REVIEW: ZYUDEN SENTAI KYORYUGER

Starring

Ryo Ryusei (Hiyokko)
Syuusuke Saito (Kamen Rider Zi-O the Movie: Over Quartzer)
Yamato Kinjo (We’re a Bounty Hunter Team)
Akihisa Shiono (Prince of Legend)
Ayuri Konno (Another)
Atsushi Maruyama (Fūma no Kojirō)
Toshiyuki Morikawa (Maruto Shippuden)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Shinji Yamashita (Fugo Keiji)
Kentarō Shimazu (Uchu Sentai Kyuranger: Episode of Stinger.)
Ayumi Kinoshita (Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger)
Junichi Haruta (Kamen Rider Blade)
Kenji Ebisawa (Engine Sentai Go-Onger)
Daijiro Kawaoka (Kamen Rider Decade)
Reika Fujisawa (The Replay Girls)
Jouji Shibue (Kamen Rider Hibiki)
Robert Baldwin (Chousei Kantai Sazer-X)
Masayuki Deai (GoGo Sentai Boukenger)
Riku Sawada (Samurai Sentai Shinkenger)
Shigeru Chiba (Bleach)
Marie Iitoyo (Stare)
Nami Iwasaki (Detective Kurokawa Suzuki)
Tetsu Inada (Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger)
Shizuka Nakamura (Tomica Hero Rescue Fire)
Sayoko Hagiwara (Kagaku Sentai Dynaman)

maxresdefaultDinosaurs plus humans! After millions of years, the strongest and bravest team in history assembles to protect the Earth! Hear our roar! Series writer Riku Sanjo actually writes every episode, a rare feat in tokusatsu. Because of Sanjo’s full involvement, Kyoryuger manages to keep the episodes very coherent and consistent with the story. This includes even the filler type episodes, which, aside from having wacky and odd plots, contain elements integral to advancing the story, as well as developing the cast.The main team and villains get plenty of characterization that, by the end, makes them all become standout character. Music is a recurring motif that I never thought would be a big factor in the show. Not only does the series have a huge collection of songs, the story and its characters are ultimately connected through melody. I never would’ve guessed that all the dancing and samba music actually meant something outside of the fabulously wacky presentation, but no, it’s that important. In the movie and sprinkled throughout some episodes, there are background information that pretty much confirms this.The cast starts out small, but it’s actually ridiculously huge. With a total of 10 Kyoryugers in the end (or more depending on how you count them), and not to mention the allies and the villains. Our fearless Red, Daigo aka King, is what many have referred to as a Marty Sue/Gary Stu-type. He’s the macho, always-friendly, always-reliable, perfect kind of guy who’s following his dad’s path. Much of the show revolves around him, and because Daigo is usually just “perfect,” this can be annoying to a lot of others because he has nothing that makes him remarkable. Honestly, even if Daigo stole much of the frames, I do like him because of his positive, energetic outlook. There is a two-parter that does touch on Daigo’s “perfectness” being his weakness, which I thought was an interesting turn of events, though it didn’t really seem to change Daigo all too much, but it was still something.. The beginning episodes started out with the other members only wanting to work together when they had to, for their own different reasons. It was mainly thanks to Daigo that everyone is now really learning about teamwork, which is another key theme in the show. Dantetsu was a pretty cool character himself, though not much else I can say about him other than he did a good job following his plan. I still think Torin makes the better Silver, but to be fair, Dantetsu only became Silver near the end.MV5BMTUxOTE4NDYwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDA0NzE5NzE@._V1_SY1000_SX1500_AL_Ian has changed a lot, especially after his score with Aigaron was settled. I think Ian never liked having to look after others, which is why he struggled to become a leader while Daigo was going crazy. I imagine that losing his best friend made him not wanna be comfortable with others because he didn’t wanna lose someone close to him again. Obviously that changed after meeting Daigo, but it’s not until the penultimate episode when he’s changed the most, finally acknowledging Souji as his equal rather than just a “Boy” that he was often looking over. Souji is still my least favorite, but he stands out a lot more now. His parental issues worked as an obstacle for him since he is the youngest of the group and he was learning to carve his own path to become adult. Now that he wields Torin’s Feather Edge, his badass level has gone up.MV5BOTQ0YTY3YWItNjc5NS00OTA4LWIxMzItZTBhYWRkYzMxZGQ3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjczMDkzOTA@._V1_Nossan remains my favorite because of his old man puns. The uncle figure, the clumsy one, the strong one, the devoted brother and uncle. I like that he’s a family man because these days it’s always the young ones become superheroes. Having a family meant he was putting more dedication into his work and fighting in order to keep his family safe and well. His episodes turned out to be some of my favorites, and it’s not just because his sister is played by Kinoshita Ayumi or that he has this fling with Canderrilla who is played/voiced by Tomatsu Haruka. Those are pluses! I think because Nossan was the eldest, he had the episodes that were more fun, more serious, and was just overall genuine. I go back to episode 40 where his scenes with Canderrilla are just some of the best to come out of Kyoryuger.  Not much I can say about Yuko since she was minor, but she was awesome and kicked butt as Cyan. Hey, the blue siblings!
Amy was the closest to Daigo from the start. She wasn’t that into the idea of only working with the team when needed (thus, revealing herself with Nossan in the second episode) and was the one who connected with the other Kyoryugers like Utsusemimaru and Ramirez. I like how Amy is feisty, which may be because she lived in America, but she was just as much a sweetheart as she was a royal buttkicker. Honestly, she didn’t even seem like a rich snob, even with Gentle by her side. Heck, she did waitressing as a part-time job. Her affection for Daigo is one of more real ones; it’s not cheesy, head-over-heels because she’s never felt that way before and she just doesn’t know how to react to it.Moving on, her convincing Lucky to see the good in the world turned out to be a really good angle for the eventual departing of the Deboth members.hqdefaultUtsusemimaru ’s debut being early was a great choice because it meant that he would have more time to spend with the rest. For a lot of the show, he felt like a regular member because he was usually always there, which is amazing. I do wish more of his period clash played out a bit more. There’s nothing like a Warrior States samurai trying to adjust to modern day Japan. His relationship with Dogold was one of the better dynamics I’ve seen, mainly because the two once shared a body. Definitely enjoyed his rivalry with Dogold up until the end when he finally helped him regain his will to fight for his own. Torin was as wise as he was great. I enjoyed his mentor role through the season and was glad that he eventually became Silver. I know he got stoned twice, but both times I felt really sad because he felt like an actual father figure to everyone, including to Daigo, whose father was anything but a good father figure. And c’mon, he rocked out on his Giga Gaburevolver. Don’t mess with the bird. I was certainly surprised when it was revealed he was a part of Deboth but defected. That explained why he knew about the history of the dinosaurs and everything and how he was involved in creating the Kyoryuger arsenal.

