Isn't all fiction, and a lot of non-fiction, speculative? Is it just an umbrella term for sci-fi and fantasy? What does it mean for a work of fiction to be considered 'speculative'?
We all understand that it's not rational. But it's hard not to feel it.
I'm no fitness or health expert. I'm an ordinary person who, probably like you, made New Year's resolutions and started exercise plans I always ended up quitting. Until this one.
He's not a nihilist, he's a cynic. Yes, there is a difference that matters between the two. Also, he "does an arc", whether he wants to admit that or not.
The ending of the game "Life is Strange" made me re-think my belief in utilitarianism. What does this moral dilemma say about human nature and the problem with political ideologies?
You've heard of the Disney Renaissance, and maybe even the actual Renaissance. But was the period from 1990 to 2010 another such uniquely talented time in history for anime?
'Life is Strange' is a game where you have the power to rewind time, and you end up saving your friends from murder, accidents, and suicide. But at times, the game just gets way too real for some people to handle. I had to take breaks, because it's so emotionally intense!
A review of "Depression Quest," an infamous, controversial text-based game, from the perspective of someone struggling with depression themselves.
Staying home due to the COVID-19 outbreak can feel confining, scary, and depressing at times. Why I think 'K-On' is a great anime for beating the blues during this time of trouble.
It mostly boils down to one thing: Flexibility.
The isekai genre is hated, much like 'Twilight', for gaining success through the wish fulfillment the shows provide to their audience. I don't think that's fair.
Outlining a story versus "pantsing" it—which approach is better?
The fan favorites and best series of the 2010s.
I have been a blogger for almost 10 years now. If you're thinking about getting into blogging as a hobby, side business, or career, here's what you should know about the major ups and downs of it all.
Relationships between fictional characters are the emotional centerpiece of a story. Here's what you need to write a good one.
My creative process, how I decided on the subgenre and particular themes. I'm excited about this book.
The character of Felix in 'Re:Zero' became a popular internet meme in the transgender community. But people always point out that she is not "really" trans. To understand what she is, we need a better understanding of what it means to be transgender in Japan.
What is a deconstruction? How is 'Evangelion' a deconstruction of common anime tropes and cliches? You will appreciate and understand 'Evangelion' more after reading this.
There are four Dragon Ball movies. They're kind of short, most being less than an hour long. But they pack a lot of entertainment value in a small package.
The anime 'Goblin Slayer' was brutal and controversial, but also memorable, beautiful, even breathtaking. (I say 'Season 1' just in case the anime gets more episodes in the future.)
Studio Ghibli's work almost always creates a sense of awe and wonder, and here we have no exception. 'Howl's Moving Castle' might tend to be overshadowed by other Ghibli works, but deserves to go down as a classic masterpiece.
A good title is the key to whether an article will succeed on the internet. Here are some things to consider when writing one.
My article on why I decided to stop calling myself a feminist was hugely popular. A few years later and wiser, I reflect on how I've come to change the way I think about gender and sexism.
The diamonds are a big point of contention as 'Steven Universe' characters. They begin as antagonists, but they change, and some fans and critics think this change happens too quickly. So what explains this 180 from dictators to loving aunts?
Why did one word go from meaning "daughter of an autocratic hereditary ruler" to being something like a merit badge and a beauty contest award?
Ever wonder why so many girls became so obsessed with Edward Cullen, the romantic lead in the Twilight series? What makes him so cool and sexy to women?
I enjoy some sitcoms but not others. I have identified ten things that are almost always present in the ones I don't like.
Netflix caught heat for changing "love" to "like" in their translation and re-dubbing of 'Neon Genesis Evangelion'. Why does the distinction matter to the show and to fans of the series? Well, it's erasing a fairly important instance of homo-romantic representation.
I'm sick of superhero movies. If you ask me to review another one, I'll punch you in the eye. I swear to Aphrodite. But here's what I'll be doing with my time in the future instead of those.
The movie takes Marvel's cinematic universe in a bold new direction, delivering fresh humor and a quirky, interesting new set of characters. It's a movie that's both powerfully funny and emotionally relatable.
