Anime World Order Show # 215 – Anime Was Whamageddon Even Before The Song Existed

We can copy this part of the otaku ideal. Just not the part where she can masquerade as a normal person.

So begins a new year of podcasting for us! We’re trying something new out by not necessarily reviewing one thing, but talking about a selection of Christmas-themed episodes of anime arranged from “least Christmas-y” to “most Christmas-y.”

This was not particularly Christmas-y.
This was not particularly Christmas-y.

Introduction (0:00 – 47:50)
We had the trivia episode last month, and so it’s only now that we’re able to get around to the fact that Daryl and Gerald both went to Anime Weekend Atlanta back in October. We report on the convention, some noteworthy aspects of programming we attended, ruminate on the convention’s future, and Gerald shares with us his first experience with going to Buc-ee’s.

Oh, here’s the video Gerald was referring to:

Promo: Right Stuf Anime (47:50 – 51:30)
It’s the end of an era, as a few weeks ago Shawne Kleckner announced his departure from the company we founded. We interviewed Shawne back in Show 183, and that sure doesn’t feel like it was back in 2019. But the Holiday Sale is on same as always, and there’s a lot of great deals to be had. Heck, even Aniplex Blu-Ray sets got a discount!


The Holiday Roundup (51:30 – 2:13:10)
There are plenty of anime with Christmas-themed episodes, or ones that take place around Christmas, but several have little to do with it. We watched an assortment of Christmas episodes and present them to you here, in the order of “least Christmas-y” to “most Christmas-y.” There are lots and lots and LOTS of Christmas themed anime stories, some of which are even good insofar as resembling stuff people might do around Christmas, and since we only talked about a handful here it’s almost a guarantee that we didn’t talk about your favorite. So let’s hear about it in the comments! There’s always next year, right?

Santa Company currently has THREE Kickstarters active for English language localizations. Santa Company: Secret of Christmas is the full-length version of what we were talking about.
Midsummer Merry Christmas is the newer entry released last year. There are also full-color comic books to translate. The goals are shockingly low, so with any luck these succeed. It’s tough, now that you don’t see many anime Kickstarter projects.

We imagine every anime club in the 90s showing Christmas theme stuff must have run Ranma 1/2’s.

9 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 215 – Anime Was Whamageddon Even Before The Song Existed”

  1. For once I actually have something to say, that you will like to hear (definitely). You asked where have the AMV gone? Well, I know ONE person who makes them right now. I do not really watch them, since they are not my thing, and I care for his other content. But Caribou-kun on YT makes really good AMVs in this day and age, and go watch his efforts right now.

  2. So here’s what you wanna do. You wanna record a SECOND Christmas podcast where you include the Christmas episode of Captain Harlock/SSX. It’s one of the best.

    Or put it in next year’s show. That would be acceptable.

  3. OK, having listened to the Anime Weekend Atlanta portion of the podcast, some of my own thoughts there:

    * They were definitely short on volunteer staff. I’d noticed the same thing at Anime Central in May, but there I attributed it to controversy over the last-minute change in mask policy. Now maybe I’m more inclined to think it’s systemic, perhaps a result of cons being shut down for 1-2 years by the pandemic and losing some consistency and momentum, maybe old hands bowing out and not enough new faces to replace them.

    * The lines to get in were catastrophic. My buddy paid in advance and after realizing the badge pickup line on Friday was running three to five hours, opted to just write off that $75 and just buy a new badge on-site, for which he only had to wait one hour. It’s worth mentioning here that Otakon is mailing ALL advance-purchase badges for 2023, and this probably needs to be the way all big cons go. The risk of counterfeiting — if that ever was a thing — pales in comparison to making the con practically unlivable for paying attendees.

    * It’s beyond a doubt that AWA has outgrown the Galleria and the Renaissance Waverly. But I can remember in 2003 or so when they moved there and Dave Merrill wrote in the con guide “hey, this is it, the only thing bigger in Atlanta is the GWCC.” [Georgia World Congress Center, where Momocon is held]

    * You’re right that spreading out to other hotels is not practical. We stayed at the Sheraton across the street, and you can’t actually get to it easily from the walkway over Cobb Parkway. You have to go behind the hotel, across its parking deck, and down a staircase (or frequently broken elevator) to get to the lobby. Maybe they could go the other direction and put some events in the Embassy Suites, but that’s still a hike.

