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The student news site of Stroudsburg High School

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March Madness Basketball Tournament; see class president, Eric Card.
3x3 Basketball Tournament
March 6, 2024

March Madness 3 x 3 basketball tournament on March 15, starting at 4pm.  Contact your class president, Eric Card, or class officers for more...

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Stroudsburg High Schools promotional Flyer for the King of Hearts dance.
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Luka Konklin, Editor-In-Chief • January 26, 2024

As the King of Heart's Dance draws near, take a look at the senior superlative and prepare to vote for your KOH nominees on Monday during homeroom! The...

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If you need tutoring, please join the Google Classroom so we can match you up with someone to help you. (Logo credit: NHS)
NHS Peer Tutoring
Luka Konklin, Editor-In-Chief • November 20, 2023

If you need tutoring, please join the Google Classroom so we can match you up with someone to help you. Please fill out the Google Form on Google...

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Stroudsburg walking off of the field during game against Emmaus on April 8, 2024.
Baseball loses heartbreaker to Pleasant Valley
Jaden Harper, Staff Writer • April 11, 2024

On Wednesday, Stroudsburg lost to Pleasant Valley High School, 9-8. This game was scoreless until the top of the third inning, where Pleasant Valley scored three runs against...

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Long distance coach, Coach Foti, talking to runner Janel Meyers.
Photo credit: Amir Lovell, 10.
Stroudsburg High School Track and Field
Georgie English, Staff Writer • April 9, 2024

Stroudsburg High School Varsity Track and Field competed for their first home meet at Ross Stulgaitis Stadium against Northampton High School Konkrete Kids on Wednesday, March...

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L-R (siting): Dominic Negron, Terrel Butler, Keshav Persaud, Jessie Smith, Mason Ulmer, Logan Casebolt. 
L-R (standing): Asst. Coach Yost, Darius Quintana, Will Puskar, Tobias Ricks, Jason, Pritchard, Josh Marosi, Coach Tapiro.  2024 Boys Tennis Team photo, courtesy of coaches Tapiro and Yost, used with permission.
Stroudsburg Boys' Tennis Update
Jaden Harper and Madison NoonanApril 8, 2024

Led by Coach Gene Tapiro and Assistant Coach Ceal Yost, the 2024 boys' tennis team is off to a strong start. The 2023 team graduated several varsity players but Will Puskar,...

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Studio Ghibli’s The Boy and The Heron is a masterpiece

Studio+Ghibli+film%2C+The+Boy+and+The+Heron%2C+came+out+on+December+3rd%2C+2023.
Studio Ghibli film, The Boy and The Heron, came out on December 3rd, 2023.

Studio Ghibli released their latest movie, The Boy and the Heron, on December 1st, 2023. It is, and this is not to be taken lightly, a masterpiece

 

As I left the theater, I was amazed, but something saddened me; I already knew that it was likely to be Hayao Miyazaki’s final film. This was a hard pill to swallow since he is such a talented and influential person in the world of Japanese animation.

 

Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese animator and one of the founders of Studio Ghibli. It is no exaggeration to say that he is the main reason that they are the absolute powerhouse it is today.

 

I am a huge fan of the work Miyazaki, co-founder, and animator, has done; films like Castle In The Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, and Spirited Away. 

 

Ghibli’s influence has reached worldwide, inspiring thousands of animators and film lovers. They have paved the way for countless animation companies.

 

I’m used to the magic of their animated films, but that’s the most amazing thing about their movies; they never lose their charm and they cease to bore me.

 

At the beginning of the movie, I missed the feel of their older films, however, this doesn’t take anything away from the quality of the film. It’s just my fond memories of past films getting in the way of a newer one.

 

The opening scene differed from previous movies in terms of tone-setting compared to their other films: it showed violence, heavy emotional trauma, and the loss of a loved one. 

 

This is much darker than that of movies like The Cat Returns (2002), and Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), by Ghibli. Both of these films started with gleeful music and bright settings.

 

The opening cinematic pays homage to Miyazaki’s late friend and studio partner. Both worked on the film, Grave of the Fireflies, by Studio Ghibli. This movie was one of Ghibli’s most sorrowful and gloomy movies.

 

The animation was smooth but sloppy, and I feel that was intentional (the entire movie is not animated like this). It was representative of the emotions of the characters and portrayed the intensity of what was happening in the scene.

 

The Boy and Heron’s animation is done well. It does the job regarding consistent motion (shots where an object is in motion), but landscape and stand-still shots were its strong suits.

 

Whenever the animators have the opportunity to show the world they created in all its glory; they take advantage. They consistently prove Ghibli’s artistic capabilities.

 

Best-looking animated film I have ever seen from Studio Ghibli, who typically doesn’t focus much on the direct visuals, but more on smooth animation. 

 

It was absolutely breathtaking, with animated shots of important or unique areas, the animators did their absolute best to make it seem more magnificent than it is. 

 

With this type of animation, they could make a house made of mud look like a prince’s palace.

 

For the most part, it does a good job of connecting the watcher to the characters. There’s something relatable about Ghibli’s characters, there always seems to be a sort of realism in their actions.

 

Even for animated characters, their choices and body movements never seem out of place, spontaneous, or, for lack of a better term, corny. This is an issue in many Japanese animations, the characters feel so out of touch because everything they do is over the top, and Miyazaki mentions this in his book, Starting Point 1979 – 1996. 

 

The audience needs to have the ability to empathize with the characters in a film too. Of course, not everyone will be able to understand a situation, but I think the inclusion of relatable and understandable people is a good way to portray emotion in a film.

 

Studio Ghibli does their character writing very well.

 

Additionally, because of Ghibli’s character writing, they seem to fit in so much better, and I could relate to and understand a majority of what they did or said; their motives, and aspirations. This is something we don’t see in many animated films.

 

To illustrate, in the film, the main character loses a loved one: he struggles to get over their death, and as a result of this, he has a difficult time getting along with the “replacement.” This is something that people may find relatable and can understand, which just adds a level of connection between the viewer and the characters.

 

Nothing feels cheesy or out of the ordinary, with the actions characters take. Studio Ghibli approached this with the same verisimilitude they do with all of their projects. 

 

This movie is the perfect goodbye for Miyazaki. It fully captures the essence of Ghibli and sums up his journey with the studio. 

 

It left off on the perfect note, even if people didn’t know it was to be the last one, it wouldn’t change a thing. I’m content with the film; honestly, it’s so good that I wouldn’t be upset if it truly was his final project. 

 

The ending of the film is Miyazaki stepping down from his role at Ghibli. A passing of the torch to future animators. Studio Ghibli is the eternal flame of Japanese Animation, they have played such a big role in the entertainment industry, that their legacy will live on forever.

 

With all things considered, Ghibli has created a master class in animation, with the most visually stunning and heartwarming film that has been released in the past decade. Every character they wrote, every story told, and every world built, are all represented in one, amazing movie.

 

All things must come to an end; for better or worse. That is the message of The Boy and The Heron, and undoubtedly it was the message Miyazaki wanted to leave for his fans as he departs the industry.  

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