Anime Diet Audio Column – Art and Soul 02: Evangelion and the Gnostic Impulse

Your fantasy come true. Squeal.

Contains spoilers for Evangelion (what, you haven’t seen it?!) and Serial Experiments Lain.

Well, I suppose my hiatus ends a few hours early today. Here I am. I’m back!

Right now, I’m basically pinch hitting for both Jeremy and Ray, who couldn’t do an audio column today…this is the fastest thing I could concoct in a few hours. It just happens to dovetail nicely with the fanfic I posted today, too! Basically, I talk about the Gnostic desires in Evangelion, and also in Serial Experiments Lain. Seems to fit the fact that the Eva remake movie comes out tomorrow…or actually, it’s already out in Japan time, if I’m not mistaken.

This one is a lot less dire and Bible-heavy compared to my first one, so all of you bracing for a sermon, you can stop hiding in the corner now. :)

Show Notes

  • –OP: “Cruel Angel’s Thesis” by Yoko Takahashi (OP to Neon Genesis Evangelion…duh!)
  • –ED: “Fly Me to the Moon, 2007 Mix” by Utada Hikaru (ED for the Evangelion Remake)
  • –BGM: “Beautiful World,” by Utada Hikaru (theme song for Eva remake)
  • –BGM: “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now,” by The Smiths
  • –BGM: “The Heady Feeling of Freedom,” by Shiro Sagisu (from Neon Genesis Evangelion ep. 26)
  • –Offerings sacrificed at Hideaki Anno shrine: zero.

Transcript below the cutaway.

Continue reading Anime Diet Audio Column – Art and Soul 02: Evangelion and the Gnostic Impulse

The Vault 07: “Only Connect”–An Eva + Lain fanfic

Explanation of the Vault series. This is the final Vault entry before I return from my hiatus.

Originally written on July 25, 2002. Yes, folks: this is the one and only piece of fanfiction I’ve ever written. It’s an Evangelion-Serial Experiments Lain crossover fic, and it’s rather long (50 pages double spaced). So I’m only posting the first couple of sections of it here, but you can download the entire story below in three different formats!

Honestly, I’ve written better stories since, and some of the sentences now make me wince. However, I’m thinking of writing a “light novel” soon, and if you like my storytelling–and would be interested in contributing some art to go with it–stay tuned. And maybe leave a comment or two. Things are starting to cook in my creative kitchen!

The story begins after the cutaway. Enjoy.

Continue reading The Vault 07: “Only Connect”–An Eva + Lain fanfic

Some interesting tidbits about the new Eva movies.

Editor’s Note: this news is translated from a Chinese website. See reference link at the bottom.

Quote Anno (tr.): “This is the only time and place to make the Evangelion that fits my ideal.”

Anno changed the name of the project back to its original name, title simply “Evangelion.” And he created a special studio, “Color.” Just for this.

In theaters on September 1st, the “Neon Genesis Evangelion New Theatrical version: Introduction” include stories from the episode first to episode six of the TV. Anno planned on using some of the old TV scenes mix together with newly drawn CG, much like what Tomino did in Gundam Zeta Trilogy, but under the strong suggestions of the creative staff it was decided that everything will be newly redrawn with CG and new logos, which makes this Eva a new Eva.

One thing that receive fan approval is that all the seiyuu from the original TV series and movies will be back.

Ray’s Take: I’m not a crazy Eva fanboy like Mike, but I’m looking forward to Kotono-san and Megumi-san reprising their old roles with even more upgraded skills. I wonder how many fanboys will be “having fun” to Asuka and how many fangirls will be “having fun” to the Karou and Shinji pairing in Japan (and perhaps the rest of the Otaku world)?

Source. You can see the preview pics there.

Potemayo 8 – Pote-Pan and Tori-James and Love is a wonderful thing

“Once again, I watched an useless anime.”– Ryhubei (OK, that’s me). But heh, it’s funny, funny!


Even I cannot resist the power of running around little strange moe-tribbles getting into extra-ordinary situations – what I meant was something wacky.

Plot? What plot? What, don’t tell me you watched this for a plot!

Remember I talked about the “cons” (complexes like loli-con), well how about a recap and ones that I seem to have forgotten to write down:

Sunao-con: What Potemayo has toward Sunao (obvious)

loli-con: What Mudo has toward Potemayo (way too obvious, as Karou, the big dude that’s always hanging around Mudo thinks)

Mudo-con: What Karou has toward Mudo. He spews blood from his nose seeing Mudo’s ass and he can’t get enough of Mudo wearing a cheerleader uniform. “It’s disgusting, it’s disgusting, I know, but…” I think Karou’s dying to come out of the closet.

Ane-con: What Yasumi has toward Mikan. This time, he pokes her in her left breast.

Kyoko-con: What Guchiko has toward Kyoko. Guchiko can’t have a conversation more than 5 seconds with Kyoko before blushing and fainting.

