Friday, December 6, 2013

Tokkyuger Image

A press conference was held today regarding the next Super Sentai series, Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger. An image of the team's suits has surfaced.

I'm not sure how to feel about the suits, personally, they seem a little minimalistic. In my opinion, something is missing from them -- this is one instance when I think scarves would really add something back to the costume, but again, this is just my opinion.

The same is true of the mech, Tokkyu-Oh. I do like the individual trains, though. I suspect that it'll have multiple configurations. Or at least I hope. The toy's going to be 1.2m tall, by the way.

As you can see here in the image, we're back to wristband changers, a classic of Sentai. Pressing the lever down on the device causes a train station arrival announcement to play, announcing the transformation. Of particular interest is something rather new to Sentai: the fact that the heroes appear to be able to swap their colors. Presumably, colors confer different abilities, so they can change to suit the occasion. They are identified not by their colors, but by their numbers. The main hero, for example, is Tokkyu #1.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2014's Pretty Cure series copyrighted.

Next year's Pretty Cure (PreCure) series was copyrighted today. The series is titled Happiness Charge PreCure, and that's all we know about it, save for that the merchandising machine is spinning up.

I for one am hoping for a Sailor Moon crossover.

I didn't mention this when it first came out, but next year's Super Sentai has been copyrighted, and it's Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger. Since tokkyu is a train type in Japan (limited express), it's safe to say that next year's Sentai is train themed.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Update on Gundam: Disappointment Reigns

At the Gundam panel at New York Comic Con, the representatives from Bandai didn't give any specific answers about licensing (and apparently there were quite a few) save for "we're working to bring Gundam back to America".

A poster on a popular Internet message board posted the amazing irony of flying Gundam's executive producer from Tokyo to New York, having a panel in English about Gundam, having a Gundam plastic model display, subtitling Gundam officially on the official web site, having a six foot tall Gunpla on display... and still not releasing Gundam officially in the United States.

Sorry for the false hope, friends. In the meantime, there is not much you can legally do. Throw money at Bandai and continue to support the series.


Sunrise (and maybe Funimation) about to announce... something about Gundam.

It's been a while since I checked in. Sorry about that. We hit a kind of lull during the end of summer and the beginning of things now with only Attack on Titan to fill the void, and luckily, it did so well. We also saw the official end of Kamen Rider Wizard and are about to see the second episode of Kamen Rider Gaim (that's the official spelling, not Gaimu as I previously wrote before they romanized it).

The real news this season concerns Mobile Suit Gundam.

First airing in 1979 in Japan, Mobile Suit Gundam started as a serious war drama which arguably introduced "real robot" storylines in anime and told a tale of war, desperation, and young people who are forced to grow up very quickly when survival necessitates that they fight. The strength of its memorable characters, the adherence to semi-realistic physics, and its popular line of intricate plastic model kits made it a fan favorite and built it into a huge media franchise. In Japan, Gundam enjoys at least as much popularity as Star Wars does in the West, with famous quotes from the series at least as recognizable as that of Star Wars. A series of food products and cafes exist, and a gigantic statue of the original Gundam can be found in Odaiba.

This curry rice is three times more delicious than regular rice.

Some of you may remember that Mobile Suit Gundam was extremely popular in the US in the mid to late nineties and early 2000s due in no small part to Cartoon Network's licensing and broadcasting of Gundam Wing, G Gundam, and 0079 Gundam. Merchandising was high -- even Toys R Us sold Gunpla, the plastic model kits that catapulted Gundam to popularity in Japan originally. But popularity waned as the anime boom leveled out and Gundam's license expired from its original holders in the West. Crunchyroll, which featured freely streamable versions of the original Gundam and Zeta Gundam removed them at the beginning of this year as the license lapsed. Things seemed bleak for Gundam in the West.

But over the past few weeks, Gundam has seen a resurgence in presence here in the United States. Firstly, Barnes & Noble bookstores, a major retail store with actual physical stores, have begun to sell Gundam model kits once again -- mostly Wing and Unicorn stuff, but Gundam stuff nonetheless. Popular hobby shop Hobby Town USA has also seen a spike in Gundam model stock. Secondly, Sunrise has officially subtitled and released Gundam Build Fighters on their website which you should totally check out, since it's very entertaining. It's a commercial for Gunpla, but it hits all the right notes of Pokemon/Medabots style competition, references to classic series, and fun and enjoyable characters. Lastly, there are rumors that there is a possibility of the long delayed Gundam tabletop RPG, which R. Talsorian Games, publisher of mecha RPG game Mekton Z, may finally find a publisher after all.

