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Posts Tagged ‘Kamen Rider’

When I was little apparently I really liked Power Rangers.  I honestly don’t remember liking it all that much.  I remembered the cheesy dialogue and the over the top action sequences.  Particularly the characters being kicked or slashed and sparks flying from their clothing.  And I remembered believing that that was ridiculous and stupid.  Every now and then when a new Power Rangers series would come out, I might take a peak at an episode or two but it wasn’t something that was on the top of my list of series to watch.  And over time I learned Power Rangers was derived from a series in Japan, but I never bothered to take a look at it because I thought it wouldn’t interest me either…until now.

 

While anime is what we primarily watch at my college’s anime club, there’s a good number of members that are avid fans of tokusatsu series.  Primarily Kamen Rider and Super Sentai.  The vice president happens to be one of them.  So when the series, Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger came out, he was first to announce it to club.  And when he’d downloaded the first episode, he made it a priority to show it to us (after watching a Ranma 1/2 movie).  Having the first thing I saw be a massive war between the Zangyack and all 199 Sentai was…amazing.  Well that might be an understatement as I was unaware that that’s how many warriors there were.  The only group that I was completely aware of were “Mighty Morphin'”, which would be Zyuranger.  And I was only mildly familiar with others.  But that wasn’t what hooked me.  No, no…there were two other components of the episode that caught my attention far more than that massive war.  First was the ranger concept itself.  Not only do the Gokaiger team transform into their pirate-esque ranger outfits, but they have the ability to change into and use the abilities of any of the other 34 sentai teams.  Not to mention that I fell in love with the Gokaiger costume design.  And second…if there was anything in the world that could illicit a simultaneous response of confusion, shock and awe from everyone in the club (in the form of shouting out “What?!”) it was a football turning into a garbage truck.  Even 2-3 months later, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that one.

 

As for Kamen Rider, I’d attempted to watch the Masked Rider series that America had.  I forgot which one it was but I know it wasn’t on the air for too long.  It just didn’t strike my fancy.  I was only aware of Kamen Rider due to the avid fans our club had, but I never sought out to watch any of the series myself.  Well not too long after watching Gokaiger, the same person who introduced me to that showed me the newest Kamen Rider series, Kamen Rider OOO.  Not so much showed me an entire episode but rather the more interesting parts of the first episode.  Such as a fight sequence to a slowed down (rather creepy) version of “Happy Birthday” and Eiji’s henshin and fight with a Praying Mantis yummy.  Also the theme song.  I’d heard it a few times before that.  “Anything Goes” by Maki Oguro is probably one of my favorite songs now.  It struck my fancy enough that I eventually decided to watch it on my own.  And I suppose the two things (other than the song) that kept my interest were the henshin sequences and the different combinations and abilities Eiji has depending on what medals he uses, and the character Ankh.  I’m very intrigued by his character and need to see how his character develops over the series.

 

While I haven’t moved on to watching other Kamen Rider series just yet, I have gotten around to viewing other Sentai series.  Hyakkujuu Sentai Gaoranger, Jyuken Sentai Gekiranger…I’ve finished both of those.  And am watching Engine Sentai Go-Onger, Mahou Sentai Magiranger, and Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger off and on when I can.  Heck, I’ve even started watching Power Rangers again.  I still find it just as corny as ever and since blood is never shown, the violence is just laughable, but (depending on the series) it can still be enjoyable.

 

So how did I, at 22, just get into these series?  For a few reasons.  Firstly, the costuming.  Though I rarely think of myself or call myself an artist, I’m easily fascinated by artistic things.  And Super Sentai and Kamen Rider have very elaborate costumes.  Sometimes beautiful.  Sometimes hideous.  Always intriguing.  It awakens that inner sewer/costumer/cosplayer in me.  And I just wonder how it is they make them.  Secondly, the characters.  They tend to be developed in such a way that I become emotionally invested in them.  Even if I previously didn’t like them.  And thirdly, it’s just fun.  For the first time since going to an art school, I can really just look at a series and the story, sit back and say “You know what…none of this makes sense and I don’t care.  I just don’t care ’cause it’s awesome”.  I get this strange feeling that the creators of these series put in the proper amount of care and not giving a darn.  Because at certain points in any of these series I feel like there’s so much insanity going on that clearly no one cared about logic (or gravity really).  But the insanity is so amusing that I don’t even care that the logic fails at times.

 

And thus I’m successfully changed into a fan Super Sentai and Kamen Rider.  As a newbie to the series and the genre of tokusatsu, I’m hoping to explore this fandom more.  I just wonder how my anime club is going to deal with our new found love of Gokaiger at the start of the new semester…

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