Episode 0: (Kyuun! Kyuun!) My TV Show is a Pilot

Episode Summary:

In the pilot episode, we meet the show’s hosts, and watch as they bicker over product and the show’s format.

Release Date: 9/25/2009

Trivia:

– The products “highlighted”* in this episode are:

– The gag with the camera falling down was inspired by a blown take wherein the camera DID slip back on the tripod, resulting in hilarity. Because the overall take wasn’t that good and key seconds of footage to sell the shot were lost, it had to be redone, albeit with artificial movement.
– The end gag with Kyon singing over the credits is derived from the source of the episode’s title, originally suggested by Jenni, as “(Kyun!Kyun!) Watashi no Kare wa Piloto” is the popular Minmay song from “Super Dimensional Fortress Macross”…which returns in “Macross Frontier,” as show that Jenni and Mario are very much fans of. Originally Haruhi was supposed to sing the song then blackmail Kyon into singing, but scheduling difficulties made it necessary to do it this way.
– Thus far, this will be the only episode of the series that will not feature opening titles and proper end credit music.
– Debuted at the 2009 New York Anime Festival Variety Show, which Mario was hosting/headlining, and which Jenni also performed in.

*Highlighted is used in quotations because while these highlights are mostly just a gag, they do foreshadow the fact that we will be doing segments devoted to H-products which will be handled somewhat out of main plot continuity.

Episode 1: Night of the Living Horror Cliches

Episode Summary:

In the first official episode, undead legions invade the store and hijinks insue…unsurprisingly before our hosts can begin a review.

Release Date: 10/30/2009

Trivia:

– The products highlighted in this episode are:

– This episode was shot chronologically after Episode 4, which was done earlier that day. It was also intended to be released as the second episode, but when the production schedule was formulated to have the first episode deploy on Halloween, it was reorganized to fit as the first.
– Interestingly, Haruhi and Kyon begin the episodes in almost the same position they ended in Episode 0…equally interesting is the notion that Haruhi storms out on this episode over unprofessionalism whereas Kyon stormed out in Episode 0 for the same reason.
– The beginning and end sequences were originally expected to be longer and broken down into smaller takes, but thanks to ideas by producer Wing Leung, it was condensed into a much shorter, more manageable set of extended takes.
– The “Thriller” dance bit was originally intended as an outtake, but ended up being funny enough to use in the actual program. Related, Mario’s sentiments on the overuse of the routine at Anime Conventions made it into the show via a dialogue direction for Jenni, who in turn inspired his reference to the (still recent) passing of Michael Jackson.
– Originally, a Kanye West cameo as well as appearances by Chris Redfield and Dante (from Capcom games “Resident Evil/Biohazard” and “Devil May Cry”) were a key part of the episode. However, actor unavailabilities and the desire to avoid overuse of Capcom properties caused these to be reworked. Ironically, two Valve properties worked their way into the program in their stead thru the Headcrab Zombie (from the “Half-Life” franchise) and the Witch (the “Left 4 Dead” franchise).

Episode 2: MECHA Lekka Hai, MECHA Lekka…OH GOD, THE BUDGET!

Episode Summary:

An attempt to review the latest model kits turns into an attempt at consolation…which turns into a gaping hole in the budget. Also this week, a departure from cinema vérité…sort of…

Release Date: 11/6/2009

Trivia:

– The products highlighted in this episode are:

– Left unexplained in the episode due to human error is the fact that from this episode forward, an active cameraman is filming the action.
– Related to this point, and due to the amount of cast/crew members who ended up in key shots, as well as the desire to use different angles for certain parts caused the usual mockumentary style of the episode was eschewed for a hybrid of traditional narrative and documentary style.
– First episode to feature Haruhi and Kyon’s Casual outfits.
– This episode was shot after episode 5.

Episode 3: iShow

Episode Summary:

The server goes down, leaving one of our hosts trying to fix it and the other alone in the interview…but the two are introduced to hardware alternatives to make their operations better thanks to a special guest…

Release Date: 11/13/2009

Trivia:

– The products highlighted in this episode are:

– This episode was shot in two long takes, and most of the first comprises the episode. The intro and epilogue for the show were spliced from the second take.
– While trained in basic web programming, due to his knowledge of the character’s lack of expertise with computers and the improvisational nature of the show, Mario erroneously implied Adobe’s Illustrator program (used for image editing) could be used for web programming.
– Ironically, Uncle Yo is not a Mac user, and had to not only improvise the names of Mac applications and the functions of Mac programs. He also developed the “there’s an app for that” gag during early planning sessions for the episode, which were kept in the show.
– The day after the episode released, Apple opened a new store in New York City.
– The Dell used by Kyon in the show is the same computer used to edit the first season of the program.
– This episode was shot after episode 2.

