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Kamen Rider Build Episode 1 Review

This week marked the start of Kamen Rider Build in Japan so I thought I would share my thoughts and views on the first episode. After the emotional roller coaster of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid over the past year, Build definitely had a tough act to follow and, during the lead up to the first episode, we all started to get a feel for our new rider through magazine scans and follow up information, which got the community more excited.

As soon as September 3rd arrived, we all awaited the subtitled versions to become available so we could get a proper feel for our new hero. The wait is now over and now, after watching the debut of Sento and his marvellous transformation, I would like to give a run down of all my thoughts.

The episode in general felt fresh and crisp; the layout and introduction of all the characters was very well executed, even though it feels like they are forcing our thoughts on who certain characters will be in the long run. The use of CGI is starting to be ever more present in Kamen Rider but I feel it adds more detail. For example, Build’s final attack looked amazing with the math equations surrounding the enemy.

There was an obvious nod to classic Showa era Kamen Rider, with humans are being experimented on. Turning them into monsters is a beautiful touch and something I look forward to seeing more of as the series progresses. The only thing I wasn’t too keen on was Sento’s amnesia; I understand why it’s being used but I feel that a genius scientist who built a transformation device, a phone that turns into a bike and a system to make use the Full Bottles would be able to make something to restore his memory.

The way the driver worked is simple yet effective and the way his suit forms around him reminds me of Gunpla model sets, which is a very nice touch in my personal opinion. Currently, we have only seen one weapon in use and even though I find the Drill Crusher kind of cool, I find the gun mode a bit of an afterthought. I’m all for weapons with multiple uses but I feel Kamen Rider as a whole needs to stop doing weapons in such a manner.

Overall, I’m looking forward to the rest of the series and the directions it will take. The first bat-based villain looks amazing and I can’t wait to see what they will do with him.

Comment below with how you found first episode and let me know what you think will happen in the series.

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Uchu Sentai Kyuranger YUDO Figures Revealed

A number of weeks ago, we reported that a new range of articulated action figures were coming, based on Shishi Red from Uchu Sentai Kyuranger. Initially thought to be the return of Super Sentai S.H. Figuarts, it quickly emerged that these figures were in fact Shokugan (SG) Candy Toy releases, similar to the recently produced Kamen Rider Ex-Aid SODO figures.

Bandai Japan have now released more information about these figures. In this first wave, the figures for Shishi Red, Houou Soldier and Shishi Red Orion will be released. The figures stand at approximately 11cm/4in tall.

The Uchu Sentai Kyuranger YUDO Figures will be released in December 2017 and will be available at Toku Toy Store. Will you be picking them up?

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Sentai teammates say goodbye to Tatsuya Nomi

This past Saturday, September 2nd, the cast of Gosei Sentai Dairanger, as well as alumni of various other Super Sentai series attended the memorial ceremony of their former teammate, Tatsuya Nomi. In attendance were the other four Dairangers, Keiichi Wada, Ei Hamura, Keisuke Tsuchiya and Natsuki Takanashi, as well as Ryousuke Kaizu & Kei Shindachya (Red & Blue Mask), Keiya Asakura (Blue Turbo), Michiko Makino (Pink Five) and Takeyuki Suzuki (Bioman producer).

In tribute to Nomi, who played ShishiRanger, Daigo during Gosei Sentai Dairanger, the team performed one last roll call and laid an Aura Changer alongside a glass of beer on the altar.

Tatsuya Nomi passed away on May 18th this year, reportedly of suicide. His brother, Koichi Tatsuya, announced the actor’s death on Twitter. Following Dairanger, Tatsuya returned to Super Sentai during Ninpuu Sentai Hurricanger where he protrayed Sanpei Hamada, a disguise for Shurikenger, as well as in GoGo Sentai Boukenger as Manager Wakabayashi.

What are your memories of Tatsuya Nomi? Reminisce about the actor’s great Super Sentai legacy in the comment section below.

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Kamen Rider Climax Fighters coming to PS4 in December

During this weekend’s series premiere of Kamen Rider Build, Japanese audiences were treated with a first look at Bandai Namco’s latest video game offering for the PlayStation 4: Kamen Rider Climax Fighters.

Due to release on December 7th in Japan, Kamen Rider Climax Fighters will include playable Riders from throughout Kamen Rider’s history, from both the Heisei and Showa eras, as well as the most recent Riders, Ex-Aid and Build.

The commercial, which features Ex-Aid, Agito, Faiz and Build, has since released online and can be viewed below.

Will you be picking up a copy of the game? Let us know what you think of the Kamen Rider video game releases in the comment section!

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The Truth About Tokusatsu

Tokusatsu or “Special Effects Filming” is probably one of the most misunderstood genres in the west – assuming enough people are even aware of it to misunderstand it. We’re all familiar with the “Is that Power Rangers?” enquiry and, while it doesn’t bother me as much as it does others, it highlights an interesting disparity between toku in the East and toku in the West.

In the West, tokusatsu is only ever Power Rangers and Godzilla… maybe Ultraman, but that’s pretty much it, and it always carries with it the connotations of being campy, cheese or for younger audiences. In the East, however, there is a much greater selection of tones, genres and demographic appeal and it’s not just limited to Super Sentai or Godzilla. For example, Garo, which is most certainly aimed at adult audiences, is classed as tokusatsu but has a much darker and serious tone than something like Robotack. This is the case even within the same series, for example Ultraseven is a lot darker and serious than Ultraman Taro, for example.

Another factor in this cultural misunderstanding is that the meaning of the word Tokusatsu has different connotations in the East than it does in the West. Over here, we tend to think toku as being only a select few TV shows and movies, however, in Japan, it’s a much more inclusive term (e.g. Doctor Who, Thunderbirds and Star Wars are all considered tokusatsu). It would be like if we considered a sci-fi film to only be something like 2001: A Space Odyssey, ignoring films like Star Wars and Arrival altogether.

Since Tokusatsu is such a misunderstood genre, that also means that more people enjoy it than realise it, and why wouldn’t they? We all love a good explosion, well done practical effect or nicely choreographed fight scene. So, we must be kind when people ask if Ultraman is like Power Rangers because, chances are, outside of those few shows they like special effects just as much as you do.

What tokusatsu do you enjoy? Share your likes with us in the comment section below!

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Toku Toy Store launches two new website sections

It’s an exciting day for Toku Toy Store today as we launch two brand new sections of the website. As announced during last week’s activation video, Toku Toy Store Workshop launches today to coincide with the premiere of Kamen Rider Build in Japan. In conjunction with this, as a surprise for all of our customers and followers, we’ve launched Toku Toy Store News.

Toku Toy Store Workshop will be the home of a wide range of fantastic new products. At launch, the Workshop is the place to find our existing custom products, such as the Legacy Communicator Display Holder and Coin & Gimmick Display Stands, as well as a new range of wearable accessories based on the gimmicks and gadgets from Kamen Rider W including Cyclone, Bat and Stag!

Going forward, we have big plans for the Workshop, including more accessories, clothing, display stands and cases, repairs, special custom pieces and more!

We’re also proud to announce the launch of Toku Toy Store News. With this new section, we aim to keep you up to date with the latest news and information from all of your favourite tokusatsu series. We will also post details on upcoming toys and reviews of both new and existing releases. This is all part of our aim to be your one stop shop for everything tokusatsu!

Could you be a writer for the new Toku Toy Store News section? We’re looking for Content Contributors to help us bring the latest tokusatsu news to the masses. You must be literate and have a good grasp of English but no prior experience is required. If you think you’d be suitable for the role, you can fill in our application form, here.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about our new sections. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!