Anime World Order Show # 36 – Cagliostro, Phoenix, and Embracing Love

This episode is a week late due to computer troubles, but hopefully the wait is worth it. Gerald reviews Hayao Miyazaki’s theatrical directorial debut The Castle of Cagliostro, Daryl reviews the 2004 anime remake of Osamu Tezuka’s Phoenix (aka Hi no Tori), and Clarissa reviews the yaoi manga Embracing Love by Youka Nitta.

Man, we’re totally slacking off on these show notes as of late. But hey, we’ve got a Review Index now! It’s incomplete because it doesn’t yet include all the instances where we waste time on “weeaboo” when someone asks us “what do you think about…” but it’s a start. Did you just read “weeaboo”? ‘Cause I think you just saw someone write “weeaboo.” Forget about yaoi paddles, for I have seen the future and it is the past.

Introduction (0:00 – 32:03)
Carl Gustav Horn is officially smarter than us, but he was suffering from an inflamed farceurix which required immediate care. This week, we realize that if we keep asking people to send us Odeo feedback, it would do us well to actually PLAY some of them and respond to them on air. Subjects include: cons and cosplay stuff, Planetes, Chobits, Street Fighter II, and why Fist of the North Star is popular everywhere else in the world except for North America. On a highly related note, the US DVDs released by Toei are officially no longer available. This picture sums up AWA in a nutshell:

Promo: GeekNights (32:03 – 33:11)
Rym and Scott exhibited their full recovery from their pierrotlectomies by informing us that the Monty Python Spanish Inquisition-style promo of theirs was not actually meant to be seriously played by anyone, so we’re playing the Blues Brothers-style one instead. And you thought it was going to be the Blues Brothers combined with the Inquisition…what a show. They’ll be guests at SITACon in New York this weekend, so to help you identify them, here’s a picture (Rym is on the left and Scott is on the right):

Review: Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (33:11 – 59:12)
Man. Thirty-six episodes before we officially covered anything directed by Miyazaki, “because everyone knows about him already.” Gerald reviews the newly-released special edition available from Manga Video, compares it to the previous DVD release, and in so doing answers the question on the minds of everyone who’s ever been hit by a double-dip DVD release: is it worth picking up the new release if you already own the original one? Sure, every other anime podcast has reviewed this movie by now, but only OURS has the foresight to point out how this movie inspired Time Crisis!

Review: Phoenix [Hi no Tori] (59:12 – 1:26:08)
Daryl didn’t exactly write any notes to himself whatsoever prior to doing this segment, but he figured he’d try and schmooze his way through this one anyway. The result is that he takes nearly 30 minutes to say what could have been said in 15, and he completely forgot to fully say exactly what the Phoenix was in the story. It’s essentially the Power Cosmic incarnate, or for you Excel Saga fans, the Great Will of the Macrocosm. The will of the universe incarnate, as it were. Phoenix is Osamu Tezuka’s life work and perhaps his grandest achievement, having been remade multiple times over the years. The Phoenix being reviewed in this segment is the 2004 remake, but since Daryl can’t ever stay on topic, he ends up talking about the other stuff too. Under the guise of “putting things in context,” you see. Of course, like all of Tezuka’s work, almost nobody in America cares about this even though it’s really good. PS: Vertical’s English-language release of Ode to Kirihito comes out on October 24th.

  • Media Blasters told us at AWA that they do actually plan on releasing the anime, so instead of linking to a torrent for the series, here’s the opening so you can see how nice this show looks; Youtube/Google Video doesn’t cut it
  • Viz Media’s excellent release of the Phoenix manga – which nobody except Daryl seems to be buying as it comes out, provided he can actually FIND IT because much like Golgo 13, stores and anime con dealers don’t tend to carry it…in addition to what’s listed on the Viz page, volumes 7 and 8 of are also out, but they’re practically out of stock at both Amazon and Right Stuf
  • Tezuka in English – a fantastic resource for those who wish to learn more about Tezuka’s output and derivative works over the years
  • Osamu Tezuka World – Tezuka Production’s official English-language webpage
  • This was going to be a link to the full English-language text of the February 10, 1989 article that ran in Asahi following Tezuka’s death, but we can’t find it anywhere. It’s got to be out there, but in the meantime, here instead is the often-repeated quote from said article: “Foreign visitors to Japan often find it difficult to understand why Japanese people like comics so much. One explanation for the popularity of comics in Japan, however, is that Japan had Tezuka Osamu, whereas other nations did not. Without Dr. Tezuka, the postwar explosion in comics in Japan would have been inconceivable.”
  • Japan Media Arts Festival poll where about 80,000 people voted and declared Phoenix the #6 manga of all time – though bear in mind, the list is almost entirely shonen action and Slam Dunk was #1

Review: Embracing Love [Haru wo Daiteita] (1:26:08 – 1:47:35)
But it’s not like the Viz Signature line is the only manga imprint you can’t find sold anywhere! It’s been a while since the last yaoi review, but Clarissa was finally able to track down this Youka Nitta manga released by Be Beautiful. Why the Be Beautiful releases are so much more expensive than all other manga releases despite not really being of superior print quality or page count strikes us as being particularly blatant on the “we charge more because fans are willing to pay extra and that’s it” front, but that’s CPM for you.

Promo: Happy House of Hentai (1:47:35 – 1:47:58)
Last we checked, “Lord Kaosu” and “Hello Kitty” both live in New Mexico, but they’re both guests at SITACon in New York on October 6-8. They’re inviting a whole bunch of podcasters to be guests there, but we unfortunately cannot attend. Not only would it be tricky for the three of us to all get time off from school/work, we’d have to pay to fly ourselves there. Between Anime Weekend Atlanta and Right Stuf’s sale on Geneon DVDs, we’re about spent. So if you head to SITACon and you see these folks, be sure to say hello because they totally traveled across the country to be there:

Say, we’ve got Ninja Consultant T-shirts, too!