X-Men: Days of Future Past involves Wolverine being sent back into Charles Xavier's past, to connect with him to stop a grave threat to mutant kind.
Peter Parker comes up against an unintentionally snubbed rescuee who becomes a fan, then an obsessive stalker, and then an electric-themed super villain.
The movie features some neat stunts and action scenes, and actors Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, and Scarlett Johannson deliver some great performances. But, other than that, the movie feels almost dull.
This Thor sequel is a feast for the eyes. It was a thrilling bit of action. But it seems to be missing some charms of the original.
A shockingly great manga adaptation that's been shot down by critics, but is beloved by anime fans. Is this a case of the elitism or bias towards safe bets of the mainstream media?
A fun, thrilling action film - Wolverine goes off to fight some bad guys and find love in Japan. But he's still haunted by his past.
Tony Stark deals with anxiety attacks following the events of 'The Avengers', and a new terrorist pops up on everyone's TV.
The first 'Avengers' movie uses contrasts and conflicts between characters to bring together the feel of how the team will work together as one. Loki is a cool villain, and even the film's MacGuffin is cool. Just an all-around stellar action/superhero movie.
I honestly don't know what they were going for on this one.
'Iron Man 2' deals with Tony Stark confronting the possibility of death, and innovating his way out of the flaws of his tech from the last movie.
This version of Spiderman is a bit awkward, cheesy, and not that interesting.
Thor is a phenomenal, thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience, one that makes you emotionally connect with the hero and the villain.
An old-fashioned feeling US vs. Russia spy narrative acts as a backdrop setting for the origin story of about a dozen mutants, along with that of deuteragonists Magneto and Professor X.
The movie details the history of Wolverine, and also explores his role in the greater development of the X-Men mythos. It's also a less-than-stellar origin story for Deadpool, mocked in 'Deadpool 2'.
It's a decent movie, but the real interest in Cap's life lies after he is unfrozen in our time. In other words, after this movie ends. But given that, it's still a pretty good superhero origin story movie.
The Punisher is an intriguing character, but the film doesn't quite explore all of such a character's potential.
I saw reviews on IMDB praising this Hulk movie for not being the Ang Lee version. I haven't seen that, but even this "good" version of The Hulk is still a dull, incoherent, unappealing movie in almost every way.
The first 'Iron Man' movie, starting off during the War in Afghanistan, explores America's relationship to power and weapons.
'My Hero Academia" explores the heart of the mentor/trainee relationship.
Does Boruto, the anime about Naruto's son, hold up as a worthy successor to Naruto Shippuden?
If you asked me a few years ago what the "Big Three" shounen were, I would have said, easy, that means Bleach, Naruto, and One Piece. But since Bleach and Naruto are over, what are the "Big Three"? And why is the shounen genre the dominant genre of anime in terms of popularity?
On the fence about whether or not to buy the hit Pokemon game for the Nintendo Switch? Hopefully this information will help you make a decision.
I chose this one to discover how the Pokemon anime had been holding up since I walked away from it. I ended up enjoying myself.
This article includes frequently asked questions about "Pokémon GO" and an explanation of the game for new players.
Shows where you forgive the main character, but also can't help but cringe at them. Sometimes a lot...
A lot of people have started to hate on CinemaSins on YouTube. But what does it mean to call them "bad faith criticism"? What is good faith criticism? What should we expect from critics?
'The Last Unicorn' is the story of a unicorn's journey to find out if there are others like her left in the world. It touches on themes that are pretty heavy for a kids movie.
Anime fans are typically very open-minded and supportive of each other. But here are the big issues within anime fandom that can cause people to flip out in arguments.
One big question among Evangelion fans, that has sparked a ton of debate, is the question of who would be the best relationship partner for Shinji. Let's examine the main possibilities.
My Little Pony is still going strong. But let's take a look at what worked and what didn't work in Season 8.
Wily, feline-eared girls are all the rage in anime. But why? What makes them so attractive and popular? What kitty girls in anime are your favorite?
What is the 'isekai' genre, and why has it become so prevalent? And why are there so many low-grade shows, manga, and light novels in this genre? What are examples of good isekai shows?
