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In this episode, we’ve implemented multiple new ways to drive away listeners as this episode is primarily about sports anime. We also give our convention report of Anime Weekend Atlanta 2015 and Gerald reviews the bicycle racing anime Yowamushi Pedal (“Weakling Pedal”).
Introduction (0:00 – 21:55)
Since we’re already reviewing a sports anime this episode and everybody’s refused to download or press Play over that alone, we go for broke and give some sports anime recommendations of things we’ve by and large not already reviewed on the podcast. It takes about 22 minutes because we’ve decided that from this point on, we should all start actually saying “The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays” instead of “Kuroko’s Basketball” or Kuroko no Basuke/Basket.
Con Report: Anime Weekend Atlanta 2015 (21:55 – 1:00:55)
Although anime conventions remain in full swing for the duration of the year, AWA is what typically closes out the “convention season” for us each year. With a record-breaking attendance of approximately 25,000 they’re definitely doing something right, but in some ways it was a bit of a strange year for us. Some of these pertained to gradual shifts in the convention focus, but the majority of it is personal to our situation. Daryl wrote up a report for his Stupid Video Panel OF DOOM! over at the Anime Hell blog.
Promo: Right Stuf Anime (1:00:55 – 1:02:25)
So here’s the deal: Right Stuf offered us a sponsorship in exchange for us mentioning they exist. This is pretty easy, since all of us already buy things from them anyway, so we provide an example where we would purchase from them as opposed to Amazon.
Review: Yowamushi Pedal (1:02:55 – 1:35:25)
Gerald reviews the first two seasons of this recent bicycle racing anime series, which is currently all that’s available to watch streaming. The final thirty minutes or so of the original recorded has been excised for your sanity, as it ended up becoming a…cyclical…argument. Regrettably, the part where Daryl starts tying things into the shonen narrative requirements combined with the modern audience expectations for heel suitability by way of Loki from the Marvel movies, plus the suitability of compilation films (which there are two of, but we’ve not seen them) ended up on the digital cutting room floor. We’ll leave those to your imagination.
Ending (1:35:25 – 1:42:27)
Aw, if we’d edited out 2 seconds, every segment duration could’ve ended on a multiple of 5! We’re not entirely sure about the timetables for these things, but at some point in the future Gerald will review Ai City, Clarissa will review THE BASKETBALL WHICH KUROKO PLAYS, and thanks to Twitch donations Daryl is on the hook for not only Initial D: Fourth Stage (just that, nothing prior) but also Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Oh, and our next episode is kind of sort of our ten year anniversary of podcasting. Shouldn’t we do something to mark the occasion? Watch something noteworthy? We have no ideas, so send us feedback via comments, Twitter, or email with yours.
21 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 141 – Caddyshack 2 Reincarnation Wish Inverted”
Pretty good episode, all in all. It’s always interesting to hear about panels that did and didn’t work, and observations on how cons are changing with the times.
Can’t wait for Daryl’s Gundam 00 review, since I wonder how he’ll evaluate it (as opposed to fans, who break it down by season and the movie) and how big the contrast will be between his view on the show/movie and the views of the people who liked it (or at least the first season).
BTW, is there anything you can do about how the RSS feed displays in VLC? In the playlist pane, the AWO name is shoved down a bunch of pixels, so it’s halfway cutoff. [This is fixed now, though you may need to unsubscribe and resubscribe. The RSS is to this day manually updated by hand, and so I add whitespace between tags to make it human readable; VLC doesn’t strip them out. This does of course mean it’s been that way for a decade and nobody said anything until now. –Daryl]
Just wanted to let everyone know that you don’t have to unsub and resub to get the fixed whitespace on VLC. It automatically updated.
Going by what he has already mentioned on Twitter, I certainly don’t expect Daryl to be on the side of those of us who like Gundam 00 overall. Suffice to say that if you want to see some balanced discussion or in-depth analysis of the show, this probably won’t be the place to find it.
Regarding Florida tourism… there’s always Pensacola! (the TV show)
Excellent review of Yowa Pedal! I was on the fence about giving it a shot because, oh boy… another Free! But the technical aspects about sports anime that typically bore the bejeezus out of people, are precisely what draws me into those shows. Looking forward to giving this one a shot.
