The CD Collection -- Toei & Toho | 70s & 80s | TV & Movies (Random!)

Well now...quite a random batch of shows/movies, eh?

I suppose they're all...Tokusatsu...?

The main point of writing this blog was to review the brand-new Machineman Song & Music CD Set that was released only a few days ago as of this writing. I decided to tack on Daitetsujin 17 (since it is a similar set) and Spider-man (since it is also Toei). Then I posed the question on Twitter if I should add more. I got a response...and so I am also going to talk about the Cybercop Perfect Music Collection..............and Gunhed because I really want to talk about it. Heh. Totally random!


Dennou Keisatsu Cybercop Perfect Music Collection

To get things started I guess I should talk about a CD that has been in my collection since I bought it new way back when. Cybercop is a show that I never really got into no matter how many times I gave it a try. Luckily it has a sizeable enough fanbase that we were given this wonderful CD set nearly ten years after it aired.

The format is one that has since become familiar in the Toei/Columbia CD world. Disc One is the Music Collection and Disc Two is the Song Collection. In the 90s Columbia wasn't doing this...and now they seem to have picked up on the format--possibly on the enduring popularity of this set OK, maybe not. This set IS very popular, however. You've probably heard it. It seems to have been on the download circuit since it's release thanks to the international fanbase. I wouldn't know anything about that, though. Great releases like this should be purchased to promote goodwill between fans and content providers. If you want something to download...download the Abaranger Music Collections. Those suck big time--don't waste your money.

Anyway...the CDs...


Music first on this set. At sixty-one minutes this disc is hardly packed to the brim, but it does manage to pack in quite a lot of content thanks to minimal fluff. It contains the TV Size versions of both theme songs as well as a Karaoke version of Tsuioku no Jupiter and a One Chorus Karaoke version of the Band Kaze version of the ending theme song. The rest is pure BGM.

Ichiro Nitta is the composer in charge of this series. I'm not very familiar with his work outside of this show and his work on the first two Sukeban Deka shows, but he seems to have career in anime also. If I were to compare this with another series soundtrack...I suppose it is somewhat similar to Chojin Sentai Jetman. I'm not sure if I'm saying that this soundtrack was ahead of it's time or that Jetman's was behind the times, but there is a certain similarity between the two. I suppose it's certainly the mix of guitar and horn with supporting synthesizers.

Annoyingly all of the tracks are long form. I genuinely don't mind having a CD with fifty tracks if it means I can get to the piece of music I want to faster. This isn't the case here. Fifteen tracks minus the four tracks of songs means only eleven tracks of music. This means there are plenty of tracks that range between six and ten minutes. Oh well... Atleast the music itself is very good. The addition of sound effects throughout is pretty neat as well.

The standout track for me is one called Lucifer. The section beginning at 2:30 is my favorite. I would give the production code, M-01 for example, but the booklet is laid out pretty sloppily.


The song collection is somewhat Frankenstein'd together. It isn't separated in any particular way, which is rather annoying. Tracks 1~3 are three different versions of the opening theme song (vocal, Karaoke, and Instrumental). Track 4 is more BGM. 5~6 are vocal and Karaoke versions of Honoo no Messenger. Track 7 is BGM. 8~9 are vocal and Karaoke versions of the Band Kaze version of the ending theme song Shooting Star. Track 10 is the vocal version of Tsuioku no Jupiter (if you remember, the Karaoke version is on the first disc). Track 11 is more BGM. Tracks 12~13 are vocal and Karaoke versions of the regular version of Shooting Star. Tracks 14~16 are the vocal songs Let it go, Into the Night, and Brand New Tomorrow.

It really would've been nice if they split this CD up a little bit better. The BGM belongs on the first disc and the songs there belong here. They really should have split up the Karaoke from the vocal tracks while they were at it. It just makes the last three tracks seem like they were lazily tacked on as an after thought.

In general I like the songs from this show. The OP is a little bit tacky as is the bassline in the ED, but they're still enjoyable. The rest of the songs are pretty good. I especially like Into the Night and Brand New Tomorrow, which was a single on its own in 1988 (yes, I own that also).

