REVIEW: KAMEN RIDER x SUPER SENTAI: CHOU SUPER HERO TAISEN

 

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Starring

Hiroki Iijima (Holiday Love)
Toshiki Seto (Kaiji: Final Game)
Ukyo Matsumoto (Ultraman X)
Ruka Matsuda (Scarlet)
Hayato Onozuka (Dear Sister)
Hanamaru Hakata (Shi ni zokonai no Ao)
Shouma Kai (You Shine in the Moonlit Night)
Tetsuya Iwanaga (One Piece Film: Z)
Masashi Taniguchi (Kamen Rider Amazons)
Toshihiko Seki (Kamen Rider Den-O)
Kōji Yusa (Mahou Sentai Magiranger)
Ryohei Odai (Kamen Rider Ryuki)
Takumi Kizu (Southern Beach Love Story)
Yosuke Kishi (Super Sentai Strongest Battle!!)
Kazuya Nakai (Samurai Champloo)
Yūki Ono (Beastars)
Akio Otsuk (Akio Otsuk)
Taiki Yamazak (Diabolik Lovers)
Sakurako Okubo (BLACK FOX: Age of the Ninja)
Mao Ichimichi (Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger)
Tetsuji Sakakibara (Peacemaker Kurogane)
Hiroshi Kamiya (Haikyuu!!)
Haruka Tateishi (Prison 13)
Masaki Nakao (Kakafukaka)
Miki Yanagi (Futari Monologue)
Shohei Nanba (Sengoku Basara)
Tsurugi Watanabe (Does the Flower Bloom?)
Naoki Kunishima (Beshari Gurashi)
Gaku Matsumoto (Shuriken Sentai Ninninger)
Atsushi Maruyama (Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger)
Hiroya Matsumoto (Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters)

C0pE0PrWEAANcDdWhen the 1982 video game Xevious launches an full-scale attack on the real world, Emu turns to the video game “Chou Super Hero Taisen” for help – a world where Rider and Sentai clash led by Kamen Rider True Brave, a game version of Hiiro Kagami. For them to help, Emu must first win the game and earn the power of the Kamen Sentai Goriders. To do so, he forms a team with game versions of Momotaros/Kamen Rider Den-O, Kamen Rider Zolda, Beet Buster and AoNinger.Chou-Super-Hero-Taisen-XeviousAs Emu fights, the CR and Super Sentai members join forces to uncover the origin of Chou Super Hero Taisen. While Poppy and Naga Rei of the Kyurangers discover a young boy named Eito also living inside the game, Amu of the Zyuohgers uncovers the link between him and a case the real Hiiro has kept secret for the past yearChou-Super-Hero-Taisen-True-BraveWith Toei insistent that the majority of their crossover films must take some sort of “versus” format (even if it’s in name only), there’s always the problem of how you get two lots of superheroes to fight both conceivably and believably. Chou Super Hero Taisen gets around that by dropping them into the one place no one will ever question the logic behind it – a fighting game. Certainly there later comes the question of how exactly a child could have programmed a game with all these heroes, but with the video game-themed Kamen Rider Ex-Aid in the spotlight the idea fits perfectly. So much so that Bandai/Toei could have easily made an actual game out of it, as the five-member team concept has so much potential. Though many of the teams aren’t properly highlighted (it’s well worth looking up all the ones listed in the match-ups scene), the film does have a lot of fun with putting them together and the character selection segment for Team Ex-Aid is genuinely hilarious. It’s really wonderful to see Momotaros, Jin and Shuichi back. Yakumo less so, but to his credit he works great within the team and his inclusion was worth it just to set up an obvious (but definitely obligatory) Magi Yellow/Beet Buster joke.Chou-Super-Hero-Taisen-Character-SelectSpeaking of games Toei use their Bandai affiliation to good effect here by introducing classic Namco arcade games Xevious and Galaxian as the invading forces from the game world. Though not the only time actual games have been used in the context of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, their implementation helps makes the show feel that little bit more “real” while at the same time giving off an added layer to that retro gaming vibe the show has going for itChou-Super-Hero-Taisen-Ex-Aid-KyurenohChou Super Hero Taisen also thankfully takes a leaf out of Super Hero Taisen Z’s book and focuses on a much smaller cast that doesn’t necessarily include the usual major players. The film is almost entirely led by the Ex-Aid cast, it does throw out a few surprises in terms of Super Sentai characters. Though present for the obligatory misunderstanding fight at the very beginning Lucky is actually absent for most of the runtime, with the Kyuranger quota filled by Naga and, to a lesser extent, Balance. As well as the BN thieves being two of the best characters in Kyuranger, Naga’s lack of emotions works perfectly alongside both Eito’s same infliction as well as Hiiro’s stoic disposition. Meanwhile it’s just Amu properly representing the Zyuohgers, which is great considering she was one of the more undeveloped characters in the show itself. What she gets here doesn’t really add anything of real value to her in terms of development, but it’s always nice to see how Sentai characters outside of their usual teams.Chou-Super-Hero-Taisen-Naga-Balance-AmuChou Super Hero Taisen is another excellent crossover films that sees some welcome returns and a few surprises. This is a must see for any Kamen Rider and Super Sentai fan.