I agree that Initial D Fourth Stage should be reviewed last. Preferably after a long night of downing a dozen bottles of Bacardi Rum while simultaneously singing eurobeat karaoke. ?
Happy 10 year anniversary AWO! I remember when I was just a wee lad yousending Golgo 13 anti-Canadian government photoshops to you guys. For the occasion, to add another straw on the AWO-Camel’s back, and because I’m a huge fanboy… It’d be pretty cool if you cool dudes would review the Zeta Gundam A New Translation film trilogy. Also, just theoretical speculation, but, I have confirmed sources that say that Yoshiyuki Tomino may or may not be a better director than Mizushima-chan. Pure speculation though.
Attack no.1 was quite popular in the 90s in the German speaking region, it was published on DVD over here a couple of years ago (http://www.amazon.com/Mila-Superstar-Die-komplette-Serie/dp/B00HW1QG1W/?tag=aniworord-20), but only dubbed in German (it is called “Mila Superstar” here, the main character Kozue had her name changed to Mila, but the rest of the names was the same – though slightly mispronounced – than the original). Not sure that helps, but just wanted to put it out here.
Thanks for the review of AWA. I went to AWAs 4 through 13 when I lived in Atlanta, but then moved away. I burned some frequent flyer mileage to come down this year so I could present my Muv-Luv panel and enjoy that Kickstarter hype train while it lasts.
The changes since 2008 were about what I expected – they’ve grown to fill the entire Galleria, so they’re no longer sharing space with a bridal show or whatever. The food trucks in the dealer’s room are a great alternative to Subway (1 of 2 viable restaurants in the always-looks-closed Galleria mall), and saved me the awkwardness of walking to the Cumberland Mall food court on Saturday while I was crossplaying Rumbling Hearts. (related: this was another one of those cons where I was like one of at most three guys cosplaying girls in the whole con… big difference from Anime Central in Chicago where like a third of the Homuras are dudes.).
Also went to that short anime panel you mentioned and it was great, as were Dave Merrill’s (I think you guys were also in that Class of 85 one? I did tweet a picture of Daryl banging away on his iPad.)
I was surprised to hear that Dealer’s Room sharing space with Artist Alley was something that AWA only started this year. It’s been that way at ACen for as long as I’ve been going (since 2012), and it works out pretty well there. AWA had much better diversity of AA goods than ACen, both in the kinds of works being sold (self-published games and comics, posters, various kinds of crafts) and characters on the fan work (something other than Madoka, AoT, and friggin’ Dr. Who… huzzah!)
Video Art Track still in its own special room, but the awards on Saturday were still very well attended. Still think you’re right about the AMV crowd being their own little culture, or maybe it’s different now that with YouTube/Vimeo/etc., cons aren’t the only way to see AMVs.
Anyways, I’m glad to see AWA is doing so well. Hope y’all had _some_ fun.
Surprised you guys didn’t mention Teppu when recommending sports shows. Teppu is the beautiful manga about women’s MMA.
Thanks for reviewing Yowapeda. Too bad Gerald didn’t enjoy it. One thing I’d disagree with is that it did in fact pique interest in cycling and improve bike sales. Also, once of the reasons why it starts so fast might be to emphasize that it doesn’t take much to start cycling, unlike other sports. The manga continues on to small competitions throughout the year, and another Inter-High as the next summer comes. We’ll probably see this when the third season starts.
Looking forward to Initial D. <3
I kind of wonder if Sadamoto’s a fan of Yowa Pedal; him being super into bicycling, from what I’ve read in Carl Horn’s Eva manga commentary. Would’ve been pretty cool if they somehow tied in those limited edition Eva bikes to Yowapeda. I just remember they were super expensive when I read the newsflash on Eva Geeks eons ago. Also, Lance Armstrong needs to make an Engrishy cameo in the 3rd season, hahaha.
I should read that commentary. Is it in one of the volumes or elsewhere?
