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 :) – SBee2 years ago
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-Nine2 years ago
A problem in a majority of anime. I first got fed up with Naruto because of the unnecessary fillers (but more importantly the flashbacks - do they count as fillers when done purely to increase episode length?). This topic should definitely be written soon. – rosewinters2 years ago
There is actually a pretty good brief explanation of why fillers exist by an anime itself, Gintama (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4S9NuI6NKo). But as Ninety-Nine said fillers were more of a practice/trend of old anime. It'd be interesting to explore the importance of fillers before in storytelling and how their changes (or decrease in frequency) affect current anime. – Lyka Cali2 years ago
I am definitely the type to skip filler if I can, and I wish it didn't exist. However I think in the case of anime, it essentially has to. Anime has the mostly unique problem that it is an adaption of a written work (usually one that is ongoing). Also, especially with older anime, it is done in a week to week episode format. So if the show catches up to where the original current work is, it is kind of stuck. I personally do not think they should start creating their own "cannon" content. The shows should stick to the original source material as best they can. And there are few options other than filler. An example is One Piece (my favorite anime). They basically did away with filler all together, but instead pad out episodes and fights, making the already long arcs longer. This is not a problem. The problem isn't longer arcs, it's stretched out episodes with bad pacing. But the other alternatives are the anime just stopping until there is more material to work with, or filler. A lot of Netflix anime release in seasons, waiting until there is a new arc in the manga before releasing their next season. I think this might work better. But if you are a network releasing an episode every weak, filler may be your only option. As annoying as it is, filler is somewhat of a necessary evil. – Joel Stadler2 years ago
There is an interesting overlap that I've seen and a concept that I'd like to bring up. What about the idea of "good" filler? I've heard the term thrown around about a few episodes or arcs in some Shonen series. Is filler a one hundred percent bad thing? Or do we resent filler because the filler episodes/arcs are poorly written? I think filler can theoretically be good and even elevate the show. Think about arcs in your favorite anime that don't necessarily tie into the main plot but are still enjoyable. If we accept this clause that filler can be good, now for the next question. Since filler isn't canon is it less less valuable? Hypothetically if the mangaka wrote the filler would it be filler anymore? Or a standalone anime exclusive episode? Just some things to think about. – alexpasquale111 year ago
Filler gets a lot of hate so I think an article on why it’s used so often and what role it plays would be really interesting. However, instead of addressing ways around it…it might be better to just try and help people understand why it’s useful and why it’s in our favorite shows because a lot of it can’t really be reversed. Then again, if you have unique suggestions for decreasing its use and comparing shows like Boruto and AOT for example to analyze their difference in filler count and why that difference is so major…that’d be cool too. – edixon1 year ago
I recently wrote an article about fillers, and I think some of them are really fun to watch and aggregate value to the stories. – kondobeatrix9 months ago
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 Deibler4 years ago
^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. – kpfong834 years ago
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. – birdienumnum174 years ago
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 Cherif2 years ago
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-Nine2 years ago
"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. – JaniceElaine2 years ago
This sounds like an exciting topic. Star Wars Visions was an incredible project. – Sean Gadus2 years ago
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. – Maddie8722 years ago
Many movies under Studio Ghibli have been lauded for their strong, complex female protagonists. Chihiro from Spirited Away, San from Princess Mononoke, and several others come to mind immediately. Hayao Miyazaki writes “brave, self-sufficient girls that don’t think twice about fighting for what they believe with all their heart. They’ll need a friend, or a supporter, but never a savior. Any woman is just as capable of being a hero as any man”.
However progressive Studio Ghibli may seem, the representation is nowhere near perfect. Ghibli producer Yoshiaki Nishimura has gone on record to say that women are too realistic to direct these fantasy films, and “men on the other hand tend to be more idealistic—and fantasy films need that idealistic approach. I don’t think it’s a coincidence men are picked”. But many Studio Ghibli films are movie adaptations of stories originally written by women. Diana Wynne Jones wrote the original novel “Howl’s Moving Castle”, Ursula K. Le Guin was the original novelist of the “Tales from Earthsea” books, and Eiko Kadono wrote not just “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, but also five sequels to it.