Set Overall: "Perfect" may be a stretch, but this CD set was incredibly well done when it was released in 1998. It may have taken some time for Toei/Columbia to copy and perfect the formula, but someone had to get the ball rolling somehow. Recommended. Not only for you, but recommended that this set go back into print.


Ehhh...let's try this again...

Gunhed Original Soundtrack

I spoke about the 1989 Toho Movie Gunhed at great lengths a few months back. I recommend checking out the entry and the film sometime.

Anyway, yes, I avoided talking about the soundtrack in that post because I wanted to save it for a CD Collection entry. Since this is a short CD, I will try to keep it short.

Normally I hate Digipak-style packaging, but this one is laid out nicely.

The CD begins and ends with a vocal song Mariko Nagai. The film's ending song (Japanese Audio Track only) is called Time, which is my favorite of the two vocal songs. It's a fun little song that totally doesn't reflect the absolute bleakness of the film. The second vocal song, Anata o Miteruto is strictly an image song as it didn't appear in the film at all. It's a good enough track with some great singing, but a bit generic as far as late 80s, early 90s ballads go.

Tracks 2~13 are made up of the music from the movie. I happen to love the music, but really don't think this soundtrack is for everyone. It ranges from very moody to slightly less moody to full-on-synth action.

The standout track on this CD is the one titled PRE-PRODUCTION. It is basically the kickass music from the trailer. Do yourself a favor and listen to it with headphones or with the old home stereo fired up. It will rattle your spine. None of the other tracks on this disc are nearly as heavily processed as this. Seriously...your teeth will rattle and you might be able to see sound after only a few listens.

Overall: I friggin love this one. You might not. Check out the movie and decided for yourself.


Eccentric Sound Of Spider-man

I have gone on record in saying that I have a severe dislike of the Spider-man theme songs. The music collection, however, is a different animal. This is actually a very well-crafted disc. It does have a somewhat generic 70s sound at times, but there was some definite effort given to this production. If I could liken it to another soundtrack...I'd say it's almost similar to the Battle Fever J Music Collection in structure and sound. I mean, it makes sense since both Music Collections were done by Michiaki Watanabe only a year apart.

If you are wondering about the awful theme songs, yes, they're both represented here in a few different forms. There are five versions of the OP (TV Size, Instrumental, Full Size Vocal, TV Size Chorus Karaoke, and Full Size Chorus Karaoke). On top of this, there are four versions of the ED (Instrumental, TV Size, Full Size Vocal, and TV Size Karaoke). Yeah, the themes I don't really like take up quite a bit of real estate here...but I'm willing to look past that.

My favorite track is probably the stupidest. Track 12, Tenkan, is a collection of various recordings of "Spider-man" as said in the opening theme song. It's just so unnecessary. Ringtone fodder at it's finest.

That said, it doesn't quite live up to the "eccentric" title, but it is a very fun music collection despite the 57 different versions of the theme songs.

Overall: Give it a try if you're a fan of soundtracks of the 1970s.


Daitetsujin 17 Music Collection

Out of nowhere Columbia released a 2-Disc Song and Music Collection for Daitetsujin 17. I'm not complaining about it or anything, it was just an entirely random thing to do and a random time to do it. Heh. Like "We have to get this out before 2010!".

The set begins with the Music Collection on Disc One with the Song Collection on Disc Two. Once again this soundtrack was done by Michiaki Watanabe. He was in charge of practically every non-Rider Toei show for a pretty long stretch of time. So what's this set about?


To start things off we get the Music Collection. Despite being the second reviewed Watanabe music collection in this blog, it actually pre-dates Spider-man by a year. It kinda shows even though I think a lot of Watanabe's work sounds like an enormous blob of similarity. I'm not sure if he had a larger budget to work with on Spider-man, but there is a marked difference. Maybe the Eccentric Sound Of Spider-man was eccentric afterall...

That said there isn't anything wrong with this music collection. It just suffers from sounding like everything else. Like if someone were to play three untitled Watanabe tracks and have me try to identify the series...I would probably be able to name anything non-17 related. This is just too forgettable to identify.

Both theme songs are represented on this disc in TV Size and TV Size Karaoke forms.


