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Japanimation Station's Kyoto Vacation

Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman

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Japanimation Station is an anime podcast where hosts Jonathan Lack and Sean Chapman, creators of Weekly Suit Gundam, create deep dive conversations not just on individual shows, but on complete bodies of work, approaching these shows not just as fans, but with a fresh pair of critical eyes. We get deep into the stories, characters, and aesthetics, but also place the series and their creators into the proper contexts of history, backstory, and behind the scenes details that make these works s ...
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Part 4 of our Kyoto Vacation is called “My Ordinary Life is a Mystery to be Lived,” and we begin with one of Kyoto Animation’s most beloved cult classics, and also perhaps the weirdest show ever made: Nichijou, based on the manga by Keiichi Arawi, which follows three high-school girls, a genius child inventor, the robot big sister she invents for h…
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Part 3 of our Kyoto Vacation is‘Moe Money, Moe Problems: After School Tea-Time with the Girls of K-On!’ And today, we’re finishing our journey with Hokago Tea Time by following the girls to London for an overseas adventure in K-On! The Movie. Released in 2011 to more or less unprecedented success for this type of anime, the feature film continuatio…
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Part 3 of our Kyoto Vacation is‘Moe Money, Moe Problems: After School Tea-Time with the Girls of K-On!’ And today, we’re discussing the 27-episode second season from 2010, which follows Yui, Ritsu, Mio, and Mugi-chan in their third and final year of high school, with second-year Azusa facing the prospect of being left behind after they all graduate…
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Part 3 of our Kyoto Vacation is‘Moe Money, Moe Problems: After School Tea-Time with the Girls of K-On!’ And for the next three weeks, we’re reviewing what may be Kyoto Animation’s most popular series to date: K-On!, the musical slice-of-life anime sensation following the girls of the Sakuragaoka High School light music club! The 14-episode 1st seas…
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It’s December 25th, and Christmas has finally come to Otaku Town – and with it, the final episode of Part 2 of our Kyoto Vacation. For today’s very special episode, we are finishing our journey through the world of Haruhi Suzumiya with the 2010 film The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, the nearly-three-hour climactic story in Kyoto Animation’s bel…
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Part 2 of our Kyoto Vacation chronicles ‘When Christmas Came to Otaku Town,’ and that holiday is drawing ever nearer with Season 2 of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Aired in 2009, this season collected the 14 episodes originally produced in 2006, re-arranges them in the story’s chronological order, and then intersperses 14 new episodes amidst t…
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Part 2 of our Kyoto Vacation chronicles ‘When Christmas Came to Otaku Town,’ and in this episode, we do an extremely deep-dive into the single craziest experiment ever attempted in commercial anime: The infamous ‘Endless Eight’ arc from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Season 2. We will be talking about the rest of that show’s second season from 2…
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Part 2 of our Kyoto Vacation chronicles ‘When Christmas Came to Otaku Town,’ and following the wild success of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyoto Animation moved on to one of the defining slice-of-life anime comedies, 2007’s Lucky Star! Simultaneously a very dry, down-to-earth ‘atmospheric’ show and an absolutely absurd slice of post-modern anime surrealism, L…
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Part 2 of our Kyoto Vacation chronicles ‘When Christmas Came to Otaku Town,’ beginning with a look at the first season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Based on the light novels by Nagaru Tanigawa, Haruhi is a seminal work of 21st century anime, with the first 14 episodes from 2006 creating an absolute sensation with major impacts on the futur…
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This week marks the 10th anniversary of the first movie based on Persona 3, a game that is one of our all-time favorites here at Japanimation Station. We reviewed each of those films as they released over on The Weekly Stuff Podcast, and hold them in extremely high regard as some of the greatest video game adaptations of all time, in any medium – a…
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This week marks the 10th anniversary of the first movie based on Persona 3, a game that is one of our all-time favorites here at Japanimation Station. We reviewed each of those films as they released over on The Weekly Stuff Podcast, and hold them in extremely high regard as some of the greatest video game adaptations of all time, in any medium – a…
  continue reading
 
