Bonus – 2005-2006 In Review…Without TV’s Matt Alt

Matt Alt had to peace out to DC on a business trip for the next few weeks, so we’ll be hitting up this installment of the decade in review without him. We cover two more years, and from this point on things start looking slightly bleak. Just warning you.

This may be the final episode of AWO ever, as today is Daryl’s 30th birthday, aka the Otaku Expiration Date. Any time spent alive from this point on is borrowed time.

Oh, and Anime Boston is next week so there may not be another episode posted due to the fact that we’re Featured Panelists there. We’ll be running the following: Play It Again, Sam: Anime Remakes, Anime Squares, Cataloging Your Collection (which is running opposite The Vile Spectre of Moe, but that’s Christian Daly’s panel first and foremost), You DON’T Survive the Anime Apocalypse (marked as 18+, which MIGHT be overkill considering this is a con showing Ghost in the Shell 2.0 at 10 AM and there’s probably nothing here more objectionable than anything in there, but may as well play it safe), Black Jack, Tezuka’s Dark Doctor, Manga-Mania, and Better Living Through Superweapons: Anime’s Mad Scientists. But for all we know, we might also be involved in Anime Hell, The Melancholy of Yoshinobu Nishizaki, and who knows what else!

85 Replies to “Bonus – 2005-2006 In Review…Without TV’s Matt Alt”

  1. What? Daryl’s 30 already?

    Well, enjoy being the working man you are, or get married or something.

    Besides, I’m pretty sure you can magically create a new category of otaku like the Senior Otaku or some other wacky name out there.

    Podcast comments are later, after I listen to the show. [In the future, please try and wait until you listen to the show before commenting, whenever possible. And, to quote Fight Club, “I can’t get married. I’m a 30 year-old boy.” –Daryl]

  2. Don’t worry Daryl. I’m sure you’ll be renewed. That red light isn’t ready to blink just yet. [Logan’s Run jokes are themselves 34 years old, making them only slightly less run into the ground than the entirety of Monty Python and the Holy Grail! — Daryl]

  3. What about those old farts of anime? They’re still alive and kicking after 30 right? [They’re sci-fi fans first and foremost!]

  4. Aside from Sigma 6 and Afro Samurai Gonzo also did Transformers Cybertron as well. [Like all Transformers cartoons post-G1 with the exception of Transformers Animated, Transformers Cybertron aka Transformers Galaxy Force is originally a Japanese show. –Daryl]

  5. After listening to the entire show, I’m in agreement with what you guys said.

    I still remember back in the day when I was the complete newbie that I was in 2005 to 2007, worshiped Suzumiya Haruhi like the goddess she was(and most people today still do). Looking back now after great treatments in Nagai Go and LotGH, I look really crap back then. But Fujioka Haruhi from Ouran is still better than that piece of shit.

    Thank goodness my instincts told me to steer clear away from Glass no Kantai. But nevertheless, these were the years that moe started to creep up into anime itself, and I’m sad that I started my otakudom from these years…

  6. IGPX was a co-production with the Cartoon Network. I’d assume that it getting a second season had something to do with CN’s involvement. That said, the second season must have done horribly in the ratings because they pulled it from it’s Toonami time slot and shoved the last three or four episodes in the dreaded “Friday at 2:30AM” time slot of death! That was the same place the shoved Yu Yu Hakusho following the Dark Tournament arc.

  7. Guess I’ll have to cut this fucker in two, again.

    I’m 30, too. So I guess if there’s anything we can learn from Anno at this phase of his life, it’s that you too can be successful creating and rebooting an “ironic” mech show, and perpetually get praised for it being “original,” “edgy,” and “symbolic,” even though Evangelion is now the Japanese cash-grab equivalent to Hot Topic and Twilight. Oh, and in order to finally get your foot in the door, you need to mix-up Laputa with Waterworld, and give it a proto-tsundere female lead for good measure. [Your last observation is undermined by the fact that Nadia precedes Waterworld by half a decade, and Anno had already directed Gunbuster prior to Nadia. –Daryl]

    “Advent Children” – Really, half the praise for it is due to the fact that people hated the FF7 ending, and they wanted to see a follow-up which wasn’t Spirits Within. But yeah, by the standards of the Crystals OVA and Unlimited, it’s the best FF anime adaptation evar ever. Kind of surprised that alleged Kingdom Hearts animated spin-off still hasn’t happened yet, though.

    “choreography and camerawork” – Isn’t it just FF with Naruto-esque fights? [No.]

    “Mushishi” – I liked the AX preview, but I stopped caring about the manga near the end. Too many stupid, but well-meaning characters, and thus the author’s tone comes off a bit vindictive for my tastes. I did give the live-action Otomo movie a shot, though, and I thought it made up for Steamboy, though it was clearly not a grand-slam out of the park like his other stuff. Not sure if it was meant to be, though. Apparently, the director of the anime was a Spider-man fan, and was wearing the shirt at AX, but I never got whats-her-face from the defunct Synch Point to tell me how he would’ve directed part 3.

    “Emma” – Only read the manga, but the love story’s pretty predictable and paper-thin, and the later side-stories feel like unnecessary cash-ins.

    “Speed Grapher” – Gave up after enduring the sample disc. But I still don’t get why Duran Duran’s record company execs were such dicks about letting FUNi have the rights to the song. You really think a pop tune people haven’t heard in 30 fucking years is worth a fortune, even though the target audience for it doesn’t even listen to that group? That’s why these greedy pricks haven’t learned shit from the success of iPod and Youtube. If you give away these songs now, you can get a new generation of consumers who might be interested in your albums.

