Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Past and Present: Gaoranger's Futaro

 Looking at the career of an actor post-tokusatsu can get pretty interesting. Naturally you've got the alumni we all know about, like Kamen Rider Kuuga's Joe Odagiri or Kamen Rider Den-O's Takeru Sato, both now so famous it's hard to miss them, but what about the alumni who take more unusual career paths post-tokusatsu? What about the ones who go on to do something other than act? Or even the ones who apparently just drop off the face of the planet?

Gaoranger's Futaro
 2001's Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger featured a young boy by the name of Futaro, a cute little guy who popped up towards the end of the series. As a rule it seems like starring in a Toei production as a kid gets you going places, so what happened to this particular child?

 Futaro was played by a young Daiki Arioka, all of ten years old at the time. He went on to join Johnny's Jimusho, Japan's best-known talent agency, in 2003, where he remains to this day. However now he's better known for being a member of boyband Hey! Say! JUMP, who released their first single in 2007. He continues to act in the occasional drama, most recently in 2008's Scrap Teacher.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Five Things Toei Loves

 Watch a handful of Sentai shows and a couple of Kamen Riders, and you'll start noticing similarities. It's not just you: there are just some tropes and plots that Toei uses again and again. Sure, at a glance the tragic melodrama of Kamen Rider 555 and the feel-good family hijinks of Mahou Sentai Magiranger have nothing in common, but there are some plots and themes that Toei just can't keep itself away from.