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like seeing the Captain Harlock promotional booklet I had to get for my collection!

Those books were about in Comics & Comix in 1985 or so, when (under the guidance of Mike Ebert, later chief designer of ANIMAG) it was perhaps the Bay Area's most important connection for mooks and magazines. I particularly recall the phrase from the program of GALAXY EXPRESS about becoming an "immortal mechanical man." Somehow this actually captures the feel of the process better than "machine bodies."

Connections, connections.

Comics and Comix got their stock from Books Nippan. Yuji once told me of how Budd Plant would come to the warehouse every month like it was pelt trading day in the 1600s, walking thru the parking lot where the shipping container was unpacked and books and magazines were sorted for distro to both the BN stores and the other Japanese book stores that BN was jobber for.

Budd would walk around the piles, pointing, saying "I'll take all of those..gimmie 10 of that..hmm..."

I heard he did similar buys at Pony Toy.

I have a picture of the Comics & Comix booth from the 1984 Worldcon in LA. Stacks of shit we all would die for today. I passed on that giant DX Big Scale Yamato toy ($60!!!) because I couldn't figure out how I would get it home. Hell, the Comics & Comix booth had stuff the Pony Toy booth didn't have!


But at least I blew a ton of money at the Books Nippan table, Back when it was good. Back before the person who replaced Yuji decided fuck anime, airbrush books were the profit center. That, and BUURRRRNNNNN magazine.

(which, I know, was cool for some of the folk, but man, *along* with the anime, not INSTEAD of, Mmmkay?)

Oh, yeah. But the important thing was that Mike made the orders from Bud Plant (I think I have a Bud Plant catalog somewhere with a list of horror manga titles such as "Split Mouth Accident/Severed Hand in the Grave") and thus made it all available on Telegraph Avenue. Mike Ebert was the first older person I ever met who was into anime that wasn't, well, a fucking creep. He was an encouraging role model at a time in life when I was fourteen or fifteen, thought anime was rad, killer, and hell of cool, and wondered why the grown-ups I'd meet at C/FO meetings seemed to be comprised of equal parts dough and suet. Not only did he have personal style, but he'd lend me his LPs, his mooks, and even his pre-records. Japan Video wouldn't even *rent* you their pre-records--they'd rent you their copy of their pre-records.

P.S.: Patrick, apparently Teo es el 'nerd' de la clase. http://www.esmas.com/rebelde/perfiles/395858.html

The name Mike Ebert sounds familar, from someplace other thn Animag...

Carl, forgive me if I sound overbearing. You were there, brother, I was just passing thru for a weekend. What I remember from way back when is that Bud Plant *owned* Comics & Comix, it was a chain, I think 3 stores? Plus Plant had (has? I seem to recall it's still in business) his indy distro warehouse, back when Captial and Heros World were neck and neck with Diamond.

I wonder what treasure lies hidden in the corners of Plant's shelves...I remember taking a tour of the Capital distro center in Chicago, passing up Be Forever and Final Yamato hardcovers at $100 each.

As to the point of Patrick's post. I'm not surprised Matsumoto is anti-Pirate when it comes to intellectual property. He tried to shaft Nishizaki when he was down and got spanked by the court. What little I can dig out sounds so convoluted...argh.

Oh, no, you weren't overbearing or anything like that. Oddly enough I grew up saying "Reiji" Matsumoto, on the default assumption that was correct (as standard romanization uses "r" and not "l"). It wasn't until I read ANIMAG's interview with Matsumoto that I found out he himself preferred "Leiji." Today he reminds me of Dave Merrill's quoting of the Harlock gripe, "the corrupt Earth Government always waits until the last moment to send me my tax refund check."

I bought that Captain Harlock promo book at Fat Jack's Comic Crypt while in Philadelphia on a family trip in 1982. Then I made everybody get up early so I could watch Starblazers on "Philly 57" in the mornings. There was a store down the street from Fat Jack's called "Heaven" that sold Astro Boy T-shirts and Maguma Taishi toys and everything you bought came in a plastic Astro Boy bag, and I thought the store was aptly named, indeed.

"Radio Free Arcadia - too much talk, not enough rock!"

"Too much talk, not enough rock" indeed! I always wished Rintaro had directed Arcadia.

There's one of my '99 questions of anime' right there. Why *didn't* Rintaro direct MYiA? Was he burned out on Matsumoto? or was he deep in pre-pro for Dagger of Kamui?

