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The History of Tokusatsu in Anime


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Kimiko_0



Joined: 31 Aug 2008
Posts: 1749
Location: Leiden, NL, EU
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:53 am Reply with quote
Nice to see more PreCure fans making their way into ANN Anime smile

Another anime/toku connection would be the beloved classic anime Iria (aka Iria - Zeiram The Animation), which is a prequel to two tokusatsu movies, Zeiram and Zeiram 2.
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Dragonsandphoenix



Joined: 21 Jan 2015
Posts: 39
Location: Malaysia
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:16 am Reply with quote
Not really a fan of toku shows now but Power Rangers and Ultraman were my shit as a kid. Where I come from Ultraman is so popular that if you ask any Malaysian if they know what Ultraman is they'd probably say yes even if they had never watched one episode. I'm a bit sad that it isn't as popular in the West, mostly because I'm curious about what a dark edgy reboot of Ultraman would look like, tho the Japanese already made one.

But c'mon a giant man in spandex fighting a giant monster? What kid wouldn't like that?
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1424
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:12 pm Reply with quote
Toku is something I really should put more time into, because I've generally enjoyed it. Granted, I was part of the original Power Rangers generation, so I guess that helps, too. Kind of odd that the article mentioned FUNimation's releases of the Garo anime, but didn't bring up that Kraken Releasing will be putting out the original Garo toku series on Blu-Ray later this year, though. While Shout's got Super Sentai (& a couple of Ultra Series, too) down pat for the moment, I'd love to see the toku Garo succeed & open the door for more non-Toei toku to see release here in North America.

My two most wanted toku series to come over, in fact, is when J-Drama & toku gets mixed together. Shows like the live-action adaptations of Fuma no Kojirou & Team Astro, for example, definitely have strong stylistic connections to J-Drama (hell, Astro's episodes are even double-length instead of the standard length), but at the same time both shows utilize a lot of special effects & feature an over-the-top execution (especially Astro) that fit the toku mold perfectly. One can even add Blue Blazes (or Blue Fire, as it's called over at Viki [yes, this show is legally streaming!]) to that list, simply because it matches Kazuhiko Shimamoto's generally hot-blooded style.
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AtoMan



Joined: 17 Sep 2012
Posts: 129
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:08 pm Reply with quote
Uh, pretty sure GARO is not from Toei. It does star some Kamen Rider actors tho (most notably Ray Fujita and Masahiro Inoue), as well as its actors making way into Kamen Rider (Tsunenori Aoki, in both series playing a bow-wielding Rider/Knight; Hiroyuki Watanabe, first playing a previous Garo in original series, then in Den-O movie as Kamen Rider Gaoh, "coincidentally" a gold Rider using a sword).

The fact that both series come from different companies is pretty obvious from different music brands taking care of series' music; therefore Garo has access to JAM Project via Lantis, while Toei could only use Hironobu Kageyama in recently ended Kamen Rider Ex-Aid as (most of) Gashats' voice, but not for image songs, sadly. Fans still can enjoy the Hyper Muteki transformation song, which is nice Wink Toei uses Avex, but were able to "borrow" Gackt from Sony Music Japan for three songs used in Kamen Rider Decade series and movies (he also cameoed as Riderman!).
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 3951
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:26 pm Reply with quote
It's a shame Kamen Rider never earned as strong a foothold here as the Power Rangers. Of course, they tried twice in the past and both times did nothing to interest kids or older viewers. I'm not as avid a Rider fan as a certain friend of mine, but I do see the appeal and the enormous potential in it.

Last edited by belvadeer on Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jroa



Joined: 08 Aug 2012
Posts: 362
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:08 pm Reply with quote
I'd like to mention another anime title that was quite strongly influenced by the Tokusatsu tradition, although its specific approach was less like Garo or Kamen Rider and actually closer to Metal Hero shows such as Winspector combined with some of the lighthearted contents and self-parody elements from Akibaranger: Active Raid.

