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View Poll Results: If I were to bring back a weekend watch (as a marathon method), what would you want?
Finish "Chouseishin Justirisers" 8 21.05%
Finish "Kamen Rider V3" 4 10.53%
Kamen Rider Fourze 9 23.68%
Avatar: The Last Airbender 10 26.32%
Sailor Moon ('92-'97) 6 15.79%
Other (Say what in the thread) 1 2.63%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 17th, 2015, 05:24 AM   #41
Ataruman
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Even with the Blade reviews going, its time for the parallel review to get under way...so then...DENZI SPARK!

Denziman 1: So if you throw a sealing card at a Vader Monster with the belt rank of "00"...what will happen?

Can an opening episode be weird and generic at the same time? I ask this because the opening episode of Denziman is probably one of the most generic opening episodes I've seen of any tokusatsu, compared to all those both before and after it...yet at the same time has the right amount of weirdness that I can't help but wonder what is going to happen next. The basics of the episode is pretty much as basic as you're going to get: 3000 years ago (when cavemen apparantly were still around...even if humanity was entering the iron age and many civilizations were already in existence, including the Japanese), a landmass from an alien planet known as Denzi came to Earth and crash landed on an island; said landmass contained advanced technology (for 1980, which meant the computers still had reels) and a "dog"...well OK, robot dog but a robot dog played by a real dog.

3000 years later, the Vader Clan, an interdimensional invasion group, suddenly decides to attack Earth and the landmass, Denzi Land, reawakens, with the main computer forcing the "dog", IC, to find people to use its technology and fight as a Sentai squad. The five it "recruits" (um...brainwashes) all seem to have direct contact with the Vader's initial invasion:

*Akagi, a martial artist who sees the initial attack
*Momoi, a girl whose tennis coach is burned alive in said attack (rather brutal considering current events of 2015)
*Kiyama, a scientist who is part of a group that finds the first MotW egg sent out by the Vader Clan
*Midoriyama, an officer whose father is killed by said MotW (who easily can go from normal to giant size without notice)
*Oume (AKA, Kenji Ohba/Akebono as of last week), a circus performer who also encounters said monster

While I do have issues that Denziman is basically set up by having five kids brainwashed by a robot dog (getting orders from a super-computer on an island) to ultimately come with it to fight the Vader Clan, the opening episode is rather interesting though not without problems. There is a desire to really show off a lot of high tech and model usage, particularly once Denziman finally does get going (the opening shots of DenziTiger flying over the city was neat), but its done with a lot of weird low-budget tricks I wouldn't have really expected at this point (such as using glowing photos of the cast for IC's "influencing" the five Denzimen). The team in action does show off quite a few things and they do state that there is a computer within the helmets this time that pretty much tells the novice team what to do from the beginning and giving them the equivalent of "super-powers", which at least allows professionalism but prevents any of the random but cool stuff that tends to happen with a new team. (like, say, if a Ranger randomly decides to switch trains mid-junction...) Among the characters, only really two and one-half stand out at this point: Midoriyama (who had a good opening with the tragedy of his father even if he was repeating an element we have seen with Kaijou...and Karen...and...ugh...Diane Martin) and probably the greatest thing about this opening episode: Queen Hedrian, leader of the Vader Clan (who while is a queen, has a bit of a "Snow White's Queen" element to her with the usage of a "magic mirror"...and considering that the queen in Snow White was a witch, it pretty much makes all of Machiko Soga's major Sentai roles as witches); the one-half is more or less about Daigorou Oume, mostly cause I know what Kenji Ohba can do.

