Anime World Order Show # 94 – Disappearance Is the Penultimate Weapon

Wow, we missed…quite some time! It’s as though we disappeared! (Or perhaps expired?) To that note, Gerald reviews the manga Disappearance Diary…after we spend half the show talking about US animation for a change!

If you like what you hear, then by all means leave us reviews on iTunes! FULLY POSITIVE ONES ONLY (this is the Japanese style of marketing).

The guest appearances on other podcasts are contained within the Guest Spots link at the top of the page. Daryl’s Hey, Answerman! column on Anime News Network can be read here.

24 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 94 – Disappearance Is the Penultimate Weapon”

  1. I guess the old G.I.Joe and Transformers movies are/were more memorable for me than their respective TV series, as much as they were obviously intended to clear the way for new toys and so on.

    Most of the DC Animated Universe produced by Bruce Timm & co. still holds up, no doubt, but going back to it now does reveal a few blunders here and there, even in the venerable B:TAS. Nevertheless, the good stuff certainly outweighs the bad and the whole universe ended on a very high note with JLU (twice!).

    Haven’t seen Young Justice yet so I’ll have to get to that eventually. I’ve only seen a little bit of The Brave and the Bold, which is very unfortunate, but it seems to work well enough for me after growing up with 1960s Batman reruns in all of their charming ridiculousness.

    I don’t know why, probably just for circumstantial reasons, but I was more of a Ducktales than Darkwing Duck guy. I might revisit both of those one of these days just for the heck of it…hopefully without suffering from too much nostalgia backlash.

    Disappearance Diary…sounds like a fairly readable take on a very dysfunctional life, though I don’t have too much experience with the autobiographical works of manga and anime creators in general.

    Still, I agree this particular guy might be absolutely creepy but that doesn’t mean he can’t tell a decent or amusing story about his various predicaments. Depressed or even outright disgusting people (and characters!) can sometimes turn out to be pretty intriguing when you get to know them, outside of whatever amounts of hilarity or rage are also involved.

    For whatever it’s worth, good luck with those panels.

  2. My favorite episodes of Clone Wars were the Zillo Beast two-parter. They pulled off something that cg animation has a really hard time accomplishing: a sense of scale and weight to a giant character.

    I’ll second the thumbs-up on Young Justice. What’s so refreshing about that series is that they have a cast of young heroes, and they actually allow them to act like dicks. Which teenagers often do, by the way. Robin’s a sociopath, Kid Flash is a horndog, Superboy’s a brooding asshole, etc. I didn’t care for their version of Aquaman, however, with all the water-bending and mystical nonsense. Aquaman talks to fish, OK? That’s what he does. He’s Cesar Millan with fish. The End. If he’s as powerful as freaking Superman, he has no reason whatsoever to ask for help from his fishy friends. “OK, I’m an underwater version of Green Lantern now, but you know what? I’m asking you, random porpoise, to attack that white martian, just to be whimsical.” Bullshit. That’d be like Superman asking me to kick Brainiac in the nuts. At that point I’d be like “Hey, Superman. I think you’re awesome and all, but maybe with your super-strength and invulnerability you can get this one, huh?” Aquaman talks to fish.

    Another recent American cartoon I was impressed with was the Firebreather TV movie. I actually dug it more than the comics.

    Darkwing Duck is a great comic. I’d recommend the recent annual, which includes a neat back-up story from the creator of Darkwing Duck about how the character came to be. I guess the show started off as a spin-off featuring Launchpad as a spy named “Double-O Duck.”

  3. Since you brought up Transformers in this show, I wanted to chime in.

    Most of the Japanese Transformers shows are generally mediocre.

    For the 80’s it’s like this:

    The Headmasters-I’ve only seen a couple of eps but kindly bland since they tried so hard to make it look like the American show. Great opening by Hironobu Kageyama though. Coming out on DVD here in July.

    Masterforce-The best one IMO. Really did a great job of reinventing Transformers just enough to be fresh but still be watchable to fans. You don’t really have to watch the previous one to enjoy this. A sort of precursor to what Brave shows would be like.

    Victory-Haven’t really seen enough to give an informed opinion.

    Zone-One shot OVA. I like it. Opening by Ichirou Mizuki.

    Then in the 00’s

    Car Robots (Robots in Disguise in the U.S.)-I liked this one as long as you think of it as a Transfomers sitcom.

    Armada-This is the one Clarissa was trying to remember. Transformers as Pokemon. I actually enjoyed this one because it was SO bad it became entertaining.

    Energon-Started out with promise but then turned to crap. Usually regarded by TF fans as the worst TF show. If it was 13 eps it might have been good but it got dragged out to 40 something. Awful 3D cel shaded CG didn’t help either.

    Cybertron-Better than Energon but not by much. Again, plot points that would have taken an episode in the original cartoon were dragged to like 10 (DBZ syndrome). The anime serialized arc style does not work for Transformers.

    TF Animated was done with 4 degrees C but is generally an American thing. TF Prime is totally an American production (except for the toys which are always designed in Japan).

