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Latest Topics

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Pearl and Rose's Relationship in Steven Universe

It’s essentially impossible to deny now that Pearl and Rose’s relationship in Steven Universe wasn’t romantic in at least some fashion. One of Steven Universe’s best qualities is arguably it’s queer representation. However, Pearl’s relationship with Rose as we understand it is infinitely complex and intersects with their standing first as a Rose and a Pearl, as a leader and as a subordinate, and as near equals. I’m interested in the nature of their relationship (i.e. whether it was healthy or not or the extent of it) and it’s lasting implications for Pearl’s character. I’m also interested in how it compares to Pearl’s relationship with characters like Amethyst and Steven especially. Basically, I think it would be interesting to explore how Pearl’s relationship with Rose and it’s healthy or unhealthy nature frames her current relationships in the show.

  • As I understand it, from the very few episodes that I've watched, they were not "near equals" and were in fact the opposite in that Pearls are almost, or are, the lowest gems. This topic is interesting, and I'd really like to see someone explore the deep seated obsession Pearl has with the deceased Rose; it's one of the more dangerous obsessions in television that I've seen. – Steven Gonzales 3 months ago
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Rick and Morty - Taking TV Animation by Storm

Although only 2 seasons in, Rick and Morty has already established itself as one of the best TV animation shows in this generation. But why is it so popular? The nostalgia it gives as it resembles "Back to the Future"? The colorful animations? The writing style? Analyze why Rick and Morty is becoming more and more popular.

  • There's really no going wrong with a Rick and Morty topic. The show is teeming with all kinds of topics to be discussed and dismantled. Literally anything from the ending scenes from the Season Two finale to the opening credit scene from Episode 1 can be dismantled and discussed. A heavy focus on the reality and writing of the show could really make for a wonderful article. – MatthewP93 3 months ago
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  • The writing has a lot to do with it. I can't recall the source, but I remember an article referring to Rick and Morty as one of the smartest shows on television. The sci-fi mixed with suburban drudgery may reflect upon the cult shows such as Family Guy, Futurama, and even the really weird adult swim series such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Robot Chicken--which may be one factor contributing to its popularity. Also, creator Justin Roiland has risen to popularity since his Mr. Sprinkles web series, voicing Lemongrab in Adventure Time and other characters on various networks. Nostalgia--yes. The writing style--undoubtedly! And the growing fans are all eagerly awaiting the upcoming season! – DrownSoda 3 months ago
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  • It would be super neat to break down the references inside Rick and Morty since there are so many! But on a more analytical note, I agree with DrownSoda that it's worth looking at Rick and Morty in contrast to other adult cartoons. Rick and Morty breaks away from those shows by having a slightly more linear plot line in each season and plays with the tropes that other sci-fi shows use in an arguably more complex and intelligent way. Either way, a Rick and Morty topic would be great in any capacity. – LondonFog 1 month ago
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Young Justice Season 3: An Unexpected Return

Sam Register, President, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series recently announced that a third season of Young Justice, an abruptly cancelled animated television show that aired on Cartoon Network from 2010-2013 is currently in production. Fans have continued to show much support since its cancellation, fighting to revive the show, and Register acknowledged the fans "rallying cry for more episodes" in the press release. Recount the events of the first and second seasons of the show and explore why it had such a loyal fan following and garnered critical acclaim. Also, look into how fans reacted to the controversial cancellation and the events that led up to its unexpected return.

  • I would also add to the research of this topic how former superhero shows like Justice League, and Justice League: Unlimited, along with Teen Titans and its cancellation in late 2006 helped pave the path for Young Justice and its fan base. – Steven Gonzales 4 months ago
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  • From a gendered standpoint, there was a lot of controversy from the network following cancellation due to poor toy sales and too many female viewers. Perhaps this is an angle an author would like to take when viewing this topic, particularly how female fans may have contributed to the return of the series. – SarahKnauf 2 months ago
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Cartoon Network: A Heavy Decline, or Sharp Increase?

Recently Cartoon Network has begun the downward slope towards the employment of playing back to back 11 minute episodes of their shows; along with this, they have also lost a great number of quality shows that started with the discontinuation of Teen Titans in 2006 and Young Justice in 2013. With the loss of shows like Teen Titans, Ben 10, Young Justice, and Star Wars: Clone Wars from Cartoon Network, have we seen the last of well animated television from the network?
Exploring this topic would also need to include the success or failures of such shows as Adventure Time, Regular Show, Steven Universe, and so on. It should also include an introspective comparison between the differences of audience, plot, and animation style.

