Storytelling is a dying art

This is something I wrote while finishing up my Stars Align final episode review. After much (internal) deliberation, I’ve decided to post it. May the chips fall where they must.

So, it’s been a while.

I meant to finish this series out last year in 2019, but decided to wait because I was angry. I was upset how the series ended, and then when going on online I found out through creator/director/writer Akane Kazuki’s Twitter about what happened.

The hint that something had gone wrong with Stars Align
A hint that something had gone wrong concerning Stars Align…
From creator of Hoshai no Sora Akane Kazuki’s Twitter
From creator of Hoshai no Sora Akane Kazuki’s Twitter
From creator of Hoshai no Sora Akane Kazuki’s Twitter II
From creator of Hoshai no Sora Akane Kazuki’s Twitter II
From creator of Hoshai no Sora Akane Kazuki’s Twitter III
From creator of Hoshai no Sora Akane Kazuki’s Twitter III
From creator of Hoshai no Sora Akane Kazuki’s Twitter IV
From creator of Hoshai no Sora Akane Kazuki’s Twitter IV

I am disgusted by this on a personal level.

As someone who went to film school, and is actually writing screenplays and graphic novels – it pissed me off on a deeply personal level. It infuriated me that a great series like Hoshiai no Sora was cut midway through its story, but we have the 8-billionth Sword Art Online reincarnate with the same tired harem. The same upskirt shots of animated high school minors. The same stupid jokes and literally the same plotline being recycled to a lesser extent.

Now don’t get me wrong, the amount of sequels to keep series on life support sustained just one season more is not a central problem in anime. It’s a problem in Hollywood, too. It’s a problem on network TV.

Look to the latest Star Wars fiasco – I’m not even a fan of that franchise and I know this last trilogy gutted its legacy! And we won’t even talk about Game of Thrones, the absolute tragedy that was.

We won’t talk about the talentless hacks who corporations put in charge of beloved franchises or series for “revamps” to squeeze any last remaining cash from loyal fans in exchange for tarnishing their memories.

We won’t talk about video game companies that work the devs like literal slaves (“crunch”time) to create a beautiful game that is marred by “corporate vision”.

We won’t talk about small independent studios that are purchased by bigger conglomerates with the promise of more funding for games, but soon shut down due to mismanagement and other shady circumstances.

We won’t talk about how that may have just been a ploy to remove actual, real competition that truly just wanted to create something beautiful.

We won’t talk about how Disney wants to own literally everything in their sick quest for world domination. We won’t talk about how that…’establishment’…wants control of a child’s mind from infancy to preteen to now early adulthood.

(Toddler programming –>  Disney Channel –> LucasFilm -> Marvel –>  etc.)

To condition it to think and believe only pre-approved Disney narratives.

(Like have you guys popped back into the Disney Chanel just out of curiosity? It’s not the stuff we were watching growing up anymore, it’s completely different.)

We won’t talk about the real reason they continually make Spider-Man, re-release classic films, etc. because their copyright claims are expiring and they will be damned if anyone else makes money from their content.

(How many times do we have to see Uncle Ben die? How many times do we have to see Bruce Wayne lose his mother Martha and then cease to function as a normal human being after that tragedy? Is Batman the only character who has ever undergone tragedy in this lifetime? Like…c’mon here…)

We won’t talk about the 21st Century Fox acquisition and that Disney is placing those media files into their vault for some sort of long-release chess match with the public.

We won’t talk about the ABC anchors that are forced to talk about Disney films each day and give glowing reviews.

We won’t talk about the mandatory praise of their lord and savior, Mr. Bob Iger.

We won’t mention Disney owns ABC, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Hulu, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures, 21st Century Fox, Hollywood Records and has sizable stake in A&E, Vice Media, Lifetime, ESPN, and The History Channel.

Does anyone care that one company is controlling so many different facets of media?

That underneath it all, you are receiving the same predetermined, pre-approved message?

Are you paying attention?

We won’t talk about how Netflix is turning to complete and utter crap.

How Netflix would rather purchase Friends, which first aired in the 90s, rather than allow The OA to air part 3.

We won’t talk about how the reason people gravitated toward streaming is slowly dissolving into cable television 2.0.

But no, no one cares about that – so why am I rambling?

Well, to put it shortly, if you mentally checked out from the above, I hate the current state of popular media. I hate that certain stories are pushed by certain creators even if they may not be that talented.

Because they are someone’s precious son, or are good with the head of a studio – they are allowed the world.

And then real, authentic stories suffer. The quality of the commentary on society as a whole suffers – because no one is given the chance to go against the grain.

If all the studios are owned by a certain individual, or a group of individuals that all think one way, all want one narrative to be told – then what happens?

What happens when people start to stop thinking, believing the world is truly smaller than it really is? What if ideas that were commonplace maybe even only 20-30 years ago suddenly disappear? Because they are no longer ‘approved’ by the individual(s) in charge? What happens to the state of society?

In these warring narratives, in the deep abyss of stories that were great but were not allowed or supposed to be great, lies Stars Align.

I truly hope Akane gets the funding and support to continue the story elsewhere, or chooses a different medium to finish it out. Akane did not deserve what happened, the staff of Hoshiai no Sora did not deserve what happened, the story and its characters did not deserve what happened.

I for one, know I am tired of seeing that pedophilic bullcrap that is main stream anime. I don’t want to see a teenage girl in suggestive situations, I don’t want to see that weird crap.

Why is a certain type of story always being pushed – ?

Male gaze be damned, seriously why?

Does anyone ever stop to think about it?

Or how those sorts of anime contribute to sex crimes against Japanese women from foreigners who travel to Japan and think they will easily find “submissive waifu”? The two things are not mutually divorced from one another. I don’t even care if ‘lolicon’ depictions are legal there and the age of consent is 13, it’s weird man.

But I digress. I wanted to rewatch the series, and decided to take notes to see where the storyline was heading based on clues from each episode.

So, here it is ~

If reading this pissed you off – I am glad. Maybe it means you are starting to think about just how much of a constant, abrasive, psyop media overall has become.

☆ In Asian Spaces

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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

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