Anime World Order Show # 221 – It Wasn’t C-Beams Glittering Near the Tannhauser Gate, It Was Otaku Tears

We’re joined by longtime mecha enthusiast Rob Lantz as we offer up a mostly spoiler-free review of Gerald’s favorite OVA series of all time: 1988’s Aim for the Top! Gunbuster, the pro directorial debut of Hideaki Anno and one of the first subtitled anime ever legally released in the United States which is now available on Blu-Ray. It’s uh, kind of a big deal.

Introduction (0:00 – 46:55)
As a member of what he calls the second generation of American anime fandom, Rob tells us about how he discovered Japanese animation along with his forays into East Coast anime conventions starting in the mid-1990s. With the Spring 2023 anime season having just concluded, we go over what we finished up watching recently. As the Summer 2023 anime season just starting off is decidedly slim as far as offerings that appeal to us (56 shows, and maybe only 1 or 2 that seem to have potential), most of us are using the opportunity to go through some of the neverending backlog. You’ll probably want to do the same!

Rob’s Gunbuster cosplay from days of long ago [comes a legend…]. (He’s the one cosplaying Coach.)

Promo: Shoujo Sundae (10:27 – 10:58)
It’s been ages since we got one of these, so as a reminder: if you have an anime podcast that’s been running for more than 10 episodes, send us your 30-60 second promo and we’ll run it! I suppose in return you could run our promo, but it dawns on us that we only ever really made one promo which consists primarily of someone that isn’t any of us speaking. Anyway, Giana Luna and Chika Supreme are doing an ACTUAL weekly podcast in which they cover anime targeted to girls and have just finished up their rewatch of the classic shoujo series Ouran High School Host Club. Yes, we regret to inform you that the manga for Ouran is now over 20 years old and the anime is now from 17 years ago, so it’s now considered a classic. Even our review of it was from 2006.

Promo: Right Stuf Anime (46:56 – 49:13)
It’s Right Stuf’s 36th birthday sale! That means pretty much everything is on sale this month, and every day there are 24-hour Mega Deals with even deeper discounts. (If you missed one, usually you get a second chance at the end of the month when all the previous mega deals are active for a day.) Also included are manga/artbook/novel bundles, plus there are weekly contests to enter! As always, any purchases made after visiting Right Stuf from our affiliate links will grant us a small commission fee, which we’ll put towards paying for our hosting as well as our Discord Nitro. Be sure to check the AWO Discord (viewable to all, but Patreon backers can post) for details regarding our upcoming virtual panels and such!

Review: Aim for the Top! Gunbuster (49:13 – 1:50:18)
No pressure or anything, as it’s only Gerald’s favorite OVA of all time. 1988’s Aim for the Top! Gunbuster might not have been the first thing they made, and maybe this other thing from the 1990s became far more popular, and maybe in different decades the studio came to embody very different things for very different generations of anime fans, but when we think of the definitive “Gainax anime,” this is the one. The (professional) directorial debut of Hideaki Anno, practically every single person who worked on Gunbuster became a top-tier talent in their respective field. Entire books/podcasts/YouTube channels/social media accounts can be devoted to drilling down into the histories and resumes of everybody who brought this into existence, but all you have to know is that after years and years, you can once again–get this–WATCH GUNBUSTER. Because we are operating under the blind optimism that there is a generation of people out there who haven’t seen Gunbuster but have heard of its reputation, we (for the most part) do not delve heavily into the specifics of what happens in Gunbuster past the first episode or two.

Discotek has released a pretty great Blu-Ray which you can buy here, and for the first time you can watch it as well as the series that inspired its initial beginnings: Aim for the Ace!. If you’re daunted by the notion of watching a half century old cartoon made for TV, consider watching the far more lavishly animated (and far shorter) Aim For the Ace: The Movie instead.

Rob got to hang out with Noriko Hidaka once. She may have several high-profile roles, but if you’re going to get a line recital video, there is truly only one choice to make:

Rob also owns original cels from Gunbuster. Here’s a recognizable pose; be sure to shout the attack out loud!

Anime World Order Show # 216 – Everything We Say About Japanese History Is Wrong

If your downloaded episode 216 is just episode 215, please delete and then redownload the episode from your podcast app. There was a typo in the RSS feed that we fixed immediately, but it didn’t propagate to the podcast directories for two hours.

We meant to release this in January but uh, didn’t. Anyway, this time around Gerald reviews the latest film from Masaaki Yuasa, Inu-Oh from 2021 (though it didn’t come out in Japan/USA until 2022).

Introduction (0:00 – 48:02)
For all our high-falutin’ talk about how we’re the podcast that primarily talks about Japanese cartoons and comics, the first 16 minutes or so of this episode is spent talking about Shin Ultraman when we are decidedly people who know EXTREMELY LITTLE about Ultraman specifically let alone kaiju and tokusatsu in the general sense. After that, we get around to what we’re currently watching/just finished watching as far as seasonal streaming titles go.

Promo: Right Stuf Anime (48:02 – 51:57)
We talk a lot about the weekly specials Right Stuf has, but it’s worth noting that even their regular prices are generally the best deals for things. Now that the 10th and final volume is released, pick up the Maison Ikkoku: Collector’s Edition manga. As far as classic anime goes, the TV series collectio for the classic sports shojo series Aim For the Ace is also finally available! We were so used to just calling her “Ochofujin” that it took us a second to get used to the fact that it translates to “Madame Butterfly.”

Review: Inu-Oh (51:57 – 1:44:39)
Gerald reviews the latest film from Masaaki Yuasa, which reminds Daryl of the times in the earlier years of the podcast when his trying to convince people to watch his works was a grueling uphill battle. Check out the Review Index for those really old reviews of Mind Game, Kemonozume, Kaiba etc. if you’re interested in being mad at us. Well, more mad than usual anyway. This one is distributed in the US by GKIDS, so expect a lot more availability than you’d usually see for an anime title. There’s a good chance it’ll be carried in brick-and-mortar stores, but if you’re a pal you will of course buy Inu-Oh on Blu-Ray/DVD via our Right Stuf affiliate link!

  • The GKIDS trailer for Inu-Oh, which includes a pull quote from general entertainment industry news site TheWrap declaring it “the best feudal Japanese hair-metal-demonic-curse-serial-killer-political-tragedy=rock-opera of the year”
  • YouTube has several videos of people demonstrating the biwa being played. This and this are but a few examples. No, we don’t know the difference between the biwa and the shamisen.