Fanfiction+commentary

The Continuous Story of Spirited Away

Act 1 (the full text continues the story from the perspective of Chihiro)

Bid farewell to the Haku, No-face, Yubaba and everyone in the world of mysterious disappearance, I returned to the human world with my parents to continue to start a new life. I still remember how much I missed Haku and everyone in the world of mysterious disappearance. Before the first few weeks that I entered the new school. Every time I passed the school jungle, I longed to cross the jungle to meet Haku again. At night I started opening the window, looking up at the sky and thinking how nice it would be to suddenly see a white dragon. Those a few nights sleep of time, I always take the lucky head bond that Zeniba gave me to see in the hand, think: what are Zeniba doing in this time? Are you happily weaving with the faceless man?

“Will we meet again there?”

“Certainly!”

“Must be?”

“Certainly.”

With Haku this dialogue and the promise I have been in mind, until now also lingering. So much so that at that time, whenever I looked at the vast expanse of the night sky, I remembered this conversation. With the passage of time, I put this miss silently in my heart, the promise into the power of my life, thinking: we will meet again one day!

Act 2

It is sunny today. The morning sun slanted on the corner of my bed, I lay in bed, looking at the ceiling and thinking about how to solve the problem that the chemistry teacher told me in the chemistry class yesterday. At the same time, I was thinking about which high school I would go to in the future. “Chihiro, get up! Going to school!” “Chihiro, come and eat the breakfast daddy prepared for you! … Very delicious…”I’m used to my parents interrupting my thoughts every time I think about something. The examination results would be coming out today. On the way to school I found that the students are walking very fast to know their results immediately. For students with good grades, receiving grades are a common thing; for someone like me who always get the lower grades, this means that my pocket money will be gone again this month, and even sometimes I will be laughed at by my classmates. Looking at the test paper handed out from the teacher, the “50” written in red pen greeted me, which made my mood become depressed. I chose to sit quietly on the seat did not speak, silently waiting for the end of school time. When I was silently waiting for school time, I suddenly felt several figures trying to approach me. “Chihiro, how many points did you get on this test?” “Let me guess, the last one or the last two one this time?” “Such a ‘smart’ person as Chihiro, this test must be the number one in the class! It’s just the number one upside down hahaha.” Every time I face the ridicule of these students, I would like to find a gap on the ground drilling. However, I couldn’t argue with them. My grades were really bad. If they laughed at me for my poor grades and incompetence, at best I would ignore them. However, the words of these students are really too bad today, I cannot bear the anger and sadness in the heart, and I directly cried from the school ran away.

Act 3

Perhaps because I was so sad, I suddenly lost my way in the process of running home from school. What I saw in front of me was a quiet forest. It was twelve o ‘clock at noon. It was the autumn season, and the sun was shining down on the earth. Facing this endless forest, I began to become confused. Should I step in or stay put? I kept looking at the surroundings, which I had never seen before. Where am I? My heart was in a mess, and I kept wandering around the entrance to the forest. Then I suddenly felt someone calling me, “Chihiro! Chihiro!” I looked around and there was someone there. “Who is it? Why do you know my name?” I asked. “It’s me, Haku. Chihiro.” Haku replied.

“Haku! We finally meet! You don’t know how much I miss you after I come back! … “

“We’ll save that for another time, Chihiro. Now I have something urgent to ask you for…”

Before I could finish, Haku began to tell his story. The original four years ago after I returned to the human world, Haku no longer become Yubaba’s disciple. Because Yubaba’s ambition is too big, she wanted to manipulate the whole world of mysterious disappearance for a time. The atmosphere of the whole world of mysterious disappearance became miasmatic, and the deities who lived in the world of the deities were fed up with this control. Haku and those in the spirit of the world of people who work together to drive Yubaba out of the spirit of the world, now the spirit of the world and restore harmony and peace. See the spirit of the world to restore calm, then left Haku. Haku left the world of gods and spirits, became nowhere to go and kept flying back and forth in the sky every day. A chance, Haku fly tired will stay in a forest without a name. Here, Haku made friends with many other species of animals.

“Then……What can I do for you? If it is for Haku, I will do my best to help you.”

“This time for your help…”

“Haku! what’s wrong with you?!”

“The forest…The mysterious forest…”Perhaps because of the bad signal, my conversation with Haku soon ended. From the tone of Haku’s voice, I can imagine that something must have happened in the mysterious forest, and this must be very important to Haku. According to the known clue is mysterious forest, and in front of me is a forest, I have “must help Haku” mentality without hesitation into the mysterious forest, to see what happened.

As I entered the forest, I moved forward cautiously, afraid of meeting and disturbing terrible creatures. It’s a big forest, after all, and back when I was a kid watching Animal World, it was full of unknown creatures. Just as I was thinking about encountering something scary or unknown, a group of animals came running in my direction and I heard someone say, “Run, the polar bears of the arctic kingdom are invading our territory again!”. I ran with the animals at the sight and managed to find a place to hide. Before I could sit down, a standing brown bear appeared in front of me.

“Hi! Are you from the human world?”

“Yes. How do you know I’m from the human world?”

“Haku once told me that he came into contact with a girl from the human world in the hidden world opposite this forest…”

In the conversation, I realized that the brown bear named Mouffy had once saved Haku, so Haku wanted to help Mouffy’s family and the polar bear family to solve their problems. However, because the world of mysterious disappearance just returned to peace, the world of mysterious disappearance people also needs Haku back to help them build a harmonious world. That’s why I was sent to help Mouffy’s family instead of Haku.

 “So why are you brown bears fighting the polar bears?”

