Anime World Order Show # 219 – Stop Fighting and Give Me Your Brain

The intro ended up running long and possibly out of control since it was recorded moments after Gerald ended up being one of the only people in America to have actually gone to see Knights of the Zodiac, the English live-action film adaptation of Saint Seiya produced by Toei. Fret not; we’ll release that audio next time! For now, we’ve got Clarissa reviewing the classic anime series Red Photon Zillion, the most entertaingly deranged extended light gun toy commercial sponsored by Sega in anime history.

Review: Zillion aka Red Photon Zillion (1:30 – 54:04)

Se-ga! Not seen in this shot: the power cables that happen to exactly match the controller cables of the Sega Master System light gun.

Oh sure, Zillion is historically noteworthy for a variety of reasons, most of which we touch upon in the review. But the MAIN reason to watch it in 2023 is because, like Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos, it operates on a logic of the lunatic geniuses who made it.

Fantasy Zone is not messing around

Zillion recently celebrated its 35 year anniversary and is available streaming and on home video (for now) from FUNimation. You…might want to consider purchasing this one either from Right Stuf or Amazon (affiliate links) since FUNimation first released Zillion in 2019 with the “Anime Essentials” edition out a few months later. You may also want to grab it in conjunction with the recent 4K release of Streets of Fire, since the “Burning Night” OVA is infamously the crew deciding “let’s just do an animated Streets of Fire only using the cast of Zillion!” We will reveal the actual relationship this OVA has to the original TV series, which is contrary to what we were told / what was suggested for decades.

Yep, that’s Ellen Aim’s dress, all right
And we’ll fly away on those angel wings of chrome in your daddy’s car…

Sadly, the Streamline Pictures English dub of the first five episodes and the OAV is not included on FUNimation’s releases. Fortunately, fans have preserved it in a few places. Here’s a semi-restoration using the HD footage (they didn’t replicate the Streamline title cards, but others did VHS captures).

Dave and Apple making the face that the writers of this show were making as they concocted these scenarios

Promo: Right Stuf Anime (54:49 – 56:30)
It’s Ani-May 2023, which means that for orders over $50, not only do you get free shipping in the US but you also get a 1.5″ enamel pin of Crunchyroll’s mascot, Hime. This week the specials are themed around “Midnight Run,” which is basically Adult Swim/Toonami titles. Turns out that several of the most popular anime in the US achieved that status thanks to airing on Toonami and/or Adult Swim, so there should be plenty of favorites to choose from.

This would qualify as JJ’s Bizarre Adventure

Anime World Order Show 218 – We Forgot To Mention The Two Guys Who Accidentally Stabbed Each Other to Death

It took us a while–okay, it took 17 years since the last one–but we finally get around to completing our coverage of the 1980s Yoshikazu Yasuhiko post-Gundam film trilogy as Gerald reviews 1986’s Neo Heroic Fantasia Arion, which most of us just knew as “Arion.”

Introduction (0:00 – 31:43)
Everybody catches up on what they’ve been up to, what anime they’ve been watching, or in the case of what anime they haven’t been watching, what videogames they’ve been playing and/or what movies they’ve been watching. This one gets a lot more “off topic” than usual, and so in keeping with our last episode’s call for show format feedback we ask once again: do these segments work better as part of a single episode, or would you prefer they be standalone? We know a lot of our existing listeners who write back will be inclined to say “keep things as they are” since well, you’re already an existing listener. But if you find yourself needing to listen to the episode in multiple sessions, then perhaps that’s a sign we need to change things up. Remember to back us on Patreon, for in a few short days there will be a Patreon-exclusive “the AWO gang watches the trailers for all of the new anime coming out in the new season” event that is likely to have some of us wishing for somebody, ANYBODY, to slash the tires on Truck-kun once and for all.

Promo: Right Stuf Anime (31:43 – 34:49)
This week, Udon Entertainment titles are on sale, so if you’re looking to get some hardcover artbooks or prestige manga now is the time! All volumes of The Rose of Versailles are currently out of stock, but if you place your order at the sale price they will honor the sale price and ship your copies out once additional copies arrive (your credit card isn’t charged until they ship the order). It’s pretty easy to hit the $50 free economy shipping mark when you’re buying hardcover books.

Review: Arion aka Neo Heroic Fantasia Arion (34:49 – 1:17:27)
Gerald reviews this 1986 film from Yoshikazu Yasuhiko to complete the trifecta of Crusher Joe, Arion, and The Venus Wars which were previously reviewed long, long ago (there was also the television series Giant Gorg). To think that once upon a time this stuff was hard to find and now it’s all out on Blu-Ray in the US! Speaking of which, you can totally buy Arion on Blu-Ray courtesy of this affiliate link. The film itself has many of the same strengths and weaknesses of YAS’s other output from this era: gorgeous visuals, amazing soundtrack, breakneck pace that comes at the expense of characterization/narrative depth, and so on. But hey, perhaps that’s befitting an anime equivalent of Clash of the Titans! Or perhaps it’s an anime equivalent to God of War, though it’s not as gory as God of War and features more child nudity–look, it’s an anime epic film take about the gods of ancient Greece, okay?! This stuff comes with the territory. Here’s the interview with YAS that Daryl was reading from where he mentions having some sort of issue with the producers of the film (who also published Animage).

The classic myths say Prometheus gifted mankind with fire, but they omit that this was done by way of [IT’S ARION! ARION HAS] A LASER CANNON.
The backgrounds of Arion are phenomenal; a product of bubble economy location scouting (turns out modern Greece doesn’t look like this) and maniacs with paintbrushes
Titan Apollo, he is a CHAR.
He should be becoming the leader b is satisfied with being meve soldier
There’s a ton of hand-drawn animation flexes throughout Arion. This psychedelic sequence is actually a live-action background of swirling…green paint I guess
[guy who has only played Dark Souls] Getting a lot of Dark Souls vibes from this. In stark contrast to Miyazaki’s “save Earth” themes, YAS be all like “YEAH! Kill Gaia!”

Observant listeners will note that Daryl previously reviewed Arion for Otaku USA Magazine around when the Blu-Ray first came out, and so he kinda just recycled a lot of his same lines from that.