Tokusatsu

I‘ve been slowly making my way through the blu-ray sets of Ultraman that Mill Creek has been putting out. I’ve finished Ultra Q, Ultraman, Ultraseven, and now I‘ve been watching some of the newer stuff before I go back and check out Return of Ultraman and Ace. Streamed all of Ginga (blu-ray isn’t out yet) and just finished Ultraman X. The newer stuff aims for a much younger audience and has some of the most shameless merchandising I have ever seen in my life (the heroes can summon or harness the powers of past Ultramen and Monsters by straight-up using figures from the actual toyline) but it still somehow comes across as incredibly, childishly earnest. Like on every level, making the show for them is like smashing monster toys together,

I remember watching a documentary from NHK where they interviewed the crew for whichever Ultra show was running at the time (I think it was X), and one of them said "it's literally the same thing every episode, every season, but we just never get tired of making it." You can really feel that spirit in every episode. It's a toy commercial for five-year-olds but they still keep finding new ways to stage the action or composite the monster fights in new ways to sell the illusion of scale. There was an episode of Ultraman X shot almost entirely documentary style. It looked like an episode of Cops. The kaiju battle is almost entirely from the perspective of ground-level handheld cameras, weather cams, and highway dash cams. That's nuts! They didn't have to go that hard but they went for it!

Anybody else like monster suit wrasslin'?

Toei has been dumping a ton of old tokusatsu shows on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7pddu3yyzkzFEiXfQLex3w

I mostly just dabble in the tv stuff like Ultraman, but I sure do love Godzilla. The Honda-Tsubaraya stuff is my favorite, especially the mid-60s stuff like Dogora, Ghidora, and Astro-Monster.

@MichaelDMcGrath#3487 Yeah, absolutely. Godzilla is where it all started for me. Though as much as I love the 60s Godzilla films, for some reason my favorite thing to rewatch is Frankenstein vs. Baragon, and I'm not really sure I could articulate why. I like it more than War of the Gargantuas even.

Tokusatsu is something near and dear to me. I started watching with Dynaman back in 1983 and I‘ve been watching ever since with all sorts of shows from Ultraman to Kamen Rider to all sort of Kaiju movies. I’ve been buying the Ultraman box sets that have been coming out and my kiddos and have been watching them together.

As far as the Toei stuff goes, back before it was legally posted I watched the whole series of Kaiketsu Zubat and loved every second of it. It‘s an extremely goofy but earnest good time, and I really enjoy getting to see so much of 70’s Japan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcWtho1uNyc

@Karasu#3996 Oh man, I didn‘t know Zubat was on there. I’ve been wanting to watch that since I saw this clip

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzRD6PFR75Q

I finally started watching Ultraman Orb and I can already see why it's so often recommended as an entry point. Love how Orb is kind of portrayed as a spaghetti western lone gunman dude, but also with some Clark Kent in there. They have him change into Ultraman by hiding in a photo booth, which is not only a fun little Superman gag, but it also provides maybe the smoothest exposition of Ultraman's Color timer that I have ever seen any of these shows do, cutting between the time limit warning in the booth and then showing the timer start to flash in the actual fight. So good. And the effects in these new generation Ultra shows continue get more ambitious every season. Love it

Oh hey, Howl from Beyond the Fog is getting a US home video release!



https://youtu.be/tY6Yqq6kBxs

I‘m a big fan of the Super Sentai series and have most of the DVDs Shout Factory has put out. The 90s-era stuff appeals to me on a deep level: it’s largely the show that I always wished Power Rangers was. Ridiculous melodramatic stories involving things like robots and dinosaurs, featuring awesome monster costumes and fun choreography/stuntwork.

It‘s a blast, especially the early 90s stuff! I’m also a fan of Godzilla and the other Toho kaiju movies!

I've seen Ultra Q and Ultraman from the old DVD releases. Ultra Q is a lot of fun in how it's almost Twilight Zone but with giant monsters. I *want* to like Ultraman, but it's just a little too simple for my tastes. I picked up the Ultra Seven blu-ray with the hopes that it's a step up, but IDK. I don't really know where to start with the Ultra series aside from just going in order; I know Crunchyroll has some of the later series and I might try them when I finish Ultra Seven.

I feel like Kamen Rider is the biggest tokustatsu series that I'm not that familiar with. I should really get on that at some point. But like Ultraman, I'm not really sure where to start...

I’ve been really digging looking forward to a new episode of Ultraman Z on YouTube each Friday, although yeah, the merchandising angle is out of control. This Ultraman uses collectible coins of past Ultramans to transform while the villain mix and matches ones of past monsters to create new ones. Each episode does have at least one super cool POV shot with one recent standout being from inside a car that was corkscrewing through the air during a battle with the cars contents flying through the air.

Ive been working my way through the UltraQ set too. It rules so far. Hyped to get into the follow up shows.

For fans of giant monsters, a VERY rare PS2 release (only a demo was ever made and included in a DVD boxed set)

https://cdromance.com/ps2-iso/tekkouki-mikazuki-taikenban-japan/

I‘m glad this thread got bumped cause I’ve just recently been getting into this stuff. Sometimes when I‘m really really bored I would load up pluto tv and that’s how I discovered Ultraman Leo and I was just hooked. The stories I can take or leave for the most part, I just love watching a suited up alien hero fight other giant alien monsters and destroy scale model buildings.

I used to watch the old Godzilla movies when I was a kid but kinda fell out of them. Having discovered Ultraman has kinda rekindled my Godzilla love. I've watched 2 Mechagodzilla movies and I absolutely love them.

