Re: Gundam fans read SF


Chien Ting Chin (chinc@sten.sunnybrook.utoronto.ca)
Thu, 28 Jan 1999 21:03:08 -0500 (EST)


On Wed, 27 Jan 1999, -Z- wrote:
> Gisnt robots -- or, more accurately, giant humanoid fighting machines --
> isn't a viable subgenre of SF otuside of Japan. It's only been in the last

Well, Japan and Hong Kong and Taiwan and Korea (and others?). This is a
very favorite topic of mine also. The obvious question is: WHY?

The robots and power armors are big in Japan and small in the West. How
about the monsters? Starting from Godzilla, Ultraman etc etc... Ok
there's King Kong in the West... but also consider Frankenstein, the
Thing, the Andromeada Strain, Predator, Alien, Virus... The "big" monsters
in the West are generally no more than say 3-4 meters large. But in the
East, they start at 10 meters and goes way up from there.

WHY?

I have a very vague and immature theory that I like to bounce off you
folks. In the East, the tradition de-emphasize the Individuals, so a
respectable monster like Godzilla can kill hunderds of people with a
careless sweep of his tail, but a Western monster like Alien who takes
about a second or two to kill a single human is already consider a really
horrific one.

Likewise, the Japanese heroes must also be very big, not just to match the
baddies pound-for-pound, but also to distinguish themselves from the puny
individual humans.

It's just a little thought of mine, do you think it makes any sense?

CHIN, Chien Ting
Dept of Medical Biophysics, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
... o O *
Man is a bubble



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