“That’s a long story. A long time ago, I was friends with a white bear named Lope. From time to time, Lope would come to the mysterious forest to play. Especially when it comes to hibernation, we both compete to see who has more food for the winter. He who has more food is the winner. However, after each visit to the mysterious forest, Lope returned to the polar bear kingdom with a fever. As a result, Lope did not visit the mysterious forest for several years. Instead, they often complain about why they can’t come to live in the mysterious forest. Every time we complain, we take over our chassis.”

“What now?”

“… So, the arctic kingdom sent a message of war to our forests. As long as we beat the ice bears at the winter stockpiling contest, they won’t be there. The thing is I’ve hurt my paw and foot lately, eh…”

“I’ll do it. I’ll help you.”

I wonder who gave me the courage to say this. Despite Mouffy’s insistence that winter stockpiling is not a one-day success, I accepted the challenge. After Mouffy explained that stockpiling for the winter was a skill thing, he began to teach me how to do it. I didn’t cry or give up when Mouffy taught me how to stock up. Because I didn’t think I was capable of doing it. I had expected Mouffy’s attitude to be the same as my parents, disappointed in me and quietly leaving in search of the next person to take his place. Instead, Mouffy encouraged me and told me that only by making myself strong could others look up to me. Fear is not only a little bit, but also to stabilize themselves must not give up. Every time you can’t hold on or lose your composure, remember to take a deep breath. With Mouffy’s encouragement, I went back to practice and finally defeated Lope, ending the war between them. Lope and Mouffy are back together. Just as I was pondering how to return to the human world, my cell phone suddenly rang. It was my mother who called me. Finally, I returned to the entrance of the forest and went back to the human world to continue my life.

Commentary

My fanfiction is a sequel to Spirited Away. The whole story is divided into three acta. The first act is a review of the end of Spirited Away. Because this fan fiction is a sequel, in order to let readers understand the story of the context, so in the beginning of the story of the content of the previous novel has an explanation, that is, a brief description of the background of this fan fiction. In the second act, I explained the cause of the story. As a Japanese intermediate school student, Chihiro was discriminated against and even bullied by several classmates because of her poor academic performance. However, Chihiro did not improve after she told the teacher about this situation. Then she had the idea of escaping from reality. In the end of the Spirited Away, Zeniba gave her a lucky bond in the shadow of the traction of her back to the world of mysterious disappearance. The third act is the climax of my fan fiction, which mainly tells the story that in the weird world, Chihiro is unwittingly involved in the battle between the polar bear and the brown bear, which leads to another story. Later, Chihiro defeated the polar bear and reclaimed the brown bear’s territory. Chihiro also learned how to self-reliance, understand only their own strong, will overcome the discrimination. Eventually, Chihiro returns to the human world.

In my fan fiction, I follow the following narrative patterns.

The Story of Humanity

When people come into close contact with their new galactic neighbors, they are expressing human stories, experiences, histories, thoughts and beliefs on behalf of humans and earth (Welle, n.d.). In my fan fiction, Chihiro represents human beings on earth, and her cognition of things and methods of handling things represent human society. For example, the pressure of going to school and campus violence in Chihiro reflect the phenomenon in our real society. People and things in the other world represent alien civilizations. The whole sequel story describes Chihiro from the earth to the strange world, which implied the story between earth and aliens.

Collective journey

Jeff Gomez, one of the world’s leading storytellers, has pointed out that collective journeys are an emerging form of storytelling that is non-linear, because the various aspects of the story can be tangent to each other or confused by multilateral factors within the story (Welle, n.d.). In my fan fiction, Chihiro is not only used as a clue to describe the development of the story, but also developed another parallel story clue, namely the struggle between polar bear and brown bear. With the development of the two stories, Chihiro is also involved in the struggle between polar bear and brown bear. This is the story of the various aspects of the tangent, but also intertwined development.

The collective journey is a non-linear, multi-platform, physical and digital experience, the story of several different people, groups, tribes, cultures, networks. This narrative approach puts events into both physical and digital interactions in cyberspace. Our journey into outer space, technological advances, mobile and urban life, and the Internet have all created the conditions for the rise of collective travel (Welle, n.d.). In my fan fiction, there is a story line is integrated into the Internet elements. That is, when Chihiro goes to the weird world again, she carries a communication device that helps her connect to the Internet, so that she can contact her parents who live on earth. It provided a turning point for her return to the human world. The introduction of this element expresses the technological development of the human world and provides a reasonable explanation for the development of the plot.

Reference

Welle, D. (n.d.). The Collective Journey: A Dynamic New Storytelling Model. Retrieved from: https://www.dw.com/en/the-collective-journey-a-dynamic-new-storytelling-model/a-38872767

Week 10

1.According to Mountfort (2016), what makes TMITHC a stand-out example of the alternate history (or uchronie) genre?

The Man in The High Castle” is an American novel created by Philip dick. With the plot of “The Book of Changes”, it tells a reversed “history” through the interweaving description of characters of different classes and identities, that is, the “Axis powers” became the victory side of the second world war. The novel is credited with defining a new literary genre, alternate history. The book of changes in China is an extensive and profound philosophical book of dialectics, which provides a theoretical basis for predicting the law of development of things. According to Mountfort (2016), The Book of Changes provides a philosophical theory for the creation of the novel the man in the high castle, namely the concept of simultaneity or the coincidental occurrence of meaningful events. However, the western interpretation of the development of things is based on causality. The two are completely different. The concept of The I Ching is introduced into the novel, which provides a new style for the novel, that called alternate history.

