Anime World Order Show # 113 – No Girls Allowed, These Girl Media Topics Are For Men Only

We thought we would be able to line up some guests to do the next review we had planned. That didn’t work out, so we’re recording this IN HASTE. Clarissa had a grad school conference to attend and thus couldn’t make this recording. Daryl has articles overdue…and thus, is here! As such, Gerald is telling everybody the (bad) news and reviewing Gdgd Fairies.

Introduction (0:00 – 33:18)
A little over half an hour means that we were able to answer a single listener email about mecha. This spirals out of control to be about the evolution of fans and the method by which we consume and interact with entertainment. If people are going to get really mad at us over this episode, or rightfully brand us as woefully out of touch and obsolete–the pitiful death rattles of a dying breed–it’ll be because of this segment. To be fair, we’re not completely dead, just spiritually.

Let’s News! (33:18 – 1:11:21)
That’s still better than everything we talk about here, which is entirely dead, like Toren Smith! An insensitive segue for insensitive people, so read the tribute posts by Jonathan Clements and Lea Hernandez to get a better understanding of who the man was and what he did for all of us.

On the digital comics distribution side of things, the website JManga is also shutting down at the end of this month. Their on-site announcement is here, but that link will soon be dead. Yuri manga publisher ALC Publishing is also closing up shop, after 13 years of doing everything one could reasonably ask of a publisher.

Review: gdgd Fairies (1:11:21 – 1:37:31)
Gerald forgot his talent for making zany, off-the-wall comedies sound really dull because that Cromartie review was forever ago, so he’s back at it again as he tells us about Kotaro Ishidate and Sota Sugahara‘s inspired bit of madcap genius that is gdgd Fairies. Between this, Inferno Cop, Straight Title Robot Anime, and How to Enjoy Anime 100 Times More Spring 2013 marks the completion of the early-era Williams Street soul transfer from Adult Swim to random dudes in Japan. You’ll just have to watch it. We’ve encountered reports of people saying that the Magical Spring Dubbing Lake sucks, but remember: those people are COMMIES.

Closing (1:37:31 – 1:39:44)
It’s not really a closing segment. It doesn’t even end with saying “goodbye.” It just ends. Daryl figured he should let people know of his foray into anime blogging courtesy of his guest post at the Golden Ani-Versary of Anime blog in which he wrote about the anime of 1980. Having had no real experience writing for the web, the article he submitted was split into thirds:

1980, Part 1: Anime’s “Golden Age” Was Built on Content Otaku Overlook
1980, Part 1.5: Anime IS…Huh. Actually Lots Of It Is Kid’s Stuff
1980, Part 2: What Anime Bloggers Would Typically Say About It

If you must know, the content of the deleted post by “Lord Cuntington” was “Daryl Surat hates evil whitey. Rise up darkies and kill the white man!” Visual novel fans whom we’ve never spoken to or interacted with are suspected.

24 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 113 – No Girls Allowed, These Girl Media Topics Are For Men Only”

  1. Yeah, as someone whose favorite mecha anything is probably Muv-Luv Alternative (the game), Total Eclipse (the anime series based off some light novel) is a complete joke (and a cruel joke at that, since that second episode was much closer in tone/content to what the game was like). I loved the game because it is insanely sperg-y in that it will give you these 15-20 minute segments where they do stuff like go over the blueprints of all the robots, or Norio Wakamoto reads off an entire mission briefing.

    But I also should’ve known better since I had read the (raw) manga and it was like 10% robots, 90% “help, we’re stuck having a bikini beach party on a tropical island.”

    That also said, Total Eclipse did at least have some hilarious Angel Cop-level racism in it!

    Also, lolololol the TV Tropes-ification of people’s ability to analyze genre lolololol *sigh*

  2. As someone who hangs out with jaded Japanese otaku, that off-beat style of humor has been around for a bit, it’s just that it’s finally making the jump to (somewhat) mainstream channels. And can only do so at this kind of capacity at this point.

    As you probably know, Japanese entertainment (these days) is super controlled, so you’re not really allowed to do anything interesting. More cynical stuff lurks in the realm of manga and various facets of subculture.

    I know it’s maybe not well-liked amongst the AWO, but I think Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is a good example of a Japanese comedy that actually has relevant things to say about society in the style of American comedy, and it’s good to that gdgd is–in its own weird way–further broadening what qualifies as humor over here, a country where shitty catch phrases and silly faces are the order of the day when it comes to comedy.

