GMA Network‘s head writer, Suzette Doctolero, shot back at several cartoonists on social media for belittling the soap opera genre over comic strips poking fun at the network’s live-action adaptation of the Japanese anime Voltes V.
On a public Facebook post on Feb. 11, Doctolero, the creative head of Voltes V: Legacy, engaged in a word war with veteran cartoonist Pol Medina Jr. for a comic strip he released last January 19.
The strip which she called "offensive" follows Pugad Baboy characters discussing how the adaptation of the classic anime would be adapted for live television.
“Baka naman imbes na lazer sword e magsampalan at magsabunutan na lang sila,” one of the comic strip characters joked. The characters were alluding to slapping and hair-pulling scenes, which are commonly seen in local teleseryes.
As a screenwriter for film and television, Doctolero is best known for being the creator of Encantadia as well as the screenwriter, series creator and creative consultant for GMA Network on shows like Amaya, Indio, My Husband’s Lover, Alyas Robin Hood and Destined to Be Yours.
Meanwhile, Medina is known for his long-running satirical comic strip which often mirrors the general sentiment of the Filipino people on relevant topics such as corruption in the government, as well as Filipino pop culture.
However, Doctolero took offense with the jab and aired her sentiments on social media.
“Sobrang baba naman yata ng tingin ni Pol sa soap opera at sa drama writer para ireduced ito sa ‘sampalan at sabunutan.’ Offensive ito. Katumbas ito ng baduy at bakya noong 80’s hanggang early 2000’s. Kung saan ibinabagsak at minamata lang ang soap opera at mga manunulat nito,” she wrote.
Doctolero joked as well that Filipinos, particularly the masses, continue to patronize soap operas on television and not Medina’s comic strips.
“Pero tignan mo, hanggang ngayon buhay ang soap habang sisinghap singhap na ang cartoons ni Pol (joke! Alangan namang ikaw lang pwedeng mag joke hehe),” the writer said.
“Kailan din kaya huling nanood ng soap itong Mamang ito at nasa sampalan at sabunutan mode pa rin? Hello! May tadyakan na rin kami ngayon! Hehe. Sayang. Wala pa yata (yata ha) ako sa showbiz, sinusubaybayan ko na ang Pugad Babs e. Mukhang misogynist din naman,” she added.
After ranting about Medina's comic strip, the writer also reacted over another cartoon penned by Kevin Eric Raymundo, who draws under the pseudonym “Tarantadong Kalbo,” who defended Medina in the form of another comic strip.
Raymundo’s satirical comic strip published on Feb. 12 on Facebook and Twitter showed Polgas, the talking family dog of Medina’s iconic Pugad Baboy strip being slapped by Voltes V.
S o a p O p e r a ? pic.twitter.com/hfmtWGyHNM— Tarantadong Kalbo (@KevinKalbo) February 12, 2021
“How dare you! Anong gusto mong palabasin, overdramatic ako? Baket sino ka ba? Isang hamak na komikerong laos!” the anime character said while grabbing the dog by his shirt collar.
Doctolero went on to attack Raymundo online, saying: “Tarantadong Kalbo ayusin mo banat mo d*ckhead. Writer ako. My words are fatal. Okey na tayo kahapon e. Akala ko ayos na. Nagsimula ka na naman. At iniisip mo uurungan kita?”
Before the comic strips made the rounds on social media, Doctolero was already battling numerous netizens online who were bashing the upcoming live-action adaptation of the beloved anime originally released in 1977.
In a Twitter thread following his comic titled “Soap Opera,” Raymundo posted screenshots showing Doctolero ranting against their comic strips via the comments section of Facebook.
Raymundo responded to Doctolero’s comments and explained that their posts were satirical. He also clarified that he is genuinely excited for the release of the Filipino adaptation of the anime.
“Whatever it is you think a certain satirical artist meant or how petty your reacted to it is, pareho na kayong adults so bahala kayo. We support VV because it is something special for us fans. This is our childhood. The praise will be there if it goes well, if it doesn’t’ well…” Raymundo wrote.
Lyndon Gregorio's Beerkada is the latest strip to poke fun at potential teleserye themes in the upcoming production.
In a comic strip posted Feb. 15, the character Bryan Strada says “This Voltes V Teleserye better not have kabit subplots,” while watching television, which is followed by a panel showing the mecha robots Voltes V and Daimos engaging in a catfight over who the legitimate spouse is.
In response, Doctolero said that soap opera writers were being unfairly maligned regardless of whether or not cartoons were satirical in nature.
“Sobrang maligned talaga ang soap opera at writers ng soap, satire man o nandadaot ang cartoons. Iba talaga kapag sumipa ang ignorance, misogyny (‘babae ka, lakaki lang ang kayang magsulat ng Mecha kasi sabunutan lang ang alam mo” context pero syempre ito ay idedeny na naman) at arrogance lalo’t walang alam sa power ng soap opera bilang isang effective medium, para maabot ang masa. Lalo na kung tama ang paggamit nito,” Doctolero wrote while sharing the comic strip publicly on her Facebook page.
Last January, Doctolero previously clarified via Twitter that Voltes V: Legacy is under the supervision of Japan's Toei Animation. GMA Network acquired the rights to make an adaptation of the series through Telesuccess Productions, Toei's Philippine-based licensing company.
“FYI, Ang lahat po ng scripts, karakter na dinagdag, mundo at kulturang pinalawig kasamaang Boazanian language ay inaprubahan po ng Japan. Okey?” she posted in response to netizen comments.
And pls stop telling me na sana walang kabit. Bakit ko bibigyan ng kabit ang robot??? Lolz. FYI, Ang lahat po ng scripts, karakter na dinagdag, mundo at kulturang pinalawig kasama@ang Boazanian language ay inaprubahan po ng Japan. Okey? :) see ya soon.— Suzette Doctolero (@SuziDoctolero) January 15, 2021
At this point, audiences will just have to wait and see how faithful the adaptation will be to the original anime. GMA Network has yet to announce the airing schedule for Voltes V: Legacy.
(Images via Toei Animation, GMA and copyright of their respective owners)