In The Man in The High Castle, the I Ching introduces an element of contingency, which indicates that other possibilities may exist in different time and space, because perhaps other hexagrams were cast in different realities (Everett & Halpern, 2013). This is also consistent with the view of some scholars that The Man in The High Castle is a maze of multiple universes. This phenomenon can also be explained by the many worlds of quantum physics (MWI). In addition, “The Man in The High Castle” uses one of the most popular themes in the field of alternative history, namely that the Nazis won world war ii (Rosenfeld, 2002). This theme also makes it a prominent example of alternative historical categories. High Castle’s hinge includes the assassination of President franklin Roosevelt by Giuseppe Zangara in 1934.The New Deal was never made, and the Great Depression and us isolationism continued. Hitler conquered Europe and the Soviet union, Japan, China, India and Oceania, Italy (with Nazi help), Africa. Japan invaded the west coast of the United States, the Nazi east coast and South America. The rocky mountain states became a buffer of quasi-freedom (Mountfort, 2016).

Because The Man in The High Castle does not adopt the traditional view of time, which is based on the linear and causal view of time. Instead, it takes a diachronic view of time, so the story is more “synchronic”. The author believes in the multiple coexistence of factors or facts, that everything is a whole, that reality is a seamless web. Such a clever arrangement of complex issues such as time and history make it superior to other alternative historical genres in terms of literary quality and depth of knowledge. That’s why “The Man in The High Castle” stands out in the alternate history category. As an example of alternate history, the novel’s philosophical complexity allows it to transcend the constraints of other types of fiction, making the plot both mysterious and well explained. Thus, the high castle is probably the most famous of all the alternate histories (Hellekson, 2002).

References

Everett, J., & Halpern, P. (2013). Spacetime as a Multicursal Labyrinth in Literature with Application to Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. KronoScope13(1), 47-66. Retrieved from: https://brill.com/view/journals/kron/13/1/article-p47_5.xml

Hellekson, K. (2000). Toward a Taxonomy of the Alternate History Genre. Extrapolation41(3), 248-256. Retrieved from: https://online.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/doi/abs/10.3828/extr.2000.41.3.248?journalCode=extr

Mountfort, P. (2016). The I Ching and Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. Science Fiction Studies43(2), 287-309. Retrieved from: https://blackboard.aut.ac.nz/bbcswebdav/pid-4926610-dt-content-rid-10490437_4/institution/Papers/ENGL602/Publish/Mountfort%202016_High%20Castle.pdf

Rosenfeld, G. (2002). Why do we ask “what if?” Reflections on the function of alternate history. History and Theory41(4), 90-103. Retrieved from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1468-2303.00222

Week 12

3.Where do you think the future of reality television shows is heading?  Will new forms of technology for example make an impact? 

It is well known that reality TV shows became popular worldwide as a dominant type of TV program in the early 21st century. From the success of Survivor and Big Brother in the us, reality shows have developed rapidly since then. Among them, Survivor and American Idol have the highest ratings in the United States. It is foreseeable that reality shows will continue to be welcomed by the audience. Reality TV becomes an important member of TV programs in the near future. This is mainly related to the development factors of reality shows and new production technologies (Ikoro, Omessah & Ekevere, 2015).

Cherry (2008) believes that there are several factors contributing to the development of reality TV. The first factor is television’s struggle with other media outlets. Both pay-tv DVDS and the Internet have eroded free TV’s status as the primary media channel. As a result, reality shows provide a unique and, more importantly, cheap form of programming for free-to-air stations. The second factor is the economy, where reality TV has saved television from being replaced by competing media such as the Internet, DVDs and movies. As these shows have grown in popularity, so has their ability to generate revenue for broadcasters and show owners. The third factor is that on the social and cultural level, reality TV shows have an undeniable huge impact on contemporary society. Reality TV has been praised and criticized for a variety of reasons that are largely bordering on moral. Despite these shortcomings, its prospects are great because it involves issues of interest and concern to mankind. Based on these three factors, reality TV will continue to revolutionize the TV viewing experience.

The new production technology will promote the further development of reality shows. First of all, the application of digital camera not only makes the program picture more abundant, but also saves the shooting time and reduces the production cost. It is now much cheaper to shoot everything with more cameras, allowing studios to shoot from multiple angles and in more diverse ways. Secondly, the emergence of digital imaging technology makes the post-production of reality shows easier. It not only has great advantages in screening a large number of shots, but also has advantages in the synthesis of audio and video. Some large sensor DSLRS can capture stunning images, but not the same realistic and effortless audio. As a result, a second recording device is sometimes used, which doubles the number of documents taken at one time: one set from the camera and the other from the recording device. In this dual-system scenario, digital imaging groups video files with audio files, making it easier for audio files to find and synchronize all video files after they are published. This simplifies the post-production process and saves time and money in the long run. The new form of technology has changed the way reality shows are shot and edited and promoted the further development of reality shows (Reality TV and the New Future of Digital Production, n.d.).

References

Cherry, K. L. (2008). Reality TV and interpersonal relationship perceptions (Doctoral dissertation, University of Missouri–Columbia). Retrieved from: https://mospace.umsystem.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10355/5532/research.pdf

Ikoro, E. A., Omessah, C. C., & Ekevere, F. O. (2015). Reality Television or Television Reality Shows: Forms, Genres and Modes. Department of Fine Applied Art, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, 385-386. Retrieved from: http://www.springjournals.net/full-articles/springjournals.netglobalarticlesindex=6ikoroetal.pdf?view=inline

Reality TV and the New Future of Digital Production. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2019, from: https://columbus.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/realityofrealitytv-millsjames.pdf

week 11

2.What effects do you think that reality television has on society when programmes such as the Jeremy Kyle Show are labelled as ‘tabloid trash’ and docu-soaps such as Benefits Street are called ‘poverty porn’?

