Part 3 of the multi-part Fushigi Yugi watchalong with Vrai, Dee, and Caitlin! Amidst another fun stretch of episodes, the sleep-deprived trio talks Dubtales, ‘shipping wars, and isekai appeal. Mitsukake is 1000% done. Chiriko is unappreciated in his time. Tasuki is a very good boy.
CONTENT WARNING: Fushigi Yugi contains depictions of sexual assault, homophobia, and transphobia. The podcast will also discuss these topics when they arise.
02:41 Miaka grasping the idiot ball
12:45 Is Yui evil?
15:00 Love triangle
16:40 Tamahome’s shades of gray
18:01 Tasuki and Mitsukake
22:01 Sub vs Dub
32:19 Tasuki’s a sweet boy
37:06 Hotohori’s still the worst
41:55 Miaka and Tamahome
Recorded Saturday 24th July 2017
Music: Open Those Bright Eyes by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
CAITLIN: Hello, and welcome to Chatty AF, the Anime Feminist podcast. My name is Caitlin, and I’m a writer and editor for the site as well as running my own blog, I have a Heroine Problem.
DEE: Hi, I’m Dee Hogan, a writer and editor for AniFem, as well as the owner of the anime blog The Josei Next Door.
VRAI: Hi, I’m Vrai. I’m also a contributor and editor for AniFem, and if you throw Vrai Kaiser into Google, you can find what I do at all the places.
CAITLIN: [laughs] All right, so this is the third episode of our Fushigi Yugi watchalong, where we watch a few episodes each week and invite listeners to watch along with us. This week, we watched episodes 15 to 20. So, what did you guys think?
VRAI: The show continues to be pretty good with some bullshit on the horizon.
DEE: That’s about right, yeah.
CAITLIN: That’s sort of the thing about watching that show, in hindsight, is that no matter how good it is—and it can be really good—
CAITLIN: —There’s always bullshit on the horizon.
DEE: So, yeah. Sort of bracing for that. That said, I really like this stretch of episodes. We got two monster movies, a spy caper, and a throw down. I mean, that’s fun for the whole family.
CAITLIN: [laughs] That’s actually a fun way to think of that.
DEE: I mean, you can critique Fushigi Yugi for a lot of things,
I’m not sure it’s ever boring. It keeps moving, for sure.
VRAI: It’s true.
CAITLIN: Yeah, that’s true, it’s definitely not something I’ve ever found boring. Frustrating? Yes.
DEE: [crosstalk] At times.
CAITLIN: Infuriating? Absolutely. Boring? Probably not.
VRAI: The whole thing is—you start to see it here, but as we go along, we’re going to get more poor communication, but it’s the really bad kind of poor communication. This isn’t the good kind, where you have six characters who all have different motivations and are telling each other certain things to further their own goals, necessarily. It’s two people who just happen to miss each other at exactly the wrong time, and therefore it makes a ripple effect of terrible things that could have been avoided in two seconds.
CAITLIN: Or, like, a character who is too busy saying “I love you” to someone to actually tell them what’s important, and thus caused major misunderstandings, and… Bad things happening. That sort of stuff.
VRAI: And it’s almost always Miaka who ends up grasping the idiot ball in order to make these things work, and it’s very sad.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk; long-suffering] Ohhhh, Miaka. She’s just not very smart.
DEE: [crosstalk] She’s doing her best. [laughs]
CAITLIN: She’s doing her best. At least it’s a consistent part of her character in that she’s not randomly smart sometimes, and then dumb sometimes for plot reasons.
VRAI: [crosstalk] I dunno, I mean she’s not that smart, but she’s smarter than this plot demands of her at times. That makes me sad.
DEE: No, I get it. She can have these bursts of being kind of clever and creative. Like when she realizes that “oh, I can actually use the kind of shitty sexism of this world against it” and seduces her way out of the jail cell.
DEE: With the cat helping out with the assist there. She escapes on her own and gets out. And so she has these moments where her proactivity and agency compiles into this “think on my feet” sort of cleverness. But then because she never plans ahead—I think that’s her biggest problem, is she doesn’t think past, like, the next five minutes.
DEE: So she gets out and she doesn’t really know what to do, and then she’s hungry, so she gets food and Yui basically catches her again. And then she gets rescued again, [through laughter] and decides that it’s a really good idea to just tie Tasuki to a pole in the middle of an enemy palace and leave him there. Because Feelings.
VRAI: [crosstalk; pained] Oh my God…
CAITLIN: And she’s proactive, but [the] genre demands that her proactive generally gets her into more trouble, because she needs to have a big strong man to rescue her. [sighs] Which is frustrating in its own way.
VRAI: Yeah, and I guess you can say that this is… Oke, on the one hand, it’s in line with her character. But on the other hand, the whole “I will deliberately mislead my teammates” thing is something that we literally did—we had an entire arc of episodes to her growing past, and now we’re back at it again.
DEE: [crosstalk] We had hoped, we’d hoped she’d had grown past that. It does not appear that she had been. And yeah, it’s that element of… Again, we’ve talked about this, I think, every week, where she thinks that being responsible means doing things on your own and not talking to other people about it? We very much see more of that this week, where it’s like: “No, I can’t get anyone else involved in this, so I’m gonna run off and do it on my own.”
CAITLIN: And literally, everyone is like, “Miaka! Miaka, we exist to help you.”
VRAI: I get that she doesn’t know Tasuki very well yet, and she is worried that he’ll hurt Tamahome, but she doesn’t trust Chichiri, who knows has her back? And then Tasuki ends up fighting Tamahome anyway.
DEE: [frustrated] Yeah.
CAITLIN: [disappointed] Yeah…
DEE: Yeah, I think you can kind of see—especially with this rewatch, I can see her train of thought. It’s just very frustrating. ‘Cause I can see her going, “Oh, they’ll never let me go back because I’m hurt and they’re worried about me.” Which is probably true. So, she goes, “I’ll just have to do it on my own.” So, I can see where that comes into play.
The other thing that’s really frustrating about these episodes is that Miakia’s not wrong most of the time. She’s like, “Something’s wrong with Tamahome; there’s probably some kind of a spell at him.” She’s right, it just doesn’t matter. You know? So that really sucks for her, because she’s not wrong about the things that are going on.
She even, I think, has an inkling that what’s going on with Yui is maybe being pushed along by Nakago. It’s just that knowing that isn’t enough at this point. It doesn’t matter that she’s right, there’s other things happening, there’s other perspectives to take into account. And so one would hope that she’ll figure that out as she goes as well.
