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Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Disney's Troubled Past: Examining a Pattern of Discrimination in Marketing

Discrimination at Disney has always been an issue, a fact that becomes evident when one delves into their troubled past. But are things better now? One might be tempted to believe so, especially when Disney proudly touts, "We even have a Black superhero!!" However, I hope you read that statement as sarcastically as I wrote it. The reason for my skepticism is that I've started noticing a troubling trend emerging from the house of the mouse. Disney seems to be practicing a new form of discrimination—lack of marketing.

Let's take a closer look at "Strange World." This Disney movie was released on November 23, just twelve days after "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." It almost feels as if Disney intentionally sent it out to die in the shadow of such a highly anticipated film. "Strange World" boasts an impressive cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Gabrielle Union, and Jaboukie Young-White. Notably, Jaboukie Young-White's character, Ethan Clade, is a Black gay adventurer exploring uncharted territory. This character alone piques curiosity, making one wonder why Disney didn't give this movie the marketing push it deserved. When compared to the extensive promotions received by movies like "Onward" or "Lightyear," the contrast becomes glaring.

Could it be that Disney's new strategy is to create movies with progressive characters and themes but not provide them with the traditional marketing push, as they do with their more "traditional" (read: Caucasian) counterparts?

Now, let's examine "Encanto." This film was crafted by the same talented writers and directors who brought us beloved Disney hits like "Zootopia," "Tangled," and "Moana." Additionally, Lin-Manuel Miranda, who composed the music for "Moana," worked on the music for "Encanto." So, how did Disney set this film up for potential failure? The answer lies in a lackluster marketing campaign. The trailer didn't offer much, especially in terms of showcasing the music, and Disney released it on November 23rd, just weeks after the release of Marvel's "Eternals" and "Ghostbusters: Afterlife." With Disney already dominating the market with these blockbusters, "Encanto" struggled to gain traction in the US, failing to breach the 100 million mark. However, international sales reached 134 million, and once it made its way to Disney Plus, the film thrived, especially for its enchanting music.

Here's yet another example of a minority-led film seemingly sent out to meet its doom: "Turning Red." This exceptional coming-of-age film boasts hilarious characters reminiscent of the early 2000s. Disney released it on March 1st of this year, avoiding the February box office void. Disney showed little interest in giving it a theatrical release, opting to release it only in countries where Disney Plus isn't available. Despite this limited release strategy, "Turning Red" made 20 million, which Kareem Daniel, President of Disney Media and Distribution, considers a success. When asked about his decision to bypass theaters, he cited, "due to the delay in the recovery of family films in theaters caused by the ongoing pandemic." While this explanation may sound plausible, it raises questions when considering that Marvel had successfully released "Spiderman: No Way Home" in theaters in December 2021.

Recently, Kareem Daniels left the company amidst the return of Bob Iger. The departure of a key figure may lead to changes, but whether they will improve the situation remains uncertain. What we see is a recurring pattern where companies take one step forward and two steps back in their efforts to address discrimination. As an observer, I can't help but keep a close eye on the house of mice. Perhaps this pattern is just a figment of my imagination, but it's essential to recognize these trends to ensure that progress is made and that all forms of discrimination are actively addressed. 

It's a bad pattern Disney

Monday, September 11, 2023

The Top Ten Swordsmen in Anime: Legends of Blades and Valor

Anime, with its captivating narratives and diverse characters, has given rise to a plethora of iconic figures. Among these, the legendary swordsmen stand tall, not just for their remarkable physical prowess but also for their unique styles that have left an indelible mark on both the medium and its audience. This article delves into the world of anime swordsmanship, exploring the top ten swordsmen who have captured our hearts and imaginations.

1. Kenshin Himura - Rurouni Kenshin 

 At the forefront is Kenshin Himura, a once-legendary manslayer turned wandering swordsman. His unmatched swordsmanship, epitomized by his reversed-edge blade and the Hiten Mitsurugi-ryu technique, sets him apart as a formidable force. Yet, what truly defines Kenshin is his unyielding commitment to abstain from taking lives, adding a layer of complexity that resonates deeply with audiences and solidifies his place in anime history.

2. Roronoa Zoro - One Piece 

Venturing into the expansive world of "One Piece," Roronoa Zoro stands out as a swordsman of exceptional skill. Armed with a unique three-sword style, he is on a relentless journey to become the world's greatest swordsman. Zoro's dedication to his captain, Monkey D. Luffy, and his remarkable battles have elevated him to a position of respect and power within the "One Piece" universe.

3. Guts - Berserk 

From the dark and visceral realm of "Berserk" emerges Guts, the Black Swordsman. Wielding an immense sword with unmatched strength and precision, he battles hordes of demons in his relentless quest for vengeance. Guts' indomitable spirit and the raw intensity of his battles have etched his name into the annals of unforgettable anime swordsmanship.

