I am the new Bamboo Dong

It’s official. Starting next week I’ll be taking over Bamboo Dong’s1 “Shelf Life” column on Anime News Network. I’ll be reviewing anime on a weekly basis, for “…the #1 English language source for anime and manga news on the Internet”.

Five years ago, when I was reading Bamboo’s column, I never thought, “Oh, I bet someday I’ll be writing this!” I really liked her Nightshift Nurses 2 comic strip – and apparently so did everyone else, it’s her “longest viewed” column.

Back in 2004 I also asked the Answerman a question. I couldn’t really imagine that there would come a time in 2009 when I would be randomly hanging out with ANN staff over lunch at Tokyo Big Sight.

So next week please look forward to my review of Black Lagoon! Hopefully Noah will get his Black Lagoon podcast ready soon, too.

I’m trying to figure out what this will mean for the podcast. Our pace of shows is already really slow, (averaging once a month) so I can’t imagine it getting any worse. We will certainly be watching a lot more anime. Maybe we’ll give away DVDs once in a while.

1 Yes, that is her real name.

Show #72 – NYAF 2009 Part 1: The Rough Guide to Anime

Show #072 – Direct Download:

OP: Only Yesterday clip
ED: Multilanguage version of Ponyo end theme, including the abysmal English language remix.

An interview with Simon Richmond, author of the Rough Guide to Anime (and the very useful Rough Guide to Japan) conducted at NYAF 2009. Here’s my Otaku USA NYAF coverage.  Here’s my PW interview with Simon.

Daryl’s comment is worth noting in the show notes:

In my review of the book in Otaku USA, I said that if I had to pick *one* book that every anime fan should read, The Rough Guide to Anime was it. It’s not just because I briefly met Simon at Anime Boston thanks to your interviewing him, either. If everyone knew (or at least read through and partially retained) the information contained within it and watched the 50 recommended anime titles (well, you can skip Steamboy. And if you absolutely MUST watch Evangelion, save it for last so you can properly contextualize it), then anime fandom would be substantially better off for it. It’s not a big book, it’s not expensive, and despite being really information-dense it’s got a lot of pictures and sidebars so as not to overwhelm people.

At every con I go to where I do some sort of anime recommendations panel (such as this weekend’s upcoming EXPCon in St. Augustine, FL!), I tell people to go out and get this book. My actual success rate is unknown, as I’m still the only person I know to have read it, but it’s simultaneously “newbie-friendly” while containing more worthwhile, lasting information worth retaining than pretty much any other anime book on the shelves.

If there ever came a day when 1. I figured out what the heck I’d write a book about, and 2. I managed to actually write said book and get it published, key in my mind would be “does this book I’m writing handle [whatever its subject material would be] as good as if not better than The Rough Guide to Anime?” Were that day to ever come, I’m not fully sure the answer would be “yes.”