sophiacatherine

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Latest Articles

    Latest Topics

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    Homoesexuality in Yuri!!! on Ice

    Yuri!!! on Ice does everything but explicitly state the relationship between the main characters. As a well-received, mainstream anime (aired on Asahi TV during primetime and popular overseas) that normalizes gay relationships, does Yuri!!! indicate a step forward in representation? Potential angles include how gay relationships have historically been portrayed in anime or an analysis of Viktor and Yuri in Yuri!!! itself.

    • I believe that this anime focuses more on the skating than the relationships. There didn't seem to be much interaction between the characters during the series, and the characters identity were depicted through their thoughts as they performed. As far as I can tell this anime portrays very little concerning the ideals of romance, its more about the skating. – RadosianStar 6 months ago
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    • I think this is a great topic because I know there is much debate in the fandom about it on social media like Tumblr. Personally, I think it is a step forward because gay relationships in anime have a reputation for being sexualized, like in yaoi. There's a lot to work with between Yuri and Viktor's interactions, like the promise rings in front of the church and Viktor literally calling them engagement rings. Some say its queerbaiting, but they have the emotional development of a romantic relationship. The question comes down to whether people believe that romance can be written or shown without a kiss. – LauraKincaid 6 months ago
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    • I have not seen Yuri!! on Ice myself, but if it anything like Free! (which can be used as a comparison) I can understand the suspicion of homoerotic undertones. – SarahKnauf 6 months ago
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    • While Yuri!!! On Ice certainly has LGBT undertones (and overtones, depending on who you ask), I think its important to regard the the intended audience for its consumption: Fujoshi, (usually female) Yaoi and BL fans. 'Representation' connotes a certain progressivism upon the part of the show's creators, displaying gay relationships to normalize LGBT culture in the strongly heteronormative Japan. However, at the end of the day, Yuri!!! On Ice isn't being consumed by fans who want to challenge their perspective on sexuality, but rather shippers who view Boy's Love as a means of titillation. Even in America, where the show is equally beloved, a great portion of fan discourse is about shipping characters together, rather than contextualizing their relationships in staunchly anti-gay Asian cultures. Despite how negative I've been coming off, I do think analyzing these themes would be a worthy topic of discussion- I just don't think that the show has had nearly as large an impact on Japanese views on homosexuality as westerners might hope. – PeterThelonious 5 months ago
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    • A lot of the time LGBT relationships in shows such as this are portrayed very subtly, but with the shows creators relying on the fans to find those links and emphasise them. Yuri!!! On Ice seems to be using more of this kind of technique, and the gay relationships are there more to excite and engage the fanbase (fans are known to jump onto any small hint of canon relationships and plots, and even the smallest signs can blow up, thus also increasing the shows popularity). – SophIsticated 3 weeks ago
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    • YOI has been the most explicitly pro-queer anime I've seen so far (though, tbh, I haven't seen a large number) in that it allows lead characters of the same gender to be in love. It is accepted by peers, there is no drama with family or love competitors, and the relationship is healthy. The discussion of gender fluidity is also interesting. – IndiLeigh 3 weeks ago
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    • YOI is probably the first sport anime that has LGBT themes, especially between its main characters, which is Yuri and Victor. Its also an anime in which there is an (implied) interracial relationship, with Victor being Russian and Yuri being Japanese. In terms of most animes, the show is quite progressive in terms of LGBT, though it is subtle. However, the issue with the anime, from a lot fans' perspective, is that it is still not as progressive as it could be. As mentioned before in a previous comment from PeterThelonius, fans of the show focuses more on shipping the characters together, rather than the sport. Some fans argue that YOI does show LGBT themes, but not the struggle that comes with being LGBT. As many may know, not a lot of people will accept those who are gay, trans, lesbian, queer, etc. Especially in sports, as seen with many gay athletes like Jason Collins and Johnny Weir (who is in fact a gay competitive figure skater), that face discrimination. YOI could actually discuss this considering that the show is made in Japan, where LGBT is still considered to be "abnormal," or with Victor dealing with discrimination from his family or Russian fans (Russia is very staunch anti-LGBT). It would be interesting to delve deeper into the show dealing with more LGBT themes and struggles. For now, I will say that YOI has broken barriers for LGBT community, but this is only the surface. – themessenger151 2 weeks ago
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    Published

    Bollywood in the United States

    Hindi cinema, or "Bollywood," is one of the world’s largest and widely viewed film industries, churning out over 1,000 films every year. However, despite its wide reach and highly commercial appeal, Bollywood has yet to crack the American popular market. Why might this be? What facets of Hindi cinema might turn away an American audience? How might a Bollywood film market itself to an American audience?

