Sierra Hotel India Echo Lima Delta
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Mar 24, 2013
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42
Hi, guys. I'm doing a project on the toku hero subculture (I'm not even sure if others even identify it as a subculture). If its okay, can any of you answer these questions?

- How did you get into toku heroes (PR, Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, etc.) ?
- Have toku hero shows influenced the way you live your life? (Did it teach you lessons, etc.?)
- What makes toku heroes appealing to you? What do you reckon makes toku heroes different from other superheroes?
- Do you think toku hero fans are a minority? Are there damn too many people who think Kamen Rider is Power Rangers?

Sorry for the annoyingly exam/survey-like questions. No need to answer them all, though. Please and thank you! :thumbs:
 
S

scikaiju

Guest
Well being one of the older guys here, I'll give it ago.

1) In general, growing up in the 80s, I'd say it started with the various Kaiju movies that used to air all the time. Godzilla, Gamera and the like. In a more specific hero, of the giant variety to be more specific, vs the MOTW sense it was dub reruns of a 70s called Spectreman that aired Monday through Friday.

2) Can't really say that it did.

3) I can't really say. I've always said it's the way my head is wired, I just saw it and instantly knew this is what I like. You could say something there on a more primal level with things or the monster blowing up. As for what makes them different, well you could say there is a finality in these show. If you like a show you know you don't have to worry about the long haul(multiple seasons, various creative teams, stuff like that) as these shows generally last a year, roughly. On the flip side if the current show isn't really entertaining you you can drop wait until next year for a new version to come out and not be lost.

4) I'm not sure if we're a minority as far as fandoms go, but I'm pretty sure we're not as big as some folks seem to think we are. I remember in the old Japan Hero days people were saying that Tokusatsu was were anime was right before the big Anime boom happened. But fifteen + years later, maybe even twenty, still haven't seen that Toku boom yet. Granted we have things like DVD sets for 3 sentai series now and various Ultraman shows are legally available through crunchyroll now but that's about it And the public in general tends to fit thing in categories it can understand. Like how every video game was generally reffered to as Nintendo, later Playstation, and show featuring a transfoming hero fighting monster is automatically "Power Rangers"

Hope that was what you were looking for.
 
New Member
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Oct 30, 2015
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TheLPFan1997 said:
- How did you get into toku heroes (PR, Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, etc.)?

My father had a VHS store when I was a kid (80's). I grew up watching Sentais and Metal Heroes, and some other stuff like LionMaru and Cybercops.

- Have toku hero shows influenced the way you live your life? (Did it teach you lessons, etc.?)

"The way you live your life" sounds deep, doesn't it? I wouldn't go that far. Arguably, watching tokusatsu might have influenced my taste for fights (I like watching UFC, playing Street Fighter, that kind of stuff).

- What makes toku heroes appealing to you? What do you reckon makes toku heroes different from other superheroes?

The heroes themselves, not much. If you're asking about specific characters, I'd say that most seasons I watched usually invest more in the villain - they usually have more personality and show more character growth during the season.

But I watch toku shows mostly because I like the stories. Not necessarily because I like "heroes".

- Do you think toku hero fans are a minority?

Yes. I'm the only person I know (excluding online friends) that enjoy watching tokusatsu.

Are there damn too many people who think Kamen Rider is Power Rangers?

People from the "geek culture" usually know the difference. Other people probably don't even know what is a Kamen Rider.
 
R

raden238

Guest
1. I got into Toku in two ways. My parents grew up watching Ultraman, so I knew about it at a young age. Second, I was watching Power Rangers growing up. So naturally if you'd seen enough Power Rangers for many years, you would know about Sentai and then Kamen Rider.

2. Toku shows influenced me to be a nicer person in life, willing to help others etc...

3. Toku heroes are different in a sense that they need a device to transform into a superhero. While comic book heroes have their powers come naturally inside their bodies. But both have similar ideologies. The designs are cool.

4. I do not see Toku fans in the minority. They're are very popular in North America, Southeast Asia, Europe, South America etc.. It would only continue to grow as the years go by. And I have only seen one person think that Kamen Rider is the Japanese Power Rangers.
 
King of Pepsi
Joined
Jun 16, 2016
Messages
8
Most of this will be based off Super Sentai, because that's what I usually watch. However, much of what I like about Super Sentai sorta applies to rest of Tokusatsu, so I think it counts =P

How did you get into toku heroes (PR, Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, etc.) ?
Originally I got into Power Rangers first. Believe it or not, I actually hated it as a child, i was one of those wannabe cool kids who thought it was too stupid and corny. During my teenage years, I started watching Linkara's History of Power Rangers, I realized it was wayyyyyy more interesting than I originally gave it credit for. This was also the phase in my life when I started to embrace cheesiness and light-heartedness, rather than hate on it to try and look "manly" to others. My first seasons were MMPR, Dino Thunder, and Lightspeed Rescue.

