We spend the entire first segment of the show on COVID related stuff. But it is puncuated by James and Moh channelling their inner Harold and Kumar by going a good hour and a half west, jumping regions/counties, all to cop a feel of heaven with a viewing of the third Fate/Stay movie in a London Ontario theatre (9:36), some quick thoughts on the movie itself (23:25). And how nice it would be to have a streaming option in pandemic times, the issues with having that, and other notable anime theatrical releases in 2020 (28:25)

Mike starts the second segment by asking for other podcast promos, and asking for ideas for a new piece of intro music for the show (41:38). The rest of the segment was a variety of things that caught our attention. Some of it related to past episodes

44:37 – Kickstarter backers have started to recieve Angela’s comic, The Moonstone Diadem. Three of us give our initial impressions

46:54 – We save some words for the passings of Kirby Morrow and Diego Maradona

57:55 – James and Kevin sink their teeth into the sale of Simon and Schuster to Penguin Random House, and the issues likely to come with it

1:07:07 – James talks a little bit of Anime Matsuri and three panels that caught his attention, on J-Novel and its history and upcoming direction, Mike Toole’s Dubs that Time Forgot, and the Cybercity documentary

1:16:50 – Mike suggests the Japan Foundation New York’s past presentations on Japanese Pop Culture, and upcoming ones commemorating the tenth anniversary of the death of Satoshi Kon December 12. And a “Film Festival Plus” which will be highlighted by a panel discussion featuring Frederick Schodt and Matt Alt on December 5. This on the heels of the release of Schodt’s latest book. Then he brings up the Japan Foundation Toronto’s Film Festival featuring “The Long Goodbye”, and “Koshien”

1:22:25 – We come back to the Wired article on Netflix and anime and briefly talk a little more about the potential influence of the Netflix algorithm (which is the part that has been talked about on social media)

1:26:47 – On the topic of Netflix, Mike makes a recommendation for Samurai Gourmet and The Many Faces of Ito before watching Great Pretender next

1:32:48 – Moe and Kevin remember Tony Hsieh

1:34:52 – Kevin comes back to the Simon and Schuster story

1:40:12 – And Kevin makes a recommendation for Shonan Junai Gumi manga (the GTO prequel)

This week’s drinking game: take a shot with every algorithm/monolith joke

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng, Mohamed Sharmarke

Links of Interest

Come Visit Utah…and the Monolith…

Google Play Cyber Monday Sale

We start the episode with the obligatory COVID update, which probably isn’t that much better than wherever you are listening to this. In the idle talk, Kevin gives his thoughts on the Kimagure Orange Road special with Kat Callahan before we get down to business

14:25 – Wired talks to Taiki Sakurai, Netflix Japan’s chief anime producer. And how Sakurai has been surprised by how Netflix has handled anime and how their involvement may change some of the way the business is run

16:55 – Netflix Anime not being as “Japanese” and going a little more “macho”

19:40 – Not as much tied down by the merchandise and broadcasting ecosystems of the traditional industry. The nature of exclusive streaming on demand

23:30 – The merit of the opening theme song. And yes you can have it both ways

32:38 – Sakurai trying to explain some of the Netflix methodology in producing anime

35:10 – The company’s own motivations. And how some mentalities, habits, culture, and customs are simply hard to change

41:59 – Kevin makes a case for Netflix’s anime direction

50:02 – Promo: Anime World Order – Look, it’s not as if perhaps the longest running and most decorated Anime Podcast needs any further promotion. But we had space to spare here for Daryl, Clarissa, and Gerald. And we did want to get back into the old school routine of promoting other podcasts. So if you have one to promote, let us know

51:20 – We start the second segment talking about Seven Seas starting Air Ship, an imprint for their visual novels and a thought on this growing segment of fandom. And further thoughts on the shifts of western consumption of content

1:01:36 – Media Blasters winding down their DVD on demand service. And more thoughts on the once mighty distributor (and you thought Sentai was on fumes)

1:07:12 – James pat’s himself on the back for getting a highly anticipated video game device not called the Xbox or PS5. So let’s talk a little retro portable video games

1:12:30 – The release of the actual next generation consoles. And something about vaping. With a thought on past console launches. And how this launch is different with digital vs optical drive

1:21:30 – Sega has had a rough couple weeks. So what’s on the horizon for them? James and Kevin don’t think it’s Microsoft. And we give a thought to the actual strengths of the current console makers and how they are as first party publishers

1:35:31 – What the hell with the swatting incident at the Ubisoft Montreal offices? James quickly gives a rundown on their tough recent history

1:37:54 – We look ahead to the coming week. Kevin mentions AnimeNYC and the Aimer Concert live stream. James is looking forward to Anime Limited doing another Cloud Matsuri. Mike hypes up the Japan Foundation New York presentation on Anime Music

This weeks drinking game – Take a shot everytime Mike expects to be corrected

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng

Links of Interest

Since we brought this up…

Songs of Tokyo Festival on NHK World

Entry on the Boys Run the Riot manga (since this is Kevin’s current read)

What Happened to Attack of the Show?


