The CD Collection -- Superhero Chronicle Metal Hero I-IV

I'm back once again for another entry in my never ending series of articles on my CD Collection. Seriously. I did a massive update to my collection page that pretty much tripled the size of the page. At my current rate of writing these spotlights...I'm never going to finish.....

It might seem like today's entry is light on content...but you'd be wrong. I did a review on some Superhero Chronicle CD sets in the past and it was quite a lot of work. When all was said and done I had reviewed songs from tons of shows of the 1970s and 1980s. I'll never have to talk about Kikaider again...! This time I'll be covering songs from all Metal Hero series. All of them. From Gavan to Robotack. Here it goes!


Superhero Chronicle Metal Hero Shudaika Sonyuuka Daizenshuu I


Uchuu Keiji Gavan [01~10] I previously talked about the Gavan song collection in my review of the Hit Song & Original Soundtrack set. To recap--this is a great song collection. Akira Kushida owns it in a way few other singers have dominated a series song collection before or since. It might not be my overall favorite Tokusatsu song collection, but it is as close to perfect as they come.

Uchuu Keiji Sharivan [11~19] Sharivan's song collection is, much like the series and BGM, mostly carryover from Gavan. There is plenty of Akira Kushida, but we also got a song from Poplar (who later sang the songs from Lady Battle Cop as well as the Japanese dub of the Duck Tales theme.......look it up) called DANGER MELODY and two songs from the late Kiyohiko Ozaki. Another very solid set of songs, but maybe not as memorable as Gavan's soundtrack. Personally...I think I like this one a little bit better than Gavan. Songs like SON OF SUN and DANGER MELODY give it the edge to me.


Uchuu Keiji Shaider [01~10] This one is a favorite of a lot of people, but I'm not a huge fan of it. Sure there are songs like Shaider Blue (Takayuki Miyauchi's lone song here), Shouketsu Shaider, and Ginga no hate made (anything solo Koorogi '73 is great...whenever they have background involvement on a song it tends to suck) but there are also boring songs like Seigi no Hunter, aoi inazuma, and Hello! Shaider. Naomi Morinaga's singing on Annie ni Omakase is pretty dreadful also. This one is pretty much mixed right down the middle to me. OH and the short song Nanda Nanda Boogie by Ao Gakitai (Haa...)  is also missing. Luckily it was included in the 2-Disc Music Collection along with the Karaoke version. 

Kyojuu Tokusou Juspion [11~22] I rarely listen to this song collection, and I'm not entirely sure why. It has some stinkers like Kyojuu tachi yo and the "English" theme songs, but everything else is pretty solid. There aren't a whole lot of familiar names among the singers. Akira Kushida sings four IN songs but the rest are from singers like Henry (English Themes), BOBBY (Itsu no hi heiwa ga), and Ai Takano (Both themes, two IN songs) who is an OK singer. I might catch some crap for saying this, but I like this song collection over Changeman's. The production quality is noticeably better and the songs are just...tighter. Give both of these song collections a listen to and see for yourself. 


Jiku Senshi Spielban [01~10] Another song collection I don't listen to much. I kinda have good reason for this one though--it isn't very good. I love the opening and both ending themes, but the IN songs are pretty lame. The three leads each sing their own songs (of which I only like Diana Action). The Waller theme is one that I gave a recent re-evaluation to...and I actually dig it quite a bit. I remember not liking it much in the past...but it's actually not bad. The IN songs by Ichiro Mizuki are rightfully forgotten. He is on point for the theme songs, but really just not very good on the two lame IN songs.

Chojinki Metalder [11~20] I suppose I can get right to it and say that I love this song collection. We have that badass theme song from Isao Sasaki, some great IN songs from Ichiro Mizuki and Kouji Kaya (who went on to also rock out the Liveman song collection). The only thing that sticks out here is the lone song from Da Capo. Outside of being signed to Columbia...I really don't know why they were included on the Metalder song collection. Regardless, it's a nice song. The only legit lame song is the deceptively-titled Never Give Up.

