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The Mike Toole Show - Japan's Superhero Legacy


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Dop.L



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 562
Location: London
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:56 pm Reply with quote
I always loved that bit in Samurai Flamenco when Hazama said to Goto "Both my parents were murdered. That's the best backstory a hero could have"
Total callout.
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Gemnist



Joined: 10 Feb 2016
Posts: 1062
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:36 pm Reply with quote
Hehe, love the Rob Liefeld reference (for those who don't know, he's a Marvel comic writer and artist, and the creator of Deadpool, who is constantly criticized for giving his characters Man-boobs and countless other obscene criteria).

Also, its Crisis on Infinite Earths. Still a great storyline.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:52 pm Reply with quote
I'd always been curious about Golden Bat personally. It would be great if Eastern Star could handle releasing it so it can be obtained a bit more easily.
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ParaChomp



Joined: 10 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 11:19 pm Reply with quote
No mention of Tiger and Bunny again?
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dash56



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
Posts: 150
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:01 am Reply with quote
Gemnist wrote:
Hehe, love the Rob Liefeld reference (for those who don't know, he's a Marvel comic writer and artist, and the creator of Deadpool, who is constantly criticized for giving his characters Man-boobs and countless other obscene criteria).

Also, its Crisis on Infinite Earths. Still a great storyline.


Now I'm picturing All Might with a bunch of pouches and no feet Laughing
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Hawkmonger



Joined: 30 May 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:55 am Reply with quote
You all laugh, but Horikoshi has already done his send up to Liefeld. Stain.
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v1cious



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:49 am Reply with quote
ParaChomp wrote:
No mention of Tiger and Bunny again?


I was gonna mention this as well. In my opinion, this is the only show so far to ever get it right. Just from the writing, you can tell this was made by people who were into comics. I mean seriously, the main villains of the first half are quite literally The Joker and Harley Quinn.
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Bamble



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 109
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:19 am Reply with quote
Mike Toole wrote:
we'd already gotten some of the 1970 Ryoichi Ikegami Spider-Man manga (which, incidentally, is very badly in need of a complete, finished re-release)


It was also badly in need of an unedited version as well, with some of the later stories that Marevl did translate being subject to censorship. I always suspected the more relatively extreme content of the later stories was a factor in why the translation was cancelled.

And while we're on the subject, a translation of Kazuhiro Koike's even more obscure early 1970s Hulk manga, which was never collected even in Japan, wouldn't go amiss either!
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:50 pm Reply with quote
No mention of "Cyborg 009", the 1st Japanese super hero group? For shame, Mike.
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Levitz9



Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 983
Location: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:10 pm Reply with quote
Even considering how much grittier the original Kamen Rider story was (especially compared to its current incarnations), its origins in Ishinomori's much-darker vigilante story The Skull Man, and the dour ending it had in its manga... I'm still stricken that the original Kamen Rider would be counted as less of an "Ally of Justice" story and more of a "dark hero" thing. I mean, his ending theme even called him "Seigi no Masuku"--the Mask of Justice. ("Full speed ahead, Cyclone~!") I really should know better, but... Kamen Rider is all about the kids, man...

Thanks for these columns, Mike. Your stuff... it really helps these days.
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ParaChomp



Joined: 10 Dec 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:53 am Reply with quote
v1cious wrote:
I was gonna mention this as well. In my opinion, this is the only show so far to ever get it right. Just from the writing, you can tell this was made by people who were into comics. I mean seriously, the main villains of the first half are quite literally The Joker and Harley Quinn.
Can't forget the obvious parallels to the X-Men.

The superhero genre is for every culture but all these recent superhero anime are Japanese heroes with an American coat of paint. It feels awkward but luckily/unfortunately the other way around is equally awkward. The two mediums don't blend due to letting their heritage show. Japanese superheroes have unbalanced stories while American superheroes can't exaggerate naturally. There might me something good there but it never understands what it's mimicking. Regardless, when the Japanese do tackle superheroes, it's always refreshing due to how oversaturated the American market is with superheroes.

Tiger and Bunny does superheroes the best out of every anime I've seen but in turn, it doesn't represent its country of origin in the slightest. Instead, it embraces the American superhero while turning it on its head with a television show and a ranking system. It's a simple premise that reflects the media that surrounds superheroes both in fiction and nonfiction. Due to the abundance of superheroes in the media, the show has become better with age.

With that in mind, I really need to rewatch this series.
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Stuart Smith



Joined: 13 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:09 am Reply with quote
Levitz9 wrote:
Even considering how much grittier the original Kamen Rider story was (especially compared to its current incarnations), its origins in Ishinomori's much-darker vigilante story The Skull Man, and the dour ending it had in its manga... I'm still stricken that the original Kamen Rider would be counted as less of an "Ally of Justice" story and more of a "dark hero" thing. I mean, his ending theme even called him "Seigi no Masuku"--the Mask of Justice. ("Full speed ahead, Cyclone~!") I really should know better, but... Kamen Rider is all about the kids, man...


