2020/06/28

Song Collection: Dennou Keisatsu Cybercop


Welcome to my review of the song collection from Toho's 1988 Tokusatsu series Dennou Keisatsu Cybercop. I never really got into it because...well, I didn't really like how it was shot. It's BGM and song collection are actually really decent though! 

I briefly talked about the Perfect Music Collection from this series in this post. I didn't go into great detail over the song collection on Disc 2, so here we go...


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DISC ►2

01. Ashita e no sakebi~Cyber Heart [Hiroshi Nishikawa]

Weak vocals aside, I actually really enjoy this theme song. Think about how crowded 1988 was with Tokusatsu series. You have the majority of Kamen Rider Black airing along with it's sequel, Black RX. There was Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya and Chojuu Sentai Liveman as well. Out of all of them, I think the only one of those theme songs I don't like belongs to Kamen Rider Black...and that's only a mild disliking thanks to Tetsuo Kurata's godawful singing.

Cybercop's theme also suffers from some questionable vocals. Hiroshi Nishikawa isn't bad, I just don't dig his dopey-sounding style. He can hold a note at least. Beyond that minor criticism, this song is a banger. Certain years have certain sounds and I think 1988 was the year of 'The Band' in Japan. One of my all-time favorite albums has a similarly bare rock sound to it...and it also came out in 1988. Minimal synthesizer input, maximum rock. 

I wouldn't say that I like this better than the majority of the Toei themes of the same year, but I really, really like this theme song. It doesn't get enough recognition!

02. Ashita e no sakebi~Cyber Heart [Karaoke]

03. Ashita e no sakebi~Cyber Heart [Mero-iri Karaoke]

04. Aku! [BGM]

05. Honoo no Messenger [Norio Sakai]

Huh... I always thought it was kinda weird to see this name in this series...

Toei/Columbia regular Norio Sakai provides a single song to the Cybercop song collection the same year that he also provided songs for Kamen Rider Black. Without looking into it, I'm sure this sort of thing never really happened after the 70s where singers would provide songs for competing studios in the same year.

Again, I love the rock sound of the songs in this series. Norio Sakai provides some excellent vocals here over a pretty basic, yet very slick track. The bass is incredibly smooth to counter out the jerky drums. I recommend sticking to the vocal version as Sakai's singing is the focal point of the entire experience.

06. Honoo no Messenger [Karaoke]

07. Kanashimi [BGM]

08. Shooting Star - Band Version [Mika Chiba]

This is a remix of the series ending song, Shooting Star. Since the regular version of the song appears a little bit later (Track 12), I guess I'll just point out the difference.

This is a remix in a literal sense. The backing vocals were removed as well as some guitar parts and lingering effects. The whole thing sounds a little more bare...and I actually prefer it this way. Mika Chiba has a really decent singing voice, so it's great to hear it uninterrupted. Even this version's Karaoke track is better than the normal version. 

09. Shooting Star - Band Version [Karaoke]

10. Tsuioku no Jupiter [Hideyuki Nagashima]

This is more of an action song, but done in the style of the other songs in this collection. The main difference is that the horns are BLARING. Like...blaring from the very beginning and rarely letting up. Regardless, this is a fun track with a ton of energy. 

Oh, and the Karaoke version of this song was included...it's just on the first disc for some reason.

11. ZAC no nijijo [BGM]

12. Shooting Star [Mika Chiba]

As you may have guessed from my take on the Band Version of this song, I like this one a lot. I do think this is the inferior version of it, however. It's just a little bit too crowded. The backing vocals are unnecessary along with a lot of the random little sounds that pop up here and there. The only thing I think this version does better is it masks the dull bassline. 

This is a great song to have as an ending theme song. It has the DNA of other songs from the series, but is a bit peppier in tone. I think Jiraiya did it similarly it's opening theme song and it's smooth ending song SHI-NO-BI '88

13. Shooting Star [Karaoke]

14. Let It Go [Hiroshi Nishikawa]

This is the B-side to the single for Ashita e no sakebi~Cyberheart.

Again, I'm not the biggest fan of Nishikawa but I can't help but like this track as well. It's funky, that's for sure. It starts pretty slow, but picks up momentum to make for a pretty great complementary track to the theme song. 

Sure, this track only makes it in on a technicality, but it's definitely worth having here. It's pretty solid.

15. Into The Night [Mika Chiba]

This is the coupling track for the single to Shooting Star. Again, this song is included as a technicality but happens to be really great. The only thing that is has against it is that it's quite different from the rest of the Cybercop songs. Maybe a lone pop track is a nice little change of pace, but it's hard to ignore how different it is.

That said, I love this song. It's very slick.

16. BRAND NEW TOMORROW [Mika Chiba]

Mika Chiba's second single and a song that was featured in the series during the thirty-fourth episode. 

While this song is a bit on the lighter side, it definitely fits in pretty well into the series. It may sound a little more professional, but the rock sound is definitely here...if a bit on the softer side. I'll admit, this is the catchiest song outside of Shooting Star.

Why the B-Side to this, Jamashinaide, isn't included is beyond me. I have the single and thought about including it, but I guess it doesn't belong here...

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I think I did a pretty good job giving the CD set that these songs came from a fair analysis in my previous take, so I'll just stick to what I think about this song collection.

I feel kinda guilty about doing song collection posts about series with only a handful of songs. Tokusou Robo Janperson and Blue SWAT only have eight songs thanks to the shithouse record label they were on. Battle Fever J, which I might review with Denjiman someday, only has five songs. 

By some miracle they were able to cobble together a song collection for Cybercop. Even stranger, this is one of the most consistent sounding song collections out there. Series composer Ichiro Nitta was only truly responsible for Honoo no Messenger and Tsuioku no Jupiter. with the other tracks being songs provided by Toshiba EMI and CBS Sony respectively. It's kinda amazing how it all kinda fit together so well.

I would give this song collection a go if you're in the mood for something else. Yeah, it can get a little boring listening to work from Columbia over and over. This song collection is a breath of fresh air.

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That's that for that. Be sure to check out the CD Collection page for more.

-CC

Previously...


Song Collection: Chojin Sentai Jetman


Hey! It's my review of the song collection from Chojin Sentai Jetman. Yeah, I may not be a fan of the series, but I do really enjoy the Kazuhiko Toyama music collection. The song collection...hmm...let's find out!

I briefly talked about the Chojin Sentai Jetman Complete Song Collection way back when in this post right here. It's about time that I elaborate on it!


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01. Chojin Sentai Jetman / Hironobu Kageyama

If you can talk shit about the Fiveman opening theme song and defend this one feverishly...I'm onto you...

It's repetitive, irritating, and energetic...a perfect children's show theme song! The only problem is that it belongs to the show that edgelords will call the gritty Super Sentai series that deals with *gasp* DEATH! Yeah, know your friggen audience, Toei.