Since the popularization of reality TV, it has been pursued by the public and brought great influence to the society. The programs range from crime, celebrity, dating and love shows to extreme body modification of characters and families, which causes great debates in the society. These influences include creating fake events like misleading editors, participants’ behavioral guidance, advance stories, staged scenes, etc. The affection also contains manipulating winners, insulting or exploiting exploitation participants, making stars out of the less talented, and glorifying vulgarity and materialism (Reality TV, 2019). In addition, reality TV presents rudeness, conflict and criminal behavior to the society, and negative emotions related to this have become the main content of reality TV (Lorenzo-Dus & Garces-Conejos Blitvich, 2013). As a tv-watching culture, audience have become increasingly obsessed with instant gratification. These negative factors mislead the public, affect the participants in some cases, and even lead to social class antagonism (Slade, Narro & Buchanan, 2014).

Jeremy Kyle Show is an example of Reality TV in the UK. Which is hosted by Jeremy Kyle, it premiered on the ITV network on July 4, 2005 and ran for 16 consecutive series until it was cancelled on May 10, 2019. The show is based on opposites, in which participants try to solve important problems in their lives with others. These problems are often related to family relationships, romantic relationships, sex, drugs and alcohol (Hawthorn, 2007). Jeremy Kyle Show puts participants in confrontational situations, often verbally criticizing participants he considers morally questionable or irresponsible and emphasizing the importance of traditional family values. The participants often showed strong emotions, such as anger and distress. The lie detectors are often used on shows to determine whether a person is lying (The Jeremy Kyle Show, 2019). Jeremy Kyle Show‘s popularity has sparked controversy and been labeled tabloid trash. Its cynicism, lack of taste and exploitation of vulnerable participants have drawn criticism from leading newspaper columnists (Lorenzo-Dus & Garces-Conejos Blitvich, 2013). That kind of denigration didn’t help the participants, and it even worked the other way around for Steve Dymond, 63, who worked on an episode of Jeremy Kyle. The episode was filmed a week before his death after he took the show’s lie detector test, which determined he had cheated on his partner, and was later suspected of killing himself (The Jeremy Kyle Show, 2019).

Benefits Street is another example of Reality TV in the UK. It first aired on January 6th in 2014 and aired five episodes. The program follows life in several neighborhoods of James Turner Street in Birmingham, England, where 90% of residents are on welfare. It also shows crimes committed by welfare recipients, including shoplifting. It also depicts people relying on welfare payments without the incentive to seek work (The Jeremy Kyle Show, 2019).

Benefits Street is called poverty porn. It records the daily life of the unemployed urban poor live in the slum and some of the crimes of the poor which makes the audience have obvious on social insecurity in Birmingham James Turner in the Street, as much as 90% of people out of work, rely on the government’s fiscal support this situation brings negative factor of people depend on and lazy at the same time can also cause the public to society all poor misunderstanding, think over the Street represents the social all poor, poor that cause social class antagonism. Those who identified themselves as being on the center-right side of the political spectrum pointed their hatred and anger at the residents of James Turner, who throughout the broadcast were regularly compared to animals on twitter, with many threatening to kill and abuse them (Lamb, 2016).

References

Hawthorn, S. (2007). Why do we watch all these vile shows. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from: https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/1741046.why-do-we-watch-all-these-vile-shows/

Lamb, B. (2016). Cathy Come Off Benefits: A comparative ideological analysis of Cathy Come Home and Benefits Street. Journalism and Discourse Studies. Retrieved from: https://blackboard.aut.ac.nz/bbcswebdav/pid-4929988-dt-content-rid-10599612_4/institution/Papers/ENGL602/Publish/Cathy%20Come%20Off%20Benefits_%20A%20comparative%20ideological%20analysis%20of%20Cathy%20Come%20Home%20and%20Benefits%20Street%281%29.pdf

Lorenzo-Dus, N., & Garcés-Conejos Blitvich, P. (2013). Real talk : reality television and discourse analysis in action. Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat05020a&AN=aut.b16087239&site=eds-live

Reality television. (2019). Retrieved October 27, 2019, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_television

Slade, A. F., Narro, A. J., & Buchanan, B. P. (2014). Reality television : oddities of culture. Lexington Books. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat05020a&AN=aut.b13605938&site=eds-live

The Jeremy Kyle Show. (2019). Retrieved October 27, 2019, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jeremy_Kyle_Show

Week 9

1.What is a workable definition of cosplay?

Cosplay is an activity about the art performance, that participants express their affection to the characters whom they like through dressing up as popular characters. Those popular characters are taken form anime, Japanese anime, video games, movies, popular novels, bands, pop idols, and even from internet memes (Mountfort, Peirson-Smith & Geczy; 2019). Cosplayers always create subcultures through the interaction, and the number of cosplayers has grown rapidly since the 1990s. Cosplay has become an essential aspect of popular culture in Japan, the rest of Asia, and the western world (Cosplay, 2019). Despite the pivotal role of clothing, photography also plays a significant part in Cosplay. Photos and video not only reflect how role playing is carried out, but also play a role in shaping the role (Mountfort, Peirson-Smith & Geczy; 2018).

