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Tuesday, April 25, 2023 

New live action film based on Saint Seiya manga may actually be based on CGI series from Netflix

So there's an upcoming live action movie based - on the surface anyway - on Masami Kurumada's famous Saint Seiya manga, which was also adapted into a notable anime series by Toei in the late 1980s (with some sequels coming at least a decade later), and here's the starting info from Coming Soon:
The official Knights of the Zodiac trailer has been released, giving fans a closer look at the live-action Saint Seiya movie. Based on the popular manga and anime, Knights of the Zodiac is set to release exclusively in theaters on May 12. [...]

Knights of the Zodiac was created by Masami Kurumada. The manga was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1986-1990 and gained massive popularity. The series was localized as Knights of the Zodiac and would spawn numerous spin-off series, anime, and video games.
What isn't clear from the above, is that, if Bounding Into Comics is correct, it's actually based on what Netflix broadcast nearly 4 years ago, a CGI-animated miniseries whose USA producer made sure to gender-swap at least one of the original cast members from the original tales, Shun, instead of create a new female character, if it's such a big deal. On which note, let's take a look at what's told by Meaww at the time the miniseries first aired on Netflix:
Netflix is all set to release ‘Knights of the Zodiac: Saint Seiya’, a remake of the classic 1980s anime, and the upcoming show has already been met with controversy. The debate is about a certain character who was gender-swapped from male to female but the problem is a little more nuanced than it might appear at first glance.

The original ‘Saint Seiya’ anime was an extremely popular show that still maintains a cult following. It featured mostly male characters, which to be honest is not that surprising considering the time of its release. The controversy surrounding the remake erupted back in December 2018 when it was revealed that one of the original characters, Andromeda Shun, has been gender-swapped for the new series.

The problem isn’t just that Shun was a highly popular character in the original anime. The Bronze Saint was arguably one of the strongest characters on the show but he displayed a very kind, peaceable disposition. He was very sensitive and effeminate, qualities that got some fans to adopt him as a gay icon and others to praise him for showing how men could be kind and sensitive and still be strong fighters.
Considering how much of a sacred cow and a protected class topic homosexuality is in Hollywood, it certainly is weird they'd want to change Shun, of all characters, from male to female. Presumably, this was because most mangakas in Japan, even if you don't agree with the LGBT practice, usually avoid politicizing it, and unlike the USA, they have no issue with depicting a male LGBT character as a baddie. So because Shun didn't meet their idea of what an effeminate man should be characterized as, they decided this would make the perfect example for gender-swapping? Well, all they did was prove the key to failure is trying to please everyone. Though I think it should be made clear kindness and sensitivity are qualities that can absolutely be found in heterosexual men too, so it's awfully silly how ideologues try to hijack certain ideas to fit their narrative.
As the controversy gained steam, Eugene Son, who is a writer on the show, took full responsibility and defended the decision to change Shun’s gender in a series of tweets that have now been deleted. He explained that while the original show had some excellent core concepts, the one thing that bothered him about it was that “the Bronze Knights with Pegasus Seiya are all dudes”.

He also added that the creators of the remake were aware of the important female characters on the show but decided against changing the story to give them more central roles because it would be a disservice to the characters.

“There are plenty of female characters in the anime and manga. Marin and Shaina are both incredible. But they’re both powerful already – no one wants to see them turned into Bronze Knights."

He also explained that he was not comfortable with the idea of creating a new character just to add representation, clearly having taken a hint from the controversy created by the addition of Evangeline Lilly’s Tauriel to ‘The Hobbit’ movies.

“I didn’t want to create a new female character that would stick out and be obvious – especially if she was not created naturally and has no character/personality except 'to be the girl.'”
This is enough to fall off the chair laughing at, since he went and did just what he said he didn't want to do. And I'm sure he knows it. All he's done is demonstrate a lack of both courage and creativity. The miniseries got some pretty negative reception, all the more reason it's dumbfounding it would get any sequel parts as it went along, if it's as dull as considered to be.

An important part to consider about the original Saint Seiya is that stood out as an example of men who could act heroically. And that's why you may dread the upcoming movie adaptation, since, if it's as woke as can be expected, the idea of men heroically defending a lady's honor could be dumbed down horribly. Not to mention that mainstreaming these creations through blockbuster movie fare has long become incredibly off-putting. That's why, no attending this new live action movie for me. Besides, what if it's even more jarringly violent than the original manga/anime was, and ends up played for cheap sensationlism? What would that say about the movie producers' ideas of what makes great entertainment?

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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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