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the first movie based on Persona 3, a game that is one of our all-time favorites here at Japanimation Station. We reviewed each of those films as they released over on The Weekly Stuff Podcast, and hold them in extremely high regard as some of the greatest video game adaptations of all time, in any medium – a…
  continue reading
 
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the first movie based on Persona 3, a game that is one of our all-time favorites here at Japanimation Station. We reviewed each of those films as they released over on The Weekly Stuff Podcast, and hold them in extremely high regard as some of the greatest video game adaptations of all time, in any medium – a…
  continue reading
 
Part 1 of our Kyoto Vacation, ‘Crying is the Key to Happiness,’ comes to a close with Clannad After Story, the second and final season based on the legendary visual novel by Key VisualArts. And after speaking for 3.5 hours about the first season, we somehow go even longer on the second, which follows Tomoya and Nagisa progressing into adulthood and…
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Part 1 of our Kyoto Vacation, ‘Crying is the Key to Happiness,’ continues with 2007’s Clannad, the first entry in a two-series journey adapting the legendary visual novel by Key VisualArts. And it is, immediately, a major artistic leap for Kyoto Animation, a stunningly animated, beautifully written, alternatingly hilarious and poignant portrait of …
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Part 1 of our Kyoto Vacation, ‘Crying is the Key to Happiness,’ continues with our review of Kanon, a fascinating snapshot of two groups of storytellers finding their way: The team at Key VisualArts, for whom Kanon was their first original visual novel, and the artists at Kyoto Animation, who had already made Air the year before, and were now worki…
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Part 1 of our Kyoto Vacation kicks off with ‘Crying is the Key to Happiness,’ a series of episodes on Kyoto Animation’s adaptations of the acclaimed visual novels by Key VisualArts. We begin with 2005’s Air, the strange, sad, and surprising tale of a wandering boy, a girl obsessed with dinosaurs, an empathetic crow, and a winged girl in the sky. Ai…
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Welcome to Japanimation Station’s Kyoto Vacation, the fourth season of our podcast and our biggest adventure yet! We are taking a journey through the works of Kyoto Animation, one of the most respected and beloved anime studios in Japan, reviewing shows like Clannad, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-On!, Nichijou, Sound! Euphonium, Violet Everg…
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“Leave it to my psychokinesis.” The third season of Japanimation Station comes to a close with the jam-packed final installment of The Classic Adventures of Lupin the 3rd! We start by taking a look at Lupin’s first live-action adventure, 1974’s Strange Psychokinetic Strategy. This is one of the earliest Lupin adaptations period, created between the…
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“I guess we do battle tonight, Pops!” For the penultimate episode of Japanimation Station Season 3, we’re looking at a selection of Lupin the 3rdfilms and specials from the brink of the new millennium! Starting with 1996’s Dead or Alive, a theatrical feature directed by Lupin creator Monkey Punch himself, which sees our favorite thief embroiled in …
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“I can’t just ignore a lovely lady with a big Diamond.” As Lupin the 3rd rounded the corner of the 1980s into the 1990s, the character and the series was in a period of transition. The 1987 OVA film The Fuma Conspiracy featured some of the franchise’s greatest animation, but also had a completely different voice cast than Japanese fans had come to …
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“Nobody said I’m not in. We’re just out of cognac.” With Lupin the 3rd Part III, Lupin officially the enters the 1980s and he’s got a new attitude, a new look, and a new jacket – a pink one! The Pink Jacket Adventures, as this series has come to be known, is one of the weirder and wilder chapters in Lupin history, with Yuzo Aoki leading a talented …
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“Believe in the power of the thief.” Before he left the world of Lupin behind and went off to change the course of anime history forever with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Hayao Miyazaki returned to TMS for a final set of Lupin the 3rd projects that have become iconic anime classics: The 1979 feature film The Castle of Cagliostro, and episode…
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“Lupin, our manly drama ends today!” Airing from 1977 to 1980, the second Lupin the 3rd TV anime – retroactively titled “Part II” – produced a whopping 155 episodes, and with the iconic red jacket and the entire five-person crew (Lupin, Jigen, Fujiko, Goemon, and Zenigata) in tow for every adventure, this is the series that firmly cemented Lupin II…
