We need better heroes. They are there, in our past.

Summary: Our dreams of hero-saviors dominate the Hollywood box office. But modern heroes serve us poorly, pointing to our weaknesses and away from our historic strengths. Fortunately, better heroes are there – in our past.

“The myth is the public dream, and the dream is the private myth.”
— Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth (1988).


America has a thousand heroes. Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Sheriff Will Kane (in High Noon), the Lone Ranger, Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade and the the Continental Op, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and their countless peers. What do they have in common that makes them bad myths for America? They are fun dreams. But our love for them is symptomatic of a growing weakness in us. This weakness imperils not just our Constitutional regime but the foundations of the nation.

Super-empowered individuals (using Tom Friedman’s neologism) have always played a large role in American myth, from James Fenimore Cooper‘s frontier hero Nathaniel “Natty” Bumppo to the libertarian hero John Galt (in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged). But America was built by the collective action of its people, not just lone rangers.

Who Is Your Hero?

Our powerful and useful myths

“Myth supplies models for human behavior, and gives meaning and value to life.”
— Mircea Eliade in Myth and Reality (1963).

Teamwork and powerful institutions built America. They were not just in our history books but also our in legends. Marvel Comic’s had SHIELD and the Justice League. E. E. Smith’s novels featured the Triplanetary force (the model for Marvel’s Green Lantern Corps). Robert Heinlein told young boys about the Space Patrol. On TV we watched the adventures of UNCLE (the United Network Command for Law Enforcement, as in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.)” defend us and saw the Federation bringing order and civilization to the galaxy.

No longer. Today organizations most often appear in today’s fiction as irrelevant, inept, or evil. During the 1960’s and especially the 1970’s we became alienated from our institutions. Organizations which should have led us into the future, like NASA, failed us. We learned that institutions which should have protected us, like the FBI and CIA, were often criminal oppressors. Institutions which we admired, like the military, displayed gross incompetence.

Our response was not to reform our institutions, at whatever cost and effort. Instead we retreated into fantasy. We focused on lone heroes, flying Jesus figures like Superman. This dream of solo solutions has always been a problem for America, fantasies that lure us away from the real source of our strength. Charles A. Beard described this trap in “The Myth of Rugged American Individualism“ (Harper’s, December 1931). These alluring stories make us weaker when taken too seriously.

When we choose dreams that better match our needs, then we will know that America is on the path to reform – and a better future. They are there, ready for action.

“A dream is a personal experience of that deep, dark ground that is the support of our conscious lives, and a myth is the society’s dream. The myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth. If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group.”
— Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth (1988)

For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about ways to reform Americaabout heroes, and especially these…

  1. The philosophy behind the legend of Batman.
  2. The problem with America lies in our choice of heroes.
  3. We want heroes, not leaders. When that changes it will become possible to reform America.
  4. Are our film heroes leading us to the future, or signaling despair?
  5. We like superheroes because we’re weak. Let’s use other myths to become strong.
  6. Hollywood’s Hero Deficit – both a cause and symptom of our weakness.
  7. An America without heroes. We’ll miss them.

21 thoughts on “We need better heroes. They are there, in our past.”

  1. I’m a grown man who is upset by Buffy the Vampire Slayer (normal). Try to keep up, I’m what you might call an intellectual.

  2. Christopher Pinkleton

    “Watchmen” and “Marshall Law” cured me of taking superheroes too seriously when I read them.

    Too bad the “Watchmen” film was only good, not great.

    I doubt we will ever see an accurate adaptation of the latter, but maybe we are ready for a guy in a bondage outfit slaughtering superheroes? I’m not sure.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      Thanks for the feedback. I’m always nervous with the posts saying what nobody else (that I know of) is saying. Despite that being the goal of the website.

  3. A mild attempt at cultural comparison: a while back (early 2000s I think), I heard a french writer (and professor of literature) compare the “narrative universes” (I really lack a better wording for it, here) in Europe and the US. I’ll mention that this writer is a woman, and a feminist, though not of the rabid kind, who has been rather successful both commercially and critically (though not for the same books), if it is useful to anyone (her name: Eliette Abecassis, mostly known for the Qumran trilogy, translated in 18 languages). For her, the main difference between the US and Europe in that domain resided in the figure of the hero; she emphasized that European authors, markedly since the end of World War Two, had completely abdicated that aspect of storytelling, except in children’s literature, and even for that, as a very specific item reserved to that subcategory of writing (emphasize on the “sub”, as in “real writers don’t touch that”). Other categories of novels may use the figure of the hero (thrillers, military fiction…), but in markets smaller than the US, they often lack breaking or staying power, and are mostly even less considered than kid’s books as far as editors are concerned (if they want to make money with such genres, they use translations of American books with an already established success/reputation).

    Her point was that it reflected a very deep divide between the two continents’mentality, at least in their “writing scene” (on the reader’s part of the equation, things are different), and I found the remark quite pertinent, especially when I add the rest of the fiction production to the mix: movies or TV series (or web series now) in Europe are heavily NOT in the hero-producing and showing business. Even fictions aiming at getting a little of that action/soldier/adventure/detective market rarely go at it front and center: there is always a heavy counterpart, either on the parody/self loathing side, or on the gritty:”the world is dark and a single individual can’t do much” side (which is a bit problematic when you want to do a popcorn movie/series).

    I’d say that on that topic, Europe is actually too much on the other side of the equation you are depicting from the US side. Fully interpreting what it means in terms of national tendencies to avoidance of the real world (an extreme development of escapism made permanent by the cornucopia of entertainment provided by modern media?) may need a lot more thinking, but the particular point of comparison given by this writer has struck me as important in connection with this article (right this minute, I can’t fully articulate exactly why), in relation to the part of collective mentality it may reflect.

    Another point: in addition to the ‘heroi with magic powers to turn everything around” and the “men suck at everything and must never let be the main characters of their own shows” rules that seem to dominate every production nowadays in America, I also noticed, on the low key side, and especially in TV series (though also in movies on more than one occasion), a rather bizarre insistence on “family” and “community”, and not in a very convincing, or even healthy way. I try a lot of series (and stop following most of them past a certain time), and that aspect has struck me over the last years: most families are presented as (very) dysfunctional, especially if they are white and most often because of the dad if there is one in the picture (is that the Tucker Carlson on my right shoulder talking?), but the “family of choice”, aka the team on which the show focuses or the group around two or three main characters, is perfect, always. And even if it is composed during the first season of the show, producers can’t seem to go fast enough before they make one of the characters call it “family”, and so, people with little in common, who hardly know each other, who are mostly together because of a job and/or a common cause, adopt such language shortly after the beginning of the show. I know there are a lot of narrative tropes that push for that, but I saw a lot less of it 10 years ago and before in US productions. Now it’s really common, and the development of it has been inversely proportional to character development, I find. One could argue that it reflects current generations that expect to find the work environment to be as secure and “nurturing” as the home and family, and/or the children of dysfunctional families writing stories about what they think family is/should be. In any case, I find both the word and concept being gravely abused, misused and overused. And the frequency of that trope to be of note.
    I’d apply the same reasoning to the use of the word and concept of “community”, not only in fiction, but also in the public scene: anything seems to be a “community” if there is more than two people in it these days, and many people use such words very lightly, without really knowing what they entail to be really functional (in the era of pretend inclusiveness, hard to say that any community has standards and obligations that always make it at least a bit exclusive).

    Sorry for digressing, but let’s say this article tickled me in a few places where my own observations lie, regarding current fiction production.

  4. I know I’m off-topic, and way late to the party, but I’d never thought I’d see a post about Anime from this site. If you’re still interested in some recommendation, I’d be more than willing to offer some.

    To be more relevant, a lot of my generations heroes come from the legendary Japanese “Magazine” Shonen Jump, who’s series have spawned a tsunami of anime adaptions over the years. Naruto was one the biggest ones for me, and what probably ensured that Anime (rather than Wrestling or Western Comics) would become one of my biggest hobbies.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      “I’d never thought I’d see a post about Anime from this site.”

      We exist to provide knowledge and insights not found on the mainstream web.

      Recommendations — and more broadly — info about this art form are welcomed!

    2. Well, a little background from me. I’m a veteran of the Greater Anime industry (Including Games, Comics, Novels along with the shows), with my entry being Pokemon. So, at this point, I’m familiar enough with the Tropes of the industry that DARLING in the FRANKXX hasn’t really resonated as much with me, as it seems to have had with you and Kim Kardashian. I know for instance that the kind of romance being featured in the show between Zero Two and Hiro goes way back in Japanese Folklore, where you see countless variants of “Not Quite Human Woman decides to shack up with ordinary man”. Even with other criticism (like it’s hyper-negative attitude towards Transhumanism, I still plan on completing it, because that’s what I do with anime I pick up.

      On the other hand, now that you’re saying that willing to dive deep into, I’m not going to hold back. I will however, spread this over multiple posts.

      My first bit of recommendation is that you should look up the Studio that made the Anime. Anime Studios often have a very distinctive style to them. In this case, DARLING in the FRANKXX is made by Studio Trigger. Trigger is a studio that has a good reputation right now. Trigger was founded by a number of Veterans from Studio GAINAX, a Studio that I would say is one of the most decorated Studios out there. Now, I haven’t had time to watch all of Trigger’s shows, much less all of GAINAX’s, but I’d recommend trying some of the stuff from I didn’t mention, because there quality stuff there.

      GAINAX and Trigger have both had a reputation for Punchy, hyperkinetic, Vibrant and wacky animation. They also have a reputation for fairly good storytelling.

      My Recommendations are as follows:

      Neon Genesis Evangelion: Quite possibly one of the biggest Anime properties of the last 30 years, it was what put GAINAX on the map. It’s also very different tonally from most of the stuff GAINAX has done.

      Gurren Lagann: Came during one of the Anime Industries biggest hot-streaks (2007), and was one of the series that defined it. It was the debut for the man the director that would go on to found Studio Trigger. It has the reputation of being one of the most inspiring Anime ever made.

      Panty and Stocking: Made by the same director as Gurren Lagann and all the stuff from Trigger, it’s a Japanese take on Western Animation. And it’s crude as all hell.

      Kill La Kill: This is the first show from Studio Trigger actually on this that was made by Trigger, and it’s a doozy. It’s the show that saved Anime. I’d think you’d get a lot of mileage from this show, because it has a very rambunctious female protagonist.

      Ninja Slayer from Animation: A shorts series from Trigger. It’s basically a double parody of sorts. It’s a series written by a pair of Japanese writers writing from the perspective of two (fictional) American writers who’s only knowledge of Japan comes from pop culture. The result is hilarious and awesome and stupid.

      Kiznaiver: The newest show on this list. It actually covers a lot of the same ground that DARLING in the FRANKXX does, but in more compressed and low-key way. I really enjoyed this series.

      Now, as I said before, feel free to check out other stuff that I haven’t mentioned from Trigger (Little Witch Academia and Inferno Cop get high ratings from the fanbase, though I haven’t watched them) and GAINAX.

      I’ll be back with more later.

      1. Larry Kummer, Editor


        Thank you for the background and the recommendations! As you said, I’m new to anime. I watched the big three Star Blazers. Tried to watch Robotech/Macross. I loved Fullmetal Alchemist (see my mention of it in Sources of inspiration for America’s renewal).

        What I like about Franxx is its themes. Oppressive high-tech government. Endless war. Team-building on the front-lines, leading to rebellion. Building romance from few preconceptions. They’re all relevant.

        As you note, no surprise, that these have emerged to a US audience after years of evolution in Japan. We need new sources of inspiration as America’s wells run dry (see our films and TV). Ideas from Japan come to us in our time of need.

        I look forward to your other comments about anime.

    3. Larry, I saw those two posts when they came out. I found them interesting. It’s just that because of shock and business I was unable to respond until a few days ago. And Fullmetal Alchemist was definitely a powerful series for me, I was reading the series in real time for it’s last 20 issues, and I own every volume of the Original manga (27 Volumes worth). I’d easily rate it as among the top five of all the series in the shounen genre that I’ve read/watched.

      The Shounen (Boys) Genre is the part of the Greater Anime Industry that has been the most popular in America (and Outside of it). This is because series in the Shounen are generally aimed at the same demographic that Superhero were historically aimed at boys 9-18 years old. However, like Superhero comics, Shounen has acquired a huge fanbase outside of that demographic, not just older men, but significant number of Women of all ages too (though not for the reason you might think). However, there are some key differences between Japanese Shounen, and Western Superhero Comics. For one, Shounen Manga release on a weekly basis, not just a monthly one. Secondly, they’re usually the work of a single creator (rather than the author changing all the time). Thirdly, all of a company’s ongoing series are put into a single magazine, which is thick as phonebook, but extremely cheap (and thus accessible). Fourthly, there’s a constant popularity contest going on; each issue as a set of voting cards where the audience can rate their favorite series and send it in. The really good ones get a huge amount of promotion, the ones that fail usually get cancelled. It’s a very different world from Western Comics, and any successful series will often be the result of a creator pouring their soul into their work for years on end, often pushing themselves so hard that they risk their lives.

      So, with that little bit of backstory behind, let me recommend you some series from this genre.

      Naruto: This series was one of the genre’s long runners, managing to last 15 years (1999-2014) and 72 volumes, a figure that is impressive (albeit not record-breaking). The story is about the titular Naruto, and his growth from a neglected orphan into a outstanding hero, with all kinds of twists and turns along the way. Of all the Shounen I’ve to date, this has been the best one for me, from beginning to end. In Japan, this series has been well-regarded, but had the misfortune of spending it’s entire run behind an even more popular series: One Piece. In America, Naruto caught on like wildfire (because he had a lot of similarities with Harry Potter, which my Generation also obsessed over), but suffered from a polarizing second act that drained a lot of interest from the fanbase. Still, I think the series is going to look better in hindsight, and it actually has a creator sanctioned sequel that’s ongoing.

      Dragonball: The series that was the greatest shounen of all-time, until One Piece came along. This series ran for 11 years (1984-1995) and 42 volumes, and more recently got it’s own creator sanctioned sequel series. It starts out as a parody of the Chinese Novel: Journey to the West, but gradually evolves into something more along the line of Western Superhero comics. Because of this, the Series protagonist is often seen as Japan’s answer to Superman. However, I feel that Goku also shares a lot of similarities to one of his contemporaries: Homer Simpson. (If you got the time to wade through the series, you’ll understand why I see it that way)

      One Piece: The Current “Best Shounen of all Time”, and the second series in Shounen Jump to reach 1000 chapters. This series has been running strong for the last 20 years (1997-present), and getting better as it goes. If this series manages to stick the ending, then it will end up passing Naruto on my list. The Protagonist Monkey D. Luffy isn’t the brightest bulb, but as the Captain of the Straw Hat Pirates, has caused the best kind of mayhem wherever he goes, changing the landscape utterly, all while making a ton of friends in the process. It is a ridiculous work, but that’s part of it’s roguish charm. It’s long though, and likely to continue for another decade?

      Raman ½/Rumhiko Takahashi: Unlike the 3 series above, this series ran in the magazine long seen to be one of Shounen Jump’s biggest rivals: Shounen Sunday, but before I talk about it, let me talk about it’s creator. Rumihiko Takahashi is straight up, one of the most influential and long lasting creators in the Anime Industry. She has pumping a number of works on almost continuous basis since 1978! She’s a creator that I have particular respect for because Ranma ½ was one of the first non-pokemon Manga that I got into at the age of 10. But I also had the luck of finding the (partial) english version of Takahashi’s first work: Urusei Yatsura. A quick googling of the series’ main heroine Lum will give a little impression why I don’t find Zero Two all that innovative as a character (The same is true of Hiro, but I’ll talk about who he’s a clone of later). And it isn’t just DARLING in the FRANKXX, there are a WHOLE LOT of series that owe a HUGE debt to the kind of ground that was broke in Urusei Yatsura. Another thing that should be noted is that the Director for Urusei Yatsura’s anime adaptation, Mamoru Oshii, went on to direct the Ghost in the Shell series.

