In this episode we bring Mister Kitty‘s Dave Merrill back on to talk about his favorite movie (and a Patreon request!): 1969’s The Flying Phantom Ship, adapted from a manga by Shotaro Ishinomori. DID YOU KNOW HAYAO MIYAZAKI DREW A PART OF THIS MOVIE? (Yes. Yes we do know. You can lower your hand and sit down now.)
Introduction (0:00 – 36:19)
We catch up with Dave, whom we last saw around Halloween, and reminisce for a bit about how he discovered Prince of Space before we get to the topic that’s on everybody’s minds: the death of Leiji Matsumoto, a creator for whom much of organized anime fandom in America owes itself to. Clubs, conventions, cosplay, AMVs: they started up as a result of fan affinity for his works, including but not limited to Space Battleship Yamato aka Star Blazers, Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, Queen Millennia, and okay probably not so much The Cockpit but you should still check out The Cockpit. Japan Remembers Leiji Matsumoto by Tim Eldred has collected the coverage of Leiji Matsumoto’s passing, which was a globally covered event. If you didn’t pick it up back when we had Helen McCarthy on to talk about it, consider picking up Leiji Matsumoto: Essays on the Manga and Anime Legend which covers his influence in far greater detail than we can ever manage.
Promo: Right Stuf Anime (36:19 – 38:52)
The best place to buy Discotek Media titles remains Right Stuf, especially for preorders. This is because Amazon charges full MSRP for their releases, whereas even when there isn’t a Discotek-specific sale, Right Stuf offers a 25%-33% discount. Plus, the packaging is better and you’ll often find they ship you titles weeks before the listed release date. Speaking of which, you might want to preorder those Gunbuster Blu-Rays. They’re set to come out at the end of the next month, after all.
Review: The Flying Phantom Ship (38:52 – 1:42:22)
Yes, once again we manage to take more time talking about a thing than it would take to simply watch it in its entirety. At least our excuse this time is that the film is only about an hour long from start to finish. Thirteen years ago, we listed this as one of our “Ten Anime You’ve Never Heard of But Must See” and Daryl recently reviewed it in the April 2023 issue of Otaku USA Magazine, but that’s got nothing on how long Dave’s been talking and writing about it, since he has writeups dating back to over 30 years ago. Here’s his more recent 2009 piece from his Let’s Anime blog. Dave is probably the first person to have extensively written about this topic in English, like period, and so it’s only fitting that he provided the commentary track for Discotek’s Blu-Ray release along with Mike Toole. We’re spoiling the whole thing, but this is something for which seeing is the only true experience.