Duck and cover! In this month’s episode of Podcastle in the Sky the crew steps back in time into the shadow of a Cold War on the verge of going hot with the 1982 techno-thrillers Future War 198X and Clint Eastwood’s Firefox. In a world teetering on the precipice of nuclear annihilation, these controversial time capsule films sought to peer into an increasingly uncertain future and determine whether technology would bring about mankind’s salvation, or its ruin.
Author: PodCastle in the Sky
Episode 24: Revolutionary Girl Utena and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
In this episode we discuss the classic anime series Revolutionary Girl Utena and the more recent Netflix reboot She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Mostly we talk about magic duels, Italian giallo movies, the performance of gender, and binge watching versus the weekly watch.
If you’ve ever wished more podcasts started with a five minute monologue on French and Russian Symbolism, we’ve got you covered!
Episode 23: Baki and Bloodsport
Spend the holidays the traditional way: by listening to us talk about half-naked muscular men pummeling each other senseless. Yes, the Podcastle in the Sky gang discusses the recent Netflix series Baki along with the 1988 classic Bloodsport.
We talk about mixed martial arts, Kowloon Walled City, bro science, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, mall dojo grifters, and systemic racism in Hollywood. Somewhere in there we also talk about the movie and the anime. Che
Episode 22: The Secret World of Arrietty and The Borrowers
Join us as we chat about The Secret World of Arrietty and the novel it was adapted from, The Borrowers. Childhood fantasies, British colonialism, the state of the working class, Ghibli movies that weren’t made by Miyazaki or Takahata – we cover it all. Check it out pronto!
Episode 21: Berserk – The Golden Age Arc and The Last Valley
In the grim darkness of the 17th century, there is only war! Don your armor and sally into the fray alongside the Podcastle in the Sky Crew as we discuss two works suffused with blood and battle: the 2012 trilogy adaptation of Kentaro Miura’s dark-medieval fantasy series Berserk and James Clavell’s 1971 cinematic epic of the 30 Years’ War, The Last Valley. Fanaticism, brotherly bonds, the weight of history and the tragedy of watching a beautiful film in 480p all await you in this month’s episode!
Episode 20: Harlock Saga and Rhinegold
Turn your 2020 frown upside down with some opera – the space kind and the regular kind. In 1995, Operavox created a half-hour cartoon about Richard Wagner’s Rhinegold. Four years later, Leiji Matsumoto created an anime miniseries about the same opera, added some space pirates into the mix, and called it Harlock Saga.
How do the adaptations fare? Can you squeeze an almost 3 hour opera into a 30 minute block? Does putting everything in space actually work? Why are there so many pipe organs in the anime?
We cover all this and more in our 20th episode. Give us a listen – what else have you got going on?
Episode 19: Golden Kamuy and Bone Tomahawk
We return from our hiatus to discuss two works about Westerns, indigenous representation, serial killers, and bloody violence. Yes, episode 19 is all about season 1 and 2 of Golden Kamuy and the 2015 horror-Western movie Bone Tomahawk!
PodCastle in the Sky is here to provide some easy listening in your time of quarantine. You’re welcome, world!
Episode 18: Ergo Proxy and Neuromancer
Get out your neon-tinged sunglasses and jack into our latest podcast about the cyberpunk worlds of Ergo Proxy and Neuromancer. Remember when anime was nothing but shows about mopey people dressed in black leather? Remember when Japan was the future and dead channels on TV showed grey static? We talk about all this and more in episode 18!
Warning: Podcast contains discussions of Neomarxists, Italo Calvino, and why we don’t like steampunk.
Episode 17: Hashire Melos and Die Bürgschaft
Join us on this month’s episode for a blast from the distant past! The Podcastle crew sets out to learn the meaning of true friendship through two retellings of a classic tale from Greek antiquity about two best bros and the bond of trust they forge together in the face of tyrannical adversity; first in Friedrich Schiller’s 1799 poetic ballad The Pledge (Die Bürgschaft) and then in the 1992 anime film Hashire, Melos (Run, Melos!) directed by Masaaki Osumi and featuring early work from the famed Satoshi Kon. Swordfights! Ripped Biceps! Despair and Triumph! It’s all here, on this month’s episode.
RANDOM ANIME WATCH – EPISODE FIVE
Fifth Episode Roundup
Right, so, remember nurse friend who got elevatored to death? Her brother is in the cursed 9th grade class 3. So the link isn’t just Main Dude re: the curse. And the class is runnin’ scared, yo – who’s next!? Will people just keep dying?? The class abandons Main Dude completely, shunning him to save their skins due to the word of Aggressive Pigtails Chick.
One young man disagrees with APC, and tries to tell Main Dude the class secret. But as soon as he tries to tell Main Dude who Creepy is, and I’m talking the words “Mikagi is -” barely leaves his lips, he keels over, has a heart attack and dies in front of Main Dude.
I admit I laughed pretty hard during his horrible death.
