Episode 133: Inspired By Anime

Okay, seriously!  What the fuck IS this?!

Okay, seriously! What the fuck IS this?!

Pablo Praino joins us this week as we look at animation inspired by Japan. Some cartoons do it right, by adapting great methods of expressionism and style. Others do it wrong with giant sweat drops and overt expressionism.

Find out who is guilty of being a weeabo and who isn’t. Like it’s any mystery who our #1 offender is.

13 thoughts on “Episode 133: Inspired By Anime

  1. I kind of sad no one bring up Megas XLR
    Anyway, I so do dislike Kappa Mikey. It get so many things wrong. Saw Super Robot Monkey Team Go! once, didn’t like it. That giant robot design look like a knock off of Bender and didn’t like the monkeys
    Anyway, nice episode

    • I think it was actually on one of our lists, but we kept adding ideas as the show went on, that we probably just forgot.

      Megas XLR is an interesting one, because I don’t think of the style of the show as being related to anime at all, because it has a much more globalized style that so many other shows have. I just have difficulty looking at the animation and seeing anime.

      But thematically, it sure the hell has anime love all over the place. Just the fact that they pilot a mech qualifies it as one of the best anime-inspired shows ever. And it practically does a rimshot on everything.

  2. Wow, you guys are not holding back, are you? Haha. This episode is helluva great, probably No. 2 in my list of best episodes IHMO XD.

    Speaking of Franime, have you guys heard of Wakfu? It’s a fantasy adventure that uses a lot of tweening, but is surprisingly well animated from what I’ve seen. The series has already 2 seasons.


    OK…. I’m sorta afraid to ask this, but since you brought up rock bands: Is Tenacious D ever considered a “rock” band? I’m rendered speechless whenever they “sing”.

  3. Yeah it always bugs me how every single western depiction of anime to this day uses either outdated and cliched 80’s giant robots, 90’s school girl/tentacle hentai monsters, or early 00’s Pokemon (Johnny Test did a Pokemon parody episode in 2008 called Johnny’Mon to show just how outdated its references are)

    The only reference i ever seen to modern anime now in a Western property (besides the very occasional Naruto reference) was in the video game Toy Soldiers: Cold War where the orbital laser weapon is introduced as being “Yours is the laser that will pierce the heavens”

  4. Gainax seems to get mentioned a lot by the creators and animation staff behind Avatar, Motorcity, Teen Titans, TF:A, and even Yin Yang Yo. They name drop their stuff like FLCL during interviews and such.

    • Yeah, I see a lot of name-dropping, but it’s really weird what different studios take away from Gainax. In the cases of Transformers Animated or Teen Titans, I’m really at a loss as to what inspiration they drew from Gainax, other than lifting tropes.

  5. The weird anime-style show on Adult Swim you were thinking of was Shin-Chan?
    And here I thought you were talking about Perfect Hair Forever…

    • No, I wasn’t trying to think of an anime style show. I was trying to think of an actual anime. What I cut out was about a minute of me stumbling to describe the show while Ben throws out guesses like Milk Chan.

      The impetus to this was that Ben was talking about an anime joke from a Family Guy episode and then remarked that it didn’t seem to fit with any actual anime he’d ever seen.

      And I was trying to give an example of an anime that had a weird enough that it sort of resembled the scene from Family Guy, and Shin Chan was the first thing I could come up with. (I probably could have just pointed to any anime from the 60s and 70s, actually.)

      In the end, Ben’s probably right. The Family Guy scene is completely off-the-mark. It barely resembles what it’s making fun of. It seems to be a parody of the most strained misconceptions about anime rather than any particular example. The only people who would laugh at it would be people who don’t know anything about anime.

  6. Oh boy, animesque!

    I gotta tread carefully, because most of these shows are from my childhood, which means I might have the nostalgia goggles on. Either way, let’s get to it!

    – On the subject of animes referencing Western cartoons, I keep wondering to myself why is it so common for the opposite to happen. I mean, if we look back at history, Osamu Tezuka was inspired by Disney, and the release of Snow White did inspire Japanese people to become animators, so it’d make sense to pay homage to what can be considered one of the origins of anime, right?

    – When Western cartoons reference anime, you can be pretty sure it’s going to include a. a Dragon Ball reference, b. a Naruto reference or c. a Pokemon reference. And it will feature lots of yelling, because apparently, animes like to yell?