I really wouldn’t be surprised if they showed up at one of the local races, like the ones where the Pedal cosplayers compete. Does Sadamoto race? Imagine a race between him and Watanabe.
haha *darkness, thunder booming, Armstrong effigy burning on the horizon, brakes squealing, the sounds of a ghastly crash.*
You know it may have been elsewhere like on Eva Geeks or ANN. I just have really fond memories of digesting all of Carl Horn’s Eva side-notes after most of the early volumes.
But Sadamoto’s definitely notorious for being a ‘bike maniac’; though he may not race, I wouldn’t put it past him if he’d ever enter a triathlon or something similar.
Here’s the J-site for the bicycles:
I read somewhere they were going for over 1,000 USD… Yikes! hahaha
Wait. 1,000? That’s actually pretty cheap.
I get that it’s in no way a high-end bike, but that price sounds fair. Especially for a limited edition version.
Yeah, I’m still quite new when it comes to bicycling. So comparing them to pro-models, that definitely sounds like a bargain.
I just saw Watanabe’s blog, and holy shnapples, that man is super into the sport! You don’t see to many manga artists that are avid athletes; but it definitely makes sense.
Shigeno was always into motorsports, and Rei Hiroe & Hirano Kohta are both notorious for being gun-otaku/aficionados… wouldn’t it be pretty awesome if Bronson had an actual Martial Arts school and taught in it! hahaha.
Or if Koike’s stories were all based on his own life. That’d really be something!
Wait they’re not?!
It cannot be!
Such magnificent literature can be nothing short of autobiographical!
lol, I don’t know about Bronson’s school of ‘Shinken’… but Koike’s story most certainly has to be true. Especially the part about leaving his seed in a hundred elephant tusks in some Alaskan cave to create the world’s mightiest manga artists. That, there’s no question!
Here’s the Eva bikes priced at approx 1,200 USD:
After much thought, I’ve decided to hunt down an old 80’s Miyata. I’ll start off with an entry level 110 and work myself up to an Aero. I love the classic design… shame Japan never made the Mikazuki-5, right?!
Of course the bike isn’t what wins the race. We all know the dark secret to winning a marathon…
Hime hime hime!! Suki suki daisuki!! ?
[There is entirely too much mention of Evangelion in these comments. We didn’t even say that cartoon’s name in this podcast! –Daryl]
Ookiku naare mahou kakete mo! Hime wa Hime nano! Hime na no daaa!
Hime hime indeed.
Good luck with that Miyata.
Eva’s forever engraved into AWO’s veins by Carl Horn proxy, and Sadamotors being Clarissa’s favourite artist! But I gotta acquiesce, there’s no merit in beating a dead Angel… except maybe Toji. hahaha
Just to add to the dialogue on anime conventions in the Southeast, you guys failed to mention Animazement in Raleigh, NC, which over recent years has gotten upwards to 13 to 15,000 attendees. The panels are solid, and not only that, but the con also gets a great list of guests, voice actors, and bands. This past year (AZ 2015), ROOKIEZ is PUNK’D (“Complication” – Durarara!!; “In My World” – Ao no Exorcist) was the featured musical guest and rocked it out. And the Friday and Saturday night raves are great.
As for guests, Shinichiro Watanabe (“Cowboy Bebop;” “Samurai Champloo;” “Space Dandy”) was in attendance this past year, which is a major get as he is definitely one of the GOATs in the anime community. The con also has some of the best cosplay I’ve seen at conventions (and I’ve been to AX, Katsucon, Otakon, to name a few).
All-in-all, while AWA may be the premier Southeastern anime con, Animazement is well worth a visit if you are looking for another fairly large convention in the Southeast. The con is typically held over the Memorial Day weekend in May, which may be an issue for some people, but where else would you rather spend a holiday weekend than in beautiful Raleigh at the Convention Center? Just my two cents.
I plan on being there next year doing my anime and music panel, so if you decide to go I’d love to meet you!
[ROOKIEZ is PUNK’D also did music for Yowamushi Pedal, aka what we reviewed this episode! I think I actually used their song for the bumper even. I’ve been to Animazement, and while they do have incredible guests and Phil Lee’s Anime Hell is a lot more longform and abstract than what crowds here seem to react to, the reason I haven’t been back is that they don’t comp panelist badges. Perhaps that changed? As for the raves, in all my years of going to cons I’ve never bothered with going to them and would like nothing more if cons could do away with them entirely without it resulted in decimation to their attendance and/or property. –Daryl]
As far as I know Daryl, they still want you too pay full badge price for doing panels.
