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The importance of violence in storytelling in Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul is an anime which has managed to generate a cult following among anime fans having two successful seasons leaving audiences begging for more. Tokyo Ghoul has a rather unique subject matter concerning the nature of violence though it also can viewed as somewhat of an allegory of society itself with the interspecies war between humans and ghouls demonstrating the violence caused by segregation. More of an attribute to the anime’s success however, would be its stunningly unique cinematic. The anime itself has no shame depicting violence in its rawest form yet does so with meaning and not just for shock value. Each an every violent exchange builds upon the overall moral of the story and also contributes to the development of each character- a prime example of this would be the 2 episode torture sequence where the antagonist modelled after western horror icon ‘Jason Vorhees’, grotesquely disfigured the vulnerable half human, half ghoul protagonist Ken Kaneki. This display was one of the most demented yet disturbingly well thought out scenes which makes the horror franchise ‘SAW’ look like a romantic comedy. The scene masterfully depicted the psychology behind the antagonist and his worldview on how the weak are overrun based on their lack of ability. This display is a very sufficient argument as to why violence can sometimes be necessary within media as it is an excellent instrument in storytelling. How much more effective would this iconic scene have been without the gruesome visuals and bone grinding SFX?

  • Should ghoul be written with a capital G? Is it because it is the name of a race in this anime? – Ceroca 1 week ago
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How does Made in Abyss's art style contrast with it's dark story

Made in Abyss is a new anime series, adapted from the manga of the same name. The series focuses on an orphan girl named Riko. Her goal is to explore the massive hole in the earth called the Abyss, like her mother did. The Abyss have a plethora of artifacts and remnants. To pursue these treasures hunters must brave terrible conditions and brutal nature. One aspect of the series that is the most jarring is the stark contrast between the art style and it’s story.

Made in Abyss features beautiful animation, with bright colors and lush environments. The main characters are small, cute, children, however, they face the horrors presented by Abyss. Particularly, the damage that happens to the human body, losing control over body fluids, hemorrhaging, broken limbs, amputation, etc . . . As each layer is reached the effects get worst. Explore how the anime’s style contrasts with it’s content and how that might effect the story and viewers.

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    Homoesexuality in Yuri!!! on Ice

    Yuri!!! on Ice does everything but explicitly state the relationship between the main characters. As a well-received, mainstream anime (aired on Asahi TV during primetime and popular overseas) that normalizes gay relationships, does Yuri!!! indicate a step forward in representation? Potential angles include how gay relationships have historically been portrayed in anime or an analysis of Viktor and Yuri in Yuri!!! itself.

