TV Tokyo Executive: Anime Market Saturated, On the Way Down

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Anime News Network reports on the remarks of Keisuke Iwata, who’s in charge of the AT-X anime channel on TV Tokyo. In his view, the near future for anime is grim:

In Iwata’s view, there is no room for growth since Japanese animation has reached the saturation point in the global marketplace. Due to the worldwide recession and illegal net distribution, Iwata concluded that the North American marketplace is battered, the European marketplace is in grave condition, and the Japanese companies cannot rely on the Middle East, Asia, and other regions as potential new marketplaces. He added, “as it stands, we may have to go back to the way it was in the past — back to selling Japanese animation only to the Japanese marketplace.” In order to survive in the current adverse climate, TV Tokyo is proceeding with new initiatives that include animation on American video-distribution sites.

Interestingly enough, Iwata traces the past international boom of anime to Evangelion‘s breakthrough, which was kept going with kid’s franchises like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, and sustained for several more years by Naruto. But with the recession, the ease of digital fansubbing, and the collapse of DVD sales–those days are over.

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A Song and a Second Thought

ghostlightning’s call for articles and thoughts about 5cm Per Second made me dig up my old articles about that film, and for some reason, led me to rediscover the ED song “One More Time, One More Chance.” I can no longer stop listening to it, this song I once gently panned in my review for being an intrusion on the ending. What happened?

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White Album 2-3: Bolero

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This show is beginning to remind me of how Maurice Ravel’s Bolero begins very quietly and very slowly, gradually building up, until it comes to a loud climax at the end of its 13 minutes. White Album’s muddled beginning is finally giving way to some clarity and focus and is laying the foundations for much dorama and angst to come.

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A Few Thoughts on the Upcoming “Cowboy Bebop” Remake

Producer: Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Will Not Be Origin Story – Anime News Network.

3 Arts Entertainment producer Erwin Stoff (The Matrix, I am Legend, Kings) has told the iFMagazine.com website that the live-action Cowboy Bebop film in development will not be an origin story. “We start with [the main character, bounty hunter Spike Spiegel], when he is in his present life already.” He also emphasized that the producers began the project by meeting with Shinichiro Watanabe, the director of Sunrise‘s original Cowboy Bebop science-fiction anime series. “He will be the first guy to read a script when it’s done. We’ll discuss directors with him.”

Mike’s Thoughts:

First, we’ve already mocked Keanu Reeves being cast as Spike in a previous podcast, so there will be none of that here.

Second, the involvement of Watanabe is somewhat promising, but I’m not going to hope too much. The way Hollywood scriptwriting works, by the time it gets shot it will have passed through so many hands and revisions that it’ll probably be virtually unrecognizable from the first draft–which is what Watanabe is essentially getting. Word is the story is loosely based on the concept of Red Eye in episode 1, which makes me wonder how they’re going to get the rest of the cast in (Faye? Ed?) and also the stuff about Vicious and especially Julia.

Third, if they can’t pull this one off, it probably means no Hollywood anime adaptation can ever work–because Cowboy Bebop is really the most Western-friendly anime that could be easily adopted in live action and still have an audience beyond anime fandom.

Fourth, lastly, and most importantly–EPIC FAIL if Yoko Kanno doesn’t write the music. Period.

Sorakake 03 – I’m going, I’m going…Aaaahh…That was good baby.

Should I write this one? Should I?

You know when that happens? When the colony lost its family jewels? Men, doesn’t that suck? I mean, we must finish firing to feel good, but what happens when you lose the tamago? I mean, especially if you need the golden balls? Well, get a girl in a mecha to deliver them, silly!

So like Leo (not the porn star) the colony feels lethargic, and he needs some relief, but his storage of man-milk energy is out. What can be done? Well, have Akiha to bring him the golden balls! Fetch me the balls!

Be gentle! He says, when Akiha accidentally delivers too hard and it hurt his crotch acceptance mechanism. But hey, after she put the golden salty balls into the right slots, well, it’s time to fire the beam!

Aim well, girl! And press that trigger! Fire toward the middle of the BIG BEN! Don’t you want to see the Big Ben?

Only I can fire that hard baby! Do I make you horny, baby, do I? HAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhA! HAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAAhA! HAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAAhAhAhAhAhAhAhAhA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you hear that music piece? In my head, it translated into “Hallelujah! I’m coming! I’m coming! I’m coming! I AM COMING!!!!!!!!!! Hallelujah! I’m coming! I’m coming! I’m coming! I’m coming to Kingdom come!”

I’m going…I’m going…I’m going…I’m…….AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

The enemy colony, who happens to be a male one, screams: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Leo quotes poetry lines and enjoys his after glow. Like a good ol’ European noble in the past, he wants some tea. I wonder Mike, who loves European loyalty and political intrigue, can relate to that?

“Bring me some tea, wench!”

Today’s men: “Get me the smoke, woman!”

And then there were some plots, which I didn’t understand because too much was going on.

Did anyone enjoy Leo’s money shot? Har har har har har…

Oh and, the mechas were cool. Imouto-chan KAAAWAAAIIII!!!

Ride Back – Touched, wondered, crapped.

The last scene actually touched me. It was very touching indeed.

How many times have you tried to soar only to fell back down to earth?

Well, get a mecha!

