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Hurricane Irma may have left us without power for weeks–despite being of substantially lower strength than the last hurricane, suggesting that our local monopoly power company spent its billions on lobbying politicians to vote against solar power than maintaining the grid–but we are FINALLY back to talk about our time at Otakon 2017 before Daryl reviews the 2001 film Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis.
Introduction (0:00 – 21:30)
But before we talk about any of that, it’s time to talk about hardcore pornography! Specifically, on how and perhaps why the delivery and monetization mechanisms for cartoon smut have remained relatively static over the last several years while everything else has drastically changed. We get enough spam as it is, so we’ll just skip out on linking to the sites discussed here. (Note: the original definition of “decimate” was to reduce BY one-tenth, not reduce TO one-tenth as stated.)
Promo: Right Stuf Anime (21:30 – 23:39)
Originally we were going to plug that at Otakon, a Kickstarter was announced to dub all of Aria the Animation, which is a totally different show than Aria the Scarlet Ammo. But the hurricane recovery took so long that the Kickstarter ended with them having met all their stretch goals without us helping out at all. Wait, fortunately?! We need to prove that THEY NEED US.
Convention Report: Otakon 2017 (23:39 – 52:12)
We talk about our experiences at Otakon 2017, now that they’ve moved locations from Baltimore to Washington D.C. Though since we were Press, we sort of um, missed seeing the majority of this convention…but on the bright side, we got plenty of interviews! Please look forward to them in the pages of Otaku USA Magazine as well as Anime USA!
We’ll update this space in er, the near future (wink) with a listing of all the titles that were shown at our panels, but for now:
The History of Magical Girls:
Himitsu no Akko-Chan
Sally the Witch
Persia, The Magical Fairy
Himitsu no Akko-Chan ’88
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Magical Angel Sweet Mint
Magic Knight Rayearth
Card Captor Sakura
Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne
Full Moon Wo Sagashite
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Magical Girl Raising Project
Review: Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis (52:12 – 1:52:52)
This is yet another of those overly long Daryl reviews where he speaks more or less uninterrupted for an hour straight because nobody else has seen the cartoon in several years, and the crux of what he has to say is how much of a different experience it is to watch this film now compared to 16 years ago, and that you shouldn’t watch any of the various pirate rips/encodes circulating on the Internet because it’ll adversely affect your perception of the work.
- This is the best current version of Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis to order and watch: the UK Blu-Ray/DVD combo set. Don’t be fooled by the box cover because it’s lying: that is an all-region Blu-Ray disc and it will work on US players.
- Serial Cities: The Politics of Metropolis from Lang to Rintaro is a writeup by Lawrence Bird, PhD of Architecture History & Theory. You may need to create a free Academia.edu account to download the PDF
- The Dark Horse release of the original Metropolis manga didn’t come out in the US until about two years or so after this film; it says it’s out of print which is odd, since Lost World and Nextworld appear to both still in print or otherwise easily available
Anime Weekend Atlanta is this weekend, but since Clarissa has moved away and Gerald’s employer won’t give him the time off, it seems only Daryl is going. Please vote in the new poll whether Gerald should ditch having to come to work on a Saturday unexcused to instead be at the anime con.
18 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 157 – Weeks Too Late for Priss and the Replicants Song References”
I couldn’t ever sit through Metropolis without falling asleep. Though back then I was extremely tired all the time so I don’t know if it was the movie or just me.
Early in my anime mania when I was still living in Hong Kong and I had caught up with the “big three” of Shonen Jump anime, I believe I had recently watched Trigun at that point and my parents were noticing that I was watching a lot of Japanese cartoons. I was not even a teenager at this point (so somewhere between 10-12 years of age). We’re talking about the mid-2000s. Around this time was the only time ever in my life (maybe before that there was a single Miyazaki movie) either of my parents have tried to engage in Japanese cartoons with me, and on one of the public TV channels there (TVB Pearl, the primary channel there that airs English content) was an airing of Metropolis.
My mom and I sat down and I think probably within the first 5 minutes I had already walked away and started playing video games instead or something. So I remember nothing about those 5 minutes; I don’t even remember if it was dubbed in English or subtitled in English! I was pretty much your typical young anime fan early in his years, which is to say having zero or anti-interest in Tezuka material or anything that looks like that. I knew who he was and that he was a big deal, but I would have rather paid attention to the anime that was hot at the time. My mom actually sat through the whole movie and I have no idea what she thought of it; I’ll have to ask her after I watch the movie.
