I’m not here to convince you to watch anime, and I won’t. If you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably already in over your head. If you’re as invested in the subject matter as I am, you may want to check out some of these podcasts.
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Anime podcasts appeal to me since they are hosted by other anime enthusiasts. People who are anime enthusiasts but aren’t “Weird About It” can be refreshing to hear from when it comes to discussing the subject. Most podcasts I listen to are hosted by anime enthusiasts, even if they don’t discuss anime.
The majority of these podcasts are rewatches, which is to be expected when discussing media. Because I have to stay on brand, I’ve included some improv or actual play anime podcasts into the mix. The anime influence can be seen in the titles of some of these shows, while the titles of others hide it well.
1. Anime Out Of Context
Being honest with oneself about how good anime can be when it’s at its best, as well as how strange and bizarre it can get, is the best medicine for an anime lover. Some shows, like My Hero Academia, don’t manage to condense all of their most repulsive aspects of anime culture into a single horrible pervert grape baby character. A newcomer to the world of anime, Remington, is introduced to the medium by seasoned weeb Shaun.
The two things that make this program work are Remington’s open-mindedness and Shawn’s genuine enthusiasm for the show, even if we can all agree that certain shows do deserve to be taken down. Listening to them discuss a legitimately good anime, as well as a poor one that Shaun forced Remington go through, is just as entertaining.
Listening to this podcast is best done by searching through their archives and finding an episode on a show you’re familiar with, whether it’s a show you enjoy or one you don’t.
2. Kame House Party
Like Kame House Party, which does Dragon Ball Z recap improv comedy, The Algorithm would definitely make a podcast out of my interests. During each episode of Dragon Ball, hosts Vince and Aaron walk through it with the audience and conduct improvised sequences as they recap it.
The weekly one-minute recaps of the entire series allow you to join in at any moment. The improv chemistry between the hosts is fantastic. The improv parts are a fun diversion from the episode’s substance.
At this point, it has already completed the Namek arc of Dragon Ball Z and is working its way through the first two volumes of Dragon Ball Z. It’s a delightful trip down memory lane for anime lovers who are familiar with Dragon Ball Z’s beats. I highly recommend this program if you enjoyed TeamFourStar’s Dragon Ball Z Abridged
3. SuperIdols! RPG
It’s a Magical Girl podcast set in a universe where pop idols have extraordinary powers. Masks: The Next Generation tells the narrative of a young pop idol striving to make it in the tough music business by competing with other young musicians of his or her caliber. During the highs and lows of high school idol tournaments, Game Master ErynCerise guides her team of players.
It’s obvious that the show is heavily influenced by anime. As a lover of magic girl anime myself, I can’t help but notice its impact in every aspect of the program. In addition, they avoid a lot of the more problematic cliches these programs tend to fall into, such as having the idols be more gender diverse and making the gay subtext of the genre itself the text.
You’ll enjoy this production if you’ve ever seen a magic girl or pop idol story, or even a western high school musical (High School Musical comes to mind).
4. Shonen Flop
If you’re a fan of Japanese animated television shows, chances are you’ve already seen some of their predecessors as manga. Surely not all of them will be winners, can they? As for every Naruto, there’s some other bad anime narrative about some youngster attempting to prove himself or find a partner.
It’s our mission at Shonen Flop to make sure none of these stories get lost in the shuffle. However, not all of these manga series are as awful as How This Got Made.
Each episode, hosts David Weinberger and Jordan select a short-lived manga from the past and discuss the story’s strengths and shortcomings. Their diligence in trying to determine what was causing delays in the project and what they could do to fix it impresses me. It’s a terrific program for those who get a kick out of the worst of manga and anime.
5. Deck of Friendship
Bakugo, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Digimon are popular examples of anime based on original video games. It’s one thing for an anime to be based on a real sport or game. Fun and wild improvisation is used in Deck of Friendship to celebrate and critique these anime’s cliches.
There is a great deal of synergy between hosts Marble, Ray, and Jupiter. When the episode itself is a bit of a stinker, they still find the fun in it because they understand the best and worst aspects of shonen anime.
A number of other shows, such as Yu-Gi-Oh and Fighting Foodons, have been featured on the show. While this may not be the best spot to hear some friends use an episode of a video game anime as an excuse to have a good time, it could be just what you’re looking for if you just want to laugh with your buddies.
6. Friends at the Table
If you’ve seen the show Friends at the Table, you know that it’s a Japanese animated series. In this long-running podcast, the focus is on the development of a compelling fictional world, as well as the interaction of the characters with one another in a lighthearted manner. In the games, Austin Walker, best known for Waypoint, is in charge of keeping everything running smoothly so that all of the actors can focus on telling their characters’ story.
There are some anime hints in the Seasons of Hieron (a fantasy post-apocalypse world), but the Divine Universe, the setting of Counter/weight, Twilight Mirage and PARTIZAN seasons, is the real reason Friends at Table is an anime podcast.
This setting is a tribute to anime based on mechs, like Gundam. Space warfare, mech battle, and occasional doses of odd space magic are all explored in each season. If you’re a fan of both robots and war, then this is the game for you!
7. We Are! (Watching One Piece)
It follows the exploits of the Straw Hat Pirates as they cruise the Grand Line in search of the famous One Piece treasure. One Piece is a behemoth in the world of anime. As the show progresses, it seems to alternate between becoming more complex and remaining remarkably basic.
As a host of the excellent Kingdom Hearts/The World Ends With You/ Final Fantasy X/X2 recap podcast Got It Memorized?, Jo is no stranger to intricate plotlines. In We Are! (Watching One Piece), she leads a beginner by the hand through the beautiful world of magical devil fruit and sorrowful backstories.
Both novices and longtime viewers will like the show. Long-time fans will appreciate Jory’s fresh take on old ideas, while new fans will appreciate Jo’s attention to details that may have appeared insignificant at the time but have far-reaching consequences in the future. As for filler episodes, they only mention a few key points without devoting a whole episode to discussing them in great detail. We Are (Watching One Piece) can guide you through the treacherous waters of one of the most popular anime series of all time.
8. Anime Sickos
To be clear, one of the main reasons I’m writing this list is because I need people to listen to my podcast. A few months ago, I discovered Anime Sickos, and since then, it has quickly become one of my favorite podcasts.
In their weekly meeting, Joe and Tom ponder the four pillars of modern misery: Anime/Game/Posting/Jobs. This is an anime show, but it is also a show about surviving late-stage capitalist society.
Anime permeates every discourse, even if it isn’t explicitly spoken up. Anime tournaments, such as the Fruit Annihilation tournament, are designed to mimic the tension and excitement of real-world tournaments. It’s ridiculous, but I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of it.
A “two white dudes conversing” show gets a gold star level complement from me because I’m now making my way through the show’s back catalog. I was afraid the show’s first few episodes would be a letdown, but they’ve all been smash smashes. To get a taste of the show, I recommend going through the back catalog for an episode with a guest you recognize or an episode about an anime you enjoy, so you can get a sense of what the show is about before jumping in.