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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 Shotaro Ishinomori 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!
Live action budgets have largely relegated tokusatsu battles to Japan, New Zealand and... Southern California. But thanks to the magic of comics, Wook Jin Clark has successfully brought a brand of superheroics informed by Super Sentai and Mighty Morpnin Power Rangers series to the last place you might expect: Atlanta. This February, Megagogo Vol. 1 shows how superpowered martial artists, giant robots, immortal mentors and evil aliens have shaped the city over the course of some three decades -- and more importantly -- the toll it's taken on its three human protectors. Get your first look inside the upcoming graphic novel after the cut.
Following the current season of the dance/gun/dinosaur-themed Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, Toei will launch its 38th Super Sentai series, Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger. It's all about trains! Train track helmets, railroad crossing chest motifs, a giant combined train mech known as the TokkyuOh, electronic train ticket device morphers called Tokkyu Chargers -- this show looks like it's going to be the right kind off the rails.
The good news: Toei Japan is launching a 24-hour paid subscription Internet channel devoted to streaming its iconic shows, including tokusatsu series that potentially include Kamen Rider, Super Sentai and more in the United States next month. The less good news: It could take as long as a year before programming will feature English subtitles.
If you had to compare Tsuburaya's Ultraman to a Western superhero concept, the closest comparison would probably be... Captain Marvel or a much friendlier version of Alan Moore's Marvelman? Every incarnation of the longrunning Japanese tokusatsu and anime empire is different, but more often than not, the hero is the result of a nobel member of a kind of cosmic pantheon merging with a human host (or taking on a human form) to defend planet Earth from invading kaiju from space. In Japan's Monthly Hero's Magazine, however, manga creators Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi present a normal human donning a special high tech suit to protect the planet as Ultraman.
If there's one thing that sets ComicsAlliance apart from other websites, it's that we're not exactly shy about letting our readers know what our favorite things are. As a result, whether it's our look back at Power Rangers, our (sadly short-lived) series of looks at the Japanese Spider-Man show, or even our recent excitement over Shotaro Ishinomori, you're probably already aware that we have a soft spot for tokusatsu...
Toys: Toynami will release another wave of DC Skelanimals later this spring.
TV: Power Rangers Megaforce will officially debut on Nickelodeon on February 2, at 1 p.m.
Tech: Cregle Inc.'s iPen 2 aims to serve as a universal stylus and mouse on desktop Mac and PC units and the iPad...