As a side note, I have read a number of times that the IN song Shunten! Yume no Senshi was intended to be the theme song to the series. It definitely has that vibe...and it is the only song on the collection that mentions the full title of the show. I have even seen some people craft together the OP sequence with this song laid down on it. It totally works! Could this rumor be true??


SET SUMMARY: I imagine that this set was the biggest seller of the lot--and rightfully so. It contains all of the memorable and popular Metal Hero Song Collections and has a fairly accessible and easy to navigate layout (more on that later). It's still actually available on sites like Amazon Japan. You won't be disappointed if you decided to pick this one up.


Superhero Chronicle Metal Hero Shudaika Sonyuuka Daizenshuu II


Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya [01~10] The boss is back! Akira Kushida returns after a two year absence from Metal Hero. He's back so much that he sings all but two of the IN songs as well. The other two are character songs by Takumi Tsutsui and Megumi Sekiguchi...and are the only weak songs on the song collection. 

Kidou Keiji Jiban [11~20] Just as fast as he was back, he's now gone. Akira Kushida sings all but three of the IN songs for the Jiban song collection in what will be his (almost) final appearance on a Metal Hero song collection. The three other songs are character songs by Shohei Kusaka and the other by Michiko Enokida (who is an awful singer). Of the character songs, Jiban no himitsu is probably the only decent one. All of the Kushida songs are great with classics like Hoero Jiban!, GOYO da!, and the vehicles theme.


Tokkei Winspector [All 15] We've now gotten to (IMO) the heavy-hitters. There is something about the Rescue Hero (Winspector, Solbrain, Exceedraft) song collections that make them extra special to me. Winspector is particular is a great set of songs from Takayuki Miyauchi (who I think is in top form when he sings Metal Hero songs), Ichiro Mizuki, a lone song by Hiroshi Miyauchi (his best song by far, IMO...I don't care much for the Kamen Rider V3 theme), and a song from Fire actor Masaru Yamashita (which is alright, but probably the weak link of the collection). This song collection is a little synth-heavy for 1990, but it all kinda works. There is tons of variety on all of the songs. I would have to say that is this isn't my favorite Metal Hero song collection...but it is at least top 3 material.  


Tokkyushirei Solbrain [All 14] Continuing on with the awesome-song streak we arrive at the Solbrain song collection. Ichiro Mizuki may be gone, but Takayuki Miyauchi keeps the flame burning by once again singing the themes and the bulk of the IN songs. The two other singers for the IN songs are three songs from Yasuhide Sawazaki (who I have never been able to find much information on) and two songs from Kenji Konuta. This collection definitely has a more fast-paced rock vibe than the synth heavy Winspector collection. I will also say that this is right up there with Winspector fighting for the top spot of my all-time favorite Tokusatsu song collection. How did they get it soooo right for two years in a row? The song Rescue Action kokoro o sukue is easily one of my favorite Tokusatsu IN songs ever (Top 5 even). For me, there really isn't really a weak point. If I haaad to pick one, though, it would have to be kimi mo Solbrain.


SET SUMMARY: Naturally I love this set since Winspector and Solbrain are two of my all-time favorite Tokusatsu song collections. The Jiraiya and Jiban song collections are also fan-bleeding-tastic. While I think the first CD set is probably a favorite among fans, this set is my personal favorite of the lot. Who knows, you might like it too. Oh yeah, and this one also appears to still be available for sale at Amazon Japan. Recommended!


Superhero Chronicle Metal Hero Shudaika Sonyuuka Daizenshuu III


Tokusou Exceedraft [All 15] Takayuki Miyauchi returns to round out the song collections for the trio of Rescue Hero series shows. As great as this song collection is, it kinda pales in comparison to Winspector and Solbrain. Rather than being good AND different, it kinda feels like a continuation of the Solbrain song collection. That said, I do listen to this batch of songs often. Takayuki Miyauchi does twelve of the fifteen songs with Ushio Hashimoto (she is probably most famous for the original Dragonball Ending Song Romantic ageru yo), and the returns of Yasuhide Sawazaki and Kenji Konuta with a song apiece. Like I said, this is an excellent rockin' song collection, but not quuuuite as good as the previous two.

