[This page is a work in progress]
I used to have a Currently reading page on here, but it’s kind of pointless seeing as how I forget to update it and I tend to be random about the subject of my blog posts. I figured it makes a lot more sense to make a page listing what I tend to write about, or am likely to write about.
Tokusatsu is a catch all Japanese term for live-action movies or tv shows that use special effects. As far as its usage in western fan communities, it refers specifically to Japanese movies and tv shows that use special effects. So basically, while technically something like Battlestar Galactica is tokusatsu, no one actually thinks of it as such because it’s not Japanese). Some of the most well known franchises are Super Sentai, Kamen Rider and Ultraman.
I love tokusatsu. In much the same spirit as western scifi it is often used to tackle some pretty deep concepts. And in the case of the franchises aimed at kids, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, which I love, so you end up with one series that can range from serious to incredibly silly and hilarious.
My main love in the tokusatsu genre is Kamen Rider, it’s not even funny how much I love this franchise. Boiled down to essence, Kamen Rider is about dudes in rubber bug suits who ride motorcycles and kick other dudes in rubber suits, and it is awesome.
Beyond that, Kamen Rider is about epic bromances, fierce rivalries, loss, sacrifice, and about questions such as what makes us human, the extent to which we can choose who we are as opposed to it being dictated by outside influences, and the like. It’s about people who are heroes because they never give up fighting. It’s the most serious of the Sunday morning block “Superhero Time” on TV Asahi, which means that it’s still aimed at kids, but that it does tend towards darker, grittier storylines than its sibling Super Sentai.
Garo is tokusatsu for grownups, which means that it pretty much eschews silly shenanigans in favor of more overtly adult subject matter and an atmosphere that is closer to the horror genre. It also means there’s boobs on the opening sequence.
In all seriousness, Garo is awesome. It centers around Saejima Kouga, a “Makai Knight” (Makai Knights fight Horrors, which are basically monsters that personify destructive human desires and posses and finally consume humans). Kouga is your basic stoic noble hero who has a really hard time opening up and relating to other people. It’s got creepy antagonists and some great supporting characters (in particular Suzumura Rei, another Makai Knight, and Jabi, a Makai Priestess who is an absolute badass). Add to that great fight choreography and you really can’t go wrong.
Law & Order UK
Revolutionary Girl Utena