It was an OK show, rather than something exceptional, but I had fun watching it and enjoyed quite a few of the episodes, especially during the second cour. Not only did all of the writers, beyond Naruhisa Arakawa, work on a variety of Tokusatsu properties over the years, they included a number of references to such titles. Needless to say, the series generally received no traction here in the West, but it did get more recognition back in Japan. Overall, it was a nice distraction rather than anything heavy or sophisticated (though the two best eps were arguably an exception to this). Can't forget how much they played with the silly Engrish and they had some hilarious commercials too.
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Beansprout Midget



Joined: 17 Apr 2016
Posts: 92
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:37 pm Reply with quote
How ironic that this article gets released days after finishing Kamen Rider Fourze.

I've been wanting to try toku for over a year now, which came to be after seeing some Kamen Rider Ex-Aid ads. Meanwhile, GARO The Animation has been sitting on my to-watch list. In August, I tried it out.

So far, I've only seen two Rider series (W/Double and Fourze, both of which I loved), the first three episodes of Ultraman Geed, and no Sentai. Now that Vanishing Line is turning into an entry in the GARO franchise, it's the perfect time for me to binge it. I'm definitely planning to watch more toku, especially from Kamen Rider (Gaim, Den-o, and Ex-Aid are on my to watch list, and I'm going to try and follow Build as it airs.)
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 10509
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:59 pm Reply with quote
This is an interesting idea: an original anime that is a harem ("Freezing"-level fan service) but the girls are "Super Sentai"-type warriors. It runs for 26 episodes and exclusively on CR.
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Dessa



Joined: 14 Jul 2004
Posts: 4096
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:23 pm Reply with quote
Metal Heroes really should have been mentioned, since Space Sheriff Shaider, Jikuu Senshi Spielban, and Choujinki Metalder were used to create Saban's VR Troopers, and Juuko B-Fighter and B-Fighter Kabuto were used to create Saban's Big Bad Beetleborgs.

It's also worth noting that before Power Rangers, Kagaku Sentai Dynaman was parody dubbed and aired on USA's Night Flight in 1988.



As for favorites, without ranking them, W and Gaim for Kamen Rider, Gokaiger and Go-Busters for Sentai, and GARO (especially the stuff with Zero in it).
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FukuchiChiisaia



Joined: 31 Oct 2015
Posts: 45
Location: Malang, Indonesia
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:28 pm Reply with quote
In my country (Indonesia) there's a lot tokusatsu otaku. They have been emerging since local television aired Kamen Rider Black (known locally as Satria Baja Hitam).

Even to this day, a lot of tokusatsu franchise aired in Indonesia. For example, Justiriser, Robotaku, Ultraman, etc.
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Stuart Smith



Joined: 13 Jan 2013
Posts: 1112
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:23 am Reply with quote
belvadeer wrote:
It's a shame Kamen Rider never earned as strong a foothold here as the Power Rangers. Of course, they tried twice in the past and both times did nothing to interest kids or older viewers. I'm not as avid a Rider fan as a certain friend of mine, but I do see the appeal and the enormous potential in it.


As a huge Rider fan, I actually prefer it. Power Rangers ruined Sentai's image here, and people refuse to see it as anything other than PR,. At least with Kamen Rider people have to acknowledge it as such and can't pull from an old, outdated nostalgia memory.

The lack of Cutey Honey mentioned seems a bit odd, since she introduced the toku element to magical girld prior to Saikor Moon. Cutey Honey is to Rider as Sailor Moon is to Sentai.

My favorite recent sentais are Gokaiger, Kyoryuger, and ToQger, and for Riders it would be Fourze, Gaim, and Ex-Aid. For newbies, Gokaiger is a good starting point and Fourze is very 'high school anime' in its presentation, so they're accessible enough. Word of warning though, you usually have to watch the movies since they tie into the series.

