Thursday, June 05, 2008

What is there at the north of North Pole?

Is there a formula to life? Is there really a sure shot text book way to be successful in life? Is there a guidebook whereby you could just follow that ensures your early retirement when you're 35 years old? I don't know.. but I sure wanna find out. I could still remember back then in '94 or '95 I'd be home every Tuesday at 5.00pm on TV3 to catch the latest episode of Ultraman. Yeah, the 60s or 70s Ultraman. If any of you are not from Malaysia, yeah the 70s only came to Malaysia in the 90s. Sad isn't it? That's beside the point anyway, now back to my story. I'm still puzzled back then, kids from my age (back then I was standard 3) to kids as old as Form 3 maybe, enjoyed watching these shows. Maybe its the awesomeness of the costume, or maybe its the beams that Ultraman released, or perhaps kids just liked how zaps his opponents. Well back then, no one really liked the monsters anyway, they are rubber like, ugly and illogical. To us, Ultraman was god although we could obviously notice the zip at the back of his costume. My mom would stress this fact but I kept denying it.
They never fail... to make me nauseous
Don't get me wrong, I'm still a fan of Ultraman, but these shows are built based on a formula, where good triumphs over evil--most of the time. The good guys are a team of (usually) five members, of whom one of them acquire super powers through magic or technology. They wear bright unicolor outfits/secret identity costumes and fight evil by using martial arts and/or special weapons. Usually, the evil organization comes from another planet or another dimension, and seeks to take over Earth. (You know, the standard motivation for comic book villains.)
The Specium Beam

The funny thing is, the monsters vary, the powers that Ultraman uses vary, but one thing never changed: The story line. As corny as it is, I'd still sit down quietly every week eagerly waiting for Ultraman to zap and burn it down. You know, Ultraman will never ever ever ever appear until one of his team mate's fighter plane gets knocked down by the monster. Its like he never learns from his mistake that he's putting his fellow team mates life at risk (and oh yeah, the team mates who gets knocked down usually take turns). He'll try to act like he's got no other way (in order to have viewers to feel pity over him for awhile) but to summon upon Ultraman. He'll soon engage hand to hand combat with the monster, but only to no avail. He knew it was hopeless. But he had to do it. He had to wait until his color timer beep. At approximately 5.20pm, only will Ultraman realized that he's got not much time before the next cartoon starts at 5.30pm, so he'll be forced to kill the monster with his ultimate Specium Beam, that kills 80% of all his enemies.

My point here is, the Japanese costume superhero's formula is so repetitive and corny, yet it has captured many of our hearts young or old. It felt almost like its really really plain dumb but it has never failed to succeed. Just look at how many other superheroes it has spawned. Ultraman eventually became a franchise. A franchise that became as famous as McDonald's.
And that profitable.

See, unfortunately for us, our life does not work this way, doing the same thing everyday for the rest of your life wouldn't make you successful, and we don't really have the specium beam to zap our bosses, to begin with. But life just ain't that simple. And again, unfortunately life has many many variables that we have to deal with, if you know what I'm saying.

Well, nothing ever seems to be easy for me, and this is something that I'm learning to accept.
The Ultraman-Tits. I think girls back in the 70s adore man tits.

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My Idol, Ultraman.

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And I thought I could grow up to be just Like you...

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Last but not least, the band of brothers. Just like real life, its always Bros before Hos for me.

On a separate note, Japanese do have their own version of Spiderman...


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