Speaking of where the music acts played, I was helping my friend out in the dealers again this year, and I remember a dealer complaining to the staff how loud the practice session was next door (since they moved the concert hall in the basement of the con center than on the top floor as they have always done in the past) and the guy running the dealers room politely said he would put in a complaint. Needless to say when the dealer left the staff person said “well, it’s probably his first con” and chuckled a bit at his complaint. I also shared in that chuckle.
Animazement was my first con in 2007 when I lived in Raleigh and I go back every year to help out friends and meet new ones. I did attempt to put in a panel but it went in later than I should have submitted it and it didn’t get approved. I’m going to shoot to get some panel content in for AWA, and also attend for the first time. It’s a shorter drive for me than Raleigh and there’s the girlfriend family I can stay with so that helps on hotel cost. Well see how that goes.
I should mention I ran into Phil Lee at a local comic book store near NC State when I was on my way to the con that Saturday, and later that night went to dinner with his friends circle I have been getting to know the last few years when I attend Animazement. He’s a super cool guy, and likes to share with people after Hell what and where to find his content.
You missed another large convention aside from Animazement: Momocon had 22600 attendance this year. It is also in Atlanta and currently runs in May.
[It’s not so much that we “missed” Animazement or Momocon (which as it’s been noted to us is an actual “for-profit” convention, as opposed to AWA which is an LLC whose profits we understand are reinvested back into next year’s), it’s that AWA is larger than they are. Neither of those cons are ones which are traditionally in the top 10 largest US anime con listings, though it seems as though convention attendance in 2015 is way up, with the odd exception of Otakon. –Daryl]
[Why was every individual sentence of this its own paragraph? I’ve fixed it for readability to the best of my understanding. –Daryl]
That was an interesting Yowamushi Pedal review and a fairly robust discussion of the title. I can certainly see where Gerald was coming from, to a certain extent but I feel that his critique was a little unfair. I also feel like Gerald frequently conflated his problems with the show’s structure with his problems with the show’s pacing.
Please excuse me if this is in any way incorrect, but I believe Gerald’s argument against the show went along these lines:
1. Yowamushi Pedal doesn’t care about teaching the audience about the sport it is depicting (from Gerald’s tone I took this to be a clear mark against the show).
2. The races in Yowamushi Pedal aren’t exciting.
3. The writing in Yowamushi Pedal is very predictable.
4. This is because Yowamushi Pedal is a fujoshi-bait title more concerned with presenting cute males doing stuff versus teaching us about a sport in an exciting manner.
5. Yowamushi Pedal is structured poorly because it jumps right into the main race before doing anything else.
6. Yowamushi Pedal has bad pacing – there was time wasted padding out episodes with non-content (e.g. no-one progressing in the race, reaction shots, etc).
7. Therefore Yowamushi Pedal is a bad show and you should watch some other sports title, of which there are plenty to chose from.
Now, I don’t intend to write reams and reams about why I disagree with Gerald regarding these points. To an extent, I agree with him. The show has problems which it certainly deserves to be called out on. I wish to stress, however, that this show is no more guilty of these faults than dozens of other sports titles.
To address 1 – The series explains a handful of common features of cycling during the story but it doesn’t dwell too much on the technical aspects. This I agree with, but I don’t think its a problem. The show explains enough mechanics for you to understand there are some technical properties to the racing but much of the series focuses on characters enduring some immense physical struggle or rigorous training – this seems fitting for the subject matter and the genre in question. As Clarissa explains, it’s enough that you can understand why one character triumphs over another or over their own weaknesses. It’s about the drama of endurance, practice, victory and defeat. Its an emotional journey. That’s the excitement at the heart of every sports title. Ping Pong doesn’t dedicate itself to an in-depth discussion of how the sport actually works because that doesn’t matter for the story its telling. Neither does Aim for the Ace. This show is much the same.
