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Thread: Some suggestions for English essay

  1. #1
    Fishmen fan. Reyairia's Avatar
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    Default Some suggestions for English essay

    For an assignment in my English 101 class I have to watch a movie or 2-4 episodes of a TV show and analyze it and stuff, like for example if I were to use Princess Mononoke I could talk about the pro-environmental messages of it. On top of that I need to reference at least two outside sources. Again, bringing Princess Mononoke up, an outside source would be a general pro-green study or something, and maybe a review of the movie (could go either way for both of them, really)

    I'm kinda having issues on what to choose though. To get a review of the source (and it has to come from a more professional review site, not just a random blog) it would have to be relatively well known I guess. I don't want to do the aforementioned Mononoke example, because it bores the hell out of me to write about something so obviously in-your-face as that one is, and prefer to write about something more subtle since it's generally more fun to write about. I was thinking about doing it on Robin in One Piece and how she's so different from what Japanese culture and shonens usually portray as attractive women - and I would have one source for that (I have a book on Japanese culture that details women's role in the society) - but I wouldn't know how to get or what to use as a second source.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    First off, make sure this sort of an essay is okay with the professor.

    Are you allowed you use websites as a source?

    Look into examples of females in Shonan that show contrast/great comparison to Robin. Possibly a book or website that goes into detail on how flawed or different some of these characters are. Or, if you ask your professor if this will suffice as a source, look into other series and go into small detail about other female characters. Or look at females in other works of fiction in Japan, like novels or movies.


    This could be a fun subject, but it will be difficult to work with. You need to make sure that this subject is okay with your professor. Ask him about your sources, especially if you want to use actual Anime characters to compare to Robin.

  3. #3
    Fishmen fan. Reyairia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    I'm allowed to use websites as a source so long as they are legitimate websites, and not just some random review blog.

    I like to write challenging essays, so it doesn't bother me. I hate writing essays on things that are on things that are too obvious.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    Quote Originally Posted by Reyairia View Post
    I'm allowed to use websites as a source so long as they are legitimate websites, and not just some random review blog.

    I like to write challenging essays, so it doesn't bother me. I hate writing essays on things that are on things that are too obvious.
    I can relate. Don't worry.

    The only issue is that Anime or video games tend to have very unprofessional sources. Last semester, I had a presentation and essay where I had to prove that video games require creativity to create. In both the presentation and essay, I used cut scene from a video game to prove that video games require creativity.

    That's what's kind of a pain with making arguments with fictional work. You actually need the fictional work, or more fictional sources, to support your conclusion.

    Again, check with your professor and see if you can compare Robin with other pieces of fiction.

  5. #5
    Fishmen fan. Reyairia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    I think I found a good source here: http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/ess...enandAnime.pdf
    but I'm going to have to email my teacher about it to ask if I can use it, cause I think I remember her saying she didn't like PDFs so yeah.

  6. #6
    エッチなのはいけないと思います! Malintex_Terek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    Mononoke might be boring, and I'm not exactly suggesting it, but there are citable analyses of Miyazaki films online from credible sources because he's so big and famous overseas. GAINAX stuff might also qualify, but you'd be hard-pressed to find something citable for a Shounen. It's one thing to do an essay that's too easy, but trying to tackle something hard might be a step backward.

    A possibility is Ranma 1/2, since that's a pretty famous title with a lot of women you can choose from to characterize.
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    Fishmen fan. Reyairia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    I read Ranma 1/2 and to be honest, there isn't much material to analyze. I like Robin because she's interesting and complex and is the exact opposite Japan dictates is an attractive woman.

    anyway I wrote the essay and I think I did pretty good. It's a rough draft and I'll post it up here if anybody wants to take a look at it.

  8. #8
    エッチなのはいけないと思います! Malintex_Terek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    Sure, I'll take a look.
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    Wouldn't it be smarter to take a show like Mad Men, Breaking Bad or any other cable show, since those shows are written extremely well and have more depth than any shonen story out there AND have tons of professional review sites rave about them?

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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    Pee on a piece of paper and hand it in.

    I've always wanted to do that.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    Quote Originally Posted by JERK DISEASE View Post
    Pee on a piece of paper and hand it in.

    I've always wanted to do that.
    If it were my Sophomore year English professor, I'm sure he'd give me a B for that paper, as long as it was my urine.

