The Writing of Tokusatsu as of late

Discussion in 'Henshin Justice Unlimited' started by Japaneseseriesfan, May 22, 2019.

  1. Japaneseseriesfan

    Japaneseseriesfan A simple passerby...

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    I've been gone for awhile, but I mostly still viewed this site, just didn't log in to post because it felt like people weren't really active on here.

    But I'd like to ask people what they think of the writing standards of Tokusatsu as of late. I find them to be almost lacking in creativity, and when they DO get somethings right, the lack of follow through on setups, or throwing them away as red herrings or to make a gag simply has been ruining it for me. I'm still blaming Den-O for starting this trend, although Den-O is actually pretty okay and it's comedy makes sense in the setting it takes place in. In other shows, yeah, not so much.

    Right now, I'm struggling to find any interest in Zi-O outside of watching past actors of previous shows I love return and wanting to know how it ends so I can put it behind me and look forward to the next, better written show. I hate Sougo's actor, he's probably a fine actor, but I don't like his public persona, I don't like his voice, his face, his build as a person, and I think he's not Rider-material at all. That's coming from someone who was born in 1994 and grew up with a huge collection of Showa era DVDs and watched Kuuga as a 5-6 year old and loved it though. The lines they give Sougo? I mean... can this guy be anymore ditzy yet they need to emphasize that he's somehow... smart? You can just do it... because you feel like you can? Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with that, it's just... this guy doesn't really have an interesting narrative arc, or at least, his acting and the directing or the lines they give him and what we see of him isn't very griping. It's almost as if this entire show is reliant on the twist of what Sougo will do when he confronts Oma-Zi-O for the second time after collecting the remaining Ride Watch. Like, I just feel drained watching this. Like I'm forced on this "collect them all" adventure, and it's really boring to watch, especially when some characters that do return from previous shows are entirely butchered (I'm looking at you Kenzaki), or their legacies are (Hibiki).

    Geiz's actor seems capable, but I think they've given him a lot of stereotypical "I must hate the protagonist because plot demands it, now I must like him, but still maintain my passive aggressive attitude). Also, after watching the Rider Time Special Ryuki (which I think completely undid all the good Ryuki's ending did), the shot where they shopped Ren's face over Geiz's face just showed me what they thought of his character. So he's a caricature of Ren... I'm not impressed, although I did laugh at it when I first saw it, in hindsight, the creativity is really lacking.

    Woz was interesting at first... now he's a comic relief. I think his actor has great charisma... they just wasted him on making Light 2.0 with White Woz... which basically served for Black Woz to get the Beyond Driver. Trinity form is so bad for trying to copy Climax form, and then linking itself to Agito Trinity as a "wink wink, see what I did?" moment, but at least it's design is better to look at than Zi-O's final form leak image. That shit is a clusterf**k.

    I mean, most of my complaints are really about Rider. Beyond that, I've been able to get back into Ultraman for a bit. I liked Orb, till they turned his show into a cliché tale that's trying to hard. The opening and ending are phenomenal, if only the show did better in it's second half. I completely hated Geed outside of Zero and Belial's involvement. I didn't like the actor, and I thought the plot was so by the books it just... didn't sit well with me. R/B is a disappointment. But yeah... I'm not too excited about the next Ultra series either. How many more sons of Ultras do we need exactly? Also, I don't know if I missed it somewhere... but... how do Ultras make babies? The rate they're popping them out is like... dude, slow down now, just cause Seven got a son, now everyone's getting a son? Sure, his design looks great and all. But... I don't know, I much prefer Ultra shows that has nothing to do with the trope of "will the son ever be as great as his father?" I think this is just the mindset of people in the Asian provinces mostly. Prior to the economic crisis in 1993, I think it was that notion of my parents generation achieving greatness, and then here comes my generation... failing to even live up to anything remotely feasible despite being much more capable, having more skills, and knows how to press a simple print button on the computer. I truly think this is a driving factor to the psychology of writing about sons of great heroes. The need to establish something of your own, whilst separating from the comfort that your parents provided, at the same time comparing their achievements with yours... which only results in working on a pre-established series by the older generation and... not making anything new as a result.

    I'm not much of a Sentai fan. I watched it as a kid, and have fond memories of Zyuranger, Dairanger, and my favorite was Kakuranger. But that's about it really. If any of you would like to vent, I suppose, this might be a good thread. Please just keep it civil.
     
  2. Kamen Rider IXA

    Kamen Rider IXA Lurker

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    I don't hate Den-O, but its managment of story and world-building was just horrendous. So I guess yeah, you can blame it, since Toei saw how popular series become and thought "yup, so we don't really have to try at all. Let's just fill all our shows with unfunny gags and repeat them a million time each".
    I only managed to tolerate about 12 episodes of Zi-O. I'd probably have to catch up with it, since some stuff at least sounds interesting, but right now it's another Drive for me where I have to force myself to sit down and watch this show.
    It's more of an issue with people behind the scenes in modern toku. How the hell Kento Shimoyama gets to be a head writer? Why? Who thought it was a good idea? Why not go for Akatsuki Yamatoya who actually wrote some really good episodes, if they want to try new things? He deserves a chance at his own show way more than either Mouri or Shimoyama.
    Another thing is that a good portion of modern fandom doesn't really care about any "drops in quality" for various reasons. You can make an argument why 90s shows had more effort put in them compared to 10s, but there are still will be people who will disagree and say, for example, that writing has improved, because there is a lot more serialization in tokusatsu now. Even though there hasn't been a single plot-heavy show that didn't end up having problems with its story since... Blade, probably? I really want to give Ex-Aid a pass, but it had a whole different number of problems outside of story.
     
  3. Black Fang

    Black Fang Member

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    ^ Ex-Aid is a good show in spite of itself, meaning it does so many things wrong yet still manages to get enough right so that it's enjoyable. It really could've been a classic if at least half or more of the content had been overhauled.

