Anime World Order Show # 106 – Gay Centaurs and Scary Umbrellas

In this episode, Clarissa SPEAKS~! about her favorite things: gay porn and horror. After a slew of yaoi manga recommendations that gay men might potentially like, she reviews the anime mystery/horror (comedy…?) series Another.

You can watch legal streams of Brother Dear Brother courtesy of this page on Viki.

Introduction (0:00 – 39:32)

Gerald and Clarissa were guests on The Greatest Movie EVER! podcast to talk about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 2. The most recent OSMCast! that Daryl recorded…back in February…is still not out yet!

Yaoi manga mentioned:

Review: Another (39:22 – 1:29:07)

You can read Freud’s “The Uncanny” (1919) here.

Julia Kristeva’s The Powers of Horror discusses the concept of abjection, and there seems to be an accessible copy here.

Other theorists whose ideas I touched on but did not mention:

  • Judith Halberstam’s Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and The Technology of Monsters (1995) [Amazon]
  • Kelly Hurley’s The Gothic Body: Sexuality, Materialism, and Degeneration at the Fin de Siecle (1997) [Amazon]


21 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 106 – Gay Centaurs and Scary Umbrellas”

  1. Dear AWO,

    I never picked up Another as it was airing, perhaps because of the number of people spamming .gifs of it when each new episode came out. This even handed review has tempted me to watch the show and perhaps I would do if there wasn’t such a high number of good quality shows this season.

    It’s interesting to hear Daryl mention the recent series Shiki because I would consider that to be one of the few truly effective episodic horror TV anime titles and even it suffers from some pacing issues at the start.

    I was rather disappointed to hear a discussion of crazy deaths in anime with no-one mentioning any of the kills from Blood-C. I can only imagine that’s because the majority of viewers dropped that show after three extremely repetitive episodes, but those people who were foolish enough to sit around for the whole thing were witness to deaths so insane and ridiculous that the TV broadcast was literally censored. It’s definetenly ‘anime’s craziest deaths’ material.

  2. Actually, Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Stories was licensed by Geneon. I had no idea it had been licensed outside Japan until someone on Twitter mentioned that Amazon still has copies of the DVDs on sale (Vol 1 Vol 2 Vol 3). Unfortunately, the series was released about the same time that Geneon imploded. The show was lost and forgotten due to the chaos of that event.

    The first two stories in the series were dull and forgettable. However, Kusuriuri, the main character in Mononoke, and the last story in ASHS (Bake Neko) was a) the best story in the series and b) was responsible for Mononoke getting its own show.

    1. I do feel like everyone should at least check out Bakeneko. It’s only three episodes long, so it’s hardly a large commitment.

      I don’t want to be ‘that guy’, but I believe Clarissa stated that the director of Mononoke also directed Ayakashi – Samurai Horror Tales. As far as I am aware each story in Ayakashi was handled by a different director, and Kenji Nakamura (the director of Mononoke) only directed the Bakeneko segment. He’s the director a show this season, Tsuritama.

  3. While I’m also growing weary of being unable to remotely identify with guys in these manga due to their “omg how can I be with a guy”-syndrome despite having dozens of gay-sexings by then, there are two other prevalent attitudes that are even worse to me: first, that tons of these manga can be basically boiled down to “cold businessman hatefucks child (or child equivalent)”; and second, that some of these authors seem to think “Ow, it hurts, stop” is the sexiest damn phrase imaginable.

    Since Sekai-Ichi avoids these two, it goes down ok with me. Clarissa, thanks for all the suggestions. I’ll be checking most of them out; hopefully for the most part they dodge these points as well?

    1. It’s been a while since I’ve read some of these, but I think most of them should be fairly clear of those. Oh, except for Maiden Rose maybe – the relationship depicted isn’t exactly the healthiest, and while it’s not played as being a good thing Klaus gets really rough in one particular scene I can think of. I thought about recommending Yamane Ayano’s Finder series but it doesn’t really meet Sam’s criteria and it would definitely violate your first since Asami is a controlling asshole yakuza.