It’s been more than a decade since then and I own and have read a bunch of Tezuka works, and no longer have any sort of resistance to those character designs. I bought Helen McCarthy’s “The Art of Osamu Tezuka: The God of Manga” in 2011 after having listened to the AWO review of that book, and at Otakon 2017 I bought Toshio Ban’s “The Osamu Tezuka Story” after Frederik Schodt’s panel (which he graciously signed and let me get a photo with him). Suffice to say, my interests in anime and manga have been inclined much more to the older stuff as of 7 years or so.
I regretted not sitting down with my mom back then and going through the movie. I had always meant to get back to it at some point and this review has convinced me to bump it way up on my to-watch list. I just placed an order through Amazon UK via the link provided.
It was great to see you guys (finally) at Otakon 2017, and thanks for the signatures and picture. I got my BGC Episode 8 cel signed by Matsubara, and my Bobby’s Girl cel signed by Maruyama. I asked the interpreter (who was one of two people to actually notice the horror of my Thomas the Terror Engine shirt) if anyone else had brought cels to get signed, and apparently no one else had so I am glad I made sure to bring those over and spark some fond memories of these older works.
I’ll be at AWA 2017 which will be my second out of state convention ever. Their proportion of cosplay and fashion programming stuff compared to panels pertaining about actual anime is not what I expected at all. But then I went and re-listened to the AWA 2016 coverage here and it seems that this should not actually be a surprise. Nevertheless I have enough of a schedule planned out that there should be enough anime stuff for me to do (all my favorites and notes on the app got cleared since I planned my schedule the day the app came out, so you may want to check the app again before the convention).
Coincidentally enough, a friend and I found the really shitty DVD of Metropolis the day before yesterday and watched it. The quality was awful, but I had seen the movie in a better quality before so watching it again was just a refresher. Anyways, I’m glad you reviewed this beautiful movie and keep up the good work!
It’s nice to hear that you guys liked this year’s Otakon too. It was my first Otakon (and large con in general) and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t have anything to compare it to, so it is nice to hear what people who’ve been to previous ones thought about it.
I’d heard of you guys before and seen Daryl’s work on ANN, but it wasn’t until I saw one of your panels at Otakon this year (Gerald’s Anime in Non-Anime) that I started listening to the podcast. If I’d known about your other panels earlier, I would have checked them out too. While I haven’t always agreed (the list of reviewers that I agree with 100% is empty), I’d say you have got yourselves a new listener.
As to Metropolis, I actually got it as a Christmas present from my mother’s boyfriend. While I liked it, I don’t remember it being that impressive, but that was years ago and perhaps it was just the version of the movie like Daryl was saying.
Great show as always. I’ll save it in my phone so I can listen to your show over and over again until I memorize every inch of it.
In concern with Jacob’s question in this episode, “Why isn’t there a subscription series for H-Doujins or Hentai anime?” I just wanted to add a little more insight from the Japanese perspective about how pirating affects them. My Japanese friend, who works in the Eroge industry has been complaining to me about how bad pirating is hitting them and in the H-manga, hentai, and etc. in general.
A funny story she always tells me that in their comments they see for the games she makes, there are paragraphs, in truncated Japanese, to add specific fetishes as extra option for their 3D CG girl eroge such as glasses, where to come, preg option, and other very specific stuff. However the truncated Japanese implies (or the comments are sometimes straight up in English) that they are not Japanese, and since the game is not available outside of Japan they must have pirated it. Since that’s all the feedback they get, her company constantly needs to meet the demands of pirates who won’t pay for their game which has resulted in longer production for their next game to add such features.
On Twitter, Akabee Software has tweeted about how their games have such strong protection, they won’t be pirated anymore. http://news.nicovideo.jp/watch/nw2274044 (Sorry, it’s a Japanese article)
As expected, it only took a day to break and from there it was pirated as usual. I’ve also seen many Eromangaka be really angry towards pirates only to receive replies from the people who pirated their stuff. Things like “Be happy we even read your things” and other bullcrap.
I’m sorry I don’t have anything new to add to the table, since the podcast already said most of the reasons why there can’t be a Netflix-like service for these things. It does suck that the only way to support your favorite artists is to buy their stuff directly from Japan or use DMM website to buy their stuff and download it on the DMM app in Japanese versions of the app store and watch the hentai from that, but with no subtitles.
I also bought the UK Metropolis because of you guys 🙂 I had the DVD, but forgot to watch it for the longest time so I should be able to watch the movie for the first time in its intended format, and thanks a lot for that!
Looking forward to your next episode.
I think Gerald is a really entertaining guy, and I enjoy his no-nonsense, unpretentious opinions. However, I really thought his perspective on Metropolis really illustrated his shortcomings as a reviewer.