Honestly, the only thing that I like about this theme song is the perfect maturity of Hironobu Kageyama's voice. He isn't chasing his rockstar past and he isn't doing that whine/yelp that he later adopted. Is it fair to say that this is his third most popular theme song ever? Right after CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA and...uhh...We Gotta Power? I'd agree with that statement...and this song falls conveniently right in the middle of those two chronologically.

As for whether or not I like this song? Nah, not really. It's really just too cheesy. Kageyama's vocals and the guitar bridge are cool, but this song's blandness just threw a wet blanket on every battle it played over.

02. Toki o kakete / Hironobu Kageyama

I can get behind this song, though.

I hate to jump ahead to the conclusion, but this is the only Jetman song I regularly listen to. Apparently it was in the running to be the series opening theme song. 

I don't even know what I like about it so much...it's just so unique. So yeah, my favorite Jetman song is this random Kageyama track that doesn't get a Karaoke version or much in the way of recognition. Feh. 

03. Honoo no Condor / Toshihide Wakamatsu

The Black Condor theme sung by Toshihide Wakamatsu. It's alright. 

He's a decent singer and all, but where the hell is the sax solo? Talk about missed opportunities... 

Meh, I know a lot of people like this one (and the character) for some reason, but I can't get past how it feels like they chose Survivor's Eye of the Tiger as the thing they wanted to very loosely emulate. Or am I the only one who hear's it?

Verdict: Eh...

04. Game janai n' da ze / Hironobu Kageyama

The lesser of the two non-mecha IN songs by Kageyema.

This song is so generic that it's almost boring. Sure it's fast-paced and all...but it just doesn't really do much more than exist. Once again, I think this song is well-liked by plenty of people out there but I don't like it or Kageyama's random sound clips sprayed around. 

The great irony behind this is that Jetman is one of the rare Super Sentai series that managed to have a game. Yeah...on Famicom. I'm sure you've emulated played it, though. 

Unrelated...because I needed something awesome to cleanse my palette before we jump into the next one.

05. Oozora no chikai / Morinoki Jido Gasshodan

TERRIBLE.

Boring music with 100% of the vocals provided by the Brat's Singing Union or whatever. Remember, this is your gritty Sentai series. 

I think this was playing when Ryu visited his deceased girlfriend's grave.

06. Tori ni naro yo / Toshinao Fukushima, SHINES

Another incredibly and eye-wateringly boring song. Seriously. This song has a boring singer with probably the most generic music yet. Just slapping a bird/sky-themed title onto these songs don't make them relevant. 

I guess the only nice thing I can say is that as forgettable as it is, it isn't as bad as the previous song...

07. Kanashiki Grinam-hei / KAZZ TOYAMA

This song isn't all that bad. It feels like a throwback to the grunt songs of the 80s minus Koorogi '73. Series composer Kazuhiko Toyama actually sings this one. It works. I like it.

08. Aozora no aimasho / Sayuri Saito

This has to the be the blandest heroine theme song in Super Sentai. There are songs out there that I have a complete distaste for, but at least they make me feel something. This is nothing. Well, it's a four minute nap.

It isn't even Sayuri Saito's fault. I liked her Pteraranger song in Zyuranger. 😕

09. Jet Icarus muteki robo / Hironobu Kageyama

I'm trying my best to separate my dislike of the series and it's mecha, but having a lame theme song certainly doesn't help. Yeah, the Jet Icarus theme song gives us an underwhelming Kageyama performance (not his fault, this song just isn't his speed). Seriously, listen to this song and then go back and listen to his Fiverobo theme song. It's hard to call this one worthy. <From The CD Collection--Gattai Tamashii ~Super Sentai Robot Song Perfect Collection~>

10. Kokoro wa Tamago / Hironobu Kageyama

...all things considered, this series has an undeniably perfect ending theme song. 

Famous Hironobu Kageyama pal and serial music thief Kenji Yamamoto is behind this song. His rampant pilfering has made me question whether this is a wholly original composition or some obscure track that the internet just hasn't discovered yet. It seems like everything unusually good he produced was stolen. This was stolen from this. etc.

Ignoring all of that and just focusing on the song, it's really hard to find a single fault with it. Kagayama? On point. There isn't a single thing out of place. For a series with such a bogus theme song, it's bizarre to have a perfect ending song. 

You can see why I'm skeptical.

If any song in these series seems like it belongs, it's this one. For it to have a life outside of the series and even have a cover speaks volumes. I can't think of many Sentai ending theme songs that found such popularity.

11. Jet Garuda tori no robo / Hironobu Kageyama

I hate the mecha, but I kinda dig the song.

It may only be a smidge better, but I have to give this one props for not being as bland as the Icarus theme song. Really, they aren't that different... <From The CD Collection--Gattai Tamashii ~Super Sentai Robot Song Perfect Collection~>

12. Youki na Ako-chan / Sayuri Uchida, Rika Kishida

What a weird, weird song. 

OK, so we all know that this is the song from episode ten. You know, the one with Noodle Jigen. It's also fairly well-known that Sayuri Uchida and Rika Kishida are the singers for it. Did you know that Toshihide Wakamatsu composed the music, though?? Yeah, in very short order to boot! This little tune is literally 3/5th of the Jetman team.

There isn't much else to say about this little thirty-second jingle other than I'm hungry and broke...if only there were something filling and cheap out there...

13. Chojin Sentai Jetman [Original Karaoke]

14. Honoo no Condor [Original Karaoke]

15. Game janai n' daze [Original Karaoke]

16. Kanashiki Grinam-hei [Original Karaoke]

17. Jet Icarus muteki robo [Original Karaoke]

18. Kokoro wa Tamago [Original Karaoke]

19. Jet Garuda tori no robo [Original Karaoke]

20. Youki na Ako-chan [Original Karaoke]

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I've never liked the Jetman Song Collection, but this go-around was an extra miserable experience. The flaws just jumped out way more than they usually do. Like seriously...where is the sax solo in Gai's theme song??? 

Before you write this off as a hater hating, I implore you to check out Kazuhiko Toyama's music collection for this series. It's one of my favorites and actually does a fine job picking up the slack where the songs woefully fail this series. The Henshin theme music in particular is one of the best ever.

Overall...skip this stinky song collection. 

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There is more to check out on my CD Collection page. I have an usual CD review coming up with a lot of familiar names. Hmmm...what could it be?

Take care!

-CC

2020/05/26

The CD Collection--Gattai Tamashii ~Super Sentai Robot Song Perfect Collection~


Hello there. I'm CCLemon99 and I have too many Tokusatsu CDs. Way too many. FAR too many.

Today I'll be looking at something that's actually a new purchase...despite the set being around for nearly twenty years. This guy managed to elude me this entire time since I was waiting for used prices to happen. They didn't...until now. I finally managed to find this set in the right condition for the right price.