      Now onto Ramna ½ itself. It ran 9 years (1987-1996) and 38 volumes. While the series wasn’t quite as innovative as Urusei Yatsura was, it had the distinction of being one of the first series to be licensed in English, and thus (along with Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon) served as the Anabasis for an entire generation of Western Anime fans, Including myself. It’s also notorious for reasons that you’ll quickly understand if you dig a little. Now, Ramna ½ wasn’t Takahashi’s last work. Her other two major works are Inuyasha (1996-2008) and Rin-ne (2009-2017). I can’t really say much about Rin-ne, because I decided not to touch it after having a bad experience with Inuyasha (Too much filler towards the backend).

      Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Currently the longest running Shounen series (1987-present), it’s really 8 stories all following a character named Jojo. The series lives up to it’s reputation of bizarre and then some, with an art style that needs to be seen to be believed. It is deeply influential series, but never got a proper anime adaptation until a few years ago. This adaptation covers the first four parts of the series, and has been widely praised. It is also where the infamous “To be Continued” meme came from.

      EyeShield21: While not one of the most successful manga, this series is one of my favorites from my high school years. It’s about High School Football! In Japan! Remember Yusuke Murata, the Artist for One Punch Man? It was with this series that Murata first gained his fame. EyeShield21 isn’t all as well known in the west because it came out at a time when Shounen Jump was absolutely stacked in terms of line up (Running alongside not Just Naruto and One Piece, but Bleach, Reborn, Gintama, Yu-Gi-Oh, Deathnote, and Prince of Tennis), and because most male Anime fans don’t read sports Manga. And yes, unlike in America, Comics about Sports are a huge thing in Japan. EyeSheild21 isn’t even the first manga series about American Football! There’s Manga about Basketball (Slam Dunk, Kuroko no Basuke), Baseball (Major, a million other I can’t name off the top of my head), Soccer (Captain Tsubasa, Inazuma 11), Volleyball (Haikyu), Cycling (Yowamushi Pedal), Swimming (Free), Boxing (Hajime no Ippo) and even Rugby (All Out). Eyeshield21 even got me into watching the NFL full time, until I stopped at the end of the 2016 season.

      Rurouni Kenshin: This series came out during the late 1990’s and came to the US alongside Dragonball. Unlike a lot of series in this genre it grounds itself firmly in the period of the Meiji Restoration.

      Black Cat: This series is largely on the list because of what Artist Centro Kabuki did after this series. Which I’ll get to in my post about Trash. But still, I think you might find it an interesting read.

      Zetta Karen Children: This series has been running in Shounen Sunday since 2005. While not one of my absolute favorites, I think you’ll this interesting, because it’s a Japanese take on X-Men.

      Kimagure Orange Road/Nisekoi: If you want to try something else in the Romance genre, then I’d recommend these two series. The former debuted in 1984 and the later in 2011. Both are from different authors, and are very different in terms of content, but I’m listing them together because main heroines of the two are regarded to share a similar trait. In fact it’s not just Nisekoi, but a whole stories owe a debt to the kind of innovations Kimagure Orange Road did.

      Great Teacher Onizuka: The story here is one that might kind of familiar. It’s “A guy somehow manages to get somewhere he shouldn’t, where he isn’t respected, but still manages to gain in some way” kind of story. Except that the way the series executes this kind of story is spectacular. Onizuka’s antic are something that need to be seen to be believed. And the story takes place shortly after the 1997 economic crash in Japan. Note, this series has both a prequel, and two sequels, but all four parts can be read on their own.

      Now, there a lot more Shounen that I didn’t get a chance to mention, like Fist of the North Star, Saint Seiya (A series that is known for two things: it’s large female fanbase, and it’s popularity in Latin America), Fairy Tail, Beelzebub, Toriko and others. But the thing is, Shounen manga are really, really long. I’ve probably given you enough to chew on for a year in the stuff I’ve recommended, so far, and I’m not even close to being finished recommending things.

