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    Latest Articles

    Latest Topics


    All Quiet on the Western Front: The Greatest War Novel of All Time?

    Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front is considered the greatest war novel ever written. Why is this book singled out? What makes it so different from other literature about war? This article would examine themes, setting, and characters and look at why the book has remained so timeless. (Comparisons to the movie/s can also be made.)

    • It is indeed a great novel, and I think exploring what sets it apart is a marvelous idea. However, be careful with phrases like "the greatest novel of all time" because realistically, there's no way to quantify that. – Stephanie M. 4 months ago

    Nuns in Horror Movies

    Nuns appear as antagonists in many horror films, from The Nun to The Conjuring 2. What’s the fascination with them? What are the possible connotations/themes? Horror-themed TV series (e.g. American Horror Story) and video games with nuns can also be discussed, but the focus should be primarily on films.

    • I am not sure how helpful this will be, but in Matthew Lewis’ The Monk (an eighteenth century horror gothic novel), there is a horror figure known as the ‘Bleeding Nun’. She was basically a symbol for female sexual transgression. I think the idea relates to the nun being an allegedly ‘pure’ or ‘innocent’ woman. Thus, it’s ‘scary’ (or, for societies in the past who were afraid of giving women power, it was scary) to see a nun that is not pure or innocent. – Samantha Leersen 6 months ago
    • I do agree with Samantha Leersen to some extent, since the nun is considered to be a manifestation of the Loving Mother archetype which when subverted gives us the Chaotic Mother who is embodied in many of the subversive feminine tropes. However, the subversion of the Great Father is the Tyrant Father whose embodiment inspires hatred as opposed to fear (like the Archdeacon in The Hunchback of Notre Dame). I can think of the Church in AOT etc. – RedFlame2000 6 months ago
    • i think the sense of horror comes from a nun, typically associated with purity and innocence, doing out-of-character things. you could explore that. – BLOOPINBLOOPZ 6 months ago

    The Symbolism of Fish

    Fish is an important staple of many cultures, whether as food, source of income, or a religious sign. Compare and contrast some of these symbolisms in religion and folklore. Is the fish seen as positive in some cultures? Negative? Has its meaning changed over time?

    • I love this topic, especially since I myself have just written a short film that features the symbolism of fish. I find fish are viewed in a positive light and that to me it represents a sustainable life source. It is something that people need even if they don't realize they need it. The best way I can describe this is by describing water. Water is a literary source for "baptism" or the change the characters must go through to become better. Fish are constantly swimming in the water and they derive their own lives by the water. When fish are symbolized in stories to me it is a feeling of everlasting peace and persistence brought about by health and goodwill something I don't believe will change anytime soon. – thepriceofpayne 6 months ago
    • This is an interesting topic- I think the author could additionally write about the symbolism of different types of fish. From koi fish to piranhas or goldfish. – Abie Dee 4 months ago

    The Toll of Voice Acting

    Season 5 of My Hero Academia has been delayed, not just because of COVID-19, but because one of the seiyuus (voice actors) is recovering from vocal cord surgery. Nobuhiko Okamoto plays Bakugo, a hot-tempered U.A. student who yells a lot, and it’s not surprising that the role had a negative affect on Okamoto’s voice.
    This article would look at how voice acting has negatively affected the health of some voice actors, whether it be in anime, Western animation, or video games (I believe there was a story a couple years back about people getting sick due to their performances in gaming). It could be a critique of the industry or a reflection on how dedicated the actors are to the roles, or a mix of both. (Keep spoilers to a minimum, though, please!)

    • Cool topic. I used to be involved in choir and musical theater, and you learn quickly what a precious commodity a voice is. One facet you might look at is how different roles use the voice. For instance, you mention a voice actor who has to yell a lot. The neurologic pathways to speaking vs. yelling are different, so the vocal chords are used differently. Sometimes, voice acting or singing also requires you to pop your larynx, which can cause its own kind of harm. – Stephanie M. 11 months ago

    Why Is the Yandere Trope So Popular?

    I’ve seen topics where people look at yandere games, financial success, etc. However, I don’t think anyone’s taken a good look as to why yandere is so popular. What is so appealing about psychotic stalking girls? As someone who is still very new to anime (even after 18 months!), I’d like more of an explanation about yandere, whether you can be a boy to be a yandere or if it’s strictly a girl thing, and whether yandere characters like Yuno Gasai have had a negative impact on adolescent and teenage girls. This would be a very fun article, especially as, again, Yuno Gasai remains one of the more popular anime girls because of her yandere status.

