Anime World Order Show # 167 – Beating Multiple Dead Horses Enhanced By Cybernetics

It’s October now, so that does mean we missed September. To make up for it, Gerald has elected to review something thematically appropriate for the Halloween month by doubling up and reviewing both the 1985 Vampire Hunter D as well as its sequel, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust from the year 2000.

Introduction (0:00 – 47:08)
Now that Daryl is back from Anime Weekend Atlanta where he had to do four panels, has turned in his Otaku USA writing assignments, and his spoiler-free review of Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise is now up on the Anime News Network, there is once again time to do this podcast. The AWA trip was nearly a disaster since everyone in Florida but Daryl canceled, but thankfully a contingent of the Third Impact Anime podcast crew who went straight from a trip to Japan to a devastating hurricane to Anime Weekend Atlanta (where they not only had a Super Happy Fun Sell table but also collectively did something like 13 hours worth of panels) were able to fill the hotel room we’d reserved. We’ll likely be doing a guest appearance for them soon. In the meantime, Daryl was a guest on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast to discuss an Ebola-caliber topic for which zero cohosts of AWO as well as zero cohosts of Blade Licking Thieves were willing to discuss: the intersection between Japanese animation and professional wrestling fandom.

Over in the emails, with a new season of anime having just gotten underway, we discuss the viewing habits of modern anime fans, how they became that way, and what might be done to make even an incremental adjustment to the practice of “watch so many simulcasts that there’s no time to watch anything else.” As you might guess from the timecode duration of this segment, it takes a while and extends off into multiple tangents, as we are prone to do.

Promo: Right Stuf Anime (47:08 – 49:53)
There are only a few days left to meet the stretch goals for the Emma: A Victorian Romance Blu-Ray Kickstarter, the final of which is to dub the second season, so if you’re keen on Kaoru Mori you’ll want to take a look at that. In addition, the license for The Rose of Versailles has expired, so it’s been removed from streaming and the last remaining DVD inventory is on clearance. Get the entire 40-episode series for $22 instead of the usual $80, because once it’s gone it’s not coming back.

Review: Vampire Hunter D (49:53 – 1:27:06) & Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (1:27:06 – 2:04:59)
Since Daryl had already written an article on how vampire anime is mostly terrible back in 2009, reviewed the re-release of the 1985 film back in 2015, and can’t remember if he reviewed Discotek’s Bloodlust Blu-Ray but probably did, Gerald elects to take point on this extended two-for-the-price-of-one review segment. The original Vampire Hunter D theatrical-length OAV from 1985 marked the beginning of an era, and 2000’s Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust marked the end of an era. Blu-Rays are still in print for both the original as well as Bloodlust, though if you want the old Streamline Pictures dub for nostalgia purposes you’ll have to track down the 2000 DVD release from Urban Vision, which does include some extras that weren’t replicated for the current releases. Note: please do not pay $75 for that DVD like that one goof is trying to charge; though it’s long out of print, you should still be able to get that DVD for roughly $10. Daryl checked after the recording, and you can indeed just sync their dub up with the Blu-Ray video if you are so inclined.

Closing (2:04:59 – 2:06:12)
Next episode will be out in just a few weeks, since the Christmas promise must be fulfilled: we’re going to reunite with The Internet’s Mike Toole to talk about yet another robot series written and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino: Gundam Reconguista in G. If you want to listen to the previous episode with Mike where this promise was made as we were talking about Brain Powerd you can do so here to mentally prepare yourself.

11 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 167 – Beating Multiple Dead Horses Enhanced By Cybernetics”

  1. @Gerald Last Kaneto Shiozawa work is actually MGS2 though that was posthumous.
    [Incidentally, when I noted Takumi Yamazaki could approximate Kaneto Shiozawa, I was specifically thinking of the Cyborg Ninja in Metal Gear Solid as well as Rei in Fist of the North Star. –Daryl]

  2. Hi guys, what a lot of interesting details about Vampire Hunter D. I remember watching the Streamline dub and remember how they couldn’t get Rei’s name right. In fact in the Corn Pone Flicks short film Bad American Dubbing rips into that fact as well. [I did specifically mention CPF, as I was quoting B.A.D. verbatim during that part. I tend to quote B.A.D. verbatim a lot, it seems. –Daryl]

    When Bloodlust came out there was a big hype for it, for it was set in the D universe and was made for English audiences, but it was quickly smothered and forgotten by everything else. Even I didn’t remember it until I listened to this episode.

    Keep up the good work. Listening since the beginning.

    1. At least you didn’t quote from B.A.D. ,”Are you going to take me?” [Rest assured, that quote gets used every time the topic of Orguss is brought up. –Daryl]

  3. For the listener email (yay, another ACen regular!), I don’t know if a “canon” is necessary or practical, but I do wish someone would do something like TNT’s “The New Classics” from a few years back. This was a branding where they’d identify movies (that they had cable rights to, of course) that had come out in the last 5-10 years and had emerged as having lasting value. Not the biggest hits of the day, but things that people remembered and quoted and would go back to.

    For anime, this wouldn’t necessarily be the “Attack on Titan”s, “Love Live”s, or “Madoka Magica”s (which are the decade-defining hits), but more word-of-mouth titles like “Konosuba” and “Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun”, or brief sensations like “Yuri on Ice” that deserve to be revisited.

    Paul Chapman’s “Cruising the Crunchy Catalog” on is somewhat in this vein, but he tries to feature overlooked truly good shows, not stuff that most people know and like. Figuring out the “New Classics” of anime is something that might make for a nice feature on ANN or in Otaku USA or someplace else.

