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For the first time ever, the unsung heroes of Japanese film are finally being honored in the Japan Action Awards! Tokusatsu alumni and more are in the running! More info after the jump!

In recent years, Japanese film and television have been trying to step up their action game. Proof positive of this has been Kamen Rider and Super Sentai shows of late where the bar has been raised. Because of this, it appears the time has come to honor those who have knocked it out of the park with coordinating, acting, movies–everything! Enter the first ever Japan Action Awards!

I’ll answer the first thing that’s probably coming to mind: No, MOVIE TAISEN MEGAMAX or ULTIMATUM are not in the running for Best Action Production. However, Koichi Sakamoto IS up for Best Action Coordinator, with Yuji Shimomura (VERSUS, YAKUZA WEAPON). the compeition for Best Action Production though is rather fierce. (No pun intended. Sorry.) We’ve got the live-action RUROUNI KENSHIN which is up for several awards, including 2 in the Best Stunt Scene category. There’s also the latest from Takashki Miike (ICHI THE KILLER, AUDITION, K-TAI INVESTIGATOR 7), the action musical AI AND MAKOTO.

Also worth mentioning is the NHK Drama Series SARUTOBI THE THIRD. Revolving around the third-generation descendant of the legendary ninja, Sarutobi Sasuke, the show looks all kinds of badass. And it should win for having the best international trailer ever. And then there’s THE FLOATING CASTLE (Nobuo no Shiro), an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Ryo Wada, which looks like a lot of fun. I actually regret missing out on seeing this one before doing this write-up!

Meanwhile, Rider/Sentai suit actor Seiji Takaiwa is up for Best Stuntman with the likes of Minoru Tomita from GARO ~MAKAI SENKI~. In the Best Action Actor/Actress category, Takeru Sato (KAMEN RIDER DEN-O) for his work on RUROUNI KENSHIN, Satoshi Tsumabuki for AI AND MAKOTO, Yuma Ishigaki for GAVAN THE MOVIE, and screen legend Yutaka Hirose (FIST OF LEGEND). On the ladies side of it, there’s Mika Hiji (ALIENS VS NINJA, GARO), Rina Takeda (HIGH KICK GIRL), prowrestler-turned-actress Asami Kawasaki, Mikie Hara (KAMEN RIDER FOURZE, CUTIE HONEY THE LIVE), and the cherry on top: Yukari Oshima, the actress who played Farrah Cat in BIOMAN and one of the original “Babes With Bullets” of Hong Kong cinema!

She’s also up for a Special Action Achievement Award along with Yutaka Hirose(LIVEMAN’s Dr Kemp & JETMAN’s Tranza), GO-BUSTERS and KAMEN RIDER J’s SFX Director Hiroshi Buddha, Osamu Kaneda (Director of GAVAN THE MOVIE, LET’S GO KAMEN RIDERS, and SUPER HERO TAISEN), and sculptor Shinada Fuyuki, better known for his work on the Godzilla series and the Choseishin Series.

The ceremony will be held on April 19th so stay tuned for the winner’s list. Props to LadyEve for bringing this to the forefront!

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