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.
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.
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.
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 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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