This is the Gattai Tamashii set from 2001. It has every Super Sentai Mecha theme song from Goranger to Gaoranger. You know, the GREAT Super Sentai Mecha theme songs. In addition to that, there are a few little extras sprinkled in at the very end.

A few times in this review I'll be copying what I have said in previous posts. I've been covering random song collections lately, so I can't imagine I would have much to add to things like the Biorobo theme song.

Anyway...let's take a closer look at this awesome CD set!


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Gattai Tamashii ~Super Sentai Robot Song Perfect Collection~
COCX-31670~72
2001.10.20


DISC α

01. Tobe! Variblune (Himitsu Sentai Goranger) / Isao Sasaki, Koorogi '73

I love the build up of this song.

While a lot of Goranger songs are character driven, the two mecha themes are quite decent. The Variblune theme in particular is a great tune. It may be a little bit repetitive, but it mostly just highlights it's strengths.

This is a great start for our set.

02. Varidorin no uta (Himitsu Sentai Goranger) / Isao Sasaki, Koorogi '73

I kinda prefer this song in it's Karaoke/Instrumental forms, but it's still a good song...if a little bit dull. Maybe this would be a little more tolerable if Koorogi '73 weren't involved.

03. Ike! Sky Ace (JAKQ Dengekitai) / Isao Sasaki, Koorogi '73

This is another song where Koorogi '73 is more irritating than useful. I like every bit of this song outside of the "Za-Za!" and "Doo-doo-doooo!" that Koorogi '73 provides. It's otherwise a harbinger of the type of mecha theme song we would see in the 80s.

04. Battle Fever Dai Sanka / Ichiro Mizuki, Koorogi '73, Columbia Yurikago-kai

Heh. This song is pretty funny. Given that the Battle Fever J song collection only has a handful of songs, it'd better well have at least one mecha theme song. Why did it have to be this weird??

This song is really in two parts. It starts off kinda slow and jazzy with Koorogi '73. Mizuki kinda slides in and soon the *real* part of the song picks up.

The part of the song that we're here for is...alright. It's a bit too cheery, but I guess that's a hard thing to skip in the disco age. I like this one, but...it could have been better.

05. Go Go Denjitiger (Denshi Sentai Denjiman) / Ken Narita, Koorogi '73, The Chirps

Alright, so this is where I think the mecha theme song *really* gets it's start. Not only is this majestic, but it's really catchy. The BGM version of this song might capture the tune a liiittle bit better, but it's hard to deny that this song is the beginning of something great.

I should also mention that Koorogi '73 and The Chirps were used perfectly here. Their harmony isn't at all invasive and only chimes in to emphasize existing lyrics.

06. Fight! Sunvulcanrobo (Taiyo Sentai Sunvulcan) / Akira Kushida, Koorogi '73

This theme song seems to get a ton of love, but I think it's just pretty boring. Koorogi '73 is here with their "Oohh!" and "Aahh!" nonsense again. It's alright, but it just lacks a lot of energy and punch outside of it's brief moments of clarity.

07. Shutsugeki! Goggle Robo (Dai Sentai Goggle Five) / 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. <From Song Collection: Dai Sentai Goggle Five>

08. Go Go Dynarobo (Kagaku Sentai Dynaman) / MoJo

I really think this theme song will go down as one of the greatest underrated mecha theme songs out there.

There are a lot of things to love here... The intro, for starters, is short, sweet, and epic. MoJo's incredible vocals and the lack of Koorogi '73 are also a big win. The music is also fantastic. The peaks and valleys are subtle, but present. Really, this is the one of the finest bricks in the foundation of this song genre.

09. Biorobo no uta (Chodenshi Bioman) / Takayuki Miyauchi

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. <From Song Collection: Chodenshi Bioman>

10. Fight! Changerobo (Dengeki Sentai Changeman) / KAGE

Ehh...this one is just *good*.

Kageyama's vocals are just so drown out for some reason. The music is really good, but when it levels off for the vocals it just kinda sounds like Kageyama is like five meters away from the microphone. I guess if it didn't oscillate between bland and awesome I'd have more fond memories.

Maybe with some better mixing this one would have been better.

11. Kagayake! Flashking (Choshinsei Flashman) / Takayuki Miyauchi

The drumbeat sucks, but that's normal for Flashman songs.

Takayuki Miyauchi's second mecha theme song may not be as grand as his first, but it certainly makes up for it in energy and catchiness. Even with all of it's flaws, I really like this theme song a great deal.

Imagine if Taku Kitahara sang this one. Oof...it wouldn't have been half as good. That isn't a knock on Kitahara's singing, it's proof-positive that Miyauchi was the man for this job.

12. Aura ni kagayake! Great Five (Hikari Sentai Maskman) / Hironobu Kageyama

This is Hironobu Kageyama's second Sentai mecha theme song and probably his most forgettable. I know I said I wasn't very impressed by his Changerobo theme from Changeman, but this one is just bland. My criticisms with that one were only magnified with this one. Well, he does sound like he was just a little bit closer to the microphone, but it's still distracting how low his vocals sound versus the music.

13. Dash! Liverobo (Chojuu Sentai Liveman) / Koji Kaya

I don't remember what I ranked this on my list of Top Seven mecha songs, but I do know it was there and will have a permanent spot on the list. The intro? Perfect. The mood? Epic. It manages to be a favorite in a sea of mecha songs. For perspective, I think the Sentai Mecha song is the one they spend the second most amount of time on outside of the themes. This is the song that sells the toys between the theme songs. It *has* to be great...and this one is!

GATTAI! <From Song Collection: Chojuu Sentai Liveman>

14. Liveboxer no uta (Chojuu Sentai Liveman) / Koji Kaya

A mecha theme song that is *almost* as good as the other mecha song. Liveman? 2 for 2 on mecha theme songs. While it isn't too different from the Liverobo theme song, it is amazingly good. It didn't make the Top 7 list back in 2012 (yeah, I decided to check), but it definitely would have made a Top 10 I think. <From Song Collection: Chojuu Sentai Liveman>

15. Ashita ni Accel! Turborobo (Kosoku Sentai Turboranger) / Koji Kaya

Koji Kaya returns just to sing the Turborobo theme song. While Kenta Sato has done a great job thus far, it's great to have an expert in the driver's seat. Ugh...sorry.

As it shares a singer, this song is incredibly similar to the mecha songs of the previous year. It would have been nice if they splashed in some engine noises or something though to give it a little flavor with the mecha theme. <From Song Collection: Kousoku Sentai Turboranger>

16. Tackle! Turborugger (Kosoku Sentai Turboranger) / Shinichi Ishihara

Shinichi Ishihara was around prior to 1989, but I really feel like the year was his official debut. Not only did he provide a song for Ultraman USA in the same year, but he also provided songs for Kyoshoko Soko Guyver AND backed Akina Nakamori on stage. This guy really came out of nowhere!

