Netflix recently announced a remake of the classic anime Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac that originally aired from 1986 to 1989. However, they will be making a significant change to the original series by gender swapping one of the main characters  Andromeda Shun from a male to a female. And according to Saint Seiya’s producer it was done specifically to push an agenda.

The trailer which showcases the gender-swapped character has been roundly downvoted on YouTube with 8.1k people giving it a thumbs down compared to 5.3k giving it a thumbs up.

Eugene Son took to Twitter to defend his decision to gender-swap Andromeda explaining that there were already too many male characters in the Bronze Knights. But the gender-swapping isn’t the only thing Son admitted to. He also noted that a number of the characters also had their names changed.

Son admits he was the driving force behind gender-swapping Andromeda.

That’s a rather big admission. He thinks that by staying true to the roots of the original anime is a political statement, but doesn’t think specifically gender-swapping a character isn’t a political statement? This reads like he’s afraid of people, most likely in the media or possibly executives at Netflix, whining that they actually stayed true to the original anime and honored their fans. Instead, of honoring fans, what Son has done is slapped them in the face with a gender-swapped character that one can only assume is part of a much larger social justice agenda that seems to be leaking across much of Netflix’s original content and came to the forefront in She-Ra Princesses of Power.

Son continued to explain his politically motivated decision to gender-swap Andromeda by arguing he was just keeping up with the times. It’s a tired argument that executives and producers make when they have a bunch of failed ideas, but a popular IP and a hungry fanbase, and they try and combine the two. It never ends well.

Son would continue his defense of of the decision by pointing out the strong female characters already present in the anime. But in a shocking admission, he seems to point to either his own incompetence or at least the complete incompetence of the writing staff at Netflix when he explains they thought about creating a new character with a unique story, but just didn’t really know how to do it.

Instead of working on a new character, Son and Netflix found it easier to gender-swap a pre-existing one. Somehow they were concerned about the character feeling unnatural, which is rich considering one would have thought a gender-swap would have been worse.

Writing a new character isn’t something new in anime or manga for that matter. Depending on the story arc it might not be the easiest thing on the planet, but if you use it as a tool to push a story forward a new character won’t look like a prop. But it seems that fear kept Eugene Son from making a new character. Even more interesting is the fact that he thinks adding a girl for the sake of being a girl would make her be a token. However, he gender-swapped Andromeda into a girl for the sake of adding a girl. This doesn’t even make sense and certainly doesn’t pass a sniff test.

Eugene Son goes on to defend the swap by basically saying that the “core concepts of Andromeda won’t change” But as anyone would understand when it comes to people, your gender plays a major role in personality development. You cannot just swap out genitalia and expect the same result.

In fact, in another moment of hypocrisy Eugene Son even admits the story will change with Andromeda as a female.

He continues to baffle in his defense as he begins to contradict himself with every new sentence.

Saint Seyia is just the latest social justice controversy for Netflix as the streaming giant appears to make it their mission to radically change iconic properties and series in order to update them for a social justice audience that were never fans of the original series. We most recently saw this with She-Ra and the Princesses of Power as well as the casting for the upcoming Witcher TV series.

Because of Netflix’s history of attribute swapping (gender, race, etc) many people have been turned off by the streaming providers interest in playing the “diversity” game. It’s unfortunate because this could have been an opportunity to allow fans new and old to tune into a show with a new character without having to sacrifice an old one.

What do you think of what Eugene Son said about Andromeda’s new gender? It was refreshing to see him at least explain his reasoning, as illogical as it was, for gender swapping Andromeda.

Do you think this is a deep-seated trend in Netflix’s content decisions? Or do you think it’s an ongoing shift in the cultural landscape? Do you think there will be any kind of meaningful push back to these kind of changes? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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