Anime World Order Show # 228 – The Gang Attempts to Lose Patreon Backers

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!

You know, from Mobile Suit Gundam.

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.

6 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 228 – The Gang Attempts to Lose Patreon Backers”

  1. Loved your review of this.

    I honestly think you are dead on about this movie being bad. I had the same suspicion about both critics and people giving runaway praise to this and feel they are too cowardly to express how they might have actually felt about this movie, not to mention the awards this film winning feeling like representative wins for Miyazaki’s career.

    It’s a movie that Miyazaki seemingly defiantly refused to give the main character an identifiable character arc or interesting traits, symbolism which has any meaning that is comprehensible to anyone watching it, or a story that synthesizes with the emotions and/or themes he attempted to imbue into this film.

    Definitely one of his worst films and I really wish there were more people like you guys out there who aren’t afraid to say that this is a movie is a gigantic mess.

  2. Re: Dungeon Meshi

    The appeal of it for me is the world building. I think episode three is a great early example as to what’s so good about it. The living armor is such a brilliant idea and shows off how the dungeon really is a sort of ecosystem. The mimic of the recent episode and the little fact about what treasure bugs do to them further exemplifies that fact.

    Fair enough if Gerald doesn’t like it, I suppose. You can’t win them all. :\

    1. While I don’t think it’s possible for Miyazaki to make a worse movie than The Wind Rises, with the “why yes, I’m really a pacifist but I’ll make your warplane” protagonist, who is brilliant and everyone loves him, whose wife dies conveniently off screen to not interrupt the hero’s work and the only good foreigner appears in dreams, that’s only because the ideas in that movie are too obvious.

      My interpretation of the second half of The Boy and The Heron, though, hinges on it seeming to me that nothing in the isekai world actually works properly and is slightly monstrous (contrast the creatures before and after they escape the isekai for instance). The great uncle has actually failed to create a worthwhile creation. The point, it seems to me as I was watching, was “would the creator acknowledge his failure?” Nothing worthwhile happening there was in fact the point. If I am correct, this is an hour of Miyazaki saying again “anime was a mistake“ contrasted with the honest building of warplanes outside the tower or the creation of children. [Hayao Miyazaki never actually said “anime was a mistake.” That’s a joke meme; a fake subtitle posing as though it’s a screenshot. Of course, it says something that everybody believes it to be a real thing he’d say. –Daryl]

      I may be wrong of course, as the movie is confusing. When neither the world or the characters follow a consistent logic, actually registering what is happening in a single sitting is probably impossible.

  3. The Boy and the Heron is Miyazaki’s Gundam Reconguista in G, where we don’t really understand the greatness behind it since we are too dumb to get it. Unlike the people who back Gundam Reconguista in G, the people who back The Boy and the Heron are more elite and have more brain cells than the G-Reco backers.

    I do feel like that The Boy and the Heron isn’t Miyazaki’s best movie and thought it was okay. I don’t really understand why the boy decided to save his stepmother since he didn’t want anything to do with her and his unborn half-sister. I feel like the movie needed the boy to go into the other world, but couldn’t figure out the best way to do so.

  4. That is a very smart strategy. You make listeners angry, they leave, you don’t have to review Hand Shakers ever!

    (the trick is to piss off NEW listeners)

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