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Podcast Review: Anime 101

We aren’t all born knowing what what a kotatsu is, what maple leaves or a peach symbolize, why some people are called -sama, -san, or o-, or why anyone in their right mind would choose to eat natto. Even the Japanese themselves aren’t born knowing any of that, and yet anime fans, like any group of fans from Star Wars to Doctor Who, revel at times in mocking newbies for asking honest questions. Well, despair no more would-be novice otaku, Anime 101 is here.

Anime 101 is just what its title might suggest: a practised otaku, Vespa, takes listeners though the various terms and details of anime in an attempt to decipher them for new fans, concerned parents, or just anyone who wants to know more. He takes listener questions and comments and does a fine job of presenting his definitions and explanations. It is just his idea of what’s going on, but he seems in general to have done his homework, so while his ideas may not be Gospel, they seem pretty reliable. He also usually does a pretty good job at avoiding the pointless rants that infect certain other anime-related podcasts, which devolve into mere flaming or self-ego-stroking. Past episodes have covered such things as Anime Music Videos (AMVs), shonen, conventions, and live-action versions of anime. There are at least a dozen episodes thus far, each averaging about 45 minutes to an hour.

You can check out the podcast via, iTunes, or from the podcast’s blog.