    I agree with both of you for the most part. I'll give Den-O credit for trying something new after years of mimicking the Agito formula with mixed results, but its plot, world-building and characters were poorly developed (though I did like Yuuto and Deneb the most out of any of them). The shows since then (even throwbacks to Phase 1 Heisei like Gaim and Build to an extent) have gotten more and more slapsticky with wacky anime hijinks and ever more garish merchandise that doesn't even try to look realistic. It's irritating to watch, and I can't stand those fans who act like it's all no big deal and fall back on the "It's just a kids' toy commercial, you're not supposed to be watching it, NEEERRRD!!" non-defense, those people who haven't gotten over being made fun of in school and try to act above it all and are totally not otakus.*

    I miss Phase 1 Heisei, and the only thing I'm looking forward to when I sit down to watch Zi-O is seeing those old casts again. I hope the Ryuki special is good.

    While I won't say Orb or Geed (haven't seen R/B yet) were spectacular, Ultraman has been consistently good for the past decade, more so than Rider or Sentai, with better care given to the franchise and its legacy. Even though it's gone down the trinket route, it at least is trying to keep within the spirit of the series rather than just random ideas like toy cars and fruits. Not even the Decade or Zi-O legacy stuff can really claim that.

    Sentai has long since past its golden age, that being the 80s and 90s. I'm kind of hoping Ryusoulger is the last regular show, and the series can perhaps continue as movies and specials. Has there been any reports on toy sales and ratings thus far?

    *I wouldn't consider myself an otaku, either, but that's a far cry from acting like you only like this genre ironically. If it's just a kids' show, why are you adults wasting time arguing over plot points and characters?
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
  4. Japaneseseriesfan

    Japaneseseriesfan A simple passerby...

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    I see, yeah, I'd agree some aspects of it's world building is horrendous. Kai came out of nowhere and never got fully fleshed out. I think this is a trend with Kobayashi. Actually, not sure if she wrote Kai's portion of the story, but she seemingly delivers with great promise in the beginning. I enjoyed Amazons Season 1, and then comes the clusterf**k of Season 2 and I'm just sitting there doubting how someone who is responsible for a lot of things I like such as Ryuki could disappoint me so much at the same time. Ah well, humans aren't perfect.

    I thought Drive was at least tolerable. I hated the car motif, sure I was able to come to accept it as part of it's own world and what not, still not really digging that he's technically a "Kamen Driver" not a "Kamen Rider". I thought Heart was fantastic, Chase had a pretty compelling story, and Gou developed neatly, his first impression was annoying to say the least. Shinnosuke is a boring character, but the actor is pretty great. This is a case of a good actor being able to sell shitty dialogue and still make it work. I liked Surprise Drive, at first when I heard it I was like... yeah too optimistic... but then it grew on me. Brain was utterly annoying... until he had his moment, but Medic... jesus. She's so poorly written I almost feel bad for her actress. Besides, I get the whole Heart/Brain naming scheme. What does Medic and Freeze have anything to do with it? I mean, Freeze is a bigger criminal. I mean I get it, his metaphor and naming sense made to sense to the character, but to the original trio of Roidmudes? He's the outlier in terms of naming sense that doesn't match at all. I still think they did Chase dirty with the whole Kiriko/Shinnosuke love triangle, but it did enhance his character in a sense. Honestly, I often felt like Shinnosuke was the third wheel half the time and he was just written to fall in love with Kiriko because... we need Eiji.

    To the complaint of the main people behind the production, I definitely agree. I think this is a case of nepotism and playing favorites that can be traced way back to Toshiki Inoue himself. Being the son of one of the original headwriters shouldn't guarantee you free reign to do whatever you want... especially when you clearly don't carry the same ideals. I mean, I could go on and on about talented parents and sub-talented children. Hayao Miyazaki and his own son seem to have that same disconnect as well. I mean, talent isn't a genetic thing. Maybe some people have genes that are susceptible to becoming talented if nurtured in said environment after awhile, but chasing after this grand image of who your parents were and putting their works on a pedestal is almost asinine to me. Find out who you are at your core, at your soul, if you will, and use that as the paintbrush to paint master strokes in your work. Otherwise, go find another job and let other people succeed the legacies (speaking as someone who went to Japan and tried getting a writing job with Toei to begin with honestly).

    The last part is particularly why I don't welcome newer fans with open arms, especially when they show a disinterest in the history. Actually, it's with every fandom I'm a part of, be it anime, games, comics, movies, whatever. I don't like people coming it as part of a mass entering to find a new trend to wear like a fashion statement of the week. This need for validation and popularity needs to die. Honestly, this forum is in the same case. 10 years back, it was brimming with members... then came social media, you know, people who weren't spending their time on the internet like we did suddenly filling in and rendering forum activities almost dead simply because some members on here are probably anti-social and they saw social media as outlet to expand their own social circle (I'm not saying this is wrong, I'm just kind of saying it's a shame).
     
  5. Japaneseseriesfan

    Japaneseseriesfan A simple passerby...

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    What happened to the edit button? I posted my previous comment before I realized there was another reply and I wanted to merge these two comments but couldn't find the damn edit button.

    In any case, I tend to agree with Ex-Aid. It's dramatic moments sometimes really hit home for me. I genuinely enjoyed Parado, Kuroto (non-meme Kuroto, I think they realize they could meme him and went overboard with that), and Taiga (whom I still think is the true Kamen Rider of the show worthy of the title). Hiro and Emu just... well, it's like you said, they're anime archetypes. But honestly speaking, this is kind of what anime would look like in live action, except they should have fleshed it out to be more realistic. Kiriya was a great character, and his death was VERY impactful... till they had him do the whole return to life and pretend to be bad, but I did like his interactions with Kuroto afterwards, especially with how he questioned Emu's morality with working with the man who essentially killed him. I think there was a better way of going about it, but I can't seem to think of one off the top of my head right now, but at some point the show started overusing the whole "you can come back to life as a Bugster!" concept as a justification for many things.

