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Category: Otaku Academy

I still write about anime, too.

I still write about anime, too.

No, really. It’s not all security, all the time. For example, my latest at Tor.com, 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…

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Re: DC, Starfire, Sailor Moon, and the difference between comics in the US and Japan:

Re: DC, Starfire, Sailor Moon, and the difference between comics in the US and Japan:

If the pronouns listed in the title above mean anything to you, I suggest you read this piece by Deb Aoki about why she left American superhero comics for Japanese shounen manga. Snip: The fascinating and diverse female casts of Bleach and Naruto are a big part of these series’ appeal to both male and female readers. Yes, there are some busty babes in both series — but Soul Reaper Rangiku Matsumoto is a commanding officer in the Soul Society…

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The Old–>New Contract

The Old–>New Contract

Today I had lunch at Yuzu with a friend from my Strategic Foresight & Innovation program. (I ate about half of a giant, fabulous bowl of hwaedupbap.) We were discussing our design theses. You see, in between polishing my novel and writing a study on the future of media, I’m also working on my second Master’s — a foresight report on the future of border security. (It’s part of why I joined the Border Town design studio.) My classmates are…

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Why the New York Times should give me Ginia Bellafante’s job:

Why the New York Times should give me Ginia Bellafante’s job:

Maybe you missed it, but New York Times writer Ginia Bellafante just insulted about half of HBO’s new audience share. It took place during a review (and I use that term loosely, here) of HBO’s new series Game of Thrones, adapted from George R. R. Martin’s exceedingly popular Song of Ice and Fire series of gritty-but-epic fantasy novels. I haven’t read them, but my former roommate has. In fact, when she heard that HBO was making a ten-episode series from…

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“What’s wrong with your faaaace?”

“What’s wrong with your faaaace?”

Apparently, Roger Ebert and William Gibson have discovered that Japan has a thing for surgical masks. This is true. Japan does have a thing for surgical masks. They are worn as protection from both allergens and airborne illnesses. They’re available in most every convenience store, at a variety of price points. (Here are some examples from 2009.) When I visited Japan, I saw old people wearing them. But now, they’re a hot new trend among young people. And according to…

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My SFContario schedule

My SFContario schedule

This November you can find me at SFContario, where I’ll be on a bunch of panels as both a participant and moderator. Here’s my schedule: Friday 10 PM – Ballroom A Cyborgs AI and Androids in Anime Japan leads the world in developing humanoid robots and anime productions address the question of what it means to be human if the human body is increasingly mechanized. Conversely when does a self aware system become worthy of being regarded as equal or…

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"The Necessaries"

"The Necessaries"

The other day, my husband and I caught a trailer for The Expendables, which is the cinematic result of a mad scientist’s attempt to mix the mitochondrial DNA of every American action star from the 1980’s into a sweaty, tattooed, bulging-veined chimera. We first saw this trailer during Kick-Ass, and my comment at the time (aside from my ceaseless laughter, which I think unnerved a few of my fellow theatre-goers) was: “Wow! It’s like the ’80’s mated!” As usual, my…

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DeathRay Rants: This Is Not A Digital Revolution

DeathRay Rants: This Is Not A Digital Revolution

Note: My husband typed this during his usual comics-consumption time. If it was important enough to interrupt that, you should definitely read it. This is Not a Digital Revolution or You Won’t Believe What Watching The Runaways Taught Me About the Fight Over Manga and DRM In my last year of high school, I wrote an essay that used the French Revolution as a model to describe the fall of communism in the U.S.S.R. as a revolution. The realisation that…

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What anime can teach you about ending a story

What anime can teach you about ending a story

Warning: the following contains spoilers for the endings of Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist, Neon Genesis: Evangelion, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Battlestar Galactica, LOST, Supernatural (current) and The Prisoner. I’ve noticed an alarming trend in television finales, lately: God.

Iron Man 2 is pretty good, actually.

Iron Man 2 is pretty good, actually.

It didn’t give me the rush of pure awesome that Kick-Ass did, but it fell prey to exactly none of the problems I once imagined it would. Charlie Jane Anders is correct when she says that the greatest villain of the story is Tony Stark himself, but while for her this was a betrayal of the first film’s promise to Tony’s growth as a character, I found it a further development of that character. At an early point in the…

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