VRAI: Yeah, the Yui thing is extra depressing, because you get the sense that she makes even a little bit of progress, but then it’s immediately undone and three steps more back, because he’s—Nakago is a very good villain. I think the show is stronger when he is the only major villain in some ways.
CAITLIN: He’s such a fuckin’ piece of shit.
DEE: He is The Worst, but he’s really good in the sense that: I don’t find him sympathetic at all, and I don’t even find him compelling in a, “Oh, I wanna know your backstory and what’s going on with you.” But he is genuinely terrifying in a way that I think is hard with a villain that shows up as much as he does. It’s like, any time he’s around, there’s that sense of like, “Oh shit, what’s gonna happen next.” You know what I mean?
CAITLIN: Right. Well, he’s really—I feel like he is a little bit too good of a villain in a certain way, because he’s so much stronger than everyone else. And he’s so manipulative.
DEE: [crosstalk] Oh yeah, he’s way uber.
CAITLIN: And he’s such a mastermind and everything is always, “Ahaha! All goes according to plan.” But I guess that comes in more later? Right now, he’s just sort of…
VRAI: Yeah, I feel what you’re saying. He’s more a force of nature than a person. There’s no progress you can make against that.
CAITLIN: Although I guess… I mean, I’m coming from the perspective of knowing the whole series. So actually, now that I think of it: thus far, he actually is a pretty effective villain. Because yeah, he’s super powerful, but most of his effectiveness comes from the way that he gaslights and grooms Yui, which is… That is more believable, because that is something that evil, shitty people—evil shitty men—do.
VRAI: Yeah. I definitely remember kind of thinking he was cool when I was 13, and I’m still cringing about it.
VRAI: I’m still cringing, like, super hard about it.
DEE: There’s been a lot of villains I cringe now looking back on liking, but thankfully Nakago was not one of them. [laughs]
VRAI: I have no excuse. I have nothing to offer. There’s nothing there; there’s nothing there except for him creeping on Tamahome, which I guess would have been it.
CAITLIN: Your love of trash. Your love of absolute garbage.
VRAI: [pained laughter] Normally my love of garage includes sad, pathetic children. This does not fit the pattern.
DEE: Yeah, he’s not so much the sad, pathetic child.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] No, he’s a mean man.
VRAI: He is not an Oscar or a Nanami. He’s a horrible, monstrous person with no redeeming qualities.
CAITLIN: Do you guys know what his character says?
VRAI: [emphatically] No.
CAITLIN: His character is for “heart.”
DEE: Oh! His Celestial Warrior symbol. Yeah, sorry, I didn’t know what you meant by character. Yeah, it’s “kokoro”; it’s heart or soul.
VRAI: Yeah, I was confused for a second, because I know you had access to the character bios, for—at least, you had pulled up Nuriko’s.
DEE: Oh, that was in the manga. As I’m watching the anime, I’m reading the manga as well, just for the heck of it. And there are some character bios in there. We’ve not gotten to Nakago’s yet. So I don’t have any fun facts about Nakago just yet, assuming that it will happen.
VRAI: Fun fact: Fuck this guy.
CAITLIN: The funnest fact. The funnest, most factual fact.
DEE: Yeah, he’s… God, he’s The Worst. I think the part, especially this week, that really stood out to me as like, “Oh, this is a bad, bad man,” is when he gives you the kudoku poison and just says, “This is your choice; you can choose to do what you want with this.” But he doesn’t tell her what it is. So she has no actual clue what she’s using, but he makes it seem like she has some kind of agency and power in this decision.
VRAI: And then afterwards, when she grasps that something is going on and tries to find out, he turns the blame on her.
CAITLIN: And, I mean, when Yui is crying in Tamahome’s arms, and Nakago was just like sitting out the window smirking. Oh, God… he’s just awful.
VRAI: He is really awful. And also: I talked in the last watchalong about him as a scary bisexual man, and, wow, the torture scene is more sexually coded that I remembered.
CAITLIN: Oh, yeah.
VRAI: Like, my God. It’s a whipping scene on paper, but then you have the physical element of it. And then, Miaka waking up and saying she dreamed about Nakago eating him and wishing that she had gotten a chance to also and, like, holy… All right, we missed a rape scene. This happened.
CAITLIN: Yeah, and Nakago—it is something that comes up a little bit later.
DEE: A little bit, yeah. The thing with Nakago, I think, is just everything’s a power play to him. It’s not even really about sex, it’s power, and they’re kind of the same thing in his mind, particularly; which I think you see with Yui a little bit and then a lot with his, like you said, creeper-coded interactions with Tamahome.
VRAI: I think maybe the anime thinks that it has some leeway, but it already does kind of interest me that there’s this idea that: Tamahome overcomes and… this is a test to make him stronger, almost, as his character progresses, which is very different from how the show treats Yui’s assault as something that was potentially ruinous and also made her evil.
DEE: [unconvinced]Did it make her evil?
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Quote-unquote “evil.”
VRAI: I feel like the show can’t decide on what it’s trying to imply there.
DEE: Like, Yui’s clearly leaning into the “let’s be bad guys” kind of thing; almost imitating Nakago to a point, I think. But she does go out of her way to make sure they don’t just kill Miaka and the warriors right at the beginning. She’s like, “No, no, that wouldn’t be any fun, let’s capture them first.” And it’s like, “Okay, you don’t want your best friend to die.”
Which, Chichiri wisely reads that and is like, “She’ll be okay, we have some time to plan what we wanna do here.” So, I don’t like the idea that it made her evil. I think she’s very hurt, and I think she genuinely feels like Miaka betrayed her.
CAITLIN: Yui’s conscience resides in her pants, because whenever she’s being evil she’s just kinda running around in no pants.
DEE: She did sort of give up pants this week. She was like, “Fuck pants.” Which y’know, I get that to a point.
CAITLIN: It’s true, when I take off my pants, I become totally amoral. So, I think…
VRAI: Well, the thing of it is, I really like Yui and I like watching her in this stretch of episodes, because she does very much feel like a kid who’s playing at being evil but then balks from the uglier consequences of it. Even with brainwashing Tamahome, she’s clearly really upset once she actually sees the consequences of what she’s done.
But I’m just constantly watching the show, because the show is full of bullshit when it comes to… [tentatively] certain dynamics and things about women, sometimes. So whenever it has those morally gray moments when she’s talking about—when she’s acting as a villain and deciding what to do, and when that’s connected back to her assault, I just keep my side-eye on hard.
DEE: I think that’s fair. Definitely approach it with some skepticism and keeping an eye on how they continue to handle that. Because at this point, I still find her sympathetic, and I think at the moment when that ceases then we definitely have some problems here.
