what's that you say? East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet? Perhaps that was once true, but when Japanese licensed toys meet American comic books, anything can happen!
To demonstrate, let's look at this issue of SHOGUN WARRIORS, a fascinating experiment in culture-jamming the square peg of Japanese super robot mecha into the round hole of American superhero comics. And just to give it extra cultural goodness, let's open our Big Book Of Interesting Things About Japan to "Y" for "Yakitori". FORWARD FELLOW TASTY SKEWERS OF GRILLED CHICKEN AND... no, wait, "Yakuza". Apparently they are a "criminal brotherhood". Will they conquer Shogun Sanctuary? Let's watch.
As you will remember from our last episode the SHOGUN WARRIORS (tm) are giant robots controlled by a white guy, an Asian woman, and a black dude named "Ilongo Savage". Nope, not making this up.
And shockingly enough, white boy Richard is actually a secret agent communicating with his superiors via what appears to be a really painful hangnail!
What's this? Japanese people attempting to take control over Japanese licensed characters? NOT ON MY WATCH PAL!
The polite Japanese guy offers to give Richard a detailed education into the familial and political responsibilities of the feudal warlords of Japan's Warring States (or "Sengoku") Period, 1500-1700 - and all Richard can do is counter by referencing the only Asian name he knows.
Luckily the traditional Yakuza execution method of "putting somebody into a crashing car" fails to work and Richard makes it to Shogun Sanctuary just in time for the Yakuza-controlled Raideen to take Raideen on a Yakuza style rampage of drinking, getting tattoos, shaking down convenience store owners, and agitating on behalf of rightwing political candidates! Now THAT'S a comic book I'd buy.
Evil Raideen's destructive rampage is interrupted by a sensuous massage from Dangard "Barry White" Ace.
So what have we learned about Japanese culture so far? True shogun are yakuza who are honor who are death. And neuro-toxins make you groggy. But enough talk, you didn't buy this comic book to see people talk about what yakuza are or aren't! You bought this comic to see some hot robot on robot action! LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!
BONK WHAM ZAT WHREE it's like a THREE STOOGES marathon up in here. Meanwhile the yakuza who are shogun who are honor who are death are attacking the super scientific Shogun Sanctuary with a few handguns!
STAY OUT OF THE WAY OF THOSE DEVILISH MACHINES! GAPE THAT MOUTH WIDE! WIDER I SAID FOR THE HONOR OF THE YAKUZA!
Richard managed to "fade-in" to the cockpit of Raideen (that's a reference to the actual Raideen TV show, thirty seconds of which is vastly superior to the entire run of this stupid comic) and battles his hulking, apelike yakuza doppelganger. Wow, I never thought I would ever use the phrase 'hulking apelike yakuza doppelganger' in a sentence.
And rather than step on the yakuza, or vaporize them with any one of several destructive ray-beams, Raideen follows the Comics Code and merely stuns them with concussion blasts of a stunning nature.
And then their memories are erased and they're turned over to the authorities! A happy ending. I guess the Comics Code is ok with lobotomies, which goes a long ways towards explaining this comic. Unfortunately we can't erase our memories of this comic book so easily. But maybe a look at the original Danguard Ace, Raideen, and Combattler V will help!
Thanks to reader Neil N. for this stupid comic!
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