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Latest Topics

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The Meaning of Dreams in One Piece

Ones ‘dreams’ is a central idea in Eiichiro Oda’s ‘One Piece’. Every Strawhat Crew member joins Luffy in pursuit of their individual ‘dreams’. The One Piece story ultimately revolves around Luffy and his dream of becoming pirate king. However, in doing so, Oda includes the varying dreams of the other members as well as that of the villains. Throughout One Piece the idea of dreams is conveyed over and over and the important question of "what makes a dream or goal good or bad?" arises. There is clearly a noticeable discrepancy between the portrayal of say, Crocodiles dream of creating a utopia versus Luffy’sdream of becoming pirate king. What makes them so different? How does the way in which characters in One piece pursue their dreams differ? Should one have a seemingly unattainable dream?

  • I think this is a really good point, however I feel that Oda gives these characters dreams is simply for plot and character development. I do not believe that the question "what makes a dream bad or good?" really arises but rather who is going to fight for their dreams the most. The crew members join Luffy to fight for their dreams and they collaborate until they reach Raftel or complete each of their dreams. – MazerBlade 1 year ago
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The Depiction of Nazis in Anime

The NSDAP under Hitler is rightfully considered to be one of the most terrible regimes in modern history. Thus, it is unsurprising that regimes like the Nazis are depicted throughout mediums including anime notably Amnestris in Full Metal Alchemist, the Empire in the Saga of Tanya the Evil, Gamilas in Star Blazers and the Principality of Zeon in Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin. Are these regimes merely similar in form (with titles such as Fuhrer, Supreme Leader or uniforms mimicking the SS ? Or are they similar in essence as well with regards to ideology? It would also be interesting to examine the depictions of characters in Adolf Hitlers mold both in these anime and others.

  • You could also mention the Nazis from Hellsing:Ultimate. The Major especially...that speech he gives where he says "Friends, I LOVE war" is chilling. – OkaNaimo0819 2 years ago
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  • I second looking into Hellsing Ultimate because the depiction of their ideology is interesting and a little mixed, especially when going against the Hellsing Organization (Anglican England) and the Catholic Church. Though they are depicted as unambiguously evil, which makes sense, it seems like their motives are more about war (the Major's speech) and defeating Alucard rather than perpetuating fascism and anti-Semitism/the killing of specific groups, which aren't brought up much with the exception of mentioning the teeth and items stolen from Jewish people killed in the camps. I'd be interested to see how it compares to other animes. – Emily Deibler 2 years ago
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  • I feel like some of the fondness for Nazis in anime is an attempt to deflect attention away from war crimes perpetrated by the Japanese during World War II. In other words, they're fine talking about atrocities committed by others as long as they don't have to fess up to their own. – Debs 2 years ago
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The Military in Anime

Japan has an ambivalent relationship with the military with the necessity of militarisation due to its proximity to hostile powers and trying to master its dark militaristic past as a colonial power.Many popular anime such as Full Metal Alchemist and Code Geass depict the military as either conspiratorial or incompetent continuing in the tradition of Miyazaki’s movies . On the other hand we have series such as GATE and Star Blazers which are filled to the brim with military characters who are fighting the good fight. Analyse the accuracy of the military tactics, strategy and organizational structure in anime. Does this accuracy increase or decrease with the military’s position in D&D Alignment Axis ?

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    Feminity, gender roles, and girl power in magical girl anime

    Many are likely familiar with well-known anime like Sailor Moon or even Cardcaptor Sakura. But, how do these anime, and others in the magical girl genre, counter (and support) existing gender roles? Are they empowering or do they support existing beliefs? Answering these questions, with available resources, would be an important part of any article on this topic. Such an article could also compare and contrast with Western animation, showing the differences between those animated shows and anime. In any case, this topic is broad enough to allow for a litany of articles, of various types, on this subject, no matter which one the writer chooses to follow.

    • I think this topic is actually really interesting. I think that looking at gender roles in such a specific context is a really good way to go about it. Good job! I hope someone picks up this topic! – RheaRG 2 years ago
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    • I like the idea of comparing it to western animation. I think another interesting angle could be to look at the cultures they've come out of, and how they reflect cultural stereotypes/gender roles – ArthurHolly 2 years ago
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    Religious Symbolism in Anime

    Anime has such a wide variety of subjects that it explores. There are two animes, Deathnote and Neon Genesis Evangelion that have both subtle and obvious allusions to religion/spirituality. They both posses theological elements, which can be interesting to write about.

