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Rather than post separate threads about newer individual series, here's the super thread for tokusatsu TV series past and present, from Super Sentai to Kamen Rider, Ultraman, and more.

To begin, here's the current lineup of tokusatsu shows in Japan:


Shuriken Sentai Ninninger (手裏剣戦隊ニンニンジャー) is the 39th Super Sentai series, having premiered on February 22, 2015. It is the third series to use a ninja motif (after 1994's Ninja Sentai Kakuranger and 2002's Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger). It looks so much better than Ressha Sentai ToQger, but that's not saying much. The series is scheduled to be replaced by the 40th anniversary Super Sentai series this February.



Fuka-chan... :wub:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIcpISHtnLk
Kamen Rider Ghost (仮面ライダーゴースト) is the 26th Kamen Rider series, having replaced Kamen Rider Drive on October 4, 2015. Attempting to capitalize on the popularity of Yo-Kai Watch, Kamen Rider Ghost uses a ghost and supernatural motif. The suit looks like leftovers from Kamen Rider Wizard and Kamen Rider Kiva.


Ultraman X (ウルトラマンX(エックス)) is the 24th in Tsuburaya Productions' Ultra Series, having premiered on July 14, 2015. It is the first tokusatsu series to have a worldwide simulcast, with U.S. viewers accessing it through Crunchyroll. Edited by areaseven

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The Super Sentai 40th Anniversary title has been revealed, and it's Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger (動物戦隊ジュウオウジャー). Just like 2001's Hyakuju Sentai Gaoranger, Zyuohger will use an animal motif. The Zyuohgers are:

  • Masaki Nakao as Yamato Kazakiri / Zyuoh Eagle
  • Miki Yanagi as Sera / Zyuoh Shark
  • Shohei Nanba as Leo / Zyuoh Lion
  • Tsurugi Watanabe as Tusk / Zyuoh Elepant
  • Haruka Tateishi :wub: as Amu / Zyuoh Tiger

In Super Sentai tradition, the Zyuohgers will make their debut in the January crossover film Shuriken Sentai Ninninger vs. ToQger the Movie: Ninja in Wonderland before episode 1 hits TV Asahi on Sunday, February 14, at 07:30 JST.

動物戦隊ジュウオウジャー

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I'd say having a lion AND a tiger is a bit redundant, but then I remembered I'm a huge Predacons/Predaking fan...

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As soon as I saw the designs for both Ninnager and this new Ranger show with the fricken Lego mecha, I decided that the Sentai series needs to sleep. Rest up, get the cobwebs/alcohol/drugs outta its system, then maybe try again. Ultraman X looks kinda cool, but not a fan of the whole gimmicky crap they started with Ginga. More interested in the new TOS Ultraman reboot film coming in July.

Edited by thereal9thdoctor

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Normally, Super Sentai DX robot toys are, for a lack of a better term, "bricks". But this year's giant robot is literally a pile of bricks. No doubt that Toei and Bandai are attempting to lure the Minecraft™ crowd.

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Takeshi Hongo, the first Kamen Rider, comes out of retirement to team up with Kamen Rider Ghost for the 45th anniversary of the Kamen Rider franchise. That costume, though...

I dunno... It is a bit overblown but at the same time it is far better looking than the other two. They look silly to me. I'd like to see a Kamen Rider with a Guyverish look. Not be biomechanical like him, but less like a dude in power ranger armor. They are robots after all. And more of the grasshopper/insect vibe too. Wait... wasn't ZO kinda like that now I think about it?

Kamen Rider 1 (仮面ライダー1号)

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I dunno... It is a bit overblown but at the same time it is far better looking than the other two. They look silly to me. I'd like to see a Kamen Rider with a Guyverish look. Not be biomechanical like him, but less like a dude in power ranger armor. They are robots after all. And more of the grasshopper/insect vibe too. Wait... wasn't ZO kinda like that now I think about it?

