3 days ago
Monday, November 23, 2009
(Those of you on Facebook can see the video link here. Totally worth it.)
BATTLEHAWK is one of those rare 1970s live-action shows from Go Nagai, Ken Ishikawa, and the rest of the fine folks at Dynamic Planning. I can see some of the Nagai trademarks in this opening & closing, but it just as much resembles a bunch of other shows from that same era. The sentai thing is obvious because GORANGER is the most famous of the lot, and that yellow guy sure reminds me of Kiranger. Yet I can see traces of shows like AKUMAIZER 3 in there, too. Heck, they even appear to have filmed part of the closing on the exact same stretch of highway used in the opening on NINJA CAPTOR!
With sentai having become so pervasive in Japanese superherodom (and don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan), it's easy to forget that neither those shows, nor Toei itself, had a lock on the "team" concept. Shows like TRIPLE FIGHTER, MEGALOMAN, BANKID, and yes, BATTLEHAWK might not be as well-remembered today, but they paved the way for the flashier series that were yet to come, and did it in a very entertaining way.