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Latest Topics

1

Disney's Live Action Remakes: Who are they for?

Many of the live-action remakes and reimaginings of classic Disney cartoons add elements that are not in the source material. Often these elements further develop characters, especially secondary ones, in meaningful ways. Jasmine is made to be more independent, Maleficent is sympathetic, as is Cruella, the Beast finally has his own ballad to express his love for Belle. But who are these remakes aimed toward? Adults who were children during the Disney renaissance? Do these reimaginings intend to capitalize the millennials’ nostalgia? Or are they opening the door for children to access older films that Disney fears the kids will be unable to appreciate otherwise?

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    Queer Representation in Literature

    The classics read in most English classes have little to know queer representation within them. Although LGBTQ literature is on the rise, it is still not something that is taught in schools across America. Why is that? What can be done to ensure this doesn’t happen going forward?

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      The role of fillers in anime: Is there a way around them?

      Analyse the role fillers play in anime to protect long running anime series from running out of source material. Fillers in anime are used to prolong a certain stage of the anime without affecting character relationships or the main plot line. Typically, they are used when an anime series catches up to the manga it is based on, and seeks to give the manga time to "catch up". For example, Naruto Shippuden is a popular anime series that ran from 2007 to 2016. In that time 500 episodes were aired with 205 or 41% of them being considered filler. There are many examples of this (One Piece, Bleach, etc), which have led viewers skipping fillers in their pursuit of the rich storylines these series have to offer. Whether or not a viewer likes or dislikes filler episodes, skips or pushes through them, they are clearly a significant flaw in the process of anime series adapted from manga. Perhaps, it is better now? Or perhaps it is the same? What alternatives are there for writers when the adaptive material overtakes the original? Since in essence it is an adaptation, should it expand on its own? Or should producers of these large anime series go on hiatus to allow the manga to catch up?

      • This is super interesting! "Filler" happens in a lot of TV shows, mostly animated ones but not exclusively anime (though anime is certainly the most extreme filler to content ratio!). Would love to read an analysis of what it says about shows that need to insert fluff to fill out episode counts. Is it an industry problem? Do shows need to run longer than their stories are capable of carrying them? Or should everything be like the mini-series that are a few hours long and all plot all the time? Great topic :) – SBee 2 weeks ago
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      • I think this is changing with the internet. Now, that everything comes out instantly in seasons, it is hard to have filler. When i think of filler i think of Dragon Ball and Naruto. I wonder how long it will take until anime's start poking fun at fillers and self-aware that no one wants them. A satirical look on fillers if you will. lmaoo – Ninety-Nine 3 days ago
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      Squid Game: a Digestible Dystopia

      Considering the recent success of Squid Game, what factors led to its popularity? The plot itself is one that – while unique, is perhaps not as haunting as less popular films and TV Shows. Is its more simplistic plot the cause of its international success?

      • I'd argue that, while the battle royale format is relatively simple, Squid Game is actually trying to make a fairly complex point about class and privilege. The contrast of simple surface/deeper content could be explored here. You can see online how often people misinterpret the point of the show (ex. "it's about having a go-getter mindset!"). Is it digestible because people are taking something from it without having to dig too deep? And are they taking the right thing? – SBee 3 weeks ago
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      • I agree with the above comment. Squid Game may seem simple, but it's underlying commentary on class and wealth cannot be overlooked. However, the gore, the bright colours, the flashiness of the game and the characters are attractive to viewers without having to dig too much deeper. – oliviatrenorden 3 weeks ago
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      • I agree with SeeB. I’d also like to see a consideration of how the national context also influences its popularity. There’s a transnational consumption of Korean culture as mainstream. I think there’s something there to explore. Is S Korea the canary in the coalmine? – ProfRichards 2 weeks ago
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      The Psychological Impact of Othering and Marginalizing the Social Minorities in the Modern Fiction

      Analyze the psychological and traumatic effect that marginalizing can have on the minority groups portrayed in the modern fiction. As it happens, othering and subordinating certain groups of people can traumatize them on a daily, which may give rise to a specific behavior and neurosis in such social others.

