Month: September 2020

Congratulations: New Hi Score

As a Vietnamese Australian kid, I was surrounded by a lot of peers who were huge fans of anime and self-proclaimed ‘otakus’. Whilst other peers of mine rave about Crunchy Roll and continually binge-watch their favourite series, I’m personally not familiar with the genre. I’ve traveled to Japan multiple times and seen a multitude of stores dedicated to anime and manga, yet, I’ve never had a strong appetite for watching Anime. When introduced to Hi Score Girl, I was keen to know what fascinated so many of my peers about anime and the insight it would give on everyday life in Japan. How would I find it and in what ways did it help me further understand elements of Japanese culture?

Unpacking Anime
When beginning the series, I was extremely overwhelmed with the information being hurled at me at a quick speed. Having never watched anime before…

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Cake: A Slice of Pakistan

Cake. Whether it’s the Great British Bake-off or Cake Boss, I’ve never really turned down any kind of cake. However, the Pakistani movie, Cake, is far from the sweet kind. Personally, I’ve never watched any South Asian movie or had much experiencing engaging with Pakistani culture. When introduced to this week’s viewing, I was unsure what to expect. Due to the unconventional storyline and the length of the movie, I found it quite difficult to keep up with the movie first. 

Eventually, as the film progressed, I came across a few themes that I was familiar with through my own culture and others that were new. Predominantly, there was some focus on the expectation of Pakistani women and the attitudes of society. Additionally, there was a strong focus on the family unit and the responsibilities individuals have to their families…

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Fast and The (Furie)ous

Although I grew up around my mum, grandma, and aunties continually watching Vietnamese movies, I had never encountered a movie like Furie. After the Vietnam war, many media and film production companies were owned by those within North Vietnamese communities, as they became wealthier. As a result, mainstream Vietnamese movies commonly watched by my family always reflected the experiences and stories of those from the North or were inspired by Chinese culture. With the times changing, Furie is one of the first films that I have viewed where it accurately depicts the lifestyle and setting of those in Southern Vietnam. Although I am of Vietnamese ethnicity, I seek to compare and analyse Furie against my own experience in order to see whether I can better understand my culture.

Reconstructing the role of a woman
In Vietnamese culture, there is a common cultural expectation that a mother will excel at…

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Love for Sale: Selling the Indonesian Dream

From my experience as a Vietnamese-Australian young adult, most Asian weddings can be more daunting than celebratory. You’re made to greet all of your elders and unsurprisingly they will bombard you with questions like “Do you have a boyfriend yet?”, “Are you married yet?” or “We want to see some kids!”. When introduced to the film Love for Sale and its plot of someone renting a partner for a wedding, I wasn’t so surprised. In fact, if I was the protagonists’ age and I had to attend a wedding, I would probably consider it because the interrogations from Vietnamese families can be BRUTAL. Throughout the Indonesian film, there are many prominent themes that underpin it such as the importance of family and the workplace.

Family influencing personal relationships
Throughout the film, we recognise that the family has a large impact on relationships and potential partners. Within Indonesian culture, it is…

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Live-tweeting autoethnography | Part 4: High Score Childhood


Intro | 1: Love For Male? | 2: Hell hath no Furie| 3: Caked in ca$h | 4: High Score Childhood

The following paragraphs may contains spoilers for the television seriesHigh Score Girl(2010-2019).

A Japanese manga romantic comedy,High Score Girl(2010-2019) is a television series beginning in the 90s, revolving around a male gamer and how his relationship with a fellow female gamer develops over time. With an M-rated classification, the show is directed at an adult audience and does not fail in providing a wealth of content evoking childhood memories of gaming. While viewing this series, I felt a sense of sentimentality for the Japanese video games and anime that I consumed in my youth, with my tweets exploring how intertwined they both are in Western culture and consumption.

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Live-tweeting autoethnography | Part 3: Caked in ca$h


Intro | 1: Love For Male? | 2: Hell hath no Furie | 3: Caked in ca$h |4: High Score Childhood

The following paragraphs may contains spoilers for the film Cake (2018).

Caked in cash

Cake(2018) is a Pakistani comedy-drama film centred around a family and the dynamics of one adult child caring for ill elderly parents, while her other two siblings live their lives in foreign counties. While watching this film, my tweets revealed a fascination with the commodity and fetishisation of the designer handbag, stemming from a love for popular culture and a personal relationship with the handbag in its simplest form.

Assuming thatCake(2018) was about a middle-class family due to the socioeconomic status of the previous films character’s screened earlier in this autoethnography…

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Where was the cake?

Courtney Wray

This week in BCM320, we viewed the 2018 Pakistani Film Cake, which is features an eccentric family coming together under one roof as Zareen contacts her siblings living abroad about their fathers deteriorating health. This film also conveys the themes of family values, death and romance in a Pakistani setting.

One aspect of the film that intrigued me was the family values that was portrayed throughout the movie. In Pakistan, family bonds are valued and this society is led by collectivism where relationships are family are strong. Loyalty to the family also comes before all other social relationships. Family relatives are also protected from outside influences. Gender roles are also a major theme that was identified in this screening and I found it interesting that this film challenges these stereotypes and expectations by creating independent career focused women. Usually in Pakistan, women stay home then go to work and are…

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my [cool] university blog

This week’s screening was Hi Score Girl which is a Japanese Anime series which was released in 2019 and was based off the Japanese Manga Hi Score Girl. I had very little expectations because I absolutely hate cartoon-like animated films because I feel as though I’m unable to directly connect with a character that isn’t a ‘real person’. I surprisingly enjoyed watching the first six episodes and noticed almost instantly a clear distinction between cartoons and anime. While my only issue was  the storyline being slow and dragged on much more than it need, I did have a genuine interest in the games that were featured in each episode (especially street fighter).

Gaming was of course at the heart of each episode and featured various different types and styles of games. I wanted to further explore the popularity of games in Japan and its culture.

The Japanese gaming industry…

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