In a last-ditch effort to not review Hand Shakers, we decide to make a bunch of anger-inducing statements about anime, mecha, and conventions before reviewing the latest–and perhaps actually final this time–Hayao Miyazaki film, the critically acclaimed The Boy and the Heron.
Introduction (0:00 – 39:51)
With only 3 or 4 Patrons remaining before we hit the 250 patrons mark, we’re playing our remaining “make people quit backing us so we don’t have to review Hand Shakers” cards. Gerald keeps saying Mash’s name from Mashle is “Mashle” and thinks Delicious in Dungeon sucks, Daryl uses the phrase “mecha anime is dead” in a sentence while talking about Bravern, and Clarissa calls out people who work in IT that subsidize the furry fandom through commissions while keeping her Discord notification sounds enabled so you’ll think YOU’RE getting Discord notifications as you’re listening. Gerald also did a panel at the recently-concluded Megacon, and while it was not that heavily attended, there’s a possibility more people came to see him than Gina Carano. It was about the practice of Western productions outsourcing their animation production to Japan, so expect lots of delightful statements about your Generation X/millennial childhood favorites. We also weigh in with our recent experiences using the Crunchyroll Store!
On a less rage-baiting note, Clarissa will be a guest on this month’s Anime Nostalgia Podcast, as she joins Dawn to talk about Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack, which is now celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Otaku In Memoriam: Derek Wakefield (39:51 – 48:30)
This year, we’d like to hear stories about noteworthy anime fans who are no longer around, ideally by people who knew or had interactions with them. If you knew someone and wish to share some memories of them, record something and email it to us so we can put them into later episodes. If you’d rather not vocalize it yourself, that’s fine too! Just write it up and we can read it on your behalf.
Dave Merrill is the first to take us up on the offer, as he sends in a memoriam of Derek Wakefield, founder of the Earth Defense Command, a Star Blazers club which became an anime club which set the foundation for Project A-Kon which is still going to this day. It would not be a stretch to credit Derek Wakefield as the founder of North Texas anime fandom. Derek’s willingness to help out new younger fans helped Dave embark on his anime fandom journey. The disappearance of web message boards across the Internet has resulted in the loss of quite a bit of early Internet anime fandom history, but for the moment the Internet Archive still exists where there is a snapshot of this May 2014 memoriam post for Derek posted a few days after Derek had passed away.
Review: The Boy and the Heron aka How Do You Live? (48:30 – 1:48:51)
The most revered of anime’s living grandmasters, Hayao Miyazaki, came out of retirement yet again to make another film, which for years we’ve been referring to as “BETTAR THAN YOUR NAME.” That’s “bettar” with an a, not “better”, because if Hayao Miyazaki is anything, he is–as the Gen Z’ers and Alphas don’t know–l33t liek JeffK. Once the Japanese title “How Do You Live?” was revealed the Zoolander associations commenced, no doubt being the catalyst for GKIDS selecting “The Boy and the Heron” as its international title for its theatrical release in late 2023. As of this episode, the film has won numerous awards, including the Golden Globe, and as such is a frontrunner to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. If so, it will mark the second time a Japanese animated work has won the award, with the previous instance being Miyazaki’s earlier work “Spirited Away” (which is also an international title that’s different from the Japanese one, but it’s just shorter). It has garnered considerable and near-universal critical acclaim as well.
But that’s not as important compared to what WE thought of it. We absolutely did not deliberately misrepresent the contents of the movie or of any books, documentaries, interviews, and should any discrepancies exist, they are purely accidental and are absolutely not an attempt to rile people up like how you know who does for the National Review.