Shout! Factory brings Japanese series to North America

Toei Company and Shout! Factory join forces to bring the beloved Japanese series Kamen Rider Kuuga in North America for the very first time in a new Blu-ray collection for the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Title Kamen Rider Kuuga: The Complete Collection, the set includes 7 discs containing the complete original Japanese master of the series with subtitles – with and without translation for the diabolical Grongi – so that all fans can enjoy this long-awaited release. Pre-orders of Shout! The factory also comes with a limited edition poster while supplies last.

In Japan, the Kamen Rider The franchise is a children’s entertainment story, originally airing in 1971 and remaining the best children’s show for nearly 50 years now. The franchise follows various iterations of its titular masked motorcycle hero as they battle the forces of evil. Every racer and every relevant series has generations of fans who grew up watching them on TV. Despite its popularity overseas, it never caught on to the same degree in North America. Twice the United States attempted to adapt the series for Western audiences, much like they adapted it Super Sentai in Power Rangersbut both shows ultimately failed.

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Kamen Rider Kuuga kicked off the Heisei era of the show on television in 2000, following a typical guy named Yusuke Godai (Joe Odagiri) who is attracted to a legendary hero’s belt after it is discovered by archaeologists digging through the hero’s tomb. When they find the belt, however, they also release the Grongi, an ancient race of monsters who plan to end humanity as we know it. By uniting with the Belt, Godai takes the power of the legendary warrior Kuuga and becomes the last hope to save the human race from destruction.

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Alongside Odagiri, the series also featured Shingo Katsurayama, Kazumi Murata, Kitaro, Takashi Matsuyama, Nobuyuki Yoneyama, Shio Mizubara, Eri Tanaka, Wakana Chizakiand Kaori Mizushima. As for the entire Kamen Rider series, Kuuga was produced and released by Toei.

Shout! Factory was instrumental in getting older series like Kamen Rider home outings when it would otherwise be difficult to find them. Across its various branches, the company has a content library that includes TV series, movies, cartoons, and more. which it distributes in special versions for pop culture fans of all kinds. This isn’t the first time they’ve brought Toei-produced series to North American audiences, either. Previously, they released a Blu-ray collection for Kamen Rider Zero-One as well as several of the original Super Sentai series.

Kamen Rider Kuuga: The Complete Collection is available now for pre-order at Shout! Factory for $51.98 and it officially arrives September 20th.

Marie A. Evans