This is his Tokusatsu debut right here, and I have to say it's one of the best debuts out there. I really hope I don't get any hate, but I loooove this song. More so than the Turborobo theme even. Sure the mecha it's based on is a dud, but damn...what a theme song.

It's always great to go back an see the start of a legend. Guys like Masato Shimon and Ichiro Mizuki had been there from the start, but it's the start of the middle generation that really interests me. <From Song Collection: Kousoku Sentai Turboranger>

17. Itsutsu no kokoro de Fiverobo (Chikyu Sentai Fiveman) / Hironobu Kageyama

The third Sentai mecha theme song from Hironobu Kageyama. They finally got it right this time. It's an energetic song for one. Kageyama is definitely on-point this time. Even if this isn't my favorite mecha theme song, it's certainly one of the best that Kageyama had to offer. Really, there aren't many flaws when you listen to it. The only thing that sucks is the mecha that it's based on. Heh.

18. Kyodai robo da ze! Star Five (Chikyu Sentai Fiveman) / Kei Takahara

The bland secondary mecha theme song from the series. I like the tempo and horns, but not much else. It's an otherwise bland song for a bland mecha. A match made in heaven!

19. Jet Icarus muteki robo! (Chojin Sentai Jetman) / Hironobu Kageyama

I'm trying my best to separate my dislike of the series and it's mecha, but having a lame theme song certainly doesn't help. Yeah, the Jet Icarus theme song gives us an underwhelming Kageyama performance (not his fault, this song just isn't his speed). Seriously, listen to this song and then go back and listen to his Fiverobo theme song. It's hard to call this one worthy.

20. Jet Garuda tori no robo (Chojin Sentai Jetman) / Hironobu Kageyama

I hate the mecha, but I kinda dig the song.

It may only be a smidge better, but I have to give this one props for not being as bland as the Icarus theme song. Really, they aren't that different...

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DISC ß

01. Daizyujin no uta (Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger) / 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. <From Song Collection: Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger>

02. Dragon Caesar no uta (Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger) / Funky Y.K. (Yasuo Kosugi)

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. <From Song Collection: Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger>

03. Ryuseioh ~Dairenoh no theme~ (Gosei Sentai Dairanger) /  Funky Y.K. (Yasuo Kosugi)

While Funky Y.K. was a fun guy to listen to in Zyuranger's Dragon Caesar no uta, this song is just...dreck. The singing is just...bad. Or at least he was the wrong singer for the job. Not only that, but the music is pretty weak outside of the guitar work. How lazy is it that Ryuseioh and Dairenoh had to share a theme song?

There is so much wrong with this half-assed theme song that I really just never consider this to be a mecha theme song. Ryuseioh and Dairenoh deserve way better than this...

04. Won Tiger no uta (Gosei Sentai Dairanger) / Nobuhiko Kashihara

This is the Dairanger mecha theme worth listening to.

We have a better singer this time around...and even an up-beat song with some Won Tiger sound effects thrown in. It might not be the best mecha theme song, but it's certainly a nice return to form that had been lacking in some of the years prior to this.

05. Muteki Shogun, Tadaima Sanjo! (Ninja Sentai Kakuranger) / Takayuki Miyauchi

This one has kinda grown on me a little bit. It's still a really strange mecha theme song, but at least it has the kind of majestic stoicism that Muteki Shogun embodies. Honestly, I can't think of a better theme song for Muteki Shogun. The two theme songs on this single definitely fit the mecha that they represent perfectly...right down to the singers. <From Song Collection: Ninja Sentai Kakuranger>

06. Hissatsu Fighter Crash!! (Ninja Sentai Kakuranger) / Nobuhiko Kashihara

The title may be a little coy on the subject matter, but this is one of the forgotten Mecha theme songs. Yeah, for some reason the first set of mecha in the series to have a song released are the Jusho Fighters. This one swings from lame to great quite a bit. It's a tad on the jazzier side with the focus being the bass of all things. Of the three mecha themes (sorry Tsubasamaru, none for you) I would probably peg this as the weakest...but it's still decent! <From Song Collection: Ninja Sentai Kakuranger>

07. Detazo! Kakure Daishogun (Ninja Sentai Kakuranger) / Hironobu Kageyama

The theme song for Kakure Daishogun by Hironobu Kageyama is clearly the highlighted mecha theme of the series. I may have been kinda hard on it in the past, but I do enjoy it's overall energy and hype. It's a tad out of place here for Kakuranger, though. This could be the theme song to Ohrangerrobo if you reworked the lyrics.

Generic sound aside, having a mecha theme song by Hironobu Kageyama is like getting an anison stamp of approval in the 90s. <From Song Collection: Ninja Sentai Kakuranger>

08. Choriki Gattai!! Ohrangerrobo (Choriki Sentai Ohranger) / Kentaro Hayami, Mori no Kijidogasshodan

As mecha-heavy as Ohranger is, it only managed to have two mecha theme songs. This is one of the two themes...and something of a dud.

The thing is, I actually like Ohrangerrobo when they weren't doing those fever-dream training montages with Red Puncher. This song is the epitome of generic filler songs. It's peppy, but never really goes anywhere. Wasted potential, for sure. <From Song Collection: Choriki Sentai Ohranger>

09. Makkana tokkon! Red Puncher!! (Choriki Sentai Ohranger) / Hironobu Kageyama

Not only is this one of my favorite mecha songs, I think it may be my favorite Kageyama tokusatsu song. Yeah, even better than any of his series theme songs. This is when he was at his finest.

Kageyama isn't the sole thing great about this song, either. The music is wonderfully upbeat with it's horns and frantic energy. Nevermind the fact that this is the theme song for a robot that killed it's test pilot and later played hopscotch with Ohrangerrobo.

CHAMPION DA ZEEEeeee! <From Song Collection: Choriki Sentai Ohranger>

10. Gekisou Gattai!! RV Robo (Gekisou Sentai Carranger) / Naritaka Takayama

Carranger has a lot great songs. It has a lot of great songs with some great music. This one is...not one of them. I can only describe this as synth-barf. It's weird to hear Takayama sing his heart out over this entirely synthetic music track, but whatever. I will say that this has some nice frantic energy going for it, but not much else.

11. Shirobai yaro Signalman (Gekisou Sentai Carranger) / Naoki Takao

This is more Signalman's theme song, but it doubles as the Sirender theme song. I like this song quite a lot since it makes for some great BGM.

12. Victrailer kyodai naru Machine (Gekisou Sentai Carranger) / VRV Meister Singer

Awesome theme song. I can see how the singing would be a turn-off for some, but it's almost hilarious when you think about VRV Master while you listen to this. There is no denying that the music is fantastic, though. This song is definitely worth seeking out the CD Single for to get that amazing Karaoke version.

13. Zettai Shori da! VRV (Gekisou Sentai Carranger) / Norio Sakai

Amazing theme song for VRV Robo. I definitely give this one more love over the RV Robo theme song. Norio Sakai doesn't have the slickest voice, but it just works here. This one will definitely get stuck in your head for some time after listening...

