It's the last episode of Jtor AM -- at least in this incarnation -- so we spend half of it arguing about astronomy...as you do. Somewhere in between telling each other to Check our Planetude, we still find the time to discuss...
This week, Tim continues his strange vendetta against Canadians, while the rest of the cast tries to make sense of the increasingly incomprehensible The Irregular At Magic High School. In other news, Hase from One Week Friends is missing an important fact, Haru from Riddle Story of Devil needs to get her act together, Nike from Still the World is Beautiful probably isn't dying anytime soon, and LB and I are so happy that anything happened in Kawai Complex that we don't even care that there's no plot.
In other words, a great and fun-loving podcast...unless you're Canadian, possibly.
This week, Tim and L.B. reveal the dark, seedy underbelly of Sakura Con -- or they would have, if they were invited to any of the cool parties, but they were too busy waiting on lines for that. Meanwhile, Ben and I share our growing love for the directorial stylings of one Maasaki Yuasa while L.B. and Tim stubbornly resist the allure of The Cult of Ping Pong....while they can.
In perhaps the most important development since the beginning of the podcast, we also reveal everyone's superpowers: I have the ability to turn even the smallest amount of alcohol into demon death juice, Ben can get involved in Free-to-Play stuff without being suckered into buying virtual game crap, L.B. is a psychic doppelganger who can read minds, and Tim can spot a Canadian in disguise at 40 paces. Tim also has the power to watch any anime his wife tells him to watch (even if that anime is Nisekoi), but maybe that should count as his wife's superpower instead? I'm rusty at my superhero canon; it's a good thing I'm not a comics blogger.
This week, some staff members who shall remain nameless would rather have a Game of Thrones podcast then talk about silly Japanese cartoons all day. But alas, we are Japanator, not DaenerysTargaryenator, so we must persevere through a season of less-than-inspiring shows. We do however manage to discern a few bright lights of hope in the form of One Week Friends and Ping Pong, and Ben would be totally up for discussing Mushishi S2 if anyone else would ever watch it.
Notable questions of the week: Will the Gurren Lagann stage play feature giant paper mache robot heads? Is the school in Kamigami no Asobi filled with ghosts, and if so, shouldn't Yui be a little concerned about that? Has L.B. discovered the ultimate secret behind Nisekoi? And finally, what does BONES have against hiring actual writers who know how to write more than one story? All this, and more, on an exciting, conflict-filled Jtor AM 27!
...Oh and Tim of all people watched Marvel Disc Wars, seriously I don't even know where to start with that.
This week's show is longer than usual because we discuss pretty much every show that exists. Join Tim "I think this show is stupid and you're stupid for liking it," Sheehy, Ben "I'm too nice to say you're stupid but I'll just judge you silently," Huber, L. "I think I maybe liked it? Kind of? A little?" B., and your host, Karen "So maybe I am stupid, DEAL WITH IT!" Mead as they navigate the best and worst of the spring 2014 anime season. We're also joined by Jeff "Who even cares about anime, I just got back from Japan BITCHES!" Chuang.
Still, despite all the anime on our plates, we still make time to ask the insightful questions that we know the anime community depends on, like: Would Nisekoi be improved if there was an actual dead girl buried in the cellar? Was Captain Earth written with a Magnetic Poetry Set, Mecha Edition? Does Irregular at Magic High School get any points for being interesting if all the cool stuff was stuffed in the first 30 seconds, never to be seen again? Does one teenaged assassin throwing three sticks of Pocky at another teenaged assassin count as an "action scene"? And does Ben only enjoy Soul Eater NOT! due to an unusual and mysterious absence of groping? All this, and more, in a jam-packed episode 26!
This week, I learned that Love Live, Data A Live, and Love Lab are actually three completely different shows, making this quite possibly the most educational episode of the podcast that we've ever recorded. However, this episode isn't mere edutainment; we also bid (mostly) fond, emotional farewells to Kill La Kill, Samurai Flamenco, Golden Time and Sakura Trick. We may or may not have bid farewell to Nisekoi; it's kind of up in the air and may depend on how charitable L.B. is feeling once his "OMG I never have to watch Pupa again!" euphoria fades. I mean, he's feeling generous now, but wait until he's a couple of episodes into blogging The Irregular at Magic High School....
More importantly, we all agree that Short-haired Satsuki is Best Satsuki, making her Double Best Girl; the whole magic bridge thing in Golden Time probably didn't work out quite as planned; and Space Dandy is way better when Dandy himself can't be bothered to show up.