    That's precisely why I said Den-O was okay. It was trying something new. I was taken aback when they took away, as you would call it, the "Agito formula", I personally love that formula to death, especially in moments where it's done right. I also personally agree with Gaim and Build trying have anime moments, but then we're talking about folks who have written for anime content, so obviously their little quirks will seep into their work. It's not really a justification, just observation honestly. To some extents, I actually quite enjoy them. Gaim especially does it kinda right, with moments like Kouta transforming every five seconds when he first got his powers, but the whole riding his bike off a cliff? Yeah... that's a bit reaching too far, literally. I also agree with the notion of the toys just... looking like poorly made toys, although with the lockseeds... well, I personally liked most of them, so that's a purely subjective preference for me. I have some gripes about how the Banana lockseed looks though, but that's just me. And I'm with you on the adults who argue things like "it's for kids". These are generally the very same people I have arguments about over how bad the MCU really is. These people are the very same people who shill out about it in their reviews, claim it's the best thing in film history, buy all the merchandises, and then tell you not to think too much about it because their inferiority complex is now being validated by the masses that the non-defense argument they used against people like us is now an "okay" justification. They're also the same people who bend over when bad writing and bad feminist propaganda happens and justify it with arguments like the patriarchy. Like man, these third wave feminists NEED the patriarchy to exist to continue to have their points validated, when in reality, statistics have shown that since the 80s-90s, more women have been attending college than men on average already. I want strong written female characters whilst embracing their femininity, not female characters who take away all masculinity from male ones.

    The Ryuki special has it's... moments. But at the end of the day, it's not a very refreshing addition to the story, besides clarifying Asakura's core motivation for doing what he does, which I kind of feel is acceptable to a certain extent.

    On that same note, I also agree that Ultraman has retained it's spirit. But I don't know about expanding it's capacity though. The last series I truly enjoyed was Nexus, and not because of the typical "lol you're an edge lord" reasons, and even that was butchered on it's way to the ending. Rider has strayed from it's path honestly. It's a real shame.

    I don't know about toy sales of Sentai and what not, but I do know there are still people in the West who still think Saban was the original creator of Power Rangers, as in, they are unaware of it being a derivative form of Sentai to begin with. I mean, this came up in a podcast I was watching about Game of Thrones when one of the people specifically said Saban came up with Power Rangers. I just shook my head in disbelief and decided maybe these people doing the podcasts shouldn't be doing it and acting so pretentious just because they got followings and a platform that their every word is holy or something.

    I wouldn't consider myself an Otaku either, but I like that term more than weeb. In fact, I don't know if it applies to me at all, since Weeb seems to have originated in the West, and I grew up in Thailand... where literally every kid I knew in my age group was exposed to Japanese media as if it was normal. We had Thai dubs of Pokémon, Digimon, Kamen Rider, Sentai, all that jazz on our morning television, so to me, it almost just seemed pretty normal. Well, that is until I learned that Thailand has a habit of stealing and copying materials from Japan AND the West since well... we're a third world country, and we almost have no originality of our own, so we just follow whichever country has the strongest currency that invests in our country and people who we import stuff from. Explains a lot about the shit Chaiyo Productions tried to pull with Ultraman and that lawsuit. In any case, I'm not an Otaku, but I'm PRETTY close to one, and while I wasn't a hikkimori, (was reasonably pretty socialable, I was also a pretty close to a delinquent at a young age. I mean I started drinking and smoking when I was 14-15, and I was already clubbing a lot when I was 18, which is probably why I don't go out much more anymore these days. I find it boring, since I kind of did all that in my teenage years, and most people my age saw me as troubled and now all they do is go out at night to clubs as if it's an adult only thing that I can't comprehend, and to me it's just like... yeah I've been through all that waaaay earlier than you, as in, I messed up my own life pretty early on already, so I don't need to bother glorifying Night life just because I'm an adult now and mess up my life when I'm in my working age).
     
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  6. NeonZ

    NeonZ Member

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    Shimoyama Kento is the main writer of the most successful new kid's action franchise in years (Shinkalion) and he had already worked under Toei in a format where his writing followed decisions of other production members, rather than having a rigid plan from the start (Ninninger). A show like Zi-O dealing with guest appearances and Toei's usual limited schedule (we recently learned that Kageyama's actor was only contacted one month and a half before shooting the Kabuto episodes of Zi-O based on his official comment about the role) means that the writers must be willing to heavily follow those external factors, which limits the writer selection.

    People forgive Blade's flaws due to the dramatic ending, but there's a lot of bad writing early in the show, or contradictions between the early show and later episodes (remember when Chalice was connected to a computer and an Undead compared him to Blade and described both of them as "suits" with compatibility rates). There is a reason Blade ended the trend of high tv ratings that early Heisei Rider had.
     
  7. Japaneseseriesfan

    Japaneseseriesfan A simple passerby...

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    If that's the case, then I feel pretty bad for writers who need to follow such orders. So it means Toei is more concerned with what statistically makes money for them, rather than satisfying a crowd that wants good story content, at the expense of a writer who might want to go beyond their current potential. But hey, if he's like Eichiro Oda who willingly prolongs One Piece simply to remain at the top for as long as he can, then sure, whatever. Limit yourself to your one, long series. Being successful with one piece of work is not indicative of being successful with a second one after all.

    I'm partially guilty of one of those people who forgive Blade for those instances. But I did notice that tidbit. In fact, I had thought that maybe, Chalice was a Rider on the Undead's side, as in they MADE an Undead Rider, to be their warrior of sorts. I suppose that clashed with the theme of 53 Undeads and the nature of the battle royal. I mean, if we were going by that plot I just pointed out, maybe that's how BOARD ended up creating Riders for Humans in the first place. By using Chalice as an experimental test subject. There were hints at his duality, and it almost seemed like he might have been living with amnesia in a sense. His nature of taking an interest in photography could have easily been "trying to recapture moments he lost due to amnesia". Of course, then it the plot took a different turn and went with him being Joker. Didn't Blade also change writing staffs halfway through?
     
  8. raden238

    raden238 Member

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    My main issue with the Tokusatsu writing is simply the formula-matic nature of every show we get now. Let's start with Kamen Rider.

    Since Drive in 2014, we have gotten same template of a trio of Heroic Riders (Drive, Mach and Chase). The third member of the trio always start out cool/serious and then ends up being comedic relief (Necrom, Grease and now Woz). We have also gotten the same Main/Secondary Rider relationship setting where they start off as rivals but ultimately best buds. This has been going on for years. I'm sick and tried of it. I want Rider to start mixing things up again. We don't need every year to have a multi-Rider based season. I'm not fond of the humor either, it just seems so anime-like. Every show has needs to evolve to get with the times but this show needs to get away from that and steer closer to its roots again.
     
