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'Japan anime' - Common App. (Wash U in St. Louis, Cornell, + Syracuse)


Chiisanahime 1 / -  
Dec 28, 2006   #1
Please review/correct my essay. I am applying to some tough schools and would like this to be as good as possible. This is my first draft. If possible, I would like comments on how to improve stylistically, not just gramatically, etc. Also, I'm thinking of switching paragraph 2 with paragraph 3? Thank you!

There is nothing like the sense of flipping through a brand new manga. Or perhaps you would call it a "Japanese comic book", a "graphic novel", or even simply "animï". The smell of freshly printed ink ï some far away book store; the soft flutter of clean pages as they brush the tips of fingers; the fluid motion from image to image, page to page. Here are the emotions of an unknown friend, rained down onto the pages before me. And for a moment, I am in awe and admiration of the dedication and pure spirit that went into the work of art.

It is, however, not simply the content of these works that I treasure, but the connections they share with my past. Only 10 years ago, I was a third-grader in Nara, Japan. But at the end of that school year, my family and I left Japan and we have never returned. Since then, my greatest fear has been the fragility of my own memory. Will there come a day when I realize I can no longer remember the name of my home town? Reading manga and watching animï is the only thing that has allowed me to continue to speak Japanese fluently. My younger brother, who was unable to hold onto such ties, has hence forgotten even the simplest of Japanese words.

But most do not see animï as I do. What is she reading? I watch as they struggle to categorize each story into one of three categories: Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, or Pokïmon. What they do not see is that one manga cannot be "categorized" in such a way, just as a novel cannot be understood simply through association with another novel; that each book has a fingerprint ï a pace, a humor, and an indescribable something that cannot be found in any other work.

I have been taught by animï, and the prejudices that surround it. They say animï is for Asians, geeks, and outcasts. In the ninth-grade, at a parent-teacher conference with my painting teacher, I was asked type of art I liked to do. So, I answered:

"I like to draw Japanese animï", and watched as my teacher laughed and waved her hand dismissively.

"Oh, animï."

Others told me, animï is not a real form of art, not a real form of literature. So I choked down my arguments and hid my sketches. Slowly, though, I came to realize, animï is part of my heritage; a part of my passion for art. There is worth and beauty in anything that a person holds passion for. It is animï that began my love and admiration for other forms of art. A manga is a one-man film, the size, shape, angle, and character in each frame delicately intertwined with story. And within each frame is a work of art ï ink, motion, toning, and expression.

In the end, it is not stereotypical big eyes and spiked hair that moves me. What do these stylistic elements mean, after all? It is the pathway animï provides into my culture, and the love for art and open-mindedness that animï has given me.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Dec 28, 2006   #2
Greetings!

This is a very impressive piece of writing! You have a lovely way of expression that is a pleasure to read. I have only a few very minor suggestions:

In American English, commas and periods always go INSIDE the quotation mark: "Japanese comic book," a "graphic novel," or even simply "animé." The only exception is when the sentence ends with a single number or letter: "He signed his name with an "X".

"I watch as they struggle to categorize each story into one of three categories" would sound better if you could find another word for the second usage ("categories"). What about "classifications" or "groups"?

"ninth-grade" - leave out the hyphen, unless you are using it as an adjective: "ninth-grade class."

"I like to draw Japanese animé", - remember to put the comma inside the quote.

I loved the way you paint delicate pictures with words: "the soft flutter of clean pages as they brush the tips of fingers"; "my greatest fear has been the fragility of my own memory." I predict universities will be impressed, too!

Sarah, EssayForum.com


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