Episode 4: IRL

Episode Summary:

In this episode, deriving it’s name from internet shorthand for “in real life”, we follow an (abridged) day at Image for our hosts….between misadventures in oversleeping and trips to the outside world for food, we see the two go thru the trials and tribulations of earning their rent.

Release Date: 11/20/2009

Trivia:

– The products highlighted in this episode are:

– This episode was shot the same day as Episode 1, and is chronologically the first episode filmed for the show. However, it was always intended as a buffer episode between the introductions of the SOS Brigade and the mid-season finale.
– The Headcrab from the end of this episode is the same one from Episode 1, as Susie’s part for this episode was shot right before Episode 1’s shoot began.
– As those shots were last minute additions during the day of the shoot, and Mario never brought his boom pole, the shots of Haruhi and Kyon going to the deli were never able to have proper audio.
– The first episode chronologically to be shot with multiple cameramen.
– Originally, Producer Wing Leung was supposed to be in the sequences where the duo is woken up and where Kyon gets chewed out, but was substituted with Benny Cho.
– The Kenichi hug pillow featured in this episode was used as an in-gag from Mario’s work with FUNimation at Otakon of that year, wherin the pillow was featured in segments where Mario was playing Goku from “Dragonball”. To this day, he still doesn’t know her name…

Episode 5: And Yadda, Yadda, Yadda…Plot.

Episode Summary:

The gang’s all here for a stunning revelation (and obligatory flashbacks) that will change the course of not only their lives, but the very direction of the program!

Release Date: 11/27/2009

Trivia:

– The products highlighted in this episode are:

– This episode was the first one shot the day episodes 2 and 3 were also shot.
– Mikuru was originally supposed to have the casual outfit for this episode, but due to a last minute schedule switch, the episodes were shot out of order, and the costume switch was necessary.
– While Mario had designed the episode to be a pivotal one for the plot, much of the dialogue to carry forward this plot was improvised (or, as was the case with Yuki’s monologue written on the spot) by Uncle Yo.
– This episode also illustrates the advance planning that was done for the show’s costuming as the Suzumiya Body Pillow is finally shown in frame with Haruhi to show the source of that costume.
– The amount of flashbacks doubled from the original plan for the episode as a result of the editing for it.
– The episode was originally intended to be shot in one or two long takes, but after numerous flubs at key points made this impossible, it was broken down into three to four smaller takes.
– The full SOS Brigade assembled for the show appears together for the first time in this episode.
– The episode’s title is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the abundance of exposition in this episode as well as a reference to the seminal American TV sitcom “Seinfeld”.

Episode 6: Blackest Knight

Episode Summary:

One host goes missing, the other goes down, and the (masked) face of the show is forever changed…

Release Date: 12/18/2009

Trivia:

– The products highlighted in this episode are:

– This episode was the first one shot following the first two week hiatus of episodes during the first season, and marks the midpoint of Season One.
– Kallen was originally supposed to be in the episode as well, but due to an agreement to save her debut for the following episode, she was omitted from this one. As Haruhi is established as missing early on, this is, therefore, the first episode NOT to have Jenni.
– Related to this point, the date of release and date in which the episode takes place are both deliberate references to the key date in “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya”, wherin a key story arc begins and revolves around Haruhi disappearing on December 18th.
– Despite Mario’s love of the series and his consistent convention-based work with it, it was actually Jenni’s idea to use characters from “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion” for this arc.
– The use of the Black Knights logo and Zero’s address are designed to mimic the Pilot episode of the series with Kyon’s initial video introduction.
– The episode’s title refers to both the name of Zero’s organization in “Code Geass”, as well as making a pun to the American comic book publisher DC Comics’ “Blackest Night” crossover event, which was going on at the time of the episode’s release.

Episode 7: Black Christmas

Episode Summary:

This year, bear witness to the greatest Christmas special of all time…OF ALL TIME!

Release Date: 12/25/2009

Trivia:

– The products highlighted in this episode are:

– This episode was shot the same day as episode 6.
– This episode is also the shortest one of the show to date, but is due in part to the gag that results in the episode’s climax.
– The Epilogue for this episode was shot on Christmas Eve due to time constraints.
– Features Kanye West in a cameo that was originally slated for the Halloween episode, but scrapped due to scheduling conflicts.
– The second holiday episode of the show…both done within the same season.
– In keeping with the holiday theme, this is the second episode to feature different ending music besides the Pilot. In this case, “Skating” from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special was selected
– This is the second episode to use the word “black” in the title, making reference to the Black Knights from Geass.