  9. Kamen Rider IXA

    Kamen Rider IXA Lurker

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    I'm aware of Blade's flaws, but it's still a solid show with strong start and strong finish. Blade's changed writers, so some things obviously didn't work out well. Still it doesn't fall apart same way Build does during Daddy Arc or Gaim during Overlord Arc.

    Gokaiger had similar approach as well, yet it's nowhere near as controversial as Zi-O is. Maybe Zi-O magically becomes the greatest tokusatsu ever made at some point, but when I dropped show it was nearly unwatchable because of how dull, tedious, obnoxious and annoying it was. Show didn't celebrate returning characters, instead pretty much making them extras in favour of Zi-O's "real story", which was one-note and boring. It's one thing to adjust your show for returning characters, but when you waste them on your boring fanfiction and clearly doesn't care about franchise you're writing, that's where I call BS. The sheer hubris of those people! I just don't understand this mindset. If they've changed approach at some point that's fine, but there is still no reason they had to start show like this.

    Be as it may, as far as I'm concerned Shimoyama's only real achievments in tokusatsu are a couple of good Goseiger and Gokaiger episodes (and he wrote significantly worse ones for both these shows as well) and Gorider mini-series (in which he still managed to screw up Blade's lore (sounds like the guy you would put in charge of anniversary series, right?) and rush ending to the point where it almost feels like a disappointment). He seems like the guy whose writing quality depends on the producer yeah, but even at his apperent best Shimoyama's a pretty subpar writer.
     
  10. Shougo B'Stard

    Shougo B'Stard Would like to change his avatar

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    It's as bad as Hollywood started to get in the '90s -- the suits have completely taken control, 100%. It doesn't matter who's credited as writer on the shows now -- Bandai's the real writer. This is why all of the shows follow the same format and are just all the same now.

    Look how they'll make a big deal about getting a drama writer to do a show -- with Ghost, with Build, with Ryusoulger to name a few. And those shows are same-old same-old "get 'em all!" shows wrapped around trinket collection.

    This is when I realized toku was doomed. I used to always think the problem was the anime writers they'd get -- back in the '70s and '80s, they'd get people who, sure, had some anime on their resume, but they also had written dramas. Which is going to help when writing in live-action, don't you think? A LOT of modern writers have only anime on their resume, and I thought that's what one of the problems was, that's why stories got replaced with journeys to collect trinkets and why the humor got so over-the-top and bad. But then how to explain these newer shows that have drama writers, when they're exactly the same? Because it doesn't matter who's writing it anymore -- the bean counters, the uncreative ones are calling all of the shots. To them, all toku is just the same goofball thing, good for just selling junk. And look where it's at...

    I find it funny, though, that if Sentai or Kamen Rider sticks to a formula, it gets heavily criticized, but Ultraman can literally be the same show since 1966 and it's ""Oh, it's such a magical franchise that carefully tends to a legacy and follows tradition. It's art! No, it's not at all formulaic or unafraid to change anything!"
     
  11. Captain Shark

    Captain Shark Member

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    Writing in tokusatsu is both at an all time high and an all time low. On the high side you have Ultraman Geed (best Ultra series since Nexus) giving a respectable conclusion to the original timeline, Kamen Rider Drive (best of all Kamen Rider) brought monsters of the week and creativity back into the franchise after Gaim disappointed everyone, Garo: The Makai Flower proved to be the pinnacle of adult tokusatsu, Kyuranger succeeded to be not only the best of Super Sentai but the best tokusatsu ever made, and Legendary Pictures made one of the better Godzilla movies. On top of all that OOO, Wizard, Goseiger, Go-Busters, Kyoryuger, Zyuohger, and Ginga S are classics in their own way. Then you have the low points which consist of Gokaiger (the worst of Super Sentai somehow dethroning Megaranger), Hideki Anno made the worst Godzilla movie (which was somehow worse than the Kiryu dualogy), poorly made experiments like Daimajin Kanon, Bio Planet WoO, and Shougeki Gouraigan, Ex-Aid managed to juggle a solid first quarter and one of the best villains in tokusatsu history only to have literally nothing else going for it, and Kamen Rider Build is undeniably the absolute worst tokusatsu ever made for doing nothing correctly. I gave Zi-O's first episode a shot a few days back and I'm cautious, while it looks to be capable of redeeming its genre from its abhorrent joke of a predecessor it doesn't take much to go off the rails.

    The main problem with today's tokusatsu is simple: There's just too much talking. This was a big problem with Kamen Rider in the 2000s until Kiva did the right thing and ended that nonsense in its second half. Unnecessary dialogue clutters and at the end of the day the effects make the tokusatsu. It is time to focus on action scenes again.
     
  12. Black Fang

    Black Fang Member

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    Precisely. The material was there, it was just poorly used. There's a lot in Ex-Aid that was similar to Amazons; I won't say it should've been like Amazons (I like both seasons of Amazons and the movie, by the way), but I'd appreciate taking the subject matter more seriously.

    I was referring more to Bravo/Pierre's dumb antics and his wacky hijinks with (what's his name again?) Gridon. Pierre was cool when he was serious, but he kept devolving to clown status. I was hoping for a real mentor-student arc between Bravo and Gridon. Gridon was originally billed as one of five main Riders in the show, before it became more about the other four.


    Agreed. That's one reason I've delved more into writing or at least outlining fanfics over the years. I can create better heroines and support characters than the stupid Hollywood cliches. "Girl does 'man stuff' while being sexually suggestive to attract stupid male adolescents to feminism while validating stupid girls' vanity and belief in their invincibility."

    I'll credit tokusatsu this over Western superhero media: when heroines do stuff, it's not to make socio-political propaganda points. Japanese superheroines are characters first and foremost. At worst they can act like silly idols, but that's still better than "Ha ha, see the girl take down the manboy in a fight who lol'd at her". And the Japanese can actually admit certain realities about men and women. Something Western toku fans with SJW tendencies can't get over. Yes, Eastern women like to get married and have children. Yes, girls like cute stuff. No, there's nothing demeaning about wanting to maintain a home. You only think these things because you're amoral freaks. The "it's a kids' show!" people suddenly warp into "These shows must have XYZ because current year and anything else is evil!"

