Cooperative Futures

Japan’s already cooperating with other countries in some industries but would grow in the coming years. Considering that video games are far more popular and mainstream than anime will ever be, it’s unsurprising that Japanese developers are more willing to accept and co-opt Western influences in their input. With some games, they’re very willing to work with Westerners.

Don’t be too surprised if that’s how the DMC reboot turned out to be and if history repeats itself, they’ll work with Italians instead. Working with foreigners could be their way of seriously reaching out to others. But it’s not just reflected in their gaming, technology and clothing industries.

I won’t be surprised if Japanese studios also wanted to reach out to foreigners by making their products more marketable to those. This includes censorship but it’s a necessary evil to court certain markets.

And if anime studios are going to decline in the next decade, those that persist would have to cooperate more often with foreigners from now on.

It’s hip and in

It’s inevitable that to remain relevant in the market, cartoonists and writers would have to change with the times though some can do that voluntarily on their own. It’s like back in the 1990s when Rob Liefeld was popular, it’s common practise for other employees to follow and imitate his success. I think that’s the same with what Marvel and sometimes DC are doing.

It’s not their fault that they’re following up on what’s popular and relevant but such popularity brings in backlash. Again back in the 90s there was immense backlash for Liefeld and almost anybody else who drew like him. In the same manner today there’s backlash for political correctness in superhero media.

Rao knows what other trend would catch fire and ire in the 2020s if the American comic magazine industry survives at all.

Not the same face

Continuing from my prior post, black hair and blue eyes came about due to limited colouring options. I suspect the same cartoonists really wanted more colour and tried out different media but stuck with the familiar for marketing and publishing purposes. A DC cartoonist could’ve portrayed a more stereotypically Mediterranean looking Wonder Woman in its privacy.

Now here’s the following excerpt from Quora:

 Wonder Woman is Greek/North African and should probably look kind of Sicilian at the very least.

The recent Wonder Woman had her portrayed by the Israeli Gal Gadot, who resembles what the person’s describing. It also says a lot about bothering to give otherwise similar looking characters different faces, skin tones and bodies to avoid being this interchangeable.

Black hair, blue eyes

Not that it’s impossible in reality but you’re more likely to find somebody with black hair and brown eyes or even black hair and green eyes. Black hair and blue eyes is a strangely common occurrence in superhero comics (and by extension almost any cartoon in colour) due to printing and colouring quirks beforehand.

One could have blond hair and brown eyes, not just with some Europeans but most especially with some Aboriginal Australians and Melanesians. It’s been attempted in comics, just not so often and the only one that I can think of is Zip Kid from Young Heroes in Love.

Dark brown hair and blue eyes is a better, more realistic compromise which is more commonly done in live action. But there aren’t that many black haired superheroes consistently shown with brown eyes and dark skin, it currently defaults to dark brown for some reason.

She-Hulk

As expected, she’s not only a female Hulk but also his cousin ala what Supergirl is to Superman. To put it simply, she got into an accident and Hulk kindly donated his blood to save her life. Somebody¬†said that her popularity actually owes to the growth and acceptance of female bodybuilders, which could explain certain fanart (and sometimes official art) of her.

This makes sense given the timing of her publication. Unsurprisingly, some older readers remembered her as an awkward virago or a galoot as Mike Madrid called her. Perhaps amusingly her current series is a weird throwback to her initial presentation and description.

The unsaid reason

I have a feeling that perhaps the real reason why DMC’s Dante was redesigned as the game got rebooted in the early 2010s might have to do with Dante’s Inferno. Both of them garnered controversy and for the former, it’s got to do with distancing itself from Dante’s Inferno.

Possibly to be not trapped in its shadow at the time even when the DMC reboot had the opportunity to base its Dante more closely after the poet that inspired him. The DMC reboot would’ve been a more respectful version of Dante’s Inferno.

By basing Dante after his real life counterpart, the reboot would’ve been more successful in the west and the latter’s work is part of the western canon. It too would be criticised but would’ve fared better in hindsight.

The Other Dantes

The more I think about the way the two Dantes are presented in DMC and Dante’s Inferno, the more I think about deviations in the iconography associated with Dante. Keep in mind that there was one illustrated version of Divine Comedy that had him clad in blue. (It made me think he looked like a nun in those.)

Speaking of those two, I’d like to go on saying that not only did DMC Dante consistently looked closer to traditional representations of Dante Alighieri but both of them have lost their mothers so early. I remember some video game reviewer saying that the marketing behind Dante’s Inferno made DMC seem respectful in comparison.

There certainly are Dante scholars that didn’t like DMC but I also think it’s got to do with DMC putting an entirely different spin on Divine Comedy which Dante’s Inferno would eventually follow. Either relative obscurity or that DMC never went too far in its marketing.