I've just learned that at New York's Comic Con, Sunrise, Gundam's creator company, is having an official panel. Shin Sasaki, executive producer of the series, is said to be introducing "footage from new and upcoming series", and will be having a Q&A. (If any of you are there, please make sure you ask about an official release for Turn A Gundam.)

That's not the most interesting part, though. An hour before Sunrise's panel Funimation will be having a panel. Not in the same room, unfortunately (which would be absolute proof), but speculation is running high that these events are related. And while we can't say for certain that Funimation is going to pick up official distribution of Gundam in the United States... it would not be a bad thing if they did. Funimation is not 4Kids entertainment: Funimation doesn't tend to censor its shows in the US.

Furthermore, we know that Funimation recently "rescue licensed" several  Sunrise shows that had lapsed licenses, specifically Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, and Outlaw Star, and those shows got or are planned to get Blu-Ray releases.

Therefore, with this in mind, it is extremely likely that we are about to hear an official announcement that Funimation has officially licensed and will be releasing Gundam in the US.

Dare we hope for Blu-Rays of classic Gundam series? Will we finally see Turn A, X, and Victory officially released?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Kyoko Hinami, original Akiba Blue, hospitalized after being hit by car in Tokyo.

The chances of 19 year old Kyoko Hinami, actress for Mitsuki Aoyagi, the original Akiba Blue, returning in a third season of Akibaranger seem ever slimmer today after reports of her hospitalization hit the Internet.

It seems that Hinami was hit by a car in downtown Tokyo around 9 PM on August 15th, and has injuries to her head, hips, and legs.

An acquaintance of hers reported via Twitter that she had been in an argument with her boyfriend, who'd accused her of cheating on him. Allegedly, Hinami was walking in a "dazed, dizzy state" and entered the roadway, where she was struck by a taxi. She was transported to hospital via an ambulance and her injuries are reported to not be life threatening.

Kyoko Hinami (19) in her role as Mitsuki from Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger

Source: Sponichi Annex

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Footage of Kamen Rider Gaimu

Some footage showed up on TV Asahi the other day of Kamen Rider Gaimu, including the actors and some of the transformation. It's definitely worth checking out -- the new protagonist is rather acrobatic, considering his somersault across the stage!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kamen Rider Gaimu cast information.

Following the official information posted on the site, let's discuss some of the actors who will be appearing in Kamen Rider Gaimu as Riders, and some of their past work.

Sano Gaku (21) will be playing Kazuraba Kouta, the protagonist who becomes Kamen Rider Gaimu. A relatively new actor, he's appeared in minor roles in the GTO series as recently as last year.

Kobayashi Yutaka (24) will be playing Kumon Kaito, Gaimu's rival, Kamen Rider Balon. He has appeared in the Prince of Tennis stage musical, as well as appeared briefly in Dream High.

Takasugi Mahiro (17) will appear as Kureshima Matsuzane, the Chinese themed green/purple Kamen Rider Ryuugen. You may have seen him recently in a minor role in other tokusatsu series, GARO.

Veteran actor Kubata Yuuki (32) appears as Kurashima Takatora, Kamen Rider Zangetsu. He has had roles in the feature film Kamen Rider: The Next, co-starred in the Prince of Tennis stage musical, and has appeared in Sengoku Basara and GARO.

Actual good picture of Gaimu characters.

So the fruit's finally out of the bag, so to speak. Gaimu has finally been shown off to audiences, and some plot details have emerged.

Summarized courtesy of Magenta over at Over-Time, the setting appears to be a strange alternate reality where castles and samurai still exist in the same day and age as future technology and corporations. The plot appears to involve street gangs as samurai clans, each with their own Riders (similar to Ryuki), and a mysterious corporation called Yggdrassil with their own rider and unclear purposes. The characters appear to be able to conjure battling monsters (similar to Pokemon) by means of their Lock Seeds.

To make matters even more bizarre, it appears that the rival street gangs dance, similar to West Side Story.

While the storyline has elements that have been seen in OOO (a powerful corporation) and Ryuki (battling Riders), the summoned mini-monsters are quite similar to the Foodroids and Plamonsters from Fourze and Wizard respectively, but this time they seem to be about to take a major role.