-Stuart Smith
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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 772
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:51 pm Reply with quote
I got into tokusatsu years before I got into anime, thanks to a small boom that was triggered here in Brazil by the success of Juspion and Changeman in the late '80s, which paved the way for many other Metal Hero and Super Sentai shows to be brought over, not to mention many Henshin Heroes and two Kamen Riders. In fact, we were lucky enough to get all Metal Hero shows from the '80s and even a couple from the early '90s. As for Super Sentai, we only got four of them, but they were still a huge part of my childhood.

The fact that we used to get tokusatsu shows unfiltered (albeit dubbed in Portuguese) from Japan is the reason why I've always resented Saban and the whole Power Rangers franchise, which not only grafted bad high school sitcom material to Super Sentai shows, but also kept said shows from being licensed in my country in their original form. VR Troopers made me even more upset, because thanks to that bastardization of Metalder, Spielvan and Sheider, those 3 shows could never get re-aired here again.

Saban ceased to be an issue for me years ago thanks to fansubs and official streams, but I just can't seem to get into the aesthetics of current tokusatsu shows, especially the garish new Kamen Riders. There's also too much stuff I miss from older shows, like the awesome mecha transformation scenes that were shot with models instead of CG, or the fact that they used to star accomplished stuntmen like Kenji Ohba, Hiroshi Watari and Junichi Haruta, while the current ones star heartthrobs who leave most (if not all) stunts to the suit actors.


Last edited by Zhou-BR on Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:15 pm; edited 2 times in total
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BlueAlf



Joined: 02 Jan 2017
Posts: 459
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:50 pm Reply with quote
FukuchiChiisaia wrote:
In my country (Indonesia) there's a lot tokusatsu otaku. They have been emerging since local television aired Kamen Rider Black (known locally as Satria Baja Hitam).

Even to this day, a lot of tokusatsu franchise aired in Indonesia. For example, Justiriser, Robotaku, Ultraman, etc.


Bro, you forgot to mention the local joint production with Ishinomori Pro: Bima Satria Garuda. Cheesy it may be, I recall how nearly all toku fans on the Internet agreeing that it at least has cool designs.

I actually paid a lot of attention to the Garo franchise. At least until the Makai no Hana chapter came out. It had its ups and downs. But I think in general, they're really, really interesting. The Garo anime ended up being mostly perplexing though. But thinking back now, so were the Ultraman anime when I once saw them. The upcoming Vanishing Line so far looks really good, though. My hopes for it are pretty high.

Speaking about western adaptations, I think Kamen Rider Dragon Knight actually ended being good, but I think it just took too long in development. I've always felt things would've ended differently if only it came out a couple of years sooner.

The Heisei Riders are a mixed bag too. But story wise, I agree in recent years they've become better and better.
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Mr Adventure



Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 1589
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:45 pm Reply with quote
Its funny in the last few years there's been a bit more fluidity between Tokusatsu, Anime, and Manga. The Ultraman manga, the upcoming Gridman (Super Human Samurai Syber Squad!) anime, and the animated Godzilla films coming to Netflix all spring to mind as projects you wouldn't have expected even a few years ago.

It felt like for the longest time Japan kept Tokusatsu as separate from Anime as possible. With only a few outliers, like the manga origins of Kamen Rider, Kikkaider, and Giant Robo from the early days of Tokusatsu.

In my personal opinion Tokusatsu's greatest weakness is how strongly its tied to toylines for kids. Recent Ultraman series have been the worst offenders, with the main characters pulling out cheap plastic props that, if I had to guess, would be the same toy a kid could buy at a store. With some collectible aspect, with cards, tokens, of figures tied it. The prop usage is sooooooooooo bad in the shows it distracts and detracts from everything cool actually going on.
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Heishi



Joined: 06 Mar 2016
Posts: 560
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:51 pm Reply with quote
No mention of KARAS or even Guyver, but I suppose those don't count as tokusatsu. Sad
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