Exceedraft Grade Up! and Arashi o makiokose! are two of my favorite Tokusatsu songs ever at least. Especially Exceedraft Grade Up!--it's a damn near perfect song. 


Tokusou Robo Janperson [01~08] The twilight of greatness has come upon us. What we are left with is...actually still very good. Despite the awful, awful record label that took control of Metal Hero in 1993 we managed to get eight solid songs for Janperson. Half of the songs are by a singer called Susumu Ooya (whose only other claims to fame are some Dragonball Z image songs) with the other half by Hironobu Kageyama (who is making his Metal Hero debut!). All of the songs are very good, with Seigi no tame ni being the best by far. That said, there are no bad songs...just not a lot of them. Damn Forte.....

Blue SWAT [09~16] More Forte badness. This time around, the songs aren't all that great. Tatsuya Maeda (famous for the themes to Ultraman Powered, Ultraman Neos, Ultraman Dyna, as well as a Catch The Wind from Carranger and some Ultraman IN songs) sings six of the eight Blue SWAT songs. He's a great singer...and the only song that really does him justice is the OP TRUE DREAM (more on that later). The music is kinda cheesy on these songs. Other songs are sung by Kaoru Ito (lyricist and composer...interestingly he is behind both of this show's themes. Kinda reminds me of what happened with Ohranger), and the Blue SWAT cast...who are not great singers. Maybe if there were a few more than eight songs there could've been a chance for this to be better.

OK, so I mentioned that I bit more to say about TRUE DREAM? When I first got this set I noticed that the version of TRUE DREAM included here is very different from pretty much every other CD I own with the song on it. I am probably going to write a full article on this eventually, but yeah...Forte is still screwing with us from it's deep, dark corner in Hell...


Jukou B-Fighter [01~10] The B-Fighter theme songs wrote checks that the song collection couldn't cash. Sure there are some gems like the Beet Machine theme and the movie ending song Kono hoshi no tame naraba, but the rest of the songs are a complete waste of the Metal Hero debut of the amazing Shinichi Ishihara (who is one of only four singers who has sung theme songs for Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, Metal Hero, AND Ultraman--I believe Hironobu Kageyama, Ichiro Mizuki and Isao Sasaki are the only others). Feh to this one. Just stick with the four good songs that I mentioned.

BF Kabuto [11~17] This is where the format of this set starts to get hairy. With little disc space left they decided to plow right ahead and include six of the seventeen BF Kabuto songs. We get two songs by Nobuhiko Kashihara (previously he had done the Won Tiger theme in Dairanger...which I guess is enough to warrant him singing a set of Metal Hero theme song), four songs by Shinichi Ishihara, Pretty Cast (who did a song for Sailormoon Super S *shrug*) and a Metal Hero debut from then-newcomer Masaaki Endo. I kinda dig the Neo Beet Machine theme more than the Beet Machine theme from B-Fighter. Honestly, the BF Kabuto songs on this set are some of the more decent ones. Even Hero ni naru hi by Pretty Cast has some charm to it.


SET SUMMARY: Worth it for Exceedraft and Janperson. It's kinda strange being able to watch a franchise fall apart through the shabby treatment of their song collections (the music collections are another story). I really don't know why they decided to go ahead with BF Kabuto rather than using filler from the next set to close this one out. Oh well. Not as essential as the previous two sets, but there is still some gold to be had here.


