Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Watch It Before Toei Removes It: Akibaranger Season 2 Production Video

Want to see the production video for Akibaranger Season 2 and glean some tantalizing bits of information about the upcoming story? Then check this out before Toei removes it! It's not available ourside of Japan yet, but some people have re-uploaded it into accounts that aren't region locked.

Among the things you'll see...
  • Nobuo's actor mentoring new actress Sawada Shione (she is TALL!)
  • Ogino Karin!
  • Hakase!
  • KozKoz!
  • Akiba Red's new armor and Moe Dagger!
  • This year's foot soldiers!
  • And lastly (and perhaps most interestingly), Malshina with a purple MMZ-01 shouting, "JAMOUSOU!" -- which means "EVIL DELUSION!" instead of "GRAND DELUSION!"

Monday, February 25, 2013

Robert Baldwin: Kyoryu Cyan actor biography.

A helpful poster on 4chan directed me to this biography of actor Robert Baldwin from an interview that the the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website had with him. Baldwin will be playing Kyoryu Cyan in Kyoryuger.

"Robert Baldwin is a Canadian citizen born in Kyoto and raised in Hiroshima. He is proficient in both Japanese and English, speaking both languages like a native. After moving to Canada in 1979, he completed his high school education at Caledonia Senior Secondary School in Terrace, British Columbia. After having spent some time working as a tour guide for Japanese tourists in Banff, Alberta, Robert returned to Japan in 1995. Since then, Robert has worked primarily as a translator, while taking on jobs as an actor and television celebrity."

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs site, he describes himself as an anime otaku, and when he appeared in Sazer-X, his figure was the second highest selling (likely after the main hero). Godspeed you, Robert Baldwin. You're living the dream. You're an inspiration to all of us living overseas!

Say, Robert... you think you could put in a good word for me with the Akibaranger crew at Toei? I still have my dream of becoming Akiba White in the third season.


A Seventh Ranger for Kyoryuger: Kyoryu Cyan?!

It's been theorized that we were going to see at least one new character for Kyoryuger to have one representing each continent of Earth. Today on 2ch, scans hit the web of a never before seen ranger color, and man... this one's a doozy!

Say hello to the Steel Hero, Kyoryu Cyan!

An ancient warrior awakened from 500 years ago, Kyoryu Cyan goes by the real name Ramirez. He wears ancient skins, has a full beard, and is powered by the Ankydon Beast Battery, charged with the energy of Ankylosaurus. Perhaps the most shocking thing of all: his actor does NOT APPEAR TO BE JAPANESE! While we have had foreign characters in Super Sentai before such as Peggy Matsuyama, Miss America, and Ninja Black, with the possible humorous exception of Shinken Brown (who was never an "official" Shinkenger), Ramirez may very well be the first official non-ethnically Japanese actor to play a Super Sentai character.

Some fans on 2ch have jokingly referred to the revelation of Kyoryu Cyan as "Gaijinger".

A new color... and a new first in Super Sentai. Is Kyoryuger changing the face of Super Sentai forever? And how will the fans react? What do you think of this?

Update: Ramirez/KyoryuCyan is confirmed to be played by actor Robert Baldwin who previously appeared in another Toei tokusatsu sci-fi series, Chousei Kantai Sazer-X.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Akibaranger Official: Akiba Blue Replaced

Remember that initial picture of the Akibaranger filming and how everyone said that Akiba Blue didn't look anything like Kyoko Hinami?

That's because it's not. This morning, it was confirmed that Akiba Blue will be played by new actress, 14 year old Sawada Shione. She'll be playing new character Iwashimizu Mitsuki.

Sawada Shione, the new Akiba Blue.
Yes, that's right, she even has the same first name as the old Akiba Blue.

It's confirmed that Malshina and Hakase will both return, and we know that a new character will be introduced named General Tsuu, who from his name, is very likely some kind of villain. He will be played by legendary voice actor Horikawa Ryo, voice of characters such as Vegeta, Heiji Hattori from Detective Conan, and the masked villain Karasu from Yu Yu Hakusho.

