Tokusatsu Graveyard

Found this ever-so-depressing page yesterday that chronicled the writer’s trip to the the Toho tokusatsu studios backlots. This page was made in November 2001, and noted that the pictures were taken over a decade before that (1988 or 1989). Translated below:

Over a decade ago, while Kamen Rider Black RX was on the air, I visited the Toho tokusatsu studio. All obsolete vehicles from past shows were carelessly placed outside the studios. (They were literally carelessly dumped there.)

I just found the photos I took so I’ll post them for all the tokusatsu fans out there.

The first photo is the outdoor parking lot.

Tokusatsu Graveyard

The buggy with the word “MASKMAN” on it is the “Spin Cruiser” from Hikari Sentai Maskman. To the left is the “Live Cougar” from Choujuu Sentai Liveman. Perhaps exposed to too much rain and wind, they were in pretty bad shape. The Spin Cruiser’s bumper was bent and looked like it was about to fall off. I’m sure a fan would scream “what a waste!” if they saw this.

The second photo is to the side of the storage building.

Tokusatsu Graveyard

The yellow bike is the “Moto Lion” that Yellow Lion rode in Liveman. I’m not sure what the red one in the back is. Red Falcon’s “Moto Falcon”? (If you know, please tell me.) The pink one in the back is most likely a “Mask Roader” from Maskman. They just left these between storage buildings like pieces of scrap.

The third photo is of a special bike.

Tokusatsu Graveyard

The green bike in the front is “Battle Hopper” from Kamen Rider Black. This was still in good condition. The pink and yellow vehicles behind it are the “Flash Hawk” bikes from Choushinsei Flashman.

Finally, the most impacting photo was taken in the corner of the parking lot.

Tokusatsu Graveyard

There I found the trashed “Ginkron” from Brothers Fist Bricrosser, a very minor tokusatsu show. In the show Bicrosser Ken would lift the bike onto his shoulder while Bicrosser Gin was riding it and used the bike as a cannon [note: observe this oddity here]. I wanted to see how heavy the bike was but it was covered in rust so I didn’t attempt to lift it. The one I can’t figure out is the colorful one in the corner. It might be the colorful vehicle from Himitsu Sentai Goranger, the “Barikikyuun”. The Barikikyuun is the only air balloon machine in all of sentai history. With all their supposed technology in the show they somehow make a low-tech air balloon. Basically it’s a stupid machine. I can’t believe these still exist…

Most likely the Toho tokusatsu studio has treasures like these still carelessly thrown away like this. Definitely a place to visit if you’re a tokusatsu fan.

[Original site in Japanese]

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Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/26 (Monday)

2/26 (Monday)
Today we filmed a promotion video at a cafe in Shibuya.
If you work in this industry you can start seeing locations that were used in other movies. This cafe, for instance, was also used in the movie “Babel”.

Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/26 (Monday)In THE NEXT a key character named “Chiharu” is an idol. She is the younger sister of Kazami Shiro, and represents Japan as its top idol. She is also a friend of one of Hongo’s students, Kotomi. The promotion video is for her new single “Platinum Smile”. It’s a song within a movie, but the production is of an actual promotional video. The director said that “we’re putting this on the DVD as a special feature!”, so the DVD might include the full uncut video! You can also watch the video on the official website.

Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/26 (Monday)The toughest part of this day was the feathers that fly behind Chiharu.
These feathers were actually blown into the air with an electric fan. There were so many feathers that we kept picking up the feathers off the ground and had to throw them on top of the fan over and over. It felt like I was in a comedy skit. I couldn’t even hear “Platinum Smile” in my head, rather I heard fitting comedic music.

I learned that when people exceed their limits, they just have to laugh.

[Translated by Pal. Originally posted on 9/21/2007 @ Kamen Rider THE NEXT Official Blog]

Oops – Project BM! “coupon” is not really a coupon

Kabuto Coupon

I misread, and it turns out that you don’t get a “free figure coupon” when buying a Project BM! figure, but a ticket to reserve special figures that won’t be sold in stores. For instance, if you buy the Kamen Rider Kabuto figure and register yourself with the included ticket by the end of November 2007, you’ll get the opportunity to buy Dark Kabuto (18,690 yen; $162) and Tendo Souji ($13,440; $116) that will be unavailable to those who didn’t buy Kabuto (or those who didn’t use/sold the ticket). You know what they say: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/25 (Sunday)

2/25 (Sunday)
Today we film a scene in a girls high school.

Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/25 (Sunday) Hongo has finished his term at the university research center and now works at Jonan University and High School and teaches biology. Even our hero, the protector of justice, is having trouble with his rebellious students… Although he was a genetics researcher, the students are chanting “Hongo the Virgin,” and Hongo flees from the classroom. I used to think that finding a torn page from an “adult” magazine was the ultimate thrill, but it’s no comparison to today’s generation.