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: SHURIKEN SENTAI NINNINGER

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CAST

Shunsuke Nishikawa (Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3)
Gaku Matsumoto (Ressha Sentai ToQger vs. Kyoryuger)
Kaito Nakamura (Shuriken Sentai Ninninger vs. ToQger)
Yuuka Yano (Come Back! Shuriken Sentai Ninninger)
Kasumi Yamaya (Space Sheriff Shaider: Next Generation)
Hideya Tawada (The Boy Inside)
Toshihiro Yashiba (All Esper Dayo!)
Takashi Sasano (The Hidden Blade)
Megumi Han (Twin Star Exorcists)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Teruaki Ogawa (Ninja Sentai Kakuranger)
Shun Shioya (Ninpu Sentai Hurricaneger)
Hinako Tanaka (Nowhwere Girl)
Yuko Ito (Yukemuri Sniper)
Chihiro Yamamoto (Ultrman Greed)
Ryoma Baba (Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters)
Takumi Tsutsui (Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya)
Yoshi Sudarso (Power Rangers Dino Charge)
Hiroya Matsumoto (Mahou Sentai Magiranger)

1009913_527643527396100_5346307097881678023_nSuper Sentai has been host to a wide variety of themes and motifs over the years, but there is a handful that in the past have proven so successful that they are worth revisiting again and again. Dinosaurs is one that immediately springs to mind, as are cars/vehicles and of course ninjas. Shuriken Sentai Ninninger marks the third time Toei have produced a ninja-orientated Sentai, previously used by Ninja Sentai Kakuranger in 1994 and then Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger in 2002. The 39th entry in the franchise ran from February 2015 to February 2016, weighing in at a grand total of 47 episodes. shuriken_sentai_ninninger_wallpaper_by_unknownchaser-d8g1fmkCenturies ago in feudal Japan, a ruthless warlord named Gengetsu Kibaoni was slain by the Igasaki Ninja clan before discarding his humanity to become a powerful Yokai. His first attempt at resurrection 400 years later was thwarted by Yoshitaka Igasaki – the man who would go on to be known as the “Last Ninja”. Now in modern time, Gengetsu’s retainer Kyuuemon Izaoi revives the Kibaoni Corps with the goal of gathering enough fear to resurrect their leader once more.
With only the Igasakis able to withstand the threat of the Kibaoni Corps, Yoshitaka’s son Tsumuji gathers a new team of heroes to follow in the footsteps of their still-living grandfather – his children Takaharu and Fuka, along with their cousins Yakumo Kato, Nagi Matsuo and Kasumi Momochi. Fighting as the Shuriken Sentai Ninninger, the team also train in the clan’s Shuriken Ninja Arts as they compete against each other for the title of Last Ninja. They are later also joined by Kinji Takigawa – the American Yokai Hunter Star Ninger who has travelled to learn from the Last Ninja. Throughout their battles they learn the history of the Igasaki clan, its links with the mysterious Kyuuemon and the existence of the End Shuriken – a treasure containing a great power which the Kibaoni Corps wish to take for themselves.
Shuriken Sentai NinningerWhen the “ninjas that do not stay hidden” first burst onto television screens initial reception was very positive. The revisited the ninja theme in full force, utilising extremely impressive stunt work that relied more on acrobatics than conventional wirework. The return to a family dynamic felt was refreshing, with the team actively competing against each other as well as working together. There was good variety in the hot-headed but skilled Takaharu, competitive magic-user Yakumo, the logical and scientific Kasumi, klutzy but determined Fuka and the more reserved yet earnest Nagi – later amplified by addition of Kinji initially working against the team before officially joining them.