Writer and journalist Kat Callahan talks with Mike to share her memories of Kimagure Orange Road creator Izumi Matsumoto, and swap stories of being fans of his signature title. All the while explaining how it influenced her life

5:33 – Remembering the first time Kat and Mike saw KOR, and how it played into North American fandom in the 90s. Plus, how her awareness of the open interpretation of fan translations drove her to actually learn Japanese

19:19 – A comparison between Kimagure Orange Road and The Wonder Years

21:45 – A quick examination of both the anime and manga versions of Kimagure Orange Road. And how your view changes depending on whether you saw the anime, or read the manga first (basically the same events being told from a different perspectives and contexts)

Then Kat discusses a noteworthy aspect of each of the main characters

30:33 – Kyosuke age and how the burden of his family’s ESP abilities really do drive every aspect of his motivations, personality, and ultimately his emotional evolution

38:54 – Hikaru. And how there are different versions of her in the anime and manga. And how those different versions were established fairly early in the stories

47:26 – Madoka. Her possibly being biracal, a thought on Schrodinger’s Ethnicity. And how her pedegree with her high profile family leads to a burden of expectations she has her issues with. And how Japanese and non-Japanese would view all that

57:35 – A thought on the twins and Yusaku. And their roles in the anime and manga versions of the story. And how they impact Hikaru in particular, whether Matsumoto liked it or not

1:07:50 – On the Shin Kimagure Orange Road light novel and movie, and arguements as for why it should and shouldn’t be acknowledged in the KOR canon. Mainly thumbs up on the music, thumbs up for what it did for Hikaru, and thumbs down on how it was a step back for the other characters. 

1:15:18 – And how because of ShinKOR, Kat believed how Matsumoto would have continued the KOR story if he could have

1:22:56 – Kat on being Matsumoto’s liason at Katsucon in 2012. And dealing with his manager

1:30:44 – On Matsumoto’s awareness of his overseas fans. With a further thoughts on KOR’s legacy in developing wider anime fandom

1:36:33 – On the legacy of Matsumoto’s actual stories. A thought on some of his lesser known works, the stories his poor health prevented him from ever telling, and perhaps the pressure he felt to make more works after the success of KOR

1:44:53 – One final question and the wrap up

Mike Nicolas with guest Kat Callahan

Links of Interest

Anime Roundtable v1.0 #70 – We talked at length about the Peanuts fan fiction play “Dog Meets God” and about fan fiction in general

We Start this week talking about Halloween’s past and how Halloween present is different this year…because 2020

4:27 – Kevin’s downtown book spree. And a talk about the legendary comic and sci-fi shops (and strip clubs) in the area. And how that’s not really a coincidence

17:17 – Mike looks back after finishing the Kimagure Orange Road manga, and previews the Kat Callahan chat and her memories of creator Izumi Matsumoto 

25:04 – James and Kevin went to watch Lupin III in theatres and live to tell the experience. And James predicts how the next anticipated anime movie release might be a little more of a pandemic issue

32:12 – Sony to purchase Crunchyroll? Some of the logic to the whole thing from a number of different angles. The worry of some titles getting lost in the mix. And how fan reaction is across the board

56:10 – Promo: Skeleton House Podcast

57:12 – Mike’s further fun with the iPhone 12 and Apple Store customer service

1:00:39 – Netflix’s Anime Presentation. How their Japanese operations have bore good fruit. Some of the titles that were announced. And that there can always be more to ask for

1:24:46 – Amazon being sued over ownership of digital files. And memories of how Amazon went 1984 with, well 1984 on the Kindle about a decade ago. The ongoing merit of purchasing digital files and enjoying them long term with evolving technologies (ie Sony’s updated Playstation Store and taking out PS3, PSP, and Vita games), and the generational rift between younger and older consumers

1:38:33 – Mike previews NHK World’s Songs of Tokyo Festival 2020 and gives a little background

1:42:04 – Kimagure Orange Road picked up on RetroCrush. James gives their background

1:47:20 – Looking ahead to the first week of November. And a quick rememberance of Sean Connery

This week’s drinking game, take a shot everytime a sound effect is used…then see if you’re sober enough to recognize which sound effect is repeated

