Our Projects

Current VIP Projects

Christina Feng, Analysis of Studio Ghibli Art Style

I am a fourth year architecture major interested in East Asian culture. The East Asian Media VIP is full of inspiring students with similar passions. By helping each other with our personal projects, we have made great projects in learning about what we love. I am working on the philosophy of Studio Ghibli and how its art style and, more specifically, the backgrounds shape the iconic Ghibli storytelling style. It was inspired by my lifelong love for Studio Ghibli and my visit to Japan, especially the Studio Ghibli Park in Nagoya. 

Joshua Kim, Essay on Zainichi Korean Cinema

My name is Joshua Kim, and I am a 4th Year CS Major also pursuing a Minor in Korean. My project is a literary analysis essay exploring a minority Japanese perspective of post-WW2 Korean-Japanese relationships through Zainichi films. My paper also looks into Zainichi (Korean Japanese) identity and its relationship to the Japanese annexation of Korea.

Jessi Rich, Video Essay on Black Representation in Anime

My name is Jessi Rich and I am a third year LMC and ALIS (Japanese) major. Last semester, I wrote a research essay examining Black representation in Japanese media (namely anime), conducting a case study on the merits and pitfalls of Sayo Yamamoto’s Michiko & Hatchin (2008). My current project is an adaptation of that essay to a video essay format.

Arya Vajpayee, Noh-inspired Animation

My name is Arya Vajpayee I am a 3rd year computer science major with a minor in Japanese. My project is a short animated film based on the Noh play “Takasago”. I spent the first semester of my VIP researching Noh theatre and deciding on the contents of the short film, and the second semester was spent beginning storyboarding the short film. I am now working on animating the short film and finishing my project.

Iris Wu, Analysis of Anime Soundtracks

As a Music Tech student doing a project related to computational musicology, I’m interested in analyzing anime soundtracks used under different scenes, emphasizing character’s emotion. Trying to answer questions like “What kind of pitch/timbre pattern is in the background music when characters fight with their ‘superpower’?” I have participated in the East Asian Media VIP twice before. My previous projects included a translation of Kenji Miyazawa’s short story, “The Good-Natured Volcanic Rock,” and an original biography of Akiko Tanaka, the Japanese translator of Lord of the Rings.

Alison Yeung, Analysis of East Asian Visual Novels

My name is Alison Yeung and I am a 2nd year Industrial Engineering student minoring in IBLC (International Business Languages and Culture). For my project I will be analyzing the differences between East Asian Visual Novels (Manhua, Manhwa, and Manga). The goal of this project is to offer a comprehensive understanding between the visual novels, highlighting their artistic techniques, cultural significance, and the ways in which they continue to captivate audiences worldwide.

Past VIP Projects

“Promise of Divinity” by Dalong Hu
Emerson Barrett, East Asian Mythology-inspired Short Story

I worked on writing a short story that drew inspiration from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean mythology and legend. My first step was to research myths, legends, and folktales from these different cultures and take notes on overarching themes and interesting characters that I might want to incorporate into my own writing. I then searched for and read contemporary short stories by East Asian-American authors, such as Ken Liu and Eugie Foster. From these, I noted story construction, as well as an emphasis on moral exploration. Finally, I outlined and wrote my story. In my final deliverable for this course, I had to cut some elements that were too broad for the span of a short story, but I hope to reintroduce these elements as I continue to develop this story into a longer work.

Matteo Joseph De Lurgio, “Narumi Oribe-yaki” Ceramics Project

I’m a 5th year AE major, and I’ve been making pottery throughout my time at Tech. For my project this semester, I was attracted to the rich culture of ceramics in Japan. I investigated various styles and settled on Narumi Oribe-yaki, which is a sub-sub-set of Mino-yaki, made during the Edo Period. This beautiful style uses red and white clay and a deep green glaze, often adorned with geometric patterns. Many pieces in this style are for use in the Tea Ceremony. My project will deliver an adapted set of wares in this style, made with the materials and processes available to me, and for use with coffee instead of tea.

Dalong Hu, “Promise of Divinity” Manga

I am creating a webtoon inspired by Japanese and Chinese art and mythology. In my first semester, I researched comprehensive processes of studying, scriptwriting, storyboarding, drawing, inking, and toning. In my second semester, I drew the first few pages as a manga, and in my third semester I further adjusted the script and switched to making it a coloured webtoon. The story is an original work from the ground up called Promise of Divinity, and so far the first chapter is done. Through this project, I’m learning tons about art and visual expression!

