Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Rising Sun: Episode 12

This time the Shades, yamiangie, Yours Truly, and special guest Red Poet discuss Tatsunoko Studios and we test our anime knowledge in a quiz.


P.S Follow EZ Rider on Twitter now. "TheEZRider". Follow me if you must Toku Faithful.


EZ Rider on the Ikaricast

Hey there Toku Faithful. I'm back again and I'm on yet another podcast. I guess this makes it my second podcast. Well this one isn't about Tokusatsu pre se. Like many geeks I have other interests, TV, comics, comic book movies, etc. And well, that's what you'll be hearing about on the Ikaricast. Featuring 16-bit Jeff, xaos, and Yours Truly.



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Rising Sun Podcast

Hey there Toku faithful. It's me again. Just wanted to let you guys know that the new sketch is coming out soon enough. While you wait for that though, check out my first ever podcast. It isn't really mine per se. It's a group podcast called the Rising Sun done by the Anime Mavericks.

It's led by my good friend The Shades. It's Shades, Hybrid Rain, Yamiangie, and Yours Truly. Follow the link and check it out. Later.


Friday, April 9, 2010

End of Shinkenger Review (Part 2)

Hey Toku Faithful, it’s me again. It’s time to wrap up the Shinkenger saga. I hope you read part 1 before moving ahead and of course *MASSIVE SPOILERS* ahead for episode 49. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

When we last left our heroes they were in for the fight of their lives. Six samurai senshi vs. the entire Gedoushuu race. But hey, when Sentai series DOESN’T have this exact same premise during episodes 49-50. BTW, the more I type this and speak it out it feels more and more like I’m summarizing the Onimusha games but it’s okay because those games were pretty awesome too. But I’m getting off track.

So now it comes to this. The Shinkengers vs. a seemingly invincible Doukoku. Luckily, Kaoru put all of the Shiba clan power into one Mojikara disc for Takeru to use. He only has one shot though so he has to make it count. The others shield him in battle to strike the final blow, but Doukoku is still too strong for that. Again, that would be too easy. Mayhem erupts and no one is safe. Even DaiGoyou gets trashed, poor thing. Doukoku….spares them??? Why?? I hate to point out the obvious here but come on. They are laying in front of you hanging on by a thread and he decides to go after Kaoru. This isn’t uncommon for bad guys but come on. Even the youngest Toku fan has to scratch their head at that.

Kaoru-kaa san scrambles to try and make another disc but jerk off- I mean Tanba keeps getting in her way. My god, do us a favor and seal HIM for a change. Bless her heart, even with all her wounds she still manages to make the disc and convince Tanba that Takeru-tachi will prevail. She really is a caring mother.It seems like the end for the gang on the battlefield until they get some help from an unlikely ally. It’s Jii-chan to the rescue, in warrior garb and wielding a spear no less. He buys them the time they need to gain their foothold and fight once more.


So our heroes make their way back to the chaos-filled city in ruins where Tanba is waiting for them. He delivers the Mojikara disc Kaoru-kaa san made for them. Tanba does something right for a change and chips in with a Mojikara disc of his own making. Guess under all the nitpicking and antagonizing there is some good inside him. You just went up a notch in my book Tanba. The gang intercepts Doukoku with in my opinion the best roll call of the series, Kuroko and all. Come on, how awesome is it to have the actual actors do the poses and lineup. We’ve all imitated Sentai poses and roll calls before, don’t pretend you haven’t! You’re either a genius or a god damn liar if you haven’t.


Getting back to the review, the six of them fight their hearts out before transforming back to Shinkengers. Thanks to Tanba’s “Double” disc, and a Bind kanji attack by the others to hold him, Takeru uses double Rekka Swords to wear down Doukoku with a pretty cool scissors attack. Unfortunately it’s STILL not enough, but the others pin Doukoku down with their blades while Ryuunosuke finishes the job with Kaoru’s final disc. Doukoku is finished…..until his second life when he grows huge. My god, Long from Gekiranger went down quicker than this guy.

I’m glad the team wasn’t surprised when he grew big. They knew what was coming next and knew what they had to do. So now it’s Samurai-Ha-Oh vs. Doukoku in the final battle (god willing). To no one’s surprise I’m betting, he is MUCH stronger with his second life and Samurai Ha-Oh goes down like Glass Joe in Punch-Out. Takeru decides that they should go on a suicide run. One final kamikaze attack to finish Doukoku once and for all, it’s all or nothing. Doukoku gives them hell as Origami go flying off the mecha left and right until only Shin-ken-Oh remains. The six put all their Mojikara into one final blow and LITERALLY slice Doukoku in half.

Now it’s finally over. The Sanzu River retreats back into the crevices (somehow), the remaining Gedoushuu are pulled in with it, and Shitari sinks with the Junk he and the others sailed on and drowns (or does he?).

So, all’s well that ends well. Kaoru and Tanba get along with their goodbyes, Takeru returns to being the head of the Shiba clan, and it’s time for a funny yet tear jerking parting of ways for our heroes as all of them get back to their normal lives. I won’t spoil what happens but just trust me. You’ll be shedding a tear or two, unless you have ice running through your veins, but I digress.