Kamen Rider might have a lighter tone these days, but the core principle of being a dark hero is still there. Virtually every Kamen Raider's powers originate from an evil source, or at least the same source the villains utilize as well. Gaia Memories, Core Medals, Lock Seeds, Magic. What separates the Kamen Riders from the villains is him using those powers to protect people.

-Stuart Smith
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Merxamers



Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 484
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:48 am Reply with quote
Hawkmonger wrote:
You all laugh, but Horikoshi has already done his send up to Liefeld. Stain.


I figured Stain was more of a reference to the '90s Todd McFarlan comics, like Spawn
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ew121



Joined: 25 Nov 2014
Posts: 160
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:50 pm Reply with quote
Hero Academia has as much as western cape influence or superhero influence as... nothing.

Hero Academia is literally Naruto(or basically any generic battle shonen nowadays that can't even try to innovate ANYTHING at all, like Black Clover too) except this time the ninjas are called heroes and there's english SFX sometimes. It has nothing to do with western cape comics.

Saying this has anything to do with superheroes is like saying Fire Brigade of Flames is about firefighters, while the characters ARE firefighters the entire thing is literally the same as Fairy Tail, NnT or Black Clover, or again Hero Academia. Just a battle manga with "divisions" "classes" "sections" "guilds" and of course ranks.

This is what bothers me about these kind of manga, they just take Generic battle shonen 101 and then paint it with something on top, like a parent buying his kids a blue t shirt and a green t shirt, they're literally the same t shirt but have a different color. It's VERY clear that Horikoshi just took advantage of what was popular at the time and released a series pandering to it, with the boom of movies like avengers and all that superheroes are an exploitable fad.

HeroAca reads nothing like western superhero comics, now if someone wants to argue that cape comics are not even good in the first place well that's an entire different thing and nowadays I mostly agree since it's VERY rare to find a good run that tries to do something good, but it doesn't change the fact that like I said, this reads nothing like a western comic and the only influences are stupid shit like SFX or All-Might looking like generic cape hero(on purpose, but still).
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:17 am Reply with quote
The reason why most villains only threaten and not kill after one failure, of course, is because they'll run out of competence before long. It's a trope no longer taken seriously nowadays. One of the Star Wars books has Empire people discussing about how if you want to get promoted in a hurry, you join up with Darth Vader--he goes through his subordinates so quickly, you'll eventually fill the missing seats above.

Hawkmonger wrote:
You all laugh, but Horikoshi has already done his send up to Liefeld. Stain.


Yeah, one thing I like about My Hero Academia is that you get more out of it by being familiar with American comics. Nearly every trend in American comics has a character in the series,and you can tell Horikoshi went the extra mile to make sure MHA is a love letter to American superhero stories.

Kadmos1 wrote:
No mention of "Cyborg 009", the 1st Japanese super hero group? For shame, Mike.


I was thinking of that myself--they are also all ordinary people suddenly given powers. But I think they would fall into the "dark heroes" category mentioned at the end of the article, not because 009 and his companions are morally ambiguous, but because Black Ghost, the force they fight against, is so horrific in what they do.

On the other hand, there is Heroman, which had Stan Lee involvement.

#825565 wrote:
HeroAca reads nothing like western superhero comics, now if someone wants to argue that cape comics are not even good in the first place well that's an entire different thing and nowadays I mostly agree since it's VERY rare to find a good run that tries to do something good, but it doesn't change the fact that like I said, this reads nothing like a western comic and the only influences are stupid shit like SFX or All-Might looking like generic cape hero(on purpose, but still).


How should have MHA gone, in that case? I don't think Horikoshi is ever hiding the fact that it's a Japanese work, and it is very Japanese in what it does. Never is it trying to blend in with stuff from Marvel, DC, or Image, and I think all of its fans know that. But I think Horikoshi homages American superhero stories frequently enough in it that you can't accuse him of not knowing the material.

By the way, specifically, All Might, design-wise, as mentioned in the article is based on Rob Liefeld's art style. His personality and role in society, however, is closer to Golden Age Captain Marvel...erm, Shazam (not as much Superman, as some people might think). Parallels include him being a paragon of justice and symbol of hope first and a crimefighter second, a physically frail secret identity that he keeps as his biggest secret, being a mentor to someone with similar powers as he does, and spoiler[his fall from grace requiring help from the following generation of heroes, as is what happened to Captain Marvel/Shazam in Kingdom Come]

Heck, Gang Orca seems to be the MHA counterpart to Savage Dragon (vicious animal-like appearance, animal-themed powers and super strength, kind-hearted interior, collaborates closely with police, is the leader of a team he assembled, can be very silly at times). Not many American works of fiction reference him,and MHA may be the only published Japanese work to do so.
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