2019/11/30

Song Collection: Chodenshi Bioman


Welcome back to my series of reviews on Tokusatsu series song collections. This time around I am taking a listen to a song collection that I've been avoiding for some time. I've alluded to my thoughts on these songs in both my Goggle V and Machineman song collection reviews. In my previous, and somewhat completely unrelated post about a garbage Netflix toy documentary, I even mention the series proper in passing.

It's time to talk about Chodenshi Bioman songs I guess.

For this post I'll be listening to my copy of the Chodenshi Bioman Complete Song Collection from 1996. I briefly talked about that disc here in the past.


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01. Chodenshi Bioman / Takayuki Miyauchi

100% Overrated.

I know a lot of people hold this series theme song near and dear for nostalgic reasons in the Philippines, but it's just a lousy theme song for all the parts that aren't 01:04 ~ 01:18. Those fourteen seconds don't save it, though.

I should back up a bit. This is the first Super Sentai outing for the now legendary Takayuki Miyauchi. He handles the theme songs and a handful of additional songs in this collection. His singing is perfectly serviceable on this track and all of the following tracks, but the music just doesn't match his style...at all. Miyauchi has a powerful voice...a voice that really shined during his stint as the resident Metal Hero songster between 1990 and 1992.

This theme song...with it's middling pace, uninspired bassline, and goddamn xylophone are a horrible waste of a Super Sentai theme song. Think of the Dynaman theme song...think of the Changeman theme song. This mundane slab of nothing is like watching a competitive snail race.

I know I previously railed on the xylophone being the worst part of this song, but then I remembered a far superior theme song from just a year prior that had everything the Bioman theme song has and does it 100% better. Yes, I'm talking about Aura Dunbine Battler's Dunbine tobu by the brilliant MIO (MIQ these days). I really want you to dissect both songs. The forceful singer, the xylophone, the bassline. EVERYTHING is better in Dunbine tobu and yet the songs are incredibly friggin similar.

I better stop talking about MIQ. Everytime I do, I get bummed out about her lack of Tokusatsu songs outside of her lone Gekiranger jam...and a cover of Sharivan's Danger Melody...

02. Oretachi Bioman / Takayuki Miyauchi, Koorogi '73

Kicking this thing off with...an incredibly boring song. Again, Miyauchi does his best with what he has, but this isn't his type of song. The best thing I can say about it is that this is the perfect amount of Koorogi '73 that any song should have. You know...background singers.

03. Sexual Lady / Maki Ishido

This song gets a lot of love for reasons that are beyond me. It's appearance in Gaoranger vs Super Sentai probably has something to do with it.

The engrishy title aside, this song isn't particularly fun. Maki Ishido isn't a great singer, either. The fact that I know her from nothing else probably speaks to that.

I guess the only other thing this song has to offer is this choice random engrish lyric: You are rhythmical dancer. Well.....yeah. Aren't dancers typically following a rhythm? You are interpretive dancer.

04. Blue Togetherness / Takayuki Miyauchi

Ahhh. Another overrated gem from Gaoranger vs Super Sentai.

I genuinely prefer the BGM version of this song over the vocal version. I should probably explain. The Bioman music collection features some modified versions of the vocal songs on a level that I don't think any other series reaches. Sometimes you'll hear lashings of songs in the BGM. Series composer Tatsumi Yano takes solid chunks of his songs and works them into the BGM. It's odd and, in pretty much every case, the BGM version is better.

05. Oozora kakete! / Koorogi '73, Japan Echo Singers

What the hell is this song?

It's certainly fun and peppy, but it isn't very good. Before I start this song collection project I had fond memories of Koorogi '73. Now that I've reviewed several song collections that have appearances by them, I'm beginning to question my assessment. Their suckitude far outweighs their decency.

I appreciate this song's liveliness in an otherwise bland song collection so far, but there is a very good reason why I skip this one often.

06. Colorful Bioman / Takayuki Miyauchi, Koorogi '73, Japan Echo Singers

Ugh.

The way this song farts along just makes me want to snooze. That's damn near impossible, though, seeing as the synth is set at it's most shrill setting. The contents of this song are a stark reminder that Super Sentai is children's programming. Colors...and numbers...! At four and a half minutes, this song goes on longer than it would take to get shot and bleed out. Guess which one is more preferable...

...the song of course, but that doesn't mean it doesn't suck.

07. Yumemiru Peebo / Yoshiko Ota, Columbia Yurikago-kai

UGH.

OK, so this is the song that people seem to bring up every time robot helper songs are the topic. For some reason I went into this listen thinking that it was as bad as Flashman's Mag song. NOPE. This is far worse. Irritating lyrics aside, Yoshiko Ota is NOT up to singing a song. The warbly notes are easily the worst I've heard in a Tokusatsu song prior to like 2001. Oof.

08. Biorobo no uta / Takayuki Miyauchi

By FAR the best song of the song collection. Like...not enough to justify any of the crap before it, but it's great.

When your debut mecha theme song is this flippin' good it's no wonder Toei would call you back several times over. I'm willing to say this is the first major Sentai mecha theme song. The Dynarobo theme is *sooooo* close to this greatness, but Miyauchi's voice has finally met it's match with the music. Perfect. When the finisher BGM closes out this song...AH *chef's kiss*

Seriously... 03:08 to the end are just perfection. You can be excused for not buying the Bioman music collection, because the best bit is right here.

09. Yuuyake no Pegasus / Ryosuke Sakamoto

Hey...a song by Red One himself, Ryosuke Sakamoto. You know what...I've always really liked this one. Sakamoto is actually a really decent singer. The song itself is fast-paced and actually really chill. It reminds me of some of the songs from the much better Machineman song collection of the same year. Even the end is fairly sweet in how it closes out.

This one gets regular play from me for good reason. I genuinely like it as a song.

10. Biomic Soldier / Takayuki Miyauchi

Billy Joel. Tell Her About It.

In case you were wondering where your brain heard this one before. I know a common connection people make is Wham!'s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (a song that famously got it's name from a typo), but that song was released *after* Biomic Soldier. Tell Her About It is from 1983, so yeah. It is something of a generic peppy beat, though. Playing Biomic Soldier over either of those two songs is pretty uncanny.

Biomic Soldier is...alright. Fun in a very, very stupid way. I used to actively dislike this song, but I would be a hypocrite to like Zyuranger's goofy Bouken shite rapappiya and not like this. I guess. Miyauchi actually does line up with this one pretty well given the song has a pulse.

