If you’re not in the Tokusatsu fandom you may have not heard of Mr. Squall Charlson and his antics on his popular YouTube channel. I was lucky enough to get an interview him before his brand new TV show premiered on TokuSHOUTsu brought to you by the very nice people at SHOUT Factory
Q & A Time With Squall Charlson
How did you get into Tokusatsu?
In high school was a closeted Power Ranger fan and in trying to find out more clips from Jungle Fury, I found a compare/contrast video of Jungle Fury vs Gekiranger that lead down the rabbit hole. Eventually coming across Kamen Rider Decade, which in hindsight is a hard being an anniversary series to start with.
What are some of your favorite toku shows?
Gekiranger will always have a special place in my heart and the early Heisei Rider series.
Are you fluent in Japanese?
I wish I was! I think I’ve watched enough to piece it together.
Are you still a fan of Power Rangers?
Since I jumped on the Sentai bandwagon Power Rangers fell by the wayside. BUT, after auditioning for Samurai I went back and checked out RPM and was surprised!
(he had also auditioned for Ninja Steel as well)
Do you think the Neo-Saban era saved the franchise or just put it on life support till Hasbro acquired it?
Yes, you could say that I think there has been a disconnect between what people want to make in the show vs what people who are in charge are saying and it unravels it a bit. Dino charge was our first chance to see it come together. But at the same time, kids don’t care they just want people in spandex fighting monsters as opposed to the big storytelling that we older fans want.
Why do you think Kamen rider hasn’t stuck here in the US?
It’s a very different type of show. It’s in the same vein as rangers but Power rangers are in “the light” whereas Kamen Rider is a lot of times where sentai is an outside force that challenges us Kamen Rider is really about the fallibility of humans how we affect our world. I don’t think that can entirely translate all that well.
Has there been a KR and sentai series that you couldn’t get behind and “took a year off”?
When it comes to toku there are a lot of reasons why people can’t get behind a show sometimes weather its the theme or aesthetic. I haven’t really dismissed a whole series. I’ll get back to them eventually, it’s hard being an adult and trying to fit shows into a normal routine.
Do you think we have any “gatekeeping” in our community?
It’s definitely there, just like any other fandom. Back when I started Toku-Girlfriend with Lauren we did a clueless series. The comments and reactions for the Kamen Rider video were so positive, Very welcoming! BUT we did the exact same thing with Sentai and the comments were on the other side of a spectrum. It was almost a yin/yang situation. There are a lot of little fractions that make the fandom that keep it disconnected sometimes. I just want to put a good face out there and be inclusive everyone!
How & when did you break the news that you’re a toku-head to her?
We actually met at a Con, she found out through Instagram and Twitter that I was into it, before we were an item. Unlike past relationships who’ve dismissed it, she embraced it!
So from her being so supportive, it led you to make Tokusatsu Girlfriend?
Yep, she is really was an outsider and it gave me an idea to bring people into the fold. again just trying to be inclusive and welcome everyone to our community.