VRAI: Women be competin’. Y’know.
CAITLIN: Yeah. In the end, there, you can’t get past the undercurrent of that—women in love kinda turn into catty bitches.
DEE: I mean—
VRAI: It’s such a shame, ‘cause I really do like the focus on their friendship a lot. But, yeah, I do really like the times when the show is focused on their friendship and not about Tamahome, so then it makes me sadder when it boils it down to the love triangle.
DEE: To me, the love triangle feels… How do I word this? [brief pause] To me, Tamahome is a symbol for Yui more than an actual person. I mean, I think spending time with him these past couple months, she has gotten to the point where she is fond of him. But her decision to “steal him”—quote-unquote—from Miaka… She even says, “If “Miaka hadn’t betrayed me, there’s no way I would be doing this right now.” And I think that—
CAITLIN: Well, yeah, he’s the symbol of everything that went right for Miaka that went wrong for her. They were very nearly assaulted when they arrived in the Universe of the Four Gods, but then Tamahome was there. But then when Yui arrived the next time, he wasn’t.
DEE: Yeah, she was alone and didn’t have anyone who was able to sweep in and help her out the way Miaka did. So, I guess it’s almost hard for me to even consider it a love triangle even though the characters frame it that way, because her quasi-obsession with Tamahome is really just about Miaka. It’s not really about Tamahome.
VRAI: Yeah, that’s a good point.
DEE: Sorry, Tamahome.
VRAI: He’s surprisingly bearable in this run of episodes. [chuckles]
DEE: Yeah, he’s fine. The only thing about him that kind of bugs me is he’s weirdly black-and-white about—oversimplified, I think, about Yui’s situation. Like, when he overhears them talking about how she chose to become the Priestess of Seiryu and he’s like, “Le gasp! This changes everything!”
DEE: I’m like, [high-pitched skepticism] “Mmm… everything, buddy?”
VRAI: The fact that she chose automatically discounts any of the manipulation that went on before that. [sarcasm] “She said the words!” So.
DEE: It’s like she can be completely innocent or she can be one of the bad guys, and it’s like he’s not quite sure how to handle the shades of gray that would be in there.
CAITLIN: Right. And is that something that’s an issue with Tamahome the character or something that’s an issue with the show as a whole? Something that’s an issue with the story. And if it’s an issue with Tamahome, is that something that’s written to be part of his character, or is it just him being an idiot for plot convenience?
VRAI: It does feel weird to me just because, like, on the one hand, he’s 17, but also he clearly had to grow up fast because he’s—his one character flaw is actually that he’s taking care of his family and is, in fact, perfect.
DEE: [laughs] Yeah, pretty much.
CAITLIN: By the way, we got some new characters this week.
VRAI and DEE: We did!
CAITLIN: We did. We got some good characters. Um… [crosstalk] Mitsukake.
DEE: [crosstalk] Guys. Guys. I did say I would say it. I did say I would say it: [passionately] Tasuki is a good boy! He’s such a good boy.
[A chorus of affectionate agreement]
VRAI: [crosstalk] I’m sorry, Dee, but he is the Best Boy.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Best Boy. Best Boy.
DEE: [crosstalk] He’s not the Best Boy, but he is a good boy. Dear listeners, we will now be…
CAITLIN: You could say that your favorite, Chichiri, is Best Man. ‘Cause he’s a grown-up.
VRAI: [crosstalk]Yeah that’s true, ‘cause he is an adult.
DEE: Okay, I guess I’ll give you guys that. If we can’t call him a boy, because he’s a grown-ass adult.
VRAI: The only one who acts like it.
DEE: I mean, Mitsukake is an adult, too. He’s 22, I think. But we can…
VRAI: Yeah, but also, counterargument: he’s boring.
DEE: Okay, here’s the thing, Vrai. [through laughter] If you saw a tentacle-mouth monster burst out of your zombie girlfriend’s back, I don’t know if you’d come back from that right away.
VRAI: Oh, no, no, it’s not his fault, it’s just that he’s the stoic one and… fine. It’s fine.
DEE: It honestly kind of irritates me, because he’s really good in the visual novel. The writer there—it’s a little bit more of an ensemble cast, and so you get more of the characters, and basically he and Chichiri are the dads of the group.
VRAI: [delighted] Ohhh!
CAITLIN: I mean, this all seems accurate.
DEE: Right? This is legit. And Chichiri’s like, “Oh, look at the kids, they’re so cute being kids” kind of dad and Mitsukake is just, like, 1000% Done.
DEE: And it’s amazing. He and Tasuki do not like each other.
CAITLIN: This all seem right.
VRAI: This is good. Where is this in the show?
DEE: Right? It’s such a bummer. There’s a couple of little flashes that we get later where you kinda get that sense that he sorta has this, like, “ugh” attitude, especially towards Tasuki, and kind of a dry sense of humor, but it’s… Yeah, it definitely isn’t in this stretch, like at all. I would argue because he’s still traumatized.
CAITLIN: No, we saw a little bit when Chiriko and… um…
DEE: Nuriko are fighting over Hotohori?
CAITLIN: Nuriko are fighting over Hotohori. [laughs]
DEE: [crosstalk] Yes!
CAITLIN: And he’s just like, “Oh, Your Majesty is very popular with the boys.”
DEE: Yes, that is true. [chuckles] Just total deadpan. And that’s kind of the charm of his character in the visual novel. ‘Cause there’s a part later where Tamahome and Tasuki basically just punch their way into a building when your plan had been to sneak in. And Mitsukake is just completely unphased, and your character’s like, “You’re taking this in stride,” and he’s like, “Yeah, I’m used to these two just messing everything up.” [laughs] So that’s pretty much where he is. So yeah, he’s fun. I like Mitsukake, but not necessarily anime.
CAITLIN: It’s too bad in the episode where we first meet Mitsukake the animation… [muffles laughter] The episode where we first meet Mitsukake in the anime is such a disaster.
VRAI: There are some looks. There are some QUALITY looks.
DEE: It is QUALITY animation.
CAITLIN: QUALITY. Oh, my God.
DEE: All kinds of squinty eyes and whatnot. Y’know, they had 52 episodes to do, sometimes you’re not gonna get your best team on the project.
VRAI: One of them had to suffer, and they decided the one that should suffer would be the one where we introduce a new major character.
DEE: The one after it, though, where you get the big dramatic climax to his and Shouka’s story, does actually look pretty good. It’s creepy; it gets a little Overfiend in there, [laughs] but—
VRAI: Yeaaaaah, it does. It gets a lot Overfiend. I was very uncomfortable.