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng, Mohamed Sharmarke

Links of Interest

Harry Tarantula website

Humble Bundle Horror Manga Bundle (Ends on Nov 4)

Why it’s Hard to Find a Burger King in Australia

Peter Payne on the Death of Izumi Matsumoto

We begin this episode of the Pandemic Series by talking about COVID related closures in Toronto with the first Playdium in Mississauga (6:10) and a legendary Chinatown Bakery (17:02) both closing shop. Then we give our tribute to Kimagure Orange Road creator Izumi Matsumoto who passed away back on October 6th, but was only made known to the public this week (20:00). In the process we take note of a personal story by journalist Kat Callahan of her experience being Matsumoto’s guest liaison at Katsucon in 2012

In the second segment we lighten it up a little bit talking about Kevin’s awesome gelato adventure before some places are forced into another pandemic closure (36:35). And Mike’s bogus morning chase to order an iPhone 12 (42:47). Then we do a round of Bullets (50:53)

51:29 – Sentai gets more Cool Japan funding

57:35 – Evangelion news two ways. The movie and the pros and cons of showing it in theatres, and the TV series licensing by GKids and what we hope will be in the new release

1:11:16 – The return of the Haruhi light novels and what’s changed since the last one…nine years ago

1:18:35 – Some manga news with Viz on an old school manga spree with Fist of the North Star. With memories of Gutsoon and Raijin

We slowly wind down the episode with James, Kevin, and Moh contimplating risking their collective well being to go watch the Lupin III movie in theatres, in what could be their final appearances (1:29:45). A Humble Bundle horror eManga bundle that caught our attention, and what’s on our to do lists for the next little bit (1:31:25)

This weeks drinking game: Take a shot everytime Mike says “hot mess”…kinda like Mike when he tried to edit this podcast after drinking a dalgona coffee. Or “your jam”, which sounds like he’s behind the times

Links of Interest

Disney’s Further pivot towards streaming

The Bob McCown Podcast (There’s a reason we made a reference to it at the start this time)

Mike noticed something in the Sailor Moon entry on the Crave streaming service in Canada, and plays a game of connecting the dots with Zannen Canada host Jesse Betteridge. The dots lead to a plausible story behind the acquisition, and the hope that there could be more anime to come to Crave. Jesse specifically talks about Wow Unlimited, their history in North American TV animation, and how they fit into this with Bell and Crave (5:50). In the process we also tell the story of how one of Wow’s VPs tweeted curiosity in acquiring some anime properties  along with telling the story of other major streaming services in Canada and the fallout on the failure of one of them (15:30). We talk the positives of Wow possibly putting more anime on Crave, including how Sailor Moon’s appearance on it trended in Canada (22:45). And basically tells you the importance of placing anime on a major streaming service, especially in Canada (27:40). Then we read more into all this and really begin to connect the dots and mention a wishlist for the future (34:05). And eventually how it might be important to think of anime as something not just for anime fans, and how Sailor Moon broke through that barrier for many (44:00)

53:03 – Promo: Skeleton House – So one of the “subjects” of this lets play podcast was actually a long time listener from way back in the Comic Den Era. He asked about promoting their nice little show with us, and sent us this. My basic fear is what will happen when the test subjects are released into the rest of the world. Well at least you can find out what happened before they wreacked havoc

We begin the second block by giving follow up thoughts on the Sailor Moon conversation with Jesse by giving our impressions of WOW Unlimted (54:05), with Mike giving a very quick history lesson concerning Bell’s acquisitions which set up the situation now (55:55), and we talk about where we hope and think this will go next (1:01:35). Then Moh talks about being one of the last people in the Greater Toronto Area to actually go to a movie theatre, seeing Akira in 4k (1:11:55). After, we give a COVID19 update for this part of the world (1:23:24). We talk more movie adaptations based on video games like Super Mario, Sonic, and Yakuza, the market and the involvement of the original creative forces (1:29:51). And finally, Mike and James talk a little more Pure Invention among other items on their to do lists (1:46:47)

For this week’s drinking game: take a shot everytime you hear the Rogers media sound, any mention of Mario Lopez, and Kevin’s niece

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng, with Jesse Betteridge and Mohamed Sharmarke 

Links of Interest

Fred Seibert Leaves Wow! Unlimited

I Miss Bionix, the blog

Yakuza movie adaptation because Nagoshi said so

Humble Bundle Offer: The Boys and Project Superpowers

Takashi Miike’s Yakuza Movie Trailer

First, a quick Raptors thought (and a little schattenfreude towards the Clippers and Bucks). Then we continue our Zoom-tastic journey with thoughts of Crunchyroll Expo (7:09) and Discotek (30:19) with thoughts on the following:

8:52 – Crunchyroll’s various partnerships

13:05 – Media Blasters showing some life

15:13 – What about Critical Mass?

