The Speakeasy: A Reverse Thieves Podcast – Drink #002

February 15, 2010

Anime 3000 presents: The Speakeasy

The Speakeasy is an ongoing conversation between the two of us about themes, trends, and concepts present in anime and manga and along side that sometimes there will be a critical analysis of fandom. If you were ever curious about our conversations that are the genesis of our posts then this will be utterly enlightening. If you never wondered about that, hopefully you will still enjoy the show!

Drink #002: Heart of Fire, Go Nagai VS. Gurren Lagann
This is THE match-up of manly madness made for men who marvel at mechanical monsters. The battle for the hearts and minds for those who love robot designs. A grudge match started in the land of the rising sun but ends in the home of the stars and stripes. In the red corner we have the dreamer from Wajima and the father of the Super robot, Go Nagai and Mazinger Z. In the white corner we have and the kings of boob bounce that are ready to pounce, Gainax and Gurren Lagann.
Actually this is an examination of why  Gurren Lagann is so popular with anime fans in the U.S. and Shin Mazinger only really has a fandom among Go Nagai fans despite seeming like shows that have almost identical appeal. What are the key factors that earn one show such a broad audience but keep people out of the other even though both show are awesome.
(Listen) (Show Notes)

And now your helpful bartenders at The Speakeasy present your drink:

Heart of Fire
* 1 to 2 measures Whiskey
* Tabasco sauce to taste 

Serve whiskey of choice in a shot glass, add a few drops of Tabasco sauce, and down in one swallow. Speedy intoxication may be the intended result for this fiery cocktail, but go easy with it, as not only the whiskey but also the capsaicin in the peppers in the Tabasco sauce can have adverse side effects if taken to excess.


  1. Looking forward to listening to this at work tomorrow. I’m a big fan of both things and I’m also curious why one is moderately popular here while the other isn’t

  2. As far as strong female characters go, Yoko doesn’t hold a candle to Tsubasa Nishikori (Koji’s mom).

  3. Hmmm, character development. Yes, GL has much more but you also need to realize that GL takes place over a longer amount of time, including a big time skip. Shin Mazinger, for the most part, takes place in a relatively short time span. Not much development would take place in that span. Plus, of course, Go Nagai characters only grow so much… or else they wouldn’t be hot-blooded characters they need to be.

    Character design… yeah, older character designs never win over most newer fans.

  4. Please please work on Japanese pronunciation, it’s not that hard!

    • I admit it is mostly my problem as opposed to Narutaki’s but I mispronounce things in English all the time too. I will try harder in the future.

      – Hisui

  5. Your words about people mistakenly believing that, if a person likes such and such show, then they’ll definitely enjoy watching the series that inspired the one they liked, really struck home with me. It’s a mistake I’ve made in the past, thinking that the key to selling a show was to talk about its historical significance. It also made me think of the following hypothetical situation.

    “Hey, what’s your favorite cereal?”
    “Frosted Flakes!”
    “Well if you like Frosted Flakes, I think you’ll enjoy CORN FLAKES! It’s the ORIGIN of Frosted Flakes!”

    The person recommending Corn Flakes has his heart in the right place, but doesn’t realize that the reason why the other person likes Frosted Flakes so much might be mainly because of the sugar frosting, i.e. everything that Frosted Flakes have that Corn Flakes do not.

    Reducing things down is not the answer for everyone, and just like Frosted Flakes vs Corn Flakes, I think people enjoy the total package of Gurren-Lagann, making it difficult to sell some fans on the idea of Gurren-Lagann stripped down to its bare essentials.

  6. This podcast kinda sorta came about as a result of something I’ve always wondered, so I’ll weigh in. The perennial “next step” after TTGL I always suggest is not Shin Mazinger Z. It’s too slow-paced at places and is way too different than most other things.

    The question I often propose is “why is TTGL popular but not GaoGaiGar or the recent Getter Robo remakes?” Especially in the case of the latter, those are not only “where TTGL came from” but they’re also very, very similar in content and tone. What, then, is missing from one that is present in the other, aside from the “Gainax” label? The fact that the first half of GaoGaiGar simply isn’t very good doesn’t much enter into it because people never even bothered with the first volume to find that out.

  7. […] school, podcast, shin mazinger shougeki z hen, super robot For the Reverse Thieves’ second Speakeasy Podcast they compared Gurren-Lagann and Shin Mazinger, discussing why the former has a much more universal […]

  8. […] The Speakeasy: A Reverse Thieves Podcast – Drink #002 February 15, 2010 […]

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