Sunday, May 4, 2014

Joe Odagiri: Henshin Poseur

Kuuga didn't have enough hipster hats and cool smokes! Look how cool and indie I am!!!1

Tokusatsu Network just posted this bit about Joe Odagiri recently smack-talking toku again on a TV show.

Ha! This is further proof of what I've known since, like, 2004. (I remember someone telling me that they saw a television interview with him where he was complaining about making Kuuga.) The whole Odagiri thing was never a mere rumor -- his stance on toku and Kuuga has been well-documented. (The most quoted thing being his interview in the April 2005 issue of Pict-Up magazine.)

It's in that magazine where you get the full details -- the way he sabotaged an audition for GoGoFive that his agency forced him to go on, how biased against toku and how reluctant he was to audition for Kuuga, his wonderful quotes about how "henshin hero shows make him sick" and how when he heard he had to audition he wanted to either "retire or die."

The only people who ever thought this whole thing was a rumor or exaggerated were people who wanted to put on the blinders and not believe that goofy old Godai was a big old jerk. So, it's nice to have a newer quote from him so that people can finally have their eyes opened.

The sad thing is, I feel like nearly anyone could have played Godai. It was the strength of the writing and the production that made that character, and not really anything that Odagiri did. So, not only does his popularity stump me, but his lack of gratitude. As if his annoying tryhard indie hipsterdom wasn't bad enough...

Another sad thing? Odagiri's hipster-doofus roles are going to dry up, and he'll come crawling back to tokusatsu, probably playing a captain in an Ultraman show nobody wants to watch. And the fans will welcome him back instead of spitting in his moley face as they should.

Choice Odagiri quote, from a CNN interview a few years back: ""Unfortunately, I have no interest in Hollywood. You see, I am the independent type. And I would rather be happy if New York calls me." Don't laugh too hard, now.


  1. The biggest surprise from this article is that people are still surprised about this. I don't recall ever hearing about what he did for the Gogo Five audition. Do you have any details on that?

    On the flipside, it was cool to see Tetsuo Kurata come around and slowly make his way back into the Kamen Rider world. Was there a real reason he removed it from his resume during the 90s? Management? Burn-out after 100 episodes straight?

  2. It was in that Pict-Up interview where Odagiri mentioned being forced by his manager to audition for the "previous year's Ranger show," and he was so against it that he just really didn't bother to do a good job at the audition so they wouldn't ever call him to audition for a henshin hero show again. (He still managed to impress some Toei exec, which is why he was called for Kuuga.) I still can't picture Odagiri in GoGoFive, though -- MAYBE as Nagare.

    I didn't know Kurata removed Rider from his resume in the '90s, but I do know he really kept his distance from genre stuff as he tried to build a career. Either way, it sounds like management/agency stuff to me. (Fujioka was the same way.) I know I hate RX, so this is biased, but I could easily see that alone being a reason for Kurata to distance himself -- the show was a disappointment that killed the franchise right after it was brought back!

    1. Exec: Yes, we must hire this insufferable dickhead to ensure the future of our oldest Tokusatsu franchise.

      Well, we can't say he was wrong. -_ -

      Yeah, I remember trying to look Kurata up back in the dial-up days and finding a small site that was probably put together by his agency. Zero mention of Kamen Rider despite that being the sole reason he had a career.

      It's weird looking up random actors to see if they acknowledge their Tokusatsu past. The girl from Jiban doesn't (but IIRC she did list all of the rediculous ad campaigns she was in during the 80s, which prompted my search to begin with), but the kid who played Tran in Jetman does despite being in a death metal band. OK, maybe that is some metal cred..."I played a Sentai villain.....*when I was a kid*." Heh.

  3. Hi Shougo! Fantasy Leader had a list of his most to least favorite Sentai, KR, and Metal Hero shows! I'd be curious to see your list along with the Ultra series.