Culture

THE RETURNERS: Life is Short, Unless You’re Dead

THE RETURNERS: Life is Short, Unless You’re Dead

Animation, Anime, Articles, Blog, Books, Comics, Culture, Fantasy, Featured, horror, monster, News, Sci-Fi, Toku, toku, tokusatsu, Uncategorized
If you're looking for something new to get into this year, and have a mind for supernatural mayhem with a twist, look no further than The Returners, the new book from up-and-coming author Lee T. Davis. Sporting heavy inspirations from the world of Japanese anime, live-action special effects, high-flying Hong Kong action, and Hollywood sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, this tale of otherworldly antiheroes is not to be missed. As the official blurb states, 2019's The Returners (not to be confused with an older, unrelated release of the same name) gives the spotlight to uncommon protagonists for the action/adventure genre. And that's especially true if we're only counting stories that aren't a prequel, a sequel, a midquel, any-other-kinda-quel, or anything based on an existing property to beg...
Watch: Toei’s SPIDER-MAN Honest Trailer

Watch: Toei’s SPIDER-MAN Honest Trailer

Blog, Culture, Movies & TV, Toku, toku, tokublogs, tokusatsu, Video Update, Videos
As we get ready to pile into movie theaters for the new Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse film, we return to an old gem in the annals of live-action special effects TV, with the strange anomaly that was 1978's Spider-Man. A rare Japanese-produced adaptation from an original Marvel Comics creation, this Spidey bears some similarities to the more familiar wall-crawler from New York, but in other ways... maybe not so much. Still, the hero, whose televised adventures lasted 41 episodes, has made some strides in recent pop culture, having appearances in comic book crossovers where he encounters other webslingers in the Spider-Man multiverse, along with his giant mech Leopardon. Because nothing says "spider power" like a kaiju-sized robot themed after a cat. Here's the Honest Trailer for...
This New POWER RANGERS Cereal Wants in Your Mouth

This New POWER RANGERS Cereal Wants in Your Mouth

Blog, Culture, Gallery, Movies & TV, News, Power Rangers, Toku, toku, tokublogs, tokusatsu, Uncategorized
Pudgy Pig's not the only one with the munchies. At least that's what the people at Funko are hoping as they unveil their new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers breakfast cereal. Popularized by their collectible toy line of Funko Pop figures, which the Power Rangers franchise has been selling items through like hotcakes, the company is branching out even further by offering actual foodstuff, so you can rot your teeth as well as your brains! No one saw this coming, but their first foray into Ranger food is modeled after the original Red Ranger (gasp)! They're red loops, so I'm going to assume that it's a subtle commentary on the cyclical nature of the franchise and its marketing to the masses, because they're deep like that. I mean, why else would you pick such an unusual shape that no one ha...
GODZILLA vs GUNDAM – Battle of the Big’uns

GODZILLA vs GUNDAM – Battle of the Big’uns

Animation, Anime, Blog, Culture, Fantasy, godzilla, Kaiju, monster, Movies & TV, News, Sci-Fi, toku, tokublogs, tokusatsu, Uncategorized, Video Update, Videos
Not content to pass up the opportunity for a little cross-promotion, Toei Animation is having some fun with two of the big names among its fleet of mega-franchises. Sadly, this crossover is only here as a marketing tool for two separate releases, which have basically nothing to do with each other except they both involve giant things blowing stuff up. We'll take it! Godzilla: Planet Eater is the third and final act in the 3D animated trilogy for the giant lizard in his first fully-animated film saga. Its release this month just happens to coincide with that of Mobile Suit Gundam Narrative, the next installment for the ongoing super robot anime legend. So, Toei Animation is letting their promotional powers combine, and giving them their own commercials and artwork to hype fans of both ...
KAIJU WARD GALLAS: A Monstrous New Show From Toei Co

KAIJU WARD GALLAS: A Monstrous New Show From Toei Co

Blog, Culture, Kaiju, monster, Movies & TV, News, Toku, toku, tokublogs, tokusatsu, Uncategorized, Video Update, Videos
HurricaneYellow isn't out of the monster-fighting biz just yet. Actor Yamamoto Kohei, known to many Super Sentai fanatics as super-ninja Bito Kota on Ninpu Sentai Hurricanger, is hard at work on a new project for Toei Company. The developing TV series will feature a new hero not affiliated with the likes of Toei's usual suspects from the long-running Kamen Rider and Super Sentai franchises. Kaiju Ward Gallas, as the name implies, is a kaiju show, with giant monsters as a centerpiece. Not a first for Toei, but after years of focusing heavily on their Big Two, this comes as somewhat of a surprise. Kaiju action is more Tsuburaya Productions' thing. With their ongoing Ultraman franchise, they've defined the look and feel of giant monster action on the small screen for decades now. Elsewhe...
The Power’s on Your Side With This New POWER RANGERS Theme Cover