11. Chodenshi Bioman [Original Karaoke]

12. Oretachi Bioman [Original Karaoke]

13. Sexual Lady [Original Karaoke]

14. Blue Togetherness [Original Karaoke]

15. Oozora kakete! [Original Karaoke]

16. Coloful Bioman [Original Karaoke]

17. Yumemiru Peebo [Original Karaoke]

18. Biorobo no uta [Original Karaoke]

19. Yuuyake no Pegasus [Original Karaoke]

20. Biomic Soldier [Original Karaoke]

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I had some reservations about reviewing this song collection after my previous post about the unwatchable Power Rangers episode of The Toys That Made Us, but I guess it's time for this to happen. Negative November in full effect...

This song collection is terrible. I would even give the frankly bizarre Uchuu Keiji Shaider song collection a listen over the Bioman songs any day. Even Miyauchi's Shaider song is better than most of what's here. You have a wonderful singer who is woefully under-utilized on top of some of the most boring songs to accompany a Tokusatsu series. It's bad...and I really don't understand the acclaim outside of the sudden sharp turn this takes once you get to the Biorobo theme on the disc.

If you really need a Bioman fix, I would check out Tatsumi Yano's Bioman music collection instead. It's definitely something I play fairly often since it has all of the good bits from the song collection woven into a lot of the music.

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That's that for the Bioman song collection. Check out my CD Collection page and until next time...

Miracle Bio Electron Laser Beam!*

-CC

Previously...

The Toys That Made Us: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Song Collection
Seiun Kamen Machineman Song Collection
The CD Collection

*Yes, I know that's Bycrosser. You really need to check out my post about The Toys That Made Us. Fuck those idiots...

2019/11/17

The Toys That Made Us: Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers


I've lost my edge. In recent years I've really felt the need to stop blasting things mercilessly. Maybe I've become more passive about things because nothing really matters. Maybe the fact that my line of work is largely in the shadows has left me with a "I'll give it a pass, somebody worked really hard on this" kind of attitude towards creative endeavors. Maybe things aren't so bad after all...that I was the problem.

So......I watched the Power Rangers episode of the Netflix series The Toys That Made Us...

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Here's a little back story to this whole debacle. I knew what I was getting into before I watched this show. When the Power Rangers episode was first announced for Season 3 back in the Summer of 2018, I decided to check out the Transformers episode since I figured it would be on par with what we could expect for our Power Rangers episode. The format and editing was cringe-as, but it was full of information for someone like me who really didn't know anything about the franchise outside of Diaclone history. I knew a bit more about the history coming out and really learned quite a bit about the toys and their creation. Given the crappy format, however, I had incredibly low expectations going into my viewing of the MMPR episode. It could only go up from there, right?

The MMPR episode was so awful that it made me question every positive thought that I had about the Transformers episode. I question the validity of everything I heard. I don't trust their overdubbing of what anything that anyone at Takara had to say. The credibility is gone.

I think this type of show is meant for the casual dork who blindly hitches their wagon onto everything nerdy. The type of schlub who Funko Pop executives masturbate furiously, frequently and violently to just before securing another licensed property that totally needs more toys. The type of shithead who thinks they're edgy for thinking that Star [Trek/Wars] is more refined and sophisticated than Star [Trek/Wars]. Despite Tokusatsu, and Power Rangers by association, being the only thing in my pop culture wheelhouse (I would legit be a 100% car bore otherwise) this episode was not meant for me. It wasn't meant for my laser focus on the subject to point out the incredible errors shat out everywhere in this corny documentary.

So for you, dear reader, I am going to watch this piece of shit one more time and record some of the errors and grievances that stick out as I go...

-Intro: The first of many chalk jokes. Get ready for some knee-slappers.
-"Kamen Rider is the first Henshin Hero." 'Fraid not...
-Not mentioning the Popy name when speaking of Bandai is forgivable since brevity is key, but maybe a little more history than "Yeah, they've been around since the 50s lol" would've been enlightening versus stock footage of their morning exercise routine.
-Repeatedly referring to Shotaro Ishinomori as "Japan's Stan Lee" fits your narrative I guess, but it's horribly reductive considering Ishinomori had an enormous career outside of heroes as well. That may sound like a dig at Stan Lee...and I guess it is, but whatever.
-Fansub Denjiman and Sunvulcan clips?? I guess Youtube was the source for a lot of their clips. How did any of this get cleared?
-Margaret Loesch is talking about Stan Lee and their combined efforts to attempt to adapt Sun Vulcan for the US. The quality of the clips used tends to oscillate between crystal clear and 240p.
-Trouble at Bandai lead to Bandai America and the Godaikin line flop in America. That's great...except it was almost framed in a way juuust to bring up Transformers and another effin' chalk joke. Also, Bandai America was really founded back in the 60s as Bandai Overseas. The way the info is dropped here makes it sound like it was formed overnight in 1982 with the sole purpose to sell off unsold Chogokin toys.
-Oh, and the Godaikin line wasn't even the first attempt at Sentai toys in America. Mattel imported some toys over from Japan in the 70s. Godaikin was Bandai's first attempt, but not the first attempt.
-Our boy Saban tells the story about Bioman being his first Super Sentai experience over a montage of Super Sentai footage........that inexplicably begins with a clip from Kyodai Ken Bycrosser. You know, the very much NOT SUPER SENTAI SERIES Kyodai Ken Bycrosser...
-OK, so there is a weird run where the Toei group is talking about how they thought Saban was "crazy" and a "loud guy" (lol) and these little hit and run reaction shots from Saban are thrown in. It's horribly distracting. All of this is played over *sigh* this. Please...for the love of everything that is holy...RETIRE THIS FUCKING MUSIC. Did Saban's meeting with Toei in 1984 take place in 1955? No? Why is this piece of shit music playing? It's 2019, Happy-Go-Lively is unacceptable. Ren & Stimpy made wonderful use of it in the 90s, but it's gone on to be the "corny music" of choice for shitlords ever since to the point where it's lost all meaning and is just obnoxious.
-Probably worth noting that the aforementioned Bioman and subsequent series would become a big success in Europe, South America, and Asia to build up Saban's strong, yet failed case for adaptation.
-No mention of the 1987 comedy Dynaman dub here in the US.
-Margaret Loesch talking about Sentai and the deal that she inked with Saban, there are Power Rangers clips of varying quality playing. First off, we're kinda jumping the gun with the season 2 MMPR clips since, in the narrative of the episode, the pilot hasn't even been shot yet. Second...what's with the inconsistent quality of the clips again?
-Talking about Zyuranger with some Zyuranger clips playing. Fantastic. Great. Finally, something lines up. Except why were the clips a mix of fansubs (white text) and Shout!Factory's subtitles (yellow text)?
-Tsuyoshi Nonaka is speaking about the Zyuranger and Super Sentai toys. This is the guy. This is what the episode is all about. Twenty minutes in we finally get to hear from the guy who designed "The Toys That Made Us". "Yeah, I'm the guy." That's literally all he had to say.
-Chalk joke.
-"Please remember, in 1991 Zyuranger aired in Japan." 100% False.
-"They can use the toys from Japan...and what toys they were..." *Proceeds to show line of 8" Power Ranger figures that were never released in Japan and created specifically for the MMPR toyline*. The other fuck-ups are really bad, but now that we're talking about the toys this one is particularly heinous.
-Trish Stewart from Bandai America seems to think these figures are from Japan as well. Patently false. Unless they were prototyped and never-released Zyuranger figures, this is very incorrect information. Since we were given no information on the toys from Nonaka, you'd think Bandai America would be able to guide us through the toy line better than bizarrely pointing the finger back over to Japan. Also, maybe give an explanation as to why the figures have the logos on their chest despite being absent in the series.
-Narrator's brain blue-screens trying to pronounce "Shinka Gattai Daizyujin"
-The name "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" being crafted to capitalize on the popularity of Transformers (in 1993???) is briefly stated as seemingly another reason to bring up Transformers for a third effing time. We get it...you have a boner for Transformers. This theory is quickly discarded for the real answer: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
-Chalk joke #4.
-A mistake that I credit Burgundy Ranger and John Green for spotting: the original broadcast time of Day of The Dumpster. It's stated here as being 7:30am on August 28, 1993. In reality it was 11:30am. So kids didn't wake up to Power Rangers...but were maybe having an early lunch to it.
-Michael Buoni shows off the underside of his DX Titanus that has the King Brachion logo and "Bandai 1991" date. This is where I think the previous error came from where it is mentioned that Zyuranger aired in 1991. The error was in the form of a dubbed response. I can't make out the Japanese end enough to hear what year he stated, but it sounds like they misrepresented the translation because of this segment. For what it's worth, the year on the bottom of Bandai Japan toys typically is from when the toys are designed, not manufactured (as Michael correctly states). This may have to do with patents--I'm not entirely certain. I'm also not on trial here, so nyeh.
-Nonaka, speaking of America toy safety standards, shows a gold Zyusouken that he represents as "the American version" with a incredibly dull blade tip. I have the American Dragon Dagger...it's nowhere near as dull and, despite other big differences between the Dragon Dagger and Zyusouken, is the exact same blade. A better example of toy safety differences really lies with the swords that come with things like DX Won Tiger/White Tigerzord.

Blade of the US DX Dragon Dagger that I have on my desk.
Blade of the DX Zyusouken from my 2010 video.  Don't let the camera angle fool you, it's the same exact blade.

-25:33 some toys concepts are finally shown incredibly briefly. Nonaka explains "It's a robot of an animal form". Riveting...
-Stock footage of British parents swarming upon a Toys R Us while Trish is talking about complaints Bandai America was getting. I get it, they're white and the footage was available...so who cares that it's England and not America?? The footage shown is more of a Bandai Europe problem with misplaced narrative.
-27:52 FINALLY...mention of the Auto-Morphin' Figures. The talk about the toy line in America has so far been somewhat incorrectly giving Japan all the credit. Auto-Morphin' figures are entirely a Bandai America creation. But are they? Nope. Kakuranger had a line of figures with a very similar transformation action that released earlier in 1994. At the very least, the figures could have been developed concurrently...but maybe Nonaka could have been more useful in clarifying as the sole representing voice from Bandai Japan...
-Already talking about Zeo with no mention of the 1995 movie. Weird. This toy doc seems to be more concerned about Zyuranger footage running dry over framing the growth of the franchise into a major motion picture and related properties.
-Nonaka on King Pyramider/Pyramidas: "I just said I wanted to make a giant toy--it's really big". I'm beginning to think that they're intentionally editing around anything useful that Nonaka has to say and leaving us with something resembling the ramblings of a man with an ether-destroyed brain.
-Loesch on the difficult decision to leave the franchise behind being interrupted by a screaming baby from an episode of Ohranger. It's a fairly dramatic moment since Loesch still seems to be upset about the situation that is shattered with this ADHD random bullshit reaction shot from a random episode of Ohranger. Fuck. Off...
-Power Rangers Turbo failed because car...I think? I'll buy Transformer instead. Paraphrased. Wasn't Transformers doing that early CG Jungle Transformer horror at the time of Power Rangers Turbo? This statement stinks of personal opinion. The Power Rangers Turbo toys, from observation, seem to be fairly popular...it's the series that wasn't. The logic doesn't connect. Also, another Transformers shout out. Shocking, I know.
-Disney-era now. Talking about how Bandai is still handling the toys they show a clip from a Ninja Steel toy commercial. Yeah, no.
-In a moment of clarity they brought the focus back to the toy line to talk shit about Operation Overdrive toys. Not an error, but the sudden focus reminds me of someone who insists on singing along to a song they only know two lines of. We've reached that moment, friends.
-Talking about Legacy toys and they keep cutting in clips from 1994 toy commercials and Nonaka's gold-plated Kyuukyoku Daizyujin instead of highlighting the Legacy toys themselves.
-Fansubbed Kyoryuger clip. K...
-Saban signs the toy rights over to Hasbro...NOW it's appropriate to mention Transformers. I mean, you didn't have to, but you did. It was irresistible, wasn't it?
-"My Little Transforming Megazord, perhaps?" Fuck off.
-"Parting ways with Bandai and Toei studios..." What? Wrong! Toei is still very much involved. Hasbro's first Power Rangers series is an adaptation of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters.
-Once again attributing the 8" Power Rangers figures as "the Japanese toy line" despite never being released in Japan.
-"Be it the first Sentai toy..." *shows Kamen Rider Henshin Belt* Fuck off...

So that's almost all of the falsehoods presented in this forty-five minute bowel movement. How about a list of things that probably should have been addressed?

-Any of the three movies. With regards to toys, I feel like the '95 and '17 films are incredibly important--especially since the 2017 movie and it's toy line likely being the dud that forced Bandai out and Saban to flee.
-Instead of focusing on friggin' chalk, maybe talk about Bandai's other efforts. Did you know that Bandai America adapted a line of figures from the 1988 Toei Metal Hero series Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya in 1990 called Tacky Stretchoid Warriors?
-For that matter, why not even talk about Saban's subsequent properties? There is approximately 0% chance VR Troopers, Masked Rider, or Big Bad Beetleborgs will have their own episode. Saban went from "failure" to media mogul within the span of three seconds in the episode with no hint on the success that he built upon. Hell, I'm curious why VR Troopers ended up in Kenner's hands. Was Bandai too overburdened? Since the show was in syndication was it a more lucrative deal to go elsewhere with a full cut of toy sales? So much information is missing on the business side.
-How the toys progressed from series to series. Or just any focus on the toy line changes by the year. It literally jumped from Season 1 > 2 > Zeo for the meatier bits and then Turbo > In Space > Lost Galaxy > Lightspeed Rescue > Disney in breakneck speed.
-More PLEX design concepts. There have been books published on the matter. Saying the toys are "from Japan" and really not having more than Nonaka give about three useable soundbites make it feel like the toys just materialize at the foot of Mount Fuji.

The things I can give this documentary credit for are slim, but I'll do my best.

-For the casual fan, the explanation behind the long and painful history into getting Super Sentai onto American shores is likely new information.
-Despite the errors, the talk of Godaikin being the previous attempt to bring Sentai toys to the 'States may not be something everyone knew.
-Acknowledging the awfulness of 2000s Bandai America toys.
-Not calling Toei's Spider-man "Supaidaman", though I think one sneaks in.
-Some incredibly rare toys and prototypes are very briefly peppered in. Nonaka's gold Kyuukyoku Daizyujin, the prototype Scorpina figure, and the effin' prototype Zeo Morphin' Zeo Ranger I. As I've written before, that was my favorite line from Bandai America...and I and II were never released or even shown publicly, just III, IV, and V.


This episode clearly had zero passion behind it. It has the feel of some potentially good information being buried in favor of the shit format and editing. The more alarming errors make it clear that the first draft was handed in despite being in production for over a year. Really, this is just fucking awful. Avoid it. Considering how fast and loose they treated facts, I really have to step back and wonder how many errors are in the Transformers episode. Probably significantly less, but any credibility built up previously is 100% destroyed after watching this.

If you want to know about Power Ranger toys, this site is all you need. I promise. Don't listen to this gaggle of stooges from Netflix since they couldn't be bothered to focus on the property OR the toys to put together a cohesive documentary. It didn't have to be boring, it just had to be correct...and there is a community of people who could have helped get this there.

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That's it for now. I thought I would feel bad about ripping this to shreds, but I honestly don't. Yeah, there are people behind work like this...but it was obviously not a topic that anybody making this was interested in. Oh well. If I can direct you to my farewell letter to Bandai America from last year, you might get a slightly more accurate taste of the rise and fall. Also, I touch on what some intrepid retailers did to cope with Power Ranger toy shortages in this post.

Oh, and to the Funko Pop fans out there that I may have lambasted: Don't worry! Your Pops will always be worth a fortune and the company totally won't collapse under the crippling debt accrued by going whole hog on prohibitively expensive licensed properties.

Bye!

-CC

P.S. Walter Jones' closing statement...I like to think he was talking about JDF.

Previously...

Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Song Collection
Seiun Kamen Machineman Song Collection
Dai Sentai Goggle V Song Collection

2019/10/31

Song Collection: Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger


As I mentioned in the sibling post to this, I intended to review two song collections this month that had nothing to do with each other. I failed big time while doing the mental gymnastics as I realized that both Seiun Kamen Machineman and Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger share a writer AND major actor. Whoops.

(Seriously, though, check that post out...I won't spoil it, but it got an extreme reaction out of me)

So...Zyuranger, huh? Easily the most memorable suits in Super Sentai history from a show that's almost as memorable. How much futher have the returns diminished by the time you get down to the song collection? Let's find out!

For this post I'll be listening to my copy of the Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Complete Song Collection from 1997. I briefly talked about that disc here in the past.


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01. Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger / Kenta Sato

It may be completely random...and completely a ripoff of the theme to Total Recall, but damn is the intro to this theme song cool.

Really, for as lousy as the Jetman theme song is (fight me), this makes up for it tenfold. Kenta Sato, (Riki, Red Turbo from Kosoku Sentai Turboranger) is back for NO reason. He isn't in Zyuranger at all...just dropped in to sing this great theme song.

The music is majestic, modern, random, and really just kinda weird. The full size version of the song makes so little sense, yet they were able to chop it down into a perfectly cohesive TV Size theme for airing. Kenji Yamamoto, the man behind the music, has since been exposed as something of a rampant plagiarist (to the point where he was abruptly fired from Dragonball Kai when that was a thing). That isn't to say he didn't manage to create these great bizarre mashups that take sudden directional changes. The Zyuranger theme is one of his more mild ones, but is definitely another example.

Overall, I love this theme song. It's gooood.

02. Dolla! ~Majo Bandora no theme~ / Machiko Soga

I hate this song. I hate how it was used in the series. I hate the cheesy beat.

You know what I hate the most about it? It is THE most irritating earworm of all time. Try to forget it. Try to think of anything else for that matter.

Jokes aside, yeah...I can't say I care much for this one. It's definitely the best singing effort by Machiko Soga. Credit where credit's due, she actually sings this song. She has a handful of other songs recorded during her career, but they're largely her character talking to a beat. She's legit singing here and doing a really good job.

03. Kibo no Tsurugi / Toyomi Hiraishi

A really good, fast-paced action song. You'd think this song would have been a fight scene staple in the series, but nope! One appearance in episode 40. What gives? We got the Bandora theme more than that... *sigh*

04. Daizyujin no uta / Ju-Project

So... I'm going to try to defend this song.

Super Sentai Mecha theme songs are these action-packed songs to close out the big fight of each episode. They're the songs that you're humming to yourself as you march down the toy aisle to pick up that DX Bandai mecha.

So what the hell is with this one? It's the most the unmemorable snooze-fest. Worse...it's a *march* song. Those lame motivational songs that used to creep into song collections. I talked about this style of song in a previous song collection post, but this song has me so bored that I can't be bothered to remember which...

As plain-oatmeal-served-in-a-styrofoam-bowl bland as this song is, I don't mind it. The build-up to the "Gattai! Dino Mission!" is pretty cool.

05. Tyrannoranger • [Akaki yuushi] / Toyomi Hiraishi

Another really good action song that never got it's due in the series...and I mean never. This song literally never made it into the series. The over-the-top synths are really cool. It kinda feels like a eaaaarly proto-version of the Shushutorian theme in that respect. Except the Shushutorian song is untouchably good.

I don't know if this suits our boy The Gekster too well, but as an action song it's really cool.

06. Yumemiru otome no chikara kobu / Sayuri Saito

This is the Pteraranger theme song. I like it quite a bit. It's a bit janky and, again, it doesn't really fit a 170,000,000 year old woman too well, but I digress. It's bubbly and catchy...in a fun way...not in a cruel way like the Bandora theme.

07. Shippo Piki Piki / Kenta Sato

Oof. If they had to give Kenta Sato another song...why did it have to be this one?

This song has a weird honkytonk vibe to it, which doesn't jive all that well with Sato's voice. He does a great job singing it, but he was built to be an action singer. The Turboranger song collection has a number of great songs by Sato...a number of great *sensible* songs. This one is just weird...and kinda boring.

08. Boken shite Rappapiya! / Pythagoras

The series ending song, and a divisive one. Between this post and my Machineman post, this is my third major dissenting opinion. I...really like this song.