    – YO SHUT UP TEEN TITANS IS THE HYPEST SHIT. Nah, I’m just kidding. Funny enough, the things I remember most about Teen Titans aren’t the anime things, but the character dynamics. In fact, the only two episodes that I remember clearly (the others are like screencaps scattered through my mind) are the ones where (I think) Starfire travels to the future and the one where Raven ends the world, and even if those episodes had anime stuff, I only remember the non-anime moments. Oh, and anything with Slade, seriously, he scared the bejeezus out of me when I was younger. Fun fact, over here in Brazil, the guy that dubs Slade also recently dubbed Amon, which meant the Brazillian version of LoK scared me more than the original version.

    – Hi Hi Puff Ami Yumi was a show that would perfectly make sense in Japan, where shows based on J-Pop idols come out every single freaking day, but in America, where you don’t have that kind of culture (especially after the glorious Beatles cartoon). But saying “oh you can’t tell who’s who when the actual singers show up on screen and that’s a problem” is ignoring one of the main characteristics of life: we don’t look like cartoon characters. If you put two Japanese girls next to one another and you’re not Japanese, they’re going to look the same, but that’s not the show’s fault.

    – Super Monkey… ah, screw it. SUPER ESQUADRÃO DOS MACACOS ROBÔS. That’s what it’s called in Brazil, and that’s how I remember it. It was an awesome show! But… let’s go over the “don’t do an entire series homage” argument. Following that argument, almost every single Mel Brooks movie is shit because they’re feature length homages to certain genres! Spaceballs, a feature length homage to sci-fi and Star Wars? Sheeeit. I think you just didn’t like Super Monkey Whatevs because you just don’t like it, and that’s fine, but the argument you used wasn’t good at all.

    – TMNT 2012’s animation is good. And even if you don’t like the designs, at least you have to admit that t’s fluid, which is the most important aspect on a show about ninjas.

    – Yeah, the Totally Spies girls did have defined “personalities”. The green one was the smart one, the yellow one was the athletic and the red one was the “Daphne” one.

    – Oh, come on, you spend an hour and a half talking about what you don’t like and when it gets to stuff you like you spend fifteen minutes?!

    – Last Airbender is such a perfect gateway to Asian culture. I know people who wanted to learn martial arts from watching that show. If there’s a show I want my kids to copy and learn stuff from, it’s that show, because at least it’s morals and topics are contemporary and well-done.

    – It’s also an excellent gateway to a discussion about the way animation deals with mature topics, censorship and that kind of stuff.

    – And again, speaking of Avatar… sigh, I’m still waiting for the next Avatar. I don’t mean Legend of Korra, especially because I watch it and I love it, but I’m talking about the next show that breaks the norm and captures audiences both young and old with kickass characters and amazing stories.

    – I know I shouldn’t make fun of Pablo’s accent, since I have a similar one, but whenever he says cheap I can’t help but hear sheep. IT’S SHEEP!

    • What a sheep shot, dude…=P
      Agreed on most points (Tezuka WAS influenced by Disney Fleisher and basically molded all japanese animation, but partly because there were very, VERY few animes before his), but I gotta make my point clear with the Hi hi Puffy Amiyumi thingie: first of all, japanese idols have their own shows but not cartoon shows, which is more of a western thing. Second and most important: it´s not about them being asian and me not being able to tell them apart, it´s that the characters of the show have NOTHING in common with their real life counterparts and hence I can´t tell which is supposed to be which.
      In the Beatles cartoon you could tell who they were representing, even in the New Kids on the Block cartoon (a more recent example) there is more accurate character representations. Here we get Optimistic Girl with Pink hair and Go Go Dress and Pessimistic Goth Girl with Blue hair and Skull T-shirts who seem to be in more of an indie rock band than an actual pop group. Here, do point out for me where´s the blue haired goth and where´s the go-go dress pink haired maniac: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Puffy_Amiyumi.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Puffy_AmiYumi_20090704_Japan_Expo_46.jpg
      Other than their music in the show and them being female, there´s practically NO connection to the artists they´re supposedly portraying, neither visually nor in personality…at least they yell japanese words randomly so that we don´t confuse them with T.A.T.u., right?
      The bright side I guess is that it did gave PUFFY some exposure in the rest of the world and got fans to their concerts.
      As for the lack of lenght for the stuff we especially like, there´s been talks of a follow up where we would focus on that, but we do have some sort of curse where every podcast of stuff we do like ends up short (check the Iron Giant).
      Thanks for the detailed feedback!

  7. When Pablo was talking about the new Sailor Moon and her having another daughter, I think he was talking about this: http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/08/28/fan-artist-anticipates-new-sailor-moon-with-amazing-redesigns

    If you scroll down you see an older Usagi with a teenage Chibi-Usa and a younger version of Usagi herself, so it could be mistaken for Usagi having two kids. But it doesn’t matter anyway because this is just fanart. So far there is no official artwork whatsoever or even any description what the new show will be like.

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