I talked about the Song Collection previously on my review of the Superhero Chronicle 1970s & 1980s CD Sets. As I said there, the Song Collection is mostly just Ichiro Mizuki and early-ish Koorogi '73. The theme songs are excellent and the rest of the songs are pretty good too. The vocal collection takes up tracks 1~10 with Karaoke versions of some of the songs taking up 11~16.

Tracks 17~21 are leftover BGM titled "Music Collection 2". Nothing outwardly exciting here.

Set Overall: Unless you were a big fan of Daitetsujin 17, Ichiro Mizuki, or Karaoke...I would skip this one.


Seiun Kamen Machineman Song & Music Collection

While this might be the last CD in this entry, this is the first one I'm writing about. I've listened to this set about three times since I received it on its release date (Amazon Japan will get it to you on time!) and am thoroughly impressed.

I was never really a big fan of the series, but I really enjoyed a lot of the music that I heard. As I mentioned in my last CD Collection post, the Song Collection has been available on CD for several years. In short, the Song Collection is very good--especially if you like MoJo.

The Music Collection, on the other hand, has only been available on Vinyl for the past thirty years. It was always this elusive thing to me since I don't download mp3s and I try not to buy too much in the way of vinyl. I've been ragging on Columbia for years to release the Machineman Music Collection under their ANIMEX1200 CD line...and boy am I glad they didn't.

This set...is amazing! Again, not even really a fan of the show. Just the content of this set and it's execution are perfect. This is the standard that all future Columbia releases should aspire to meet. Both discs are stuffed to the gills with 80 minutes of content a piece. Everything I was hoping for AND MORE was included. I mean, I blindly preordered this set on the second of January...and they didn't release the tracklist until almost March. I had no idea what the content was going to be...and they exceeded everything I could hope for.

Here is what we got...


The first disc is the song collection. Tracks 1~6, 8~10 are the same songs that appeared on the Superhero Chronicle Set. Track 7 is the instrumental song called Fighting Explosion which, ofcourse, was only available on vinyl prior to this. Tracks 11~19 are Karaoke versions of all vocal songs (1~6, 8~10). Track 20 and 21 are TV Size Karaoke versions of the theme songs. Track 22 is the Off-Chorus version of the Opening theme song (MoJo minus the child choir backing vocals). Track 23 is the Off-Chorus version of Ball Boy's song (Machiko Soga minus the kids). Track 24 is the TV Size version of the excellent IN Song Denko Action Machineman...

Last but not least, Track 25 is the 2015 version of the opening theme song with MoJo returning on vocals. This is the track that had many fans curious early on since it was one of the few solid details released about this CD when preorders opened in January. In all honesty, I was really curious to see if they were going to do a sloppy modernization with a tired sounding MoJo. Rest assured...MoJo returns in top form to sing a slightly more soulful version of the original Machineman theme song that we all know and love. It is exactly as-titled...a new recording of the same old song. It's very clean sounding with a few new subtle elements tossed in.

MoJo approved! It's funny that he wrote this after I pre-ordered it.

So if you were expecting a new version like they did with the Kamen Rider Super 1 themes in 2011, you might be disappointed. I actually enjoy the 2015 version of the Machineman song quite a bit.

Disc One Overall: Again...this disc was absolutely PACKED with glorious newly unearthed content. The Karaoke, the off-chorus versions, the TV Size Karaoke versions...Wow! We're only half way through the set and I'm blown away!


With the song collection out of the way, it's time to move on to what many fans will consider the main event--the music collection! To make things even more unique, this Music Collection is composed by Yuji Ohno...someone I'm really not familiar with at all. In all fairness to me, this is his lone (as far as I can tell) credit as composer to a Tokusatsu series. This kinda lends to the freshness in sound to the Music Collection in general. I am going to say something that will get me jumped by a lot of people.


I can only take so much Michiaki Watanabe and Shunsuke Kikuchi. Credit where credit is due, they laid a fantastic foundation of solid Tokusatsu soundtracks...but they were starting to sound tired and dated by the 80s. They still did good work, but time kinda passed them by in my opinion. By the time Jiban rolled around, Watanabe was mercilessly ripping off his own music three times over while Kikuchi was still adding chimes to everything in Super 1 (OK, OK...he did great work in Dragonball and Dragonball Z...he felt at home on that show).

