Shin Kamen Rider or Masked, He’s still A Ronin At Heart

Instead of turning the franchise into a cinematic blockbuster Shin Kamen Rider is still very much a 70s superhero film about a lonely soldier boy.

Shin Kamen Rider Movie PosterFantasia Film Festival 2023 and Available to Stream on Amazon Prime as Shin Masked Rider
Spoiler Alert

Hidiki Anno’s Shin Kamen Rider is his latest entry to a self-contained universe, and it doesn’t change the story of Takeshi Hongo (Sôsuke Ikematsu) becoming the bug-like superhero by much. Although he isn’t ready to identify himself as Kamen, what he discloses is that he’s a Masked Rider.

By tacking the word “Shin” on front, this filmmaker isn’t making this film to bring in new fans. Instead, what he adds is a Frankenstein element to appease those in the know. The internal conflict this hero must be feeling has been explored before, and when Anno is involved, it’s sure to be good! This change to an kids television show to an adult one is a tonal shift I’m liking. Continue reading “Shin Kamen Rider or Masked, He’s still A Ronin At Heart”

Shout! Factory Dialed up the Tokusatsu ♡ with 2 Complete Series this Month!

This month brings Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger and Kamen Rider Ryuki to home video, courtesy of Shout! Factory.

Tokusatsu Series Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger on home video!
Available to order on Amazon USA

Shout! Factory

Before Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, there was Super Sentai! This original presentation consists of many series only a superfan of the Tokusatsu genre can make sense of. Not only do we have the (fill in this blank) type ranger titles, but also there’s Kamen Rider and Cyborg 009. They’re all part of the megaverse, a term I’d rather use than meta.

What’s offered started hitting Japanese airwaves in the mid-70s, and to know where everything crosses over means really remembering all that’s been broadcasted since. Thanks to Shout! Factory for providing me with the releases lately, and they’re definitely shows I’m proud to play for my young nieces and nephews in hopes they’ll become fellow otakus.

First, I’ll look at what’s released this week and work backwards:

Continue reading “Shout! Factory Dialed up the Tokusatsu ♡ with 2 Complete Series this Month!”

Kamen Rider Kuuga. The Glory, The Hope. There’s No Escaping the Past!

Kamen Rider Kuuga is an excellent place to get invested into this franchise. Not only is it the first from this era to get involved in but also there’s higher production value to notice.

Kamen Rider KuugaShout! Factory
Available to purchase on Amazon USA and Stream

Kamen Rider Kuuga is all revved up and ready to soar! With this 10th instalment of the franchise, fans can now watch how different the Heisei era ups the ante. There’s a darker element to this work and I like it! Some say it takes even more cues from American cinema with the villain design, but I feel it keeps some key aspects of what makes tokusatsu special.

That’s because half the threats are familiar. One is an angry man-spider of sorts, and another, a Predator. But for the hero, Yusuke Godai, he’s not feeling too in over his head when he dons the belt to make him the next Kamen Rider! He’s curious about the appearances of two strange emblems (they’re a different kind of logo that reminds me of the Decepticons and Autobots from Transformers) appearing on various artefacts, and to figure out what’s going on means digging around.

Continue reading “Kamen Rider Kuuga. The Glory, The Hope. There’s No Escaping the Past!”

The Mixed-Media Love Letter to Japanese Pop Culture, Iké Boys, is Coming to North America!

In Iké Boys, best friends Shawn Gunderson and Vikram ‘Vik’ Kapoor escape from the drudgery of high school life in Oklahoma through their obsession with all things Japanese.

Iké Boys

Shout! Factory

A charmingly offbeat fantasy adventure that mixes live action, original animation, and tokusatsu special effects, the new feature film Iké Boys will debut on Digital and On Demand on all major platforms October 11, 2022 from Shout! Studios.

Heart-warming yet comedic, Iké Boys is a coming-of-age story of adventure and friendship set amongst high school friends in late ’90s Oklahoma who escape the dull reality of daily life via a shared obsession with all things Japanese. A love letter to kaiju, anime and Japanese pop culture, this fan-favourite film has been enthralling audiences since its world premiere at Fantastic Fest 2021 and its international premiere at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival.

Directed by Eric McEver, written by McEver and Jeff Hammer, and produced by Hammer, Brion Hambel, and Paul Jensen, the film stars an ensemble cast of Quinn Lord (The Man in the High Castle), Ronak Gandhi (The Rookie), Christina Higa (Am I Ok?), Billy Zane (Titanic, The Boys), Yumiko Shaku (Kamen Rider Zi-O), and Ben Browder (Farscape).

Shout Factory also released a State-side Iké Boys Trailer:

Continue reading “The Mixed-Media Love Letter to Japanese Pop Culture, Iké Boys, is Coming to North America!”

The Fight is Real! Shin Ultraman Brings on the Nostalgia, and What’s Next After Fantasia 2022?

I suspect the eventual sequels (if they get greenlit) will look at the fallout from the events that we’ve seen in Shin Ultraman.

Shin Ultraman PosterNext Fantasia 2022 Screening on July 30, 12:00 PM at the Auditorium des diplômés de la SGWU (Théâtre Hall)

When Hideaki Anno was offered a chance to update Toho’s most beloved kaiju, not everyone knew what he would do until Shin Gojira played at movie theatres. Some fans hailed it as a masterpiece, while others said it was too talky. This talent behind the writing of Neon Genesis Evangelion even rebuilt that series. But as for Shin Ultraman, a reboot to the classic series, I thought, “As long as he delivers some classic moments from the series, it’ll be good.”

He was tasked by Tsuburaya Productions to create a pitch for a trilogy of films, and what I’m seeing in this movie’s North American debut is a beloved throwback to the old 80s style of filmmaking. was in charge of directing, and Anno got to play the titular character! It was a childhood dream of his come true! And instead of digitising and realising these big kaiju sized fights on the computer, it’s done with miniature sets and rubber suits! That is, they’re more like motion capture suits these days, but to have the animation department recreate that look has me thrilled.

Continue reading “The Fight is Real! Shin Ultraman Brings on the Nostalgia, and What’s Next After Fantasia 2022?”