And don't diss Radio Free Arcadia..i'm working on some stupid Myspace crap with that name :)

(there's nothing good there NOW, I said I'm WORKING on it...duh )

Should I use the blog thing there or get a LJ? I can never make up my mind...

D.Z., I would be glad to, but as all anime cons are forbidden to me at the moment, due to life on Planet Unemployed (it's like Gorath only duller. As if filmed by the East Germans in the '60s) keeping me down, baby...

However, I would also like to ask him about 'Herlock Outside Legend' and find out the truth about it. I could have sworn it was set to be a 26 episode show but then that whole 'Matsumoto is anti-jew!' thing erupted (and he's not. He's just anti-anyone not Japanese) and suddenly it's 13 episodes and Rintaro is like "Oh, this is what it was supposed to be blah blah"..yeah, right.

And howcome Galaxy Express 999 (the movie) was so amazing visually yet Adieu 999 was a visual snoozefest? I swear I couldn't believe my eyes when I finally paid attention and noticed he directed both of them.

but then I would praise him for how amazing Dagger of Kamui was. Oh, the story was a mess, but man, visually, it was a feast.

Adieu 999 is my all time fav anime flick (although the Yamato movies are close) and dissenters will not be tolerated.

Check out the amazing background art and lighting in the first act. Also the psychedelic light show was the 999 lands on New Andromeda. And the entire last half hour where the whole fucking machine planet is crumbling like a giant pretzel.

Check again and tell me "visual snoozefest."

Man, I'm just pissing everyone off this week...

Patrick, maybe I mis-spoke, you're right about those scenes. And some of the fight on the train, Faust Vs. Tetsuro, was pretty dynamic.

But friend, there's something off about Adieu 999, and I'm clearly doing a poor job of expressing it. It's obvious enough to me to have totally not grokked for YEARS that Rintaro was the director. I wish we could sit down with munchies and drinks to watch and discuss. Is it just the tone of the two films? How the first is all about the dreams of youth and adventure, while the second is more like "yeah, and then what? crap happens, that's what"?

That's kinda why I thought the third film, 'Eternal Fantasy'fairly blew chunks. Not only being *unfinished* (a Matsumoto tradition) but also being more or less the follow-on to the GE999 TV series..kinda...

And yes, D.Z., Maetel Legend was...-blrarf- not even good fanfic. I love how people have taken an offhand metaphor from Matsumoto about Maetel and Emeraldas being 'sisters' and decided that's TRUE, sisters by blood! WOOT!

Fools. Now if they find themselves in a hot springs and start to explore secret feelings, it's incest and just creepy... ;)

I actually saw the 1st 999 film several years after Adieu. Blame the lack of decent pre-records in Sacramemnto, CA. Perhaps I really am alone in this.

Someone here told me they hated Adieu because "Tetsuro shouldn't be so strong." Could it be Trish Leduex who is right? She called it one of anime's great "bildungsromans" (whatever the fuck that means). Overcoming mommy and getting a gun of your own?

I always took it as Rintaro goes Sergio Leone. Those duels,landscapes, and trains whistles, for example. Whatever it is, Adieu is the Japanese cartoon where everything works for me, including Mary Macgregor's closing Sayonara song. In fact, I am getting all choked up right now just thinking about it!

We all would have loved Eternal Fantasy and Maetel Legend if they ran for 2 hours and 40 min. and had come out 15 years earlier.

Hmm. I hadn't considered 'imprinting' and seeing Adieu before three-9. What's your take on the BGM? And what's the deal with the 'b' side song of Macgregor's single? It's makes me want to do the robot dance.

I think I may have to disagree about Eternal Fantasy. Maybe not, if the sucker had actually been finished. I'm just annoyed with the whole 'metalnoid' thing, which when you take all the '1999 Matsumoto' stuff into account seemed solely designed to absolve everyone, esp. Queen Promecium (who may or may not be Yukino Yayoi) from her...hurm...descent into self-serving evil.

bah. now I'm going to watch Adieu.

I also saw ADIEU first, at Toren Smith's programme (the Canadian spelling is not meant to be precious; I grew up listening to RCI) for BayCon '85. When I was 14, the idea of standing on a pile of burning rubble firing a machinegun beat blubbering in the snow beside your dying mom any day. For some reason the mmmmmmMatsumoto mamacon wouldn't be nearly as creepy were it not for the extreme contrast betwen the perfect, towering forms of the women, eyes wise and mouth barely deigned to open, set against the squat, tuberous forms of the men, their eyes beady, the teeth in their wide-open jaw going this way and that.

