So I'm pretty new to tokusatsu and had only seen a couple of kamen rider and sentai series. Recently I finished Ultraman X, and I was quite impressed with the actual special effects of it. They were much better than I've seen from Toei.
And now I actually want to watch some toku for what it is, special effects. So I'm wondering what are some of the best tokusatsu productions in terms of the special effects. I'm interested both movies and tv series.
If you like the action direction in Ultraman X, you should look out for stuff directed by Koichi Sakamoto
(yes, he even did power rangers)
He's one director that makes good use of both traditional and digital techniques, avoiding CGI-fests.
There's also the 90s movies by Keita Amemiya
>Kamen Rider ZO
>Kamen Rider J
>Mechanical Violator Hakaider
These movies are like the last bastion of traditional effects in tokusatsu. They still used stuff like puppetry and stop-motion. T2, Robocop, etc. tier of practical effects.
The first two seasons and the fourth season of Garo have some great suits and practical work in them, in addition to actually good looking CG.
If you want films, then I'd recommend the Daimajin Trilogy and the Heisei Gamera Trilogy, they both have terrific special effects.
Oh, also watch the short film Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo, god tier tokusatsu right there.
Man, I like Garo but I really hate the armor. Every time when there's extended action involving the armor it degenerates into TV-budget CGI. Especially the last few episodes when they go to funky dreamland and it's 100% CGI in some scenes.
I always thought the CG looked pretty good personally
Really? When you look at your screen cap, you can immediately tell what's CGI. Granted, GARO's CGI is slightly better in that they use MoCap for some bits, but it still stands out. It's not that bad for the monsters since the show has a lot of dark colors for them to blend into, but it's quite jarring for the shiny Makai Knights.
Of course I can tell it's CG but that doesn't make it look bad. The only CG in Garo I don't like is the Yamitera stuff and that's because it's ONLY CG and no suits at all
I watched Lament of the Dark Dragon and thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, it has a lot more CGI but it had good budget for decent CGI as well. It also helps that Kouga didn't have access to his armor much so there are plenty of out-of-suit swordplay.
My criteria for good CGI and effects in general is quite binary. If i can instantly tell that it's CGI, it's not a good effect.
I'm just annoyed about GARO because they like to do the grand scenes or finishers with full CGI and that kinda dampens the impact of the action overall.
GoldStorm does some nice things with its CG like making the shoulderpads wobble slightly or having reflections show up >>13756167
Other Kiyotaka Taguchi stuff that's good is Love & Peace and Gehara.
Godzilla vs. Biollante's pretty decent.
Lots of good disaster flicks and war films with great miniature work, too.
Really, most stuff is going to look more realistic than Toei hero shows, though.
If you want to see traditional tokusatsu effects, I would avoid Garo. The Garo shows have such a heavy emphasis on CGI that it barely resembles the medium it came from.
The 2004 Ultraman movie executes a CGI/practical effects approach wonderfully, I'd give that one a try.
it's not mechanical in the slightest, but Monkey is a cool show with some interesting effects
it's a basic Saiyuki story
dubbed in the UK, a bit chingchow in the voice acting but seems like it was meant in good fun
Early to Mid-90's Super Sentai is to my mind some of the greatest TV level tokusatsu effects ever produced. Some incredible model work in there. As you've seen with Ultraman, Tsuburya usually puts all their competitors to shame, try more of their shows.