    “Area 88 remake…low budget” – Um, no, it was fucking top-notch. You want low-budget, see some of the Naruto filler episodes. As for the changed music, I didn’t notice, but then it didn’t seem to impact the show, so…

    RE: Daryl on Paradise Kiss – The manga’s even more obnoxious. Though Yukari’s still smarter than the slutty(er) Nana. Anyway, the real problem is that Nana K. is supposed to be a fuck-up, but the idea introduced early on is that she learns from her mistakes. And then Yazawa just suddenly decided to make her dumber and more of a doormat than when she started. I’ve never seen a manga series which continues to be as popular as that, even though it’s been jumping the shark for at least 10 volumes.

    “RE: Gerald’s rant on Shadow Chronicles” – It’s at least better than Robotech 2: The Sentinels, right?

    “Honey and Clover” – I liked the movie more than I thought I would, even though it’s still disappointing, but am waiting to see how the manga ends before checking out the anime.

    “Densha Otoko hated by the otaku” – Well, I don’t know if I count as an otaku, but the dude in the movie could’ve nabbed a hotter chick. She seemed average to me. I hear the show isn’t bad, though. On a side note, this guy I know who dabbled in imports claims Napoleon Dynamite was promoted in Japan as “bus man” because he rides a bus. [It was indeed named Bus Otoko –Daryl]

    “009-1” – Hit-and-miss for me, but it is an interesting look at different viewpoints of the Cold War for people solely raised on the Bond stuff. And yeah, I kind of agree with Daryl that it could move faster, but I guess they were trying to get the most out of their budget on that one. I guess if you think the boring micro-management shit and Hayden Ocelot in MGS 3 was the best evar ever, then 009-1 might be for you.

    “Kenichi” – Considering it’s as popular as it is, I’m surprised Viz hasn’t brought out the manga here yet.

  8. “Black Lagoon” – I hear the anime’s even better than the manga, which felt like one of those unfinished Tite Kubo things with better art.

    “Monkey Punch adaptation of the Arabian Nights” – He’s been trying to do a manga version of it as his life’s work, including making actual trips to the Middle East, for research purposes, but I’m not sure what’s happened since then.

    “no one caring about Freedom Project” – I hear it actually did well on DVD in Japan, but bombed here, because they fucking chose to release it on HD-DVD, and at Japanese prices to boot. I actually enjoyed it, though I’m surprised you didn’t mention Tokyo Metro Explorers, the OTHER over-priced Otomo-related anime. Oh, and then there was that Demon Prince Enma OVA, which I believe could have been *the* anime to get American fans interested in Go Nagai’s work if it was dubbed and it wasn’t over-priced. It’s the only Go Nagai update which doesn’t have characters who look like they belong at the original Woodstock or Soul Train, and BVUSA fucking blew that one badly. Jeez, that company just did not get the American market. I mean, they started off on a good foot by releasing different editions of Patlabor, so we actually had a fucking choice in the matter.

    “Paprika” – Kon’s most successful feature film in the U.S., and another anime of his which should’ve been a “Best Animated Picture” contender at the Oscars, if only those geezers didn’t have a bias towards CG talking animals and cartoons rated PG and lower [Actually, most accounts indicate it didn’t get nominated because Sony didn’t promote it or make it available via screeners, theatrical distribution, etc — Daryl]. If they at least had picked A Scanner Darkly, things would have been square with me. Though at least people are finally starting to notice how lazy those fucks are in that category, after they snubbed Waltz With Bashir.

    “Haruhi didn’t sell that well [in the US]” – Not by expectations, but it does well enough to keep the manga and novels coming. If Bandai was hoping for, say, another Love Hina, that ship was long gone.

    “Welcome to the NHK” – My opinion on the novel got a lot more posts than usual. I think the last time I got that kind of flack was when I trashed Skies of Arcadia.

    “A good potential just ruined.” – Dragonball Evolution.

    “Buso Renkin” – Looked OK for something that derivative. Just not a must-see. Though I’m one of the few people who prefer Gun Blaze West over RK, so I might be more flexible on these things as a whole. I don’t hate RK, but it’s hard to take seriously when it gets more “philosophical.” Anyway, I’m hoping Viz will bring out Frankenstein one of these days.

    “WTF is wrong with you, Dave Williams?” – He tried his luck with the OVAs, specials, *and* Flash, and they just didn’t take off. And to his credit, that’s probably more Dirty Pair than ever released in the U.S. until then.

    Oh, and you omitted Nerima Daikon Bros [No we didn’t –Daryl], Angel Heart [Ditto; even Gerald dropped it –Daryl], and Fist of the Blue Sky [even Tim Eldred didn’t like it –Daryl]. And I guess Kannagi deserves a mention maybe [NO.]. Also of note is that 4Kids finally started losing money around this time, since One Piece did not end up being the next Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh for them because it was a completely different fucking show, which Al “Kids Don’t Read” Kahn would know if he actually read up on it himself. Plus, Adult Swim decided to become the new G4 at this point, and they subsequently lost the viewers who were watching their shows to Youtube. Finally, 2006 was the year CPM died. Well, flat-lined, really. Though they left a lot of great editions of DVDs in their wake.

    Claire: Don’t feel too bad. I used to have a love-hate thing going on with Maze once.

  9. Thoughtbird is back! HELL yes! Consider that a rebirth in pure Phoenix fashion Daryl, cuz people like you can never die! Happy Birthday!

    Also, nice mentions of Mushishi and Eureka Seven – they were my favorite shows back in 2006.

  10. The 2005 Guyver really was a let down. It’s slowly paced and nowhere near as explicit as the OVAs or the manga. I love the OVAs, but I have to say that the manga is the best version of the story, because it doesn’t vary wildly in quality the way the later OVAs do, and the story stays just as awesome and visceral as we get past the material covered in other incarnations. I think Yoshiki Takaya puts people like Toriyama and Kishimoto to shame when it comes to how he handles shonen power creep: it all seems so well-planned and logical.