    • You read my mind in suggesting this topic. Crossovers and adaptations to new markets are always interesting. I want to write this topic! Munjeera – Munjeera 1 year ago
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    • Thank you for your note, Munjeera! I can't wait to see what you write! – sophiacatherine 1 year ago
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    • Most people don't know well other cultured movies are an mostly associated bollywood with its music. It should really expand on that as well as the plot and type of character-use it has when it comes to their movies in their country. – cjeacat 7 months ago
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    What do Millennials Want?

    A recent NYT article posed the question: What Do Millennials Want in TV? and the only conclusion was that the millennial generation is so diverse that it’s hard to pin down one factor. However, is there a factor that can bring together the millennial generation? Or is it simply too diverse to target as one group?

    • Great topic!!! Whoever can figure out what Millennial enjoy can count on reaching probably the most important group in world history since the Baby Boomers. I am a GenXer but I love this next generation coming up. In my view I think they are diverse but working with them has taught me how incredibly smart, adaptable and sincere they are as a group. I can't wait to see what they accomplish. I have high hopes for the future when I am around Millennial. – Munjeera 1 year ago
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    • Very complex. It is going to be hard to whomever writes about this topic to find the necessary evidence to back up your statements. If you manage to do this it's going to be a wonderful article to read. – Andrestrada 1 year ago
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    The Mass Appeal of "The Revenant"

    What is the mass appeal of "The Revenant?" Despite the appearance of Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant" does not contain the typical hallmarks of a blockbuster film; it is beautifully shot and powerfully acted, yet even DiCaprio terms it as an "art film," a genre that does not usually break into the mass market on a large scale. And yet, "The Revenant’s" opening weekend’s box office earnings were second only to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
    What about "The Revenant" appeals to a mass audience? Is it the presence of DiCaprio, or is there another reason for its popularity? Is it simply that the American public has become more open to art films as popular entertainment?

    • I don't think The Revenant has "mass" appeal, but there has been a lot of hype surrounding the performances by DiCaprio and Hardy. Moreover, Inarritu won Best Director last year and Lubezki has won two straight Oscars for Best Cinematography, so more people had reason to see this movie than other "art films." I'm not sure what opening weekend numbers you're looking at, but according to IMDB The Revenant brought in $474,560 over its opening weekend and a total of a little over $125,000,000 so far. The Revenant has made in total about what Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 made in its opening weekend and nowhere near what Star Wars: The Force Awakens made in its opening weekend. – JLaurenceCohen 1 year ago
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    • I agree with the above, I don't think "The Revenant" has much mass appeal. It just had the names of DiCaprio and Hardy, and the title of "from the director of last year's Best Picture winner, Birdman". While I think that the argument that art films are becoming more commercially accepted is interesting, I think that focusing on the popularity of "The Revenant" would be misled. – Matthew Sims 1 year ago
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    • JLaurenceCohen, I was looking at the Box Office Mojo numbers (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=revenant.htm), which shows that The Revenant was 2nd on its wide opening weekend (Jan 8). Of course, it came nowhere near Star Wars in numbers, but it did do well. My question doesn't need to have to do with The Revenant in particular, if the author doesn't want to take it in that direction, but I think it might be an interesting lens through which to examine art films in popular culture. – sophiacatherine 1 year ago
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    Published

    Women And Game of Thrones

    Is Game of Thrones misogynistic or empowering? While it is generally accepted that Game of Thrones was originally geared toward young men there is a large and growing fan base of young women who follow and enjoy the show. How can Game of Thrones market itself to young women, or how does it market itself to young women already? Has its approach changed over the course of its running time?

    • This would be a great place to discuss the various rapes scenes that occur in the series and how they are either empowering to the female characters or debilitating to the progress of women. Are these scenes used to empower women or are they just another way to motivate male characters to swoop in for a rescue? – Reese2341 2 years ago
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    Latest Comments

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    Reviving Hail, Caesar!

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    Lilo and Stitch: The Seven Standards of Disney

    Thanks so much! I am glad that you enjoyed it, I enjoyed writing it!

    The Keys to SuperWhoLock

    What a fascinating article — especially about the history of the media zombie. I have always wondered how they made it into the mass media sphere. Very well done!

    The Zombie Invasion of Pop Culture: They Want Your Brains

    What a well-researched article! I am very impressed with all your work.

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    The Lost Civilization of Pottermore

    I’m so curious to see American Horror Story now! I have held off because of feeling uncomfortable about the portrayal of people as part of a Freak Show. What a fascinating history of the term and the idea. I especially love how you connect “freak show” to the modern day.

    The Modern Freak Show
    The Keys to SuperWhoLock

    Thank you for your kind words; I learned a lot writing this article. Glad you enjoyed it!

    The Keys to SuperWhoLock