Bakacast – I Want to Sparkle

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I’m sorry these podcasts keep coming out late, but my spring semester is almost over and the work is piling up. I’ll be editing and posting episodes much quicker after the first week of May. And hopefully Jon will be caught up on anime around that time so he return to his regular hosting duties.

In the meantime, we brought Scamp, writer of the Cart Driver blog, on as a guest host this week. Marvel at his soothing Irish voice as he explains exactly why no one should ever watch Apocalypse Zero. Also, this marks the first week we finally decide to drop some shows. Because watching and talking about over a dozen shows each week is kind of tiring.

We cover:

  • 3:08 Gosick #13
  • 7:11Suite PreCure #10
  • 9:27X-Men #3
  • 14:01Nichijou #3 (dropped)
  • 21:29Tiger & Bunny #3
  • 26:06 Hanasaku Iroha #3
  • 35:59Battle Girls #3
  • 40:39Steins;Gate #3
  • 46:22Sket Dance #3 (dropped)
  • 50:55A-Channel #2
  • 53:20Blue Exorcist #1
  • 59:27Aria of Scarlet Ammo #1 (dropped)
  • 1:10:56AnoHana #1
  • 1:21:05Deadman Wonderland #1
  • 1:30:00 – Listener question

You’ve probably noticed that the second episode of C and the finale of Madoka are not on that list. That’s because those episodes aired after we were done recording (Madoka actually aired a mere two hours after). We’ll talk about them in the next episode, I promise.

If you would like to submit listener questions for a future episode, you can email them to bakacast[at],@reply them to Project Haruhi’s Twitter account using the hashtag #bakacast, or leave them in the comments below.

Bakacast – Punch It in the Gun

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Jon is absent again this week, but that’s okay. We kidnapped Thomas to help us talk about the second week of the spring season, where we still managed to miss a couple shows (Aria of the Scarlet Ammo, for instance, was released by gg two hours before before we started recording).  Somehow, even with over a dozen shows to talk about and a news section, we managed to keep this podcast under two hours. I think we might finally be getting decent at this whole reviewing thing.

We cover:

  • 2:47FUNimation licenses Panty & Stocking
  • 5:03The gg karaoke party (I’m singing on the far left, koda’s right next to me with the mic)
  • 7:47 Gosick #12
  • 14:13Suite PreCure #8 & #9
  • 18:45X-Men #2
  • 23:12 Nichijou #2
  • 28:28Tiger & Bunny #2
  • 32:57Hanasaku Iroha #2
  • 40:12Toriko #2 (dropped)
  • 45: 32Battle Girls #1 & #2
  • 53:03Steins;Gate #2
  • 1:00:45Sket Dance #2
  • 1:06:55A-Channel #1
  • 1:13:54 C: The Money of Soul #1
  • 1:19:59Macross Frontier #23, 24, 25
  • 1:33:56 – Listener question from Jon (you’ll want to click this link for context)

Bakacast – Winter Wrap Up

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Welcome to the last Bakacast of the winter season. It seems like only yesterday that we watched those first episodes, huh?

Jon wasn’t able to join us, so we kicked Fractale out the door, bid fond farewell to Wandering Son and Level E, and hosted our last Star Driver Love Party without him. We then start the first round of spring season reviews with a pretty respectable amount of anime. Expect the list, as always, to be cut in half by the time we figure out which shows we want to stick with.

And which shows we can convince each other to watch.

We cover:

  • 2:19Mass Effect animated film announced
  • 5:04Gosick #11
  • 8:37Level E #13
  • 11:22Fractale #11
  • 17:13Wandering Son #11
  • 22:11Star Driver #25
  • 29:49X-Men #1
  • 34:23Nichijou #1
  • 40:09Tiger and Bunny #1
  • 46:05Hanasaku Iroha #1
  • 54:47Steins;Gate #1
  • 1:00:49Sket Dance
  • 1:09:32Macross Frontier #21 & #22
  • 1:18:06 – Listener questions

All you bronies out there should appreciate the songs I chose for this episode.

It Got Better – Nichijou 1

Nichijou teaches about some of Japan's most famous souvenirs... by dropping them on Yuuko's noggin.

The most terrible thing that can happen to a fan is seeing their object of affection losing its touch. Hipsters cry indie tears when they hear the new ‘mainstream’ album by what used to be their favorite band. Film lovers pull the hair out of their heads when they see the person who used to be a great director releasing one piece of crap after another. And I suppose a lot of Kyoto Animation lovers felt the exact same when the studio wasted another 26 episodes on the Sakura High Light Music Club and dealt the death blow with the terrible abomination that was Nichijou episode 0. But worry not, fellow slice-of-life fans: the actual show makes up for this. Kinda.

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Animated Ambien – Nichijou 0


Warning: Action speedlines not indicative of actual content.

Talk about a disappointment. Kyoto Animation’s Nichijou, an adaptation of the 4-koma manga that ran in Shonen Ace, originally interested me because most sources described it as a mix between Azumanga Daioh and Cromartie High School. Both of those shows would make my top 10 anime list. Episode 0, however, contains entirely original content not found in the manga, and it doesn’t exactly speak well for the competence of the staff.

Simply put, Nichijou is one of the worst things I’ve ever watched.
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Bakacast – Sparking!!

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This week on Bakacast, we try something new for our opening segment and talk about what we’ve been playing and/or watching during the past week. Which means that I finally get to talk about video games on my anime podcast. Glorious freedom!