To add some spice to this episode, I try to stir up drama by plotting a seed of disagreement about Space Dandy between Ben and Tim; however, instead of having a big fight, they both cordially agree that their levels of admiration and respect for the show are different, and move on to discussing bigger and better things. A mature difference of opinion? What podcast do these guys think they're on, anyway? I'm sure I can find something to get the two of them at each others' throats....
Still, even without one of our regular fights, this episode is still full of fascinating anime intrigue like "Is Goto alive?", "What was the point of destroying the Original Life Fiber if Ragyo still has clothes?", and "Can we really take even one more episode of Nisekoi, let alone 13?" In other news, Ben is psyched for the next cour of Space Dandy, L.B. and I bid a tearful goodbye to the pleasant surprise that was Super Sonico: The Animation, and Tim introduces a new character to the popular Fate/stay Night mythos. I hope Type Moon and those ufotable people appreciate everything our editor-in-chief does for them.
This week the crew -- with the help of special guest, site founder Brad Rice -- tackles dubbed preview clips of debatable quality, the art style for the new Sailor Moon anime, quasi-erotic manga billboard controversies, and why NISA can dub ToraDora any time they damn well feel like it. Brad also wants you to know he reads waaaaay more artistic manga than you, and while that doesn't necessarily mean he's smarter than everyone else, it may be best to proceed on that assumption. I mean, he reads Vertical titles and everything.
There's also our token Golden Time argument, this week centered on the deceptively complex question, "Just when that morning did Koko turn her bitch on?"; we mourn the vast potential that Wizard Barristers once had; Pupa comes dangerously close to making sense (but not really); and Tim gives us his opinion of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. Frankly, if you can't hide from your enemies in a cardboard box anymore, I don't see what the hell the point is, but apparently some people still like this series.
Friends, otaku, countrymen: we stand on the precipice of a new age in Japanese animated entertainment. Now that Super Sonico The Animation has produced the world's first objectively perfect anime episode, where do we go from here? Will production companies balk at the pressure of constantly being measured against "The Sonico Standard?" Or will they continue to cling to pedestrian fare like Nisekoi and Magical Warfare like frightened babes clinging to their mother's breast? Furthermore, in a post-Soni-Ani 10 world, is there even a place for non-kitten anime like Kill La Kill anymore?
In other exciting news, Tim wants to know what Space Brothers is and why LB watches it, Brittany drops by to discuss the many enigmas presented by Mitsuki's chastity belt(s), and everyone debates just how tired Koko is of Tada Banri's particular brand of bullshit. Oh, and we discuss the Imocho live action trailer, not because we're anticipating it or like it in any way, but because we said on a previous podcast that we'd continue following the story. That shows integrity...probably not journalistic integrity, no. But I think we should get credit for having some kind of integrity here.
Question: Am I bad luck? Because as Tim and I realized this week, whenever I ask for something to happen in an anime, it never ever happens, even if it would be self-evidently awesome and the writers are nuts for not going with it. Why can't I have nice things?
Listeners: do me a favor and do something to help me test this theory. Listen to this episode of the podcast while eating an ice cream cone. If any of the ice cream ends up in your lap when my voice comes on, then we'll have some objective proof that I am jinxed for life and should never talk about Japanese cartoons and...what? You want me to specify what flavor ice cream you should be eating? For gosh sakes kids, have some agency! Or pick Cookies and Cream, whatever!
Thanks to this week's Wizard Barristers, Tim and I have learned that Boston is actually in California; I bet all those people who signed up for PAX East are in for a rude awakening in the spring. However, due to the show's blatant disregard for geography, Tim is now done defending it and we get to bond over our mutual outrage over the writers' lack of effort and research. That said, I'm still kinda mad at Tim for saying mean things about Super Sonico and Kill La Kill's Senketsu, so we still have stupid fights that go nowhere-- just in case you're a fan of that sort of thing.
Other pressing questions of the week: Is Square Enix giving up on video games and becoming the new Exxon-Mobile? Should Mrs. Mankanshoku be ashamed of herself for oogling Aikuro's impressive lower regions for an entire episode? If it looks like Naoto Shirogane, sounds like Naoto Shirogane, and has a gun like Naoto Shirogane, is Nisekoi less annoying? And why, for the love of God, can no one in anime swim? They all have those official schools swimsuits and everything, don't try to tell me they've never had swimming lessons. It's downright scandalous.
