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Archive for the ‘Opinions’ Category

Breaking Silence

Mike speaks for the first time in almost two years as he looks back on the podcast’s past on the sixth anniversary of the first episode.  He also shares some of his thoughts on the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on the eve of the first anniversary, and the offerings of NHK World beyond its news coverage.

Mike Nicolas (13:00)


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Links of Interest

NHK World


Here’s Masayoshi Yamazaki performing One More Time, One More Chance at the Kouhaku Uta Gassen in 2005.


The Music Video for Haru Yo Koi by Yumi Matsutoya.

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Mike sighs as he needs Rant Space to once again talk about credentials and credibility in the anime fandom and industry circles in North America. This after being called ignorant and disrespectful to the industry, by a member of the industry. Mike wonders if this was worth his time in the end, but spent it to show respect to this particular member of the industry. Clearly more than what this person really deserves.

Mike Nicolas (15:37)


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    Megan uses her cell phone to Gabcast her dating tips to geeks, and her thoughts about dating in the the geek sense. It really isn’t all that complicating.

    Megan Swaine (3:20)

    Listen to it here or download from the links below. Feeds to be updated shortly.



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    The other members of the Roundtable finally begin to take up some Rant Space. So while we wait for the taping of the next episode, Enrico looks back one of our last episodes of 2008 and gives his honest feelings about Crunchyroll’s current direction.

    Enrico Bianco (5:11)

    Listen to it here or download from the links below.


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    We finally introduce our new feature where the regulars get the chance to sound off on anything they want by themselves. It can be a reflection, it can be a story, and yes it can be an angry rant. But it is all genuine.

    In the first edition of Space To Rant, Mike looks back on the NHK Red and White Show, its broadcast history in Canada, and the woman behind bringing it here. Something appropriate for New Year’s.

    Mike Nicolas (8:00)

    Listen to it here or download from the links below.

  • Links of Interest

    Official NHK Kouhaku Website (In Japanese)

    Susan Tsuji’s Obituary in the Toronto Star


    Here’s Akiko Wada’s memorable performance finishing off the 49th Kouhaku in 1998.


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    If you’re in Ontario and can get OMNI2 tune in at 11pm tonight for a documentary that was partly taped at Anime North a few years ago. Animania had its broadcast premier a few months ago in Japanese, but the english version is set to premier tonight.

    Yup, it’s about anime culture in North America. It was created with a fund provided by OMNI (which is a Rogers owned station).

    Here’s the press release on Anime News Network.

    Here’s the documentary’s website.

    And here’s the producer’s website.

    Whether or not the documentary is actually good may be another discussion (I don’t know myself so I’ll be tuning in). Hopefully though, it’ll be worth a conversation.

    I am putting the finishing touches on episode #47 tonight and hopefully it’ll be up just after the documentary airs.

    So now you have a few things to look forward to tonight.

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    Like I mentioned at the end of ep 42 last week, today is the second anniversary of this podcast. Our first show was taped exactly two years ago, and I’d like to think it’s gotten a little better since. Once again thank you to everyone who makes this worthwhile. The only thing I can hope for is for another year.

    A quick browse this week brought me back to my cousin’s blog on Anime Academy. This week he talked about the streak of acquisitions by Bandai Visual USA, posing the notion of squeezing out the “anime middle class”. It’s actually an interesting read and takes in the logic that I know my cousins there are known to have.

    Okay, now to the best/worst part

    *deep breath*

    Have you ever wondered what sitting in on a live taping of Roundtable would be like? Better yet, ever wonder what we look like? Well prepare to be horrified.

    During the taping of episode 42 last week, Adam decided to point his MacBook Pro with iSight camera at us as we recorded. What you are about to see, should you decide to see it, is the most complete, raw, uncensored and, most of all, unedited version of episode 42 you’ll find anywhere. Complete with everything that was said immediately before and after recording, AND during the breaks.

    And best of all, you’ll get to put a face to Mike, James, Angela, and Adam…whether you want to or not…and assuming you’re not on the Facebook Group.

    So give the video a watch, and enjoy the Anime Roundtable audience experience as if you were actually there. And then afterwards ask yourself…is it really worth seeing a taping live.

    Trust me, I have no intention of making a habit of this. However if you’re interested in actually downloading a copy of this video, e-mail us and maybe I’ll put up a download link after.

    C’mon, press play…I dare you…no, I double dog dare you!!!

    Update: I’ve decided to put up a downloadable version of the episode. The file is in Quicktime, and remember to right click to save.

    Download Quicktime raw version of episode #42 (208.3mb)

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    The episodes were taped on Thursday, but they’ll be put up a little later than usual this weekend. Episode #31 will likely come up late Saturday, and Digest #6 hopefully sometime Sunday.

    In the meantime I just wanted to put in quick plug for the annual Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema going on next week from November 15th to the 18th. The anime highlights will be SOS Metro Tokyo Explorers on the afternoon of the 17th, and 5 Centimeters Per Second on the evening of the 15th. Both I believe are Canadian Premiers. So if you’re in the area, by all means. And I’ll once again repeat how much I am raving over 5cm, that is a must see in my books.

    You can see the WFAC website by clicking on this link.

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    …but boy what a disaster it was. Where do I start. Not much of an audience (not a big deal), tried to use a speaker for the non existant audience (many issues there), and the few that were around wanted to actually sit amongst everyone doing the show, many distractions. And to top it all off, James’ microphone wasn’t put together properly and we found out towards the end that it was actually pointing the other way. Didn’t help that I wanted to do the recording differently for the audience enjoyment (you know the one I mentioned was almost non existant).

    To use the old cliche, anything that could have gone wrong certainly did. Thank goodness one of Anime North’s programming heads came in to say some nice words at the very end there. But I think we can declare this episode a write off.

    So because of that, I don’t think you want to actually hear how this went. And to be honest, a good chunk of it you can’t even hear because of the microphone issues. So I am really divided on putting this up at all, certainly not in its entirety. I may keep the last segment as a bonus though.

    For episode 22, we’ll go back to the basics, and lay down the law.

    This will be a nice lesson to add to the Podcasting 101 panel later…

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    Got back sometime ago from Anime North to tie up loose ends.  Very happy I went, aside from checking on things, I got my badge in advance of the long lines later (although this was long too).  Just finished up all preparations for tonight (one or two more in the morning).  Now all we do is wait.

    Once again, we’ll be in the Doubletree Terrace Friday and Saturday at 9pm.  Hope to see you there.  We’ll likely be taping longer episodes than the usual hour long shows.

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