  12. #12
    Fishmen fan. Reyairia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiolino View Post
    Wouldn't it be smarter to take a show like Mad Men, Breaking Bad or any other cable show, since those shows are written extremely well and have more depth than any shonen story out there AND have tons of professional review sites rave about them?
    I like something challenging, sue me.
    You're right, but you didn't suggest it in time lol. I already had to hand it in.

    Quote Originally Posted by JERK DISEASE View Post
    Pee on a piece of paper and hand it in.

    I've always wanted to do that.
    Then do it, because I don't have the guts.

  13. #13
    Fishmen fan. Reyairia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    Not really a double poster, but anyway.
    I kinda blanked out with a conclusion, but it's only a rough draft (I have to hand in my rough draft) so here goes:

    Spoiler:
    Elois Andre
    One Piece
    “275-277”
    One Piece is a Japanese anime show that is classified as a shonen, which is defined as having its target audience for young men, and because Japan is known for being particularly patriarchal for an industrialized nation, these shows or comic books they are based off of are notably sexist (Sean Boden). Catering to boys, the shonen genre usually involves some sort of fighting or combat as a heavy theme, but women are often confined to a passive role and if they do battle they somehow end up falling in love with one of the male protagonists and/or wear revealing outfits. One Piece, while not feminist by any means, manages to break through this shonen mold in several occasions throughout the anime, but exemplifies it with the character Nico Robin. Thus is very different with how it portrays her compared to other shonen and Japanese work with their female characters.

    In episodes 275-277, Nico Robin has a flashback about her past; extremely intelligent, she became an archaeologist/historian at age eight to follow in her mother's footsteps along with the archaeologists at the center of her island's culture. However, her mother and the archaeologists have cracked the code to read indestructible stones called the Poneglyphs which tell about the mysterious origins of the World Government entity but also of an extremely powerful weapon, and because of this, their studies are illegal. The world Government ends up destroying the entire island of Ohara and killing all of its inhabitants, save Robin, in order to avoid the information leaking out. Finding herself a highly wanted criminal, she has no choice but to never trust anybody, and betray before she is betrayed herself, for twenty years. On the main storyline at age 18, Robin is not a damsel in distress by any means. She has the power of a "devil fruit" - fruits that grant the person who eats it powers in exchange for the ability to swim - and uses it to her advantage to defeat entire armies of men. This is very different from the usual shonen portrayal of women - they usually are between 16-21 years of age and have very little combat ability. Like Davies and Ikeno point out, "women appear in supporting roles with long hair, big eyes, ideal proportions and glamor, as the hero's girlfriend or to nurse the weak." This is because during the Edo period in Japan, Confucianism became a strong philosophy that held the idea of "men outside and women inside" and this made it very difficult for women to have a career or anything regarded as men’s territory (Davies, Ikeno). However, while Robin does have ideal proportions, she is neither the hero's girlfriend, nor does she nurse the weak, nor is she weak herself. Being an archaeologist and strong, she can be described as an Otoko-masari, "a woman who is superior to men physically, spiritually and intellectually," something viewed negatively in Japanese culture (Davies, Ikeno). Yet, despite this, she is portrayed as an attractive woman in the show, often on commented as being beautiful. By doing this, One Piece shows its viewers that women can go outside traditional Japanese gender roles, but more importantly, can still be beautiful and attractive.

    Robin being an independent, strong female character, yet still being beautiful and wearing somewhat revealing outfits might be argued to contradict my point, and it usually is the case, but part of what makes Robin so different is precisely that she is attractive. She is everything that is viewed negatively about women in Japan she does not do any housework, she is not innocent or childish, she is past the "tekireiki" ideal marriage age (Davies, Ikeno), she is stronger than many male characters, she never shows any romantic interest, and she is independent and has her own career. Men in Japan still expect women to behave like their mothers, do the housework and take care of them (Ikeno, Davies), and that would be impossible for a woman like Robin. Yet unlike many other shows hailing from Japan (Boden), One Piece shows to its intended Japanese male audience that woman can be older, intelligent and independent and still be beautiful and attractive. In contrast, another highly rated shonen show called Naruto, portrays woman as being clearly weaker than their male counterparts, often confined to a healing role, and whose character and character development is entwined with the men they are in love with and that surround them. This other TV show is more demonstrative of how Japanese culture dictates what an attractive woman should be, and it contrasts heavily with One Piece and how it has portrayed the same thing.

