The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories is a wonderful collection of short stories written by American author Ken Liu. Each story explores unique ideas about human nature, culture, and our place in an ever-changing world. Although there are many science-fiction elements, they are rarely the focus. This is definitely a collection worth reading if you want your mind … More The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, by Ken Liu (2016)
What to Expect Shaolin begins as a typical good-guy versus evil-guy martial arts tale, but it quickly evolves into a far more compelling parable. After all, conflict between good and evil is rarely as simple as one party beating the other into submission. Instead, this is a story about dissonant world views, goodness in the … More Shaolin (2011, China / Hong Kong)
For this analysis, I will discuss the 2017 Ghost in the Shell film (USA) and the 1995 Ghost in the Shell animated film (Japan). There are spoilers for both. … More Ghost in the Shell (2017, USA)
Premise: A deaf student, Nishimiya Shouko, transfers to a new school and becomes the target of bullying by a boy named Ishida Shouya. The bullying eventually culminates in Nishimiya leaving the school. In the aftermath of her departure, Ishida becomes ostracised by his friends. Five years later, Ishida meets Nishimiya again. The events that follow … More A Silent Voice (2017, Japan)
Premise: The Hedgehog tells the story of Paloma, an eleven year old girl who looks at the adults in her life and sees no fulfilment, honesty, or meaning. Her father gives attention to his political career at the expense of all else, while her mother covers up emotional issues with antidepressants. Paloma is left believing … More The Hedgehog (2009, France)
This analysis draws from the video game, Nier: Gestalt. Care has been taken to avoid major spoilers. … More For Fan-service or Female Diversity?
Premise: The apparent hero of this story is Nier. Seeking a cure for his daughter’s fatal illness, known as the black scrawl, his quest takes us on a journey through a post-apocalyptic fantasy world that grows stranger with each step. Destructive creatures called ‘shades’ roam the lands, driving humanity to the brink of extinction. Behind … More Nier: Gestalt (2010, Japan)