Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thoughts on Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (Part 2)

Hey Toku Faithful. EZ Rider back again with more Gokaiger to dish out for you. Episode 1 was a mind blowing start to the show but can these swashbucklers keep it up? Let’s find out.

Man, these floating Red Lobster restaurants just
aren't going to work.

Back on Gokai Galleon, the gang decides what to do now that the Empire is camping outside the Earth’s atmosphere waiting for them. Marvelous wants to grab the treasure and flee so they ask their “fortune telling” parrot Navi to point out said treasure. Navi tries to, (slamming into the ceiling in the process) and says a person clad in black will tell them what they need. Why do all fortune tellers have to be so vague?

So our heroes look around for the person clad in black. As you’d expect every other person is wearing black. Until a teenage school boy wearing a black school uniform asks if they are the space pirates. He says he knows about the “greatest treasure in the galaxy”. He tells them he saw the team turn into other Super Sentai members. Of course they have never heard of Super Sentai. Surely you guys don’t think you’re the first 5 people to dress in primary colors and fight space monsters. Unless they are from another planet, which would make sense. This show is confusing.

"Ooooooh, I'll keelhaul ya for this!! Ya Varmint"

The kid says he can tell them about treasure but first wants to take a picture of Marvelous holding a ranger key. The kid tries to snatch it while taking the picture but Marvelous catches on just in time thank god. The kid runs off saying he didn’t know about the treasure. Little does Marvelous realize the kid swiped the Shinkenger Ranger Key until it’s too late.

Back on the Badyear Blimp, Oiles Gil throws a hissy fit over the Gokaigers beating his armada back so he follows Sentai baddie protocol and sends out a new monster. This one looks like something out of a tentacle hentai because, well, it has tentacles. Meanwhile Ahim follows Marvelous, no doubt feeding inspiration for many a fanfic about the two of them. (It’s ALWAYS Red and Pink am I right?). They have a lovers spat and Marvelous walks off.

Marvelous: She wants me.

The captain catches up with the thieving lad who refuses to give the key back since he claims it belonged to the earth in the first place. He also raises a good point. The team doesn’t even want to save the world (like that won’t change). And here we get some backstory. It seems someone entrusted these powers to Marvelous but we’ll get to that in a moment. The kid says his grandpa died in the first Great War (with all the Sentai in episode 1) protecting him so of course, he’s a peppy little spitfire who wants revenge. We see a flashback where Marvelous runs from a Zangyack invasion on, I’m only guessing here, his home world. We see a certain warrior clad in red save him from certain death. (It’s AkaRed!!! *fangasm*) He instructs our new red senshi to guard the ranger keys and find the greatest treasure in the galaxy.

But the fate of our legendary red clad warrior will have to wait. The Zangyack Empire is back and Gormin Sailors swoop in. The kid runs off to….do god know what. They lay waste to the city (shooting innocent civilians ON SCREEN. That is some cold shit.) Marvelous decides to let the kid live out his twisted fantasy and gives him the cellphone/henshin device, much to Ahim’s chagrin. The kid becomes ShinkenRed and runs into battle. To be fair he does pretty good against the grunts. (I guess the fighting ability is just encoded onto the key or something like that.) The others catch up and watch the kid battle. That is until Mr. Tentacle Head begins to beat the crap out of our new red recruit.

"It's Raping Time!"

He knocks him into a building and off a building which SHOULD have killed him but he just de-morphs. Damn. The kid whimpers that he can’t beat the monster and Marvelous gives him an “I told you so” speech. He asks the kid if the planet is worth protecting and the kid tries to convince him it is. It seems to work and our heroes run off to face the baddie. Well you can take solace in the fact that you motivated the team into saving your world kid. The team crosses paths with the squid man and transform. It’s ass whoopin time!!

So the team does more of what they did last time. Laying waste to grunts and what not, but that’s not we’re here for right? They wipe out the grunts with a sword AND gun combo with the Final Wave but they’re not out of the woods yet. The gang use their Ranger keys to become Dekarangers! First pirates, then cops, now ninjas as they become Hurricangers (using that awesome shadow technique by the way). Now for the coup de grace. They all use red ranger keys to become ShinkenRed, GaoRed, MagiRed, GoseiRed, and GekiRed. Now for the interesting part. MagiRed and GoseiRed combine their magic to send the monster into a fire cyclone. GaoRed and GekiRed go all lion and tiger beatdown next, and finally ShinkenRed chops him into Calamari. Holy crap I passed out the first time I saw that.

