Wonder Egg Priority and Monstrous Trauma

#297: Josué, Lara, and Link discuss how we connect with different stories through different media, and how animation or fantastical elements can provide the psychological space needed to engage with difficult topics like racism or domestic abuse. Josué reveals how anime was ruined for his sister.


Josué Cardona 0:07
Welcome to gt radio on the Geek Therapy network. Here at Geek Therapy. We believe that the best way to understand each other and ourselves is through the media we care about, my name is Josué Cardona. And I’m joined by Link Keller.

Link Keller 0:17

Josué Cardona 0:18
and Lara Taylor.

Lara Taylor 0:19

Josué Cardona 0:20
Hello. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Today, I have a story for you Something happened at work. Here’s what I wanna talk about. colleague, coworker asked me if I watched the TV show them on Amazon Prime. Have either of you watched it?

Lara Taylor 0:41

Link Keller 0:42
what is it about?

Lara Taylor 0:42
i want to though?

Josué Cardona 0:45
them? My response was absolutely not. I’m done watching movies. Where or shows where racism is the monster. I don’t want to I don’t want to. I’m good. Get out was an interesting experience. I enjoyed the movie very much. I thought it was great. And and now, but now it’s like a trend. Now there’s a whole genre of stuff like

Lara Taylor 1:11
isn’t them, like related to the movie us?

Josué Cardona 1:15
I don’t think it’s at all related. It’s uh, yeah, it’s not related at all. Um, that you know, doing some research on this this part of it in particular, like other people feel seems to feel the same way. Like, here’s a article that came up like black trauma porn, them and the danger of Jordan Peele imitators. And yeah, I mean, even the the trailer for it was super creepy. It it’s just like, a black family moved into a white neighborhood. And then, you know, like, the white families like staring at them from across the street, that and that alone is terrifying. And I was like, nope, no, I don’t I don’t want to see this. But then as I thought about it later, I just the whole conversation we could have about all that stuff. But I thought about it. I was like, I don’t I don’t want to see that. But then I remembered watchmen, and and in watchmen, like racism is the monster there too but. It’s like a superhero show. It was like it was packaged in in a way that I, I’m, I’m okay with that, that those different thinking, if we can, Superman punches racism in the face, it’s different, then I prefer that. And there’s different. It just it just got me thinking of the different ways that we talk about this all the time, we talk about how sometimes you you, you don’t have the words to describe the way you feel. But you can see it in media. And it’s actually helpful, right? And it’s helpful. There’s so many different ways. Okay, that stories there, it is way more, I can actually visit or even discuss or even think about this topic or this traumatic thing, whether it’s it’s something that happened to me or to someone else or something that is just hard to talk about, or, or even think about, and then you see it in different media. It’s like, oh, okay, no, like, I can I can handle it here. It’s like, Oh, no, it’s like, it’s all metaphor, and it’s a children’s show. So okay, I can I can definitely deal with that. And I’ve been exploring, in music, this type of thing, to ready to take. Although in the music one, in the music conversations I’ve been having. I thought, maybe Is it possible that there’s a way where it’s actually worse? Which I, which I think is possible, and maybe even the case in some of this? I get I don’t even know what the what the genre. I saw something the other day, but like a Jordan Peele imitators sounds like a good way to refer to, to this genre. And yeah, it’s just, it’s just, I was surprised to to bring this up, granted, like have that immediate response of like, No, no, I don’t want to see that at all. But like, in other in other contexts, I would absolutely. revisit the same themes. And I see that all the time. If I think about it, I’m curious if what you think about those examples in particular, but if there are any examples you can think of like, I mean, I’m very curious to hear what you have to say, Link not only because this, these are positioned as racism and horror, right, in particular. And and I mean, it’s not weird, right? To talk about what the horror aspect to what it is that it’s representing, it’s representing something else, but it doesn’t doesn’t matter how. On the nose, the metaphor is, right. It’s usually not like exactly that. Right. It’s like the monster is literally the, you know, like this white family across the street. Yeah, I haven’t seen the show, so I’m not sure If there’s more stuff to it out there, um,

Lara Taylor 5:03
it’s interesting I looked up the them is done by. I think the showrunner is Lena Waithe. Mm hmm. Yeah. I actually like a lot.

Josué Cardona 5:15
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I’ve read some interesting things. I’m a fan too Yeah, I’m a fan of, Lena Waithe. And what was that was a service that disappeared. Do you remember the one that was like? QB Quibi one?

Lara Taylor 5:29

Josué Cardona 5:31

Lara Taylor 5:32

Josué Cardona 5:34
No, no, she had a show. That was all about sneakers. That’s really good. I was like, a, like a love letter to sneakers. But yeah, then she made them. Again, lots of interesting thoughts on that, but, but I’m so I’m curious what you think. And also think you explore a lot of depth in different types of media. And I think that’s also one of those things where I sure, like, I’ll go through seven different, you know, stories about death in in what remains of Edith Finch. But in other media, I’m like, Oh, no, like these characters can i can’t i don’t want to, I don’t want any part of it. Or like, oh, that song is too sad or sad, or like, it just depends on how it’s packaged. And,

Link Keller 6:19

Josué Cardona 6:19
and I mean, we’ve talked about death in particular, in the past where I, I feel like there’s been a there’s a practice of the sense of loss. It’s not the same, right? We’re not saying it’s the same as losing someone close to you. But to get to feel the loss is is in a way that you’re like, oh, oh, I just felt the loss. I wasn’t expecting that. But But it happened in a way in a package that was in a way that I can then reflect on and experience in a particular way. That’s not too bad. No. thoughts, Link?

