May 6, 2011

Battle Shonen vs. Old School Heroes

Battle shonen is a fairly new type of storytelling, which has emerged in the late 70's and early 80's. It's a hero genre, where the stories focus on a hero who saves other people, goes on a journey, defeats an evil opponent, etc. Hero stories have been around for ages, since the times of BC and the ancients. Those who study myths still look back on these old stories and will tell you that they are important. Shonen battle, being new also bring in new themes that are different from those ancient stories.

In ancient stories, the bad guys and even the rivals were animal-like human beings or animals. This was a big theme in old school hero stories. The hero would defeat a dragon or a bull or a centaur or something. That represents people overcoming their animal-like desires, the ones that the opponent has.

In battle shonen, these bad guys are usually people. We have new themes, people getting in other people's way. This reflects today's world. We're not worrying about our animal selves or people who are animal-like. We're worried about people as people, who are villianous.

I'll use Hitman Reborn as a new school example. The heroes use box weapons which are animals that fight for them. This is like using your animal instincts at will to achieve goals. It's a new school idea. Back in the ancient times they weren't thinking about that, not without technology. The bad guys are usually people who can become like animals but they still keep their intelligence as people. Compared to old school bad guys these bad guys are super powered, they can use their animal instincts at will and even use the most brutal animal attributes to fight.



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