The CD Collection -- Super Action Sound [1989-1992]

Welcome to yet another edition of my never-ending journey to catalog my Tokusatsu CD Collection. This week I'm going to take things light and review only four CDs. Why only four? Well...they only ran this series on CD between Turboranger and Zyuranger.

I suppose I should explain what a "Super Action Sound" is. Well...it's basically a large portion of the song collection mixed in with a fairly generic plot so that the entire album plays like an episode. Some of them feature background music also, and some of them don't. It was an interesting experiment that started long before Turboranger, actually. According to my CCLemon99 Hyper Database of Tokusatsu Music the very first one was released in late 1981 for Sunvulcan and released sporadically on vinyl and cassette until it finally made it's way to CD for Turboranger. I would love to get my hands on some of the earlier Sentai (and Metal Hero!) Super Action Sound albums...but they're practically non-existent at this point.

In any case, I'm here today to talk about the four that made it to CD. This is Super Action Sound for Super Sentai!

Also, sorry in advance about not giving too many plot details. If you want to know, listen for yourself. Be warned......the plots are pretty standard. You can rank these CDs among the blandest of filler episodes in terms of story.


Kousoku Sentai Turboranger Super Action Sound

This is the first of the Super Action Sound CDs and actually a pretty good place to start. It is one long 40 minute track loaded with the cast of Turboranger spliced in with ten of the eleven songs from the series.

It would have been nice if maybe there were a few less songs and some BGM and more dialogue shoehorned in. As is the case with all of these CDs, it is an excellent source of stereo sound effects and dialogue during a time when these shows only aired in MONO (if the show was lucky enough to have a movie, that was the only time we got stereo sound).

Since this isn't too much more than a dressed up version of the song collection, it really isn't too exciting. The cast sounds very good (especially Riki). Outside of this CD having some formatting problems, it's pretty good despite being a little shallow.


Chikyu Sentai Fiveman Super Action Sound

There is a pretty big difference between this album and the Turboranger one. Instead of being one long track this one is divided into two, which is nice...since we're in the digital age and a 40 minute track is kinda absurd.

Content wise...this one does a much cleaner job of giving the feel of an episode. There are less vocal songs (eight including the themes) used and now some BGM included. There are a few problems, though. The BGM and sound effects sound very quiet compared to the dialogue and songs. Also...those friggin Fiveman dolls hog up a pretty large portion of this.

Of the four released on CD, this one is probably the hardest to come by. It's the last one I bought and was kinda expecting better. I didn't care for it much at first, but it's really not that bad. The Fiveman cast did a nice enough job with their voice acting...in fact, not having to look at Fumiya's extremely punchable mug is a huge plus. As a whole, this one isn't too bad, but forgettable.


Chojin Sentai Jetman Super Action Sound

This CD...

It follows the Fiveman format while making some improvements on the sound levels. They also try out some vocal effects when necessary. The result is something a little more natural in the technical department...but...

That damn Jetman cast ruins it. I mean, I wrote about Jetman not once, but twice and came to the conclusion that the only good thing to come from it was a Famicom game. Nobody sounds particularly interested or invested in this disc. Well, maybe Gai and Maria come off as natural as there are in the show. Seriously, though, if you've heard this CD you know what I mean. The evil laugh from Radiguet sounds more like politely-laughing-at-your-crappy-joke laugh. Maybe without the visuals, it just shows how lame this cast was.

If you search for any Super Action Sound stuff for sale, this is likely to be the first CD you'll find. It seems to be the most common and cheapest. I've had this CD since my early days of collecting Tokusatsu CDs in the 90s. This and Turboranger are the most common.

Oh yeah...where is Tran in this one? In school I suppose...


Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger Super Action Sound

Zyuranger had a lot of advantages going into this CD. It is technically the best of the bunch with a very clear sounding recording. The ever-present hum of some of the earlier Super Action Sound CDs is no more. This one also relies heavily on sound effects, which does make for a better atmosphere throughout.

