Posts Tagged ‘action heroes’

Local hero Ryujin Mabuya to save the day

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

This month an unusual tokusatsu hero appeared on TV screens throughout Tokyo. Hailing from Okinawa, Ryujin Mabuya has an accent so thick that subtitles appear at the bottom of the screen to help viewers of TOKYO MX understand the dialogue. Despite, or perhaps because of this strong regional flavor, the channel is obviously anticipating that the show will have a wide appeal as it is broadcast on Saturdays between 18:15 and 18:30.

According to Cyzo, it’s the first time that TOKYO MX has picked up a local hero show but they reckon that it’ll pay off. Prior to its Tokyo debut on Oct. 1, a DVD box set of the show went on sale nationwide. The event to promote the sale of the DVD organized by TOKYO MX was packed to the gills with enthusiastic fans and the channel received over 2,000 applications for 250 available pairs of tickets.

Local, or gotouchi heros, often used to promote moral values to children in their region, have been popular for some time and some even make it to nationwide fame. Take Hokkaido’s Marimokkori, for example, whose likeness is seen reproduced on cell-phone charms or stuffed toys throughout the country. Ryujin Mabuya is already hugely popular in Okinawa and, at its height of popularity, the show had 17.8% viewing figures. Now it’s been picked up by TOKYO MX, the hero’s status is likely to rise even higher.

The show is full of local character: Shisaa (lion dog) statues, which can often be seen guarding homes in Okinawa from evil spirits, suddenly come to life, eyes flashing red as they shoot up into the sky and Ryujin Mabuya’s enemy, Habu Devil, has distinctive snake arms calling to mind Okinawa’s famous habu awamori (a distilled rice liquor that contains a snake).

Unlike other tokusatsu that feature storylines in which good conquers evil, the conclusion of a Ryujin Mabuya series has this hero reconciling with his enemy, showing local children the power of forgiveness. That doesn’t stop Habu Devil and his Devil Gang from getting up to lots of mischief in the meantime, giving viewers the chance to witness lots of glorious fights between our hero and his colorfully costumed enemies.

At the start of next year, a Ryujin Mabuya movie will be released nationwide after first being shown on local Okinawan TV. If successful, 2012 could be the year in which this local hero breaks into the big time.

RSS

Recent Posts

  • 100 years of Japanese beauty in one minute

    Cut is setting its lens on Japan as it shows the dramatic changes Japanese women have gone through in the past century.

  • Studio Ghibli on a roll with licenses for new toys

    Nibariki has new wind-up toys inspired by Studio Ghibli’s “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.”

  • ‘Japan Sumo Cup’ is possibly the most Japanese thing ever

    In this rhythm game, players choose a real sumo player, ride an actual race horse and compete against characters from “Street Fighter.”

  • YouTubers in Japan with 100,000 fans and counting

    YouTube threw a big celebration for more than 20 YouTubers living in Japan who have over 100,000 subscribers.

  • Finding laughs in translations that have lost the plot

    The Orikaeshi Honyaku Dictionary site, which boasts the catchphrase “from Japanese to Japanese,” roughly translates as “Chinese whispers.”

  • Japan tricks out the Halloween treats

    Halloween is a time to carve pumpkins, enjoy a few scares and, most importantly, shovel as much candy as humanly possible into one’s own mouth. While the practice of door-to-door trick-or-treating may not be a thing in Japan, the custom of eating special Halloween snacks certainly translates. Plenty of companies, both overseas and domestic, are […]

  • Ginza Cozy Corner takes dessert into hyperdrive with ‘Star Wars’ cakes

    One Japanese confectionary vendor is about to find the Force deep within a sweet tie-up. Ahead of the December release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Ginza Cozy Corner, which has outlets nationwide, has made a line of “Star Wars” sweets that are truly out of this world. The treats themselves are all based on people […]

  • Warning: This viral video of high school girls might make you blush

    Cosmetic company Shiseido has recently uploaded a YouTube video that is blowing viewers’ minds with a bona fide twist. In the promo video, titled “High School Girl? — The Makeup Secrets of High School Girls,” the camera weaves through a classroom full of drop-dead cute young women who pout and wink like true pop idols. […]

  • Sharp dials up the fan service to celebrate 20 years of ‘Evangelion’

    For those who have always dreamed of owning an Evangelion robot, this might be the closest you get. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the popular “Neon Genesis Evangelion” animated series, Sharp is releasing a special smartphone that pays homage to the show both in the device’s hardware and software. The phone itself is detailed […]

  • Tokyo plugs into Google Play Music

    If you haven’t heard the latest news from Google Play, you may have missed your opportunity to tune into a Google Play Billboard. From Oct. 8-24, music lovers can head over to Shibuya to, literally, plug into a selection of over 3,500 songs. The Google Play Billboard is meant to give visitors a much-needed chance […]