ANIME TODAY #87 Goes Inside the Anime Industry With Writer & Anime Expert Jonathan ClementsPosted on: Friday, February 27, 2009
Episode run down:
If you've ever wanted to be a fly on the wall at various anime and manga companies, then get your Jeff Goldblum impersonations ready for this episode. Jonathan Clements, author, translator and all-around industry insider joins us today from across the big pond to discuss his latest book Schoolgirl Milky Crisis: Adventures in the Anime and Manga Trade. Along with his charming British accent, you'll be exposed to some of his interactions with industry execs, con goers and of course, the dreaded media. Hehe...
The music this episode is from the hit J-pop sensation, Sweet Vacation. As you can tell, this group has some really unique renditions of well-known English-language cover songs, which we really hope you enjoy. Thanks to JapanFiles.com, these tracks we're featuring are from Sweet Vacations' CDs Do the Vacation and More the Vacation. A full list with the times each song was played will be posted at the bottom of this episode’s show notes at AnimeToday.com.
Chad starts things off with What’s Hot in the World of Anime, followed by the first of our four parts with Jonathan. We jump-start the interview talking about his background and what fans can expect to find in his latest book. Our Get Revved Up for Great Deals on DVDs from Geneon Animation is continuing, and Shawne will be giving you the rundown. We have the winners of our Death Note contest coming up next, and we're continuing our "What kinds of Otaku are you?" contest. Our interview with Jonathan then continues, and we'll be talking about how the industry and fans have changed over last 2 decades. Lisa Marie then aims her spotlight at the Penguin Revolution graphic novels and then Nick and Rich return with the upcoming cons that are happening around the US and Canada. We'll then pick up with the third part of our interview with Jonathan, and discuss mainstream media and what it means to be an "anime expert," and what topics are included in his columns - is anything off limits? Then we'll take a look at what our customers have been writing in their reviews on RightStuf.com. And finally, the last part of interview with Jonathan where we'll find out about his future projects.
Akari, Aika and Alice continue to navigate the waters toward their goal of becoming Neo-Venezia’s top gondoliers. But as their skills improve, they find themselves faced with new challenges. On their journey to become Primas, the three girls will have to paint a palina, serve as hostesses at the Festa del Redentore, and even learn how to be brave in the face of a dangerous passenger!
Return, once again, to Aqua when Aria The Natural DVD Collection Part 2 rows in on March 24th.
Young exorcist Allen Walker is humanity’s greatest hope against the wicked forces conspiring to bring civilization to its knees. Akuma - lost souls reborn as cruel spirits - lurk in every shadow and exist purely to do the bidding of their leader, the dread Millennium Earl. With an eye cursed to see evil in its truest form and blessed with an arm to slay soul-devouring demons, Allen stands ready to confront the gathering storm. Should he fail, Innocence will be lost forever.
Exorcise your demons on March 31st with the release of D.Gray-man Season 1 DVD Part 1.
It’s 1532, and Esteban is on a quest to find his father. He joins a party of Spaniards as they search for one of the Seven Cities of Gold in the New World. Along the way, he meets an Incan girl named Zia and Tao, the last descendant of the sunken empire of Hiva. Together, the three discover countless wonders of the ancient world and are consequently pursued by a pair of less than scrupulous treasure hunters, who are also in search of the Cities of Gold.
Explore an fan-favorite when it arrives on DVD for the first time with the Mysterious Cities of Gold DVD Complete Series on April 7th.
The media is abuzz when word gets out that Yura's mega-famous parents are splitting up. Already accustomed to the daily pressure of being the child of celebrities, Yura's frustration explodes in a rant against her parents - and her heated words end up being broadcasted live on national TV! When a powerful talent scout hears her impassioned outburst, he offers to represent her as her agent. The door to showbiz is now flung open, will Yura – a timid wallflower –take a chance, and can she become a success in her own right?
Follow Yura’s flirtation with fame when Miki Aihara’s Honey Hunt Graphic Novel 1 lands on April 7th.
Haruhi seems like your average cute girl, but as Kyon gets pulled into her world, he discovers that everything may not be as it seems. Joined by the S.O.S. Brigade – an after-school club organized by Haruhi on her quest to seek out all things extraordinary – Kyon finds his fate tied to hers. Just when he thinks things can’t get any stranger, it’s revealed that the S.O.S. Bridage’s real mission is to keep Haruhi happy in order to avoid the end of the universe.
Will their mission be a success? Find out when the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Novel 1 streets in hardcover and paperback editions on April 1st.
Jonathan Clements – Author, translator, industry insider
Schoolgirl Milky Crisis Blog: http://schoolgirlmilkycrisis.com/blog/
Jonathan's official website: http://www.muramasaindustries.com/
Jonathan on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Clements
Jonathan at SAND 2007: “Five Girls Named Moe: The Anime Erotic” http://streamingportal.multistream.co.uk/sand2007/webstream_pres07.html
Shawne's Specials and the Get Revved Up Sale!
Right Stuf Contests and Updates
Congratulations to the winners of our Death Note contest with Viz Pictures: Christopher H of Elk Grove, California; Cynthia B of North Bergen, New Jersey; and Julie H of Chandler, Arizona! Each of you will soon be receiving a gift package that includes a copy of Death Note II: The Last Name on DVD plus a movie poster!