This soundtrack is gold to my ears. For a third-banana Toei show in 1984, it easily had the best soundtrack. Shaider was just a mess of Fushigi Song variations while Bioman didn't have too much beyond instrumental versions and variations of the vocal songs. Machineman is a complete soundtrack. It's a little bit on the laid-back side, but does have a good deal of action and upbeat music with plenty of glorious bass. This is the perfect soundtrack for the time. Yuji Ohno nailed it. I'm just baffled as to why this music has been locked up for so long...it's just a great set.

I should also mention that the TV Size versions of the themes are here as well as instrumental versions of both. This is back when TV size versions were not edited down versions of the full size, but recorded separately (I wouldn't be surprised if Machineman was one of, if not the last to do it this way). Machineman is a special case because the very beginning of the OP had this awesome little bass part that led into the song proper while the TV Size ED had a unique ending to it. Nice to say that both are represented properly here. Oh yes, and all Subtitles, Eyecatches, incidental music are included. They really went all out!

So the content is good...how about the quality? Well, if you have heard any of the soundtracks to the Uchuu Keiji shows, you know the quality of the sound. It still sounds great with headphones, but you'll definitely hear things like background noise and an ever-present loud hum during quiet spots. They didn't really have the future in mind when they were recording these soundtracks in MONO for TV shows that were going to be broadcast in MONO. Again, if you listen to as much old music as I do, you're used to this.

Disc Two Overall: Superb. Really, this is a fantastic Music collection.

Set Overall: It took them entirely too long, but Toei has finally put together the perfect CD set. I really hope they keep up the amazing work on future releases. If you're a fan of Machineman or 80s Soundtracks I can't recommend this set enough. I'm totally against downloading...and this time I really mean it. Buy the set. Let Columbia know that they're finally doing us fans right so that we can get more fantastic music releases like this. They definitely spent the time and truly earned the money they charged this time around.


I managed to write quite a bit about five measly CDs. Next time for my CD Collection posts, I plan on writing about all of the Ohranger CDs I could get my hands on...and then some. Remember the whole Kyoko Sound Laboratory fiasco? Well, I'll be covering that once again along with some oddball IN songs by Namie Amuro and TRF. Expect to see that sometime in April or May.

In the meantime, check out my CD Collection/Article page! An update should be coming soon enough!

See You Again...



Jukou B-Fighter & Choriki Sentai Ohranger Movies Reviewed!

We are living in the future.

It has been 20 years since my favorite year of Tokusatsu movies. In 1995 we were treated to the third straight Toei Hero Fair triple-header with new Sentai (Ohranger), Metal Hero (B-Fighter) and Kamen Rider (Hakaider) movies! Now that sufficient time has passed, it is time for me to take matters into my own hands and write brief reviews of two of the three movies. Why two? I wrote a brief review of Hakaider a couple years back in the second half of my blog about the travesty known as Forte Music Entertainment.

How about we start with Jukou B-Fighter The Movie.


Jukou B-Fighter The Movie

The film opens with Takuya (Blue Beet), Daisaku (G-Stag), and Rei (Reddle) shopping. Almost immediately Rei is abducted by a driverless black BMW. Takuya and Daisaku give chase on their motorcycles and attempt to stop the vehicle as it rapidly approaches a man dressed in all black on the street. The three are suddenly transported to a far away wasteland where they are all seperated. Rei is attacked by the same mysterious man from before but is saved by Daisaku. Both end up getting captured and having their B Commanders stolen.

Takuya is confronted by the mysterious man, now revealed to be Drago, an insect warrior, who has no recollection of his past. The two have a brief fight as Jamahl sends their monster Hellsgyra to attack the already trapped Daisaku and Rei.

Drago. Not THAT Drago...

Hellsgyra. The most generic name/costume we had laying around.

After fighting for a little while, Drago regains his memory and decides to help. Now as a team, the B-Fighters are ready to take on Hellsgyra, but not before they are forced to fight off a wave of Jamahl Fighters. They summon their Beet Machines for a brief fight against the Jamahl Fighters.