Are you tired of short, wimpy podcasts that run out of juice before you're even halfway done with your morning commute? Well then, you should love this economy-sized episode of Jtor AM, filled to the brim with spirited discussion of all the hot anime and gaming topics of the week, plus whatever the hell Pupa is.
Of course, this week also features plenty of the fascinating, thought-provoking questions that you've come to expect from this fine podcast, like: Is giving your dog a role in a video game an act of guileless charm or shameful hubris? Should professional voice actors be allowed to use Twitter ever again? Does Sakura Trick's Haruka know where babies come from? Does Sarah Palin Bayonetta lose her power when she cuts her hair? And if Tim used the words "Great" and "Kill La Kill" in the same sentence, does that mean we have officially entered an alternate universe? And, if so, is it a universe that contains unicorns? And, if so, can I please have a baby unicorn? I promise I will feed it candy and everything.
Greetings, listeners! This was a fine week to be watching Kill La Kill if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Or maybe you don't, and you're like, "What is this Kill La Kill thing they keep talking about on my favorite podcast?", in which case I'm not quite sure what your deal is, but you have great taste in podcasts.
On this episode: In the wake of Wonderfest we talk about some toys we probably don't have the money for but will buy anyway, the prospect of an Imocho live-action movie fills LB with a strange curiosity (as opposed to the pure, existential terror you might expect), and the cast of Golden Time is replaced by a group of well-adjusted people we no longer recognize, but probably in a good way. Then, in the most robust installment of our mysterious "Stuff" segment yet, I catch up on Persona 4: The Golden, Ben talks about videogames that are strangely not Japanese, and Tim...shares...something. It was definitely something. That it was a thing, cannot be denied.
Having missed the last two episodes of the podcast, I have plenty to say this time around, and Tim does his part by always disagreeing with me on general principle. However, I'm going to call out his reluctance to refer to that one male cop on Wizard Barristers as "Stabler," as a lack of team spirit. Tim! How will we bond, if not over making up fake names for characters when the show can't be bothered to tell us the real name?
Obviously the hot issue of the week is whether or not Super Sonico is actually worth watching, but as per usual, we have plenty more questions to answer: Is Hayao Miyazaki just a grump, or do animators need to get outside more? How did Sentai Filmworks stay awake long enough to license both Magical Warfare and Nobunaga the Fool, both of which could put a hypochondriac revved up on three cases of Monster Energy Drink to sleep with their boring-ass pacing? Why is Space Dandy so much funnier when you're talking about it than when you're actually watching it? And why does no one own a cell phone in Nisekoi? All that, and more, on this jam-packed episode of Jtor AM!
What do you think? I'm trying to sell this thing a little harder; Momma needs new boots.
I was still nursing a cold and sore throat while this was recorded, while Brittany was apparently off sacrificing small children to the horror gods (it needs to be done before next Walpurgisnacht, don't ask), so Tim, Ben and L.B. handled this episode by their manly selves. The Y-chromosome crew discusses the upcoming Hollywood adaptation of Ghost in the Shell that probably isn't happening unless the actress playing the Major is prepared to take one for the team, the fact that FREE! and Fate Stay/Night are both coming back for new seasons (although not together, which would be amazing), and FFXIII: Lightning Returns apparently has the kind of gameplay where your hands actually do something from time to time. Meanwhile, Ben is relieved that he doesn't have to hear about Imocho even one little bit this week, but the very idea of Koko from Golden Time getting behind the wheel of a vehicle scares the hell out of everyone.
Tim took over hosting duties while I was away, but don't listen to the shameless lie he feeds you at the beginning of this episode: I was NOT snowboarding. I was skiing, which is completely different! Skiers are graceful athletes who deftly traverse a sparkling winter wonderland with style and aplomb; snowboarders are slackers who are always sitting on their butts in packs at the top of the trail, blocking everyone else from getting down the mountain. Please don't confuse these two things.
In my absence new Japanator editor L.B. makes his podcast debut, and the crew discusses the usual slate of anime (plus some new stuff) while Tim tries to constrain his massive mountain of hate for everything that has ever existed since the beginning of time. Fortunately, the otherwise-friendly L.B. seems to hate (or at least dislike) a few of the same things that Tim does, so it looks like his prospects around here are pretty solid. Also on the plus side: Ryuko Matoi's new outfit, which has been known to cover her entire butt.