In order to further understand the concept of Cosplay, there is a history of Cosplay that people need to know. At the beginning of time, Cosplay was called as costuming, which began in the late 1930s in North America at the time. At that time, Cosplay did not need to imitate their favorite role. On the other hand, people only needed to wear an appropriate cloth in their own style. Anyone in the best costume would win a prize. In Japan, manga promoted cosplay, Japanese college students have started dressing up as their favorite characters at parties. This concept took a page from the American playbook, fans tried to recreate their favorite scenes. This increased their excitement and allowed them to express their love for the comic strip. However, the term “Cosplay” was not invented until 1984. The term was coined by Japanese journalist Nobuyuki Takahashi from Costume and play after he attended the world congress in Los Angeles and chose cosplay because he thought Costume balls were too outdated for Japanese audiences (Origin of the word cosplay, 2008).

In addition, we need to understand how Cosplay has become an important aspect of popular culture. First, people find it interesting to dress up as their favorite characters. Cosplay is a great way to spice up people’s lives. Secondly, when people participate in role-playing activities, they are likely to meet thousands of people, which is a new and interesting way to socialize. More importantly, people want to identify with a character. Because the character means so much to them, they like the freedom to dress up as them. It’s an opportunity to express themselves to the world (Evans, 2017). In the modern world, it is limit for people to show their imagination to the world. However, Cosplay gives people the opportunity to do so. Finally, while many cosplayers do it for fun, others do it for a living. These cosplayers have a huge following on social media, which they use for influential marketing and a living. They often sell autographed photos of themselves, and most importantly, they often get paid for consulting work while developing video games. Cosplay as a performing art has its emergence and popularity factor, which still exists to this day. Therefore, Cosplay will remain one of the popular cultures in our society for a long time to come.

References

Cosplay. (2019). Retrieved October 27, 2019, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosplay

Evans, R. (2017, January 27). The Muslim cosplayer who uses the hijab in her outfits. Retrieved from: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/magazine-41400973/the-muslim-cosplayer-who-uses-the-hijab-in-her-outfits

Mountfort, P., Peirson-Smith, A., & Geczy, A. (2019). Cosplay at Armageddon Expo. Retrieved from: https://blackboard.aut.ac.nz/bbcswebdav/pid-4925188-dt-content-rid-10439194_4/institution/Papers/ENGL602/Publish/Mountfort%202019_Cosplay%20at%20Armageddon%20Expo.pdf

Mountfort, P., Peirson-Smith, A., & Geczy, A. (2018). Planet Cosplay: Costume Play, Identity and Global Fandom. Intellect Books. Retrieved from: https://blackboard.aut.ac.nz/bbcswebdav/pid-4925188-dt-content-rid-10439193_4/institution/Papers/ENGL602/Publish/Mountfort%202018_Cosphotogrphy%20as%20Fan%20Capital.pdf

Origin of the word cosplay. (2008). Retrieved October 27, 2019, from: https://web.archive.org/web/20120705013049/http://yeinjee.com/tag/nobuyuki-nov-takahashi/

Week 8

4. Is anime a high or low cultural genre/media, according to Napier (2005)? How does she frame her discussion and argue her case?

Animation is a high cultural genre. Animation is a charming form of contemporary art expression, with a unique visual beauty. It returns to the Japanese tradition, but also to the forefront of art and media. Anime belongs to popular culture in Japan, but it is a subculture in the western countries. Ten years ago, anime was regarded as an intellectually challenging art form, as indicated by a large number of academic works. Anime popular culture is based on the previous highly traditional culture. Anime showcases the influence of traditional Japanese arts such as kabuki and this print, as well as drawing on the world art traditions of 20th-century cinema and photography. Anime presents problems in surprising ways that are familiar to readers and audience alike. In text, animation provides entertainment for audiences all over the world. It moves and stimulates the audience in the form of old art. Because of the popularity of animation, more widely attract a wide range of people. High-level cultural exchanges, which are not easy to do, do not. Therefore, whether from the perspective of sociology or aesthetics, animation is a cultural phenomenon worth taking seriously (Nappier, 2005).

The wide range of topics of animation reflects a mirror of contemporary society, providing today’s publication of major issues, dreams and nightmares. To be a force of commerce and commercial culture, animation has infected the whole world as a phenomenon. It plays an important role in transnational economy. For more and more non-Japanese enterprises operating animation, animation is an important part of Japan’s export market. At the same time, it also as a small but it grows part of the Japanese business world. Animation scale from small to large, from the small video rental business to send mail to everywhere. For instance, from Amazon.com to Walt Disney Enterprises. Although the influence of animation is small, it is attracting the attention of more and more marketers around the world. Animation as a cultural force is more attractive than its commercial aspects. Because anime brings a deep understanding of Japanese culture. As a kind of implicit cultural resistance, Japanese animation attracts people’s attention and is also a unique artistic product. At the same time, anime is a local form of popular culture that clearly shows its Japanese roots. It also exerts a broad influence outside Japan (Nappier, 2005).

Animation has become a commercial advantage in the western. In the 1960s, the United States extended Japan to the European market by adapting Japanese animation. It had also produced products for children in Europe and Japan and broadcast them in various countries. Italy, Spain and France, in particular, became interested in Japanese products because of their low prices. As a result, Italy has become the country that imports the most animation from Japan. These imports influenced the popularity of anime in South American, Arab and German markets (Pellitteri, 2014; Bendazzi, 2015). Animation is a type of popular culture in all over the world, which has important significance. However, it is also a cultural form whose themes and patterns transcend arbitrary aesthetic boundaries and have important artistic and psychological resonance (Nappier, 2005).

References

Bendazzi, G. (2015). Animation: A World History: Volume II: The Birth of a Style-The Three Markets. Routledge. Retrieved from: file:///C:/Users/dell/Downloads/9781315720753_googlepreview.pdf

Napier, S. (2005). Why anime? In Anime: from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle (pp.3-14).

