revieloutionne: (Default)
Oh dear god so many gorgeous people. Kamen Rider, Power Rangers, Garo, Ultraman, Chouseishin Series, etc. It doesn't matter, all the casting directors seem to love them some pretty.

And it's not all the same, either! There's all kinds of variety and it seriously doesn't matter what your type is, there's someone out there to push your buttons.

Which is not to say that some tastes get more love, but I don't think anyone should feel lacking in eye candy.

The only exception I can think of is Big Bad Beetleborgs, and that is because the entire cast is either children or under a mask and/or heavy makeup.
revieloutionne: (Default)
It's an amazingly expansive genre, with a really strong experimental region.

Just in the last year's crop of shows we've covered, broadly, the following: comedy, drama, melodrama, farce, parody, homage, tragedy, mystery, and the (fetch) quest.

Within these bounds, the shows have tackled the concepts of: loyalty, the loss of loved ones (friends, lovers, family), metafiction, romance, the simplicity and depth of friendship, existentialism, acceptance of fate, defiance of fate, making one's own fate, (deciding others' fates in light of all of this is rather uncouth, Meteor), the depravity inherent in some people, the power of justice, the importance of tradition, the sometimes necessity of building a family of choice, nerd culture, youth, that authority figures who should have your best interests at heart do not always, and so forth.

Some shows have presented these things at face value. Some have held them as subtext or low thematic undertones. Some have presented them with bright flashing signs calling your attention to them. Some have treated none of it seriously. Some have used jokes to hide how serious they were being. Some did multiple approaches from this list (some at once).

All of it has been wholeheartedly within the genre, no matter how different Makai Senki is to Gokaiger is to Power Rangers Samurai, etc.

As long as the creative staff on a show have the talent to back up their ambition, toku can accomplish anything.
revieloutionne: (Default)
The inexplicable queer resonance.

Granted, this is mostly in reference to Power Rangers, but it is still a thing I love.

But seriously - I can trace so many facets of my own queerness back to this show it's not even funny. And I mean, I fell out of PR fandom before even realizing I was gay, so that is kind of... something I don't have a word for right now, but it is something.

I mean, my tastes in guys, the particular flavor of my camp sensibility (hell, probably my fondness for camp itself), my approach to my closet (I don't come out unless there's a context for it, but I only make the decision to never out myself to someone if they show signs of strong violent reaction) and activism (FUCK YEAH, ACTIVISM. LET US ALL CHANGE THE WORLD THROUGH SIGNS AND PETITIONS AND SHOUTING! WE CAN DO IT!) are all in some way or another informed by this show. I personally credit blame the second season morphing sequence for my appreciation of fine arms, for instance, and the whole closet/activism approach has its roots in the almost simple-minded drive for civic responsibility and bettering the world in small ways the early teams had.

Plus oh dear god the camp, but that really deserves its own post.

And I mean, I didn't get into the Japanese series until after having revisited Power Rangers and having realized this, and while they lack almost everything I've singled out about PR (yes, Henshin Heroes are campy, no, they are not campy in the same way Power Rangers are), they still have something about them that holds the queer eye. Part of it is definitely just the fact that there is homosocial interaction that is perfectly normal within Japanese culture comes off queer to a Western viewer, and there's also the fact that the heroes cast "for the moms" are pretty much going to appeal to gay men, too, but idk. There's something else.

I mean, somebody watch Ultraman Nexus and tell me that isn't, in part, a gay soap even though I know it wasn't written as such. (Especially once Ren shows up. Good god.)

I don't feel like I'm making this up wholesale, either, because it's not just the livejournal corner of fandom that is unusually full of queer people (which is kind of to be expected because hey, LJ). Even on Rangerboard, which is your standard dudebro/comics-fandom kind of cesspool of a gathering place, there's room for a number of prominent queer posters, and the mods generally (in my experience there, mind) come down on homopobic idiocy rather than brush it off. (Not enough, and it would be great if they took sexism and racism and so on down the list seriously too, but that a board like that can be bothered to oppose ANY *ism is notable.)

