This was one of my first LGBTQ romance mangas apart from No.6. The entire thing was relatively straightforward. Not too memorable. It would be unfair to compare it to No.6 since No.6 had more volumes to do character and world development. For being a sort of romance story, it did a great job. The artwork was nice; however, it was a little confusing to follow– possibly bad translations.
The general premise of the manga is that the main character Shino falls in love with another mal high school student named Seryo. However, Toji Seryo is an oddball in that he dates people exactly one week before deciding whether or not he fell in love. Being popular with the ladies at his high school Seryo is nearly always dating someone — again, just for one week. In addition, Seryo always says yes to the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. The story starts with Shino asking Seryo out, and they have exactly one week to fall in love.
Ignoring all the controversy around the production and cast of Mulan, it is arguably a good show. But was a live-action re-make necessary in the first place?
I grew up watching Disney movies. Disney played a huge role in carving the animation landscape in the United States. With Disney owning a large swath of intellectual property, much of it both iconic yet aging, it isn’t surprising that they would remake the classics. Over the last three years, Disney has made live-action versions of the Lion King, Aladin, and now Mulan.
I’m not going to say that these shows are bad. In fact, it demonstrates how much technology has advanced. I was hesitant when I heard “live-action Lion King,” but I was blown away by the computer graphics. But again, were these even necessary? The remakes followed the same plot as the originals, and the originals haven’t even aged poorly; in fact, many may even argue that the originals are better in some regards
Obviously, this is a cash grab by Disney looking to cash in our nostalgia. However, if we were to do a remake, why wasn’t it an animated remake? The Lion King lost its charm and innocence when the animals weren’t cute animated creatures but straight-up beasts. Mulan changed from a fun childish cartoon to a war movie. This isn’t to say that animations are solely for children– in fact, there are many cartoons just for adults. But, considering Disney’s target demographic being families, it is confusing why they decided to go live rather than stay animated.
Yet another question, why re-make old stuff? Disney could have definitely decided to make sequels or continue the story in some other way. In some cases, remaking makes sense: like with the 2011 version of Hunter X Hunter remaking the 1999 version. The HXH remake was done to preserve a congruent art style when they adapted more volumes. If Disney had the same goal in mind, they would have also re-done Lion King 2, etc. But, instead, they just remade the first ones.
Maybe I’m being too cynical. Nostalgia for nostalgia sake is not always a bad thing.
Overall, Demon King Diamo is a mediocre anime that doesn’t really hold a candle to more mainstream titles like Attack on Titan or Demon Slayer. However, it does achieve a lot in its short run. I was pretty frustrated with all the “Fan Service” in the show, and I found the characters to be pretty one-dimensional or cliche. With the show only lasting 14 episodes, it isn’t easy to have genuine character development like Killuah in Hunter X Hunter. But, back to the fan service… it was quite intensive. Intensive to the point where I would definitely not recommend this show to anyone new to anime in fear of scaring them away from the genre permanently. Every character, even the male character Hiroshi, swooned for the protagonist Akuto.
What did the show have to say? It touched on topics such as God, creation, and destiny. Along the lines, it talked about what is good. Not extremely different from the themes in Angel Beats. Moreover, this show was heavily influenced greatly by Harry Potter and the Matrix. Harry Potter in terms of the school for magic, the train station…etc. And the matrix in terms of the cycle of anomalies. Neo is analogous to the demon king in this case. IE: an anomaly created by the “system” which is meant to rebel and eventually fail– thus somehow keeping balance.
But, the conundrum faced by both shows is the question of whether it is better to go along with a corrupt system in the name of justice or is it better to destroy the very fabric of the system and rebuild but along the way cause a lot of death and destruction. In the series, the protagonist appeared to be a just character, determined to be a force of good. However, he was fated by a magic hat-like thing (exactly like harry potter) to become the demon king. It isn’t clear if the system ie god is making the prophecy and ensuring it comes true or if it is actually just a really good best guess. However, seeing that the predictions have never been wrong, it suggests that these are actually pre-determined fates. Whether this is because humans have no free will or if it is because the system is enforcing these fates is yet unknown. Nevertheless, it is an interesting shallow dive exploration into this concept.
In the end, the protagonist Akuto defeats his foes and gets to face god. But he didn’t end up killing god. Instead, everyone’s memories are slightly altered after the grandiose grand battle, and they start attending school again. The hat was placed on the protagonist’s head, and guess what: he is fated to be the demon king again. I feel like this illustrates the cyclical nature of human existence. Or maybe he is fated this way because he hasn’t finished his task to change the system he desired to change.
