Contrary to this image, there were no female writers in this podcast.

For many people, the end of August means the either the end of summer or at least very close to it — too close in fact. Yet on the anime calendar, we’re only a little over halfway through the summer cour! So while the days are still long and the evenings are still warm, go for a nice walk, take the car out for a spin — and put on your favorite anime podcast because we have another great episode for you. We’ll be discussing some of our favorite shows as usual, mixed with a short talk about shows we’d recommend to non-anime fans, and topped off with the sometimes quirky, always awkward humor we’re quickly becoming known for (hopefully?) Hope you enjoy our podcast, and as always, we’d love to hear any questions and/or suggestions in the comments.

  Participating Writers
  Time Index and Transcript
  • 00:00 – 01:50 – RandomC’s Theme Song (composed by Moomba, check out the full version at
  • 00:22 – 06:10 – Introductions
  • 06:10 – 06:35 – Mid-Summer 2012 Retrospective Intro
  • 06:35 – 11:16Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
  • 11:16 – 16:39TARI TARI
  • 16:39 – 22:19Natsuyuki Rendezvous
  • 22:19 – 29:05Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
  • 29:05 – 45:42Sword Art Online
  • 45:42 – 54:42Kokoro Connect
  • 54:42 – 56:18 – Intermission Song — 「Yume no Naka no Watashi no Yume」 by Itou Masumi (Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita ED)
  • 56:18 – 62:53 – What anime would we show to non-anime fans?
  • 62:53 – 66:30 – Show recommendations, Twitter style
  • 66:30 – 68:20 – Shout Outs
  • 68:20 – 73:15 – Conclusion, Outro, and Bloopers — 「Electronica In Velvet Room」by Meguro Shouji (Persona 4 OST)

TranscriptHuge thanks to Xumbra, Cherrie and Isabel for putting this together!

Download (txt file)

  Listen to the Episode
Mid-Summer 2012 Podcast | Duration: 73:15 – 70 kbps VBR [flv:rc_podcast_04.mp3 350 0] Download 144 kbps version (76 MB)



  1. I’m just gonna spill my brains out on a few of series discussed for discussions sake.

    It’s Top Gun. Muv-Luv: Alternative Total Eclipse is Top Gun. Yui is Ice Man and Yuuya is Maverick. So yeah. Top Gun.

    Also, I’m not getting my hopes up for the writing quality improving. While Muv-Luv is heavily regarded as one of the greatest VN’s of all time, the writer for Total Eclipse is different. On top of that, animation has been fairly inconsistent as of late, with a certain anonymous blogger pointing out the incredible inconsistencies and distortions in the swimsuits of the beach episodes. I haven’t read the VN, but at the core this is a spinoff series with a spinoff writer.

    Sword Art Online:
    You guys really nailed a lot of my quips with SAO, but my biggest problem with SAO is the lack of interactions between the two main leads. Asuna and Kirito are by far the least developed characters, both as individuals and as a couple. The director could have used the first seven episodes to develop the main couple’s relationships, but their interactions have been limited to three episodes and all three give very little into their relationship, or even their characters. Even when we do get insight into their psyche it’s done poorly. Kirito may be pretty cool guy, but he doesn’t even have as much depth as the minute side characters previewed. And hey, a character is only as good as his character dynamic, no exceptions.

    Also, having an undeveloped main couple hurts side character development immensely. The biggest example? The ending of episode 7. Liz crying at the thought of never being able to get with Kirito due to Asuna would have been far sadder if it weren’t for the couple’s lack of interaction. Somehow, Liz is able to spot love within two characters who’ve had minimal scenes together. So here we have characters pointing out that the two are in love, but we the viewers can’t see it. If the side characters are going to point out their relationship, at least show me that they’re in love through their time together. Show not tell right?

    Wasn’t discussed, but I’m throwing this one in for poops and giggles. I can’t be the only one watching this show. Pandering to harem comedy fanatics with moe-blobs and a protagonist with the personality of a potato? Pfft, clearly an avant-garde post-modern 21st century look at the 1040’s power struggle for the throne of Scotland. Clearly. Just gotta look at the subtext.

    1. @ Click & Animesetsuna

      I think I’m the only one watching NakaImo (and maybe Mochi, though she was absent of course), so it sadly got cut. I’ll say a few things here, though:

      NakaImo is a shameless harem show. Its writing isn’t subtle and the central premise is a bit hard to swallow, but the way they implement it is so over-the-top silly that I can’t help but enjoying it in that gods-I-would-kill-Shougo-if-I-met-him-that-lucky-bastard way!! I enjoy harem shows and I don’t mind something being pretty silly, so I’m enjoying it, but I don’t pretend that it’s great literature or anything. It’s just fun.

