Nikki's Corner (sennetari) wrote,
Nikki's Corner

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sennetari and the secret identity dilemma

Yup, my subject line is pathetic.

On a more serious note, the following was originally written as a response to a forum post. I'm just too shy to post in that forum (which I never once posted in), so I'm putting my thoughts here instead, albeit with some edited wordings.

An interesting subject was raised, regarding Mirai and his secret identity and how others react to it. As far as I can understand, the forum poster seemed disappointed that the writers for the show hadn't used this unique opportunity to explore xenophobia (note from me: although this subject is dealt with in the series (episode 32), I don't think it's ever dealt against Mirai himself after GUYS knows he's an alien), or at least to come up with anything to shake up the status quo. In the end, it seemed mostly unnecessary for GUYS to know about Mirai being Mebius because nothing really changed, that Mirai wasn't regarded with distrusts, with suspicions, with scorns, or at least with guarded behaviors.

Not that the show couldn't have done better, but I think it handles the secret identity matter just fine. The show does continue to deal with Mirai's "alieness" (if that is a word) after the revelation. I especially think it is telling that episode 18 is placed before the reveal, because that whole episode would have been pointless after everyone knows about Mirai. And episode 33 would not work as intended before the reveal.

Mebius is the only Ultra show I've seen (which, admittedly, not many) that I'm willing to buy into the fact that the hero himself reveals his identity a little halfway through the series. In fact, the way the story was set up led me to suspect that this kind of thing was coming up, so the big revelation came as almost no surprise to me. For me, being able to believe is the very important part. Honestly, in some other shows, I don't know why the revelation occurs at all except it's toward the end of the show, so the show writers arbitrarily decide that the hero's identity needs to be known because they are running out of time and so on. Usually, someone else does the blabbing anyway, not the hero himself, which led me to believe that, most of the time, the hero in one of those shows would have been happy to continue keeping everyone ignorant of his secret identity.

(Yes, it occurred to me that Mirai did have a choice of continue deceiving everyone. I don't really think he was back into a corner with no escape. The only thing constraining him is probably his own moral dilemma. In many ways, he's a kid, and I think this deception thing usually doesn't come easily to kids, as opposed to adults in general. And I never dream that a few people who do know his secret would reveal it without his permission or knowledge.)

I would not have liked it if Mirai being an alien and/or Mirai deceiving his colleague becomes a continual bone of contention among them. Mostly because at that point in the series they all get along very well. Perhaps it might be more natural in in real life to have a period where everyone likes each other, but their relationship is fragile enough that a big secret such as Mirai's would have rent them all apart, but this is fiction, and I rather perfer my fiction non-complicated. Also, Mebius, as a show, doesn't much seem set up for endless angst, and angst it would be if they don't forgive Mirai for the deception and move on, choosing instead to continue distrusting him. (And they must realize that certain people in GUYS have known about Mirai, so would they choose to hold something against those people also? I imagine that would make for a very unpleasant working environment.)

I do agree with the forum poster that there were some "missed opportunities" though I can't really recall what else I wanted at the moment. Ah, right, I would like to see more of the "Mirai saying sorry" part and the "GUYS Crew forgiving Mirai" part, but I think the show can't really devote time to those things because these people are trying to save the world at the moment, and when they are at rest, the downtime are not shown. Who knows, perhaps there are some interesting stuff happening off-camera that never make their way into the final scripts.

At any rate, despite all my points, I fear the forum poster might be right. It seems that, in general (in the limited number of tokusatsu shows I've seen anyway, apologies if I make a blanket statement that doesn't apply to a particular show), after a revelation of a tokusatsu hero's identity, everyone would just ignores the very real issue of distrust and deceit and life would go on as usual in whichever universe the series takes place in. The forum poster seemed to think that it's because dealing with repercussion of keeping a secret (and breaking trust) is probably too difficult a subject for kids to grasp. And also that this subject and related thoughts might be something noticed only after seeing the whole thing (series) and then going back to do some contemplating. I agree with both points. Regarding point #1, as I said earlier, I like my shows fairly simplistic most of time. I watch tokusatsu shows to relax, to unwind, not to do too much deep thinking, probably because of my thought that toku shows = kid's shows. Anyway, for a serious answer, I think point #1 is sad but true. There seems to be only so much one can do in a kid's show before it is no longer a kid's show and misses its intended audience. And regarding point #2, it follows from me rather not do much pondering on stuff I watch for entertainment that I didn't notice most of these things in the first second paragraph until I read about them in that forum post.
Tags: secret identities, tokusatsu, ultraman mebius
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