Another interesting thing to note is that although the “system” was a superintelligent AI that protected humans from other species that would kill them if discovered, the AI/system was made out to be a God by humans. People prayed to it. It enforced its will upon the people. And even the representation of it in the final battle made it an actual god-like entity rather than a computer system. If it was actually a computer system, it looked very divine as a white ball of light in a temple-like structure. This makes the parallel to Angel Beats, where purgatory was no more than a computer system that they were in– meaning that they could hack into it. But again, this narrative as God as technology vs. God as something incomprehensible to humans is interesting. Shows like Death Note have a God as a divine being, where Demon King Diamo and Angel Beats have god as a mere technological system. Moreover, there is a distinction between polytheistic and monotheistic beliefs within certain anime. Death Note had polytheistic deities, where Full Metal Alchemist had a singular god. This could also be due to the fact where the shows take place: Death Note taking place in Japan where Fullmetal Alchemist took place a german like country. We could also put the technology into this scale. If God is merely technology created, there is no singular God; in fact, there is no God as we know it in western society. If there are technology ruling humans, there could be other systems ruling other races of people. Or other simulations with their own gods.
But anyhoo, I’ll give that show overall a 6/10. There was way too much fan service. The plot tried to go deep but only scratched the surface. It gleaned over a broad scope of topics regarding God, power, and destiny. But, most of the big picture themes were saved for the last few episodes.
Season 4 was shocking– nearly unidentifiable from season one. Rather than a story about saving humanity from man-eating monsters, Attack on Titan has become a complex geopolitical war thriller that touches on universal concepts of human nature and what it means to be free. There is nothing to not love about season 4. There is a lot to unpack from season 4, part one, and I don’t think a single post could ever do it justice.
No post about season 4 can avoid discussing the character transformation of Eren. Season 4 takes place four years after the conclusion of season three. And in that time Eren changed from a hurt angsty teenager to a cold-blooded war criminal who is willing to sacrifice everything to bring the end of titans.
This shocking change in Erin hurt me. We see the naïve shounen protagonist that we are all cheering for turn into a monster willing to kill civilians and even plans on using his powers to turn all eldians infertile in his euthanasia plan. Unlike the Game of Thrones ending where Daenerys Targaryen changed suddenly, the change of Erin felt natural since it makes sense given the context and it was foreshadowed.
It is prevalent for shounen protagonists to have a tragic back story. Consider Tanjiro in Demon Slayer or the Elric brothers in Fullmetal Alchemist. Despite tragic, painful backstories, the heroes never towards revenge or sinister because of their past. I was expecting the same thing to happen to Erin, he would come out of his funk and become the shounen character this genre expects, but I think it is too late for Erin to change.
Within the first few episodes of the first season, Erin had his home taken from him, watched his mom get eaten by a monster. All he had left were his two friends. But, the world is a cruel place, and Erin suffered more. Driven by the burning desire to kill titans, he joined the military at a young age and watched scores of men die gruesome deaths. These problems only became exacerbated by the fact that he himself inherited the powers of the founder titan from his father. No longer is he just a soldier; he bears the burden of protecting the entire island of Paradis from threats both foreign and domestic. On top of all that, he has faced betrayals from close comrades, and hundreds of people have died to save his life.
Simply put, it makes total sense that Erin would make the drastic change that he did in season 4. That puts the story in an interesting place since we no longer know who is right and who to cheer for. This is commonly known as the Rashomon effect, a story where from the view of each character, they are in the right. From this point of view, the story can discuss issues such as: human nature, genocide, freedom, war. Each of these topics themselves warrants a full blog post. Amazingly, Attack on Titan has managed to build up such a complex story with a vast set of characters while never feeling overbearing or disconnected.
This post is going to discuss through season three of Attack on Titan, spoilers warning.
Season one of Attack on Titan pulled you into the universe and captivated you. It was fast-paced, and the action was breathtaking. At first, I was hesitant about a show where you were fighting giants, but this blew away all my expectations and then some. It had me at the edge of my seat, yearning to see where this story would take it. Season two slowed down a bit and built up the supporting characters in an emotional way.
Season three. Season three was a piece of art. It had great action, and it was emotionally thrilling at the same time. This was no longer your typical shounen title. It elevated itself to be on the same level as Fullmetal Alchemist. And to understand why it is worth it to look at the world-building and the nuanced discussion of themes discussed during the show.
