The Mystery of Kamen Rider J's Helmet

This post is somewhat born out of frustration. I've always known what color Kamen Rider J is. He is green with green and teal accents. The End.


But no, I am here to tell you that there is apparently a difference in Kamen Rider J's suit depending on his size. Also...his Jumbo size has a name other than Jumbo? This is upsetting considering I'm 28 years into not knowing what the hell color Kamen Rider ZO's suit is. Is he Green? Blue? Navy? It's something that seems entirely contingent on lighting and who is printing the image. I've learned to live with that. This whole thing with Kamen Rider J is a different story.

The offending publication is here...

I own tons and tons of books on the 90s Rider movies (and Hakaider). Most of them just have the same info over and over again. This one in particular has some beautiful photos, but ultimately runs out of steam and just recaps ZO and Shin. The point of interest lays in this little blurb...

Yes, those helmets are clearly different. The caption merely claims that Kamen Rider J has a slightly different color when he is Jumbo Size, Let's take a closer look...

The antennae are kinda floppy in this one and, while it is likely due to the aggressive flash, the vent is almost white. The greens in the stripe are also a little more distinct. The eyes are also slotted with a clear lens overlay.

The helmet here is a little more refined with full eyes, a deeper metallic look to the vent, and rigid antennae.

This really made me examine the photos in the rest of the book to see if this was consistent at all. 

We're off to a bad start. Maybe the darker vent isn't present here, but the antennae are pretty rigid.

This is the Jumbo version and...how about that? The vent is darker, but this is clearly the stunt helmet since the clasps are on the side and the eyes are slotted and lensed.

Jumbo J again and...wait. This is clearly a hero helmet since the eyes are lit up, but the antennae are floppy and...transparent?? What's going on!? At least the vent is still dark.

Normal J here and...this is a stunt helmet with the lighter vent. His crystal/belt isn't jeweled like it is in the bike photo above. I guess they couldn't be bothered for this stunt suit?

I guess you catch the drift. The J suit has the usual differences between stunt and hero suits, but also some weird variations between normal size and jumbo. This is something that Bandai never acknowledged in the SHFiguarts of Kamen Rider J. 

Oh yeah...there is also this...

What the heck is Kamen Rider J J Power MAX? The caption talks about J's power. I kinda feel like this was a lazy little addition, but on the surface it looked to me like they're trying to give J's Jumbo form this name. I mean, if he has a new helmet...why not??


That's it for this post. I know this was a strange little topic, but when I posted the image to twitter it seemed like everyone shared in my confusion. I dig little things like this.

OH! I also have yet another Kamen Rider J topic coming up in September. I don't even like Kamen Rider J! Regardless, I have a new post coming up about the guy. I may have some more book posts coming up soon as I explore them a little more closely when I have some spare time.

See ya soon!



Song Collection: Dengeki Sentai Changeman

It's the third and final part of my review of 1985 Tokusatsu Song Collections. I previously listened to the short Kyodai Ken Bycrosser Song Collection and the Kyojuu Tokusou Juspion Song Collection. It only makes sense that I am finishing this with a listen to the flashpig flagship series.

The Changeman Song Collection kinda gave us a new sound and introduced us to a young man by the name of Hironobu Kageyama. Hmmm...

I briefly gave this a listen in my copy of the Dengeki Sentai Changeman Complete Song Collection in the past if you wanna look back to that.


01. Dengeki Sentai Changeman / KAGE

I really like this theme song, but it has always felt a little sloppy to me. Maybe "inconsistent" is the better word... You get these heavy guitars and horns and then they suddenly drop out with Hironobu Kageyama left alone with a piano...while also maintaining the tempo. Think of Blue SWAT's TRUE DREAM. That feels like a more coherent song to me.

THAT SAID...this is a pretty rad theme. Maybe it isn't my favorite, but it is a lot of energy and a lot of fun.

02. Kagayake! Changeman / KAGE, Koorogi '73, Shines

This song is confused. So many "Flash!"es.

Ehhh...it's fun uplifting song. I can't fault it for that. That said, I don't really seek this one out too often. Unlike that Turboranger song that spells out "T-U-R-B-O P-O-(dub)-E-R", this song nails the spelling of "C-H-A-N-G-E-M-A-N" perfectly.

