Producers note: This was taped before the COVID 19 pandemic reached serious levels, and before Anime North got cancelled. So this is even more out of date than usual. But we did want to share our thoughts at the time

Mike encourages people to count how many times he got wrong how many years had passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake as we start the episode by reflecting on it on its anniversary (5:05). Then we give our initial thoughts about COVID 19 as it started to make its mark on society and the anime industry (13:40). Then we talked about the success of the Korean movie Parasite (31:30). And finally we give thoughts on the current crop of movies in theatres (50:55), a Netflix recommendation (1:00:10), and some final convention thoughts (1:03) 

It’s amazing how much has changed since then

Mike Nicolas, Kevin Ng, Mohamed Sharmarke


Links of Interest Coming Soon


We start our first ramune filled episode of 2020 talking about Bell Let’s Talk Day (the episode was taped on January 29th), and Moh’s appearance in this year’s promotional ad. Then we talk about the North American theatrical run of Weathering with You (7:45), and the interview with Makoto Shinkai (25:05). Then G-Kids in theatres and a tangent on what James and Kevin are buying these days (43:20), and a shout out to a recovering Fred Schodt (52:00). With a final apology for being so long with this episode (54:05). 

Hopefully the next episode isn’t at Anime North

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng, Mohamed Sharmarke


Links of Interest 

Young Mohamed appearing in this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day Promo


There’s a lot to catch up on in two months. But we start way off topic with talking about the sports talk shows that were in the inspirations for the Roundtable with a brief history of sports and radio broadcasting in Toronto (4:50). Then we actually start talking anime, and the limited theatrical release of Promare in late September, and the gang’s individual experiences in going out to see it and the extra interviews at the end (31:21), and Mike’s thoughts as to fire being a recent theme in anime especially in light of the Kyoto Animation Fire and the culture of fire fighting and prevention (58:24)

In the Bullets Segment, we talk about more recent thoughts on the Cowboy Bebop live action (1:15:03), Rei Tanaka’s Anime Central Announcement…oh and her upcoming photo book (1:20:38), two shows that caught Mike’s attention on Netflix recently (1:28:00), Overwatch 2 with Toronto mentioned as a map (1:33:26), James and Mike give some thoughts on things worth watching including a Sherlock adaptation and an NHK World music show (1:46:33), and Kevin suggestions one final movie screening (2:02:20). And finally we give our reactions as IFF 2020 announces their first guest (2:04:45)

Hopefully we’re all caught up until December

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng

Links of Interest

Since we briefly mentioned it. The Reel Asian Film Festival

Bob McCown signs off for final time

Erin Davis’ book about loss

ESPN Tribute to John Saunders

The Toronto Mike’d Podcast

NHK Page Roots of Tokyo: Edo City of Fire

Netflix Live Action Cowboy Bebop Trailer

Rei Tanaka Does a Photoshoot

Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020 Promo

Midnight Diner Tokyo Stories Season Two Trailer

We begin tonight on a reflective note as we commemorate 18 years since 9/11. Then we get to the episode young Moh wanted to do, but could attend the taping of himself as James and Kevin talk about seeing the North American premier of Weathering with You at the Toronto International Film Festival, with Makoto Shinkai in attendance (6:58). In the aftermath of the discussion, Mike brings up a book he’s been meaning to read that does use the 2011 earthquake as a plot device (43:50). Then he celebrates the end of the KOR Manga Kickstarter Oddesey (45:50)

We begin the bullets segment with further thoughts from the Kyoto Animation Fire (48:37), the latest in the Vic Mignogna saga in hopefully the shortest bullet ever (55:30), and some PR trouble for group for group that runs IFF/AnimeRevolution (58:38). And finally the latest in online buying (1:04:20), and the Community Calendar (1:13:48)

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng

Links of Interest

Makoto Shinkai’s Tweet as he arrived in Toronto for TIFF

When Toronto thinks “Sunshine Girl”, it’s likely something like this

New York Times Book Review of “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki

ANN article on AniRevo’s decision to let a serial harasser and sex offender attend

The Kyoto Animation Studio arson dominates the start of this episode, more than three weeks afterwards. We take a step back and give our thoughts on the coverage and the immediate and long term affects on the industry, and remember some of the victims (22:50)