Episode 8: Black Death

Episode Summary:

Death comes to the show in the wake of last week’s episode…but not quite in the way you may think…

Release Date: 1/1/2010

Trivia:

– The products highlighted in this episode are:

– This is the first episode to not feature any members of the SOS Brigade in any capacity.
– Originally, Tousen was going to be saved for season 2, but due to the restructured plan for the second season, this appearance was bumped up to the second half of the first season.
– As a result, Gin was added to further play up the Shinigami Captain appearance to make it more “official”. An Aizen was not available, so that character’s role was relegated to being a part of the plot via a phone call.
– Originally, the focus of the episode was going to be on Tousen trying to find anime merchandise with black protagonists, but in order to give more plot to the episode, the whole thing was tied in to the previous week’s episode.
– This is the third episode to use the word “black” in the title, making a three-layered reference to: the Black Knights from Geass, the fact that Tousen is a Shinigami (Death God) captain who happens to be black, and the disease that killed millions in the Middle Ages up thru the early 18th century.

Episode 9: TATAKE! Kuro vs Kamen!

Episode Summary:

In the weeks since we last saw it, the store has become a wreck, and a drastic change is about to take place in the world…but not without a little bit of a (literal) wait! The final episodes of the season begin here!

Release Date: 3/5/2010

Trivia:

– The products highlighted in this episode are:

– Originally intended to be the midseason break, this episode was not filmed until the middle of January 2010, and thus made it the start of the last episode release of Season One.
– This episode was originally conceived of as a filler episode due to the changes to come in Season Two that would prevent the episode from occurring then, but then became a crucial part of the plot due to cuts in the episode structure of the season.
– Originally, Zero addressing the UN was to be a separate episode (at one point even working in Hetalia to the UN address!). Due to lack of time, resources, and interest, however, this was reduced to an insinuation of him meeting with the general assembly and using his Geass.
– This is the third collaboration between Mario and Kenneth Cardez utilizing his Kogarashi costume. The last two were a Capcom-themed skit at Anime Next 2009 (which got referenced at the ending of this episode), and an interview for Kenneth’s website Anime Explosion.
– This is the fourth episode to use the word “black” in the title, as it uses the japanese word for “black” in reference to Sebastian (“Kuroshitsuji”)

Episode 10: Fan’s View

Episode Summary:

This week, we feature appearances by store patrons and fans of the show while highlighting the how the store was before under the old hosts and how it is now under the tyranny of it’s current ones. Also, fan questions get answered as only we know how…

This is the bridge between the both arcs of the season! Next week: the season finale begins!

Release Date: 3/12/2010

Trivia:

– The products highlighted in this episode are:

– The Suzumiya/Kyon parts were shot on the first day of filming for Doujinopolis, and were originally supplemental material for episode 4. They were excised due to the runtime of the episode. Ironically, this episode runs the longest of any to date, as it clocks in at just under 8 minutes.
– The CC parts were shot during the Season Finale shoot, and were originally intended as cutaways during the exposition leading into the episode’s plot. However, these were shifted to this episode to allow for the thematic bridging between story arcs to set up the events of the final episodes.
– Sarah Stover, who provides the show’s title graphic and makes a cameo as the last customer mistreated by CC, performed as Ranka Lee at the 2009 New York Anime Fest the same night that the show’s pilot debuted. This was, unsurprisingly, referenced in her appearance in the episode with the choice of the Ranka figure.
– Originally, the Q&A of this episode was to be done by store employee Frank, but due to scheduling conflicts when the episode was ready to be finished, the switch was made to emulate the style of [adult swim]’s style of viewer mail replies.
– The hentai “A Time to Screw: The Movie” has become a bit of an “in-gag” with some of the regular cast/guests of the show due to it’s sudden and infamous scene involving a woman engaging in sexual activity with a cardboard box.
– The title is a literal statement about the focus of this episode, and tribute to the now defunct Anime fansite Fan’s View, which was run by cosplay photographer Kevin Lillard between 1999 and 2009…the site featured fans, convention coverage and pictures before the archive was rolled into American Cosplay Paradise’s expanding vault of convention media.

Episode 11: Finale, Pt. 1 (Save Our Store, Brigade!)

Episode Summary:

With the world under new rule and the store still out of their control, the old gang gets back together (or as together as they can as their leader is still missing) and with help from some new allies, rallies the store’s patrons for one final showdown…

The Doujinopolis Season Finale begins here!

