Verbal and Situational Irony: Putting the Funny in Futurama

Comedy shows offer many great examples of irony because the comedy genre often takes advantage of irony in order to produce hilarious or unexpected outcomes. Futurama is especially good at using irony, and even talks about irony in the episode "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings"...

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Variations on Tropes and Themes: Competition in Anime [OWLS February Blog Tour: Competition]

I have an embarrassing problem: I can’t help but love tropes. Yes, I even enjoy many of the tired ones like high schoolers putting on a gender-swapped play or two or more characters swapping minds. It’s just such a delight to see the unique twists and theme combinations that authors and creators throw into less-than-unique content and see my favorite story types retold over and over again. Let’s explore the differences that theme combinations can make in repetitive story elements by looking at tropes centered around the theme of competition...

Magical Transformation and Character Development in Cardcaptor Sakura [OWLS January Blog Tour: Revival]

The most memorable, engaging stories are those where something changes between the beginning and the end. One type of change that occurs in most narratives (especially character-driven ones, but we're not talking about types of narrative today) is character development. For January's OWLS theme, we are exploring character growth and transformation in Cardcaptor Sakura...

Holiday Special: Eight Nights of Deus ex Machina 8: Battlestar Galactica

Tonight is the last night of Chanukkah, meaning that it is just about time to break out the Santa hats in my household, and I'm pretty excited. In the meantime, welcome to the concluding night of the Eight Nights of Deus ex Machina holiday special. Tonight, spin up the FTL Drive for a few examples from Battlestar Galactica...

Holiday Special: Eight Nights of Deux ex Machina 5: Gravity Falls

Happy Chanukkah and happy holidays, everyone, and welcome back for the fifth night of Deus ex Machina. We're celebrating the eight nights of Chanukkah and other December holidays with this literary device. Tonight, let's take a look at Gravity Falls...

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...

A Beginning: Discovering Literary Elements in Castles and Everyday Places

Back in high school, I never considered myself much of a reader or writer. Sure, I loved reading manga and challenging my writing skills in anime RPG forums, but it was all non-academic to me. My teachers always seemed disappointed or disinterested in these hobbies, so I wrote them off as being purely entertainment. It wasn't until years later that I made the connection that my hobbies could be studied and used for growth and academics...

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...

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...