    I’ve hope that this nerding out moment has been helpful.

  4. Don’t try to pin that Phineas and Ferb crap on me. That was all Gerald’s room-mate. I’m a My Little Pony man, myself. It’s like Fist of the North Star, only with more sparkles and less heads rupturing.

    1. It warms my heart that AWO likes the My Little Pony show (as, of course, do I). Personally it reminds me of Mass Effect, but I’m sure many other comparisons are warranted. For instance, I have to restrain myself from comparing its characters to those of Madoka Magica on an irresistible color-coded basis.

  5. I loved the old 80’s cartoon recap, as well as the take on some newer ones. I must have been the odd man out, however, because the only shows I watched as a kid I bought on DVD was “Dungeons & Dragons” (better in memory than reality, but still has some solid moments and good one liners) and “Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors” (which, despite being an obvious Star Wars clone, is still mildly interesting). I find Jayce even more fascinating viewing in today’s world since it’s basically about destroying plantlife. Evil plantlife, sure, but still the most anti-green cartoon I’ve ever seen. It’s like the anti-Arjuna. Which is a good thing. (Except for the Yoko Kanno OST, which was amazing.) I may pick up MASK. I did really like that growing up. I doubt I’ll ever see Pole Position released on DVD, though.

    As for Disney TV, I enjoy Phineas and Ferb when I catch it, but not as much as I used to enjoy Kim Possible. I never felt it got any recognition for how well it was written. And with Ricardo Montalban as an evil billionaire villain, how can it not be entertaining?

    1. I think the awful truth is that we all BECAME Freakazoid and as such have no need to mention it. More precisely, a combination of Freakazoid and Fanboy, resulting in a melding of personalities. The net is vast and infinite.

  6. A couple animated shows out today that are worth a look are Ben 10 (and it’s later versions), and Generator Rex. Both are done by Man of Action, which is a group of artists like CLAMP. Although the original Ben 10 is aimed at 10 year olds and might not quite appeal to older viewers, however the later versions deal with older characters.

    And it’s CW that’s running the 4Kids anime block now. 4Kids use to handle the FOX animated shows. Unfortunately it’s almost all reruns.

    The first couple seasons of Scooby Doo were good, at least for their time. It was a long time before anything on TV could compete with them. Unfortunately, once the threw in Scrappy the show went downhill and never really recovered.

  7. Great to see/hear good things about the shows from which I and my friends make our living. (I’m a storyboard guy, and occasionally an episodic director.) My most recent credits are Mighty Avengers and Brave & the Bold; I did storyboards for about of third of the episodes (including the very first and very last) and enjoyed them immensely. My current project is Ultimate Spider-Man (the third SM series I’ve worked on and my hands-down favorite), and I’ve been invited to participate in the 2nd season of Young Justice. Also, anyone remember “Shaggy & Scooby Doo Get a Clue?” Worked on that, too.

    That’s basically meant to provide some cred so I can answer the question about toy companies and how they affect today’s shows. In the 70s, toy merchandising was part of the process, but it didn’t really come into its own until the 80s and 90s when it became the driving force. When it went too far we started hearing the complaints about TV shows being half-hour commercials so they put the brakes on and gradually reclassified toy licensing as promotion rather than a revenue stream. It was rebranded as “Consumer Products,” and strengthened its grip on the creative process.

    These days “Consumer Products” is a major partner in a production. If their demands aren’t met, they pull their support and vital promotional opportunities disappear. This resulted, for example, in the Thundercats show being initially dropped after it was fully developed and rolling into production. I know this because I was tapped to work on it and then told it wouldn’t be happening after all. What brought it back from the brink a few years later is probably an epic tale.

    It’s also possible for Consumer Products to get nervous and pull out of a show after it has already gone into production. Remember Disney’s Atlantis movie? I worked on the TV spinoff for a short time before this very thing happened, and even though over a dozen episodes were already being animated there was a huge drop in confidence and the show was killed before it ever got on the air. A Hulk series was developed around the time of the first movie and killed for the same reason; the movie underperformed.

    There are exceptions to every rule, but those are the broad strokes of the way things work today. Incidentally, I have to correct Patrick’s description of “Man of Action.” It’s a group of writers/producers, not artists. They are currently writing and producing Ultimate Spider-Man.

    1. The writers on Ultimate Spider-man are a real dream-team of comic/animation people. Both Dini and Bendis are involved, correct?

  8. I will ask only 1 Question due to the fact I don’t see it as of yet, but I would like to point out that your podcasts have always been great and entertaining if not also informative. On to the question…

    Will you be going to Sakura Con this year and doing a podcast from there this coming weekend? [We won’t be attending SakuraCon, no. We’re not against it, but getting to the West Coast is prohibitively costly. But we’ll gladly attend anime cons that are willing to fly us out and/or set us up with a room in exchange for us contributing programming! –Daryl]

  9. Oh come on, did anyone love Biker Mice From Mars??? What about Dragonflyz or the first X-Men animated cartoon. These were amazing, and Beast Wars(bad CG) was always good for a laugh. Waspinator!!!!!