Pellitteri, M. (2014). The Italian anime boom: The outstanding success of Japanese animation in Italy, 1978–1984. Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies2(3), 363-381. Retrieved from: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/intellect/jicms/2014/00000002/00000003/art00004?crawler=true&casa_token=G9Bs5uBwnGQAAAAA:4v9zp7YEJ1vQTsVF-pcGcbjr5mplYtcJEf9C4smRIwYQke0YzS068SYNc-v_8SO3Lj_lifsrBALjDnMUJ8E

Week 7

4. What issues do his albums raise in terms of representation of ‘race’, and particularly ethnic and cultural stereotyping?

The issue what Herge’s album raise is racism. In Tintin in Congo this album, Herge appeared to be racially biased and stereotyped in the creation. At that time, his creation caused great controversy. Tintin’s attitude to the Congolese nation in Congo has been hugely controversial. As a result, Belgium, the United Nations and the United States had restricted the sale of such depictions to children. Because the content is negative (Tintin in the Congo, 2019). Between 1890 and 1920, Congo was occupied by Belgium, and men, women and children were murdered. In the comics, Herge described such racist discrimination, Belgian colonialism and the “white burden” theme. For example, in the comics, when Africans were arguing, Tintin broke the argument and divided the hats equally, to which Africans replied, “the white people master is very fair.” In the imperialist scene, Tintin introduced Belgium to African students and said it was their country (Mountfort, 2011). When Tintin became a hero, a local woman bowed and told him that the white man was amazing and in good spirits (Herge, 2005).

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, some activists and writers thought Tintin in Congo was racist because it portrayed the Congolese people as stupid. The government of the democratic republic of Congo criticized the book. In 2004, Congo’s information minister accused Herge of “racism and nostalgia for colonialism” (Cendrowicz, 2010). In 2007, British human rights lawyers complained to the British commission for racial equality (CRE) that they had seen the book in the children’s section of the bookstore. The CRE called on bookstores to remove the comic, saying it contained racial bias. The Congolese, for example, are described as looking like monkeys and fools. In response to the store’s dedication to customer demand, the book was moved to a reserved area for adult graphic novels. Another British retailer, WHSmith, was recommended for readers aged 16 and over. The publisher had also responded to the issue of racism by placing a protective band around the book, warning of its content and an introduction to writing a historical background (Bunyan, 2011).

Tintin in Congo had also been criticised by America; In October 2007, in response to customer complaints, the Brooklyn public library placed graphic novels in a locked back room in New York, allowing access only by appointment. In August 2007, Congolese student Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo filed a complaint in Brussels, claimed that the book was an insult to the Congolese people and demanded that it be banned. Prosecutors investigated and initiated criminal cases. The matter eventually moved to civil court in April 2010.Mondondo’s lawyers argued that Tintin in Congo was “a justification for colonization and white supremacy”, which Mondondo called “racism and xenophobia”. As for Herge, at the time of creation, Herge’s environment was full of conservative ideas around “patriotism, Catholicism, strict morality, discipline and innocence”. Herge provided information about the Soviet union almost entirely from a single source. In Tintin in Congo, he used limited resources to understand the country and its people (Tintin in the Congo, 2019).

References

Bunyan, N. (2011). “Tintin banned from children’s shelves over ‘racism’ fears”. The Telegraph. London. Retrieved from: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/8866991/Tintin-banned-from-childrens-shelves-over-racism-fears.html

Cendrowicz, L. (2010). “Tintin: Heroic Boy Reporter or Sinister Racist?”. Time. New York City. Retrieved from: http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1986416,00.html

Hergé. (2005). Tintin in the Congo. Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner (translators). London: Egmont. Retrieved from: https://books.google.co.nz/books/about/Tintin_in_the_Congo.html?id=7DsvAAAACAAJ&redir_esc=y

Mountfort, P. (2011). ‘Yellow skin, black hair… Careful, Tintin’: Hergé and Orientalism. Australasian journal of popular culture1(1), 33-49.

Tintin in Congo. (2019). Retrieved Sept 15, 2019, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tintin_in_the_Congo#CITEREFBunyan2011

Week 6

4. Discuss how Hill’s three characteristics of Cult TV can be applied to a recent TV series (including those on Netflix, etc)

According to Hills (2004), there are three factors that illustrates the definitions of cult TV. First, most cult TV series are based on the literatures. Most cult TV series share the same textual attributes, constructing detailed, fantastic and narrative worlds. This kind of constructed world is out of the reach of the audience, because it is beyond what is known on the screen. Cult TV can be distinguished by their expansive, expansive narrative worlds. Cult TV often define and develop magical existence through their own vast amount of detail over a long period of time. Through its repetition, familiarity and narrative iteration, fantasy takes on a daily quality. The transition from bizarre or extraordinary to ordinary is one of the keys to attracting an audience. In order to keep its wonderful fresh sense of wonder, cult TV series follow their own rules and norms. Thus, there is a delicate balance between establishing narrative continuity for the audience to enjoy, and breaking that continuity to maintain the audience’s interest. This kind of TV can also produce a kind of “serial memory”, which plays a role with unique narrative rules, providing the audience with narrative fun and making it easier for the audience to remember the TV series.

Second, cult TV series create in terms of inter-texts. Intertextuality activates the key meaning of the text, rather than trying to control reading. This suggests that audiences are interested not only in narrative discovery, but also in whether industrial economic and institutional factors prevent or undermine development. Intertextual synchrony also activates the specific relationship between the audience and the original text, and clarifies the standard for the reality of television programs. Intertextuality is useful. It sets the standard for television as a cult TV. This is necessary. Intertextuality defines cult TV through audience activity, media organization context, and textual attributes.