    Unfortunately, here is the situation with the manga: you have to read scanlations to be up-to-date, and there is a scanlation gap that can only be read by importing legal HK volumes that are translated in English. If you don’t want to import the HK volumes, then you can settle for watching the 2005 anime (it’s SUPER accurate to the manga in terms of plot), and then jumping into the manga scanlations. (Also Viz licensed the first few volumes way back in the day.)

    Overall what Guyver represents to me is an adaptation of tokusatsu that I can actually get into. It’s got badass monsters, awesome heroes, and I can take it seriously enough to enjoy it for things beyond camp, unlike Ultraman/Godzilla/Kamen Rider. Unlike other tokusatsu-inspired manga, it doesn’t rely on ecchi and other gimmicks; it’s simply a good ultraviolent shonen.

    Just wanted to weigh in on that particular show in case other people find this info helpful. Back to the podcast!

  11. I think the other Space Opera show Gerald got thought-birded for was Tytania which had Noburo Ishiguro as the director. It was even based on more novels from Mr. LoGH himself. A novel series that was never finished but hey.

    The backlash on /m/ was pretty epic with guys screaming, “YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE! YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO MAKE ANIME BETTER AGAIN!”

    1. I believe Tytania dropped later on in 2008… [It wasn’t mentioned as a 2005-2006 series so much as an answer to “was the last new space opera anime really Glass Friggin’ Fleet?!” –Daryl]

  12. I never realized how many crappy/mediocre shows there were during this time period until you mentioned them all together like this haha.

    You’re Your panels for Anime Boston sound interesting,. I’ll be sure to check some of them out.

  13. What was so bad about the NHK anime adaptation? I certainly didn’t think it was as good as the novel, but it hardly travestized the source material. I thought GONZO did a pretty decent job on it. [We answered this years ago. Check the Review Index. –Daryl]

    A notable show from 2005 I didn’t hear mentioned was Kamichu!, which was famous for having an astronomical budget for a TV series. No shortcuts taken with the animation – actual lip synching instead of mouth flaps. Had some really nice Ghibli-esque fantasy visual sequences in there, too. I guess none of you could get past the “cutesy girls in high school” exterior premise… and the same goes for Aria, as well.

    1. No, I’ve heard that episode, and I recall you made positive comments about the first few episodes of the anime as well. I don’t believe you’ve ever made any comments on the show as a whole after it finished airing.

  14. You guys totally forgot about 3 major shows (for me) [We did not forget… –Daryl]. REC came out this year. I thought it was great, one of my favorites. Also left out (and maybe for good reason, considering it’s kinda childish moe crap, but I liked it and it’s 2 other seasons) was Zero no Tsukaima, or The Familiar of Zero as it’s known here.

    The final omission is nearly unforgivable, considering Clarissa is reviewing it on the next podcast. You forgot to mention 5 Centimeters Per Second. Awesome movie, in mo my opinion. I don’t think anyone could argue against how beautiful it looks at the least.

    A couple of others I was surprised to not hear, as they were at least ok, Trinity Blood, Black Cat and MAR(I’m too lazy to find the umlat umlaut a, which would have taken less time than tying this.) [These are some of the absolute most disappointing and wretched shows of the decade. –Daryl]

    I’m happy to hear that Kenichi has done well over here. The show is great. One of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. I thought they found a great way to mix the humor with the martial arts, and have Kenichi progress as a fighter.

    I don’t know why you guys hate Fate/Stay so much,. I thought it was good, and I don’t play the games. Although you probably can’t figure out how I hated Cross Game so much. (didn’t one of you guys love that series?)

    1. You know, back then when I watched Black Cat, I thought it was the best action anime of that time(BIG MISTAKE, DAMN BIG MISTAKE). It was only after someone introduced me to Riki-Oh(both the horrible English dub and normal Cantonese dub), which led on to Hokuto no Ken, which led to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, that I saw the pain and bullshit which I praised back then. Till this day, I still have nightmares of the time where I loved Black Cat, Shakugan no Shana, and G.S.D. and completely thought of Gankutsuou as bullshit.

    2. I’m pretty sure I made it incredibly clear WHY I hated Fate/Stay Night so much. It’s INCREDIBLY boring, horrendously, unbelievably, amazingly, horribly, pointlessly boring. The show has one good opening episode and for what I watched of the show, which was about half of it, NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENED. At that point I was begging for the show to throw me a fanservice bone just so that I’d have SOMETHING to find interesting about it.
      I absolutely do not understand any of this love that otaku have for Type-Moon stuff. I’ve never seen anything out of it that was creepy moe crap that ALSO horribly boring and Fate/Stay Night is a perfect example of that. People can argue until they’re blue in the face about how they didn’t use the best pathway for the storyline, but that would make me believe that every pathway that had some to keep my interest was just purposely avoided? I doubt that, I think that’s Type-Moon having their baby out there for all to see and realizing that what they actually like is utter SHIT and now having to make excuses for it.

      1. I’m not going to argue with you at all on your hatred for the show. I’m sure it’s warranted. I guess I can tend to like really crappy shows, like Myself;Yourself or Zero no Tsukaima.

  15. Point of order on ADV’s release of Dunbine

    (geeze, me and Dunbine, when I die something about my rantings on this will probably be etched on the gravestone)

    *ahem* Dunbine wasn’t sold as the ‘next Robotech’, rather it seems the hope of ADV was to trick the ‘Techies by waving the name of Macek at them.

    “You like Robotech! Macek did Robotech! He’s doing the ADR for Dunbine! SO YOU WILL LOVE DUNBINE!!”

