Episode 36 – Uzumaki by Junji Ito

“Spirals…This town is contaminated with Spirals…”

In our latest Single Serving Selection, we descend into a mind-bending and stomach-churning modern classic of Japanese manga horror with librarian and friend of the show, Kit DeForge, but perhaps you’ll wish we hadn’t. Because this month, we’re descending into madness and body horror with Junji Ito’s Uzumaki.

What begins as a series of episodic tales of a small seaside town being driven to death and insanity by ubiquitous spiral shapes soon becomes a tidal wave of ancient apocalyptic destruction, lunacy, and unavoidable doom.

Apologies for the inevitable nightmares.

Episode 33 – Akira

“KANEDAAAAAA!!!” “TESTUOOOO!!!”

We’ve returned with a long-awaited panel episode! This time, we’re popping some capsules and tearing our motorcycles through the ruins of Neo-Tokyo with Tobiah Panshin and Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters comic book podcast. We’re digging into Katsuhiro Otomo’s groundbreaking 1980s apocalyptic manga epic about psychokinetic powers and mass destruction, Akira.

From its serialized origins in the Japanese Young Magazine to the pioneering animated film, this is a seminal masterpiece of explosions, body horror, secret military programs, and disaffected youth, and it’s cast a long shadow over all of modern popular culture.

Music: 
“Kaneda” from Akira (1988) by Geinoh Yamashirogumi

 

Fun Size Episode 12 – I’m Just Here for Ka-Ching!

sonnychiba

We continue our talk with Matt Goodman and Matthew Amster-Burton, and get into topics ranging from advertising characters transitioning into movie characters, and why the ultimate thing an actor can do is be photographed holding a skull.

We also get into weird meta-fiction in everything from Batman to Kurt Vonnegut to Will Ferrell movies, where the author themselves become characters directing the action.

Plus, we look at the renewed optimism — both in and about — Star Trek. Not only the return of the utopian aspirational science fiction future, but also how Justin Lin may have course-corrected a second movie franchise with Star Trek Beyond.

Episode 11 – Hayao Miyazaki

Totoro

Mike and Casey hitch a ride on the Catbus with our friend Roslyn Townsend and animator and storyboard artist Lauren Montgomery (Justice League: Doom, Wonder Woman) to talk about the legendary animator who is often referred to as “Japan’s Walt Disney,” Hayao Miyazaki.

They discuss Miyazaki’s decades-long filmography from Princess Mononoke to My Neighbor Totoro. They dive into topics like giant killer insects, nature spirits, witches, animated violence, children, and what it is about the man’s work that is so iconic, memorable, gorgeous and often unsettling.

Music: 
Theme from My Neighbor Totoro by Joe Hisaishi

Previously titled: “All Children are Born Completely Drunk”

 

Episode 9 – Nintendo

nintendoSorry, Mario! Your podcast is in another castle!

Mike and Casey pull on their Power Gloves and strap on their Virtual Boys because, it’s time to save the Mushroom Kingdom with Ask an Atheist‘s Sam Mulvey and Bob Mackey of the Retronauts podcast! This month, we’re talking about the video game company that practically served as a fifth food group for an entire generation: Nintendo!

We discuss the company’s multi-decade dominance of the video game market, its legacy, and how it pulled the industry out of the nosedive of Atari’s implosion in the early 1980s. We talk about how visionary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto created the canvas of our childhoods, and how the company went from standing atop the wreckage of Sega to becoming the Switzerland of the modern day console wars.

Music: 
Opening Theme from the Legend of Zelda” by Koji Kondo
Overworld Theme to Super Mario Bros. 2” by Koji Kondo

Previously titled: “On the Altar of Saint Miyamoto”