Link Keller 6:52
Yeah. Yes. I think that that is one of the great. I apologize. If you can hear screaming in the background, I closed the window, but I can still hear it. So

Josué Cardona 7:05
yeah, I’m, sometimes I record and that happens too. And

Link Keller 7:10
no, like, just started up as I started talking, so I’m like,

Josué Cardona 7:14
Did you hear what did you hear my question?

Link Keller 7:16
I did? Yeah. Okay. Sorta, I think I parsed it. One of the things I really love about horror, as genre is that it is a way to engage with darker, more upsetting themes and ideas and events that have happened or made up ones that are metaphorical, for real things. I think that that is one of horrors great skills is that it gives us space to engage with these kinds of things that are uncomfortable with intention, you know, you you go in knowing that it’s gonna be uncomfortable and scary. And that’s, you know, you signed up to watch it, you agreed to do that. So I think that there’s something definitely beneficial in being able to have those kinds of outlets. It does depend on the package like you said, it does really matter. You know, what medium it’s in the experiences that what remains of Edith Finch provides I think the difference in watching it versus playing it, I think that there is a difference there even though it is not a supremely interactive game with you know, twitch reflexes or anything like that it’s very slow paced, and does not require you to have very much skill beyond figuring out how to move and look at the same time, which granted is tough for some people. But that’s basically all that the game asks of you. mechanic wise, but the feedback of you moving the game through these stories and you choosing when to you know, skip past a piece of text versus sit in and really mull on it, I think adds a whole extra layer of getting to engage with that kind of stuff that wouldn’t exist in just, you know, reading about it or just watching, you know, the what remains of Edith Finch TV show, I don’t think would have the same kind of impact

Josué Cardona 9:26
as as you explore the different types of games. I’m curious, have you ever come across one you’re like, this is like the i can’t i don’t i don’t want to?

Link Keller 9:36
Um, yes, I don’t know that I can think of a specific one off the top of my head. Oh, I watched somebody playing Medium recently and it had some real questionable stuff that I was like, I thought it was gonna be a game I’d be really into but it ended up missing a lot of the marks of what I want from a horror game of that style. Um, you know, it’s very common, especially in horror games to use insanity and mental illness as shorthand for bad evil scary, and I don’t, I don’t like that and it’s overplayed and boring at a certain point. So it’s not necessarily like that I don’t want to engage with that idea. So much as it’s been done already, and I didn’t care for how you guys have pulled it off so far. So I’m actually I’m gonna skip on it. Maybe another couple of years. Maybe Maybe somebody can figure it out. But so far, it’s not been great.

Josué Cardona 10:45
Yeah, Gian, in the comments says This War of Mine felt the same way. Like exploring the themes in that game.

Link Keller 10:52
Yeah, I only I only played like, the very, very beginning of that game. But yeah, I thought that was very cool. That’s that’s another thing is games. Like, what kind of art style you use can be very effective in changing how uncomfortable a tone is like. Don’t Starve is this. Yeah, a cutesy survival horror game basically was literally like, find resources. And you know, don’t get eaten by monsters and don’t starve. But it’s done in this sort of Edward gorey, -esque Tim Burton -y kind of art style and it makes it sort of cutesy and less less threatening, though. There are definitely still parts where I’m like, I am uncomfortable the monster is gonna get me!

Josué Cardona 11:48
survival games in general. It’s weird. You’re making a game out of surviving. And I get it like okay, like a Resident Evil game. like you’d lack resources and like, you can’t kill the monster. But in some games, you got to eat like, you gotta that’s that’s a starving is not like, oh, like food insecurity in my real life. And then you know, play get starve.

Link Keller 12:19
Get starved.

Josué Cardona 12:20
Don’t starve Yeah,

Lara Taylor 12:22
that’s the new game.

Josué Cardona 12:24
Live get starved and play don’t starve Sorry. Yeah, yeah.

Link Keller 12:29
Yeah, yeah, it is. It is interesting. What games do? Because you know, the point is always like, is this going to be an engaging mechanic is it going to be fun for people to play. And so a lot of times realism is ditched because it’s not fun. I’m thinking of like the, the Tomb Raider reboot did a big thing about like, Oh, yeah, bows and arrows like this is our sweet baby. Lara Croft on her first adventure out in the wild, she’s got to survive. And there’s literally there is one tutorial mission where you have to shoot a deer for God sorry, food food in and like fur to keep you warm in the snow. Of course, Lara doesn’t like actually change her outfit from the tank top, the dirty tank top she’s wearing. But that’s it, the game does not require you to actually survive in that way ever again. Because it would get really boring very quickly. In that game, there are other games where where that aspect is, is really well done. And it is really fun to try and figure out how to actually use your resources in such a way I think Don’t Starve fits in that I think that that one’s fun, but I don’t play a ton of those kinds of games because I get overwhelmed very quickly.

Josué Cardona 14:01
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think there’s a lot of negative examples of like, like gian mentioned this war of mine I remember I was I came to change and like they had it they were presenting it at the festival it just depressing to look at it like I didn’t want it like I get what you want me to feel you know in the comments down said it’s like, hopelessness is like the game mechanic. It’s like Yeah, but no, I don’t I don’t necessarily want to experience that.

Link Keller 14:31
Did you play papers please?

