Animation and Anime
MORIARTY Urges You To Sample ADULT SWIM On Cartoon Network!!
Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
I remember reading a few passing mentions of a block of upcoming programming on Cartoon Network, something called ADULT SWIM. I read a story about the line-up, registered that there was a SPACE GHOST spin-off, was pleased to see they'd be showing COWBOY BEBOP, and didn't really retain anything about the other shows mentioned.
Then I got a couple of e-mails last week from a writer on one of the shows, and I wrote him back, and he called the Labs, and we chatted a bit, and he put me in touch with one of the guys from publicity, and then an envelope appeared on Friday, and inside was a tape, episodes of each of the shows except COWBOY BEBOP, and I've got those on DVD, so I have a pretty good idea what to expect.
When I finally got around to watching the tape, it was the middle of the night, 2:30 in the morning. First up is HOME MOVIES, a show that's already had one shot at your time and attention when it was played on UPN. It's produced by Soup2Nuts, the company that used to be Tom Snyder Productions. They had a pretty healthy run with DR. KATZ, their original animated show for Comedy Central, and HOME MOVIES definitely bears some resemblance to KATZ in terms of sensibilities. Like KATZ, this show is animated in a squiggle-vision style. There is a specific voice at work here. Loren Bouchard and Brendon Small are the creators of the show, and it's obvious where the inspiration came from: the lead character is an eight-year-old boy named Brendon Small. He wants to be a filmmaker, and is constantly shooting video films with his friends.
There's a great deal of charm to the show, and you'll hear familiar voices, performers from DR. KATZ as well as Paula Poundstone, who plays Brendon's divorced mom. Much of the dialogue sounds improvised, or at the very least augmented with ad-libbing. It's the sort of show you genuinely have to listen to, since there's subtle voice work, an almost captured quality to the way the characters talk. Aardman Animation did such a great job with stuff like this in CREATURE COMFORTS as well as other shorts of theirs. There's an off-the-cuff quality to the humor, droll and feather-light. This show isn't out to be the wackiest thing on the air, or to dazzle you with pace. It's a gentle joke, and I enjoyed what I saw. Didn't really demand that I get to the TV by 10:00, which is when ADULT SWIM begins, but if I’m watching the entire block, HOME MOVIES is certainly worth a look.
Next up is THE BRAK SHOW, and here’s where the real sensibilities of ADULT SWIM start to assert themselves. Me, I’m a fan of absurdist humor, and there is something deeply, deeply strange about most of the programming you’ll see here. Take THE BRAK SHOW, for example. Brak started off as one of the recurring characters on the wonderful SPACE GHOST COAST-TO-COAST, and I always thought of him as a little less interesting than Zorak, Space Ghost’s giant insect bandleader, or Moltar, the henchman running the show from a tech room. Brak was just this demented space pirate who would show up and ramble incoherently or, worse, sing from time to time. He’s not really my first choice to anchor a show of his own, and yet... it works.
It helps that Zorak is also featured on this show, since Zorak is one of the funniest characters on television. It also helps that Jim Fortier and Pete Smith, the writer/producers of the show, have fleshed out Brak’s world with some memorably bizarre characters. His parents are a crack-up. Mom looks just like Brak, but dressed like June Cleaver, and Dad is a tiny little Hispanic man who is obsessed with why the local bishop has rejected his deviled eggs. “The bishop is a fool,” he mumbles darkly. They live right down the street from Thundercleese, a mighty robot warrior with a steady stream of assassins trying to kill him, many of whom end up in the kitchen of Brak’s house by mistake.
The episode I saw involved Zorak coughing up a pink lump of tissue named Carmine, who turned out to be the source of Zorak’s familiar voice. Once Carmine was set free, Zorak turned out to have, as Brak put it, “a beautiful man voice,” one which Carmine exploits by making a singing star out of Zorak. The lyrics to Zorak’s songs are classic anti-social malice with a smile on, and had me laughing very hard. Like SPACE GHOST, THE BRAK SHOW episodes are 15 minutes long, and I’m a big fan of that length. There’s no room for padding. A comic idea can be tweaked and twisted and fairly well-explored, but there’s no time for things to linger and wear out their welcome. Every joke counts.
According to the TV schedule I’m looking at, THE BRAK SHOW is on twice tonight, airing at 10:30 and 10:45.