    I’m sure if asked they would say something like “we figured that people who came into anime because of Robotech they would like this because it was an ’80s anime as well” which means their marketing department was made of fail, as everyone knows that the ‘Techies only like Robotech and that’s all they want.

    I still don’t know WHY Macek was doing the ADR work. I believe it has something to do with contractual obligations that Harmony Gold had in regarding Dunbine but who knows. Remember how Macek working at ADV was a BIG SECRET for a time? Nobody was supposed to know he was doing the script and ADR for Lady Death?

    Ah, what a wacky time.

    1. I think Macek answered most of those questions in the ANNcast interview. Where he told them he taught those guys how to do ADR with the three bleeps.

    2. I’m almost 100% certain that the only reason that Macek was doing anything at all for Dunbine was because they needed him out of the way, off doing some project that wouldn’t bother anyone else doing “important” things. I think me he mentioned these things during the ANNCast interview.

      1. I would gladly listen to the ANN casts if they allowed dialup people to download it. It seems that however their server farm is set up it won’t allow the 6 hours and more I need.

        But, since that can’t be, I trust AWO to fill my podcast listening needs.

  16. The Guyver OVA is what got me into anime in the first place (I still love it today) and yet I still haven’t had the desire to see the TV series version at all.

    Didn’t think it was going to get mentioned but yep, Strawberry Marshmallow. Great show, very adorable and funny.

    A show that I wanted to like but wasn’t as good as the show above was Peto Peto San with designs by YUG.

  17. Oh the KOF web anime. I never was able to watch it, I did see the trailer though, and as said, it was really well animated. It was based on the 3D game rather than the main series so I guess not seeing didn’t mean I missed much anyway.

    I need to get the new Glass Mask on dvd soon, though I think I’ll wait for a DeepDiscount sale. I need more over-the-top actor abuse.

    Can’t wait for the more Black Lagoon 😀

    I managed to track down a copy of Vol. 1 of the Zaizen Jotaro manga after hearing your review from ages ago, even though I can’t really understand it much since I can’t read Japanese very well, it doesn’t seem as ridiculous as you’ve described the anime. But he does still say “Da Bomb!” on occassion and I use one of those panels as my avatar on some sites hahahahaa I still need to watch the anime though, but seeing the “Da Bomb” montage on youtube is enough for now.

  18. Steve, you might be overstating that a little. Macek’s name is on the Dunbine DVD label, but waaaay down the credit list on the back. Certainly not in a prominent spot designed to grab eyeballs. I don’t recall seeing any ADV promo back when the discs were announced, but of course they’d mention the Macek/Robotech connection. Why not? It would have been stupid NOT to mention it.

    And ‘Techies ONLY like Robotech? You’re just being facetious, right? If not, you need to give them a little more credit.

    PS–I remember meeting Macek way back at a Chicago Comic Con in the mid-80s when he mentioned that he was already working on Dunbine even then. Probably one of those dub-the-first-ep for NATPE projects. Can’t we just be glad it didn’t end there?

    1. Well, you may not have seen the things I’ve seen, then.

      I stand behind my statement.

      ADV pimped the Macek name as on an equal footing with Tomino in the ads for Dunbine, print and the NATPE-riffic trailers they threw out there. Sure I’ll give him his props for being a script doctor and having good shill skills, but I won’t put him on a CREATIVE level akin to Tomino…

  19. Bah, you talked about all these shoujo shows, but you didn’t once mention the greatest shoujo show ever: “Bokura ga ita” [We Were There] (2006)…

  20. The more I hear about Bandai Visual’s decisions, the more I roll my eyes. Film at 11.

    Anyway, I actually really liked the first Galaxy Railways TV series. It’s nicely self-contained and managed to tell a relatively standard story quite well. Very likable characters and a good use of Leiji Matsumoto’s designs also helped. Definitely worth my time.

    The second one…Daryl is free to think otherwise, but I’ll just say that I actively started to suspect there had been a staff change (turns out it did have a different director, a different writer and apparently less of a budget too). It seemed redundant and unnecessary. Not completely terrible (the use of one particularly ill-advised plot device aside), but disappointing. The OAV is actually fine though.

    I didn’t even watch Advent Children until I randomly caught it on TV late last year. Not that I missed much…the movie seemed to go on forever and not in a good way. It proves that action scenes can in fact be too long.

    Thanks for reminding me that I need to go back and finish the Story of Saiunkoku.

    Higurashi more or less fell through the cracks as Geneon crumbled, which is too bad. The second season, as much as it tends to divide people, is a necessary piece of the puzzle and IMHO really managed to make me care about (some of) the characters as opposed to just being amused by their cruel fate.

    By the way, about something Clarissa alluded to…I believe the newer MS IGLOO 2 is the one with more of a focus on the tanks and other misc. military equipment as opposed to just mecha. The original MS IGLOO, which is indeed pretty good aside from the continued nazification of Zeon and awkward facial expressions, is as space-centric as most other Gundam properties.

  21. What? How can you not like Welcome to the NHK? I hope you didn’t stop at episode 4 where the animation was horrible. It got better later on. You never gave a full opinion about the whole show.

    Was it the ending? When I watched it for the second time, I did think the ending was very moe. I mean the girl ended up being more messed up than the main character and what socially inept individual wouldn’t want damaged goods? I haven’t read the book ($250.00!!!) or the manga, but my friend told me that the manga ended differently.

    1. Holy Crap! I can get $170 for that book? Damn! Well Rightstuf has a Pre-order up, would that mean that they are doing a second printing?

      1. Well to be fair, a lot of shows do start pretty slow. Especially those 50 episode ones that use the first 10 or so ep to set the world and characters. This doesn’t make the shows bad but a lot of people take it as so.