 So... we have an orange sword, and Strawberry and Pineapple locks on his belt. The Lock Seed that goes on his driver opens to reveal the kind of fruit he's using.

From left to right: coconut, banana, orange, grape, and melon.
The characters we know and their abilities are:
Gaimu (鎧武) (in the center, blue)- Orange Arms, Pine(apple) Arms, Strawberry Arms and Watermelon Arms
Balon (バロン) (red and yellow) - Banana Arms and Mango Arms
Ryugen (龍玄) (green and purple) - Grape Arms and Kiwi Arms
Zangetsu (white, to the far right) (斬月) - Muskmelon Arms

We don't have a name yet for the coconut rider yet. We do know there's six main male actors, so the likelihood of getting a sixth character is quite high -- especially since this is the sixth series since Decade, and Toei has been adding one element to the Driver for every year since: one Card, two Gaia Memories, three Medals, four Switches, five Elemental Rings.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

More Gaimu photos.

This is apparently from promotional materials. Interestingly, it appears we have a secondary rider immediately.

First look at Gaimu from the front.

This low-resolution photo turned up last night. It does appear to be legitimate -- the photo location is the NTT Corporate Complex in Chiba Prefecture, a very well known filming location for tokusatsu shows.

The rumors have been that Gaimu is fruit based. That does appear to be at least somewhat true. It appears that he has a banana crest, orange peel armor, and a strawberry visor. The rumors about the Lock Seeds to seem to be consistent with what he is holding here.The rumor was that he places the lock into his driver and then cuts it. Note that he has a cutting blade attached to the driver itself, and what appears to be a slice cut from the lock, which appearantly flips down after being sliced open.

Here's the original picture from the rear for comparison.

Opinions on it appear to be going both ways -- some say it looks interesting, some say it looks horrifying and cheap, but I remind you, it's pretty low resolution, the shot from the rear shows it in much better contrast.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kamen Rider Gaimu image

Saw this on both Japanese sites and 4chan today. Allegedly it's a picture stealthily taken of Kamen Rider Gaimu... from the back. This confirms my earlier suspicion that he's samurai based.

Note the person standing on the board in front of the light diffuser on the left wearing the yellow shirt. He is wearing the same belt as the samurai on the right. This means that most likely, they are filming a transformation scene, and the Rider actor is about to step in to replace him. The platform he is standing on is typically used as placemarkers so the hero doesn't step too far out of the shot. I have to admit, I do rather like the bronze, gold, and blue color scheme.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Shigeru Chiba, Narrator for Kyoryuger, to play Kyoryu Violet

The text says, "The 9th Hero... Violet created the Zyuden Arms!"

Speculation was running high that Pleseon was going to have a hero associated with him, and that turned out to be true. If you're curious why the Gaburevolvers all have Shigeru Chiba's voice, and why the Spirit Warriors don't use the Gaburevolvers to transform, there's an in-universe explanation. Shigeru Chiba will be playing Dr. Ulshade, a genius scientist and a retired Kyoryuger, Kyoryu Violet, who just happens to be the one who developed the Gaburevolvers (and in fact, numerous weapons based upon the Beast Batteries). With upcoming upgrades for Kyoryu Red and possibly the others, could Dr. Ulshade be the one who'll develop them? The answer is, yes, probably.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More criminal charges against Vul Panther's actor

Previously, I'd mentioned that actor Asao Kobayashi, actor for Vul Panther in beloved 1980s series Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan (and son of famous composer Asei Kobayashi) had been arrested in Aomori Prefecture for lewd and lascivious acts with a minor that he had met on the Internet via a social networking site. Things just keep getting worse for him, it seems.

Vul Panther who? Sun Vulcan was a two man sentai, right?

Yesterday, it was reported that a new charge was added: production of child pornography. Apparently when Kobayashi committed the act on the underage girl, he also took photos of the incident using his mobile phone. This constitutes production of child pornography under Japanese law, and has led to his re-arrest.

Illegal Sentai Loliconger

It's always disappointing when people who used to be idolized by children commit crimes. It shines a negative light on their performance in their original series. Some have speculated that this could lead to Toei promoting Sun Vulcan less due to Kobayashi's actions.

Thanks to the posters on 4chan for making the event less depressing with images.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

S.H. Figuarts Sailor Mercury promo

The painted version of the Sailor Mercury figure has been completed and hit Tamashii Web's page.

