Thursday, November 13, 2008

1970s series "Inazuman" arrives on Region 1 DVD

by Chris MaGee

As much as I lean towards the classic and art house in terms of my taste in Japanese films I have to admit that recently I've become more and more intrigued by tokusatsu TV series like "Ultraman" and "Kamen Rider" if only for the fact that after a killer day at work what would you rather do? Immerse yourself in the quiet desperation of an Ozu or Naruse film or watch a bunch of guys in unitards wrestle with rubber monsters? (Wait, that didn't come out sounding right...) So, maybe you can't live off cinematic junk food, but for those nights when all you need is a big bowl of Kraft Dinner and something in the DVD player to make you laugh then Generation Kikaida has something perfect: "Inazuman".

The original 25 episode series aired on NET (what would later become TV Asahi) between April and September of 2004 and chronicled the adventures of Goro Watari, a college student with a secret. It turns out he's a mutant who has the power to transform himself into not one, but two different personas: a creature that looks like a bargain basement version of the Fantastic Four's The Thing named Sanagiman and of course the half-man/ half-moth superhero Inazuman. Along with the rest of the members of The Youth League, a group of equally uncanny mutants, Goro/ Sanagiman/ Inazuman spends the series fighting the evil extraterrestrial forces of The Neo-Human Empire’s Fantom Army (that's a mouthful).

Now Generation Kikaida, a Hawaiian-based distributor specializing in tokusatsu and henshin hero TV series, is releasing the all 25 "Inazuman" episodes in a Region 1 English subtitled 4-disc collector's box set. Of course it includes extras and interviews, but what's important is that it includes hours of comic relief like in this YouTube clip below. After I save my coin for the Eclipse "Fallen Women" Kenji Mizoguchi box set I know what'll be next for me.

Thanks to SciFi Japan for the heads up.

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