Thursday, June 17, 2010

Retro Tokusatsu

My childhood Tokusatsu/live action hero lineup isn't as robust as my retro anime lineup, but it contains quite a few unique shows. Some of them, like Goggle V above, is a popular one back in the 80's but there are some that not many have heard of.

First up is the first Uchuu Keiji or Space Sheriff series, Gyaban!

This show was very popular with kids and adults back when I first seen it. I think we called it "Gaban" back in Jakarta, much easier to say than "Gyaban" XD I think a lot of parents got their kids to watch this and then later on an Indonesian comedy trio did a parody of it. It was quite big in Indonesia!

I really liked the suit, but mostly when it became shiny. Other times it was a dull silver/gray. The Dragon robot/spaceship was kinda cool, but I don't remember if it even made that much appearances. I think this show was quite popular that Keroro Gunsou had a character that had very similar moves. ^^;

Next up is its sequel, Shariban. It spawned many other sequels, one of them called Shaider, but unfortunately they never caught on in Indonesia that I didn't see them back then.

If you can't read Japanese, his female assistant/partner is named "Lily" ^_^ His robot/spaceship looks too freaking ridiculous though. How'd they get away with that design?!

Goggle V was BIG! No, I didn't mean its robot, but the show was very popular back in the day. I watched it every weekend on video, the neighbourhood kids played Goggle V in the local field, I had the cassette soundtrack and I even watched a live Goggle V show in one of Jakarta's stage shows! This was way back in the 80's before Power Rangers even became popular in North America. So I compared everything that had the five coloured warriors with vehicles that form into a giant robot with Goggle V. I kinda wish I can find the giant robot toy for Goggle V ^^; Oh and sometimes I misspell it as Google V, lol. The first image from this post is from Super Sentai Images, btw. Good source of the olden sentai shows.

Unfortunately I can't find the opening video for Megaloman, but it was kinda like a clone of Ultraman since he grows big. Similar face too, except he's got a long hair instead of a fin.

Another long haired tokusatsu hero is Lion Maru or Lion Man. I watched a bit of it, but didn't really remember much of it.

And finally the reason why I wanted to do this post and my last post was because I saw someone's room with a Zaborger toy. So I looked up the opening again and felt like making these posts. I thought Zaborger was pretty cool since there weren't any transforming motorcycles back then, especially a live action one. Kamen Rider may have the bikes, but they don't transform... Not until Kamen Rider Faiz (the only time I've seen transforming bikes in a Kamen Rider show, btw. Could've been earlier that I missed). Later on Zaborger was damaged that he had to be upgraded. And it became two bikes!

Speaking of Kamen Rider, I never did watch any of them. I have seen some of it and heard some of the songs, but unfortunately I didn't get to see any of them... Maybe a little...

So that's most of it that I remembered. I'm sure there are some that I didn't post because I don't remember them that well. There were lots that I watched back then, but only a few. I guess I didn't mention Godzilla, but that's a different kind of Tokusatsu. Nowadays I can't help but think how corny these shows were... And that's the same with the Sentai shows too that I can't barely watch any of them. I have to remember that these are targeted for children ^^;; Anyway, I'll go back to the present right after this bonus video:

I had a cassette full of Japanese opening... This was one of them. I've never seen it, but somehow I would always sing along when this theme song comes on, lol.


  1. Now, Megaloman, Ultraman, and all these guys are retro I can get behind!
    Loved them. I think I even had an almanac of various monsters appearing in one of these shows.

  2. @Yi: Wow this really surprised me, lol. I don't think I saw this side of you before XD The rubber suit monsters were quite cool back then even if we knew they were guys in a rubber suit! They even collected it in one book, eh? Nice!

  3. Mmm, Ultraman... Man was I big into that. For a LOOOONG time. From watching the original (not when it was running though, of course :p) to Ultraman Gaia. I even kept up when Ultraseven X came out, but that's not really Ultraman, no. Specium rays, eye sluggers... Trying to rationalize why Ultraman never just shot his finisher the second he came down (we would later realize that if he did that, you'd end up with a series like Ultraseven X). Taro threw Tyrant's chain back at him so hard it cut him up! Holy cow.

    Even though I don't know the likes of Gyaban or Sharivan, I remember having toys of them...
    Godzilla is definitely great, but by the time I got into it it was already the new millennium. Really liked Mechagodzilla 2, but I never got to see the older ones with like, King Ghidorah or Megalon.

    Shame you didn't watch Riders. Had so much fun with V3 in my childhood. He's still my favorite. Nobody has ever since taken down last bosses as brutally and quickly as he.

  4. @Tim: Yeah, those gigantic people in rubber suits were fun! They were showing a version of Ultraman here on TV once and I used to watch it, but didn't watch too many. They became a bit too formulaic ^^; Didn't get much into Ultra Seven, so I know nothing about them XD

    Toys really do give some kind of remembrance about the old days doesn't it? I really liked that one with Mothra, but Godzilla was defeated in that one, lol.

    It is a bit sad that I didn't get to see some of the Riders in action... But I'm glad I saw some of the newer ones. I understood why they were big deal. Much more serious compared to the sentai shows, but still looking just as cool, or even better!

  5. I remember watching Ultraman when I was a kid, didn't get too into it, though. I was only able to watch the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, none of the asian ones aired on TV back then.

    I got my rotating display bases off ebay:

  6. @Toxyn: Seems like a lot of them stayed in Asia, eh? Thanks for the link! I'll have to invest in a view perhaps :D