anime podcasts, yea or nay?

I decided to check out a few anime podcasts while coding, and they’re a mixed bag. On one hand, anything that promotes anime in a positive manner is good. On the other hand, the quality of these podcasts… that’s another story.

One of the more “popular” ones, as suggested by Apple, is Anime Pulse. Their audio quality is decent, and they have announcers who don’t stumble through words, my biggest pet peeve for a lot of these podcasts. They also serve up some occasional music and talk smack about fansub leechers, but I had two major problems with their podcast: (1) They waste a lot of time talking about stuff other than anime (2) it’s 60 minutes long. I can watch and blog an anime episode in that time. They do help themselves for talking about Iriya no Sora during one podcast.

So I started looking for a shorter podcast and came up with World of Anime. Audio quality was decent, but the announcers sometimes says “Uh” and “Mmm” way too much. The podcast was only about ten minutes long, so it’s the right length, but, again, two stumbling blocks: (1) The intro music I heard on one podcast? Ain’t no Mountain High Enough. Yes, nothing says anime than soul music. (2) Convince me you guys know anime. Please. I heard one podcast about Japanese food and another ragging on Fushigi Yuugi because “Miyaki is dumb.”

Next I checked out Anime Boston, which had the highest user rating at the time on iTunes. Production quality is the highest of all the podcasts that I heard, and they are a bit more focused… they just cover the Anime Boston con. It’s not a bad thing as they do a good job in bringing some “behind the scenes” action to the con, but it’s really, really lite in terms of anime info. They also have dumb fake ads for ninjas and so on. At a bit over 20 minutes, it’s a bit long, and the ads are more annoying than funny.

Finally, I listened to Anime World Order, and since their podcast was so very long (over an hour), I only listened to the first 20 minutes of their mecha podcast. This podcast is more of a talk panel format where the announcers would discuss amongst themselves a topic. The people on this podcast seemed to be the most knowledgable about anime and almost succeed in carrying on long rantings about anime. They made one great point about anime in that a lot of the current fans got hooked when Cartoon Network first aired Gundam Wing, and it brought back memories of my friends and I watching it. The problem, though? It’s too long, and the announcers are way too nice to each other. I was hoping to get some screaming and some disagreement, but alas. What’s the point of a discussion if everyone agrees? I want some Jerry Springer drama here.

I think the main problem I had when listening to these podcasts is that anime is a visual art. It’s very difficult to describe and review anime without presenting some images. Unfortunately, that’s just what they do. They end up trying to describe anime. It’s one thing to describe what Strike Freedom looks like, it’s another to see an image of Strike Freedom. Blogging works better as images are easily shared and descriptions are generally easier to read than listen to, and since all of these podcasts have blogs, I suspect that they understand this limitation of podcasting. Just an audio feed leaves too much to the imagination, and I kept feeling that my time could be better spent watching any random anime (except for maybe Koi Koi 7) than listening to these podcasts. Maybe an anime video podcast would be better, but I was unable to locate one.

Another problem is that the announcers don’t really introduce themselves at the beginning of a podcast. I have no idea who I’m listening to. Please take like 20 seconds at the beginning and say your names over some intro music.

Also, I get the feeling from most of these podcasters that I watch more anime than they do, and I’m sure other bloggers like Kurogane, Matt, and Zyl will blow them out of the water in terms of general background knowledge and ability to discuss a show. If I’m not going to get images of nekomimi meido fanservice, at least give my brain something interesting to think about. I think most of these podcasts are well suited for a more general audience, just not me. They do tend to steer towards more mainstream and older shows rather than the newest and shiniest like what anime blogs tend to track. I do intended to keep these on my podcast subscription, and maybe they’re grow on me. Then again, I’d rather see nekomimi meido fanservice than have it explained to me.

I wonder what other people think and if others listen to anime podcasts as well. Maybe I’m just listening to the wrong ones and better ones exist out there or these podcasts are just in their infantile stages.

8 Responses to “anime podcasts, yea or nay?”

  1. Wow, i feel humbled…. I’m not that interested in going indepth too much on a show as well, it really kinda detracts from enjoying the show as a whole, once you start to watch to spot all the obscure references and hints :P.

    I’m not much of a fan of podcasts, well actually, I haven’t even heard a single podcast till now :P. Writing interesting stuff is easy, but talking charismatically is another thing…I prefer to things to be in solid black and white instead :).