Superhero Chronicle Metal Hero Shudaika Sonyuuka Daizenshuu IV


BF Kabuto [01~11] This jumps right in some IN songs from BF Kabuto with Track 11 as the series ending song Oogoe de utaeba. The charms of BF Kabuto IN songs wears off fast. They start to sound alike after a bit...but they aren't terrible. The standout song is probably the glorious Kabuterios theme song. Other than that...meh. Four more songs by Shinichi Ishihara, two by Nobuhiko Kashihara, a cast song (which isn't terrible), one by Kazuhiro Konishi (who is a singer...I guess), two by Masaaki Endo, and another by Pretty Cast (the one on the previous set wasn't bad, but this one is pretty lame).

B-Robo Kabutack [12~19] The first eight of the ten Kabutack songs are on this disc. The singer of the OP is a Toei man all the way. Takeshi Kusao (voice of Kabutack himself and Trunks from Dragonball Z) sings the OP and three IN songs on this disc (five of the ten total Kabutack songs). Ichiro Mizuki, Akira Kushida, Takayuki Miyauchi, and Yoko Ishihida (who, strangely, later appeared on the Chumei Watanabe Tokusatsu Oh CD) all did one song on this disc. These songs are OK. I'm not crazy for the Takeshi Kusao songs (Super Change! Kabutack is pretty good), but the other singers did some nice work.


B-Robo Kabutack [01~02] The final two Kabutack songs open up this disc. The first is the awesome Super Dream 13, which is Akira Kushida's final Metal Hero song. It's kind of a bummer that the man who started it all had his final song as an IN song on the next to last series. Whenever you hear Super Dream 13, give a little salute. The second track is the lousy Kabutack ending song by Takeshi Kusao.

Tetsuwan Tantei Robotack [03~13] It's been awhile since a show's song collection fit nicely on one disc. For the final Metal Hero song collection we do get some treats. For one...Hironobu Kageyama sings the theme song! Wow, they really waited until the last minute to get it in, eh? Not only that...it's riiiiiight before he started to suck. I have almost pinpointed the moment he started to suck to about late 1998. He sings the great theme song and is joined by Masaaki Endo on two tracks (credited under their duo name Kotetsu Kyodai...check them out sometime). Both of the Kotetsu Kyodai songs are great...especially GET HIGH!, which despite it's kinda funny name is one of the top best Tokusatsu songs ever...no lie. Other songs... One by YURIA, one by LAMUSE, one by Shinichi Ishihara, the second ending song by Robotack All-Stars, one by Kamerock voice actor Hideyuki Hori and three by Robotack voice actor Nozomu Sasaki (two versions of the first ending theme and one IN song). In the first of the two versions of the first ending songs you are given instructions on how to draw Robotack, Darkrow, and Kamerock. The second version is only one verse and teaches you how to draw Special Mode Robotack. Fun song collection.

OP Instrumental Collection [14~19] Not too much to say about this. It's instrumental versions of the theme songs from Gavan, Sharivan, Shaider, Juspion, Spielban, and Metalder. The technical term that the CD uses is "Meroke" or Meloke" which is one of those portmanteaus that don't quite translate to English. It's a combination of Melody and Karaoke. Calling them instrumental versions is easier and just as accurate.


OP Instrumental Collection [01~09] Continuing from the previous disc we start with the...Jiban theme? You've gotta be kidding me. They skipped over Jiraiya? Ugh...what the holy hell? Alright, well let's move on. Winspector, Solbrain, Exceedraft, Janperson... No Blue SWAT. Awesome. On second thought, the instrumental version of TRUE DREAM is garbage, maybe they were just too embarrassed to use it. B-Fighter, BF Kabuto, Kabutack, and Robotack are all represented here. So Jiraiya and Blue SWAT are missing...ugh.

DIGITAL TRIP Uchuu Keiji Sharivan SYNTHESIZER FANTASY [10~17] I really don't have too much to say about this that I haven't said already. This is the very first CD release of 'Synthesizer Fantasy. It was later included in the 2-Disc Sharivan Music Collection, which I previously reviewed. I love the hell out it, but it certainly isn't for everyone. It's also criminally out of place on this set. Oh well, at least it was released on CD in the first place.