Like Sailor Moon's, expect a number of accessories including her VR Visor. No word on whether Mars, Jupiter, and Venus are planned. Mercury is, without a doubt, the most popular of the original five, but allegedly people have seen an unfinished version of Saturn (S version, not Stars).

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Not fake at all: Kamen Rider Gaimu is the next Rider.

Good morning.

Yesterday I reported that the next Rider appeared to be named Kamen Rider Gaimu, but it was potentially a troll post on 2ch. I'm here to report this morning that it was a legitimate leak. Speculation is running high that the next Rider will be samurai and Japanese mythology themed. A reputable poster on 2ch mentioned that this year's theme has "only been done once before in Kamen Rider", leading people to speculate that he's referring to Kamen Rider Hibiki.

Further fueling the speculation is the fact that the word GAIMU and the associated kanji, 鎧武, are typically used when describing sets of ceremonial samurai armor -- it comes from the word "yoroimusha", armored warrior(鎧武者)which is typically associated with samurai. For those who believe that a numerical pattern has been followed since Decade, the number six can be written with an kun-yomi reading of MU.

Lastly, there were dismissed-at-the-time reports last month of a character on the upcoming Kamen Rider Wizard movie set that was wearing a samurai style topknot and had a family crest on his belt, and was wielding two swords. There have also been rumors on 2ch that the next Rider would have a horse instead of a motorcycle, or the horse WAS a motorcycle, or something like that. An armored horse mounted samurai would not be out of line at all, and the helmet style of a typical samurai is very similar to the style of  a Rider.

So, speculation is running high as to what the next Rider's gimmick could be -- whether it's different swords, magic arrows (since horse mounted archery was a big thing), or something similar. Will he give Haruto a copy of Miyamoto Musashi's Book of Five Rings when he meets him in the movie? Are you excited about SAMURIDER?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

[Possibly Fake] The Next Kamen Rider is...

Someone on 2ch posted this, claiming to have seen the copyright registration for the new Kamen Rider series (the one following wizard). The photo here is the alleged screencap.

The name in the registration is Kamen Rider GAIMU. The kanji beneath GAIMU are written as well. GAI meaning "armor equipped" and "MU" meaning "chivalrous warrior". This says literally nothing about the show and its gimmicks, as technically speaking, every Kamen Rider is an armored chivalrous warrior.

We should have the official information in a few hours, since today is the day that the copyright information for the show officially hits. Is Kamen Rider Gaimu the next Rider? Or is this a clever troll post by a Japanese prankster? We'll know shortly!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Vul Panther's actor, Asao Kobayashi, arrested for sex crime.

According to the TBS Daily News, actor Asao Kobayashi, famous for playing Asao Hyou aka Vul Panther in the 1981 series Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan, has been arrested in Aomori Prefecture and charged with sex crimes against a minor. According to the news report, it appears that he arranged to meet a high school girl via an Internet site and sexually assaulted her in an apartment, after which she went to the police.

Artists conception of what he did afterwards.
He is the son of Asei Kobayashi, composer for a number of anime series, including beloved magical girl series Sally the Witch.

2ch is in full troll mode, as you might imagine.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Official Unofficial Akibaranger Ranger Keys out for pre-order.

Hey, you like Akibaranger, right? Sure, who doesn't? So, how would you like to have your very own Gokaiger Ranger Keys, perfect for use in the Mobirates?!

Yes, that's right. According to Bandai Gashapon's Facebook page, our unofficial heroes will be available in both their Season 1 and Season 2 forms. Also, since they are unofficial, they won't work in the Mobirates or the Legend Mobirates. And also, please note, these are not "Ranger Keys", but "Resoger Keys". That one little similar katakana keeps them from being official, it seems. Orders will begin today and proceed through July, with the final product due to be delivered in December.

Are you getting a set? I'll be in Japan in December, so I'm thinking about it...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Eighth and Ninth Rangers for Kyoryuger.

Sakamoto, the producer of Kyoryuger, tends to live by a "more is better" policy -- there is no such thing as over the top when he is at the helm. It is probably unsurprising that recently, fans heard that KyoryuGrey will be a thing. Details are sketchy thusfar, but it's thought that he (or she) will be partnered with Bunpachy and will have the moniker, "The Elegant Hero". No telling if they'll be a full member of the cast like Utchy, or only a part-time Spirit Warrior like Ramirez.

