CriticalOtaku

CriticalOtaku

Graduated from the University of Connecticut with a major in English. I'm a lover of literature, film, and anime, and I can be followed on Twitter @AlanPolozov

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    Latest Articles

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    Latest Topics

    1

    The Success of Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life

    This article would analyze the structure of Tobias Wolff’s memoir and why it is considered a significant work among other memoirs. It would also discuss the general structure of memoirs and how they’ve evolved (or have not evolved) through time by taking a look at several notable ones by different authors.

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      The Growth of Tobias Wolff's Short Stories

      This article would take a look at a few notable short stories written by Tobias Wolff (each story taken from a different collection) and discuss how his earlier work has informed his later work or vice versa. It should discuss the themes which are often explored in his writing and whether the presentation of his ideas has changed since he first started writing.

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        The Prolific Joyce Carol Oates

        A discussion of whether Oates’ writing has benefited or suffered due to how prolific she is. This article would take a look at her earlier work and the critical reception it has received, and compare it with her most recent work. This article would also offer some insight as to how and why a prolific writing career can affect an author’s craft.

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          Significance of the Short Story

          A look at the medium of short stories and the reasons behind why they should be regarded as highly as the novel. This article would look at several famous short stories or short story writers and the influence they’ve had on writers throughout history (including the influence they’ve had on the medium of the novel). It might also be helpful to discuss the status of the short story–how it’s risen or declined in popularity through time.

          • A very interesting topic, but fairly daunting and possibly a little too broad. For whoever's attempting this though: would be interesting to bring in Maupassant, Poe, Hardy, Kipling, etc, and if possible, tie it right back to our contemporary times, with a little nod to Alice Munro. – Matchbox 2 years ago
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          The Success and Failings of Recent Biopics

          This article would take a look at biopics from within the past two decades and discuss which ones were successful commercially and/or critically, and which ones have failed in those respects. The article would discuss the subjects of the biopics, the accuracy with which they are presented, and whether or not these films received enough publicity at the times they were being made.

          • I think it would also be interesting to look at who the biopics are about and if they are relevant in the times that the movies were made. By this I mean if a particular scientific breakthrough has made popular news is there a biopic made about somebody in that field. This topic could definitely say something about social history. – DClarke 2 years ago
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          • There's no doubt that talking about the historical veracity of any given biographical film will be difficult since, ultimately, they are only an interpretation of history rather than a clear record of it.With that said, I figure this article does have a lot of potential and could be taken in a number of different directions. One could write a list about the best and worst biopics and what made them good or bad. Another possible angle would be to talk about all the things that biopics have left out. The 1982 film Gandhi didn't make any mention (from what I can recall) of Gandhi's relationship with Hitler, and how he conducted an eerily formal correspondence with him.DClarke also has a solid suggestion; are there some biopics that shouldn't be made on the grounds that their subject doesn't really matter? The only angle I'd stay away from is whether historical accuracy matters in movies seeing as how John Wilson is currently writing a piece about that very topic. – August Merz 2 years ago
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          • This would be a very interesting topic to write about, since biopics tend to always receive less publicity than high action Hollywood movies. Good films to talk about would be "Girl with a pearl earring" and the relatively new "Theory of Everything". Both didnt recieve much publicity, but both were received very well by critics. Perhaps this article could also discuss how directors and producers find their sources and their information for these films. – Valeria Sharivker 2 years ago
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          The Popularity of Daredevil

          Compare the film adaptation and the recent TV adaptation by Netflix and discuss some of the reasons why the latter seems to have proved very successful with audiences and critics while the former received more of a mixed reception.

          • What Daredevil does is show a superhero unlike the other marvel cinematic universe characters. He is human, and cannot take a punch as easily as Captain American or Iron Man can. He is the first real street level superhero we have seen in this universe. – Aaron Hatch 3 years ago
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          • I think some characteristics to be discussed could be the cinematography, the sound effects (particularly in the film), the choice to kill in the film and the moral decision of choosing not to kill in the series, the use of sonar in the film vs heightened senses and a world on fire in the series, the lack of humour in the film, the fight choreography, and the characterization of the villains in the series. Etc. – VelvetRose 2 years ago
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          The Success and Failings of Shaft's Anime

          A retrospective look at the various anime produced by the company Shaft and an anaylsis of the common elements of their anime that have made them either successful or infamous.