The Power’s on Your Side With This New POWER RANGERS Theme Cover

Articles, Blog, Culture, Movies & TV, Music Videos, Power Rangers, Toku, toku, tokublogs, tokusatsu, Uncategorized, Video Update, Videos
Recording artist and tokusatsu fan Ricardo Cruz is back again, with another offering of musical splendor for fellow devotees of all things loud and explodey. This time, he jumps from one end of the global entertainment pond to the other. Instead of tackling hits from Japanese action titles like Kamen Rider and Space Sheriff, he's teleporting into the midst of the Teenagers With Attitude themselves: the original high school heroes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Taking his their cue from the seminal opening theme track by Ron Wasserman, Cruz and his team are offering their own take on the iconic song that kicked off a new era in kids live-action entertainment for many viewers in the western world. Check it out. https://youtu.be/zODMdZSuZf4 They don't make themes like they used to. N...
Scholars Talking Toku: Interview with Seth Kim – Pt. 2

Scholars Talking Toku: Interview with Seth Kim – Pt. 2

Anime, Articles, Blog, Comics, Culture, Interviews, Kaiju, Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, Toku, toku, tokusatsu, Ultraman
Welcome to the second installment of Scholars Talking Toku's interview with Seth Kim; Assistant Professor in the Program of Cinema and Media Arts and Asian Studies at Vanderbilt University. Kim is the author of several essays on Japanese superheroes and tokusatsu including “Kamen Rider vs. Spider-Man and Bat-Man” which appeared in the book Giant Creatures in Our World: Essays on Kaiju and American Popular Culture (2017, McFarland Press) edited by Camille D.G. Mustachio and Jason Barr. My own essay, “Notes from the Land of Light: Observations on Religious Elements Seen in Ultraman”, was also published in this same collection so we both recommend you pick it up! In the first half of our interview, we discussed Kim's essay “Kamen Rider vs. Spider-Man and Bat-Man” as well as ...
Scholars Talking Toku: Interview with Seth Kim – Pt. 1

Scholars Talking Toku: Interview with Seth Kim – Pt. 1

Anime, Articles, Blog, Culture, Interviews, Kaiju, Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, toku, tokusatsu
Welcome to a brand new installment of Scholars Talking Toku. My name is Justin Mullis and I’m a scholar working in the academic field of religious studies who also happens to harbor a life long love of Japanese pop-culture. Last year an essay I wrote, “Notes from the Land of Light: Observations on Religious Elements Seen in Ultraman”, was published in the book Giant Creatures in Our World: Essays on Kaiju and American Popular Culture (2017, McFarland Press) edited by Camille D.G. Mustachio and Jason Barr. I recommend you pick it up! One of my fellow contributors to Giant Creatures in Our World is scholar Seth Kim who is an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University. Kim's contribution to our book was a fascinating and provocative essay on the kaijin from the original Kamen Rid...
Watch: The Joy of POWER RANGERS

Watch: The Joy of POWER RANGERS

Articles, Blog, Culture, Fantasy, Movies & TV, Power Rangers, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Toku, tokusatsu, Uncategorized, Video Update, Videos
As we wait to see what shape the Power Rangers television franchise takes next, it might be fun to have a look back on one of the brand's recent offerings. The title about a group of young heroes tasked with defending the world from evil in multi-colored outfits has been molded onto many grafts over the years. From the surprising success of the comics by publisher BOOM! Studios to the continued push for more fresh content on the Power Rangers Legacy Wars mobile game, fans new and old have had a lot to sink their teeth into, depending on their preferred niche. Chief among them was the 2017 film that arrived with far too little fanfare not to be swallowed up by the Disney adaptations, Marvel super-smashers, and generally flashy spectacle flicks all screaming for the attention of moviegoers...
Shattered Childhood: The POWER RANGERS 25th Anniversary Episode

Shattered Childhood: The POWER RANGERS 25th Anniversary Episode

Articles, Blog, Culture, Fantasy, Gallery, Movies & TV, Power Rangers, Reviews, Super Sentai, Toku, toku, tokublogs, tokusatsu, Uncategorized
... Okay, maybe that title was a little over-the-top, but I just couldn't help myself. Part of me has dreaded tackling this review. As a longtime fan of the Power Rangers franchise, it's not always easy to bring tough criticism to this thing I've loved for years, a huge influence on my life and how I see the world. It's even worse knowing that a number of people may have hoped to hear something quite different from me on this subject, and would be waiting to get my take on such a momentous occasion as this, the 25th Anniversary special episode. Certainly, it'll be an unpopular opinion with some, a few of which I'd count as friends. It's worse even still when one takes into account my opinion of the current season, Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel. The brutal truth is that I hesitate...