Anyone else seeing Red?

But it’s not over yet. The empire pulls an Astronema and uses the ships lasers to make the monster and some stronger grunts grow. You know what that means!! Mecha time!! Marvelous calls in Gokai Galleon. They board and fire off the cannons at the giant monsters. How they do that with a giant ship steering wheel is anybody’s guess. Maybe they have galley slaves loading up the cannons down in the bowls of the ship. Gokai Galleon unloads four other mechs (which must make the ship very hollow) and time for Gokai Gattai. They fit together to form Gokai-Oh. With a bitchin pirate hat on top. This is the best show ever!! Armed with two scimitars and a GIANT chest cannon, they blow the monsters to smithereens. Man this mech is way better than Gosei Great.

Big O! Final Attack- oh wait.

Well now that the monster of the week is taken care of our heroes set sail again. Doc makes a good point though. Was the “person in black” thing just a mistake? It seems so until a familiar face appears, watching from afar in a familiar black robe. That’s right. It’s Kai from Magiranger. Add suspenseful sting music here and end show.

Holy crap this show just keeps getting better and better. Seeing Gokai-Oh in action was very cool. I think the best part was seeing our heroes use different tactics from different Super Sentai teams together. There is so many possibilities we could see in future episodes so I have high hopes. Well that’s my thoughts on Gokaiger in a nutshell. I think we’re in for one hell of a ride. Hope to see you in chat for future Toku Riffing where me and Shades watch the rest of the series every Saturday. (Schedule subject to change.)

Well, I’m gonna get back to work on moving to Reviewtopia. Hope to see you there one day. As usual this is EZ Rider. Later.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thoughts on Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (Part 1)

Hello Toku Faithful one and all. I’m EZ Rider, number one toku guy here to give you landlubbers the lowdown on a new batch of scurvy pirates- Nah. It’s not talk-like-a-pirate day yet so screw that. Goseiger was a bore-fest so it looks like Toei decided to make the new show about pirates since, well, pirates are interesting. I give you my first impressions of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. Let’s get started on the adventures on some real pirates, Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom-less ones.

Oh-E-Oh. We-Oh-Oh. Oh-E-Oh.

We start off with an invasion of earth. A kind of “Machine Empire” if you will. Man, flashbacks to Ohranger/Power Rangers Zeo already. So basically these bucket-heads are laying waste to earth but who should appear? ….Every single Super Sentai member who ever existed. Holy shit that is awesome except Goseiger is leading the charge, damn it. Couldn’t we leave the bland angels behind?

The battle is AWESOME. Even dead senshi like DragonRanger, Black Condor and TimeFire are there for the battle and it is mind blowing. It’s like the Rider War only they’re not all wiped out by a pretentions douchebag rider. Anyway our 34 sentai teams battle the onslaught but when they realize it’s not enough, Akaranger (the leader of the first team, Goranger) decides they must make the ultimate sacrifice to drive away this new threat, and I’m sure we’ll “never” see that evil threat ever again.

Space. The Final Frontier. These are the voyages
of.......Doctor Who.

Enter the Gokai Galleon which looks like a pirate ship. A little birdie (okay it’s an annoying robot parrot named Navi who sounds like Mandora Boy on helium) tells the passengers that the world’s greatest treasure is on said planet. It’s here were you get some good examples of four of the five members. Ahim/Pink is the na├»ve but caring sweet girl from next door-type, Doc/Green is the smart one and I swear to god looks like a cross between Jon Pertwee and Sylvester McCoy (the 3rd and 7th Doctors from Doctor Who if you didn’t know), Luka/Yellow is the tomboy and currently my new favorite female senshi. Queen and Elizabeth may be off the hook because I have a new crush. Jo/Blue is the serious one but next to Red has the least development. Seriously, he looks like Hyde from Goseiger with a ponytail, hopefully that will change. Finally we meet the leader, Captain Marvelous. (No, seriously, that’s his name.) He is probably the most adventurous of the group but that’s all I can surmise from him right now. Our heroes head to Earth when, here’s a shock, the Zangyack Empire closes in on them.

