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 ...
Welcome back to Super Hero Synopses, where sometimes heroes don't follow the script correctly. This week introduces the mysterious woman (no really, that's what she's called in the opening credits) who possesses her own R/B Gyro and seemingly also possesses a very long lifespan based on her comment about knowing a historical figure who died in 1900! She exhibits a particular interest in the brothers' younger sister Asahi, who seems to have secrets of her own.
Outside of the main story, Orb fans should once again enjoy the numerous references to his show (note the familiar hat and coat hung up in Aizen's office - I wonder if he cosplayed before he got his own Gyro?) and Horoboros continues to make the kind of impression that will no doubt have him menacing many more Ultramen in the yea...
Welcome back to Super Hero Synopses, where matching t-shirts are a necessity for a family picnic! Yes, it seems as though their villain has not been discouraged by his defeat and has kept the pressure up on our dual heroes. What better cure than a family outing, complete with colour-coded water guns! Meanwhile the aforementioned villain comes up with his most despicable way yet to rid himself of the heroes - he's going to offer them lucrative jobs in his company!
What will finally make Makoto Aizen see the error of his ways? Will Asahi and Ushio figure out the secret identities of the Ultramen? Will the brothers pass the exam they are unwillingly tested by? As always, we'd love for you to stop by our Facebook page or our forum and let us know what you think of the show!
Watashi wa Hyper Agent Gridman.
After a long wait, Tsuburaya Productions is finally ready to unveil the new SSSS.Gridman.
This animated effort inspired by the live-action original bears many similarities to its tokusatsu predecessor, but also a few differences. For one, the impending monster mayhem doesn't seem to be confined to a digitized world within computers, as seen in the 1993 series Gridman the Hyper-Agent. Those look like physical buildings getting smashed to pieces as enormous kaiju tangle with the hero of the hour, in a populated area. Among them is a cast of angsty youngsters whose paths may be inextricably linked to the red and white savior known as Gridman.
SSSS.Gridman begins October 6, 2018.
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Welcome back to Super Hero Synopses, where a true hero doesn't fight to achieve recognition. This week in Ultraman R/B it's time for the brothers to knuckle down and fight back against Makoto Aizen, and prove that while they may not have the superficial qualities of the old-school Ultramen they are the kind of heroes that their rival could never be. Makoto Aizen, for his part, continues to drop references for fans of the franchise to appreciate before being forced to give up his shiny toy to the brothers.
What comes next for Orb Dark? Did the brothers prove themselves in your eyes or have they still to earn their stripes as Ultramen? Will Asahi ever figure out that she's a fan of her own brothers? Let us know what you think in our forum, over onour Facebook page, or in the comments ...
Welcome back to Super Hero Synopses, where your own fears and others' expectations can both be challenges to overcome. This week we're covering both episode seven and eight of Ultraman R/B, where we continue to deal with the fallout from episode six and build to the first confrontation between the brothers and Makato Aizen.
Ultraman R/B, Episode 07
Isami (Blu) wakes from a nightmare in which the previous episode played out differently and Koma was killed. He was roused by Grigio, the monster they defeated in the first episode. The rest of the family are being interviewed on TV to promote their store. Isami tries to call Katsumi (Rosso), who asks him to go on ahead until he can sneak away. Isami agrees only to discover that he is unable to transform. The TV ...
Welcome back to Super Hero Synopses, where sometimes the most difficult battles are between old friends! Yes, despite the title this episode does not feature an previously unmentioned additional member of the Minato family, but rather an old family friend playing something of a self-appointed surrogate mother role. Which of course means engaging them in that most deadly of games - paper/rock/scissors!
Ultraman R/B, Episode 06
"An Old Enemy! Big Sister's Finishing Move!"
The brothers are battling a Mecha Gomora summoned by Makoto Aizen. They fail to damage their foe or amuse Aizen, prompting him to recall the monster rather than continue the battle. The brothers rush home only to find Asahi and their father consulting with a fortune teller to determine how to make business pick u...
Ultraman R/B, Episode 05
Welcome back to Super Hero Synopses, where sometimes you just have to sit back and appreciate how dang pretty these shows can be. Seriously, just look at the photo gallery below. The way the two ladies are composited into the model shot is seamless; The atmosphere of Blu's giant hand coming out of the purple-tinted mist; The over-the-shoulder camera views during the fight. The flight scenes at the end that soar through the blue skies. They really made this episode look beautiful!
The episode begins by introducing us to a girl named Ninomiya. She's something of an outcast at Isami's (Blu) college as she has devoted herself to creating artificial wings that will allow her to fly like a bird. This may seem fanciful, but episode three featured ...
Ultraman R/B, Episode 04
"The Winning Ball of Light"
Welcome back to Super Hero Synopses, where sometimes doing your duty can mean missing the big game.
Katsumi (Rosso) is playing baseball as part of his local district's team. Following on from the game their coach, Kumashiro, announces that their next game against their local rivals will be his last before retiring. Katsumi is determined that they will win the game to ensure that their coach goes out on a high note and despite having no idea how he puts the team into intense training to ensure their victory.
This confuses Asahi until Isami (Blu) explains that Kumashiro was their brother's high school coach who not only fostered Katsumi's initial love of the game. Katsumi continued to play into college and might have been scouted...
Here's what's happening on the next Ultraman R/B.
Episode 5: Farewell Icarus!
A young girl named Ninomiya Yuuha has a burning desire to fly in the sky, but the wings that she developed at her university only continue to fail her. Despite her failures, Minato Isami will come to her aid and help her with her wings! Just at that moment, another kaiju, Guebasser appears in the city! Isami will gain the courage and the strength to fight alongside his newfound wind! Go for it, Isami! Ultraman Blu!
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