Friday, July 20, 2012

Superheroes Except Darker

The manga/anime franchise Guyver is a dark, violent series that takes elements of early Japanese superhero characters and series, most notably Kamen Rider (which there is a very strong and more than superficial resemblance to in both the hero's design and basic abilities and in the goals, designs, and abilities of the villains, though in both cases Guyver expands upon the concepts used by Kamen Rider and takes them up a few notches, thanks to being able to do them more easily on the comic page or in animation) and explores them in a sort of divergent evolution.

The video game franchise Prototype is a dark, violent series (admittedly of only two, and unlikely to continue) that takes elements of Western superheroes and explores them in a (probably slightly further, as like I've said, elements of Guyver are just a sort of reskinned Kamen Rider, which was already more violent than most contemporary Western superhero stuff anyway) divergent evolution.

There are a surprising number of similarities (I tend to think that it'd be easy to write a "fusion" crossover between the two series, as their collective tones are pretty compatible, as well as the relative power levels of the various characters) as well as the also obvious key differences (PROTOTYPE IS FULL OF ZOMBIES [not that this is a problem for that hypothetical crossover], along with the fact that Guyver debuted nearly two and a half decades earlier and is still going).

Incidentally, the protagonist of the first Prototype is codenamed "Zeus." That's also the name that one of the Guyver protagonists goes by when concealing his identity from the villains. (It's slightly more significant in Guyver, as the villainous organization is called Chronos and said protagonist is connected to that organization and wants to destroy it, as Zeus rebelled against and conquered his father Kronus/Chronos.)

On an additional note, I once remarked on this blog that I had "little" interest in Guyver. Such was not true of my sister, and so she recently bought the 2005 Guyver anime when presented the opportunity, and we've been watching it when we have opportunities. (It's a bit awkward, as we can't watch such a bloody series with our ten-year-old brother around, and our parents certainly wouldn't appreciate it either.) I've enjoyed it so far as a clever, well-thought-out series.

While I think Prototype has an interesting story, on the other hand, I'm still very unlikely to ever play it (much less likely than watching Guyver turned out to be).

-Signing off.

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