Attack on Titan could have easily fallen into tropes and had a very one-dimensional antagonist. It is quite literally in the title of the show; they are fighting titans. Titans = bad. End of the story. However, as the show goes on, the plot thickens. And oh boy, does the plot thicken. Yes, season one had us fighting giants, but there was always an era of mystery to it. Why did Eren turn into a titan? What are all these flashbacks about? What is in the basement? Who is trying to destroy the wall? What was once a one-dimensional villain became anything but that.
After learning about the Eldian empire’s bloody rise to power with titans, the first kings’ pacifism and tyrannical rule, the genocide of the Eldian people by the Marley empire builds layered complexity to the antagonist. Who is in the right? What happens next, now that we learn that the biggest enemy is not Titans but a hostile country that has far superior technology. How does Eldia recover after being isolate from the rest of the world for over 100 years? Was isolation their only option?
I loved the continual debate throughout the show about what it means to be free and live a life with meaning. The walls were described as a cage and the people cattle. Eren yearned to get outside of the walls to experience the vast world. To Eren and Armin, being free means experiencing the world. After learning all this Eren, he finished season three by saying this:
And just across that sea, freedom is waiting. That is what I always believed, at least. But I was wrong. I know what is across the sea now– it is our enemies. Everything we see is exactly as it was in my fathers’ memories… Hey, if we did cross the sea, and we killed our enemies; after that, would we finally be free?
If you haven’t seen it, watch it. It just came out in theaters in the US. This movie was everything that I expected it to be, more or less from reading the manga in advance. Ufotable did an incredible job once again at animating this. Watching this in a theater gave an immersive experience with amazing sounds and stunning visualization.
Mugen Train was ideal for movie format since it was essentially a giant fight sequence. My one gripe with the manga is that there are chapter cuts and even volume cuts mid-fight. This is obviously a constraint of the medium; however, having an uninterrupted conclusive fight is a nice thing. What sets Mugen Train apart from other anime movies from My Hero Academia, Full Metal Alchemist, and Hunter X Hunter is that this movie is canon and is critical to the main plot. Most anime movies associated with a series are typically just a side quest with no consequence to the main plot. Maybe with the major success of Demon Slayer, there will be more movies like this. Demon Slayer definitely will set an example for the upcoming Jujutsu Kaisen and Attack on Titan movies.
Like I discussed in my prior post on Demon Slayer, this is an unapologetic shounen title. The premise and story are straightforward. Demons = bad; boys slay demons. But, what sets Demon Slayer apart from other shounen titles like Bleach is the flawless focused execution. The characters are balanced; there is funny banter; the fight sequences are phenomenal. Demon Slayer doesn’t need a deep or unique story to carry it.
Mugen Train is like an Avenger move: visually stunning, face-paced, and guaranteed to be a mainstream hit.
Oh boy, so No.6 has an anime adaptation. To put this review short, the first half was great, but the second half fell apart the ending was rushed. This adaptation would really have been a lot better if it had three more episodes.
Don’t get me wrong, the adaptation nor the plot wasn’t terrible. With only 11 episodes, there is little reason for you not to watch it if you are interested in LGBTQ or sci-fi dystopias. My gripe with the anime may merely be because I read the manga first.
Up until the end, the anime followed the manga pretty close. Things diverged after Shion and Rat find out about Safu and decide to infiltrate the correctional facility. In the manga, Rat, and Safu visit the cave people and the Elder after the Manhunt, and Shion and Rat were dumped in a massive body pile in the correctional facility. Rat and Shion end up visiting the cave people by crawling through a crack in the wall. Slight plothole here since it doesn’t make sense for there to be an exposed cave in the middle of the correctional facility leading to dissidents? The anime actually fix this issue by having Rat and Safu visit the Elder before the Manhunt. In the anime, Dogkeeper and Rikiga play a larger role in getting them deeper into the facility by gaining access to a terminal.
By moving the “cave people” placement and when Shion learns about Rat’s tragic backstory of being the lone survivor of a genocide that eliminated the “Forest People,” it lessens how emotional the entire correctional break-in is on Shion. In the manga, they took time to have Shion grieve as he witnessed a literal mountain of dead bodies and then learn about Rat. At one point in the manga, a victim even asks Shion to end his life because he was in so much pain. In fact, Shion comes to the edge of a mental breakdown multiple times and even contemplated ending his life. Since the anime pacing was way too fast, we don’t get to see as much of this, and instead, it jumps past all that important character development and land at a point where Shion instantly became decisive ok with killing.