DEE: Yeah, the Byouma—the sickness demon tentacle monster—is genuinely creepy. You can’t say it’s not creepy.
CAITLIN: Okay, I have a question.
VRAI: Go on.
CAITLIN: You guys are watching the subtitled version, right?
CAITLIN: ‘Cause I’m watching the dub.
DEE: [crosstalk] And I have seen the dub.
CAITLIN: And in the dub there’s kind of a weird moment where Miaka’s standing in the room, like, “Shouka, is that you, are you there?” While Shouka’s trying to keep from going all demon on her. And it’s weird, because it’s like “Why is…?” In the dub that they never mention that she went blind because of the disease. Did they mention that in the subtitles?
DEE: No, it doesn’t get mentioned. To my knowledge.
CAITLIN: [incredulous laughter] Okay, so they just forgot to mention that.
DEE: I think the anime staff just figured, “Oh the audience will figure it out.” [laughs] That’s the best I can figure. [crosstalk] It is a little confusing.
VRAI: That is actually a good point, because it’s come up several times, in just us discussing it in chat, that there are considerable differences between the sub and the dub in some good ways. Mostly about Nuriko.
DEE: Yeah, no, and I think this is actually… I know we discussed maybe talking about it this week, and I think it’s a worthwhile conversation. ‘Cause we mentioned it a little bit last week, but the dub does sort of make a concentrated effort to just be nicer to Nuriko in general.
CAITLIN: Yeah, it’s definitely not something that can just be explained away with lip flap. And it’s nice. ‘Cause it was a ‘90s dub, when people were—
VRAI: [crosstalk] Cousins.
CAITLIN: Shittier. More ignorant.
DEE: Yeah, that kind of insensitivity. A lot of folks wouldn’t have necessarily gone, “Oh, we should maybe do something about that.” And I guess you can definitely make the argument that dubs should be faithful to the spirit of the source, et cetera.
VRAI: [deeply unconvinced with that argument] Mmm…
DEE: But, I like the changes. And frankly, I kinda wish the subs had just been like: “Fuck it. Let’s just change what’s being said here.”
VRAI: Counterargument: the subs are shitty on this point.
DEE: Well, and sometimes the subs make weird translation decisions too. Like, the way they keep translating “okama” differently, and every translation decision feels like a weird one to me, most of the time.
CAITLIN: It’s like they didn’t make an effort to have internal consistency. ‘Cause I imagine a lot of the sub scripts were written by different people.
DEE: That’s possible, yeah. Or really consider the context of what—’cause it is kind of a fuzzy term, and it’s tough to translate, because it does have a broad meaning. But the fact that there didn’t seem to be an effort to really pay attention to the context and talk about “what would actually the word choice be here” kind of thing, is frustrating at times.
But, yeah. The dub is one of those where I generally think the central cast does a pretty solid job. It’s an early dub, but they had a pretty decent group for it, I think. So I don’t dislike watching it; it’s just that the sub has suuuch a good voice cast.
CAITLIN: I mean the dub has—a lot of them have gone on to be pretty prominent voice actors. Like, fuckin’ Solid Snake, David Hayter is there.
DEE: [crosstalk] Tamahome, yes.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Mary McGlynn is Nuriko.
DEE: Oh, that’s right. I think Wendee Lee played Yui.
CAITLIN: Yup, Wendee Lee played Yui. Not the best performance of her career. [laughs]
DEE: No… This was very early in a lot of their careers, and they would go on to work for, I think, Geneon mostly and do some good stuff. But you can tell at this point, that it was still kind of: getting a feel for lip flaps. It definitely has the ‘90s—
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Richard Epcar…
VRAI: [crosstalk] Wait-wait-wait, Richard Epcar is in the dub? Shut up.
CAITLIN: He’s Mitsukake.
DEE: [laughs]Okay, who’s Richard Epcar, why should I care?
VRAI: He did Jigen in the Red Jacket, Lupin the Third dub.
DEE: Ohhh, gotcha.
CAITLIN: [dishing] I went to school with Richard Epcar’s daughter.
VRAI: [audibly impressed]
DEE: That’s an amazing connection. There we go.
CAITLIN: I also took violin lessons at the same place as her, and her lessons were after mine. So there was a couple of times he would be dropping her off there, and I’d be like, “Oh, youuuuu… play a lot of anime characters I like. That’s cool.”
VRAI: That’s very cool.
DEE: It’s cool.
CAITLIN: It’s L.A. That’s L.A.
VRAI: Very cool. You go, Richard Epcar. You’re now three-fifths of the way through voicing the Lupin the Third gang. I have faith in you.
CAITLIN: Yeah, we just gotta get him to play Fujiko.
VRAI: [laughs] I’d watch it.
DEE: [laughs]The greatest challenge of his career.
CAITLIN: But anyway—
VRAI: It definitely is overall as a dub—I’ve only listened to a couple very small snippets, but it definitely seems much… at least, if not as good as Cowboy Bebop, certainly worlds above something like uhhhhh, the Utena dub. Which is bad.
DEE: Yeah, well, it has what I like to call The Slayers Dub Problem—which is kind of a late ’90s problem—where the core cast is pretty good but they just didn’t have a very large pool of actors to pull from. So you start getting into the minor roles and things get shaky real fast.
CAITLIN: Yeah. Well, Nakago’s actor, I don’t think anyone actually knows who played him because he’s acting under the screen name of Jack Hammer.
VRAI: [gasps in delight] Oh my God.
DEE: [laughs] I don’t think I knew that.
CAITLIN: I don’t think Tasuki or Chichiri’s voice actors really went on to become big names.
DEE: No, they didn’t really do—well, not in the dub, anyway.
CAITLIN: Ruby Marlowe is a non-union name for someone who’s done a bunch of roles as well.
DEE: She played the lead in Perfect Blue, for sure.
VRAI: Oh, that’s a good dub.
CAITLIN: But my favorite just incidental dub actor was the guy who, in the episode where Miaka’s running after Yui by herself and Tamahome’s trying to catch up with her? The guy who gave her directions to go into the forest.
DEE: [with recognition] Oh, yeah.
CAITLIN: And Tamahome comes running by and he’s like, “What, you told her to go to the forest? But that forest is dangerous!” And the guy is just like,
DEE: Brilliant. [Master Thespian impression] “Acting!”
VRAI: [through laughter]That’s a bit. I didn’t think anything could top the Descendants of Darkness dub with this guy who just came in, did a really nasal voice for the scary seme character, and then never worked again. But that’s pretty close.
