Toku Tuesday on Thursday? We tag out for this week’s Toku Tuesday!
I’m no expert on Tokusatsu and I don’t consider myself to be a great writer, so this will either be a monumental failure or a mediocre tribute to what is definitely a fantastic genre.
I mean, really, what’s not to love about Tokusatsu? It gave us Godzilla, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (and all of those other Rangers), Pacific Rim… ULTRAMAN?! Wow. I feel totally unworthy to even broach the subject. Alas, regardless of my vast lack of knowledge about Toku, it did have a huge influence on my life.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers premiered in 1993. I was nine years old. At that point in a young boy’s childhood, how was this not cool? Five teenagers, endowed with powers to kick butt and summon giant robots, set against the backdrop of giant monsters, aliens, and explosions? Sign me up! My favorite part besides Tommy (I mean, seriously, who’s favorite was not Tommy? He was the coolest! Green?! DRAGONZORD?! I digress…) had to be the fighting, specifically the martial arts. As with almost all Japanese-inspired genres, martial arts are a common theme. Even in Pacific Rim, the Jaegars fight martially and their operators train martially. How cool was that training scene with Raleigh and Mako? Extremely. That’s how cool.
All of that to say this: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was probably the first thing to pique my interest in the martial arts. Right now at age 30, twenty-one years after the show started, I can still remember Jason before he was the Red Ranger, doing a demo and something called a Tornado Kick. “Wow,” I thought, “That is awesome! I need to learn that!” Since then, I’ve studied four different martial arts and I’ve never heard of a Tornado Kick, although it may exist. Regardless, watching those guys beat up putties every episode just made my 9-year-old life. I am thankful for and credit Tokusatsu with giving me my love for the martial arts. I have been studying Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (Ninjutsu) for the last six years. It has been a profound influence on my life and has transformed me for the better. From time to time, I’ll think of Jason the Red Ranger, Tommy the Green Ranger, and all of the other Rangers who set me on that path a long time ago. I still watch these kinds of things from time to time (if you haven’t seen Alien vs Ninja you’re missing out), and I always try to pick out the martial “moves” in every single one.
What kind of impact have shows or movies from this genre had on you? Let us know in the comments!
Have you heard the latest episode of The JustUs Geeks Podcast yet? WHY NOT?!? Listen to it here!
Here’s lots of other things you can also do: