COMICS VS MANGA: COSTUMES, NECESSARY OR NOT

Topic started by katmic on April 3, 2013. Last post by Masterofdeath 1 year, 5 months ago.
Post by katmic (397 posts) See mini bio Level 10
Even when you put them together, it still doesn't work
Even when you put them together, it still doesn't work

It is difficult to separate comics and costumes. Most comics are all about superheroes that save the world in flashy suits. But i will not deny that i have quite a number of problems with the idea, and more so now, with the amount of anime that i watch. I just don’t get the idea behind it; okay, i get it and sometimes i just don’t think it is necessary.

When i think about costumes, the first think that comes to mind is necessity; and admittedly i don’t always see the necessity. But that in itself is secondary. Costumes, at least as afar as i and other novice comic book reader are concerned can make or break a title, in that it will decide whether or not i decide to read a book. It is like the welcoming mat to every story; before you read the summary or synopsis of a new title, first thing most novice comic book readers like me will do is stop and look at the cover, at the world portrayed in that short image and more importantly the heroes and their suits. I will try to describe the two factors as briefly as possible:

THE LOOK:>

I don’t mind superheroes, i believe i have gotten over the whole idea of colored heroes of justice that save the world and all that. But all in all, with the few titles i have read recently, i can appreciate the amount of effort put into creating decent stories beyond caped heroes saving the world from asteroids. But i will admit that i reached a point as a child where i would go to the only store that sold comics (and ice cream) and i couldn’t find anything that i thought was worth reading. It wasn’t that the synopsis didn’t impress me; it was the fact that most of the heroes my eyes came across just looked ugly in suits. It would take me a few years later to realize while i had began to dislike heroes such as superman and batman, characters that i was fascinated with at a younger age. They were starting to look very silly and campy to me. i just couldn’t get over the cheesiness of superman with his cape and underway and batman’s entire unappealing look.

Let’s face it, someone more ignorant might say that superhero suits are all about protecting one’s identity and allowing one to perform their superhero duties without interference. But that would be a lie. Superheroes mostly wear suits to look cool or appealing or even to make a statement. If it was all about protecting one’s identity and all that, then a colored ski mask along with a basic shirt, jeans and sneakers could do the job. There is no need for Spiderman to don an entire full body suit if all he cares about is keeping his identity secret.

Same thing goes for superman. The fact that all he needs to change his identity is remove his eye wear means that his costume is unnecessary to keep his identity. So superheroes wear suits because they care how they look. And we as readers care that they look good doing what they do. But the problem is at least half of the superhero costumes i come across just look silly. This is probably why the XMEN where my favorite comic book characters as a child, and i was obsessed wit XMEN Evolution. There was some effort put into designing their suits. But with everything else that i saw, i just couldn’t bring my self to take it seriously (which is probably why i was so into power rangers as a kid, they simply looked cool to my simple mind).

I didn’t watch the first season of young justice because of how silly the suits looked. I tried to give it a fair shot, but three episodes in, the shallow part of me just couldn’t take it seriously. That changed with the second season. I am now a young justice fan mostly because i was impressed by the story and depth of the characters, and its this show that got me to take comics a little more seriously as i got to know some of these characters. But i only got that far because the suits attracted me to the show. I don’t know what they did, but for some reason everyone looked like they had undergone some sort of make over. Maybe the colors were darker, i don’t know, but i knew i had to know these characters. Suddenly characters that i couldn’t stand like the Martian girl were more appealing. Somehow even batman and superman looked more impressive. As someone trying to follow some of the new 52 titles in DC and as someone that has just never understood the point of superman (outside of smallville), i am happy that the suit looks more like armor than cloth. Because suddenly i am seeing it in a whole new light. Why else would you stitch an entire full body suit if it wasn’t going to provide some sort of protection.

MANGA-

I point out the bit about costumes because i rarely see any such element in manga. Sure, there are characters with costumes, but that is usually armor or mecha of some sort. And even outside of these, most anime characters of the superhero nature that i have watched will try to incorporate what could be called a costume into their ordinary clothes, in that what they are wearing would fit in out in space, fighting aliens, as well as on an ordinary street, socializing. Basically i feel that anime gets the point of costumes. If hiding your face is the point, then put on a smart trousers, jacket, and a simple mask. There is no need for some elaborately designed outfit with a logo and everything.