20:58 – Titles that defined the North American companies that licensed them

26:15 – Follow up on Bartender, Planetes, and Violette Evergarden

32:15 – Discotek’s acquisitions in light of the digest

35:45 – Memories of seeing many of the titles mentioned the first time

In the second segment, Moh talks a little bit TIFF@Home and seeing “Under the Open Sky” (54:54), and more specifically the odd experience of watching it at home and how it was handled as opposed to the in person experience both emotionally and logistically (58:42), and the movie world going forward (1:07:20). Then we talk some video games (1:12:09)

1:12:23 – End of the Nintendo 3DS

1:26:24 – PS5 Showcase

1:42:05 – Yakuza Isshin in English?

At the end, we give a recommendation to watch the Anime Sway panel put on by the Japan-America Society of Dallas and Fort Worth (1:43:56)

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng, Mohamed Sharmarke

Links of Interest

My Heart Sutra: A World in 260 Characters (Fred Schodt’s New Book)

Robyn Doolittle is a Sailor Moon Fan

With it being the 19th anniversary of 9/11, Mike begins the episode by telling the story of a close friend’s close call.

Kevin asked Mike to do his version of a masterclass on the fine art of selling second hand anime and manga merchandise (6:51). And Mike, needing some selling tips, readily agrees. So here’s a quick rundown of the points in his lesson

12:50 – Patience

13:55 – Do an annual or semi-annual “spark joy” inventory

15:25 – Using cloud services like google drive to both catalog and advertise

17:20 – Take all your merchandise photos at once

20:35 – Consider Reddit as well as eBay as a place to sell

24:05 – Is a rerelease of the title forthcoming? Use that to maximize value

27:50 – Other online sites

31:35 – PayPal and currency conversions

36:58 – It’s overwhelming starting off, but just do it and learn along the way

42:35 – On selling mulitple volumes of the same title

47:55 – Shipping, both conventional and alternative methods

55:12 – Conclusion

Eventually towards the end of the class, we go off on a tangent on how productively we have spent the pandemic, with Mike saying he’s completely wasted it (50:19)

Then we look back on Angela’s return and look ahead to future episodes on things like this year’s virtual edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (1:00:49), and memories of Ready Player One (1:10:10)

Also points for any listener who can make out Kevin’s niece in the background

Mike Nicolas, Kevin Ng, and Mohamed Sharmarke

Links of Interest

Reddit: Mangaswap

Reddit: Gamesale

Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul – Screening Information

TIFF: Under the Open Sky

Mike begins the new one on one segment with an old friend as Angela finally makes her return visit to the Roundtable

First we do a quick update on the Kickstarter campaign for her new comic (2:43), how she’s managing during the pandemic (3:49), her visit to Japan ten years after her time there as an english teacher and how things had changed between the two times (7:44)…and Mike somehow managing to get the Yakuza video game back into that part of the conversation. Then we actually talked about her Kickstarter comic “The Moonstone Diadem”, how an Inktober challenge snowballed (13:03), specific influences in it like Utena (18:55), and her thoughts on being a fan of 90s anime in general as Mike updates her on older anime on streaming services (25:57). In the process Mike plugs NHK’s “10 Years with Miyazaki” documentary series again and the two end up talking about the emotional, mental and physical costs of work (29:03). Angela also comes back to her regular work on how expiring technologies effect archiving and evolution of games and their presteige as artforms (35:41). Then Mike reopens old wounds about Angela’s past feelings on Makoto Shinkai both then and now, and how Angela’s past feelings are becoming Mike’s current ones (38:55). Finally, Angela makes a wish to see the next “Made in Abyss” movie as we lament what should have been FanExpo Weekend in Toronto (43:30)

Mike Nicolas and Angela O’Hara

Angela’s Links

The Moonstone Diadem on Kickstarter

Angela’s Twitter: @fellminagames

Angela’s Webpage

We began this time around with a repeat of our anti-racism declaration in light of the Jacob Blake shooting and subsequent events. Then we tried to get back on track by talking about Shiro Usazaki finally breaking her silence after the cancellation of the act-age manga (9:10). But it went completely off the rails as we found out about the passing of Chadwick Boseman (17:03). After taking a breath and regaining our composure, we finish up with the bullets (27:05) and a final thought about fandom’s current generational divide (56:26), in what has arguably been the toughest week of a very tough 2020

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng, Mohamed Sharmarke

Links of Interest

The Link Cable Podcast

Sailor Moon on Crave (Official Release)