Anime World Order Show # 149 – Otakon 2016 and This Time It’s The GUY Who Leapt Through Time

We missed the entire month of August, so we may as well double up with our con report on Otakon 2016 as well as Clarissa’s review of the recent NoitaminA series Erased.

Introduction and Con Report: Otakon 2016 (0:00 – 1:03:00)
So why did we miss a month? Mostly writing deadlines and making Otakon panels; here’s what we showed at the latter. Daryl opted to put the two together, so you can head over to Anime News Network and read his online write-up version of Thirty Years Ago: Anime in 1986. If you attended our Otakon panels and would like to leave feedback that the convention staff will see, you may do so here.

All three of us were guests on the Ani-Gamers podcast to discuss Otakon 2016, along with the Reverse Thieves (who’ve also covered Otakon 2016 in blogs and their own podcast, The Speakeasy) as well as Carl from Ogiue Maniax. Fine, we’re late to this party.

Promo: Right Stuf Anime (1:03:00 – 1:04:39)
The preorder page for Big Windup Season 2 is finally live. We reviewed the series way back in 2008, and since it did infamously poorly for FUNimation such that they won’t be licensing any more sports anime (and haven’t really since!), if you find yourself liking modern sports series then this upcoming release from Nozomi Entertainment / Lucky Penny is one you’ll want to support.

Review: Erased (1:04:39 – 1:53:33)
Clarissa reviews this recently-concluded suspense anime series that is referred to in the original Japanese (and on the pirate sites) as “Boku Dake ga Inai Machi,” which does NOT translate directly to “Erased” but we’re still going to call it “Erased” anyway. Please note we start venturing into spoiler territory about halfway through the review, but we do preface when that happens. If you haven’t seen the series yet, it’s currently available via multiple streaming services (Crunchyroll, FUNimation, Hulu, Daisuki). We recommend watching it that way before committing to the physical media release which is one of Aniplex’s.

Closing (1:53:33 – 1:54:33)
Anime Weekend Atlanta is just a few weeks away, so our next episode will most likely be after that. That’s typically our last anime convention of the year, though. With Anime in 1986 fresh on our minds, Gerald has stepped up to keep his vow he’s silently kept for many months now and review Ai City, a gem of a feature-length anime title which has remained largely ignored for the past 30 years. Perhaps we shouldn’t have said up front this is what we’re reviewing, since now by the time our episode comes out someone else will have churned something out to beat us to the punch, but being first to anything was never our strong suit.

9 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 149 – Otakon 2016 and This Time It’s The GUY Who Leapt Through Time”

  1. I loved Erased from beginning to end and the problems with the resolution that I have heard people having make no sense to me. He planned it all out; it was super obvious he knew where he was going to go.

  2. I really hope you guys don’t take this the wrong way, I love the show, but I have serious problems with the content of this episode. By content, I mean the review. It may have been the worst review I have heard in awhile.

    1) I understand that you need to recap the events and premise of the show to give context to the audience. But, it was way too long and drawn out this time. Not only that, but retreading the content of that said show IMO is just wasted time.

    2)”There is no analysis.” That is not a fair assessment. However, there is very little analysis. “I like the ending and the mystery is obvious” is not a nuanced analysis whatsoever, and is not very descriptive of the quality of Erased or why you like it.

    3) Similar to my second point. As someone who has seen the show, this review although 50 minutes long does not address even half of the elements and dynamics in the show.

    Take this for what you will. I am a fan of the show. But, I have to call it as I see it. The average five minute Youtube review was better than this (according to me). I can be wrong, I was listening to this casually so there is a possibility that I missed something. BTW, I am not a huge fan of Erased. I am rather neutral towards it.

  3. I’m looking forward to Gerald’s Ai City review. It isn’t just younger fans who get informed by AWO; there are a lot of things from the 1980s I missed. I guess the simple excuse is that even though there was less anime being made* at the time (so in theory you shouldn’t have been missing it) it was also harder to lay one’s filthy foreign hands on it. I don’t think it is any exaggeration to say that it is easier for a fan to see many 1980s anime in 2016 than it was in the actual 1980s.

    Gerald, if I understand correctly, you put forth the idea that 1986 was the greatest overall year for anime releases. As a serious question, I wonder how we would compare that to, say, the history of American film or TV shows. When it comes to those media, would a U.S. movie or TV critic be as likely to say “we haven’t yet had another year that had as many great works as we did thirty years ago”…? Since arguably 1986 wasn’t even the halfway point in the modern lineage of anime (the Toei films beginning in 1958; TV anime in 1963) the idea that 1986 has never been surpassed in general quality after thirty years is a pretty severe judgment on anime.

    It occurs to me that if one did agree with you about 1986, a different way of looking at your argument would be the criticism of contemporary anime that motivated the making of Royal Space Force–in other words, 1986 was the best in part because that was as far as anime could actually go without changing its underlying assumptions and approach.