Of course, you can’t talk about arsenal without Doctor Ulshade, the mad scientist and zany narrator of the show. This guy was crazy awesome. Then there’s Yayoi. Sweet, little Yayoi. Besides her hard crush for Daigo, I really liked that the team had a human support who also got to become a Ranger, the first female Violet, at that. A personal favorite and thank goodness there was another female on the team. I love that her weapon of choice was usually always the Gaburicannon in bayonet mode. Finally, the Spirit Rangers Ramirez and Tessai were a cool duo. The two were from way different places and times, but I liked the idea of dead warriors still fighting before passing on their powers to successors and then moving on to the afterlife. These two really kept things interesting in the show thanks to their personalities and fighting prowess. There’s also not much to say about Tessai’s descendant Shinya, other than that I hope Luckyuro finds out he’s the mangaka of his favorite romance manga Love Touch.

On the villain side Deboth had a colorful group. Chaos, who looked liked an evil Statue of Liberty, was pretty calm and calculating, but it’s a shame that he was still like a pawn in comparison to the short-lived Lord Deboth. At least their deaths weren’t as bad as Icerondo and Killbolero. Those two are not very memorable outside their final fights. The generals were a colorful bunch and I really enjoyed each one for being unique. That, and the Wizard of Oz theme each one had gave me a greater appreciation for their designs and their fates. Dogold’s armor dilemma was a cool concept. Endorf’s entry was a good way of spicing up the story and served as a good obstacle in Dogold’s character arc. Aigaron was such a great character on his own. The Tin Man who had a heart in the end, if only because of Canderrilla, who along with Luckyuro, were the fan-favorites and it would not have been right if the two ended up killing people and got killed. A lot of the fun episodes are because of these two, really.The Monsters of the Week were very fun in design and personality. There was a lot to like about many of them that naming them all would make this entry longer than it needs to be. Kyoryuger had insane production values. Let’s start with having 10+ Kyoryuger suits, all of which were detailed and busy-looking. I’m guessing because of all these awesome suits, Toei had to cut back on the MotWs, but that was okay because they made each MotW memorable. Plus, the arc where they had to fight dead monsters was great because we got to see these monsters again. The miniature models for the Zyudenryu were also incredibly well done, almost like the toys. They used CGI still, but the transformations were mostly models, which have really awesome sequences.The staff and crew also deserve a lot of credit. Sakamoto’s overall direction for the series was nothing short of phenomenal. His experience in Power Rangers shows in a dozen of these episodes where there are a lot of unmorphed and morphed choreographed fights, handicam shots, dutch angles, and explosions everywhere. Another big hand to the stunties for doing some awesome new stuff every year. Kyoryuger is absolutely fun and exciting. There’s a lot of ridiculousness like the samba dancing, but they are justified through the storytelling, which is pretty good in itself. There’s a lot of enjoyment you can get out of this by the sheer number of heroes and unique combinations of finishers or mecha that they pump out almost every episode to keep things fresh and cool. It definitely deserves to be the bravest.

