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)

Kevin has a “Say it ain’t so” moment with the Tatsuya Matsuki incident (12:52). And where this event, which ended act age, compares with similar incidents with people in the industry

Then we talk Sony and their move to give their animation operatons more prominance in their overall entertainment portfolio (43:26). How Sony’s overall business has changed over the last thirty years, away from electronics and more towards entertainment and video games (48:32). And their first look at possibly buying Crunchyroll and other possible suitors (1:03:07)

As we end, we give a quick shout out to the host of the Geek Eire Podcast (1:15:55), follow up thoughts to what was on Mike’s mind the week before (1:17:59), and Kevin points out that a milestone for us that quietly passed (1:23:30)

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng, Mohamed Sharmarke

Links of Interest 

Love Roma on Baka-Updates Manga

Gesu no Kiwami Otome (Masao Wada’s band) Wikipedia page

Tadaima: A Terrace House Podcast

SoraNews24 article on Tatsuya Matsuki’s other manga ideas

CBC News on Vancouver Animation Studio losing out on production after Louis CK scandal

Geoffrey Owens a year after the Trader Joe’s job shaming incident

Sean “Alpha” Burke’s Facebook lawsuit

With this week being the 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Mike shares his thoughts on what perhaps the most least appreciated english translated manga set during that time. And the legacy of the story on the discussion of the bombing itself

Links of Interest

Wikipedia Entry on Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms

Asian Wiki Entry on 2018 TV Adaptation

Asian Wiki Entry on 2008 Movie Adaptation

Moh couldn’t make it tonight and sent his regards. The scraps left over talked about the previous weekend’s online convention offerings (10:35) with Anime North’s Momiji’s Online Experience (13:08), and Comic Con @Home (36:07), along with their differences, what was actually seen, and how both their online versions were pretty similar to their traditional convention counterparts

In the second half of the show we briefly talk about Toshihiro Nagoshi’s (Yakuza’s Director) praise of Ghosts of Tsushima and how video game development differs in Japan and other parts of the world (51:53), the current issues with Sentai Filmworks in light of Crunchyroll taking down a chunk of their titles (1:05:25). Then each member of the roundtable makes a single recommendation to read or watch right now (1:14:45), and we end off on a follow up to a story we mentioned two years ago on the One World Kimono Project (1:30:10)

All this before Mike finally finished Yakuza 0 a few hours later

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng

Links of Interest

Kevin’s Recommendation – Saikano Manga (wiki entry)

James’ Recommendation – Lupin on Discotek website

Mike’s Recommendation – Wave Listen to Me Anime Review, and alternatives according to CBR.com

Moh’s Recommendation – Japan Sinks 2020 Review on Polygon

Manga Planet Blog (with links to their subscription services)


Editor’s Note: It took Mike more than ten days between taping this episode and eventually posting it. If you listen very closely, you’ll know why that happened pretty quickly

We give our recaps of Funimation Con, Anime Expo Lite, and Aniplex Online a week after they had happened. Kevin and James talk at length on the licenses announced peppered with further thoughts on the digital and physical distribution of manga, light novels, and even video games (3:10). Then a thought on the concerts seen (37:30). And we finish by looking ahead to Anime North and Otakuthon’s online offerings (45:22)

Hopefully the turnaround for the next episode won’t take double digit days

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng, Mohamed Sharmarke

Links of Interest to come