Tag Archives: tokusatsu

Anime: A Brief Guide

Anime: A Brief Guide by Jerry Whitworth

A year ago, Netflix released a documentary entitled Enter the Anime (2019) which purported to define anime and its origins. However, in practice, it was a glorified advertisement for the streaming service’s available Japanese animated series. Recently reminded of the film and the frustration from its lack of educational content, inspiration arose to try and, albeit briefly, discuss anime’s origins and history. Japan’s line from its remarkable and prolific breadth of animation is drawn primarily from one source before blooming into a vast forest (the current landscape dominated by the genre of isekai). Referred to as the God of Anime, Osamu Tezuka was born in Osaka Prefecture in 1928, mere years before Japan’s invasion of the Asian mainland that lead to its alliance with Germany and Italy as part of the Axis faction during World War II. Born into an affluent, educated, liberal family, Tezuka became enamored at a young age with French cinema and American animation, characters like Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Betty Boop, and Felix the Cat a great influence on him. Whereas manga had existed for years prior to Tezuka’s life (the Toba scrolls dating back to the 12th century), the creator blended cinematic impressionism with the expressive nature of American animation to produce a new form of art that became the standard for both manga and anime.

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Surfing with the Alien: The Toei Silver Surfer

Surfing with the Alien: The Toei Silver Surfer by Jerry Whitworth

Finally wrapping up news coming in from San Diego Comic-Con, I had planned to take a break from the continuous stream of articles I’ve been pumping out until I came across this:

A Toei live action tokusatsu Moon Knight series? This lead me down a rabbit hole of an alternate universe where Toei beat Netflix to the Defenders punch and cranked out a multitude of live action superhero television series putting the likes of Spider-Man, 3-D Man, Moon Knight, and the Silver Surfer on to Japanese airwaves. But before we get there, a little background. From an article I wrote just last week:

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Power Rangers Comes to Toys That Made Us

Power Rangers Comes to Toys That Made Us by Jerry Whitworth

When the documentary series The Toys That Made Us about toy brands and properties was renewed by Netflix, speculation immediately arose about what future episodes would emerge. Fans did not have to wait long as the first four episodes were announced at San Diego Comic-Con International and the Nerdfect Strangers accurately predicted at least three of those selections. It was revealed the next four episodes will focus on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, My Little Pony, wrestling, and Power Rangers. Having already gone into detail with the former three previously (although, the ambiguous descriptor for wrestling has lead to speculation the Kinnikuman keshi, or Kinkeshi, better known in America as M.U.S.C.L.E., maybe included), we’re going to discuss the history of Power Rangers and its toys.

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