"Never Too Old to Love Something" - A Tokusatsu GaGaGa! Review - Cebu X-Geeks


Monday, March 11, 2019

"Never Too Old to Love Something" - A Tokusatsu GaGaGa! Review

The Cast of Tokusatsu GaGaGa!

Tokusatsu. It refers to movies and shows made using special filming techniques like Godzilla, Ultraman, Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, Metal Heroes, etc. Many people developed a love for the tokusatsu heroes on their television screens at a young age. For some, their love for Tokusatsu - turned borderline obsession - has carried on to their adulthood.

Tokusatsu GaGaGa! revolves around the daily life of Kano Nakamura as a Toku-Ota (a shortened term for 'Tokusatsu Otaku' meaning "Tokusatsu Geek"). She works for an ordinary trading company, but none of her coworkers there knows her obsession for Tokusatsu because she is afraid their opinions of her will drastically change should they know about it.

This is nothing new. People in Japan already have bad impressions on people associated with the term "Otaku", may it be on anime, cosplay, and obviously on more extreme obsessions. Kano, who shares the same fate as other otakus, does her best in keeping her Toku-Ota tendencies to a bare minimum - but will she be able to?

Along the way, she meets people whom she shares similar interests with and people who stand as obstacles against her love for Toku. Before I proceed to the actual review, let me introduce the major characters and their roles in the story.

Warning: The text below this line contain heaps of spoilers. Proceed at your own risk.

Character Bio

 Fuka Koshiba as Kano Nakamura

Kano Nakamura is the main protagonist of the show. She is not your average girl. Since she was a kid, she has always loved Tokusatsu and carried on this love until the present time as an adult. She also has a decent amount of Toku collectibles starting from toy figures and roleplay items to the shows' DVD and Blu-ray discs. Despite this, she has kept her Toku-Ota identity a secret from society - afraid of getting shunned for liking and loving shows targetted for children. She seeks to find comrades who can relate to her interests.

Kana Kurashina as Hisami Yoshida

Hisami Yoshida is one of the supporting characters of the show. Kano refers to her as 'Ms. Yoshida'. They first met in a train ride where Kano noticed a keychain collectible from the show 'Beastial Storm Jushowan' hanging on Yoshida's handbag.

Yoshida also loves Tokusatsu and yearns for people of the same age to share the same interests, however, she is several years older than Kano. This didn't stop them from becoming friends where she serves as Kano's Toku senior and photographer.

Kokoro Terada as Taku Tamiya

Taku Tamiya is a grade schooler whom Kano encounters when she was rolling for a keychain collectible from a gacha machine. Often called "Damian" by Kano, Taku acts as her right-hand boy and her little brother in arms. Despite being a kid, he often speaks his thoughts filled with wisdom that strike Kano's mind.

Manabu Takeuchi as Masaaki Matsumoto

Masaaki Matsumoto is a shop attendant at Matsumoto Sweets where snacks associated with Tokusatsu are being sold. Kano refers to him as 'Mr. Yakuza' because of his fierce look and yakuza-like aura. Later on, Kano and Yoshida find out that Masaaki is actually a fan of an anime targetted to young female audiences and accept him as a comrade regardless. He serves as an informant to Kano pertaining to upcoming releases related to Toku.

Haruka Kinami as Yuko Kitashiro

Yuko Kitashiro is one of Kano's coworkers who appears to be unapproachable and having an unfriendly demeanor. She starts off as one of Kano's hurdles in her Toku-Ota life as she catches her watching a live hero show with Yoshida. In one of their conversations, she tells off Kano for her obsession in Tokusatsu.

Despite being told off, Kano didn't falter and hopes to reconcile with her. After their conversation, she discovers that Yuko shares the same obession - just not that of Toku but of a local idol group called "Bee Boys". The two of them ended up as friends eventually through an event involving Yuko's friend Miyabi.

