Thursday, January 28, 2016

WEEABOO SHOGUN PRESENTS: Special Rescue Police Winspector Episode #37

A late night tipoff and a raid on a black market auction dealing in stolen antiquities leads the Winspector team to a former professor of archaeology who is being targeted by a mysterious tribe of Amazon women assassins demanding the return of a tribal artifact. When they use a rare poison on the professor's daughter as a bargaining chip, things get personal. Time is running out for Ryoma and his team!

Oh what a feeling,Toyota! (Google it if you don't get it.)

The premise of this episode is ridiculous. Surprisingly Japanese looking Amazon women from the Peruvian rainforest (Peru does have part of the Amazon, I looked it up) show up in Japan in search of a plundered artifact and use their Peruvian martial arts to beat up everyone. And... it's NOT completely dumb! The writing is snappy, feels like police drama. The action is great, the twists (there are several) are fantastic, and the ending is great too. This is Takahiko Masuda's one episode in Winspector, and it fires on all cylinders.

The Amazons speak decent Japanese, but it's very direct.

By the way, I checked, and the plants they named are made up. Quipu, however, are not made up, and are a part of Incan culture. If you ever watched The Mysterious Cities of Gold, there was a plotline about Zia being able to read quipu for the other characters.

You should watch this show if you haven't.

Ryoma may seem kind of emotionally muted most of the time, but check out the calm fury at the end of this episode. Bikel and Walter don't even get deployed. That's how serious he is.

Hope you enjoy this actually good episode! Two in a week!

Torrent Link:

Monday, January 25, 2016

WEEABOO SHOGUN PRESENTS: Special Rescue Police Winspector Episode #36

Bikel begins to behave erratically, manifesting a sudden obsession with fathers. Things take a dramatic turn when he begins to commit crimes with no memories of them. Someone is manipulating Bikel from afar, and the only one who might be able to stop him and save Winspector is Bikel's original programmer! At long last, learn the backstory of the creation of Winspector's Support Droids,and how Bikel came to be the cheerful Nagoya-accented jokester we know and love.

Perhaps the most obvious thing: Nishida, the engineer who programmed Bikel (Dr. Asahina from the Gigastreamer episode was the designer) is played by Kaoru Shinoda, who performs the voice of Bikel. Shinoda is a veteran tokusatsu voice actor who appeared as far back as 1971's "Suki! Suki! Majo-sensei", which was something of a precursor to the Fushigi Comedy shows. He was also the voice of the one of the first monsters in Sentai, Jade Mask on Himitsu Sentai Goranger and appeared either on screen or in voice form in many of the Toei productions from the 70s through late nineties. In recent years, he has appeared in numerous dramas, including the film Shall We Dance, which was remade in Hollywood.

Recent image of Kaoru Shinoda, voice of Bikel, courtesy Japan Talent Agency.

He is indeed from Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. This role was a rare opportunity for him to use his actual accent.

Father and son reunited.
 Note that this episode is the return of the much missed leather jacket for Ryoma. This may mean that this cour was filmed before the others with the white jacket, since we're entering the final group of episodes now.

I should mention that this is a Sagiyama episode, who as I've mentioned before can be weird. However, I really think she nailed it on this episode. If you love Bikel, it will hurt you to watch him be forced to do such terrible things, and delight you to see what happens at the end.

Not really necessary for this episode.

This is the first episode I subtitled, but I went back and updated it to be consistent with the "voice" I've written for the characters.

Also, in Japan, what other countries call a "green light" on a traffic signal is called a "blue light" there. They still look green to me...

Torrent Link:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

WEEABOO SHOGUN PRESENTS: Special Rescue Police Winspector Episode #35

Mother and Child, SOS!

A boy who loves the sea and dreams of becoming a seafaring man is the only witness to a terrible crime. But his mother pressures him to not report it. What reason can she possibly have for obstructing justice? And will Winspector be able to protect the boy when the criminal comes around to eliminate the only witness?

Sorry for posting this late on my blog. Some of you who follow me on Twitter saw it though.

Most of the seaside scenes were filmed at the port in Yokohama. There's a building in the first scene that was still being built when the episode was filmed that's a major hotel in Yokohama now.
Yokohama in 1989. Note the unfinished hotel on the right side.
Yokohama in 2014 with the finished hotel.

The word the boy signals at the end is "ARIGATO". I did the best I could to convey that.

Both female guest stars who appear in this episode were active in TV dramas. Takashi's mother's actress did some anime voiceover roles as well.

Bikel fans rejoice, because next week is an episode all about him... and it explains a lot about him!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

WEEABOO SHOGUN PRESENTS: Special Rescue Police Winspector Episode #34

Commander Masaki sends Bikel and Walter on vacation in Yamanashi Prefecture (at the base of Mount Fuji) so that they can study human interaction. While on the way there, they run into a little old lady who seems to believe that the only thing you can rely on in the world is money! When she's kidnapped and held for ransom, Bikel and Walter have to shift into high gear to rescue her... and they're in for an explosive conclusion!

The episode title, Gyakuten Baachan, is the exact sort of title that they use in the Ace Attorney games, so I kept it the same way, since she experiences a turnabout.

The amusement park shown in the episode is a real place in Yamanashi Prefecture, a few hours outside of Tokyo: Fuji Q Highlands, which I've actually been to. It's home to some world record breaking roller coasters.

Entrance to Fuji Q then.
And in March 2014, photographed by me.

If you like coasters and you have some free time while in Japan, take the highway bus from Shinjuku there and check it out (plan to stay at one of the hotels for the night). They also have a haunted house built an old hospital (that I won't go in because I'm a giant chicken) that is apparently in the Guiness Book of World Records as the scariest in the world!
How's that for a view? From Fuji-Q. Photographed by me, March 2014.