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 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!

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