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Fuki - Metropolis! Dogengers!

04/06/2023 2023-06-04 02:00:00 JaME Author: Ruchesko

Fuki - Metropolis! Dogengers!

A taste of early LIGHT BRINGER for the under-12s.

© Fuki. All rights reserved.
Single CD + DVD

Metropolis! Dogengers!

Deluxe Edition


For a singer who’s rarely paused for breath at any point since the mid-2000s, the four years since Unlucky Morpheus and LIGHT BRINGER vocalist Fuki released anything under her own name has felt like an epoch. Anyway, this comeback of sorts sees Fuki broadening her portfolio of tie-ups by venturing into live-action television for the first time.

Her latest single Metropolis! Dogengers! is the opening theme of “Dogengers Metropolis”, the fourth season of the tokusatsu franchise “Dogengers”. In case ‘tokusatsu’ means nothing to you, that’s the catch-all term for the uniquely Japanese superhero genre built around rubber-suited stunt performers beating each other up in disused quarries and waist-high cityscapes amid copious amounts of pyrotechnics.

Needless to say, Metropolis! Dogengers! stays true to the ‘show title-as-song title’ formula preferred by just about every tokusatsu franchise except “Kamen Rider”. The title track opens with a rendition of the chorus, ending on Fuki’s roar of “Dogengers!” before settling into a sort of powered-up pop-rock, punctuated by screeching synths and tamer-than-average guitar work from Mada mitakoto no nai sekai’s Mitsuru, who joins the very exclusive club of women to have composed a tokusatsu theme song.

Not for the first time on a song featuring Fuki, it's the keyboards of her career-long collaborator and LIGHT BRINGER bandmate Mao Yamamoto that predominate. Echoing LIGHT BRINGER’s early work, Mao doles out orchestra hits like a Pet Shop Boy and lays down a tasty little solo that all but eclipses Mitsuru’s.

In a thoughtful gesture to Fuki fans lacking knowledge or interest in “Dogengers”, you’ll find the never-before-released studio version of Liar tucked away among the Deluxe Edition’s five variations of Metropolis! Dogengers!. Composed by Mao (who else?), this B-side was previously beyond the reach of anyone insufficiently die-hard to procure the live Blu-ray Fuki Fes. 2020 LIVE at KINEMA CLUB.

A maturer rock number by far, Liar sees synthesizers replaced with a whirring organ and a significantly more present guitar, as played by child prodigy-turned-KOIAI bandleader Li-sa-X. Whilst it's no rough diamond, it ought to satisfy Fuki fans who may’ve found Metropolis! Dogengers! as something akin to a glorified three-minute jingle.

If you’ve noticed a lack of discussion about Fuki herself in the above paragraphs, be assured that’s mostly because there are only so many ways to praise a performance as “solid”. She certainly delivers the title track’s hook with conviction, but by and large, like an Oscar winner in a Marvel movie, the material places few demands on her considerable talent.

It would be nice to imagine Metropolis! Dogengers! serving as a gateway for uninitiated Fuki fans into the weird and wild world of tokusatsu, although the show’s status as a local production by a regional broadcaster, specifically KBC in Fukuoka Prefecture1, without a marquee streaming partner probably makes that wishful thinking. On the other hand, it ought to do wonders for her profile among the children of Fukuoka.

1It should be noted that "Dogengers Metropolis" is also broadcast by regional networks in Tokyo and five other prefectures.

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