Anime World Order Show # 229 – The Panda Is Quite Critical To The Resolution of Things

Unfortunately, our attempt to lose Patreon backers was a failure, meaning that at some point we will be reviewing Hand Shakers after all. Thanks to this, for the sake of experiencing at least one final ray of sunshine in life, Clarissa reviews the 2022 12-episode series Akiba Maid War without really delving much into spoilers.

Introduction (0:00 – 34:11)
As we predicted in our review last episode, The Boy and the Heron did indeed win the Best Animated Oscar. We prefer to think of it more as a lifetime achievement award. The Crunchyroll Anime Awards presentation was held in Japan, and while the winners were uniform to a surprising extent across multiple outlets in which judges and fans alike selected their best of 2023, we nevertheless harbor some concerns with regards to the focus of the presentation. This is of course nothing new–remember the American Anime Awards?–but it does raise the question who precisely this fancy awards show featuring numerous international celebrities is targeted towards.

Oh, and since it’ll probably be the single most devastating creator death of our lifetimes with regards to the number of people profoundly affected on a global scale, we touch upon the death of the legendary artist Akira Toriyama (Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball, Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, etc.) for a bit. It’ll certainly be a global story acknowledged by heads of state once Hayao Miyazaki passes away, but there won’t be the same level of spontaneous gatherings/parades/murals/etc. by people. This mural from Peru is but one example:

Quite a few Japanese talents associated with anime/manga passed away between the last episode and this one, and there were even more between the time this audio was recorded and the time this post was written, but Toriyama’s overshadows them all. Because of this–and a general lack of submissions being sent in–there’s no Otaku in Memoriam this episode. Were it up to us, we’d tell Toyotarou that the current chapter 103 of Dragon Ball Super could just be the series finale, but the true indication that Goku is on a comparable power level to Superman is that there’s too much money to be made and so the character will endure long after its creators have ceased to be. Anyway, Dragon Ball DAIMA (which we thought of in our heads as “what if Toriyama were more hands on with Dragon Ball GT?” but I guess that’ll be less true) will now be on television due to the spike in interest.

Contrary to initial Internet rumor, Toriyama did not draw this panel of Piccolo waving goodbye himself, as his final illustration. But he did request the panel be added.
We assume a similar story is the case for this shot in Dragon Ball Super: Broly. Gerald intensely disliked this film, while Daryl considers it one of the best movie experiences of his life. Such is the variety of outlooks AWO offers.

Review: Akiba Maid War (34:11 – 1:16:53)
Between the recently-concluded Bang Brave Bang Bravern–the AWO’s review of that is basically “trust me, bro”–and 2022’s Akiba Maid War, CygamesPictures is proving themselves to truly be a Most Dangerous force in original anime production. At least all that Uma Musume money is being put to good use. Along with another highly formidable anime force, P.A. Works (Shirobako, lots more), they’ve given us what we’ve all needed our whole lives: a fictionalized account of late 1990s Akihabara, in which the saga of rival maid cafes unfolds using the narrative structurings and conventions of a classic gangster/yakuza film. For now, the Blu-Ray set has just been released courtesy of Sentai Filmworks and you can watch both the dub and the sub on HiDive here.

Zoom, Manager. Moe Moe Zoom, until all that remains is snow white ash.
The character design of the otaku loan shark looks like it’s lifted wholesale from someplace else, but our brains refuse to remember what. It’s possibly that one guy from Air Master.
This ED shot of the main character, Nagomi, is debatably the one that sums up her existence in Akiba Maid War.
But this image of Nagomi is perhaps the true distilled essence of the series. Club soda will not get that out, Moe Cleric.