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Tokusatsu Recommendations

December 6, 2014

tokuohHi, are you an anime fan? Hey, have you noticed all those tokusatsu references in anime recently? Hell, have you noticed how a whole bunch of anime pretty much ARE tokusatsu? No? Well, ain’t you sick of being LAME and unknowingly only enjoying some shows 3/4 or 4/5 as much as you would otherwise? Don’t worry, it ain’t your fault. As popular as the original Power Rangers were, it created a stigma due to their tendency to hire rejects and dropouts from the Porn Star School of Acting.

But this here post? Well, if you’ve got an opened mind, here are some recommendations for anime fans who might wanna delve into tokusatsu.

Now, seeing as this is a “gateway” recommendation post, I figure I’d stick to easily digestible movies for now. Also, my recommendations would be with peeps who are into anime in mind. Due to the stigma created by Power Rangers, I’ll be making recommendations that lean in that nebulous area of toku, if only to showcase that “hero” type toku ain’t all terrible. I mean, hey, technically, Godzilla’s the granddaddy of toku; not to mention all those violent exploitation flicks that Landon digs. But yeah, we’re sticking with “heroes” for this post, which fair warning, are generally geared toward a younger audience.

Addendum: Also, recommendations will be of the live action variety.

Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend
Not to be confused with Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle, which is something else altogether. Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend is the gateway movie into Ultraman. In a word (or two words), it’s “action packed” up the gills.

This is as easily digestible as it gets. If you’re a long time fan of the franchise, you’d dig all the references and cameos. But even someone who knows almost nothing about Ultraman can at least enjoy this flick for the action. And it ain’t dumb action either. It’s humanoids and monsters fighting each other in cool fights scenes that are easy to follow and well choreographed. All the cooler when you consider that these folks are all GIGANTIC.

There’s not much else to say about this movie though. It’s a flick that’s for everybody. It’s not going to blow you away with Oscar-bait level acting, nor do you have to manually lower your IQ like in so-called “dumb movies”. It’s just an enjoyable experience.

Space Sheriff Sharivan: Next Generation
So once you’ve wet your beak and you’re searching for something in the genre that’s a tad more mature, you can look into the new Sharivan movie.

So back in the 80s, a show called Space Sheriff Gavan hit it big and spawned its own franchise, known as the Metal Heroes. In 2012, in a bid to revive the franchise, we had a couple movies featuring Gavan. The first was Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie, which was pretty damn good, and then we had Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie, which sucked so hard that this movie I’m recommending, Space Sheriff Sharivan: Next Generation, got sent direct to Blu-Ray/DVD.

The good news is, this resulted in a far superior movie. It’s still ultimately a kiddy show with a kiddy plot and some of the hammiest acting I’ve seen in awhile, but it also pushes the envelope with some of the visuals.

I love it. It’s exploitation-lite. It’s Tokusploitation. If you’re into the stuff that we’re normally into here on Mecha Guignol, you might diggit.

Kamen Rider Faiz: Paradise Lost
Finally, once you’ve watched the above, and you find that maybe you wanna try something that’s more representative of the genre, I’d recommend the Kamen Rider Faiz movie, Paradise Lost. It basically compresses an entire season’s worth of story into a single movie, yet doesn’t spoil much if anything from Kamen Rider Faiz, since it’s an Alternate Reality movie (okay, it has one MAJOR spoiler, but if you watch the movie before you watch the tv series, you’ll probably forget about it by the time it happens).

Faiz was a weird kinda series when you get down to it, because for a kid’s show, it was pretty much a straight up J-Drama/Soap Opera. I mean, the early Heisei series of Kamen Rider (approximately 2000 – 2006) were very much straight up dramas. But Faiz stood out to me because, well, because of how atrociously soap operaty it was.

Anyways, Paradise Lost is a good standalone as well as a great representation of what Kamen Rider’s like. At least, for Faiz or the early Heisei Era shows.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Luis Fernando permalink
    December 8, 2014 10:44 PM

    Toku series is better than animes series.

    My favorites:

    01 Gokaiger
    02 Sharivan
    03 Shinkenger
    04 Jaspion
    05 Flashman
    06 Dekarenger
    07 Jetman
    08 Dairanger
    09 Jiraya
    10 Abaranger
    11 Changeman
    12 Megaranger
    13 Kamen Rider Black
    14 Kamen Rider W
    15 Timeranger
    16 Go-Busters
    17 Kamen Rider Blade
    18 Kamen Rider Kuuga
    19 Gavan
    20 Liveman

    • December 9, 2014 9:29 AM

      Quite a list you’ve got there. I’m currently watching Kamen Rider Kabuto. I’ll probably do a post on it soonish.

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