CAITLIN: So, going back to the topic, the dub does change quite a few lines, not so much as to change the overall meaning of the scene, but to just be less mean-spirited to Nuriko. In episode 20, that we just watched, in the subs Chiriko comes running in yelling, “I thought I heard a homo scream.”
DEE: Yeah, what the hell?
CAITLIN: Which, not super cool.
VRAI: The best reading of that I could—it’s not true, but if I were inclined to be generous, I would say, “Oh, it’s to indicate that we’re clearly not supposed to like this asshole!” Because I don’t.
CAITLIN: But we are.
VRAI: We are. I don’t! But we are.
CAITLIN: And in the dub it was, “I just heard the worst thing I’ve ever heard.”
DEE: Yeah, he was like, “That’s the ugliest sound I’ve ever heard,” and Nuriko just snaps back: “That’s how I feel about your flute.” And it’s like, “Oh, okay, there’s some razzing.” Because Nuriko—
CAITLIN: Which, y’know, for a character who, his whole thing is playing flute? [quietly] He’s not very good at it.
DEE: They did not… they could have done better with the music for his flute playing.
VRAI: [crosstalk] It’s very avant garde. You just don’t get it.
DEE: Ohhh, y’know, you’re probably right. He’s a genius, and he’s just not appreciated.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Overall, the show has pretty good music.
DEE: Yeah, no, I mean it’s definitely distinctive.
VRAI: [mumbling in the background]
DEE: What was that, Vrai?
VRAI: [faux-sad] He’s unappreciated in his time.
DEE: [chuckles]He’s not. One day. One day they’ll come to appreciate him. Though he did kind of save everyone’s asses at the end there, so he’s got that going for him.
CAITLIN: Yeah, Mr. Chiriko-who’s-not-in-the-opening.
DEE: Yeah, my friend and I were so confused the first time I watched this, ’cause we were like, “Wait, how is this Chiriko? What about that kid in the opening theme? I’m very puzzled.” So, we definitely had response to him.
VRAI: [crosstalk; through laughter] The worst part of it is that I legitimately do not remember enough of the series to be able to know what’s up—
DEE: Like, what might be going on there?
VRAI: Yeah, no, I got nothin’. [quiet laughter] I don’t like him.
DEE: You’ll be surprised, and/or, something or other, if-slash-when something happens there. Once there’s a reveal as to why he’s not in the opening theme.
CAITLIN: You will have an emotion, if and when… something comes to it.
VRAI: Fushigi Yugi: You’ll have an emotion.
[Everyone cracks up]
DEE: [through laughter] That’s it! That’s it, that’s the tagline.
CAITLIN: [dying in the background]
DEE: Shut ‘er down.
CAITLIN: Wow, that’s perfect. Let’s—can we please send that to Discotek and have them put it on the new blu-rays? [through laughter] Can we just ask Brady to print that on there?
VRAI: [through laughter]I mean, it’s—listen, people need to know what they’re getting into.
CAITLIN: [still cracking up in the background]
DEE: [through laughter] It’s extremely accurate. You will, indeed, have… You know what? I would go so far as to say: “You will have multiple emotions.”
VRAI: Whoa. Now that’s getting into some David Cage territory there. I don’t know.
DEE: I know, I know. It’s ambitious, it’s maybe a bit of a stretch, but.
[Laughter; everyone tries to pull it together]
CAITLIN: You just might… have multiple emotions.
VRAI: I am constantly, sincerely surprised at how much I like Tasuki given that I normally don’t like the hot-blooded character. But he’s just such a sweet boy?
DEE: He’s a good boy.
CAITLIN: [fondly] He’s such a fucking dork.
VRAI: Just, this is a quality boy we got here. A good, good boy.
DEE: He is a good, good boy, and he has—I love his…
CAITLIN: All right, thank you McElroy.
DEE: Yes. Hey, you can’t do a podcast and not quote a McElroy at some point. [crosstalk] I think that’s a rule.
CAITLIN: And I think it’s that this show doesn’t take him seriously most of the time. ‘Cause, is he 15 or 16? Like, he’s young. He’s just a fucking kid, and he’s just… like a lot of the characters, a lot of what he’s doing is just trying to fit himself to a certain image.
VRAI: He’s got some of the same problems as Miaka, I think. Just, he has the benefit of the fact that when he screws up, it usually only hurts him. At least, so far.
DEE: And that’s partly because the other characters will actually straight-up just hard-correct him when he screws up. As opposed to Miaka, which they’re quite a bit more lenient with her, I think, sometimes. I like that Nuriko just punches him into a wall when he’s tactless.
DEE: Although I feel so bad for him, ’cause he really is coming into a, uh…
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Complicated.
DEE: He’s coming into the series fifteen episodes in. And he’s sitting on the couch next to his buddy who’s been watching the show from the beginning and trying to figure out what the hell is going on with everybody. And it just so happened that he named the wrong ‘ship, and thought that Hotohori and Nuriko were—I mean, Hotohori and Miaki were A Thing. So, I’m sorry, Tasuki—
VRAI: Your ‘ship is bad, Tasuki.
DEE: Ya picked the bad ship, Tasuki. I’m sorry, buddy. Nuriko had to punish you for that one.
CAITLIN: As is right and proper, when someone picks the bad ship.
DEE: That’s right.
DEE: [laughs, then tries to get everyone back on track] Which, uh… No, Tasuki’s great too because, like Nuriko, I think he plays off almost everybody really well.
CAITLIN: Yeah, it’s true.
DEE: So not only is he himself fun, but he is fun in dynamics with lots of different characters. He and Nuriko are immediately really great together during the Mitsukake stuff. And then he and Chichiri form my favorite buddy comedy during the spy caper. And with Miaka, like… Sometimes I’m sad that the entire show isn’t just the three of them going on adventures together, and there’s no romance or love-triangle, it’s just that trio. It’s just that dynamic.
VRAI: [crosstalk] Ohhh, I would watch it.
CAITLIN: Well, y’know, If you ask some of the shippers, I would argue that that would not necessarily not be a romance.
VRAI: I mean, they’re wrong, because Tasuki and Nuriko are clearly the best ‘ship, but I respect what you’re saying.
DEE: Um. Um. Bandit boyfriend. [very amused] I just—look, if we’re gonna resurrect the Best Boy argument after 20 years, then we’re also gonna resurrect the ‘ships.
VRAI: [laughing in the background]
DEE: Let’s Ship War this, right now. I will bring the cannons.
CAITLIN: All right, shipping wars!
VRAI: That’s good use of our time as adults. Grown adults who pay bills.
DEE: [crosstalk] Definitely, definitely.