REVIEW: Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger

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Starring

Ryota Ozawa (Nozokime)
Yūki Yamada (Holiday Love)
Mao Ichimichi (Uchu Sentai Kyuranger)
Kazuki Shimizu (A Day of One Herb)
Yui Koike (Daily Lives of High School Boys)
Junya Ikeda (Garo: Kami no Kiba)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Atsushi Hashimoto (Mahou Sentai Magiranger)
Tetsu Inada (Dorohedoro)
Ryuji Sainei (Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger)
Ayumi Kinoshita (Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger)
Risa Taniuchi (Challenged)
Kentarō Shimazu (Tokyo Gore Police)
Hiroki Suzuki (Juken Sentai Gekiranger)
Noboru Kaneko (Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger)
Runa Natsui (Seigi no Mikata)
Kazuyuki Matsuzawa (Samurai Sentai Shinkenger)
Yūji Kishi (Gekisou Sentai Carranger)
Kei Hosogai (W Shitsuji)
Koutaro Tanaka (Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger)
Kazuki Maehara (Seijuu Sentai Gingaman)
Mitsuomi Takahashi (GoGo Sentai Boukenger)
Kayoko Shibata (Ju-on: The Grudge)
Shun Shioya (Ninpu Sentai Hurricaneger)
Kohei Yamamoto (Kamen Rider Drive)
Toshihide Wakamatsu (Choujin Sentai Jetman)
Rika Kawamura (Local Boys)
Shou Tomita (Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger)
Michi Nishijima (Uchuu Keiji Sharivan Next Generation)
Kazuhiko Nishimura (Choujuu Sentai Liveman)
Masaru Shishido (Ultraman Dyna)
Tamao Sato (Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure)
Keiichi Wada (Gosei Sentai Dairanger)
Yuki Kimisawa (Kamen Rider W)
Yasuhisa Furuhara (Engine Sentai Go-Onger)
Hayato Oshiba (Denji Sentai Megaranger)
Shuhei Izumi (Mirai Sentai Timeranger)
Tamao Yoshimura (The Hit Parade)
Kenji Ohba (J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai)
Yuno Fuse (Oyaji ga Kureta Himitsu)
Satomi Hirose (Shushutorian)
Takayuki Godai (Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan)
Kazuoki Takahashi (Dengeki Sentai Changeman)
Kihachiro Uemura (Choushinsei Flashman)
Issei Hirota (Hikari Sentai Maskman)
Ryo Narushima (Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman)
Kaoru Hirata (Mahou Sentai Magiranger)
Louis Yamada LIII (Tensou Sentai Goseiger)
Seiju Umon (Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger)
Ei Hamura (Gosei Sentai Dairanger)
Keisuke Tsuchiya (Juukou B-Fighter)
Atsushi Harada (Kamen Rider 555)
Naoya Makoto (Himitsu Sentai Gorenger)
Ayumi Beppu (Mahou Sentai Magiranger)
Yumi Sugimoto (Engine Sentai Go-Onger)

