All About Katsushi Murakami--Superhero Industrial Design Art Collection

Hello and welcome to 2022! I'm kicking things off this year with not one, but two book overviews. The other book that I'm writing about is a Heroine photo book that I was afraid was going to be pervy, but turned out to be a wonderful look into Tokusatsu past in quality that never made it to the screen.

While the book I talk about in that post is great, it isn't a required purchase. The book in this post...it's the opposite. This book is mandatory.

I have several books on Tokusatsu concepts, but I think this is the one that peels back the layers of secrecy the most. When it comes to Toei (especially) they seem to have a hard stance on not considering the "couldabeen". The final product is all there is, all there was, and all there ever will be. 

This book of designs from Bandai Man Katsushi Murakami really sheds some light on what we almost ended up with throughout the years. I want to review some of the choice designs and weirdness throughout. Keep in mind, this is a huge book with designs from the 1970s-2000s. Definitely check out the rest on your own time.

Picture that Drake meme with "Biomusashi" and then "Biodragon".

I really like Machineman's doofy design...but here is a reminder that it could've been doofier.

I feel like a lot of detail was somehow lost between the design and the final look of the Goggle Five helmets.

I also have a great Nonaka design book that covers the Rescue Hero years in great detail. Look how terrible the Fire suit was. I do dig the concept of the slotted visor...twelve years before Kamen Rider Ryuki did it.

Trimesistan from the completely forgotten 1992 film Daiyogen~Fukatsu no Kyoshin. I talked about this briefly, but if you wondered why Eiji Kawamura didn't score Shin Kamen Rider Prologue, it's because he did the music for this instead. This was rumored to be an abandoned Uchuu Keiji Gavan 10th Anniversary movie. What's interesting is that this film has zero merch...

Some late/approved Changeman sketches. The only thing missing is the "CM" logo on the belt and gloves.

Now.....for the truly shocking concepts...

OK, so this one bugs me. I feel like Abaranger really picked up some of the flair because Sentai had to by the time we got to the 2000s. Zyuranger as a series with these suits would've been...not great. One of the things I love about Zyuranger is how basic the designs to complement serious plot. Imagine these goofy suits during those arcs when things were desperate. Hell...imagine Dragonranger...

Kakuranger seems to have gone through some pretty big changes as well. 

I don't hate it, but the simplicity of the final suits just work so much better. Also, the Kakuremaru facing the wrong way is giving me serious pains to see.

Final looks for everyone except Big Man Seikai. Get rid of the silver! This seems to have been a pretty big hurdle to clear since his band was black in the previous photo. The final version is gold like everyone else...with a black belt. Overall...it would've been cool if they stuck with the mesh.

Its hard to say where this sketch falls chronologically. These are the Jusho Fighter suits, but clearly this is somwhat early sketch since Battle Gamma seems to be with Ninja Yellow and Battle Kumaad is with Ninja Black (look at the symbols on their torsos). Hmmm... I can't see Jiraiya with a bear. He's too agile.

I'm glad the evolution continued...

It's pretty cool that the B-Fighter suits were pretty solid from the onset. I imagine this sketch was handed in with a post-it saying "You get the idea..."

The near-final design for Red Racer. I feel like the belt buckle for these designs are placeholders for someone else to complete. If true, whoever did the Gingaman belt was lazy. The only other change here is limiting the arm patch to the right arm.

I'm glad they removed a lot of the weird lines from the helmet. It's kinda over-styled here.

This is nuts. Blue is Yellow, Green is Blue, and Yellow is Green. I have a feeling why this was done. RV Robo would've looked really weird with yellow or green pants. 

I posted this photo to Twitter and it kinda blew up. I just want you to know that I legit did not add the Windows 95 logo...there it is...in the concept art. Haha. So I guess the Megaranger suits are powered by Bill Gates' Nanobots or whatever. 

Not as funny, but check out Megablue's sweet 30" TV.

Oh yeah, and who can forget Megagreen? I feel like this has more to do with that Windows logo +Pink. Heh.

I could go on...but I really recommend that you pick up the book. It's definitely worth the coin and is still readily available on Amazon Japan

I do have similar books to this that I hope to cover in the future. Let me know if this is something that you'd like to see more of!




BURN -- Tokusatsu Heroine Photograph Collection

The alternate title to this post was going to be "A Non-Perv's Guide to a Perv's Photo Book".

Welcome to another book overview on the site. I am also taking a look at a very different book on Tokusatsu concept art in my other post...so check that out. Since you're here, you are looking at a post on this Heroine photo book from the 90s. How dare you...

I kinda had some reservations getting into this book, but was taken in by it's lowww price from a very reputable seller. I knew I was getting a book that was scrutinized for condition, etc. 

Then the damn thing gets damaged in shipping...but that's another story. Oh well.

Here are some examples of what the book has to offer over nearly two-hundred pages.

No text, but some incredible photography. Since this book was made in 1994, obviously the shows from that early 90s era are the focus...but the photography does go back to the 1970s. Considering the quality of film that the shows were shot on was not great, this book is the clearest look we can get for these shows. 

Here are some of my favorite images from the book.

Kakuranger Ball! The action shots in this book are great, but this is one of my favorites. It doesn't have a minor mistake to drag it down...it's a great wind-up shot.

Obligatory. This is one of my favorite episodes of Kakuranger. *checks notes* It's my sixth favorite episode. This episode not only explored a great idea that Kakuranger didn't do enough of (Yokai Amikiri is after Saizo because his ancestor chopped her right hand off) but it had some great action all the way through. Saizo lost a lot of steam after this episode as a character, but this was a great episode. Ami Kawai is also a welcome sight when she shows up. Speaking of...

Did Lammy ever lose a fight? Sure, this photo was staged, but she really could take on those chumps. I say this as a member of both Goushi and Geki fan clubs.

Speaking of undefeatable...this pack beating Sasuke within an inch of his life is one of those rare moments where you're fine with a good guy taking extreme abuse.

This spread really appeals to me color-wise. Shushutorian is one of those series that I've always threatened to pick up more than the handful of episode I've seen, but probably won't if Toei International's Youtube Channel won't give it to us. There is a Shutshutorian photo book...but I think I can skip it. It's expensive and I'm not attached to the series.

This photo of Mei is super-cinematic. Compare this to how it looked in Episode 26 of Zyuranger...

Yeah...night and day. 

Since there is zero text in this book I can't really say too much more about it. It's loaded with gorgeous photos from an era where it didn't show up on the screen. There are some pages of bikini shots, but not nearly as many as I was expecting. I also didn't expect it to go back as far as it did since there are similar books to this from the 80s. It's pretty comprehensive...it even has Otohime...

Future Site Topic??

Yeah--I can recommend this book. I didn't scan any of it for that reason. This book is a great experience as a book. I've seen some of these photos over the years on the internet and it isn't the same. Check it out...it was a great value for the $20ish I got it for. 

You can avoid the follow-up book from 1995...that one sucks.

Anyway. See ya next time!