Anime World Order Show # 37 – Interview with Marc Handler, Writer for Voltron and Lots More

Departing from our typical show format, our special guest this week is Marc Handler, who’s worked in various roles on localizing titles such as Voltron, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, Transformers, FLCL, Naruto, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Astro Boy, Avalon, Zatoichi, and much, MUCH more.

Opening bumper courtesy of Vic Mignogna, who is officially living the dream. This interview is the entire episode and the topics are all over the place, so here’s some approximated time markers. Sorry Clarissa zealots, but she wasn’t present for this recording.

3:45 – Who Marc is and how he got his start with working on Voltron. Some subjects include: the unorthodox manner in which Voltron was recorded, how anime scripts at the time were written, and what the heck was up with the animation at the end of Voltron: The Movie, anyway?

15:00 – Working on Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, and how the approach to that was both similar to and different from Voltron.

17:00 – Marc’s involvement with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and how Voltron and Ninja Turtles helped change TV.

19:00 – The difference between writing for original shows and writing for already-existing ones, and what Marc considers essential when writing ADR (dub) scripts.

21:25 – What it was like working for Saban on things like Superpig, Honeybee Hutch, Eagle Riders, and such.

25:00 – Working for Pioneer on Tenchi Muyo and how much different their approach was compared to everything else, in addition to Voltron: The 3rd Dimension. Plus, whether or not Marc was involved with that Sprite commercial where the rappers were piloting Voltron.

27:00 – The number one aspect that most anime dubbing studios focus on and why this is a bad idea. Plus, the companies that DON’T do that stuff and why it is that others don’t follow suit even when there’s such a noticeable difference in the quality.

32:00 – Marc’s involvement with FLCL and Cowbop Bebop.

35:10 – Working on Transformers: Robots in Disguise along with Transformers: Cybertron and the difference between the handling of the two.

Promo: Weekly Anime Review Podcast (36:52 – 37:25)
Aaron’s got “FORM BLAZING SWORD” right there in his promo, so how could we not play it during this episode? He was also a guest at SITACon, but the only real photo of him we have is of him holding pornography while sticking out his tongue.

37:25 – Optimus Prime on semiotic cohesion in poetry, and how in the world that made it into the script.

40:00 – On American TV Standards and Practices, how this affected the production of the 2003 Astro Boy series, and whether we think this is actually having a productive effect or not.

43:40 – Why Astro Boy (and similarly, things like Saint Seiya and Fist of the North Star) was popular everywhere else in the world but not in the USA. How Astro Boy introduced thematic concepts we’ve seen in anime for years that are generally still not present in many American cartoons.

48:10 – Marc’s English-language pilot for Astro Boy (that was not used in America) and how it was entered into the Tokyo Animation Fair.

50:45 – On being a story editor for the initial episodes of Naruto and WHEN IS THE FILLER ARC GOING TO END????

51:45 – Mix Master (a Korean animated program that Marc’s currently working on) and the Korean animation approach in relation to the Japanese one.

54:00 – Marc’s involvement with Steamboy and why it was exciting yet a disappointment for him.

56:30 – The Cowboy Bebop movie as an example of how there’s no such thing as a “direct translation.”

59:20 – Working on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

1:00:50 – Translation considerations when working on Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis.

Promo: Dave and Joel’s Fast Karate for the Gentleman (1:01:54 – 1:03:00)
When this episode came out on Friday evening, Dave took me to task for not releasing the episode in time for him to listen to it at work. Now THEIR episode is the one that is late! Wait a second, if you believe hard enough, this interview was actually posted like five days EARLY.

1:03:00 – Working on live-action dubs such as Avalon and Shaolin Soccer, and why it’s more difficult than working on anime.

1:07:45 – Regarding Marc’s work on videogames, which is less stellar a track record than his anime and film pedigree since he worked on Seven Samurai 20XX which has a rap scene that’s right up there with the animated Titanic.

1:14:00 – What Marc thinks the future has in store regarding anime’s popularity.

1:16:00 – Do anime companies really listen to the fansub watching fans when they license something that’s super-popular even before it’s picked up for release in the US?

