If you've been reading ComicsAlliance for a while, you may already know that for the past few years, I've been working on filling up a sketchbook themed around Jack Kirby, but after three years and over fifty sketches, I thought it was finally time to retire it and move on to something else. That's why this year, I started up a new sketchbook themed around another influential comics creator: ShotaroIshinomori, the original creator of Kamen Rider and the Super Sentai series that have spun off to 40 years of tokusatsu shows by other creators.
With Emerald City behind us, there are a dozen sketches in the book, which means it's time to start sharing. Check below for Power Rangers and Kamen Riders from artists like Chuck BB, Erica Henderson, Derek Charm and more!
Listen: If it was even remotely socially acceptable, there is a good chance that I would wear a full on Kamen Rider suit, complete with helmet andhenshinbelt, every time I left the house. I mean, the only thing keeping me from accessorizing with one of those sweet scarves is that I have no idea where to find one, or even what to ask for. Can you just roll up into JC Penney and ask for "a Kamen Rider scarf?"
What I'm getting at here is that tokusatsu costumes are not exactly acceptable street clothes, but fortunately, Kekai Kotaki, perhaps best known as the lead concept artist for Guild Wars 2, has found a happy medium. He's drawn up some redesigns for everyone's favorite Kamen Riders and Super Sentai that add a fashionable flair to their uniforms. Check 'em out below!
I'm a relatively new fan of the franchise, but for me, the appeal of Kamen Rideris that, at its heart, it's about a guy who jump-kicks monsters so hard that they explode. That is basically my ideal form of entertainment, just evil monsters all bursting into flames because of karate. And apparently, someone over at Toei agrees with me.
That, I assume, is why they decided to promote the upcoming movie, Heisei Riders vs. Shōwa Riders: Kamen Rider Taisen feat. Super Sentai, by putting together a highlight reel of every Rider performing his finishing move on a villain, which usually results in the bad guys exploding, being thrown off a cliff, or sometimes being thrown off a cliff and then exploding. Be warned, though: Some dude is definitely going to have his eyes ripped out and his head punched off, in what is basically an action show for tiny children. It is fantastic.
On the off chance that there just weren't enough reasons for us to hop on a transcontinental flight to Japan and visit Toei's Hero World, the new indoor theme park and museum based around the history of tokusatsu, they've given us a new one, and it is edible. It was pretty inevitable that they'd have a few Kamen Rider and Super Sentai themed menu items to snack on while you were browsing a collection of props or waiting for the bumper motorcycles to open up, but I assumed it would be limited to plastic "Collector Cups" and, I don't know, the Gorenger-themed "Big One" Burger. They are not.
They have, instead, given us delicious looking buns shaped like Kamen Riders' heads. And, you know, also collector cups. Check 'em out below!
Toei's current fruit-based Kamen Rider series has been represented on toy shelves in its native Japan with a feature-focused "Arms Change" action figure series for several months, but in May Bandai will officially roll out hyper-articulated S.H. Figuarts versions of the titular hero of Kamen Rider Gaim and his rival Kamen Rider Baron.
As you might already know from the constant chatter about the Power Rangers and Kamen Rider, we here at ComicsAlliance are pretty big fans of Japanese tokusatsu. Something about those live-action shows where teenagers with attitude transform to kick monsters and summon giant robots just speak to us on a fundamental level. That said, the actual behind-the-scenes origins of the franchises is even more interesting than the stuff that makes it on the screen.
It's a complicated story, but thankfully, the folks at ToyBountyHunters have decided to break it down for us. In the first two parts of It's Henshin Time, their multi-part examination of the history of Super Sentai and its American counterpart, they get into the origins of the franchise, starting with creator and CA favorite ShotaroIshinomori and a look at Kamen Rider and the first two (and a half) installments of the Sentai franchise. It's interesting stuff, so check out the videos below!
If you've been reading ComicsAlliance for a while, then you probably already know that as soon as the calendar switches over to December, I start obsessively watching as many Christmas specials as I possibly can. Not just the big Rankin-Bass specials, either -- I do my best to watch out for the weird ones, like Christmas Comes to Pac-Land and that He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special where Skeletor learns the true meaning of holiday magic. And every time I think I've exhausted the well of the obscure and bizarre, I end up finding something new.
Today, my (relatively) newfound love of Japanese tokusatsu shows led me to sit down with the Christmas episode of the 1971 Kamen Rider TV series, and I'll tell you right now: It's not like any holiday special I've ever seen. Largely because the title for the episode is "WEREWOLF MONSTER'S HUGE MURDER PARTY."
A few weeks back, we brought you the announcement of Toei Hero World, an indoor amusement park and museum devoted to Super Sentai (the show that was adapted into the last 20 years worth of Power Rangers) and Kamen Rider (the story of a line of heroes who kick monsters to death while riding motorcycles). As you might imagine from those summaries, this is something that the staff here at ComicsAlliance is pretty excited about, but now, we have an even better reason: Toei has previewed the attractions at Hero World.
As you can see above, this includes one very important, game-changing bombshell: The part where you ride bumper-car motorcycles through a track filled with inflatable Shocker Combatmen does in fact have motorcycles sized for adults, so I guess I pretty much have to go there now (CA Editor Caleb Goellner can ride in the sidecar). Check out a few other attractions below, and start pricing that trip to Mihama, Chiba City.
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