The anime ends quite abruptly compared to the manga, which gave slightly more closure. In the anime, both Shion and Rat were shot and injured pretty badly while trying to flee to the ground floor to make their escape with Dogkeeper and Rikiga. Shion was shot in the heart while saving Rat, and it doesn’t look like he will make it. After fumbling to the ground floor, Shion is essentially passed out practically dead, and Rat won’t leave his side. So what happens? Their best friends, Dogkeeper and Rikiga, flat up, left them to die at the correctional facility. Dogkeeper saying something like, “the one with something to protect always loses.” After their best friends abandon them, Elyurias magically appears, heals both of them, finishes destroying the outer wall of No.6, and vanishes. The anime then goes to a cut scene where everyone is outside looking at the outer wall destroyed, and the very last thing we see is Rat kiss Shion with no dialog whatsoever — plus, the kiss was swift.
I’m not saying that the manga’s ended perfectly; it too was rushed, but it at least gave characters more time to process the events, and it gave more closure. In the manga, Shion wasn’t fatally shot; only Rat was. Rather than his friends abandoning him like in the anime, they all stuck together and made a daring entrance into No.6 to get Rat the medical treatment he needed. Rather than have Elyurias magically disappear, Rat and Shion went downtown to have Rat sing the song of wind to calms Elyurias and make a deal with her. The deal promised Elyurias that they would do better to protect the forest in the future. In the anime, all Elyurias did was exact revenge on No.6. By going downtown to face Elyurias, we actually face our antagonists — the mayor and the head researcher responsible for all the inhumane experimentation. The anime never even introduced us to the antagonists. In the anime, the enemy was always just “No.6”.
The ending in the manga gave more closure between Rat and Shion. They kissed, and Rat said that he promised to come back for him, but he wanted to do traveling. Shion, in the meantime, became responsible for rebuilding the city — specifically, he was in charge of revitalizing the forest.
The start of the anime was excellent. The visualization of the city, the technology, etc, were all excellent. It is a shame that they didn’t follow the manga closer because it would have had such a more satisfying ending than it did. Not to say it was bad if I didn’t read the manga, I probably wouldn’t have complained hence much. What is tragic is that it would have only required 1-2 more episodes to include everything that they left out from the manga.
I really loved this manga! The gay love interest between Shion and Rat provides a strong emotional backbone for the story. However, the story is more than just a coming of age/romance story. At its core, this is a sci-fi manga that covers the dystopian city of No.6. The plot was concise, and the pacing of the manga was excellent. The core set of characters were diverse and played really well into the setting. On top of all that, the artwork in this manga is top beautiful making it an enjoyable series to read.
No.6, in my opinion, touched on some of the same themes as Full metal alchemist. The leaders of No.6 became blinded by power and the scientific inquiry that they committed grave crimes in the name of a pure ideal– protecting the Holy City. No.6’s city leaders killed hundreds, silenced dissidence, and intruded on citizens’ freedoms to protect the city. There was the mad scientist that killed thousands in the name of protecting the city. Similar to the themes in Fullmetal Alchemist, ideals that are taken way too far leads to destruction. Zealous devotion to either science or faith leads to bad things. In No.6, Shion teaches people that there is a third option between destroying the city and keeping the status quo — i.e., between Rat’s drive for revenge and the city officials, killing people of the West district and their citizens. It is with Shion at the end of the Manga that begins to rebuild the city with No.6 and the west district. Building a city that respects nature and does not discriminate against people outside of the city or against people who disagree with the government.
At the end of this story, I felt sad/happy/something, I almost broke into tears. It is sweet that Shion and Rat had a “Promise” kiss at the end, however, I wanted to see the two stay together and live happily ever after. Instead, Rat goes away to travel the unknown, and Shion is left in the city to rebuild. It was a happy ending, but… all that buildup for one kiss. I guess it leaves more for the imagination of what would happen in the future. I felt that way when I saw Gon and Killua separate at the end of the Hunger x Hunter anime. I know they would be reunited, but seeing them leave each other hurt.
