I have a feeling if/when anime dies, chances are it will be substituted. I even have a feeling that China and India might become the biggest animation hubs in Asia. As for manga, that too will die with anime and logically any other non-Japanese country would have to fill in the gap. Even DC and Marvel will do the same when you think about it. As for Marvel, it would be like Mangaverse but earnest in the sense of filling in a big gap.
Not to mention I even half expect romance and crime fiction to end up substituting for anime, light novels and manga. In the sense that if the anime well dried up, anime fans would have no other choice but to accept substitutes. A good number of crime writers will turn out to be anime fans. Chances are, anime’s loss would be so severe that any company and franchise will step in and fill in a big gap.
I still think associating Barry Allen with Dante Alighieri would work pretty well. (Though for the former, it would involve a substantial limitation in his power set to where he’s practically reduced to escaping real fast.) But that would still work if because Dante Alighieri did arguably have a vision of himself travelling through a literal heaven and hell. (I actually think this would make the Divine Comedy one of the earliest recorded been to hell testimonies as there are others like Angelica Zambrano who have their own versions.)
Also both of them wear red (at least for Dante in one confirmed illustration taken either during his lifetime or shortly after his death) and have/had blond hair. This sounds weird given Dante described himself as having blond hair before (though it would’ve darkened over time, whatever the degree) and he does have a blonde descendant in Massimilla di Serego-Alighieri. Same with the late Brunoro di Serego-Alighieri and it would be just as damning if Dante did have another descendant who resembles what Barry Allen should look like, comics wise.
They also have mentors of sort whom they admire and their beloved women who nag a lot at them for screwing up. Again it wouldn’t and shouldn’t be that much of a stretch to imagine Jay Garrick as Virgil and Iris West as Beatrice (if it sounds weird, Dante also had a daughter named Sister Beatrice and Devil May Cry’s got Trish, who’s the spitting image of Dante Sparda’s mum). So there’s that.
I actually recall somewhere that part of the problem with the Flash programme (as this should also apply to the Flash and Firestorm comics) is that when it comes to having an overpowered protagonist, it’s going to be hard coming up with convincing villains. I suspect the only situation where the Flash could actually get away with being this fast whilst keeping it believable is if Caitlin Snow were to become a werewolf.
But in the sense of getting to retell Red Riding Hood stories all over again. Even though in here it would actually be a good thing for two reasons. There are stories where Red Riding Hood does escape at will by conning the wolf into thinking she’s doing something. Barry would do the same thing should werewolf Caitlin Snow threaten to rend him apart. Second, Barry Allen would actually make for a good escape artist.
If you run fast, then escaping would be natural. Though that necessitates a much more limited power set or something with serious consequences like friction based fires. (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures often has characters whose actions have serious consequences, work within limitations and if the user gets hurt, the familiar gets hurt too and vice versa.) That would still necessitate writers to actually make it much more believable.
Though this isn’t always nor consistently the case, it does make sense that less lonely people have little need for nonhuman companionship if because either their interactions with people are good or that they have wide enough social circles that they needn’t to fall back on a nonhuman substitute. Or at least not that much. I still think the human need for companionship’s important.
But when deprived of more understanding people, better influences or wider social circles that it becomes easier to fall back on not only bad influences but also nonhuman things to fill in the void. It could be a pet or a fictional character or anything else really. These aren’t really that bad in and of themselves.
Though I do think having better, stronger interactions with people would be enough to lessen the need for a cartoon waifu or anything else as a substitute for a human relationship.
It’s not that Barry Allen and Tim Drake lack personalities. But that they lack personalities beyond being reader/author surrogates and I think that’s hurting their potentials to develop an actual voice. It wouldn’t hurt if Barry Allen was modelled after Dante Alighieri (an actual person) or Tim Drake after Donald Duck (this would make sense had he been biologically related to Black Canary/Dinah Drake Lance).
But that would mean the latter two are much more interesting than the former ever were. For Rao’s sake, The Divine Comedy not only inspired countless illustrations but also video game franchises like Devil May Cry. The Donald Duck brand is a big franchise in Europe and Brazil, with several magazines still in publication and Donald Duck before had a comic book series that sold out and pre-empted his granduncle’s own magazine.
(Having Black Canary be Tim’s biological aunt not only renders Dana Winters and Lady Shiva redundant but also brings Tim closer to Donald Duck territory.)
I even half expect one mangaka to do their own adaptation of the Divine Comedy (given that was attempted before). That still goes to show you that Dante and Donald are significantly more influential. So much so that if Barry were used as a proxy for Dante (or Tim for Donald) it would only prove my point right.
The essay ‘Education of A Cartoonist’ is telling in that not too many people scrutinise bad writing, let alone scrutinise it without suspecting of politics and the like (I could be half guilty of it but also half right). The fact that what the essayist is saying that most comics writers (especially at the time when that essay’s written) seem like they’re almost inexperienced in writing might be onto something. They could have experience.
But at other times whatever topics they handle is sometimes careless that even another author would realise this and admit something almost surprising. It’s like the thing with sex and violence. These aren’t bad topics to explore but things that need to be handled more carefully. At other times, certain topics are better off left to nonfiction, especially if nobody wants to be caught dead reading child porn.
(If you want to learn about child masturbation, then leave it to sexology and the like.)
Sometimes certain deeds aren’t necessarily all they seem to be. You could do something bad to accomplish a greater good (Robin Hood). You could be deluded into thinking you’re good but you worsen over time (Griffith from Berserk). Not to mention when it comes to plot devices like women in refrigerators, that may not always imply misogyny. But it does imply creative bankruptcy when it comes to depicting evil.
(Like I said, it’s possible to have a character go evil by thinking they’re good.)
Good needn’t to always necessarily mean having to abide by the law (Punisher is even beloved by conservatives). Bad needn’t to always necessarily mean being obviously cruel (some people may kill rats because they don’t want them to attack food). If Faust’s any indication, evil can seem good. There are other ways of showing goodness and badness but that involves a greater deal of skill and maturity.
Even some authors will realise this and that’s proving my point right.
Something that really needs to be said more often that anime wouldn’t exist without Western influence. If animation originated in Europe and America and got imported to Japan, it makes sense that anime wouldn’t exist without any degree of Western influences. Plenty of anime have been adapted from Western stories from Heidi to A Little Princess and Rascal. There are also anime that don’t just reference Western animation but also heavily influenced by it.
There are anime that reference Tom and Jerry. Osamu Tezuka admitted to being influenced by Disney and Disney didn’t just have a Japanese animation studio branch but also a still existing theme park (Tokyo Disneyland) and most especially Kingdom Hearts. If you actually point out that Snagglepuss (at least in one Yo Yogi episode) bears a coincidental resemblance to the future Killer Queen, this may just be a coincidence*.
But since Wacky Races is popular in Japan, it does make you wonder just how many anime professionals would’ve been influenced by American animation. It may just be a coincidence but at the same time, it could also be partly unconscious. (There are Japanese fans of American animation and comics so there’s that.)
*Yo Yogi premiered in the early 90s, which would’ve predated Diamond is Unbreakable by a margin (assuming that DIU had already been published long before it got an anime adaptation).