  • I think with any decade there's hit and misses and its important to not let nostalgia lead to an obvious bias. Growing up in the 90s I had mostly exposure from cartoons from the 80s and the 90s. There were certainly great ones but also stinkers looking back. All the shows you listed as the classic era are all from 2000s, which I think would be the weaker era if any. Shows like Adventure Time and Steven Universe actually felt like a Renaissance to me with how they handle continuity, character development, and mature relationships and themes. – ivanly 4 months ago
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  • A great video on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUwiYrOmAuM – m-cubed 3 months ago
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Voltron's near brush with transgender visibility.

Some people are hailing the character Pidge from Voltron: Legendary Defender(2016) as a win for transgender visibility. While the character certainly challenges gender stereotypes, Pidge probably isn’t best described as transgender(at least in her current iteration). Not only does she "come out" as a girl half way through the series and start using female pronouns, the show treats her choice to embrace her assigned gender identity as a mature, positive decision: “Owning who you are is going to make you a better Paladin"- Shiro. Is having a cross-dressing character serve as a plot device a necessary baby-step on the road to trans visibility in media(especially children’s media)? Or, is adhering to the "Sweet Polly Oliver" trope in this day and age really doing a disservice to trans men and cis women alike?

  • This is very interesting! As a fan of Voltron, I'd like to read more about this. You seem very interested and knowledgeable about this subject, so I think you would be able to provide a lot of insight for those who want to know more about this - like me! Pidge is an incredible character; and diving deep into her story throughout the episodes is a great way of going about answering your question. Please continue! – gabby918 4 months ago
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  • This is totally weird...in a good way. I think you should find more examples from other sci-fi movies, TV shows, etc. – alecflor11 4 months ago
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  • I think remembering why Pidge became a Galaxy Garrison brings a new perception. – taviromakizuto 1 month ago
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  • Within the show itself, I don't think one could necessarily make the argument that Pidge is explicit trans* representation given her gender declaration as you mentioned. However, I do think an interesting point of analysis would be how the fandom has attached to Pidge as potential representation in the respect that she's often written as nonbinary within a significant proportion of fics. I think it could tie into the representation argument regarding fanfiction: when queer youth fail to see representation of their identity on popular television, they craft it themselves. – phaasch 3 weeks ago
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The evolution of beauty in mainstream American animated films

In many mainstream American animated films, the main characters are often portrayed with exaggerated beauty standards of the day. Discuss the evolution of beauty standards and how mainstream American animated films have either perpetuated or gone against these standards.

  • Nice topic. In addition to discussing the evolution, it would be nice to talk about why animators/producers feel it necessary to portray characters in this way. – IsidoreIsou 4 months ago
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  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the holder is the largest group in the office. For instance, if your animation and art teams consist of 80% white men from the southern part of the united States, the Hero/Heroine will probably be blonde and white. If the team consists of all Japanese men, the Hero/Heroine will be overly busty/muscled, light-skinned, with wild hair. I don't believe there has been any evolution in "beauty standards", especially in Hollywood. Just because some anime females are not busty with a skirt, doesn't mean they accepted new ideals of beauty. The movie industry, like all media outlets, are biased in their opinions, so the only way to evolve the industry, is to evolve the people working in it. – MikeySheff 4 months ago
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Masculinity & Steven Universe

While Steven Universe depicts many types of femininity, it rarely gets held up for portrayals of its masculinity. Steven himself is a very well-rounded character, but strays from what is considered to be typically masculine. How do some of the other characters (like Greg or the other inhabitants of Beach City) portray masculinity?

  • Very interesting topic. Steven is a very well rounded character indeed. Yes, he may not be what most consider to be typically masculine, but I feel as though Steven has a good balance of both masculinity and femininity, This was a great topic to read and being a fan of this show, its nice to see topics like this. – Nickskey23 5 months ago
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  • It also might be intersting to discuss how the various female characters might portray more "masculine" aspects. For example Jasper basically portrays everything that is traditionally masculine. Garnet could be argued to be a fusion of masculine traits (the more tough Ruby) and feminine ones (the softer sapphire). – Mariel 4 months ago
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Fusion: The Flexible Metaphor in Steven Universe

Examining the dynamics of Fusion in the world of Steven Universe and how it’s flexible in multiple meanings by Sugar’s creative world-building application of variety of "kinds" of fusion and its undertones.

  • Like Mrs. Incredible? Hmmm... – Tigey 6 months ago
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