    • I believe that this anime focuses more on the skating than the relationships. There didn't seem to be much interaction between the characters during the series, and the characters identity were depicted through their thoughts as they performed. As far as I can tell this anime portrays very little concerning the ideals of romance, its more about the skating. – RadosianStar 10 months ago
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    • I think this is a great topic because I know there is much debate in the fandom about it on social media like Tumblr. Personally, I think it is a step forward because gay relationships in anime have a reputation for being sexualized, like in yaoi. There's a lot to work with between Yuri and Viktor's interactions, like the promise rings in front of the church and Viktor literally calling them engagement rings. Some say its queerbaiting, but they have the emotional development of a romantic relationship. The question comes down to whether people believe that romance can be written or shown without a kiss. – LauraKincaid 10 months ago
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    • I have not seen Yuri!! on Ice myself, but if it anything like Free! (which can be used as a comparison) I can understand the suspicion of homoerotic undertones. – SarahKnauf 9 months ago
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    • While Yuri!!! On Ice certainly has LGBT undertones (and overtones, depending on who you ask), I think its important to regard the the intended audience for its consumption: Fujoshi, (usually female) Yaoi and BL fans. 'Representation' connotes a certain progressivism upon the part of the show's creators, displaying gay relationships to normalize LGBT culture in the strongly heteronormative Japan. However, at the end of the day, Yuri!!! On Ice isn't being consumed by fans who want to challenge their perspective on sexuality, but rather shippers who view Boy's Love as a means of titillation. Even in America, where the show is equally beloved, a great portion of fan discourse is about shipping characters together, rather than contextualizing their relationships in staunchly anti-gay Asian cultures. Despite how negative I've been coming off, I do think analyzing these themes would be a worthy topic of discussion- I just don't think that the show has had nearly as large an impact on Japanese views on homosexuality as westerners might hope. – PeterThelonious 8 months ago
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    • A lot of the time LGBT relationships in shows such as this are portrayed very subtly, but with the shows creators relying on the fans to find those links and emphasise them. Yuri!!! On Ice seems to be using more of this kind of technique, and the gay relationships are there more to excite and engage the fanbase (fans are known to jump onto any small hint of canon relationships and plots, and even the smallest signs can blow up, thus also increasing the shows popularity). – SophIsticated 5 months ago
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    • YOI has been the most explicitly pro-queer anime I've seen so far (though, tbh, I haven't seen a large number) in that it allows lead characters of the same gender to be in love. It is accepted by peers, there is no drama with family or love competitors, and the relationship is healthy. The discussion of gender fluidity is also interesting. – IndiLeigh 5 months ago
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    • YOI is probably the first sport anime that has LGBT themes, especially between its main characters, which is Yuri and Victor. Its also an anime in which there is an (implied) interracial relationship, with Victor being Russian and Yuri being Japanese. In terms of most animes, the show is quite progressive in terms of LGBT, though it is subtle. However, the issue with the anime, from a lot fans' perspective, is that it is still not as progressive as it could be. As mentioned before in a previous comment from PeterThelonius, fans of the show focuses more on shipping the characters together, rather than the sport. Some fans argue that YOI does show LGBT themes, but not the struggle that comes with being LGBT. As many may know, not a lot of people will accept those who are gay, trans, lesbian, queer, etc. Especially in sports, as seen with many gay athletes like Jason Collins and Johnny Weir (who is in fact a gay competitive figure skater), that face discrimination. YOI could actually discuss this considering that the show is made in Japan, where LGBT is still considered to be "abnormal," or with Victor dealing with discrimination from his family or Russian fans (Russia is very staunch anti-LGBT). It would be interesting to delve deeper into the show dealing with more LGBT themes and struggles. For now, I will say that YOI has broken barriers for LGBT community, but this is only the surface. – themessenger151 4 months ago
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    Should we judge remakes based off the original?

    With the release of the live-action version of the popular anime based off a popular manga, and the negative reviews already flooding out, should we judge remakes off originals, treat them separately, or perhaps a little bit of both?

    • You could expand your suggestion for this topic to include a few examples (I'm sure you must have one or two in mind) and perhaps also include references to any particular genre (or genres), as we can't really place all anime features based on mangas in the same basket. One size doesn't necessarily fit all. It would also be worth considering what a live action remake might bring to the original story and whether some elements might indeed work better in a live action setting. There's also the sensitive subject of 'whitewashing' characters for a Western audience, such as Scarlett Johansson's casting as Major Kusanagi in the recent (and in my opinion, very poor) live action remake of G.I.T.S.. Compare this to the casting of Mana Ashida in the live action remake of 'Usagi Drop' (2011), which had been deliberately adapted to remove certain questionable elements in the original manga story. I mention these two remakes (or adaptations) particularly for the different approaches used by their directors - the former was heavilly scripted, whereas the latter had a loose script that permitted a certain amount of experimentation and ad-libbing from the actors, creating a more natural feel to the developing relationships. – Amyus 2 months ago
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    • I'm not sure if this is a case of "should we." People are going to judge remakes by originals, adaptations by books, and so on. It's human nature. I think the actual question, as you mentioned here, is *how* to best judge. – Stephanie M. 2 months ago
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    • I think I agree a lot with Stephanie. My main focus for this question I posed revolved around the idea that people deliberately shy away from remakes if they are fans of the original. Different art forms allow for very different ways of telling stories, and I think a lot of the time (if not nearly all), remakes do do a poor job of retelling stories due to not finding the right balance of keeping original content and creating new content. Is it up to the audience to be open to new ideas in an already created universe or up to the creators to develop and expand on that same universe. – Zoinks 2 months ago
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    • We should because that is what it is based on. There are a lot of movies who do sequels and cant follow the original movie because of copyright laws. They should name it something different. – seniorhomecare 1 month ago
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    • I think for a viewer, it comes down to how they watch a film/show. Some people might not be familiar with the original property and will be unbiased going in while others who have seen it will have an expectation (maybe they want to see something that aligns with the original or a new take on it). I think for the viewer it's all subjective.For the creator of the new property, they need to know going in that this is a known story with strong supporters so justice needs to be done to the material (whether they take it in a new direction or not). I think this is most successful when the new creator has a connection with the source material, so they are the best one to be in the driver's seat. – jonj 1 month ago
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    Taken by Linden (PM) 1 month ago.
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    Themes of violence in Psycho-Pass