  22. Yes, Magical Pokahn! I’m glad I’m not the only one who watched it. That was a good little show. I’ll have to watch the rest of that.

    Catblue Dynamite is probably my bottom of the decade. What a waste of time.

  23. I’m just wondering, I never heard ANY mention of the Zoids anime at all on this podcast. Zero was kinda lame but the first one was pretty good (the one with Shield Liger and later Blade Liger). Never seen Genesis and Fuzors only a little.

  24. Daryl, happy 30th birthday. You should celebrate by watching… oh i don’t know… Texhnolyze!

  25. I’m surprised of no mention of Pani Poni Dash in all this. A bit of a low key show I suppose but I mean, talk about otaku pandering… [Another one? Just like…scroll up a bit. –Daryl]

  26. Mushishi – I’m one of the few people who considers artsy, pretentious crap boring. I just thought it was so slow that it just couldn’t grab me.

    Black Lagoon – Probably one of the greatest shows of the decade. Japan is full of people who don’t know who to give money to. Sunao Katabuchi strikes me as the type of man who has done no wrong. Princess Arete AND Black Lagoon? Does Japan not think of who they give their money to?

    Buso Renkin – Shonen anime that is MEANT for boys! There are a few things sprinkled around the anime like the romance between Kazuki and Tsukiko, a few good looking boys, and some penis situations, but it was what it was. The fight scenes were pretty good and it’s an anime THAT ACTUALLY ENDS! I like my anime with a beginning and an end. Not to mention you will get more cool fights in 26 episodes of Buso Renkin than you will in 50 episodes of Naruto.

    I’m surprised there was no mention of Kino’s Journey. One of the few anime that geniunely genuinely made me think. [We DID mention Kino’s Journey, just in a previous part… –Daryl]

  27. You are going to review Strawberry Marshmallow in the future, right Clarissa or Gerald?

    I don’t know what’s more painful for me from 05-06. Code Geass or Aquarion? I only saw the first few eps of Destiny (I didn’t even care for SEED even if the designs were nice) but those other two represent the worst aspects of modern mecha anime to me.

  28. Blah, why’d you have to remind me about Kujibiki Unbalance?

    Anyways, good show guys. Kind of glad SOMEONE remembered IGPX. I remember taping the episodes once they moved to the early morning death zone.

    I like Type-Moon, but yeah, the anime aren’t that good at all. In fact, none of the visual/sound novel based anime is really great, at least the ones I’ve seen. Higurashi was just OK, and the less said about Umineko’s adapataion adaptation, the better. Haven’t seen any of the Key adaptations, so I can’t fairly judge on that end.

    I can’t help but wonder why this is. I suppose the simplest answer is that the source material isn’t all that great to begin with. I’d rather not have that be true but who knows. Oh well.

    1. Most of the time, perhaps, but I suppose it varies from case to case. That certainly explains why a lot of cheesy romantic comedies with absolutely no originality outside of appealing to slightly different fetishes always fail. But the more ambitious projects, such as Umineko which has a story whose complexity makes the mysteries in Higurashi look like a cakewalk, do seem to demand a lot more time and resources than whatever your average production company can handle or what most sponsors are willing to provide.

      I can’t speak for the Type-Moon games though, nor have I watched more than an episode or two of Fate / Stay Night myself, but if there really is something to them then I wouldn’t be too surprised about that.

      1. > That certainly explains why a lot of cheesy romantic comedies with absolutely no originality outside of appealing to slightly different fetishes always fail.

        They do? Someone’s definitely watching them.

        “ef – a tale of memories” was actually good, I think. And the Key shows are perfectly adapted, but that doesn’t make them good – nobody here will be able to tolerate them no matter how much time they spent drawing bloom effects and redoing the music.

        I really did like Catblue Dynamite :((

      2. Critically, I meant. Sorry if the implication wasn’t too clear.

        Financially speaking, the better produced ones probably see some success, but you can’t really argue that there isn’t a lot of unprofitable or outright disposable material. Most anime doesn’t make a profit to begin with and this particular genre isn’t an exception.

        In addition, my argument about faithful adaptations only extends to those stories that are complex and/or original enough to benefit from a better treatment. I doubt most of the genre will ever fall under that category.

  29. This decade in review being done as a weekly Republic Serial has been great so far. If only we could get one for the 80s and 90s–but I wouldn’t want our hosts to go crazy (or crazier, I suppose).

  30. I really enjoyed the Fullmetal Alchemist movie, despite its flaws. I object to the term “fanfiction” with the negative connotation. Think of it this way: the Giant Robo OVA is fanfiction.

    Gundam Seed Destiny was terrible, but it’s not like Seed was any good. It just repeated the same formula of failure.

    Carl Macek is a fucking load. On the ANNCast he was on, he had the nerve to tell Zac and Justin that he’s “a story teller”. Yeah, because taking three stories and pasting them together makes you a story teller. And that Dunbine release was dreadful.

    As much as I love Yoshiyuki Tomino, though, yeah, he’s got to be told that he can’t just do anything he wants. Even with Gundam (just look at those Zeta movies).

    I love the Lupin III franchise, but it’s such a mixed bag. But Funimation released a couple of good titles, like Memories of the Walter P-38 (“Island of Assassins”) and $1 Money War (“Missed by a Dollar”). “Farewell Nostradamus” is decent, too.

    I loved Haruhi, but “Endless Eight” was such an abomination. If I hadn’t been reviewing it for my blog, there’s no way I would have finished watching that season. Fortunately, the “Sighs” episodes kind of helped and the movie looks like it will be awesome. I bought a few volumes of the first season, but I doubt I’ll be getting the second season on DVD.

    1. It’s cunningly ironic what you say about Tomino, as one of the most common lines of dialog in most any Gundam effort is “You can”t do whatever you want!”