At 11:00, HARVEY BIRDMAN: ATTORNEY AT LAW is up, and it’s well worth tuning in for. This is going to be one of the shows people talk about from this line-up, one of the two that has potential to be a real buzz hit. The premise is simple: Harvey Birdman tries cartoon world cases. In tonight’s episode, he agrees to represent Dr. Quest in a custody case when he is sued by Race Bannon, his longtime “traveling companion,” who feels like he has been the primary caregiver to Johnny Quest and Hadji. Bannon is represented in court by Vulturo, one of Birdman’s adversaries. It is a gloriously silly show, and genuinely adult. This is great example of taking the freedom of ADULT SWIM and running with it. THE BRAK SHOW could air anytime on Cartoon Network, but HARVEY BIRDMAN couldn’t. The show is both subtle and blatant at time, and the animation is handled by the same JJ Seidelmeyer who has created so many of the memorable TV FUNHOUSE cartoons on SNL in the last few years, like THE AMBIGUOUSLY GAY DUO and GEORGE CLOONEY, a pitch-perfect parody of SPEED RACER. One of the kicks of HARVEY BIRDMAN is seeing all of these characters occupying the same world. This show delves into the secret lives of these cartoons, the ones we always knew they were leading when we weren’t watching them. It’s funny stuff, smart and memorable.
SEALAB 2021 is on at 11:15 tonight, and this is the show that is written by Christopher Ward, among others. He’s the writer who contacted me last week, and we spoke on Thursday morning about his background with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and how excited he is to be working on SEALAB, his first television writing job. Here’s an example of recycling at work: there was an old Hanna Barbera show called SEALAB 2020, an underwater action show designed by Alex Toth. SEALAB 2021 is repurposed animation, cut and pasted with new connective material used to fill in gaps. The result is a bent little show about a bunch of lunatics living in an underwater research facility. “Stormy” Waters, Marco Rodrigo Dias de Vivar Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Debbie, “the black Debbie,” Captain Hank, and Dr. Quentin Quinn are all completely insane. Debbie’s biological clock goes off in this first episode, and she decides to pick a worthy husband from among the men of the Sealab. This show is downright dirty at times, and you’ll find yourself gasping at a few of the jokes. The real key here is to see how far these guys are willing to go with these superfreaks they’ve created. I’ll definitely stay tuned in.
11:30 to midnight belongs to SPACE GHOST: COAST TO COAST, and that’s fine with me. I’ve loved this show for a long time, and still find the dynamics between Space Ghost, Zorak, Moltar, and the guests to be endless fascinating. I laugh every time I think of Charlton Heston’s appearance, and the over-eager familiarity Space Ghost addressed him with. “Can I call you... Chuck?”
A wary Heston replied, “Yes, I suppose that’s okay...”
”How about Cheston? Can I call you Cheston?!”
”Oh, come on, Cheston...”
”I said no.”
After a long pause for Space Ghost to reorganize his thoughts, he starts, “As we were saying, Cheston, you were in...”
”No, Space Ghost. No.”
Of course, every time I see him now, the first thing I think is there’s Cheston. SPACE GHOST does that to you. It burrows these little jokes into your brain, little time bombs that go off for days after you see a good episode. I love the show, and I’m glad they’re still producing original episodes, that it’s still a priority for the network.
Tonight’s presentation of ADULT SWIM is capped by two half-hour episodes of COWBOY BEBOP. I’m not an anime fan by and large. To me, it’s always about individual shows or films. If I like something, great. I like it because it’s a great story or it’s particularly well told. I don’t just have a blanket love for the genre. With COWBOY BEBOP, I am more than impressed. This is a science fiction show with some great hard science (watch the details of the space travel in the show... someone did their homework) and some daring stylistic choices. The action is great, the worlds the show visits are interesting. My first exposure to the series was when a friend brought over a DVD and threw it on for me. I didn’t know what I was getting into, and it was one of those pleasant surprises that you can’t get out of your head afterwards. I own several of the collections of episodes, but I’ll watch them on Cartoon Network anyway. There’s something very cool about this show finding a network home, and in talking to Jim Babcock, one of the public relations guys from Cartoon Network, I’ve been told they are doing their best to have an invisible editorial hand on the show. Based on some of the content in the other shows in this line-up, we aren’t going to have to worry about COWBOY BEBOP getting sliced and diced. After all, this isn’t all tentacle rape and exploding heads. This is more of a rough and tumble adventure show. It’s not like there’s much to object to on display.
I do have one objection, though. Where the hell is AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE tonight? You’re showing THE BRAK SHOW twice, and you aren’t showing AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE even once? Now I feel like I’ve got a secret I can’t quite explain to anyone. Please, you have to show AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE. Immediately.