Fall 2018 Anime. What's coming out that I consider the most interesting for this season, and what will I be completely ignoring? What will be the best and worst this season?
Are Danaerys and Jon Snow the true saviors who will create a new, more peaceful world from the ashes of chaos, or is the world of ice and fire truly a hopeless one?
Almost every anime series, show, movie, comic book, book series, you name it has toxic fans among its fan community. Some more obviously than others. How does this happen, and how should normal fans respond?
Netflix-produced anime series Violet Evergarden is about a doll-like girl in search of what the word 'love' means.
Most fans of the stellar anime 'Death Note' were disappointed, to say the least, by Netflix's film adaptation. Do they hope to make a sequel that will fix all the problems with the original? It's highly unlikely.
Anime is a medium, not a genre. Within anime there is a diverse range of genres and types of stories. There's probably a cool anime counterpart to whatever you watch or read that isn't anime/manga!
What does that mean? Well, delicious as in appealing in some way. And a baby bird because they have to be in trouble in a way that makes people care. How do you do that?
Most people know anime often uses exaggeration for comedic or dramatic purposes. But how is the recent show 'Magical Girl Site' taking this exaggeration too far?
I spent a great deal of time sighing in frustration, groaning, even yelling at my TV, "TRIALS DON'T WORK LIKE THAT". But here's what I learned by pushing through this trainwreck.
'Haikara-San: Here Comes Miss Modern'. Read more about this captivating historical love story.
Don't meet your childhood heroes? Or maybe just don't think about them too hard.
Deadpool 2 topped the original. It will have a tremendous impact on not just Marvel comics and comic book films in general, but on our whole culture surrounding storytelling.
Was it possible to fix 'Sword Art Online' and make it not only watchable, but engaging and maybe even a great anime? Yes. It had that potential. Here are some ways it could have changed to be a better anime.
The genre has changed. Will it ever get back to the way it was? And why did this change take place?
Common prefixes with detailed explanations to help you understand longer, more complicated English words.
Don’t do what I did! Here are lessons I learned from my early writing mistakes on HubPages.
Do we really need 'silent' AND 'quiet', or 'angry', 'mad', 'incensed', 'nonplussed', 'disgruntled', AND 'enraged'? Do all these synonyms enrich or language or just make it too hard to learn?
Anime is a relatively small niche on YouTube. These 10 creators stick out in terms of awesome content that analyzes anime.
A lot of fans have an anime girl crush or two that falls into the 'dere-dere' type. A girl who is sweet, caring and thoughtful, inside and out!
The himedere is a character like a tsundere, but with the haughty attitude of royalty or nobility. Why do some people fall for this bratty princess type?
A kuudere is a character type in anime that is aloof, mysterious, and totally not interested in the love interest character. Until they are.
I'm sure it's not just me, audiences, fans, and critics are just getting sick and tired of these tropes because they're so often overused, or used as a crutch to prop up poor writing.
This tragic tale is about a princess who is predicted by the dominant religion to bring about the end of the world. For that, she is hunted wherever she goes, and safe nowhere.
Cuddly romance that will melt your heart. Adorable animals. Cute guys turning into adorable animals, that is. Family drama! This show has everything that will make your heart go doki-doki!
A tsundere is defined as someone who masks their feelings for a character with harsh criticism or even bullying, eventually warming up and showing their true feelings.
Not sure where to start? This article covers all the major basics in terms of cosplay for people new to the whole thing.
A dandere is an anime character, usually female, associated with extreme shyness. This shyness can be overcome by warming up to a love interest, or by the intervention of a more outgoing female friend.
Lucky Star is an adorable slice of life comedy about four girls and their friendship amidst a string of wacky hijinks.
Blue Exorcist is about a kid who finds out he is the son of Satan, but he wants to fight demons. He goes to Hogwarts for Exorcists and is locked in a rivalry with his brother and other students.
A yandere is a fictional character, usually a teenage girl, who is obsessive and violent due to her all-consuming love of a male character, usually the protagonist.
Yes, it's about depression, it's also about the relationship between real people and fictional characters. But it's also about books. And how no one reads anymore.