Were Shion and Rat too different to remain together in the end? Rat said he was a wander, and Shion tended to cling to places. True, but Shion would have traveled, he said it himself, a life without you is a life not living. This manga was soo emotional, and the characters were captivating. Rat is the devious person with an air of mystery, and Shion being the pure sheltered person. Both characters change throughout the manga. Watching the mass murders changed Shion to the point where he ends up kills someone to save Rat. Rat changed from someone who only distrusts people to someone capable of love.
I think Shion and Rat’s characters bring up an interesting discussion about nature vs. nurture. Also, this can tie in with Dogkeeper’s character. These two were polar opposites in many regards. Shion being the light, having often naive ideals and outlook on the world. Shion was overly trusting of people, which put him in danger in West block. Was Shion “naive” way because of his upbringing? Being born in No.6, having a loving mother, never really facing any hardships, it is easy to say that this had a factor. However, even among the No.6 residents, Shion was particularly nice, even his mother was. It appears that most citizens in No.6 are nice in this way. What sets Shion apart from the rest of the citizens is that Shion is genuinely nice, where the rest of the citizens only put on a show facade of being good people. When he learned about the dark side of No.6, Shion fought it, where other residents just ignored it.
Rat is slow to trust, and he believes that the ends justify the means. Rat believes that destroying No.6 is worth it as long as it brings an end to the injustice that No.6 creates. Where Shion initially believed that bloodshed is always wrong no matter the cause. Rat doesn’t know exactly how to quantify Shion, often saying “is he even human” to himself. Maybe Rat believes that Shion is like an angel. Rat tries to protect Shion’s innocence. When at the correctional facility, Rat stops Shion from killing two different people. However, in the end, Shion ends up killing someone to save Rat’s life. The correctional facility changed Shion, after seeing a literal mountain of bodies, pain, and blood beyond imaginable, Shion changes. He doesn’t turn bitter and hate the world, but, he emerges as a man of action– proving to Rat that his words aren’t just shallow. At times throughout the Correctional facility, Shion almost kills himself. Once after seeing the mountain of bodies. Another time after Seeing the hologram of Safu and destroying Mother — the AI entity that NO.6 tried to create. After that misfortune, Shion became decisive and moved onwards. He stitched up Rat, and left an exploding building. Once rat was better, Shion and Rat didn’t go back to West Block to be safe, but instead went downtwon to put an end to the violence. Shion was able to calm the crowd and get Rat inside the Mayers office to stop Elyurias.
With all that said, nature vs. nurture? Are the people in No.6 better people since they had a better upbringing, or is their pompous upbringing at the cost of others in the west district bloody their hands? Most people in No.6 are innocent like Shion. Due to their environment, people in the West district commit crimes to survive– but does that make them bad people? These people are distrustful, like Rat. People like Rikiga (the old journalist turned porno mag) who is a sleazy drunk. Would all these people be different if they had the luxury of No.6? Dogkeeper puts on a hard exterior, but, on the inside, she is really a nice person. Interestingly, Dogkeeper was literally raised by Dogs– similar to Inosuke in Demon Slayer being raised by Boars. Characters like this only really work in fictional pieces. But, they illustrate how people born with nothing can still be good. I don’t think No.6 provides any clear answers but, it poses a good way of thinking about how your environment affects how people behave and what they value.
This isn’t the only Anime to bring up this idea. Older manga like Bleach dabbled with the problems with poverty– consider the Rukon district in the Soul Society. In Bleach, royalty was in more of a negative light than the lower class since they were completely disconnected from reality at times. In both Bleach and No.6, the lower class had more criminals but were at its core good people. Newer animes like Black Clover also look at social classes and how it huts the lower class. No.6, with its dystopian spin on things, makes this discussion a bit more salient.
Black Clover is the amalgamation of nearly every shounen trope to date. However, it managed to do so while not feeling forced nor awkward. It used the tropes that worked well, and it paid off in the show. I certainly wouldn’t call it a pioneer in the anime landscape. But, it did create a series that was highly enjoyable and well worth the watch.
The pacing of the anime was really good. There was no filler and battles never took an absorbant about of episodes — looking at Bleach’s Aizen Arc and Hunter x Hunter’s Chrimea Ant arc. But, that may change with the season and the impending battle against the Dark Triage in the spade kingdom.
The animation of Black Clover has gotten quite a bad reputation among the community. The biggest problem is that the show airs every week so they have consistency issues. Some episodes are really good where some episodes have battles that are really choppy. As the season went on, the animation did improve. Episode 170 and the episodes leading up to that one had some really great animation in the action scenes.
