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Category: Otaku Academy

Boys, manga, and guns: an afternoon at the library

Boys, manga, and guns: an afternoon at the library

I mentioned in my previous post, I spent part of the week before last doing appearances at two Toronto public libraries. My first afternoon out, I spoke with a couple of classes of fifth graders about being a writer, and more importantly, being a reader. I talked about all the books that had ever gotten me into trouble. These included To Kill A Mockingbird (which caused me to have a conversation about rape with a fellow second-grader, and I suspect…

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Celebrate Maundy Thursday* with GITS

Celebrate Maundy Thursday* with GITS

Jeez. Give away the whole plot, why don’t you? …Moving on. Thursday night at 7:30, I’ll be introducing Ghost in the Shell at the Projection Booth, as part of the Monsters and Martians Film Fest. The festival is sponsored by AE Sci Fi, and other hosts include Rob Sawyer and my own David Nickle (who will be discussing The Manchurian Candidate). You can find the Projection Booth at 1035 Gerrard Street East. The Projection Booth is pursuing legal action against…

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Whining isn’t Sexy: Rage about Nerd Rage

Whining isn’t Sexy: Rage about Nerd Rage

So, in response to reading this Buzzfeed piece about how comics pro Tony Harris hates female cosplayers — only some of them, though, which we’ll get to in a moment — I tweeted Pro tip: geeks of all genders who are confident in their geekery and their sexuality get laid more often. Confidence is sexy. Whining isn’t. That tweet has since been retweeted over a hundred times. It’s been favourited 20-something times. I consider that license to write a longer…

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My Favorite Things: “Kids on the Slope” and Watanabe’s canon

My Favorite Things: “Kids on the Slope” and Watanabe’s canon

Kids on the Slope is slice-of-life anime, and it’s also a rare case of director Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop; Samurai Champloo) adapting an existing work: a manga called Sakamichi no Apollon by Yuki Kodama. Wikipedia summarizes the plot like this: The beginning of summer, 1966. Because of his father’s job situation, freshman high school student Kaoru Nishimi moves by himself from Yokosuka to Kyushu to live with relatives. Until then, Kaoru was an honor roll student who tended to keep…

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More posts about women and robots

More posts about women and robots

So, I wrote a guest post for the Qwillery’s Debut Author Challenge, and it’s called Gynoid Trouble: The heroine’s journey is the transition from object to subject. More specifically, the gynoid heroine’s journey is the transition between “automaton” to “autonomous”. From a piece of consumer technology to one who can never be owned. As Rei Ayanami says, “Wastashi wa anatta no ningyo ja nai; watashi wa anatta ja nai mono.” I am not your puppet; I am not your thing….

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I still think you should watch Madoka.

I still think you should watch Madoka.

A while back, I wrote a bit about why you should watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica. At the time, I had only watched four episodes. Now I’ve seen all twelve, and I still agree with that. Here’s why. Puella Magi Madoka Magica, currently streaming for free on Crunchyroll, is quite frankly one of the best anime I’ve seen in the past three years. (I’m also pretty much in love with Another and Kids on the Slope. But they are the…

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Girls, Women, and Choice: Why you should watch Madoka

Girls, Women, and Choice: Why you should watch Madoka

I’ll admit it: I’m late to the party, on this one. Since January 2011, the anime-watching public (online and off) has been enamoured of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and I’ve been scoffing at it. They said it was deep. I scoffed. They said it was meta. I scoffed. They said to give it some time. I scoffed. And then I caught myself rooting for the zombies on The Walking Dead, and started craving good anime as an antidote to my…

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The Art of the Indy-pendent Film

The Art of the Indy-pendent Film

This supercut, called “Raiders of the Lost Archives,” details the decades of adventure serials that inspired George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Lawrence Kasdan to make Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. On the left side of the frame is the 1981 film, and on the right are clips from various adventure films from 1931 to 1973. As I commented elsewhere: “This piece of re-mix isn’t about whether Lucas, Spielberg, Kasdan, and company are talentless hacks. It’s about…

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Three good pieces on gender

Three good pieces on gender

There must have been something in the tubes last week, because I found three really excellent pieces about gender and feminist concerns that really stuck with me as I procrastinated on finishing the edits to vN. Given that the novel has a female protagonist for much of the story, you can see why I might have had these issues on my mind.