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Thread: Why do beetles always represent Electricity/Lightning in Japanese shows?

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    Red shirt Kiimon: Blast Mode's Avatar
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    Why do beetles always represent Electricity/Lightning in Japanese shows?

    In Digimon, every beetle-based partner Digimon (excluding the random kids from the Digimon World Tour) is lightning based. i.e. Tentomon and his evolutions, Beetlemon and his evolutions, and Ballistamon.

    It's not just Digimon though, in Power Rangers Ninja Storm (the best one) the 2 beetle rangers were officially known as the "Thunder Rangers" and in Pokemon the new-ish Vikavolt and Charjabug are electric-based beetles too. I also remember I used to watch this show called Ultraman (it has basically the same premise as Evangelion before it got deep) when I was little and whenever there was a beetle kaiju he would throw lightning at people. There's also a show called Beetleborgs which is just Power Rangers with beetles and they're almost all lightning based (but I don't know if this was a Japanese or American show).

    I tried to google if it was some old myth but the only results were Egyptian, Hebrew, and Native American mythology.
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    I come from the net Jay Ukyou's Avatar
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    I think it comes from Norse Mythology actually. Beetles were sacred to Thor, and presumably didn't get hurt by lightning. The rhinoceros beetles have those horns that look like lightning rods, after all. There's also a species of stag beetle that is literally named Thor-beetle or Thordevil.
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    I come from the net Lhikan634's Avatar
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    This is a bit more generalized for insects as a whole, but the sound of insect wings of larger species (such as beetles) sounds somewhat similar to an electrical hum. This also applies to bees, which may explain why much of the Funbeemon line is somewhat robotic in design. In fact, a number of insects are actually attracted by the hum of electrical devices (see the origin of having a bug in your computer; wasps that are attracted to HVAC compressors; crazy ants that love to nest and die within outlets).

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    Completely digital Xadhoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H A K A S E View Post
    In Digimon, every beetle-based partner Digimon (excluding the random kids from the Digimon World Tour) is lightning based. i.e. Tentomon and his evolutions, Beetlemon and his evolutions, and Ballistamon.
    It sounds like you're ignoring stuff to make that question.

    To put a new spin on a increasingly-familiar line: Not all beetle-looking partner Digimon. Ken's GranKuwagamon isn't like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by H A K A S E View Post
    It's not just Digimon though, in Power Rangers Ninja Storm (the best one) the 2 beetle rangers were officially known as the "Thunder Rangers" and in Pokemon the new-ish Vikavolt and Charjabug are electric-based beetles too.
    Potentially damning, sure, but I'm not sure that it's anything more than coincidence. There're only so many combinations of elemental powers and animal-themed forms a long-running franchise like those can make (also, the beetle Pokemon Heracross and arguably Karrablast don't have electrical powers).

  5. #5
    I come from the net flintlock's Avatar
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    I think it's a coincidence too ,and for the Digimon you posted were all homages to Kabuterimon which explains it too. This is off topic but Anno is a massive Ultraman fan which is why its so similar to Evangelion,lol.

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    Junior Commander Rohan's Avatar
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    I've noticed this trend too, like in Kamen Rider: every Rider that has a beetle motif also has Lightning/Electro powers.

    I dunno why this trend started though.

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    Junior Commander Chimera-gui's Avatar
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    Not gonna lie when I saw "Why do beetles always..." before reading thread, I thought it was going to be about the Digi-Beetle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
    I've noticed this trend too, like in Kamen Rider: every Rider that has a beetle motif also has Lightning/Electro powers.

    I dunno why this trend started though.
    I don't think this is true. Kuuga is a Kuwagata Beetle, and he doesn't have electric powers. Garren in Blade is also a Kuwagata Beetle, and is Fire-based. I still did not watched Kabuto, but I don't think the main powers of Kabuto and Gatack are electric based (at least by using them in Video Games). I only remember Blade and OOO Gatakiriba fitting that.


    And about Digimon, well, in the Digimon Story, the main element of Plant and Bug Digimon are Electric, I don't know about other games.


    And I don't think it is that common, Pokémon that has a lot of common tropes of Japan took 20 years to make an Electric Beetle Pokémon, it is not the first Stag Beetle Pokémon (Pinsir, that is pure bug and does not use Electric moves) and it is not the first Bug/Electric Pokémon (Galvantula in 2011, a tarantula).

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    Junior Commander Rohan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RukasuStorm View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rohan View Post
    I've noticed this trend too, like in Kamen Rider: every Rider that has a beetle motif also has Lightning/Electro powers.

    I dunno why this trend started though.
    I don't think this is true. Kuuga is a Kuwagata Beetle, and he doesn't have electric powers. Garren in Blade is also a Kuwagata Beetle, and is Fire-based. I still did not watched Kabuto, but I don't think the main powers of Kabuto and Gatack are electric based (at least by using them in Video Games). I only remember Blade and OOO Gatakiriba fitting that.
    It's true I forgot about Kuuga. In that case, I'll list every Beetle-themed Rider that does follow the pattern:
    Stronger: Both the eponymous Stronger (Stag Beetle) and his sidekick Tackle (Lady Bug) use electricity attacks.
    Blade: Blade (Hercules Beetle) uses the Lightning element.
    Kabuto: It's not a primary motif, but both Kabuto (Stag Beetle) and Gatack's (Kuwagata Beetle) finishers in the show envelop them in electricity as they strike.
    OOO: In his Gatakiriba (Insect) form, uses electric based attacks.

    So while it doesn't apply to all Beetle Riders, it does seem to be a common thread amongst the majority of them.

  10. #10
    I come from the net flintlock's Avatar
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    It's possible in Kamen Rider that it is a coincidence due to it being a homage too, like they were all sort of reference Stronger and Tackle or something?

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