      Of course, that’s usually about the time the speaker gets his/her ass handed to them by the protagonist of the show…

      1. Actually, it sounds like something Kamille Bidan would say.

        Followed by A) a punch to his face by Emma or B) he goes Newtype crazy and kills his enemy.

    2. I’m quite happy with leaving my reference to “fanfiction” as it was. There’s no fanfiction that’s ever been any good ever. And if someone says something to the account of, “Well, Weiss Kreuz had fanfiction better than the actual show,” that’s NOT a complement compliment to fanfiction.

      Giant Robo is also NOT fanfiction,. It was done with the strict approval of Mitsuteru Yokoyama,. It was NOT some person sitting in some house, DESPERATELY wanting to see Daisaku getting it on with Tetsugyu. It’s trying to tell a great story without appealing to the lowest common denominators of fans, unlike Advent Children and the FMA Movie.

      1. I agree that Imagawa’s work is far from fanfiction. Although, when he does do something based in an established franchise he will often pull together many characters, motifs, ideas, etc from all areas of the originating author’s body work in a way that seems both incredibly nerdy and very respectful.

        Like Shin Mazinger Z is not just Mazinger, it’s everything Go Nagai.

        Shin Getter Robo’s OVA for a little while had lots of different elements from all of Ken Ishikawa’s manga. Ryoma’s look and the two crazy doctors were taken from Maju Sensen for example.

        Likewise, G Gundam has a lot of little nods and homages to the whole franchise.

      2. If your you’re talking about fanfiction in general, you probably do have a point. But, there is actually one piece of fanfiction that I was reading back in 2002 or so by someone with the pen name “Zinegata” who wrote a gundam Gundam side story series which started as “The Forgotten Fleet” that I happen to think it’s worth a look IMO.

        Granted, I read this back in 2002 so I was 16 at the time, so since then my view on fanfiction did change to “not worth my time.” But, I really got into the continuations of his side stories to follow after reading that. In other words, I thought it was awesome and wished fanfiction could be more like that.

        You may take my comment as a grain of salt or just give a huge one paragraph reply on how wrong I am for saying that or read it and hate it for what its worth, but I don’t care. At the time, I know what I read and I liked it.

  31. [Okay, level with me straight here: is English not your first language? Because if it is your first language, then this is getting ridiculous. –Daryl]

    I don’t agree that fan service is Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie‘s bigger biggest flaw, those though I see Daryl‘s point. I think it suffers more from being condensed into a movie rather than a 6-12 OVA series. From what little of the director‘s commentary I listened to, Seiji Mizushima (the director) putting out that all the alternate world characters was suppose were supposed to get bigger parts, but they got cut for time. He also said someone pointing pointed out the part one, two, third three ideal which Shou Aikawa (the writers) refused.

    I’ve watched Blood+ on Adult Swim. It has some good opening and ending credit songs and the supportive supporting characters grow to be really intention interesting. But very forgettable otherwise.

    I really love 009-1. Wouldn’t mind to having more like it. Helps to buy the DVD I’d guess?

    Moe slashers. Terminator maid. Coolest black man in anime! Black Lagoon, making the impossibly possibly impossible possible. [No, that’s Mu La Flaga! Or…The Noozles!]

    I like what I’ve seen of The Story of Saiunkoku. To hear you guys liking it means it’d stay good for at throughout.

    I’ll I’d also like to thank you for convincing me to watch Paprika, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Ouran High School Host Club (need to finished that), and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

      1. [You know what? I’m just going to leave this one here. So you know, the reason I use the strikethroughs and boldings is so EVERYONE can see how many corrections were needed. You can either do spelling and grammar checks, or wait for me to get sick enough of correcting your every post that I just don’t approve the comments at all. At this rate, that will not be very much longer. –Daryl]

        “It’s my first language” not “It is my first language”

        EDIT: “From what little of the director’s commentary I listened to, Seiji Mizushima (the director) putting out that all the alternate world characters was suppose were supposed to get bigger parts, but they got cut for time.” should be “From what little director’s commentary I listened to, Seiji Mizushima (the director) talk about all the alternate world characters were supposed to get bigger parts, but all that got cut for time.”.”Coolest black man in anime!” no it’s “A cool black man in anime!”. “I’ll I’d also like to thank you” should be “I’ll like to say thank you”.

      2. Mate, I’ve seen Chinese people in my country who speak English and write English poorly, and it seems that you fit that description. For many times I’ve seen you on Dave and Joels’ blog, that I’ve even wondered whether you were a Westerner or not. It seems that I was mistaken.

        Honestly, either pay attention to the underlined words, or just go read more books/ newspapers. It would increase your grammar capability.

      3. For serious. I have trouble believing English is your first language. I’ve seen you post before and I was/am convinced there’s no way a native speaker could write SO poorly. But then again, why would someone pretend to be native and sacrifice the benefit of the doubt? I’m so confused!

  32. I went back and looked at the comment threads for 2000-2002, and it seems that there was no mention on the show of 2001’s “Jungle wa itsumo Hare nochi Guu,” a.k.a. Hare+Guu. Did no one at AWO like it? Is it true, in the words of STAR QUEST, that “no one urges the Triad”?

    I was flipping through the May 1983 issue of ANIMAGE: there were only thirty-nine anime series on TV that year. But consider the batting average: that included Macross, Space Cobra, Urusei Yatsura, Votoms, Dunbine, Minky Momo, Boku Pataliro!, Sasuraiger, Esteban, Asari-chan, and Sasuga no Sarutobi–which although largely forgotten today was at one point second only to Macross in ANIMAGE reader popularity.