    • What lies in a yandere's past? What drives a yandere to become psychotic? What was the turning point or defining event that decided her future as a yandere? Every villain(ess) has a past and a backstory. It might also be worth considering that a yandere could actually has a positive influence on the life of an adolescent/teenage girl - by effectively offering her an avatar through whom she can explore her own darkness without resorting to violence or mayhem in real life. We all have shadow selves, whether we choose to accept them or not. – Amyus 11 months ago
    • I agree, exploring the yandere trope from a female perspective would be very enlightening. I myself am not super well-read in it, so I can't offer any insight there, unfortunately. It probably also has to do with gender roles in Japanese culture, and a male fantasy of being desired and needed--even if it's excessive and dangerous. – Tylah Jackowski 11 months ago
    • I can say for a fact that the yandere archetype is in no way exclusively female. I've seen plenty of male examples. That said, it does seem to me that the male version of the character is more likely to be treated as an outright villain and less likely to actually get into a relationship with the love interest (unless it's one of those weird stories about romanticized abuse). Another interesting angle to explore may be the distinction (if there is any) between a yandere as such and a character who just happens to get into or seek out a toxic relationship, without it being a defining aspect of the character. How central to a character's personality and arc do their mental problems and relationships with others have to be before they can be called a yandere? – Debs 11 months ago

    The Portrayal of Demons in Anime

    Demons are quite common in anime, whether it’s the sexy Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler or the lovable Inuyasha from the anime of the same name. In fact, demons are more common in mainstream anime than angels. And when they do interact, it’s usually the demons that come out as the good guy. Why is that the case? What appeal do demons have? What are some other portrayals of demons?

    Note: You can focus on just humanoid demons, like Sebastian and Rin Okumura from Blue Exorcist, or you can expand it to include Inuyasha and creatures like Kurama from the Naruto series. For an additional challenge, you can also include interactions between angels and demons, like Sebastian and Ash/Angela, and compare the characters.

    • I was also curious where the story of "the demon lord" came from? Is this a folklore thing? – Busyotaku 1 year ago

    Why Is Anime So Popular in the West?

    What do Western audiences (Canada and Europe as well as America) find so appealing in anime? Analyze and compare the more popular/recent series and see what conclusions you make with them.
    An additional challenge would be to compare the anime are more popular in the West with the anime that are more popular in Japan. Or, if that is too difficult, then compare the genres that are more popular/well-known in the East and West.
    e.g. Is My Hero Academia as big in Japan as it is in America? What about Death Note?
    You can also research less mainstream anime that is big in either Japan or the West.

    • I generally agree with the comments made by M.L.Flood, but please be a little less ameri-centric. The 'West' consists of more countries than just America and Canada. – Amyus 1 year ago
    • I like the topic so much and I think that approaching why certain anime are more popular in the West and why others are more popular in Japan would be interesting as well. There may be cultural and social reasons for it. Other than that, great topic! – MC07 1 year ago

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    Latest Comments


    Using different styles of clothing easily establishes which faction/clique/class a character belongs to in a film. Divergent is one example, but The Breakfast Club probably illustrates it the best.

    Costumes On Screen: How Clothing Has Enhanced Visual Storytelling

    The contrast between the two series is startling. Fate and free will can work together, but one can have more effect on the other. Sabrina definitely has less of a choice than Harry Potter does.
    The Netflix Sabrina doesn’t sound all that hopeful or uplifting. Whose idea was it to make it so dark? Is there any chance the series will end happily without the apocalypse destroying everything? (I haven’t seen the series and am not sure if I want to.)

    Fate in Harry Potter and Sabrina

    I read The Great Gatsby years ago, and the only thing I took away was that Myrtle Wilson’s death was too melodramatic and violent (killed by a car, with some descriptive language).
    The article offers great insight into the perception of wealth and class. It’s a good refresher for me and other people who read the book years ago, and it’s also a good summary for those people who haven’t read the novel but are or will become interested.

    The Great Gatsby: Exploring 1920s Class Politics with Colour Symbolism

    I don’t think the romantic subplot is damaging to Frozen II, or that it distracts from Elsa’s quest. While Elsa is more of the main focus (as opposed to Anna in Frozen), Frozen II is ultimately about how BOTH sisters mature. There are two stories here, not just Elsa’s. And the proposal at the end is a very satisfying ending to Anna’s story, especially since her sister chooses to abdicate and remain in the Forest.
    And I preferred Frozen II to Frozen anyway.

    Frozen: Letting Go of Gender Stereotypes?

    You’ve explained each character and trope well, and I feel like I know more about them, especially Daria. I was homeschooled, so I can’t say that I was like any of these characters during High School. However, I’d say there’s a Daria, Quinn, and Brittany in all of us. Who do you think you were most like as a teenager?

    Daria and the Clichéd Representation of Teenagers

    Night Vale is not a place I’d want to visit. Or a podcast I’d listen to. But the pizza delivery/secret police sounds hilarious.
    On another note, I agree that just focusing on the negative aspects of history isn’t right. Yes, there have been horrid mistakes and we should acknowledge them, but we should also remember the good things our countrymen have done, that make us proud to belong to whatever country we grew up in. Otherwise, what’s the point of learning history?

    Welcome to Night Vale: More Conservative Than It Seems

    The Secret of NIMH is one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen. Wouldn’t show it to my kids.
    I liked Once Upon a Forest, though. The birds’ song was fun.

    The Complex Lessons of Environmentally-Motivated Animation

    After reading this article, I see Willy Wonka in a different light.
    Still my favourite Roald Dahl book.

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: A Capitalist Dystopia