Yes, I understand that today is not actually Tuesday, but I hope to make this weekly/bi-weekly feature fall on Tuesdays, so, while today happens to technically be Wednesday, we’re going to pretend that I posted this at least 2 hours earlier than I actually have XD.
I present: Toku Tuesday!
AT4YT will be highlighting noteworthy figures and series in the realm of tokusatsu as weekly as possible, what with my return to the work force and school and all. In any event, the first featured “special effect” series is a doosy. I bet many of you have never even heard of this answer to Saban’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers by DIC Entertainment and USA Network bay in 1994…
Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills – Ep. 1: “In The Beginning…”
Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, this really aired on USA during the ’94-’95 season. Yes, I really did watch this show as a kid, and I remember it well.
Needless to say, this show failed on so many levels, not the least of which is the gawd-awful, ridiculously too long title. Seriously, what made anyone think teenagers with tattoos fighting generic stock monsters-of-the-day Ultraman style would be good? How does being from Beverly Hills make these kids at all relateable to a kid like me, raised in the modest suburbs of Nashville? And, for the record, those kids certainly look nothing like kids to me in those latex suits. They more like down on their luck body builders trying desperately to look like they know some martial arts. Then there’s the mentor… thing. A massive snot wad that etches tatts with one mucus covered hand and speaks like a narrator off a bad 80’s cartoon. Zordon it’s not, try as it did.
If you thought the Angel Grove kids accepted Zordon’s selection with little fight, these idiots actually get excited about the prospect of risking their lives for all of the universe in less time than it took them to actually understand the nonsense the talking booger was explaining to them about the villain, who’s so retarded I will spare him from further bashing simply because it can’t possibly be his fault for being so laughably stupid. The suits are ugly as hell and the masks don’t even shield the eyes – these “Galactic Sentinels” are just reject luchadors. Reject luchadors that don’t even know the very constellations they happen to be named after. Centaur and Apollo wear the wrong symbols as tatts (Sagittarius and Aquarius respectively). And, let us not forget that these heroes must travel al the way to the snot-cave to henshin via portal so that they can travel to the battle via teleport every time. Why aren’t the tattoos themselves the henshin device?
Now, why did I chose something so obviously lame to inaugurate a new feature that should be so epic? Simple, without this little misstep, Saban may never have had the courage to give us The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg. Sure, that’s a stretch considering the success of Power Rangers and Beetleborgs, but still… Original American toku is original American toku… Besides, I never said ALL toku was awesome.
There you go, I’ve scarred you all for life with this first Toku Tuesday. Next time, we go to the mecca of tokusatsu, the Land of the Rising Sun, for some real goodness. Stay tuned.