      Oh, and I want to watch to the end to see if my Episode 1 imouto guess was right. (Check out Mochi’s intro post if you’re curious). It’s still alive so far!

      1. I am watching Imouto Roulette too, so there’s more of us siscons out there 😛 really though, I just love how the series sets up one red herring after another while keeping us guessing.
        I wonder if the VN had randomly generated Imouto to keep re-plays fun?
        I am also watching Koi Choco, with real kicker being the politics stuff. This reminds me of certain VN’s I played: bullying Show Spoiler ▼

        , theme of student council elections Show Spoiler ▼

      2. Well after ep 06 we can scratch another imouto candidate… Leaving only few suspects…
        But now half of the school refers to him as “onii-chan-senpai”!
        Also, we can’t totally exclude the possibility that imouto is someone entirely different, outside of the main harem.

    2. I personally disagree. It wasn’t a matter that Liz could tell that Kirito and Asuna were in love with each other, she just could tell Asuna was interested in Kirito by the look she gave him. She didn’t want to mess with her best friend, and probably thought that as a fellow clearer Asuna would be a better match for Kirito.

      And the entire murder arc was basically just a focus on the relationship between Kirito and Asuna, with tons of interaction between them in both episodes.

  2. I just have to say something about Sword Art Online and their side-stories.
    Although I do agree with how the episodes after the first and second introductory episodes detracts people from viewing the show I still think the studio didn’t make a terrible mistake. It might have been better if they fit some other stories that are not in the LN that is associated with the main plot line in between each of these side-stories but I think they wanted to stay loyal to the LN.

    Anyways, in Sword Art Online LN Vol 1 there is around 200 pages. That’s not a bad amount and there is certainly a lot of content but Volume 1 was actually intended for the Dengeki Light Novel Award but it went way overboard in terms of length and the author decided to post it on his website. He got great reception and followed up with other side-stories and further developments. Taking that into consideration, the original plot was only meant to be so long. If you read it there is a HUGE jump; we are not talking just time wise but floor wise as well. If they had started from there after episode 2 it would be even more confusing and far too rushed for even viewers who have not even read the LN and much more the people who have.

    After all what other choice did the studio have? Skip a huge amount of time and only have so many episodes and then come back to do the side-stories? Or (Read at your own risk) Show Spoiler ▼

    That would be even worse. Of course, I’m not saying the episodes after the first two are good but I felt that at least order wise it did make sense.

    Besides, the SAO LN is basically just mini arcs and side-stories. Volume 1 is basically a volume that contains quite a few “side-stories” already. If they try to incorporate more into Volume 1 it will become messy and the flow of the story might be disturbed. I don’t think they want to take the risk of changing and adding brand new ideas to an already consolidated story that many people love.

  3. I would introduce an adult to Chobits. It has many of the elements of more modern Anime
    present in a less than subtle way that allows appreciation of these point in successor Anime.

    For example, wind tunnel physics — a gentle breeze is enough to lift the delicate fabric of
    school-age girls’ skirts without affecting nearby women, tree leaves, or dust. You won’t find
    that in any stinkin’ textbook.

    There’s a long list, but a huge selling point of Anime is that, while American portray a girl’s
    strength asexually (by acting like a man (maybe there’s a better word)), Anime portrays a girl’s
    chi much more realistically, basically playing against and exaggerating the strengths that are
    very feminine. These are generalizations; not all Anime pulls these elements off so well, IMHO.

    Working!!, Working’!!, The World God Only Knows (+ II), Shinryaku! Ika Musume (and many others)
    are great intro comedies which identifies what many may expect of Anime (since it appears as a
    cartoon == comic). Infinite Stratos is a good intro, too.

    As I write this, I realize that there’s a very long list of good intro Anime, but basically it
    comes down to what you believe the interest are of the person you’re trying to evangelize.

    Great cast, thank you. Enjoyed hearing all of you.

  4. Summer Wars & Baccano! (Eng ver.) Not a gateway for Anime, but it gives me (my hobby) and it (the Anime genre) a some sort of respect and acknowledgement of my family/clan, when I went and show it to them on our family reunion, because they keep on asking me on what the hell I’m been wasting my time-alot.

    The podcast is really great, kinda wish it was longer and discuss some more Anime this season. Anyway, the summer line-up of Anime is surprisingly great, I have been enjoying all the show that I’m following, and some even exceeded my expectation like Kokoro, Tari2x & Oda. And there is also a good chance that I will dive into Natsuyuki, Joshiraku & Jinrui.
    An awesome Anime season this is for me.

