Friday, August 22, 2014

Toku Movie Flashback: Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider: W & Decade Movie War 2010 Director's Cut

Oh, Decade. You started with so much potential, so much promise of something that fans would adore. What did you become in the end? An incoherent, lazily executed shell of what you could have been.

That's right, everyone, it is finally time for me to tackle the movie that forever cemented Kamen Rider Decade's legacy as a disappointment and as a complete storytelling failure. Kamen Rider Decade: The Last Story single-handedly makes the entire endeavor a waste of time and potential, even though many of the last episodes of the TV series sent it right on its course to doom. Of course, The Last Story and Movie War 2010 will come later. First, I must look back on the first theatrical installment of a superior series that helped bring Kamen Rider back on its course..

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I'm Not Dead

To the few dozen people who check in here, hi. I know, it's been two months. I don't have a really good excuse for that, but with classes coming up again I may not be very active on here for the next few months. Still, I'd like to get a few reviews posted by the end of the month. Hit the jump for more info.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Toku Week In Review (6/23/2014)

As I was waiting for my download of Awesomenauts to finish on Steam (let me know in the comments if you'd like to be friends), I was looking through my blog here and realized something. It has been one year to the day that I posted an entry in the "Toku Week In Review" series I used to do.

So what better way to celebrate one full year without a post than with a new post? It's time once again for your weekly breakdown on everything that happened in the world of tokusatsu over the last week.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Toku Movie Flashback: Kamen Rider Decade The Movie: All Riders Vs. Great Shocker

The one-two-three punch of producer Shinichiro Shirakura, writer Shoji Yonemura, and director Osamu Kaneda have collectively been responsible for plenty of the most heavily derided tokusatsu of the last five years. Even titles that the trio have worked on individually are usually blasted by fans and critics alike (Shirakura's Kikaider: REBOOT, Yonemura's Kamen Rider OOO two-parter, Kaneda's Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie). It has gotten to the point where whenever any one of those names are announced to be attached to a new project, it immediately sends the fanbase into a pessimistic state.

Believe it or not, these three men once worked on a project together that actually worked. The writing was mostly solid, the spectacle was actually spectacular, and the action was competently filmed. So what happened? Is it possible that this one success got to their heads and felt that their next endeavors didn't need that amount of effort and quality control? It's hard to say for certain, but today, instead of poking fun at this creative trio for the millionth time on this blog, let's actually highlight the one movie they made together that actually worked. Of course, I am referring to the movie responsible for Toei's obsession over celebrating anniversaries every year no matter how flimsy they are. Being the highest-grossing Kamen Rider film ever will do that. So, without further ado, I bring you Kamen Rider Decade The Movie: All Riders Vs. Great Shocker.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Slogging Through Engine Sentai Go-Onger Part 4: Gold and Silver Linings?

Welcome back, everyone. We're almost halfway through Go-Onger and we're finally introducing two new characters! That's right, episode 16 sees the debut of the Go-On Wings: Go-On Gold and Go-On Silver. The following 5 episodes all have to deal with their development, as well as setting the stage for how they'll interact with the other Go-Ongers throughout the rest of the series. Will the Go-On Wings add some much needed life into this show or will they too fall victim to poor writing and acting? Let's GO-ON in and find out...

I apologize.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Slogging Through Engine Sentai Go-Onger Part 3: Highs and Lows

Welcome back, everyone! This time around, I'm changing up the format of my Go-Onger reviews rather significantly. Instead of just glossing over and crunching all five episodes together, I've decided the most enjoyable way for you guys to get some entertainment value out of this is by reviewing and breaking down each episode individually. This means more screencaps, much more thoughts, and a post that's hopefully a lot longer and thus more worthwhile to read.

In this third batch of five episodes, we see the best Go-Onger has offered so far hand-in-hand with the worst. There's still 35 episodes, some Net Movies, a DVD special and a few theatrical movies left before we make a final judgment call, but this should be pretty indicative of the quality I can expect for the rest of the series. Now, for your reading pleasure, Engine Sentai Go-Onger episodes 11 through 15!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Wait...why are the Riders fighting again? Preliminary thoughts on "Kamen Rider War"

Oh, Shinichiro Shirakura. You really are a one-trick pony aren't you? For those who are uninformed, Shinichiro Shirakura is one of Toei's longtime content producers. He served as head producer on several Heisei Kamen Rider TV shows including Kamen Rider Agito, Kamen Rider Kabuto and Kamen Rider Decade. Since Decade finished with Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider: W & Decade Movie War 2010, he's kept only to producing movies including OOO, Den-O, All Riders: Let's Go, Kamen Riders, Kamen Rider x Super Sentai: Super Hero War and last year's Kamen Rider x Super Sentai x Space Sheriffs: Super Hero War Z. Notice a pattern with those last few movies? That's right, ever since Kamen Rider Decade The Movie: All Riders vs. Dai Shocker was such a runaway success (it remains to date the highest grossing Kamen Rider movie ever), Shirakura has been obsessed with the idea of a bunch of superheroes getting together and fighting among each other for little to no reason whatsoever before joining forces to take on a big baddie.

His writer of choice for these massive headaches disguised as crossovers is usually Shoji Yonemura, whom I've made very clear in the past I am not a big fan of. Yonemura obviously has a vast knowledge of the material, we can see this in the Net Movies he writes, but he's one of the laziest writers alive. He relies on cheap and meaningless fanservice to appease franchise faithfuls, writes the same plot over and over, and doesn't know how to work with characters he's given. Yonemura is fine in small doses (the aforementioned Net Movies, his episodes of Kamen Rider Den-O) but give him his own show or movie (with the exception of All Riders vs. Dai Shocker, which I liked) and you're in for a hell of a mess.

So that brings us to the newest collaboration between the two: the upcoming crossover film Heisei Riders Vs. Showa Riders: Kamen Rider War feat. Super Sentai.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Personal Milestone Approaches

Greetings, everyone. I've been watching tokusatsu for as long as I can remember, but it's only been since 2006 that I've been serious about watching tokusatsu series from start to finish. Now, in less than 10 years, I'm about to approach my 50th finished tokusatsu series.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Slogging Through Engine Sentai Go-Onger Part 2: Toys. Toys Everywhere

Sosuke is a stupid asshole. Not only does he spy on Saki for no reason except to make sure she doesn't even deserve to look at another guy (it's not even implied Sosuke is jealous. He just wants her to remain away from dating), he then makes a painfully strange jump that after just ONE date with a flutist and seeing her fixing her hair in front of a shop window that coincidentally had a wedding dress inside must mean she wishes to marry him. Plus, his actor does a really wretched job this episode. He overacts more than usual and doesn't deliver any of his lines convincingly. Then again, it's not like he's given much to work with.

That paragraph above contains the thoughts I had to write down while I was watching episode 6. I was so dumbstruck by how much of a dick Sosuke was that I couldn't just let those thoughts stick, I had to get them down as soon as I possibly could. Thing is, the future episodes continue to do him no favors.