Josué Cardona 14:34
Yeah, so so that’s that’s a great that’s an example

Link Keller 14:37
that’s that I feel like that’s an example where it definitely rides the edge of being enjoyable mechanic-wise but still like stabbing you right in the heart

Josué Cardona 14:48
yeah, yeah, it makes it makes you think about it even even though the country is fictional and everything right but it’s like yeah, I think papers please up perfect balance of, of like, we’re trying To say something loudly, clearly. And it doesn’t. Yeah, there’s like, there’s no, you don’t you don’t see what happens to the people after right? Like cuz I mean, then that’s even part of the conversation that you can have afterwards. You have them. That’s a good example. A good example. Lara, have you thought of any examples?

Lara Taylor 15:23
Not of games?

Josué Cardona 15:25
Yeah, it doesn’t have to be Yeah.

Lara Taylor 15:30
I don’t know, when you brought up the topic I was trying to think of, there are not too many subjects that I will stray away from. If it comes up in media. I was thinking,

Link Keller 15:41
I don’t know. I framed it that way. And I’m like, what, what do I avoid? Watching? I couldn’t really think of anything specific.

Lara Taylor 15:50
Like if something happened to check in, like, I am a very if you’re talking like fight flight or freeze, I freeze. Like I don’t, I don’t speak up. I don’t I don’t do I have to work on these things. But like, I think watching something violent happen in front of me or something racist, or transphobic, or whatever. I’m less likely to act in person and would have a really hard time processing it. But in media, it helps me think about it and try to practice like, oh, maybe I should do something like that or not do something like that, or whatever. I read

Josué Cardona 16:33
Oh, that’s the point. That’s the topic, right? Yeah.

Lara Taylor 16:37
Yeah, but but there are things that like, like, I don’t know, I used to watch a lot of law and order SVU. That whole show is about sexual assaults. I love that show. I in comics, I will go to reading graphic memoir, which usually has some bad thing has happened to somebody, or they’ve gone through this big change in their life. And I love those kinds of stories. I love the idea of being able to explore those things just enough removed, even if I know like a comic is a memoir, and it’s actually somebody’s story. There’s enough difference. Like I have friends who are cartoonists and I’ve read their stuff. And I’m like, it’s different enough that I know some of this actually happened to you. But it’s it’s, it’s I don’t connect it to them directly when I look at them. I’m the kind of person who likes to engage with media that things are worse than the things that I am going through in my life. So that I can get away from that worry about somebody else’s problems and the problem that is bigger than my own. So I don’t I don’t stray away from things and I’m Yeah, I like to, I like to process through comics and, and games and TV and movies. And that’s primarily how I work. So I don’t know, there’s there’s so many examples, like everything out there.

Josué Cardona 18:21
Yeah, yeah, I guess. Yeah. Yeah. I guess it surprised me to just think about like, oh, no way. Oh, that like, totally depends. It depends on how it’s like not every show. Not every thing right? Like I don’t know, every time this comes up often, right? Like, you lost the parent lara, Right? It’s like, okay, so like this comes up. And then like, if it comes up in a sitcom, even though it’s sad, right, like, it might be

Lara Taylor 18:52
still something I like watching. I can relate to Yeah,

Josué Cardona 18:55
yeah, you can relate to the to the Yeah.

Lara Taylor 18:59
And there are some things like certain. Like, when when Link brought up art style in games, I think there are certain aesthetically in a comic, I can’t read something, even if the story is wonderful. If the art isn’t something I find aesthetically pleasing. I can’t read it. So I don’t I can’t but I can’t there’s no good or bad. Like it’s just it’s not for me. And so there are some things I don’t read not because of the content, but because it’s just not packaged in a way that I like, I guess. like walking dead. I read those comics. I read the first Compendium, the first piece of the Compendium I really liked, and then they shifted the art style and I was like, I hate this.

Josué Cardona 19:50

Lara Taylor 19:51
not because of the fucked up things that happened to all the characters in the comics. But because of it just visually didn’t work. For me,

Josué Cardona 20:01
yeah, I mean, I think that counts. I think that that. Yeah, if they’re examples of that. Hmm.

Lara Taylor 20:10
I mean, we can bring up wonder egg priority that I mean

Josué Cardona 20:13
we will that’s, that’s gonna we’re working up to. I’m just I’m, I was just I was just like, I wasn’t planning on going more into like, there’s no good there’s no good way to show racism right, like, but but i i there’s so many conversations around this right where it’s like Lena Waithe, I think this is the second thing that she’s made where it’s been, again like that article called Black trauma porn, right and then I think I’ve seen Ava DuVernay talk about like, we don’t like black families don’t need to see, you know, black people getting shot by police. We know what that is we can explore different parts of that story. Right? And then there’s like different ways of presenting it. But that’s like about being graphic, right? Like that, like makes sense. I think so

Link Keller 21:12
and also like a desire to have other types of stories told when when the majority is black trauma is the only way that you’re going to get to see black people is if you’re hearing their traumatic stories, real or fictional, is the same thing with, you know, queer stories and having it always be like the coming out story is like, okay, that’s great. But we want we want something else now. Like we want other versions of the story. So a little different from like, Oh, I don’t want to watch that. Because I’m uncomfortable or I don’t like the package that it’s it is a little bit of the package. It’s like that’s not the the aspect of the story that I want you to give me.