This is easily my favorite of the bunch. The production rivals that of the sound design of an actual episode. Maybe the songs go on for too long (OK, the Bandora song did get quite a lot of exposure in the series), but this just works. The entire cast is on point and have voices that lend nicely to audio drama. Naturally Bandora is the best part of this disc...even going as far as to call the Zyuranger on a pay phone to taunt them. Burai making an appearance to save the day was pretty cool too.

It isn't without problems, though. Only Bandora makes an appearance on this CD...not even her Doramonster had a voice (DoraGerogero only made sounds). So really only seven people were involved in making this one. The lack of BGM really isn't obvious, but it is something I picked up on after repeat listening.

That said, this is the best of the Super Action Sound CDs. It is the closest we will get to watching an episode of Super Sentai without watching it. Recommended!


Sentai Drama CDs never totally went away once they stopped making Super Action Sound discs. I posted the Dairanger Kiryoku Disc to Youtube some time ago...plus drama did have a bit of a resurgence on regular Columbia releases starting with the Hurricaneger music and song collections and running to present day. The idea of a full drama album is neat, though. For something like Tokusatsu it can be difficult to paint a mental picture for something that relies heavily on effects and action...but some of these albums pulled it off. It can be done right.

I have a few other Sentai Drama CDs to talk about. Maybe I'll get to that in the future... The next time I do a CD blog.....I *promise* it'll be about something Ultraman. I don't think I've done a single post on any Ultraman CDs yet...and I have plenty of them. I'll pick something cool to talk about next time. As for my next blog...expect a DVD review that has been long in the making. It's something a little different...but something I really want to talk about.

That's all for now. Be sure to hit me up in the usual places and to check out my ever-growing music page for more articles and a very incomplete list of CDs I own.

See ya!



Top Seven Figuarts Wishlist [2015 Edition]

Two years ago I wrote up a list of Figuarts that I wanted to see get a release. It's interesting to go back and check out that list since there have been some major surprises (Shin and ZO got a release! Not only that, ZO was a standard release). I figured it would be interesting to go back and revisit my list. Instead of making a list of infinite Figuarts wishes I think I'll limit it to a Top 7 this time.

Honorable Mention: Reissue of Trunks from Dragonball Z

I genuinely don't know why Bandai hasn't gotten around to reissuing Trunks. The list you are about to read is going to be full of characters of questionable profitability popularity. Not only would a reissue of Trunks sell well, it would probably sell out forcing yet another reissue. I don't even think the character is that great...but he did have one of my favorite moments from the entire series, which is enough for me to want the Figuarts of him.

07. Jinzoningen Hakaider (1995 Movie)

A carryover from my previous list, but I think it makes more sense now than it did back then. In the time since my previous list Bandai has gone Kikaider crazy with several Figuarts from both series. It would be a natural choice for them to move on to this version of Hakaider as well as capping the Ishinomori films of the 90s. More on that later...

06. Any Metal Hero

This is low on the list only because it's very likely to happen. Bandai has been previewing tons of future Metal Hero Figuarts. The only problem is that they haven't been offering any of them for sale. The only things we got recently of the tons of Figuarts they previewed were B-Fighter and the brilliant Juspion. Meanwhile Spielban, Metalder, Winspector, Janperson (yes!), and even Robotack have all just been previewed. As good as the B-Fighter and Juspion Figuarts have been...they really need to continue this line.

If I had to specific on this one I really wish they would continue on with Spielban (and hopefully Diana and Helen) and moving forward that way. Hopefully we also get renewals of the Space Sheriffs since they kinda sucked. But yes...Spielban first. Please don't screw up the Twin Blade.

05. City Hunter Characters

This one is a little bit more of a pipe dream since the franchise has been largely abandoned/forgotten as time goes on. The series seemed to peak between '88-'90 before really falling off the radar. Was City Hunter too 80s? Hot Toys didn't think so... Three years ago they released these awesome 1/6 scale figures of Ryo and Saeko. Obviously they sold well because Hot Toys collectors will buy anything. Maybe Figuarts City Hunter would be a harder sell?