    I don't think the MCU is bad per say; only Ironman 1 and Captain America 1 were truly great among them, the rest have been average to bad. Though I do think all the bemoaning about how it's going to get "woke" after Captain Marvel is "too little, too late" since as you say, that stuff has littered the films since day one, but folks are so used to the messaging that they won't notice it until they're beaten over the head with it via Thor's hammer.

    Ultraman still actually feels like a superhero show. It has heart. Often times Rider and Sentai are just going through the motions of a hero show without having a real heroic feel. In fact, I think sometimes overly focusing on plot and characters can make the show too insular; the heroics take a backseat to this insular set of people and their issues.

    I also think with Ultraman that I'm still looking at the country of Japan rather than a homogenized, uber-urban world with ethnic Japanese in it. One thing I've liked about 60s and 70s toku was seeing what postwar Japan looked like: it felt like a real country of real people that had Westernized in some respects but still retained their own uniqueness. Perhaps it was the last holdovers of the pre-WW2 generation still being featured heavily in media.

    This is why I avoid non-toku fans discussing anything toku-related. More likely than not they're going to get their facts wrong, or they and the comment section will devolve into unintelligent 90s nostalgia about the "cheesiness" and "fantasies about the girls". I used to work with a guy who had a Pteraranger chibi on his desk, only it wasn't Pteraranger technically but MMPR Pink. That guy wasn't a real toku fan: he was just acknowledging his 90s kid status.

    Glad you've reformed. XD

    Funny how a lot of what's billed as "adult stuff" really amounts to rather juvenile behavior and mentality.
     
  13. Japaneseseriesfan

    Japaneseseriesfan A simple passerby...

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    This I can agree with. I'm not a big fan of writers not knowing how to balance trio-characters. Usually, one is obviously going to get the main treatment, the other secondary. With Build, they just lazily lumped Grease and Rogue together with the same treatment and paired them up. It's like they don't know how to properly give each character their own hero's journey, or when it's finally resolved, they don't know how to just... not bother with them and let them play a more supporting or background role. I mean, at some points, I like the "buddy-buddy" relationships, but only when it's completely justified. To me, it's just indicative of today's society. Everyone wants to get along, be a groupie, be a buddie. But somehow, it just seems so fake. Even with my own best friend, it's not like I'll get involved in his bullshit all the time just because we're buddy-buddy, although I will intentionally protect his bullshit, because we live by the "my bullshit is your bullshit", but we don't abuse that. I've tried that motto with previous friendships before, and often I have to point out to these people that I have accepted their flaws as a friend, and I will defend those flaws whilst they continue to improve themselves as individuals, but I've also met individuals who straight up do shit just for the sake of doing it, at the end of the day, putting me at risk for their own benefit willfully, and that's where these buddy-buddy shows are kind of detrimental. I've had a friend who watched Kamen Rider with me constantly site how close we are, and how our friendship is so similar to buddy-buddy relationship in these shows to the point where I realized he was completely blind of how much he was abusing the friendship and the motto I established.

    How exactly did Gaim's Overlord arc fall apart? Sorry I might be blind due to my love for it, but I'd love an explanation, and I don't disagree with Build's daddy arc. In fact, that's where I almost dropped the show after sticking with and only skimmed the episodes after on YouTube whenever someone uploaded it a poor RAW quality of it.

    I mean, people are praising Zi-O as "Decade should have done this", but I tend to think that Decade at least didn't disrespect the original actors this much, and opted to create alternate (unlikeable) versions of them (possibly out of fear that they weren't gonna be able to get some actors back and that they might do it justice), but at least they avoided this criticism of blatantly wasting people's time with returning actors. I don't even know what's going on with these returning actors anymore, my assumption is, some of them returned because they're on good terms with Toei, others because they haven't had proper work in a while and needed the cash, and a rare few doing it out of the fact even though they are somewhere beyond this now, they want to pay respect to their roots.

    So I guess Shimoyama just works best when he has a leash on him by the right guy. And his anime success might just be indicative of how certain anime writers just can't write Tokusatsu to that same effect.
     
  14. Japaneseseriesfan

    Japaneseseriesfan A simple passerby...

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    I think part of that is also this: people back in the 70s and 80s who are still in the business are welcoming these anime-only writers in, and only taking in their assessment on what the masses want. I studied animation for a few years, and a lot of people I studied with were intolerable. They were hikkikomoris, NEETS, full blown Otakus who would rather draw panty shots or over sexualized women, and prioritized their fetish and fantasies when writing stories over actual content. And the worst part is, some of our instructors were fine with it, going with the reasoning "they're just expressing themselves". I mean, the course I took was meant to transfer us over to a university in Japan for the last three months for a mini-graduation and help us transfer into the industry, so we were also required to have learnt how to speak Japanese fluently by that time (this was a 2 year course, and I had the advantage of having learnt Japanese since I was 13 out of pure interest since I wanted to read Yu-Gi-Oh card effects since well, the only real cards we could get were Japanese). Suffice to say, I think there's this big influence of "there is no such thing as "wrong" in art" mentality going around, which is just asinine to me. All art can be judged objectively, and occasionally I would get mocked for "not wanting to make money" or be told "there's nothing wrong with making money", but the way I saw it was, selling a cheap product with false advertisement and trailers that trick you the story was one when it was another is morally corrupt. In that essence, you're tricking people with an illusion that they're getting something greater than they're actually selling. I think this is also a fault on those big timers from back then, those who survived and stuck to licking the boots of the suits whom themselves never got over some juvenile mentalities to begin with, so they want to protect what they perceive as "innocence" in these younger anti social people and try to elevate their status in society... except, how can you elevate yourself in a society where you don't proactively do anything to become more socialable outside of talking to random people who validate your inferiority complex on the internet? I think this is partially why the suits were able to take over more effectively. They promoted anti-socials whom had great artistic senses, but they lack character and willpower to counter back. If anyone spoke up (like I did), they were labeled as "problematic" or "not respecting elders or their experience". Experience is good and all, but learning from history is also crucial.

    I think Ultraman gets a pass, because as Black Fang said, it's still somehow retains it's heroics. Although the trinkets are causing a severe lack on quality.

    You need to frame all these statements as subjective statements instead of speaking for everyone and making it seem like your statements are the most objective ones possible. Geed is so by the books it's lazy. Drive didn't "fill a void" that Gaim left, and "everyone" wasn't disappointed by it. Heck, I'd take another season of Gaim over Drive existing. Makai no Hana is subpar at best, but at least it's better than Yami wo Terasu Mono. Ex-Aid has more than you're giving it credit for.

