Dragondoc's Den

Anime and Tokusatsu

East vs West – Golion/Dairugger XV/Voltron

In 1984, World Events Productions took two unrelated anime shows, 1981’s King of a Hundred Beasts Golion and 1982’s Armored Fleet Dairugger XV, and turned them into Voltron.  Let’s compare!

Original Golion opening song – unfortunately I can’t find a clip of the opening sequence.

Voltron’s Lion Force opening

Golion combination – the song is about the Blue Lion

Voltron combination

Alternate combination – showing this because this particular sequence is seen in the Golion opening that I couldn’t find on youtube…

Dairugger XV opening – long introductory narration – also includes the combo sequence…

Voltron Vehicle Team Opening

Voltron Vehicle Team combination 1

 

And just for fun: the japanese toy commercials!

Voltron Vehicle Team combination 2 – which I included because it is much more awesome.


Super Hero Theme Songs: The Rescue Mission Series

The Rescue Mission series is a subset of the metal hero series, itself a subset of henshin heroes.  Henshin means transforming, and metal heroes were characterized by shiny shiny armor.  The first was Gavan in 1982, itself part of the Space Sheriff Series.

The unique thing about the rescue mission series is that they didn’t face a monster of the week, but had to resolve an emergency of the week.  Sometimes these involved super powered machines or terrorists, but monsters weren’t the main enemy.

Tokkei Winspector (1990)

Tokkyu Shirei Solbrain (1991) – the videogame version of this show was released in the US as “Shatterhand”

Tokusou Exceedraft (1992)


Super Robot: Classic vs Remake Part 2: The Getter Series

It all started with Getter Robo (1974), which gets my vote for greatest robot anime theme song EVER.

Getter Robo G (1975) rehashed the song.  Known as “Starvengers”

From now on it’s alternate universe after alternate universe…

Getter Robo Go (1991) drew a mixed reaction from fans

There was a traditional super-roboish song…

… and a 80s-90s “pop songish” song

Getter Robo Armageddon or (Shin Getter Robo: The Last Day of the World) (1998)

opening 1:

opening 2:

Heck, there was even a videogame

Then there was Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo (2000)

And Shin (New) Getter Robo (2004)

Okay so it was mirror imaged to prevent copyright infringement thingees, I was told.


Super Robot: Classic vs Remake Part 1: The Mazinger Robots

I’m lumping Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger together with Mazinkaiser, since Mazinkaiser is effectively a continuation/remake of the first two.  Grendaizer is in a world of it’s own.

Mazinger Z (1972)

Great Mazinger (1974)

Mazinkaiser (2001)

Shin Mazinger Shougeki! (2009)

Mazinkaiser SKL (2011)

 


My Top Ten Sentai Ending Themes

This time it’s sentai ending themes!  This time let me explain my criteria.  I like my opening songs to hype me up.  I like my ending themes to make me feel good, relaxed.  The song has to sort of make me feel the heroes are enjoying some good times after a job well done.  Some themes are hard to find in TV form, so I just liked to the whole song.

Ninja Sentai Kakuranger (1994)

It’s raining ghosts! And they’re dancing! And rapping!  What’s not to like about this one?

Mahou Sentai Magiranger (2005)

This has the Sun Vulcan effect on me – that melody can’t get out of my head…

8) Kosoku Sentai Turboranger (1989)

This is one of those songs that I can’t really explain why I like them…

7) Denji Sentai Megaranger (1997)

Megaranger had a high school setting, and I love this song because it has this reminiscing high school days feel. I like it much better than the second ending theme “Bomb Dancing”.

6) Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger (2004)

Isao Sasaki sings the Dekaranger ending theme.  What’s not to like? It’s got a nice jazz pub feel to it.  And the drums! I love those drums and percussions!

5) Ninpuu Sentai Hurricanger (2002)

The ending sequence has the hurricangers on gliders soaring the heavens.  And yes, that’s precisely the feeling invoked here.  Now, I personally think that since Hironobu Kageyama sang it (just like Jetman at number 4), and that the themes of the songs are similar, it’s hard to choose.  Since Hurricanger came second (a full eleven years after Jetman), I rank it below Jetman’s “Heart is Egg”.

4) Chojin Sentai Jetman (1991)

It’s so hard to list this as “merely” at number 4.  It’s good enough to go to number 1 if my mood is right.  It’s mellow, makes me want to kick my shoes off and just loaf around.  The actual ending sequence is very creatively done and it enhances the song quite well.  I encourage people to try to see it. Heck, see the whole show.  Jetman is one of the best sentai ever.

3) Samurai Sentai Shinkenger (2009)

As if the opening weren’t good enough, now we have the Shinkenger ending which both pumps one up for battle and yet gives one that satisfactory feeling of a job well done.