A boy and his robot maid? I expected wacky hijinks, and they were there. But I didn't expect to feel such feels.
The references changed, likely for copyright reasons, and the story changed a lot as well, but the heart of the story is preserved from the book.
Ordinary man gets kidnapped by pirates and caught up in the fabulous world of international crime.
Tenchi Muyo! is the 'granddaddy of harem shows', but the fanservice parts add to a rich and interesting space opera story as well.
A Magical Girl show with a Monster of the Week formula, except that this Magical Girl is a vampire.
Ever hear a crazy story about a Japanese game show that made you cackle with laughter, or shudder in horror? Where did it all begin? Let's look at the (wild) history of the Japanese game show!
When we talk about anime as literature, what does that mean? Can any anime be called literature? What is the value in discussing anime as literature?
No more doom and gloom! Let's talk about the anime characters I actually do like! They exist! I'm not just a cynic! Hello beautiful world!
'Emma' is a romance story about a maid in Victorian London, courted by a wealthy gentleman and an Indian prince. So, like most romance stories, it's escapist fantasy, but it is really sweet.
A cliche-ridden, fanservice-heavy, dull anime with nothing new to say.
'Hoshi no Kaabii', the Kirby anime, has a surprising amount of heart and character for a Monster of the Week kids' show.
Procrastination: The gap between what we want to do and what we actually end up doing. Close the gap by identifying your primary reason for procrastinating!
"Hot mess" is the descriptor that comes to mind when thinking about this awkward, tonally inconsistent show.
'Ga-Rei: Zero' is a tragic, action-packed drama. Two adoptive sisters who loved each other in early childhood become enemies as teens. What happened to make the 'evil' sister change?
'Mushi-shi' is the story of a wandering healer who specializes in helping people understand mysterious creatures known as 'mushi'.
'Last Exile' is sadly dull despite the promise carried with its innovative steampunk setting and appreciable character art.
You've probably heard it as 'hot furry girl + economics lecture'. But 'Spice and Wolf' is a rich gem, offering more than that descriptor alone would lead you to expect.
You've hit your mark and written 10 articles, 50 articles, or 100 articles. But the money won't just roll in now. Here's what you need to do.
'MÄR' is an anime that, while enjoyable due to the cute personalities of its characters, lacks style and has serious originality issues.
Have you ever wondered why there seems to be such a vast gulf between audience/fan opinion and 'educated' opinions on certain films? Why is this problem so pervasive, and what could help?
It's almost putting me off the "watch all this year's Oscar nominees" thing for good.
"Ayako" by Osamu Tezuka is a graphic novel that seriously departs from his more famous child-friendly works. The ill deeds of a corrupt family act as a metaphor for Japan's corruption.
The anime "Drifters" is about Oda Nobunaga and some other heroes yanked out of history and placed in a strange fantasy kingdom. Brought to you by the same manga artist that did "Hellsing"!
I was expecting a train wreck because of the film's politics, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Does it compare to the 90's anime? Can reboots satisfy original fans? An initial clumsiness is made up for by the thoughtful execution of later episodes.
The school in 'Classroom of the Elite' rewards and punishes classes with credits that can be spent like money. Points are awarded to individuals and to the class. Thus, the anime explores competition.
Toblerone is our new God.
How do you react when something goes terribly right? How do you criticize a good movie without looking like you're nit-picking?
When plastic discs and Cartoon Network's insane whims stopped determining how I consumed anime, what changed?
A somewhat convoluted plot is made up for by the warmth and passion the main characters display.
Psychologists have identified six basic, nearly universal, human emotions. How can you use these for more effective writing?
Hollywood is in the nostalgic reboot business, almost to the point where we're only seeing a trickle of original ideas.
I talk about what's out on sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation right now in terms of new anime series. What should you watch?
When I was in high school, I discovered an identity I built around being a "nerd." But what does that identity mean outside of high school, if anything?
You don't have to be a samurai warrior to appreciate the code of ethics written for the samurai. Learn to apply the values of 'bushido', or the way of the warrior, in modern life.
Stuck and unsure what to do next? How do you get blog topic ideas? How do you provide quality content readers want? It's as easy as re-imagining your role as a blogger.
