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!





  1. Damn, so many memories....90's seems like peak for practical tokusatsu, nowadays everything is CGI.... thankyou for sharing the book, lemon!

    1. Sure thing. I'm likely going to do more. I definitely recommend picking up a copy. My intentionally low quality photos don't do it justice.

  2. An interesting place to start a new year with book this time.
    Regardless of quality of the show and my personal feelings toward it, I'm always fascinated with the production, so this is an interesting topic.

    I’m glad Toei didn’t use that suit design as Zyuranger. lol

    Kakuranger suit is mostly the same, due to its simplistic design, but the ninja logo was way too big in concept art.
    Heh. Talk about evolution for Saruda.

    Carranger is bizarre (no pun intended) regards to color change. I’m glad they changed it for final product; RV (and VRV) Robo would look weird with yellow pants indeed.

    Not much to say with Megaranger, similar to Kakuranger, but I didn’t know Microsoft was involved. It would have been interesting product placement had it been used; though royalty would have been insane. As for Green, I’m glad it was replaced with Black, since it matches the team color well.

    1. Even with Kakuranger there seems to be a color change. You hear stories about how the Carranger and BF Kabuto casts were selected in a batch and then broken up after the fact. I feel like designs are done the same way almost.

  3. I'm not sure what's really "goofy" about either that Machineman or Zyuranger design (Machineman arguably looks more serious, personally)! Zyuranger feels roughly the same, only with some more diamonds. Regardless, thank you for sharing these--tokusatsu art books are some of the coolest things around and I wish anyone out there would translate the design notes on some of them.

    1. As a concept drawing Machineman has all of the charisma of D.B. Cooper's sketch. It works much better in the flesh...

  4. *Kazunori Miyake* I'm sorry about those old Dekabase & Alternate composer for Megaranger comments, You chose not to reply both of them despite already saw that but anyway let's get into this topic instead,
    Are you actually interested in arts? (Drawings,Paintings etc).

    1. That time on the Dekabase comment, I was just only talking about the toy's engineerings not the whole of Dekaranger because i already know that you don't like that show.

    2. Huh? I'm not ignoring you, I just don't have a lot of free time to comment if I don't have much to say.