The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Posts Tagged ‘Japanned’


Posted by Matt on March 6, 2010

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Posted by Matt on January 7, 2010

School is underway, but for now nothing is particularly intense. So, I think it’s time to have some fun again.

After discovering this video, I became enamored with some of the characters of the Kinnikuman franchise (which I was aware of, but not particularly knowledgeable about). I mean, this is a franchise that has weird, cartoony characters as wrestlers, with delightfully simple concepts. In particular, the villains are hilariously insane.

Yes, these are the are the terrifying forces of darkness that plagued the superheroes of the Kinnikuman universe, often proving more than a match for any of them, with the standard last minute trickery or surge of power used to finally stop them. But as silly as they appear, you have to remember that the character design in the series seems to consist of taking any household object and turning it into a wrestler (which, really, when you’re writing something as goofy as this, seems to be an entirely practical way to approach this), so it could be entirely feasible that out of the object-people, these ones ended up being super-powered by Satan (that’s the actual backstory for them, by the way).

Let’s take a closer look at some of my favorites:

Maybe one of the lesser designs in terms of overall silliness, Sneagator still stands out for the bizarre combination of things he is. Not simply an alligator who wears sneakers, which is pretty neat, he is in fact an alligator wearing sneakers who is also a giant sneaker (thus, the laces). Aside from being an alligator and thus having all that entails, he also has the power to transform into anything that matches his leathery hide, primarily a giant dinosaur claw. There’s far more going on with this character than meets the eye!

Planetman is a man…made from planets. It’s sublime, don’t you think? He doesn’t have much in the way of extra fun details, except that he wears a mask, and that his head is really the mysterious planet Vulcan. He doesn’t really need that many extra things, though, because he is just a simple, fun concept. I mean, fuck, he’s made of planets!

This, my friends, is SteCasseKing, the warrior walkman. Like Planetman, his concept and design are just simple and fun, although SteCasseKing also has a classical toy robot aesthetic that gets him bonus points as well. For fighting techniques, his gimmick was that he had tapes that he could insert into himself to give him the signature moves of other wrestlers, being the requisite copycat. Using his headphone feet, he can also jump on opponents’ heads and pump loud music into their heads, making him even more deadly.

You don’t get much simpler than Springman, folks. He is a spring, and that’s that. But like Planetman and SteCasseKing, the simplicity works for him. The fact that he is also deadly, as can be seen in the picture, works for him to. Name me one other piece of fiction where a spring with arms and legs was a major antagonist? I don’t think you can. Probably for a reason, but Kinnikuman gets away with it.

Unfortunately, I was not able to find a picture of The Mountain or Junkman on a quick GIS, and I am not putting any more effort into this than I have to. But they are notable, so I’m going to talk about them anyway. So the next part will be sans images, but I’ll point out who they are in the group shot (if you can’t figure that out yourself).

The Mountain doesn’t even need ‘-man’ as a suffix, that’s how awesome he is. He is a literally a mountain, and is wearing a karate gi. Again, it’s such a simple idea, but it works incredibly well. Even compared to some of the other brilliant designs, he just might be my favorite, because he is A MOUNTAIN IN A KARATE GI WHO IS A WRESTLER. A wrestling mountain is something me and my ilk are not ingenious enough to design (the fact that many of these characters were often designed by children and sent to the comic’s author just shames us further.)

Junkman is simple, but simple than a different way than someone like Springman or The Mountain. His gimmick is that he has spiked blocks for hands, which defines his fighting style very clearly (hint: it involves the spiked blocks he has for hands). But you’re making up enemies for your character, that’s a reasonable goal for a design: Junkman looks deadly enough for the single battle he likely appeared in. His special power (aside from the obvious), apparently, is that he has a face on the back of his head. Details like that add to the overall quality.

There are other villainous characters worth note. I do like Sunshine (the big blocky guy, who is made of gold and is therefor malleable and can transform into landmarks to stomp on opponents; I like the Moai Head quality he has, too) and Ashuraman (the blue guy). But these ones stray a little bit further from the point I was trying to make with my favorites, in that I have a childish inclination towards the simple and silly. I spent most of my childhood, and now most of my adulthood, making up silly characters, and these are the kinds of examples of that type of idea that I look towards.

I’ve wasted plenty of time in a thorough manner, I would say.

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Posted by Matt on December 15, 2009

(What it means)

I don’t know what’s weirder: the fact that there is an arcade game where Ferris Bueller headbutts people, or that there is a arcade game where Ferris Bueller headbutts people that also has 8-bit Beatles music as the soundtrack.

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Posted by Matt on December 7, 2009

Here’s something interesting:

An interview with the kid (now adult) who designed Bright Man in the Mega Man IV Boss contest

And the one who designed my most hated boss, Ring Man

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I’m onna roll lately

Posted by Matt on December 2, 2009

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