Joseph Manduke IV

Joseph Manduke IV

Reviewer and critic of film, anime and comics. Check out my YouTube channel as MerlinTheMighty.

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Latest Articles

Anime
46
Anime
35
Film
70
Animation
54
Anime
63
Comics
43
Anime
45
Comics
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Latest Topics

10

The Appeal of Harry Potter

Harry Potter continues to be an endearing franchise. What thematic elements make it so loved years after the books and films have been completed?

  • I think it has to do a lot with the fact that the books were famous before it became a movie and the kids who grew up reading those books are now adults and thus, they encouraged their younger siblings to take interest in the movies and read the book. Not to mention that some of us read the books as adults, (like me) and encouraged our children to take an interest in the franchise (both in books and movies). (at least that is what I did). – Nilab Ferozan 1 year ago
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  • I have see how popular the topic is on the Artifice itself. – Munjeera 1 year ago
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  • This would be a super read! I think it's important to consider the books and the films as separate entities , but also compare their success at some point in the article – LilyaRider 1 year ago
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  • Harry Potter has this certain nostalgic appeal that leads to people feeling a connection with the series, and the desire to pass it on to younger traditions. Aside from fantasy, the series deals with issues of friendship, loss, families, hope, struggles, etc., which allows for a multitude of viewership. Due to these numerous facets, this series has the ability to reach readers/viewers in at least one area of human emotion. – danielle577 1 year ago
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  • It's the characters. There are so many characters or parts of characters that each of us can identify with or want to be. I started to read these books as a teenager, and yet older than the targeted audience. I wanted to get my letter telling me I was a wizard (or witch) and would be swept away into this magical world that exists alongside of our muggle world. Even as an adult it is wonderful to believe that somewhere there is magic or this alternate world that could exist. The core story of love and friendship endures past the books and films. And even as I re-read the series I laugh and cry at the same moments that I read in the first reading. And am sad when it's all over that I need to re-read and re-watch. It's one that shall continue to endure. – therachelralph 1 year ago
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  • I agree that it's the characters because the characters are thought out to such an extent and written in such detail that they can easily be imagined as real people instead of just imaginary people from a book. They also cover a wide range of types of people and do not stick to hard stereotypes. The good characters have flaws. The bad characters have good somewhere inside them or backstories explaining why they are how they are. The booksmart Hermione doesn't always have the answer and brought new depth to the 'nerd' and 'bookworm' characters. All the characters have an amazing depth to them that is actually surprising considering just how many characters there are. Even small characters that you hardly see or ones that didn't even make it into the movies have complete characters. None are hollow characters just there for the furthering of the plot, instead being fully-formed people. I would say that the characters are the main reason the series remains relevant. The magic doesn't hurt though. Essentially, the series creates a world perfect for the imagination of all ages to explore and young fans just get to know the world and the characters in new and deeper ways as they get older. It doesn't just fade away and get forgotten because there's always more to experience and enjoy. – AnisaCowan 1 year ago
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  • It's the appeal of the alternative reality: this rich and amazing world that is just around the corner, if only we know how to look for it. I'd also say it was how well Rowling constructed her universe and how rich and detailed it is. Just the care she put into naming her characters, it reminds me of Tolkien.I think another part of the appeal is that we can all imagine ourselves in that world. If not as students, then as teachers or at least as a denizen. In that respect, it reminds me of Star Trek. – LisaDee 1 year ago
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  • Someone please formulate what Rowling did. I need the money. – Tigey 10 months ago
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  • Many people have mentioned the characters and I agree that is a huge part of it. JKR has called them "character-driven" books and after reading that quote I was immediately like, oh, yeah. It got me thinking. Technically all books are driven by the actions of characters, but some plots don't require you to know the characters on a personal level to be entertaining. JKR takes character to a whole new level; as people have said, it's like you know them (not just the main characters--almost all of them) and could predict what they would do in any situation. And her dialogue is fun, witty, and personal to each of her characters. It makes her writing more fun and truly exceptional, and the story so much more dimensional than the plot of defeating Voldemort. That goes along with the idea of world creation. I hate comparing HP to things like Twilight and The Hunger Games because it blows them out of the water from a writing, literary, and overall goodness standpoint. But a comparison serves to make my point--Stephanie Meyer and Suzanne Collins created worlds within or in the future of our world. They added new rules and created some creatures, devices, and spaces that are purely the products of imagination. But J.K. Rowling created a Wizarding world that, while occasionally intersecting with the muggle world, is a space all it's own. She doesn't even rely on the existence of technology. She invented hundreds of spells, animals, laws, backstories, places, histories. It's mind-blowing. – katybherman 7 months ago
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  • J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series helped change my life as a child. Being of the Harry Potter generation I grew up reading the books, waiting in lines at midnight to get the books and skipping school the next day to barricade myself in my room to read it in its entirety as soon as possible. J.K. Rowlings taught me lessons about hardship, friendship, bullying and life with her stories, for that, I will be forever grateful. Literature to me is going on an adventure. No matter the genre, fiction or non–though I am partial to fiction. By opening the pages of a book we can be transported into a new world, learning and living through characters in the world created. We study and write about it for many different reasons, some to learn, others to simply enjoy. Literature has no bounds, it is not limited by the past, present or the future. It's the relatability of the characters and their progression through growing up learning about, life, love/lust, friendship, bully, and loss that allow us to connect with them, breath with them and even grieve with them. The world of Harry Potter is so much more than one boy with a scar on his forehead or simply words on a page. – RoyalBibliophile 5 months ago
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  • Check out Sarah's recent post, pending approval, as it addresses Harry and enduring popularity. – Paul A. Crutcher 3 months ago
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17