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Having finished Gokaiger a short while back, it seemed the right time to look back ion it. Gokaiger takes place with our heroes going to Earth in the search of the Greatest Treasure in the Universe. What they don’t know is what happened in the past, their enemies the Zangyack attacked the Earth, but luckily the past 34 sentai all teamed up to fight. In the end they were ready to die for the Earth as they attempt an attack to use all of their powers. The attack works as the Zangyack fleet is destroyed and the warriors survive, but they have lost their powers. The pirates come to Earth and they have all the powers of the past warriors including their own. On Earth they see the Zangyack as a new fleet as come to Earth and seeing them attack the humans reminded them of the pain the Zangyack caused. They attack the Zangyack and win their first battle, but now they have gotten to much fame as bounties are put on them. The team now try to find anyway of finding the treasure and survive from the Zangyack attacking them. Along the way they will meet the past warriors as they will help them retrieve the great powers of the Sentai.fj-gokaiger-51-bd-6761200b-mkv-snapshot-00-13-2017-02-22-03-01-11_origThere are five members in the team and yes they are indeed aliens because they come from different planets. The leader is Marvelous and along with a cool jacket he is a completely awesome leader as he leads his team well. He knows how to fight as he mostly uses a gun and sword his style of fighting can look carefree at times which he can be at times. Like other past red warriors though his back story comes an important part of the plot as his past rival returns. He was originally part of the Red Pirates as he was with Aka Red and Basco as they went around space to find the Ranger Keys. Soon Basco betrays them though so he can have the keys for himself as he tries to turn them in. Marvelous escapes with the keys and Navi, but it seems that Aka Red didn’t make it. When Basco comes back his personality changes greatly as he wants revenge for the death of Aka Red and won’t have Basco get in the way of his dreams. When Marvelous was alone he started to recruit more team mates along the way. First is Joe who becomes Gokai Blue and he is the silent and tough guy like Abare Blue. He does have a soft spot though because of his past of being part of the Zangyack back then. He couldn’t take it though and he tries to leave along with his friend Cid, but Cid is captured. Joe is left to fight alone, but Marve comes along and saves him and there he recruits him because of his skills. Luka was next as she was in poverty because of the Zangyack and she started to loss many things in her life.

It mostly seems that she is greedy, but she has her own motives. One day she tries to steal from the Zangyack, but she is caught. While fighting the troops Marve and Joe helped out and she was recruited there. Doc was next, but his name is Don. He is mostly a coward who hates to fight, but one day he helps out the crew by doing simple chores and Marve is impressed by him and recruits him. Unlike the others though his fighting style is random and he just pulls things off. Ahim was a princess on her home planet, but it was destroyed by the Zangyack and she joins the team to give hope to any survivors. She may not seem like a fighter as she acts very friendly and even motherly, but when she fights she can really let loose. Finally is Gai who is a human as he gets his powers from past warriors who have died. He tries to become a member, but he has to impress the team first. He is also a complete fan of the Sentai as he knows all of them and when he meets any past heroes he freaks out.

Next are the villains as they are the Zangyack. An empire that controls the whole universe with an iron fist as they attack, enslave, and destroy many planets. The fleet that is sent to Earth is lead by Warz Gil who is the son of the Emperor. He mostly acts like a spoiled brat most of the time when his plans fail, but in soon time he starts to change. Barizorg is Gil’s bodyguard as he mostly stays silent and remains a mystery, but who is he? Insarn is also a member as she mostly is there because she has knowledge in science and helps with making plans. To help as well is Damaras who is very protective of the prince and tries to keep him calm. New Zangyack members show up, but there isn’t much to say about them its just the Emperor with one of his right hand men. The best villain though is Basco who is the rival of Marve as he finds a new partner, Sally a monkey like creature. When they first meet and has even more ranger keys as he summons past sixth rangers to fight the team. His style of living is that he has to lose something to gain anything which is why he tries to get rid of the Red Pirates so he could have the ranger keys and the treasure. He wants the treasure as well, but he will let the team do some of the work so he could just finish them off and just stop there.

This is an anniversary series not only does the team use past powers, but they also meet past warriors. These episodes are mostly tributes to the past as they use elements from those series. Each have some form of nostalgia to them as they can bring simple things or even jokes referencing the series. Heck even the main characters are tributes to the usual type of characters in Sentai. The series uses a lot of nostalgia which is the best part because they bring back many actors as this is the best way to use the nostalgia factor. Each episode also has an important fight that has the instrumental opening of the series play during the fights, it just brings a lot memories. I really like that the team still fight like themselves though, they may have different powers, but they still fight like themselves. The best example is Doc who has a very improved style of fighting and even with becoming different rangers he can still stick to his comedic fighting. Each character has a back story of some type and it makes you feel for the characters which is another great thing. This is probably the best cast I have seen, again these characters are tributes and even mix character traits which works very well and all the actors are great not a single bad one! The fights are simply amazing as its great to see the past powers be used in today’s time and it keeps fights fresh as the team can think of many combinations. Basco is the best villain no doubt as he is tough and is a guy you love to hate. He is completely vile and he stays like that which is the best part! They even teamed up with some past warriors!

Its one of the best Sentai… no one of the best Toku shows! The anniversary theme is heavily used and can bring nostalgic moments. The story still stays intact and so what the series didn’t have a tribute for ever series they still got at least one actor from all 34 series! With that its better to see the series give focus on the story then the nostalgia. The nostalgia is very well done, but it shouldn’t be the major focus its great to see that the series still carries it’s own story. All the heroes are great and the rival villain Basco is simply amazing! This would be a great start to new fans because it shows what the series is like and can give interest in other series. In the end the series only big flaw are the main villains, but everything balances perfectly as we get great development and great tributes to the franchise.