Ninninger is another great Sentai series with a great cast and also merits some great guest stars from previous Sentai series, A worthy entry in the Super Sentai Franchise.

REVIEW: Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters The Great Dinosaur Battle Farewell Our Eternal Friends

 

Starring

Ryo Ryusei (Hiyokko)
Syuusuke Saito (Kamen Rider Zi-O the Movie: Over Quartzer)
Yamato Kinjo (Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger)
Akihisa Shiono (Prince of Legend)
Ayuri Konno (Another)
Atsushi Maruyama (Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger)
Katsuhiro Suzuki (Kamen Rider Zi-0)
Ryōma Baba (Here Is Greenwood)
Arisa Komiya (Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters)
Hiroya Matsumoto (Boys Love)
Yūta Mochizuki (Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger)
Koichiro Nishi (Tokyo Girl)
Sho Tomita (Ping Pong)
Marie Iitoyo (The Flowers of Evil)
Syo Jinnai (The Gift from Heaven)
Ayame Misaki (Cutie Honey: The Live)
Hideo Sakaki (Segodon)
Shinji Yamashita (Kaitō Royale)
Toshiyuki Morikawa (After War: Gundam X)
Kōichi Yamadera (Wowser)
Seiju Umon (Best Guy)
Hideki Fujiwara (Kamen Rider Black)
Takumi Hashimoto (Choujinki Metalder)
Reiko Chiba (Ninja Sentai Kakuranger)
Jun Shison (Survival Family)
Jin Hiramaki (Ressha Sentai ToQger)
Riria (Zero: Black Blood)
Ryusei Yokohama (Rainbow Days)
Ai Moritaka (Beginners)

 

193500093Alerted by Torin of an evil presence above the city, the Kyoryugers see a strange energy from the sky before a mysterious green-eyed Tyrannosaurus briefly appears with a warning that Daigo’s best friend might die. The Kyoryugers are then ambushed by a group of Zorima, Golem Soldiers, and Barmia Soldiers before an armored figure named Neo-Geildon arrives with a figure he has just kidnapped. Revealed to be Ryoga Hakua of the Bakuryu Sentai Abaranger team, he transforms and suddenly attacks the Kyoryugers. Luckily, the Go-Busters arrive and hold off Aba Red before Tyranno Ranger of the Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger team turns the tide alongside his captor Neo-Grifforzer. After they and their teams retreat, Hiromu thanks Daigo for helping him and Gokai Red before they are ambushed by Enter. Enter states that he and Escape have been resurrected as part of a Vaglass restoration program that has been activated in response to the evil force that Neo-Grifforzer and Neo-Geildon serve: Voldos, a being created from the combined malice of Dai Satan and Dezumozorlya that is targeting the dinosaur-themed Super Sentai teams to have their Dino Hope extracted and converted into Wicked Life Energy to complete his evolution.Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters Dino MechaWith the Go-Busters and Beet J. Stag holding off the enemies, the Kyoryugers arrive at the site too late to save Ryouga and Geki in what is revealed to be a trap set for them, with Gabutyra defeated by Neo-Grifforzar and infused by Voldos’s power. By the time the Go-Busters find them, the Kyoryugers have had their Dino Hope removed brainwashing them into serving Voldos. The six are sent back in time to kill the dinosaurs. Upon encountering the dinosaurs, the Kyoryugers almost kill them when the green eyed Tyrannosaurus protecting them from an eruption breaks the spell as Daigo recognizes the dinosaur as Gabutyra in his original state. The shock of realizing the Tyrannosaurus is Gabutyra snaps the Kyoryuger’s back to normal. The Gabutyra of the past proceeds to explain to them the warning he told Daigo related to his future self who is dying from Voldos’s influence and that only Daigo can save him with the power of Dino Hope. Elsewhere, with help from the Abarangers’ Yukito Sanjyo using a specially made Super Sentai Zyudenchi, Yayoi creates a time portal to bring the Kyoryugers back to the present time.