    Gen Urobuchi’s Psycho-Pass exhibits varying themes of both implicit and explicit violence. I would be interested for the various kinds of violence depicted in Psycho-Pass to be explored: violence enacted by the government onto certain characters, violence inflicted by one character onto another, or even violence directed by a character onto themselves. Some thinkers that I have considered on my own when thinking about this topic are Hegel, Nietzsche, and Caillois.

    • It would also be interesting to see how different types of violence effects people and how that is reflected in the show. – LaRose 2 months ago
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    The Mythological and Folk Tale Origins of Classic Anime

    Properties like Yu Yu Hakusho and Dragon Ball Z have proven that anime influenced by Eastern myths and folklore can succeed on an international level. While these inspired stories gain fame, their source material often can go unnoticed in the West, or at least not be as well known as the anime itself. The purpose here then is to analyze what these influences are and to relay these influences so that their original stories can gain the notoriety that is due to them.

    • This is a great idea. I'm really curious about the mythology underlying a lot of anime and would love to know more. Some of them are really deep and gnarly, Paranoia Agent by Satoshi Kon for example. – albee 1 year ago
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    • an excellent topic idea! Eastern mythology is so prevalent within anime, more so than I realized when I initially began watching anime. Even very popular/mainstream manga and anime like Naruto is riddled with Japanese folklore that Westerners likely miss entirely. – ees 2 months ago
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    • As a writer with a keen interest in Mythology, both Occidental and Oriental, I think this is a fine idea for a topic. Sadly, many in the West are oblivious to the some of the ancient themes employed in cinematic storytelling (for instance) and far too often there is a stereotypical 'dumbing down' of our archetypes. Anime in particular is one of the Japanese artforms that still draws on mythological themes, which is one reason why I am drawn to it, but you're quite correct when you state that the source material often goes unnoticed in the West. Perhaps a way to approach this would be to draw parallels between similar mythological archetypes found in the East and the West (much as Joseph Campbell did with his studies of the heroic myth). Folklore is a joint heritage and one that we all respond to, albeit usually on the subconscious or even unconscious level. If I weren't busy with my own mythological analysis at the moment, I'd love to take this topic. A big thumbs up from me! – Amyus 2 months ago
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    Taken by Jiraiyan (PM) 4 weeks ago.
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    LGBTQ Characters in Anime

    Which anime series or films have been successful at accurately portraying characters who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or part of any group in the LGBTQ community? Which ones have failed? Give multiple examples and explain why.

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      (Possible) Depictions of Autism in Anime

      With autism becoming a growing phenomenon, it has become large enough to get official as well as ambiguous depictions in Western fiction. However, the disorder seems to be largely ignored in anime… Or is it? Analyze anime characters who, while not explicitly autistic, exhibit symptoms and behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorders.

      • You may want to give some examples for those who don't know anything about autism. – RadosianStar 1 year ago
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      • I wouldn't say autistic, but there are anime characters that show signs attributed to developmental disorders. Speaking inaudibly, trouble grasping simple concepts, being savants in some way, impaired speech, etc. Good topic, especially considering the wide array of characters that make up the anime universe. – MikeySheff 11 months ago
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      • I would suggest clarifying what you mean by "autism becoming a growing phenomenon..." What do you mean by this? Autism rates growing in numbers; autism becoming apparent in popular culture? This can be misconstrued a bit, perhaps offer information that supports this topic. – N.D. Storlid 6 months ago
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      • Maybe provide a proper, medical definition of autism and expand on the characteristics of it. Perhaps research how the creator(s) of the anime meant for the characters to be interpreted. – SecretEve 2 months ago
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