Anyway, Madoka didn’t air and Gosick wasn’t subbed in time, so we took the opportunity to catch up with Break Blade, fall asleep during Nichijou and discuss a K-On! doujin (yes, really). In other news, the Fractale hate train keeps rolling, the Star Driver love party returns and we give our advice for how you–YES, YOU!–can be Internet-famous podcasters (DISCLAIMER: May not actually make you Internet-famous).

We cover:

  • 2:27 – What we’ve been watching/playing
  • 15:27 – FUNimation backpedals
  • 21:22 – Deconstructing K-On!
  • 29:18Nichijou #0
  • 35:25Break Blade #4
  • 43:12Level E #11
  • 47:43 Fractale #9
  • 53:07 Wandering Son #9
  • 59:01Star Driver #23
  • 1:07:01Suite PreCure #6
  • 1:11:06Macross Frontier #17 & #18
  • 1:20:12 – Listener questions

Deconstructing K-ON! – The Takotsuboya Doujin Trilogy


Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

-Kurt Vonnegut

The super-saccharine moeblob slice-of-life genre received a lot of attention, both positive and negative, during the run of K-ON!. This show is the archetypal example of that genre, easily outclassing any of KyoAni’s previous works in popularity. However, despite its immense celebrity and polarizing effect on the anime fandom, I have yet to see K-ON! receive a proper deconstruction. With Madoka making literary analysis of old genres cool again, as well as the recent announcement of a “K-ON! in college” manga, I feel like this is the perfect time for moe as a genre to be scorched and refined in the crucible of deconstruction.

Alas, the only media I’ve come across that comes close to accomplishing this is the infamous Takotsuboya K-ON! doujin trilogy. From a storytelling perspective, these doujins could not be considered good. They contain the requisite awkwardly-placed sex scenes and out-of-place pervertedness that is characteristic of doujins, making suspension of disbelief impossible. But they also contain several ingenious, even brilliant insights into how the HTT girls would fit into the real world. Many of these insights are gleaned from the author’s experience as a failed mangaka who repeatedly tried anything and everything to get his work published.

Dusty and Glen believe that these doujins treated the girls too harshly, replacing the fluffy, idealistic world of the show with an equally brutal and vindictive antithesis. I, on the other hand, think any good deconstruction has to put its characters through hell, in order to scour away their veneer and reveal their true quality. But I want your opinion, friend reader. In order to spare you the ordeal of reading this admittedly substandard doujin, I will describe the fate of each character below. You tell me whether you think it represents an accurate character interpretation, or an overly grim attempt by the author to soil these much-beloved moeblobs.

More after the break.

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For Better or Worse? Two New K-ON! Manga Announced

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the upcoming issue of Manga Time Kirara will announce two new K-ON! spinoff manga, both of which will premiere next month. As far as we know, these two manga share the K-ON! title, but cover different subject matter . The first, which begins on April 9th in Manga Time Kirara, will focus on the continuing adventures of Ritsu, Mio, Yui and Mugi as they go to college. The second, which begins on April 28th in sister magazine Manga Time Kirara Carat, will follow the light music club at Sakuragaoka Girls’ High School, now manned by Azusa, Ui and Jun.

And thus, the inevitable slow decline of the K-ON! franchise begins. They won’t stop milking this cow until its dry, utterly dehydrated and comatose.

I’ve seen it happen dozens (if not hundreds) of times before. At first, K-ON! was a fun but vapid slice-of-life series, an enjoyable diversion that kept us amused with short skirts and pop music. Sadly, as the manga stretched on and the anime plowed through its second season, creative bankruptcy began to set in. The jokes got stale. The plots became repetitious. Even the much-vaunted music lost its luster. K-ON! was winding down, and everybody knew it.

More after the break.

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Bakacast – Tragic Piano Accident

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Yes, I know this Bakacast is a week late. I’d try to excuse it by saying I have a magazine internship, but if I’m being honest with myself then the real problem is playing too much Dragon Age: Origins. So, uh…my bad.

Anyway, we introduce yet another show into our review lineup this week: Suite PreCure. I haven’t watched it yet, so for now it’ll just be Jon, Glen and Thomas discussing it. But rest assured, I’ll catch up eventually.

In other news, Bakacast finally has an official e-mail address! Since Feedburner is telling me we have over 100 subscribers (wow), I figured it was about time we joined the rest of the big-boy podcasts and get an inbox where you can send comments and questions for us to read on the air. So if you’d like to chime in, send an e-mail to bakacast(at)projectharuhi(dot)net.

We cover:

4koma War Opening Shots – Nichijou Trailer

War. War never changes.

There is tension in the air. The plebeians are dishing out the latest Puella Magi Madoka Magica speculation as their voices are muffled by the silence before the storm. The otaku fandom is anticipating the spring season, the new shows it will bring…

But war never changes.

Every war starts with a spark. Every war starts with mere taunts. The 4koma war is no different.

It’s a battle to the death between A Channel and Nichijou, two upcoming slice-of-life shows competing for the same 4koma-style comedy slot in the hearts of otaku. But will it be a brutal melee of moe, comedy and death… or a mere skirmish, soon forgotten by the ever-fickle anime fandom?

To state it bluntly, this doesn’t look like it will be much of a war. The people at Studio Gokumi have nothing but Koe De Oshigoto! (an anime about a high school girl becoming an eroge voice actress) to back them up. They must be out of their minds to try and challenge the anime juggernaut that is Kyoto Animation, or have a lot of confidence in the A Channel franchise. All things considered, they don’t stand a ghost of a chance.

Nevertheless, when Gokumi launched its first rocket in the direction of Kyoto, the men and women (but mostly men) behind The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya and K-ON! responded with a new trailer for what will undoubtedly be their newest cash cow franchise to rule them all. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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