Friday, 4 February 2011

The Ten Types of Toku Fans

 The tokusatsu fandom is an interesting place to be. We may be small, but we've got plenty of personality and variety to make up for it. But though a fandom is always made up of individuals, you still find that the same opinions and "types" will crop up again and again - and tokusatsu fandom is no different. With the fandom stretching from Japan to America, and crossing all age ranges, I still keep coming across similar views and traits. Let's talk about those then, the ten most common types of tokusatsu fans I've seen in my travels. Get out a bingo card and see how many you've spotted too!

 10. People who think Shioya Shun's acting in Hurricanger was top notch
 Just kidding, nobody thinks this.

 9. People who get very upset if you call Super Sentai "Power Rangers"
 Okay, we've all met that person who looks at our Sentai videos and exclaims "it's Power Rangers!" Maybe you've even taken the time to explain the difference. But this particular kind of fan goes far beyond that into straitjacket territory. It's as if they have some kind of radar that lets them know whenever anyone has uttered the words "Super Sentai" and "Power Rangers" in the same sentence. Don't believe me? Pick a Sentai video on Youtube - any Sentai video on Youtube - and you will find them, making sure everyone there knows that a) Super Sentai is better than Power Rangers, okay, and b) they've seen Zyuranger.

8. People who know what Metal Heroes is
Worst Kamen Rider costume ever.
 Never mind that guy who's seen Zyuranger, have you seen Winspector? Because this person has, and it's very important everyone knows that. Despite the fact that a Metal Hero series hasn't aired on Japanese television since around roughtly the same time prohibition in the United States ended, these people are extremely distressed by the news that some other people haven't watched Shaider. Here's a fun experiment: tell them you don't even know what Shaider is and watch them only just escape a heart attack by the skin of their teeth.

7. Male idols angling for a part in Kamen Rider
 After witnessing what Kamen Rider has done for the careers of the likes of Odagiri Joe, Kaname Jun and Sato Takeru, there are plenty of male idols after a bit of that spotlight. But when you're up against so many other guys in the auditions, how do you make yourself stand out?

 I know! Post constantly on your blog about how much you love the series! Post pics of yourself fondling or licking Kamen Rider figures! If one of your friends is lucky enough to get himself a part, then start trailing him around the set for hours - and then post pictures of that to your blog too (perhaps after cropping out your now ex-friend's annoyed grimace)! You're on the right track now!

6. People who take suit actors very seriously
 Quick, tell me who performed the suit acting for NinjaBlack! And what colour underwear he wore on his first day! If you can't tell me within five seconds then we can't be friends anymore. Or at least, that's the kind of attitude you can expect to get from number six. While lots of us have particular suit actors who we admire or enjoy watching, there's a line, and that line is a dot in the far distance to these people. As far as they're concerned, tokusatsu is all about the suit acting; heck, you might actually manage to surprise one of them if you point out there are parts of the show where nobody's even wearing a suit.

5. Disgruntled Ultraman fans
 It's a funny coincidence that this comes in at number five, because worldwide there are only about five people who watch Ultraman. But they are loud. From listening to the way these fans talk, you'd imagine that The Man (read: Toei) has been keeping Ultraman down since the dawn of man. Sure, it's annoying when you love something and nobody else is interested, but Mebius didn't get the praise and accolades you think it deserved because it wasn't all that, not because there's a great Toei conspiracy to keep the huge alien man down.

4. People who will only watch Toei productions
 The natural enemy of a disgruntled Ultraman fan, number four is a more common creature. Behold the magnificent beast as it stalks through the message boards and LiveJournals of its peers; the look of blank disdain and slight worry on its features as it stumbles across a discussion of the Tomica Hero franchise. Then, with bright eyes, it discovers its prey hiding in the tall grass: the Takara fanboy.

3. People who think everything after 2001 was crap
Well, it's okay, but it's no J.
 According to number three, there's actually a quality forcefield in time, and it exists between 31st December 2001 and 1st of January 2002. You see, after 2002 the prophecy foretold that no tokusatsu would be good ever again - or something like that. Sure, not every modern toku series is going to be a winner, but to hear it from these fans you'd think everything pre-2002 was Academy Award worthy material, and everything after has basically just been written in Inoue Toshiki's vomit.

2. Sexually frustrated housewives
 Picture the scene: it's a Sunday morning and your husband's either working overtime at the office (again) or having the only lie-in he gets all week (again). And now your four year old wants you to watch his kid shows with him. But what's this? You weren't aware he'd started watching shows about pretty young men on motorbikes! Is that young man seriously wearing tight leather pants? Hallelujah!

 Seriously, look at the audience for a Kamen Rider event some time. Half the kids only came because their mothers dragged them.

1. Japanese children
 Well, they are the intended audience after all, no matter how much we'd all like to forget their existence. Stupid kids, ruining our kid's shows.



    You forgot the "W IS THE BEST SERIES EVER, YOU SHOWAFAGS HAVE SHIT TASTE FAIZ SUCKS" people as well--although you could group them with the "HEISEI IS TERRIBAD YOUR TASTE IS SHIT" people as well.


    Let me get English studenty at you about how deep and philosophical it is. The themes, man, the themes.

  3. Hi, I'm a #8, and how dare you not know what Metal Hero is, heathen. Kukuku. XD

  4. I think I fall under #4 - I've only watched a few Sentai series and every Heisei Kamen Rider. And like one episode of Juukou B-Fighter. :P

  5. and dont even start mentioning "Zaido" around these tokufans..OOOoops!!!

  6. Tofubeast, these days it's "W is overrateddddd" instead of "W IS THE BEST SERIES EVERRR"

  7. what? I still think W is one of the better KR entries. It's getting two V-Cinemas! :o

  8. I actually wasn't hugely into W, but I'm not going to complain about it on some stupid forum! I just watch the shows I do like. I generally try and stay away from toku forums now because I don't see why if you were a fan of something you'd hate most of it more than everyone else! Me not liking a show is relatively rare. Even Yami wo Terasu Mono grew on me.

  9. Whats wrong with showa? I like both eras, and i was blrn way after the showa era. My favorit kamen rider of all is takeshi hongo(ichigo)