research * the future * culture

I still write about anime, too.

No, really. It’s not all security, all the time. For example, my latest at, on why the Akira adaptation is a big deal. Snip:

One of Akira’s distinguishing characteristics is that none of its characters ever gets to be the hero for very long. Kaneda is careless. Tetsuo is weak. The story gives both of them moments of failure and success, without ever indicating that either character is “right.” In the film, Kaneda tries to rescue Tetsuo, only to discover that he no longer needs rescuing and doesn’t want it. From then on, Kaneda’s mission is to stop Tetsuo — not because Tetsuo is a villain, but because Tetsuo’s his responsibility. Similarly, Tetsuo is a victim of poverty, bullying, and torture, and when he gets the power to do something about it, he snaps. Audiences can identify with both characters, often at the same time. In fact, they find it engaging. That’s part of why Akira had a fifty million dollar box office.

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  1. Tony Le

     /  December 3, 2011

    I wrote a bunch of stuff and then deleted it because it became too wordy. My point in coming here is to let you know I found you through reddit and really enjoyed your entry about Akira – one of my favorite movies. It was as if I was listening to a friend that genuinely enjoyed it as much as I did – but my friends are all drunk thugs, so you would be like my make believe friend. Bye!

    • Madeline

       /  December 3, 2011

      Thank you! I had no idea that the post had made it to Reddit. And I’m really glad that you enjoyed it so much. Hopefully I make a good make believe friend!

  • Madeline Ashby… a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA. You can buy her books here.

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity,, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.

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