    When I say “a different way,” of course, I don’t mean that it is the only argument that could be made in support, and there are less critical ones–for example, the idea that 1986 represented the year of greatest enthusiasm and energy by the new generation of creators who had grown up with it,** combined with the peak opportunity to release works that the OAV and 1980s anime boom represented. But I bring up the motives behind RSF because if anime, after three decades, really never has had a year like 1986 again, it might suggest there are (as Yamaga and Okada argued) fundamental problems that, if never grappled with, will prevent it from ever making an overall advance (as opposed to occasional standout works) as a creative medium.


    *I think that is actually true, but as TV series were often longer then and there were more OAVs, I’d like to sit down and work out anime in the 1980s vs. now by comparing the total number of hours of material coming out, rather than the total number of separate titles.

    **Frank Miller once said that the best thing and worst thing to happen to comics in his lifetime was the same thing–“the inmates took over the asylum,” as he put it, meaning comics otaku like him. Interestingly, 1986 has also been suggested as a high point year for comics–The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen, Maus, and Daredevil: Born Again all came out that year.

  4. Anime Expo is somewhere in the middle of Comiket’s plastic vagina-mall (to quote an old Patty Mack interview) and Otakon’s well thought-up con panels. Its main attraction is the J-celebs & concerts. There’s also the competent cosplay of course but… who on Earth born in the 80’s/70’s goes to a con for cosplay unless you’re writing a book? Then again, I am a hypocrite given I own every single one of Tony Taka’s “books.” This day & age I find it hard to muster the need to go to a convention, since I can practically VR Missions the entire event through the Internet. Seems the further west you head, the more commercial the whole con experience gets; whereas the farther east you go, the more intellectual it fares. I’d also rather go to Otakon lest I’m the mood to spend my whole salary on anime merch.

    Erased was great. It felt like I was watching a suspenseful Makoto Shinkai film sans the boring… well, sans the boring. I wonder what its budget was compared to a modern Shinkai flick. But hey, they turned Erased into a movie with Shunya from Battle Royale!

    I was lucky to be raised in the Tex-Mex border where 1980’s anime was on constant loop on the tube. I think I turned out a fine unintentionally-homosexually confused guy all in all… funnily enough though, all of my friends that liked Cygnus Hyoga are all now sergeants in the US military, yet my fave characters were always Kraken Isaac & Marine General Canon. Guess that ‘so manly it’s girly & so girly it’s manly’ logic came into play here, eh?

    The only thing I remember about Code Geass is that crazy girl with the glasses humping a desk in the dark, and the pink haired princess character going berserk with an assault rifle in the middle of a field of semi-giant mechs. I honestly don’t know if that’s a good thing.

    Great show, can’t wait for Ai City! And god-willing, a Battle Royale anime in the foreseeable future too.

  5. Gerald had asked what we thought of ERASED’s ending. While it was a little weak, I personally felt like the antagonist wasn’t behaving in a believable manner, it didn’t undermine the whole show. I definitely liked the ride, and while it could have ended better, I will remember it as a good series.

    One series whose ending did retroactively ruin the entire show was Mahoromatic, specifically the end of the second season. It totally changed how you felt about the main character, and left a sour taste in your mouth that has prevented me from ever going back and watching the series again. Series whose endings are significantly worse than the rest of the series are pretty rare, as I cannot think of any others.

  6. Long time listener, first time poster. (I think – it’s been so long!) I so enjoy your podcast. I have a thing for passionate, well-informed fans of “things” (in this case anime) that can blab on intelligently for long periods of time.

    First off, sorry to hear about all your AV problems at Otakon. I have some experience as a hotel event coordinator, and asking for a confidence monitor sounds like a great idea.
    Also, informing the con ahead of time what ratio you need (eg. 16:9). Iit would be great if the con asked you for this ahead of time to pass on to the onsite techs. (Maybe they did.) Videos are a bear to deal with, and I have also found that for those who had Power Points, the new version does some terrible preset things when plugged into projectors that it didn’t use to do. NOT excusing any of the crap you or other presenters had to go through. I smiled, as your description of the AMV subset of con staff sounded spot on – those guys know their sh*t but mostly keep it in their group.

    Loved the comment about freedom of speech and the effort the con puts into keeping on mission. Nuances like that are important to note, and easy to overlook.

    The other thing I wanted to mention was that you referenced an anime I watched recently (within the last 2 yrs.) on Netflix that I really enjoyed but that you haven’t yet (it seems) reviewed. And that was Eden of the East. Any thoughts of reviewing? I’ve been wanting to re-watch, and I know it did some things really well (the look and personality of the characters, for example, was pleasing) and other things not, but I’m not sure I hated the ending as much as you (or perhaps most fans). I was watching this at the same time as Welcome to the NHK which really fell apart more for me (ah, Gonzo…) which may have colored my experience of the former. Curious as to your take.

    That’s all. P.S. if you are interested, I picked up a copy of Otaku USA, which I do whenever possible (whenever I get to the grocery store in town that carries it) and that’s how I knew to come find a new episode ๐Ÿ™‚

    ~ Sarah

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