I tackle the difficult topic of the controversy regarding the portrayal of teen suicide in the popular Netflix show, '13 Reasons Why'.
An exploration of action-comedy anime 'Desert Punk', based on what I saw in it from the first five episodes.
What I have wanted to say to every barely literate newbie on this site, for a while now. But beneath what looks like mere sarcastic vitriol is a heart of gold. I promise.
This story arc takes us away from our main characters and familiar settings, telling an unconventional new titan story away from the beaten path.
Studio Ghibli sometimes delights with their version of "The Borrowers", but at times the movie also felt dull. They were playing it safe, much like one of their timid mini-human characters.
It's hard to speak in absolutes about this subject, but here are some things to consider when it comes to the subject of realism in fiction.
A review of sci-fi anime "Crest of the Stars" based on the first few episodes.
Cardcapor Sakura is a sweet, endearing 90's anime about a magical girl who captures rogue spirits and changes them back into their true forms, Clow Cards.
Miyazaki's recent film is about beautiful dreams of planes, intersecting with a sometimes grim, painful reality.
How did the movement change from being about tough girls doing good to being about fear of the patriarchy?
Anime likes to use English words. Unfortunately, they don't always do this well.
Dead Leaves is possibly the most "what the hell did I just watch" inducing short anime film. And I've seen my share of them.
A cute, funny manga about one adorable little girl. From the creator of Azumanga Daioh!
Uncertain, timid Youko is called to a strange fantasy world to fight monsters by a mysterious white-haired man. What adventures await her there?
Hey kids, have you ever wanted to pilot a giant robot and save the world? Eh, not in this show you don't!
Munto is an endearing fantasy story about a dying parallel world's king reaching out to a human girl for help saving not only his world, but the entire system of connected parallel worlds.
It's cute, it uses a lot of genre cliches. But is this show worth sticking with through all of that, to see what it has to say beyond those cliches? I think so.
Do you read as much as you did in high school? How does the experience of reading for one's own reasons differ from that of doing assigned reading?
What kind of character is Madoka Kaname? Is she truly the protagonist of PMMM, or is it Homura? Is she a weak character? Is she boring? Why is she depicted the way she is in the story?
This film is about two magic sisters. Yoyo ends up trapped and is a fish out of water in the human world, while the taller one, Nene, remains vigilant in attempts to rescue her from the magical world.
It's been too long for me to respond to this person on Reddit, but I think the things he brings up are worth talking about.
The original Ghost in the Shell film, discussed as itself but also relative to the 2017 remake.
Exactly as the title suggests.
The original Star Wars trilogy had a magic that has not yet been captured again by either the prequels or this sequel. Aside from that problem, this movie is... decent.
Gendo Ikari is the morally ambiguous leader of Nerv and uncaring father of Shinji, the protagonist, in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
'Monster' is a crime drama and psychological thriller anime/manga about a Japanese doctor living in Germany, whose ex-patient becomes a murderer.
This live-action adaptation of the classic anime might just be what I've never seen before: an excellent live-action adaptation of an anime I love.
What is the likelihood of not only encountering aliens, but finding ones who resemble us?
Many students have had issues with art teachers who do not want them to draw anime, furries, comic book characters, Disney characters, etc. Here's my take on this.
"At a Glance" articles are my opinion of a show based on the first few episodes. Ouran is a romantic comedy series about wealth, gender-bending, and ... twins. Moe guy twins.
"Sailor Moon: Stars" is the final season of the original Sailor Moon anime. If you like the show, this season is definitely worth checking out.
This 1995 romance story from Studio Ghibli doesn't have epic fights or a lot of magic and supernatural stuff, it's just a simple, realistic story with a whole lot of heart.
'Insurgent' is the second installment in the 'Divergent' trilogy. It could be said to be better than the original. But this series as a whole just kind of falls flat for some reason.
I examine the emotionally gripping movie some say is the best from Hayao Mizazaki/ Studio Ghibli. It's certainly one of the most serious.
Sell a movie, or other work of fiction, to me by putting these tropes in. Here's how I explain my personal tastes.
The film that changes this cynic's opinion of "Sword Art Online" for the better.