The Evolution of Sci Fi films

The relationship between audiences and science fiction films have changed over the century. This has been affected by the political struggles of each era. How have the focus of these films changed over the decades. How similar or different are our fears between the 1950’s to today.

  • It is interesting to see how Sci-Fi has gone mainstream. Why is that? How did sci-fi become part of pop culture? Has it lost anything or does it mean that audiences are more open than in the past? This is a good topic. – Munjeera 1 year ago
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  • This may be relevant, since it deals with political issues. In a film class, we discussed James Cameron's Aliens and American films' (primarily action films, but Aliens is also sci fi) portrayals of masculine action stars (counting women, i.e. Ellen Ripley and Vasquez) and how they were influenced by Reagan's public persona. This may be taking allegory too far, but Ripley is essentially a hard body using violence to go up against an Other, which is in this case actually aliens. American sci fi tends to deal a lot with a fear of the Other/invasion (Red Scare, hostage crisis), but that's just one take to potentially explore. – Emily Deibler 1 year ago
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  • Specifying a certain countries' sci-fi films could help focus this article, since sci-fi is often used to explore and speculate on social issues, which change depending on where the movies are being made. – chrischan 1 year ago
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  • The Matrix was a very good "fear of technology" movie, made just as the internet was becoming omnipresent in daily life. – Tarben 12 months ago
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  • Interestingly enough, the sci-fi stories themselves have changed through the years with new and advancing technologies in the real world, but I feel as though the overall drive and goal of the genre has remained the same: To give humanity hope for the future. – Bluejay 12 months ago
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  • The "science" in movies nowadays is more ridiculous and at the same time believable as compared to those Sci-fi flicks made .30 years back – DevanshSharma 9 months ago
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1

The Pros and Cons of Reboots: Ghostbusters

Due to the controversy surrounding the new Ghosbusters film, what does it say regarding our society and the relation of fandom to changes in existing franchises and fictional properties? Many recent film examples could be used to explore the current state of film and other media.

  • I think that a good reboot finds ways to honour the original series. For example, the new "Ghostbusters" has so many great cameos. Also, the story and dialogue felt the same as the originals to me. – Lauren Mead 11 months ago
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  • I just think, in many cases, not all, it feels as if people are so lazy that they just sit in a writer's room and discuss old movies they can remake. What about novel ideas? Exploring creative ideas or novel subjects that will draw in crowds? Also, such as with Ghostbusters, this is a difficult one to draw viewers into because younger generations are likely unfamiliar with the movie; whereas older generations love the original, and do not want to see yet another remake. The one time when I feel a remake is apropos is when the filmmakers, and creative team, are truly passionate about the movie and want to give it it's proper cinematic representations. Then I applaud them. – danielle577 11 months ago
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5

Homosexuality in Naruto

It’s often been joked about about fandom regarding the relationship between Sasuke and Naruto. However, does this perception within the fandom have any relevance. Yes or no? What’s the impact for the overall narrative and themes of the series if any. Furthermore, how do cultural perceptions regarding controversial matters such as these influence the series.