Enjoy four whole minutes of stock footage.

Once they defeat the Jamahl Fighters, they take on Hellsgyra as a team and are able to defeat him after a pretty intense battle.

If B-Fighter did one thing right, it was looking awesome.

After defeating Hellsgyra, Drago thanks the B-Fighters for all that they've done before flying off into the sunset.

What is it with the B-Fighters always ending up on tall buildings/cliffs/hills/etc.?

One of us will be written off in a few episodes after a on-set mishap.

Before I get into the movie itself, I should probably talk a little bit about B-Fighter.

The show itself isn't all that spectacular. In fact, Metal Hero shows in general have this certain deadness to them that doesn't really exist in their Super Sentai counterparts from the same year. While they certainly played with the Metal Hero formula in later years, they never seemed to get the shows on the same wavelength as Super Sentai. B-Fighter, which is probably the closest the genre got to being a full blown Sentai Series, is no exception.

That said, B-Fighter has some amazing suits, music (even if a lot of it is recycled from previous Eiji Kawamura composed shows), and gadgets. This has always made it one of my favorite soundtracks and toylines...but the series itself is...meh. 

So how does the movie stack up?

In all honestly, the movie is fantastic. It didn't have much in the way of B-Fighter specific plot which totally works in its favor. The generic plot lead to them relying heavily on strong visuals and action. I imagine this movie would give a viewer reason to check out the series if they saw it during the Toei Hero Fair '95. It's really nothing more than extremely well-done action with some great editing.

Highly recommended. Just don't expect the series to live up the movie. It's alright, but the movie is honestly my favorite part of the series.


Choriki Sentai Ohranger The Movie

1975-1995. Not this idiotic series counting that they do these days.

The movie begins with Buldont and Acha scouting the location for his film studio (Buldont Studio) and the film The Century of Baranoia that he is preparing to make. Camera Trick is dispatched to kidnap unwilling participants in the film.
Buldont Quarry Studio

Camera Jack. Baranoia had a drone before it was cool.

After a string of disappearances, Goro (Ohred) and Juri (Ohyellow) are sent to investigate. They discover that Acha is distributing flyers from a plane to recruit cast for the film. They also encounter Camera Trick after it kidnaps a girl reading the flyer. The two give chase, but are intercepted by a malfunctioning Barlo Soldier. 

The group of kidnapped kids are greeted by Locker Knight then led into Buldont Studio and shown around the bizarre soundstage where Acha introduces himself as Producer. They are given "Artificial Reality" goggles and are lead on a virtual train ride where they meet with Neko Signal.

Locker Knight on his soon-to-be-jacked horse

The now-familiar Toei soundstage

Neko Signal. What the hell were they smoking to come up with this?

Goro and Juri meet up with Shohei (Ohgreen), Yuji (Ohblue), and Momo (Ohpink) who are waiting for them just outside of Buldont Studio. They break into the studio in their groups just as the kidnapped kids are lead away on a bus. Once on the soundstage Shohei, Yuji, and Momo are attacked by Kabochumpkin while Goro and Juri fight Neko Signal and Jagchuck. After their brief seperate fights, all three monsters vanish forcing the now rejoined Ohrangers to travel through a mysterious portal to a battlefield.

Kabochumpkin. Note the horse's ass. Yes, he came out of that.


Jagchuck has a problem...

Once on the field they chase after the runaway bus with the kids, on horseback, after their driver is accidently shot. They manage to save the kids just in time before the bus explodes. They then try to escape, but are trapped on a suspension bridge which predictably breaks, causing the Ohrangers to fall and the kids to get kidnapped by Baranoia once again.

Honestly they probably do have more horsepower than that bus.

Bus goes boom following a fender bender.

'The bridge is out!' in this never before seen Tokusatsu trope.

The Ohrangers make it back to the battlefield where they discover that the masked grunts that the Barlo Soldiers have been fighting are really kidnapped people. The kidnapped kids are set up for execution but are saved by the Ohrangers just in time. After fighting off the Barlo Soldiers, they stun Locker Knight, Neko Signal, Kabochumpkin, and Jagchuck with a shot from the Big Bang Buster.

