Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Welcome dear readers, a taste of what to come.

Hello everyone, Massani here.

Seeing as this is my first blog post, might as well give some more info in case you don't read the info. Anyways, i'm a Geek. Nerd, Gamer, Otaku, whatever you want to say, i'm that. Now, in my interests and favorite movies, etc, I listed a lot of stuff. But here, chances are i'll mainly be talking about Tokusatsu, Video Games and Toys.

For those of you that don't know what Tokusatsu is, it's the Japanese word for Special Effects. It's a genre that is mainly used for live-action super hero shows and movies. Some good examples would be Daikaiju franchises like Godzilla, Gamera and Ultraman, or the more life-sized Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, Garo, etc. Think guys in rubber suits people.

Some of you might be thinking of Power Rangers. Good, Power Rangers is technically Tokusatsu. What some of you might not know, is that Power Rangers was originally a Japanese Tokusatsu franchise called Super Sentai. Sentai has been running every year since 1976, this year being it's 35th Anniversary. What Saban and Disney do when making a Power Rangers show, is cutting and pasting. The action sequences (whenever they're in suits and mechs) are directly ripped from a sentai show. Around Lost Galaxy was when they started following the same plots. Lost Galaxy and it's counterpart, Gingaman were largely similar, however, whereas Power Rangers focused on humor and slapstick a lot of the time, Gingaman was more serious. Sure, it still made jokes, but they were nowhere near as much of the focus. And puns. Nowhere near as many bad puns. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers' counterpart, Zyuranger was completely different. There were no "teens with attitude" there, but 5 ancient warriors resurrected to battle the evil witch Bandora, who destroyed entire cities and didn't make as many bad jokes.

Personally, whenever something remakes or adapts another piece of media, I usually end up liking the original better. This is no exception with Sentai and Power Rangers. It's still technically for kids, but Sentai can be a lot stronger and more coherent, and much less self-degrading to watch. Samurai Sentai Shinkenger had an amazingly well-crafted atmosphere and tone, while it's currently airing counterpart, Power Rangers Samurai, donates huge chunks of episodes to slapstick and saddening puns.

Now, i'm not a huge Sentai fan (despite that huge block of text there). What I really like in Tokusatsu is Kamen Rider. Barely ever adapted for American audiences (The abortion that was Masked Rider which aired alongside MMPR, and the recent Kamen Rider Dragon Knight which was pretty good in my opinion), Kamen Rider was around before Sentai, but hasn't run as long consecutively. No 5-man teams of heroes, Kamen Rider usually focuses on one hero with a couple secondary riders, the exception being Kamen Rider Ryuki with a grand total of 13 riders! Like Sentai/Power Rangers, most Rider shows have no inter-connecting canon (outside of some movie crossovers and an anniversary series) so there's probably a rider for any taste. Kamen Rider Hibiki focuses on music and japanese culture, while Kamen Rider W (Double) is about a detective and is generally more western. The currently-airing rider show, Kamen Rider OOO (they have odd names occasionally) is very well done, and of all of my friends that I have showed it to, not one went un-hooked. You can find these shows subbed by the fan-group TV Nihon (google will direct you to them). I highly recommend you look them up.

One of the main reasons i'm so into toku is for the toys. Kamen Rider specifically has one of the best figure lines on the market right now, S.H.Figuarts. I've been a toy collector for awhile, and having these great toys made me want to watch the shows, and watch I did. I also collect Revoltech and Figma, some other Japanese figure lines. For American toys, I mainly stick to comic-book characters from Marvel and DC.

As for Vidya, I'm an RPG, Platformer and Action-Adventure fan, who enjoys Fighting games. Not to big a fan of First-Person Shooters, but games like Bioshock are great. I just don't like Halo or Call of Duty like some other people.

So there you have it, a big rant about Tokusatsu and a taste of what the blog will be like. I'll update with more rants, reviews of things and new news from the internet, be it a newly announced toy, game, movie or what have you.

Thanks for reading,


P.S. Doctor Who is a great show too. British, not Japanese so it's kinda a non-sequitur, but it's on Netflix, so watch it.

Location:Jenny Ln,Lexington,United States