Today one of Hongo’s students, Kotomi, makes an appearance. Kotomi isn’t being picked on, but she went against her peers and her strong personality is clashing with their agenda. She hasn’t opened up to Hongo either, so she is essentially a lone wolf.
Kotomi is played by Ishida Miku-chan. She is very likable and polite, but once the camera starts rolling she becomes a different person. There was a scene where she gets rejected by her peers and darts out of the classroom in anger, which was very exciting to watch.

Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/25 (Sunday)Now, the text on the chalkboard in Hongo’s classroom was written by me. I studied information on genetics for reference, but the director praised me saying that “this is the best chalkboard I’ve ever used in a movie.” These little compliments are truly the best~(T_T)/
I didn’t get too many praises from the director this day…

[Translated by Pal. Originally posted on 9/21/2007 @ Kamen Rider THE NEXT Official Blog]

Shock your party guests with Shocker wine

Shocker Wine

Spice up your next party by recreating the Shocker Members Party scene from the original Kamen Rider (episodes 39 and 40) amongst your partners in crime! This is the second limited production run of 150 sets, actually; after the successful sellout of the first batch it’s back by popular demand. This fancy wine set includes: two bottles of wine (for the Japanese and Swiss branch), two wine glasses with Shocker logo laser-etched, an invitation to the Shocker Members Party, and a commemorative box that neatly houses everything. The invitation reads:

Invitation

An announcement to all Shocker Members around the globe

We, the secret organization Shocker, will commence Operation Wolf and dominate the world. We will be holding a Shocker Party at the Japan Headquarters. Our objective of this party is to defeat the traitor Kamen Rider. We look forward to your attendance.

Shocker Japan Headquarters, Colonel Zol

Shocker Wine (Japan)Shocker Wine (Switzerland)

Shocker Wine SetShocker Invitation

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[Via LaLaBit]

Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/24 (Saturday)

2/24 (Saturday)
We’re filming a scene in a bar in Ginza on our second day of filming.
Hongo Takeshi, played by Kikawada Masaya-san, appears for the first time. Hayato is suffering from his rejection here as well.

The bar we used for filming is an actual bar in town. The counter is made of one large wooden slab, and jokes are said in this scene. The production crew keep their eye open for interesting locations. They conduct location hunts lead by the director’s ideals and find the best match. As with any locations, many rules apply.
“We can’t dirty the counter, so keep that in mind,” said the filming crew.
Then, as the actors are getting prepared for the shot, the director told me something.
“When Hayato stands up, the rejection fluid shop drip a bit on here.”
“(I see, drip it.) …What? Drip a bit?!”

Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/24 (Saturday)The rejection fluid is a combination of lotion and ink, and will stain whatever it touches.
The amount of stickiness is determined by how much water is added, which I observed from my senior assistant director. We ultimately touch the fluid to see if it feels right, and we were just going to use it as is… So nervous.
After injecting the fluid into the tube that’s attached to Takano-san, it was me that had to blow into the tube when he stood from his seat…
Director “Okay…action!”
Me “Pffffffffffttt”
……drip, drop…..
Director “Cut!”
Like a gust of wind, the production crew wiped it off the table. …Impressive.

Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/24 (Saturday)Today we had all three of the heroes, Kikawada-san as Hongo, Takano-san as Hayato, and Kato-san as Shiro in one scene. The chemistry between the three change over time and it’s fun to watch. The set feels peaceful yet we also feel nervousness. The filming for the bar is complete!
This night we also changed location and filmed a scene that involves an ambulance. The theme for this movie that the director stated is “alchemy of horror and action,” and we filmed a situation where ambulances were everywhere in the city chasing one strange disaster to the next.

[Translated by Pal. Originally posted on 9/18/2007 @ Kamen Rider THE NEXT Official Blog]

Kamen Rider Hibiki PS2 game for $20

Kamen Rider Hibiki PS2 Game

Spotted the game on sale at Play-Asia so I thought I’d pass the information along. Usually retailing for $59.99, it’s on sale for an undetermined amount of time for only $19.90 + $3.10 shipping. The reviews are a pretty mixed, noting that the game is on the easy side for adults but actually fun for Hibiki fans. It’s mainly an action game in vain of the old beat ’em ups, and boss battles are defeated in a Taiko Drum Master rhythm game fashion with drumming (its even compatible with the Drumcon controller). Seems a bit quirky, eh? The video looks pretty cool though!

Kamen Rider Hibiki PS2 game – $19.90

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48DZ3WbgEtc[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4yE1zG5taY[/youtube]

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Kamen Rider birthday cakes = super cool!