Josué Cardona 21:56
So I think I think I think we’re getting close to something. The I think there’s there’s different forms of resistance to it. Right? One of them can be like, I’ve just heard this story so many times, right? But then it’s like a sci fi or fantasy show. And someone’s coming out as like a wizard or magician and you’re like, oh, like it? Oh, it’s Oh, it’s the same story, right? But this time, like, like, I enjoyed it. And in sci fi, there’s there’s so many, like Star Trek does this right with with racism a lot. And they’re just it’s aliens, right? Instead of instead of different human races, and act like oh, yeah, no, that was that was amazing. It’s the same story, right? It’s the same story, but it’s sold in a different way and suddenly its like Oh, yeah, no, like, I’m glad we revisited this or I’m, or I appreciate it, way more than then in a in a different package. But I agree, I think I think just being tired of the same story told over and over again, in that particular way. I mean, this definitely feeds into the the anime stuff. I whenever I talk about anime, I talk about it just like I don’t know, I think Western media in general is like boring in comparison. Like, I just, I get to that point where I’m like, yeah, this just doesn’t this. Yeah. Okay, another superhero movie and other drama and other blah, blah. And I’m like, okay, no, okay, I need some anime in my life. I need to I need something larger.

Lara Taylor 23:21
And sometimes that anime for other people is just too over the top.

Josué Cardona 23:26
So So. Yeah, I mean, I mean, so I’ve been watching a show called wonder egg priority, which I, I don’t know if we’ve mentioned it on the show recently, but that when I read about it, it said it was I saw the first part of it. I was like, ah, like, I don’t know what’s going on. And then I read a headline of a review that said, Oh, this, like, it like flips the magical girl. Anime genre on its head. I think it’s a what I got. I had no idea. I’m like, like a Sailor Moon show. Like that’s, that’s not what this what this is. It is. It absolutely is. If you haven’t seen it, it is. But it is. It didn’t feel that way. It does things very differently. But the thing here, it’s like, Sure, I started talking about like racism is a monster. And here, like trauma is the monster like literally like different types of trauma. And not only just trauma, it’s like trauma that led people to end their lives. And it was like something that pushed people to an extreme. Or was, was that that’s the event that is presented right? Where you are actually presented with this person after they died. And there are things there that are there’s lots of things that are being explored. There are some mysteries but basically like, this is what the show it’s like if Sailor Moon instead of fighting like just monsters, it’s like, goes into a world where only you know, people who have died by suicide are there to then like battle. Before they pass on right version of their of their trauma right it’s not like it’s not like a literal version of a take an anime as hell

Lara Taylor 25:11

Josué Cardona 25:13
Yeah Inu Yasha level monsters No, no no

Lara Taylor 25:19
this is way no inu yasha is is totally different. Different.

Josué Cardona 25:26
I showed you a picture that’s way worse from an episode.

Lara Taylor 25:29

Josué Cardona 25:30
Yeah, way worse No, no

Lara Taylor 25:32
no, no no so that picture was way worse he’s trying to say this anime this picture from a demon in a giant demon in inu yasha is worse than which episode was this that I was talking about? It was oh it was the gymnastics coach with her love with her like giant boobs hanging out shooting purple and green paint out of her boobs at people.

Josué Cardona 26:01
Yep, yep, yep.

Lara Taylor 26:03
And yeah, yeah,

Josué Cardona 26:06
yeah and

Lara Taylor 26:07
i just i dunno

Josué Cardona 26:10
I see a you know, like you sound uncomfortable like what is it about that? That about the whole thing what is it that is made? Oh,

Lara Taylor 26:19
I think it was just it was just weird for me like I get I’m so used to sci fi fantasy stuff. So inu yasha makes sense to me demons fighting off demons with swords and arrows and all of that I can mystical powers. I get that. Also, one of the things I thought of when I was looking at the design of like the characters weapons and stuff, I was like, this is this is fucking Kingdom Hearts, but like really fucked up Kingdom Hearts. Like it looked like they had keyblades Um, but it is. I mean, I’ve watched all the shows that have been dubbed or all the episodes that have been dubbed and

Lara Taylor 26:41
wonder egg is up? Oh, I didn’t I didn’t even know.

Lara Taylor 27:10

Josué Cardona 27:11

Lara Taylor 27:11
so I’ve watched six episodes.

Josué Cardona 27:15
Hmm. Okay,

Lara Taylor 27:16
six episodes?

Josué Cardona 27:17
Yeah, you’ve seen a lot of messed up stuff.

Lara Taylor 27:19
I’ve seen a lot of messed up stuff. So

Link Keller 27:21
I’ve only seen the first episode.

Lara Taylor 27:24
It’s Um,

Josué Cardona 27:25
so you see, you’ve seen the gymnastics coach monster right in the first episode. Okay.

Lara Taylor 27:30
No, it is. I don’t know I am dealt with I deal with as a therapist, I deal with a lot of trauma. So this wasn’t bad. I didn’t think it was bad. I was just like, this is a lot. This is when you asked me Is it the Anime-ness or the trauma? I think I said both. But I’m leaning more towards. I don’t do like, I loved evangelion when I was younger, but I feel like it was too fucked up for me now. Like it is like,

Josué Cardona 27:59
I mean that you’re not wrong. Like, if I messed you up as a as a kid? Yeah.

Lara Taylor 28:05

Link Keller 28:06
actually, that. That reminded me. So an example of that aspect of like, when I was younger, in several like, YA, like, fantasy novels I read. And in some, like movies and stuff, there is a romantic aspect between a young woman and an older, more knowledgeable man. And as a kid I didn’t like as a teen that didn’t. That didn’t even register to me. But now as an adult. That stuff makes me way more uncomfortable. And I do sort of Ooh, about some of that. Yeah, yeah. I wonder. I wonder. I wonder if that’s part of it is like, if our sensitivity to these certain types of stories is partly due to when we first encountered those kinds of stories, in our own development.