As we come back from the break we regard James and Neil’s lack of appearance (31:25), then we go into the Toronto Anime Community calendar with the Mississauga Japan Fest (35:50), Weathering with You’s North American premier at TIFF (38:35), screenings at the JCCC, and end off with Kevin talking about his upcoming trip to K-Con in LA (55:10)

Mike Nicolas, Kevin Ng, Mohamed Sharmarke

Links of Interest

CBC News on the Kyoto Animation Arson

Susan Napier on the long term affects of the Kyoto Animation Arson

John Ledford Interview on NHK World’s Newsroom Tokyo

After more than a month off, and a Wendy’s and Tims run, and a week after this was actually taped, we’re finally back with this quick episode on the hottest day in Toronto yet. We start by looking back on Anime North and the Fred Schodt interview (3:33), and his last panel about his view on manga translation (11:35). Then we talked about our take on the ups and downs of Anime North’s strict fan run angle (24:53). Next we give our take on a few aspects of Neon Genesis Evangelion’s Netflix premier, from the music (31:20), the new English Dub (33:52), and the translation of one specific scene (37:20). Finally we preview digest #3 in hopes of digesting AX, including Kevin’s reaction upon hearing Harmony Gold’s renewal of their Macross license (51:37), and a final We The North moment (58:25)

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Kevin Ng, Mohamed Sharmarke

Web: animeroundtable.com
Email: animeroundtable@gmail.com
Twitter: @animeroundtable

Links of interest to come

Zannen Canada Podcast ep.57

On the Netflix Translation of EVA pt 1

On the Netflix Translation of EVA pt 2


Legendary Manga Translator Fred Schodt honours us by becoming our first major guest to do the Roundtable in this special sit down taped last Saturday afternoon at Anime North

We begin with Fred and Mike looking back on his first visit to Anime North back in 1998 (the second one), and a panel they did together about History in Anime and Manga. And how Mike first told him about Rurouni Kenshin during that panel (3:30)

Then Fred talks a little bit about the honours he has received from the Japanese Emperor (Order of the Rising Sun: Gold Rays and Rosette) and the Japan Foundation, and how in receiving the latter he ended up meeting now Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako a year and a half ago, and how he was a fan of Astroboy (9:05)

We then start to talk about two of his Anime North panels, first about his friendship with Astroboy’s creator, Osamu Tezuka relaying a few stories about him (17:35)

Then we talk about his panel about the Four Immigrants Manga which he published in 1998 (around the time of his first AN appearance). Fred gives a quick biography of Henry Kiyama, how he came across his work, and how he became very close friend’s with the Kiyama family. Also we talk about the recent musical adaptation of the book (24:50). In the process of the conversation Mike recalls some stories of his own grandfather (34:27)

We then give a preview of Fred’s final panel about his own thoughts on manga translation, the history, and where it stands today. Which we’ll talk about in episode 12 (38:32). Mike then brings up Fred’s lecture at the Japan Foundation after AN ’98 on the actual manga culture in Japan then, and what it might be like today in light of digital consumption (40:21)

The conversation then ends off with Fred’s reaction to seeing Anime North 21 years later as we watched con goers pass by the AN Office’s Display room (52:00). And Mike gives a final thank you by telling Fred about another story as he gave him a stamp commemorating the Vancouver Asahi baseball team, which we mentioned back in episode 8 (58:10)

Mike Nicolas and James Austin. With Special Guest Frederik L Schodt

Web: animeroundtable.com
Email: animeroundtable@gmail.com
Twitter: @animeroundtable

Links of Interest

Fred Schodt’s Personal Webpage

Translation of Love by Lynn Katsutake (the historical fiction novel mentioned by Mike about Japanese-Canadian Internment Camps)

Fred’s page about the Four Immigrants Manga

The Promotional Video for The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga

Interview with playwright Min Kahng, the creator of the Four Immigrants Musical

Canada Post page on the Vancouver Asahi Stamp


On our second night at Anime North, we’re joined by Jesse Betteridge from the Zannen Canada Podcast. He gives his impressions of Anime North, as well as recap his panels at the convention (3:40). Then we get into a longer discussion about the Anime convention scenes in both Toronto and Vancouver, and what to maybe expect from the International Fan Festival as they attempt to settle into Toronto (Vancouver’s Anime Revolution is put on by the same group). Also Jesse makes some very interesting observations between Anime North and Anime Evolution, the former Vancouver convention, and how Anime North isn’t too big on having too much of an industry presence (20:20). 

