lavenderhatchet

I'm a college student on the East Coast studying psychology. I'm passionate about all things pop culture, especially anime, literature, and film. allthestarstodeath@gmail

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    Latest Articles

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    The manic pixie dream girl trope in 500 Days Of Summer

    500 Days of Summer features Zooey Deschanel as Summer, a quirky, aloof, "perfect" woman who quickly becomes the object of main character Tom’s obsession. Her main purpose is to complement and complete him, rather than embark upon any character arc or self-improving journey of her own. Is this a harmless play on a stock character, or is it offensive on a deeper level– suggestive of women as only objects or commodities to enhance the lives of men? Furthermore, Tom is totally blind to reality or anything else around him when in the presence of Summer. Does this mean her character is manipulative and bitchy, or simply that she is so explicitly designed to be his perfect object of desire that no one else can possibly compare?

    • I'm not sure the conclusion/narrative arc of the movie backs up this perspective/point of view that Summer is herself a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. In many ways, I feel like the film is a critique to the idea of a manic pixie dream girl. A key part of the film is that Tom does not end up with Summer because she ends up wanting things that are different from him/finds her own path through life. Manic Pixie Dreams girls usually serve to complete the main character. Tom fails to see Summer as a deeply complex person, instead she spends much of the film as the object of his affection or a thorn in his side depending on whether they are seeing each other. The audience almost exclusively sees Summer through Tom's point of view. There is even a scene where a woman Allison asks Tony if Summer lied to him or cheated on him, and this scene helps illustrate that Tom is wrong in many ways about Summer. Tom may see Summer as a Maniac Pixie Dream Girl, but his perspective on her is deeply flawed. – Sean Gadus 1 month ago
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    • I'd suggest expanding the discussion to other "manic pixe dream girls," such as Ramona Flowers, Margo Roth Spiegelman, and Ruby Sparks. Perhaps compare and contrast them with each other and with other female characters that are portrayed better. – noahspud 3 weeks ago
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    Pending

    Capitalist critique in Hadestown

    The broadway musical Hadestown, created by Anais Mitchell, retells the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice through a new lens, depicting Hell as a cruel sweatshop and those condemned to it as its laborers, with Hades being the greedy, power-hungry boss. Discuss the parallels to anti-capitalist theory as well as the class politics of those in Hell (working class) being physically and fundamentally separated from those above it.

    • There is also conflict within the story between the romantic qualities of being an artistic/musician (creating something) and the practical concerns (making money/having a stable existence). – Sean Gadus 1 month ago
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    Explicit content in Euphoria: glorification or necessary depiction?

    HBO’s hit show Euphoria depicts the journeys of teenage characters as they navigate a complicated social landscape of sex, drugs, and overall delinquency. It follows the main character, Rue, as she becomes more and more entrenched in a drug addiction. Side plots depict such storylines as Rue’s friends becoming entangled in sexual affairs with adults, threatening each other with guns, and above all, sneaking around behind their parents’ backs.

    Sexual and graphic content in regards to teenagers is nothing new in media. We’ve seen it in the past with shows such as Skins, DeGrassi, and Beverly Hills, 90201. However, Euphoria has stirred up a unique controversy in that it revolves almost entirely around drug usage as a plot point, as well as depicts teenage characters (portrayed by adult actors) in explicit sexual positions with full-frontal nudity. In certain scenes, drug addiction almost looks enjoyable: attractive, thin, and happy-looking teens are all too happy to be high at any moment they can.

    This has been the topic of many an argument among viewers: is it dangerous to depict teenagers engaging in such behavior, as it may be read as inspiring or encouraging to a young audience? Conversely, is it important to depict the realities of these issues and not to shy away from tough topics, thus cementing their taboo within society? There certainly are teenagers today that deal with and engage in such activities. Should we be thinking of them and providing media with a representation of the struggles they face, or will such a show encourage straight-edged teens to move in a different direction?

    • Glorification or necessary depiction? I think this is a really interesting topic for discussion in relation to Euphoria, but also other shows (those already mentioned but also many others such as 13 Reasons Why) as well as in literature. Is art imitating life or is it the other way around? And, how much responsibility does a director/writer/artist have to take for how their work is perceived or responded to? – Userpays 2 months ago
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    • A show so explicit yet mainstream is definitely worst discussing. It has become a cultural phenomenon and impacted various different industries. Maybe the discussion should not focus so much around whether it is a show that needs to be made, as this could just lead to speculations around the writer/producer's intentions. It might be more productive to consider what elements of the show are drawing young people in. The sound track, fashion and makeup looks have been particularly influential on Gen Z. What impact have the specific elements in the show had on Western culture? – Writingitseems 2 months ago
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    • worth discussing* – Writingitseems 2 months ago
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    Latest Comments

    How have you been enjoying part II? I love Asa, War, and Yoshida and have really enjoyed seeing them featured more in the current arc!

    Chainsaw Man and the New Shonen Protagonist

    For sure, I think all the VAs have been doing great, sub and dub! I appreciate them casting newer VAs for main roles. It’s been great to see newer talent making the roles their own.

    Chainsaw Man and the New Shonen Protagonist

    Aki is my favorite too! He’s also super well written– maybe I should do a writeup on him 🙂

    Chainsaw Man and the New Shonen Protagonist

    perfect interpretation (you’re a great writer as well!) It is a tragedy but at its core I think chainsaw man is about love and care and human connections despite everything else going on around them, which is what makes it so beautiful and moving. Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

    Chainsaw Man and the New Shonen Protagonist

    oh man, I’m so nervous for that in the anime because it made me cry in the manga and I know I’m going to cry even harder when it gets animated T_T

    Chainsaw Man and the New Shonen Protagonist

    Thanks for reading! If you’re an anime-only, just wait, his character undergoes a ton of development that I think you’ll enjoy 🙂

    Chainsaw Man and the New Shonen Protagonist

    Super interesting interpretation actually! Makes it all the more devastating when things are taken away from him 🙁

    Chainsaw Man and the New Shonen Protagonist

    I thought the same thing even though they are quite different in character! I think they both in different ways break the mold of the shonen protag, so I definitely had the same thought! 🙂

    Chainsaw Man and the New Shonen Protagonist