14. Denji Gattai!! Galaxy Mega (Denji Sentai Megaranger) / Naoto Fuuga

My favorite Sentai mecha theme song of all time.

This song really has it all...it's catchy, it has amazing energy, and it just fits the mecha dead-on. It has the perfect amount of theme worked in. The "5-4-1! 5-4-1!!" is the perfect touch since that was the code for Galaxy Mega on the Degitizer.

This theme song is just perfection. I really adore it.

15. Saikyo! Super Galaxy Mega!! (Denji Sentai Megaranger) / Yukio Yamagata

The much-less-good follow-up to the Galaxy Mega theme song isn't bad. It just isn't a fun. This one covers both Delta Mega and Super Galaxy Mega.

Yukio Yamagata was a strange choice seeing as he is more at home with his songs in Gingaman and Gaoranger. It's a decent mecha theme song, at least...even if it's a tad on the generic side. It's also a really long song. It isn't bad at least!

16. Don't Stop! Megasilver (Denji Sentai Megaranger) / Naoki Takao

Like Signalman and Delta Mega, Megasilver's theme song doubles as his mecha theme song. This song may not be as carefree and fun as Yuusaku was, but it definitely makes a better mecha theme song. Yeah, oddly enough I lean more on the side of this being a mecha theme song than a character theme song.

17. Ginga o mamore! Mega Voyager!! (Denji Sentai Megaranger) / Norio Sakai

I think this song tries to re-capture the grandness of the Galaxy Mega theme song, but comes up pretty short to the point where it's pretty bland. Ehh and really long at 4:50 in length. I didn't care too much for Mega Voyager itself either. I guess this is a match made in heaven.

--------------------


DISC Γ

01. Misetsukero Seijuu tamashii! (Seijuu Sentai Gingaman) / Yukio Yamagata

If one thing can be said about Gingaman songs it's that it's 4/4 on mecha theme songs...

This is the first in the series of awesome and action-packed theme songs for the series mecha. Yukio Yamagata was a perfect choice of singer. The music is fast from beginning to end and has this awesome little break-down at the two-thirds mark.

02. Ginga no ohja Gingaioh (Seijuu Sentai Gingaman) / Takayuki Miyauchi

There is a very good reason why this song is a fan-favorite.

Takayuki Miyauchi returns after a four year absence to drop this legendary track. He was, again, the perfect choice of singer for this song. The really star of this one is the dreamy brass that floats along through the duration of the track. If you think of this song, you're thinking of the horn part.

Go ahead...whistle along to this one. It's almost like a challenge to see how loud you can whistle the bridge of the song.

I'll always maintain that Megaranger's Galaxy Mega theme is the best...but this one is always hot on it's heals to curry my favor.

03. Araburu! Gashin senshi Bull Taurus (Seijuu Sentai Gingaman) / Norio Sakai

Another great mecha theme song...this time for Go Taurus/Bull Taurus. In addition to being an action orchestra piece, it slides in little elements of Kuro Kishi's theme for good measure.

Norio Sakai is even here once again. He sounds a little bit different from his Gridman and even Carranger days. I can't put my finger on it, but he just sounds a little bit different.

Great theme song.

04. Giga Rhino! Giga Phoenix! Giga Bitus! (Seijuu Sentai Gingaman) / Takayuki Miyauchi

This is a great theme song for a set of mecha I definitely didn't give a crap about in the series. I would probably say that this is the weakest of the four, but Miyauchi still delivers his all to bring this one to life.

Maybe the thing that bugs me is that it covers too much in one song. Oh well.

05. Hashire Go Liner! Sukue 99 Machine! (Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five) / Takayuki Miyauchi

Much like Gingaman, GoGo Five is 5/5 on mecha theme songs. So many 5's!!!!!

Takayuki Miyauchi's lone mecha song for this series is as excellent as you would imagine. It may not be the most action-packed, but it certainly has all the elements to bring GoGo Five's giant train set to life. This song has the same majestic flavor that Megaranger's Galaxy Mega theme song had, but for the oversized train mecha that GoGo Five initially used to transport their regular mecha around in.

Even at this song's slightly relaxed pace, this one is infinitely catchy...and makes great use of the train sounds.

06. Kinkyuu Gattai! Victory Robo (Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five) / Yukio Yamagata

It's always a little bit weird to hear Yukio Yamagata in an over-tech series soundtrack, but I have to say that I really enjoy this song of his. His gravelly vocals are more focused into pure force this time around. Overall, this is a greatly packaged song. It follows the template to a "T", but not to the point where it sounds generic.

07. Chokyodai robo!! Grand Liner (Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five) / Shinichi Ishihara

Is it weird that this series has a Go Liner AND Grand Liner theme song? They're the same damn thing...just we're talking about the combination this time around.

The thing that this song has is that undeniable beat. I can only imagine that this beat is being played out in real-time by someone hitting a speed bag. Shinichi Ishihara never disappoints on mecha themes either. Remember when he did the B-Fighter song collection? Yeah, one of the few bright spots was that mecha theme song.

This one may be a bit drab, but it's one of the best out there.

08. FASTEST & GREATEST (Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five) / Shinichi Ishihara

Since the title is pretty vague...this is the theme song for Max Liner/Liner Boy/Max Victory Robo.

Again, this song kinda puts the Sentai mecha theme on it's head once again. The music is incredibly slick and Ishihara is just great. Just listen closely at how dense the music is. Now go back and listen to Carranger's RV Robo theme and understand why I had beef with that song.

09. Ryuusei Gattai!! Victory Mars (Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five) / Shinichi Ishihara

I didn't care much for the mecha in the series, but I definitely love this theme song. On top of the space-theme, it makes really good use of the background singing. It is definitely a GoGo Five mecha theme song, but it does enough to be unique.

10. OK! Timerobo!! (Mirai Sentai Timeranger) / Naoki Takao

In the past I didn't care too much for this song. Nowadays...I kinda dig it.

While this kinda feels like a leftover generic mecha theme song, I feel like this and a lot of other Timeranger theme songs could have done a little better to sound more futuristic. This sounds like a song from 2000. There really isn't anything remarkable about it.

It isn't bad though. I definitely don't hate it.

11. Timeshadow ~sugata naku, oto mo naku~ (Mirai Sentai Timeranger) / Yukio Yamagata

This is more along the lines of what you hope for from Timeranger. The gradual build-up to this smooth beat makes way more sense than what the Timerobo theme song was trying for.

Yukio Yamagata's loose vocals work surprisingly well to the smooth beat that this song has. It's very un-mechalike in it's flow, but somehow just works. I've always preferred this tune the most out of the three Timeranger mecha theme songs.

12. Kakusei! V-Rexrobo!! (Mirai Sentai Timeranger) / Yukio Yamagata

While I like the Timeshadow theme song the most, this is probably the best Timeranger mecha theme song if you're jonesing for just a slammin' mecha theme song. Yukio Yamagata is back once again...and he even yells "Gao!" That's a weird harbinger if I ever heard one...