Meanwhile, the Go-Busters and Kyoryu Silver mount a rescue mission to save Ryouga and Geki when they are kept back by the Deboth Knights and Luckyuro while Neo-Grifforzer and Neo-Geildon take their captives with them. However, the Kyoryugers arrive and fight a losing battle against the grunts while Ryouga and Geki make a mutual attempt to fight Escape before Daigo finds the dying Gabutyra. Luckily, upon being joined by J alongside Masato who appears due to the activation of a one-time anti-virus program, the reunited Go-Busters team drives off the Deboth Army while destroying the satellite stations as Daigo succeeds in restoring Gabutyra to life. Joined by the assembled Zyuranger and Abaranger teams, using the Abaranger and Zyuranger Zyudenchi to give Gabutyra support in replicas of Guardian Beast Tyrannosaurus and Bakuryu Tyranno to deal with the giant reinforcements, the Kyoryugers transform and the gathered Dinosaur Super Sentai take out the grunts. After the main team obliterates Enter in his Dark Buster form, Kyoryu Gold destroys Escape while the Abarangers defeat Neo-Geildon, and the Kyoryugers regroup with the Zyurangers as they all combine the Kentrospiker, Howling Cannon, and Dino Bomber into the Ultimate Howling Cannon to destroy Neo-Grifforzar.

However, Neo-Grifforzer contains the blast as he departs to space to sacrifice himself to complete Voldos’s evolution. Though the Kyoryugers form Raiden Kyoryuzin, with the Guardian Beast Tyrannosaurus and Bakuryu Tyranno replicas transforming into Daizyuzin and Abarenoh, the Dinosaur Super Sentai are powerless against Voldos. Luckily, having obtained the Go-Busters Zyudenchi from Masato before he fades back into data, Red Buster summons Tategami Lioh whose head is used in the Tategami Raiden Kyoryuzin formation so it, Daizyuzin, and Abarenoh can focus their powers to blast Voldos back into space. Later, after giving their goodbyes to the Gabutyra of the past, the Kyoryugers decide to join the Go-Busters in a victory meal.

First appearance of the ToQgers

What the teams do not know is that Neo-Geildon has survived, and he uses Messiah Card 13 to become Neo-Messiah to avenge his creator. Before he can do anything, a rainbow-colored train descends from the sky and from it emerges the 38th Super Sentai… Ressha Sentai ToQger. Using their unconventional fighting style, which includes switching their colors, the ToQgers quickly destroy Neo-Messiah.MV5BYTUxOTJmZTUtOGY4Mi00NDRmLTk2ZTYtZjZlMTcwMWI5MzQ0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTkxNjUyNQ@@._V1_SY1000_SX1500_AL_Second only to 199 this is a brilliant team-up bringing back all the dinosaur teams was an awsome idea and not  only that but bringing back new versions of the villains was just plain amazing.

REVIEW: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters the Movie: Protect the Tokyo Enetower!

 

Starring

Katsuhiro Suzuki (Kamen Rider Zi-O)
Ryōma Baba (An Assassin)
Arisa Komiya (Ultraman Ginga S The Movie)
Hideo Sakaki (Godzilla: Final Wars)
Hiroya Matsumoto (Boys Love)
Naoto Takahashi (Ultraman Orb)
Fuuka Nishihira (Shrobe Edge)
Syo Jinnai (The Gift From Heaven)