Josué Cardona 29:12
Like a lot of these things aren’t. I wouldn’t necessarily, I’m not saying that we choose these things for entertainment. Right, or that we’re looking for that. Right. It’s like there’s a

Link Keller 29:23
and most pieces of media don’t have just one thing, right. So Yeah,

Josué Cardona 29:29
yeah. But like, there are some ways that something could be presented that way, right? Where I’m like, No, absolutely not. Like that’s like, I can’t I can’t deal with that. I mean, there’s, there’s, there’s something about wonder egg I that I that I like because I there’s a lot of things about wonder egg that I like, but actually, I love the the way that the trauma is portrayed. I find this monstrous way that is, and it’s in bright colors. And it’s it’s cartoonish. But it’s also terrifying, right? It’s like, it’s it’s, it’s disturbing, but also comforting in a way where I am thinking about the way they present it.

Link Keller 30:16
That’s why I love anime. animation in general, I’m thinking of like paprika, and blue velvet and stuff like that and how the animation adds so much extra depth to things while also giving it like that space of being like, it’s cartoons. It’s not real, like you’re in a fantasy space. But like, also, like, think about it, though.

Josué Cardona 30:38
Right, right. Like it’s like wonder egg, is yelling at it in your face. Right? It’s, uh, it’s repeating the abusive language. The monster is yelling it, but at the same time,

Lara Taylor 30:50
they’re gaining mastery over it

Josué Cardona 30:52
I was like, well, the I mean, they’re kicking the shit right out of it. Yeah, one

Lara Taylor 30:56
thing that reminded me of is I kill giants. Yeah. A lot. Yeah, I kill giants.

Josué Cardona 31:05
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, and I kill giants, right? It’s very similar. It’s that the, the main character, you see the way that they are representing these, this trauma, right? And they the way she sees them as giants, right? And here in in wonder egg. They’re represented in so many different ways that are?

Lara Taylor 31:29
Well, and it’s there’s the added thing, because the magical girls are they’re trying to basically help these other girls like process the trauma so they can move on right now. And also, they’re trying to save their own friends or family who, who couldn’t have ended their lives who couldn’t? Yeah.

Josué Cardona 31:54
Who didn’t get to defeat that? Like, I mean, we, I don’t know that. There’s like a mystery there. Right? Like, yeah, were there no magical girls there to save them? or help them? Or that that already happen for them? I you know, it could go in a few different ways. But I almost so. Okay, I didn’t think about this before. But I wonder, I haven’t seen any interviews with Lena waithe about this. But I wonder if the reason why you go deeper into this thing. And you make it like, like racism is already

Lara Taylor 32:30

Josué Cardona 32:30
scary and terrible, right? But like, what if we make it worse, right? Like, what if we, what if we represent the way that maybe other people feel it is for them? That it and it’s not for you? Right? Like this experience? It’s a it is a literal thing. But the the, the level of it right? Or like the way it’s presented is metaphor, like the level of intensity of it is is metaphorical. For the people for whom? Like, like, that’s the thing that you want to see. Right? It’s like maybe from the outside, we can see something and we can feel a certain way about it. But like in wonder egg priority, it feels like, this is the experience of this child. to them. It wasn’t just this. Even the thing is about the giant breasts, right? It’s like two to a small kid. This this person who is just abusive and horrible, is a monstrous thing, right? It doesn’t look like a person to them anymore. And so if they had to, I mean, they haven’t explored this, right. But like, it’s like, when you have a client you’re like, and they draw something for you. Right? And it’s representative of the thing has all the features, but they’re still they use crayons to do it. And the proportions are different, right? It looks it feels like that it feels like, like we get to come along to see that. And I don’t know, maybe maybe the reason why I enjoy. I don’t like the feeling of hopelessness in horror, right? I don’t like. I mean, sometimes, it depends, right? Depends on what mood I’m in. But like, seeing just people like, oh, there’s eight people. And at the end, there’s only two left, right, like people who just died, right? I just know. Some people got out some people won, right. But I’m not saying stories have to always wrap up nicely. But there’s something that feels really good to me about wonder egg priority where it is a battle and then like they can they can actually win. Like I liked watchmen, where all of these revelations showed you, it was like, Oh, wait a minute. These are the people who were oppressed and represented. It was it was different, right? Like the the outcomes. You can’t change the suffering. You can’t do that. But you get to have that moment of like, oh, but they some sort of victory in the end. right something you don’t you don’t come out of it at the end feeling just like, ugh, like that was like I don’t I don’t think you can show me that if you show me a if I see a movie and at the end it’s like, and we solved the racism and everybody’s clapping and everybody’s happy. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t.

Lara Taylor 35:17
you wouldn’t buy it

Josué Cardona 35:18
It would disgust me. But put that put that in some anime, right?

Lara Taylor 35:24
Where you’re instead of just saying we solve racism or whatever they’re like actually fighting it and the

Josué Cardona 35:30
racism becomes this monster at the end compressed and somebody like slices it with a sword and does the thing.

Lara Taylor 35:37
and you witness The victory instead of just like this false

Josué Cardona 35:40
I live the victory. I’m like, Yeah,

Link Keller 35:43
like the end of gurren lagann. Like, oh, we’re fighting against the anti spiral energy is like, is this a metaphor for mortality? Like even if you fight eventually you’ll grow too big and you’ll the spiral will collapse and it’ll be anti spiral anyways. Yeah, but, what if we keep fighting? Cuz that feels helpful? Yeah.