And finally, Right Stuf has proclaimed 2009 through 2010 the “Year of the Otaku!” We’re kicking of this celebration of anime fans with the unveiling of a new mini-site at otaku.rightstuf.com AND a NEW CONTEST! Go to this page, follow the links and answer the question “What kinds of Otaku are you?” and you will be entered in a contest to win gift certificates to RightStuf.com. (The grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift certificate and four runners up will each receive a $25 gift certificate!)
Marie's Spotlight: Penguin Revolution
Penguin Revolution isn’t the first time I’ve read a book strictly because it had a pretty cover or was written by the author of another favorite series - in this case, Land of the Blindfolded. It is, however, one of the few times I’ve read a book without even bothering to glance at the description on the back and then been completely surprised about 10 pages in. No, it is not Mr. Popper’s Penguins done manga style, nor is it about a heroine who gets a job at Sea World. Rather, Penguin Revolution is a touching comedy set in the rough-and-tumble world of Japanese idols.
Fujimaru Yukari is not your average high school girl. Since her father’s a complete flake, Yukari’s big dream in life is get a nice, stable government job with a steady income. However, she’s got a secret, and I don’t mean her Aikido black belt. Once in awhile, when she looks a person, she can see wings on their back. These wings represent star potential, and the bigger and brighter the wings, the more talent. She’s surprised one day at school when she notices a small pair of wings, much like a penguin’s, on the back of Ryoko, the popular female student council vice president. Later she accidentally discovers that Ryoko is, in fact, a boy named Ryo who and a member of Peacock, the most respected talent agency in town. Ryo’s under strict orders to keep his identity hidden by cross-dressing as part of the agency's “acting training” program – in fact, everyone at Peacock has some kind of secret disguise or another, and if anyone outside of the agency finds out, it’s good-bye career. Ryo’s panicked solution to being discovered by Yukari? Ask her to be his manager! Thanks to her father having just run off and left her penniless yet again, Yukari reluctantly agrees. Unfortunitly shes now as far away from her dream of a stable job as possible – and forced into her own cross-dressing role!
As I mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons I first picked up Penguin Revolution was my love of Land of the Blindfolded, which was also written by Sakura Tsubasa. However, while Land of the Blindfolded is, without a doubt, charming and reliant on continuity, it’s not exactly what you’d call heavy on plot. For Penguin Revolution, the author has taken her standard heartwarming vignettes and wrapped them in an impressive serial drama worthy of any soap opera or, more to the point, shoujo manga. In addition, she’s added Skip Beat’s drama of clawing up the ranks of the idol business and thrown in a bit of W Juliet’s cross-dressing high school antics for fun. In case you're not familiar with any of those titles, let me inform you that's one winning combination.
Penguin Revolution is full of Sakura Tsubsa’s usual strong characterizations. I dare you not to sympathize with the plights of the main characters, particularly when it turns out the role a character craves or the person they love is already claimed by another. Her lead gets especial attention, and Yukari’s one of those rare manga heroines who gets even better as the series progresses. The role of a manager is one usually ignored or played for convenience and laughs, but here it’s shown for what it is: a truely key part of making it in show business. Even the comic relief and villains are fleshed out the chapters of appearing, and the author has a preternatural gift for knowing just what will appeal to her various readers.
Sakura Tsubasa’s art is positively adorable, but it manages to mature straight into romantic at all the right times. While it may not be on the level of CLAMP, it doesn’t need to be. Her clean lines and simple expressions can say more in a panel than many writers can in a full page, and she’s got another weapon on top of that – slapstick. Surprisingly enough Sakura Tsubasa writes some of the best physical comedy I’ve seen outside of Shonen Jump, and it's frequently utilized as she plays off Yukari’s martial arts skills. And even when Yukari’s not accidentally high-kicking her roommate in the face, her skills come in handy fending off rival idols, unwanted suitors - both hers and Ryo’s - and even during the occasional daring rescue.
It’s pretty easy to guess whether or not you’ll like Penguin Revolution. Do you enjoy happy shoujo things with pretty boys and funny sight gags? Grab a copy today. Would you rather read something a bit bloodier or focused on adventure? Pick up a volume of Hunter x Hunter, because Penguin Revolution is obviously not going to be for you – although you might like the scenes where Ryo lands a bit part on a Power Rangers knock off. I promise there’s more than one explosion.
What our customers are saying
This episode featured music from:
0:03:04 --- 03. I Feel So Good (2nd Edition)
0:20:52 --- 04. Material Girl (cover-Madonna)
0:22:54 --- 06. Honky Tonky Crazy (cover-Boowy)
0:35:14 --- 07. Get up Boys and Girls
0:40:42 --- 02. The Goonies R Good Enough (cover-Cyndi Lauper)
1:11:17 --- 05. Magic Smile
1:27:44 --- 01. Trick or Treat
0:00:00 --- 02. Speed of Sound (cover-COLDPLAY)
0:06:52 --- 05. Asobi ni Ikou yo (2nd Edition)
0:24:22 --- 06. We Love The EARTH (cover-TMN)
0:42:45 --- 03. Sexy Girl
1:07:12 --- 04. Girls and Boys (cover-BLUR)
1:26:57 --- 07. World Is So Grooving