Brittany couldn't be with us this week, so we had to up the horror quotient of the podcast by talking about the Lovecraftian abomination that is Super Sonico's default outfit. In other news, we're skeptical of any and all Sailor Moon announcements; I make up lurid fanfiction about manga publisher Vertical Inc. in a cheap attempt to disguise the fact that we have very little real news this week; and Tim's antipathy towards Kill La Kill has reached the point where he can no longer even remember if he's seen any given episode or not, and needs his memory repeatedly jogged with pantomime and hand signals. Fortunately, with Wizard Barristers fresh on the scene, at least one show finally has animation high-quality enough to impress our Editor In Chief...for now.
After a refreshing holiday break, the Jtor AM podcast is back for a new cour-- and you can tell it's all-new, since Tim and Ben are arguing about the animation quality in Space Dandy instead of Kill La Kill. This week's slate of important topics includes the looming specter of a new season of Sword Art Online, the definition of God in Kyousogiga (and how neither Sal nor Karen are either individually smart enough to understand that show, nor can they understand it together), and the baffling mystery of how Nobunaga the Fool can be so ridiculous yet so ungodly boring at the same time. We also indulge in our weekly "Just how *&#$-in' crazy is that Kaga Koko?" debate, but come on-- you knew that already.
Since this will be Sal's last episode with us (at least for a while), we considered just berating him about leaving for the full hour or so, but after about five minutes of screaming, rending our garments and begging him to stay through our tears, we all just felt really tired and sad and talked about Japanese cartoons all night instead. We'll miss you, Sal
Somehow, we managed to have both Ben and Brittany on the podcast at the same time without the universe spontaneously exploding...unless of course the universe did explode, and I'm talking to you all from some kind of mystical afterlife right now? Nah; I want to eat birthday cake really badly, and if this was the afterlife, a cake would have magically appeared in front of me by now. Behold: the power of logic.
In any case, to make up for a fairly short news segment, the five of us tackle some fun listener questions, and of course discuss the week that was in anime. By popular demand, Brittany even spends some time discussing Coppelion, but mostly just to say that it's dumb and that makes her sad. On the plus side, I think this week may feature my best-ever Valvrave Report, and Jem and the Holograms still exists. I think the world is a better place when I remember that Jem happened.
How did we get all the way to Jtor AM Episode 12 without asking for listener questions? I have no idea; I'm going to have to tag everyone involved, myself included, with critical narcissism failure.
Seriously, since the news ...
This week, Ben's too busy being someone else's Valvrave therapist to join us (traitor!), so Brittany Vincent jumps into to the fray. Then the two of us have fun discussing everything that's wrong with the conclusion of Diabolik Lovers...and considering, it's kind of a miracle this podcast isn't four hours long. In other news, as per usual, the podcast addresses the most important questions of our era: If Myoue watches over Mirror Kyoto, who watches Myoue? How badly does a knight need a begleiter, and how badly does a pregnant horse need moral support? And is the fake Madoka movie featured in Outbreak Company legitimately more entertaining than the final Madoka film?
All this, and Tim and I also have a surprisingly heated discussion about Golden Time, because we take Koko's dysfunctional relationships just that seriously.
Actually it isn't, it's time for the latest episode of Jtor AM, but Golden Time is involved, so it's kind of true. This week: the Toonami people try to get us hyped about a new anime from the creators of "KOWBOI BEEBAP!!", Samurai Flamenco is still thoroughly in WTFBBQ country, a swimsuit episode for Kill La Kill is effectively impossible since no mere bathing suit could be more revealing than Ryuko's battle outfit, Linda-sempai is bad at dealing with moral dilemmas, Celia-sempai wins everything just for existing, and Sal and I fight over who gets to propose to Pierre from Kamen Rider Gaim first. Considering the fact that I'm already married, I guess Sal has the edge there, but maybe we can work something out? I really do dig that Durian Rider.
In return for Ben kindly volunteering to be my official Valvrave: The Liberator therapist, this week I decide to pay him back by becoming his official Samurai Flamenco therapist. Unfortunately for Ben, he's a much better therapist than I am, so while I'm basically okay with my friendly neighborhood space vampires and their exploits, Ben is still terribly distraught over the whole Guillotine Gorilla situation. Can you blame him?
In other news, Kyousougiga decides to make a surprising amount of sense, Golden Time's Linda is full of it as far as Tim's concerned, and Lafayette from True Blood becomes a giant Durian-themed Roman gladiator because Kamen Rider Gaim is quickly becoming the world's best television program.
