Saturday, November 6, 2010
UFO Daisenso: Tatakae! Red Tiger
NOTE: I am experimenting with embedding a video player from a Japanese site today. If you have trouble displaying the video, the link to it is right here.
UFO大戦争 戦え! レッドタイガー (UFO DAISENSO: TATAKAE! RED TIGER; "UFO War: Fight! Red Tiger") is one of those 1970s Japanese superhero shows that nobody talks about that much. Even its entry on the Japanese Wikipedia is pretty light. For instance, I sat down to write this entry, and until I looked at Wikipedia, I didn't even know exactly when in the decade it aired! By the way, it was 1978, if you don't feel like wading through the Japanese yourself.
RED TIGER is another one of those shows that certainly sounds interesting, but you wonder if you'll ever find the time to check it out more fully. When I finally dug up the above clip (and believe it, it took some work!), I admit that I was intrigued. It sure looks like it might be fun!
You will notice that Red Tiger is wearing a football helmet. I don't think there is any particular reason for this, but I could very well be wrong. American football was not unknown in Japan, but I highly doubt they had any particular affinity for it. From what I've seen, it's just something that they incorporate into designs from time to time to make it look different and perhaps a touch exotic. Kind of like our treatment of samurai paraphernalia in the West, when you think about it.
One thing I did learn from this brief clip is that Red Tiger is apparently one of the earliest heroes to have a distinct "power up" alternate form to complement his regular form. As far as I know, the first hero that actively changed forms during his series was Kamen Rider Stronger with his "Charge Up". This is after that series, but maybe even more distinctive than Stronger. After all, Red Tiger's entire suit changes in his power up form. An interesting precursor to what would be one of the trademarks of the more recent iterations of the Rider franchise.
Oh, and Jerry Ito appears in RED TIGER as "Dr. Yano". It sure looks to me as if this is a kindly scientist role. There is no way that can't be awesome.