Before you close click off my site forever, just hear me out. I will acknowledge that my previous assessment of the Jetman theme song is ONLY limited to the opening theme and that the ending theme song, Kokoro wa tamago, is god-tier.

With that out of the way, I really dig this fun little jam. Is it a weird song to have close out every episodes of a series that frequently ended shows on incredibly desperate cliffhangers? Absolutely, but maybe it's a nice comedown. If you're marathoning the series it's probably annoying, I imagine. I just think it's a fun song with a nice groove. Who's to say we can't have nice things?

Daizyujin lays in a spreading fire with a blade against his neck as Dai Satan joyously observes the situation from the sky....... *Boken shite Rappapiya starts playing*


09. Pop Up Night / Takeshi Ike

Another action song not sung by Kenta Sato. This one is a little weird since it has these funky little character breakdowns. I appreciate how Geki only says "Totsugeki!" at one point.

Definitely an oddball song, but it's a fun little jam with a really slick synth beat scattered in.

10. Dragon Caesar no uta / Funky Y.K.

The other mecha theme song from the series, and the vastly superior one. Now I never pinned Burai or Dragon Caesar as funky character...the opposite, in fact...they are both quite tragic. Who cares! Since we're in the land of mismatched character songs, why not go a little nutty for our final song?

If Burai could spend a little bit more time outside of his mood room, I'm sure he would be a fan of this kind of music. There. I made the song fit the character.

Love the song, though. It may have gone the polar opposite of the Daizyujin theme to the point of absurd levity, but it's certainly more enjoyable.

11. Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger [No Chorus Karaoke]

12. Dolla! ~Majo Bandora no theme~ [No Chorus Karaoke]

13. Kibo no Tsurugi [Original Karaoke]

14. Daizyujin no uta [Original Karaoke]

15. Tyrannoranger • [Akaki yuushi] [Original Karaoke]

16. Yumemiru otome no chikara kobu [Original Karaoke]

17. Shippo Piki Piki [Original Karaoke]

18. Boken shite Rappapiya! [No Chorus Karaoke]

19. Dragon Caesar no uta [Original Karaoke]

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I'll give this Song Collection a solid B-. It's memorability has definitely diminished further than any other aspect of the show, but it isn't bad.

Honestly, I somewhat selected this series as my random other review for the month because I remember really disliking this song collection. It really isn't too bad out of context...the songs just have less than nothing to do with the show. The theme song absolutely works, and the Daizyujin theme in all of it's bland glory is a match, but the rest just miss the target big time...even if they are still enjoyable.

If you want a similar series that has songs that match up better, may I recommend the Gingaman Song Collection? Sure, I haven't written about...yet.......

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I'm out. Be sure to check out my Machineman post and the CD Collection for more.

Bye!

-CC

Seiun Kamen Machineman Song Collection
Dai Sentai Goggle V Song Collection

Song Collection: Seiun Kamen Machineman


Welcome to another round of Song Collection reviews by CCLemon99. This time around I wanted to go random--two series that had ZERO connection. So I threw two darts at my mental dart board and landed on Seiun Kamen Machineman and Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. That's right...two series that have *nothing* in common...

...until you realize that Noboru Sugimura wrote for both series. Well, at least the song collections have nothing in common...

...until you realize that not only does Machiko Soga have a role in both series, but she has a song on each of these song collections.

The topic today is "Series that have a song by Machiko Soga and had Noboru Sugimura as a writer...!".

For this review I'll be using my copy of Seiun Kamen Machineman Song & Music Collection from 2015. I briefly covered this set on this page.


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Disc One

01. Seiun Kamen Machineman / MoJo, Columbia Yurikago-kai

The series theme song. It's impossible for me to listen to this tune with fresh ears, but I like to try to imagine what this sounds like to the uninitiated. For 1984 this slick jazz theme song to a Tokusatsu series is something of a novelty. I'm going to say it, though...it's easily the best of the three theme songs of the year (Yes, three. Dragon Road was released in 1982...not my problem if Toei didn't bother to release the ZX special until January, 1984).

Uchuu Keiji Shaider comes up in second since it's a perfectly serviceable theme song. I may get some extreme hate for this, but the Bioman theme song is trash. Miyauchi is great and the guitar work is excellent, but good lord is it a dull song...with a flippin' xylophone! In 1984...not 1974!

So what makes the Machineman theme song so good? MOJO was certainly on a hot streak with his work on Goggle V and Dynaman, but that isn't the answer. Legendary composer Yuji Ohno had a deep hand in both the song and music collection for the series. A brass-heavy sound is something usually reserved for some pretentious anime series (and, well, Lupin III, of course). To hear this kind of jazz in something as goofy as Machineman is almost so wrong that it's right.

This theme song is way too good for the series. MOJO's vocals on Yuuji Ohno's skilled guidance is just perfect.

02. Denko Action Machineman / MOJO, Koorogi '73

The standard, upbeat action song that every song collection needs to kick off with. Again, MOJO and Ohno are an awesome pairing. Sometimes Koorogi' 73 can be a little intrusive with their backing vocals, but they're very minimally used here.

03. Ooinaru hito Machineman / MOJO, Koorogi '73

A really well-done disco jam. Koorogi '73 is a little more prevalent on this one, but it works well for this type of song. The only thing wonky about the whole affair is the lyrics. A lot of "Zigzag-Zigzag.....Smash/Flash/Dash!" and the like. Hahaa.

04. Uchuu kara kita daigakusei / Yumi Ishii, Koorogi '73

A weird little song that sucks. The music is great, so skip to track 14. The juvenile singing by Ishii is just shrill and annoying. I enjoy the janky pianos and lone horn.

05. Ball Boy no uta / Machiko Soga, Columbia Yurikago-kai

The nice thing I can say is that Machiko Soga has a nice and extremely consistent voice. It's alright. Every 80s song collection has a song like this for the Director of Levity Assistance and Marketing (annoying robot friend/assistant), so whatever. Again, it's alright.

06. OH! Child / MOJO

This song is spectacular.

If I had to name a song where I think MOJO is at his absolute best, it's this one. Not even the Segata Sanshiro theme can touch this. Seriously, this song is one of the greatest Tokusatsu image songs ever. The music is delightful...Koorogi '73 was swapped out with the house background ladies...and again, MOJO just crushes it like no other time.

I give this song a coveted Angel Mark.

07. Fighting Explosion [Instrumental]

This sort of thing used to be more common prior to this, but here is a random instrumental track that landed in the song collection. I wouldn't even say that this is the last since Winspector had a not-song as well.

This is a nice little track with, you guessed it, some excellent brass.

08. Hashire! Dolphin / Koorogi '73, Columbia Yurikago-kai

Something of a corny action track, but it's really good. The music is excellent and weirdly pitting the two gangs of background singers together in one song sounds pretty good. I'm impressed at how decent this song.