8877f0d8b660c434842cb87c3980deafWith Tokyo now outfitted with Enetron Tanks. Tokyo Tower now also serves as Tokyo Enetower, which controls a dozen Enetron Tanks around it. The three core Go-Busters pay a visit to the district to test-drive the newly re-released first-generation Buster Vehicle FS-0O as well as meet its Buddy Roid Ene-tan. Unbeknownst to the Go-Busters Enter has lodged a rather large transport device in the middle of the tower. He also creates Steamloid, a Metaloid with the ability to rust the special alloy that Buddy Roids and MegaZords use. The Energy Management Center deploys the Go-Busters once they detect the Metaloid activity. They find Steamloid at a fountain near the tower, filling up. The Go-Busters and Buddy Roids battle Steamloid and save the civilians. However, Steamloid unleashes his steam on the Buddy Roids causing them to rust. Though Jin and Beet J Stag arrive on the scene, the EMC and Go-Busters realize that all MegaZords have been taken out of play, including those of Vaglass. This leaves the question of what exactly Enter is planning, if he couldn’t bring his own MegaZords into the fray. Jin arrives, and tells them that he’s deduced that Enter plans to build up enough transport energy on the Tokyo Enetower, which will transport the dozen Enetron tanks around it to Hyper Space. The resulting calamity will also transport ten thousand people with it.

With the Buddy Roids down for the count, Hiromu, Ryuji and Yoko plan to use brute force against Steamloid. The three arrive on the scene, with Ryuji using heatpacks to activate his “weak point”, which results in berseker rage. He uses this berserker attack to clear out a large portion of Buglers surrounding the tower. Hiromu manages to superspeed and clog Steamloid’s chimneys with stones, removing his ability to keep the environment toxic to the special alloy. However, the Go-Busters are outflanked and their weak points all surface. Ene-Tan and Nick hurriedly steal them away aboard FS-0O before any lasting damage could occur. Seeing this, Enter plans ahead to have five MegaZords prepped and transported, during the window where Steamloid’s toxic steam is dissipating. Miho detects MegaZord transport reactions but notes that one of them has not previously been identified.imagesWith the steam subsiding, the Go-Busters return to the Tokyo Tower and make a beeline for Steamloid himself. However, upon his defeat, the Vaglass MegaZords arrive and terrorize the district. Toru notes that the previously unidentified MegaZord is MegaZord Epsilon. The Buster Machines arrive to attempt a rescue of the Enetower, with CB-01 on airlift by RH-03 and GT-02 on the ground. However, Epsilon, piloted by Enter, blasts CB-01 and RH-03 onto the bay, away from the tower. SJ-05 arrives towing a new Megazord combination from the water. CB-01 and GT-02 have combined with FS-0O to form Go-Buster Kero-Oh. Go-Buster Kero-Oh battles and subdues the MegaZord Gamma, while Buster Hercules deals with MegaZord Delta and MegaZord Beta. However with the transport nearing activation, there isn’t enough time to take on the MegaZords and prevent the transport. Hiromu launches the Go-Buster Kero-Oh towards Epsilon and breaks formation, with Go-Buster Ace heading straight for Epsilon and FS-0O hurtling towards the tower. The other Buster Machines destroy the remaining Vaglass MegaZords, as Go-Buster Ace destroys Epsilon and Ene-tan, aboard FS-0O destroys Enter’s transport marker. The Go-Busters have once again won the day. Unfortunately, Ene-tan accidentally breaks the tip of Tokyo Enetower while awkwardly trying to climb up.

Soon, the three core Go-Busters and their Buddy Roids , now fully recovered from battle, repair the broken Tokyo Enetower tip. Afterwards, they enjoy a trip aboard FS-0O along the bay celebrating with beverages. The Go-Busters, the EMC officers Toru and Miho, and their Buddy Roids, including Ene-tan then visit the Tokyo Tower for fun as tourists. Jin and J enjoy the day atop a rooftop away from the tower. Commander Kuroki, with no one else in the command center, plays with his model Tokyo Ene-Tower and Buster Vehicle figures. Enter washes ashore, defeated. He vows to get the Go-Busters one day. As the Go-Busters, Buddy Roids, Toru and Miho people take a self-timed picture with the Tokyo Tower mascots, the tripod of the Ichigan Buster (SLR mode) accidentally topples and ends up taking a great shot of the Tokyo Tower itself.go-busters187aA great movie, I know Go-Buster is not well liked by many but I enjoyed it and I enjoyed this movie just as much.

