I’d hate to be a mangaka. I mean, it’s a real “shotgun” sort of business: The publishers throw all sorts of stuff out there looking to see what sticks to the wall. And as the writer you want it to stick, too. I mean, you’re not a salaried member of the publication staff; you get […]Read more "Off the Rails: Arakawa Under the Bridge"
You know what? I think I may have discovered a whole new trope. Okay, let’s start with this fundamental fact: Anime is a medium largely created by Japanese men for Japanese boys. That’s doesn’t stop the rest of us from liking it, and it’s not completely, 100% true. There are some terrific women working in […]Read more "Oh, So Tropical: The Look-at-Me Woman"
You’ve seen harem shows. Just admit it. Admit that you are powerless, and put yourself in the hands of a higher power. No, wait. That’s for alcohol. But still, the comic possibilities of a harem show are pretty obvious. Slap-stick, double entendre, sight gags, mistaken identity: everything is fair game so long as you can […]Read more "Oh, So Tropical: The Stupid Harem Protagonist"
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: tropes exist because they work. If you’re a writer like I am, tropes is your friend. Here’s a question for you: WHY do they work? Well, in certain ways a trope is the equivalent to a symbol in the linguistic (as opposed to the artistic) sense. […]Read more "Oh, So Tropical: The Nose Bleed"
Tropes are one of those things that I’ve mentioned about a zillion times but never actually talked about. There’s probably a formal definition, but a trope is basically a commonly used marker or indicator used to tell the audience something about the characters, plot, or setting. Setting/genre is a big place where tropes show up […]Read more "Oh So Trope-ical: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi"
Okay, let’s start with this: this could go on for a while. It might even end up being a two-parter. I’ll start writing and we’ll see. Later: Yeah, it’s a two-parter. This is Part I. You see, the cool thing about Puella Magi Madoka Magica is that it takes the Magical Girl genre and turns […]Read more "Going Dark: Puella Magi Madoka Magica"
Full Metal Panic was one of the first series I watched way back when, and while I kind of liked it, it wasn’t mind-blowing to me the way Cowboy Bebop and Black Lagoon were. That’s kind of unfair, of course: Cowboy Bebop routinely blows minds and as an adult viewer I was struck by the […]Read more "Admiral Baby: Full Metal Panic"
For some reason I’ve been thinking about characters, and specifically the interaction of roles a lot lately, so I’m going to bore all you guys to tears beating that horse until it’s dead on the track and hauled off to the glue factory. But you know how it goes when you’ve got a thought stuck […]Read more "The Power of Three Squared: Outlaw Star"
When you study animated cartoons, particularly the old ‘toons of the Warner Brothers heyday, it’s explicit that a lot of the humor is contextualized by the culture they were made in. When Bugs Bunny gnaws on a carrot and asks, “What’s the hubbub, bub?” he’s saying something that a non-native speaker of mid-20th century English […]Read more "Culture and Trope: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid"