid the charges against their bottom line at tax time.

        “Well, if the demand is there I’m sure they’ll reprint it” and maybe they will and maybe they won’t. They may take a “limited edition” viewpoint. You try to find a copy of Dunbine V.12 for MSRP lately? Ah, maybe you were one of the smart few who kept up when it was coming out. I had a “I’ll get it later” attitude on that. Didn’t work out at all for me.

        Also, I still consider the 3 disc in a book for $29.99 MSRP (Tekkaman Blade, GoLion, I assume Dairugger XV) that Media Blasters pioneered to be a “gold standard” for a release.

    9. I did mess up on Dunbine. On the other hand, the same idea was correct when applied to Saint Seiya, and I also managed to get Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure discounted.

      At any rate, I don’t think we really have any obligation to buy anything. There are a number of anime I’ve rented, and it’s very unlikely I’ll ever buy them. My rental would count as drastically less than a sale when it comes to the title’s profitability. Have I killed the momentum? Maybe. Does it matter? It’s not my business to prop up someone’s business model.

      1. No, that’s true, it’s not anyone’s obligation to buy a title, except for the idea that now we’re back to the AnimEigo days (for all practical purposes) and every lost sale of a particular type or genre tells the studios not to license any more of that.

        Damn, I’m starting to sound like a f’ing Japanimation Evangelical from the 1980s again. Dammit.

        Ken, you know that people have been screaming for ADV to pick up Dirty Pair T.V. since the company started. It was a constant poke at DLW every con. It probably, realistically, would only have moved about 5000 units back in the day, but that was enough, back in the day. ADV would have made some money.

        but it’s 2010, Suncoast (the main buyer of anime) is gone, Nozomi will be LUCKY to move 2000 units…if they don’t do that, kiss Giant Gorg and anything else like that goodbye.

        Now, mind, if a person has the money they have an endless supply of classic anime as the Japanese have worked very hard to get stuff on DVD, even titles that never hit the LD box sets. This is the direction I will go once I actually have money.

      2. I actually think Dirty Pair can make more money now than it did for ADV ten years ago. Though you have to take account that it’s also not much bigger in Japan than it is here. I dunno, call it the Metroid/Appleseed problem, or something, but that country doesn’t seem to embrace hardcore action series with female characters in it like we do. And don’t bring up Black Lagoon as a counter-point, because that manga’s got the kind of pretentious whack-off geek material that people who don’t know about real action movies falsely ascribed to Boondock Saints and will likely ignore in Kick-Ass. I might have considered Claymore, though, if it didn’t turn into the second half of Xena in the recent volumes.

        Oh, yeah, back to Dirty Pair’s financial prospects. Seeing gun-toting bitches on the shelves who don’t quote Josh Whedon’s psuedopseudo-intellectual diatribes, and who don’t rescue annoying emo wimps, is refreshing to fans sick and tired of the moe, and who want anime to look like anime again, not discarded Syfy pilots about blue people getting it on with Gally while that vampire bund chick is looking on. Plus, the novels have been out for a while. And while they didn’t translate more of ’em, someone new must’ve bought ’em, ‘cus DH could easily have stopped printing the series after the first volume. Plus, the legal uploading of shows like the recent Birdy and Cobra might help to create a demand for DP which didn’t exist until now.

        So I actually think Dirty Pair would’ve bombed harder in the “naughties”, because the series would be mass-produced for assholes who ignore the older shows because they’re old. And those assholes would spread the word about those shows sucking because of their age. I had to endure some dicks who tried and failed to MST3K an R2 DVD-projected screening of Robot Carnival @ AX, and having them lose interest in the genre is probably the best thing that could ever happen to the R1 industry.

    10. For a long time I’ve thought that the whole anime business model is strange–when you compare it to regular TV, TV shows normally don’t make most of their profit from the DVD box sets. Even movies–which do depend on people paying–don’t generally make most of their money from DVD sales. Having an industry based around people buying disks from you inherently means that you’re catering to the most rabid of fans–and even someone who buys two disks a month is a rabid fan by TV or movie standards.

      I’m surprised the industry even lasted this long.

      1. I can agree with that. And it’s changed quite a bit for Mainstream Hollywood. Actually, DVD sales ARE very important to underperforming movies, say Hellboy II, Watchmen. Your Dark Knight and Avatar, DVD sales are gravy.

        TV is a funny beast, it used to be the overseas sales of a show and domestic syndication were the profit center but there’s so little available time for syndicated programming now, they can’t count on that money like they used to. (informercials are the preferred timeslot filler for local stations as they actually throw off cash to the station in addition to filling up time on-air).

        TV on DVD has been a double edged sword, as the Majors have discovered the truth we know about anime- not EVERY title will sell in the numbers that the key, major title does. And within a run of a series, you won’t sell as many separate seasons as you do the first and last ones. In other words, you can sell a good amount of Knight Rider but you can’s expect Street Hawk to match those numbers, and while there’s a ton of demand for Airwolf season one, nobody wants season 3.