So can peeps recommend some of their favorite godzilla and ultraman stuff? I've mostly watched Leo and Tiga, but I'm gonna check out Orb as mentioned by someone above.

I'm very glad that to find so many other Big Toku Nerds here.

@Nemoide#4244 Ever think about checking out the extremely good Kamen Rider Gaim? Everyone's a fruit samurai and it was written by the guy who wrote Madoka. The protagonist's main motif is an orange and other notable characters include a melon and a banana.

[URL=https://i.imgur.com/2XRx6KC.jpg][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/2XRx6KC.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

It's ridiculous and I love it

My top recommendations for Godzilla are:

  • -

    Ghidorah, the Three Headed Monster

    Godzilla's face turn, and the first time the series went full cinematic universe with Rodan, Mothra, Godzilla and Ghidorah fighting at the same time.

  • -

    Dogora
    A jewel heist comedy with some light kaiju elements

  • -

    Godzilla vs Biollante
    Godzilla fights a giant rose.

  • -

    Invasion of the Astro Monster
    Godzilla vs Ghidorah _in space!_

  • Top 5 Godzilla movies:

    The original (1954): still great! not sure Godzilla has ever been shot more strikingly in any film since this one. He cuts an imposing silhouette. Godzilla's first appearance on Odo Island is one of the all-time great introductions in film history.

    Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster: for all the reasons listed above. Ghidorah's big rampage in this film is considered one of the greatest miniature destruction scenes in the genre. You get a nice vertical slice of the whole Original Godzilla Era: great miniature work, antagonistic AND heroic Godzilla, aliens, shootouts against gangsters wearing suits and sunglasses. This movie has it all.

    Godzilla vs Hedorah: 70s Godzilla can be a real trip, and this one is without a doubt the trippiest. It's almost like an experimental art film in places. Weird, Schoolhouse Rock-esque animated vignettes, hallucinations/subjective POV. Features an unapologetically anthropomorphic/heroic Godzilla but the movie is also so dark and violent I'd almost be nervous showing it to a kid. Maybe the highest body count of any film in the original series after the 1954 film.

    Godzilla, Mothra, & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack: from the 2000s revival series, in which almost every film is divorced in continuity from each other, each serving as a direct sequel to the original (and sometimes a bizarre list of others, as is the case with the Mechagodzilla duology). Very unique premise in which Godzilla is wholly evil and even supernatural (implied to be the manifestation of all those who died as a result of Japan's actions during WWII) and the other monsters are mythical guardians of Japan bound to oppose him. This movie was directed by Shusuke Kaneko, who also directed the 90s Gamera trilogy, widely (and correctly) considered to be some of the best kaiju films of all time.

    Shin Godzilla: Hideaki Anno's take on a Godzilla reboot from 2016. Easily one of the best Godzilla films of all time. The movie's Evangelion connection was widely hyped up at the time and it really does show: Godzilla is depicted as a very EVA-like body horror monstrosity and there's a big procedural emphasis on the government's plans for trying to understand and counteract his unprecedented physiology. The movie also features a lot of vintage score and sound effects from Godzilla's past which feels both nostalgic and sometimes unsettlingly dischordant. If you watch only one Godzilla sequel, it should be this one.

    @GigaSlime#23287

    This is a great list I'm definitely gonna check all these out.

    Im definitely gonna check out the last one there. The first time I heard of this was when the trailer for his Ultraman movie came out which also looks so freakin cool. You can tell he has an appreciation for the original look and feel of this stuff while injecting some modern cinematism into it all.

    I‘ll share my top 5 favorite Godzilla films too. There’s a good amount of overlap with the list @GigaSlime made, which proves they are a person of taste!

    1) Godzilla (1954) - the first and undisputed best

    2) Mothra vs. Godzilla (aka Godzilla vs The Thing) - to me, this is the archetypal classic Showa-era Godzilla film, lots of fun!

    3) Godzilla vs Hedorah - the most divisive Godzilla film, this is one you'll love or hate because it's WEIRD and wildly unique!

    4) Shin Godzilla - the newest Japanese movie is really good! It's got Hideaki Anno's fingerprints all over it, so if you've seen Evangelion, you'll pick up on a good number of similarities. I'd say it's basically a Godzilla movie about a bureaucracy trying to deal with Godzilla. But they also successfully made Godzilla extra creepy and cool looking!

    5) Invasion of Astro-Monster - I love me some King Ghidorah and IMO this is him at his best!

    Honestly I'd say all the Godzilla movies are worth watching because even the bad ones SOUND good enough to make your curiosity gnaw away at you until you watch them.
    And it's worth adding that Toho had its own little cinematic universe going on with its monster movies. So even though Godzilla isn't in them, titles like Rodan (aka Radon), Mothra, Matango, and War of the Gargantuas are all worth watching if your exploring the tokusatsu films of that era!

    @TheFragranceOfDarkCoffee#23257 I've heard good things about Kamen Rider Gaim but haven't seen it! Is it available on any legal streaming service? I have a pretty primitive setup and can't hook my PC up to my TV and don't like watching things on my PC.

    @Nemoide#23426 Unless you want to import some very expensive DVDs or Blu Rays, I don‘t think there’s a way to watch Gaim legally in the states unfortunately.

    @TheFragranceOfDarkCoffee#23619

    Dang! One of these days I should get a cheap laptop I can plug into my TV

    Matt Zoller Seitz's review of Godzilla vs. Kong has me absolutely pumped to watch it as soon as I get off work

    Seitz has been rogerebert.com's man on the MonsterVerse beat since Godzilla 2014, and I've really appreciated seeing at least one critic out there singing their praises so passionately. Dude gets it.