REVIEW: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters

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Starring

Katsuhiro Suzuki (Kamen Rider Zi-O)
Ryōma Baba (An Assassin)
Arisa Komiya (Ultraman Ginga S The Movie)
Hiroya Matsumoto (Boys Love)
Hideo Sakaki (Godzilla: Final Wars)
Fuuka Nishihira (Shrobe Edge)
Naoto Takahashi (Ultraman Orb)
Risa Yoshiki (Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger)
Syo Jinnai (The Gift From Heaven)
Ayame Misaki (Attack on Titan)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Yuma Ishigaki (Azumi)
Suzuka Morita (Kamen RIder Decade)
Gong Teyu (Kamen Rider W)
So Yamanaka (Kamen Rider Decade)
Ryo Hashizume (Kamen Rider W)
Yutaka Maido (Ultraman Mebius)
Minoru Matsumoto (Azumi)
Michiko Hosokoshi (Simoun)
Sayoko Oho (Jin)
Koumi Hashimoto (Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger: 10 Years After)
Mizuho Hata (Samurai Sentai Shinkenger)
Atsumi Ishihara (Girl’s Life)

Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters Hiromu, Ryuji & Yoko

Having just finished watching this Sentai Series (Season 36). I thought I would take a look back at the 50 episodes. I know that in Japan this season was not as well received as Gokaiger was, But I liked it.img-tokumei-sentai-go-busters-mission-13-335Thirteen years ago in the New Common Era calendar, the computer controlling the newly discovered energy source called Enetron was infected by a virus that caused it to create the evil energy being known as Messiah who wishes to take over mankind and create a world made for machines. Though sent into subspace by the scientists’ sacrifice, Messiah’s actions established the formation of the Energy Management Centre’s Special Ops Unit from three children who were caught in the crossfire, the Go-Busters, and their Buddyloids. In the present, 2012 NCE, a mysterious figure named Enter leads a group called Vaglass on incursions to gather enough Enetron to bring Messiah back. However, training for this day, the Go-Busters and their Buddyloids are deployed to combat Vaglass’s Metaloids and Megazords to protect the city’s Enetron from them. Later joined by Masato Jin and his Buddyloid Beet J. Stag, the Go-Busters’ resolve is strengthened once they learn the true nature of their enemy and the horrors that would result should Messiah enter their world.Beet-Buster-and-Stag-Buster-tokumei-sentai-go-busters-32944191-1280-720I thought the cast were very likeable, the story arcs seemed a little stretched at times, but still fun.

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The highlights for me were

The Introduction of Masato who had been stuck in subspace, only to be free through an avatar he created, thou his body forever remained in the subspace dimension.

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The Arrival of Escape played by the gorgeous Ayame Misaki, an Avatar assassin who seeks the ultimate opponent.

The final story arc where Enter becomes Dark Buster, and Masato making the ultimate sacrifice to destroy Enters backup, even I shedded a tear when I watched it. The references to the American Power Rangers were very welcome to the western audience; it’s a shame that they skipped an adaptation of this season and went to the next. I myself would love to see this adapted but sadly it’s not to be. All in all an excellent addition to the Sentai and next up will be season 37

REVIEW: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: The Movie

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Starring

Katsuhiro Suzuki (Kamen Rider Zi-O)
Ryōma Baba (An Assassin)
Arisa Komiya (Ultraman Ginga S The Movie)
Hiroya Matsumoto (Boys Love)
Ryota Ozawa (Fasuto Kurasu)
Yuki Yamada (Juken no Cinderella)
Mao Ichimichi (009-1: The End of the Beginning)
Kazuki Shimizu (Tenshi ni I’m Fine)
Yui Koike (Daily Lives of High School Boys)
Junya Ikeda (Shinjuku Swan)
Hideo Sakaki (Godzilla: Final Wars)
Naoto Takahashi (Ultraman Orb)
Fuuka Nishihira (Shrobe Edge)
Syo Jinnai (The Gift From Heaven)
Ayame Misaki (Attack on Titan)
Kei Hosogai (Hana Oni)
Runa Natsui (School Days)
Ryo Ryusei (Toritsu Mizusho!)
Syuusuke Saito (Kamen Rider Zi-O: Over Quartzer)
Yamato Kinjo (Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V)
Akihisa Shiono (Does the Flower Bloom?)
Ayuri Konno (Strobe Edge)