And then there's this, from popular tokusatsu kids' magazine Terebi-kun.The silhouette strongly resembles the space fighters from Macross. A look at the toy catalogs show that this is the next mecha to join the Kyoryuger arsenal, Plesion in its rocket form... but the hero's helmet is completely different from Tobaspino's hero's helmet (bottom right). 

It's believed that due to the coloration of Plesion that he belongs to a yet to be seen hero named Kyoryu Violet. The names Kyoryu Navy and Kyoryu Indigo have been thrown around as possible names for Tobaspino's pilot (which is incidentally Battery 00) but nobody seems to know for sure just yet.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sailor Moon S.H. Figuarts: Mercury confirmed.

A new picture appeared of the Sailor Moon S.H. Figuarts on display at the Akiba Showroom with a special, unexpected (maybe) surprise: an unpainted Sailor Mercury sculpt! Though it's very much in the preliminary stages, is it too much to hope that we're going to see all ten of the major characters?

Sailor Moon, with unpainted Mercury sculpt on the right.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Kenji Ohba demonstrates how a Space Sheriff transforms!

This is a real treat. At a live event in France last month, Kenji Ohba, original actor for Space Sheriff Gavan, appeared as a guest. During part of the discussion, he demonstrated for the audience (in slow motion, no less!) exactly how Space Sheriff Gavan poses for his JOUCHAKU! transformation. He even makes sure to show the part where the light particles are flowing down!

Ohba is a pretty cool guy. His history goes all the way back to Himitsu Sentai Goranger. Before he made his first unmasked on-screen appearance as Denji Blue, he was the suit actor for Akaranger, the original first red hero in Sentai history. His first credited role is a monster suit actor in Kamen Rider. Even at 58, he's still a prominent stuntman. He appeared doing stunts in the recent Space Sheriff Gavan movie where he once again transformed and fought alongside his successor -- and performed his own stunts in several unsuited combat scenes.

Dammit, Shin...

Shin, unloved and ignored in his other continuity, takes his career in a new direction.

Shin gets no love, ever. Did anyone see the Decade All Riders vs. Dai Shocker movie? There's a great scene where all of the Riders are jumping in as the citizens chant their name. When they get to Shin... nobody's chanting Shin's name. Poor Shin. That's what happens when you're a hideous bugman rather than a spandex fightan man.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ninja Captor, shu shu shu! Or is it Cap-tan chu chu chu?

Now that the subtitled version is out, I can talk about it freely without spoiling. If you were curious what Akibaranger was referencing when I posted about Mitsuko Horie last week, feast your eyes and ears. Akibaranger was referencing a tokusatsu show called Ninja Captor, a non-Sentai ninja series with a well loved theme song performed by anime and tokusatsu song legends Ichirou Mizuki and Mitsuko Horie.

Of course, Akibaranger changed it very slightly to Ninja Cap-tan, a magical girl ninja themed ninja series, and Mitsuko Horie was herself using a pseudonym, but the theme music is note for note identical to the original, though the lyrics have been changed.

The series ran from 1976 to 1977. Shotaro Ishinomori was not involved in this series, but much like the original Kamen Rider and Kamen Rider Stronger, it features a hero who escaped from an enemy organization and used their powers against them. The difference is, in this series, the hero has a team to back him up.

While not a Sentai series, Ninja Captor featured elements common to the series, and was listed as created by Hatte Saburo. Officially, it is classified as a "Ninja Hero" series, but not alongside Ninja Sekai Sen Jiraiya, which is a Metal heroes Series. Actually, it's kind of nice that someone mentioned Ninja Captor at all, since unlike other entries into the various series (such as Gavan, Sharivan, and Shaider, Poitrine, and Inazuman), Ninja Captor has not appeared in any crossovers with other Toei properties to date.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Kyoryuger comedy: MUH CHILDHOODS.

Some delightful person on 4chan made this about our favorite Lord of Bad Puns from Kyoryuger, Nossan. I hope it was one of you fine people.

 If you're wondering what it's referencing, it's this meme, featuring fellow blue wearing bad punster from the classic Magic School Bus series, Carlos.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Akibaranger: Mitsuko Horie background.

You may wish to avoid this if you don't like spoilers and didn't watch Akibaranger Episode 4 yet (I'll try to keep them to a minimum), but when you do, you may find yourself wondering, "Who's this old lady supposed to be?"