CAITLIN: Yeah, listen. I’m not sure how old you guys are—
VRAI: [crosstalk] Old enough.
CAITLIN: But I’m 30. [laughs] Old enough to not be participating in shipping wars.
DEE: Yeah. No, I’m very much teasing. But no, I really… The spy caper arc with the two of them is really fun, and with Miaka and the three of them kind of bouncing off each other, I think is a really good dynamic. And it’s probably why that stretch of episodes is maybe my favorite in the entire show?
I really enjoy the way they clash against each other, but they all three have a goofiness to them, so they can take turns being the serious character while the others are being silly. And it makes for a fun dynamic.
And then, just any time you have a patient character who wants to avoid conflict hanging out with a brash character who solves all of his problems by punching them until they go away, [chuckles] it usually leads to Good Times.
VRAI: It’s also just a really good stretch of shenanigans before the show careens back into being about the destined super-romance of Miaka and Tamahome.
DEE: Yeah. Well, and there’s a lot… It’s a good ensemble show for a stretch there. I think Fushigi Yugi’s a really good ensemble show, and it’s weakest when it forgets that and becomes The Miaka and Tamahome Hour.
CAITLIN: With guest appearances by Hotohori trying to steal his girl.
VRAI: [crosstalk; sighing] This fucker.
DEE: Oh, yeah. Should we talk about how Hotohori’s still The Worst? Because he’s still The Worst.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Still the worst.
VRAI: [crosstalk] Update: Still terrible.
DEE: I thought I was gonna come into these and be able to tell you guys, “Wait, actually, there is—I am starting to feel bad for him.” Because I had it in my head that there was a thing… I got the visual novel and the anime confused again, is what happened.
DEE: I thought that when Miaka got sick—because in the visual novel, you do get sick, and then you get to pick which seishi will kill you, and then you get Like Points from them, because… nothing says “I love you” like assisted suicide?
DEE: So, that happens. So, I thought Miaka asked Hotohori specifically to kill her and then he couldn’t do it, and I was gonna come in like, “I actually do feel really bad for Hotohori that Miaka singled him out for that in this particular scenario, knowing full well how much he cares about her.” Like, pick the guy who barely knows you. Be like, “Hey Tasuki, stab me. Let’s do this.” But he volunteers!
CAITLIN: [through laughter] Yeah, he doesn’t ask Miaka. He’s just like, “Hey Miaka, all right, let’s go.”
DEE: “I’ll do it.” And then he can’t! He’s like, “I’m gonna do this.” And then he’s like, [melodramatic anguish] “No. Ahh. I’m sorry, I just love you so much.” And I’m like, [tired] “Oh, God.”
CAITLIN: It’s like, who asked you?
VRAI: That is Hotohori all over. “Who asked you.”
CAITLIN: [quoting]“Oh, they’re so poor, yet so noble!”
DEE: Oh, that scene is so bad. ‘Cause it’s almost a moment of genuine character growth for him, where he kinda steps out of his bubble, and realizes, “Oh, shit.”
VRAI: [crosstalk] Poverty.
DEE: “I thought Konan was doing well, but poverty, it turns out, is a thing here.” But even in that moment, where it feels like he’s almost having some kind of important revelation to this terribly privileged, closed-off character who has finally having a chance to explore his country…
Instead of framing it in a: “I need to do something to make sure that nobody goes without like this family appears to be doing,” he frames it as, like, [amused] “Look at this dirty, stinking peasant hovel.” And… [sighs]
VRAI: [crosstalk] Ya did it bad.
CAITLIN: [mocking] “Oh, you’re so beautiful.” [imitating a small child] “So will you be Tamahome’s wife?”
CAITLIN: The emotionally manipulative small children. Love it.
DEE: [deadpan] They’re so cute. Aren’t they?
VRAI: Gosh, they sure are great props-with-dialogue.
CAITLIN: Right? God. I loved, in the manga, Tasuki’s reaction to Hotohori going, “Oh, they’re so poor yet, so honest!”
DEE: Yeah, his facial expression is exactly the way I looked when he said that.
CAITLIN: He’s so good! Why is Tasuki so good?
VRAI: I feel like that single panel could be the reaction image for… a lot of things on Twitter. [laughs]
CAITLIN: A lot of things Hotohori said.
DEE: Also yes. Both of those things are true.
VRAI: [chuckles] You gotta appreciate the economy of plot here, where it’s like, “All right, we’ve milked as much out of the Sick Dad plot angle as we can. Bring in the healer.”
CAITLIN: [laughs; crosstalk] Yeaaaaah.
DEE: “Yeah, let’s get the white mage involved.” Well this way, Tamahome doesn’t have to worry about his family as much. He can travel—I mean, assuming he—sorry. [through laughter] Assuming he’s not evil forever.
VRAI: Let’s pretend that could happen.
DEE: I should put that asterisk on there. Assuming Tamahome is just not a bad guy forever now, he would not have to worry about his family, because his dad is healthy again. So, hurray!
VRAI: The better to concentrate solely on his girlfriend.
CAITLIN: Yeah. I mean… Okay, but as a Celestial Warrior, I feel like he should be considered a government employee, and therefore be getting paid a decent wage that he could give to his family. Right?
DEE: I guess if Hotohori was a better emperor he probably would have thought of that.
VRAI: Maybe Chichiri should actually be the emperor.
DEE: But then he wouldn’t get to go on spy capers with Tasuki and I would be sad. So… let’s leave Hotohori at the palace, is what I’m trying to say.
VRAI: That’s a good point. He is out of the way of the plot there.
VRAI: But on the other hand, when he gets sidelined, Nuriko tends to get sidelined, too. And then I am sad. ‘Cause I missed them. A lot.
DEE: That did come up a little bit this week. They were very good with Tasuki; they just immediately had a fun back-and-forth with Tasuki, which was great. But then there wasn’t a whole lot for them to do. Which, again, part of the story was, “Let’s focus on these characters we haven’t hung out with quite as much.”
VRAI: Yeah, for sure, which is totally fair. And I will say, I am constantly cynical about the Miaka/Tamahome relationship as the show starts to cast it as a larger and larger tumor upon the good plot elements. But I do really like the scene with the screen, where Chichiri is facilitating their Skype call.
CAITLIN: Yeah, it’s sweet.
VRAI: It’s actually really good and it feels earned and I liked it.
CAITLIN: Yeah. And as someone who has done long distance—and I know you’re right here with me, Vrai—it’s like… It does feel like that when you’re separated from the person you love.
VRAI: In that specific scenario, yeah, all the emotions get really big. And their grand declarations feel like: Of course, you gotta get this all out at once in the five minutes you’re gonna see them.