1:17:00 – Why being too close to the Japanese can result in bad dubs too.

1:19:30 – More on Astro Boy and Cowboy Bebop.

1:22:00 – Final comments.

The next episode of AWO is for all you Gerald lovers since it’ll consist of his interview with Michiko Ito and Tim Eldred that he conducted back at Anime Weekend Atlanta. Yep, no Daryl or Clarissa to cramp his style and not let him talk for once! Plus, there might also be Gerald’s review of Kazuo Koike’s manga Lady Snowblood! HELLO, LADIES.

Anime World Order Show # 33 – Listener Feedback with Dave Merrill, Fandom Hero

In our longest podcast to date, we were supposed to get caught up on responding to listener feedback with our special guest, the now-retired head of Anime Weekend Atlanta / Corn Pone Flicks member / Anime Hell founder / comicbook creator / Totally Lame Anime expert / co-creator / no longer a “Cap’n,” Dave Merrill. But we got too preoccupied with having him impart his wisdom to us so that our kung fu might become stronger. Oh, and we did this interview on his birthday.

Introduction (0:00 – 1:15)
Shortest introduction ever! Or perhaps it’s the longest, considering what this episode is!

Let’s News! (1:15 – 24:02)
Fine, so we’re weeks late in getting to this. Bandai issued a press release warning everyone that if they fansub Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, they’d be prepared to dispatch lawyers in order to defend their intellectual property. While they’re perfectly right to do so from a legal perspective, we weigh in on the significance of such an action and whether or not what they’re trying to do is actually harmful to them in the long run. Comparisons to the MPAA and RIAA result, which leads to us talking about the effectiveness of their anti-piracy efforts and what could be done. Nikkei BP did an article on the state of Japan’s animation industry, which is to say “not that great.” Finally, Bandai follows up their Liver Blow that was the fansub warning with this Gazelle Punch: they’re not going to allow exchanges of the old Zeta Gundam DVDs from the box set (the ones with awful subtitles) for the newer Zeta Gundam DVDs included in the individual sets (which have fixed subtitles). Daryl bought that set, and he is less than thrilled over this development.

Promo: Rangercast (24:02 – 24:47)
The sentai panel at Otakon was probably one of the best ones there, and this podcast is run by the guy who ran that panel. If it’s true about TV-Nihon wanting this guy gone because he DARED to suggest that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is sentai, then tokusatsu fandom is in even worse shape than we would have imagined.

Then we talked to Dave for the rest of the show. Additional show notes to come, but for now I’ll throw in the promo times.

Promo: R5 Central (1:05:12 – 1:06:16)
Speaking of tokusatsu, Mike made us a custom promo based upon the fact that Daryl lost his mind hearing that robot girl “Ai” voice being used for extended periods of time during his three-part Anime Central report. The observation that Gerald’s voice sounds as though Carl Macek is directing his words is entirely his own, though it is an idea not without merit. Man. One of these days we should get back to making political attack ads against the other podcasts.

Promo: GeekNights (1:39:59 – 1:41:05)
We have been informed that the promo we chose to play is actually the promo they made which was intentionally bad and meant to prevent people from wanting to listen. We have one of those too, actually. It is also our only promo. Anyway, check out Rym and Scott’s show. They’re a dynamic [100% heterosexual] duo for the new millennium.

Promo: Anime Pulse (2:01:03 – 2:01:33)
Do you know how frightening it is to have to write that timecode? DO YOU?! Old Man Chigo is the aspect of the Anime Pulse promos that we here at the Anime World Order relate to best. Even though they’re older than we are.

Closing (2:15:12 – 2:23:02)
Next time, we’re going to do a normal show for once! Remember those? The ones WITHOUT con reports or guests, where we talked about anime and stuff? Gerald’s reviewing the uncut version of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Clarissa’s tackling that mad outlaw Captain Harlock as she tells us all about Arcadia of My Youth, and Daryl steps up to his role as a Certified Anime Authority by reviewing the much-requested Haibane Renmei. Also, Gerald makes an outlandish bet which he didn’t realize was stacked horrendously against him until it was too late. Fortunately it will NEVER come to pass. Never ever.