Friday, June 17, 2011

Controversy Week: Violence in Tokusatsu

Once again, this falls under the category of values dissonance. A lot of tokusatsu can be violent. This violence is usually found in a darker season. Series usually alternate between darker and lighter seasons, so not every series is violent, although there is some comedic violence.

Violence and mortality is a great way to keep your older audiences, so not just kids will watch the show. However, it may lose younger audiences.

The violence depicted is often realistic, which can be a good thing. People do get injured, or killed, so they do show a risk.

Sometimes, edgy violence doesn’t work. To reboot the Kamen Rider franchise, we saw the gory Kamen Rider Shin, which to me was okay, not great, but okay. But it didn’t take off.

In early tokusatsu we saw a lot more violence. At the beginning of Go-ranger, JAKQ, Battle Fever J, and Denjiman, the villains would usually murder a lot of people, as kind of an intro to that villain, like they are making a mark, and a call to action.

In Kamen Rider V3, his family is murdered.

In Zubat, Ken’s friend is brutally murdered, and that same scene appears after he kills the villain of the week to determine if he killed his best friend.

Ken usually kills the villain of the week by strangling them with his whip, something harsh that we usually don’t see in modern tokusatsu.

In Japan, there haven’t been reports of kids imitating kamen riders, or akaranger and getting hurt, that we know of. The whole kids imitate violence from tv is still being challenged.

My opinions on violence. I’m against war, however, this is where I’m hypocritical, I don’t mind violence on TV, as long as I know it isn’t real, or if it is a kung fu movie.

One of my favorite Sentai seasons, Liveman, has possibly the highest death count in a sentai series. If you’re a guest star in an episode, and you are not a child, it’s highly likely you’re going to die. If you’re an alien child, however, you are going to die. I like dark series, but I like funny series too.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Yeah I personally don't buy into the whole violence encourages bad behavior by kids argument. I think tokusatsu's violent nature along with Japan's lower crime rate pretty much disproves that theory. However, I don't think that a violent show automatically makes it better.