And what is AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE, you ask? Written and produced by David R. Willis and Matt Maiellaro, this is one of the most original comedy programs I’ve seen since the original John K. run of REN & STIMPY. It’s either going to be huge, or disappear after two episodes. For something this daft, there’s no middle ground.
It’s the story of Master Shake, who is indeed a large milkshake with a short temper and a shorter attention span, Frylock, a super-powered box of large french fries, and Meatwad, a tiny ball of shape-shifting meat who loves to get out his jam box and dance. The three of them solve mysteries. Badly. Very, very badly.
This is the sort of show that will either make you laugh so hard you miss jokes or miss you completely. I was with the show from the moment I saw Dr. Weird in his lab, wearing a W-shaped muumuu, unleashing his giant rabbit shaped Rab-bot. The Rab-bot goes on a rampage, smashing the car of Carl, who happens to live next door to the Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Carl is a dumpy guy with thick tufts of body hair poured into ratty sweatpants, and as soon as he showed up, I was helpless. The show just gets funnier and funnier and funnier as Master Shake solves the crime repeatedly between dips in Carl’s pool.
For the first time since I started at AICN, I find myself at a loss to properly convey why I love something, but I do. I just had an immediate reaction to the lunacy of this show. Hell, even Christopher Ward admitted that AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE was his favorite of all the ADULT SWIM shows. It’s the sort of thing that is impossible to encapsulate, but which forces people to try because of how excited they get when they see it.
ADULT SWIM encores each week from 10:00 to 1:00 on Thursday nights. I highly recommend you sample some or all of the programs that are on tonight, and keep your eyes peeled for the first airing of AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE. Let’s hear it for another bold move by Cartoon Network hot on the heels of SAMURAI JACK and just prior to JLA, which I’ll be digging into further in the weeks ahead. Looks like I’ll be watching a lot of cartoons this year... and loving every minute of it.
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Sept. 2, 2001, 6:36 p.m. CST
Well, just made it through Home Movies. Ugh. What a horrible show. I actually like Dr Katz and I can see the style is the same, but something is just missing. Ofcourse Bid man and the return of space ghost is what we are all looking forwards too.
Sept. 2, 2001, 6:43 p.m. CST
Yay yay to Cartoon Network for giving shows that make almost no sense a chance. Check out the Aqua Teen Hunger Force clips and theme song at http://www.adultswim.com/shows/aquateen/index.html
Sept. 2, 2001, 7:02 p.m. CST
Holy Fuck! Zorak said damn...then a guy said hell...then Zorak said lame ass. Sorry just surprised me. Does the TV PG ever leave? Missed the first 10 o'clock show. Really only looking foward to Birdman, and Space Ghost(they are new eps aren't they?) The Brak shows pretty good too. Glad they put Zorak in it...he's evil. Red ass beatdown...hehe. "I'm a growin boy, I need fish!" Golden shower!
Sept. 2, 2001, 7:05 p.m. CST
by user id indeed!
"Damn! Sounds like a party!""You're not invited. You're going to hell." "Oh." "Surprised?""No, not really." Is anyone else as happy as I am to hear Zorak cuss? Woo! This has been a Moment with User ID Indeed! YOU'RE A SPACE MAN WHO CHOKED OM A MUFFIN!
Sept. 2, 2001, 7:21 p.m. CST
by user id indeed!
Did you see those things? I mean, did you SEE those?! The blue men were brainwashed! The clay ETs were sad! The Gorillaz shot missiles at a moose! And at midnight, good things for the mind they do not make! Why don't they add a music video show to this crazy lineup? And why don't they play the Critic? And the Tick? And Sifl and Olly? Make a whole channel! It's craaaazyyyy! Well, that's enough. Moment! 3 hams will kill him! You'd better not feed him... 3 haaams!
Sept. 2, 2001, 7:29 p.m. CST
by user id indeed!
Get the cool. Get the cool shoe shine.
Sept. 2, 2001, 7:36 p.m. CST
"black" Debbie. "Its a big needle" ROFL!!! Screening process. "SEX!!" "Man don't go out there, the black shick is crazy." "He better keep his flippers off my stash" "East side" "You want the mustache on or off?" Love quotable toons. Captain Linger! Time for Space Ghost!
Sept. 2, 2001, 7:40 p.m. CST
BiRd man and Sealab2021 just rocked.