  2. While I am one to sit and discuss and argue the merits and flaws of a particular series with my anime-watching friends, I think that to can the discussion and then put it up for others to listen wouldn’t nearly be as fun. The arguments related to such are interesting only because they pertain to such things you care about. Being an observer of an argument is rarely as fun as being in it.

    I haven’t been able to get into Podcasts of any kind, much less anime ones (though I admit I haven’t tried an anime podcast) Even during my 1 hour daily commute each way, I find that podcasts are really just hard to concentrate on with any large amount of energy, and I’d much rather just hear music than listen to what someone else has to say about the news.

    I do agree that hearing about anime series without any visuals would be hard, just like I dislike reading blogged reviews of a show without so much as a single screencap.. having to listen to talk about anime without any kawaii meido would be rough.

    I guess I need to buy some more yuki kajiura soundtracks for the car changer for those two hours of dead time everyday. I will try an anime podcast tomorrow, though, just to see what it’s like.

  3. Hey, this is Daryl Surat from Anime World Order, and…say, wait a second: we introduced ourselves at the beginning! If you want the full introductions of who we are and what we’re about, I recommend you check the beginning of the first episode.

    Your advice is duly noted, however. We all get the feeling that the show is pretty long, though you’re the first person to actually SAY it. We haven’t really gotten any feedback from people saying “guys, the podcast is too long,” but our latest one ran for one hour and 15 minutes, and that was AFTER massive editing down. We initially envisioned a 45-60 minute runtime, but now that we’ve actually started doing the recordings, I don’t know if the three of us can all get our shots in within 15-20 minutes.

    Also, this is the first time any of us have ever been accused of being too nice. :) Clearly a direct result of only listening to the first 20 minutes of our third show, meaning you didn’t get to my segment on Gundam SEED Destiny. I think what you’re noticing is the fact that we’re all new to the whole podcasting thing, so we’re choosing topics that are either “safe” topics which we’re all relatively in agreement on, or are things that just one of us has knowledge about but the others haven’t seen.

    Don’t you worry; topics guaranteed to induce Jerry Springer drama among the three of us are definitely forthcoming sooner rather than later. We just don’t want the show to end up being nothing but crosstalk. And just to be a shill, our fourth episode just came out earlier today! It’s about yaoi, Moby Dick IN SPAAAAAAAAACE, and uh, me being boring.

  4. James: we don’t really like just reading the news either. We do have a news segment, but it’s generally kept pretty short and we usually talk more about the implications of the news item rather than the news itself. I recommend you check out our Show # 1 and listen to my segment on the Fortune magazine article to get an idea of what I mean. If you don’t feel like listening to the whole show, that’s why we put the segment running times on the blog page.

  5. Daryl, Anime Pulse’s last podcast was about yaoi as well. No offense, but you guys aren’t going to win me as a listener by talking about yaoi. I half-listened/half-drove while listening to episode 4 (James, yes, I see your point about driving and podcasting), and I couldn’t help but feel that it could have been broken up into smaller, more focused episodes.

    For one, that NYT article could have been the basis of one podcast. Then another podcast on yaoi. I have two different blog entries about that NYT article and yaoi, and I can only imagine how hard it would be to come up with a headline for an article that tried to talk about both (NYT goes hard gay for Naruto? Okay, not that hard… errr… difficult.).

    Also, I think it’s a bad idea to talk about topics that all three of you aren’t familiar with. If you’re going to discuss anime, at least watch some of it. ;)

    Anyway, thanks for your response, Daryl. I’ve give you guys another listen when you’re not talking about yaoi anymore. Also, I added your feed to

  6. Hi,

    I read your post, I appreciate the feedback. We get a lot of feedback from our listeners and that says the show is the right length. As for knowledge and depth of knowledge, I’m happy to compare any time.

    Also, if you had listened to the last episode you would have realized that it wasn’t about Yaoi (the title actually also said that), so maybe you should listen more or at least read the whole title.


    Anime Pulse

  7. Okay, I know this is shameless self promotion but, I think that my attempt at doing a live radio show that talks about anime isn’t all that bad, besides most of the anime podcasts don’t talk about anime specifically, they do a lot of other topics. I my self am trying to do two radio shows a week, the first show on Tuesdays is strickly anime related. The Thursday show is saved for Anime and Technology talk. I would seriously suggest my own radioshow/podcast.

  8. If your looking for some heated debate check out my podcast Anime Genesis. The most rececent episode which is 14 has a pretty heated debate on anime piracy and fansubs. Check it out and let us know what you think.

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