Josué Cardona 36:11
I think I think there’s part of this where I don’t I don’t exactly understand. Like, why I feel the way I feel about some of this some of this stuff. Because I can think of things that I don’t maybe it’s maybe maybe it’s it’s like, maybe it’s what satire does, right? And parody and like that, right, those things that like you can make fun of something that is so terrible. We can make a joke about it. And somebody’s like, okay, you can think about maybe maybe it’s this, maybe this is exactly what it is because I’ve like, I I I have gun violence makes me extremely uncomfortable. Video games. I can’t even if I’m playing a game that has gunfire, I need to like, I need to turn off the sound effects because it just, I get extremely anxious. And I don’t I don’t enjoy it. But sometimes, I have either of you seen Django Unchained?

Link Keller 37:07

Josué Cardona 37:08
So there’s a there’s a, there’s, I mean, this happens, a whole bunch of stuff happens. But this is one scene where Django shoots somebody with a gun, like at an angle and then the person just flies off like a cue ball. Like if they were playing pool, right? And that’s just like, it’s so cartoonish and ridiculous. But what’s happening at that time, it’s I mean, that movie is all about racism and slavery and and just injustice and you. I mean, I’m basically that that movie is basically an anime Actually, I just as I’m talking about it,

Link Keller 37:40
yeah. I’m sort of wrapping around to in my own tastes is like, I like to delve into this like really dark fucked up stuff, but it’s, I prefer it to be animated to be some sort of cartoon.

Josué Cardona 37:55
There’s an absurdity to it that makes it like I’m like, okay,

Link Keller 37:58
I wanna I want my violence to have the like, smudge cel shaded look because that makes it less real even though a lot of the violence I watch in movies and TVs that have real is like it’s not real but the extra buffer layer of having it be like not only is this fictional, it’s like cartoon fictional is like okay, yeah

Lara Taylor 38:24
it’s two dimensional Fictional it’s like there’s no people here fictional

Link Keller 38:29
Yes. Yes. Seeing someone strangle a child absolutely horrifying What the fuck seeing Homer strangle Bart funny. Funny. I still laugh

Josué Cardona 38:38
I can’t I can’t do I don’t find it funny. For me that’s still too close because they’re just like, even though they’re yellow and you know like they’re

Lara Taylor 38:46
and he never actually kills him or Yeah,

Josué Cardona 38:50
oh no, but that that one goes too far for me like I like that makes me uncomfortable. Like Like, like domestic violence is something that I I okay this is good This is good.

Link Keller 39:00
you found Another one

Josué Cardona 39:01
I can’t I hate that but I’ll take Family Guy like the whole family like beating each other up throughout the house. that one that one doesn’t bother me as much

Link Keller 39:13
Yeah, yeah.

Josué Cardona 39:14
but i can see People be having completely the opposite.

Link Keller 39:16
Yeah, so since I definitely prefer simpsons to family guy but there is that one it’s got to be in like the first two or three seasons a family got but there’s an episode where Peter is fighting a man in a chicken suit. And it’s like a long gratuitous like that is very funny but that is like that’s the joke is that it keeps going and going

Josué Cardona 39:38
and it continues through like multiple seasons like they have like yeah, matches it happens. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s

Link Keller 39:46
that’s that’s really it’s probably one of one of the few things a Family Guy where I like both I remember it and I like it still is remembering Oh, that was really gross. And I don’t think that’s funny anymore.

Josué Cardona 39:59
Yeah. Yeah, that’s, that’s that’s the kind of absurdity where again, maybe I’ll see it now and I’ll feel differently about it. But like, we’re the family just like something happens. And then, like someone like someone’s strangling their kid is and just like squeezing the air out of them. It makes me uncomfortable. But then the Family Guy, like literally the whole family just get into this whole battle royale. And it is so huge, right? Yeah, like the jump is so gigantic, and people are like, falling down the stairs. And at the end, they’re just watching TV. Right? It’s like, it’s it’s different. Not that. Not that it makes me feel any. I don’t think you’re trying to I mean, I’m pretty sure that neither show is trying to say anything about domestic violence. Right. There’s no way here. There’s no has nothing to it is it is I think it is trivializing domestic violence. So in general, they, they both bothering me in that sense. But when I can at least, like find funny because of the absurdity of it. Um, they’re not trying to explore the ideas of, of family dynamics, or domestic violence or anything like that. Unlike some of these, you know, the other examples that we’re, we’ve talked about, we’re

Lara Taylor 41:13
Interesting. I’ve got a question for you Josué. You introduce me to shameless. How do you feel about that show?

Josué Cardona 41:20
Which part of shameless?

Lara Taylor 41:23
any of it! there’s domestic violence, there’s drug use, there’s drinking, there’s definite neglect and child abuse.

Josué Cardona 41:33
I don’t recall any domestic violence. Child abuse, we could go on for three hours.

Lara Taylor 41:40
I’m trying to I’m trying to remember the actual domestic violence, but there is there’s definitely didn’t Frank hit one of the one of the boys?

Josué Cardona 41:53
I don’t remember.

Lara Taylor 41:54
I mean, it he might have been older, I think he hit Ian

Josué Cardona 41:58
I don’t remember. But Frank is a piece of shit. Right? Like, there’s like, there. Yeah, there there are funny. I enjoy the show a lot. But like,

Lara Taylor 42:06
and it’s absurd, and, and funny and really fucked up in a lot of ways.