Timeranger's off-beat mecha themes are definitely more fun than it's generic one (Timerobo).

13. Hyakujuu Gattai! Gaoking (Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger) / Ichiro Mizuki

It's been a looooong time since we've gotten a Super Sentai song from Ichiro Mizuki (Sunvulcan) and even longer since we've gotten a mecha theme (Battle Fever J). The return of the champ is nothing short of glorious.

Between the awesome music and Mizuki's perfectly-matured vocals, this is really a benchmark for all mecha theme songs to reach. Really...I have nothing bad to say. This song rocks.

14. HOT! HOT! Gaomuscle!! (Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger) / Yukio Yamagata

As much as I love the Gaoking theme song, this is the one to beat.

Gaomuscle is probably the most bizarre mecha theme song of all time. This is peak Yukio Yamagata. His gruff voice guides us on this light-hearted journey of old-man sounds and old-man song references. All of it laid on top of a slick bass line, random crashes, and spazzy horns.

This has to be the catchiest Sentai mecha theme song of all time. The first time you hear it, you'll be confused...but then you'll want to hear it again...and again... It's intoxicating in it's absurdity.

Gaomuscle! Do the Hustle!

15. I.D. ~Gaohunter Requiem~ (Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger) / Kiyotaka Imai

I could never get behind this one. It's just a little too...droney. It kinda reminds me of the Fushigi Song from Shaider during the slow bits. When it picks up...I don't think I can get into it. Kiyotaka Imai was a strange choice. This seems like a Takayuki Miyauchi song. Hell, even Ichiro Mizuki would have given this one a little more life.

16. EYES OF JUSTICE (Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger) / MoJo

We're ending the regular content with the guy who is responsible, in my mind, for establishing this genre. Like Ichiro Mizuki, MoJo had a prolonged absence from Super Sentai songs. Fresh off the heels of the Segata Sanshiro theme song, here he is to deliver a new jam.

Ugh. It's so hard to rank Gaoranger mecha theme songs. Gaomuscle has the best theme, Gaohunter has the least best. The fight for second place is difficult. Gaoking is awesome...and so is this, the Gaoicarus theme song.

MoJo's voice isn't as deep as it had been in the past (compare this with the Dynarobo theme song), but it is just as soulful. He sounds more like Ichiro Tomita than he does MoJo. That's alright, though.

As pumped as this song will get you, I feel like the Mizuki's Gaoking theme edges it out just by a smidge.


BONUS TRACKS [Kansei! Cho Gattai Tamashii!!]

17. Ginga Honey (Denshi Sentai Denjiman) / Ryusei Nakao

Oh wow...a song by Freeza himself!

This song is from episode 28 of Denjiman. The full-track was thought to have been lost but was discovered and subsequently released on this set. It may be something of a dummy jazz track, but it's actually a lot of fun. Especially if you picture this guy singing it.

...spoilers...

This is one of the bonus tracks that sold this set. Certainly it's one of the reasons I bought this set...I own the previous tracks from other releases. As far as I can work out, this is the only time this song was released.

18. Taiyo Sentai Sunvulcan [Instumental Version]

The previous music collections for Sunvulcan neglected to provide the instrumental version of the theme song, so here it is. It's great! Honestly, this has to be one of the best instrumental version theme songs out there. Akira Kushida's vocals are replaced by a horn. It's all very slick...like it was meant to be.

19. Radietta Robo no theme [Instrumental Version] (Gekisou Sentai Carranger)

Am I the only one who hears a weird mash-up of the ending song from Uchuu Keiji Sharivan and the Grand Birth theme song from the same series? Maybe some other tunes as well?

This weird little ditty appeared in Carranger during the handful of times White Racer and her Radicar Robo showed up.

20. CM Song Seijuu Gattai Gingaioh ~Chogokin Version~ (Seijuu Sentai Gingaman)

This is a variation of the CM song that we all know and love for DX Chogokin Gingaioh. Literally the only difference is a single lyric. Instead of "Ginseijuu" it's "Chogokin". That's it.

The "Ginseijuu" version was released on Gingaman Music Collection 3.

21. Jingle Bell ~Full Accelerate Version~ [Instrumental] (Gekisou Sentai Carranger)

OK, this one I love. Carranger is the end-all Super Sentai music series. There was 87,352 CD releases for the series and there was *still* some unreleased music. This instrumental version of their Jingle Bells cover is actually really good. The vocals are replaced by a rockabilly guitar.

These bonus tracks are all a lot of fun. Haha.


--------------------


OVERALL: Normally I bemoan the idea of a "Greatest Hits" or "Best of..." album with a few new scraps thrown in. This set really bucks the trend. Not only do you get a collection of some of the best songs from every series, but it's all presented in a well-presented package. The cover art is pretty damn awesome as well as the landscape version that is printed very tiny on the obi.

This would make a rad poster...

This set has always had it's popularity with fans, yet it's somewhat uncommon. Whenever I encountered this in the past I was either light on cash or it was overpriced. This time I finally found...the one. I love having hard copies of those bonus tracks at long last and I love just throwing this on in the background. Even the weak songs are great to hear!

Yeah, I totally recommend this set for even the most casual Sentai fan. Just make sure that you get this version and not the 4-Disc 2006 one. Not only is it missing the bonus songs that are here but that 2002-2006 period is pretty miserable for mecha theme songs...though they pick up again for Go-onger.

--------------------


There it is! That was my look at the Super Sentai Robot Song Perfect Collection. I have a few other weird compilations that I could look at in the future, but this is the only one that I've been really wanting to scoop up and talk about.

Be sure to check out my horribly out of date CD Collection page for more articles...or just to use it as a database.

Thanks for stopping by!

-CC

PREVIOUSLY...

It's Been a Year, 'Bro! (One Year of Hasbro Power Rangers)
CCLemon99 Magazine Issue Seven
The CD Collection--Mashin Sentai Kiramager Shudaika Limited Edition [Amazon Japan]
The Toys That Made Us: Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers

2020/05/19

It's Been a Year, 'Bro!


At some point in time I had to unplug from everything pop culture. The new norm is to blow everything the fuck out until only the brain-deadiest are left to drool over the remains of a thing that was created to entertain with all of the best intentions. BRANDS! Every fucking lenticular Marty McFly hat I see makes me think back to my fascination as a kid with Back To The Future for reassurance that a good film is buried under the overbearing commerce. Fans are the worst. There is a difference between blindly buying up the masses of crap that come out versus a dude out there converting a junkyard Dodge Monaco into a Bluesmobile. There is a right way and a wrong way to show your love for something.