09. Bokura no Machineman / MOJO, Columbia Yurikago-kai

This has the markings of a bland song, but it's just really good. The kids singing (which is Columbia Yurikago-kai...sometimes I just assume everyone knows these things, but now you know), is pretty aggressive. The song is really good outside of that. It's chill.

10. Ore no na wa Machineman / MOJO

The series ending song. I would say that this is MOJO's weakest outing of the set, but I guess this can be considered his warm-up track...or cool-down track. Whatever. He isn't bad, he just sounds a little bit uninspired.

This is an incredibly smooth groove, though. I love it as a song. Not a Tokusatsu song...a song -full stop-.

11. Seiun Kamen Machineman [Original Karaoke]

12. Denko Action Machineman [Original Karaoke]

13. Ooinaru hito Machineman [Original Karaoke]

14. Uchuu kara kita daigakusei [Original Karaoke]

15. Ball Boy no uta [Original Karaoke]

16. OH! Child [Original Karaoke]

17. Hashire! Dolphin [Original Karaoke]

18. Bokura no Machineman [Original Karaoke]

19. Ore no na wa Machineman [Original Karaoke]

20. Seiun Kamen Machineman [TV Size Karaoke]

21. Ore no na wa Machineman [TV Size Karaoke]

22. Seiun Kamen Machineman [No Chorus Version] / MOJO

Now this is a treat.

This is the series theme song minus the Columbia Yurikago-kai (the brats). Normally I can tune out the kids, but they kinda step on MOJO's toes in this song. Especially the "Are wa! Are wa! Are wa bokura no Machineman!". It really transforms the song once the kids scram.

23. Ball Boy no uta [No Chorus Version] / Machiko Soga

Pretty much the same as the previous track. This is Machiko Soga without the kids. Honestly, this one just sounds weird without the kids. The weird gap after "Ball Boy!" is just odd. It could be weird because I'm just used to the normal version.

24. Denko Action Machineman [TV Size]

I didn't skip over this track for one very good reason. Why does it exist? I think I may have missed something.

25. Seiun Kamen Machineman (2015 Version) / MOJO

A newly recorded version of the theme song featuring all the same elements. MOJO is here, and a little more soulful. The kids are back...and so is Yuji Ohno. I dig it. There are very few changes over the original version. I guess it's a celebration of consistency.

Disc Two

01. Seiun Kamen Machineman [TV Size] / MOJO, Columbia Yurikago-kai

OK, so the second disc of this set is largely devoted to the background music of Machineman. I'll talk about this set in better detail in my conclusion, but this song was one of the things I was looking forward to the most upon release.

They don't do it this way anymore, but back until the mid-80s, the TV Size version was an entirely different recording track. Eventually the TV Size track became an edited down version of the full size theme. For series like Machineman, there are some pretty big variations between the TV Size and full versions. The intro is much more fleshed out in the TV Size version...like completely different. The full version has an abrupt start, but there is this cool little bass build-up here.

I know it's extra nerdy, but I love the intro of the TV Size version.

02~20 Series BGM

21. Ore no na wa Machineman [TV Size] / MOJO

Like the opening theme song, this TV Size version has some substantial differences. MOJO's singing sounds...different. The outro is also quite different for very little reason. I guess to avoid sounding somewhat abrupt.

22~25 Series BGM

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The Machineman song collection, for several years, was one of those song collections that sturggled to exist. It has so, so much going for it and yet it was virtually buried for twenty years. If you were an mp3 scenester back in the day, you could score these songs...but they were terrible rips from the Drama vinyl. Yeah, that the only way they existed until 2003...vinyl and cassette. It was a major, major score when most of the songs were released on CD in 2003, but it was only a cruel taste of the forbidden fruit.

I don't think I've been more excited about a CD release from Columbia this decade. My original write-up of the set was one written on a giddy high of the excitement of finally...FINALLY getting all of these songs, their Karaoke tracks, AND BGM in one efficient package.

The songs are amazingly underrated and the BGM is simply too good for the series. It took over thirty years to get a proper release, but here we are.

I can't recommend this set enough.

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It way nice to talk about Machineman's wonderfully auditory side once again. Be sure to also check out my Zyuranger post as well as my CD Collection page for more song collection reviews.

Later!

-CC

Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Song Collection
Dai Sentai Goggle V Song Collection

2019/09/29

Song Collection: Dai Sentai Goggle V


It's the second half of my CCLemon99 Song Collection Double Feature for September. If you haven't checked it out yet, I've also reviewed the strangely normal song collection for THE⭐ULTRAMAN. The theme this month? There is no theme...but now that I think about it... The Goggle V logo has a star right in it...maybe I subconsciously brought these otherwise unrelated series together this way?

I've always maintained that this song collection was woefully underrated. Sure, it has it's duds, but it isn't a overrated stinker of a song collection like Chodenshi Bioman (someday...someday you'll get my thoughts on that one). Maybe this one needs an advocate. When was the last time you thought about Goggle V? How many times in this review will I write Google instead of Goggle?

For this review I'll be listening to my copy of the Dai Sentai Goggle V Complete Song Collection from 1996. It has some nice little goodies at the end. I talked about this disc previously on this page.


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01. Dai Sentai Goggle V / MOJO, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

MOJO's second Sentai theme song and is my second favorite of the trio that he ended up doing. The energy is awesome and it's a genuinely fun song, but it feels like a giant leap backwards in style. The Sunvulcan theme was exciting and a big move into the new 80s style. Goggle Five's theme song just feels like a weird step back into the 70s...and somehow it sounds remarkably similar to the Sunvulcan theme song. This is such a confusing theme song. I like it, but it's whack at the same time. It also doesn't help that the final version of the song is kinda messed up. More on that later...

02. Goggle V Action! / Yoshiko Hidaka, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

A weird disco song that really doesn't line up with the title it was given. I like it, but 1982 was the last year that something like this would have been acceptable. The music is definitely the star here. I don't know anything about Yoshiko Hidaka outside of her more famous tune later on this disc, but nothing here really compelled me to look her up further.

03. Neppu Shadow / MOJO, Norinobu Sugai, Koorogi '73

Awesome song. I wouldn't even know how to accurately describe it. Disco...scatting? Listening to this, just remember that MOJO is the same dude who did the Segata Sanshiro theme song. Yeah...it's such a weird contrast.

04. Flash! Goggle V / MOJO

The build on the intro of this song is just so great. Whenever I hear this one I get fond memories of my early Youtube days. Before the dumpster fire that it became...

Yeah, this is a great song. It's fast-paced and a decent action song. I'd say that this one would be more fitting of the Goggle V Action! name, but then we wouldn't get the "Flaaash-Flash!". Love this one.