Oh before I go any further I should talk about the theme song. It’s REALLY good. It’s upbeat but not too upbeat a la Goseiger and it’s just intense enough to get the blood pumping. Almost like a softer version of Shinkenger. If you can find the theme then defiantly snag it, your iPod and eardrums will thank you.

Anyway our heroes elude their pursuers who only seem to want them for the bounty’s on them, not because of what they can do. And for that matter, who the hell issued these rewards? Space Navy? U.N.T Spacy? WHO??? Our heroes take evasive action and form the Gokai-Oh, which looks AWESOME! Usually I’m not a big fan of CGI but this space battle would make Tomino shed a tear. It looks really well done. After slicing and dicing the ships, our heroes head to earth, in broad daylight and in front of millions of bystanders. They even announced they are Gokaigers. I guess they never heard of the term “low profile”. Our heroes ask the populace or “commoners” if they know where the treasure is and get no results as you’d expect.

Cut back to space, the Zangyack empire plots and plans, led by ummm….a gayer version of Prince Gasket from Zeo. Giru-sama (I think that’s what he’s called) instructs his men to launch an attack on earth while scolding them about getting beat by pirates. Wait I thought pirates were bad guys. Wouldn’t it make more sense if the Gokaigers were bad guys? Let me quote my friend Cin Wicked again. Pirates are the bad guys who well, take stuff. The Gokaigers are more like swashbuckling adventurers, not unlike the Boukengers, so the whole pirate theme is flawed here. Just saying.

Women. Always with the money. Am I right guys?

Back on earth, Luka has to sell one of her rings for food money since; well they didn’t steal any money like they should have if they are pirates. What kind of pirates are you anyway if you don’t just take things? But before our heroes can have lunch, the angry bots attack the earth, destroying their money in the process.Anyway the Gormin Sailors (the “puttys” of the series if you will) spread out and attack innocent bystanders here and there. But before the general can kill a group of schoolchildren our heroes decide to intervene instead of retreating.

Yea that's right. That's my money-walk bitches!

After enough (but not annoying) banter between the good guys and bad guys it’s henshin time. Oh boy, cell phones again, that’s always a joy. Our heroes transform into Gokaigers and it is just awesome. I love the XXXV during the transformation. Our heroes whip out the bad-ass scimitars and pistols (both of which I want BADLY!!) and they even use grappling hooks during the fight to swing around on. How cool is that??? They even trade weapons in the middle of battle. Some are marksmen and others are good with the blade. Especially Luka who does a bitchin’ Heavenly Sword move on the baddies. But our heroes are just getting warmed up.

Now they debut the Ranger Keys. Our heroes use the keys in their henshin cell phones to become Himitsu Sentai Goranger. This does raise an interesting question though. Would that be kind of a downgrade? I mean that team didn’t have any weapons save for a ball they kicked around. But it turns into a garbage truck…okay…I guess it works. After that they become Shinkenger and then Magiranger (gender confusion at its finest I might add) and now it’s time to finish off the monster of the week. Our heroes turn to normal and use their Gokai Ranger keys in their swords to perform the Final Wave attack and cut him down to size.

Green: Batter Up!!!

After that awesome battle, the team sits and ponders their next move but then get a “thank you” from the grateful children and teachers they saved. Ahim seems to be the only one who responds to it though. The rest just shrug it off like a bunch of dicks. Marvelous said they only stopped the baddies because they didn’t get lunch and not to save humans. Man, he’s not self-absorbed at all is he? And the episode ends with our heroes walking off and contemplating what to do next.

"Yea we're selfish bastards."

This was a HELL of a first episode. It had more action than you can shake a morpher at, hilarious moments and we find out the heroes aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Personally it could have benefitted from an origin about how these five got these powers and keys but that’s okay. This is very reminiscent of the first episode of Decade. It looks epic but will Gokaiger just become another middle finger to all the Toku Faithful like that was or will this merry band of pirates get it right? Time will tell.

Well that’s my thoughts on the first episode of Gokaiger. Check back for thoughts on Episode 2: The Search for the Man in Black. Oh man I hope they’re talking about Johnny Cash. Later.