2 & 3 – This is clearly a matter of taste and so there’s not much to say. I agree with Gerald that the writing is formulaic and flawed but I nevertheless felt numerous parts of numerous stages of the competition to be very exciting even if I could predict how it would turn out. There are only one of two outcomes in most sports – success or failure. The canny viewer will probably know where a show is headed but there’s still excitement to be drawn from watching it unfold, especially if the show has successfully made you care about the characters in question. I’d argue the show does make you care about the characters and therefore their (predictable) races are still exciting.
4 – My characterization of Gerald’s fujoshi-based complaints may be unfair but he seemed to imply that the series cared about as much about the sport as, say, Free!. I couldn’t disagree more. Even if you’re just looking at how many minutes of each episode was devoted to the race you’d clearly see that the series is pretty much all focused on competition with a handful of fujoshi-bait moments packed throughout. Yowamushi Pedal certainly has a fujoshi bent to its character designs and some of its character interactions but then do most modern shounen action titles, or most modern robot shows. It’s an ever-present trend but it hardly changes the show’s genre. It is, structurally, a hot blooded shounen sports title through and through. For all the good, and bad, that entails.
5. I understand, on a basic level, Gerald’s complaint about the Inter-High race but I cannot agree with it. If the show had spent one or two episodes setting up the series and then immediately jumped to the inter-high I could understand it. But that doesn’t happen. It takes 20 episodes to get to there. Along the way we have all the standard sports stuff. Gerald even says there aren’t any other races before the big race and that the writer should have invented some more well – well the writer clearly did because there are a number of races before we get to the main event.
– A mini race to get you introduced to the show between the main character and friend/rival which gets some basic concepts out of the way. We learn what makes the main character special etc.
– New characters are introduced slowly and we learn about their different cycling styles.
– The main character then has to prove himself in a real race against other students at his school.
– Then there’s some training where our main character learns more about cycling.
– There’s a preliminary race (which our main character doesn’t take part in, truthfully) but which we witness part of and the team shows of another key cycling technique.
– There’s then quite a long training arc / race between members of the team to see who will go the inter-high.
– We get some other characters stuff/training/flashbacks.
– Then the Inter-High.
There’s lots of content, races/training before we get to the Inter-High. Many characters are introduced and a number of things are taught to the audience about cycling. Throughout the Inter-High we are introduced to more characters, given their backstories and watch them race. Rather than the Inter-High being a single win/lose event for 40 odd episodes it’s broken down into numerous stages and different main characters want to win different parts for different reasons with different cycling skills. The show does a great job in giving every character a part of the race to succeed and the audience gets to see our heroes either succeed or fail throughout these mini-races that make up the larger race. In other words, the inter high is dozens of smaller races between important characters that make up one large race. It’s clearly explained to the audience why they should care about each mini-race and why its important if they win/fail. The characters also all have unique reasons for wishing to win each of these mini-races. And then they all tie back into the main race, of course. This was a VERY long winded way of saying that, structurally, the show is fairly traditional. Yes, it is unusual to have your introductory arcs followed by a huge training and then huge match arc, but when you look at the individual details of each arc you see that its broken down into very familiar components.
FINALLY we get to 6 – The pacing. Yes, the pacing is really a problem. To clarify, this isn’t a problem with the show’s structure, which I have discussed above. The show could have the exact same format e.g. Introduction, Training, Inter-High but be far better paced.
What are the problems with the pacing? Well they are the same problems that have bedeviled sports/shounen action manga adaptations since the 70’s. To ensure that the anime doesn’t run out of material to quickly writers tend to pad out their episode with pointless crap. This should be familiar to anyone who has seen a big manga adaptation of a sports of action manga. Common padding strategies include: lots of reaction shots, lots of pointless inner monologues telling the audience we already know, two characters both telling each other what the audience already knows, shots of nothing happening, invented scenes where nothing happens, actual ‘filler’ episodes and even whole arcs. Time is often slowed down very slowly while nothing much happens for a while episode.
This show is certainly guilty of abusing a number of those conventions. But, then again, many shows do the same thing. I don’t forgive then in this show, or any show, but its a widespread problem. It even occurs in shows I really like such as Ippo.
So yeah, sorry if this post was longer than the Inter-High itself.
[You just wrote all of the above only for your final point to be exactly what Gerald said…? –Daryl]