rewrewrwerwerewrAfter the beautiful film that is Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters Returns vs. Dōbutsu Sentai Go-Busters, I finally go to watch Go-Busters vs Gokaiger movie. And while it was completely satisfying. Now Sentai VS. movies and Power Rangers team-ups all follow a standard formula. Last year’s team pops up in this year’s team’s world and they fight the remnants of last year’s villains who may or may not have teamed up with this year’s villains. So going into the movie, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect.The most interesting thing about this VS. movie though is that it feels a lot more like a Go-Busters movie with the Gokaigers merely guest starring. That’s not a bad thing and certainly not unique to this team-up, but for a team as well loved as the Gokaigers, it might feel like a disappointment. Indeed, while it was great to see the Gokaigers one last time as a team, their screentime was pretty limited as well as their real interactions with the Go-Busters. Save for Hiromu and Marvelous’ couple of scenes, the other Gokaigers and Go-Busters were only featured in very brief instances.Utilizing time and universe traveling and seeing that familiar Edo period set is to be expected on a Toei tokusatsu production. But it would’ve been nice to see a little more here, especially with Yoko, Gai and J getting plopped into the Edo period with an all too-short cameo by Jeloushitto. Not to mention a complete waste of fun English costumes on Doc, Jin and Ahim. But the biggest reason this felt more like a Go-Busters movie was how the bond between the Go-Busters and their Buddyroids took center stage. Fans can complain about many things about Go-Busters, but they cannot pick on how well the friendship and bond between the Go-Busters and the Buddyroids (and Kuroki, Morishita and Nakamura) was established and developed. Already having that connection, but getting highlighted here made the scenes of the Buddyroids shutting down and then coming back to life all the more powerful. That scene also proves just how amazing the original Go-Busters theme song is. As soon as you hear it kick in during a dramatic scene, you know you’re about to have tears start rolling down your cheek. The Gokaigers watching Hiromu, Ryuji and Yoko breakdown almost made them look like random bystanders who happen to stumble upon the scene instead of fellow comrades who know all too well the toll being a Sentai team can take on bonds and friendships.  The Gokaigers’ appearance and using the “evil Gokaigers” plot device even for a just a third of the movie made their participation feel hollow. Especially since Super Hero Taisen centered on the same exact plot point; Gokaigers/Marvelous pretending to be evil for a greater plan. UntitledSo it was great seeing the Gokaigers again and great to have them finally dancing, but it almost felt like they were wasted. As were the 30 second appearances of Escape and Basco as avatars. The nostalgia points with the Buddyroid keys, the old mecha keys, curry and chicken, a random cameo by Kaoru and Jin making that “I feel really at home in this…” comment about being in the Magiranger mecha were nice pluses. And the action sequences seemed to be much bigger and more slick here than they have been in recent movies, both the mecha battles and the henshined fights. But again, it was all about that emotional bond between the Go-Busters and the Buddyroids. And for a series that was all about heart and bonds, this movie fit right in with the rest of Go-Busters. Overall, it was a nice action-packed and emotional hour and change. It would’ve been nice to have given the Gokaigers a better epilogue for their final appearance, but it was still a more than enjoyable movie.

REVIEW: TOKUMEI SENTAI GO-BUSTER RETURNS VS DOBUTSU SENTAI GO-BUSTERS

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Starring

Katsuhiro Suzuki (Kamen Rider Zi-O)
Ryōma Baba (An Assassin)
Arisa Komiya (Ultraman Ginga S The Movie)
Hiroya Matsumoto (Boys Love)
Hideo Sakaki (Godzilla: Final Wars)
Naoto Takahashi (Ultraman Orb)
Fuuka Nishihira (Shrobe Edge)
Risa Yoshiki (Hataraki Man)
Syo Jinnai (The Gift from Heaven)
Ayame Misaki (Attack on Titan)
So Yamanaka (Kamen Rider Decade)
Michiko Hosokoshi (Simoun)

