Why changing the sex of Andromeda Shun is NOT inclusive?

in #anime2 years ago (edited)



On December 8th, Netflix released the trailer of their new adaptation of Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac in 3D animation, both in English and Latin American Spanish. In this trailer, we could notice an important detail: the character of Andromeda Shun is a woman, unlike the original version where this knight of Athena is a man.



Many fans of Masami Kurumada's work expressed their discontent through social networks, as evidenced by the dislikes of the Latin American version of the trailer on YouTube, which so far exceeds 7,000 dislikes, while it has more than 3,000 likes. The English version is doing just a little better, as it has 4,5 thousand likes, and 4 thousand dislikes (that is, likes have a fairly short advantage).

Through Twitter, Eugene Son, one of the scriptwriters of this adaptation, stated that this was done because times have changed and the norm today should be to see male and female protagonists fighting side by side, and not just a group of protagonists where all are men, which was the establishment 30 years ago, when the original anime was released.

It should be noted that there are important female characters in the story who can be given more prominence and developed more extensively, such as Eagle Marin, Ophiuchus Shaina (silver knights), Chameleon June (bronze knight), among others. To think that one of these characters could not be included in the main plot is simply to ignore the potential they possess.




Shun's masculinity and what it represents



The reason I disagree with Son is because by wishing to be more inclusive and add a woman to the main group by changing the sex of a character, instead of taking one of the existing female characters and integrating it into the team, a crucial element is being removed: Shun's masculinity and what it represents.

Shun is a young man who goes beyond the ideal male stereotype, projected over many years by fiction and society in general: rough, violent and who does not show his emotions openly. Shun is quite the opposite: he is sensitive, openly expresses his emotions and does not like violence; he uses the chains of his cloth to protect his friends, mainly, and not to attack. This in spite of the fact that Kurumada has declared that Shun is the most powerful character among bronze knights.

Shun has always stood out among Athena's saints for being a pacifist and for his great sensitivity. His character's design is fragile, delicate and feminine. The constellation designated to Shun is that of Andromeda, who in Greek mythology was offered as a sacrifice to a sea monster to save her kingdom. This element of sacrifice is always present in the life of Shun, who does not hesitate to put the lives of others above his own; the chains that tied Princess Andromeda are used by Shun to protect those he loves and, when he finds it necessary, to attack. His cloth is pink and in it we can see the figure of a woman.



The purity in the heart of Shun is such that the god Hades reincarnates in his body, a characteristic that is always fulfilled in all Holy Wars between Athena and the god of the underworld.



This character inspires allies and opponents to be better people, teaches them about kindness and compassion, and the power of empathy. He has a great influence especially on his brother, Phoenix Ikki, who constantly fights to protect his younger brother (who is so different from him) and save him from any danger. Shun is the "chain," literally and figuratively, that binds the Phoenix knight to the rest of the saints of Athena.



Taking all this into account, then why would it be a good decision to change the sex of a character who represents a type of masculinity that is as valid as the others, but has always been discriminated against? A type of masculinity that is in contact with its feminine side, and that doesn't take away its manhood. A young man who shows his feelings and compassion for others. He is powerful but not because of it he uses violence; he tries to avoid it at all costs, because his main objective is to protect.

What we need in these "new times" is that the masculinity that Shun represents be validated and respected, not discarded and exchanged for the opposite sex, choosing an easy path. Being the character with the most feminine design and characteristics, it is easier to be a woman in the new version. What is disguised as inclusion ends up being discrimination. Shun as a woman is pigeonholed in a stereotype (in pink armor, with feminine features, with a personality that has always been associated with women) and is taken apart from how valuable the representation of Shun as a masculine character is in a world full of violence.


I fully agree with your critic of this awful decision, anyways the anime was very inclusive in the importance and the roles of the females, not only Athena was a key character (a woman that fits in the woman's stereotypes). but there was a good number of female characters that are strong and not so ordinary womans (like the master of Seiya).

