When a Megadeth Guitarist Became an Anime Composer

I’ve written a post on Waku Waku +NYC blog on the interesting life of ex-Megadeth lead guitarist Marty Friedman, particularly how he began studying Japanese and how he eventually even contributed to anime music.

Also I recommend watching the video above, because.

 

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By the way.

Oh and just to be clear, that blog isn’t mine.

Spandex of Future Past Dreams

I wouldn’t really call myself a sentai or tokusatsu fan. Of course I grew up with the Power Rangers on TV, though I didn’t keep up with it too well, and even remember denying even watching it (and Sailor Moon). I’m enough of a nerd that I will say “3 3 5” in the middle of a conversation, and I watched episodes of Magiranger when I lived in Japan, but I do not self-identify as a sentai fan. So it’s with that history and mindset that I started watching videos of Super Sentai crossovers.

Having little nostalgia for Super Sentai, I find the almost familiar effect these crossovers had on me to be amazing. It doesn’t matter if I didn’t grow up eagerly awaiting the latest crossover every year. The acting and presentation tell me that it doesn’t matter, and that something can feel nostalgic without actually being so.

I think the main reason why Super Sentai and other such shows manage to garner their fanbases among even adults has nothing to do with people being unable to grow up, or that they’re using it to live in the past however temporarily. The actors in Super Sentai, be they the actors behind the masks or with the masks off, always show respect for their roles. Respect and talent. Can’t forget that second part, as no matter how much you respect it your Japanese 101 video with you speaking broken Japanese while dressed like a samurai won’t ever amount to much. But respect for the role is more important than talent, just by a little.

Being convinced that the characters take whatever it is they do seriously is a recurring theme in anime and manga, and it’s something I’ve found difficult to use as a reason to convince others to watch a show. While fighting anime such as Hokuto no Ken are the most common grounds for this sort of thing, you’ll even see it in shows like Maria-sama ga Miteru.

So I hold much respect for Super Sentai, for being what it is. They’re kids’ shows, but that’s no reason not to try. Try to watch it, try to make it, try again.

BIIIIIIIIIIIIG OOOOOOOOOOOOONE

Are the releases we want going to be the releases we get?

One complaint always leveled at anime companies is that they charge too much for anime. It’s something I’ve criticized in the past myself. Well, companies are finally listening and we’re seeing a variety of attempts to lower the cost of watching anime.

Gonzo plans on continuing its free online subtitled broadcasts with a continuation of Strike Witches.

Gainax and Bandai Entertainment have made it possible to watch the smash hit Gurren-Lagann on network cable via the Sci-Fi Network. Not only that, Bandai is planning a blitzkrieg release with 9 episodes per disc with a release of 1 disc per month. That’s 3 months for ALL of Gurren-Lagann.

Maria-sama ga Miteru, officially titled now as Maria is Watching Over Us, has an upcoming release of the entire first season at once. That’s 13 episodes from the get-go. No waiting, no nothing.

Media Blasters is releasing the second half of Gaogaigar all at once for practically nothing as well. This has less to do with plans and more to do with the fact that GGG did not do so well in the US, but it’s there.

And finally, Toei Animation has given the courtesy of releasing episodes of Hokuto no Ken and Slam Dunk online at $2 per episode. Granted, there’s some Digital Rights Management crap that we have to deal with, but they at least figured out that this is a better way of giving exposure to older series such as these.

So the anime industry has finally stepped up their game, and made it easier than ever to obtain anime from legitimate sources for affordable prices. It is now up to us as fans to support them, to tell these companies that, yes, we are willing to give you money directly provided you make it possible for us without sacrificing an arm and a leg when we do not have the fortune of being Edward Elric.

I don’t expect people to buy every single example I list here, and of course people’s income situations vary greatly, but I think it’s important that the anime fandom show that we are supportive of new attempts to get anime in our hands.