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Everything old is new again. Toei Company’s fondly remembered but not ongoing Metal Heroes superhero franchise continues to sneak into the building through the side entrance while all its other, more currently popular titles in the Super Sentai and Kamen Rider camp stroll through the front. Whether it’s Space Sheriff Gavan‘s new Type-G doing guest spots on every sentai series from here to planet Cayenne or the new Space Squad movie crossover series checking in with just about every long lost hero in Toei’s overflowing stable, it’s not the worst time to be a fan of these old school monster-fighters. Especially not Special Megabeast Investigator Juspion.
In 1985, Kyojuu Tokusou Juspion was born, the fourth in Japan’s successful line of Metal Hero shows and the first to place heavy focus on giant robot action. Renamed Jaspion, it was a big hit in Brazil, who recognizes the series as one of Japan’s most beloved superhero imports, which may very well be what lead to the recent announcement of a new Juspion title from distribution and production group Sato Company in conjunction with Toei. A reimagining of the Juspion story for a modern audience.
It seems no mere accident then that there are Brazilian fans expressing their love of Juspion and his many related brothers and sisters in arms in the live-action special effects community. One such fan is VFX artist Rafael Segnini, whose work can be seen in many commercials and production pieces in recent years, sometimes relating to this subgenre we here at Henshin Justice Unlimited enjoy so much.
Most notably, Segnini served as Visual Effects Supervisor for the epic “On The Rocks” music video from artist and tokusatsu fan Ricardo Cruz of rock band JAM Project (who devotees may know as the immensely popular group who produced music for Garo, One-Punch Man, and Super Robot Wars, among others).
The video plays like a love letter to Metal Heroes, featuring noted actor Watari Hiroshi, who starred as not one but two different title characters in the franchise, first with 1983’s Space Sheriff Sharivan, then three years later with Jiku Senshi Speilban. Here, he plays the original character Galactic Warrior Cruzer, doing what Metal Heroes do best – chew bubble gum and blow space monsters sky high.
That was a few years ago. What’s noteworthy about the new snippet Segnini dropped this past week is that it’s a direct homage to the original Juspion, no chaser. An excerpt from his own short, the fully computer-generated piece found at his Youtube channel is a recreation of the transformation sequence for Juspion’s giant super robot Daileon.
Those ship shots.
Only time will tell how far the Metal Heroes of old can claw their way back up toward mainstream prominence like Toei’s golden children have enjoyed in the last few decades, but stuff like this keeps the memory alive all the while. We look forward to new developments on these never-forgotten gems, both official and unofficial.
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