BeyondKanji

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Howl's Moving Castles and the Curse of Aging

    An analysis of the curse of aging in Howl’s Moving Castle, both the youth novel by Dianna Wynn Jones and the Miyazaki movie it inspired. How does the movie portray the difference between young and old? What are the dynamics between the younger and older characters? Does the movie present a positive or negative portrayal of aging overall? (As related to the concepts of beauty, social interaction, etc.). What does the movie say about aging in general, and how people should handle it? How do perceptions of the movie differ between younger and older viewers?

    I’m interested in what the depiction of Sophie’s curse, premature aging, says about the aging process and the social concept of beauty.

    • There's a lot of scope here regarding the issue of ageing. Might I suggest having a look at Erikson's 9th stage of ageing, a psychological theory that incorporates complex ideas of loss and development. You may see inspiration in here that will add weight to your thesis. – Psiwrite 2 years ago
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    Tolkien’s world creation draws upon a rich history of ideas that have moved from oral storytelling tradition to written language. The connections between LOTR and Beowolf could be made at several crucial points throughout the novel. The behavior of the dwarfs as guests at Bilbo’s manor was similar to the behavior of Beowolf’s men at the mead hall. There is such a richness of mythological creatures, concepts, and architecture that many articles could be written on this subject. And these ties to mythology bring the conflicts and problems of ancient peoples, such as isolation of populations, to the attention of the modern world.

    When Bard kills Smaug the dragon, he utilizes a weak spot from a previous injury. Beowulf utilizes the wounds Wiglaf creates to finish his dragon. I think there is an importance in analogy here. Overcoming the most difficult adversities and adversaries requires communal effort, as in both cases more than one individual is required to defeat the monster. There is also the importance of overcoming fear of failure, as even ‘failed’ efforts lay the groundwork for completion of a task.

    The Origins of Middle-Earth: Gods, Poems, and Dragons

    The suggestion that there should be no comedy in good science fiction is unnerving. There is too much science fiction that takes itself way too seriously. And there’s nothing wrong with a little levity, a balancing between serious and comedic elements. Life is serious, but there is much to find humor in.

    Any science fiction dabbling in time travel is working with a difficult matter philosophically and scientifically speaking, so that goes to its credit. While this film may not be the most comprehensive or even entertaining exploration of time travel in fiction, it was good enough to be my gateway drug to fiction dealing with time travel concepts, and for that it deserves some respect.

    I first learned about the grandfather paradox from the first movie, the concept was so shocking played out in fiction. The family members disappearing from the photograph produced a great deal of tension.

    Back to the Future: A Credit to the Science Fiction Genre

    I prefer subs because I am attempting to learn Japanese and like to hear the language as much as possible. That said, I don’t think any snobbery over sub versus dub is warranted. Both formats have their own purpose, and I have vastly enjoyed being able to watch some anime, such as Stein’s Gate, in both formats. As for quality, translation can actually improve upon an script, though it can detract from an original script, or it can do neither. though by nature, a translation is always going to be different in some way as that is the nature of language, different languages are different ways of thinking and organizing thoughts, not simply a code change. Still, a good translation will capture the general feel and message of the original overall. I mentioned Stein’s Gate, which is an anime that I feel is amazing in both subtitled and dub forms.

    I’m grateful to have subs and dubs to compare to each other, for the learning experience they provide, and the broad array of viewing options.

    Are you a Sub or a Dub?