I am reminded of the first XMEN movies. I was grateful that they kept most of the costumes uniform (black) rather than adapting the exact multi colored designs from the comics. While they worked on paper, i think they would have looked awful in real life. Which is another issue i take with costumes. I remember watching Dragon Ball Evolution and thinking that most of the characters looked natural in the mostly perfect replicas of the anime clothing. It couldn’t have taken much work designing them, where as i expect i takes a lot more work that is seems to dress the superheroes of recent blockbuster superhero movies.

NECESSITY:>

But really, i have to ask, are costumes even necessary? Yes i have heard the reason, to protect loved ones and all that. But ironman gets by without a costume, and i don’t see him complaining. Heroes like batman and captain America have costumes, but that hasn’t stopped people they know from dying. I remember watching a TV show called charmed years back. All i will say about it is that it focused around three powerful witches. One of them has a baby and as he grows up, a few demons make attempts to harm and/ kidnap the child. Now can you guess what the three witches do? They don’t hide the child, if that’s what you are thinking. They walk into the underworld and unleash untold death and havoc upon a portion of the demon world for an hour or so. They were sending a message, there enemies could what they wanted to them, but their families, unless direct threats, were off limits. And with who knows how many corpses of demons and warlocks, they got the message across.

Now who doesn’t know that Bruce Banner is hulk, but i don’t think he needs to worry about such trivial matters. The point is if you are a hero that has proven over and over again to be stronger than your enemies, it should clear where the line lays and what you will not tolerate. I don’t think masks matter. Fine, there might be a joker or two, but if you are a hero, it can’t be too difficult to restrain one mad man permanently, even without killing them, unless these heroes aren’t as smart as they make it seem.

Anime and manga works in a different way. Most times the heroes of any show are usually fighting some sort of secret war, so the public doesn’t even know the existence of these heroes. I just watched code Breaker where these super powered people would kill there assigned enemies in cold blood, sometimes in public, and not once did they have to wear some suit. Most of them use fear with regards to family. I mean, what kind of villain, crazy or not, would attempt to harm lelouch’s innocent school friends; they know that lelouch would give them hell. It seems much simpler.

Costumes only encourage heroes to indulge in secret identities, which are bad for business. If they have to call you to a crime scene, that might have began while you were off doing ‘normal stuff’, people will die. Most anime heroes i have seen are usually on standby, waiting to jump in action when needed. It’s efficient and avoids silly arguments about having a normal life and all that nonsense which only serves to show that one doesn’t the hero title. Anime heroes don’t lose precious seconds trying to escape from an engagement just so someone around them doesn’t become suspicious about there true identities. The real heroes in anime, not the few teenagers that happen to find power, rarely have to worry about snooping friends that place themselves in danger to find out what they happened to be hiding. Most of the time when the loved one’s of a hero in anime face danger, it is within the line of duty, in that, most heroes in anime find a circle of friends in the same field. The most obvious example here is Goku, 99% of whose entire family and friends list is filled with powerful martial artists and aliens that are more than capable of defending themselves.

So you could say that heroes in anime will choose there social circle carefully in relation to the needs of the job. So i guess that would make batman an anime class hero; he lives his job day and night, even if he doesn’t have have the coolest part of being a superhero, powers. Then there is that guy with a horrible name, power man i think, who doesn’t even have a costume (or so i have been told, i can’t tell what is a costume and what is normal clothing with some of these characters); oh, and punisher. These guys get the job done without having to worry about little things like costumes.

For that matter most of anime gets by without needing masks and costumes. How many times does a hero allow a dangerous situation to escalate just because he can’t take action until he is in costume. So my conclusion is costumes are not necessary. But even when they occur in anime, there is some thought put into beauty ad most of them will manage to look good; and the few times they don’t, it is intentional,. based on the genre. So maybe it is time comics caught to the non costumed age.