05. Goggle V no March -We are Goggle V- / MOJO, Norinobu Sugai, Koorogi '73

I typically hate songs with "March" in the title, but this one is actually a lot of fun. MOJO and Koorogi '73 are a great match here. The music is pretty interesting as well. Maybe the disco beat saves it from being a dud. I like it.

06. Electric Magic Comboy / Yoshimi Niikura, Columbia Yurikago-kai

Oof. Yeah, this song sucks bad. I don't have anything else to add. Ugh.

07. Dancing Goggle V / MOJO

Alright, we're back on form here. This is another great MOJO action track. I almost wrote "don't let the name fool you" but then I remembered that this is Goggle V we're talking about. Fighting style? Gymnastics!

08. Shutsugeki! Goggle Robo / MOJO, Koorogi '73

By this point I think the Sentai mecha theme song was officially a thing. This one has an awesome and quite memorable intro, but it's a smidge flat throughout. It's a great theme, but I kinda prefer pretty much every mecha theme that followed this forever and ever.

I think my number one gripe with this one may be Koorogi '73. They're pretty unnecessary here... Maybe I'd like this one more if it were a solo MOJO effort.

09. Moeru otoko Goggle Red / MOJO

Speaking of great MOJO solo efforts, this song rules. It may not be the most exciting song, but I am a sucker for the theme song for any Sentai leader.

10. Hanasaku Goggle Pink / Yoshiko Hidaka

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not the biggest fan of Hidaka, but this song is actually pretty decent. It's a bit choppy and somewhat old-school sounding for '82. It's kinda like the theme song from a revenge woman film.

The horn is what sells it, though. It's undeniable.

11. Stop The Battle / MOJO, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

Speaking of undeniable horns...

This is the series ending song. I can never tell if I love or mildly dislike this song. It has some really good ingredients, but it just doesn't gel right for me. The bass isn't mixed in as well as it could be. Koorogi '73's humming is obnoxious, but they have value elsewhere in the song. It's good, but it isn't great. I know a lot of people love this one...but I only like it.

12. Dai Sentai Goggle V [Original Karaoke]

13. Goggle V Action! [Original Karaoke]

14. Neppu Shadow [Original Karaoke]

15. Flash! Goggle V [Original Karaoke]

16. Goggle V no March -We are Goggle V- [Original Karaoke]

17. Moeru otoko Goggle Red [Original Karaoke]

18. Hanasaku Goggle Pink [Original Karaoke]

19. Stop The Battle [Original Karaoke]

20. Hanasaku Goggle Pink ~Megumi Okawa Version~ / Megumi Okawa

Ehhh. The slooooooooow and terrible cover by Megumi Okawa. She can't sing. I know this is meant to be the sad version, but it's just sad in an unintended way.

21. Dai Sentai Goggle V ~Alternate Version~ / MOJO, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

OK, so this Alternate version of the theme song... I wrote about it in the past. The synth intro actually matches the synth outro that is still present on the normal version. Did you ever notice that the intro/outro don't match in the normal version? I did a supercut of what I feel is the best version of the theme song. (Matching intro/outro, omission of the "Goggle V, Go Go" in this Alternate version) and usually just listen to that one when I need a Goggle V theme fix.

It's nice that this was included so that I could make the CCLemon99 edit of the theme. Hehe

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Like I mentioned in the intro...I am quite fond of this song collection. I can't imagine it has too many fans, but what isn't to like about it? MOJO is on point and there is only one truly awful song. If you haven't given this one a go, I definitely recommend it. I always kinda feel bad for it since it's attached to a weird series.

One day I'll have to give my Dynaman disc a whirl for the site. It's practically the MOJO sequel to this one...so how does it stack up? That's for another time...

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That's all for now. THE⭐ULTRAMAN is waiting for you right now...so be sure to check it out.

Bye!

-CC

Song Collection: THE⭐ULTRAMAN


Welcome to another CCLemon99 Song Collection Review Double Feature. In my continued efforts to build up my library of song collection reviews I am bringing you two new reviews today. As there is zero theme this month, Dai Sentai Goggle V is the other brand new review that is live right now.

So why did I pick THE⭐ULTRAMAN as my Ultraman debut for the Song Collection series? No idea. It's the first of many oddities in the Ultra series until things kinda leveled out following the unfortunate passing of Noboru Tsuburaya. THE⭐ULTRAMAN was a fifty-episode animated Ultra series featuring Ultraman Jonias. You've probably seen the suit and wondered where the hell he fit in...well now you know.

Honestly, I've always been intrigued by this song collection for one major reason. Battle Fever J was the first Sentai Song Collection to not be lead by Isao Sasaki. He did pop in to drop two songs for Skyrider in 1980, but in 1979 he was the lead singer of this new, weird Ultraman anime. It did make way for MOJO and Ichiro Mizuki to get their hands on Super Sentai, so it all worked out in the end.

Anyway... I'll be listening to Disc 3 from my copy of the Ultraman Complete Song Box for the purpose of this review. I reviewed the set previously here, but only summed this song collection up in two paragraphs.


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01. THE⭐ULTRAMAN / Isao Sasaki, Columbia Yurikago-kai

I've always loved this theme song...

While it may be a weird disco jam, it's still one of those incredible earworms that you need for a series theme song. Listening to it gives you a wistful feel for Tokusatsu theme songs of old. Legit, I think this may be the last classic theme song. I had to stop myself from saying Tokusatsu theme song. Honestly, it's good enough to be one though.

I would peg this firmly beneath the Skyrider themes, but better than Battle Fever J's disjointed mess of a theme. The only complaint I have with this one is it's painfully short length. It doesn't even make it to two and a half minutes.

02. Ai no yuushatachi / Isao Sasaki

This is the series ending song. The first ending song to an Ultra series, in fact. An opulent sounding ballad that is somewhat reminiscent of the ending song to JAKQ Dengekitai.

03. THE⭐ULTRAMAN Disco Fever [Instrumental]

The name pretty much says it all. It's a disco instrumental track with the theme song melody woven in. I dig it. Unlike the Disco Rider medleys, this one is synthless. It's lead by a guitar and some crazy drumming. It's kinda hard to describe, but it's a chill track.

04. Ultraman Sanka / Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kanma Chorus

A very soft Ultra ballad. I want to sleep.

I will say this...it's definitely a rare side of Sasaki. He is legit singing in this one. I mean, the anison hamminess isn't here, he's putting his skills down on this song. Ballads are a great talent test for any singer I suppose. They may not be your cup of tea, but you'll get an appreciate for the singer's effort.

Even if he is singing "Ultraman Joe"...

05. Ultra no Hoshi / Columbia Yurikago-kai

...on the other hand you get ballads featuring the Children Choirs. Meh, this one is alright...but it's pretty generic.

06. Matsumi no uta / Mitsuko Horie

As chipper of a song as you can imagine. This is the type of song that Mitsuko Horie was created for in the 70s. I like it.