Release Date: 3/20/2010

Trivia:

– This is the first episode to not have any product featured in it (and due to technical errors with Youtube servers at the time of the release, no annotations at all), as well as the first episode (and DEE project) to employ a two-camera system.
– This is the first episode to deploy on a Saturday; due to the technical errors, believing them to be pertaining to the video files, Mario re-encoded them and re-uploaded them and didn’t find out until close to midnight on 3/19/2010 that Google reps had gone onto the help forums to address that there was an issue with the Youtube Servers. Thus, it was deployed a little after midnight.
– The traditional intro/scene change bump (“bars and tone” with a logo) is used for the first time in the context of the story in this episode.
– This is the third episode to feature musical cues beyond the ending credits, and the second that weaves it into the storyline.
– Originally, a montage of Kyon staying with all the members of the SOS Brigade was planned for this episode, but was cut due to lack of time and a weary cast.
– Most of the footage for this episode (and the footage of Zero from the last episode) was shot in the apartment Mario moved into in January 2010, both on the first night of filming (Meisters introduction) and almost a month later (Kyon/Itsuki)
– This is the second episode to feature a post-credit bump with Jenni and Uncle Yo, the first being Episode 3.
– This while one of the most technically demanding episodes in terms of technique, it is the only episode to allow full gaffes to stand due to lack of cover footage: in this case, the mirror in the apartment which shows the orange wall (which appeared in the previous episode but was covered) seen in the Meister segment, Mario’s reflection in the TV bezel for Zero’s address, the pronunciation of actor Robert Pattinson’s name, and Richard’s arm appearing at the start of the frame of the mob sequence at Image Anime.
– The book Itsuki is seen reading at the start is The Otaku Encyclopedia…this is an in-reference to an event organized by Mario in December 2009 which he and Uncle Yo hosted where author Patrick W. Galbraith spoke to attendees via webcam.
– Ironically, Mario first met Chibiplum (who plays Sumeragi and has appeared in numerous other events/performances with Mario) when she was cosplaying as Battle Maid Mikuru at Anime USA 2007.
– The template for the news address by Zero is the same one used in Mario’s 2008 Best in Show winning skit (in which he was introduced to, among others, Nicole Berardi, and which featured Chibiplum as Cornelia from Code Geass), The Ballad of La Resistance.
– This is the second DEE project featuring Christopher Troy in a supporting role, the last being Squall Leonheart in “Final Fantasy vs Kaiju Big Battel“. His wife, Carrie Wink-Troy also appeared in “FFvsKBB” as Aeris Gainsborough.
– While efforts were made initially to keep all outfits canon to the source, for the first part of the Finale, the crew was faced with a shortage of resources and time to make new casual outfits for Kyon and Itsuki. So, as a last resort, it was decided to make them wear “matching” outfits. Note that the zip-up sweaters each wear are emblazoned with the Dr. Cube skull and crossbones (a nod to FFvsKBB), and Mecha Software LLC’s logo, as Uncle Yo does voiceover work for their games.
– The episode title is a pun on SOS Brigade as the episode is very Haruhi-centric.

Episode 12: Finale, Pt. 2 (Sayonara, Tomodachi…)

Episode Summary:

Part Two of the Season Finale…The battle rages throughout the store, and when the dust clears, one drastic decision will change everything…It’s all been building up to this!

Enjoy, and we’ll see you next season!

Release Date: 3/26/2010

Trivia:

– The products highlighted in this episode are:

– Due to it’s total run length, this is the first full episode to be released in two parts on Youtube.
– The use of “Aimo OC” from Macross Frontier is a nod to the title/end gag of the pilot episode which referenced the original Macross.
– Originally, Gin and Tousen were supposed to appear in the Finale to bring a resolution to the Kanye storyline introduced in Episode 8. Due to scheduling conflicts, only Raymond Bryant, who plays Tousen and Kanye, was able to make it and even then, only as Kanye.
– This is the second time in the first season that the entire SOS Brigade was in the same place, the first time since Episode 5.
– Regarding the choice of ending credit music, Mario is a one-time acquaintance of Lady Gaga, having studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute with her in 1998/1999, and stayed in contact with her for throughout high school before losing touch circa 2004, right around the start of the preproduction for “FFvsKBB.” Around the time the “Doujinopolis” was being initially planned, Mario discovered Gaga’s music and his connection to her. Moreover, he regards the segments of the song selected for the credits reflected the Haruhi/Kyon relationship, which is what the show’s first season ultimately boiled back down to in the end.
– The title, due to the resolution of the episode, is the Romanized Japanese for “Goodbye, Friends…”