          • It would be helpful to look at and discuss the various animation quirks that Shaft is known for like fanservice and the Shaft head tilt. – DullahanLi 2 years ago
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          • It would help when talking about successes to go inn detail about Puella Magi Madoka Magica and the significance it had on the entire 'Magical Girl' genre. – Wolfstar96 2 years ago
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          Write this topic

          Stephen King Retrospective

          A look back on the writing of Stephen King, and a discussion on why his stories have been as successful as they are. This article would analyze common themes in King’s writing, whether there is a recurring format to his stories in terms of plot progression and character development, and the subjects he’s chosen to write about.

          • It would be important to discuss the tropes in his books, like how almost every story is set in Maine, or how a lot of his characters are alcoholics. This should not demonstrate why he is a bad writer, but instead it should shows how many writers have recurring themes in there books. In a way it gives King distance style. – Aaron Hatch 2 years ago
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          • I think it would also be interesting to perhaps include what he says of his own writing or writing in general. I've read some of his writing on writing and he has some pretty distinct ideas about what a writer should do or have. This might be a slight tangent but an exclusive look into his writing nonetheless. – Nof 2 years ago
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          • Aaron and Nof make really good points -- King definitely has a style and a set of favorite tropes. I'd love to see an analysis of how his own "rules of writing" and advice play out in his own work, and how the tropes stay fresh. Assuming one believes they do; personally I quit reading King b/c I felt I'd see the "writer trapped in a physical space goes crazy" story in every version I needed to -- that might be worth addressing as part of the analysis. – Monique 2 years ago
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          Latest Comments

          CriticalOtaku

          Definitely one of the most interesting articles on anime I’ve read in a while, and I’m happy to see someone tackle this issue as it is something that does bother me quite a bit when it comes to anime. I didn’t know that kill la kill was meant to be a parody–but granted, I didn’t know anything about it except that I’d heard it had a ridiculous amount of fanservice. It’s definitely a bit of a relief to know creators of shows are using familiar tropes to create new meaning–and while I still wish fanservice wasn’t the way to go about that, I do appreciate the intent when it comes to making artistic choices.

          Fanservice in Anime: Perception Versus Intent
          CriticalOtaku

          Really great read. I’m a huge fan of the film and I was always curious as to why there was so much in-depth talk of the various musicians and albums mentioned.

          American Psycho: A Post Modern Horror
          CriticalOtaku

          Interesting article. Game of Thrones is certainly not a perfect show considering the amount of sexposition and graphic violence used either for titillating the audience or for the sake of shock factor (neither of which entail quality drama). Season 5 thus far may be the weakest as well because of how much the showrunners rely on having the characters undergo horrible things without these events impacting the plot or character development in any significant manner. And the vast amounts of pointless nudity in prior seasons drags down the integrity of the show too. Hopefully the showrunners can take a hint from the vast amount of backlash they’ve received, and actually do something different and meaningful in the next season.

          Sexual Assault in HBO's Game of Thrones
          CriticalOtaku

          Really interesting article. I tried watching the first episode a little while ago (the one dealing with “red eye”) and I wasn’t a huge fan, but I’ll probably give the show another try because I had no idea Bebop was so steeped in intertextuality.

          Cowboy Bebop: Top Ten Essential Episodes
          CriticalOtaku

          I’ve personally never read fanfiction but I agree with you on the point that originality isn’t really something that should be placed above all else especially because most of the subjects, if not all of them, that current authors and past authors have written about have been so many times. And it’s not just something that happens in literature but in music and art as well. As long as an artist (whether writer, musician or painter/sculptor/etc.) can move an audience member, originality shouldn’t be the thing that’s emphasized.

          Fanfiction: The Merits of Originality
          CriticalOtaku

          Really interesting article. I never knew the use of shadows could be categorized like this in writing–for me it’s always generally been associated with creating a sense of drama or heightened tension

          Working with The Shadow: A Writer's Guide
          CriticalOtaku

          Definitely an interesting idea for an article. I agree that whether or not a person has had formal training in film criticism is irrelevant so long as they have evidence to support the claims they make. At the same time, I do find it difficult at times to judge a film or a show objectively because any time you’re interacting with a creative piece, the experience you have from it is largely subjective, and your opinions are subsequently influenced by that; that’s part of the reason why I believe one person can think a film is objectively excellent and another can completely disagree because the subjective experiences for the two viewers are just not the same.

          Contemporary Film Criticism: A Decline in Standards?
          CriticalOtaku

          Nice article! When I watched it as a kid, I always just thought of it as another show on Nickelodeon (albeit one of my favorites); I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a “motion comic”–it reminds me quite a bit of how manga is often adapted into anime.

          Danny Phantom: The True Motion Comic