You were probably thinking of Kamen Rider Shin. Now that gave even Kamen Rider fans nightmares.

Edited by areaseven

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You were probably thinking of Kamen Rider Shin. Now that gave even Kamen Rider fans nightmares.

Really? That bad? I have honestly only seen clips of the original show and whichever one was used by Saban. Is Shin the one where he doesn't have a bike?

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Really? That bad? I have honestly only seen clips of the original show and whichever one was used by Saban. Is Shin the one where he doesn't have a bike?

Yup. Shin has no bike. No flashy henshin pose, no martial arts, no Rider Kick. Just a Kamen Rider for mature audiences. Extremely dark and depressing atmosphere that makes 555 and Hibiki look like Sesame Street.

Edited by areaseven

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Yup. Shin has no bike. No flashy henshin pose, no martial arts, no Rider Kick. Just a Kamen Rider for mature audiences. Extremely dark and depressing atmosphere that makes 555 and Hibiki look like Sesame Street.

Hmmm... makes me curious. Cos I like the whole concept behind Kamen Rider but the Power Rangers/Super Sentai vibe never clicked with me. Same reason alot of the modern Ultra shows bore me, and I am a big Ultraman fan.

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Time for a little history lesson. Here's a video showing one of the differences between the Showa and Heisei eras of the Kamen Rider franchise.

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Time for a little history lesson. Here's a video showing one of the differences between the Showa and Heisei eras of the Kamen Rider franchise.

Shin and Zo's I like. The rest... hmm. I just don't get it. But that's just me sitting there thinking, "while they're doing all the moves and flashy crap the baddies could be beating the hell outta them." The Ultra series anymore suffers the same issue. Tiga and Cosmos made me laugh at the transformations.

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Some side notes on that Henshin video:

1. Riderman never had his own series, despite being acknowledged as the fourth Kamen Rider.

2. BLACK and BLACK RX are the only two Kamen Rider series to have the same character.

3. ZX, Shin, ZO, and J were one-shots. J is the only Kamen Rider to grow to Ultraman size. J was also the final Kamen Rider work of creator Shotaro Ishinomori.

4. Kuuga marks the beginning of the Heisei era Kamen Rider series.

5. Kamen Rider G is a parody by members of the boy band SMAP.

6. The last Henshin on the video is Kamen Rider OOO (2010). Do a search for Fourze, Wizard, Gaim, Drive, and Ghost.

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that was actually really cute.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYFGzeeZUPs
Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger (動物戦隊ジュウオウジャー)
TV Asahi/Toei Co., Ltd., 2016
To be the next Power Rangers series in 2017?
Directed by Takayuki Shibasaki and Hiroyuki Kato
Written by Junko Komura (Engine Sentai Go-onger, Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger)
Running Time: 25 minutes per episode
Not Rated (Suggested TV-PG). Contains sci-fi violence.

Cast
Masaki Nakao as Yamato Kazakiri / Zyuoh Eagle
Miki Yanagi :wub: as Sela / Zyuoh Shark
Shohei Nanba as Leo / Zyuoh Lion
Tsurugi Watanabe as Tusk / Zyuoh Elepant
Haruka Tateishi :wub: as Amu / Zyuoh Tiger
Susumu Terajima as Mario Mori
Kohei Murakami (Kusaka/Kamen Rider Kaixa in Kamen Rider 555) as Bird Man (voice)
Kazuhiko Inoue (Jerid in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Garam in Megazone 23 Part III) as Genis (voice)
Jouji Nakata (Alucard in Hellsing, Folken in The Vision of Escaflowne) as Azauldo (voice)
Mitsuo Iwata (Mic Sounders in King of Braves Gaogaigar, Itsuki in Initial D) as Kubal (voice)
Minako Kotobuki (Jiji in Kiki's Delivery Service, Tsumugi in K-On!) as Naria (voice)
Cho (Jaken in Inuyasha, Mario Bosshi in Gunslinger Girl) as the Narrator and Zyuohger Equipment voice

"Wild Instnct, Awaken!"

