Bakacast Briefs – The Saga Begins

Hey, look! It’s the debut episode of Bakacast Briefs! As always, you can download it directly, subscribe to our RSS feed, or let iTunes do all the work for you. So, what is Bakacast Briefs, you ask? Basically, we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that Bakacast will only update once a month. However, we wanted to give our audience something to listen to during that large gap of time. So we figured we’d try doing mini-episodes that ditch our typical news and in-depth review format; instead, Bakacast Briefs will feature Jon (aka Ritsu), Chris (aka Kagami) and me giving our brief thoughts on each week’s new anime episodes. Unfortunately, Chris is unusually busy with something called “real life”, so it’s just Jon and me in this episode. We discussed:

I was hoping to add Sengoku Basara 2 to this list, but Funimation still hasn’t put the first episode up (so much for a “simulcast”). I’ll talk about it on next week’s show, I promise. Also, this list is likely to change as we drop shows we’re not interested in. So by the time we’re a few weeks in, we’ll probably have narrowed it down to a few shows that all of us are watching. In the meantime, tell us what you think of the new style. It’s very much in the “experimental” stage, so we’d love to know what you like or don’t like about it. The music used for this episode is “Colour Television” by J. Arthur Keenes.

Bioware’s Dragon Age Will Soon Be An Anime

It seems Halo: Legends started a trend. Soon after Bungie made their own Animatrix, Stan Lee and Marvel teamed up with Japanese studios to create Heroman and Iron Man. Now Western RPG developer Bioware is collaborating with Funimation to created an animated movie based on Dragon Age: Origins, according to an ANN story.

Bioware is no stranger to using other mediums as tie-ins to their video games: both the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises have expanded to multiple novels, comic books and even a Flash game. However, this marks their first attempt at an animated film. Combine this with the recent news of a live-action Mass Effect film, and it seems like the game developer is making a strong push to broaden their audience. As a huge fan of Bioware, I sincerely hope they can accomplish that without angering their existing fans.

My advice? Don’t do a retread of the video games.

And don’t let Uwe Boll get within 100 miles of the production team.

Bakacast Episode 4 – This Is Absurd

Okay, we took about 3 weeks to release this episode, but it’s twice as long as the others. So it’s almost like we’re on time!

You can download the episode directly, subscribe to our RSS feed or get it from iTunes.

We kick off our news segment with Funimation’s decision to censor the Dance in the Vampire Bund DVD’s (which they quickly reconsidered), followed by short discussions of Media Blasters’ layoffs and whether the American anime industry should just die. Paul “Otaking” Johnson’s fansub documentary closes out the news and provides us with a topic Ryoko, Shamisen and I can agree on before we start arguing about The Wings of Honneamise and Cromartie High School.

Next time: Project A-Ko! Casshern Sins! And punctuality (maybe)!

Funimation Virtual Con Panel Video!

Here’s a video of the Funimation Virtual Con Panel (aka FuniCON 1.0), which was held via live streaming video and text chat at 4:00 Central on Thursday. I was in the chat representing Project Haruhi, and Adam actually answered a couple of my questions! He did have some trouble pronouncing Project Haruhi’s name, though (time index 5:19 on the first video). It’s okay, Adam, we forgive you.

He also answered my question about Saboten-Con (6:33), a Phoenix-area convention that myself and a few other PH members will be attending at the end of October. Unfortunately, Funimation won’t have a panel there.

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Japanese Anime Industry Shrinks

ANN is reporting that the Japanese anime industry has shrunk for a second year in a row, with revenues down over $2 billion in 2008. Drops in both box office revenues and DVD sales contributed to this downward trend. Yasuo Yamaguchi, the director of the Association of Japanese Animators, thinks he knows the problem.

“The spread of free Internet downloading is having a deadly effect.”

Of course, that MUST be what’s wrong. I’m sure this industry decline has NOTHING to do with endless moe filler, ill-advised publicity stunts or ridiculously overpriced DVDs. Good call there, Yasuo!

Meanwhile, while the Japanese anime industry is floundering, the American industry is thriving. Must be a fluke.