  3. To that guy that wanted robot anime that focuses on the robots, five words:

    MACHINE ROBO: REVENGE OF CHRONOS! [His email said he listened to all of our previous shows. He knows about it! –Daryl]

    Also Transformers Masterforce. Your knowledge of the Transformers backstory isn’t needed to enjoy that one.

  4. Speaking about recent mecha shows, how about Aquarion EVOL? I watched seven or eight episodes of that before I put it on hold (not because it was bad but because I wanted to marathon it, which I still haven’t done) and from what I can gather it seemed to be about the mechas more so than about the school hijinx. Sure there were your token fetish girls, and every episode seemed to have “school” stuff integrated into it some way or another, but otherwise I thought it was much closer to a classic mecha series formula than say, Code Geass or Total Eclipse (which was just boring and racist and stupid). Maybe Aquarion changed later for worse, I dunno about that.

    [I always heard that Aquarion EVOL took a drop in quality as AKB0048 went up, but I didn’t watch them side by side. Also, don’t sign your name as “Anonymous” or variants thereof or else WordPress will put your comment into the Spam folder. I happened to see this one, but normally I empty it without a glance. –Daryl]

    1. That’s a good point Daryl. Shame though WordPress does that to us but I am not shy to show my name anyway.

  5. Slightly inspired by this episode guys. Working on an AWA panel about the 80s and you raise a couple good points I hadn’t thought of. Hope things are well in the meantime.

  6. A new episode of AWO? Seems like everything is going my way this week.

    I actually picked up gdgd Fairies after hearing Daryl mention it briefly a little while back (I believe it was during a guest spot on the ANN cast), and had a great time watching through it. It’s a hard show to review, perhaps even more-so than your average comedy, but I think you hit on a lot of what makes the show so enjoyable. Despite the CG indeed being atrocious (which is, as you brought up, actually a point in the show’s favor), I think they did a good job with the facial expressions. pkpk’s “shocked” expression in particular never fails to amuse.

    As someone who regrettably watched through all of Muv-Luv Total Eclipse, I can assure you that it’s an absolutely terrible series. The show completely loses its focus and grinds to a screeching halt for about half of its run, squandering all of its potential. Its attempt at comedy and harem-level romance are lame (and frequent), and its attempts at tackling issues such as racism and international politics are, and I don’t use this word lightly, pathetic. Stay far, far away from it. I liked the first two episodes as well, but it’s all downhill from there, and the plunge is very, very steep.

    With all of that being said, I guess I should go and watch Inferno Cop.

  7. Completely missed out on gdgd Fairies, but I did like what little I saw of Inferno Cop. Not exactly my first choice for humor (anime or otherwise), but a few jokes were surprisingly funny. I guess this one could be added to the list too.

    Concerning the mecha segment…well, I still have some mixed views. Yes, the genre has changed and that won’t be to everyone’s taste…so I agree with suggesting the recent Go Nagai shows and other Super Robot-type series as an alternative. Those are pretty good recommendations for fans who feel the newer series aren’t giving them enough of the type of old-school mecha action they used to watch or who simply don’t like the presence of largely unrelated material. I think that sort of disappointment is always a perfect excuse for revisiting or exploring the gigantic backlog of older series, including several of the classics recommended by the AWO crew in previous episodes.

    But on a related note…I seem to recall the awesome Shin Mazinger had multiple episodes where the titular robot wasn’t the key focus and the characters themselves were the ones taking action (and thus some said the show became “Slowzinger” as a result). In fact, that’s a huge part of the reason why I’m very much in the camp that prefers Imagawa’s series to Mazinkaiser SKL’s more “pure mecha” approach.

    Following that, my main disagreement is this: It is a matter of degrees, of course, but that’s exactly where I think there’s room for a closer inspection of the evidence by the other side of the argument. In other words, I don’t necessarily agree with how you guys are measuring the amount of mecha elements present (the “salt” Daryl talked about) nor with your description of the way they’re being used in newer series. Perhaps it’s only me, but I’d argue the “acceptable” grey areas of that balance are larger than you might think at a glance.

    Which is why we rarely see eye-to-eye about how to classify series like Eureka 7, Escaflowne, Full Metal Panic and even Code Geass (which isn’t “95% Haruhi antics” and is more self-aware about not being “that smart” than what Gerald claims, but I digress), among other shows with long non-mecha segments that may have been dismissed before (I don’t recall your views on E7, but the focus is Renton’s growth and his relationship with Eureka, not the Nirvash per se), for supposedly adding mecha as a purely throwaway element.