TheStranger-04.04.19-1.14-3-d84d4b7Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters was a rather polarizing series. Some, such as myself, enjoyed the fact that it was a series unafraid to do things differently immensely. However others were extremely critical of how different it was to your standard Super Sentai show, and sadly these were probably the most vocal group as Go-Busters has gone on the be the the most poorly-viewed show in the franchise’s history. However regardless of that the 36th Sentai are back for a straight-to-DVD “Returns” movie (just like Shinkenger and Goseiger had) titled Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters Returns vs. Dōbutsu Sentai Go-Busters, which serves to answer a question that had been on a lot of fans’ minds: What if Go-Busters had been more like your typical Super Sentai series?Dōbutsu_Sentai_Go-BustersSet on New Years’ Eve 2012 (curiously setting it during a week Go-Busters didn’t air), the Go-Busters are alerted to an attack on the city that isn’t of Vagras origin. As they investigate, they discover the Great Demon Lord Azazel, who quickly destroys their Buster Machines before killing them all on his fiery rampage.Nick awakens in heaven, where he is told by a rather familiar looking God that as the 1,000,000th entrant to heaven that year (Beet J Stag being the 999,999th) he will grant him one wish. Nick wishes to live in world where the the incident that gave birth to Messiah 13 years ago never happened, transporting him and J to world where the Go-Busters live very different lives. Hiromu is starting his first day as a student teacher at the Energy Management Highschool, where Ryuji is already a teacher. The school is run by Kuroki, while Jin is the groundskeeper and Yoko a student.  However proving that you can’t keep a good Sentai down, their peaceful lives are interrupted by the arrival of the Machine Empire Mechalion, led their Empress Transister (who again looks awfully familiar). Kuroki reveals he knew the day was coming, presenting Hiromu, Ryuji and Yoko with changers to become the Dōbutsu Sentai Go-Busters! What follows is a look into the year-long adventures of the team, including the arrival of new powers, new mecha and new members!dobutsu-1001The world of the Dōbutsu Sentai Go-Busters is much more than simply giving the Busters new visors and renaming a few things, its a hilarious tribute to all things classic Super Sentai. As soon as the team roll up on the screen they’re spouting a brand new rollcall and using classic Sentai fighting techniques right out of the Showa era (see: Go-Buster ball). To see the Go-Busters use these kind of attacks is so bizarre it’s fantastic. Plus they even get their own theme song! Next we see segments as if Dōbutsu Sentai Go-Busters was a real show, divided up by episode number/titles that play around with common Sentai tropes. Hiromu and Ryuji have a fist fight before becoming closer friends, mysterious new members appear before dying in a blaze of glory several episodes later and there’s even a hinted romance between Hiromu and Yoko. All things considered the film should be wildly predictable, but you never quite know what’s going to be parodied next.  As mentioned earlier this alternate universe adds two new Go-Busters into the mix. The first is Green Hippopotamus, whose real identity is complete stranger Atsushi Domyoji (played by Usada Lettuce’s voice actor Tatsuhisa Suzuki). He isn’t around for very long (both figuratively and literally), but it’s pretty cool to see a hippo themed ranger and the appearance of a complete stranger is VERY fitting to both how Super Sentai and Kamen Rider handle their additional members. Fans who were hoping Kuroki (sporting a pretty fancy Hitler ‘tache here) would saddle up as an additional Go-Buster get their wish, as he makes a brief appearance as the sassy Black Puma – even piloting Tategami Li-Oh while he’s at it! Of course, as per usual the comedy highlight of the film is none other than Beet J Stag. Tagging along for Nick’s adventures in the parallel universe, he simply goes along with everything that happens – so much as perfectly taking on the role of Silver Stag much to Nick’s instant confusion. From his regular hijinks concerning enertron to him running between two roll calls in the film’s climax (after all, there is only ONE Beet J Stag), it’s just a constant reminder about how much of a funny and endearing character he is. And also how much he’s going to be missed.Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters Returns vs. Dōbutsu Sentai Go-Busters is many things. It’s a final send off to the Go-Busters, an extra adventure that slots into the events of the series nicely, a loving tribute/parody of classic Super Sentai tropes and storylines, a massive middle finger to all those who mocked Go-Busters for being so different but also an opportunity for them to sample what might have been had it chosen to be a bit more “generic”. “Returns” films are often a mixed bag when it comes to Super Sentai (Shinkenger’s is awful and Goseiger’s nice but rather forgettable), but Go-Busters has single-handedly turned all of those expectations around. This isn’t just the best “Returns” film there’s been, it’s also one of (if not the) best Super Sentai films ever made.

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