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.
Q: Can you tell us about Kamen Rider Fourze? I understand if it's too painful to discuss. -- @Desgardes
A:Kamen Rider Fourze is the single best piece of superhero mass media in the past ten years. And considering that the past ten years also brought us stuff like The Dark Knight, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and that Avengers movie that everybody likes, that's no small thing for me to say.
As for how I know this -- and why Des here refers to it as a painful subject -- it's because the final episode of Kamen Rider Fourze made me cry harder than anything else I've ever seen. That last episode of Brave and the Bold put tears in my eyes, yes, but Fourze had me sobbing so hard that my neighbors started building an ark and gathering up all the beasts of the land in pairs lest my tears cause a flood that wiped away the sins of man.
There was a time when I thought that the single best reason to go to Japan was that amazing Hello Kitty amusement park that featured a parade where Kitty teamed up with Noah (you know, from the Bible) to lead animals back from the far reaches of the galaxy. I'm still pretty interested in seeing that in person, but on the off chance that I needed something else to check out over there, we now have Toei Hero World to look forward to.
Set to open to the public in Mihama, Japan this December -- just in time for the Christmas spirit to take hold of you and cause you to buy a couple of plane tickets for the CA staff -- Hero World is a museum devoted entirely to the proud history of tokusatsu programs like Kamen Rider and Super Sentai (better known over here as the Power Rangers), complete with rides for the kids -- and by that I mean me and Caleb -- who are so devoted to superheroes and their giant dinosaur robots.
It's not like you need an excuse to spend a productivity-gutting amount of time every day looking at cats on the internet, but Pixiv user Chiro子 has a particularly good one should the need arise. A self-proclaimed fan of Kamen Rider, Chiro has illustrated eleven kitties as famous heroes from the long-running tokusatsu series.
Lately, you may have noticed that the staff here at ComicsAlliance has been getting into the work of legendary manga creator Shotaro Ishinomori, creator of Kamen Rider, Cyborg 009, Skull Man and the pretty amazingly named Robot Detective...
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