Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Let's talk Shogun Warriors.

The Shogun Warriors were a really cool toy when I was a kid. I actually saved up my lawn mowing money and bought Raideen myself, the first major toy I did that for. I had no access to the fledgling anime market making the rounds, syndicated on independent channels, so only the commercials I'd see on Saturday morning TV fed my imagination for these Jumbo Machinders, these giant robots who would eventually be the progenitors of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and more importantly, Dynaman.

Occasionally you can catch people putting their Dynaman clips up on Youtube. The only ones I can find nowadays are the clips from the episode The Lizard of Oz. Originally, see, when Saban Entertainment brought the whole sentai culture to the US, he was trying to market it as a comedy, with lines redubbed with insanely funny dialogue that had little to do with the original plot. In fact, a couple of the Kids in the Hall were responsible for the original episodes, which contrary to what you might read on the internet, didn't premiere on Night Flight... they were syndicated.

I'm thinking they take down the Dynaman clips on Youtube because they'd really like to release the Dynaman eps on DVD but can't while they're not protecting their copyright. But then again, why don't they go ahead and release the eps? Probably music rights. The original Dynaman parodies were so well put together that they had an epic 80s soundtrack to them. "Hip To Be Square," by Huey Lewis. "Kids Wanna Rock," by Bryan Adams. It was so In The Moment with 80s pop culture, I have no idea why it didn't originally succeed. Later, Night Flight would employ its lesser talented staff to make new eps. The Power Rangers followed a few years after, and were a hit.

But as far as I can tell, this all started way back when with the Japanese Spider-man series. Toei Studios (who I believe were responsible for many of the super sentai series) bought the rights to Spider-Man in Japan at the same time that the US show starring Nicholas Hammond was making the rounds. As fondly as I remember that show, I really wish Supaidaman was the one I'd been weaned on. Because it is screwed up.

One of the things I used to like to do, before the Power Rangers ruined it, is make my friends watch the original (well... American-dubbed original) Dynaman and watch them freak out when suddenly there's a giant freakin' robot in the middle of everything. That kind of originated with Supaidaman... yes, Spider-Man had a giant robot. Leopardon, who knows where he got that name from.

My point in all of this is that if you have patience for subtitles, you can enjoy the Japanese take on Spider-Man right now on Marvel's website. They are streaming eps every week, with the subtitles, although somehow it's more enjoyable not knowing what's going on. Currently my brothers and I are trying to find a way to Dynaman the Japanese Spider-Man... I have one of the most talented female voice-talents willing to do voices for me, plus I'm not a stiff myself. Hopefully we can get something going, if we can figure out enough jokes and a storyline. And a soundtrack.

In the meantime, freak yourself out to the first episode!

And here's the third ep!

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