    Think about these questions:
    How do they use various theological elements to add to the overall meaning of the anime?

    What seem to be the most interesting symbols and why would you consider them as such?

    Does one anime use the symbols in a more effective manner?

    • I was going to add as a suggestion. There's an older anime by Shinichirō Watanabe, the creator of Samurai Champloo, called Kids on the Slope. It doesn't suggest anything religious until the end. You find out that one of the kids becomes a Catholic Priest. It might be worth analyzing as well as the anime you've already mentioned. – Passerby 2 years ago
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    • Death Note's scene where L washes Light's feet is one of those scenes that actually is a great reference to Bible showing Light as a God. – eeshasharma 2 years ago
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    Published

    A compelling Villain: Isabella from the Promised Neverland

    The Promised Neverland is an anime and magna about a Dystopian society in which human survival is nearly impossible, until a few children at the orphanage figure out the secret of the orphanage and the world they live in. A bone chilling, yet allegorical tale of human nature, survival and the question of what is better living a short and happy life or living free and fighting for life? Isabella the "mother" of the children is a fascinating villain: warm, kind, but at the same time terrifying, cruel, and wicked. Yet, despite all this all the viewers are able to see the very human side of Isabella when they realize the truth about how the world they live in is run. Is Isabella really a villain? Or is she just a human that lived through trauma trying to make the best out of what she has in that world?

    • You could also go into depth about dualism tropes in film/tv/literature. I mean, what makes a villian anyway and who are we to judge? Was the Joker really a villian or a person who survived intense trauma and has many "negative" flaws and traits as a result of that trauma? – hilalbahcetepe 2 years ago
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    • Thanks that is a good idea ! – birdienumnum17 2 years ago
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    Castlevania's Big Shift

    The third season of Netflix’s series appears to take a big turn towards scenes of "violent" sexuality in its most recent season, almost contrasting that of it’s previous two seasons where there is minimal to no scenes of sexuality. Nonetheless, they do have significance for individual character arcs.

    Is this what audiences demanded? Are audiences taking it well, or will it turn off some of its core viewers? How does Castlevania’s video game community react to Season 3? And how do these scenes of sexuality change our previous understandings of characters?

    • This is an interesting topic to explore. This was something I also noticed when watching the 3rd season. I felt that this was a drastic shift compared to season 2. I think that we will have to season how these characters stories progress in season 4 to fully see whether these scenes were effective/necessary. Alucard's scene seem to hint at a dark road for him ahead, so we may have to wait til season 4 to see if those scenes provide to be critical. – Sean Gadus 2 years ago
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    Existentialism in Shounen Anime and Manga

    Existentialism is often seen as a depressing philosophy, but I ultimately see it as a hopeful response to absurdity–a struggle for meaning and maybe a better life, whatever shape that may take. On that line of thought, popular shounen series with their various "never give up!" themes and questioning of humanity, morality, religion, and so on, seem to fit right into it. Naruto in particular reads like a bonafide Kierkegaardian Knight of Faith.

    Does shounen anime/manga seem existentialist? If so, what kind of specific existentialist themes are in play? Does this help readers coming of age prepare for life by giving them a taste of having to figure things out in the face of adversity (and absurdity)? Or does it exceed itself and become naivety?

    More broadly, what’s the relationship between philosophy and fiction? Does fiction “play out” the ideas of philosophy, or does it create its own philosophical ideas?

    • Interesting topic. Shonen is all about existentialism. In any Shonen anime, especially those like Bleach, Naruto and Fairy Tail, willpower goes a long way. Whoever has higher will has higher power. – SpectreWriter 6 years ago
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    • This is a really cool topic -- if I knew more about existentialism I would write it. I think it's important to take into account Japanese philosophy and culture and how that affects the writers of shonen manga and anime. – Chris 6 years ago
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    • I would love to read this article!!! – Abie Dee 2 years ago
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