  32. 2003 was a good year. It had some very good shows in it in my opinion at least. The boom was finally starting to pay off, and the studios were all flush with money from the west so they took some more chances then usual. And yeah I guess you could say this was the year in which anime was really big, really cool, and the big new thing in the US. So I agree with what you guys said there. Full Metal Alchemist is the show everyone loves, so I agree with Daryl on that, that’s the biggest show for anime fans. Too bad I really really hate that show. I liked what you said in Otaku USA about that show Daryl , although that took some guts man. The new Astro Boy was something I still want to see, sucks that it got a terrible release here though. Since you guys mentioned Giant Robo, I bought it because of how much you liked it and what you said about it in Otaku USA Daryl. So far (I’m on episode 2) I really really like it. So thanks man!

    Tokyo Godfathers is something I still have to see, as I love Kon films. My favorite from Kon was actualy Paranoia Agent though, that’s something I really loved. Gungrave, damn another series I still have to buy and watch. Man you guys keep talking about stuff I want to see but haven’t yet lol. Cromartie High might not have

    From 2003 my favorite series was easily Kino’s Journey, in fact that is probably my favorite show from the decade. That right there is a masterpeice. I felt Nakamura really accomplished something with that. Philosophical, intellgent, smart, thoughtful, and unique. I would like to see more anime like that. Shadow Star Narutaru is another one I LOVED. Kitoh is a brilliant mangaka and I really liked the anime adaptation, just wish it had a sequel (and that the budget was bigger 🙁 ). Its a very phycological series, loved it! I got the DVDs for both of these, and I re-watch them way too much. Your right that there was a lot of expermental stuff that year. I think that’s why I liked 2003 the best. Some of the stuff that year was very artsy, very risky, very different, and pushed the bounds a little bit ( I mean really Shadow Star Narutaru was so screwed up!!).

    Talking about “new cool anime” Clarissa missed “Dante’s Inferno” , which I thought was pretty good. Not amazing, but good.

    2004 was in deed the peak I think. We were in the middle of the boom, and there were countless things coming out. Appleseed was ok, but Iliked Vexille much more. It felt like it was going for the same kinda thing, but was actually something I enjoyed a lot. Also IT MADE SENSE, which is always good. Howl’s Moving Castle …hmmm I hated it sorry. Paranoia Agent was my favorite from this year I think. Love it to death, as I already said. My favorite episode is the one where everyone is trying to kill each other, lol. This was a high quality show right there. Same with Gankutsuou, AMAZING show. It’s top notch! Samurai Champloo I loved too, man 2004 was a great year. And yeah WTF is up with Michiko to Hatchin not being licensed yet? Love it.

    Monster…been watching it on Sci-Fi. I like it, but its not a favorite of mine. But I can see it apealing to those in the mainstream. I liked Master Keaton from Urasawa personally more though as far as anime from him go. 20th Century Boys I LOVED too. That should have been an anime wtf! That’s my favorite from him. Pluto was good though, liked that.

    Phoenix…ganna have to watch that. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. Yeah Erin didn’t like Black Jack! That’s heresy! Black Jack is an amazing series. Although I like the OVA series from the 90’s the best. Dezaki handled that very well.

    Animation Runner Kuromi 2 came out in 2004. That’s one of my favorite comedies of all time (the first and second OVA). I love the dub on that, CPM handled that series very well. Mezzo DSA also came out in 2004, a decent follow up to Mezzo Forte. Umetsu is a favorite director of mine. And while DSA wasn’t his best work, I enjoyed it a lot. The first few episodes and the ending were the best though, I felt the story sagged in the middle. Beck also came out in 2004, and I really liked that. It has its problems, but it overcomes them IMO. I think I like Nana better as far as the music dramas from Madhouse goes, but Beck is still very much worth watching. The Place Promised in our Early Days, that was OK. I didn’t think it was a masterpeice or anything but it was ok. I really liked 5 Centermeters Per Second.

    Dead Leaves was pretty good, but Fooly Cooly is SOO much better. Fooly Cooly had a lot of debth, heart, and emotion in it. Dead Leaves was kinda hollow and empty. But definitely worth watching because it’s so different then anything else. The reason it isn’t as good as Fooly Cooly is because it doesn’t have Tsurumaki I think 😉 . Imaishi is OK, but he’s overrated IMO, sorry.

    I really love Tween Witches! It’s quite a good show from Studio 4C. Top notch stuff! Great note to end on. Anyway love your podcast guys! Keep up the good work. Sorry I wrote so much, hope you don’t mind.

  33. I’ve been watching Aquarion, which was from this year and am enjoying it so far.

    That probably makes me a bad person.

  34. – If only the Astro Boy 2003 version was more faithful in the editing dept.

    – Much of what TV’s Matt Alt says is true about how the classics we saw back then were all about selling toys (as obvious as that seems). Also sad kids don’t play with ’em anymore.

    – Yeah, Peter Chung’s “Aeon Flux Redux” was a little off, but my interests in Animatrix is only for one or two segments in it.

    – In the case of “Osamu Tezuka’s The Phoenix”, the PBS station that was partially involved in it was WNET (ch. 13), though they seem to have only produced the first half of the show (episodes 1-6), as their name seems to be gone from episode 7 onward.

  35. No one will ever see this [Don’t add fake information into the comments field or else your comment is marked as spam. –Daryl], but Pretty Cure is more or less the biggest anime franchise this side of One Piece, and it all started in 2004. It’s certainly notable for that, if not for its own merits.

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