Superhero show Gunblade mixes Power Rangers with Iron Man (Wired UK)

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Take one part teenagers with attitude, add billion-dollar
battlesuits, and throw in a handful of giant monsters to fight. Mix
well, and the result is going to look something like
Gunblade, an upcoming live-action superhero show that
blends the best of Power Rangers and Iron
Man

Gunblade Trailer at Licensing Expo 2014prsamuraicast

Koichi Sakamoto isn’t the best-known name in pop culture but
chances are anyone under 35 is at least aware of his work. The
long-time producer and stunt co-ordinator on the Power
Rangers
franchise, Sakamoto has produced hundreds of episodes
of kids’ action entertainment, both in the US and in his native
Japan. This week, he’s revealed 
Gunblade
to the world at the Licensing Expo in Las
Vegas, and for a series that’s aimed at kids, it looks surprisingly
awesome. 


Gunblade
Gunblade

A
new hero takes flight

© 2014 A mate Inc. & Gunblade
Culture Industry SPC


The series follows — cue press release — “the extraordinary
Gunblade Team, a six-member special missions unit, assembled to
protect and defend humankind against the evil Dr Dexter and his
super computer, Olympus”. Like many Japanese superheroes, the
concept gets increasingly, brilliantly, bonkers — Dr Dexter
unearths an ancient evil clan known as Gothic to assist in his
plans, while the heroes gain their powers from a smartphone with
custom apps called the GB Drive. So far, only the green-armoured
hero has been shown, with more to be
revealed. 


Gunblade
Gunblade

The
main hero of the upcoming series — more are certain to join
him

© 2014 A mate Inc. & Gunblade Culture Industry
SPC


The series is a Korean production, with a $20m budget –
fantastically high for the genre — and Sakamoto seems to have put
everything on the screen. Costume and armour designs are
considerably better than you’d see in Power Rangers, and
the CG effects, such as the internal helmet HUD seen in the
trailer, are taking a cue from Marvel’s Iron Man
movies. 


Gunblade
Gunblade

Iron
Man is a clear influence on Gunblade

© 2014 A mate Inc.
& Gunblade Culture Industry SPC


Shows like Gunblade are referred to as tokusatsu,
commonly ‘toku’ for short, a Japanese term used to describe special
effects-driven live action TV shows or movies, often blending in
martial arts combat. To most fans of the genre, it’s used to refer
to the likes of Super Sentai (the Japanese source material
for each year’s Power Rangers), Kamen Rider (no
relation), and Ultraman. However, it’s equally appropriate
to refer to kaiju (giant monsters such as Godzilla) or sci-fi
movies as tokusatsu. The TV heroes in particular owe much of their
existence to two men — Shotaro Ishinomori, who created Kamen
Rider
and Super Sentai, and Eiji Tsubaraya, the
mastermind behind Ultraman. From the late 1960s onwards,
hundreds of superheroes have graced Japanese screens, and even
familiar figures such as Spider-Man have gotten in on the
action: the 1978
toku Spidey
saw the webslinger reimagined as a Japanese
motocross racer who gets his powers from aliens and pilots a
leopard-themed giant robot. It’s basically
the best thing ever
.

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Gunblade will air in Asian territories from March 2015,
starting with South Korea, with European and American release
planned for 2016. Whether Sakamoto will ‘do a Power
Rangers
‘ and recast the out of costume scenes with western
actors or simply dub the existing episodes remains to be seen.

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20 June 2014 | 4:43 pm – Source: wired.co.uk
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