Also noteworthy in the cast is that Akiba Yellow is now listed by her "real" first name, Yuko, but her last name is Yokoyama rather than Yamada. Could Akiba Yellow have gotten married in the year since we saw her last? Are we about to get a MagiRanger joke and have her husband become one of the heroes?

Akibaranger Character Redesigns/Upgrades Confirmed

Earlier today we posted a cover of a magazine that suggested that the characters in Akibaranger were going to receive upgrades or alterations to their costumes. Today, images hit 2ch of close-ups of the redesigns. It is now confirmed that Akiba Red will receive some kind of upgrade featuring the purple Aoi-tan character, and it appears to be a girl hugging Akiba Red.

Not only this, but the redesigns for Akiba Blue and Yellow are similarly confirmed. Akiba Blue now sports a swiveling ponytail, and Akiba Yellow has the aforementioned Chinese buns with white ties on both of them.


Akiba Blue, in fact, has garter stockings now.
And not to be outdone by Akiba Red, they seem to want their own armor.
But the real question at hand is... where are the original cast? According to people who were on set yesterday afternoon, they filmed in several locations including in front of Mandarake Complex (which is directly down the street from Sasaki Ponpoko Delivery), but the actors weren't seen on set. Were they just filming exterior shots for the show on a good weather day, or have the cast been (temporarily) replaced as part of a plotline?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Akibaranger Character Redesigns?!

The latest issue of Figure Oh shows some of the new Akibaranger figures on the cover! But are our heroes getting an upgrade?! Akiba Red seems to have a body armor formed of the new purple haired Aoi-tan series character that bears a striking resemblence to Malshina. If you look closely, the armor features the character hugging Akiba Red's body closely -- her arm is draped across his chest, her head is on her shoulder, and one of her legs is draped across his. Some viewers are already drawing comparisons between this armor and anime hug pillows (dakimakura)... which, knowing Akibaranger, would fit the theme.

Meanwhile, Akiba Blue and Akiba Yellow are sporting Chinese style hair buns. The cover says, "SERIES 2 IS PAIN MAX!"

Whether these are power upgrades or minor costume changes affected by the heroes in season 2 remains to be seen...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Akibaranger Season 2 Premiere Date Announced

Akiba fans rejoice, the continuing adventures of sentai otaku (and Aoi-tan fanboy) Nobuo Akagi will continue on April 5, 2013, on Asahi BS at 1:30 AM. According to Hakase's blog on the official Akibaranger web site, this year the show will be broadcast on local stations in Kansai (western Japan) as well, which is a big change.

I will remind everyone that it has been rumored for some time that in this season, the Akibarangers may meet a rival hero team from Osaka's version of Akihabara, Den Den Town -- again, this is a 2ch rumor, so please do take this with a grain of salt -- but having the show air in Kansai would be a perfect opportunity to spotlight on these heroes locally.

Hakase's blog goes on to say that the official staff list and the cast will be announced at a later date.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Minna Atsumare! Kyoryuger Ending Sequence

Everybody together! Hey, even the villains are getting into the dance! I have a theory that it is impossible to feel bad while listening to this song. I think that watching and listening to this will cheer you up.

"Sing mucho! Everybody samba!"

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Kyoryuger Begins Today!

Gaburincho! This morning in Japan, the first episode of the latest series of Super Sentai, Jyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, aired. Did you see it? Well, if you didn't, we witnessed a sudden attack on every continent by the deadly Devoss, and the Kyoryuger team stepping up to defend them. Above, you'll find the full opening sequence.

Expect lots of gaburincho, vamo la, and meccha mucho. The show has a number of references to past Super Sentai series, such as their base being located through a portal in a cafe.

One thing that's certainly worth noting is that each Kyoryuger seems to originate from a different continent, but two continents are NOT represented. Could this mean that we'll have TWO extra rangers this year? Seven heroes for seven continents?

Did you see it? What did you think?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Kamen Rider Valentine's Day.

