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Episode 141 – The Unpop Culture

Episode 141 – The Unpop Culture

WEEK IN GEEK: In a fit of nostalgia, Andrew picks up The Sims 3 again (starts at 1:49) while Dan can’t get past a nit-pick to enjoy anything Netflix’s Castlevania has to offer (20:46).

SDCC 2017: [starts at 34:04] It was a big weekend for nerd culture as the San Diego Comic Con dropped a bunch of new trailers on the world. Dan and Andrew look at three trailers and how they seem to be pointing out the creative direction of their respective studios with Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, DC/Warner Bros.’ Justice League, and Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One.

For reference, here are the three trailers the discussion focuses on.

Thor: Ragnarok

Justice League

Ready Player One

RELATED EPISODES:

WORKS CITED, REFERENCED, OR CONSULTED:

LINKS:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio

Week in Geek: Akira, Vol. 1

Week in Geek: Akira, Vol. 1

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Akira, as an anime and manga series, is arguably better known for being a groundbreaking work than for the story it tells (variable as that may be, depending on the medium). From presentation to content to technology and themes, Akira has earned a place in the cultural discourse of not only Japan but the rest of the world as well.

As I mentioned on the podcast, I have come to Katsuhiro Otomo‘s manga after having seen the anime, which I’m sure is the course most westerners took since the movie was such a significant event, especially in the nerd world. Now three volumes into the story, I have already seen a significant diversion in narrative between the manga and anime, to the point that the movie feels less like an adaptation and like a new story using the same players. This difference intrigues me to the point that I found myself down the hole of an academic database search for any criticism about Akira.

Not surprisingly, the discourse around both the anime and manga nearly unanimously focuses around its use of imagery related to nuclear weapons and Japan’s historical tie to them. While not wrong nor an insignificant approach to the work, I feel that using a small lens on such a large work misses out on a lot of fantastic critical angles. Also, when conversations around Akira happen in person (with friends or fellow fans) and the group wants to take it to serious territory, it seems the only road to travel is the one that leads to nuclear warfare and its relation to Japanese history as well.

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Shortcast 17 – YouChoob

Shortcast 17 – YouChoob

Week in Geek: Andrew simulates walking in Gone Home whereby he ponders how this mechanic has future ludic applicability; he also starts playing the strange but intriguing indie game, The Bridge. Dan reads volume 1 of the manga, Akira, upon which the classic animated film is based.

ShowCard

Leave your thoughts about this week’s topics as comments at forallintents.net. Be sure to join the official Facebook page for exclusive links and conversations and updates.

Please leave a review of the show on the iTunes store, which will help spread the word to new potential listeners.

For all intents and purposes, that was a Shortcast recap.

Featured Music:

-“Thunder Busters” by Wax Audio

Worth a Look

Worth a Look

We’ve broached the topic of adaptations from one medium to another a few times over the life of the podcast, but this is a nice, focused look at a unique case. Growing up in the early days of anime proliferation––when titles were few and unprofessional translations could be bought (of varying quality) at conventions––Akira was kind of “the” anime. Not in the sense that it was the only one, but fans talked about it as if the film rested atop the peak of quality, outshining everything beneath it. You had to watch it and you were not going to understand it. It existed as a kind of filmic puzzle box that people would attempt to parse and explain which only further confused the discourse. In spite of that, Akira remains quite an amazing movie when watching it as an adult. Technically, it’s an awe-inspiring work of art. Its story, too, while often confusing and obtuse, does have a lot of incredibly complex social ideas and themes, especially about youth/teenage culture.akira-feat

The truth is that the Akira film is an adaptation of a manga series that wasn’t even close to being done and writer/director, Katsuhiro Otomo, had to draw conclusions that made sense for a two-hour animated film. That’s what makes the movie such a standout from other adapted manga, however. It must carry some legitimacy because Katsuhiro Otomo also wrote and drew the manga; so, the moviegoer must be seeing a glimpse into the future. However, being such a big story, the task of adapting it into a movie that made any kind of sense at all would be an unenviable task, which makes it a fascinating case study in the continuing dialogue about adaptations. Tom Speelman’s article dives into the relationship between the anime and the manga in detailed and cogent fashion, drawing together the point that––despite some uneven spots––Otomo was able to create two masterpieces in two different mediums in the span of a decade. No matter how you look at it, that’s a feat that deserves a closer look.

