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Does Toei Have A Soft Spot For The American-Produced Robocop?

In July 17, 1987 the Robocop movie came to the silver screen.  The story of Robocop involved the police officer known as Alex Murphy, who after being severely mutilated was revived into the powerful crime fighting cyborg know as Robocop.  Later, the franchise would end up getting some tributes by Toei Ltd.

Mobile Cop Jiban

Following the success of Robocop, Jiban premiered on January 29, 1989 as a Robocop-inspired Metal Hero.  The story of Jiban featured Naoto Tamura a rookie detective who was injured by a mutant monster known as a Bionoid monster.  Dr. Kenzo Igarashi the man who was responsible for the birth of the Bioron Syndicate decided to take responsibility - revived Naoto Tamura into the monster-slaying Robocop known as the Mobile Cop Jiban.  Unlike Robocop, the hero Naoto could still revert to his human form whenever he needed to blend with the populace.  He would also go around Japan where he fought the monster of the week that would disguise itself as a human to avoid immediate detection from the public.  His archenemy Dr. Giba was disguised as a human, but in reality he was born from a laboratory accident is determined to wipe out the human population.  What might be interesting is that while it was said that Space Sheriff Gavan inspired Robocop's design, Jiban would slay away the Bioron with a lightsaber-like weapon.   

Special Police Robo Janperson

On January 31, 1993 it was time for Special Police Robo Janperson.  Unlike Jiban, the show wasn't your average Tokusatsu with a monster of the week or just one enemy organization.  Instead, Janperson was introduced in a fashion similar to Robocop with him how he came into town as the new crime-fighting hero of a crime infested Tokyo.  He must also fight against the three major criminal organizations such as Tatewaki Konzern, Neo-Guild and Super Science Network who are all beyond the local police's control.  Instead of fighting monsters of the week, he was in charge of fighting the three major criminal organizations, Robocop-style.  Like the Robocop TV series that came after it, the show focused on crimes breaking out and Janperson is there to stop whatever plans the evil organizations have in mind.  The Tatewaki Konzern was a mafia network that practically ran almost everything in Japan while headed by a Boddicker-type villain with Ryuzaburo Tatewaki.  The Neo-Guild was an organization led by the god-complex villain George Makebe.  Super Science Network was a bio-terrorist organzition led by a more sinister version of Juliette Faxx in Reiko Ayanokouji.  The whole show may be pretty weird at first but later stuff like Janperson's origins would be explored as the series goes on.  Overall, my favorite Robocop tribute.

Gekisou Sentai Carranger's Signalman

Carranger premiered in March 1, 1996 which would be two years after the Robocop TV series ended its television broadcast.  While Signalman was more of a minor character, I still cannot help but call him a Robocop tribute and parody.  Appearance-wise, he is really reminiscent to Robocop but he is actually no slain policer but some kind of robotic lifeform.  His task is also similar to Robocop namely to serve the public trust, protect the innocent and uphold the law at a galactic scale.  What was not so surprising was that he actually had a wife and a son, similar to how Alex Murphy also has a wife and son.  Unlike Robocop, his wife named Sigue and son named Sigtaro are also both metallic like him, and from his home world the Police Planet has its people looking like a modified version of Robocop, 'nuff said.

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5 Responses
  1. I agree with this. Toei has the right to own half of American stuff. There isn't anything wrong with it.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    This is not news. The early Metal Heroes series base a lot of their designs on Robocop.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Um...Yeah. They do have a soft spot for Robocop.
    Especially since Robocop was inspired by Their character/series Space Sheriff Gavan. This is a pretty well-known thing about Robocop.
    So really, they're not so much referencing or tributing a western series with this, but possessing symbolization more along the lines of the one that started the metal heroes shows, with visual cues homaging a work such in turn influenced, and just general police officer elements that are NOT solely the domain of Robocop.
    hell, they reference stuff that predates Robocop more prominently than Robocop.
    Consider doing some Research, Sean? And you're really not drawing any conclusions or doing compare/contrast work. to warrant a question in the header, you just gave a short summary of Four visually similar characters. The Four used here really don't share much aside from superficial similarities, and you've brought up nothing BUT superficial your last few articles for Jefusion, come to think of it.

  4. Kelleth Says:

    Robocop takes from8-man and Gavan, its only natural Toei takes some stuff back.

  5. HuhWha... Says:

    Could it also be they maybe have a soft spot for 8-Man? - Buy Video Games for Consoles and PC - From Japan, Korea and other Regions
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