It's Valentine's Day, and from me here at the weeablog to you and your special someone, I hope you have a great day. And if you're FOREVER ALONE (or not), then watch this. Actually, just watch this regardless. Kind miss, are you a Kamen Rider?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Kyoryu Gold's Gaburichanger: Just a Dragviser clone?

It was pointed out today that the Gaburichanger used as a weapon or transformation device by Kyoryu Gold appears to bear a striking resemblance to the Dragviser used by Kamen Rider Ryuki.

Kamen Rider Ryuki's Dragvisor

Kyoryu Gold's Gaburicharger
Similar, but not exact. Could it be? Is Bandai simply re-using an old mold they've used for Kamen Rider Ryuki?

First images of Kyoryu Gold hit the net.

Toy-world.com.hk managed to obtain some scans of the upcoming toy catalogs featuring Kyoryu Gold's personal item, the Gaburichanger. A wrist mounted, pteranadon shaped device, it is both a transformation device and a weapon: it features both an electrical slash, and lever operated electrical beam. The Gaburichanger can affix to a sword for a melee weapon.

It appears that Kyoryu Gold is a male, which puts to rest rumors that Kyoryu Gold would be played by fan favorite Nao Nagasawa (Hurricane Blue), who the producer has confirmed will be showing up in a few episodes.

Which is a really good thing.

Kyoryu Gold's powers are electrical based, and this shows in his costume design: his shoulder sashes are blue lightning bolts, and he has a double teardrop cape hanging from his shoulder pauldrons. His sash is, as predicted, silver instead of gold like the others.

It has also been confirmed that, much like with the rings in Kamen Rider Wizard and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, we will see collectible items (in this case, batteries) which contain the power of previous Super Sentai series. Red Buster, Gokai Red, and Gosei Red have all been confirmed in toy catalogs, also kindly provided by toy-world.com.hk.

It's not clear whether this is going to actually play a part in the show, but typically, these items based on past series are "movie plot only" or collectible items.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It will never be time for Busters again.

GoBusters came and went with a fanfare, and the general consensus is that it was very good. It didn't pander to happy Disney endings, and the end fight was fantastic. Even though various internet trolls have complained that Go Busters was "boring" and that it wasn't like typical Sentai and wasn't popular, it actually didn't do bad. I suspect that Go Busters will be remembered for its fantastic mecha action, what could be the best villain in Sentai history (Enter), and an innovative suit design. It will never be time for Busters ever again. It will now be time for DynaSaur Sentai Kyoryuger. VAMO LA!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

We Rider now.

Viewers of the long running magical girl series Pretty Cure may have caught this clever reference no doubt inserted for the parents of the target age group. It seems that in the new series' first episode, when faced with a giant enemy crab which is being a jerk by trying to hog the view from the Sky Tree for himself, the main character is instructed to transform and defeat him. So she attempts to do it in the way one would expect to transform when you're a Japanese superhero.

This, of course, turns out to not be the proper way to transform, as she is a magical girl, not a Kamen Rider, but this clever reference is absolutely a reference to the famous pose of Kamen Rider #1, Takeshi Hongo.

Whether or not the character is aware of Kamen Rider, or whether any more clever references to other Toei properties will be implemented remains to be seen, but PreCure has often been described as "Kamen Rider for girls". Toei Animation may have some surprises in store for the keen eyed viewer yet.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

On the horizon: Kyoryu Gold

Rumors hit 2ch late last week that the "Sixth Ranger" in the upcoming Kyoryuger series is going to be Kyoryu Gold, and that it would use a flying dinosaur. Today, images of a gold mecha hit the Internet. Called PteRaidenOh, it is clearly based upon a flying pteranodon, and can by itself fully transform into a mech.

Because it's just not Super Sentai without a sixth ranger anymore.
As you no doubt expected, the transformed form of PteRaidenOh is able to combine with the main five's mecha, Kyoryujin. Additionally, expect a special Dino Battery called PteraGolden. Nothing is known about Kyoryu Gold, but the mecha certainly looks exciting.