    * I think you guys give the facility too much of a pass on “lots of people in one place, so of course you’re not going to have any mobile bandwidth.” I call bullshit on that. When I’m at equally large and concentrated cons like ACen or Youmacon, I can still send texts and images just fine (iPhone on AT&T, if you’re keeping score). To say nothing of facilities like Otakon’s convention center which is absolutely bathed in free Wi-Fi. AWA’s connectivity issues are unique to that facility, and we should not excuse them. The Galleria needs to know it’s at a competitive disadvantage as a result of AT&T and Verizion obviously underprovisioning that area.

    * Speaking of comparisons to other cons, the presence of a big Crunchyroll booth and the SPYxFAMILY set was a pleasant surprise, given their no-show at ACen in May. It was mind boggling entering the main exhibition area in Chicago to find three of the usual big booths — Funimation, Crunchyroll, and Aniplex — all absent (yes, I know they’re the same company now, that’s the point). Instead, the biggest booth as you came into ACen might have been Tanto Cuore, the anime maid card game.

    * OTOH, Bushiroad had a big booth at ACen to flog BanG Dream!, Revue Starlight, and their card games (Cardfight Vanguard and Weiss Schwarz), part of a “Bushiroad on the Road 2022” USA tour. But if you look at the tour’s website — — you’ll notice they inexplicably cancelled a planned AWA appearance, and they’ve awkwardly tried to memory-wipe a fifth stop on their tour in Texas (Anime Frontier, maybe?).

    * I got to say hi to Daryl and Gerald on Saturday, after (or between?) panels from Dave Merrill and Otaku Nate (who had like 70 panels and they were all good). I was in my Muv-Luv cosplay, and thanks guys for letting me know that Crunchyroll had a Muv-Luv banner over in the Galleria atrium; I tweeted a picture of myself under that banner and got RT’ed by the creator of the Muv-Luv… which is pretty much the only good thing I can say about the Muv-Luv franchise after this utter fiasco of a year.

    * I also liked the “Synced Together” documentary, and I ended up going to most of the AMV awards show, and what struck me there is that PEOPLE ARE STILL CREATING NEW AMVS OF AZUMANGA DAIOH IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 2022. I don’t get it. I would have figured people would be creating AMVs of new anime with great sakuga, but instead of seeing “Kaguya-sama” or “86”, AMV editors are apparently still stuck in 2002, still using well-worn clips of stuff like “His & Her Circumstances”. Why?

  4. Speaking of another thing you touched on, glad I wasn’t the only one to get the following idea. YES, it really IS about ownership of all media and all information. Corporations do not just buy things and keep rights forever to make more money. It was never about just the money. The small number of people in charge delight in the knowledge they are the ones to decide who gets the privilege of accessing videos, and audio, where on the globe, which version of it, how much modified, how much censored, etc. Complete control over who gets to view what, which version is available to who, and how any piece of censored. Ownership of all media and information, and control over who gets it, or doesn’t get it. Even things like region codes on DVDs and Blurays, it’s all a part of a system of top down control of information distribution. No, I like my tinfoil hat, it looks stylish.

  5. Fun episode, I like changing the format up every now and again.

    It’s more of a “Christmas as general background vibe” thing, but I wanted to shout out Trapeze/Kuchuu Buranko, the entire series of which is set in the lead-up to Christmas. It’s a really unique and very weird show that seems to have been mostly forgotten.

  6. “Hey…hey, ’scuse me, hey—are you the Hentai Man?” What was so great about Daryl’s evocation of this fan is that it sounded like the dub from The Tattooed Hit Man (“He’ll slay for pay, slash for cash, and kill for the thrill”)

    It suddenly occurred to me after all these years that there is no Yuletide episode of Evangelion*, but I guess that’s because it’s a series where people know the true meaning of Christmas a bit too well. There *was*, however, a Christmas-themed Eva cover story for Newtype in December 1995, when the show was still in its first broadcast. Done by one of its animation directors, Shinya Hasegawa, it’s rather understated, with Shinji and Rei perhaps posing at NERV’s holiday party—Shinji, a slightly nervous smile, adjusting a red tie against a green shirt; Rei, slightly more expressionless than usual, wearing an elegant blue dress and mistletoe earrings.

    I had an idea for an AMV just the other day, even though I haven’t actually made an AMV since 1994. A major thing that drove my interest in AMVs in the 80s and 90s was simply that I was so into music, yet at the time there seemed to be a disconnect between most of the anime fans I knew and popular (or even alternative and independent) music. I think that eventually changed in the 2000s with the demographic shifts among anime fans—when Chester Bennington died, I saw it remarked on how Linkin Park was associated with a generation of AMVs, which also meant contemporary music had synced up by then with the fans in a way it still had not a decade before. In 1992, I can remember bonding with another otaku in part simply because we both were into Beastie Boys and Beck, which were hardly underground acts, but which few other fans at the time seemed to listen to.