  • There are a lot of fandoms out there that "ship" or imagine relationships between two characters of the same sex, particularly in anime and manga. It could be interesting to frame these questions within an exploration of "slash" fiction as a whole and its relevance, impact, and place in today's culture. – Nicole Williams 1 year ago
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2

Godzilla as a Nuclear Metaphor

Analyze the original Gojira film and its importance as an allegory for the horrors World War II. Maybe offer suggests on how the view of Godzilla has changed over the decades.

  • There certainly needs to be more detail for this topic i.e. how was Godzilla originally seen as a Nuclear metaphor/has there been any studies into nuclear metaphors within cinema that can be applied to Godzilla – Ryan Errington 2 years ago
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  • I'm a big Godzilla fan myself. Let me know if you need any help with this one. Make sure you mention "Lucky Dragon No. 5." – ajester 2 years ago
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1

The Influence of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on Television Storytelling

Focus on the commitment to a long running story in syndicated television. This predates many shows since most that came before were generally episodic.

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    Monster: The Nature of Evil

    Explore what makes Johan Liebert such a complex villain. In fact, is he truly evil?

    • A very good topic, to cover the personality and charisma of Johan Liebert in general. And on the true nature of evil and whether he was really a villain: a really good point to explore. Obviously, he wasn't the "evil" evil. Extend by discussing the various negative roles that actually have a double meaning, taking the example of Kira from Death Note -- another fan-loved "evil" character. Btw, I think this article has great potential but I don't understand why it's housed in the manga category? Why not anime? – Abhimanyu Shekhar 2 years ago
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    • Honestly, anything on Monster would be incredible. – Travis Cohen 2 years ago
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    • There's already an article in the anime section about this, so this topic may be a redundant. Maybe take a look to see if this one would be rehashing old ground. – Jordan 2 years ago
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    • I'll check for it. Maybe this could be restructured to focus on the moral questions of the series. Specifically Tenma's internal turmoil. – Joseph Manduke IV 2 years ago
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    Joss Whedon: Strong Female Characters

    Explore how Whedon created strong female characters in Buffy, Firefly, Dollhouse, Avengers ect.

    • I'd say Whedon is also good in creating well-rounded woman characters, as well as the 'strong female' character e.g. Buffy being a teenage girl and having emotions / flaws as well as being a kickass vampire slayer. – Camille Brouard 2 years ago
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    • Whedon's track record here is not what it necessarily could be though. If you look around the Internet you'll find a fair amount of criticism of his work from a feminist perspective, some of it a little out there, some of it right on the money. Just as an example, the fact that Buffy and Angel having sex nearly causes the end of the world is on the decidedly uncomfortable side. – Winter 2 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    Full Metal Alchemist: Science vs Religion
    Joseph Manduke IV

    They do a good job of condensing the series but then go a radically different direction. I enjoyed them. Check them out!

    The Endings of Evangelion: Exploring Shinji Ikari
    The Endings of Evangelion: Exploring Shinji Ikari
    The Endings of Evangelion: Exploring Shinji Ikari
    Joseph Manduke IV

    This series isn’t easy to absorb.

    The Endings of Evangelion: Exploring Shinji Ikari
    Joseph Manduke IV

    I’ll be my best to expand on any questions.

    The Endings of Evangelion: Exploring Shinji Ikari
    Joseph Manduke IV

    There is certainly a Lynchean atmosphere to the series.

    The Endings of Evangelion: Exploring Shinji Ikari
    Joseph Manduke IV

    There certainly is a great deal to hate about the prequels. Even so, some aspects of the Star Wars spirited were involved. For as much as they irritated the fandom, the franchise is stronger than it ever was.

    Star Wars: How The Prequel Trilogy Enhances The Force Awakens