I really try not to involve myself in the constant news feedbag from brands and both their paid and notice-me-senpai shills. When it comes to the topic at hand today, it was kinda hard to ignore. First it was the Power Rangers and Bandai divorce and later the Power Rangers and Saban split. When I first wrote about the break-up back in 2018, I honestly had a feeling of cautious optimism. Bandai America was doing fuck-all with the brand on the toy side. It's hard to say how the shows were received because there never seems to be a consensus about Power Rangers series post-In Space. Or at least I've never noticed. Whatever the case, the 2017 Lionsgate Power Rangers movie seemed to be the final chance the franchise had with the old regime...and we all know how that story went.

Now that it's been a calendar year since Hasbro took on the Power Rangers franchise, I wanted to take a look at some of the little things I managed to notice without following too closely.

The most obvious place to look first is the only thing I've dropped some shekels on--The Lightning Collection. I've purchased exactly one (1) figure and am completely ambivalent toward it. The figure in question is the debut figure, in fact, MMPR White Ranger. This figure debuted after the pre-order and before the release of the SHFiguarts version. It almost seemed like a big ole' 'Fuck You' to Bandai, but I want to think it was a weird coincidence. Who knows.

I haven't bothered to open the figure, but I just want to say that you paid extra for Figuarts for a reason. Figuarts are collector figures through and through. Even if you don't dig the JDF sculpt that came with the set, the Figuarts White Ranger/Kiba Ranger is the ultimate figure for that design and pearlescent paintjob. Accuracy and quality were really perfected for that figure. The Hasbro Lightning Collection version...is a $20 toy masquerading as a collectible. The pretentiously crap packaging does a great job of warning you about what you're about to buy. The inconsistency between figures really leaves so much to be desired. I managed to find a pretty clean example of LC White Ranger at the store. Yeah, the paint quality seemed to vary between figures.

If the choice of debut figure *was* in fact a deliberate shot at Bandai, maybe they should have made it a loss leader to establish themselves as the new overlords. Or maybe they did and I just haven't realized it since I never bothered with subsequent figures. I wasn't impressed with what I bought, but I didn't mind the $20 hit I took.
...killll meeeee...

Since then, the Lightning Collection has grown quite a bit. Where I can applaud Hasbro is their seemingly random mix of characters brought into the fold. It isn't all just MMPR and Red Rangers. I would say that this is a pretty bold move, but they must have a rhyme and reason behind all of their choices. We're on the cusp of seeing the fifth wave release in addition to a proper Rita Repulsa figure. I'm looking forward to seeing how that one turns out. It may be a second purchase for me...but I'm sure something about it will put me off.

The regular Power Rangers toy line seems to be a different story. Again, I'm unplugged from the going-on's, so I only have some observations. The Power Rangers Beast Morphers line seems at least a little more cohesive than anything Bandai has put out for a long while. The trouble is...every time I go to the store, the same toys are there largely untouched from my last visit. I went to Wal Mart for some groceries during the weekend after Thanksgiving. The toy aisle was virtually destroyed save for the Power Rangers toys. Some nerd out there is probably thinking "*snort* The power protected them" but I couldn't help but feel weirded out at how crisp the PR toys looked during the Holiday shopping season.
Probably never gift-wrapped...

Outside of the assorted action figures, I don't see the appeal to any of the toys. It could be that I didn't see much appeal to the Go-Busters stuff either, but the Beast Morphers toys just seem to be cheap duds. The only one I think looks great is the only one you can't see in person--The Amazon-Exclusive Beast-X Ultrazord. Those foam looking zords they sell in the store don't cut it.

Enough of that horseshit, though. This is what I really wanted to talk about...

It was a little over a year ago that we got what is probably our final Super Sentai release on DVD from Shout!Factory. I know I protested greatly, but I did end up buying Hurricaneger to continue to support the releases even though that means I'm going to have to re-watch that turd eventually.

One could argue that Shout! has caved to consumer apathy and discontinued the licensing and physical releases of Tokusatsu. However...they have been quite vocal about just the opposite happening. When prodded enough on Twitter, they will say that they'd love to release more Super Sentai DVDs if the license to do so ever becomes available. Considering when the last set was released, it's pretty clear that Hasbro is the wet blanket that put an end to our fun. 

Think of it this way... When the Power Rangers franchise was under Saban's control, what did they have to lose by granting us budget Super Sentai DVDs? It was an untapped market (i.e. my wallet) to work with Toei to make it all happen. When you're a juggernaut like Hasbro, what does it matter when you have Star Wars, Transformers, etc. and Power Rangers is probably now the sixteenth biggest franchise under the umbrella versus being the crown jewel that it once was? 

In a time where Tokusatsu is finally getting it's fair shake in North America, it seems bizarre that we're being cut off from the franchise that, without a doubt, started the trend. The possibility is still there for Hasbro to pick up the reigns, but as time drifts on it feels less and less likely. I really hope I'm wrong on this, but it wouldn't surprise me if Hasbro just doesn't feel like dealing with Toei when there is a recently unearthed test photo of an unused Princess Leia costume that needs a figure NOW. 

I thought I was going to be an impartial observer to this whole acquisition, but I guess I thought there would be a decent chance that any Saban-taintedlicensed series would have a chance of getting the Shout! DVD treatment. Alas, the one thing I cared about seems to be sailing away...

Fuck you, Hasbro. 

Love,

CCLemon99


Previously...

2020/04/29

CCLemon99 Magazine Issue Seven


It's been a long, long time since I've done one of these...

Welcome to the topic jambalaya known as CCLemon99 Magazine! I haven't done one of these in almost two years, but I guess I have enough small topics rattling around in my brain to do another issue.

Before I get started, I hope you're staying safe and sane. It's been rough lately and I know that a lot of us exist on different levels of introvert. Personally I love to travel and was in Las Vegas *just* before things started shutting down. I miss getting out, but I also want to be a responsible person. The State that I live in is being hit particularly hard, so it's really important to be diligent and take things slow. I hope you're staying well during all of this.

Enough of that...let's get into some topics.

---------------

Streaming!

This shouldn't be a massive shock, but I'm not a fan of streaming. I know, I know...the guy with the massive media collection doesn't like the idea of shelling out $10+/month in perpetuity to have the chance to view things as long as precious licensing agreements are intact. Call me fickle, but I just like having a disc.

However.

The past couple of months have been awesome for Tokusatsu fans.

I would have to say that the biggest and best shock is the Toei Tokusatsu World International Youtube Channel coming out of nowhere to unload a slew of old series...and Shin Kamen Rider. The upload schedule is a bit convoluted and strange, but it's certainly the correct way to do it in order to grow their channel. In due time we may have complete series for several shows that would have otherwise never given a chance outside of Japan. The press release is here.

There are a few small blips of weirdness.

