Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ultramen, the modern Christ myth

They sacrifice themselves for the better being of the earth, throwing all their strength and love into a planet that isn’t even their own. Using their mighty powers to save us from monsters and maybe even ourselves. Men who, with their destructive strength use it with benevolent will.
I’ve been in an ultraman kick lately, since watching Ultraman moebius, and I’ve noticed something about these friendly red and silver skinned giant. They defend earth with all their strength, some even die just fighting one or two monsters (Taro and Zoffy*). All of them become human at one point and know what it is to be human. Now, looking from a purely logical or educational stand point, you can draw some small parallels between ultraman and Jesus. Now, I’m no bible loving fundamentalist, but I’m also not a god-hating atheist, I’m in the middle. But that’s not the point, I’m also not here to argue if Jesus existed or anything, I’m just drawing parallels and forming a conclusion.
One of the proof I have is the Ultra father or if you prefer Father of Ultra (god) sends down a solder of the space garrison (jesus). He becomes human, defends earth and if things become desperate, he’s willing to lose his life. Now I’ve heard from some sources that tsuburaya was a Christian (don’t quote me on this, ask August Ragone for this he’s the tsuburaya man) but maybe when Tsuburaya was making ultraman, the story of jesus may have been imprinted on him.
Or this could be seen as a modern Japanese interpretation of the Christ myth. I’ve personally always seen the story of Christ as something depressing and very dioscouraging to the point of thinking “god humanity is a dick”. But not in Ultraman, like Jesus, Ultraman performed “miracles” which was not seen as a threat by some but as a true blessing, and instead of being prosecuted, he is beloved, and even integrated into society. I like to think of it as a Christ story gone well, where instead of Jesus dying on the cross, everyone took his message to heart, and even those who wanted to destroy him are convinced by his utter kindness. There is also the fact that Ultraman are “men of light”. The planet they come from is a nebula of light, M78, which could be seen as heaven, and the ultramen are almost like angels. This act of interga;lactic sacrifice and kindness is also not limited to the earth but to various galaxies and planets. If you think about it, a primitive planet who is protetcted regularly by an ultraman may see him as a god.
I know you don’t end a sentence like this, but I’m lazy and so in the end, I think Ultraman’s deeper level is that it’s the story of benevolent beings who love us, and in this day and age, I think we need some ultramen on the way were headed. But their’s always hope if there is ultramen. Kind of like how some people think Jesus loves them, I like to think if monsters attack ultraman will come and be our friend.

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