Mitsuko Horie is a well known and beloved singer with a long career in performing anime and tokusatsu songs. Not only did she perform the original theme song to Ninja Captor, but she co-sang the theme to Himitsu Sentai Goranger. She is also well known for such beloved theme songs as the original Sazae-san theme, Candy Candy, Majokko Tickle, and the 1988 version of Himitsu no Akko-chan. She actually did quite a few more themes than the magical girl ones, but those are honestly the ones that I know the best.

She also has quite a few voice roles: not only did she sing the theme to Akko-chan in the remake, she provided her voice. Her best known role in the west, no doubt, was Sailor Galaxia, the ultimate tragic villain in the long-running Sailor Moon series.

Being a huge Sailor Moon nerd, I would be remiss in my duties if I did not post this song. She has an amazing range and a powerful voice, and without spoiling too much about Akibaranger, I can honestly say that she's still got it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Power Sentai Americanger.

I'll just leave this here. There were rumors that they were going to actually make a Power Ranger joke in Akibaranger Season 2, but many people thought that Power Rangers was far too obscure for a Japanese audience. Once again, Akibaranger has proven that there is no subject that they won't touch when it comes to Sentai. Over the last few weeks, we've seen Dairanger get kicked out of the continuity in favor of Akibaranger, but in an upcoming episode, it appears that Zyuranger is going to get the same treatment, replaced with its American Power Ranger counterpart. Check out those patriotic belts!

Monday, April 15, 2013

More on the S.H. Figuarts Sailor Moon figure.

Tamashii Nations' S.H. Figuarts site has updated with more information on the Sailor Moon Figuarts figure that's due out this August.

The 140mm figure (which is in scale with the Rider and Sentai figures that S.H. Figuarts also produces) includes three different heads (for different facial expressions), three different left hands, five different right hands with two Moon Sticks (one with the Ginzuishou in the slot and one without), an in-scale Luna companion figure, and a Moon Tiara effect. If this is similar to other superhero figures, it will most likely be a translucent aura effect to simulate Sailor Moon's famous Moon Tiara Action finishing move. The brooch will be the classic first series brooch.

Expect the level of articulation consistent with other S.H. Figuarts figures, and if you purchase in the first run, you'll probably get the special first run item as well; in many cases, this is a plastic stage designed specifically for the figure, such as the ones that came with the first-run Akiba Red last year.

 I clearly need her, since she clearly needs to be best friends for life with Kamen Rider Fourze and Akiba Red. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is 4,410 yen, but the price usually goes down fairly soon after release.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

In the name of the moon, I will buy this.

If you thought S.H. Figuarts just made Rider, Sentai, and PreCure figures, good news: this is coming out in August, and you can bet I'll be getting it. Classic Series One Sailor Moon with the Moon Stick.

Unfortunately, we cannot see if she includes all of the various brooches and weapons that she carries up through Sailor Moon S (remember that her costume changed as an upgrade in late S and for the duration of SuperS). But there is at least a possibility that she will include them. By the way, the rebooted series is rumored to be out in the summer. Since the Figuarts usually come out shortly after the show releases (sales are boosted by the show release), there's a possibility we'll see the new television series in July or August also. We hope. Expect an absolute merchandising deluge. Sailor Moon was probably the first magical girl or even shojo series to really receive this level of merchandise.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Kawaii, Please.

I think Beast may have taken that Magical Girl Beast schtick a bit too far.

Here's the crew of Kamen Rider Wizard goofing off and taking weird photos while waiting for it to stop raining so they can film an action scene.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Akibaranger Season Two (Warning: Spoilers)

Welp. Hatte Saburo has done it again. If you've seen the first episode of Akibaranger Season Two (Tsuu), you'll no doubt have noticed this by now, but the episode was a recap episode of the last season... except it was a recap of things that never happened, because the storyline diverges from what we know to have been true to things that aren't true. If you haven't seen it, then let me first warn you that spoilers are going to follow this point:

Never mind that the opening sequence, the eyecatches, and theme song appear to still be under construction, to the point where Haruko Momoi isn't even finished singing it yet, ("It's too painful... sorry!")

Akagi seems to have forgotten that he was part of a television show, and Mitsuki was the one chosen to go to the Pentagon, not Akagi. Additionally, she was invited AFTER the defeat of the final boss, not mid-season as we saw in the previous series.

And then we got a Dr. Maki cameo.