    Music often influenced me to pursue connections with other anime fans. In the 1980s, there were two fans I knew who were into punk, hardcore, and thrash who’d introduce me to new bands. I was attracted to Pinesalad Productions and Seishun Shitemasu as much by their use of music in their parody dubs as the dubs themselves—Pinesalad with The Damned, Circle Jerks, Whodini (I’m pretty sure nobody else was combining those groups with anime in 1986!); Seishun, of course, with 1994’s Anime Bites, which might be called a parody dub or even a sincere American “remake” of To-y, but also might even be considered an “AMV opera”—and what gave it extra kick-heart was not only its use of well-known contemporary bands of the era, but the way it featured bands from Seishun’s local San Diego scene such as Inch and Lucy’s Fur Coat. I loved it when rave flyers, or concert poster designers like Frank Kozik or Coop & Kuhn, ganked anime and manga art, and of course Matthew Sweet’s videos using Cobra and Urusei Yatsura for the Girlfriend album. Music and anime both filled me with energy, and I wanted to see them come together.

    My AMV-making cumulated in an event at AX ’94, inspired by Club MTV or The Grind—the idea was to have an AMV dance, with a program of AMVs, most created specifically for the event (me and my kohai had spent a week in our school’s video lab editing the individual videos, and Seishun worked on the opening and ending sequences and mastered the tape). The videos themselves were fairly simple, and in retrospect, maybe we should have gotten more than one monitor for the room ^_^” but perhaps the larger problem was that whereas today, as you pointed out, dances and raves are main events at anime cons, in 1994 even the concept of dancing at an anime con was a bit unclear—for example, we arranged a row of chairs in front of the monitor to protect it, but some attendees simply sat down in the chairs, occasionally looking back in confusion at those actually dancing.

    Many actual professional music videos being made today are lighter on effects than many AMVs, and I don’t think a lack of post-production necessarily makes for a bad or unsophisticated AMV; as videos are essentially short movies, I think a broad range of artistic approaches are viable and can be appreciated. I kept in mind when I was making AMVs that I was combining anime I didn’t make with music I didn’t compose or perform, and tried to keep a sense of perspective.


    P.S. Nick, thank you for coming by the panel at Fanime!

    *The episode broadcast the week of Christmas 1995 was “She said, ‘Don’t make others suffer for your personal hatred.'” which I guess fits the season in its own way–Misato, with her cross and wound in the last winter of Antarctica, the Lance of Longinus making its first appearance (I know, I know, but there’s no tradition of “Easter episodes”) and even a cheerful get-together with friends, to celebrate Misato’s promotion. It also ends on what might have seemed a heartwarming moment at the time, when Shinji hears Gendo tell him he did a good job. Honestly, Gendo could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he had just pretended to like Shinji more often.

  7. Here’s a recommendation for a future compilation of Christmas-themed anime episodes: UFO Grendizer, episode 12. In this episode, the forces of Vega want to build an observation outpost to detect where Duke Fleed is hiding. They wind up destroying a cabin, killing a man and woman, but the daughter survives with amnesia and PTSD preventing her from walking. Daisuke and friends wind up trying to help the girl recover her memory. The end of the episode has Koji Kabuto dressing up as Santa and Daisuke dressing up as Duke Fleed (the handsome prince from Space). They even dress up the TFO and Grendizer as Santa’s Sleigh and a ship from space to help coax the girl into trying to walk again after Professor Umon performs surgery on her.

  8. Seeing as how it’s two weeks into the new year my comment may be a bit tardy, but Toradora! had a Christmas episode. Episode 19 according to My Anime List. The most memorable thing about it was the fact that the main character and another side character sang together. The two butted heads so you don’t expect to see them on stage singing together in Christmas outfits no less.
    My family never really got into the whole watching a Christmas movie together thing besides a couple of years of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. I might keep track of the holiday centric anime that I come across in the future.

    P.S. – Now that I’ve thought about it, y’all mentioned Discord but do any of y’all at Anime World Order have a profile on My Anime List? Seems like the best place to keep up with nearly every anime out there and a few friends. I go by the same name there if anybody cares. [I don’t have any sort of catalog of what I own or what I’ve watched, so I don’t have a MAL account. –Daryl]

  9. Yes! Kodocha 100% holds up! I only started watching the series last year, and it’s awesome! I even seen the second series, but I gotta re-watch it with the new official subs now. Great stuff. One of my top ten anime now.

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