Nana-con: What Nana’s brothers have toward her.

Really? Is that all? XD


In any case, in the first half or the first mini-episode in this one, Potemayo and tori go on a shopping trip, much like what Chi is told to do in Chobits, but since there are two, I thought about that animal show that was wildly popular in Japan and in Taiwan – Pan and James. In short, Pan is a Chimpanzee and James is a boxer dog, and their trainer, Miyazawa-san asks them to go complete different tasks ranging from shopping to catching beetles to birth cake delivery. But these two are never left alone. In fact, Miyazawa-san always secretly follows these guys and worry and look after them. If the mission is too hard for them, sometimes Miyazawa would interfere. But that doesn’t happen very often.

One line of these CCM songs goes: “God is watching us from a distance. But he’s never too far away.” That one’s just for a reference.

In Potemayo, there obviously are no deities, except “Death”. But death is a funny little tribble just like Potemayo. And death has a Kyoko-con!

Instead of saying, “pantsu, pantsu,” we have “honi, honi”. But oh wait, it ain’t gonna be that easy. And Moriyama trusts the little critters enough to let them be on their own.

Guchiko of course comes out of nowhere and stomps Potemayo on the head on her way of escaping from someone chasing her.

Potemayo joins the chase, and as I often like to say, chaos ensues. In this case, chaos destroys the efforts that what I call the “Seinfeldish Three” try to do. Fun and games and good times.


Of course everything ends OK and Potemayo successfully shows her affection toward Sunao. Good times, good times.

More good times happen in next episode when Mudo starts to discover that he has feelings toward Nana, the woman with words that bites, or in Taiwanese terms, “poisoned tongue.”

Of course when he tries to show affection toward Nana, both he and Karou lose something, and she’s happy as a clam.

Guchiko goes on a rampage to defend Kyoko’s honor, but she cannot defeat Nana, “the Flowing Wind”.

And Oh My God! They killed Mudo! And a lot of other guys! You bastards!

Good times, good times. Yeah, it’s fun. Very fun. Good times, good times. Not to mention all the slight sexual innuendo stuff going on, and Nana tells Mudo what Karou thinks about going to death with him. Good times.

Well, it won’t be so bad if Death were Guchiko.


72% recommended for your daily anime diet. 88% recommended for a dessert after a serious meal like say, Claymore.

School Days gets a right rating?

From DarkLaila on MAL news team:

The School Days anime is now officially rated R from episode 9. Up to this point it had no such age restriction set and many viewers and fans of the violent game endings were anxious that this meant no “bad ending”. But maybe School Days is now free to write some new anime history~

link: MAL
source: moon phase

Ray’s comments: So, are we going to see some completely naked boobies and p*$$$y (yeah right)? Or one of the characters is going to go psycho and kill ’em all, baby?

Correction to the Genshiken TV 2 news…

Apparently the Chinese site was wrong about the director – from Anime Corporation News:

The Famitsu website is featuring screen shots and information on the second season for the Genshiken anime. Notable staff changes include a new director: Yoshimoto Kinji (Plastic Little) and character designs by Yanagida Yoshiaki (Kujibiki Unbalance TV). A new opening will be performed by Misato Aki (My-HiME) and a new ending by Yuumao. Season 2 of Genshiken is scheduled to premiere this October.

Information on Genshiken TV 2

Editor’s Note: except the comment at the bottom and in parentheses, all of this article is translated from a Chinese news web site. See the link below.

(Editor’s note: I guess the OVA doesn’t really count – this is news on a new TV series) “After a 3 year-hiatus, there will be another Genshiken TV series in the fall!!!!!!” (Editor’s note: Exclamation marks added).

“This time, the show will have a big part involving the romance between the new club president – Sasahara Kanji and the new member Ogiue Chika who says she hates otakus and especially despise female otakus (fujoshi). Also, the audience will get a good look at Comiket and especially the process of producing a doujinshi.”

“As for “drama within drama”, in addition to Kujibiki Unbalance, the galgame that Sasahara loves will also be made into a ‘drama within drama’. ”

Check out the preview pics on the source website.


Ray’s Take: It’s not particularly funny or dramatic, but hey, it’s a bible for the novice Otaku in my NOT so humble opinion. Watch and learn where the “cool” comes from.

A “TVA” special to celebrate 20 years of Ah! My Goddess this winter.

(Editor’s note: Translated from Chinese site with the link shown at the bottom. )

Ah! My Goddess will be celebrating its 20th birthday in this winter. With Fujishima Kosuke as the author, it begin its legacy (Editor’s note: to me it sure is legendary) on November, 1988, and there has been 35 volumes of its graphic novel through June 22nd, 2007. It was announced at the “TBS Anime Festival 2007” that to celebrate its 20th year run, a “TVA” special will be played on TBS this winter. The name of the special is “Ah! My Goddess, the Wings of Battle”. The director will be Gouda Hiroaki, and the animation studio will be AIC. There will be 2 episodes for this special.


