If you’ve ever wanted to know how anime is made have we got a cartoon for you! Bradley, Bamboo and Michael have been vicariously living the life of anime producers, animators and directors through the power of Shirobako, and are here to tell you all about it. Click HERE to download the episode or on the keyart above. We discuss the miracle of anime, transparency and how fans feel connected to the process of making some of their favorite hobbies, why nobody ever looks thirty in anime and how moe character designs are just like a fine wine. Also: you’re probably Tarou too. Especially if you think you’re not Tarou. You can watch the entirety of Shirobako on Crunchyroll.
Here’s your review of the second half of the series Aldnoah.Zero, featuring the debut of Evan of AniGamers, Otaku USA and Crunchycast! Click HERE to download the episode or on the keyart above. While still not without its flaws, we find plenty to like in the second half, with a more focused story renewing our opinions of this anime for the better. We discuss Slaine’s story arc, make suggestions for how to visually cue up some of the story’s more understated elements, and struggle to pronounce Asselyum’s name correctly. Ass-see-lee-um? Ass-elee-um? Oy. You can watch the entirety of Aldnoah.Zero on Crunchyroll. You can also find my review of the first part with Scamp of the Cart Driver here.
Bradley and Ink are back to review Barakamon, a charming series about finding yourself and your art in rural Japan. Click HERE or on the keyart above to download the episode. While that might sound like something to scoff at, the series is so darn funny and wise that it all works anyway. We talk about transcending cliches, yearning for the simple life and why Bradley thought Nasu was going to die at the end. If you listen closely, you can hear him contract a minor case of amnesia midway through the episode. You can currently watch Barakamon on Funimation or Hulu.
ALSO: Take a look at this article from the Washington Post about rural Japanese communities’ attempts to lure young people to their towns.
To help compensate for missing a few episodes, I’ve got a double update for you today.
First up is the half of the Golden Week special. Tom is back to discuss Yatterman Night in a long-delayed review! Click HERE or on the poster to the left to download the episode. This is a series based on a popular children’s series that most Americans haven’t heard of, so we give you the basics of what makes Yatterman special. We also discuss yet more dead anime mothers, great uses of foreshadowing and other recent remakes of classic children’s anime.
And then, Michael is back to yell with me about robots fighting as we review Gundam Build Fighters Try. Click HERE or on the poster to the right to download the episode. More robots and more robot variety may not make for a better series as we discuss this sequel to Gundam Build Fighters and compare it to its predecessor. We also talk about teamfight dynamics, cuddly bear robots and how brawn isn’t actually what matters in cartoon fights.
While I had originally planned to release our review of Yatterman Night two weeks ago with Your Lie in April, real life issues ended up snowballing to the point where I had to delay it to this week. Last night I recorded a new episode with Tom, where we experienced an almost comical number of issues while recording, including Internet outages, my recording software losing our first take on the episode, another bug distorting the second take and making the file unusable, all while I was sick with a spring cold. These things happen. Sometimes a recording will have so many issues that it almost seems cursed. The best thing you can do is to keep trying.
We’ve rescheduled the recording for Tuesday, and will release the new episode as soon as it’s ready. Tom has been magnanimous and patient throughout, so many thanks to him.
I’m sorry for the delay. I work hard to keep the podcast consistent and professional, and constant delays do not fit my own high standard. I’ll try and do another double episode in the near future to compensate for the delays. Since I’m on vacation for the next week, that should be imminently doable.
Ink of AniGamers joins Bradley to discuss the critical darling Your Lie in April. Click HERE or on the keyart above to download the episode. This series is a bit of a mixed bag, making for interesting discussion as we dissect what worked about the series and what didn’t. We also talk about manic pixie dream girls, how much good production can cover for a weak story, and ~FEELINGS~. You can currently watch Your Lie in April on Crunchyroll.
NOTE: The second half of the Golden Week special will be released next weekend. Sorry for the delay!
ALSO: Ani-Gamer’s Your Lie in April review, and Nathan Rabin’s article on manic pixie dream girls and what they are and aren’t. I also recommend reading Rose Bridge’s episodic reviews on ANN.
AND NOW, more classical music:
Scamp of The Cart Driver returns to the podcast to discuss a series that has been over a decade in the making: Mushishi! Click HERE to download the episode or on the keyart above. We both agree that it is a great series, but can’t agree on why or what it means, making for a lot of back and forth discussion. We also dive into some of our favorite episodes, discuss how the series makes one of the biggest limitations of anime its strength, and why Ginko is the only one wearing pants. You can watch season one of Mushishi on YouTube or Funimation or Hulu, and the second season on Crunchyroll.
UPDATE: Fixed the issue with the interlude music. Sorry about that!