Episode 1: "The Bustling Animal Land" (どきどき動物ランド)
Young zoologist Yamato Kazakiri stumbles upon a giant cube that transports him into Zyuland, inhabited by humanoid animals called Zyumans and decorated with cube structures. There, he meets four warriors who defend the Link Cube, the only connection between their world and Earth. They suddenly accuse him of theft when they discover in his possession a cube key that was handed to him by a mysterious Zyuman many years ago. Meanwhile, the DeathGaliens begin their invasion of Earth. Yamato and the Zyuman warriors return to the human world in the middle of the chaos, but the Link Cube is destroyed, leaving the four Zyumans stranded. Their own cubes change and their powers awaken, turning them into the Zyuohgers. But just when the Zyuohgers are overpowered, Yamato discovers that he himself is a Zyuohger.

Lowdown
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Super Sentai, and this usually means we would have a team that encompasses everything that has made Super Sentai a permanent stable in Japanese sci-fi. Take 2011's Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, which had an awesome cast, a great storyline, and badass costume designs. Consequently, Gokaiger became the last great Super Sentai series, as everything else after it was dull and completely forgettable. As the current anniversary flag bearer, does Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger have what it takes to bring Super Sentai back to its former glory?

Not really.

While it's true that no series should be completely judged by its pilot episode, Zyuohger carries more of the same from the last two series: characters we probably won't care much about, uninspiring designs, and the lack of anything new and exciting. Like Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger, Zyuohger uses a wild animal motif, but adds cubes in the mix. What cubes have to do with animals is anyone's guess, but it's apparently an attempt to draw in the Minecraft™ crowd. So what you get are people in spandex™ animal costumes carrying Rubik's Cube™ cell phones. As for the costumes, they look decent, but too plain compared to other Super Sentai costumes. At least they look better than Ressha Sentai ToQger.

The baddies are practically walking arcade game machines. Once they are defeated in human size, they are given a "Continue" token that super-sizes them to continue their rampage. And this brings us to our giant robot to combat them. While DX Super Sentai toys are, for a lack of a better term, "bricks, Zyuoh King is literally a pile of bricks, as all you need is a combination of three Zyuoh Cubes stacked up to form the robot. while not abysmal as ToQger's ToQ-Oh, Zyuoh King is proof that Toei is creatively bankrupt when it comes to Super Sentai mecha designs.

For an anniversary title, Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger comes off as a bit of a letdown. Guess it's time to dust off the Gokaiger episodes.

Rating: C-

Links
Super Sentai.net's Official Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Site

Toei's Official Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Site

TV Asahi's Official Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Site

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The Gokaigers will make a return appearance on episodes 28 and 29 of Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger on September 4 and 11, respectively. Not only will they make the show watchable, they will be part of a milestone, as episode 29 will be the overall 2,000th episode of the Super Sentai series.

スーパー戦隊シリーズ放送2000回へ ゴーカイジャーの出演決定

Edited by areaseven

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Previously, on Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2bqrQMEGpM
Episode 28: "The Space Pirates Return" (帰ってきた宇宙海賊)
Guest Starring: Ryota Ozawa as Captain Marvelous/Gokai Red, Junya Ikeda as Gai Ikari, Yuki Yamada as Gokai Blue (voice), Mao Ichimichi as Gokai Yellow (voice), Kazuki Shimizu as Gokai Green (voice), Yui Koike as Gokai Pink (voice), and Yukari Tamura as Navi (voice)

After spotting a peculiar looking parrot near their treehouse, the Zyuohgers encounter Captain Marvelous, the famous space pirate who is on a quest for another legendary treasure. Marvelous discovers a golden cube inside the Link Cube, which reveals a message from the ancient Zyuman Cetus about a great power known as the "Mark of the Great King". Bangray appears and reveals that he arrived on earth to hunt down the Cube Whale. Just as the Zyuohgers battle Bangray, Marvelous turns on them and steals the cube from them.

