Archive for the Writing Category

Story Rants: Bad Anime Tropes

Posted in Guilty Pleasure, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2012 by thislegofmine

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Generic anime girls with over sized eyes and innocent hearts fill a lot of contemporary writing.  Anime became popular in the late 90’s early 2000’s thanks to shows like Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Tenshi Muyo, etc and is finally starting to wan in popularity.  As an art student in the early 2000’s I remember my drawing teachers threatening to fail anyone who draws over sized eyes on models.  Unfortunately I find a lot of its abused plot devices and characters being inserted into writing, and like no one gives a shit about your ability to draw half naked cartoon girls, no one cares about your recycled Anime plot.

 

At this point in American media history Anime has become its own ingrained trope, and while I have watched more than my fair share, I can’t’ help but cringe when I see its formula’s pop up in young people’s writing.  This would be fine, if they could bring something new and interesting to it.   Sadly this seems to be rare.   Anime influenced writing tends to fail because of two reasons: Anime’s use symbolism/plot devices from mythological sources that are completely foreign to Western Audiences (Shintoism/Buddism) and a lot of Anime depends heavily on cliché characterizations that offer no substance/creates impossible characters.

This isn’t to say there isn’t good, cutting edge, fresh anime’s out there, but most of the popular ones rehash the same formula’s  from series to series.  For example: I’ve taken a break from anime because I can no longer stand the “magic child” plot device.  Perhaps it’s old age, more likely it’s seeing the same thing over and over again, but I can’t stomach anymore Tiny-Tot-Ubermench’s.  Middle-schoolers and high-schoolers who are given secret, magic powers, or imbued with technology give you good fight scenes, but they use predictable tricks to make you empathize with their plights.

 

“OH they don’t really want to fight, but are forced to!”

 

You relate because your mom makes you clean your room when you don’t-wanna.  Wah.  Get over it.

 

“Shinji loves Yumishi, but she’s in love with bad-boy Takeda.”

 

I could be watching Days of Our Lives and bonding with my Grandma if I wanted to watch this crap.

 

Which brings me to my next part of this rant:  Anime translates into romance literature the worst.  I have read so much amateur writing which involves a Tsundere character meeting a Ingénue.  The Ingénue is so sweet and gosh darn clever she manages to win the heart of the Tsundere, proving s/he was kind all along.  Vomit.

 

Sometimes the Ingénue is snarky .  In amateur writing this translates to “She’s edgy.”  (See Bell)  Having a smart mouth means she can be “cool” without having to lose her virginal wholesomeness.  The results are comical.  It’s like saying a tramp-stamp makes you a punk rocker.

 

This is a propagation of the “taming bad-boy” myth that helps leads to women/men to abusive relationships.   “I can change him/er.”  “S/he just needs someone to understand them.”  “I can rescue their broken heart!”  This is the doorway to codependence, and no magical girl is going to fix a cruel asshole with her winning smile and compassion.  The more valuable lesion is, if the person your pursuing has to be convinced of your value (or conned into being nice to you), dump them and find someone who treats you like you deserve to be treated.

 

I’d love to see a story where the Tsundere character only shows enough of his/er soft side to string the Ingénue through a verbally and physically abusive relationship.  Eventually the Ingénue finds out s/he’s pregnant, forcing the Tsundere character to marry her/im.  At this point the Tsundere character’s entitlement issues increase, making him/er  feel like s/he owns the Ingénue and her/is unborn child, upping the abuse level.  Even better if the follow up story is about their children repeating the cycle of suffering.

 

Young writer’s don’t write this story, because they having’ lived this story, or they are trying to escape it.  Which is too bad, because I feel it is humanity’s duty to warn young people about the hazards of dating douche-bags.

 

 

Rather than continue to harp on these cliché’s I want to invite young writers to look at their favorite anime’s (and other tv shows) and ask themselves how the story could be more interesting.  Would the story have more flavor if the good-girl ditched the bad-boy and dated the nice-guy.  Perhaps then the bad-boy vows revenge, or maybe the nice-guy gets fed up with the woman who doesn’t love him.   Maybe the magic-child realizes he can flatten cities and kills themselves and the story is actually about the grieving family trying to come to terms with what happened.   These tropes can be used in interesting ways, please think outside of the big eyed box.

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Poem: Things and Us

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , on August 29, 2012 by thislegofmine

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Home assembly,

Swedish designed,

Guilt.

Sofa, Table, Chairs.

Hanging plants, Plastic bowls, Loveseat.

Broken Futon.

Us.

Microfiction: A Man Goes Down Town

Posted in microfiction, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2012 by thislegofmine

A man goes down town.

He walks along the street as the light turns from yellow to red.

Across the street another man has a baseball bat in the back of his Ford Taurus.

Both feel uneasy.

On the corner it counts: 3, 2, 1, person.

Microfiction: Suffering

Posted in microfiction, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2012 by thislegofmine

He gently whispered, “Life is suffering.”

I laughed to hide the tears.

Microfiction: Taller

Posted in microfiction, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , on July 27, 2012 by thislegofmine

The room is full of tiny people who like to listen to themselves talk.  Recently Clarence began to grow taller.

Microfiction: She Called

Posted in microfiction, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2012 by thislegofmine

When she called  –  he put down the gun.

Microfic: Clumsey

Posted in microfiction, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2012 by thislegofmine

When they were done fighting Andre sharpened all of the knives in the kitchen.  He took the time to admire his reflection in each blade before putting them in their proper place.

“It’s not my fault you’re clumsy,” He repeated to himself.