CAITLIN: Right, yeah.
DEE: And they’re not very good at time in the anime. They’re not very good establishing time, but they’ve been separated for, I think, months at this point. I think traveling Konan takes time. So I do think it’s been a while as well.
CAITLIN: [conspiratorial] So, did you guys notice the music box in this episode?
DEE: Yeah, it came back and hit the floor and started playing again.
CAITLIN: And then it stopped.
DEE: It diiiiiiid. [chucles]
CAITLIN: [gently mocking] It was so deep. Deep symbolism!
VRAI: [crosstalk] They did a symbol!
CAITLIN: Which was what my 12-year-old self thought. I thought that was so… So, like, “Ahhh.” I was so touched by that.
VRAI: I’m just impressed, really, that that winding mechanism has legs. It’s been months.
DEE: [laughs] So Vrai, you think it’s just been running this entire time, in this room?
VRAI: That is how those things work, right?
DEE: I mean, it wouldn’t be a very good symbol if it hadn’t been running the entire time they were in love, I suppose.
VRAI: [laughing] That’s right. It’s actually some kind of terrible monkey’s paw box.
DEE: [laughs] I like this theory, I buy it.
VRAI: It’s good.
DEE: But,I will say, I think these episodes do a pretty—like you were saying, Miaka [and] Tamahome’s relationship does feel more earned in a lot of the scenes we see here. Like, if you’re gonna throw obstacles in your couple’s way, I appreciate the show didn’t go the lazy, typical route of: “Oh, it turns out Tamahome does have feelings for Yui, and he’s torn now! Aghhh.” It went the “No, he’s serious about Miaka. We have magic in this world, so let’s just change his personality. And now we’ve got a conflict.”
And it taps into—as a lot of the show does—into adolescent fears about somebody you… especially when… I think when you just start getting in a relationship with someone, that fear of: “Maybe I don’t know them as well as I thought. What if they just suddenly turn around and they don’t like me anymore.” Which can happen in high school, too. All of a sudden, it’s like, “Mmm no, we’re not into each other.”
[Sounds of agreement throughout]
DEE: So, I think in a way it taps into those anxieties very well. And then it’s also genuinely frustrating for the characters, because they’re like, “What the fuck is going on?” First with Miaka, then—even Chichiri, when he finally figures out that Tamahome’s been attacking them, he’s like, “What is wrong you?!” And Tasuki doesn’t know him, so he’s like, “Okay, I guess I have to kill this guy now.” [insistent] Which is a good reaction, because he’s a good boy.
VRAI: He’s a very good boy. Actually, you saying that just now crystallized for me… I can appreciate the whole fact that it’s playing on adolescent anxieties and Watase was very young when she wrote this. But also, I think what becomes frustrating more and more with these two is that all of the obstacles in their relationship are external rather than internal. There’s not a lot of them, like, personality conflicts, and the growth of just learning to mature together as a couple.
DEE: That is a very good point.
VRAI: Paradise Kiss this ain’t.
DEE: Yeah, no, this is not… frickin’ My Love Story, this ain’t. That’s a good series. It’s a somewhat more simplistic one, is kinda why I use it as an example, ut I think it does a good job of dealing with characters internal conflicts and trying to figure out how to grow as a couple one-on-one. And Fushigi Yugi just goes the: “Well, they’re in love. It’s fine.” So, yeah.
CAITLIN: Right. They don’t really have anything in common. My favorite fictional couples are the ones where it’s like, you can sort of imagine what they talk about when the camera’s not running, so to speak. With Miaka and Tamahome, once the newness wears off, what are they gonna have left?
VRAI: That is something I would actually—like, this show doesn’t. It doesn’t. But I would actually be super interested in watching just these two sort of sweet, awkward teens try to figure out how the hell they bridge that.This seems like good entertainment.
CAITLIN: Right. [chuckles; in a sing-song] Well, that’s what fanfiction is for.
DEE: And, honestly, one of the appeals of Fushigi Yugi, especially as a young fan, is how there’s enough there that you can get a grasp on these characters and come to really like them, but there’s enough gaps that there’s a lot you can fill via art or fiction or however else.
I definitely know one of the things that kept drawing me back to it was that sense of, “Okay, well, I wanna know more about so-and-so.” And so just coming up with that in your head. As opposed to something like Utena, which I love—and I know there are people who write Utena fanfiction, and good on them. It’s my favorite show; I have never felt the urge to write a fanfic because I don’t feel like there’s anything else that needs to be said.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] Right.
VRAI: [crosstalk] It’s a very complete, closed story.
CAITLIN: Do you wanna know when I last wrote Fushigi Yugi fanfiction?
CAITLIN: Five years ago. [tentatively laughs] Uh-hummm.
[Slow clapping in the background]
CAITLIN: Like when I was 25-years-old.
DEE: Yeah, don’t, um… Sorry, are we having a nerd-off? Is that what’s happening?
CAITLIN: No! I’m just saying—
VRAI: I mean, I did definitely meet my fiancée by writing fanfiction with her, sooo.
DEE: [crosstalk] Aww.
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] I’m saying this is something… No, this is something that’s sort of like… I’m not saying too old to write fanfiction, but rather that this story made its mark on me that strongly. And I wrote silly self-insert fanfiction for it when I was, like, 13 years old.
DEE: [crosstalk] Oh my God, so did I.
CAITLIN: With Hotohori, god dammit! Fuck! Regret!
DEE: [crosstalk] Oh Caitlin, I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
DEE: You can always go back and just rewrite it.
DEE: Yeah, it was, I think, six or seven years ago for me too. Sorry, I was trying to figure out what my exact number was, but.. What were you saying?
CAITLIN: [crosstalk] I mean, the one that I wrote is a very different sort of thing. A lot of it has to do with reconciling who I am now with some of the messaging of the show. Which I’m not gonna talk about in specifics because spoilers.
DEE: Yeah, we can get to that [crosstalk] in a later ‘cast.
VRAI: [crosstalk] Yeah, put a pin in that.
CAITLIN: I wouldn’t mind talking about later once it’s more contextualized with the show, ’cause, I don’t know, I’m glad I wrote it. It helped me to get some stuff out and think about what the show is saying.
DEE: No, I think that’s great. And that’s often what… I I think fanfiction can be used for that, for sure; and then it can also just be that desire to complete and fill in pieces with characters and stories. Fushigi Yugi has a really… not particularly well-developed world in the sense of “within the narrative itself,” but it’s a big sandbox that you can play in.