The way Gerald phrases his criticism delineates the ‘story’ of a film from its ‘visuals’. It’s clear that what he means by story is really dialogue and character interaction, and what he means by visuals is the quality of the animation. This is a very common view in nerdy/fandom circles, I think best illustrated by videogame journalism, which takes this approach to its extreme. Story; visuals; game designs; etc are placed within separate categories, and given a letter or number grading. The worth of the art is then made dependent on how high these separate components rank within an aggregated score.
There are numerous flaws with this form of criticism, but I think the biggest is it champions a kind of utilitarian, naturalist from of storytelling that puts emphasis on character believability and dialogue while ignoring visual, cinematic storytelling (which often requires a more sustained analysis than the gut feeling believabillity grants). Daryl was right to focus his review on formal analysis: the architecture, the music and silent-era cutting techniques. That’s because this IS the storytelling of the piece, this is an aesthetic work, and much more is layered into the narrative through the mise-en-scene than the character-dialogue. Gerald turned his nose up at that NY Times review, but frankly, that critic understood this film as a piece of aesthetic cinema and analysed it as such. The screenplay has issues, but it is clear that in talking about this film its depiction of the city is what should be front and center on. If characters disappear for significant periods of time, this element should probably be considered.
If a film critic criticized Bela Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies as having unrealistic, declarative dialogue (which I think it does), the viewer would be right to state that they had misunderstood the film. That’s because it’s not a chamber piece, it’s not Blithe Spirit or Dean Spanley, it’s a piece of slow-cinema that’s designed to create a haunting, fairy-tale portrait of a ruined town. It’s an aesthetic piece. Similarly, one could argue that the dialogue in Kurosawa’s Ran and Kagemusha is considerably less coherent than his early films, but that does not mean the ‘storytelling’ is worse. Ran’s operatic dialogue matches its frenetic Kabuki tone, and the focus of its storytelling is clearly on the hallucinatory, dream-like, chaotic world.
My PhD is on screenwriting and I must admit that I am biased towards dialogue-heavy, naturalistic films. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to apply that kind of criticism onto films that don’t warrant it.
I’m going to be one of these people that falls under the category of “I should watch this again, because it’s been a really long time since I saw it.”
I think Gerald view of the movie is what I took from it 15 years ago when I first saw it. I remember it looking pretty, and the CGI effects I thought were fine for its time and kinda interesting in that final climatic part of the film, but other than that I took nothing from it other than “mmm… it’s alright I guess.” For me it might just be the pacing of the film and the characters, but then again it’s been over a decade and a half and I was I think 16 when I rented it from Blockbuster, so I haven’t looked at it since then. I actually checked my extra box and DVD shelf of anime to see if I owned this movie, which I don’t. That part surprises me. Maybe it is worth it to get this Bluray from the Brits.
I remember a friend in high school that went on this tirade on how, in Catholic school in home room in 8th grade, he was preaching how Metropolis was the worst anime film he ever saw to classmates that chances are didn’t know what anime was or what the hell he was talking about. He’s the only guy I know to this day that hates on Metropolis. His reasons weren’t clear either, which I didn’t really push since he was a really odd guy to boot.
But i’ll give Metropolis a boot in the right direction as one of Rintaro’s best films that I’ve seen so far, even beating out Gerald’s other favorite Genma Wars/Harmagedon (IIRC, he was the only defender of that movie in the Genma Wars movie review. PS: I totally disliked Genma Wars).
See yea at AWA!
This is a note unrelated to this particular episode intended only as a final attempt to relay to you a link. E-mail messages were sent to you (firstname.lastname@example.org) and _Fast Karate_ (email@example.com) on 2017-08-02 and on 2017-08-08. (It simply appears that the site was not accessed by said addressees; if that is not in fact the case then do forgive any presumption and carry on.)
Fast Karate for the Gentleman | 11/08/02 – BUT SLEEPY.
[Upon checking, this is a full text transcription of a Fast Karate for the Gentlemen episode, laid out in table format by speaker. I imagine none of us dared click on it then (and nearly now) because you wrote it from an account that doesn’t really identify who you are in any way, and nothing in the body of either that message or this one conveyed what the link actually WAS. We all thought it was spam. In fact, I nearly deleted this because I assumed it was spam or some sort of malicious link. For the record: that is definitely Joel who said “Bazinga.” –Daryl]
Be assured that the site and messages are in no way malicious or a form of junk mail but contextless merely as innocent ellipticism. Anyway, now that you have found the page the original post above has served its limited purpose and it is respectfully suggested that it would be appropriate to delete this thread.
Is this the only transcript of a Fast Karate/AWO podcast out there? I gotta know if there is more, im laughing pretty hard at the things written on here from something recorded over 6 years ago.
My god, it has been that long….
I will say this: if you really think USA is becoming the Fourth Reich, you can always move to Canada! :^)
Metropolis is a gr8/10 movie. It’s not for everyone (just like jazz), but that does not stop it from succeeding in every way the creators intended. And screw what Tezuka purists think.