      1. I really like listening to other people talk about the same hobby as I like (The recent podcast I listen to is a 3hrs long, bunch of guys talking about games). Maybe not the greatest way of listening, but is great to listen to a podcast, while doing other stuff, like gaming, house chores, cooking etc.. And it’s kinda fun to hear a bunch of guys talking and giggling about Anime all over the my entire house. XD Awesome right?

    1. It killed me not to get Jinrui a full session on the ‘cast, but with only Moomba and myself watching it we wouldn’t have had much of a discussion (which is the whole point). If Stereoman had been there we probably would have, because we both think Jinrui is easily the best new series of the season.

  5. verdant – sexy voice as always.
    Stilts – You’re crazy as every.
    Moomba – ありがとう for shouting out Joshiraku.
    Guardian Enzo – never fails to enlighten me.
    Zephyr – I sometimes confuse you as Enzo. You sometimes have Enzo’s mind set.
    Unlisted – never fails to amaze me.

  6. Excellent podcast as always. I was a little hoping that you guys might talk about which new summer shows exceeded your expectations and/or if your impressions of any new shows have changed from your initial thoughts. I guess it might be rehashing from some of the blog posts here, so nevermind!

    My pick anime for non-anime fans would probably be Steins;gate only because I have friends that have watched all of the 80s-90s anime series but now refuse to watch any of the newer anime series because of its “anime-ness” (i.e., stereotypical anime tropes). But, I’ve been able to convince two friends to watch Steins;gate, and they really loved it.

      1. I was skeptical of TT, but not so much that it wasn’t still in my three of four most anticipated so I can’t really call it a surprise – I thought it’d be pretty good, it turned out to be solidly good. KoiChoco and Binbougami were barely on my radar (especially the latter) so they’re more true surprises for me.

  7. I have a suggestion to make:

    Under the time index section I would like to suggest that the topics be summarized in point form so I would have an idea of what is being discussed.

    For example:
    29:05 – 45:42 – Sword Art Online
    1. Side stories
    2. Character development/interaction

    56:18 – 62:53 – What anime would we show to non-anime fans?
    1. XXX
    2. YYY

    So on and so forth. The reason why I would like to see this minor change is because the topic itself can be rather broad/long (take SAO for example), and for us people who don’t want to/don’t have the time to sit through the whole thing, we can skim through to the portion that is of interest. (For example I’m keen in knowing why X anime is recommended but not really interested in Y)

    If anything I think this would be a better change rather than the tedious work of doing a transcript, which is still awesome for people who prefer reading over listening, but when there are thousands of lines being said, doing a transcript is a task that nobody wants to do. Unless someone is really M for it. (heh)

    tl;dr- add short summaries in point form under each topic. Transcript can be skipped in favour of this.

  8. Anime I would mention to non-anime fans eh….

    Angel Beats!
    Madoka Magica (My advice: watch past ep 3, if its not his/her taste then its their decision)

    Will provide a complete write up when I FINALLY got to hear it lol. (Up to Podcast 2 only lol)

  9. I’m enjoying Sword Art Online as an LN reader. The director SUCKS in my opinion. He is adding the girls to get fans to watch.
    He cannot find a good balance of the seriousness of the situation. 2,000 have DIED so far and there is no mention of that.
    Sachi’s story should have been left because it emphasizes WHY he is a solo, and Yui because it follows the main plot. Silica and Liz only if they go into the ALO storyline.
    There are NOT a lot of girls in SAO. Isn’t there some Top 5 list of pretty girls in SAO that they talk about? He mentions it about Asuna since she is like #2 or #3 because he is afraid of her fans hating him when they are walking together in the city.

    1. Asuna was #1 I believe, and Ashley the seamstress was 2nd, our resident pet tamer was close up there with her own fan club, but I can’t remember if there ever was a real list or anything.

      Anyway…good job guys. 😀

  10. Regarding SAO: It’s wish-fulfillment to the highest degree. That’s really it. It’s not the adaptation that’s the problem, it’s the source material. Also, way too much CRAWLING.

    Going through the MLA:TE segment, I’d like to point out there is a Japanese VN aggregate site (provided you can read some moonrunes), similar to, that lists the top whatever VNs by average. The top few VNs tend to shift around a bit.


    To make it easier for the non-Japanese readers, the current top 10 are:

    1. Zero Escape: Good People Die
    2. Muv-Luv Alternative (all ages version)
    3. Ruina ~Haito no Monogatari~
    4. YU-NO (Sega Saturn ver)
    5. Ever17 ~the out of infinity~
    6. YU-NO (PC ver)
    7. Steins;Gate
    8. Ever17 (again?)
    9. Ever17 (lol)

    Fun facts: CLANNAD is #16, Fate/Stay Night is #46, Saya no Uta is #199

    People are saying Soukou Akki Muramasa and Baldr Sky are pretty damn good, but we’ll never know unless we can read moon. Hope someone can attest to their quality.

