My money’s on the guys in the matching  jackets

I cannot tell you, dear reader, how my mind functions.

I could tell you my personal  history and tastes; ramble and jaw for hours and hours about superheros, movies, science fiction, and all those things that society dubs nerdy. I could talk about about my fixation on toys that I’ve nurtured well into my twenty-fourth year of life. I lay all the good and bad decisions of my life before you as a form of confessional. And the stories! Oh, the stories I could tell of discovering a comic book store in my town at thirteen, study halls spent reading through MFHS’ library small assortment of graphic novels and trade collections, and my first con experience at Anime Milwaukee (back when it was host on the UW-Milwaukee campus). Hell, I’ve got a couple stories of comic shop owners warning me against Age of Ultron (the comic event, not the film). I could speak of friends gained and lost, all all of my more real life milestones. Sadly, I don’t think any of that information would help anyone, including me, in how my mind’s thought processes work.

Which is a very long way of saying I’m not entirely sure why I prefer Ultraman Mebius to The Walking Dead.

This is not to say I hate The Walking Dead.

BOO! BOO! BOO!

Okay, I don’t hate most of The Walking Dead. 

Nor do I find Ultraman Mebius is perfect. (Just the most complete toku of its kind, as explained in a previous post). I just prefer the  Japanese kids show to the expensive, relatively adult and far more serious show and the channel that’s blessed us with both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.(Though, they also thought Low Winter Sun was a good idea.) I tell ya, sometimes I think I need to ask God or whatever cosmic entities rule the universe and ask for a new brain. Or at the very least reset the wires in the old one. Maybe improve my attention span,  tune up my people skills….

Damn, there I go pondering impossible cosmic what ifs. Must stay focused. Have to get to the point of this prattle.

As I stated before, I cannot fully tell you why I prefer Mebius to Walking Dead. Could just be my love of giant monsters. But there are one or two factors that I can address with some form of coherence. First and foremost are the tones of each show. This is the less substantial of my factors because I have never  had a problem with end of the world scenarios nor worlds colored in various shades of gray. I just find it kind of refreshing to seeMebius and find a speculative fiction show that not only has giant monsters but veers more to the hopeful and optimistic judgment of humanity, especially after years where we’ve stopped dreaming about the future and are more focused on how the world will blow up or how the machines will take over. Only other real place I’m gonna find that right now is the in the filmography of Roland Emmerich (which veers even more to empty spectacle than the Japanese kids show) and possibly Interstellar (which I haven’t seen).

The second factor I have is bit more substantial for me. You see, for all its archness, goofiness and occasional bouts of out and out slapstick comedy, I actually care about Crew GUYS. For most of the cast of The Walking Dead, it takes me a lot to actually give a damn about their lives. (God, this is gonna get me so much hate…)

At least I’ll have you,GUYS

Alright, let me put this in context. I’ve watch about 15-16 episodes of Mebius on Crunchyroll. In that short amount of time, the show has actually gotten me to care about it’s cast, even Teppei’s sitcomish fear of letting his old biddy of a mother (or whatever the Japanese equivalent of an old biddy is). I actually care about these broadly-drawn characters. This is why, despite Cunchyroll’s annoying habit of not letting people mute the commercials,  I’ve decided that I will in fact finish the entire series and probably watch it again.  I, after yeas of indifference, finally decided to check out The Walking Dead on Netflix. I sat through thirty five episodes;basically the first three seasons of that show plus a few random eps I caught on TV. And in those three seasons, I seriously had to struggle with giving a crap about most of the cast from episode to episode. I struggled for a long time to figure out why this is and I think I’ve finally come to a half-way sane explanation: the characters exist only to move along the plot. None of these characters seem to have any interests beyond their survival and their back stories, when we get them, are too thin for my tastes.

Now admittedly, there’s not much room for hobbies or separate personal lives during the zombie apocalypse. But the back stories are so thin as to make the characters of Walking Dead, the slickly produced show with at minimum three times the budget of Mebius (and some more versatile talent both in front of and behind the camera) the characters don’t feel like people to me. Their just game pieces moving across a board game called Zombie Apocalypse!, a Milton-Bradley product. Buy now in classic mode or the expanded Maniacs and Cannibals!  version for the low price of $35.99!

Also, there’s the problem of repetition I have with Walking Dead. “But wait!” you say, “Isn’t Mebius just as, if not more repetitive?” Why yes, it most likely is. But you know what else Mebius has the decency to do? Change up how the story is told every week,  be it the more comedic, character focused (see: Broken Bonds), action heavy(Threatening Mebius Killer/Ace’s Wish), or heart stringing to near gratuitous levels (Teacher’s Memories). It’s still stock plotting but at least it’s stock plotting that doesn’t annoy me, There’s only so many times I can watch Walking Dead’s cast of pawns and clay pigeons find a place to hunker down, hope it lasts and find it inevitably burned to the goddamn ground so they have to start the cycle all over again. Nor do any episodes seem to drag on an on and on and on…..(in case you haven’t guessed it, I really despised season two).

Also, just a quick aside: Of the episodes of Mebius I’ve seen, only One Roadhad the characters act like total idiots so the conflict of the episode can exist. Even then, it’s idiocy in service to character development for a cast member (Teppei), not just so there can be a car crash (Lori). Or not telling anyone about the walker you saw near base (Carl). Or keeping to try and lead while you go desperately insane (Rick). Or desperately not notice that your love interest is out his goddamn mind (Andrea). Or do something for extremely petty reasons that essentially tips an already unstable man over the edge (Michonne, though admittedly I don’t think she knew the Governor was nuts). Or trying to get revenge on a zombie sloppily (that dickhead from Alexandria). Or the many, many other things I could mention, but dammit that would take all freaking day and this ramble/article/whatever is running long as is.

Like I said before, it could just be that my brain’s wired the wrong way. Or it could be that the allowances I give a Japanese kid’s show are not the allowances I give a 2.8 million dollars per episode TV series that’s in my own language. Either way, I prefer Ultraman Mebius to The Walking Dead.

(Oh and for anyone who’s curious, in a one-on-one fight, I’d still say Crew GUYS could put up or even defeat the,,wait, what is the cast of TWD called anyway…”The Group”? Yeah, they could take on  The Group. Sure, Group’s got Michonne and Daryl, but GUYS has a man who  can turn giant and manipulate energy, so I put the odds for them.)

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