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  • What's new in my tokusatsu pages?

    Thursday, december 11th : Janperson page added
    Created a Janperson gallery and story page in the gallery section. Check it out to know more about this MEtal Hero from the early 90's!

    Tuesday, december 9th : Video games metal heroes added
    Created a new page dedicated to a few video game original metal heroes. This page is the first step to serious update of the gallery section.

    This feature will soon be available

    What is Tokusatsu?
    Tokusatsu is the general japanese word for special-fx shows. To me, the first, or at least the most popular show which deserves the "Tokusatasu" name is Ultraman. Tokusatsu show are about super heroes, usually saving the earth from alien/evil invasions plots.

    In the beginning, heroes were common people with the ability to turn into giant fighters. This puts the basis of all other shows to come : the hero(es) changes to the battle-form, then strikes ennemies. Evolutions to the scheme appear with battle teams, then war machines, but the main idea remains.

    Picture : The Ultraman family with a closeup view of Ultraman-WhichOne 's helmet.
    The show is so popular in japan that the family grew real big. It's one of the earliest show i've heard of.

    "Battle teams" was the next tokusatsu show evolution. Such shows opened the "Sentais" era.
    Sentai is a word borrowed from the japanese military organization, and is somehow equivalent to US' "marines" as far as i've understood.
    Sentais are battle teams composed of 5 (sometimes less) human sized fighters, traditionnally dressed in rainbow-colored suits.
    One of the most famous show in France is BIOMAN, and in the US, sentais are monstly known through the PowerRangers, which is an adaptation form various original japanese Sentai shows.

    Sentais evolved by getting war machines, in the shape of giants robots, and Super Sentais were born. In each and every episodes, the sheme was basically the same: step 1: facing a new threat from the uber-villain, all fighters transform to dress-up in their fighting suits; step 2, they defeat the small monster-of-the-week; step 3: Damn-it! the ennemies have revived the monster in a giant version!; step 4: Ok, no problem, we have a giant robot that matches the size; then step 5 : defeated that monster again.
    LiveMan is a typical SuperSentais Show. It was shown in France as Bioman 2 or 3. See the rainbow colored suits? (Ok, well, black is not a rainbow color) Traditionnally, colors are : red (for the leader), blue and green (for men) and pink and yellow (ladies).

    Now we come to the topic of my pages. In 1982 appeared the almighty METAL HEROES! The concept is : fighters fight alone, as they did before Sentais came up, but they are still human sized. To make it more believable, they are dressed in robot-like metallic body armors.

    The first Metal-Hero ever is "Uchuu Keiji Gavan", Space Sheriff Gavan (A.k.a X-OR in France).
    As Gavan met a significant success, he was followed by two other "Uchu Keiji" (Space Sheriffs); namely Sharivan and Shaider.
    Those 3 are part of a "genre inside the genre"; the Space Sheriffs inside the Metal Heroes family. Their story are chronolocally linked, each new Space Sheriff being the official successor of the previous one in the plot.

    Here's a list of the "Metal Heroes shows" in chronological order :
    Space Sheriff Gavan (see Gavan gallery
    Space Sheriff Sharivan
    Space Sheriff Shaider
    Megabeast Special Investigation Juspion (see Juspion gallery
    Dimensional Warrior Spielban
    Super Man Machine Metalder
    Mobile Detective Jiban
    Special Rescue Police WINSPECTOR
    Special Rescue Command SOLBRAIN
    Special Investigation EXCEEDRAFT
    Special Investigation Robo JANPERSON (see Janperson gallery
    Blue Swat

    Winspector and Solbrain are also family-related. First, they both feature groups of three heroes; whereas Metal Heroes usually fight alone. Second, their storylines are linked by one character, a police officer that creates the task forces "Winspector" and then "Solbrain".
    Jiban and Janperson both use a "robot detective" theme, although there is actually no story link between them. It seems pretty obvious to me that Jiban was somehow inspired by Robocop, only with that so typical Jap touch.