SET SUMMARY: Weird. Just...very, very, very weird. The somewhat confusing layout that began at the end of the third set is full-on out of control on this set. The third set should have ended with the Sharivan Synthesizer Fantasy. It would have been a perfect fit. Then BF Kabuto could've taken up the first disc here, Kabutack, Robotack, and the OP Instrumental could've finished it out. It's hard to build any kind of atmosphere from this set when it's so broken. I should also mention that this is the hardest set to find of the four. Long out of print and even difficult to find second-hand without paying a hefty sum. The other three are still available new.


Thank you for reading another one of my CD Collection posts. I hope that these are at least a little bit informative...especially if you're looking to buy. This one in particular was one I was looking forward to writing. Metal Hero is probably my favorite sub-genre of Tokusatsu songs. I genuinely think that Metal Hero that is consistently the best when it comes to song collections. It started right around the time all of the repetitive 70s music had died out and before the awful 2000s came in to kill it. Song Collection-wise, Metal Hero was fortunate to have the misfortune of dying off.

Thanks for reading. For more, check out my CD Collection page.


P.S. I thought of two new blog topics while writing this...stay tuned! Also, the promised Ultraman CD review will be next. I have it partially written, but held off since there is a CD I want to review being released at the end of this month. I like reviewing brand new CDs.


CCLemon99 Magazine Issue One

Welcome to my latest blog experiment. I have been absolutely swamped recently but have had a lot of time to dream up ideas to try out here on the blog and elsewhere. This week I want to try out something that is a little bit of a continuation of my previous blog, but some actual content weaved in. These are going to be little blurbs that aren't quite enough content to warrant full articles, but deserve some attention.


Maybe SHFiguarts Fire Isn't Such A Bad Idea...

Many of us were pretty disappointed that Bandai decided to go a different route by skipping Spielban and jumping ahead to Winspector. I did have a thought concerning the switch though. Maybe the reason Bandai decided to move on to Winspector is a little bit less obvious than it seems.

Now that we've endured an entire year of a car based Kamen Rider series (seriously...a friggin car?? The show just finished airing and that concept still baffles me) it seems like now would be the time to unload the franchises that are car heavy. Obviously I haven't seen any sales figures, but the SHFiguarts return to releasing vehicles is possibly behind the move on to Winspector. Factoring Kamen Rider BLACK RX into the mix, it kinda seems like a no-brainer that Bandai would want to get in on the action of revisiting franchises with popular vehicles. Fire's car, Winsquad, is easily one of the most popular Tokusatsu vehicles from the past. It's popularity stems from being both a rad Chevy Camaro (and not a busted out 20 year old used car........Kamen Rider Drive...) and also the fact that it's transformable. It's entirely possible that Drive's thing and Rideron are pretty hot sellers (I know I have my Rideron preorder!) and they want to strike while the iron is hot.

It's a longshot...but who knows! Maybe that is the real reason behind the switch. We need a crazy transforming Figuarts car that isn't that Akibaranger eyesore.


CCLemon99,000,000... CCLemon100,000,000!

My calculations were actually pretty spot on with this one. I talked about my upcoming video schedule in my last blog. Well...I was careful not to release the schedule too soon as I wanted to make sure I had something special to mark the occasion. Last week I posted my 450th video, which was an accomplishment on it's own. I didn't quite reach 100,000,000 by the time that video dropped, so I wanted to make sure I had something really cool for my 100 millionth view video. Instead of going into my Sentai Mechanix month like I planned, I decided to expedite my DeLorean review to have it ready for this weekend. Well, here we are. I finished the video about a week ago and 100,000,000 is here!

Just to be clear...today is the actual date that I hit 100,000,000 views on Youtube. It's the first of October in 2015. I guess the next milestone is 50,000 subscribers. There is also the matter of my ninth anniversary next June. Oh yeah...I already know what I'll be reviewing for that. Hehe


New and Upcoming CD Releases

Believe it or not, I don't really keep up on my Tokusatsu news. From what I see, though, I might actually be the only person on the internet who gives a damn about what kind of Tokusatsu CDs are on the horizon. Here is what's new in the CD world...

