meta: Critical Thinking


2017


Characters Of Distinction: Motoko Kusanagi
How the feminist, post-humanist, and deeply human heart of the 'Ghost In The Shell' franchise became, and remains, an icon and a model
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The (Dis)Illusion Of Life
How CGI in anime, whether fancifully fantastic or forensically realistic, can work well
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How The Future (Of Western Live-Action Anime Adaptations) Can Be Female
'Ghost In The Shell' fizzled, but there are tons of other worthwhile anime/manga titles with strong female leads that could be adapted excellently for English-speaking audiences
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Katushiro Ōtomo Won't Look Back, Can't Look Back
The creator of 'AKIRA' is more interested in other things now. Good for him -- and most any creator ought to know what that feels like from the inside
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Little Miracles, Done Dirt Cheap
Hollywood doesn't need blockbuster-sized live-action anime/manga adaptations. Here's some projects that could work on modest, manageable budgets, are easy to adapt, and could win over Western audiences handily
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No Stars
Ratings for reviews, whether in stars, numbers, or letter grades, are a detrimental influence to both criticism and consumer-service journalism. Here's why I'll never use them again if I can help it
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The Cracks In The 'Shell'
Whatever my own readings of the film, the 2017 'Ghost In The Shell' is still problematic in ways that are potentially a bad model for other live-action anime
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On Missing Out And Yet Not Missing Out
How to stay honest and review what sincerely interests you, when there's so much out there that clamors for your attention
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2016


I'm Gonna Carry That Weight
How I almost folded Ganriki.org's tent, and how I decided against it
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The Long And Winding Review
Covering an ongoing series can become an exercise in minutiae or futility. Here's the strategy I chose to keep my involvement active without also having it eat me alive
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The Long And The Short Of It
What kind of story is best told in a short form versus over the long haul?
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The Kids Are Alright (But The Grownups Are Cool, Too)
On the benefits of anime featuring adult characters -- even if it isn't anime for an adult audience
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2015


What's Different This Time Around?
How all the ways you change between re-watchings of a favorite show give you new perspective on old things
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(Video) Gaming The System
Is it possible, or wise, to critique anime adaptations of video games as if they had come from from any other source?
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Meet Me Halfway, Would You?
Fans shouldn't be peeved when material made to satisfy them first and foremost isn't welcomed by audiences with no obligation to meet that material halfway
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What I Did (Not Do) On My Vacation
For the first time in years, I attended Otakon as a fan and not press, and felt none the poorer for it
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High Standards Or Impossible Standards?
Do the impossibly high standards some fans set for anime come from the material itself, or from the way they're introduced to it?
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A 'Legend' Without The Myth
With 'Legend of the Galactic Heroes' finally licensed for English release, it's all the more important to examine it critically, not reverentially
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Finishing Someone Else's Work
When does it make sense to have others continue work left unfinished by the creator's death, and when is it best to just leave well enough alone?
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Making A Case For The Old School
Is there any way to get around the prejudices of a modern audience that looks at a classic show and just sees something 'old'?
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The Live-Action 'AKIRA': Still A Movie Without An Audience
Yet another attempt at a live-action 'AKIRA' has geared up, but the main problem remains: who would bother seeing it?
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Anime's (Partly) Crowdfunded Future
Direct financing of anime, both original works and the distribution of reissues, has just begun to show both its limits and its promise
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Somewhere Between Spectacle And Sincerity
What constitutes a 'classic' in anime, and what does it mean to define that?
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In Praise Of Slow Viewing
Binge-watching has its pleasures, but so does pacing yourself -- especially when honing a critical mentality
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A Brain Has No Off Switch
A critical mind, once engaged, is hard to disengage -- but needs to be counterbalanced by the will to be entertained
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