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The History of American Superhero Comics in Anime


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GoldCrusader



Joined: 25 Apr 2017
Posts: 235
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:42 am Reply with quote
Design wise I always found the characters in Cyborg 009 really cool, the movie I watched wasn't super tho.

Heroman is up there. It was just so fun. Lots of colorful characters.

But the best is My Hero Academia. A story written by a huge Superhero fan and it shows. Best cast, best action, best artstyle, the best.
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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:55 am Reply with quote
I really am loving the Ultraman manga (the one coming out now from Viz). It's supposed to be based on the old TV show, which was mostly giant aliens vs giant superhero in rubber suits punching each other, but manga reminds me a lot more of American superheroes. Shinjiro has the special Ultraman suit, which both helps power him up (though he has super strength all on his own) and hide his identity. And he's in high school, so I guess that would make him most like Spiderman. Most thankfully is that the manga really doesn't require knowledge of the previous Ultraman series (beyond the "big things punching each other" thing I mentioned earlier), it's actually pretty easy to just jump in.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
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Location: Windsor Ontario
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:05 am Reply with quote
Shame that out of the Madhouse Marvel stuff only X-men was actually quite good. The rest were just pretty meh.

Disk Wars was a ton of fun, though. Definitely worth a watch.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:52 am Reply with quote
I always thought of Gatchaman and Cyborg 009 as strictly Japanese hero shows. I never really got the impression they borrowed from 1960s comics, but I probably haven't watched enough of either to make that call.

Echoing classicalzawa, the Ultraman manga is indeed quite good. The action scenes do get a little too wild with the lines, so it's sometimes hard to tell what's going on, but it's been a great read so far.
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JohnathanEnder



Joined: 08 Aug 2004
Posts: 71
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:30 pm Reply with quote
Even though superheroes have enjoyed more time in the spotlight in recent years on both sides of the world, I'm actually surprised that no one has revitalized (or researched, or discussed, or even brought up) 1930's Ogon Bat (aka Golden Bat)



Debuting in 1931, Bat manages to predate American superheroes, let alone Japanese ones. Superman debuted in 1938, and Lee Falk's Mandrake the Magician (whom comic historians usually credit as "the first superhero") didn't debut until 1934.

It baffles me that pop culture aficionados -- let alone otaku -- have not been made more aware of Ogon Bat, and that there is so little out there regarding this creation. If nothing else, it's interesting to note that the comic superhero as an idea may have gotten it's first jump at fame in Japan rather than the country that is often credited as the birthplace of superheroes.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:46 pm Reply with quote
belvadeer wrote:
I always thought of Gatchaman and Cyborg 009 as strictly Japanese hero shows. I never really got the impression they borrowed from 1960s comics, but I probably haven't watched enough of either to make that call.

Both series feature almost family-like assemblies of mostly male characters with a single female character who was either implicitly or explicitly in love with one of her teammates. That's the exact same pattern seen in the early days of The Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four. Both also had the older mentor figure, as the X-Men did. They also traveled around in specialized aircraft, just like all three of the American groups did. (In fact, I've often thought that the God Phoenix in Gatchaman had to at least in part be inspired by the X-Men's customized SR-71 Blackbird.) You could maybe add the use of coordinated, stylized costuming, too, although that's more of a tenuous connection.
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DerekL1963
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 14 Jan 2015
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Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:55 pm Reply with quote
belvadeer wrote:
I always thought of Gatchaman and Cyborg 009 as strictly Japanese hero shows. I never really got the impression they borrowed from 1960s comics, but I probably haven't watched enough of either to make that call.


I've watched a lot of Cyborg 009, and read a ton of the relevant [American] comic books of the 60's and 70's (back when kids still read comic books), and I don't see much of a connection either. The idea of teams doesn't originate in the 60's either, the earliest example I'm familiar with (the Justice Society of America) is from the 40's. You could say that the idea of a common origin of a team was borrowed from The Fantastic Four, but I want to say that also has earlier origins. (I seem to recall an earlier series, but I can't remember details.)

