Henshin Men is a weekly podcast that explores the fascinating world of Japanese superheroes and all their high flying (and high kicking) adventures.
Hosts Travis and Nathan will dive into series like Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, Ultraman, and Power Rangers episode by episode to look at the exciting, the silly, and the "WTH" moments from across the many decades these shows have been running.
Allow us to be the guides up the mountain of tokusatsu (Japanese special effects) content, and let us transform the way you see transforming heroes.
BONUS – MIFV x Omni Viewer x Henshin Men: Special Report on Ultraman Blazar
In this YouTube livestream, Nathan is joined by Ryan “The Omni Viewer” Collins (and Ryan’s sidekick, Snazzy Chapeau) to discuss the latest Ultra series, Ultraman Blazar. The show is so different from the rest of New Generation Heroes that it could arguably mark the start of a new era for the franchise. The “toyetic” elements are kept to a minimum; the tone is darker; and it bucks some of the typical Ultra tropes. These subjects and more are unpacked in this special crossover episode of Henshin Men!
070 – “Kamen Man” | Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider | Ft. Soundout12
In the final film/TV episode of this iteration of Henshin Men, Nathan invites YouTuber Soundout12 on to discuss the first (and only) official crossover between Japan’s biggest superheroes: Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider. This 1993 special, which is 80 minutes of retrospective documentary and ten minutes of glorious tokusatsu, has Shin Hayata and Takeshi Hongo joining forces to stop a combined kaijin/kaiju monster. It’s the one and only time the mad genius Keita Amemiya ever directed Ultraman (so far as we know). Yes, this breaks the podcast’s “legally available in the U.S.” rule, but can you blame us? See you next time for some Henshin Men V3 HYPE!
69 – “The Shocker Chainsaw Massacre” | Kamen Rider: The Next | Ft. Christopher Riner
“Sixty-nine, dudes!” And now that the obvious joke is out of the way: Christopher Riner returns as a second-time guest because Jake Hambrick was busy with family (good for him!). But Mr. Riner can’t help but ask, “Why me?” The film he discusses with Nathan, Kamen Rider: The Next, is a secret J-horror movie complete with a Sadako knockoff. (Making it accidentally perfect for Halloween season). To say it’s a far cry from its predecessor, Masked Rider: The First, would be an understatement. It’s dour, convoluted, and confusing. But it does do one thing better than The First. What’s that? Let’s just say it made Chris think Koichi Sakamoto was involved with this movie. Listen to hear this and more in the latest Henshin Men!
068 – I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Henshin Pose! | Masked Rider: The First | Ft. Jake Hambrick
Henshin Men goes from a reimagining of the original Kamen Rider (1971) to a reimagining of Kamen Rider Black and now back to what Nathan says is the superior reimagining of the 1971 series and manga: Masked Rider: The First (2005). He’s joined by aspiring podcaster Jake Hambrick to dive into this unique Japanese superhero film. It borrows more from Shotaro Ishinomori’s manga than the TV series, so it lacks tropes like the iconic henshin pose, and has an almost Sam Raimi Spider-Man flare to it. What truly makes it stand out, though, is its theme: the power of beauty. Throw in some great practical effects and solid fight scenes, and you have a winner in the remake debate.
067 – “Double Cannibalism?! One Star!” | Kamen Rider Black Sun Eps. 4-10 | Ft. Christopher Riner
Last fall, Nathan guest hosted on Tomi Trembath’s podcast, Giant-Sized Violence, as part of a crossover discussing Kamen Rider Black and its new remake, Kamen Rider Black Sun. Sadly, plans to discuss episodes 4-10 of Black Sun with Tomi fell through, so Nathan invited Christopher Riner, a hardcore listener of all his podcasts, to join him to suffer through, er, complete the coverage. This is by far the most violent and political tokusatsu Nathan has ever seen, and he’s not sure the Japanese filmmakers fully understood the cultural weight of the controversies they borrowed from American politics. It doesn’t help that the show has the subtlety of a sledgehammer with its themes and social commentary. But is it a worthy remake of a henshin hero classic? Chris and Nate don’t think so. Listen to find out why!
066 – “This Ain’t No Manga for Kids!” | The Kamen Rider Manga by Shotaro Ishinomori | Ft. Tomi Trembath
From TV to comics…or is it the other way around? That’s one question discussed by Nathan and his guest, Tomi Trembath the host of Giant-Sized Violence, as Henshin Men pivots to the Kamen Rider manga by the legendary Shotaro Ishinomori. This comic was created in tandem with the 1971 television series and published shortly before it premiered. However, the manga diverges drastically at points despite following a similar story. (Hongo becomes a brain in an android body?!) It would become a key influence and inspiration for other retellings of the original Kamen Rider story, such as Masked Rider: The First and Shin Kamen Rider (check out the previous episode for more on the latter). Marvel at Nathan and Tomi covering this 900-page tome in less than two hours! Enjoy!
Henshin Some More!
This s a fun and entertaining podcast for any fan of Kamen Rider! Definitely check it out if you’re a fan of henshin heroes!
The hosts just have a fun time, really enjoy listening.
Relatable and Educational
Fantastic podcast. These two guys do a great job of making the converation something both new fans of Tokusatu and seasons fans can take part in and grow from. I appreciate these guys a ton!