    Tokusatsu, as much as the name of the genre would disagree, is not all about special effects and action. Those are bonuses that thrown in to enhance narrative. You do realize it almost takes no effort to write a fight scene from a writing standpoint if you're familiar with how it works, but performing it takes a level of skill that can only be attained by those who are in the world of stunt? What have you been watching, I honestly want to know. Because Zi-O is filled with action scenes that I can only describe as "action for action's sake", and TOO much of it. Actually, that's exactly what's been going on. It's almost like you want a 20 minute clip of hero vs monster of the week for a weekly episode with almost no dialogue. You almost sound like someone who's lived a very sheltered life and can't be bothered to dive deeper narratively speaking. Sorry if that assumption is off, but I'm just calling what I see.
     
  15. Japaneseseriesfan

    Japaneseseriesfan A simple passerby...

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    I don't know, while I hesitate to like Season 2 of Amazons, I won't deny that there's a lot of good in it, especially with Jin (he's essentially my type of character) and Haruka (similar to someone I used to be). Chihiro's actor just annoyed the heck out of me. I think he was such a miscast and his dialogue was so forced it just didn't work for me.

    Oh yeah, Bravo and Gridon's relationship was thrown out the window. I was greatly disappointed with that as well. Again, I think this is where they focused more on memeing their relationship than developing it. I mean, it's our first (?) gay Kamen Rider, and he had to played off as a joke? Well, at least they played him off with the typical trope that's done in Japanese comedies, which is also something very identical to how gay people/transsexuals are depicted in Thailand.

    I mean I'm on pretty much on the same boat as you. After I cleaned my act, and after my animation course ended and I got nowhere in Japan whilst pursing a creative career there (a lot of people cited my thinking was "too Western"), I ended up going to film/acting school in L.A. One of my worst decisions. I can't tell you how many people have either called me a communist or a Nazi. I find it funny. In the Eastern worlds, I'm told I'm "too Western", and in the West, some people will confuse me as some Pro-Eastern guy, and the SJWs think they can cast me as some minority guy they can check off the list. At the end of the day, I was at my wits end. I really didn't know how to approach the entertainment Industry anymore on either sides of the world, plus, I also had someone broke into my apartment one day and stole my laptop and all my belongings. So... 10 years of my hard work was all gone. My stories and notes just vanished. I didn't make copies or saved them on the iCloud simply because I didn't want to be hacked or have to lend my externals to someone only for them to steal my ideas if they had discovered it.

    I mean, to that extent, I also agree with you. I don't really like the "idol culture", it's so superficial it's almost annoying, but at least they're still not afraid of how fragile or feminine they are, in fact some of them embrace it (although they tend to over do to an unrealistic sense).

    I mean, I judge the MCU based on it's merit as a collective. The good of it's first few films can't hold the weight of the rest of the poorly written and poorly made ones. That's why till this date, I view the first Iron Man and other movies like The Incredible Hulk as separate from the MCU, deliberately. The subsequent films just lived off the merits the first provided, and RDJ's ability and charisma to sell any poorly written dialogue.

    I don't know how I feel about some of these insular people stories. Sometimes, I don't mind the heroics taking a backseat. I mean, this is just coming from someone who as a kid pretended he was a hero all throughout because of my admiration for Kuuga alone, but as I grew into a teenager, I realized my "heroics" were to be looked down upon and shamed, so I just kind of stopped. I think this is why Yu Yu Hakusho is my favorite anime of all time. I saw it as a 5 year old, and somehow found it again in my early teenage years to realize how similar Yusuke was to me. Funny, I went from Godai Yusuke to Urameshi Yusuke.

    I've actually never thought about it in that sense, and that's an interesting perspective, to view Ultraman in the 60s and 70s as a reflection of a postwar state. Now I'm definitely gonna have a different perspective if I ever do decide to rewatch through my old collections. Thanks for that. :)

    I hate people who do that "oh 90's kids are the best". I'm just sitting here like, sure... I'm a 90's kid. Sure, I liked my childhood, but I can site many instances where a lot of people sacrificed important aspects of my development as an individual for the sake of the collective learning at the same pace. Like this is especially true with school. I was so bored out of my mind in classes, mostly because whenever we got textbooks before the school year began, I had already read through all of it so teachers weren't teaching anything I didn't already know, so I ended up either talking to friends during classes (which teachers like to call "distracting other students") or just make jokes to kill my boredom. Man, it wasn't until I started seeing a psychologist loooooong after I got expelled 2 months before my graduation for smoking too much weed on campus that I got profiled to have gone to the wrong school. Like, thing is, in Thailand, it was almost a privilege to have gone to an International school like I did and learn English. Yet, later in my life, they told me my addiction tendencies and my boredom was an indication I should have gone to a better school, a school for gifted individuals if you get what I mean. I pretty much felt robbed at that point. I mean, it's pretty hard to get a job for someone with no credentials like me, and I don't want to waste money getting a qualification either, so I just freelance a lot these days (sometimes for dumb rich college students who can't be bothered to write their own essays). But yeah, being a 90's kid ain't that great. It's the generation that lives off the merit of it's assumed potential without ever allowing those who actually have that potential to fulfill it without restraint, and praising everyone as if they all have the same potential just because they have access to the Internet and know how to operate a computer (I can't tell you how many times my mom tells people I'm a genius when it comes to computers, when I'm sitting here going... yeah I just know what kids my age know when it comes to computers, it's not like I can code, but I could learn. It was pretty embarrassing when some relative called me over to fix their computer and I had no clue what wires went where.)

    Eh... I don't know if I can say I've "reformed" in the past tense. The way I see it, we're all works in progress. I like to say I'm still reforming till this day. I don't drink alcohol alone (only with my best friend once a month nowadays at a local bar) or smoke weed anymore, nor do I ever want to touch drugs ever again, but I still have a bad habit with cigarettes, which I still get a lot of shit for. I just don't like adults who think it's fine to be a dickbag just because their body is aged up. Honestly, if this was Psycho Pass, I think my Crime Coefficient rate would label me a Latent Criminal lol. But I think, that's my redeeming point, that I at least have a certain level of self awareness. Unlike people in the industry we're talking about.