In the same way, though Gatchaman features a team... I can't recall any "themed teams" in American comics, and certainly no mecha.
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:09 pm Reply with quote
DerekL1963 wrote:
In the same way, though Gatchaman features a team... I can't recall any "themed teams" in American comics, and certainly no mecha.


Not sure if the "Japanese pop-culture" theme of Big Hero 6 (the non-Disney print version) counts, as that was a manga parody to begin with, but what about the "Canadian-pride" theme of Alpha Flight's heroes?

And darn, thought it was going to be a column about anime's confused and West-poking interpretation of American superheroes, like All Might, Suppai-Man from Dr. Slump, Great Saiya-Man from DBZ, and Super Great Golden Special Reserve Gorgeous Crimson Terrapin XXVIII from UY?
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Garforian



Joined: 02 Apr 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:45 pm Reply with quote
Big O

Historically if we're talking american comics influence on anime then the daicon openings are worth mentioning as well
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DeTroyes



Joined: 30 May 2016
Posts: 246
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:52 pm Reply with quote
Suppeman, from Doctor Slump. Probably the best Superman parody ever.

And I remember once hearing Grant Morrison at a convention "threaten" to make the Bat-Manga Batman canon by bringing in some of those villains...
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jr240483



Joined: 24 Dec 2005
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Location: New York City,New York,USA
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:12 pm Reply with quote
Garforian wrote:
Big O

Historically if we're talking american comics influence on anime then the daicon openings are worth mentioning as well


I'm surprised they never mentioned big o considering that it was pretty clear that the whole setting of the series was similar to batman.

Quote:
but due to numerous complicated factors, it never received a release or TV broadcast in the United States.


I want to know what the hell it could be that prevents heroman from being released let alone licensed in the US. its not like its have the complicated mess that maccross is having with harmony gold which is preventing any new series from being licensed in the US that is. not to mention that its FREAKING STAN LEE OF ALL PEOPLE that was the head of that series. that alone should have automatically gotten it released in the US. I mean its manga version was able to get one.
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v1cious



Joined: 31 Dec 2002
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Location: Houston, TX
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:52 pm Reply with quote
The Witchblade anime was actually pretty good. I wasn't expecting much from that series, but it surprised me in the end.
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Brack



Joined: 15 Oct 2005
Posts: 178
Location: UK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:20 am Reply with quote
JohnathanEnder wrote:
Even though superheroes have enjoyed more time in the spotlight in recent years on both sides of the world, I'm actually surprised that no one has revitalized (or researched, or discussed, or even brought up) 1930's Ogon Bat (aka Golden Bat).


Concrete Revolutio season 1 has a character who is, in part, both a Ogon Bat and Dark Bat stand-in (amongst other references).

DeTroyes wrote:

And I remember once hearing Grant Morrison at a convention "threaten" to make the Bat-Manga Batman canon by bringing in some of those villains...


He made good on that threat in Batman Inc.
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#alfrescoCR



Joined: 13 Jan 2017
Posts: 54
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:21 am Reply with quote
I'm half sure that Tiger and bunny started the superhero trend japan are into right now. They just fell in love with TB.
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Brack



Joined: 15 Oct 2005
Posts: 178
Location: UK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:04 am Reply with quote
#alfrescoCR wrote:
I'm half sure that Tiger and bunny started the superhero trend japan are into right now. They just fell in love with TB.


There were plenty of superhero shows prior to Tiger & Bunny, the shadows of Shotaro Ishinomori, Eiji Tsuburaya and Tatsunoko Pro have long been cast over anime productions. And it's not like they went away and came back, if you look through the 2000s there's at least one pure superhero show a year, and many more influenced by the aforementioned pioneers. And that's not counting Pretty Cure too.

Tiger & Bunny itself reunited a lot of the staff from Keichi Sato's earlier superhero outing for Tatsunoko, Karas. Kenji Nakamura also worked on Karas, and his Gatchaman Crowds shares staff with that OAV too.
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