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Saturday, December 10, 2022 

Supposedly, Captain Harlock changed anime

A writer at Boing Boing is making this claim, based on a video commentary he's following up on, though he does also make an interesting point regarding superhero comics in the USA:
Every medium is subject to its tropes. In American comics, the superhero has become so trope-heavy that the genre tends to alienate new fans. Instead of opting for their homegrown heroes, millions of American fans are choosing to flock toward manga and anime as their preferred source of battle-centric fiction. However, manga and anime are replete with a series of tropes all their own. One of the more common tropes that have found their way into countless manga and series is the subtle infusion of the spokon elements.
If those USA tropes include far-left politics, that's why fans, old and new, tends to become alienated. It's also because the Big Two are watering down the adventure themes that made them work in the first place, all for the sake of the aforementioned political agendas. Based on how the Big 2 continue to operate, it's a wonder they haven't shut down already. Or maybe it's a shame Bill Jemas seemingly got Marvel out of bankruptcy, all so he could proceed to exploit them for precursors to the harm that's damaged Marvel since.
Spokon, which basically translates for sports manga/anime, is such a wildly popular genre that its fundamental tropes have interwoven themselves into other series. In the '70s and '80s, several shows were influenced by the Spokon wave, but one show went in a different direction. In the video linked above, the YouTube channel Mercury Falcon explains why Captain Harlock is the best example of an anti-sports anime.
Umm, permit me to say why I don't think Harlock's the best example: the antagonists in Leiji Matsumoto's story are an alien race of women named the Mazone who're out for world domination, and one, but not the only problems, is that they never seemed like a commentary on radical feminists, but rather, a ludicrous depiction of ostensibly female entities as enemies. Making matters worse is that a young girl, Mayu Oyama, who's the daughter of a deceased colleague of Harlock, is belittled, and the way the show shows an underaged girl like her with panty shots makes it all the more ludicrous and embarrassing. And it got even worse when the character was reimagined in Arcadia of My Youth, 3 years after the first TV show ended, as a German fighter pilot during WW2, part of an Iron Cross brigade. The way this character was portrayed was insulting to my intellect.

That aside, it's silly and awkward how they make it sound like there were far too many sports mangas and anime at the time. There were plenty of mecha and space adventures too, along with fantasy themes and adventures for women, if it matters. And, I'd rather see a number of sports anime again and again than have to put up with the Harlock series ever again. It was just too frustrating in hindsight.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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