BARANOIA! -Goro [He has a special way of saying it]


 Alright, this pose is pretty awesome.

All four monster combine into the gigantic Steampunk, which once again kidnaps the kids. Ohrangerrobo is summoned and the two begin fighting. Ohred enters Steampunk and retrieves the kids for the final time. Steampunk now transforms into a locomotive form to attempt to evade Ohrangerrobo. Ohrangerrobo does the Crown Final Crash while Steampunk is crossing a bridge which destroys the bridge and causes Steampunk to fall to his explosive death. Buldont, Acha, and Kocha abandon the studio and flee Earth.

 Floating over the trees.

 Kids recovered for the 987th and final time this movie.

Screw you, taxpayer! 

Ohrangerrobo let gravity take care of this one...


A little bit about Ohranger before I talk about the movie...

Ohranger is a series I never fully got into. It's an alright show in retrospect, and I like many of the elements, but at the time I think I was just riding a Dairanger and Kakuranger high that left me kinda unimpressed with a show that is a little bit all over the place not long after it started. I have always said, however, that the first episode of Ohranger is one of the finest debut episodes for any Super Sentai Series. Even if you have no intention on watching the entire series of Ohranger, I highly recommend checking out the first episode. It's incredibly solid. The series as a whole, though...it's alright I suppose.

The movie, on the other hand, is a completely different animal.

The Ohranger Movie is possibly the most crazy bananas Tokusatsu feature ever made. I know that's a pretty bold statement, but this movie is just on a whole 'nother level of crazy. I mean even with the really long summary I typed, I left quite a bit out. There are just some really super-absurd moments peppered throughout the film. One of which I took a screencap of...

Those dolls......*shudder*

As the guitar carrying kidnapped human removes the legs from the creepy doll, you can see various props of Sentai series past discarded in the background. Chief of which is the Kiryoku Bazooka from Dairanger. You can also see some weapons from Zyuranger monsters laying around. Why are they there? Well, since this movie takes place at a studio they just filmed outside of their own studio. If you've ever watched that 2-hour Youtube video made during the first half of Dairanger, the setting will be familiar. Toei's lot is littered with discarded props as small as helmets and going all the way up to motorcycles. It's a sad sight to see a lot of awesome props laid to waste, but I guess it was nice seeing some of them one last time during the Ohranger movie.

Whoops, I sure did get off topic...

On top of being straight up weird, it is delightfully entertaining. There are plenty of little skirmishes throughout and, despite it's extended runtime, never a dull moment. Like the B-Fighter movie, this is just a solid feature that doesn't really reflect on the series itself. It has a pretty self-contained plot that relies on being a little more tongue-in-cheek over being super generic. After all, this is the Sentai 20th Anniversary movie. The little bits of pulling back of the curtain were certainly intentional. The behind-the-scenes bits were meant to be a love letter to longtime fans.

The flyer that Acha was dropping from the plane. 

Ohranger dialogue was so predictable it was probably also in the script. 

He even did up some storyboards. 

The movie within the movie was even shot silently. So they had to go back and dub their lines?

I should also mention that the end credits sequence is a rollcall inside Camera Jack's lens of every character that appeared in the film shown during a lively performance of "When The Saints Go Marching In". Why? Who knows, it just adds to the wackiness. 

This movie is a totally recommended watch even if you have no intention on check out Ohranger. It is definitely a dedicated film rather than a slightly longer episode that was too weak to show on TV like the usual Sentai movie. It's also easily a better film than Ohranger vs Kakuranger. So be sure to check this one out and try to make sense of it for yourself.


Toei really outdid themselves this year with three solid movies. We had the flashy concept film (Hakaider), the pure action film (B-Fighter) and the outlandish fun movie (Ohranger). For the first time we had an awesome year at the Toei Hero Fair...and how did they top it? They didn't. This was the last one. After this the Sentai movies were relegated to V-Cinema, J's stink killed off Rider until Kuuga came along and Metal Hero's decline sealed it's fate. 

Toei Hero Fair '95 will go down in history as my favorite batch of Tokusatsu films and the ones I can't recommend enough. Seriously, you should check these movies out if you haven't already.