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 # 30 – Our Hatred For One Another Is Exposed

We’re back from Otakon and fighting off coughs and congestion, which is sure to make for fun listening these next few weeks. Clarissa reviews the manga Antique Bakery, Daryl discusses the MANLY CARTOON that is New Getter Robo, and Gerald opines on the limited edition release of Patlabor the Movie 2.

Introduction (0:00 – 31:45)
It’s voicemail time! Carter says what we would have said about the Welcome to the NHK anime, Matt from Queens wants to know what the deal with Oban Star Racers is, and Angel D the Scary Yaoi Fangirl (her description, not ours) has a message that forces everyone to throw down the gauntlet. It has to do with cosplay and what we think of Knight Hunters: Weiss Kreuz.

Let’s News! (31:45 – 42:09)
The bad news is that Suzuoki Hirotaka, the seiyuu for Bright Noah from Mobile Suit Gundam among other things (such as Shachi of the Hokuto Ryuu Ken from Fist of the North Star 2), and Kouji Totani, the seiyuu for Jagi from Fist of the North Star, are both dead. The good news is that there’s going to be more Giant Robo anime next year. No, really. It probably won’t be a continuation of the OAVs, but we take what can get around here.

Review (manga) – Antique Bakery (42:09 – 55:50)
Clarissa reviews this shojo title from DMP that is NOT GAY PORN. No, really, it’s not. Well, there’s gay porn doujinshi out there using the same characters that’s also drawn by the original author of this. Man, how do you get away with THAT? Anyway, this is a release by DMP which is stocked next to all the gay porn at bookstores, so if you avoided it because you thought it was gay porn or could be construed as such (doubtful, considering where the growth in the manga market is), prepare to be schooled. Unfortunately, there are apparently no solar hands or Dempsey Rolls in this manga.

Promo: Dave and Joel’s Fast Karate for the Gentleman (55:50 – 56:57)
We met up with Dave and Joel at Otakon this past weekend and went on grand excursions. Listen to their latest episode and hear them talk about how awesome we are. Lord knows you don’t hear enough of that on this show already! Plus if you check the archives of their older shows, you’ll see that they spend multiple episodes talking about…

Review: New Getter Robo (56:57 – 1:16:00)
Daryl informs the Internet about this 2004 remake of Go Nagai’s seminal super robot series. New Getter Robo is a magnificent 13-episode violence epic released by Geneon that nobody bought, presumably because the only way to sell super robot shows in this day and age is to make them like Gravion or Godannar in which there’s equal or greater parts cheesecake fanservice. The hell with THAT. After hearing this review, Gerald flat-out said that this is a series he does not want to see because of this review. The show may very well be good, but Daryl’s review makes him NOT want to watch it. That is the kind of review this is, and the capital of Nebraska is Lincoln.

  • Wikipedia’s entry for Getter Robo – very general overview, which really is all you need
  • ANN’s entry for New Getter Robo – lots of Harmony Gold alumni in the dub cast; oh hey, Abe Lasser and Tom Wyner are the same person
  • Gekiganger 3 – a parody of Getter Robo created as a “show within a show” for Martian Successor Nadesico, it is vastly more entertaining than Nadesico itself
  • Kentucky Fried Movie – a film everyone should see
  • A thread on the Anime Jump forums that Daryl made two years ago about this OAV – essentially identical to what is stated here; due to spammers, you need to register on the boards to see the thread

Promo: Ninja Consultant (1:16:00 – 1:17:00)
We also met up with Erin and Noah at Otakon. Noah thinks Daryl is a fascist, and alleges to be able to read his mind like it is an open book on account of him being identical to someone else he knows. Daryl thinks clowns might be present in the ATL, but perhaps the worse torture would be to have Noah spend his life with a COSPLAYER. Especially one such as Erin who made a terrifying film right on convention grounds. It’s a good thing Clarissa hasn’t seen this movie…YET.

Review: Mobile Police Patlabor the Movie 2, Limited Edition (1:17:00 – 1:35:13)
Gerald got to this one before Daryl could review it, so as revenge, Daryl has left this segment unedited from what Gerald sent him. That’s showing him! This is one of the best anime feature films ever made and we could realistically have spent an episode talking about this. Also, the anime version of Daryl Surat is in the film. Actually, Daryl saw this film and decided he’d get those kinds of glasses since he already had the hair. He no longer has those glasses. But he will get them back someday, unless he gets LASIK or something. Seriously though, see this film…after you watch through the rest of the Patlabor anime first. Daryl forgot to mention during the recording, but…

Closing (1:35:13 – 1:38:49)
Next week, it’s our Anime Festival Orlando report with our special guest, con vice president Erik Reiss! This convention is where THE TRUTH just might have died once and for all. Perhaps. You’ll have to tune in to find out WHY.