Tokusatsu Oh ~Forever Chumei Watanabe~

I felt it necessary to write a short passage on the recent passing of legendary Tokusatsu composer Chumei Watanabe. I know I haven't said the most positive things about Watanabe over the years, but I do very much enjoy a lot of his work. It's a miracle that he was active as recently as last year with his contributions to the Zenkaiger soundtrack while also giving us the wonderfully memorable music from Jinzoningen Kikaider fifty years ago.

You can look up his long, long career on your own time if you'd like. Today I am going to talk about what I really liked and a recommendation or two if you're interested.

Battle Fever J / Denjiman

Much the same way Shunsuke Kikuchi was the lone name in charge of Kamen Rider's music from it's inception until Kamen Rider ZX's special, Watanabe was in charge of the BGM for every Sentai series from Goranger to Goggle Five. Given the long run, he really shaped the tone of the genre. There are more moving parts in a Sentai series when you consider bigger casts, more situations and giant robots that need majestic music. 

I think Watanabe's sweet spot is right in the middle. 

Battle Fever's music is a lot of fun. The opening theme song isn't wonderful, but the ending theme song and BGM are great. I love the funk. Denjiman is *really* where it's at, though. I know I haven't gotten to him yet, but the soundtrack to Denjiman is like a proto-Uchuu Keiji Gavan soundtrack.

Not to mention the themes... The Denjiman themes are perfect. Both of them. The opening theme song in particular is one of my favorites for obvious reasons. There are very, VERY few opening theme songs that pass as badass, but Denjiman's opening theme song truly deserves it. The also-Watanabe opening theme song to Sunvulcan may be a better Tokusatsu theme song, but Denjiman's theme song is just perfect as a song.

I definitely recommend checking out the soundtracks to both of these Sentai series. Make sure you find the Complete Music Collections. The Denjitiger track on the Denjiman Music Collection is one of the most flawless jazz synth hybrid tracks of the era. 

Uchuu Keiji Gavan

The music and songs from Uchuu Keiji Gavan are peak Watanabe. Much like his turn being "the guy" for Sentai, he was *also* the guy for Metal Hero. His resume includes the first five Metal Hero series.

While I think there was a bit of an incline in his style taking hold with Sentai, he was hot right out of the gate with Gavan. Some people will say that he did a better job on the...eccentric...Shaider soundtrack or that Juspion has the best soundtrack, but I truly think that Gavan's music is just the coolest. The songs are so loud and obnoxious, the music just shines the most. It's no wonder that the Laser Blade theme became his signature from then on out. 

The DNA for the music is kinda there if you listen closely to the Denjiman soundtrack. Bits and pieces here and there. When the Laser Blade theme hit during Gavan, it was easy to see how this could be adapted with slight difference going forward with sequel series Sharivan and Shaider. You can also see why it was too good not to use beyond even those series...

I've joked that I could live on without ever hearing the Gavan theme ever again, but it's another purely great theme song. You can tell that Akira Kushida is proud of his singing part on it. The whole song collection is pretty damn great.

Definitely check out the both the BGM and songs from the series.

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

I've written about this album in the past and I just want to reiterate that it is one of the best kept secrets out there.

The gist of it is that it's one long Eurobeat Medley that brings back Akira Kushida and Takayuki Miyauchi along with MIO and Yoko Ishida to sing new vocals. I generally hate Eurobeat, but this whole CD is pretty magical. We even get a jazzy new version of the Gavan theme song sung by Kushida.

I bought this CD back when it was brand new out of curiosity and it's still one of my favorite CDs out there. Even if Watanabe didn't do much more than pose with a cigar for the artwork, this is still his music and clearly something that he endorsed. 

Also...MIO and Takayuki Miyauchi in a friggin duet is beyond amazing.

I highly recommend you give this a whirl if you can find it.


It's pretty sad when you think that one of the last remaining legends is gone. He was there to help bring Tokusatsu to life. TWO whole genres of Tokusatsu launched to the sound of his music. 

We'll always have the music. Farewell~



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