Lost Groups and Shifting Allegiances in Gargantia [OWLS May Blog Tour: Movement]

This month, we're talking about "movement" in pop culture. Throughout this month, we are talking about the movements, organizations, and systems that individuals join that align with their personal values and beliefs. Often, individuals join these groups because they believe that they are doing good and are making positive changes in society. Often, these groups help to shape individual identities, with individuals either aligning with the values of the group, or rejecting them and rebelling against them. Join me in exploring this theme in the anime Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet.

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Finding Shared Warmth and Joy in the Rink of Yuri on Ice [OWLS December Blog Tour: Warmth]

The festive season that starts at the end of November (at least, it does in the United States with the celebration of Thanksgiving) runs clear through to the first days of January. With so many holidays back-to-back, December is a time for sharing warmth and joy with family and friends. In the spirit of sharing joy, I wanted to pull out an anime that exemplifies this theme in multiple ways, both in-universe and in our own real world...

Dramatical Murder and Rap Music: How Pop Culture Raises Awareness for Mental Health [OWLS September Blog Tour: Treasure]

What if I told you that the Dramatical Murder anime and music artist Logic have something in common? On the surface, the two seem entirely different, one being an animated narrative based on a visual novel and the other, a rap artist. Although dissimilar in many ways, these two pop culture artifacts help to bring awareness to mental health concerns such as depression and suicide...

Family Dynamics in Gravity Falls [OWLS August Blog Tour: Bloodlines]

Everyone has their own experience with and definition of family –some positive, some negative. In the media, however, we often only see certain portrayals such as a positive family with one mom, one dad, and children, or a broken family who all work together to change their ways in the end. In his hit animated series Gravity Falls, Alex Hirsch tackles the complicated issues that shape families and addresses the fact that not all families are ideal, but that doesn't make them bad...

Theme Delivery Service

Themes give creative works their personality. You can’t play a video game, read a comic, or watch a show without running into some sort of theme. When romance blossoms in a particular shoujo anime, or a character proves that staying true to yourself works better than faking your personality, you’ve got theme. For a deeper understanding of this literary device, let’s take a look at the 1989 film Kiki’s Delivery Service...