-Super Sentai releases are not happening in North America due to licensing (my next post will cover this more indepth) but are available outside of NA. Better fire up the VPN...
-Kamen Rider series are being done elsewhere.
-Some Metal Hero series are being omitted due to licensing (VR Troopers, Beetleborgs). Juspion had itself a big Bluray release recently, which I hope you all snagged! I think Kamen Rider ZO and J will likely be skipped out due to the same reason the VR Trooper Metal Hero series are.
-All of the Fushigi Comedy Series are being released...except Shushutorian. I have a theory that the Ultraman episode is what killed that prospect. I can't see any other reason for that series to be skipped. Maybe the girls' reunion in Kakuranger 35 brings it a little too close to that Sentai license? Nah......

Once they got over the initial hiccup of the channel being copyright taken down by none other than Toei (Ha!) It's been running solid with the uploads.

Speaking of Kamen Rider, our buds at Shout! have the entire series streaming on both their site and Tubi. Phenominal! In addition to this, Kamen Rider Kuuga was juuust announced as the next series to be added. It'll be joining Shout!'s TokuSHOUTsu on Friday, 01 May.

Ultraman...nothing really new there. I am certainly enjoying the ongoing Bluray releases more than the streaming. Looking forward to eventually getting a Leo and 80 Bluray.

This really is the golden age of legal Tokusatsu accessibility outside of Japan. Please...let's not screw this up.

---------------

A Great Documentary!

Long-time pal Mike Dent created excellent 25 minute doc on the Shogun Warriors line on his Vintage Henshin Youtube Channel. I also recommend checking out his Unpacking The Toys That Made Us video for obvious reasons.

Be sure to give him a like, a subscribe, a smooch and tell him I said "Hi".

---------------

Some Isolation Listening

During this whole global mess that we're in as of this writing, I've been mostly staying home. When I do have to venture out for work, I do so alone. So I've really been listening to music and podcasts non-stop to keep myself occupied.

Here are some mini-reviews of a handful of random things that stuck out during a re-listen.

KMFDM [symbols]

I write about music all the time on this site, yet I never really dig into what kind of music I like outside of the random album I may be talking about. KMFDM has always been one of those bands I've dug the most out of my love for industrial rock. The [symbols] album in particular holds dear since it was the first thing I ever picked up from the band.

In 2020 this album still slams. It isn't my favorite effort of theirs, but I found myself even more drawn to it upon my recent revisit. Especially as the world has kinda spiralled into madness recently. Oddly prophetic for 1997...or were they always just calling out the inevitable? I mean the album's name is a set of Emojis before they were even a thing...

Some other great songs from other albums are the '90 version of GODLIKE, Virus [Dub], Liebeslied, and Help Us Save Us Take Us Away. Oh...and ITCHY BITCHY! I could go on and on about KMFDM, but I can almost feel your eyes glazing over through the internet.

Just know that if a song is a whack-ass dance banger from the late 80s and early 90s, I probably like it. It's why I have such an affinity for the Liveman's Ashita ni ikiru ze!.

KMFDM sucks!

Ultra Anime Eurobeat Series Gaiden
Tokusatsu Oh!~Forever Chumei Watanabe~

I talked about this album way back in 2015, but I'm here to report that I still love it. This is the ultimate Tokusatsu cover album...and I genuinely hate Eurobeat! Maybe I don't, though. Maybe this is the only instance where it's done right.

The whole album is definitely an experience and one that I just wanted to remind you of it's existence.

I couldn't find this album on Youtube, though I didn't look particularly hard. I'm feeling generous, though. I'm likely going to rip this for flacs soon and they may accidentally leak out onto the internet... Anything is possible...

Sukeban Deka III The Best Re Member

I may talk about this one in the future since I know there are some Sukeban Deka fans out there. This album is the most recent Sukeban Deka CD release and is already pretty much sold out. Trying to collect every song from all three series is a pain because it seems like everyone had their own label.

This disc has a lot of the really fun songs, though. None of the girls are particularly good at singing, but Yui Asaka is probably the most competent. I really enjoy the mastering of this album. It's loud and forceful...great for a set of largely upbeat tracks.

Police Story III Soundtrack

The movie itself is easily my favorite of Jackie Chan's Police Story movies. No, I don't mean the US version called "Supercop". The unedited Police Story III with the Cantonese track for me, please. The movie is just so gritty and grim. It used all of the weird happenstance stuff from the first two films and removed the cartoonishness. He may have gone a bit further with Crime Story, but that movie rules as well.

The movie has a great soundtrack to accompany it. The Cantonese version of the ending credit theme by Jackie Chan is also probably my favorite song of his. Yes, better than Kung Fu Fighting Man. I picked it up this CD like a thousand years ago when it was still reasonably available and still give it a random re-listen.

S.S.T. Band -30th Anniversary Box-

I started to write about this beast, but ended up hitting the pause button. How about a full review? I have another SEGA product to review as well. Maybe I should make a month of it? Hmmm...

More to come...


Chisato Moritaka The Singles

I've had this 3-Disc set for yeeeeears and never listened past the first disc. In all fairness, I mostly picked it up for it's low price and the fact that the first disc has some great songs. Overnight Heat, The Mi-Ha, and 17 Sai are great singles to build a career on. Personally I love The Stress -Stress Chuukinto Version the best. Oddly enough I just found out that the weirdly delightful video for the song got caught up in the Youtube algorithm recently for whatever reason. *shrug*

I decided to give the rest of this set a listen. Not so much for this mini-review, but because I paid for the whole set, not just the first disc. Besides, some of Moriaka's most successful work was released beyond the first disc.

I regret not getting into her later songs sooner. Things really pick up with her 1995 single Futari wa koibito -- a song that I absolutely adore now. The video for the song is pretty rad too since since Moritaka does dual duty on drums and other instruments for the majority of her songs. Moritaka is definitely a very talented entertainer and once the 80s were behind her, she really shined just a little bit brighter.

While I don't think the set needs a full examination, I really did enjoy scoping it out more. Even her Chistmas single is pretty damn catchy...

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Nope! Kiramager Packaging is the Worst!

I almost made a full post out of this, but I think I should just reduce my stress and complain about this as briefly as possible.

I haaaaaaate the packaging for a lot of the Kiramager toys. So far I've only gotten the DX Kiramai Changer and I don't think I have many thoughts on the toy itself. The packaging is so close to the lousy "TRY ME!" type packaging that all shitty American toys use. It doesn't go that far, though. The toy is still contained fully in plastic. The issue is that any kind of window, especially a protruding one like this, has to be handled with extreme care. It's just going to pick up so much dust and scratches and schmutz over the years.

The toy itself seems to be of the same fragility. Yeah, if you go on Amazon Japan you'll find all kind of third party sellers selling screen protectors for the damn thing. Really?? I see a lot of damaged loose toys in the future.

Like I said, I don't want to get into this too much for my sanity's sake...but c'mon!

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That's all I have for now. Feel free to check out past issues of my little magazine deal for more irrelevant chatter. I'll be back next month with a post that has been marinating for almost an entire year. I think. Unless I write about something else.

Take care and see you soon!

-CC

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