Final Thoughts: This was a really well put together series. I don’t know it it was the heavy Japan culture or the clever writing that made this show so good but I’m glad to see this one won’t be cheapened with a crappy Power Rangers adaptation. Now before you get defensive and make with nasty comments, I DO NOT hate Power Rangers as a whole. Some of it I don’t like, most of it I do. Nor do I think Super Sentai is automatically better than PR all the time. The point is unless they geared this at older audiences, I can honestly say American fans oblivious of Super Sentai would have missed out on a good chance for it and Power Rangers to be taken seriously for once. But Shinkenger being adapted won’t ever happen so it’s beside the point.

This series tended to stand out, but in a good way. Samurai are often overlooked warriors in favor of the more dumbed down common knowledge ninjas. There is a WORLD of difference between the two and I think Shinkenger brought to light this fact. They lived and died by the sword. They had honor. They didn’t use dirty tactics and did other things than just fight all the time. (Sushi seller anyone?) I really enjoyed Shinkenger and I already know I’m going to have fun reviewing this someday on my Toku Time show. I can’t say when that day will be but I know we all look forward to it.

I’d like to thank Toei Co. and TV Asahi for making this show, my great fans for reading/watching my reviews and supporting me, and last but not least #TV-Nihon for subbing this great show. These guys make it all possible. Remember to go to the site ww.tvnihon.com for your episodes, not watch them in pieces on YouTube or whatever. Support them and not stream sites! There I said it.

I hope you enjoyed my written review and be sure to catch my new sketch due out by the end of the month. Later!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

End of Shinkenger Review (Part 1)

Welcome to my End of Shinkenger review. Sorry I’ve been putting this off for so long but I’ve been busy with a lot of pet projects and with my new friends at the Geek Fighters. Besides, all this is for you the fans so don’t complain. Let’s move on shall we?

*MASSIVE SPOILERS* for anyone who has not seen episode 48 of Shinkenger yet. I warned you.

Okay first off, Juuzou and Takeru had one hellacious feud in this show. I’d rate it second only to the Jan/Rio war in Gekiranger. BTW for those of you who didn’t know, that was Kaidou from Faiz as Juuzou. I was glad to see his character here wasn’t a rehash of that. Sadly Juuzou didn’t survive. I thought he would reform and become a Shinkenger but even I knew that was asking for too much. Secondly, I LOVE what Kaoru does with Takeru. I was shocked as most of you were but we’ll get to that later.

Seeing Dayuu (or Tayuu, whichever it’s spelled) die was kind of sad and who would’ve guessed she would bring Doukoku into our world with her shamisen? I honestly did not see that coming and it almost comes to the point where you feel sorry for her. However it is kind of bittersweet to think that the big bad was Dokoku all along. I expected him to be defeated for good near the end and a new baddie would arise or be unleashed. Go figure.


Now it’s no surprise to me or anyone for that matter that Doukoku made short work of the other Shinkengers but I have to give credit where it’s due. Kaoru had balls, even for a girl. Yes, once upon a time I would have laughed and ridiculed a female red ranger (and I did in SPD). Kaoru may have been reckless at times but she could really hold her own in battle and I applaud the crew working on Shinkenger on this plot point. It was kind of obvious that her sealing power wouldn’t work on Doukoku since, come on, when is it ever that simple?

One thing I have to gripe about is when can’t humans be sealed? Okay I’ll buy that Doukoku “absorbed” Dayuu/Tayuu, but what does being human have to do with anything? And why doesn’t he just go on a killing spree when Takeru helps the others escape? That’s kind of a weak premise but hey, a suspension of disbelief is Tokusatsu’s bread and butter.

Now we get to the part I mentioned earlier. Kaoru is wounded badly by Doukoku when the seal failed to work and so she asks to see Takeru, aka the shadow. She is left out of commission and now there is no ShinkenRed to lead the team, so what does she do? Probably the most awesome and clever plot twist in Super Sentai history. She ADOPTS Takeru. My jaw hit the floor when I saw that. It came out of nowhere. So, in a nutshell, Takeru is now the rightful Shiba head and team leader once more. Give the writer Yasuko Kobayashi props for that one. Mama Kaoru is one of the highest calibers of WIN!


Now with the invasion of the Gedoushuu in full swing, it’s up to Takeru-tachi to stop Doukoku the only way they can, through force. BTW you gotta love Takeru’s subtle reaction to now calling Kaoru mother. So the Sanzu River flows into Japan and the Gedoushuu literally begin the slaughter. (No seriously, they kill people.) Is Doukoku truly invincible? Can the Shinkengers seal the Gedoushuu once and for all? Will Kaoru’s trump card make the difference? Tune in next time. Same Shinken time, same Shinken channel.

Or you can just wait for part 2 of my End of Shinkenger review, next time. Later!

“If it bleeds, we can kill it.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator.

BTW Show of hands. Who here wanted to punch Tanba as hard as you can?