      • I think specifying what type of psychology should be applied to this would be a helpful start for whoever wishes to write this. As a psychology major, I would suggest writing through the lens of social psychology. – darbyallen 6 days ago
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      5

      What We Can Learn from Survival Game Shows

      There are multiple manga with similar themes or genres related to survival games, i.e. games in which characters are playing to save their own lives. These manga include titles like Judge, Doubt, Gantz, Alice in Borderland, Online: the Comic, Youkai Ningen, and the list goes on and on. The mere fact that these types of manga are pervasive and common shows that Japanese artists are expressing a phenomenon, whether consciously or unconsciously, that is deeply rooted in their society or culture. Since these games are morbid and involve deadly rules, they are most likely critiquing a negative aspect of their socio-cultural upbringing. This is most probably connected to the pressure that they have to conform to their community’s rules and if they choose to be different, they have to endure the judgemental reactions of others. The fact that more death game shows are being adapted to live-action movies and series like Squide Game, Alice in Borderland, and Escape room demonstrates that this is a hot topic that is worthy of attention and consideration. Escape Room being an American movie shows that this is becoming a worldwide issue. The world is now becoming aware of how people must accept differences and how this is putting some people’s life on the line when, say, they commit suicide or live a life full of struggles and battles because of simply choosing to be different. Another issue to consider in these shows is that they depict the controlling nature of humans who would dare to commit these massacres if they had this technological power of designing death games. Another point to analyze is that relationships can become like a game with some people. Some choose to unite and fight together, others betray and manipulate to get to where they want, others fight alone and do not trust anyone. This is exactly how life works and how people treat each other in a realistic way. However, when people are at their worst, in this case enduring a survival situation, the real self of each individual is manifested. Whether they choose to betray, sacrifice themselves out of love, work alone, or build a community are all acts of survival and depict the true nature of humans who make different decisions in a survival situation. This is a universal matter and all humans from any culture are unpredictable in these types of situations, which makes it fascinating to explore how they react when they are at their worst.

      • Good topic, I suggest tightening up your points a bit more. This topic could be made into several different articles otherwise you risk it becoming muddled. I.e. an article could be "What we learn about suicide from Survival Game shows". – scampbell 3 weeks ago
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      • I agree with the above statement and I think it could go even more specific. A lot of survival games media is targeted and stars young adults or teenagers eg. Btoooom!, Hunger Games. I think exploring how survival games are marketed towards youth would be a great topic. – MichaelOlive 3 weeks ago
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      What is in an anime opening?

      This topic involves an examination of the animated opening/ending credits sequences that bookend most popular modern anime. In anime, an opening credits sequence often highlights main characters, hints at plot arcs, and features the names of studio staff, all while synchronized to music. Analyze how an opening may influence the "tone" of a show, and how that may correlate to sub-genre. What does a "good" opening sequence do for an anime? What does it do or provide for audiences? Perhaps look into the history of opening/ending credits sequences in anime to compare how fans view & share these openings today online. (I had some trouble coming up with a catchy title, so any and all suggestions are welcome!)

      • Hmm, for title suggestions, maybe something like "How an Anime's Opening Affects Its Audience's Expectations" or something in that vein, since the focus seems to be on how the opening sets the mood and expectations for those watching. – Emily Deibler 2 years ago
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      • ^Agreed with the title suggestion. It will also be interesting to analyze how a great anime opening/ending has furthered the career of singers/musicians/artists. For instance, I am automatically attracted to any songs from Asian Kung-Fu Generation used for an Op or Ed. I have discovered this band thanks for anime but now, I find myself "liking" shows thanks to their contribution. – kpfong83 2 years ago
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      • Interesting! I think openings are a really good set up to anime series and some are surely better than others. I think the soundtrack/opening song may also be a big factor here as well, not to mention the art work or the showing of the stories. For example "Yona of the Dawn's" opening is one of the few animes that uses just instrumental as opposed to a song with lyrics. In addition, it recaps a bit of the story. Other theme songs have lyrics that are written in the character's point of view, introducing you to their world. Carole and Tuesday is a newer anime that used beautiful art to captive its audiences. Older animes like Sailor Moon were also very creative and used different elements to get the audience captivated. For a title you could do: The impact of the Opening: How the opening sequence of an anime has evolved and impacts its viewers. – birdienumnum17 2 years ago
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      • I think this would make an interesting topic! anime openings haven't been gaining much attention from reviewers and scholars even though they represent a significant part of the theme, tone and mood, characters, and even the story as a whole. They are charged with semiotic features that deliver predictable messages pertaining to the anime in question. – Malak Cherif 4 weeks ago
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      • I really love this topic because, with Netflix's skip intro button, intro's and outro's can become obsolete. Are they even necessary anymore. It is sad to think that they will go away but it could be inevitable. – Ninety-Nine 3 days ago
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      9