Michelle Lee, Series on Bong Joon Ho

I am analyzing the norms of South Korean society through the movies directed by Bong Joon Ho. I have three final deliverables being the Okja Analysis, Snowpiercer Film Review, and Bong Joon Ho as Auteur. The films covered throughout these pieces are Okja, Snowpiercer, Mother, Memories of Murder, and Parasite. These different styles of written work give insights into the Bong’s style and how he conveys symbolic messages in his films.

Natalie Mueller, “Race to the Lunar World”: Machine and Human Translation

I translated a 1907 short story called 月世界競争探検 (working title: Race to the Lunar World) and compared my final product to machine translations generated by Google Translate and DeepL. This comparison provided me with a means of analyzing the differences between human and machine translation techniques and why machine learning algorithms struggle so much with English-Japanese translation. These results were published in Hivemind: Global Speculative Fiction. Note: This piece won 2nd Place in the “People and Environment Track” at the 2021 VIP Innovation Competition!

Yendi Neil, “Mental Health in Neon Genesis Evangelion”

Ever watched the popular anime series, Neon Genesis Evangelion? Well, in this paper, I take a deeper dive into the anime and its characters. The study examines the portrayal of mental health issues in Japanese animation, specifically Neon Genesis Evangelion, based on accuracy. A poor portrayal of mental health can cause a stigma to develop or continue. I choose Japanese animation because it is a genre of media that reaches a huge audience not just in Japan, but overseas which people of all ages watch for entertainment. Based on my analysis, I argue that Japanese animation does have the potential to present common mental health themes and theories accurately especially when pulled from real-life experiences. I support my claim with a detailed analysis of each mental health theme between the characters Shinji, Asuka, and Rei. I also investigate previous research about the mental health stigma in Japan.

Sonali Pradhan, “The Phantom” Translation

I am a 2nd year Mechanical Engineering major and Japanese and Spanish minor student here at Georgia Tech. For my VIP project I translated a short mystery fiction story by Edogawa Ranpo  “幽霊” (“Ghost/Phantom”) originally written in 1925. I learned a lot about the translating process and improved upon my Japanese reading skills.

Lilly Rizvi, “New Gods: A Kōjō Moe Photo Zine”

Have you ever passed by a power plant or factory and felt its presence as imposing, otherworldly, or sci-fi?  “Kōjō moe (工場萌え) is a Japanese tourism and art phenomenon about the aesthetic appreciation of  these factories and industrial structures.  New Gods is a zine compiling of 3 years of the author’s own photography in this genre as well as an English-language introduction and guidebook for others and a small how-to guide for photographers.  In short, this zine is designed to be a portable museum gallery and workshop.  Included are interviews with photographers, an analysis of kōjō moe, and art critiques of prominent kōjō moe works, inter-spaced with photos taken in Japan and the US.

Erik Simpson, “Death of the Sleepwalker” Translation

I am a 6th year Mathematics and Japanese ALIS major student at Georgia Tech. As part of my Japanese studies at Georgia Tech, I took on the task of translating the Japanese Science Fiction horror short story “Death of a Sleepwalker” (夢遊病者の死, Muyūbyōsha no Shi, July 1925) by Edogawa Ranpo into English. The story takes place in early 20th century Japan, where a young man battles a dire case of sleepwalking as mysterious events occur around his hometown. In the process of translating, I improved my Japanese language skills and English writing skills while also learning about translation theory for the first time. It was a great opportunity to expand my interests outside of the traditional classroom experience.

Rebecca Seippel, “The Influence of the Western Market on Imari, Satsuma, and Sumida Wares” and “But First, a Toast”

I graduated in 2020 as a Japanese major and accounting minor. Currently, I research Japanese art for a global antiques company, and also translate Japanese horror and sci-fi short stories. I completed two projects for the VIP course: a research essay describing the effects of a Western audience on Japanese pottery during the Meiji era, and a translation of Masahiko Inoue’s horror/ sci-fi short story 一杯を前にして (“But First, a Toast”). I enjoy studying Japanese art and translation as I’m able to utilize my knowledge of Japanese in a creative field, so I’m glad that the Asian Media program was able to help me gain experience working in both of these fields.