Joshua and Gideon Kahan, the creators of the internet sensation, “Japanese Doctor Who”, which also took inspiration in classic Tokusatsu, granted an exclusive interview to Henshin Justice Unlimited. Hit the jump to find out more about the creators of this awesome piece of work!
HJU Questions: Bold
1. Who are you? What can you tell us about yourselves?
J: Currently I am an internet hit sensation and the fame has definitely gone to my head.
I am a filmmaker, well, that’s what my hat says but my underpants are labelled animator and my socks have illustrator sewn into them. I won’t tell you what my tattoos say (I don’t have any tattoos).
G: I’m his older brother. I make sad music, play in some rock bands and have a driving license, which is probably the most useful bit.
2. How did this idea come about? What was the inspiration?
J: Specifically, Supaidaman (aka Japanese Spiderman). The whole story of how the show came into being and of course what the show is actually like led to me asking myself a number of internal questions that culminated with ‘Japanese Doctor Who’ as the answer.
Throughout the project there were numerous toku that were inspirational, in particular Kamen Rider X, Super Robot Red Baron and of course early Super Sentai.
G: For the music, Josh told me what he had in mind to do, so I spent a bit of time checking out the theme music for some of the shows he was referencing, particularly Kamen Rider. I love TV show themes with such high production value – who makes TV themes nowadays that have both a brass section and a string section? And the themes are so, so cheesy but great in their own way. What I tried to do was a lower budget, stripped down version of that. It’s just drums, bass and trumpet, plus some xylophone. I originally programmed the whole piece, but luckily I have two friends Jonathan Miller and Andy Watts who were able to record drums and trumpet parts respectively at their homes and then send them to me (the internet is amazing). The end result it maybe a bit ‘punkier’ than something of that period, but I have a certain kind of love for Japanese surf rock and wanted to put a little nod to that in there. Some sci-fi soundtracks or very electronic and spacey, but I really like theme music in general that has some organic element to it.
3. Why, specifically, mash Toku and Doctor Who?
J: Tokusatsu is quintessentially Japanese and because following on from the previous question it was the tokusatus’ approach to dealing with an already established character/brand/franchise that inspired the piece. I was also trying to come up with a show that would have been pretty mind-bending.
G: Thinking about it now from a sonic perspective, they’re not necessarily that far apart from each other – all the bad guys have ridiculous voices that are draped in sound-effects. From a visual or thematic standpoint, when you think about how the cybermen and the Daleks rely on robotics in a lot of the shows that this one references there are all sorts of robots and robot outfits. There’s a lot of thematic crossover, if you’re step back far enough.
4. The Doctor, seems to be inspired by Big One specifically. Was this intentional?
J: Absolutely. I’m glad people notice it. He’s the first white ranger and to me one of the most iconic henshin heroes. He crops up in some of the team ups too and naturally leads. The guy is a super pimp badass master of disguise and a cyborg to top it off. What’s not to like?
5. How’d you get in to toku?
J: Like any kid in the west growing up in the 90’s, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. It was massive. Although it wasn’t until my second year of university that I properly explored tokusatsu as genre, researching its origins, etc. It is something I have been going back to for inspiration for various reasons over the past few years and like any good art you pick up on something new or different each time.
G: We were both massive Power Rangers fans as kids. We watched the show religiously, had a bunch of action figures, even had the Megazord toy.
6. What toku are you watching now and what do you think of them? Any past favorites?
J: I haven’t had a chance to get really stuck into any lately as I have been watching a lot of Chanbara stuff, researching for a Samurai film I am currently writing.
Having said that I do have an ongoing project that is heavily influenced by tokusatsu, so I keep coming back to it periodically. I plan to binge on Jetman later this year and any other recommendations are most welcome.
I really liked Kamen Rider X, I think it’s the theme tune that hooked me, a lot of the time it’s the music that grabs me first. That and motorbikes are cool
I have seen a few episodes of Power Rangers Megaforce on TV on the rare occasion that I wake up ridiculously early during the week which is kind of cool but the effects are too CG for my liking. I really like the old stuff, the effects are much more charming and organic, plus they use miniatures which I love.
7. Where can we find you on the internet? Facebook, Twitter, etc.
You can find me very easily actually. I’m on twitter, facebook and I have a blog which (until recently) I updated quite regularly. There’s also my youtube channel which will have more videos on it soon
They’re all pretty much linked up so if you want to follow me on one of those you will hear about new stuff. If you follow me one one of those, one way or the other you’ll hear about new stuff.
G: Most of my online work is found by looking up my band Black Hay:
Tweets by BlackHayBand
If anyone wants a catchy little soundtrack or theme tune done, they can contact me via
8. Can you please do this again?
J: I will if it involves featuring Japanese Doctor Who in a future episode of the BBCs’ Doctor Who. If you’re going to do a sequel it’s got to be bigger and better than the original.
G: What he said. First rule of show business – leave them wanting more.
If you haven’t seen the video yet, check it out below, and let us know what you think of these talented brothers in the comments and on the forums.
We’d at HJU like to thank Joshua and Gideon for their time in giving this interview.
Update: Joshua is looking to publish his new book, “See Tom Cruise Run,” and has started a Kickstarter! Check it out here!