Saturday, September 7, 2013

Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and other Tokusatsu in the US!

I did not expect this to happen... really, ever -- but, unless this is a big mistake, news is that Toei is launching a "Toei Japan Channel" - which will feature Tokusatsu shows in America. It's described as a pay service -- and English Subtitles will NOT be included for at least a year. (It would be coming, though. Right now, they want to focus on Japanese viewers living abroad)

This... this is a really unbelievable! Totally in a good way! But I'm still a little flabbergasted, that a true and legitimate way to watch Super Sentai, and other Tokusatsu programming, will be offered in America.

Thus far we've had to rely on the likes of TV Nihon -- who I'm very curious to see what their response to all of this is. They had stated before - that if these shows where offered in America, with English subtitles, then they would discontinue their translating efforts. The one lone release of the updated Kamen Rider movie is an example of this -- being removed from their site once it was licensed and brought over to America.

This, however, is not a single movie: this is... well... EVERYTHING! I don't know wether classic series would be translated as well - but even just doing the current series would be exceptional, and deeply gratifying to see available to an American audience.

This could literally change the face of Tokusatsu on the internet forever!

I'm of course excitedly leaping to conclusions -- but, if offered with subtitles, I would definitely subscribe to this channel. I think a whole lot of people would as well.

I really never thought Toei would actually do this. It's like a dream come true. But there have been small steps that have indicated that these companies are aware of Western interest in their shows. Actual Japanese products have been brought over to America (not through websites - but actually landing in American stores, via ToysRus) Shinkenger S.H. Figuarts came out in ToysRus a while ago -- and just a few weeks ago I saw Shinken-Oh (the Japanese version) on the shelf of a small mall ToysRus; Japanese packaging and everything! I would have been dragging that big box home, if not for the fact I bought the Japanese version many years ago. Super Sentai music was released on iTunes (still waiting for Kamen Rider ^_^) - but it was another encouraging sign, that the Western market place was becoming a more viable reality for real Tokusatsu products.

This could turn out to be a bust -- but I don't believe it will be. There really is a serious interest in these shows - so I would expect this Toei Japan Channel to be a success.

There could be changes coming!

Really, really interested to see what TV Nihon does. I think they would be glad to step aside, if Tokusatsu was offered like this. BUT would they still translate shows that don't appear on the network? Are they still going to operate, as is, until english subtitles are offered? If so - it might mean Kyouryuuger would be their last dubbed series, with only ssome of the next Super Sentai done -- assumedly, the next series would be cut off once Toei begins translating. (Would we see Kamen Rider Gaim translated all the way through, or just most of it, since its beginning next month?)

OR - TV Nihon might stop their dubbing immediately?

Its also worth noting - that, even with English Subtitles being offered - unless Toei hires people from TV Nihon - we likely won't see as good, or quality a translation as we might now be use to.

There sure are a lot of scary propositions coming out of this announcement! BUT - for a chance to see Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, in an official and above board manner -- it's change that will be welcome.

What do you think of this news? It seems like a dream come true -- but there are still a lot of unknowns, wether and how this all happens. How much would you be willing to pay, each month, if you where able to get episodes of the latest Super Sentai and Kamen Rider? Would other Tokusatsu shows be offered? Akibaranger? Would the quality of videos be good enough -- if everything is streaming? Would other languages be made available down the line?

All in all - this is a good thing. Tokusatsu is such an original and landmark product of Japan - and I'm very happy to see them finally sharing this product with the world -- unfiltered and unedited. However TV Nihon and other subtitling groups react - the ball will ultimately be in Toei's hands, especially once english subtitles are provided.

1 comment:

  1. It's ok you can post the tv shows directly from japan and they watch the classic super sentai series and kamen rider series in English subtitles for $20 a month to get it but I couldn't afford it. I watch kyouryugers and kamen rider every week and replay Over and over again on jefusion stream while watching classic digimon series and sometimes digimon fusion on Saturday is my epic moment of my life.