"As a fan of the Batman comics, I enjoyed this Batman movie" is not something I get to say too often.
Getting a movie theater gift card will do wonders for your daring to watch offensively awful bullshit.
"Moe" is a term referring to fluffy anime shows about cute girls doing cute things. Some people like it, but it gets a lot of hate. Is it a problem for the anime industry in general?
A look at Crunchyroll's simulcast anime series from the fall of 2015 . Expect short episode lengths, cute girls, and reboots. And one or two good shows.
Winter is the best time for staying inside and watching anime for hours. Join us... join us...
I discuss the possible symbolic interpretations of Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's "The Shining" as discussed in a documentary called "Room 237".
Why do people read sad books, listen to sad songs, or enjoy a movie where the good guys don't save the day or get the girl in the end? A discussion of tragedy.
"Suicide Squad" is the cheap, uninspired junk signifying everything currently wrong with Hollywood. With an admittedly decent sound track.
Unlike "Family Guy" or "The Simpsons", in my opinion, "South Park" is still going pretty strong, and had a great 19th season. But why did the 20th season fail?
This is an impressively good anime series. But what exactly makes it so compelling? Let's analyze Re:Zero!
Are there similarities between the Lion King and the King of Kings? What Christian symbols or references might be implied by different elements of the movie?
Huge deadline tomorrow, but all you want to do is dance? Wish you could change the world, but doubt you're even good enough to change a tire? Feeling isolated and misunderstood? You might be INFP!
After the end of World War Two, Japan was utterly devastated. History books might ignore them, but here's a tribute to the passionate people who helped rekindle the country's spirit.
A review of fantasy adventure anime "Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit" based on the first five episodes (like all these At a Glance reviews). "Moribito" is nice-looking, but the plot is sort of dull.
Misato and Ritsuko in 'Neon Genesis Evangelion' are interesting because their personality differences and conflict drive a lot of the psychological drama of the series.
Many shows like to aim to be tragic and sad. But few manage to accomplish this evocation of sorrow in the audience as well as "Puella Magi Madoka Magica". Here's why I think this may be.
When the news tells us of depressing things, should we shut off the news? What should we use news for, and when should we avoid it?
Is the musical "Les Miserables" wrong for being too beautiful? Does it make misery into something that's too comfortable for the audience? Some wine and say what's going on!
"Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei" is about a teacher who is extremely pessimistic, and his wacky students that a therapist could have a field day with.
Fall 2016 was a great season for anime. In this show, girl meets girl and the two go on wild, magical adventures.
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad is an anime about trying to make it as a rock band. The music is good, the English is bad, and everything else... is ok.
Like Inception, Paprika involves looking into a potential future intersection of technology and dreams. But I think Paprika wore it better.
Faces are an important part of manga storytelling. So here, I break down the secrets of drawing manga faces.
While not a majority of the anime fan community, many autistic people seem to be attracted to anime and manga. What I have here are 8 reasons that help explain this phenomenon.
"Magical Girl Raising Project" is in the vein of "Yuki Yuuna is a Hero" and "PMMM" in the emerging genre of darker, edgier magical girl shows. But what makes this show unique?
"You Are Umasou" is like taking a feels trip to the Cretaceous period. You will never care this much about a T-Rex again.
Have you ever heard of a new trend or new celebrity everyone's raving about, except you, who are left alone seriously questioning the sanity of the rest of your species? This list is for you!
"Will you wind it?" is the enigmatic question posed to our protagonist, Jun. When he finds out what this means, his life can never be the same again.
Odette is an android who goes to a human school to learn about the differences between real girls and herself in this heartwarming manga about self-discovery.
Basilisk is about a deadly romance that develops between a man and woman of rival ninja clans.
Yokai Academy is supposed to just be a school for monsters. But hijinks ensue when a normal boy accidentally finds himself there. And a vampire girl decides she likes how he tastes.
This thrilling crime story is a little hard to understand because it's told from many different perspectives and out of chronological order. But it sure is interesting.
Kaleido Star is an anime about a young girl's passionate drive to become an acrobat. The work is not easy, but the resulting performances are spectacular.