Tag Archives: Tokusatsu

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

23 Sep

Kamen Rider Kuuga

Shout! 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.

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

9 Sep

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:

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

23 Jul
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.

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Kamen Rider Zero-One & Real×Time in Revue

3 Feb

Kamen Rider Zero-One: The Complete Series + Movie - Blu-ray :: Shout!  FactoryShout! Factory
Available to order on Amazon USA

Kamen Rider is a beloved Japanese comic book superhero franchise that’s gone on just as long as a few sci-fi media empires, namely Doctor Who and Star TrekShotaro Ishinomori created this epic tokusatsu style series in 1971, and to distinguish between the many televised products, manga and films, it’s been categorised according to who was the emperor of the country, much like the Gojira films. 

The latest Kamen Rider Zero-One (仮面ライダーゼロワン) made its debut in Sept 2019, with Saber the following year and Revice in 2021. They mark the Reiwa era, and four years isn’t that bad of a wait for a home video release in foreign markets. Not everyone has access to TV Asahi or wants to search YouTube for the fan posts of the latest episodes. Each season is self-contained narrative-wise, and when I take interest, that’s because of the theme. I can’t wait for Saber because it involves fairies and Revice for its Devilman influnced narrative. Fans of Hideaki Anno are especially excited because he’s helming a Shin revival.

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