Friday, September 3, 2010

Denjin Zaboga


I've seen the name of the show 電人ザボーガー transliterated a number of ways, but we'll stick with the literal "Denjin Zaboga" for our purposes. It can't confuse people anymore than usual!

I've only seen the first episode of DENJIN ZABOGA, so I won't pretend I can offer a critique on the show as a whole. That first episode was quite good, and even features a baddie that looks unsettlingly like Silvar from THE SPACE GIANTS gone wrong. It's just I've never taken the time to track down and/or watch further episodes. One day, I may have to remedy that. (And yes, I am aware of their presence on Youtube.)

Zaboga itself is a marvelously illogical robot that is at once extremely toy-friendly and functionally impossible. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking it. No, if anything I'm impressed that they got away with it so flagrantly. The robot into motorcycle conceit is one thing, but how does that helicopter in the head contraption even work? Ah, as Jack Kirby once said, "Don't ask, just buy it!"

Akira Yamaguchi toplines as hero Yutaka Daimon. Yamaguchi is primarily revered in tokusatsu fandom for his relatively few but quite memorable appearances as Riderman in the KAMEN RIDER franchise. He's a guy who would probably still be in demand to this day, but his life was cut far too short by lung cancer.

If you click over to this video, you'll see the opening for the later episodes of the series, when the whole thing got revamped. By then, Zaboga merged(?) with another motorcycle(?) to become something I am told is called "Strong Zaboga". This bit is all I've seen of that incarnation.

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