    And of course, purple, I mean, Srungle–the grape drink of robot anime series. Some people know it as “the other show that made up Macron I,” but I knew it as “the one with the pilot in the lace-up top,” which brought a Vanity 6-like touch rare in Saban acquisitions (Some sources credit Tsukasa Dokite as designing Srungle’s characters; others say Yoshitaka Amano did them. They’re surely a strange couple of styles to confuse, aren’t they?)

    1. I wonder if there’s a way to edit these posts after I post them, other than Daryl coming in and jamming stuff together. [There are plugins, but for the time being I’ve not installed them since I don’t want placeholder posts. –Daryl] Anyway.

      Since I have such an impossible time translating names, is Dokite the guy who tends to work with -Tommy’ Ashida? Working on Vifam, Galatt and Dirty Pair?

      Poor Srungle. If the mecha had been more cool it would have been a much better show. As it was it seemed like Go Shogun lite which of course was ironic given the Saban deal…

      Near as I can make it out, according to my copy of Shogakukan’s ‘This is Animation -Animation yearbook 1983’ they credit Amano with Srungle’s chara designs. Maybe he did the key cast and Dokite everyone else?

      One thing about all those shows you mention in 1983: in addition to that, there were a number of continuing shows (Urusei Yatsura being one), because the world didn’t revolve around 13 episode runs back then.

      I mean, that’s somewhat the answer to the question, why so much junk. If you’re only doing 13, or 26 tops, you have a LOT of time to keep filled as opposed to one show running 50-70 some episodes. 13 episodes, that’s 4 shows a year needed to fill that one timeslot.

      I was going to suggest thank god the Japanese haven’t fallen prey to the evil Infomercial but then I had to pause and reflect that so many of the shows being generated now ARE, in fact, infomercials. Infomercials for the CDs, the figures, the hug pillows, the DVDs…

      1. Well, yes, but in the “good old days,” weren’t many of the shows infomercials for robot toys? ^_^

      2. Exactly. I watched Dorvack and I know needless plot when I see it. There’s a show that barely had a coherent narrative to tie together Mugen Calibur’s constant badass beatdowns of flying alien chicken walkers.

        too bad we never had this to go with Roadbuster

      3. Of course, or course, but there was synergy in play, because kids could play with the toys and re-enact the action, whereas now…

        blah blah hugpillows blah blah porny loli figures blah blah sploogy otaku.

      4. Kid’s have video games now so who cares.

        oh noes they will never know the caress of a dual model roundfacer

  33. Daryl, please tell me you are just using some super covert ultra stealth level of sarcasm in your defense of Karas. That show was as indefensibly bad as, if not worse than, Najica, but at least Gerald acknowledges how crappy that show is. Now I’m going to have to listen to your review to dispel my disbelief (I must’ve never gotten around to it because I would surely recall such blasphemous praise). Karas is one of the worst anime’s I’ve ever had the displeasure of viewing, right down there with Spriggan and Season 3 of Rurouni Kenshin.

    1. I thought I heard in the ANNCast that Daryl doesn’t “ironically” like something, he either does or doesn’t.

      I think Karas is just flat out boring. I couldn’t tell what was what and just didn’t make any sense to me. I’m the type of guy that had to rewatch Gundam because he couldn’t tell the difference between the mech, so a show like Karas is just one big braindump.

      1. Daryl doesn’t enjoy things ironically, that doesn’t mean he is averse to sarcasm however. But yes, Karas was unbelievably boring… and it’s not like there was anything crazy in it like Getter Robo or that much ass-kicking so I’m completely bewildered as to what made him like it. Daryl’s liked a few things that I didn’t care for (like Godannar) but Karas? KARAS?!? I already downloaded the show so I guess I might have my question answered soon.

      1. No way man. Spriggan and Steamboy are in the same boat. At least Steamboy looked nice. I can understand, sort of, why Dave and Joel liked Spriggan, gatling guns and a dinosaur carrying fish arks, but aside from that also incredibly boring and dumb. I sold my copy of Spriggan because I could barely stay awake through it.

  34. I was glad E7 was mentioned. It was indeed a big show but it seems to have been forgotten as many decade review/lists didn’t mention it.

    Despite IGPX having an awful protagonist, I really loved it. This show along with Hajime no ippo always gets me pump and will watch them before entering a nerd related competition like MTG. And I think thats probably why the show failed as it was very niche being not only a mecha but a sport/competition show.

    Zegapain is another show I am glad that was mentioned. The CG worked well with the matrix/reboot thing they were doing. A Mr. Plinkett style review would be amusing.

    1. “Despite IGPX having an awful protagonist”

      What? That makes that show awful in my mind and also not comparable to Hajime no Ippo. Having an awful protagonist is usually a big reason why I give up on other shows like Naruto.

  35. I disagree about Haruhi’s pacing being messed up when you watch the episodes in chronological order.

    I’m not sure what actually happened, but what it *looks* like to me was that they first created a 6 episode series, then got the goahead to expand it, and decided to mess with the fans by mixing the episodes in instead of putting them all at the end. The reason the pacing seems off when you watch it chronologically is simply that it’s an adaptation of a novel followed by a series of short stories.

    (And remember that while the light novel versions were published a bit out of order, they didn’t do stupid things like publish a novel with unrelated short stories stuck in the middle or put out part 2 of a two parter before part 1.)

    I find that the best way to watch them is to watch the whole thing in chronological order, both series 1 and 2 (except for only the first and last Endless Eight). Things constantly appear in earlier episodes that are referred to in later ones.

    Also, I believe the American release has them all in order *except* for the student film, which is still at the start for some reason. If you watch the whole thing in chronological order, you’d see the student film after Sigh, which shows them making the student film.


