Hello fellow Ultra Fan, in my last blog I wrote about Strong Characters in the context of story releveance, so now I'm going to talk about common stereotypes in Kaiju movies and the Ultra Series in general.
The Relevance of Stereotypes
Most of you, who have heard of the term know that it is not generally associated with good writing. When a character is called a stereotype or stereotypical, it is an insult and/or criticism. That said, stereotypes exist for a reason, mainly because it's a 'great minds think alike' situation.
However, I personally don't hate stereotypes (to a degree) and think they are not something to run away from. Stereotypes are like the pre-ordered skeleton of a character. The trick is to add to that basic premise.
A stereotype can also be considered less a character trait and more of a role in the story, such as Damsel-in-distress. I've complained about that trope in my propr blog, but still, filling out the role of a macguffin doesn't mean that the character has to be weak. A War Hawk could be a fully fleshed out character that the audiance can sympathize with, a love interest could be a villain, so on and so forth.
There's nothing wrong with using stereotypes, just do try to add some character where it is warranted.
Kaiju Movie Stereotypes
For this part I would like to thank Deviantart Artist Tyrantisterror for his Kaijuverse Tutorial.
Instead of wasting time repeating them, here is a link to the page: Here
Ultra Series Stereotypes
Most human stereotypes common to the franchise deal with Attack Team members, but there are others. Also remember, you can also mix two or more stereotypes.
- The Captain: The captain is less a stereotype and more a focal point for several stereotypes to collide.
- Parental: The emotionally supportive figure. They generally interact with their subordinates, as a fatherly or motherly figure. Tiga and Dyna's captains were like this.
- Stern: The nononsense type, while not impossible to deal with, they run a tight shift. Look to Gaia for an example.
- Wise: The philosophical thinker who questions that nature and reasoning of the conflict(s). Cosmos and X had such captains as well as Gaia.
- Militant: This captain is pretty much the opposite of the Wise Captain. While the Wise one is hoping for a peaceful resolution to the conflict(s), the militant one is more concerned with winning than the moral actions performed by mankind. See Ultraseven
- The Sharpshooter: The skilled gunman, usually the best shot on the team
- The Ace Pilot: You often have more than one of these, they are usually the only pilots to never get shot down, or the very last. They are often paired with the Sharpshooter.
- The Strongman/Martial Artist: Basically the one who specialises in being the best/strongest fighter on the team.
- The Genius: The one who often finds the solution or creates the latest gadgets
- The Young One: The youngest member and often acts the part. This is usually paired with the Genius stereotype to explain their presence.
- The Love Interest: This stereotype is usually paired with any other steroetype, except the Young One (if you ask my why I LITERALLY will block you.)
- The idiots: Basically the majority of MAC from Return of Ultraman (Ultraman Jack's series). Why do I call them this, because, when your organization literally exists to investigate the paranormal, fight alien invasion and giant monsters, when they are the third such organization, and the others have had much publicized experience with these things, scoffing at any hint of their existence, means, you're an idiot... But if I must be polite, call them the Skeptic(s).
- Others: Other stereotypes not seen on the attack team
- The Repentant Scientist: This guy did something in the past that comes back to bite everyone in the backside in the form of a giant monster (usually). This action is their shame and they hope to one day make up for that mistake.
- The Mad Scientist: Basically the repentant scientist, minus the repentant part, and morals. It's not odd to see them working with invaders.
- The Irresponsible Scientist: Basically the repentant (not always) scientist, only the mistake is happening during the story, which much more immediate consequences. This usually involves someone experimenting with things left untouched, such as new weapons. Ultraseven the Starbem Gyeron episode.
- The one no one believes: Self explanatory. Person sees monster, alien or evidence of such things, and no one but the hero is willing to believe them.
- Person from the past: Some person (sometimes even an alien) from the main character's, or another character's past who appears in the present important to the plot. Sometimes they are millenia old alien waiting to go home, sometimes they are a clone/resurrected for an invader's evil plan, somethimes they are just a hallucination.
- Parent: Self explanatory, you pretty much could combine them with any in this section of the list.
- Mentor: A mentor figure like a parent, grandparent, or just a mentor in general. They are often important to the plot, usually as some manner of scientist.
- Rival: A rival of one of the main characters.
- The War Hawk: We all know this idiot, though to be fair, it's not always an idiot. Basically they think weapons/conflict/fighting is the answer to the problem, or simply are cynical. They could be as harmless as the guy from Ultraman Tiga (with the folding fan), the jerk from Ace who tried (it's never directly stated but heavily implied) to get Seiji killed for not being a mindless drone like the others or as dangerous as those fools from Ultraseven who thought a planet destroying missile would convince the universe to leave mankind alone (spoiler warning: it didn't) or those wretches from Final Odeysey and that guy from Dyna who wanted to use Ultramen as weapons.
- Lost Alien: This alien is stuck on Earth and wants to go home and while personally harmless, humans just seem to complicate the situation for whatever reason; misunderstanding, or simple xenophobia.
- Friendly Alien: Any small cute little creature, usually a friend of children. Think Pigmon, but actually cute (yeah I said it, come at me bro!)
- Widower: Mankind messes up and as a result an alien's spouse, or general love one is killed and they come seeking revenge.
- The Old Friend: The alien that one of the main characters knew, but didn't know they were an alien.