Mikako Yoshida as Natsuki Miyane

Natsuki "Miyabi" Miyane is a college student who shares the same interests as Yuko. They have had a misunderstanding in the past, resulting in Yuko's detachment to the social aspect of life. Kano mediates their reconciliation through a karaoke night where the two happily sang songs from their idol group while Yoshida and Mr. Yakuza sat along as audience.

These people have unique qualities individually, but overall they share the same energy and passion towards something they love - be it Tokusatsu, Idol Groups, or Cute Anime shows. Now that we got that out of the way, let's proceed to the proper review.

Tokusatsu GaGaGa! Review

Before you run your horses and jump into conclusion that this is your average Tokusatsu show like those ones from the Super Sentai and Kamen Rider franchise, I will stop you right there and say that it isn't. It's a Japanese Drama which happens to have Tokusatsu as a major element to the story.

Despite the show giving emphasis on people liking Tokusatsu in their early-20s to mid-30s, it is also targeting towards a general audience given that there is a certain element in the story where kids play a big role into the plot and character development. Speaking of elements, there are heaps of them observed in the show, however, I will only be able to tackle on a few of them. First, let's talk about Tokusatsu.


The general public, especially those outside Japan, don't know about Tokusatsu. But mention the words Power Rangers in your explanation and they'll go "Ahhhhh that's right! Power Rangers!". I can't blame them for not knowing since countries outside Japan are mostly exposed to the American adaptations and Tokusatsu shows aren't normally shown outside Japan because of legalities in licensing. 

I can still remember the Tagalog-dubbed Jetman, Fiveman, and a few others being shown on Philippine Television but at the time, I am not aware that these shows were the ones the Power Rangers were based on. It was only in 2008 that I discovered that the shows that Tommy Oliver starred on were adaptations of Japan's Super Sentai.

Enough reminiscing though. Super Sentai is only one of the major franchises for Tokusatsu - there are others. What I'm trying to say is that these shows are targetted towards children and it is expected in the Japanese society that only children would love it and that once they grow up, they'll eventually stop loving it. This clearly isn't the case for both Kano Nakamura and Hisami Yoshida. Both are working adults and are still loving these shows.

Life Lessons

One of the good things properly done by the show's production is the integration of Tokusatsu into the daily lives of the characters. Most times these shows impart good morals and values to children, but there is no actual interaction between the heroes and their audience outside the television screen. But in Tokusatsu GaGaGa!, it's different.

There are certain points in the characters' lives where their morals and values are being tested. To simulate their inner conflict and how to resolve it, after-images of the heroes are shown in front of them to serve as reminders of the values they have taught during the episode it was shown on television. I will elaborate more on this in the next topic below.

Similarities Between Toku Stories and Reality

As mentioned from the previous topic, the TGGG's production did a great job in correlating reality and Tokusatsu shows. The situations, events, and interactions between characters in real life are mirrored with plot progression and character development in Toku shows.

In the series of screenshots above, the silver ranger "Celotl" was approached by the red ranger "Shishileo" asking him to join their team but ended up getting attacked. At the same time, Kano Nakamura approached Yuko Kitashiro, in the hopes of making amends by letting her know that they are both closet geeks, only resulting in a further backlash between the two.

The emotions during these overlapping scenes have synergy and are well executed by the characters' respective actors and actresses, making an immersive watching experience for the audience that can leave a lasting impression in their hearts.


Tokusatsu GaGaGa! is a great show for those who want to know how it is to be in the shoes of a Toku-Ota and Toku-Otas that want to show their non-Toku-Ota friends how it feels to be one. There were mishaps in the show, but nothing major that could greatly affect the show as a whole. In all honesty, I closely relate to the story since I, for one, am a Tokusatsu geek.

Seven episodes may have been too short but considering the pacing and the material covered from the original manga, I think it was more than enough to tell Kano Nakamura's story. I was more than satisfied with how the show turned out to be.

I'll see you guys in another post! Have a great day!

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