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 his thoughts
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 Rider (19
The latest collectible toy for the Kamen Rider Zi-O series is the DX Fourze Ride Watch. As far as Ride Watches go, it's right in line with the rest. Multiple sound effects based on button presses, a henshin jingle and a finisher sound. Overall, if you are like me and absolutely love this gimmick line, this is another fantastic entry.
The RKF (Rider Kicks Figure) line isn't slowing down either with 2 new releases at once: the Ghost Armor and the Ex-Aid Armor. Ex-Aid has by far the coolest armor as well as this gimmick still standing strong as one of the better gimmick lines we've seen. Ghost has some added perks as well. Not only is it just as good as the other 2 armor sets but this one comes with some bonus accessories for both Kamen Rider Zi-O and Kamen Ri...
Welcome back to Super Hero Synopses, where frankly we're quite literally beside ourselves!
Kaito Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger has been dropping regular hints that Kogure may not be entirely on the level with the phantom thieves. Lest anyone think there's something sinister about him, today's episode is dedicated to showing that he does have a good side, and that his bad side is really quite ineffectual. He's not the only one who will get to show another side to himself, as it turns out that the Lupin Magnum is not just a weapon but also an autonomous humanoid gunslinging mecha!
Are they bluffing or are Kogure's intentions more pure than previously implied? Did you enjoy the Lupin Magnum's debut fight as a mecha? Did you sympathise with the Gangler being an introv...
Welcome back to Super Hero Synopses, where creepy smiles are a specialty!
Technically this is still a Kamen Rider Fourze story, but this week is all about the Kamen Rider Faiz guys. It seems the changes to the timeline have made them buddies now, but it wouldn't be those two characters if they weren't at each other's throats anyway. In a brief dive into some deeper trivia, it turns out that the 'shooting star' mention was a Faiz reference all along rather than a simple name-check for the Fourze character, Kamen Rider Meteor.
Do the giant shoulder phones on the Faiz armour get good reception? Did you enjoy the blending of two different legend Riders into a single story? Could Takumi and Masato return later in the series? Please do share your thoughts with us in our forum or over on ...
One last battle remains to decide the fate of a post-apocalyptic Earth in Godzilla: Planet Eater, the third and final film in this 3D animated giant monster trilogy.
From Toho Animation and Polygon Pictures, the series plays out as a three-act storyline for the King of Monsters, which finally reaches its conclusion this year, featuring one of Godzilla's most famous foes, the golden dragon King Ghidorah. There's no shortage of kings among the kaiju, are there?
This time, King Ghidorah's looking a bit different, as the anime tale brings us a new vision of the beast whose divergent sights are about to be set against his enormous, reptilian co-star. If nothing else, you can't fault this series for lack of ideas. They've got more imagination packed into this thing than several live-acti...
Kamen Rider Zi-O is releasing a gimmick line of figures. This is no surprise, as every Rider series has one, but Zi-O is striving to be different. The Rider Kicks Figure (RKF) line feels more like discount Figuarts than a standard gimmick line, and that is definitely a good thing for the fans. Zi-O and Geiz are strong first entries into the line. Both have fantastic articulation, decent accessory counts (Zi-O has one alternate hand and they both have a weapon, though only in one of their 2 forms), and they have reasonable paint for their price. The only downside, as far as I can see, is the size. The RKF line has been sized down to something closer to America's Power Rangers Ninja Steel action figures rather than scaling with past gimmick lines or even Figuarts. I will say, however, that...
Observe your viewing devices.
As the first promotional trailer dropped last July, Bat in the Sun, with their partners at Qualcomm Snapdragon and G Fuel, promised a more complete version of legendary Street Fighter video game heroes Ryu and Chun-Li duking it out with the spandex-clad combatants of the Power Rangers television series. After months of waiting, their battle is finally at hand. And with it comes a smorgasbord of Ranger references and a load of stunts to entertain you, while also asking if you would please keep playing the Power Rangers Legacy Wars mobile game many fans have been digging so much lately.
Now, the wrecked Megazord is a compelling sight for this PR fan, but I gotta ask. With all the hype surrounding Ryu's ascent to Rangerdom here, where's Chun-Li's Power Co...
Welcome back to Super Hero Synopses, where melting a hole straight through someone's torso doesn't count as 'gore'.
It's new toy day on Kaito Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger as the Lupin Magnum is introduced. There's just one catch: in order to obtain it you must be the kind of hardhearted son-of-a-gun who'd shoot their own loved one down. Luckily, the phantom thieves have someone to hand.
Their new prize isn't safe for long though, as a gun-loving, self-declared 'Hell's Guard Dog' (no, not Doggie Kruger, though it was indeed Tetsu Inada providing the voice for this character) wants to add the weapon to his own collection. As the picture below demonstrates, things don't go well for this naughty pooch.
What are Kogure's true intentions? Is Kairi really going to t
Welcome back to Super Hero Synopses, where friendship will take on the universe and things are always settled man-to-man!
This week, Kamen Rider Zi-O attempts to up the ante (or perhaps just cover for a lack of returning actors) with a double tribute. As such, our time traveling trio have to infiltrate a certain high school to investigate the cause of multiple missing person cases. It seems that a number of young ladies are attracting the attention of the franchise's most infamous psychopath. But before we can confront him we must check in with the Kamen Rider Club. *thumps myself twice in the chest before pointing forwards*
Given who is after the victims, is it possible that they're secretly Orphanochs? Did you feel the absence of Sota Fukushi (Gentaro) or did you think that the e...