    I have struggled through that goddamn game. Saber’s character development is kind of tragic but not in the way the authors intended: she goes from being this strong but boring but at least admirable character to realizing that she needs to stay in the kitchen for the sake of the dumbest protagonist ever and turns into a swooning schoolgirl for him. I’m always giving RT’s Hisui shit for the entirety of Saber. Sometimes we’ll just be chillin’ at Wendy’s and I’ll be all HEY. SABER. SHE MAY BE TOUGH BUT BOY SHE’S GOT A WEAKNESS FOR RETARDS I GUESS

    The amazing, deep backstory of KOF is a Mortal Kombat level mess and nothing can fix it unless you handle it like a lot of fans do and just pretend the games ended at 1998.

    I really tried, but I know the only reason I made it through Karas because I was locked in a room with a TV that could only play Karas DVDs. You give an effects guy full creative control and Karas happens. It’s really not too dissimilar from Advent Children.

    The show Gerald is blanking on is Tytania and I didn’t get very far and I don’t remember why not.

    Sales numbers for the TOTALLY IRRELEVANT Hokuto Musou are, as I’ve heard, off the chain.

  37. I just finished Baki last month and Kenichi sounds like it might fill the void. Other than it seems that Kenichi is intentionally a comedy, does it at least contain even a small amount of the absurdity (or blatant animal abuse) that Baki so fully encompassed?

  38. Final Fantasy Advent Children , sadly that’s one of the best selling animes of all time. I didn’t really like it very much. It was ok I guess, but very hard to follow. And I played Final Fantasy 7 and liked it too. Mushishi is something I couldn’t get into really. It’s not a bad series, not by any means. But it’s just not for me I guess. Speed Grapher, yeah I know a lot of people don’t like that, but I liked it. You guys really don’t like Gonzo tho so yes that show is NOT for you then. It’s dripped in everything that Gonzo is. So not for haters of that studio. But hey I liked it.

    Dokuro-chan. HAHAHAHA. High brow! I liked it though. I found it funny. It’s incredbly offensive, but damn it I love that. Strawberry Marshmallow is something I want to buy, just to check it out. But Geneon made that box look like only something pedophiles would buy. It’s a really creepy cover.

    I love love love Hell Girl. But I LOVE typical Japanese Horror, so perhaps that’s why. As for Area 88 I own both the original and the new series. I’ve only seen the first few episodes of the new series so far but I liked it too. No masterpeice, but pretty good. Eureka Seven was quite a good series. I really liked that. Dai Sato is a writer I really respect, and he handled the TV series very well. Saikano is something I watched about half of. It was alright, I’ll still finish it one day but it’s not that impressive (talking about the TV series here which was 2002 IIRC).

    Honey and Clover. I saw one episode and I didn’t like it very much. No offense, but it’s another one of those series that aren’t for me. Jinki: Extend is a show that I LOVED. Loved, loved, loved. No one likes it, but hell I did. I thought the main character was very admirable, she was a very strong character. I thought the series was very smart too, with the way it told its story with the whole time jumps and everything. And sue me I like really super serious stuff. But yeah 2005 was kinda an off show for me.

    009-1 is a show I’m still trying to watch. I do enjoy it though. I’d rate it about 7/10 so far. It’s very retro, yet kinda not retro I like that style. Death Note was an amazing anime! I thought the anime was much better then the manga personally. Buso Renkin would be my top pick for obscure shounen action. I’m currently watching it on On Demand, and I like it a lot. I really like it at least, guess it’s not for you guys.

    Black Lagoon is possibly the BEST action series of ALL TIME. Screw decade, that’s brilliant easily one of my all time favorite series. Paprika is an amazing movie, I love that film. I love Lupin III, Monkey Punch did something there. My favorite from that franchise is the TV series Geneon put out. Haruhi Suzumiya was a show that I liked (first season haven’t seen second season yet). It’s no masterpeice, but I thought it was funny. I don’t get why everyone was crazy over it though, but it’s a good show. I bought it though, it’s on my DVD shelf.

    Nana is an AMAZING anime. I’ve been watching it slowly (got the first two boxsets gata get the others). It’s becoming one of my favorite drama series. It’s a very high quality show. Ergo Proxy was a show I really liked. It was a great cyberpunk/thriller. Very SLOW but interesting. When They Cry Higurashi was another series I really liked. Shame it didn’t sell well though, I thought it was a great horror series that took some blows on “moe”. I liked that.

    Le Chevalier D’Eon which was an OK show, but should have been MUCH better. Yeah the middle part was WAY to slow. Moribito was much better though. Glass Fleet was HORRIBLE, that was such a terrible show. I agree that it looked like it could have been an amazing show, sadly it ‘s not. Innocent Venus also came out this year, and I really liked that. Ghost Hunt also came out this year, and I LOVED that. That’s such an unknown little gem that I loved. Jyu-Oh-Sei was also this year, another hidden little gem that I liked. Sasami was good too, another little gem that year. I liked it, but it’s nothing mind blowing or anything. Cute little show. This seems to be the year with tons of stuff I liked that no one else watched I guess. And I know you guys hate most of Gonzo, but I liked Pumpkin Scissors, Red Garden, Welcome to the N.H.K. , and Witchblade.

    I loved the original Dominion Tank Police, real classic. But I haven’t seen the CGI one. Guess I shouldn’t then lol? Anyway amazing podcast guys. Huge fan here. Can’t wait until I have some free time to check out the next podcast, I’m a ltitle behind here. Again sorry for typing so much.

  39. Upon turning 30, welcome to the club Daryl!

    – 2005 also gave us a film I enjoyed for reasons that most seem to go the other way with, “Arashi no Yoru Ni”. I’ll leave it at that.

    – Still, Gundou Musashi had a kickass theme song.

    – Sad thinking this was the point when we began that slide down that muddy slope into the abyss.

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