It had to happen sooner or later. Ended up being later.
For those that are unaware, I'm Mike Dent. Known as the host/producer of the podcast R5 Central, my recent claim to fame is through a little event called Tokusatsu or "Toku" Hell. That's right, the likes of Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and Ultraman in a Hell format. Our tagline is "If it involves spandex, rock quarries, and explosions, we've got it covered."
The whole thing started at ACen 2008 as I attempted to salvage the disaster that was my podcast panel. I had planned on doing something of a Hell format for half of the panel, then switch to a Robot Rumble-styled activity for the rest of it. Thankfully, the showcase ended up being the highlight of the evening. Sure, the high numbers were thanks to the "Free Yaoi" sign I posted outside the door but was still memorable. I think.
I retooled the format a bit, turning it into a non-stop Robot Chicken-ish showcase, and did "Toku Hell: Otakon Edition" at that year's "Henshin Heroes And You" panel. All edited and subbed using Windows Movie Maker. Why? Because I'm a cheap bastard. The last stop of the year ended up being at SITACon 2008 with the cleverly titled "Toku Hell: SITACon Edition". It was there when we had the legendary reaction, "THIS IS POWER RANGERS!!" This coming from a young woman in a china dress who felt the need to stand up and point at the screen in the middle of a Den Ace episode.
Jump-cut to the present: The chaos has begun once more with "Toku Hell: The Revenge!!" at Anime Central 2009. Together with Midwest Convention Cosplay Casanova, Cardcaptor Will, we unleashed a brand-new showcase on a standing-room only audience. We were the only Tokusatsu event of the con, meaning that we ended up getting the influx of fans pent up to get their fix. Thanks to an overall positive reception, we may end up running it next year. Hopefully next time though, we won't be rushed out of the room at the last minute by the oh so important "How to Write A Lemon" panel.
With the apparent demise of SITACon and the lack of a Tokusatsu panel at Otakon this year, the next appearance of this growing phenomenon remains uncertain. Until the next, stay tuned....and beware! Maybe.