I started getting into Super Sentai when I saw short clips posted on YouTube, usually henshins and fight scenes. Gokaiger looked particularly interesting, because the characters had very colorful personalities and looks. They had a lot of spunkiness and attitude, that type of stuff really clicks well with me, and in addition, it felt a lot more natural than what I saw in MMPR. I also started seeing some Zyuranger as well. That tribal, medieval fantasy theme felt a lot more extravagant than the high school hero trope which PR presented, and I started reading about it on wikia. Eventually, Zyuranger and Gokaiger became my first two sentai series (in that order).

From then on, I was permanently hooked as a Super Sentai fan, eventually taking the place as my favorite show. But with Power Rangers, I kinda lost interest over time, because I strongly preferred what Sentai had going for it (will go more into detail somewhere below).

Have toku hero shows influenced the way you live your life? (Did it teach you lessons, etc.?)
Of course. Gokaiger is my favorite season because of how much I relate to it. I'm a person who used to suffer from anger issues growing up. I'm the guy who always used to be rough around the edges, the one who was constantly judged and misunderstood by others. The thing about Gokaiger, they faced a similar sorta thing. Much of the Earth outright rejected them, solely based off their "pirate" image as well as their ego. They had to face adversity and work to gain respect from others, despite having all the odds stacked against them. Yet they managed to do it with such amazing style and grace. They didn't have to change themselves to belong, rather they persuaded humanity to accept them for who they are. This gave me determination. It's not really about who I am, but how I handle my differences with others.

In fact, Super Sentai in general has this theme of "facing diversity". Look at Goseiger. You have three distinct tribes of people. Skicks who are energetic, optimistic thinkers with a sense of innocence. Seaicks who are calm, cool, and collected, purely logical thinkers. Then the Landicks, very aggressive, hotheaded warriors who fight for pride. Even though their differences are so extreme, we get to see members of the three tribes come together as the Goseigers. What we finally learn is, people's differences can be used to a group's advantage, rather than it being a weakness. This isn't just the message of Goseiger, but Super Sentai in general. And being a person with autism, emotional issues, etc, this message really inspires me, and it encourages me to work harder at finding my rightful place within society.

In addition to all this. Super Sentai is a very happy, lighthearted, and upbeat show. There are darker themes, of course, but despite whatever challenges they face, it always ends on a positive outlook. It's a similar way that we should live our lives. You can't let the negatives hold you back. You gotta push through it and see to the light.

What makes toku heroes appealing to you? What do you reckon makes toku heroes different from other superheroes?
For one, I like the choreography between suit actors. With most superhero stuff I see, its heavily reliant on special effects. However, with Super Sentai, more of an emphasis is placed on the actors' own abilities. I'm always left thinking "Damn, this guy can REALLY fight." I like how everyone moves completely in-sync as a team. The pacing is very exciting. I like those very sharp, quick motions, both in the fighting and in the poses. All this is tied back into the live-action choreography that I love so much about the franchise.

I also like Super Sentai's over the top nature. Even in the basic themes of the shows, you have angels, pirates, samurais, knights from the dinosaur age, racecar drivers, space police, etc. It's extreme, limitless nature gives the franchise a lot of variety, while also giving it a lot of grandiose. This is one reason as to why I prefer Sentai over Power Rangers. Yeah, PR is insane too, but Sentai handles it with more extravagance. I mean, you have Daizyujin (aka God) and the team's sentient Dinosaur partners fighting against Satan, with a team comprised of tribal knights born in the dinosaur again, then compare it to MMPR: a saved by the bell knockoff where teenagers pilot a giant robot. Doesn't have that flare, y'know? So yeah, this "over-the-top-ness" is part of what makes Sentai so appealing in my eyes.

Another aspect is the visual direction. I like the suit designs, with their bright, colorful, vivid aesthetic, and how it provides this interesting contrast with the environment. It visually pops out in this very distinct comic book style. Some people complain about spandex because it's low-budget. For me, it's not about the price of things, but rather how it looks, and I think it provides a very unique style overall. I also like the explosions, the sparks, and the smoke effects for a similar reason: everything bounces and shines. All the different colors and effects provide a lot of variety, which makes it so exciting to look at.

Then everything else I mentioned in the previous section: the themes of diversity and the franchise's upbeat tone. I also like how it balances the more serious plotlines, in a way that fits naturally within the series' more lighthearted nature.

Do you think toku hero fans are a minority? Are there damn too many people who think Kamen Rider is Power Rangers?
Best way to answer it: Yes. When you say "Live action show where heroes transform into colored costumes", people will generalize it as being the same as Power Rangers. When really, there's so much more to tokusatsu than that. This is just the basic concept of the "henshin hero". What they fail to look at are the themes in plot, the overall style, how characters are portrayed, etc. They just look at the basic idea and assume that's the only thing there is. Honestly, I just choose to ignore these sorta people. Simply put, they're the ignorant ones, not me.
 
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