I recently tweeted about how I came across a bunch of fanzines at my local Half Priced Books… well, I thought it would be fun to dig into some of them. Oriental Cinema #11, edited and created by Damon Foster, layout by Hugh Gallagher, from Draculina Publishing in Illinois is… interesting.
First off, Oriental? Gah… such a dated term for Asians. To see Sailor Moon next to Chow Yun Fat, Jackie Chan, and John Woo is crazy.
Sadly, I’m not big into Asian cinema, but they talk about John Woo’s amazing film, Broken Arrow, starring John Travolta and Samantha Mathis. The impressive full color glossy photos of The Killer were sadly lost on me.
The reason I bought this fanzine did not disappoint. The part where they mentioned Sailor Moon featured this nugget right here:
Looking back, this is kind of hilarious. Sailor Moon, a has-been? True, until recently… the anime about astrologically based super heroes in Junior High saw some very dark times in the 1990’s, but her and Power Rangers is still kind of huge, all things considered.
This fanzine came out in 1996, and that was when Sailor Moon Super S was just wrapping up in Japan. Sailor Moon really hit it’s stride in America on Toonami, which aired it in June 1, 1998. Power Rangers was going through that rough transition from their whole Alien Ranger mini series to Power Rangers Zeo so I can understand why he might have thought that the series was winding down, especially after the Power Ranger’s movie was the year before.
Goosebumps mind you was one of the best running horror book series aimed at the exact same demographic, so probably should not get the hate that this adult man is giving it.
All that said, it must have been really bad to be a fan of Sentai and Tokusatsu back then. He complains about the US adaptations of Beetle Fighter (Big Bad Beetleborgs). Now-a-days, we at least have been given some of Toei’s Super Sentai shows onto DVD thanks to Right Stuff.
Sadly, we would have to put up with shows such as UIltraman Tiga which were not faithfully translated, and no Kamen Rider has ever been translated properly, despite Kamen Rider Dragon Knight winning a daytime emmy.
This fanzine goes on to talk about Mechanical Violator: Hakaider and other shows and movies such as The American made Sudden Death, but let’s talk about the letters page.
Damon Foster seems to put people off with his writting, especially about Sailor Moon in a previous issue of his fanzine? Apparently he has poked fun of the gay community, sports, and religion.
Foster asks one of his readers “Do you masturbate in church as you pay homage to your hollow god!? ”
The letters page was hard to read, but it was informative and very inflammatory both ways. One of the things I also want to point out is that there is a little bit of T&A on the back covers, so this magazine is NSFW. Also, they have a picture from Ranma 1/2 in one section, but sadly no real connection in this issue, and that was sad.
I think Oriental Cinema is an interesting time capsule, and while I’m not sure if I personally would recommend it to people due to some of the language used, I’m glad that I flipped through the pages at least.
Oh, and I really hope someone hooked this guy up with the entire 84-part series Himitsu Sentai ‘Gorenga.’