Probably the last factor I need to address in the opening episode is the giant fight, where we actually have some unique things going on. The first MotW, Musabilerer (Flying Squirreler...didn't look like a squirrel or else IC would have probably been woken up way easier...seriously the first episode was the cosmic equivalent of a dog chasing a squirrel), has this weird ability of both growing and shrinking at will; by growing on its own, it does allow for the giant fights to occur a lot easier than to randomly build "little brother" robots like BFJ and does inspire the later growths we see in Sentai. (and to torment with giant aspects even without the typical growth processes such as when it kills Midoriyama's dad) On the other side, DaiDenzin is an interesting mecha, though it isn't without weird elements: it has the equivalent of "compound eyes" based on its appearance, while its "Denzi Fighter" mode feels rather pointless with DenziTiger being a force to be reckoned with as a carrier; only really being there so we can have it transform from Fighter to DaiDenzin. Oh and one more silly thought: this is probably the only giant robot that has its own elevator; considering BF literally flew into Battle Fever Robo and how all the other main mecha are combining, just the idea of an elevator in a giant robot is funny.
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Old March 17th, 2015, 08:17 AM   #42
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Ataruman wrote: View Post

Can an opening episode be weird and generic at the same time?
Apparently, yes. Denziman's one of those shows which takes a few episodes to find its pace, trying to settle in after that weird opener. Still, it raises a lot of questions, like just what the fates of the Denzi denizens were.

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Midoriyama (who had a good opening with the tragedy of his father even if he was repeating an element we have seen with Kaijou...and Karen...and...ugh...Diane Martin)
At least all of them except Diane reacted to those deaths.
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Old March 17th, 2015, 05:48 PM   #43
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Sort of disagree: Diane at least did matter and did want revenge for what happened to her father in the opening episode and we did get that scene with her and Den prior to the team officially becoming Battle Fever. As pointless as Diane Martin was, at least the opening episode and the final episode didn't do that bad a job with her.

And your first comment makes me question: was there anyone on Denzi Land when it arrived on Earth? The opening narration just made it sound like all it was is the computer and IC, let alone all that tech (the Denzi suits, DaiDenzin, etc.)...

-----

Blade 17: Well if Kenzaki was arrested...maybe Hikawa can give him something good to eat.

Its rather evident and obvious from the get-go that Leangle is not Mutsuki, regardless of what he himself thinks with the possession of the Leangle Belt. Somehow with his high compatability with the belt, the Spider Undead is using Mutsuki in order to become a Rider and use the full capacity of his abilities. But considering the whole trial prior where he did actually appear as a Leangle candidate before the Spider Undead started to make its move, Mutsuki still believes that he can be a Kamen Rider and that merely having the power of Leangle (even without having the ability to fully use it himself due to circumstances) has been able to improve him into a bit of a ball-hog in basketball. Luckily due to circumstances regarding some manners in figuring out that Leangle is associated with a high schooler (happily they didn't get anywhere near Amanogawa; though it is suspicious that Mutsuki's is named after "that stupid ferryboat") and some coincidences, Kenzaki does actually meet up with him and we do get a bit more about him. It is weird to see that the fourth Rider isn't just a kid but is also rather weak-willed and air-headed: he wouldn't mind being a Kamen Rider himself considering he does see them as a good role model (unless he rather stay in the grocery's industry), but he just sort of wonders if he can do it. But unfortunately if he does use the belt, then Spider Undead immediately takes over and all hell breaks loose...this does give us Mutsuki's main storyline in trying to gain true control of the belt from the Undead truly controlling the powers, but for the time being its just going to confuse the heroes in that one of them appears to be evil when its a possession.

Meanwhile Tachibana still doesn't want to be Garren anymore, but someone from his past who was nearly Garren has returned...and he really has some crooked methods himself from what I've seen so far. Maybe dealing with this Kiryuu may force Garren out of his short retirement...
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Old March 17th, 2015, 06:17 PM   #44
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Ataruman wrote: View Post

Sort of disagree: Diane at least did matter and did want revenge for what happened to her father in the opening episode and we did get that scene with her and Den prior to the team officially becoming Battle Fever. As pointless as Diane Martin was, at least the opening episode and the final episode didn't do that bad a job with her.
Well, yes, it affected her character and the things she said and did... but from what I remember, she didn't emote during those scenes, and that's what I was referencing.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

And your first comment makes me question: was there anyone on Denzi Land when it arrived on Earth? The opening narration just made it sound like all it was is the computer and IC, let alone all that tech (the Denzi suits, DaiDenzin, etc.)...
That's the mystery of the season! The five heroes don't yet know.
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Old March 18th, 2015, 05:09 AM   #45
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Denziman 2: "You whistled wrong. Instead of women, Dustlers came."