      Black, White, & Colour in Star Wars Visions

      "The Duel" is the first episode of Disney ‘s new of Star Wars-anime series. In this short 15-minute story, most of the world (including the village, characters, most objects) are animated in black and white. Lightsabers, blaster shots, and a few other "light" technologies are the only pops of color on the screen. This aesthetic decision is worth further analysis. An article could dig into this use of color more deeply by considering "The Duel" within the history of black-and-white Samurai movies and/or discussing how this episode’s use of color supports or challenges color-coding in previous Star Wars stories. For example, red lightsabers have always represented the Sith and the dark side, while blue and green usually indicate the presence of a Jedi. Thus, colors play a role in telling the audience who is "good" or "bad," and it could be argued that this reinforces a moral binary. How does "The Duel" challenge, complicate, or draw attention to this binary through its use of color?

      • If I were to write this topic, I would definitely focus on the Star Wars Universe, and I've included a few more sentences in the prompt to suggest how someone might approach the topic from that angle. That said, when I first watched the episode, I was with a friend who was much more familiar with the history of Japanese cinema and animation than I am, and he had a lot to say about Samurai movies. It might be an option for someone who knows that history. – JaniceElaine 2 months ago
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      • This sounds like an exciting topic. Star Wars Visions was an incredible project. – Sean Gadus 2 months ago
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      • You could also mention how the binary of using black and white reflects the two sides of those in the Star Wars Universe with Jedi being the light and the with being referred to as the dark side. – Maddie872 2 weeks ago
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      Film

      All Cinema is a Special Effect: “Special Effect” Created in Two Spatiality
      All Cinema is a Special Effect: “Special Effect” Created in Two Spatiality
      Plato’s Cave and the Construction of Reality in Postmodern Movies
      Elle Woods for the defence (of femininity)
      How the Score Impacts a Film

      TV

      The Good Fight: The Real, The Plausible, and Donald Trump’s Legacy
      The Good Fight: The Real, The Plausible, and Donald Trump’s Legacy
      The Heartbreaking Symbolism of The Clone Helmet In Star Wars: The Clone Wars’s Final Episodes
      The Donald Show: Trump, Television, and Manufactured Reality
      The Portrayal of Feminism in Fleabag (2016)

      Animation

      Nickelodeon, Disney, and the Story of Growing Up
      Nickelodeon, Disney, and the Story of Growing Up
      Ren & Stimpy’s History: 30 Years Later
      Disney and Disability
      Disney Characters That Should Get Their Own Spinoffs

      Anime

      Anime Versus Cancel Culture
      Anime Versus Cancel Culture
      Perfect Blue: A Genre Study
      Your Name: Finding Love Across Possible Worlds?
      Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: Breaking the mold of classic feminism

      Manga

      Elfen Lied’s Eugenic Underpinnings
      Elfen Lied’s Eugenic Underpinnings
      The Horrifying Appeal of Junji Ito
      One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
      Manga: How to Travel Between Dimensions

      Comics

      Monstress: World-Building With a Feminist Twist
      Monstress: World-Building With a Feminist Twist
      Why Has Batman’s Origin Remained So Iconic?
      Feminist Criticism of Society and Comic Books’ Past
      The Batman/Catwoman Wedding Is Supposed to Upset You

      Literature

      Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’: How Austen Writes an Independent Woman
      Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’: How Austen Writes an Independent Woman
      Daisy Buchanan: Love, Folly and Money in The Great Gatsby
      Why Is Utopian Literature Less Popular Than Dystopian Literature?
      The Storytelling Layers of Literary Merit

      Arts

      How YouTube Commodifies Experience
      How YouTube Commodifies Experience
      Welcome to Night Vale: More Conservative Than It Seems
      Dragons: East versus West
      Social Realism, New Masses & Diego Rivera

      Writing

      A Short Guide to a Writer’s Imaginary Critics
      A Short Guide to a Writer’s Imaginary Critics
      Using Musical Theater as a Literary Muse
      The Pillars of Outstanding Stories
      The Impact of Writing on Well-Being and Self-Development