I forgot I had this movie on DVD & I also forgot how much of an earworm the intro theme was. Good times. I gotta get the blu ray one day.
Also I never knew of the 80s version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis but now Queen’s music video to Radio Gaga finally makes sense.
I listened to this podcast today and as soon as I got home placed my order for the UK Blu-ray. I saw the movie when it was first shown in theaters and was highly impressed. Time to watch it again when the disc arrives.
Thanks for taking the time to evaluate the different BD releases.
I got the Blu-ray from the UK today. Looks great.
2 years later, so did I. I prefer the pink/black UK cover, and I wanted to know if the DVD that goes with it was in PAL (I like the format, sue me). The DVD file is a copy+paste original NTSC japanese one, and the BD, despite the limitations of them not having the best source tape (it be grainy and blurry at times), looks as good as you can make it.
My response is also weeks too late, but I wanted to thank Daryl for encouraging everyone to take a fresh look at Metropolis, and reminding people about the strong reviews it received at the time from those who saw the theatrical release (as opposed to most of the home video versions). Daryl also has an excellent point that, despite Tezuka’s longtime fame, relatively little of his manga work was available in English at the time of Metropolis’s initial release, whereas now it’s possible for a viewer to see the movie in light of the themes and styles of his career (in other words, in 2017 an English-speaking fan can see it in a way closer to how its Japanese-speaking fans did in 2001). I was also glad you quoted Rintaro speaking of Shigeru Watanabe: “Mr. Watanabe from Bandai said that the only things Japan are proud of is (Hideo) Nomo and animation.” Even the RSF25 zine neglected to mention Watanabe helped to plan Metropolis as well; I’ll correct that in the upcoming revised edition ^_^
Oddly enough, I think you could compare Metropolis’s use of old standards like “St. James Infirmary” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You” to the songs in the Fallout series. It isn’t likely meant as nostalgia for the viewers, as these songs weren’t part of their youth (or perhaps even their parents’ youth). These songs have a mystery now simply because they are from a time long past. They’re as much an artistic element as the architecture.
At the same time, these songs aren’t museum pieces–they were popular music , meaning that they lived in a world much like our own, and in one (like our own) where the unknown future is already among us. The song that plays at the climax of Metropolis as the tower falls is Ray Charles’ version of “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” It was the #1 hit in the United States in June 1962. In that same month, the Beatles auditioned for George Martin, Lee Harvey Oswald returned to the U.S. from Russia, Agent Orange was tested for the first time, the Politburo secretly approved a plan to place nuclear missiles in Cuba, Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” was first excerpted, the Supreme Court ruled mandatory prayer in public schools was unconstitutional (and that photographs of male nudes were not obscene), and the SDS would issue the Port Huron Statement.
I didn’t know that you all were at the 2001 AWA showing of Metropolis, but I’m glad you were. As you mentioned, AWA that year began only ten days after 9/11. It’s odd, but the security culture (or theater) that later became the norm when flying hadn’t quite coalesced yet–on the contrary, there was a sense for many people flying at that moment that you *should* be prepared for a fight if hijackers tried the same thing again–rumors were around about a “second wave” of follow-up attacks. Gerald mentioned an airline V-P on his flight who thanked the passengers. On one of my connecting legs, the flight attendant invited me to sit in first class instead–that’s how empty the plane was. I put on the in-flight stereo program, and as I taxied down the blue lights of the runway, complimentary Scotch in hand, it was playing “Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun.”
The tape of Metropolis I brought to AWA was the Sony screener PULP magazine had received to prepare for its phone interview with Rintaro. The feature story (which appeared with a February 2002 cover date) says that the interview was conducted “in late September,” but as I recall it, it was only three days after 9/11. We were requested by the rep not to ask Rintaro to comment on then-current events, but I got an odd vibe from the request–almost as if Rintaro didn’t *know* about what had happened–like he’d been up in the mountains or something, and no one had informed him yet. This seems very unlikely, and I’m pretty sure that odd vibe was only in my head, but that’s what it felt like in the moment. The only possible allusion Rintaro might have made was at the end of the interview, when he said “I just like to portray the destruction of big cities. I just love to see it, visually. I don’t know why. The cycle of creation and destruction is, for me, how art is made. But in art, you can do things that in real life would be a crime.”
By the way, everyone who watched the movie owes it to themselves to listen to the entire soundtrack. If you don’t want to buy it, or don’t want to stuff your hard drive with a PIRATED copy, just listen to it once on YT. Do it. You will not regret it.
I just listened to this episode for the first time and I’ll have to say: wow, Gerald, you’re a whiny bitch.