Its sort of become an old cliche in Sentai: mere moments after a new team is formed, someone decides they don't want anything more to do with it and try to leave it behind. (well its between that and "one member doesn't like the Red at first") Amazingly, it is this season that actually introduced this story element, but it isn't without its reasons: in this case, Momoi is just trying to make up for lost time regarding her training to be a tennis champion, which has been made all the worse due to the Vader invasion burning her coach alive. Considering it probably is impossible for Momoi to just find another coach and the devotion she has to this sport (even though for some stupid reason the opening makes it like she's a fusion of Diane Martin's swimming and Miki Momozono's gymnastics), it really is understandable: even though she was able to do something about what lead to the death of her coach in the first episode, she wants to put it behind her and get back to her training. Of course with the Vader Clan's invasion merely beginning, that isn't necessarily the right mentality to be under and the males (particularly Midorikawa, who probably sees the death of her coach like the murder of his dad and thus why they should stick with the Denziman thing through the end); but Akagi decides to just let her go. It isn't like she turned in her Denzi Ring yet, but if she has a life and wants to get back to it, then they have a right to let her even with the knowledge that the five of them are all needed to save the world from the Vader invasion.

Of course, it doesn't help Momoi's desire for peace that the Vaders pretty much end up targeting her anyway, but more or less because of the good ears of a Vader Monster who really can't stand music. While in the midst of rampaging with Keller and Mirror, Shabonlar ends up having this tendancy to cause soapy bubbles to emerge in victims (mostly females who can play beautiful music) that ultimately makes them become porceline statues, which either slowly kills them...or makes them shatter the moment they fall. This ultimately happens to Momoi in a way that...well, lets just say its disturbing to see and I sort of wish Akagi would have turned off his Denzi Scope the moment that he saw what Shabonlar was doing to Momoi. (really, it could be implied as something extremely adult and I doubt this is what the creators intended) The boys end up needing to save Momoi from this...disturbing...fate, leading to her to finally come around and realize that she has to stick around, taking up a coaching position of her own in order to at least be there instead of just being so selfish as she was and thus keeping the Denziman together...for now.

Alongside the story elements, there are a few things that do stand out in this episode, which is easily superior to the pilot. First is something similar to what timegold pointed out with his Goggle V review: it really doesn't seem like the writers of "that pirate series" did their research on how the Denziman fight, merely cursory researching the team and just giving everyone Denzi Punch like Akagi. It does seem like everyone has their own fighting style that matches them: Akagi obviously is the puncher (even though he's more a karate expert from the opening and the first couple episodes); Daigorou is the "technique man" (I'd say GekiBlue but he literally became a living drill in this fight); Kiyama is a wrestler and Midorikawa is a kick master (all together: WOW!!!!) I can't remember or pick out yet how Momoi fights though...I guess I have to pay attention to figure that out in the next few episodes but with her in focus it prevented her from transforming until the end to figure out how she does fight. On the other hand, Queen Hedrian does seem to mention when seeing the Denziman footage from the first episode like they actually did exist 3,000 years ago...I wouldn't have expected a "legacy team" so early in the franchise's run, but I assume that if there was a Denziman back then fighting against Hedrian and the Vader Clan, they were all people of planet Denzi who would have had full knowledge of the technology instead of "instant knowledge" gained from the first transformation. I'm not sure if they are going anywhere with it but it is interesting to realize.
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Old March 18th, 2015, 08:41 AM   #46
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Ataruman wrote: View Post

(even though for some stupid reason the opening makes it like she's a fusion of Diane Martin's swimming and Miki Momozono's gymnastics)
Openings in that era were weird in that regard. Diane was shown swimming. Maria was shown swimming. Akira was shown swimming. Misa was shown swimming. They all hardly or rarely swam, but for some reason it's the one thing the openings latched onto. My guess, it's an excuse to show off how great of a shape their bodies were in. Needless to say, all (except Diane) were characterized by much more than that, and it was nice to see Maria attempt a shichi henge when she was added to the opening, as it showed she actually had skill.