The most important thing you need to know about this week's Jtor AM is that Ben has become my official Valvrave therapist; if you want your own Valvrave therapist, you're just going to have to find someone else, because I've got him booked solid through the end of the year. Remember, Jtor AM does not recommend watching Valvrave without the assistance of a licensed professional like Counselor Huber. Jtor AM also doesn't recommend using staplers to gently disable neighborhood thugs unless you are either a masked hero, or other law-enforcement professional. We do however recommend Outbreak Company.
This week, my dreams come true as Brittany joins the podcast and I finally get to talk about Diabolik Lovers. Ben apparently decided to have some kind of a life and couldn't join us this time, but it's probably just as well, since hearing us talk about that show might drive him to heinous acts of violence.
Anyway, not only do we learn all sorts of cool stuff about our community manager-- like the fact that she once picked up the entire series of Record of the Lodoss War for 25 cents-- but we're also joined by a special guest for the Anime Talk segment! I swear, it's like Podcast Christmas. The only thing that could possibly make me happier now is a copy of Sorcery Saga: The Curse of the Curry God (hint hint hint).
As per usual, this week we discuss all the exciting news in the world of anime: Viz continues to expand, Crunchyroll is dominating the market One Piece at a time, something clearly financial in nature happened at some point, and the Girls Und Panzer dub cast could totally beat up any other English dub cast, with or without tanks. We also discuss the pertinent questions provoked by some of this season's most popular shows: is Nudist Beach the best secret anime organization ever? Is Flamenco Girl actually Bruce Wayne, or does she just have a Scrooge McDuck-style money pit in her basement? Is discussing the questionable horse physics of Walkure Romanze the new discussing the questionable water physics in Nagi No Asukara?
All that, and we finally properly discuss Kamen Rider Gaim! Tim isn't actually watching Gaim, but apparently he's giggled over all the transformation sequences on Youtube, which is effectively the same thing as watching it.
This week, Tim is too hung over to even care about dubbed Space Dandy, which makes him pretty darn hung over. In fact, in this listless state, he's like the natural enemy of Sal "OMG I'm so psyched I'm so psyched!" G-Rodiles, but unfortunately, the two of them do not have an epic tokusatsu-style battle on the podcast. Of course, if they did, Sal would try to fight with a sword made out of juicy orange slices while Tim just threw half-empty vodka bottles, so it would be less of a battle and more of a mixed drink. Meanwhile, I continue to watch Valvrave because I was a bad person in a past life and must repent, and Ben has to hear about me watching Valvrave because sometimes life just isn't fair.
So, in other words, a typical week at our virtual Jtor office. Also, mechs.
If you've ever wanted to know exactly how to pronounce "Salvador G-Rodiles," boy is this the podcast for you. We spend some time discussing the latest Phoenix Right game, the strange puzzle of Becky Cruel's internet existence, and the fact that we might be excited for upcoming Anime Mirai shows if we had any idea what any of them were. Meanwhile, as the guys argue over whether or not a dip in animation quality is even possible for Kill La Kill, I continue to watch shows no one else is watching like Galilei Donna, Golden Time, Valvrave: The Space Vampire, and That One With No Underwater Physics.
We start off this episode without Ben (since he was apparently too busy conducting a ritual burning of all of his Bakemonogatari merchandise to participate), but he joins us by the time we get to Samurai Flamenco, which is all that really matters. This week we tackle the important questions of our time: is dubbing making a triumphant return to relevance? Did Kill La Kill cross a line? Why does anime have to be so anime all the time? Couldn't it maybe be a little less anime, just sometimes? And is anyone, anywhere, as enthusiastic about anything as Sal is about Kamen Rider Gaim?
It's not even a week after our first episode, and here's another installment of Jtor AM! I would say that this is a reward for being good boys and girls, but I'll bet that some of you have been watching bad dating sim adaptations, so maybe not. I guess we just throw podcasts at you regardless of your conduct? Sounds like a plan.
This week, Tim is appalled by the animation (or lack thereof) in Kill La Kill and in denial about Walkure Romanze being a harem show, Ben has had it UP TO HERE with your lolis and your imoutos and your siscon and all of your other crap, and Sal is left wondering about his place at our lunch table, where you will never find melon soda. And me? I continue to shame myself as a child of the '80s who somehow never encountered like half of the things people remember from the '80s. I'm so embarrassed right now.