It is good to live in Tai­wan if you are a su­per hero fan

The China Post - - COMMENTARY -

Though Amer­i­can comic books and graphic nov­els have still yet to be­come a norm in Tai­wan, the coun­try re­mains a place that hero fans must feel lucky to be in. As a re­sult of Tai­wanese movie go­ers hav­ing a unique taste in watch­ing en­ter­tain­ing block­busters, the coun­try has en­abled film com­pa­nies to make tons of money when re­leas­ing their movies lo­cally, which cor­re­spond­ingly en­cour­ages said com­pa­nies to ac­tively re­lease the films in Tai­wan.

Though it can’t be de­nied that the oth­er­wise geek cul­ture has been em­braced by non-geeks and nerds more and more as of late around the world, thanks to beau­ti­ful stars like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris­tian Bale por­tray­ing enig­matic and in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters like Iron Man/ Tony Stark and Bat­man/Bruce Wayne, no coun­try has seen a greater surge in geek movie em­brace­ment than Tai­wan.

The trend is likely a re­sult of years and years of Ja­panese Manga in­flu­ence and the pref­er­ence of Hol­ly­wood movies over that of the Asian cinema.

Tai­wanese lo­cals, whether boys or girls, are brought up watch­ing Ja­panese-in­flu­enced fan­tasies with sto­ries re­volv­ing around none other than su­per he­roes, ad­ven­tures and awe­some magic. Kids are con­stantly made familiar with dash­ing sword fights and sparks of brav­ery and valor dis­played on a con­stant ba­sis by char­ac­ters that are al­ways big­ger than life.

Hence, it would be safe to con­clude that the re­sult is Tai­wanese peo­ple hav­ing an easy time ac­cept­ing what­ever hero movies are thrown at us since we not only en­joy them, but we are im­mensely ac­cus­tomed to them as well.

And our ac­cep­tance and sup­port of the cul­ture have been prop­erly re­warded. The rea­son this state­ment can be boldly made is proven by the fact that Tai­wan has been re­leas­ing Marvel su­per­hero films way ahead of their ori­gin coun­try, the United States. Just next week on Wed­nes­day, April 22, Tai­wan will re­lease “Avengers: Age of Ul­tron” ahead of the U.S., which has a set re­lease date of May 1. Even Marvel’s most re­cent film flicks like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Cap­tain Amer­ica: The Win­ter Sol­dier” have found their ways into Tai­wanese the­aters be­fore most other na­tions.

Aside from movies, Tai­wan has been blessed to be a neigh­bor of Hong Kong, the coun­try re­cent popular fig­urines com­pany “Hot Toys” is cur­rently based in. Though priced on the ex­pen­sive side, Tai­wanese are given the op­por­tu­nity to pur­chase 1: 16 life­like fig­urines rang­ing from the Marvel’s Hulk to Tyrion Lan­nis­ter from “Game of Thrones,” still at prices less than those of other coun­tries.

The only el­e­ments that re­sult in Tai­wan fall­ing short of com­plet­ing the benefits are the lack of vis­it­ing movie stars like Chris Hemsworth of “Thor” fame and the ab­sence of trans­la­tors for graphic nov­els and comics. And the rea­sons make no sense.

When ques­tion­ing why a big hero star has yet to visit the county, Tai­wan is of­ten given the re­ply of us be­ing too small a coun­try to be wor­thy of a pro­mo­tional tour led by a big star. Tai­wan is also of­ten told that it has less mar­ket po­ten­tial than main­land China. How­ever th­ese are all rea­sons that could be dis­proved by the mere fact that Tai­wan has been cho­sen as the one coun­try that is al­lowed to re­lease su­per­hero movies ahead of sched­ule due to the amount of profit the county has made for movie and comic book com­pa­nies alike.

The rea­son Tai­wan does not have a mar­ket in English comic book and graphic novel trans­la­tions is strange as well. With the amount of Manga adored by the na­tion, as well as the amount of tele­vi­sion and movie adap­ta­tions that have gar­nered a faith­ful fol­low­ing, Tai­wan should be bom­barded with Amer­i­can graphic nov­els that are trans­lated for all.

But re­gard­less of the short­com­ings, Tai­wan is nonethe­less a par­adise to be a geek in. Not only are we blessed with early movie re­leases, we are also given the op­por­tu­nity to host var­i­ous su­per­hero ex­pos like the Marvel cinema expo that is cur­rently go­ing on in Taipei. Tai­wan is also a coun­try that surg­ing ex­er­cise brand Un­der Ar­mour has de­cided to branch into, re­leas­ing to the na­tion an abun­dance of work­out clothes from its su­per­heroes line.

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