So there’s a lot of appeal there, I think, as well, especially as a younger fan who discovered it in their teenage years when they were trying to… when they were writing fanfiction and busy with all that as well. And I still, to this day, get the itch to work on Fushigi Yugi fanfic. And I don’t have time, but I still have that feeling sometimes where I’m like, “Ohhh, but I could write a story about this person and what happens when this happens!” kind of stuff.
VRAI: It definitely is, I think, a story in that same sort of class as Harry Potter, where it’s a very big world with a lot of big feelings and a big cast that are all very loosely defined in the name of following this grander narrative, so there’s a lot of room to play. Isekai in general, I think, is a genre that appeals in that kind of wanting—that very young self-insert—
CAITLIN: Right, ‘cause with isekai a major part of the whole point is that you want to go and check out this world and have that grand romance and adventure, and you’re kind of projecting yourself on these heroines. I really think that is a major part of what isekai is about and why through the decades it’s resonated. It’s sort of been trendy with different demographics.
Which is gonna be the subject of a panel that I’m doing at AnimeFest. [chuckles]
VRAI: Although like… sometimes it’s Sword Art Online.
CAITLIN: Right,but, I mean, even people who love Sword Art Online… And listen, I hate Sword Art Online.
VRAI: [crosstalk] I mean, I can respect people who like that first arc.
CAITLIN: But sometimes people who like Sword Art Online… Something about that world speaks to them and they want to participate in that world.
VRAI: You know, I guess that’s—whatever else is true about that story specifically and the grossness of the whole harem thing, the general impulse, I think, for a lot of people is… good?
CAITLIN: Which is why everyone should watch Log Horizon.
DEE: ‘Cause it’s Sword Art Online with less creepiness.
CAITLIN: Yeah. And, um, good. [chuckles]
DEE: That was quite the tan—well, I guess we were talking about isekai. So.
VRAI: We got it, we made it, we stuck the landing. It’s fine.
DEE: We circled that back around.
VRAI: Is there anything we didn’t cover for this run?
DEE: T-Tasuki is a good boy.
VRAI: He’s a very—an exceedingly good boy.
CAITLIN: I don’t know if we said that enough. Tasuki is very good.
DEE: [laughs] Just if anyone was wondering. Chichiri is still my favorite, and he’s very good in these episodes as well. But—
VRAI: Here’s the difference is: Chichiri is Good Dad. Tasuki is Good Boy.
DEE: That’s fair, yes.
CAITLIN: All right, yeah.
DEE: Sorry. I was just thinking about that… That episode 20 is one of my favorite moments in the show, and I think that was when I well-and-truly knew that I was completely invested in whatever the hell was gonna go on next. Because I’m screaming at my TV, genuinely worried about this bandit who I met like three episodes ago. And so, I have a lot of fondness for that episode, even though it also makes me wanna just shake Miaka so hard.
VRAI: It’s a good episode. It has good tension. Well, it’s kind of frustrating in some ways, but there’s good shenanigans and Nakago is a really good imposing force. It’s good. It’s a good episode.
CAITLIN: Yeah. No, we’re in the good stretch. We’re in the Goodlands now. Enjoy it.
DEE: Yeah, I enjoy the Kudoku Wine Arc in general.
CAITLIN: Enjoy it, ’cause we’re gonna hit The Badlands soon.
DEE: Eventually we will get there, and then we will get through them. I promise we will get through them together! But for now we’re having a good, dramatic, action-packed, silly at points, kind of time.
CAITLIN: I don’t wanna get anyone’s hopes too high, because this really is the best the show is. [pained laughter] Even when it recovers, it doesn’t recover 100%. So, on that cheery note. Enjoy it while it lasts, guys!
DEE: We might wanna cut that. I don’t know how close that is to a spoiler.
VRAI: I don’t know, that’s a general tone thing. I think we can keep that.
DEE: It’s definitely fair to warn people that there are going to be some rough patches later. I remember I watched this with some friends in college, and I had warned them advance, like: “This is gonna be a little bit of a challenge, but I wanna see if you guys can get through it with me.” And they did. But we got to basically this part and they were like, “You know, this is pretty fun. I’m surprised they found the warriors as fast as they did.” And I was like, “Well yeah, the next 25 episodes are just Miaka and Tamahome staring deeply into each other’s eyes.”
Which was a joke, but it is a little bit of a challenge, and we’ll get there. But the first part, I think, is genuinely a fun isekai YA adventure, and we’ve still got some more episodes of that. So, next time we get to find out what you do when your boyfriend becomes evil, I guess.
CAITLIN: [jokingly] Which is inevitable.
VRAI: [crosstalk] That’ll happen.
CAITLIN: It happens to everyone.
DEE: Being a teenager is hard and sometimes people just turn evil for a while.
VRAI: They don’t call, and they don’t invite you to your parties.
DEE: They break your arm, and… no. Hopefully, God, they don’t do that.
CAITLIN: They’re force-fed medicine that changes their personality.
DEE: [crosstalk] Yeah. And they fight one of your friends almost to death—
VRAI: [crosstalk] Oh my God, is this actually a Very Special Episode about drugs?
DEE: Well, I’ve never thought of it that way, but… I mean, I guess you’re not wrong.
[Laughter and cacophony in the background; the audio overlaps oddly for the next few lines, so that the conversation doesn’t quite fit together]
CAITLIN: [crosstalk; laughing] And if Peter doesn’t fix it in post, that’s his fault.
DEE: [crosstalk] Oh no, Tamahome got into The Drugs.
CAITLIN: [cracking up]
VRAI: [unintelligible beneath crosstalk and laughter]
DEE: [crosstalk] This is a 1980s after-school special.
CAITLIN: [melodramatically] We love you, Peter! Thank you! [through laughter] All right.
[Slight break in the audio, then suddenly everyone is much calmer, as if Peter did indeed fix it in post]
CAITLIN: So, next up: We will be watching episodes 21 through 27. So, join us next time.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Chatty AF. If you like what you heard, tell your friends, or leave us a rating or interview on iTunes. And if you really liked what you heard, consider donating a dollar or more to our Patreon each month. Your support really, really does go a long way towards making Anime Feminist happen both in print and your earbuds; and even a dollar is a huge help.
If you’re interested in more from the team and our contributors, please check us out at www.animefeminist.com, on Facebook @AnimeFem, on Tumblr @animefeminist, and on Twitter @animefeminist. We’ve got aaaaall the social medias. Thank you, and [chuckling] have a good night.
VRAI: See ya. Get some… get some sleep, listeners. You need to sleep more.
DEE: As we will, too.
CAITLIN: All right, Okay, I’m hitting stop. Enough of this.
[Vrai laughs us into the outro music]