Anime World Order Show # 89 – Mamoru Oshii Is a Weird Dude

Boy, we sure put this one off! Daryl finally bites the bullet after saying he’d do it for four months and reviews Gosenzo-sama Banbanzai!, a little-known OAV from Mamoru Oshii. Only part of the reason it’s little known can be attributed to the fact that it’s not easy for us in America to spell “Gosenzosama Banbanzai” correctly.

Due to time constraints and not wanting to delay this any further due to warnings from the future, we just answered one email. WILL THERE EVER BE A RAINBOW?

Catchy theme song, isn’t it? For Kenji Kawai’s 2007 full-orchestra concert–18 years later–he was sure to include it:

It’s probably been out of print for a while, but you can still find people selling the Mamoru Oshii Cinema Trilogy for about $20.

Other stuff:

Clarissa’s in grad school and next month is finals, so who knows when the next episode will come out? NOT US, THAT’S WHO.

16 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 89 – Mamoru Oshii Is a Weird Dude”

  1. This was a good listen, as usual, despite transmitting some very mixed feelings about actually tracking the show itself down. But yes, it probably deserves a look for the sake of its uniqueness and -like so many other anime titles AWO has already reviewed- learning more about a little known part of anime history.

  2. Jinx! Writing my own review of Gosenzosama Banbanzai as we speak. Will listen to this podcast once I’ve completed it – see how our views compare. I picked it up because you put it on that list of unknown great stuff, and I agree. Great stuff indeed.

  3. The Silent Service anime was retardedly dumb! Haven’t seen the manga, but I hope it wasn’t anything like that.

    It’s nice to hear Gerald aggravating over Arjuna and it’s Greenpeace/Peta-ish writing one more time. I think the first time he has mentioned the show goes back to show #3 back in ’06. He wasn’t nearly as pissed about it as it sounded like in the OSMcast review of the 2000’s. In that third show where Gerald talked about Arjuna, he didn’t go into the part about the placenta or the pesticides BS but covered a bit about the hamburger/cow slaughter sequence, and mentioned a moment involving a guy at a nuclear power plant stating how it would be nice if we could live without electricity or some BS there. Just wanted to mention that since I never saw more than one episode of that show and found it startling to hear more of its irresponsible dreck.

    It is sad thinking there’s hardly anyone left after Kon’s passing that may take up the challenge and show us what anime could do than the usual norm (and I also liked The Cat Returns as well). I hope something may emerge one day, but it’s very doubtful.

    Hopefully you guys will come out with an episode by December 17th this year in time for AWO’s 5th anniversary!

  4. Hey, if you guys give me footage via a P2P program or something, I’d edit the video for your panels for you. I really like editing but need something to edit!

  5. I’m so totally empty after Satoshi Kon’s passing … it keeps hitting me over and over.

    I’m wondering if you guys feel like there are storytellers, including western live action movies, who regularly hit his depth and breadth? Who else explores the boundaries of human identity from as many angles?

  6. Matt Murray’s piece on starblazers inspired me to pick up some dvds. I thought you’d be proud. Also i remember loving hakkenden when it first came out over here on vhs but that could also have been because i was like 12 years old at the time. I’m kind of afraid to rewatch it now…

  7. Liking Panty and Stocking but hating my Little Sister Can’t Be this Fuckable? Panty and Stocking is pretty freaking terrible and proves yet again that Gainax can’t get their shit straight in terms of quality.

    Pretty good review of Gosenzo. I had to drop that show after the first episode a few months ago because I just couldn’t stand it. I hate a lot of Japanese humor and so far the only humor to get my attention has been Hajime no Ippo and Captain Tylor. Mainly because they detract from your typical anime humor.

  8. Just wanted to let you know that our Anime club actually did watch Gosenzosama all the way through, albeit over 2 weeks (it’s a bit dense to just marathon). To be fair, we’re a small enough group and watch enough each week that we can afford to slip in some pretty unusual stuff now and again.

    The reaction seemed pretty favorable throughout, and even though it was the last show of the night people stuck around till the bitter end both weeks; in contrast, some of Oshii’s other works seem to really drain all the life out of the room or just drive people away in short order (e.g. Angel’s Egg, Sky Crawlers).

  9. You mentioned Arakawa Under the Bridge. That’s Studio SHAFT at its most SHINBO. SHAFT anime is the equivalent of green peppers or black licorice. You either love it or hate it.

  10. Weeeeeh! Finally. Probably the hardest review I’ve ever written – the rewrites alone were a nightmare, and it’s all because Oshii refuses to do something comfortable and with plenty of external points of reference. Still, you know you have a gem when you’re not only challenged while watching it, but have to think for three weeks just to properly organise your opinions on the matter. I can only say my product is less invigorating than I anticipated (really hard to bring across how thrilled I am by this show), but the process of simply rewatching it over and over and rethinking my opinions, and rediscovering all the details was easily the most gratifying yet. Our reviews picked on very similar points, by the way, but you nailed its success with more interesting anecdotes.

    I straight out loved this show – absolutely adored it. I’ll bum it wherever there is a group of people vaguely interested in watching something ‘different’. I disagree that it’s hard to recommend. I think it’s a matter of simply knowing who to pitch it to. There are plenty of people who would appreciate how it deconstructs itself (and thus all narratives) while telling a highly emotive story about the fall of family. I think if you’d spoken more surely of its strengths rather than trying to emphasise how most people won’t appreciate it, you might have conveyed more successfully why you enjoyed it despite its unique density.

    In respect to the Coca Cola adverts, they’re not the only one: Nikon shows up on the zeppelin and Kodak in Tamiko’s scene with the photographer. I’m not sure how relevant it is to Oshii’s themes, but each one represents a primary colour: red (Coke), yellow (Kodak), blue (Nikon). I found those scenes involving adverts bitterly ironic – even if Coke did sponsor this show (which doesn’t seem to ring true, somehow), they got shafted majorly in a subversive way by Oshii. At the end, I wasn’t thinking ‘Oooh, I suddenly feel very thirsty, let me buy a coke’. No, I was thinking ‘Haha, Coca Cola, you irredeemable parasites!’

    I was grateful that you pointed out that similar humour exists in Patlabor. After reading your OtakuUSA review, I jumped on the first OVA. I’ve got one episode under my belt and getting a warm Planetes feeling from it – but knowing its humour recalls that of Gosenzo-sama Banbanzai makes me even more excited to finish it.

    Lastly, I’d like to share that my favourite aspects of the show are in fact the extended dialogues. It was fun following their existentialist philosophy and discovering that their climaxes always result in some kind of twist in the narrative or character development. For example, at the beach when they have a formal debate with the podium on the topic of Maroko’s legitimacy, my face split in a grin when Inumaru turned Tamiko’s arguments against her, revealing her to perhaps be the dispensable character and thus less relevant than the supposed ‘impostor’ Maroko. This is more than just Oshii talking to himself, but an attempt to deconstruct his own conceptions of the characters, the plot, the mise-en-scene… everything. This guy is an intellectual monolith as well as an entertainer.

    Above all, what I loved, was that despite its utterly bizarre construction, I always felt like the creators knew exactly what they were doing. No matter what happened, I could relax knowing everything would come to a distinct revelation. Which it did.

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