    Phew... this was a long response.
     
  16. Kamen Rider IXA

    Kamen Rider IXA Lurker

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    Ultra Q and OG Ultraman (and what I've seen of Ultraseven) had a deliberate approach. In a way it's more of an anthology series, a collection of stories united by recurring cast that puts emphasis on Kaiju. So many of OG Ultraman enemies aren't evil monsters, but rather wild creatures or forces of nature. I think that's the appeal of Ultraman as a franchise, it's not necessarily a show about super heroes or someone's personal journey. For what it's worth I don't think any of three franchises explored even the portion of what they can achieve.

    You once again show your ignorance when it comes to what other people think. Even if you personally hate the show, why are you ignoring all the people who liked it? It's a fan favourite series of many to this day.
    I may dislike Den-O and what its legacy done to tokusatsu, but at least I won't claim that it was unpopular and no one liked TV Series simply due my personal feelings about it.

    So I guess you're fine with all bizarre things happening in Kiva's second half, like characters dying and coming back to life with no explanations?
    Of all the problems with modern tokusatsu, talking? Really? First of all, the amount of conversations (or calmer slow-paced scenes in general) in toku is close to zero now. Most of the time it's endless tiresome fast-paced action, just like you like it. Second, why is characterization (which is what "talking" is pretty much 90% of the time) in toku such a big problem for you? Sometimes you can take things too far and you end up with basically slice of life show with barely any tension or stakes at all like Gridman, but early 2000s Kamen Rider didn't really have that problem and after Agito most of slow-paced slice of life scenes basically ceased to exist.

    Why Kyuranger of all things? You can remove half of cast there without changing anything, most of villains are all boring, forgettable and heroes fight same three of them for like half of the show. Lucky's constantly stealing spotlight from others, even in the scenes which have nothing to do with him storywise. It's full of anime-esque humour, pointless side characters and padding.
    BS things like that roulette, which shows that writers couldn't handle such big cast or them starting in space and going to Earth to spend majority of time there (despite being a SPACE Sentai) alone make this series subpar. And it's way way worse than subpar. I don't think Kyuranger even explained why it was originally NINE saviours in that prophecy, that show tried to forget as soon as possible.
    Gransazer may not be a perfect show, but it's a way superior take on "a 12-member star-team vs powerful space army".

    I have to disagree with both of these. Phase 1 MCU is extremely forgettable compared to most of Marvel movies that came after The Avengers. Iron Man 1 and 2 don't really hold up all that well and feel a bit bland (not to mention people has always been way to forgiving to the second half of Iron Man 1), Thor 1 becomes an extremely weak movie when it gets to earth stuff, 2008 Hulk is basically erased from people's memory. I like both Cap 1 and The Avengers, but they both have their issues. After recently rewatching Doctor Strange, I can say that Strange easliy outdoes every single Phase 1 movie. And Strange isn't really the greatest Marvel movie either. MCU started to peak with Winter Soldier (which is probably still the single best MCU thing and one of the best modern superhero movies) and has been on downhill since Black Panther (aside from last two Avengers movies, courtesy of Russo brothers). Still I won't call any MCU movie aside from Hulk, Iron Man 3 and Captain Marvel particularly bad so far, even though I dislike a few of them to various degree, including the forever-overrated Guardians of the Galaxy. But still MCU strength and longevity were build on consistent quality (at least until recently). Winter Soldier and Infinity War have such tight and well-written scripts they basically set standards for all modern hollywood blockbusters (it's especially impressive considering sheer number of heroes in IW the whole thing still feels coherent and doesn't dissolve in BvS-tier clusterfuck). And with disasters like Venom occasionally poping up, it makes me appreciate what MCU did over these 10 years even more.
    I do agree with political stuff though. People like to complain that ShinkenPink and MagiBlue are bad characters, because they like traditional ways, and I just don't think that's fair to them (even though their respective shows could have fleshed out Mako and Urara more as characters).
     
  17. Kamen Rider IXA

    Kamen Rider IXA Lurker

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    Yeah, I especially got those vibes from OG Kamen Rider series. There is something "real" about that show.

    There is a number of problems, but most of them can be traced back to two big major points. First was Urobuchi's butchering his originally fantastic concept for Hellheim. The idea of forest as a force of nature that compels people to fight over it, while bringing destruction to the world at the same time is great and captures essense of Heisei Rider idea of "will/will not power corrupt people" perfectly. It also leaves Gaim without any personificated "villains" in classic toku sense (I guess you'll still have Sagara, but he easily could have been Agito's Overlord-type of character), which works incredibly well for monsters like Inves.

    Gaim works best when it's a clash of personalities and belifs. It's full of charismatic characters (who perhaps never really got treatment they deserve, things like Duke's Gaiden make this pretty clear to me), but with Overlord stuff they all slowly get pushed aside in order to make way for the "true hero" of the story. Minato, Kaito, Oren, Bravo/Junoichi, Mai and pretty much everyone else who isn't Kouta or Micchy. It's especially evident on rewatches, where you pay more attention to side storylines and see show either drop them at certain points or hastly wrap them so that all good guys can come together and spend 15 episodes in the background doing pretty much nothing. Just look how late in the game freaking Zack gets anything remotely important to do. And he was in the show since the first episode.

    Then there are Overlords themselves. I don't mind show introducing the survivors of the forest, but it shouldn't have been in "take over big bad position" role. It gives Hellheim a face and instead of force of nature, it is now just an arena for the fight against "real villains". And then at some point Overlords start to summon their underlings (who are basically motw) which was BS in its own right and made Femushinmu look like morons, since forest is apperently populated with intelligent creatures, but not a single one managed to learn about humans in 10 years. By that point everything that made Hellheim special and refreshing is gone, replaced by yet another typical group of monsters our heroes need to beat to put things right.