Ray’s Take: Ooh HOO! More mediocrity that somehow makes a long term run and has even won over the heart of the Demon King of Cynicism – ME! I recommend the manga over any of its animated versions for more in depth character look for all the characters.

Interviews and changes on production IG’s website.

From Anime UK News

Production I.G (animation studio behind the likes of Ghost in the Shell) have been hard at work on their extensive official website for a long time now and with their recently updated interview sections, there are many new features worth reading; features that have been fully translated into well-written English text.

Every single one of Production I.G’s works are listed on their website, each work has a dedicated page packed with interviews, episode guides, information about the staff & cast and much more. The recently updated page for Maaya Sakamoto’s new music video, “Universe“, contains an on-going interview with the woman herself (two parts are already fully translated). Other notable pages of interest (with a large amount of interviews) include Blood+ and Le Chevalier D’Eon.

Ray’s Take: Sakamoto Maaya’s got a great voice in both singing and acting. For next month’s column its a toss up between her and the second female seiyuu that I fell in love with, Kuwashima Houko-chan.

Mononoke 5 – Put to a Close


The fifth Mononoke marks the end of the Ghost Ship arc. We’ve seen some quick-thinking ghost fighting tricks in Medicine Seller’s bag (or box rather), a whodunit detective mystery, and the trademark Ayakashi’s confession, which I suspect is one of the main draws to this series for me.

Dark WavesNot Think

That moment of breakdown and confession is what I really like in this series. One of my favorite television shows is Law and Order: Criminal Intent, expressly because of this device. There is a scene at the end of each episode where Detective Goren, after spending time getting into the criminal’s mind as well as piecing together the crime, where he breaks down their facade, and they can’t help but confess to the crime, their emotional core bare. I kind of see now that’s the “Form, Truth, and Regret” element in Mononoke. While the Medicine Seller is learning all the details of the Ayakashi’s creation, he’s laying bare the horrible secret this person, living or dead, has lived with for so long. I suppose it’s rather therapeutic in that way.


The imagery wasn’t quite as frightening in this episode, though as a conclusion that’s to be expected. After the last episode I was fully expecting to see the ghost revealed Ring-like: draped, hanging hair with a single wild eye visible beneath or the glimpse of a bare skeleton. You know, something terribly creepy. However we see the ghost in her human form, as she was before this terrible ordeal, and the effect serves to deepen the viewer’s compassion as the last of this story unfolds.

ReleasePaper Attack

I very much liked this episode, and if all conclusion episodes in the series are done this well, I will definitely be watching more. The odd, frenetic feeling I had from the beginning of the series? It didn’t end up in this arc. Three episodes and five characters allowed the tone of the series to breathe, and it did not feel like a “crazy scariness” was crammed into a short period for a quick result. All the strange characters and psychotic babbling had a point, and it was a great gimmick to use the fish-headed Ayakashi lute player to expose the core of each of the characters and lead into this episode.

OyouUmi Bozu

I think Mononoke is less about the Medicine Seller’s adventures, and more about the cathartic release of horrible secrets, bound up inside the secondary characters throughout the series. That’s perfectly fine by me.

The Vault 06: Boogiepop Phantom


Explanation of the Vault series

Originally published on September 23, 2003. This was my second attempt, after my Akira review, to write a “professional review” and analysis. It’s dicier than that one to be honest, and occasionally overreaches in my current opinion. But it still has some decent insights worth sharing.

Supernatural Angst

Gothic Coming-of-Age Parables in Boogiepop Phantom

Boogiepop Phantom (2000)
directed by Watanabe Takeshi
12 episodes, 360 minutes.

Though it feels like anything but, teenage angst is a species of earnest innocence. Things seem so serious and significant, which can only be if one has not yet acquired the coping mechanism of cynicism or indifference. So if you are like many youths growing up in comfortable middle-class environments, the most important things are what’s in front you: school, peers, the flutterings of infatuation mistaken for love. Oftentimes, things genuinely large do appear: the death of loved ones, the disappointment of discovering the brutishness of society and the indifference of adults, who seem to be busy suppressing the pain they felt at your age by dismissing it all as a “phase.” You wonder why, as you stare outside the train window at the changing cityscape, few grown people have mapped the landscape of your mind, leaving so much uncharted territory full of depth and sadness and anger and joy: the whole topography of the soul. This is, after all, your whole world, all of nature–and perhaps the supernatural too–seen through this individual, subjective lens from which only time will provide some kind of escape. Or perhaps not. You wonder how far the facades go, how many “phonies” there are. And how they got that way, if they were all like you once, and how they could have missed the importance of all that’s going on inside you now.
Continue reading The Vault 06: Boogiepop Phantom