    2. Your complaints just summed up most of straight Nipponese porn, animated and live as well, at least the bulk of what I’ve seen. – The unbearably overwrought coyness of Japanese porn stars. Sex as power play – in the West, men “get lucky”; in Japan, to obtain the Sex, you must first crush and control your objects will. Finally, the woman has to do her best to sound like a puppy with its tail caught in a door. (And if I wasn’t an old pervert myself, this is where I would insert a rant against fan service and moe.) It seems it’s all Gospel of the Book of Seinen. – though I think it actually kinda works for tentacle rape. Hmm… Is there much gay tentacle hentai? “Oh no – not there!” indeed.

      1. I’ve seen some tentacle yaoi in commercial BL manga and games, but mostly in doujinshi. I think it’s started to increase in popularity as BL and yaoi become more overtly porny (it’s really interesting to go back and look at 80s and 90s stuff which was mostly softcore and dicks were always glowing cones of light if shown ‘on-screen’ then compare it with the newer stuff that looks more like eromanga levels of explicitness). Even with that, it seems like it’s still a small niche.

        Of course, I think tentacles have gone down in popularity within eromanga and anime as well. I think there’s one ero magazine devoted to it and it turns up in a couple recent ero anime that come to mind, but the censorship worry that bred the stuff initially has gone down substantially and with that it seems to have become less prevalent. I’m sure Gerald can correct me if I’m wrong though.

  4. As a gay anime/manga fan I have yet to find many BL/yaoi title that I really enjoyed. It’s not because I’m looking for them to be more authentic or to include “gay issues.” They all seem so gratuitous and pandering. Ai no Kusabi is probably the only one I’ve really liked. I will try some of the titles and authors that you mentioned, as I feel that I should like this stuff and hopelessly keep trying. Thanks for the great show as always!

    1. Yeah. As much as I appreciate the fact that everything isn’t so relentlessly softcore anymore in women’s porn I do mourn the passing of the old June and tanbi style, more story and aesthetically focused BL stuff. Sadly the vagaries of BL publishing that rely mostly on one-shots and the general decline of shoujo manga that’s pushing the best authors into shonen/seinen anthologies where that stuff will be less welcomed seem to have driven anything that isn’t brainless fluff or porn out of the market.

      This is the primary reason why I no longer read much commercial BL manga and instead stick almost entirely to smutty doujin and fanfic of regular series. That way I can get the story and characterization from the regular title and the romance/smut from the fan stuff.

  5. Hearing Daryl talk about horror movies other a bit more in depth than saying “all horror movies are for girls” shows me he appreciates the same movies as I do in the genre. Jason X is a cinematic achievement.

  6. The Another review was excellent. I stopped partway through to go check out the show, which I ended up watching all in one go yesterday. It turned out to be a very enjoyable show, great little horror/mystery. Although the first and last two episodes don’t quite match up to the middle.

    Also, Daryl, if you’re looking for more craziest deaths material, Umineko no Naku Koro ni (the spiritual sequel to Higurashi) has some worthy scenes.

  7. Hi AWO, a great show once again!
    Im still waiting for your next 3 hour all mecha reviews episode sighhh..
    I wanted to ask if you guys ever checked out the horror anime called Box of Goblins?
    I really liked this show but have not heard many fans talk about it.
    AWO is still the best!

  8. Hey guys! Your show was a pleasure to listen to as always. Thank you for your thoughtful reply to my email. I’ll make sure to check out Clarissa’s recommendations!

  9. When I first encountered yaoi, I thought I’d gone to heaven. It seemed so promising and transgressive. Some of it is. I’ll read anything Fumi Yoshinaga puts her name on. A lot of it is kind of icky, fetishizing gay men in the same way that “Clothes are silly! Let’s have a pillow fight!” lesbianism objectifies women. I end up having much higher standards for the yaoi that I’ll read than I do for the shoujo. In the same way that some folks will watch anything with a giant robot, I’ll read anything from Japan aimed at girls or women that’s male/female or yuri. A lot of yaoi ends up giving me that feeling you get in a sports manga when they finally meet the American team, and somebody starts spouting off about the naturally superior athletic abilities of black people. That’s how a lot of bl feels to me. At this point, the way I find new yaoi artists is by reading a josei or seinen work, looking up what else the artist has done and seeing bl titles in the list. That’s how I found Yamashita Tomoko.