Sept. 2, 2001, 8:04 p.m. CST
by vroom socko
I just got back from a friend's house that has satellite, so I caught Harvey Birdman. Right now it's Chuck Jones, then in a little bit I get to watch Birdman again! With this, Zim, Samurai Jack, and the Justice League, the cartoons of 2001 are some of the best in a hell of a long time.
Sept. 2, 2001, 8:31 p.m. CST
by Nekki Basara
Wow, I'm suprised how little has been edited out of Cowboy Bebop! All the drug usage has been left in (Asimov using the Bloody Eye, Spike smoking the peace pipe, characters drinking alcohol), and so far, the only thing I've seen cut out was a bullet hole in a character's head (the scene was left in, but the bullet hole was digitally removed). All the blood has been left in, to boot. And for the first time in Cartoon Network's history, the phrase "son of a bitch" has been said on the air. Way to go, Cartoon Network. I can't wait for the next episode of Sealab!
Sept. 2, 2001, 10:33 p.m. CST
by Darth Christ
That's right, folks! Check the end credits. Go back and listen to the show with your eyes closed and tell me that don't sound like Lucas Buck or Capt. Gideon (It's mainly noticable when he's talking low or mumbling. Like when he takes out his PalmPilot).
Sept. 3, 2001, 12:46 a.m. CST
I wonder what else was in that brown envelope besides the video...
Sept. 3, 2001, 1:15 a.m. CST
by Jonny Quest
A pilot for The Eltingville Club. I doubt that a Milk and Cheese cartoon would work very well, though. Funny as they are, they're one joke characters. Watching them get drunk & destroy stuff would get old on a regular basis. That's why Dorkin only does about one special with them a year.
Sept. 3, 2001, 1:33 a.m. CST
I've not been big into anime these last few years, but Cowboy Bebop really impressed me on so many levels (a lot more than Outlaw Star and Big O did). I hope those screws in charge of 'special interests' don't get involved and try to fuck with the Adult Swim line-up(your damn kids should be in BED, folks...). BTW: Why no Invader Zim talkbacks yet? New episodes started a few weeks ago...
Sept. 3, 2001, 3:13 a.m. CST
It sucked, Sucked, SUCKED! Never has suck a cartoon sucked as HOME MOVIES sucked! I'd sooner prefer to be stuck in an airliner full of sweaty rednecks who are nibbling on wedges of limburger cheese, with nothing but "Hammerman" and "The Broters Grunt" to watch on the monitors than endure one more second of "Home Movies"! I'd sooner wear a bikini thong made of razorwire than suffer one more moment of sqiggly-arsed, leoTARDS. Think of the funniest, most gut-busting hilarious thing you have ever seen in your entire life, and then know that "Home Movies" is the very exact opposite. This show is a gigantic middle finger raised at each and every single viewer. This thing deserved to die a horrifying, ghastly death after it was pulled off of UPN (where I hoped it was hurled down the deepest abandoned mineshaft the network could find), and now it's back like the grotesque undead monstrosity that it is. Harry, how could you stoop to trying to praise this lump of roach-phlegm?
Sept. 3, 2001, 8:08 a.m. CST
Home movies will kill Adult Swim, especially when you lead off with worthless animation about a guy highlighting his varicous veins! Man, you could hear the remotes of America switching to The Practice reruns! All the Wlliamson stuff is great, from Birdman to Brak to Space Ghost to Sealab. I especially loved the line up of witnesses in the Bannon/Quest case. A who's who of baddies, even the Robot Spy (What, no Invisible Monster?). Big question though...."Birdman Created by Hanna-Barbera"? I saw no mention of Alex Toth or Jonny Quest's true father, Doug Wildey in the credits! As Zorak would say, Lame Ass!
Sept. 3, 2001, 8:47 a.m. CST
The funniest freakin' shows I've seen in a long time! Long live Adult Swim and Cartoon Network!!!
Sept. 3, 2001, 9:14 a.m. CST
And contrary to most posters and reviewers here, I don't care at all for SPACE GHOST COAST TO COAST. Oh, I get it. I just don't care. It's not my thing. I liked Sealab 2021. (Just *liked.*) I was interested in Cowboy Bebop. I want to see more episodes to get a good feel for the show.
Sept. 3, 2001, 11:09 a.m. CST
Funny funny stuff. Loved Birdman. Can't wait to see Harvey defend Shaggy for Posession. I wish The Oblongs and God, The Devil and Bob were on Adult Swim. They would be a perfect fit and more interesting than Home Movies.