Yes, Marin and Shaina for example are very important characters. But I think that they could've brought any female character to develop her and make her part of the protagonists. Chameleon June is a great choice as she is a bronze knight. They had plenty of options... that's just lazy writing.

I just released an article on the subject as well. I think this decision might be misleading people.

I think so too! I'm going to read your post.

Yes! A thousand times YESSS!!!
I didn't know about this news before I read your article, but I wholeheartedly agree that this is not an inclusive decision. Men should be allowed to have a soft role model as well, softness and caring and empathy and beauty are good qualities and they are not exclusively women's qualities.
Congrats for your curie vote, this article totally deserves all the support :).

You're absolutely right! It's a representation that matters and we need it! Thank you <3

It is a controversy around this series. I'm a fan of anime. always identifies me in each chapter with each Knights ...

Certainly I didn't have a perspective of Shun like the one that has been unleashed around the adaptation of netflix. for me Shun was always the pacifict, neither more nor less. The little brother of the fenix Knight (The strongest bronze knight sorryNotsorry ikki is the best xD)

But what bothers me, beyond your point of view, is the modification of the original material. I agree in the part where you mention that you can give greater prominence to the female characters.

Even with the justification of the writer because Shun is now a woman, I still disagree. There are better ways to highlight the female roll in a series like this one. But changing the original product is not a good option ... Imagine what would happen if they make a new Bible where Jesus is Woman only because 2000 years ago the perspective was different ... Or make a remake of Fresh prince of Bel air and Will is no longer a black guy ... or the simpsons are no longer yellow because the orange is the new yellow?

excellent post. I rarely get anything good to read about anime in Steemit. I have not even bothered to write about otaku things myself.

Thank you for your comment! I love Ikki too xD he's my favorite character along with Milo. And yes, it's a pity that they change the source material, if you're going to do a free adaptation YOU HAVE TO SAY IT BEFOREHAND. Not go with "Oh, this work will totally be faithful to the manga" and it's all lies.

It makes me mad that wanting to do something "good" and "inclusive" they ended up doing exactly the opposite, and also disrespect the original work of Kurumada, and I have no clue why he's letting this happen.

Vi que hablas español jeje. bueno Milo es chevere, pero mis otros favoritos son Mu de aries y Shaka de Virgo OMG shaka es uufff. siempre amare como los caballeros le tenian que pedir favores a Mu. incluso Shaka le pidio ayuda cuando se enfrento a ikki. Cuantos recuerdos , todo gracias a este post y a la polemica en torno a shun... admito que de pequeño me gustaba jugar a que tenia cadenas de andromeda (usaba la cadena de pasaear a mi perrito xD). No le veo mucho futuro a esa serie, aparte que la animacion no es del todo buena.

Yo tampoco le veo futuro, además el doblaje (sobre todo en latino) es pésimo. Exceptuando por las voces de Ricardo Mendoza y Marcos Patiño, la de Seiya es un verdadero asco; pobre Jesús Barrero, me parece una ofensa hacia él. Por lo demás, te recomiendo que veas Saintia Sho por Crunchyroll, que Toei acaba de sacarla la semana pasada y está genial :)

Yo vivo en Barquisime, en estos momentos me encuetro en ccs.al llegar a mi hogar me pondre al dia con todas mis series favoritas... y tienes toda la razon con respecto al doblaje latino. ¿Porque Jesus no hizo la voz de seiya? ... yo tengo mi opinion al respecto de los caballeros, no estoy de acuerdo a que lo digitalicen. vi la pelicula y eso para mi fue ver una presentacion de Final Fantasy. me gusta mas que sea anime con sus respectivos momentos de 3.D ... Saintia Sho lo agregare a la lista, porque tambien tengo pendiente Sakura Card captors jejeje

Jesús Barrero falleció hace un par de años :(

Sí, el diseño de la película fue muy tipo Final Fantasy, a mí tampoco me gustó. No me gusta cuando hacen las cosas en animación 3D por hacerlas y ya, tiene que ser algo de excelente calidad para que lo disfrute. Prefiero mil veces la animación tradicional 2D.

Hay pues tan desinformado al respecto estaba que no sabia que J. Barrero habia fallecido y me hago llamar fan u.u ..... Definitivamente animacion 2D for the win.

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Aside from progressive virtue signalling destroying another series and character this is obviously a cheap 3D cash grab with a gender politics gimmick which as you say achieves the opposite of what it sets out to do.

Very well said. The comments under the YouTube trailer (English) expressed this very well too. I still haven't watched the anime. But I know for a fact that Japan and anime has been more accommodating of non-traditional things of all sorts. I mean they even had a live action spiderman adaptation that is more violent than BvS Batman. I myself don't fit the traditional masculinity depiction and in many ways I do identify with many aspects of the character you described. Even my avatar Makishima Shougo isn't what you'd generally call "masculine".

The worst part is the Netflix version doesn't seem to have much weight. I love CGI anime like Kingsglaive, Appleseed, Vexille, Gantz etc. But they turned into something that make Transformers: Prime look hard boiled. Also the female shun gave me the entitled bitch vibes during the brief trailer moments.

You don't create exclusivity by pulling off stunts like this. You do it by not caring about differences:

"Entitled bitch vibes," that's accurate! xD Morgan Freeman is so right (he always is) about racism and how we keep talking about our differences when we are all human beings. The video about trans women in Thailand is very interesting too.

I totally agree with you. I will honestly say that I don't know this anime so I was happy at the beginning of your post to hear that it was changing a character to a woman. But then when I read about his personality I changed my opinion. There is so much violence in the world and the man still remains the one who should be 'the man' and there is an urgent need to change this in the society. I understand that this character was helping to understand that we need men with soft hearts, who have their feminine side but still remain men. I feel sorry about this change.

Thank you for the information as I wasn't aware of it before..

Thank you so much for your comment! I recommend you to watch the original anime, Shun is a great character (and he's not the only one!). It's an iconic story for those of us who love anime and good fiction.

I will check it out :) Thank you for the tip!

I'm not familiar with this anime, but I like your analysis of Netflix's decision. It's not often that I read a take on such a gender swap without rolling my eyes at what devolves into masculinist (another word for patriarchal sexism?) drivel. Well thought out, well written!

Completely, 100% agree! Andromeda Shun is actually a great representation against toxic masculinity and that is a valuable character !!!

Changing his gender into a girl is NOT inclusivity.... There's so many more rooms to bring in actual girl characters (existing or new) without having to gender swap.

Lazy writing is lazy :(

I love this article, @dolivero <3 You are all sorts of amazing <3 <3 <3

Thank you so much! Your comment really makes me happy! Indeed, Shun is the opposite of toxic masculinity and it makes me so mad that they just went with the "easy" thing and changed a feminine character into a woman -.-

Isnt he??? He's representing ! He's battling the good fight ! He is fighting against toxic masculinity and they just ........... ??? turned him into a girl???? WTF



Buen análisis de esta situación. Siempre he pensado que no se debe cambiar a los personajes preexistentes para favorecer la inclusión sino desarrollar otros que ya existan y sirvan a ese propósito, o crear nuevos también.

¡Correcto! Es el deber ser. Muchas personas le escribieron al guionista enfatizando en eso y diciéndole todo lo que pudo haber hecho en lugar de cambiar a Shun a mujer. Y él simplemente decía que no quería crear un personaje totalmente nuevo "únicamente" para que fuera mujer, y (esta es la peor de las excusas) no quería agarrar un personaje ya existente como pudo ser June de Camaleón, porque a nadie le iba a importar en las peleas importantes. ¡LA BUENA ESCRITURA de un personaje es lo que hace que te importe! Lo que tenía era flojera de desarrollar mejor un personaje femenino y simplemente se fue por el atajo más fácil, cambiarle el sexo a Shun, que ya se consideraba "afeminado". Todo mal.

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Excluding "gay-like behaviour" while including "SJW requirements" is profitable, so they do it. Just boycott it. I know I will.

Yes. According to Eugene Son, not even Toei was convinced with his decision. They must be regretting it seeing the number of dislikes on YouTube.

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