Gender Dynamics of Rurouni Kenshin

*** THIS IS JOEL PAGAN’S BLOG POST***

Anime has been a large part of my life ever since my childhood. Some of my earliest memories are of staying up late at night to catch whatever cool shows were on Toonami. The one that drew me in the most was Rurouni Kenshin, the tale of the Wandering Samurai, who had forsaken his life as an assassin and know seeks only to protect. This is emphasized by his iconic backwards blade, a katana with the sharp end on the opposite side of the blade. The setting of the series is in a post-Feudal Japanese society, so what we see is many of the traditional values held during that period are being challenged. This can be seen through Rurouni relatively meek and calm nature, as opposed to many of the other samurai he encounters, whos till carry those ideals of masculinity from the Feudal-era. It can also be seen in his love interest,  One of the characters I was able to identify strongly with was that of Honjo Kamatari, a relatively minor character in the series, but an important one in terms of gender dynamics. Continue reading

Are you along for the ride or steering the ship?

This weeks viewing, South Park’s “Tweek x Craig”, brought about an interesting question to myself. Where do ideas originate? And how do those ideas affect those outside of the originator. In this episode of South Park we are confronted with a dilema that emerges for the characters Tweek x Craig; though they are not in a relationship, imagery presenting them in a relationship is viewed by their piers. This idea has now been released to a variety of people and given the attention this idea received it is at the forefront of many of their piers (as well as their towns) perception of these individuals. This shift in perception of Tweek and Craig by so many of the people they interact with daily affects their own perception of their universe, and ultimately their view of each other. By the end of the episode Tweek x Craig’s relationship really isn’t their own relationship, it becomes bigger than them and a focal point for many people throughout South Park. So for the good of the larger community as a whole Tweek x Craig are forced to accept and perform an idea that is foreign to their own perception. Continue reading