Jokes aside, it was actually kind of impressive to see her leap through the sky. That said, here are the issues with this show:

1. Yes, I’m sure some rebels can take over the world in a short period of time ala Star Wars.

Yep, we have realism. NOT

2. Motorcycles with arms. Amazing add-ons or….

Unnecessary additions? Gosh that’s ugly. They had better way to do this in Genesis Pit Climber (don’t fucking say Robotech, you bitaaach)!

3. Great character design – that is if you like the character design from Blondie (hint: look at her best friend’s eyes)

What the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuCK!

OK, now the cliches:

1. She’s a newtype/coordinator/whatever.

Come on Gundam fans, you know this one!

You know she is going to see a mecha; you know she’s going to get on it; you know she’s going to be able to control it well even though she doesn’t think so; you know…

Well, you know.

2. Classical/ballad = dances of war and all that jazz.

Can someone please tell me what the fucking connection is? I hated lit classes and I often dreamed that as Krauser II, I fucked this writers for their stupid imageries and the snobby English professors that taught the shit.

3. Jumping at the end of the episode.

Yep. That’s right….think really hard all the shows that had the characters jumping and laughing at the end of a episode…I don’t give a shit what the reason is! They did that in 80’s anime a lot

Now, finally, what I’m dissatisfied with:

1. Show me the panties!

Wut? Somebody talked about seeing her panties but the audience is treated to none? BUUUUUULLLLLSHIIIIIIIIIIIIT BULLLLLLLLLLLSHIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!

2. Expecting a shootout with the mecha…

BUT WHERE WAS THE SHOOT OUT? Oh I get it, she’s just getting used to the cumbersome bike with arms.

3. Where are the sex jokes?

(Screw you, Rad’ra this is anime/entertainment not art, get over it) But a girl, getting a nice ride – she’s on top of a stud bike – she had to move forward TO GET INTO THE RIGHT POSITION – the bike didn’t bounce her up and down in its lap? Ooooh…

Hmm…I wonder if Fujishima, the manga auther of Ah! Megami-sama drooled when she just hopped on without the usual female comprehensiveness near machines…

OOOOH! YES! I am the god of CHAUVINISTIC pigs! Women, hear me roar!

Then again, ballad and mecha. Yep, that mixes so well all right.

It’s Madhouse, so it’s got great animation. But I don’t think the studio mixes with mecha well. My advice?

Do another samurai show without WTFs and head trips. That’ll do their DVD sales wonders (at least in the US).

P.S. the pretentious and overtly-trying-to-lead-the-mood monologue pissed the Demon King of Cynicism to no end.

Winter 2009 Roundup 1: Akikan, Asu no Yoichi, Toradora, Regios

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Here’s the weekly roundup post–instead of blogging regularly about a single show or two, I’ve decided to follow this season’s shows in this way. This week, I talk about Akikan, Asu no Yoichi, Toradora, and a first look at Regios.

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Anime Diet Radio Episode 30: Baby, We Were Born to Love

What? Is this Freddy Mercury, or is it an imitator, singing our anthem for the new year? This is the first episode of Anime Diet Radio for 2009, and with it, we have some fresh new music and the return of the mailbag section, as well as wacky news about Tentacle (G)rape, the Evangelion snowboard, as well as the Japanese space toilet. Oh, and we talk a bit more seriously about the legalization of Crunchyroll, and why Ray’s mad that it region locks him out of the fun.

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last episode. We definitely want your feedback and your thoughts, and we’ll read the mail we get on the air! Just leave a comment on the post here and we’ll get to it in the next recording.

Show Order

  • (00:00–03:56) Intro
  • (03:57–13:29) Mailbag
  • (13:30–21:27) News 1: Tentacle Grape
  • (21:28–27:56) News 2: Evangelion Snowboard
  • (27:57–33:29) News 3: Japanese Toilets in Space
  • (33:30–53:54) Roundtable: Crunchyroll and Region Locking
  • (53:55–end) Conclusion

Show Notes

  • –The very beginning clip is from Minami-ke, first season, and it says: “Also, brighten your room, and keep at least three meters away from the TV.” This replaces the blurb from Lucky Star.
  • –OP: “I Was Born to Love You,” by Queen (or is it?). See the reference Youtube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0RW9B7E3dQ
  • –ED: “Keikenchi Soku Joujou”, ED to Minami-ke Okaeri
  • –Tentacle Grape’s website is here (1).
  • –Find out more about the Evangelion snowboard at Anime News Network. (2)
  • –See a picture of the proposed space toilet at Pink Tentacle (my, we really are filled with them today) (3).
  • –See Crunchyroll’s current programming, which lists all the country restrictions, over here (4). Yes, I put my money where my mouth is and have signed up for a $7 monthly membership–now I can watch all of Gintama. Also, there are actually a few shows that are in fact available to Europeans, but the majority are still US/Canada only.

Web References for iTunes Listeners

  • (1) http://tentaclegrape.com
  • (2) http://tinyurl.com/8h7cpb
  • (3) http://tinyurl.com/7va8bd
  • (4) http://www.crunchyroll.com/lineup?src=topbar

First Look Fairs: “Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo” and “Rideback”

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I think there’s been a mis-titling here: the show that is called Rideback is the one that really deserves the title Sorakake (The Girl Who Leapt into the Sky). And Sorakake, if this episode is any indication, should have been called Leopardnaut.

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