There is a main cast of about four people so it wouldn't have to be a huge line. If it sold well maybe we could get different varieties of Ryo. Maybe even his Mini Cooper could get the Figuarts treatment since they're bringing back automobiles (the last one they made prior to the Kamen Rider Drive monstrosity was the equally horrifying Akibaranger Prius).

Mokkori Figuarts! (yeah...I have issues...)

04. Captain Eo

Figuarts Michael Jackson turned out much better than I think anyone was expecting. The preview shots weren't all that great as they usually aren't (seriously...use photos of the finished toy. The prototypes always look weird). Maybe the creepy smile face was a lame addition, but the main face looked spot on for 1988 Michael Jackson.

Captain Eo was a short film made for Disney Parks where Michael Jackson plays...well...himself, really, as Captain Eo. It's kinda corny, but fun. I always thought that Captain Eo was the demo version of what eventually became Moonwalker.

Anyhow, Captain Eo was the closest Michael came to playing a superhero. It would be a neat curveball for Bandai to throw if they were to make another Figuart of Michael. Smooth Criminal itself was a bit of a surprise since Bad, Dirty Diana, and Thriller would have been the more obvious choices. Captain Eo would take it a step further and be awesome at the same time.

03. Gunhed (S.H. Monsterarts perhaps?)

I revisited this movie earlier this year and really fell in love with it. It would be a complicated one to pull off, but I have faith that Bandai could make this happen. The only issue with Gunhed as a film is that it seems to have taken the same trajectory as the Hakaider movie. Small fanbase in Japan, smaller fanbase in the 'States (thanks to a video release), yet largely ignored.

It would probably fit in a little better as a SHMonsterart since it was a Toho film that was meant to be a Godzilla movie anyway. The only issue would have to be scale. Gunhed isn't nearly as large as a Daikaiju...so it might be more difficult to market as a Monsterart.

Sadly I think Pulgasari might be more likely than this one.

02. Dr. Slump Characters

This one has me a little confused. There isn't much in the way of decent Dr. Slump figures, but there are two ongoing toylines by Sentinel and Fewture Models. Why isn't Bandai in on the action? I mean there is the possibility of over-saturation, yes, but Figuarts are very different from the figures being put out by the others.

I would really like a decent Arale figure from Bandai that isn't 90s stoner Arale. There is a world of characters to choose from if it takes off (and why wouldn't it?). C'mon, Bandai!

01. Kamen Rider J

More than anything I want this Figuart to happen. Not only that, I really want it to happen soon. With the upcoming Figuarts Rideron and Renewal Agito Ground, J would be the last Rider Figuart for me to get. Remember, Hibiki is as recent as I'm going. I didn't even like J that much as a movie, but I'm dying to get his Figuart so I can end the misery.

I mean, I know there are rumors that some of the Heisei Riders will be getting renewals...well I had no problem telling renewal Shadow Moon to fuck off. The current Ryuki, Faiz, and Blade are fine.

Anyway...Figuarts Kamen Rider J. Please. I want to put this collection to bed.


So that is my top seven wishlist of Figuarts I'd really like. Notice anything? No Sentai. After the Goranger and Sun Vulcan ones came out and basically fell on their faces I don't think I would like to see any more. The new body type being a huge disappointment and their ignoring of the newer shows is basically killing off the line. My review of Kyoryured is coming up on my channel soon and...*SPOILER* I actually liked it quite a bit. They could do no wrong with the previous Sentai body type. Even a lousy show like Kyoryuger could get cool Figuarts.

You also have to consider the sheer volume of Sentai toys out there...especially in my collection. I would rather have Bandai go back and give us a decent Metal Hero figure since they certainly didn't the first time around. Same with Rider...even the current crop of shows have crappy figures. Figuarts definitely helps there. Sentai...I don't know--I think the world has enough Sentai toys. Figuarts of them just seem like they're a harder sell over every other franchise (including Ultra Act and Monsterarts).


I have a page set up with all of my other Top 7 lists. Head on over there is you feel the need to disagree with me.

Oh yes, if you have a Top 7 list of Figuarts you'd like to see...let me know! Leave a comment here or hit me up over Twitter.

See ya next time!