It might also be worth looking at some character portrayals from a folkloric perspective. It is certainly true that many young female protagonists are brave, independent, and heroic. But many Studio Ghibli villains such as Yubaba and Suleiman are magical women and fall into the “old hag” archetype of Western folklore, which Miyazaki has taken inspiration from countless times. These women are characteristically old and thus “ugly”, or not conventionally attractive, and they serve as antagonists to more conventionally attractive, younger women. Meanwhile, magical men such as Haku and Howl are often portrayed as heroic and noble—not without their own character flaws, of course, but there is still a distinct contrast. As progressive as Miyazaki is with his portrayal of women, he still relies on archetypes such as these, whether intentionally or not.
This topic is open to any discussion regarding portrayals of gender in any Studio Ghibli film, whether positive or negative.
Interesting!! I think that part of it may stem from the fact that Japan seems to have a lot of myths about 'old hags' or women/female-appearing demons who are evil. However, as I am not Japanese nor know Japanese myths well, I cannot say for sure. Regardless, this is an interesting problem, though perhaps a bit West-aligned. – FinallyHome2 years ago
Discuss how tropes and the way they are used in the story affect the plot itself and the viewer’s experience and opinion on the story.
Let's take the 'character gets amnesia' trope as an example. This trope is usually disliked because it's often used to explain away an element of the story doesn't make sense and because of how convenient it is. If the trope were used better in a story, would it add to the plot or does it take away just by virtue of being used in the first place? – brightasgold2 years ago
An analysis of various representations of transgender women found in Anime. What worked, what didn’t, and what made people go "eh, good enough."
The article might specifically bring up the prevalence of characters who are addressed with he/him pronouns by other characters but still refer to themselves as women (IE: Hibari Ōzora from "Stop!!! Hibari-Kun!" or Grell Sutcliff from "Black Butler"), or characters who are referred to as ‘crossdressers’ (Ryoji Fujioka from "Ouran Host Club" or Chihiro Fujisaki from "Danganronpa"). It can discuss where these characters are harmful or helpful.
It could also discuss characters who are canonically, unambiguously trans women (such as Lily Hoshikawa from "Zombieland Saga") and how well or poorly that representation is handled.
Other discussion points might be the context of which these characters are included, how impactful they are on the plot, whether their portrayal is sympathetic or predatory, and why these portrayals occur.
How do you define "what worked, what didn't, and what made people go "eh, good enough.""? Do you think this would be the same as stereotyping transgender women in Anime? – Ka Man Chung3 years ago
Grell is a very strange character in a very strange series.
By any chance, are you going to bring up Nitori from Wandering Son? – OkaNaimo08193 years ago
I haven't watched Wonder Egg Priority (and don't plan on doing so), but I've heard there's a bit of good representation for trans characters. I know there's a canon trans boy, and I believe Momoe is a gender-nonconforming trans girl? I think there's something to be said about trans representation that doesn't adhere to strict gendered fashion or dress (all good things). I believe Momoe is regarded as good trans girl representation but I could be wrong. – Alyss3 years ago
I would love to read this article! I have watched Wonder Egg Priority and I want to point out that Momoe is not a trans-girl (or at least not yet canonically stated as such), but a girl who struggles with her feminity due to being mistaken as a boy. However, Momoe meets Kaworu, a canonically trans boy, who helps her come to terms with her gender struggles. Also Magne from My Hero Academic is a transwoman and Tiger is a transman. – cyborgtheory2 years ago
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. – MazerBlade2 years ago
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. – OkaNaimo08193 years ago
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 Deibler3 years ago
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. – Debs3 years ago