Episode 6: Tokyo Babylon – Call and Response

Lucy and Robin continue their discussion of Tokyo Babylon, looking at volumes 2 and 3, as the series really starts to take shape.

CW: we will lightly discuss themes of suicide, violence, sexual violence, rape, death, and other unpleasantness.

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Episode 5: Tokyo Babylon – Do You Hate Tokyo?

This week Lucy and Robin begin discussing one of CLAMP’s most distinguished works, which sets the stage for a lot of their future projects: Tokyo Babylon!

CW: we will lightly discuss themes of suicide, violence, sexual violence, rape, death, and other unpleasantness.

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Man of Many Faces Raspberry Ginger Rendezvous

A photo of a yellow-ish drink in a champagne flute, with raspberries floating at the top. A backyard is visible out the window behind it, and overlay text lists the name of the drink, the series it's inspired by, and the main ingredients.

For Man of Many Faces, we wanted something light and fun. I took inspiration from the lavish lifestyles of the characters—I wanted something that looked like a fancy cocktail, or the finest champagne. But, since our characters are all in elementary school, I also wanted something nonalcoholic.

I went with a ginger ale base, since it has a similar color and texture to champagne, and combined it with limeade for a more complex flavor. I floated a few raspberries on top, for an elegant twist that definitely makes it worthy of a Friday night date.

Ingredients

  • 1 part Ginger ale
  • 1 part limeade
  • 2 raspberries

Instructions 

  1. Fill your glass half-full with ginger ale.
  2. Fill the rest of the way with the limeade.
  3. Add raspberries, and enjoy!

Best served in champagne flutes.

Transcript: Episode 0: An Introduction

An illustration depicting the two hosts of CLAMPcast in Wonderland, with a mic between them, and a Mokona on each side.

Join Lucy and Robin as they embark on their epic reread/rewatch of all things CLAMP. In this inaugural episode, we talk about how our nerdy origin stories led to our nerdy careers, our favorite CLAMP titles, and most importantly, this crazy journey we’re undertaking.

We’ll be your guides through CLAMP’s Wonderland!

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Listen to the Episode

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Robin: CLAMP, the four-woman mangaka supergroup, originated in 1987. Coincidentally, that was about the time both of us originated. It is less of a coincidence that the two of us have been friends as long as we’ve been CLAMP fans, since that had a little something to do with how we met. Is it destiny? Is it hitsuzen? Or is it just a sentimental origin story for a podcast?

Lucy: Hi, we’re Lucy Softich-

R: and Robin Kaplan—

L: —and we’re here to be your guides through CLAMP’s Wonderland.

Continue reading

RG Veda Rose Milkshake

A small clear drinking glass filled with a pink milkshake. Behind it, many CLAMP comics are visible, just out of focus. Overlay text lists the drink's name and basic ingredients.

When we started this podcast, we realized pretty quickly that we weren’t content just recording our thoughts on each series⁠—we wanted to get in the mood by making ourselves themed drinks each time we recorded. And we figured, why not share them with all of you?

For RG Veda, Robin wanted to capture a bit of it’s Hindu inspirations with a flavor popular in India: rose water. It can be especially lovely in sweets, so we chose a milkshake, making this a great treat for a summer day, even if you’re not reading all of RG Veda in one sitting.

Ingredients

  • 1 part ice cream
  • 1 part milk
  • rose syrup to taste & pinkness

Instructions

  1. Combine your milk and ice cream, and slowly blend.
  2. Add rose syrup to the milkshake and blend to incorporate. Taste, and add more as needed!
  3. Enjoy!

Episode 3: RG Veda OVA – A Quick Diversion

To round out their discussion of RG Veda, Lucy and Robin tackle the two-episode OVA that was released during the run of the manga. How will our heroes fare this time? Tune in to find out!

CW: we will lightly discuss themes of suicide, violence, incest, sexual violence, rape, death, genocide, cannibalism, and a good bit of blood and gore. Not as much as the actual source material, though!

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No Episode…

We’re skipping this week, since Robin’s at Biggest Little Fur Con in Reno, and she and Will had way too much con-prep to finish editing episode 3. However, we’ll be back with our usually scheduled episode next week! And in the meantime, we wanted to take a minute and enthuse about this journey we’re on.

Already, this has been such an amazing experience! We’ve recorded…about seven episodes so far? So right now, Robin and I are reading our way through Tokyo Babylon. It’s Robin’s baby, but it’s my first time reading it beyond the first volume or so. And folks…I was not emotionally prepared for these later volumes! But more on that in the podcast.

So many bookmarks…

Even with so few episodes, I can already really see how much we’ve learned in such a short time. Our first season, we recorded three episodes in a row; both of the RG Veda manga episodes, plus our intro episode. It was a lot. We record in Robin’s office, and I arrived at her place around 11:30am…and left around 11:30pm. On a Sunday, of all days, with work at 8am the next morning. So yeah, if I seem a little loopy by the end of episode 2…that’s why.

We, uh, don’t do that anymore.

Since RG Veda, we’ve started breaking series up into chunks. To be clear, this was always the plan, and we did consciously decide not to do that with RG Veda, because it’s such an epic. It’s hard to talk about the beginning of it without being able to talk about the end. And most importantly, we needed to start somewhere. Would we do it that way again? Possibly. Will we handle any of the other long series like that? God, I hope not.

It was easy to tackle both volumes of Man of Many Faces in one episode (look forward to that next month!), but with Tokyo Babylon we’ve been enjoying taking a step back and discussing a couple volumes at a time. It also helps that TB is fairly episodic in nature, so the discussion can be easily contained.

Jury is still out on how we’ll handle more epic series like X (or the chaos that is going to be Tsubasa and xXxHolic), but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

So, what’s coming up for the pod? If you’re reading along, you can start tracking down Man of Many Faces. Once we finish the RG Veda OVA episode, that will be our next series. And after that, it’s Tokyo Babylon time! Both should be pretty easy to find through wherever you buy books (I recommend a local used bookstore, like Powell’s here in Portland, but I’ve definitely had to take to Amazon or even eBay for some of these).

Speaking of which, if anyone knows where I can find Duklyon volume 2 for less than $30, hit me up. I really don’t want to pay more than $10…

Anyway, we hope you’ve been enjoying the podcast so far! You deserve a medal for surviving the RG Veda summary episode (I think we all do), but it should be much smoother sailing from here.

Remember, everything will be alright! (And try not to lose an eye)

-Lucy

Episode 2: RG Veda – A Discussion

If you survived our meandering summary last episode, it’s time for discussion! Lucy and Robin tackle the themes, successes, and failings of CLAMP’s debut series, RG Veda.

CW: we will lightly discuss themes of suicide, violence, incest, sexual violence, rape, death, genocide, cannibalism, and a good bit of blood and gore. Not as much as the actual source material, though!

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Episode 1: RG Veda – A Meandering Summary

RG Veda was CLAMP’s first official work, and boy, did they come out of the gates swinging. In their first official episode, Lucy and Robin go on a quest to summarize the twists and turns of this complicated (and slightly rough) epic fantasy.

CW: we will lightly discuss themes of suicide, violence, incest, sexual violence, rape, death, genocide, cannibalism, and a good bit of blood and gore. Not as much as the actual source material, though!

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In our travels through the internet, we stumbled upon this excellent old website, the Rg Veda FAQ Online. It helped us track down some of the history behind this series, and is worth a read by any RG Veda fan!

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