    But to end on a different note…nothing lasts forever. The industry will have to change again, whether for better or for worse (or somewhere in between), in response to another set of trends in the future. That will surely be reflected in the type of mecha series produced 10, 20 or 30 years from this date. Hopefully some of them will be closer to the sort of shows that many old-school fans want to see, at least in spirit if not always in form.

    I’d also like to say Gundam Unicorn isn’t that inaccessible even if you don’t get all the references. They’re there for those who care, but I feel the groundwork they presented during the first episodes does a lot to fill in the blanks of what’s important. Episode four was probably the weakest one (and, ironically enough, the most “mecha for the sake of mecha” in a way), but I think episodes five and especially six have picked up the slack again.

    1. “I’d also like to say Gundam Unicorn isn’t that inaccessible even if you don’t get all the references. They’re there for those who care, but I feel the groundwork they presented during the first episodes does a lot to fill in the blanks of what’s important.”

      I believed that too. Once. In fact, I said exactly that during this episode. But time and time again, I have seen the reactions to first-time Gundam watchers who they get past the initial Unicorn episodes be “what the Hell are these people talking about? I have no idea what is going on.” My belief in its universal accessibility is challenged in the face of this empirical evidence of seeing multiple groups of people getting overwhelmed by it. If my position were true, then how could this consistently happen?

      The reason I didn’t see it, the reason you don’t see it either, is because of what I said: we already know exactly what’s what and thus have the filtering mechanisms to determine “oh, that piece of information is not actually relevant to what’s happening right now.” Without already knowing the context, there’s no way to know that “things said about the battle of A Bao A Qu” aren’t quite as big a deal as “things said about Laplace’s Box.” I know right now you’re thinking “nuh UH! Just look at how much time they spend on one versus the other” but again: that’s because you ALREADY know. I still say Gundam Unicorn works. I still say Gundam Unicorn stands on its own. But it stands on its own the way playing Mass Effect 3 without ever having played the first two does.

      “But to end on a different note…nothing lasts forever. The industry will have to change again, whether for better or for worse (or somewhere in between), in response to another set of trends in the future.”

      On an initial read, this sounds like the mature and rational way to look at things. But mecha anime has instilled in us all the value set that such a way of thinking is no good. The soul of the classic mecha protagonist response to such a statement would invariably be “who says anything HAS to change for worse in response to future trends?” The soul of the more modern response would be that fatalistic, frequently-used fansubber sentence which nobody actually would speak aloud: “It can’t be helped.”

      1. Yes, I realize that came up during the podcast and I’ll admit I’m also affected by my own bias as a Gundam fan. The thing is, I don’t think going through a period of partial ignorance or confusion about certain details is permanently crippling because…well, I went through something similar with Zeta Gundam, which I watched long before 0079.

        In all honesty, I got into the Universal Century at a time when I didn’t really know what the OYW was all about or who exactly Char and Amuro were supposed to be or what they did during the original conflict. All the applicable references and related comments in Zeta flew right over my head at first, but it wasn’t impossible for me to focus on the story at hand, which was the AEUG vs. Titans war, even without all the preexisting context. If anything, I eventually became quite curious about all that prior history based on what little I could put together in my imagination.

        I don’t expect everyone to react in the same exact way (nor would I ever pressure people into skipping the previous shows on purpose), but I think Unicorn at least tries to give new viewers a little more useful contextual information than what Zeta provided back in the day. The fact that the actual script is better written helps.

        Then again, I guess the eventual anime version of The Origin should be able to give new fans a much more natural and accessible starting point for the rest of Gundam after all.

        As for the rest…hey, if the future actually changes for the better without possibly getting even worse first, I’ll be the last person to complain.

  8. So you said that Erica Friedman worked on the yuri titles on Jmanga. Does that mean she worked on Yuru Yuri? Because that was on Jmanga as well.

    Also there’s some yuri manga that made by women but are for guys (like Yuru Yuri).

  9. It seems like I’m one of the few people who was sincerely disappointed by JManga’s shutdown announcement. Sure the site had its share of problems, but it really seemed like they were trying their best to make it an appealing place to read manga. They even had cool stuff like video interviews. The titles were somewhat obscure, but quite a few of them turned out to worthwhile reads. I was in the process of reading Ochiai Naoyuki’s “Crime and Punishment: A Falsified Romance”, but now it looks like I may never finish it. I’m really hoping that someone gives this title the physical publication that it deserves, but I’m not sure what kind of terms the publishers had with JManga.

