One Piece and the Art of Doing Flashbacks

Spoiler Warning: The following contains major spoilers for One Piece

Everyone knows that flashbacks are never the best part of a story. At best, they give crucial information that sets up and explains the actual story and characters. At worst, they come off as wasting time. Either way, flashbacks aren’t known for being good stories by themselves. None of this applies to One Piece. In One Piece, flashbacks frequently accomplish their usual goals, but also provide some of the best parts of the entire anime. One Piece has had a lot of flashbacks, but for this article I’ll be focusing on Robin’s backstory, which is by far the most memorable and contains all of what makes One Piece flashbacks so great.

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Magical Girl Raising Project Review

It can’t be understated how influential Madoka Magica was on the magical girl genre. It didn’t invent the idea of “magical girls but dark” but it certainly popularized it. Since then, there have been plenty of anime that have taken influence from Madoka, some good, some not. The existence of Madoka means that Magical Girl Raising Project risked coming off as just another Madoka ripoff. Thankfully, it wasn’t. It was an Akame ga Kill ripoff. I’m joking, of course, but the two have a fair number of similarities, and not in a good way.

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Voices of a Distant Star Review

Mokoto Shinkai’s been a huge name in the anime community lately. Scarcely a week goes by without some news about Your Name. breaking some record or opening in a new country. While Your Name. is the only Shinkai anime to get any kind of mainstream attention, it’s not the only great Shinkai anime. Back in 2002, Shinkai made an OVA called Voices of a Distant Star that I’ll be looking at today.

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How to do Shounen Right (and Wrong)

Warning: This editorial contains minor spoilers for Naruto and One Piece.

Out of the many genres in anime, there’s one that’s undoubtedly the most popular: shounen. The term shounen means something like “young boy” and is used to refer to anime and manga directed at adolescent and teenage boys. Shounen series are primarily action based and outdo nearly everything else in anime and manga in terms of popularity. Some of the biggest hits in anime history have been shounen; Naruto, One Piece, Dragonball, Fullmetal Alchemist and Fist of the North Star were all shounen. In this piece, I’ll be looking at some things shounen should do or avoid doing to be good. None of these points are absolute and most apply to storytelling in general, but they’re all strengths and weaknesses common in shounen.

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