      Oh yeah, if you interested in some kind of resources in helping you understand Anime. I’d recommend The Anime Man channel on Youtube. Another channel, though it doesn’t really focus so much on Anime, but more Japanese video games (But still has a lot commentary on Japanese cultural references in it’s media), is Gaijin Goombah on Youtube. A third source I’d recommend is the Answerman series on Anime News Network.

    4. I’m sorry for taking so long. I’m going to drop the rest of my recommendations for Anime. There are a number of series that I suggest you not tackle right away, which will be marked with an [X]. For the most part, the shows marked with an [X] have content that you might find difficult, but there are some cases where I want you to watch another show before watching this one.

      So, here’s the list:

      Gintama, Osomasu-san [X], Mirai Nikki, Puella Magi Madoka Magica [X], Gundam 00, Monogatari, Sword Art Online, Deathnote, Fate/Stay Night, Clannad, Ouran High School, Azumanga Daioh, Free, Re:Zero, Haruhi Suzumiya, Berserk, Hellsing, Trigun, Idolmaster, Love Live To-LOVE-Ru [X], Nanoha.

      That should do it, between all these shows, you should have enough to last you some time. I’m not that all of these shows would be exactly to your taste, but these shows are important to how Anime has developed over the last twenty years. If you find some of this stuff rather confusing, and want further explanation or resources to find more explanation, I’d be happy to help clear things up.

    5. There were a few more series that I forgot about:

      Attack on Titian, Hunter X Hunter, Squid Girl, A Certain Magical Index. (The last of which has been favorite Anime franchise of all time, though the Anime adaptation stopped where the Novels started getting really good.)

      And thats all of my recommendations. My taste in Anime has always been rather trashy, and there a few I’m holding back because they can only really be enjoyed by someone who knows how to enjoy them.

      Out of all the Anime on this list, I would recommend starting with Neon Genesis Evangelion. It’s Japan’s Star Wars in terms of the amount it’s had. And it’s something that I think would resonate with you.

  5. gaikokumaniakku

    “Organizations which should have led us into the future, like NASA, failed us. We learned that institutions which should have protected us, like the FBI and CIA, were often criminal oppressors. Institutions which we admired, like the military, displayed gross incompetence.

    Our response was not to reform our institutions, at whatever cost and effort. Instead we retreated into fantasy. ”

    I know how we can reform the institutions. We can get rid of all that toxic cisgendered masculinity. The Scouts BSA are leading the way! All scouts, regardless of color, gender, and sexual preference, can join the Scouts BSA and have a great big serving of soy.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      I share your unhappiness. But we have to get over it and get America on the road to a better future. As Louis Lamour says at the end of so many of his great westerns, we live peacefully in our homes on the hills. But when the need arises, we come down and do what must be done to fix America. It’s happened before, and will again.

  6. Given what you’re saying, I think you’ll find Kill La Kill to be very interesting, as it covers some of those ideas too.

    With Fullmetal Alchemist, there are two Anime series. The first one, that aired in 2003, deviated from the Comic series that it was adapted from, at Author Hiromu Arakawa request. The second Anime series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood adapts the Comic right to the end. My experience of Fullmetal Alchemist was from reading the original comic, which is fully translated to English. I would recommend Arakawa’s second big Manga series to you: Silver Spoon. It’s a very different work from Fullmetal Alchemist, but one that I found very moving.

    Now, I consider the point where I become a hardcore Anime to be January 2011, because that’s when I first committed myself to watching seasonal Anime as they came out. Now keep in mind, at this point in time, I was already keeping up with tons of Manga series, and I had already watched a fair number of anime. But this marked a Transition point for me because I had the dumb luck of jumping on the bandwagon right as the Industry went on one of it’s biggest hot streaks. A lot of my recommendations come from series that aired during that period, but not all do.

