Holiday Special: Eight Nights of Deus ex Machina 3 & 4: Jurassic Park and Kingdom Hearts II

Happy holidays everyone, and welcome back for nights 3 and 4 of the Eight Nights of Deus ex Machina holiday special celebrating Chanukkah and other winter holidays. In case you missed them, we defined this miracle of a literary device on Night One, and talked about how it appears in Pokemon: The First Movie for Night Two. Let the festivities continue with Dinosaurs and hover bikes...

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Holiday Special: Eight Nights of Deus ex Machina 2: Pokemon

Happy holidays, everyone, and welcome back to Eight Nights of Deus ex Machina, where we celebrate holiday miracles with pop culture and literary devices. It’s the second night of Chanukkah, and tonight we’re unpacking a childhood favorite— Pokemon: The First Movie...

Holiday Special: Eight Nights of Deus ex Machina

December is a festive time of year for many, with Kwanzaa, Chanukkah, Christmas, Yule, and New Years Eve as some of the holidays brightening homes around the globe. In honor of this festive time, and as a Chanukkah-themed holiday series, please enjoy eight nights of Deus ex Machina. First, we're taking a look at Clamp's Cardcaptor Sakura...

Alliteration, Consonance, and Assonance: Making Songs and Gunpowder Treason Memorable

Advertisers and creators know this and take advantage of it whenever the opportunity arises. If you can name any of these cartoon characters, you have been influenced by three tricky little devices: alliteration, consonance, and assonance...

Tropes: When You’re Fairly Certain You’ve Seen These Odd Parents Before

Anybody that watches cartoons or anime is familiar with today's topic: the trope. Tropes act as a visual way for the creator of a work to quickly and easily convey a concept to their audience. They can take many forms-- a figure of speech, a character type, a plot device, a location or location type, a pattern of storytelling, a sub-plot. If you've seen the concept before, it is most likely a trope. Let's take a look at a few examples of tropes found in Butch Hartman's The Fairly Odd Parents.

Eight Literary Allusions in Animation: Celebrating National Book Lover’s Day

It's National Book Lover's Day, an official-unofficial holiday celebrating literacy and books. People often mistakenly believe that real readers only read novels, especially the literary classics such as The Scarlet Letter or Oliver Twist. That's not strictly true. Whether you read comics or novels, literary classics or fantasy, you are a reader. Books have been … Continue reading Eight Literary Allusions in Animation: Celebrating National Book Lover’s Day

Allusions: A Literary Niche

When we talk, we often make references to popular culture in order to convey information quickly. If a person says “Sam acts like such a Romeo,” they mean that Sam is a romantic person. Calling the internet a Garden of Eden shows that the internet is a plentiful place that fills the needs of its users. We don’t usually stop to explain these references to our listeners; we assume that they have prior knowledge on the subject and thus understand. These references are called allusions, and they appear in many elements of pop culture, including video games...

Mirrors in Wandering Son: Navigating Visual Gender Norms [OWLS July Blog Tour: Mirrors]

Being transgender is tough. Every stage of the long, multi-step transition process contains sharp twists and turns, as well as hoop after hoop that people must jump through just to be themselves. On top of it all, trans individuals have to overcome discrimination and social rejection, which can put them in very real danger of … Continue reading Mirrors in Wandering Son: Navigating Visual Gender Norms [OWLS July Blog Tour: Mirrors]

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...

Framed Stories: Fiction Inside Fiction with Adventure Time and Ponys

If every author followed the exact same formula for crafting stories, their readers would languish in boredom! Creators constantly combine different storytelling techniques and literary devices in order to make their works shine amid a sea of...