2) Choudenshi Bioman (1984)

Bioman was my childhood favorite.  The opening was nice but didn’t make it to my top ten, but this ending theme always lifts my spirits.  It’s lively but not cheesy, and makes me want to dance.  Not kakuranger style though.

1) Himitsu Sentai Goranger (1975)

This is THE classic sentai song.  Not just ending song or opening song, mind you, it’s the song that defines sentai.  For Kamen Rider the catchphrase is “kamen rider… kamen rider… rider… RIDER!!!”  but for sentai it is “ban baraban ban ban!”


My Top Ten Sentai Opening Themes

Sentai literally translates to squadron.  In Japanese sci-fi kiddie shows, it refers to teams composed of five (most of the time) members clad in different primary colored spandex, usually with armies of robots at their command.  Yes, Power Rangers is based on these.

Note that these are My personal top ten sentai opening themes.  Obviously not everyone will agree.  To clarify, I based this on the songs – actual awesomeness of the opening sequence is second.  They also don’t necessarily reflect my favorite sentai.  Timeranger and Bioman are not present in this list.

 

10 NINPUU SENTAI HURRICANGER (2002)

Hurricanger’s theme has this lightheartedness that simply captures my imagination.  I also enjoy the use of traditional Japanese percussions in the background.  Between this and 1994’s Kakuranger, I prefer this one because I think the song is livelier and easier to choreograph a fight to.  A similar song that I considered for this list is Gekiranger (2007).

9 CHOJIN SENTAI JETMAN (1991)

Hironobu Kageyama sang a lot of sentai songs, and I know some fans will be offended that I left out Changeman (1985) from this post.  I can’t say why, I just like this song…  Perhaps as with Hurricanger it lifts my spirits every time I hear it.

8 BATTLE FEVER J (1979)

Oh the spanky seventies!  This song is old school but not tacky.  The percussions at the beginning hooked me. Mojo’s vocals are superb, and this song definitely captures the spirit of the show.

7 MAHOU SENTAI MAGIRANGER (2005)

I have to admit, Magiranger made this list not only because the song itself is great, but because I first heard it and saw this sequence during a special time in my life – my first few days in Nanjing, preparing to begin my studies in Chinese medicine.  I guess it’s a bridge to one of the best epochs of my existence.

6 SAMURAI SENTAI SHINKENGER (2009)

This show is probably my favorite, or in my top three favorite shows in this list.  The song, just like Hurricanger before it, does a good job of blending traditional sounds and modern songwriting to form an awesome theme.

5 KYUKYU SENTAI GO GO FIVE (1999)

Shinichi Ishihara.  Nuff said.

4 KAGAKU SENTAI DYNAMAN (1983)

Explosions! MoJo! Explosions! One of the greatest old school sentai songs. Don’t you want to headbang to this?  It’s just too bad that the song sounds to English speakers like “Die! Die! Die! Die! Dynaman”…

3 HIMITSU SENTAI GORANGER (1975)

The first, and almost the greatest.  Isao Sasaki and Mitsuko Horie sing one of the greatest theme songs EVER. It’s got just the right mix of kiddie fun and adventurous feel. Too bad it’s always overshadowed by Goranger’s first ending theme…

2 HIKARI SENTAI MASKMAN (1987)

Epic, fast paced and sung by Hironobu Kageyama.  Yes, he also sang Dragonball Z’s song.

1 TAIYOU SENTAI SUN VULCAN (1981)

This song is evil.  It hooks you, it penetrates the recesses of your brain, and curses you to last song syndrome.  Follow the Sun! Catch the Sun!  Yup, my all time favorite sentai song…


Catching Up

It’s been over a month since I’ve blogged, and boy have I missed it!  I’ve been so busy that I’ve seldom had enough time to gather my thoughts, much less type anything extended.  Even my weekly sentai show viewings have been skewed.

Anyway, some brief blurbs.

Dallas Mavericks win.  Normally I wouldn’t root for them, but hey, it’s Jason Kidd winning a championship!  If that’s not a story, what is?

Oh yeah, LeBron supposedly choking – that’s a story.  However, as much as I am turned off by his immaturity I recall that Jordan was also immature, Magic also had his regrettable moments (1981-82? whining against Paul Westhead?), Kobe had his publicity nightmare (we’ll never know if it was rape or not…honestly), and so on.  What’s important is bouncing back.

Also, before the finals I seem to remember LeBron blitzing the Bulls in game 5, leading a furious comeback.  Funny how people have forgotten that.

Hmmm, what else?

Much brouhaha about the RH Bill, as usual.  Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately for cyberspace) I’m in no mood to blog anymore about it.

Well, that’s it for now…