4. Mugen - Samurai Champloo 

"Mugen" introduces us to a swordsman of a different ilk. With a fighting style that ingeniously fuses breakdancing with swordplay, Mugen is a character that defies conventions. His blend of skills, coupled with his carefree disposition and his adventures alongside Jin and Fuu, make "Samurai Champloo" an essential watch for any aficionado of anime swordsmen.

5. Himura Yuuichi - Afro Samurai 

In the captivating and gritty world of "Afro Samurai," Himura Yuuichi, known as Afro, takes center stage. With a headband that proclaims him the number one swordsman, Afro embarks on a journey of vengeance marked by intense battles and a visually distinctive style that leaves an indelible mark on viewers.

6. Hiei - Yu Yu Hakusho 

Within the realm of "Yu Yu Hakusho," Hiei shines as a master of the sword. Armed with the legendary Jagan Eye and the formidable Sword of the Darkness Flame, his exceptional speed and swordsmanship skills render him a formidable adversary. His multifaceted personality adds layers of depth that contribute to his enduring appeal.

7. Saber - Fate/stay night 

Saber, the iconic figure from the "Fate" series, embodies a spirit of nobility and chivalry. Brandishing the legendary sword Excalibur, she is a character that radiates elegance and strength. Saber's captivating presence and her role as a heroic spirit resonate deeply with fans, solidifying her status as a captivating swordsman.

8. Inuyasha - Inuyasha 

Inuyasha, a half-demon with a potent heritage, wields the mighty sword Tessaiga, enabling him to take on formidable adversaries. His quest for the Shikon Jewel and his endearing relationship with Kagome have endeared him to fans worldwide, making him an integral part of the anime swordsmanship narrative.

9. Hiko Seijuro - Rurouni Kenshin 

The master behind Kenshin Himura's skills, Hiko Seijuro, is a masterful swordsman in his own right. His mentorship has shaped Kenshin's prowess, and his rare appearances in the "Rurouni Kenshin" series showcase a level of mastery that cements his status as a legendary figure.

10. Ichigo Kurosaki - Bleach 

"Ichigo Kurosaki," the Soul Reaper from the "Bleach" series, wields the formidable sword Zangetsu. His journey to safeguard the living world from malevolent spirits and his personal growth as a swordsman have endeared him to fans. Ichigo's character development and his battles against supernatural forces contribute to his lasting impact in the anime landscape.


The anime realm is adorned with an array of unforgettable swordsmen, each with their own unique abilities, personalities, and journeys. From the unwavering commitment of Kenshin Himura to the spirited determination of Ichigo Kurosaki, these characters have etched their names in the hearts of anime enthusiasts worldwide. As we traverse the landscapes of these captivating narratives, we find ourselves drawn into the world of these skilled swordsmen, forever captivated by their valor and skill. 

Top 5 live adaptations had to get dragged behind the barn and shot so One Piece can fly

Top 5 Worst Anime Live Action Movies: When Animation Meets Disaster

Anime, with its vibrant characters and captivating stories, has taken the world by storm. Its appeal transcends borders and languages, making it a global phenomenon. However, when it comes to adapting beloved anime series into live-action movies, the results can be polarizing. While some adaptations manage to capture the magic of the original, others fall into the abyss of cinematic disasters. In this article, we will explore the top 5 worst anime live-action movies that left fans and critics alike scratching their heads in disappointment.

 The Ill-Fated Attempt at Bringing Anime to Life

1. Dragon Ball Evolution: A Saiyan Nightmare

   "Dragon Ball Z," a revered anime series, found itself in a cinematic catastrophe with "Dragon Ball Evolution." This adaptation, released in 2009, attempted to bring the epic battles, colorful characters, and intricate lore of the anime to the big screen. However, it ended up being a Saiyan-sized nightmare for fans.

   One of the most glaring issues was the whitewashing of characters. In the anime, characters like Goku, Piccolo, and Master Roshi were of Asian descent, but the live-action adaptation cast non-Asian actors in these pivotal roles. This casting choice led to accusations of cultural insensitivity and a lack of authenticity.

   Furthermore, the special effects failed to live up to the standards set by the anime. The energy blasts, iconic transformations, and high-speed battles that fans had eagerly anticipated felt lackluster and uninspired on screen. It was as if the film couldn't harness the same power and intensity that made the anime a global sensation.

   Beyond casting and special effects, the plot of "Dragon Ball Evolution" strayed far from the source material. It simplified and watered down the complex narrative of the anime, leaving fans disappointed with the lack of depth and character development. Goku, the iconic hero, became an unrecognizable shadow of his animated self, losing the charm and charisma that endeared him to fans worldwide.

How it feels watching Dragon Ball Evolution

   In retrospect, "Dragon Ball Evolution" remains a cautionary tale in the world of anime-to-film transitions. It serves as a reminder that faithful adaptation, cultural sensitivity, and a deep understanding of the source material are crucial elements when bringing anime to life on the big screen.