-The Ninja Captor CD Set is a month old at this point. It's been getting pretty solid reviews, which is nice since it might mean more releases of the like, but I have literally zero interest. I can't stand Ninja Captor in any capacity...so I don't feel that I'm missing much. Naturally, of course, I recommend purchasing CDs of classic hero series to promote further vault digging.

-Dekaranger 10 Years After will be getting a soundtrack release in a few short days (07.October). Speaking of things I literally have no interest in... I might have actually come around on something that has been a long running joke of mine. Dekaranger might actually be a bigger nemesis of mine than Magiranger is. Why is Toei celebrating their 2002-2006 lowspot so much lately?

-In addition to the Dekaranger 10 Years After Soundtrack, there is also a new single from Isao Sasaki for the 10 Year After version of Midnight Dekaranger. Now this is one I am actually looking forward to. His songs from Dekaranger are probably the one thing I actually enjoyed from the series...so it's cool that they got him back in to revisit them. Even if the new versions suck...they won't suck. It's Isao Sasaki...the man who gave us the great song collection to that lame animated Ultraman series.

-ZZZ Oh yeah... The Ninninger Character album just came out on 30.September if that's your thing.

-In non-Tokusatsu releases from Columbia there are a whole lot of Lupin The Third CDs being re-released this Autumn. I don't know much about Lupin, but I enjoy the music from the series greatly. The composer, Yuji Ohno, did the excellent Seiun Kamen Machineman music collection (which is my nomination for Tokusatsu CD of The Year).


Name That Tune (Tokusatsu Edition)

I am still compiling a new list of songs to feature in an upcoming entry of Non-soundtrack Tokusatsu songs. I had a lot of fun making my previous entry, and I have just about as many songs as I did the first time around. I would like some more though.

If you have a song that you would like to have identified that played in an episode of a Tokusatsu series, please drop me a line. I ask that you follow some of the following criteria in your request...

-Show, episode number, and ballpark timestamp (Believe it or not, I can't ID a song that played "at some point in one of the early episodes of Carranger" at least not quickly...). This one is a MUST.

-A link to where I can watch said episode. Again, please save me some legwork. Help me help you...

-Even better--if you could just dice me up a clip and toss it on Youtube...that would be ideal.

-A thank you would be nice. Heh. Sometimes it takes quite a lot of effort to ID a song. While it's beneficial for me to be able to add it to my list, it's also kinda shitty when that person doesn't say thanks or anything after I hit them back with an answer or at least try.

I did recently help out someone with a bit of music from Megaranger. He was nice enough to pull the audio from the episode of the song in question and I was able to answer his request in less than a minute (I happened to know the music in that case...but even if I didn't, it would have saved me a ton of time.

So please hit me up here, on Youtube, or on Twitter if you have any Tokusatsu ear worms. I will do my best to identify them. I also welcome any tracks you identified on your own. My upcoming list will cover a lot of mid to late 90s shows...as well as some from shows like Bycrosser.


New Computer

I recently bought myself a new computer. Once I get the hang of it, I'll start working on some new projects on it. For now my $300 2007 Chicago Roadtrip computer is still my workhorse. I'll be slowly moving things over and getting it set up to my liking. Hopefully this means cool new things for the future...

It is nice to be able to work without constant lock-ups now...


That is all for now. Hopefully this is something I can continue in the future. I feel like I get these ideas that are never good enough for their own entries, but still worth discussing. I'll try and keep it a solid mix of CCLemon99 and non-CCLemon99 topics if I do this again.

See ya next time...


P.S. I debated throwing in a quick movie review only because this movie pissed me off so much. I took myself to the movies on my Birthday to see Black Mass. What a massive disappointment. On the other hand, I'm entirely sold on SPECTRE. Screw you, I loved Skyfall.