UtopiaRocket

UtopiaRocket

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

Junior Contributor II

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    Latest Topics

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    Gender Representation In Yu-Gi-Oh!

    Yu-Gi-Oh! is a long-running franchise encompassing anime, manga, video games, and trading card games. Between 2000 and 2019, six Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series were produced by Studio Gallop, each focusing on a different cast of characters, setting, and even genre. Although each Yu-Gi-Oh! series offers a distinct story, all six of these anime have received criticism from both fans and critics for their portrayals of female characters. All six Yu-Gi-Oh! anime are centred primarily on male characters, and the few girls and women that appear in the stories are commonly sidelined if not cast into harmful gender stereotypes. From my research, most analyses of gender representation in Yu-Gi-Oh! discuss these problems, but I think there is also scope to analyse how Yu-Gi-Oh!’s problematic depictions of female characters contrasts with its representation of male characters. Despite its marginalisation of female characters, Yu-Gi-Oh! presents a surprisingly non-toxic portrayal of masculinity, in which male characters are allowed to talk about their feelings, show friendly affection for one another, and resolve conflicts without resorting to violence. The proposed article would unpack how Yu-Gi-Oh! offers both reductive and progressive representations of gender and how these representations create contradictory messages for the audience.

    • There is also a lot to be said of the various difference between the English dub of the characters and the Japanese versions. From what I understand, characters had motivations removed by the 4kids dubbing company, so analysis through a cultural lens could be a valuable aspect to add. – Sunni Ago 1 year ago
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    • Agreed on the prior point that the dubs would remove the motivations of the characters. That's most definitely why we would end up with a character like Akiza who started out abused, fearful of her own power, and manipulated by a close confidant. She seemed like she was going to be the strong female character that Yu-gi-oh couldve had in Tea and Alexis but she just ended up being someone who worked off of love for yusei rather than moving forward for herself. – JA1 11 months ago
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    • I think gender representation in older anime reflect the time period in which they were made. For example, in Naruto, we don't see any strong female characters until 83 episodes into in the show. Until the appearance of Tsunade in that episode, there are no women portrayed as strong or independent. Even then, when Tsunade is introduced, she is drawn with exaggerated breasts. – Morgan Tracy 3 months ago
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    The Religious Subtext of The School for Good and Evil

    The School for Good and Evil is a middle grade fantasy series that received a film adaptation earlier in the year. Beyond the occasional reference to various faiths, the series does not incorporate explicit religious subject matter, but I would like to analyse the unintentional religious subtext I have interpreted from the narrative. I believe there is scope for a discussion of how the series inadvertently engages with concepts such as predestination and the existence of a supreme being.

    “Predestination” is the idea that God chooses which people will receive salvation and which will receive damnation prior to their creation. As the title “The School for Good and Evil” suggests, the books are set in a world where some people are similarly designated as “Good” and others as “Evil”. Within the story, membership to “Good” or “Evil” is not determined by a character’s actions, but instead, is determined by one’s soul at birth. By presenting a person as intrinsically “Evil” or “Good”, the book echoes the religious idea that a soul is predestined to Heaven or Hell.

    The School for Good and Evil also inadvertently presents the idea of a supreme being through the “character” of the Storian. This may sound strange to those unfamiliar with the books, but the Storian is a sentient, omnipotent, and powerful magic pen that preserves the balance between “Good” and “Evil” and chooses people in the world to write about in real time. Characters do not explicitly worship the Storian, but it is treated as an ultimate authority. Two of series’ antagonists – one with an “Evil” soul, and one with a “Good” soul – are defined not only by villainous actions (eg. hurting others) but by their efforts to to replace the Storian as the supreme authority within the world. Through this, it can be suggested that the series engages with the existence of a supreme being and humans’ relationship to that god.

    • Yes! Yes, yes, yes...someone write this! (I would but haven't read the books yet and wouldn't have time to do it the justice I would like). – Stephanie M. 1 year ago
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    Latest Comments

    UtopiaRocket

    This is an interesting analysis that has me questioning Dahl’s choice to position the audience to dislike the other children but admire Wonka despite Wonka being arguably just as greedy as the villainous kids.

    While this article only focuses on the book, I think it’s interesting that in the second film, Wonka’s firing of his human workers and the Buckets’ poverty is even more explicitly linked, as Grandpa Joe was one of the workers who lost his job.

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: A Capitalist Dystopia
    UtopiaRocket

    While I had previously thought about how many YA and MG series are long-running, I hadn’t realised just how many of these series are in the fantasy genre. I agree that the world building element of fantasy contributes to the viability of writing sequels for this genre, in contrast to books focused on everyday settings.

    YA Book Series That Never End
    UtopiaRocket

    As someone interested in stories about fantastical settings, I haven’t previously tried the technique of visiting places to write about them, but this article has provided me with a new perspective on this technique. I am intrigued by Mundell’s idea of spending time in a place to capture the “feeling” of being in that place, as opposed to only focusing on the objective aspects of it, and how this can be applied to writing about similar settings, real or imagined.

    Writing About Place