Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 bar talk

2012 is coming to an end. I want to reflect on what happened this year. 

2012 meant the end of Gokaiger. I have mixed feelings about this show. I'm sure most of the fanboys and fangirls loved seeing the old suits and old actors coming back. I was one of them. I especially loved the Dekaranger, the Hurricanger and the Jetman episodes.
I thought the Deka and Hurri episodes were quite memorable because they had more than one of the actors returning. Of course these were not the only episodes with more than one returning actor, but I really liked 'em.

The Jetman episode was very special to me because I spent a lot of time and effort translating that show... and of course because they had Toshihide Wakamatsu returning as Black Condor. People often say this episode brought a sense of closure to the show by confirming the death of Gai Yuki. I personally thought this was already pretty clearly shown in the last episode of Jetman, not to mention the Jetman Encyclopaedia and the Jetman manga. However, Toei had to confirm it in Gokaiger because a large number of people didn't believe it. The episode itself was a lot of fun to watch. I was afraid that Toei would censor the character 'Gai' a lot for Gokaiger, knowing that Gai was a rebellious lady killer who loved to drink, smoke and pick up fights. It was only the smoking part that they left out. I can understand that Toei doesn't want to show a 'smoking hero' to kids nowadays.
However, there are many things I disliked about Gokaiger. First of all... there wasn't really a plot in the show, or not a good one anyway. Secondly, the Gokaigers were obviously overpowered, and the enemies were pretty weak and forgettable. It is obvious that Toei needs some new better writers or some writers with guts.

Akibaranger was a big disappointment for me. I thought it was fun seeing the toei studios from the inside and the legendary suit actor, but I didn't like the show as a whole. Akibaranger clearly was a show for a more mature audience. In my point of view: Akibaranger was a big waste of money and time, a lost opportunity. In my opinion they could have used that money to make a show that many of the 'old school' toku lovers want to see: a more violent show, more mature actors and a serious and more dramatic plot.

My point of view on Gobusters: "I think it would have been a good idea to stop Super Sentai or to put Super Sentai on a hiatus after Gokaiger." I do appreciate that they tried some new things with Gobusters, but it didn't work out that well.
We have seen the first Kyoryuger scans and they don't look too promising. Of course I will give it a chance, but I think it wouldn't be a bad thing to put Super Sentai on a hiatus. Toei clearly needs some new ideas.

I will remember 2012 as a great year for old sentai shows. I think Gokaiger had a big influence on the fans in Japan and abroad. It made people want to know or rewatch those older shows. Although I don't have any numbers, and I don't want to pull any numbers out of my arse, I am pretty sure many people in Japan rented the older shows at Tsutaya or Geo.
Abroad, we are seeing more and more older shows getting subbed. My group, Grown Ups In Spandex, has finished Liveman and Jetman, Zyuranger (with MegaAnon) and we are currently working on Bioman and Jetman. GSF subbed Gaoranger and Sun Vulcan. And recently Over-Time started translating Dekaranger.
Most shows that get an English fansub release, get a release in French, Spanish and Portuguese as well.
I'm sure more shows will be getting an translating in English and other languages in 2013. I'm looking forward to that.

At GUIS, we are putting the final touches to the Liveman V2's and the Maskman translations are nearly finished. The Zyuranger team is working on a special project, and we are planning to release Changeman somewhere next year. When Maskman is over, I would love to work on Abaranger or Spielvan.

Anyway, I hope 2013 will be a good year for all of us... and please, don't let us down Toei!


  1. There is a reason why Akibaranger is called Akibaranger. It's set in Japan's geek district so it is obvious that they will poke fun on its residents.

    I agree, it's been a while since Toei produced a show that is quite dramatic and serious.

  2. I Know i'm late but you forgot to mention Fiveman :p I'm glad someone will finish changeman.