Anyway, it’s become…
To not talk to Main Dude, ever. Just as they shun Creepy. The teachers follow along with the rule as well. I assume this school’s certification is not valid since most school inspectors don’t look kindly on the explanation of “BUT THERE’S A GRUDGE GHOST! THAT’S WHY WE SINGLE A CHILD OUT AS A TOTAL SOCIAL OUTCAST!”
Then again, maybe someone in the local education board is greasing the palms of the school inspectors. Someone with a deep, untreated psychosis suffered by the students and employees of this school.
…I need to write this shit down and tell Kadokawa Pictures I’ve got an idea for a show…
It turns out that Creepy actually isn’t a ghost. She’s just the girl that the class chose as the sacrificial lamb to be ostracized to avoid the curse of the Ninth Grade Class, before Main Dude joined up.
Here we are with some actual answers.
So, 26 years ago, a chick who was super popular in the 9th grade class 3 died. Everyone mourned her like crazy, until a girl cried out “What are you talking about? She’s sitting right there, in her desk!” For the rest of the year, the students played along, as well as the teachers.
The following year, somehow the ninth grade class 3 was missing a chair and desk, even though the class number seemed to be correct. Then every month after school started one student or a family member of the students died. The conclusion was that, somehow, by pretending the dead girl was still alive, the 1972 ninth grade class 3 accidentally invited death into the classroom, and now a sort of…ghoul? I guess? – haunts the class, acting just like a live person, and setting the number of students off by one. Since no one knows which person it is, the class chooses a sacrificial student to ignore completely and pretend they’re dead. And this somehow offsets the curse.
Oooookay. I mean, it’s a little convoluted, but hell, what curse makes sense? Though it’s all very sad. Aw, some dead folk just wanna get a good education, and people have to go and pretend they aren’t there just ’cause they brought the horrible spectre of death on their heels.
And given that Main Dude was in the hospital for a collapsed lung, and his mother, we discover, died in childbirth while birthing him, Main Dude is a pretty good candidate for actually being The Ghoul. Then again, I totally bought the idea that Creepy was a sekret ghost, and not just a sad girl with an eye patch and a penchant for the macabre.
Creepy and Main Dude drink sodas together and discuss what it is to be totally ostracized “for the good of the class.” It’s a bit of a bummer. I rather liked it better when I thought she was a ghost girl, but now she’s just someone an entire school is ignoring for some rando curse. All she needs is another creeper to be her friend! Move on it, Main Dude!
I…I want these two crazy lovebirds to have mopey relations and make creepy babies, guys!
I also am okay with the rest of this asshole class dying. I hope Aggressive Pigtails Chick gets her hair caught on that eating cabbage patch doll.
Hey, my wish from last episode was granted! Episode Five was all workplace related, and digs deeper both into how the arbiters of death work, and what the hell is going on with Audience In.
The Ageless Child Manager sends a test for the Pale Man – essentially a workplace upkeep test. And Pale Man, unfortunately, fails the test. Two people come to Purgatory Bar, a belligerent man and a small child. Pale Man knows something’s up, but doesn’t do more than tell Audience In to be careful.
Suddenly, the belligerent man realizes he remembers the Purgatory Bar and takes the child hostage. Pale Man strings up the crazy person with his…magic spiderweb strings? But the crazy was a decoy – the real problem was the boy. He knocks Audience In the fuck out and gets all The Omen real quick.
Turns out the Pale Man never received the boy’s memories, which is a no-no. All humans have memories with which arbiters make their judgment. Child turns into a kind of assholey red haired douche canoe who makes fun of the Pale Man’s incompetence, both by missing the work test ploy and not officially judging Audience In.
Turns out Audience In is actually a human who remembered that she was dead when she got to the bar. She refused to play a game, and the Pale Man couldn’t bring himself to judge her without a complete picture of who she was. Ageless Child manager gave him an extension on judging her soul, erased her memories, and put her to work at the bar.
Red scoffs at this display of unmanly weakness and attacks the Pale Man with…bubbles.
You know, typical arbiter of death stuff.
Ageless Child Manager stops this nonsense, gives Pale Man a goodly dressing down for his failure to follow proper procedure, and tells Red to go back to work arbeting whatever other section of Purgatory he currently runs. I’m assuming he’s the guy in charge of judging fratbros who die of alcohol poisoning.
Anyway, there’s a feeling that maybe the Pale Man is a bit smitten with this human woman, and Ageless Child Manager is letting this shit slide because he’s actually better at his job with the woman around.
We also get a bunch of little scenes that flesh out this facility. Ageless Child Manager has a chit-chat over solar system pool with someone who calls himself “the closest thing to god” about her tenure as head Arbiter. He also says “God is long since gone” which is…ominous. Anyway, I like this closest thing to god dude. He’s like one of those hippies who saw the rest of their generation lose the spirit and decided to escape and open a head shop in some mountain village that’s a liberal island in a sea of red.
All in all, it was a great episode. Little hints about purgatory, little snippets about Audience In, and hey, we may get a small, star-crossed love story out of this show! Woo.
I assume that means the sixth episode will be another flavor of the week, then. Boo.
The Devil is a Part-Timer
OMG you guys, I am so excited. Lucifer is a cute lil purple haired adorable teenage demon of the deepest evil! Apparently Hero killed his ass back in their own world, but some high church official totes betrayed her.