Or maybe it is the fear of humans that drives them. It is clear to the population in anime that they need the heroes. Most populations in comics seem convinced that they have no need of their heroes, which makes the masks necessary, which seems stupid to me. Takascichea advised me to keep these posts short, so i will leave this topic at that

Now this is what a hero should wear, if they have to
Now this is what a hero should wear, if they have to
Post by Musondamakenizz (9 posts) See mini bio Level 7

this is sward art online right i haven't started reading the manga thou i have downloaded a couple of episode is it awesome

Post by katmic (397 posts) See mini bio Level 10

@Musondamakenizz: to some sword art is one of the best series of the last ten years. to others like me it was awesome, but not quite to that level. you will have to wait and see where you fall

Post by Acura_Max (2,339 posts) See mini bio Level 13
Moderator

@Musondamakenizz: I hope you downloaded those episodes legally. Otherwise, you're stealing hundreds of people's hard work and toil.

I really don't think you can compare between comics and manga costumes. In many ways both mediums have taken elements from each other. For example, Scott Pilgrim takes the multi colored hair aspect from anime and many other elements from anime. In anime you see characters using superhero costumes like Lelouch, One Punch Man, Saint Seiya and Astro Boy. In addition, with the introduction of the Marvel Universe, Iron Man and Wolverine also count as anime; so the line between anime and superhero comics becomes even more blurred.

Not only that, more superheros are opting to use regular clothes (ex. The Runaways, Wolverine, John Constantine, Superboy, and even regular Superman (See rebooted action comics #1). Even if all superheros had crazy costumes, anime compensates the difference with their crazy hairstyles like Yugioh, Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, Sailor Moon and everyone attached to this page.

But ironman gets by without a costume, and i don’t see him complaining. Heroes like batman and captain America have costumes, but that hasn’t stopped people they know from dying.

Iron Man's suit is his costume. To be fair, Iron Man has revealed his identity and then forced everyone to forget it multiple times. Sometimes, a hero has a costume because it does in fact help them fight. Iron Man is a good example of this. Batman is also another good example. His suit gives him some protection him from dogs bites and blunt objects. It also contains his utility belt, which contains dozens of items that will help him, ranging from grappling hooks to shark repellent. Sometimes the costume comes with the powers and the two can't be separated. A good example of this is Captain Marvel.

Let’s face it, someone more ignorant...

Seriously?

I point out the bit about costumes because i rarely see any such element in manga. Sure, there are characters with costumes, but that is usually armor or mecha of some sort.

That's not true at all. Most anime characters fight in their school uniforms and that is a terrible disguise. All the bad guys have to do is ask themselves where the nearest school that forces their students wear that particular uniform that he saw the hero wearing and he could just go to town with massacring dozens of students until he finds the right one.

Same thing goes for superman. The fact that all he needs to change his identity is remove his eye wear means that his costume is unnecessary to keep his identity.

You can say the same thing about Sailor Moon and Goku. Despite the fact that there is barely anything to disguise them, the people in their universes don't recognize them.

Or maybe it is the fear of humans that drives them. It is clear to the population in anime that they need the heroes. Most populations in comics seem convinced that they have no need of their heroes, which makes the masks necessary, which seems stupid to me.

If you haven't noticed, all fights in comics and anime result in thousands of dollars of property damage. If they revealed their identities, they would be the ones paying the bill. Even if they weren't most people would discriminate them based on their power. If you read an X-Men comics or the Marvel Civil War comics, you would see that people are afraid of those with super powers and discriminate against them (you would be afraid too if there were people running around with the power to blow up planets). Let's not forget that if superheros are revealed their identities, governments can force them to fight for their country or assassinate a political opponent by threatening their citizenship or their family's.

Most anime heroes i have seen are usually on standby, waiting to jump in action when needed.

There are alot of anime heroes seeking out action. In fact, heroes like Luffy from One Piece and Goku from DBZ seek these things out on purpose. Goku even fights in a martial arts tournament for this very purpose. Not only that, most superheroes want to save people from stuff and because they want to do it, they take an active role in it. That's the very definition of a superhero itself.

For that matter most of anime gets by without needing masks and costumes. How many times does a hero allow a dangerous situation to escalate just because he can’t take action until he is in costume.