03. Soldier Dragon ~ Yuusha no Michi~ / KAGE

This is the ultimate Red theme song in my opinion. Kageyama's vocals are just on point and the music is perfection. It kinda has the feel of the classier song, but the bass is what really steers everything along. This is a regular song in my rotation. It's just the greatest.

04. Fight! Changerobo / 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."

05. LOVE FOREVER / Naomi Miyanaga

Another fantastic song. This one is more mature and features the raspy vocals of Naomi Miyanaga. It's hard to describe this smooth, smooth track...but it's far more entertaining that anything on the song collections of the surrounding Sentai series. 

06. WE CAN CHANGE / Japan Echo Singers, Koorogi '73

Yet another wonderful jam. This is one of those rare songs with Koorogi '73 that hits it out of the park. Sure it's led primarily by the Japan Echo Singers, but when you see Koorogi '73 in the credits, it's usually a warning more than a welcome. 

Yeah, this song is a classic. It's catchy and it's just all around well-constructed. 

07. GREAT PASSION ~Jonetsu no arashi~ / KAGE

Oh yeah, back to the Sentai songs.

Weird intro aside, this one is kinda boring. I don't think Kageyama was great for this one...he sounds kinda lost on everything except the "Oh! Great Passion!". This is one I don't give much play to. It isn't bad, it just doesn't really know what it wants to be.

I also swear that Kageyama is trying to disguise his voice...

08. Mermaid & Phoenix / Naomi Miyanaga

Another great song by Naomi Miyanaga. I have to edge out LOVE FOREVER...barely. This track is damn near as good. The same awesome vocals, but this one is a bit more localized to Super Sentai as it's the dual theme for Change Mermaid and Change Phoenix. 

Seriously great song. I tend to forget about it only because it doesn't feel like a Sentai song at all, but it's really good. 

09. Earth Force, shukumei no hoshi / KAGE

This one is alright. It's one I tend to skip. It's kinda rockabilly-ish at times before just going on to be a low-key rock song. I like it, but it isn't all that memorable. Kageyama at least feels appropriate this time around. This is more tailored to his skill.

10. NEVER STOP Changeman / KAGE

The series ending theme song. Yeah, I'm kinda lukewarm on this one. I know it has it's fans and is pretty memorable. I just never got into it thanks to the incorrect synth tone. Kageyema sings his damn heart out...and I feel like he was probably the most comfortable on this track out of everything he did for Changeman.

11. Wakasa de Changeman / KAGE

Changeman was missing some action songs, so a single was released later on with two new action tracks. This is my favorite of the two, for sure. It's a wall of synthetic sounds, an energetic Kageyama, and a random horn for filler. It all comes together in this frantic collision. 

12. Pinchi wa Chance da, Changeman / KAGE

Once the weird intro is out of the way, this song is like a weird, haunted roller coaster of an action song. I kinda like this one, but the fake drums bug me more than usual. The backing vocals are also kinda...wrong. The energy is 100% right, though!

The title is perfect, by the way.

13. Dengeki Sentai Changeman [Original Karaoke]

14. Soldier Dragon ~ Yuusha no Michi~ [Original Karaoke]

15. Fight! Changerobo [Instrumental-Karaoke]

16. WE CAN CHANGE [Original Karaoke]

17. GREAT PASSION ~Jonetsu no arashi~ [Instrumental-Karaoke]

18. Mermaid & Phoenix [Original Karaoke]

19. NEVER STOP Changeman [Original Karaoke]

20. Wakasa de Changeman [Original Karaoke]

21. Pinchi wa Chance da, Changeman [Original Karaoke]


OVERALL: This song collection's greatest strengths are it's more mature songs. The Change Dragon and Mermaid/Phoenix themes are excellent. There are also legit wonderful songs in LOVE FOREVER and WE CAN CHANGE. Something is to be said when the weaker songs in the collection include the theme songs. 

For a first-timer, Kageyama did a wonderful job carrying an entire song collection. Sure he had been a rocker for the better part of a decade, but the switch to anison is like getting a job at a cog factory after working in one that made widgets. There is a bit of shakiness, but he definitely had a fan looking out for him at Toei/Columbia. 

Definitely check this song collection out. It's not my favorite, but it has some songs that transcend the genre and legitimately rock.


That's is for my look at the Tokusatsu Song Collections of 1985. Check out my music collection page for me, but be sure to check out my Kyodai Ken Bycrosser and Kyojuu Tokusou Juspion Song Collection reviews!