She was always a good singer, but she definitely honed it in a little better following her more recent Himitsu Sentai Goranger/Kamen Rider Stronger efforts.

07. Super Murdock / Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kanma Chorus

I love this one. Such a chill jam for the big ship of the series. It has a smidge of majesty dropped in at random, but this is just a cool jam from start to finish. Comparing this to some of the previous big ship themes will give you whiplash.

08. Warera kagaku keibitai / Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kanma Chorus

Ehhh...this song is a little bit boring. Sasaki is just average in effort, but the male chorus is just bland. The blatant key changes are fun at least.

09. Robot Pig no uta / Junpei Takiguchi

Awesome...AWESOME title to a lame song. This song is a folksy sounding mid-tempo jam. Ehh, it's alright. This type of song literally did not make it into the 1980s.

10. Ashita ni... / Kei Tomiyama

Hey, a character song. This is Choichiro's theme song sung by his seiyuu, Kei Tomiyama. It's a decent ballad, to be honest. He's isn't a bad singer. I honestly thing he sounds like a weird cross between Masato Shimon and Hiroshi Miyauchi. He can mostly hold a tune!

11. Kaijuu Requiem / Isao Sasaki, Kunitachi Kanma Chorus

Something of a downer to end on, but the title kinda gives that away. Sasaki goes deep on this one as well. Again, I think the nasally voice that you hear in like 98% of his songs is an act. There is no doubt that he is a talented dude, but this song collection has his range on full display.

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While this may be the song collection to an anime series, it is structured as if it were a Tokusatsu song collection. It may not be as fun as some of the previous Sasaki-led efforts like Himitsu Sentai Goranger or JAKQ Denkegitai, but it's just as good to listen to. I genuinely think the late 70s had better variety, which works in Sasaki's favor. Goranger had too many folk songs and JAKQ's songs were all a little too similar. This is fun, though.

Give this one a try. It might not be for everyone, but the OP/ED themes and Super Murdock theme are undeniably get tunes.

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That's all for now. More to come in the future and there is also more available on the CD Collection page.

Later!

-CC

2019/08/30

The CD Collection--Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack


Welcome to a CCLemon99 CD Collection review. It's been awhile since I've taken a look at a CD release...and I definitely have an interesting one here. This is my look at the Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack. It isn't the only thing I've posted today, though. I also had a listen to the related/unrelated Tokusou Robo Janperson Song Collection.

I can't say that I'm a fan of Tokusatsu GaGaGa. I know it's meme status, but this type of parody with edge type thing never attracts me. This type of endeavor always screams "Hey you, dork. This is for you! You'll like that we acknowledged these tropes that we noticed too!". Feh. I didn't really care when Toei did it with Akibaranger, either. Being the consummate Tokusatsu music collector, however, has forced my hand at snapping up the Original Soundtrack.

All of that out of the way, let's dig into this CD!


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NHK Drama 10 Tokusatsu GaGaGa Original Soundtrack
OMR-0018
2019.02.27

As I mentioned above, I've never seen the series. I love obscure Tokusatsu music collections, though. Do you know anybody else that owns the soundtrack to Evolver? I don't. I try to snap up these obscure releases when they come out. Funny story... I didn't preorder this one, but I ordered it like a week after it was released. Amazon kept giving me shipping updates ("Your item will ship within the next month") over and over. Yeah, after six months of waiting I found someone in Wisconsin, of all places, that was selling a sealed copy. Weird. I have it, though. If you plan on ordering from Amazon, it says it's available but I think that claim is dubious.


The artist behind this soundtrack is Akio Izutsu. This is his lone Tokusatsu series composition, but hardly his first overall. His TV soundtrack resume is enormous for someone that has only been at it for just over a decade. I don't recognize a single title, but damn...

I guess I should start with the bad news. This CD doesn't contain the series theme opening song GaGaGaGaGaGaGa by Golden Bomber. That song is available on a separate CD single, which I may cover in the future. Considering the nature of this independent release, I guess the labels couldn't come to an agreement. On the upside, this CD is packed. Clocking in at a whopping seventy-six minutes, it would probably mean that something would have to be cut to make space for the OP. I guess it made more sense to omit it in the end...

The music... Hey, you know what? This CD is actually really good. Toei, Tsuburaya, and Toho have infinite money poured into soundtracks that are increasingly sounding similar by the year. Sometimes it takes a scrappy independent production to have a unique soundtrack. Granted, a lot of the time soundtracks of this nature sound exactly what they are...one guy playing 90% of the instruments. It's the level of care that the composer puts in that makes the difference. Izutsu really put in the effort... His credits on this include...

Electric Bass, Guitars, Mandolin, Ukelele, Melodion, Percussion, Whistle, Voice, Keyboards (and other instrumental programming)



There are only a handful of other credited artists that cover the orchestral bits, but most of this album is Izutsu. It's all very good considering that this was for a very limited-run series. Like any Tokusatsu soundtrack, it has it's pieces for every situation. There are also two vocal songs. Maybe I should talk about those...

04. Kyuukyuuki Emerjason no theme / Kenichi Suzumura

This is half of the reason I am also reviewing the Janperson Song Collection today. Check it here.

The show-within-a-show in Tokusatsu GaGaGa is Kyuukyuuki Emerjason. Aesthetically, Emerjason is a a thinly-veiled homage to Tokusou Robo Janperson, Toei's Metal Hero series for 1993. They even got weird little details down like the look of the 3" CD Single sleeve and the near-nonsensical portmanteau of a name.

The only thing that isn't a clear send-up to Janperson is this theme song. It isn't bad, but it could have emulated the 90s style to make the connection just a little bit better. Remember in the movie Zebraman when they showed a clip of the fictitious 1970s Zebraman series?

It definitely embodies the spirit of a Tokusatsu theme song, just not a 90s one. That said...I do dig it.

15. ♥Ni shot! MAX Power! / Natsumi Kawaida

I guess context is important. I dread songs like this... If there is one upside, Natsumi Kawaida does does the irritating singing voice very well...and I mean that in a good way. Sheesh, that was the most backhanded compliment ever.

Anyway...

I guess it's also worth mentioning the presentation. Yes, this is absolutely an independently released album. Can you tell? The only thing official in the artwork is the show's basic manga-esque logo and backdrop. You won't find a single photo anywhere on this disc. Even a small image on the back cover would've given some the appearance some life, but I guess in the world of digital music the CD release is superfluous.

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The best way to describe this soundtrack is that it's a very easy listen. It's surprisingly dense for what is mostly a one-man show. It's over an hour of some solid tunes with two songs from the series thrown in for good measure.

I definitely recommend this CD purchase if you can find it. It's a quality album of some extremely competent soundtrack music.

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That's it for this CD review. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you soon!

-CC