I could sit here and say the show was about overcoming adversity, friendship, becoming stronger, facing evil, but those are all sprinkled in most shounen anime series. At least, the show’s messages didn’t feel new or fresh.
Black Clover got a lot of inspiration from Bleach. The Squad Captains in the Clover kingdom are analogous to the Gotei 13 from Bleach and the Hashira from Demon Slayer. Asta fighting his inner demon is similar to Ichigo fighting his inner Hollow: they had to fight and defeat their inner “demon” to wield its power to the full extent.
The show follows Asta and Yuno: the two orphan peasants from a small town trying to make it big to prove that people are capable of anything despite where they were born. Again not unique since there was similar class friction within Bleach’s Soul Society. However, with Black Clover, this point is more salient and present throughout the series. In the Clover Kingdom, people in nobility are born with more mana (magic powers) therefore they don’t have to work as hard as the peasants who have less mana. That is why it is shocking when two peasants prove them wrong by joining the Royal Knight Squads and become an icon for others to follow. Later on, in the show we find out that Yuno is actually the refugee price of the Spade kingdom – thus explaining his incredible magic power, yet dulling the point they were making about peasants rising to power. Which, then just leaves us with the magicless boy Asta and the rest of the Black Bulls. Through hard work and rigorous training, they saved the kingdom on multiple occasions and are slowly changing people’s minds about the “importance” of nobility.
I’m not sure if all of this is just to say that life isn’t fair and that you have to work twice as hard as others to get to where you want to be. As annoying of a character Asta was in the beginning, we grow to love him throughout the season because he is caring, goofy, and above all else is an incredibly hard worker who won’t give up.
Back when I first started creating websites, I first heard the saying “CONTENT IS KING.” It doesn’t matter if you have the fanciest website, or if you have the best tech stack, if you don’t have any content, nobody will view your website. This holds true in so many fields. Youtube, photography, programming, art, social media. Simply put, if you don’t have quality content out there, people won’t find or recognize you.
However many people balk at this phrase, it remains a salient point of discussion in 2021. For most individuals, the discussion around the debate is quality vs. quantity. Where for companies, the interesting debate is around shifting paradigms with media ownership and distribution.
Quality vs. Quantity
There is an inverse relationship between quality and quantity of content one creator can produce. The best advice that I have received and would give to others is that when you start out, prioritize quantity to improve your skills and then slowly shift over to quality. Although you may think that this advice is all circumstantial, it actually applies in most fields. Consider photography if you want to get noticed and improve your skills. You have to take photos daily. You can obviously keep all your photos to yourself and never share anything, but that doesn’t help you in the long run. Sharing content created as frequently and as early on as possible is beneficial because it starts your network, and it allows you to receive feedback on your work. Additionally, publishing work in an open medium is a great way to get and stay motivated.
What about programming? Same thing, the code you write and publish to Github will be trash at first, but it will build your portfolio and give you experience with open source development. When hiring, I would always go with the person with more visible experience that has shown growth and development rather than someone with only one project — despite how good that one project may be. Content is king. Experience allows you to hone your skills and constantly improve.
Blogging? You bet your ass content is king. Obviously, there is a minimum bar you should exceed to publish something. It is better to start fast and write more good posts than hope Google will bless the one excellent post you wrote to grow a website. That is how the algorithms work.
You can also see this on Youtube. Creators that publish frequently are more viewed. Those that don’t upload often lose their fan base. However, there are some exceptions where creators can infrequently publish yet receive millions of views when they do. But, in those cases, these creators are always creating top-notch content.
Content is king, yes. Period. However, how do companies get content? There are three main types of media: owned, paid, and earned. The first two are obvious. Owned media is media that you produce and own fully. Paid media is where you pay someone or another company to lend you media. Earned media is media that comes to you. IE: someone writing about your site or users posting on your site.
Social media and other websites have made a stupid amount of money with earned media. Consider Youtube; it is entirely community-driven. Although Youtube does enable you to place ads on your videos, making them quasi-paid media. And, they do have some owned media with their new efforts with Youtube originals.
Another prime example of this is with Netflix and the streaming war. Initially, Netflix was solely a company that distributed DVDs and then a service that streamed movies. However, when other streaming services cropped into the market, Netflix realized that it was more advantageous to produce their own media.
Where does the leave us? It is not necessarily that any one of these media types is leaving, but that all types of media are increasing because media is the only commodity that is served on the internet. Content is king.