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Metal Hero Series Review: Chojinki Metalder

It's pretty late to give Metalder a birthday cake but this year is his 30th anniversary. Other shows that are celebrating it are Maskman and Kamen Rider Black. In honor of the ambitious Metal Hero series, I'd like to write a Metalder review.

Plot

Metalder's plot follows with Dr. Ryuuichirou Koga who creates the robot Ryusei Tsurugi in the image of his dead son Tatsuo Koga. Tatsuo was a soldier who died in October 1944 during World War 2. After the fall of Imperial Japan and the rise of modern Japan the newest threat known as the Neros Empire rises up in the bid for world domination. Only one superhero could destroy this threat and he's known as Superhuman Metalder.

Main hero 

Metalder is disguised as Ryusei Tsurugi to blend in with the human world. But when danger arrives he must revert back to his true self as Superhuman Metalder. Springer is his robot dog who assists in in some way. He also meets the reporter Mai Oogi and the motorcyclist Hakko Kita. He learns what it means to be human from them. Along the way, he also meets other members of Neros Empire who may still have a heart while learning how dark humanity's heart can get with Emperor God Neros. He also gains an ally in Topgunder who used to be part of the Neros Empire. 

Neros Empire

The main villain Emperor God Neros may have been named after the historical Emperor Nero. He has a dual identity as Gozo Kirihara but he's in reality the evil emperor in human disguise. Kirihara Konzern (or concern) which is a merger of several legally independent entities into one company. Kirihara appears to be a well-intended philanthropist while secretly hatching his plans for world domination. He's also very cruel towards his subordinates failure's not an option. Ask everyone who's been in the scrap heap. He's not your typical Toku villain as he appears more cruel and ruthless foregoing typical idiotic. Instead, he focuses on trying to take over the world while seeking new ways to eliminate his archenemy Metalder. 

The Neros Empire has four armies namely the Armored Army (headed by Victorious Coolgin), the Robotic Army (headed by Victorious Saint Valsky), the Monster Army (headed by Victorious Saint Geldring) and the Armament Army (headed by Victorious Saint Dranger). Each one of them sends their armies in the quest for world domination. Not all of them are fully evil as some of them end up paying the ultimate price for betrayal. They are dominated only by the survival of the fittest by their evil emperor.

Closing words

The series itself is pretty ambitious and innovative for an 1980s series. I wished that the series itself would last up to 50 episodes but it was cut down to 39 episodes only. It's probably because it's a very high budget production. While Maskman was able to comply with the 50+ episode requirement but Metalder did not. In spite of that I still like this cult classic for all it stands for as another innovative series. 

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4 Responses
  1. This series is NOTHING Original as it is just a hitech version of Ishinomori's Kikaider. The 80s did have better SFX and costume then the 70s and the Saburo Yatsude Team created this series which worked because this show is a amalgamation of Tetsujin 28, Tetsuwan Atom and of course Kikaider.

    Instead of Professor Gills is the dreaded God Neros. Instead of a villainous android that is both his equal and greatest threat. Top Gunder covers Hakaider in that form. Before KR Black RX and Gingaman the 4 army brigade is done with this series. And the soundtrack is done by the Japanese Philharmonics instead of the TOEI Sound Studio.

    This series worked much better with the 501 episode package then 39 which was 12 episode short in ending the series as the finale was totally rushed. Metalder was so bad in ratings and TOEI brought back Kamen Rider with Black. The company just decided to kill the series immediately as it was wasting money. Between 1987-1989 they had three series but due to low ratings a mercy killing was inevitable to keep only two series which was a Sentai and a Metal Hero show and a Rider series was only available in three made for video and movie format in the great 90s.

    I hope SHOUT! Factory will get the rights to both Spielban and Metalder as those shows are in my bucket list!


  2. Also to add, the series had some great alumni's. Actor who plays Kirihara also played Spider-Man(Marvel/TOEI production)
    Hakko Kita is played by Former Change Griffin/Sho Hayate.
    Minus Hiroshi Tsuburaya, the rest of the JAC alumni that starred in Space Sheriff and Sentai series appeared in a two parter of anti Neros fighters.


  3. V Says:

    FTR, Chojinki Metalder, Jikuu Senshi Spielban and Uchuu Keiji Shaider were kitbashed by Saban into VR Troopers


  4. Imagine the alternate history, what if after KR Black Rx, instead of long hiatus and the three 90's KR movie, another regular KR TV series still continue to exist. Wanted but wasted.


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