It is funny how this imprinting occurs; for example, I saw MAMO before CAGLIOSTRO. I literally saw each for the first time, one right after the other. It was at a C/FO meeting in a Hayward public library where only me and two other guys showed up. Since I was new, it was like, "So, whaddya want to see?" "How about that 'Lupin'?" "No problem, we got both movies"--this was 1984. It was, of course, the HK dub and the old "Ed Cott" film-print subtitles (not the dub's "Ed Scott"--but there must be a connection. Was that a substitute for "Totsan"? It's the wrong number of syllables for "Zenigata"). Somebody with more energy needs to track down the provenance of those, you know.

Crap, Rin Taro's gonna be at Anime Next? This is the first time in, um, forever that an anime con has a guest I'm interested in seeing. Hey, Anime Next should have me do an Anime Hell, that's all there is to it.

Adieu and 999 both have their moments. Adieu is colder, more grown-up, more depressing, 999 is more colorful. I have a cel from Adieu, so Adieu wins.

Could someone explain why Reiji Matsumoto was accused of anti-semitism? Was it connected to his love of Wagner?

Filthy Zeons! But we often wonder why the Japanese are not more sensitive to these issues. Many theories are advanced, but I personally blame the 1979 Nippon Animation version of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, which seemed to go out of her way to make her not be cute.

So there was an anime Diary of Anne Frank? I wonder if Anne would be considered Moe.

Angel Cop?

In Golgo 13 they are usually referred to as "they." But that's just it; in almost every vintage anime of European children from other ethnicities, the kids were portrayed as cute--WONDERFUL ADVENTURE OF NILS, THE SWAN PRINCESS, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, HEIDI, SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, 3000 LEAGUES IN SEARCH OF MOTHER. But not poor Anne Frank, who needed it most; the essence of moe is protectiveness.

"Could someone explain why Reiji Matsumoto was accused of anti-semitism? Was it connected to his love of Wagner?"

I'm not aware of Matsumoto having any particular love of Wagner per se, but the actual German legends of Sigfried et al, combined with that uniquely Japanese 'yeah, Nazis were bad but boy, check out their cool stuff' vibe seems to put some people off.

And be careful about that 'what Japan did in China and Korea' stuff, if anything Matsumoto *would* show the bad crap because that's his thing, the 'war is shit and everyone does wrong stuff' stories. Matsumoto subscribes to that saying 'Persons are smart, People are stupid' and does glorify the human spirit in the face of atrocity.

but I digress.

The anti-semite charge was brought up during the airing of 'Space Pirate Captain Herlock (sic) The Endless Odyssey: Outside Legend' (currently available in the US from Geneon)...I haven't found all the issues but some of the key ones were:

The people investigating the 'gate' were supposedly Jewish, they didn't believe there was a 'devil' and so the idea of eternal evil was impossible.

The Space Sheriffs supposedly had a modified Star of David badge, they were 'imposing their will' on freedom loving people

There was supposedly more discussion about 'Seal of Solomom'and when the Noo powered up their device a big Star of David glowed on the stone.

I have no idea how much if any of this is true. I don't know anyone who was taping the series off-air, all I have access to are the US DVDs which have been sanatized of these elements.

Frankly, the show is a bit of a mess anyway. It's like it's missing a third where things link together more logically.

but at least I figured one thing out. In this incarnation, Harlock is taking a page from the stories of Northwest Smith, and grokking THAT made a whole lot of it more understandable.

Oh, Rintaro...you could have done so much more...

Well, to be fair, Japan was, you know...er...on the, well, NAZI SIDE during the war? What I mean is, it's somewhat unreasonable for them to have quite the same attitude towards it all as the Americans or British. I don't mean that the average Japanese is necessarily pro-Nazi or anti-Semitic, only that the visceral reaction towards that history is likely to be different.

Carl, D.Z., both good points. Nazi gear IS an easy shorthand for 'BADEVIL', no question about it.

I recall seeing pictures of an episode of Solbrain where our super rescue heros encounter a former Nazi, and I think it's his daughter all Ilsa the She-Wolf in full SS gear (and blonde hair! it's an odd look on a Japanese girl) and you just know Oh, my, bad bad people...

and yet, the Commander of Solbrain *also* has what is clearly inspired by the Nazi SS clothing, with black leather jacket trimmed in silver and the whole thing.

So, there's 2 views of Nazi Germany in Japan (at least two!)- Ultimate bad guys and fashion statement.

Which I suppose is echoed in some manner here in the US as well.

Except we don't add the large breasted underage schoolgirl with lactating balls...


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