Sept. 3, 2001, 12:19 p.m. CST
New episodes of "The Critic"--well, cheapie Shockwave versions of them--are showing up at http://www.atomfilms.com, along with a lot of other cool stuff (Angry Kid, Bill Plympton, Radiskull, Stain Boy, and more). Shockwave has hiccups on my machine, so I don't enjoy this stuff as much as I might. Check it out yourself! Look under "animation."
Sept. 3, 2001, 12:20 p.m. CST
by deep 13
i'm sorry to see so much negative response to home movies. i was bitterly disappointed to see it canceled from network broadcast like so many other clever shows (freaks & geeks topping the recent list, of course). oh, and in regards to your line-up suggestion st. buggering; the reason home movies has a slot on adult swim is explained by the implied theme of the line-up. it is a set of shows meant to appeal to viewers with a vocabulary exceeding high school level and an attention span exceeding 20 seconds. deep 13 signing off. push the button, frank.
Sept. 3, 2001, 1:59 p.m. CST
Hi there, I'd just like to put in a good word for Home Movies after reading one of those other posts about it. I really love the show, instantly one of my favourite cartoons. Paraphrasing because I can't remember it exactly: "I don't lend money to eight-year-olds... anymore... and if you see Billy, tell him I'm looking for him."
Sept. 3, 2001, 3:21 p.m. CST
by Smeg For Brains
And I have no respect for someone who refers to Brak singing as a bad thing. Moriarty has no sense of humor if he didn't already think Brak was pure genius. Also, the name "Mr. Thunderclese" is the best name ever created. Even better than the name "God".
Sept. 4, 2001, 1:57 a.m. CST
Home Movies is interesting, though the least interesting of the swim so far. The Brak Show is genius. But then, Brak is a genius in his own right. Birdman and Sealab seem a bit over the top, and will probably seem more interesting once a bit of regularity develops. Now... Cowboy Bebop. Mad respect to CN for airing something this non-kiddie on basic cable. Of course, I have the same "ehh" about Bebop as I do about most action anime. Still, it kicks the shit out of the amazingly stupid DragonBall Z and beats out Gundam too. I guess... I don't know what it is about some anime (SOME.) Self-important, dramatic, and stupid all at the same time. A lot of beautiful animation and scenery is marred by ridiculous dialogue and vapid motivation (and the occasional Hanna-Barbera/Ranma "mouth only" movement.) And not just the English translations either("Oh no, Bear is driving!") Still, the best of anime is damn fine entertainment, and hey, Bebop has the best theme music of any anime show I've seen, ever.
Sept. 4, 2001, 2:29 a.m. CST
Even though showing the entire line up is really easy to program a VCR for, I really wish they spread it out more. (Birdman one night, CB another, Sealab the next, etc...), and use it to encroach on the current line up of 1am to 6am oldies cartoons and lousy cartoons. No offense to the old cartoons (or even the lousy ones), but who here would like to see Alftales, again (and to my understanding, CN has the rights to it, but I may be wrong). Batman/Superman could use a few more showings, too. Another thing, CN is supposed to have this HUGE library of animation (IIRC, when it first started, TVGuide reported something like, "Starting Jan 1st, they could start airing every cartoon they had, 24hrs a day, and not go into repeats until the middle of April..." And that was a few years ago. Surely by now they could afford more variety than they've got (Hell, I was even a little excited when they aired Josie and the Pussycats a few months ago, if only because this was a 70s toon they didn't play all the time (Freaky Phantom, Globetrotters, Speed Buggy, Scoobs, Godzilla, etc. get a little redundant) or 'Turner' shows like Cap'n Planet (Christ... You want to talk about a stupid 'self important' show...) and Johnny Quest. And since two other people mentioned Zim...I figure it won't be too off-topic to mention the two (crappy) Zim videos I have at geocities.com/wdorr (if anyone cares).
Sept. 4, 2001, 8:19 a.m. CST
I'm amazed at the light praise Brak has received here. To me, Brak has always stood out as one of the strongest characters on SG:CTC. I know I'm not alone, either, because even before this show, they gave him a variety show called Brak Presents The Brak Show Starring Brak. Which even had a release on CD (don't miss the hit tune "I'm Forgettable/I'm a Cucumber"). Brak is truly outrageous. Like Jem, but funnier. And Sealab, frankly, was a mess.
