Star Trek Picard and the Memory of the French Resistance
Episode 9 of Star Trek Picard delves into the past trauma of one of Starfleet’s most celebrated figures, while also literally plumbing the depths of Chateau Picard itself. As Picard and Tallinn flee deeper into the catacombs beneath the Admiral’s ancestral home, Picard makes a comment about the Chateau’s wartime past that doesn’t make a …
Fashion of a Dark Future: Star Trek Picard and the Sam Browne Belt
In the first two episodes of the second season of Star Trek: Picard, Admiral Picard and his companions find themselves in a dark alternate timeline where a militaristic and xenophobic Confederacy of Earth has ventured into the galaxy on a mission of conquest instead of peaceful exploration. The change is reflected in the clothing worn …
The Girl in the Well: The Ring and Japanese Ghost Stories
One of the most memorable images from The Ring (1998) is that of Sadako crawling out from a well. The story of a ghost girl and a well has roots in Japanese folklore in the form of the tale of Banchō Sarayashiki (番町皿屋敷, The Dish Mansion at Banchō). Given the nature and popularity of legends …
“A Thousand Tidings to the New Daimyo”: The Book of Boba Fett and an Imagined Japan
<warning: mild to moderate spoilers for episodes 1-4 of The Book of Boba Fett follow> Early in episode 1 of The Book of Boba Fett, the titular character receives emissaries from the various factions on Tatooine after taking over as criminal overboss. One, a Trandoshan, addresses Fett with the Japanese title “daimyo” (大名) Daimyo is …
Kentucky for Christmas: Japan, KFC, and Christmas Dinner
In Japan, Kentucky Fried Chicken has been the traditional Christmas dinner since the 1970s. The popularity of KFC for Christmas means signups for the holiday meal special start in early December, with long lines for those who miss the presale and big profits for the fried chicken chain. The usual KFC holiday meal comes with …
Higurashi When they Cry: Shirakawa-go and the Inspiration for the Anime
Higurashi When They Cry (ひぐらしのなく頃に) is a horror/mystery media franchise encompassing a series of visual novels, a 2006 anime, live action films and television series, a virtual reality experience in Tokyo in 2018. and now a new 2020 anime remake.
Atari’s Haunted House: Early Survival Horror
Alone in the dark but you’re not alone. It’s a now-familiar theme in gaming, yet in 1982 the Atari 2600 game Haunted House brought the broadest themes of what is now the survival horror genre to homes.
The Tokyo 2020(ONE) Logo and the Ichimatsu Moyou
The logo for the 2020 Tokyo was created by artist Asoa Tokolo and the checkered indigo blue design is based upon the traditional Japanese pattern called ichimatsu moyou. Ichimatsu moyou (市松模様?) is named for the kabuki actor Sanogawa Ichimatsu I (佐野川 市松?) Active as an actor from 1733 until his death in 1762 at the …
Eve of Destruction: History and Memory in EVE Online
The massively multiplayer game EVE Online is a story of intrigue, bitter rivalries, and endless conflict among the stars. To support the complicated fictional history of the game, the virtual space of EVE features historic sites and memorials that link to the fictional past and commemorate the continuing exploits of players, reinforcing a collective history that provides the sense of a narratively cohesive universe.
Star Trek and History: S.S. Botany Bay
While Star Trek often draws from history for ship names, the historical significance of the name rarely ties in to the role of the vessel in the series’ narrative. The S.S. Botany Bay is an exception, as the historical connotations of the name connects directly to Khan’s story. The S.S. Botany Bay was the DY-100 …