Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Ninja Captor, the Toku Series That Heavily Influenced Mega Man's Design, is Now on YouTube

Several years ago, Mega Man creator Akira Kitamura revealed that he initially wanted Mega Man's appearance to change whenever players equipped a different Weapon. Although this idea wasn't fully realized until Mega Man 11, the concept has been there since the very beginning, owed in part to a little television program called Ninja Captor.

In an 2011 Rockman Maniax interview (translated by Shmuplations), Kitamura said:

"In the beginning, I imagined a character like Mega Man equipped with some kind of weapon, but when you transformed, your whole appearance would change. You know that little protrusion on the top-front of Mega Man’s helmet? When you changed weapons, it was supposed to change like the Ninja Captor character’s helmets, and show a little symbol depending on the weapon’s element (fire, water, lightning, etc)."

Unfortunately for Kitamura's team, they weren't "allowed to use symbols like that".  They were concerned about infringing on Ninja Catpor's copyright, in other words. Instead, programmer Matsushita-san came up with the idea for Mega Man's color changing mechanic; a trait that has followed the blue bomber ever since.

Today, we can look back on Ninja Captor with posterity. Thanks to Toei's newly launch "Tokusatsu World" YouTube channel, we can watch the show with English subtitles for free and legally. I've embedded the first episode above.

If you've never seen 70s tokusatsu, you're in for quite the treat!


  1. Might be cute to watch a bit purely out of curiosity, though I currently want to finish Timeranger and start on Gaoranger before I consider other toku shows.

    1. I never knew this. Interesting.

      As a side note, I recently finished Ohranger. I wanted to watch the original shows in Japanese from what I saw back in the day, before I stopped watching Rangers, which is Zyuranger, Dairanger, Kakuranger and Ohranger.
      Zyuranger is good. The ones after that were not as interesting... I think I'm done with toku and super sentai for now.

    2. Of the ones you mentioned, I'd personally rank them:

      Dai > Kaku > Zyu > Oh.

    3. I've always been a fan of the Green Ranger/Dragon Ranger. It was awesome seeing the original.
      For me it's Zyu > Dai/Kaku > Oh
      Dai gets more interesting near the end. Kaku is more comical all around. Oh was just disappointing compared to what I recall from Zeo.
      I stopped watching a few episodes into Turbo.

  2. Missed 70's. Haha. This is great!

  3. This show is awesome.

  4. Ninja Captor is one of the best toku shows out there.

  5. Interesting to know that Mega Man changing form was a idea present from the begining.

  6. Definitely going to watch it next time if feel like watching some old school toku.


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