marknm

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Latest Topics

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    The role of gender/sexuality in "Sidonia no Kishi" (Knights of Sidonia)

    Though the plot of Sidonia no Kishi is generally your standard space opera, there is one caveat. The latest generation of humans aboard the ship are born asexual, and develop sexual organs as they build relationships with one another. Not only that, the protagonist Tanikaze finds himself in many unique situations: being attracted to an alien taking the form of his former love interest, and playing the father role of a gigantic alien / human hybrid, just to name a couple. What, if anything, do these elements do for the anime as a whole? Are they just glossed over and used as shock value, or do they add value to the story? Might this anime mark a shift in today’s mainstream anime environment?

    • While it may have been used as shock value in the beginning, the anime kept the "the viewer already knows this" attitude throughout both seasons. This kind of approach towards this detail in the world of Sidonia actually makes sense, since they're supposedly living in a far away future, where anything as initially absurd (like the bear cook) may be possible. It adds value to the whole world-building of Knights of Sidonia, which also succeeds in having its viewers undistracted by these minute details from the main story. – miharusshi 5 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    I can’t help but feel like people who have never played LoL or any other online multiplayer game might have trouble reading your article due to the jargon you included, like ‘elo’, ‘afk’, ‘streamer’, for example. Other than that I think that this was a very insightful piece.

    Personally, I beta tested Heroes of Newerth, one of the early competitors to League of Legends. I preferred HoN to LoL because at the time, paying $30 for access to all present and future characters just seemed more honest to me. And yet here we are, with the free to play model beginning to dominate both mobile and PC platforms. Presently I have nothing against LoL, but watching people play DotA 2 is infinitely more interesting because of the ability to “deny” creeps.

    League of Legends' Appeal: The Growing Community

    I think one of the greatest strengths of Fallout 3’s overall game design (and one of its failings) was that the ultimate experience lied in exploring the wasteland. Not just through doing side missions, but exploring every little nook and dungeon. In other games where you would find invisible walls, Fallout 3 would have a little treat. Maybe it would be the Vault full of Gary clones, or maybe it would be the Republic of Dave. It was just disappointing that the main storyline was pretty cut and dry, hero’s journey sameness. I honestly didn’t expect to find the Dweller’s father down in the vault, and I think it would have served the ‘loneliness’ aspect better had the player never found him.

    Loneliness in Fallout

    I don’t completely agree that seeing these sexual tropes in anime gives ‘more power’ to younger boys and girls to find their sexuality. If anything, it reinforces gender stereotypes. At the same time, for older people, I think that anime with fan service, ecchi and hentai should be less stigmatized because as you said, it is not really hurting any of the people involved. Real porn can be truly sickening.

    As for my own anime preferences, I tend to avoid fan service heavy anime because it seems like many studios are strapped for budget. I would rather see them spend their money on good animation or good writing. I feel like two exceptions are Kill La Kill and Bakemonogatari, which mostly hit the sweet spot for the right balance of good art, writing, and fan service. The only disappointment with those two series is that while they try to parody aspects of today’s fan service, they fall victim to those tropes in the process. How many times (especially in later seasons) do we need to see Araragi’s near sexual relations with his little sisters? How many times do we need to see Ryuko transform and striptease in the process?

    Titillating Anime