Closing (1:47:58 – 1:51:13)
This episode is like, an entire week late. What this means is that in order to catch back up, the next episode will have to come out in a few days. Fortunately for us, the next episode will consist mostly of the recording of our AWA panel on podcasting, which turned out mostly well, boring. Perhaps it would be best to throw in some extra bits while we’re at it for the sake of adding excitement.

Anime World Order Show # 29 – Better Late Than Never

Better late than never, I guess. Daryl reviews the horror anime Requiem From the Darkness, Clarissa reminisces on The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya now that it’s ended, and Gerald talks about his favorite anime of all time, Gall Force.

Introduction (0:00 – 25:10)
Gerald starts things off by making a joke about how “Ichi” is pronounced the same as “itchy” that’s so subtle he didn’t even know he was doing it. In the emails department, Patrick M. writes in to tell us all about the other Osamu Tezuka that was mentioned back in the Shadow Skill segment of Show # 26, the Popcorn Samurai likens Gerald to Eagle from The Muppets, Area 88 mega-fan Cloudy-Sky likens Gerald to Butthead and Stephen Hawking while expressing approval over Daryl’s review of Area 88 back in Show # 4 (by the way, it’s out on DVD now!), and we explain the reason why we haven’t reviewed too many television series to date. Plus Keith over at Teleport City reveals an even grimmer secret about MD Geist that we neglected to reveal in our recent review. Since there’s really no news this week, we close things off by mentioning that Intersound Inc, where the Harmony Gold/Streamline Pictures releases were dubbed, is going out of business and is selling off all their equipment. This leads into a brief discussion on anime dubs.

Promo: Fast Karate for the Gentleman (25:10 – 26:14)
Dave and Joel’s gaming and anime podcast is one of Daryl’s favorites, and it’s not just because they frequently talk about how awesome Daryl is. It’s because they provide him with jokes to steal. If you’re going to Otakon, stop by the Artist’s Alley and check them out!

Overlooked: Requiem From the Darkness (26:14 – 46:40)
In an attempt to be more contemporary, Daryl talks about this 13-episode horror-themed anime series released by Geneon about a year or two ago which absolutely nobody cared about except for about three of us over in ADTRW. He was planning to show a clip of it at Anime Festival Orlando, but ran out of panel time. Laugh to yourselves as a guy who knows nothing about art or visual aesthetics tries feebly to describe a show whose primary characteristic is the fact that it looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before! Sample screenshots are posted below.

Screenshots don’t adequately reflect the effect that the CG and camerawork has on the show, but there’s quite a bit of that too. After this segment had finished recording, Gerald mentioned how he thought the style of this show was just too confusing to follow what was happening. He should have mentioned it while the recorder was on!

Review: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (46:40 – 1:05:11)
Clarissa trumps all of us in attempting to review something recent for a change by tackling what was the most popular anime series in Japan last season. We weren’t sure whether to bother with it since everywhere you go there’s people who won’t shut up about this series, but apparently people want to hear our thoughts. This one was pretty tough to review, since roughly 15 minutes were excised from this segment for the sake of removing spoilers.

Promo: Popcorn Samurai (1:05:11 – 1:06:39)
Here’s a brand-new podcast that just started up which is all about samurai movies! In the first episode, he talks about Seven Samurai and starts off the first part of what will be an extensive piece dedicated to the Zatoichi films. Hmm, now that we’ve got a podcast all about chambara, I wonder if there’s anything out there dedicated entirely to 70s Shaw Brothers kung fu pictures? Could this be a job for Jules Carrozza aka “Kojiro Abe”?! Note to self: get the Celestial remastered version of Heroes of the East.

Review: Gall Force (1:06:39 – 1:25:25)
Gerald reviews what is his favorite anime ever, the OAV series Gall Force. Despite being OAVs, Gall Force is not his favorite OAV series–Gunbuster is–and by his own admission, Gall Force is not the best anime ever made. This also ended up being a really long segment: for time constraints, all instances of screaming about how awesome laser beams that fire out in one direction then change direction are have been removed. That alone probably took up ten minutes.

  • Gerald’s personal and never updated page on Gall Force (It’ll happen one day)

Closing (1:25:25 – 1:30:05)
It’s 1:30 AM as I write this, and the gist of the matter is that we were all occupied with getting ready for our panels at Anime Festival Orlando this weekend. I had 24 hours to compile, capture, then author a DVD containing two hours of assorted video clips. Did I mention I didn’t actually know how to not suck at authoring DVDs? It took me 3 days to put together a DVD that ended up being about 30 minutes. It’s not the DVD layouts and menus that’ll kill you, it’s encoding/converting everything over to MPEG-2. Gerald and Clarissa had similar obligations, and on top of that both of them are experiencing grievous computer hardware troubles.

So basically, that’s why Show # 29 was late. Actually, this is all a lie; all of the segments were complete days ago with the exception of the Gall Force review and the closing. Anyway, next time on AWO, it’s one of two things. Either we’re fast-tracking our Anime Festival Orlando coverage–probably no TRUTH report this time around since Daryl ended up becoming part of it–or we’re reviewing the things we mentioned in the show. Daryl’s going to be talking about another Geneon series which nobody bought, New Getter Robo. People clearly mistakenly thought it was about robots when it is really about KARATE. Another fine offering from Go Nagai and Ken Ishikawa. In stark contrast to that, Clarissa’s going to review the manga Antique Bakery, and Gerald’s going to review the limited edition box set of Patlabor the Movie 2, which is one of our favorite films.