  4. I would guess what makes a canon different from a (say) “top 20 titles” list is that a canon implies a teaching perspective of some sort. Considering the thousands upon thousands of anime that have been made over the last century, it might be more useful to suggest multiple canons, each designed to teach different things about anime. Nobody would expect all of, say, English literature (or film studies) to be usefully summed up in one single list of titles. If you get a degree in such a field, you’re going to take multiple courses, each with their own list of titles that are meant to illustrate a different perspective on the field.

    You could imagine one canon that would, for example, try to illustrate the real breadth of anime–a “survey course.” Such a list might, and probably would, be different from a list of “greatest anime.” The way things get forgotten about–even works that were a phenomenon in their time–should itself be studied. Isn’t this forgetting, in of itself, an important part of what makes anime culture; in other words, you can’t understand anime unless you also have some understanding of its frequently, even commonly transitory aspect?

    Such a “survey course” canon, therefore, might include a work like Haruhi as a case study. It might also include examples of anime based on merchandising, or on fads, or on franchises, or on appeal to specific subcultures. On the other end, the survey canon would also include original or experimental works such as, say, Millennium Actress, Cowboy Bebop, or FLCL. These titles are getting closer to the idea of “greatest works”–but again, the purpose of this survey course would be to try to show anime in a broadly representative sense–or, put more bluntly, anime as it actually is, so you can truly say you understand it.

    Cowboy Bebop may have something to teach about anime; but it seems to me the lesson can’t possibly be that it is a representative work of anime. It isn’t–if it were, there would have been many more shows on its level in the past 20 years. It remains an outlier. But again, that’s worth studying in of itself; actually, I think it’s a very important question for anime fans to consider. The Sopranos is about as old as Cowboy Bebop. It’s still looked back upon as a classic, but it also seemed to help permanently raise the ambitions of American TV; we got shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Why didn’t (or doesn’t) that happen with anime? I guess what I’m getting at is a canon can be a useful tool of inquiry for what it implies, as much for what it includes.

  5. About AWA, our usual competition for people’s time is Dragoncon, and for our guests, it’s the current anime season. So when we get staff or voice actors, it’s either to show off something they’ve just finished, or it’s someone older who’s not working. Music acts are easier to invite because they have agencies, but also because they’re not working 24/7.

    This year was even worse because Crunchyroll Expo was the same month, so people like ABe went there to do premieres instead. There really wasn’t anyone left who could come.

    Also, people are still into old stuff as long as it’s Dragonball, One Piece or Love Live!

  6. Thanks for responding to my email, guys! I appreciate you spending such a significant amount of time to giving it an answer.

    Listening to your responses and seeing the comments posted here, I regret using the word “canon” in my original message. There’s a lot of political/cultural baggage associated with that word that I didn’t necessarily intend to introduce. My use of the word reflected my desire for any sort of infrastructure for older works to be preserved and actively discussed, which canons, despite the associated baggage, do accomplish.

    As someone who, albeit briefly, studied literature at the graduate level, I agree completely with Carl’s sentiment. Having a singular canon for such a diverse medium as anime would be difficult, if not impossible to construct. I see value in the “survey course” canon, as well as others based perhaps on genre and decade.

    Invalidname (good to see another ACen attendee here!), I think your “New Classics” idea is more or less what I was trying to get at when I introduced the “canon” idea in my email. It’s an informal one, but it would be a way to better keep older shows in fan consciousness. To use a show you mentioned, I loved Yuri On Ice, and it’s one that absolutely deserves to be revisited. The idea that fans would forget about it so easily, after only two years, is a crime!

    Did any of you read Justin Sevakis’ “Buried Treasure” column on ANN years ago? When I think of keeping older shows in the zeitgeist, that’s what I think of. Admittedly, that column was, by design, narrowly focused, with most entries dedicated to very, very obscure OVAs from the 80s and 90s. That wasn’t a problem for me, being an OVA aficionado, but it would have been nice to see a bit more attention paid to television shows (he did do a great write-up on Serial Experiments Lain near the end, in his defense). Alas, that column hasn’t existed in, what, seven or eight years? I’d love for them to bring something like that back – if they can devote an entire section of their website to dissecting the current anime season, surely they can devote a little bit more energy to older stuff. Mike Toole’s column is the only regular section of that website that even comes close.

  7. You bloated sack of protoplasm! Regarding the two Vampire Hunter D anime, I was lucky enough to see them both for the first time under memorable circumstances–the original OAV at the BayCon ’86 anime program, and Bloodlust at its premiere at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood (the same place “Star Quest” showed in February of 1987).

    Now that Gerald mentions it, I think the original Vampire Hunter D actually *did* show on MTV (hypocritically, I never complained that this kind of programming was getting away from MTV’s music video identity). I think Daryl has an excellent point that the Streamline dubs can be viewed differently now that they’re no longer the only option, and it also returns me to another spectacular hypocrisy of mine–the way I disliked Streamline dubs when I had been such a big fan of Robotech, which after all had changed and altered their source material far more than any of the later Streamline releases did.

    The English version of Florent Gorges’ illustrated biography of Yoshitaka Amano will be out in November, and, as you might guess, it’s got several pages on the series. However, the limited edition of the biography contains a Blu-ray with, among other programming, a 90-minute “live draw” in Amano’s Paris studio, where he goes from a blank sheet to a finished painting of D (at one point he actually makes a mistake, but then makes it look as if he had intended to do it–you realize that’s a skill artists working to deadline need to acquire). Amano says that he never gets tired of depicting D, and has literally asked Kikuchi to write new short stories for him based on illustrations that he’s made! Amano did not meet Kikuchi in person for years, despite having already collaborated on many novels–although it turned out that Kikuchi was not, as might be expected, his stepsister.

  8. The way you were talking about Vampire Hunter D, I fully expected you to crap on it HARD. And then, out of nowhere, you declared it a true classic that stands the test of time.

    I was legitimately surprised.

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