2. Ghost in the Shell: A Shell of Its Former Self

   "Ghost in the Shell" is a cyberpunk masterpiece known for its philosophical depth and intricate storytelling. The 1995 animated film, directed by Mamoru Oshii, left an indelible mark on the world of anime and science fiction. When news broke of a live-action adaptation starring Scarlett Johansson, expectations were high, but the result was a shell of its former self.

   One of the most significant controversies surrounding the live action "Ghost in the Shell" was the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi, a character originally depicted as Japanese. This casting decision ignited a firestorm of criticism, with accusations of whitewashing and cultural insensitivity.

   Visually, the live-action adaptation aimed to capture the cyberpunk aesthetic of the original, and it succeeded in creating a visually stunning world. However, while the film was a feast for the eyes, it lacked the intellectual depth and philosophical complexity that made the anime a masterpiece.

   The live-action "Ghost in the Shell" struggled to delve into the existential questions raised by the anime. It focused more on action sequences and visuals, leaving fans craving the thought-provoking dialogue and intricate plot twists that defined the original.

   In the end, while the live-action "Ghost in the Shell" had its moments of visual brilliance, it failed to capture the essence of the anime. It left fans yearning for the philosophical depth and intellectual engagement that made the original a classic.

3. Death Note (2017): A Fatal Rewrite

   "Death Note" is a psychological thriller known for its intricate cat-and-mouse game between Light Yagami and L. The live-action adaptation, released in 2017, set the story in Seattle, a departure from the original Japanese setting. This change in location and cultural context raised concerns among fans and led to a feeling of disconnect from the source material.

   Additionally, changes in character personalities and a rushed plot left fans mourning the death of this adaptation. Light Yagami's transformation from a cunning and morally ambiguous character to a more generic high school student disappointed those who appreciated the complexity of the original character.

   The dynamic between Light Yagami and L, a central element of the anime's appeal, felt rushed and underdeveloped in the live-action adaptation. The intricate mind games and moral dilemmas that defined their interactions in the anime were overshadowed by the fast-paced plot.

4. Attack on Titan: A Giant Flop

   "Attack on Titan" garnered worldwide acclaim for its dark, dystopian narrative and the terrifying Titans that threatened humanity. However, the live-action adaptation struggled to recreate the awe-inspiring Titans and the depth of the characters.

   The Titans, which were a highlight of the anime, fell short in the live-action adaptation. They lacked the scale and menace that made them so terrifying in the source material. The CGI used to bring the Titans to life failed to capture their grotesque and unsettling nature.

   Additionally, character development suffered in the live-action adaptation. Complex relationships and character arcs were condensed or omitted, leaving viewers with a superficial understanding of the story's intricacies.

   In summary, "Attack on Titan" fans had high hopes for a live-action adaptation that would do justice to the dark and compelling world of the anime. However, the adaptation fell short in capturing the essence of the series, leaving fans disappointed.

 5. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2010): Bending the Wrong Way

   "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is a beloved animated series that has garnered a massive fan following due to its rich world-building, compelling characters, and intricate plot. When the live-action adaptation was announced in 2010, fans were both excited and cautious. Unfortunately, the movie, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, left fans deeply disappointed.

   One of the primary issues with the live-action "Avatar" was its rushed and condensed storyline. The original series, with its three seasons, allowed for in-depth character development and world exploration. In contrast, the movie attempted to cram the narrative of an entire season into a single film. This resulted in a loss of crucial character development and a rushed plot that left viewers feeling disconnected from the characters and their journeys.

   Another major point of contention was the casting choices. Many fans were disappointed by the casting of Non Asian actors in pivotal roles, particularly Aang and Katara. This casting decision drew criticism for its lack of cultural sensitivity and authenticity.

   Additionally, the bending of the elements, a central element of the series, fell short of expectations in the live-action adaptation. In the animated series, bending was a dynamic and visually impressive aspect of the show. However, in the live-action movie, the bending sequences felt lackluster and failed to capture the awe-inspiring nature of elemental manipulation.

   The live-action "Avatar: The Last Airbender" not only failed to capture the magic of the original series but also left fans disheartened by its deviations from the source material and its inability to translate the depth and complexity of the animated world to the big screen. It stands as a prime example of a live adaptation that missed the mark, leaving fans longing for the animated series they cherished.

In the realm of live adaptations, "Avatar: The Last Airbender" serves as a reminder that even beloved and well-established franchises can face significant challenges when transitioning from animation to live-action, highlighting the importance of staying true to the essence of the source material and respecting its cultural and narrative nuances.

Conclusion: Anime Dreams, Movie Nightmares

There have been successes in the world of anime live-action adaptations, but these five movies stand as stark reminders of how things can go horribly wrong. While filmmakers may have had good intentions, these attempts failed to capture the essence and spirit of the beloved anime series. Fans continue to hold out hope for future adaptations that will do justice to their favorite stories.

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