Also, rainbows and spandex.
revieloutionne: (Default)
Have we gotten a single series without any ridiculous behind-the-camera drama? Have we? I bet it sucked, because ALL the series have ridiculous production stories, of the sort that make you wonder how anything wound up on the screen at all, yet there they are, airing when they should.

I mean, a quick (and utterly incomplete) list is as follows:

- Early MMPR job titles being recommendations at best - everyone did whatever needed done at that moment, they just has specialties (we'll come back to this later in this series of posts)
- The Many Cancellations of Power Rangers
- Everything Inoue has touched, but especially Decade. (Oh god, Decade. Fun! Also awful.)
- The ridiculous number of supporting actresses in KR who have fallen ill during filming, necessitating rewrites. NB: this number may be two, because the only ones I know of for certain are Hiyori and Hana's actresses, but they were consecutive, so ridiculous still.
- Speaking of: Valerie Vernon's leukemia falling in the middle of the clusterfuck that was Lost Galaxy's production.
- Tzachor
- Kobayashi potentially having been telling the truth when she said she'd never seen an episode of Kamen Rider ever before writing 90+% of Ryuki herself. It ended very, very well, but that is an ASTOUNDING hiring decision, even if she had basically just done Timeranger.
- The number of writers who decide "we've lost our last cours? SPEED UP THE STORY" instead of maybe cutting arcs. (SAZER-X WHYYYY COULDN'T YOU HAVE SOLD MORE TOYS ;_; ) (ULTRAMAN NEXUS HOW DID YOU STILL MAKE 100% SENSE IDEK)
- Goseiger
- Saban firing half of the leads of his cultural icon epic moneymaker in the middle of its sure-to-be-brief relevance, just to make a point to the other half, without killing the show.

Basically, Thing I Love #1, about how the shows don't have to make sense? This extends to the real world. I try not to think about it too much.
revieloutionne: (Default)
The absolute number one thing I love about toku shows, the thing that most attaches me to the genre, I think, is this:

The shows do not care if they make sense.

That doesn't mean that they never do! Some of the best have excellent plots that leave few, if any, holes.

That doesn't stop the fact that seriously wtf those two just mind-melded to become a bug-eyed dude fighting a giant dinosaur head (for instance). (For the record, the dinosaur head had arms.) (Seriously.)

These shows will only selectively care about science, if at all (in the land of tokusatsu, Batman is not special for his ability to breathe in space. Sorry, Bruce). Things will appear to threaten our heroes for no reason other than that, well, they need to fight something. Movies produced by the same production team as the series, at the same time as the series, will be completely and utterly irreconcilable with the events of the series. Nobody but the most continuity-needy will care, because that's part of the genre.

(I'm always confused by why so many Internet Fans of these shows who got into them in part because they grew up with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers lighting up their life are So Goddamn Bothered by this, considering that MMPR: The Movie has jack-all to do with the events of the series. Not only are the events of the movie completely ignored by the series, much of it is outright replaced by a different set of events. To these Internet Fans, MMPR is giant nostalgiabomb great, including the movie, but a non-continuity movie from a different series? "OMG U GUIS PLOT HOLES EVERYWHERE WAT IS THIS *ASPLODE*" Baffles me.)

And this is before we even get to the old stuff. There are the series from the late 70s/early 80s where the production staff are still figuring out what the hell they're doing. On top of the fact that the fights are pure nonsense to begin with a lot of the time, the editing during the fight scenes makes figuring out what the hell is supposed to be happening an unwinnable game. Fun, but unwinnable. And then there are the Space Sherrif series, which have decided to cross live-action monster of the week fighting with trippy, Alice in Wonderland-type dream logic and utterly surreal visuals.

It is, to a surprising degree, an experience of its own.

(For all of you who expected my #1 favorite part of this stuff to be the sheer levels of camp: I am actually kind of just as surprised as you that this edged it out. We'll cover the camp later.)
revieloutionne: (Default)

{Take the 100 Things challenge!}

I will be (on no set schedule), blogging 100 Things I Love About Live-Action Japanese Children's Superhero Shows (And Their Derivatives).

nb: that super long title is from now on 100 Things I Love About Toku. I just wanted to sign up with a name more likely to catch the attention of people not 100% aware of what toku is.


revieloutionne: (Default)

February 2013

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