  11. In all those 73 minutes, the only thing I remembered was briefly hearing the words “Outlaw Star” and suddenly having a giant grin on my face.

    On a serious note, I agree with Moomba on Fullmetal Alchemist (either series) being an excellent gateway anime because it has such a wide range of appeal. It really does showcase so many great points of the medium and its western setting and style really do help viewers acclimate to the style that anime offers (this was the point I really took away from this podcast).

    When I show people anime for the first time, my movie of choice is Summer Wars and my TV series of choice is Baccano! so I am right on board with Jhacks above. My primary reasoning is that both have great English dubs which allows my friends to find their comfort level with the language barrier. It helps that both shows are great in their own right. Series after that are usually Angel Beats!, Steins;Gate, Darker than BLACK, and K-ON! depending on the viewer.

  12. Aside of liking NakaImo & Dog Days’ & Hagure Yuusha no Estetica, my favorite are Binbogami ga! & Campione! because of HanaKana for sure. Koi to Choco and Hyouka are just for fun watching since Nakamura Yuuichi is in both show. ^^

  13. Of anime series that I would recommend to non-anime watchers, one that immediately comes to mind is Monster (such a masterpiece), followed by Lupin the 3rd (the original green jacket series or the movies), pretty much any of the Ghibli movies, a few of the Madhouse films for the more adventurous. Some more recent series that could appeal to the non-anime viewer include Uchuu Kyoudai, Steins;Gate, and Sakamichi no Apollon.
    For people thinking Madoka Magica would appeal to a non-anime viewer have to acknowledge that some of the impact is lost on those that have never seen a magical girl series before. Same thing with some of the jokes in Steins;Gate.

  14. Status update: the transcription is halfway finished. The writers were busy, so for the past couple of days I have worked on this alone. At this current rate, the transcript will be completed by Friday.

    Since I don’t want to release a transcript that late, I’m looking for 2-4 people to form a transcribing team that will work on this, and future podcasts. If you would like to help, or if you have questions, please send me an email at xumxumbra at gmail dot com. Thanks!

  15. Another great podcast guys! Just a quick suggestion though: It gets a little confusing when people refer to episodes by their episode numbers without any other qualifications. For example something like “episodes 3 and 4 were kinda meh, but I loved episodes 5 and 6.”

    Unless we’re mind-readers or have the episode list in front of us, we won’t know what you’re talking about without any other information!

    I do know there’s a desire to avoid spoilers, but I think it starts to backfire if the discussion gets so vague that not even people who’ve seen the show can understand what’s being talked about. A few hints about what was in those episodes is really all we need to follow along. (e.g. in other places things like “Liz’s episode” or “Wakana’s thing with her mom” were mentioned, which was perfectly fine)

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. Again, thanks for the podcast guys! Keep up the good work!

  16. Just my personal thoughts on Sword Art Online so far:

    I’m really enjoying it. It has nice animation, a stellar cast of voice actors, and I personally really like the characters. Kirito is one of, if not the only, character I’ve watched that’s embraced the escapism of a video game yet still manages to be both the hero and be awesome.

    I can understand where people are coming from about the placing of side stories, yet at the same time I’ve really enjoyed them. And honestly, I’d think these side stories would be muchh more out of place further down the line. When I look at the first seven episodes of Sword Art Online, I see lots of world building while maintaining a common, almost subtle, theme. Each episode shows new things about the life on Sword Art Online and how the people have adapted and live, while also at the same time developing Kirito. From the marriage system, duels, PK, how the world deals with PK, to even forging, each episode of Sword Art Online has introduced something new about the world Kirito and Co. live and fight to survive in.

    And all throughout there is the underlying theme as to whether the world of a video game can be treated as a reality. Can there be a meaning in the things found in a virtual world? Do the relationships we form matter in this world? Should we embrace the reality we’re in presently while still searching for a way out? Do the emotions we carry also carry a meaning in an online game?

    So all in all, I’ve really enjoyed Sword Art Online so far.

  17. I really appreciate the mentions of underrated shows (last time it was Space Bros). The discussion of Natsuyuki and why people are probably shying away from it was also nice to hear. I hope that more people will watch Natsuyuki since it’s become one of favorite shoujos. I’m pretty happy since I don’t think that shoujos are animated very well, or that it’s usually not types of stories like these that get animated.


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