Finally, a reason to watch Zyuohger, if only for two episodes. The Gokaigers make a triumphant return to take the Zyuohgers to school. Other than that, there's not much else to clamor about. Guess we'll just wait for the next episode.

Next time on Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvJvM505YBw
Episode 29: "King of Kings" (王者の中の王者)
Super Sentai's 2000th episode. And then Zyuohger resumes as just another dull Super Sentai series.

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Kamen Rider Ichi-go (仮面ライダー1号)
TV Asahi/Asatsu DK/Toei Co., Ltd., 2016
Not Available in the U.S.
Directed by Osamu Kaneda (Kamen Rider Agito, Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie)
Based on Kamen Rider created by the late Shotaro Ishinomori (1938-1998) (Cyborg 009, Android Kikaider)
Running Time: 96 minutes
Not Rated (Suggested TV-14). Contains graphic violence.

"Rider... Henshin!"

Cast
Hiroshi Fujioka (planetoid 12408 Fujioka is named after him) as Takeshi Hongo/Kamen Rider 1
Shun Nishime as Takeru Tenkuji/Kamen Rider Ghost
Natsumi Okamoto :wub: as Mayu Tachibana
Hikaru Ohsawa (Ibuki in Attack on Titan) as Akari Tsukimura
Ryosuke Yamamoto as Makoto Fukami/Kamen Rider Specter
Takayuki Yanagi as Onari
Tsuyoshi Abe (Mimasaka in Hana Yori Dango) as Wolga
Nao Nagasawa :wub: (Nanami Nono/Hurricane Blue in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger, Utsugi Haruka in Kamen Rider Fourze) as Eagla
Kozo Takeda (former welterweight kickboxer) as Buffal
Ren Osugi as Jigoku Taishi

Synopsis
The Shocker organization has resurfaced to capture a high school girl named Mayu Tachibana, but they are confronted by Nova Shocker, a splinter group bent on conquering the global economy. As Mayu is the granddaughter of his late friend Tobei Tachibana, Takeshi Hongo returns to Japan to once again combat Shocker as the legendary Kamen Rider 1. Joining him in the fight are the current Kamen Riders Takeru Tenkuji and Makoto Fukami, but as decades of battles have taken a toll on his body, can Kamen Rider 1 save the day once more?

Lowdown
As 2016 marks the 45th anniversary of the Kamen Rider series, Toei has brought in Hiroshi Fujioka to reprise his role as the first Kamen Rider in a crossover film with the main cast of Kamen Rider Ghost. But at 70 years old, does he still have it?

Just like Stallone in Rocky Balboa, an elderly Takeshi Hongo will still go the distance. Despite his age and slow movements, he still manages to take every Shocker Combatman to school. The downside, however, is that ghastly new Kamen Rider 1 suit. We were completely okay with the original 1971 suit, but this redesign looks completely unwieldy and tells everyone that Kamen Rider 1 needs to lose a lot of weight.

Meanwhile, the cast of Kamen Rider Ghost is here, but only to lure in the kids watching the series. Their presence in this film is almost completely unnecessary, as it's all about Kamen Rider 1 vs. Shocker and there are no signs of Ghost's antagonists. If the film was done without crossing over with Kamen Rider Ghost, it wouldn't have made much of a difference.

As for the overall storyline, it's classic Kamen Rider storytelling that incorporates modern-day issues such as Japan's declining economy. There are even some moments that give you the feels, especially at the end of the second act.

So is Kamen Rider 1 the best Kamen Rider film? Despite a horrible looking outfit and the cast of Kamen Rider Ghost tacked in, it's still a fun movie that fans of both Showa and Heisei eras can appreciate.

Rating: B

Links

Kamen Rider 1 Official Site

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