Satan stops his Monologue of evil!
Loyal General gets pissed at Satan for wasting his allowance on movies!
Satan won’t take power from the pain and despair of humans in our world!
He gets shot the fuck up!
And then hoooly shit, spaloosh. So many abs.
The Hero and Satan bicker!
THERE’S A THROW DOWN IN THE SKAAAAAAYYYYYY! WOOOOO!
Loyal General shows up for this awesomesauce celestial battle, but only after getting his majestic cape!
Satan complains about the weight of falling debris!
Lucifer is TAUGHT A LESSON!
The high school girl is let in on the whole thing!
Seems the church back home is suuuper corrupt, and a few of the Hero’s buddies come to tell her that shit’s going down over there. She decides to stick around on Earth for now, to keep an eye on Satan.
Not at all so THE TWO OF THEM CAN SMOOOOOCH!!! EEEEEEEEEE!
So, Kayo, the little girl Satoru tried so hard to change history for, was still murdered. But two days after the original timeline. And he learns two big things – her mother was clearly in on it, given that she threw out all of Kayo’s things long before her body was found, and the child kidnapping has been going on with regular cover ups into his adulthood.
How did he discover this second fact? Because he was pulled back into his own present day – changed slightly by his actions in the past, but not enough to prevent his mother’s murder. As he evades the police and researches as much as he can, his coworker, a high school girl named Airi, lets him crash at her place as she trusts that he’s no murderer.
Unfortunately, this leads her directly into the path of danger. She gets a message from Satoru’s mother’s phone, and the last shot is of her passed out as her house burns down around her.
I assume that Satoru gets another chance to change history, though obviously things seem grim at the moment. What I like is the kind of tin pot-ness of all this historical change. It’s big stuff that Satoru has to try to prevent – the murder of children, and his mother. But he’s just a dude who can look up old articles in the newspaper as an adult and snoop around with an adult’s ability to process information when he’s sent to the past. It’s fun just seeing him flip through a true crimes book and realize he shifted history even a little, if not changing the course of the entire river.
Also, the mystery is really heating up. I have no idea what Satoru’s plans are when he’s a little boy for preventing the murders. But I’m rather excited to see how he does it.
Katsugeki Touken Ranbu
Giant Fuckin Smoke Monster vs. Muscle Man and Rookie – GO!
Smoke Asshole Army Vs Boyshorts McGee and White Hair’d Stranger – GO!
Aaaand, now they’re just talking. Talking at the enemy. Taaaalking about stopping the enemy. Not fighting. Just talking.
And now we’re watching some rando Japanese spectators looking at the ship Boyshorts McGee and White Hair’d Stranger are fighting on. Just. Staring at the ship. Yup, nothing inter –
-FIIINALLY! FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT! White Hair’d Stranger is so good he splits a dude in two and then slides behind him and hits him in the back of the neck! Wooooo!
There’s still a lot of guys, though, so BadBoy and Captain Hair JOIN THE FIGHT!
…aaand they’re talking again. Just talking. Talking a lot. Talking. Good Christ, for as many swords as these … swords? have, they don’t really fight with them much –
AAAW YEEAH, THEY’RE FIGHTING! THE –
oh, COME ON! It’s like a half second hack and slash, and it’s over. And now all the Bishi Boys are just like. Talking. About who’s going to sail the ship back to fucking port. Oh, my god, show. There’s like five minutes of BadBoy being excited about sailing a goddamned ship back to port while the Bishi Team talk shop. And there’s no word on Fucking Giant Smoke Asshole! Nnnnngh!
Don’t make me quit you, Action Bishi Team!
WAIT! The Smoke Assholes are sailing a ship to Edo to try and burn the city to the ground and change history!!
MEANWHILE – Fucking Giant Smoke Asshole, Muscleman and The Rookie continue to fight! Smoke asshole is going after a an important historical figure directly! FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!
Wait, no. Nope. No fighting. Now we’re back on the ship. The Bishi Team are…shoveling coal into the steam engine furnace. And arguing with each other. And running the ship aground.
Meanwhile, Fucking Giant Smoke Asshole signals to his ship buddays and Edo starts to burn the fuck up! The ship team smashes into the Smoke Assholes’ ship!
These Bishis are in trouble! And The Time Crime Team is using anachronistic warfare now to get the job done!
And that makes Muscleman supa mad. We finally get a really swell fight scene between Muscleman And Fucking Giant Smoke Asshole, and Muscleman WIIIIIIIINS –
– to death! Noooooo! Not Musclemaaaan! Your favorite food was Daifuku! DAAAAIFUUUUKUUUI!
OH NOOO – Captain Hair laments at the evil of the Time Crime Team and doesn’t see a Smoke Asshole behind him! He’s ganked! CompuFOX howls in despair! The Action Bishi Team turn into golden smoke and disappear into a sky portal!
SAD CHORAL MUSIC CLOSES THE EPISODE OUT!
IS THIS THE END OF THE ACTION BISHI TEAM!?
Fifth Episodes – COMPLETE