Josué Cardona 42:11
I mean, the funniest thing is that he’d never dies when I hope he dies. Right? Like, like, he just

Lara Taylor 42:15
he should have died many times

Josué Cardona 42:17
multiple times, I enjoyed the show a lot. And I think the maybe the, like, the cathartic piece of it. Right, like, like, part of the thing that it’s that the show is trying to show is that, like, society isn’t fair, and some people live in complete different situations, and you do different things, like families do different things to survive. And they just live differently, right. And it’s just, it’s a very different family doing things unlike, you know, your typical drama TV show, but they’re the show frequently has the moments where it doesn’t matter that they were screwed over by the employer, by the county, by, you know, whatever, by someone who is racist by someone who is smarter or someone or whatever, right. Like they, they usually come out, okay, in the sense that like, they take care of each other and blah, blah, like, there are those moments where they, they kind of they, they win and I don’t think anybody is ever rewarded for any of that behavior. So so so I so I like shameless.

Lara Taylor 43:28
Okay, because I can think I can definitely think of examples now. I think of the milkoviches, I think of Mickey in Ian’s relationship is abusive to that. I

Josué Cardona 43:42
don’t know that that’s a that’s a that’s a good example. Right. Like, there’s definitely I think that counts as domestic violence. Right. Um, but but I think they, I think shameless is very traditional in the sense that it’s just, it’s a drama, and there’s no nobody wins for doing that. Right. Like, there’s no, the relationships are complicated, right? But nobody, nobody gains anything from having a child consume cocaine or having, you know, people fighting and hurting each other or don’t get rewarded for stealing, necessarily, you know, like, it’s not for example, but you know, it’s, it’s, for the most part, it’s just it’s, it’s basic Western TV. I love I love I love Shameless, but um, but I’ve actually had this happen with shameless and I’m like, okay, I’ve seen like seven episodes in a row. I love the show. I love the same way. I’m gonna go watch some shonen or something. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I don’t I don’t. I think I think it’s impressive to me when you can explore some of these ideas. And do it in a way that yeah. Oh, okay, okay, we’re doing this now I can’t so I’m like, songs about infidelity like I like I hate them I can’t I can’t do it

Lara Taylor 45:15
screaming infidelity. Yeah, I

Josué Cardona 45:18
can’t I can’t imagine a version of watching like, like,

Link Keller 45:22
and she caught me on the counter, wasn’t me

Josué Cardona 45:29
I can’t Yeah, I can’t imagine a version of that or maybe I mean, I don’t know I’ve been doing this episode have been great. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. I can’t think of a version of that where I’m like, oh, okay, that’s maybe when someone’s like it happens is it’s like payback or something right like like something maybe you can make jokes about it but I don’t think I can’t think of an unless you know a version of that. Like I’ve even seen cartoons right where they’re like, oh, like this person is addicted to a substance or something right? And they’re just trying to be like a PSA or something, you know, but like, it’s like, Oh, you didn’t say the words but like that was? Okay, I get it. Mmm hmm hmm. Huh? Huh? I’ve ever seen anything like wonder egg?

Link Keller 46:23
other anime.

Josué Cardona 46:26
other anime that addresses that. Many years ago,

Link Keller 46:31
I’ve only watched the one episode so I can’t really I’m not in a place to compare things but I remember watching like an episode of Mushi-shi that was like doing like, disability stuff. But it was also like magical. It was a very long time ago that I watch is something about like a blind kid who could who could see something that other people couldn’t anyways, that concepts of turning things into monsters that can be defeated has definitely been done in anime before, but I don’t have anything else off the top of my head.

Josué Cardona 47:17
Yeah, huh? Huh? Huh, huh? Yeah, I mean, that reminds me of Dororo which is like this kid you’re like loses like as a baby in a deal with demons loses both arms both legs, ears, eyes, nose and skin. And at the end still fights all the demons and and and wins. But there’s no it’s as strange as that seems. It’s kind of literal. It’s like it’s there’s no Hmm. Yeah. I don’t know if wonder egg feels special to me. I wonder if gian is still there if there’s any, any version of this? I mean, I mentioned

Link Keller 48:04
fooly cooly [FLCL].

Josué Cardona 48:07
What happens in fooly Cooly [FLCL] that I forgot the stuff. I forgot the specifics. Do you remember?

Link Keller 48:15
uh puberty?

Josué Cardona 48:18
Yeah, yeah.

Link Keller 48:20
metaphorical experience of choosing to be a man instead of a boy. But also, to forehead robot. Mm hmm.

Josué Cardona 48:35
Lara mentioned evangelion earlier. I mean, there’s there’s a lot. It’s definitely counts. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Lara Taylor 48:45
I mean, there’s I feel like Full Metal Alchemist is a little bit like it’s a little different. It’s more on the note, but it’s like, theyre dealing with the loss of their mom. No, I

Josué Cardona 48:57
think it counts. I think it counts because it’s, it’s the setting. It’s the world. It’s the it’s the it’s the the fact that Alphonse is like, if you describe what happened to them, and what is happening to them. It is so terrible. But when you look at Alphonse and you hear his voice, right? And you see the relationship between them, it’s, it’s very, it’s comforting and it’s fun. But at the same time, like, at every, at every moment, you’re reminded of like, like, you can like oh, like, oh, he doesn’t have a body anymore. And he lost a leg and an arm. And it’s because of you know, their mom was sick and their father ran away like, you know, I, I think yeah, there’s um, I watched with my with my little sister, many many years ago, and I don’t know she’s ever watched anime since or ever will again, we watched the Grave of the Fireflies.

Link Keller 49:59
oh No,

Lara Taylor 50:00
oh no. Someone who made a class of children watch that.

Josué Cardona 50:05
I would so so that is

Link Keller 50:08
that feels mean?