    I’m going to arrange things by topic, to keep it coherent. For my second bit of recommendations, I’m going to talk about Superhero series:

    Tiger and Bunny: This series from 2011 is has a very intriguing backstory around it. It’s series that was extremely well received when it came out, and seemed primed to get a release on American shores, where it would’ve been a big hit. But that didn’t happen. The series ended with one of the clearest sequel hooks that I have ever seen, yet 7 years later and we don’t have any real follow up. The only real indication of why this is case is what happened with the Studio that the series, Sunrise. After this series Sunrise went through a very silly period in the kind of shows they did. Though, a little background. Sunrise is the Studio that became famous for Mobile Suit Gundam, though they’ve done a ton of other stuff.

    Code Geass: Though not strictly a Superhero Anime, it was made by the same studio as Tiger and Bunny. It’s famous for totally not being a commentary on American Imperialism and the Iraq war with Giant Robots.

    My Hero Academia: This is one of many series from Shounen Jump, one of the Anime Industry’s most iconic institutions. I’m going to make an entire post covering (most) of my recommendations from there. But this series is one that I think fits best here. This series is a great example of how Japan does Superheroes, and of the Shounen genre itself. I haven’t the Anime adaptation of this series (which has great reviews), but I have the original comic which the Anime is adapted from.

    One Punch Man: If My Hero Academia is a great example of an earnest Japanese Superhero series, then One Punch Man is a great example of a Japanese Superhero parody. The original Manga series was known for it’s exceptionally bad art, but surprisingly good writing by creator ONE. Artist Yusuke Murata (more on him later), later teamed up with ONE to “rewrite” the series, in one of the greatest examples of the kind of Meritocracy that the Anime Industry is. It also has one of the best Opening Songs for an Anime ever.

    Mob Psycho 100: Also written and “drawn” by ONE, this series covers similar ground to One Punch Man, but does so in more darker and serious manner. I would recommend trying to read the Manga, because that’s so much farther along than the Anime is (and probably will get), but the Anime adaptation was damn good.

    Concrete Revolutio: This series was written by the same person who wrote the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime. I see it as an attempt at trying to take the Japanese pop culture scene of the 1945-1975 era and squishing it into one Universe where they all interact with each other. It’s a very crazy and very confusing series even for me, so I’d recommend waiting until you have more experience with Anime before trying to tackle this one.

    More will come soon.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      I don’t know what you consider to be or not to be a “solution.” What matters is what large numbers of other people in the West do. I’ll bet most have different epistemologies and faiths than you do.

      Hence accurate predictions are more useful than giving value judgements, imo.

  7. StephenLaudig

    “we became alienated from our institutions.”

    I think this is sort of accurate. “we” is mostly “white-ish” and ‘became alienate’ is more like learned that the institutions were not what the institutions claimed and had propagandized ‘themselves’ [I don’t like ‘them’ as it implies ‘person’ but can’t locate another plural of ‘it’] to be” so “we” became ‘alienated’ from our prior propagandized misconceptions. The curtain was pulled back for me by the criminal war on Vietnam. The first international criminal was was on the Hawaiian Kingdom. The second, arguable, was the resistance to Philippine Independence. every war since Korea has been a lie and every war except WWII since the Civil war has been based on lies. so after nearly a century of being lied into war by the institutions “we” realized the alienation and became alienated. but the lie has been there since Honolulu 1893 and “remember the Maine” in 1898 and the Lusitania and Gulf of Tonkin and weapons of mass and so on. and continues to this day. There is no reason to believe anything coming out of D.C. that occurs to me. cheers.

    1. Larry Kummer, Editor


      ” “we” is mostly “white-ish” ”

      Black and Hispanic Americans have quite alienated from America’s institutions. Martin Luther King Jr. would be condemned as an Uncle Tom if he re-appeared today.

      “The first international criminal was was on the Hawaiian Kingdom.”

      That is not correct. You cannot impose your values on the people of the past. In 1898 wars of annexation were not “illegal” in any sense. That was how international affairs were conducted, as they had been since humanity first formed tribes. “Might makes right” was the law between nations. The first serious attempt to change that was the creation of the League of Nations after WWI.

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