Third, fan audience affects cult TV’s creativity. The creation of cult TV is based on fan audience. Cult TV is important to the lifestyle and identity of its fans. Audience have a general role in cult TV. Cult TV in the United States, for example, can inspire speculation about a plot, support or inspire fan works. The audience has created a cult status in many aspects of television creation. The audience uses the word “cult” to reveal the uniqueness of the textual network. As time goes by, the audience is attracted by the cult TV, thus becoming fans. To keep fan groups unique, as a community, fan audience produce reviews, fan fiction, series guides, and production histories.

The three characteristics of cult TV have certain connection with current TV series. As for the TV series created in terms of the literature, Happy Planet is a good case to illustrate it. Happy planet is a children’s science fiction TV series in China. Happy planet used the content of the novel to create four TV series, the author of novel is Yang Peng (Yang Peng, 2019). Every TV series revolves around the main characters, the people in the happy planet, helping people on earth solve their difficulties and enlightening their psychological problems. At the same time, the people of happy planet have solved their own problems by helping earthlings (Happy Planet, 2019).

References

Happy Planet. (2019). Retrieved Aug 26, 2019, from: https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%BF%AB%E4%B9%90%E6%98%9F%E7%90%83/557313?fr=aladdin#5

Hills, M. (2004). Defining cult TV; Texts, inter-texts and fan audiences, in R. C. Allen & A. Hill (eds) The Television Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge.

Yang Peng. (2019). Retrieved Aug 26, 2019, from: https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E6%9D%A8%E9%B9%8F/15313#3_1

Week five

1.  Wilcox and Lavery (2002) identify 9 defining characteristics of ‘quality TV’ – can you apply (with justifications) any of the 9 characteristics on this list to another TV series (including those on Netflix, etc.) that you have viewed recently ? Are there any other characteristics that you could add to their list?

With the development of time, numerous televisions appear in people’s daily life. People choose the television what they like through the plot, popularity, and cast members. As for quality television, there are nine elements to illustrate what good tv has. The first one is that high-quality television generally has a famous director behind it. The second is that high-quality TV series must go through industry struggles. For example, is a struggle with TV stations, nonprofit TV stations. The third is that high-quality television tends to have large cast members. The fourth is that people usually remember the characters of high-quality TV television. The fifth is that high-quality TV series tend to combine some elements of the old TV series to create a new genre. Sixth, generally speaking, good TV television are based on literature and scriptwriters. Number seven is that good TV televisions are self-aware. Its description of a particular aspect will have a certain degree of control, but not excessive description. The eighth is that good TV television often has socially controversial arguments. These arguments may be rooted in life. The ninth is the pursuit of realism in high-quality TV televisions (Wilcox & Lavery, 2002).

Because I rarely watch western televisions, there is an Asian TV that I watch match to those characteristics of high-quality video. That is Family with Children. Family with Children is a situation comedy from China, and it has four seasons in total. Family with Children mainly talks about a variety of exciting stories between parents and three children after the marriage of two divorced families. The first, second, and third season of the Family with Children use the reorganized family as a platform for the story to unfold. The whole story still shows all the problems of children’s growth in family life, such as study, making friends, integrity, love, interest, conflict of ideas, and other shared concerns. The fourth season mainly discusses university students’ love affairs, adolescent rebellion, and children’s psychological problems. The television’s audience was expected to be dominated by children and parents (Family with Children, 2019). In China, many actors or actresses played a role in Family with Children as their first debut at that time. At the same time, Family with Children combines some factors of The Editorial Story.

The Editorial Story was the first Chinese situation comedy series that made in 1992. It contains ridicule, humor, irony, banter, and other factors — the contents of The Editorial Story based on various popular topics in social life. The whole story of The Editorial Story is about several considerate and helpful editors of different ages and personalities in the editorial department of the Human Guide. (The Editorial Story, 2019). However, Family with Children uses those various social topics to create a family story and attract the audience to watch it. As a result, many people remember characters from this television. For the new features of high-quality television, I assume an excellent television should also include elements of fun, stimulate intelligence and imagination, and cultivate openness to others (The Alliance for Children and Television, n.d.).

References

Family with Children. (2019). Retrieved August 18, 2019, from: https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%AE%B6%E6%9C%89%E5%84%BF%E5%A5%B3/22050?fr=aladdin

The Alliance for Children and Television. (2019). Retrieved August 18, 2019, from: https://web.archive.org/web/20070723172715/http://www.act-aet.tv/enapropos.htm

The Editorial Story. (2019). Retrieved August 18, 2019, from: https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E7%BC%96%E8%BE%91%E9%83%A8%E7%9A%84%E6%95%85%E4%BA%8B/5212070#viewPageContent

Wilcox, R. & Lavery, D. (2002). Introduction, in R. Wilcox & D. Lavery (eds) Fighting the Forces: What’s at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.

Week four

Torture Porn:

According to Carroll (????), what is the role of torture in the torture porn franchises Saw and Hostel? Using references, explain this in your own words. How do you think these purposes might relate to the socio-political environment of that time period and such events like 9/11 and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal?

I think torture porn plays the role of horror in both Saw and Hostel films. Because in these two films, there are scenes of kidnapping, bondage and imprisonment, which will make the audience feel horror. Torture porn is also a visual representation of physical reality that delivers a sensation of fear through magnifying moments of mutilation. In these two films, torture porn presents subtle and suggestive moments of repressed terror, presenting viewers with moments of torture. In the film Saw, it uses torture porn to directly appeal to the viewer’s body, making the experience tangible by inducing empathy through pain and disgust. In the film of Hostel, the plot shows that the body is a commodity to buy and enjoy, because it uses torture porn to satisfy its desire for enjoyment. At the same time, characters lose a right of control their body, so they become a tester. However, this kind of behavior will make the audience in front of the screen feel scared and even disgusted (Reyes, 2014). From certain way to see, torture porn is similar to splatter film. As stated by Arnzen(1994), the motivation of the splatter film is from the destruction of the body and the pain that comes with it. General horror movie focus on the destruction of the order from the social and moral. However, torture porn this kind of horror movie focus on the lack of order.