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“Wherever he goes, he’ll be chased. That is his destiny.” In 1978, Lupin the 3rd made the leap to the big screen with his first animated feature film, and while the second Lupin movie, 1979’s Hayao Miyazaki-directed The Castle of Cagliostro, is the more famous film, The Mystery of Mamo is arguably the single piece of Lupin animation that cuts close…
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“I’m a greedy person. There’s so much I want to do with Mom and all of you.” Weekly Suit Gundam is back to review the second and final season of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury, which brings the story to a close with a rousing, jam-packed set of episodes that’s darker, richer, and more action-filled than the first season. This is the fir…
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“Lupin. He’s a nice man. But he’s cool.” Welcome to Season 3 of Japanimation Station: The Classic Adventures of Lupin the 3rd! This season, we will be exploring the countless capers of one of the most enduring icons of anime from his very first animated appearance in 1969 up through the dawn of the 21st century. In today’s season premiere, we go th…
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“For the sake of someone other than yourself, you can exert infinite strength.” The third season of the hit anime Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba recently wrapped up its hotly anticipated third season, adapting the “Swordsmith Village Arc” of Koyoharu Gotouge’s manga, and as big fans of the series who have reviewed all the prior arcs, we’re here for…
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Hosts Sean Chapman and Jonathan Lack give you a special look at Season 3 of Japanimation Station, THE CLASSIC ADVENTURES OF LUPIN THE 3RD, premiering July 4th, 2023! In this 8-episode season, we will be surveying 30 years of anime history through the exploits of the infamous thief Lupin III and his friends Daisuke Jigen, Fujiko Mine, Goemon Ishikaw…
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“Getting to know someone is all about little moments like that, wouldn’t you agree?” In this super-sized season finale of Japanimation Station, we close out ufotable/Moon Works with two reviews: First, we discuss Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family, the 2018 original net animation spin-off of Fate/stay night that sees Shirou and all his friends makin…
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“I’ll show you a miracle.” The journey of Fate/stay night comes to a close with the third and final chapter of the Heaven’s Feel trilogy, Spring Song, and Sean and Jonathan are both in absolute awe at what this film achieves. Bringing the stories of Shirou, Sakura, Rin, Ilya, and the other surviving characters to a surprising, incredibly emotional …
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“She’s all I want to protect.” The dark saga that is Heaven’s Feel enters its especially dark middle chapter with Lost Butterfly, the second film in the trilogy, and one that delivers an enormous, eventful, complicated slice of movie for us to break down. Filled to the brim with surprising revelations, major plot turns, and huge character moments, …
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“If I ever did something bad, would you forgive me?” We enter the final phase of ufotable/Moon Works with the first part of the Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel trilogy, Presage Flower, the first of three films adapting the third and final route of the original Fate/stay night visual novel. And whether you’re experiencing the story in its original vi…
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“That’s Hell you’re walking into.” Where the first season of Unlimited Blade Works provided a lot of essential character work, the second season – episodes 13 through 25 – is where the plot kicks into high gear, and there’s a lot to break down on this episode, as the show doles out revelations about Archer and Shirou, brings Gilgamesh and his monst…
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“Starting now, things are gonna get real flashy!” The premiere of the Swordsmith Village Arc is just two days away – on April 9th – and we’re finishing out our reviews of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, ufotable’s extraordinary anime adaptation of Kyoharu Gotouge’s hit manga, with a look at the show’s singular second season. Fresh off the unprecede…
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“I am the bone of my sword.” After the breakout success of Fate/Zero, ufotable returned in 2014 with an adaptation of the second route in the Fate/stay night visual novel: Unlimited Blade Works. And it’s a big series, released in two seasons, with the first including three hour-long episodes, and the entire production showcasing some of the highest…
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“Set your heart ablaze.” Ahead of the premiere of the Swordsmith Village Arc on April 9th, we’re revisiting a series of reviews of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, ufotable’s extraordinary anime adaptation of Kyoharu Gotouge’s hit manga. This time, we’re talking all about the 2020 feature film sensation Mugen Train, which set historic box-office rec…