With the massive success of the Marvel Studios movies and the can’t-help-but-watch trainwreck that Warner Bros. has done with the DC heroes since Chris Nolan left The Dark Knight trilogy, it’s easy to see the Fox and Sony licenses (The Fantastic Four/X-Men and Spider-Man, respectively) get short shrift from comic book fans, especially. Now, with regard to The Fantastic Four, Fox has done itself no favors and Sony straight-up gave up the fight to an extent by––as we all saw in Captain America: Civil War––giving Spider-man back to Marvel in all but the actual rights, so the anti-Fox/Sony arguments do carry a lot of weight, but the X-Men movies have become almost a forgotten undercurrent over which the “superhero movie” genre now flows.

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I think “undercurrent” is the right word and that’s what Dan Marcus’ article does its best to show, recreating how the world felt back when the first X-Men movie was released in 2000. The only successful comic book adaptation made before it––aside from the Superman films––was Blade, but a lot of people didn’t even realize that was a comic book character beforehand; knowing that or not, the movie didn’t make any attempts to really draw that connection, either.

The first two X-Men movies were an interesting and important step because even though they didn’t fly the comic book colors in the way Marvel has deemed necessary in a modern context, it was still obliquely reverent, capturing what was important about the comics even if they changed a lot of details.  While I personally think that the drubbing X-Men: Apocalypse received was mostly unearned and feverish due to its proximity to both Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, without the X-Men franchise it’s fair to say that we wouldn’t have the Marvel Studios that we have now, and the X-Men should just be allowed to keep on keeping on (except for X-Men: Last Stand; that should be thrown into a fire).

 

 

Episode 78 – It’s Not Crude, It’s Savage

Episode 78 – It’s Not Crude, It’s Savage

Week in Geek: Inspired by last week, Andrew starts watching Cowboy Bebop while Dan checks out the new sketchbook by one of his favorite working artists, Giannis Milonogiannis, called Never Be Game Over.

Sub Vs. Dub: Dan and Andrew tackle what is possibly a moot issue in the world of digital home video and media, but they still find the issues underpinning the perennial debate over which is a better experience: subtitled anime versus English dubbed versions.

Toshiro Mifune: Despite being a bit of older news, Andrew and Dan discuss the importance of Hollywood recognizing the contributions of Toshiro Mifune to not only Japanese cinema but American (and worldwide) cinema as well.

Please share your thoughts about any of the discussed topics by leaving a comment at forall.libsyn.com. You can also con contact the show at forallpod [at] gmail [dot] com. Be sure to also join the official Facebook and Google+ pages for updates, fan conversations, and exclusive content. The best way to help the show out is to leave a review on iTunes––either a text review or stars––which will spread the word to new potential listeners.

For all intents and purposes, that’s an episode recap.

Links:

-Giannis Milonogiannis: http://www.milonogiannis.com/

-Giannis’ 2015 Sketchbook, Never Be Game Over: https://gumroad.com/l/azxsu

-Ted Woolsey & Translating Final Fantasy III (VI): http://www.playeronepodcast.com

Featured Music:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio

-“Let’s Fighting Love” by Trey Parker (from South Park episode 8.1, “Good Times With Weapons”)

-“Titles” by Masaru Satoh & His Orchestra (from Yojimbo)

-“Cyborg Mermaid” by Kaori Akima (from Gunnm [Battle Angel] OVA)

Episode 77 – That’s Not A Euphemism

Episode 77 – That’s Not A Euphemism

SPOILER ALERT: Dan and Andrew go into detail about the plot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in this episode. So, if you haven’t seen it, please refrain from listening. You have been notified.

The new year is brought in an…interesting…fashion. Base humor and extended conversations are but a small step into 2016!

Week in Geek: The boys play some catch up as Andrew plays Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Dan watches Cowboy Bebop.

The Force Awakens A Lot of Opinions: The movie that caught the world’s imagination is under the lens this week, though both Dan and Andrew come to Star Wars: The Force Awakens from very different places with very different attitudes. It is a movie that has been universally praised but severely dissected among the fandom. Andrew and Dan dissect the schism as well as offer bits of their own insights into this, overall, fun movie.

If you want to respond to any of the topics discussed this week, you can leave a comment on the page for this episode at forall.libsyn.com. Be sure to join the official Facebook and Google+ pages for exclusive content and discussion. You may also e-mail any questions, comments, or concerns to forallpod [at] gmail [dot] com. Be sure to leave a review on iTunes to help spread the word to new listeners through the magic of Apple’s algorithms.

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap!

Featured Music:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio

-“Main Title and the Attack on the Jakku Village” by John Williams (from Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

-“The Jedi Steps and Finale” by John Williams (from Star Wars: The Force Awakens)