Kamen Rider V3 DVD Box Set To Be Released by Hawaii Company

HONOLULU—Building on the successful release of its “Kikaida” DVD series, Hawaii based production house JN Productions (JNP) announced the upcoming release of a lavish box set featuring one of the most popular and enduring franchises in the Japanese superhero galaxy. The “Kamen Rider V3” box set will be available starting Friday, November 18 exclusively at Shirokiya in Hawaii and through the “Generation Kikaida” web site (www.generationkikaida.com).

“I just want to say, ‘At last!’ said Joanne Ninomiya, JN Productions owner and president. “Tokusatsu fans have been hounding us for three years, for the ‘Kamen Rider V3’ series, ever since the ‘Kikaida’ DVD was released.”

The 6-disc collector’s edition “Kamen Rider V3” box set features 52 English-subtitled episodes, with digitally remastered video and audio, and an array of special features sure to delight Japanese superhero fanboys and girls. JNP and Shirokiya are selling the V3 box set at a special introductory price of $169; the item’s regular retail price will be $199.

Each disc in the “V3” DVD series contains nine episodes and behind-the-scenes episode factoids, meticulously researched by August Ragone, a Bay Area-based tokusatsu (“special effects production”) devotee. Ragone also contributed two in-depth “V3”
background essays. The sixth disc contains six episodes and includes the following bonus special features: an exclusive interview with flamboyant “V3” star Miyauchi Hiroshi; character profiles (complete with sound effects) providing thumbnail introductions to 71 “V3” heroes and villains; six karaoke music videos; a “V3” trivia quiz; cast and character information; and more factoids.

As was the case with “Kikaida,” JNP aimed to please both hardcore live-action superhero enthusiasts and a more mainstream audience. The opening billboard on each disc—each featuring a different Kikaida- or Kamen Rider V3-related character racing across the JNP logo—is a playful nod to dedicated tokusatsu fans by Robby Gaskell, JNP senior DVD producer. Gaskell spent countless hours restoring the picture quality and color of the original program.

“This is definitely our best work to date,” said Gaskell. “I feel it's the perfect balance of artistic interpretation and homage to the original [V3] series.” “JNP can proudly say that all production work for this limited edition DVD was done entirely in Hawaii,” added Ninomiya.

And if most “Kamen Rider V3” fans aren’t interested in the minutia of technical DVD authoring challenges, they’ll appreciate the end result—the complete, fully-subtitled “V3” series, a host of fun special features, and eye-catching, easy-to-use disc menu design.

“On the surface [the DVD is] bonkers with lightning bolt graphics, karaoke music videos and character sound effects, but when you dig into it, there is an abundance of information to satisfy the 'super-otaku' [‘geek’] in everyone,” Gaskell said.

The user interface on each disc is a delight with vibrant scenes from each episode. The Japanese-to-English translation—by veteran JNP translators Ruby Nagao and Roy Mashima (with assistance by Ragone)—is spot on and includes an “expletives-deleted” option.

The “Kamen Rider V3” series first aired in Japan from 1973-1974. The show, the second installment of Tokyo-based Toei Company’s hit “Kamen Rider” live-action superhero franchise, actually preceded “Kikaida” on Japanese television; the order was reversed in Hawaii, where “V3” debuted in Hawaii in 1975 on the original KIKU-TV. JNP aired the series recently on Oceanic Time-Warner Cable’s “78 Hawaii” channel in Hawaii.

The “V3” series tells the story of a young Japanese university student and motorcross phenom Kazami Shiro (Miyauchi Hiroshi), who vows to avenge the brutal murder of his family by taking on the sinister Destron organization. After suffering a near-fatal injury at the hands of the ruthless syndicate, Shiro is revived as the mighty cyborg, Kamen Rider V3. Drawing on the power of his Double Typhoon henshin (“transformation”) belt, Kamen Rider V3 battles mighty mutant monsters dispatched by Destron.

Although Toei Co. produced both the “Kikaida” and “Kamen Rider” series, the “V3” monsters are more devilish than the colorful, comical Kikaida adversaries. Similarly, the “V3” series’ pyrotechnics are more explosive, and the stunts more exciting. Both heroes were the brainchild of the late, great Japanese manga artist, Ishinomori Shotaro.

Both Shirokiya and the official Generation Kikaida online store (www.generationkikaida.com/store) are taking pre-orders for the V3 box set. For more information, call 808-845-8567 or go to the official Generation Kikaida website
at www.generationkikaida.com.