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“Glory lies beyond the horizon.” After covering just the double-length first episode last week, we’re back to discuss the full run of Fate/Zero, the Fate/stay night prequel that became a breakout anime hit all over the world, and given the run-time of today’s podcast, you can probably guess our thoughts on it. This is a tremendous show, whether you…
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“The bond between Nezuko and me can’t be severed by anyone.” With Season 3’s Swordsmith Village Arc of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba right around the corner – it premieres April 9th – we are re-releasing a series of episodes from our sister series, The Weekly Stuff Podcast, in which Sean and Jonathan review all of ufotable’s extraordinary anime ad…
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“The Holy Grail will save you.” After finishing up The Garden of Sinners last week, we are taking our first steps into the larger world of Fate/stay night, the most iconic of Kinoko Nasu and Type-Moon’s creations, with Fate/Zero, the prequel anime based on the light novel series by Gen Urobuchi. On today’s episode, Sean gives us an in-depth introdu…
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“Your dream will live on.” After adapting the original seven chapters of Kara no Kyoukai, ufotable returned in 2011 to animate the novel’s Epilogue chapter as a half-hour short, and in 2013 for Future Gospel (also known as Recalled Out Summer), based on an additional chapter Kinoko Nasu wrote in 2008, 10 years after the original serialization. Both…
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“I won’t let you go, as long as I live.” The original 7-part run of The Garden of Sinners comes to an end with these last two installments, Oblivion Recording and A Study in Murder: Part 2, the former providing a lighter, more comical one-off case where Shiki teams up with Touko’s apprentice (and Kokutou’s little sister) Azaka, while the decidedly-…
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“You know, high rises are strange.” We are only reviewing one installment of The Garden of Sinners this week, but since that installment is Paradox Spiral, we basically have no choice, and it’s not even because this is one of the only Kara no Kyoukai films that runs a full two hours. It’s because Paradox Spiral is one of the best and most artistica…
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“My eyes allow me to see death.” Our journey through The Garden of Sinners continues with the third and fourth installments – Remaining Sense of Pain and The Hollow Shrine – as we learn (most of) the story behind Shiki, their powers, and how they, Kokutou, and Touko all came together. Remaining Sense of Pain sees the trio tackle one of the darkest …
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“The overlooking view is a breathtaking sight.” For Season 2 of Japanimation Station – ufotable/Moon Works – we will be discussing all of the animated adaptations of Type-Moon’s books and visual novels produced by renowned studio ufotable. The best-known of these are related to Kinoko Nasu’s groundbreaking visual novel Fate/stay night, but the stor…
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Hosts Sean Chapman and Jonathan Lack give you a special look at Season 2 of Japanimation Station, premiering Valentine's Day 2023. This season is called UFOTABLE/MOON WORKS, and we'll be reviewing all of anime studio extraordinaire Ufotable's adaptations of Type-Moon stories, including Fate/Stay Night and The Garden of Sinners (and in this preview,…
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“Nice to meet you, my groom.” Weekly Suit Gundam makes its triumphant return as Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury has wrapped up its fantastic 12-episode 1st season, and we’re here to dive deep on every facet of this so-far wonderful show: from our first female Gundam protagonist in Suletta Mercury, to the complex and seemingly sinister mo…
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In our 1st-season finale, we conclude our series of Fullmetal Alchemist reviews by rounding up the remaining theatrical feature films. First, there’s 2011’s The Sacred Star of Milos, an animated spin-off of Brotherhood made by the same crew, but with entirely different creative leadership, leading to a radically different aesthetic and the best ani…
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Our journey through Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood comes to an end with the second half of the second anime, now in fully uncharted territory as it adapts the final stretch of Hiromu Arakawa’s original manga. Diving deep into the Briggs and Promised Day story arcs that conclude the series, we discuss all the many ups and occasional downs of this …
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Our Fullmetal Alchemist series enters its ultimate phase as we review Brotherhood, the 2009 anime that starts fresh to adapt Hiromu Arakawa’s original manga in full. With a new crew, a new animation style, many new cast members, and a largely new story, Brotherhood is extremely different than the 2003 anime – and in many ways, it’s also a different…
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