  10. It seems that whenever Daryl mentions that he is the ONLY one watching any show or movie, that is never true. At least not for me.

    Looney Tunes: Back in Action was pretty fun and while I am not watching Clone Wars currently, I did enjoy the past seasons on DVD. Sym-Biotic Titan is a show that I just saw for the first time this past Saturday and if every episode is that action packed, I’ll have to find more.

    [Do I know you? Have we met? There are too many “Davids” for me to keep track of, but I will assume the answer is “no.” When I say that “I’m the only person…”, I add a “that I know” qualifier to it, because obviously other people are watching Clone Wars if it’s the number one show on Cartoon Network! –Daryl]

  11. The MLP show didn’t do anything for me, which disappointed me as I was expecting to like it so much that I would go back and watch the older pony shows. My plan was to pretend I was some angry old school pony fan since G1 and would hate on all this new people to the franchise. But is better this way, may have not been able to turn it off.
    “MLP:F has bastardize the characterization of Applejack and ruined the MLP franchise!”
    And I am sure real people like the above already exist somewhere. MLP fandom also reminds me of touhou fandom, particularly in that everyone has a girl they champion and the overall fandom seems to have a higher creative output in youtube vids similar to touhou and nico douga.

    Looney Tunes still comes up in the mornings on CN, but for some reason they only show the crappy forgettable ones that had a lower budget.

    The description of Disappearance Diary reminded me of that A&E show Intervention. In the show, they follow around someone with a substance abuse who are some times homeless and end up whoring themselves around or digging through garbage for food and drugs/booze etc. Pretty entertaining stuff.

    Anyway, a mangaka’s life being so hard is one of the reason I had trouble getting into Bakuman as it made it looks so easy. But I do like the idea that Bakuman will inspire and and build dreams of future mangaka to be, just to be crushed.

  12. Because I just found out like 2 minutes ago, I might as well be the one to report the sad news that another one has left us.

    Rest in Peace
    Osamu Dezaki

  13. Hearing about Batman: TAS and Animaniacs reminded me of a few videos I’ve seen recently on YouTube of interest to share here.

    The first showcases all the overseas studios involved in the Batman series (which included countries like Korea, Spain and China).

    Here’s a similar video on Animaniacs…
    (as usual, the TMS episodes are the only ones people remember the best, though I kinda dig Chicago-based Startoons myself)

    The same guy who did both videos above also did a sort of breakdown of animation directors on the TMS Animaniacs episodes, though I hardly can tell the difference much…

    Most of us are skeptical of the new “Looney Tunes Show” that CN’s bothering to bring out next month, and it’s true noting how much of a one-note joke those early Looney Tune characters were. But then, that was what made those shorts worked when they were simply 6-7 minute things placed before movies in the theater back in the 40’s and 50’s. Trying to replicate that in today’s era is impossible regardless of how it is adapted.

  14. You mentioned that there were new guest appearances on other podcasts. Can you list what those are in the main post, please? Since the guest spots link has them listed by podcast first and then chronologically per each podcast , it’s kind of hard to figure out where the new ones are. Thanks.

  15. I am a big American animation fan as well as an anime fan, in fact I was into American cartoons first, so I really enjoyed hearing you talk about some of those in this episode. Also, I have never met anyone that was as huge of a Genndy Tartakovsky fan as I am. I love everything that he does, so I was especially exited to hear you guys talk about him a little and about the tragic cancellation of Symbionic Titan. Trying as hard as I can to resist going into my soapbox rant over the decline of Cartoon Network, I’ll just say that Symbionic Titan was a glimmer of hope that the network was coming back to some of its roots that made it originally great. Titan was a wonderful example of Tartakovsky’s unforgettable style and good taste. It is the kind of show that I want to watch. It was clearly made with care and taken seriously by its creators. It was acceptable for children, but mature enough for an adult. I was so down on CN for so long that I was very happily surprised that Genndy was back with a new show. Likewise, I was really sad to hear that it met the fate of so many truly excellent shows and was cancelled before its time. We need more people like Genndy in our animation industry, and we need more shows made by him on television.

    I’m afraid that there is just not enough people like me to pay the bills for the network, though. I mean, I assume that that is why my kind of shows are so rarely made and CN spent the greater part of the last decade alienating me. Hey look, I’m on my soapbox!

    It sounds like your taste in American cartoons lines up with mine pretty well, so I will give Batman: The Brave and the Bold another try. I rejected it at first thinking that it was the stupidest version of Batman I have ever seen, but obviously I am missing something, because Jeff Harris also likes it. Also, I can’t believe that I am saying this, but I’ll check out My Little Pony after hearing you all talk about how it is surprisingly good. I still don’t understand how, but I’m intrigued. Also, Craig McCracken is pretty awesome, so that is something.

    Thanks for another good podcast!

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