Now that's legit point, but it does not happen very often these days. Heroes these days are more prone to fighting in their regular clothes as in their costume as I said before. Some heroes also have costumes that they can put on instantly. Some good examples are Captain Marvel, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter. Others like Flash and Superman have super speed so they can get into costume just as fast.

Kirito's costume, in my opinion, is very bland like his character. He's thrown into a world of knights, wizards, etc and all he can come up with is a black jacket, black boots and a black shirt. That's unimaginative and it makes the animators seem timid to actually try something out. You can have regular clothes and it can still be memorable. Just look at the character designs of Persona 4 and K.

And that's all I have to say on the topic. (steps off soap box).

Post by katmic (397 posts) See mini bio Level 10

@Acura_Max: My point, to an extent, was that costumes aren't that important in anime and manga as they are in western comics. Maybe the main point i should have made is that secret identities are more important in comics than in manga, which makes costumes necessary. There is no denying the fact that comic heroes define themselves by their costumes. You mentioned characters like batman whose costumes are their weapons and i get that. But how about spiderman? there is also the point that many manga are fantastical in nature and will involve transporting combatants to some unearthly land where damage to property isn't important.

Post by Destinyheroknight (10,284 posts) See mini bio Level 21

Superman's outfit before the New 52 was indestructible (beside the cape), it kind of work like armor (so he won't be running around in the nude)

Spider-man's outfit let him move more better in combat and more recently he updated to be a weapon

There are more reasons why super hero wear those outfits, beside keeping there identity. It might help with fighting or it indestructible (so they don't have to buy one every five minutes)

Post by Acura_Max (2,339 posts) See mini bio Level 13
Moderator
My point, to an extent, was that costumes aren't that important in anime and manga as they are in western comics. Maybe the main point i should have made is that secret identities are more important in comics than in manga, which makes costumes necessary. There is no denying the fact that comic heroes define themselves by their costumes.

Costumes are just as important in manga as they are in comics. Costumes are a part of the character's design. It tells you what the character is like and gives off the tone of the character. For example, you feel completely different about Ikaros and Tsunade just based on their character design and outfit. Another good example is Sasuke and Naurot. At the beginning of the series, you can believe that Naruto is a terrible ninja because he's the only one wearing day glow orange. When he fights Pein, the fact that he's wearing the 4th Hokage's jacket tells forces you to think back to the time that the 4th Hokage had defended the village and it hints that Naruto has grown as a person. With Sasuke's first outfit, the series tells you that they are going to contrast him and Naruto by having Sasuke wear mostly dark colors while Naruto is wearing a really bright orange.

But how about spiderman?

What about Spider-Man? Spider-man has various costumes; each one is even more practical then the rest. His black suit, for example, gives him unlimited webbing and allows him to change into civilian clothes easily. Spider-Man's original suit also lets him swing through New York without his clothes flapping about like he were to wear pants or a T-shirt.

Like I wrote above, there are many superheroes who opt to use regular clothes many costumes are practical. Some require the costumes to use their powers.

there is also the point that many manga are fantastical in nature and will involve transporting combatants to some unearthly land where damage to property isn't important.

And there are just as many manga/anime that take place in real place setting. A few examples are Dragon Ball Z, K, Card Captors, Digimon, Mobile Suit Gundam, and Code Geass. When damage is done there are consequences for those characters in those franchises. Superhero stories can also take place in fantastical places. In fact, some characters are transported to different planets or dimensions like manga characters.

Post by Musondamakenizz (9 posts) See mini bio Level 7

@katmic: i totally agree with you comic characters before they even star their life has superheroes the need a costume to define who the are for example the green lantern the dude is all green! but when it comes to manga characters the just awesome to begin with, i believe it takes more effort to come up with a manga character then a comic one.

Post by Masterofdeath (2,247 posts) See mini bio Level 11

@katmic: couldn't help it

Post by katmic (397 posts) See mini bio Level 10

@Masterofdeath: If that is DBZ, then it was probably tribal saiyan clothing. Doesn't count

Post by Masterofdeath (2,247 posts) See mini bio Level 11

@katmic: it is dbz but it was the great saiyaman it was when Gohan decided to be a super hero.

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