LSD Jellyfish wrote:I think there's valid reasons to dislike the modern Ultra-man series, but this isn't the place to get into that discussion.
I mean sure, I can get the toyeticism making it hard to enjoy for some people (I acknowledge that as being my least favorite part of it), but it makes no sense for a supermegafan like Augie to enjoy them given all of the aforementioned traits they have that he'd obviously dig, especially when he apparently enjoys smut like the Godzilla anime movies. And his apparent criticisms of the shows go beyond just their toy-plugging, like the protagonists all being "pretty boys" (Something the old shows NEVER had), Ultramen not being "tough" anymore, etc.
That said, I'm sure he still watches the shows in secret.
I decided to just move the conversation to this thread.
I think that yes, the series is filled up with too many "pretty boys" and "pretty girls". That is, until you realize that the shows were always like this, and it's just the standards of what society views as attractive or handsome has just changed. Definitely characters like Akiko Fuji, and Shinya Hayata were intended to be attractive. I think the series characters getting younger and younger, as I get older
, is frustrating, but that's just a personal preference relating to a current trend overall in Japan not unique to the Ultra-Series. I do think that some of the tropic characters in the modern series greatly annoy me.
An exact example of this would be me hating this episode:https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/In_Order_to_Meet_You
The episode revolves around how great it is to be an idol, an aspect of Japanese culture I despise. The episode does little to criticize how manipulative the whole industry is and reinforces ideas hat beauty and being popular are some of the most important qualities to have. And it also reinforces that unrealistic expectations and devotions towards people is completely fine.
I do think that the original series had more "soul" behind it. I think that's too general of a term, but what I mean is that a lot of the series have a more bland emotional core to them, and reemphasize stereotypical and easy thematic themes such as the value of "friendship". Even the handling such as the implication that Geed is Belial's son, is never fully played around with beyond a generic "I forge my own destiny/I am my own hero". Compare this to a lot of the older series themes regarding things like the episode with Gyeron from Ultra-Seven. They dealt with darker subjects like death more often.
As I say this though, one of my favorite episodes in Ultraman of all time is a random Ginga S episode, which controversially I'll say might be better than most epiosdes of some of the older series:https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/The_Tears_of_Gan-Q
The episode criticizes salaryman culture, while also simultaneously showing that the father character works hard for his family. It provides a very nuanced opinion of the issue at hand, and delivers some good laughs and memorable moments.
The irony is, the two episodes I listed, Tears of Gang Q, and In Order To Meet You, are back to back episodes.
My main take away is that it's fine to not like modern tropic Japanese characters and trends and how they have seeped into the episodes. I think that complaining about how Japanese commercialization and idol culture have entered the series is a legitimate complaint. However, to completely write off any of the modern series is incredibly foolish and downright idiotic.