Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Toei Tokusatsu Hero THE MOVIE BOX
東映特撮ヒーロー THE MOVIE BOX (Toei Tokusatsu Hero The Movie Box)
This box set is actually the third such set from Toei Video. Previously, there were limited edition box sets devoted to the featurettes starring the Kamen Riders and Super Sentai. This particular box includes all the live action featurettes outside of those venerable series, save one. I'll deal with that exception in a bit.
The "movies" from all three box sets were part of roadshow film marathons. Most of them were components of various Toei Manga Matsuri (東映まんがまつり) or "Toei Manga Festivals", a series of theatrical programs which ran from 1964-1990. Toei actually still does these kind of programs to this day, though they don't mix anime and tokusatsu the way they once did. A pity, I think.
The box is an attractive collage of images pulled from the assorted series covered. It includes 6 "regular" discs and 1 "bonus" disc, which is housed in a slimline case. There are two booklets - one is a historical overview of the productions and the other is devoted more to promotional pics. Finally, there is a pair of 3-D glasses, which I am guessing might work. They are for the "Inazuman" movie, which would have been my third choice, but apparently the "Aka Kage" and "Kikaider" glasses were reproduced in earlier releases.
As an aside, though my Japanese is limited at best, I learned the answer to a lingering question from these booklets. It doesn't relate to the movies in the box though. Rather, why is the Japanese cut of THE GREEN SLIME (called ガンマー第3号 宇宙大作戦 - "Gamma 3 Space Operation") shorter than the American cut? Answer - because it was released in Japan as part of the kiddie-oriented December 1968 "Toei Manga Matsuri" with PINOCCHIO IN OUTER SPACE (titled ピノキオの宇宙大冒険 - "Pinocchio's Space Adventure") and a couple of shorter featurettes.
So anyway, here are the titles of the movies included in this box. I'll get around to talking about all of them one day, unless I forget.
スパイキャッチャーJ3 SOS危機一発 (Spycatcher J3)
キャプテンウルトラ (Captain Ultra)
河童の三平 妖怪大作戦 (Kappa no Sanpei)
柔道一直線 (Judo Icchokusen)
変身忍者嵐 (Henshin Ninja Arashi)
超人バロム・1 (Chojin Barom-1)
ロボット刑事 (Robot Keiji)
キカイダー01 (Kikaider 01)
イナズマンF (Inazuman Flash)
がんばれ!!ロボコン (Ganbare! Robocon)
がんばれ!!ロボコン ゆかいな仲間 (Ganbare! Robocon)
がんばれ!!ロボコン ムギョギョ!!食いねェ (Ganbare! Robocon)
アクマイザー3 (Akumaizer 3)
ロボコンの大冒険 (Robocon no Daiboken)
ザ・カゲスター (The Kagestar)
宇宙鉄人キョーダイン (Uchu Tetsujin Kyodain)
忍者キャプター (Ninja Captor)
大鉄人17 (Dai Tetsujin 17)
大鉄人17 空中戦艦 (Dai Tetsujin 17)
宇宙からのメッセージ 銀河大戦 (Uchu Kara no Message : Ginga Taisen)
バトルフィーバーJ (Battle Fever J)
バッテンロボ丸 (Batten Robo Maru)
宇宙刑事 シャイダー (Uchu Keiji Shaider)
宇宙刑事 シャイダー追跡!しぎしぎ誘拐団 (Uchu Keiji Shaider)
超人機メタルダー (Chojinki Metalder)
機動刑事ジバン (Kido Keiji Jiban)
特捜ロボ・ジャンパーソン (Tokuso Robo Janperson)
ブルースワット (Blue SWAT)
重甲ビーファイター (Jyuko B-Fighter)
飛びだす冒険映画 赤影 (Aka Kage)
飛び出す人造人間キカイダー (Jinzo Ningen Kikaider)
飛び出す立体映画 イナズマン (Inazuman)
Quite the list, yes? So what's missing? The movie in question is スパイダーマン (Spiderman), a cinematic version of Toei's Japanese SPIDERMAN (no hyphen) series. Because of the licensing involved, SPIDERMAN is now essentially divorced from the rest of Toei's tokusatsu output. However, the film (the first ever theatrical version of the wall-crawler, if you can believe it) was already released on the deluxe box set of the SPIDERMAN series, so it's all good.
For the curious among you, a handy reference in putting this entry together was Toei TV Website Library of English Titles. Oh, and this is Toei Video's page for this box set.
@ Amazon Japan
I get no credit by posting those links, in case you were wondering. Anyway, I bought mine used from Anime Jungle at a discount.