  10. On the Toren Smith segment. Toren was also known to have blown away the guys at the all male otaku enclave Gainax House, which was shared housing for many of the staff, when one morning a beautiful woman walked out of his room, smiled and left.

    On Eclipse Comics. Eclipse partnered with Viz and Studio Proteus back in ’88 to release some of their works. Viz was to create its own publishing division and Studio Proteus, which controlled the rights to their titles, eventually went to Dark Horse.

    As for e-manga publishers there is the little known ZQ Books product for iOS by NTT Solmare.

    While the translations at times have significant problems, tho’ not as bad as some print publishers, they have some very interesting titles such as their two volume “Hiba – Wild Seven Another -” A sequel to Wild 7 set in a Nicaragua that never existed. They also have both Salaryman Kintaro series, 15 volumes of yakuza gag manga The Quiet Don, The Poor Man’s Dining Table and many others.

    These you can download to your device for off line reading.

    [“SEQUEL TO WILD 7” is one of the greatest arrangements words there has ever been, and now I’m looking over this site I never hear mentioned by anybody! –Daryl]

  11. So Daryl shall I hope to hear your review of “Hiba – Wild Seven Another -” on AWO in the near future? Or perhaps something in Otaku USA? Don’t forget not only did we get some volumes of the manga in English there are the two VHS tapes that were released.

    [We still never did review the original Wild 7 here! I don’t write manga reviews for Otaku USA, but perhaps I can change that… –Daryl]

  12. Thanks for the shout-out during your Votoms discussion, but you slightly misquoted me. There were two Votoms OAV spinoffs back in 2010-11 and I liked both quite a bit. I’d like them to continue, but nothing further has happened with them.

    My objection is to all the Votoms sequels, starting with Pailsen Files, which have been uniformly disappointing. They couldn’t think of anything interesting to do with Chirico, so they either screwed up continuity to put new things in front of him, or they just had him go through the same motions as in the TV series. Animation was nice overall, but it’s the story that makes you want to watch it again, and so far I’ve found no compelling reason to watch ANY of them a second time.

  13. Tim: I was indeed thinking more of the Finder and Case;Irvine stuff than the 6-part Phantom Arc OAV (which come to think of it, I never did watch…), but it sounds like my “slight misquote” actually got what you were saying backwards!

    I think there is one point that probably gets lost or forgotten about on my part when the topic of the modern mecha approach comes up, and that’s “just because something is more a regular show that happens to contain robots in it, that doesn’t mean it’s bad.” AKB0048 is “an anime that has robots in it sometimes” rather than “a robot anime” and that’s one of my recent favorites. Actually, I just tweaked the blog layout to hopefully add permalinks to comments–y’know, like how every WordPress blog is supposed to have by default?–so here’s a bit of my thoughts on the just-finished second season. I’ve got an AKB0048 feature coming up in a future Otaku USA issue, so I’ll let that post suffice for now.

  14. For the listener interested in more mecha anime suggestions, I’d thrown in Metal Skin Panic Madox-01. I didn’t see it in the review list and it is total tanky mecha porn. I’d also throw in both Cybernetics Guardian and Genocyber as they’re both totally friggin metal and by Koichi Ohata. All three shows I’d totally see as being AWO podcast worthy.

  15. In some ways, I wonder if the savior of mecha anime might not even be Japanese or an anime. I’m pretty sure that Pacific Rim may spur what the anime industry has forgotten about the giant robot genre, I hope, or it might make it so that Japan completely gives up on it and makes it another of those “only Hollywood can do it” genres like superhero movies.

  16. This isn’t really related to mecha all that much, but i find my need for burning passion anime like the brave series being filled more by tokusatsu nowadays than anime, Kamen Rider Fourze being a prime example that aired recently.

  17. Review Bleach or Naruto? Even doing that now is passe. We’re at the other end of Bleach, and most anime podcasts I listen to either don’t review the older shounen shows or gave up on them. It’s all about Magi, or Fairy Tail (oops, guess not) or whatever I’m not watching that’s not One Piece.

    Mecha’s more for girls now? Good! Boys are stupid. I know because I’ve tried as many anime as I can each season, and the stuff made for boys is dumbsauce. If mecha was designed for today’s male, it would be mecha moe onee-chan harem. [Er, I have some news for you… –Daryl]

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