Sept. 4, 2001, 8:42 a.m. CST
Home movies Was the MOST stupid waist of time I have ever seen! Sealab 2021 wasn't that much better! "Black Debbie" "White Debbie"? Biological clock? Who the hell cares? At least Brack and good Old SG saved the day! The ghost man is married to Beiork?!?!?! HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA! AN as a Anime Fanatic I hear by welcome Cowboy Bebop! The first two episodes where great. A "Data Dog" Well we'll see! And babe o luscious Miss Valentine is coming up in part 3! And to the person who wanted the Music videos on this show, that was a one time only Midnight run Special edition witch is why I taped it! Loved Daft Punk's Trilogy of videos! Alien rock band gets kidnapped, brought to earth, brainwashed, and must now perform as slaves for probably the same corporate entity that brought us Brittany spears and all the crappy boy bands! In fact some one should test them to see what color their blood is! Well we'll see if the adults can keep swimming along! I just wish they get rid of the pics of the UGLY ASS OLD GEASERS during the commercial intros !
Sept. 4, 2001, 8:44 a.m. CST
Oh, yeah, that Aquaman thing...what the hell was that? Fits the creepy Adult Swim image, I guess...speaking of which, that guy's voice is going to get real old real fast.
Sept. 4, 2001, 12:37 p.m. CST
ZORAK ROCKS!!! BRAK ROCKS!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!! BRAAAAAAAAAAKKK!!!!. ok sorry, went off there. I was wondering, what did happen to Aqua teen hunger force? And the other form of "the Brak SHow". I thouhgt it was supposed to be on too. anyway, one time I hired a MONKEY to take note for me in class. I would just sit there with my mind a complete blank while the monkey scribbled on little pieces of paper. then at the end of the week the teacher says" Now class, I want you to write a paper using your notes." So Mine went like this" HELLO MY NAME IS BINGO. I LIKE TO CLIMB ON THINGS. CAN I HAVE A BANANA? EEEK, EEEEK!!!" I got an F. when I got home and showed my mom she said "SEE I told you never to trust a MONKEY!!" the end
Sept. 4, 2001, 5:12 p.m. CST
Someone worried that "special interests" may take Cowboy Bebop off the air for being too offensive. I don't think that it's too likely. 1) Those groups don't have nearly the amount of influence they had in the 1980s. I think their peak was getting the Bakshi Mighty Mouse cartoon taken off the air in the late 80s 'cause they thought he was sniffing cocaine. These groups may still have some success in influencing local TV stations in certain small markets (probably only in the Bible Belt), but are likely to have zilch success with a national premium channel available only on cable/DSS satellite. 2) For the most part, these groups aren't even aware of anime (other than Pokemon). Go to afa.net , the Website of the American Family Association (the group, headed by Donald Wildmon, that was responsible for the aforementioned Mighty Mouse controversy) and do a search for "anime". How many documents are returned. Zilch. And the AFA is the clearing house for reactionary information about popular culture, so the fact that there isn't any information about anime means the entire anime phenomenon has slipped in below their radar screens. The same applies for the Family Research Council. Focus on the Family (family.org) has two or three articles about anime, but they were all written in 1996/1997. Anime, while a lot more popular than it was five years ago, is still a niche market, so even if these groups sent out hysterical press releases about Japanese animated "smut", no one would report on it. __________________________________ Steve Brandon Tenchi@canada.com
Sept. 4, 2001, 5:22 p.m. CST
I think that if there was going to be a massive backlash against anime (like we've seen in Italy), it would have happened a couple of years ago. I think sometimes us anime fans delude ourselves into thinking that anime is a lot more popular amongst the general public than it actually is. Anime is popular in the same sort of way that Babylon 5 is popular; very popular within certain narrow demographic groups (i.e. college students, techies), but little known to the mainstream public. Anime is a cult thing.
Sept. 6, 2001, 6:55 p.m. CST
Oh, the horror! I stayed with it for four minutes, hoping something amusing might happen. Hoping the dialogue might get clever enough to overcome the poorly made artwork. The abomination was still unfolding ten minutes later. After a commercial, I hoped a good cartoon might appear. No, part two of Home Movies. THIS is the kind of garbage that makes it to the air? Compare Home Movies to the enjoyable, excellent WB cartoon about Hubie & Bertie the mice driving Claude the cat crazy by nailing all the furniture to the ceiling and putting the light fixture on the floor. Cartoons like that have endless repeat viewing value. They were made with love and creativity. Thanks to digital "advances", our culture is a neverending waterfall of sludge.
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