    Beyond that, a lot of the “yaoi” culture that’s built up in fandom is just creepy as hell to me: the paddles, the labelling people uke and seme, dudes acting like they might kiss each other to get into the pants of a tipsy high school junior. At its worst there’s a minstrel show feel to things. I don’t know that there’s any harm, and this isn’t really the forum to talk about being an effective ally, so I’ll just register some discomfort.

    In terms of horror, in some book of folktales, I read that Japanese horror aims not at abject terror, but at chills of fear. Telling ghost stories developed as a summer tradition pre-air conditioning. All my shoujo horror knowledge is super out of date. Last I checked, Bride of Deimos was out of print in English, and the other shoujo horror series available translated was the extremely disappointing Hell Girl. Bride of Deimos should be required reading for every school child. In general, horror (whether American or Japanese) doesn’t scare me, so it has to have something else to pull me in, like batshit insanity and matchless 70s fashion. For the record, I’ve never made it more than ten minutes into Alien: it’s just too scary.

  10. Another podcast that I enjoyed mostly, except for the whole yaoi/boys love thing. That doesn’t interest me in the least. Its a pity to hear that Brother Dear Brother has very few fans, and mostly girls in America. Why pass by one of the greatest shoujo anime of all time? Guys guys guys, you have no idea what you’re missing by not watching Brother Dear Brother.

    I hope one day AWO will review:

    Uchuu Senshi Baldios, not only the film (full length feature) not the bastardised American version, as well as the TV series. If Gundam forever changed animation, Baldios is the other side of the coin. It introduced a lot of mature themes, as well as shoujo like elements in a science fiction war story setting. A must see for every fan of classic animation, and more so if you’re interested in science fiction. And it’s the only anime where humankind loses, and loses completely. No ending is worse than that of Baldios, not even that of Ideon.

    Daitarn 3, the best super robot show that Tomino did during the seventies. It blows Zambot 3 out of the water, and it shows how good Tomino was before descending into hell.

    Grendizer, one of Go Nagai’s most mature anime. While Mazinger and Mazinger Z are loved in Japan, they are clearly kids shows whereas Grendizer was trying to be a much more adult oriented science fiction show. And of course the Japanese being who they are never gave a chance to Grendizer. All the while, the series was doing exceptionally great in France and Italy.

  11. Just noticing what they got over at Viki impresses me, Ambassador Magma, I’ve only ever watched one dubbed tape of that back in the 90’s! I see some of the Tezuka TV movies are there too, I hope someone can provide subs to some of these like Galaxy Investigation 2100: Border Planet.

  12. In a strange way, the fight for marriage equality can sound more like the classic manga conception of yaoi or BL than the civil rights conception of the gay movement. That is, marriage equality often tries to win the PR battle by appealing to people’s sense of individual empathy and even romance–the idea that it’s wrong to keep two people apart who want to dedicate themselves to each other just because they happen to be of the same gender. The image in this fight is not a mass of people marching as an identity group, but a collection of certain individuals who want to be couples. It is, of course, a very romantic conception of marriage–the idea of two people overcoming the opposition of society because they are destined in the end to be together.

    Right now I’m working on the omnibus of Angelic Layer, and I was struck by the line “Girls can’t marry girls!” When that manga first came out in English, that was true (and it still is true in Japan). Now it is not true in ten U.S. states–things have changed that quickly. I wonder if younger readers will think the line is a mistake…

  13. You obviously haven’r read many Agatha Cristie books 😀 [Nope. We have, however, read many Agatha “Christie” books.]

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