Josué Cardona 50:10
I think it is the cruelest.

Link Keller 50:12
I’ve not seen that one. I mean, I know I know enough about it that there’s the reason I haven’t seen it yet is because I’m like, I need to be in the right state of mind to engage with this at all. I know how it’s gonna be I’ve been warned.

Josué Cardona 50:27
Yeah, yeah. It’s like, I mean, when I’m one of my favorite movies is the pianist. And it’s it’s a it’s about the Holocaust and this horrible feeling right? And but it’s like, oh, I don’t know there’s something like there’s there’s it. I think Grave of the Fireflies is like that. It’s like grave of the fireflies may even be like a better movie. It’s just like, it’s just a good movie. Like when I had it on DVD like Roger Ebert had a commentary track on it, right. It was like it’s a good movie. But it is just emotional. It is it is it is intense. It is extremely it’s just an intense experience. And that is the opposite of what right I mean, but maybe there are other no this is Grave of the Fireflies is is Full Metal Alchemist, right. Like it’s it’s but Full Metal Alchemist like it. It’s It’s It’s this dramatic. Right. I think they’re very similar the thematically but the way that they’re presented are very different. If you even told me that, like, it’s the same story. But they just changed the aspects of it. So it’s not as literal in Fullmetal Alchemist. I, you know, I? I bet okay. Yeah, no, that makes sense. Thank you for that, because I don’t want to go through the grave of the Fireflies again, every time I think I’m gonna watch it again. I don’t have the resolve. I can’t hit play. I can’t do it. I just I just remind me and my sister have never cried so much

Lara Taylor 51:59
there are other things to watch a second time. Josué There are other things to watch. And there’s other things to watch the first time

Josué Cardona 52:07
I’ve never cried so hard in my life like me and my sister like held hands and just cried. I guess like this is how i Remember that experience? It was it was intense.

Lara Taylor 52:16
And you ruined anime for your sister,

Josué Cardona 52:18
ruined anime period for she’s considering watching the new. She’s excited about the new Sailor Moon movie that’s coming into Netflix. Do you think once she gets into the magical girl genre, I can just get her into wonder egg?

Link Keller 52:36
Netflix is just like hey, since you watch Sailor Moon How about this traumatizing piece of anime, hmm?

Josué Cardona 52:45
so then when it’s actually pretty messed up, but that’s another that’s a whole other but it’s another it’s a it actually does something kind of similar in the sense that Oh, there’s the colors and the bright color. You know, the bright lights and the transformation and and yeah, pretty sailor pretty Guardian Sailor Moon,

Lara Taylor 53:05
right. She-Ra is the same thing. Catra and Adora were abused by the Horde, and then they fall in love. And that’s the end.

Josué Cardona 53:18

Lara Taylor 53:20
but they but they get to kick the ass of the entity that abused them. Yeah,

Josué Cardona 53:29
maybe maybe that’s the difference. Maybe it’s it’s without that part,

Link Keller 53:32
destroy the colonizers?

Josué Cardona 53:35
Yeah, exactly. If you don’t burn it down at some point, then it’s not. It’s not worth exploring.

Link Keller 53:44
That’s the main thing is that as part of being a story, there has to be some sort of ending, preferably one that is satisfying in some way, and real life doesn’t provide us that. So these stories are just just by being stories are providing us with some sort of ending of varying level of satisfaction.

Josué Cardona 54:09
Yeah. Yeah, I mean, we thank you. You helped me find more examples than I thought I would. The more i thought about the topic.

Link Keller 54:18
I’m glad because definitely earlier today. I’m like, I don’t have any ideas. Oh, I’m glad we came up with good stuff.

Josué Cardona 54:26
Yeah, I think I think there’s a there’s a lot of them. Yeah. Anime

Lara Taylor 54:33

Josué Cardona 54:34
if you like anime. Check out our anime podcast. otaku ryoho otaku ryoho dot Geek therapy.com. It’s good. I like it. I like it. We we recently did an episode on Wonder Egg Priority. I watched it because of a I think it was the article that said like magical girl. And I’m like, Nah, that’s not true. All right. So thank you for Joining us for more conversations like just join in go to our community spaces, links are in the description in the show notes. And yeah, thank you for listening for more Geek Therapy visit Geek therapy.org remember to geek out and do good and we’ll back next week.

Link Keller 55:23

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Characters / Media
  • Them [TV Show]
  • Watchmen [TV Show]
  • What Remains of Edith Finch
  • This War of Mine
  • Don’t Starve
  • Papers, Please
  • Wonder Egg Priority
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Paprika
  • Blue Velvet
  • Gurren Lagann
  • Django Unchained
  • The Simpsons
  • Family Guy
  • Shameless
  • Dororo
  • Fooly Cooly / FLCL
  • Full Metal Alchemist
  • Grave of the Fireflies
Themes / Topics

Conversation Topics:

* Racism
* Cultural representation
* Death
* Difficult emotions
* Domestic Abuse
* Fear
* LGBT Issues
* Resilience
* Standing up for oneself
* Working with others

Relatable Experience:

* Avoidance
* Abuse
* Clarity/Understanding
* Suicide
* Trauma
* Growing Up

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Links / Social Media

Check out the GT Network: network.geektherapy.com

GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.org

GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord

GT Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/geektherapy

Find us at www.GeekTherapy.org | @GeekTherapy | Lara: @GeekTherapist | Link: @CHICKENDINOSAUR | Josué: @JosueACardona

Ask us anything through the Question Queue and we’ll answer on the show: geektherapy.org/qq

Join the Conversation!

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