    There is the Confucian idea that a woman should always be obedient to the leading man in her life and Robin defies that in several ways, including how she was brought up, demonstrated in the episodes. The person who had the most of a leading role in her life was her mother, and not far from that, the historian Clover who played as a father figure. However, instead of it being her mother who took care of her as a child and her "father" that left the house to work, it was the opposite. Professor Clover was the one who stayed on the island who took care of Robin as a child, and it was her mother who left the island to study the poneglyphs. This is the complete opposite of the "women inside, and men outside" stemming belief of Confucianism that influences Japanese culture (Ikeno, Davies). At the time, Robin was being taken care of by her uncle and abusive aunt who forced her to do housework as a child while she years to get back to studying, and this is portrayed as negative, despite the Ryosaikenbo "good wife and wise mother" upbringing for girls in Japan where they are encouraged to learn household chores (Davies, Ikeno). Robin's flashback begins with her doing what she enjoys the most - studying outside the house, and then is later shown inside the house being forced to do housework. Interstingly enough, while she studies outside she is picked on by a group of boys, perhaps symbolizing that she is not welcome in the boys' world of studying and being outside. Yet, Robin does not give up. Even if she has to run for the rest of her life from the World Government and avoid bounty hunters, she continues to pursue her dream of learning about the missing century that tells history throughout the show. In these episodes, she does end up depending on the other protagonists to rescue her, but the reason she needed to be rescued was because she had given herself in to the World Government in order to save them from the same fate that destroyed her home island. Even then, what she was truly rescued from was giving up her dream. In the other show I mentioned, Naruto, the protagonist does something similar with a quiet girl, but her goal came out of her falling in love with said protagonist and said protagonist changes her completely. In One Piece, the male protagonist did not change her, nor did he ever intend to, he merely let her believe in herself and her own dreams but he always accepted who she was, and there was no romance involved.


    Last edited by Reyairia; February 17th, 2011 at 02:59 PM.

  14. #14
    Hermit Sky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    That, I must say, was awesome no doubt about it.

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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    Really loved the read. Great conclusion. It really reaffirmed why Robin is one of my favorite OP characters. I would love to write a One Piece themed paper for college one day (I already did South Park haha.)

    read.


  16. #16
    Fishmen fan. Reyairia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    Lol the problem is that it has no conclusion. xD
    Thanks anyway guys, though I'll need some tips to help improve it.

  17. #17
    エッチなのはいけないと思います! Malintex_Terek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    I wrote some specific nit-picks I had with the essay, but I'll save them for later, since the fundamental issue comes first -

    I think you need a bit more direction, at least with the second paragraph. There's good ideas in there, but from your opening I figured you were going to make a compare/contrast. You never explicitly defined the female stereotypes that Robin is supposedly a subversion of, although you hinted at it by talking about submission and skimpy outfits.

    A suggestion for organization:

    I. Intro, basically the same as yours, but mention Naruto as prototypical of common depictions of women, and mention that Naruto is one of the top selling manga in Japan.

    II. Talk about the common depictions of women in Japan and what lead to it. I'd also bring up common depictions of men. Bring up the Confucian ideal here. I think you can make some really dramatic arguments in this paragraph.

    III -IV - V. Introduce/discuss Robin, her traits, and how she's different from the stereotypes. I'd take one trait (independence, offensive/emotional strength) and blow it up in each paragraph, and use her background as support. Make sure to point out that while Robin isn't a stereotypical anime girl, she's not a man, either. I think you're doing too much summarizing of anime events in these latter paragraphs, and it kind of breaks up your train of logic, even if I can still follow it.
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  18. #18
    Fishmen fan. Reyairia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    The thing is that this essay is not about sexism in Japan, it's about Robin and One Piece itself. I can't spend 2/3 of the essay talking about women's portrayal in anime when I'm supposed to be talking about Robin and One Piece specifically.

  19. #19
    Loli Lover Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Some suggestions for English essay

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurnottheking View Post
    Hi guys,
    Hello!

    I need to write a comparisson essay about deconstructed Japanese gender norms and feminism in Princess Mononoke. What do I start with?
    I would recommend first starting off with making an outline. The main thing is to form your thesis before starting anything else. With an outline it can help form an idea in what you want for you paper.

    How can I compare the fantasy elements in the story with the ancient elements of the Japanese culture? Thanks.
    It has been a while since I seen the movie, but to do that is basically like this. Look up sites and information that seem similar to compare. Choose like three different portions to compare and contrast between the two. I would also recommended rewatching the movie so it can be a little bit easier to do so. In other words, just research, research, research. Once you got to that you can make your thesis statement, and then start forming the rest of the paper.

    Hope this information helps! ^^

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