In my opinion, the horror from torture porn is different from the horror from the general horror film. Because the horror elements from a majority of horror films is basically around the element of unknown, cosmic horror and supernatural things. The horror elements of horror in torture porn is a violence from human’s body. It is a man-made behavior. When I watch those horror movies that is about a violence from human’s body, I will feel that the tester is not a thing but a human. It is a living thing. How human can torture another human even be violence to them. When I think in this way, I feel frightened. Arnzen(1994) says that, a majority of horror films mainly around the factor of unknown, horror from the cosmic and somethings beyond ordinary thinking. Torture porn is cold-blooded violence from people’s body.

I think the purposes of torture porn might related to the social and political issues at that times. There was a necessary connection between the torture porn and the socio-political issues at that time. As the purpose of the even 9/11 might be America’s massive military intervened in the Middle East, the proliferation of western popular culture (mainly an openness to sex and alcohol that was simply unacceptable to Bin Laden, al qaeda, the taliban or other fundamentalist islamists), and so on. The U.S. government still assumes that the main reason for the attacks was an outbreak of anti-american sentiment among terrorists (American Muslin Leaders, 2001). For the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, the reason might be the American military invaded the area of Iraq at that time. Therefore, torture porn became a contemporary horror’s center at around of 2000 (Reyes, 2010)

References

American Muslin Leaders. (2001). Muslim Americans Condemn Attack. Retrieved from: https://www.islamicity.org/1218

Arnzen, M. A. (1994). Who’s Laughing Now? The Postmodern Splatter Film. Journal of Popular Film and Television21(4), 176-184. Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01956051.1994.9943985?journalCode=vjpf20

Reyes. (2014). Body Gothic: corporeal transgression in contemporary literature and horror film – Torture Porn

Post Horror:

1. In this lecture, I have briefly outlined how Hereditarycontains elements of folk horror, cosmic horror and family drama. Using examples from your own readings and the film, describe how you feel these elements make up the film Hereditary and how it might fit into the larger canon of “prestige horror” from Rosemary’s Baby to today. 

The folk horror is different from the other genre of horror. Folk horror is mainly based on folk tales, including religious horror of ancient early Christianity, disturbing pagan traditions, outdated rituals, and irrational fears of female and other “demon” influences. It was the pagan god of the anxious counter-culture of the 1960s and 1970s (The 10 Best Folk Horror Movies of All Time, 2019). In Hereditary this film, Charlie’s grandmother is the biggest boss. Grandmother Charlie was one of the original members of the cult that summoned the demons of Paramount This cult is believed to be one of the eight gods of hell, Paramount, the most powerful devil in the west. The demonic ability of Paramount is to give his followers knowledge of fame, artistic inspiration, science, etc. In the film, Charlie’s grandmother is very good at hand-weaving carpets. Annie made the dollhouse to life. Charlie’s DIY beheaded toys and paintings are also unique, suggesting that they were gifted by the dark art of Paramount. Paramount is a “pagan god from the Middle East” whose name describes a “ding dong” or “tick” sound. The tonguing that came out of Charlie was actually an implicit call to himself, because tonguing sounds a lot like tinker bell (How to evaluate the horror movie Hereditary, 2018).

Family drama refers to high tension conflicts between characters. The description of family drama makes the audience pay more attention to the characters’ personality, inner conflicts and emotions between the characters but not the description of horror themes. In Hereditary this film, Annie tried to get rid of Peter several times when she was pregnant, because Annie knew that her mother wanted to take advantage of him, but she was reluctant to have the baby out of maternal love. However, Anne seems to have no idea that her mother is a member of a cult, which explains her split personality. This split personality manifests itself in Annie sleepwalking and doing weird things like putting flammable paint on Peter and shaking his head violently. Sometimes Annie didn’t even know she was being manipulated by her mother. At the memorial service, Annie’s mother wore a necklace with the symbol of Paramount. Annie also wore the necklace, part of a plan by believers to make her easier to manipulate. For example, on the night of Charlie’s death, Charlie didn’t want to join Peter’s party, and Peter didn’t want to take Charlie with him, but Annie insisted that Peter take Charlie to the party. This is a very strange decision, which suggests that personality control, as it’s called, doesn’t have to be enforced, it’s subconscious control. After Charlie died, Annie went to the treehouse to sleep almost every night, ostensibly to miss Charlie, but actually she was cursed and controlled subconsciously (How to evaluate the horror movie Hereditary, 2018).

I think cosmic horror also appears in thus film. Nyugen(2016) claims cosmic horror is that there is no recognizable god in cosmic; the effect of human in the universe is not essential. Stanford (2007) explains that people feel fear about the things that are beyond their fundamental understanding of the world. The light in the film, in fact, is Paramount. Finally, Peter falls from the upstairs. In Peter’s half-dead state, Paramount succeeds in the upper body when Peter is the weakest (How to evaluate the horror movie Hereditary, 2018).

References

Nyugen, T. (2016). History of Humans. Is There a God? 3

Stableford, B. (2007). Cosmic Horror.

The 10 Best Folk Horror Movie of All Time. (2019). Retrieved from: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2019/the-10-best-folk-horror-movies-of-all-time/