But even more disturbing than that appears to be the fact that Dairanger has somehow been wiped from official continuity and replaced with Akibaranger! That's right, Dairanger never existed, the continuity of shows goes Jetman, Zyuranger, Akibaranger, Kakuranger now! Somehow, Akibaranger has become official, and the only ones who remember Dairanger are our heroes! Truly, Hatte Saburo is a cruel genie, a monkey's paw that grants wishes, but twists them to his own designs!

Can the heroes repair the official continuity? Is that why Kibaranger is the only suit to appear in the American Power Rangers? Tune in next week! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chinese Super Sentai: Not April Fool's.

First of all, I waited until after April 1st to post this. I don't do that whole April Fool's Day thing with trying to trick people into thinking their favorite show was getting a movie, getting cancelled, coming back, etc. April Fool's has evolved with the Internet into a holiday for tricking nerds, and while it's funny sometimes, I sometimes am not into it. There were a few cute ones this year, like one that there was going to be an American release of Kamen Rider Fourze called Power Rider Apollo, which was given some credence due to the fact that whomever came up with the gag had obviously seen it, and had even generated some fake script pages.

Now that I'm back from Japan, I wanted to direct your attention to something a friend showed me, and I found on Youtube. Have you ever wondered if China has a Super Sentai equivalent? China is famed for not only manufacturing many of the Super Sentai toys, they also tend to be fans of Japanese television for the most part (Sailor Moon was huge there in the 1990s!)

This is Ju Shen Zhan Ji Dui, and you can watch the whole episode here online. A fully Chinese equivalent of Super Sentai, it features a number of the same types of monster, robot, and fight effects you can find in the Japanese versions. Unfortunately, my Chinese is almost nonexistent, so I can't really tell you what's being said, but it's worth a look just to see how the different styles compare.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Return of Sailor Otaku; Real Kyoryu Gold Pictures

I have returned from Japan... it was a fantastic trip, by the way. By no action of my own, I was upgraded to first class on the flight over, and if you've never flown first class internationally, let me tell you that it's like being a Greek deity for 14 hours (except for all the treachery, incest, and tragedy).

While I was there, I had the opportunity to have a look at some magazines for upcoming Super Sentai and Kamen Rider events, but once again, 2ch beat me to the punch with these images of the actual Kyoryu Gold. This time, it's not a troll post news release of Torin. Kyoryu Gold is, like KyoryuCyan, another Spirit Warrior, this time from ancient Japan. From Japan's Sengoku Jidai comes Utsusemimaru. If you're curious what his name means, it's an ancient name from when people didn't have last names: it refers to both the realm of the living, and the cast off shell of a cicada (it's a very poetic word). Expect him to have a cute nickname.

With the power of Pteragodon, Utsusemimaru wields the power of lightning. Some have noted that he's coming in very early (we first saw the beast battery in the hands of the Deboss in the most recent episode) rather than halfway through.

By the way, I'm preparing a number of photos I took while I was there and hope to show them off soon.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Not Just a Delusion: Real Life Akibaranger Locations

Did you know that most of the places show in Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger actually exist? It's true! Most of the places shown in "the real world" in Akibaranger are real locations in and around Akihabara (delusion sequences typically take place in other locations). When I was there in November, I happened to take some photos of these locations, and I hope you enjoy them. Feel free to ask any questions, and I'll be back there next week, so more will be forthcoming!

This should come as a familiar site to fans of Akibaranger: this is White Canvas, a popular doujinshi store that served as the exterior location for the Secret Base Cafe.


That's not the Machine Itasher. Delusion ruined.

Akagi thinks about getting a kebab here.

Then tears off down the street after remembering: NO DELUSIONS.
"Normal people can die in a fire!"

Do you recognize this one? This is the real life storefront that served as Sasaki Ponpoko Delivery in the show.

This is Chuo Street, the street that the Itasher Robo can be seen fighting on in the opener. It slides past the store seen in the background. The businesses are photoshopped to avoid royalties.

After having their MMZ-01's taken away, the gang relax here. Well, Mitsuki and Yumeria relax. Akagi sulks.
There's the seat where they were sitting.

This is the bridge where Yumeria can be seen in the opening credits, just before her wig blows off.
Here it is from the angle in the show, looking the reverse direction. This is where Akagi also decides to go to the Pentagon.
Itasher Robo crashed into the real world, and we found our heroes running in place here at Akihabara UDX.
This scene is frequently used as a setting shot, with the yellow-striped JR Chuo Line train running across it.
More to come another time!