Kamen Rider Zeronos cake

I’m jealous of Japan in that they have cake shops that make specialized Kamen Rider cakes. I’m also jealous of the kids that get these cakes on their birthdays! There are even bakeries out there that make 3D cakes (pictured above, Kamen Rider Zeronos from Kamen Rider Den-O). These specialized cakes can be order online/phone and shipped anywhere in Japan and will arrive frozen for you to thaw out in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Typical orders range around $35-$50, which is a great deal for the amount of smiles that the cake will bring to the party. More pictures below (note the kid with his ultra smooth pose). So cool!

Kamen Rider Zeronos cakeKamen Rider cake - Zeronos

Kamen Rider 555 cake

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Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/23 (Friday)

[Note: Starting from the oldest to to the newest entries now, sorry for the confusion]

Hello!
I’m the fourth assistant director Kato for Kamen Rider THE NEXT. This production diary is intended to introduce our day to day filming experiences and discussions that are usually staff only. Nice to meet you.

First, I’ll introduce myself. It’s been a little over a year since I started this job. I was a home electronics engineer for 5 years and switched careers, so I guess I’m a little strange. My digital lifestyle became analog, I get more phone calls instead of e-mails, company cafeteria changed from credit to cash, footwork instead of networking, drinking and socializing instead of time at home… I’m comfortable with the new work style. I like this better anyway, and I’m absorbing a lot about movies and its digital aspects.

Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/23

Many call movies a comprehensive art since many people with different skills work on all kinds of things. Director/producer/production crew (assistant directors belong here)/production design/special effects/lighting/sound/art/wardrobe/editing/script writers/makeup/actor manager/car rental… Many people are involved. I will try my best to write in a way to explain what people do what at in the production of a movie in hopes that you might become more interested in the movie making process.
Alright, let’s get started!!

2/23 (Friday)
Tasaki Group, crank in! Preparation was brief, and filming is about to start.
As written above, there are many people working on a particular project, but every project has a different set of staff. That being said, the first day of filming is also a “break in” day, and the group’s rhythm is decided naturally. So, the first day is very important. There are no complicated actions scenes or dramatic acting on the crank in day. Like a ship at sea, the production starts slowly.

Today we’re filming a scene in a high-class club. Ichimonji Hayato makes his appearance in the darkness of the metropolis.
Those who saw THE FIRST will remember that Hayato suffers from a “rejection” since he betrayed Shocker. He cannot live without his blood transfusion. However, he has made his decision to never go back to the Shocker headquarters. His body is rotting away, meanwhile…

Kamen Rider THE NEXT Production Diary: 2/23

Oh that Hayato, he’s having a blast at the high-class club. He has enchanted every hostess in the club! He even orders a dozen bottles of Dom Pérignon! To top it off, there’s gold! …Did you know that there’s Dom Pérignon with gold in it? Basically it’s more expensive than the regular bottle. I’d love to drink it at least once. Sadly the bottle wasn’t filled with the actual drink (^-^;>

Since this is the first entry, let me talk about the production crew. We, the assistant directors, fall into the production crew category. The director is a producer and and it’s natural that he’s in the production crew, but it’s also the production crew’s responsibility to create the rhythm that I mentioned above. Majority of the “Test!” and “Rolling!” and other things you hear on the set are said by the production crew. There’s also a rank within the assistant directors: the chief assistant director checks everything and plans the shooting schedule, second assistant director supervises the production while handling the wardrobe/makeup crew, third assistant director and below handles the art/props department while supervising.
Now, the lowest rank assistant director like myself gets to use the clapper board. Once we see and hear the clap, the cameras start rolling and it’s as if it switches on the actors, so it’s an important item to maintain the rhythm.

The production crew in a way acts as the lubricant that creates an atmosphere which allows the actors to perform comfortably, creating the director’s vision as a team.

[Translated by Pal. Originally posted on 9/13/2007 @ Kamen Rider THE NEXT Official Blog]

Release: Kamen Rider Black Episode 34

Birugenia attains the Satan Saber

Kyoko has been kidnapped by Golgom to absorb her life energy to awaken Shadow Moon! Kotaro, not knowing Golgom’s location, is left in a state of panic. Meanwhile Birugenia finds the sword forged for the Creation King himself, the Satan Saber, making him invincible. Will Shadow Moon be awakened? Will Kotaro rescue Kyoko from Golgom? How will Kamen Rider Black combat the unstoppable Birugenia?

Kamen Rider Black Episode 34 screenshots (possible spoilers)

Pal’s opinion: If you haven’t watched Kamen Rider Black in a while, this is the time to start watching. This is definitely one of my favorite episodes so far, this is no filler! Birugenia shines in this episode, and I actually started cheering for him. He’s a bit of an outcast and has over the years fallen into obscurity (I have never seen an action figure of him, ever), so it’s nice to see him get such a big part in this episode.

Available in Downloads section.

Note: From the next episode on zeldAIS will be credited as Karaoke & Typesetting FX – meant to do this in this episode, so please replace it in your mind when watching!

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