"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monster of the Month

デストロン怪人 ハサミジャガー 「仮面ライダーV3」より

©Ishimori Productions/Toei Company

Height: 194 cm • Weight: 86 kg • Origin: Atacama Desert, Chile • Original Appearance: KAMEN RIDER V3 (1973-74) Episode 1 "Rider No.3: His Name is V3!" & Episode 2 "The Last Testament of the Double Riders" • Design: Shotaro Ishimori/Akira Takahashi • Fabricator: Ekisu Productions • Suit Actor: Sadao Kobayashi • Voice Actor: Ritsuo Sawa

Surviving the destruction of Gel-Shocker, the fiendish Great Leader reorganized his forces into more powerful Destron organization. Destron’s first "hybrid mutant," fused with mechanical weaponry, was Scissors Jaguar. His mission, under Destron’s “Operation: Tokyo Annihilation”, was to eliminate witnesses of Destron’s movements, including Junko Tama, and the Kazami Family, who gave her shelter. Scissors Jaguar’s second mission was to destroy the headquarters of the Rider Boy Scouts, and its chief, Tobei Tachibana. While the tables are turned when Kamen Rider V3 arrives on the scene, Scissors Jaguar is joined by Turtle Bazooka to fight all three Kamen Riders.

Arguably, the Destron Mutants designed and created for KAMEN RIDER V3 were the pinnacle of the Kamen Rider series of the 1970s, including Scissors Jaguar. The exceptional synergy in the teamwork on this series, from Ishimori's rough sketches, refined by Takahashi, and realized by Ekisu Productions (under the guiding hand of creative producer Tohru Hirayama), rank as some of the finest ever crafted for a tokusatsu series. While there were many well-executed mutants in the series that followed, none of them had the iconic charm and dynamic look of the Destron Mutants. And you know what? They’re just cool as hell, too.


Mitchell said...

Always a fan of the Godzilla movies from the 70's, ( and all things from the decade ) I just happened upon your awesome site, and dug in. Really good meat to sink any fans teeth into here. I shall return!

August Ragone said...

Thanks, Mike! And don't forget to tell your friends!


xenorama said...

shiii-saaa! man you know a lot about these creations. this is the same X Productions that helped out on Infra-man, right?

great stuff!

August Ragone said...

Thanks for the compliments! Now, while some claim that 「エキスプロ」transliterates as "X Productions," but I haven't seen any Japanese documentation to prove it. If someone has such materials, I'd be very happy to see them — I always welcome learning new things.

The common Japanese phonetic rendering of "X" in katakana is 「エックス」— read as "Ekkusu" — while 「エキス」is read as "Ekisu." Could this be a romanization of another word? I've had a good hunch for years, but never explored it. So, stay tuned...

Yes, you're right, Ekisu Productions was hired by Shaw Brothers for some work on SUPER INFRAMAN, including production designs. Check out the liner notes booklet in the Image Entertainment DVD for the film and read more about their involvement in the production!


xenorama said...

yes, find out, inquiring minds want to know! LOL!
mostly that was me being lazy, since "X" was so much easier to write out. so don't mind me at all 'bout that.
by the way, did i mention what a good job you and Damon did on the INFRA-MAN booklet?

Anonymous said...

I am new to your site, but I am in love with your monster of the week section. They are my favorite part of Tokusatsu.

Will we be seeing some Sentai baddies in the future?

August Ragone said...

Eventually, you will indeed see some Sentai Series monsters spotlighted in "Monster of the Week"!