Blue SWAT (ブルースワット) is the 1994 Metal Hero Series immediately preceeding Juukou B-Fighter, one of the last Metal Hero Series adapted by Haim Saban. With this in mind, I’m keen to know what it is about this show that made it unadaptable in the eyes of the Saban brass and, obviously, is this a series that is going to grip me enough to watch it in full as Toei continue to drop it on Toei Tokusatsu World Official.
The show revolves around the invasion of an alien race whom are eventually referred to as the Space Mafia but in this episode are imaginatively referred to as ‘alien’. They are able to “invade” humans and posses their bodies; a plan they will use to put themselves in positions of power, stockpile resources and gradually take over the planet. In this episode, our title team expose a bank manager who has been “invaded” before going back to their headquarters in time for their chief to be “invaded,” kill everyone and destroy the building. The team are generally undeterred (save for one of the trio who is pissed he won’t be getting his wage bonus) and take to the streets to defeat an alien with their extensive range of weaponry. I expect the story will develop from here and Blue SWAT will form their own agency to help them, as often happens in tokusatsu.
I find myself particularly enamoured with the female SWAT member, Sara Misugi. She’s strong willed and doesn’t take any crap from eccentric, money-minded Sho Narumi. When leader, Sig, is reunited with the team at the bank, Sara serves as an excellent second, communicating well with him. She’s all business; I dig that. It will be interesting to see how this already strong character develops over the course of the series, should I stick with it.
As for my question in the opening… this show focused heavily around guns, heavy weaponry and military style operations, something that would never make it to air in an American kids show. The tone overall is a lot more adult, the aliens are a lot darker and gruesome than most other Metal Heroes, most of the first episode (and I’d assume the majority of the series) was spent out of suit and there’s no mecha or marketable toys of note. The series looks like it may be a compelling one but it doesn’t take long to realise that this footage wouldn’t be a whole hell of a lot of use for an American adaptation.
Overall, Blue SWAT is fairly straightforward. As the name might suggest, it’s more of a cop show than your regular Metal Hero Series but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s got a kind of gun nut meets Dekaranger vibe to it; make of that what you will. I’ll probably give this a few more episodes to really grab me but I liked what we got from the first episode and if you’re looking for a slightly darker toku with creepy-ass aliens, Blue SWAT is the Metal Hero Series for you.
The first few episodes of Blue SWAT, as well as a selection of other Metal Hero Series, are available to view now on Toei Tokusatsu World Official on YouTube.