    Second problem's name is Fruit Jesus. Even this meme alone tells you everything that went wrong with Kouta (and by extension second half of Gaim as a whole). I like Kouta as a character, but show doesn't really have writing good enough to pull him as a proper tragic hero who sacrifices his humanity for the world. Gaim has always been a bit preachy (or very preachy, depending on who you ask), but it had a lot of things going for it up to this point. With Overlord arc Kouta takes over the entire show and pretty much the sole focus of the story from that point on. I like Micchy and thinks that his story is a highlight of second half of Gaim in general. It's incredibly well done, but him being a way more compelling character to watch compared to Kouta just highlights that show pushing MC to be the center of all things just doesn't work at all. At first I tried defending Sagara just handing Kouta toys and pretty much forcing him to become Overlord without leaving much choice at all, but honestly it's just foul play and unfair to every single other character in the show who wants to take a shot at winning the fruit. Imagine that instead of Gaim KIWAMIng everything to the ground, it was a close competetion where characters constaly struggle to be ahead of each other (like Build did with Hazard levels). But Gaim isn't really interested in most of other characters by that point. They are extras in Kouta's story. I give Baron credit for being like the only second rider who's story-revelant in the finale in the history of franchise (there is also Knight, I suppose), but he still spent most of Overlord arc barely doing anything (which made his final boss turn pretty awkward, it's like Sasuke Uchiha all over again).

    Neither of these problems are big enough to ruin Gaim for me, but they lead to more problems which make Overlord arc extremely annoying to watch. It's like Urobuchi didn't know what do with all his good ideas and storylines, so he gave up and just decided to streamline everything.

    Gaim is a good series full of good things, but it does have problems which prevent it from being the absolute classic in my eyes and it fails as much as Build does in certain aspects. There is just a way better season lying under this show that we never got. I like finale a lot more than I used to for what it's worth and think it's a pretty dignified way for the show to end.


    At least Decade did have first three good episodes. Zi-O second episode made me want to just stop watching right there and that's exactly where I dropped the show for the first time.

    From what I've seen I disagree about Zi-O being better than Decade. Decade had incredibly lackluster episodes, but at least they stood out and all worlds but Den-O at least had an idea behind them. I can't recall a single thing that happened in Wizard's two-parter for example. It sure as hell didn't have anything to do with Wizard.
     
  18. NeonZ

    NeonZ Member

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    The online fanbase just seems oddly forgiving of early Gokaiger compared to Zi-O, probably since most people were just happy they were even bringing back guest actors at all, after Decade. Characters like MagiRed and GaoRed had very different portrayals in Gokaiger just to set up some kind of conflict for their appearances and yet there's hardly any bitterness associated with that like you see with Zi-O. It wasn't until the Carranger episode that Gokaiger's homages really got on track.

    Or maybe they had to sideline them sine they had to market the new toys and when that wasn't an issue anymore they could do better? Just compare how Build's characters are treated in the first two episodes and then Heisei Generations Forever, which was produced shortly after that.

    In some other cases, the actors just weren't around for too long. Note that Beast's actor only appears in a single location, even for the .5 episode for example.

    Something noticeable about Zi-O is that Bandai actually had low expectations for the series. Although both Decade and Gokaiger did well compared to the shows before them, Bandai's executives seemed to believe that a self-referential "meta" theme had a ceiling and that by going in that direction Zi-O would have lower sales than other recent series like Build and Ex-Aid. That's very likely why in the early arcs after Build and Ex-Aid (which were used to make promo footage and magazine pictures for Zi-O teaming up with the past Riders) the past Riders don't even get to transform for a few moments, with that rule only getting broken again in the Ghost/Decade episodes - where Decade had his own new merchandising to sell. Bandai wanted all the focus on the new merchandising since they didn't trust the show to do well in the first place. Then, when it turned out to be success, they loosened up on it, which is why the recent episodes use elements from past series in a much heavier way (although, of course, that pattern was kind of broken by Inoue's two episodes, but that's likely a case of him getting to do whatever he wants as a guest writer. It seems to be right back to normal next week considering all the footage shown in the preview for the Kabuto arc).
     
  19. Black Fang

    Black Fang Member

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    The thing is, if you're gonna do an anniversary celebration, not having any old cast members appear is just really lame and spoils the fun. I'm still hoping I'll like what I see in Zi-O when I ever get past the first episode, but the fact that this many people came back is enough to interest me. I hated the alternate worlds in Decade; not only for the lack of old characters, which they did away with anyway with Hibiki and Den-O, but for how stupid some of the ideas for those worlds were. Ryuki's Rider war is now how the legal system works? The facepalming never ends.

    I might've bought the alternate Kuuga if they'd done something along the lines of "Decade defeated the Riders of the other worlds, now chaos envelops the multiverse because of Dai-Shocker's gateways, and in the Kuuga world, a new guy took up the belt Godai left behind upon his defeat and became the third Kuuga." I'd still want someone from the Kuuga cast to come back though: let Hiroko Sato (who played the female Ichijou stand-in) do something else.
     
  20. Black Fang

    Black Fang Member

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    Winter Soldier would've been better if it had more Winter Soldier in it. I liked the political thriller stuff, but it got too wrapped up in that to give as much attention to Bucky and his fight with Steve, to the point where his scenes are almost tangential to everything else.

    The biggest problem with the MCU is, actually, a variation of the problem with tokusatsu today: too much stupidity. Whereas with the latter it's wacky anime hijinks, with the former it's sophomoric humor that only the dumb masses in the theaters who laugh at the drop of a hat could like. There's only so many times I can tolerate Tony Stark dressing and snarking like a child rather than the middle-aged adult he is, or even Strange's unfunny quips.

    I kind of like 2008 Hulk, more than I was expecting to after I finally watched it.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one unimpressed by Guardians. Some good ideas and visuals doesn't save it from annoying characters and stupid jokes that never cease. They and the Antman movies are perhaps my least favorite in the MCU.

    Feminism basically boils down to a kindergarten mentality that one never evolves out of. "Boys have the cool toys and girls have cooties and play with lame stuff." That's really the core of all of their rhetoric, whether they realize it or admit it. The mockery of homemaking or anything "1950s and earlier", from those Ecard cartoons to tasteless comics dressing up in those old outfits and being crass, is just childish "This is boring! Your life must suck if you're not living it up and being wild and crazy!" Boys and girls, men and women, are different psychically, mentally, capably, etc. 'Different' does not mean one is superior to the other. You're supposed to grow out of the "X is better than Y, nyah!" mindset. Instead the West is inundated with this from kindergarten through higher learning; and the East is taking the rhetoric at face value without looking deeper.
     

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