That sets up Norm McEvoy’s annual appearance, which explains a few things. In addition Norm reminices about AN’s early days, and how it became the institution on Dixon Rd, and likely why it works there (1:03:25). Norm also remembers Dick “The Destroyer” Beyer and his influence on Japanese Pro Wrestling and Pop Culture (1:18:35). Then to end it off, Kevin gives a promo for the Toronto Japanese Film Festival. And Mike previews the sit down conversation with Fred Schodt (taped earlier in the day) , which will be put up very soon (1:52:56)

Mike Nicolas, Jesse Betteridge, Kevin Ng, with James Austin

Web: animeroundtable.com

Email: animeroundtable@gmail.com

Twitter: @animeroundtable

Links of Interest

The Zannen Canada Podcast

YouTube Channel: Mikerphone

YouTube Channel: Mega Jay Retro

Japan Times article on the death of Dick “The Destroyer” Beyer

Toronto Japanese Film Festival

Editor’s Note: This version of the episode has been updated with edits to take out as much of the stammering (“umm”s, “ahh”s, and “like”s) as possible, and keep the episode easy to listen to. Expect this type of editing in future episodes

Mike became so tired and confused by the time we taped this episode, he wasn’t sure if this was episode 10 or digest 3. Night one at Anime North starts off with the final touches for a hopeful special guest later during the con. Then becomes pretty much an open mic episode as Mike and James invite a volunteer to tell us about his day one before Mike, James, and then Kevin do the same (4:50). With Mike doing a preview of the Fred Schodt sit down by talking about his first panel on the Four Immigrants manga, and Jesse Betteridge’s panel on Anime Deaths (39:45), and Kevin talking Nominoichi (43:40). Mike and Kevin then invites one of the con goers to the mics, who talks about the lack of DVDs in the dealers room (47:50), and the Black Folks Like Anime Too panel (51:54). Then we end off looking ahead to day two (1:00:22)

And who would have thunk it, trying to edit out all of the “umms” and “ahhs” and other types of stammering took out almost five minutes from the orginal product. Five minutes you can have back, you’re welcome….are we that bad?

Mike Nicolas, James Austin. With Sukhee Hong, Lawrence Black, and Kevin Ng

Web: animeroundtable.com

Email: animeroundtable@gmail.com

Twitter: @animeroundtable


Links of Interest

Sukhee Hong’s Twitter

“Black Folks Like Anime Too” Facebook Group

Today’s secret word is “icon”

So after struggling to open our ramune and partake in some Japanese snacks, Mike tells a story about giving a ramune to Veronica Taylor at FanExpo more than 15 years ago (4:55), we acknowledge the New Japanese Emperor and what lies ahead in the Reiwa Era (12:55) and how that name is linked with an adult visual novel (24:20). Then we get to the heart of the episode with our International Fan Festival report (25:32), the screening of Fate/Stay Heavens Feel with Mike making observations living up to his nickname and Japanese guests being incognito in Toronto (33:10). Thoughts on the scheduling of events and autographs (41:30), the Fate/Stay actors talk show (49:00) and recording session (51:00). Ayako Kawasumi’s Q&A (58:05), thoughts on Mecha Ude and crowdfunding productions (1:04:50), Kevin at the IFF Anisong concert Saturday evening (1:09). And did Crunchyroll fuel the video rooms through an offline HD (1:19:45)? And IFF’s spot in a landscape that includes an institution like Anime North (1:20:55)

Then we turn to James and Kevin’s excellent TCAF adventure…and if you thought autograph chasing was hard at IFF and AN (1:36:45). And the bullets, Crunchyroll picking up some Discotek titles (1:55:10), an impression of the first episode of the new Fruits Basket anime (1:59:05), the trailer for Makoto Shinkai’s latest movie Weathering with You (2:10:05), and Moh finally talks about seeing the Code Gease movie (2:12:20). Then we end off by previewing Anime North (2:19:50), with more Nominoichi from trying to get into the Nominoichi (2:25:10). Come join us for a live taping of the Roundtable on Friday and Saturday night at AN

Wow that was long…but not as long as Avengers: Endgame

Mike Nicolas, James Austin, Mohamed Sharmarke, Kevin Ng


Links of Interest

Trailer for Makoto Shinkai newest movie “Weathering With You”

Mecha Ude Official Pilot

Reiwa also refers to what??!!

Lumican – Canadian distributor of Lumica lightsticks