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This ultimately happens to Momoi in a way that...well, lets just say its disturbing to see and I sort of wish Akagi would have turned off his Denzi Scope the moment that he saw what Shabonlar was doing to Momoi. (really, it could be implied as something extremely adult and I doubt this is what the creators intended)
It's Japan. It wouldn't be the last time Sentai implied something extremely adult, like with Kibaranger's antics or the youkai in Ohranger vs Kakuranger or basically anything KyoryuPink ever did that wasn't about speaking bad English.

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Akagi obviously is the puncher (even though he's more a karate expert from the opening and the first couple episodes); Daigorou is the "technique man" (I'd say GekiBlue but he literally became a living drill in this fight)
Well, the opening implied that Akagi is a boxer as well, though that's not shown for a while. As for Daigorou... funny that you should mention Gekiranger at all... let's just say he has some really unique techniques.
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Old March 18th, 2015, 05:52 PM   #47
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Openings in that era were weird in that regard. Diane was shown swimming. Maria was shown swimming. Akira was shown swimming. Misa was shown swimming. They all hardly or rarely swam, but for some reason it's the one thing the openings latched onto. My guess, it's an excuse to show off how great of a shape their bodies were in. Needless to say, all (except Diane) were characterized by much more than that, and it was nice to see Maria attempt a shichi henge when she was added to the opening, as it showed she actually had skill.
If they wanted to prove how sporty Momoi is, then just use the tennis abilities she has in the opening instead of just the same swimming shot that Diane/Maria/Misa has. Seriously, its that sort of thing that makes me happy that both Miki Momozono and Rei Tachibana have way more honest depictions in the following years.

Well, the opening implied that Akagi is a boxer as well, though that's not shown for a while. As for Daigorou... funny that you should mention Gekiranger at all... let's just say he has some really unique techniques.
Yeah...and they made Hokuto Dan a boxer too and his skill is kendo. (and he also beat up on a black man...tells you something sadly) Whenever I think of DynaRed, I don't think of boxing, I think of kendo and motorcross...likewise I sort of see Akagi so far as mostly karate so maybe the boxing part is just a tad weird.

And with Kenji Ohba's "relation" to Jan, maybe he should use more "power" over "technique" ;p

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Blade 18:

Remember how the other day I made mention on how similar the Leangle Belt is just very much like Venom? Well this episode more or less confirms it considering all that happens with the storylines of Mutsuki and Kiryuu intersecting the way they do. First and foremost, I still really like how they just don't leave any real mysteries with this season compared to other series: Mutsuki finds out rather quickly in this episode that somehow whenever he uses the Leangle belt, it just leads to the Spider Undead taking him over and doing whatever it wants with his body fully being the one behind it all. And to make matters worse, the possession by the Spider Undead into Mutsuki isn't just when he's Leangle; due to it, little spiders tend to crawl around him which likewise appear to influence him, make him more murderous even when he doesn't want to be. When he nearly attacks his girlfriend in "Leangle Mind" mode, he really has had enough and tries to eliminate the belt...but the belt won't just go away, since the Spider Undead realizes it needs someone to control it, and with the easy synching between him and Mutsuki (and Mutsuki's hope of being a good Rider), it just makes him the obvious target for becoming its "partner"; and nothing, not another Rider or even the Undead it releases, is going to get in its way.

Meanwhile, Tachibana is having problems due to Kiryuu and the past, in this case that he tried (and failed) to be Garren (probably due to lower synch abilities compared to Tachibana) and that has made him resentful, furthered by him losing his hand in the process. Obviously Kiryuu wants what Tachibana has, even if Tachibana no longer is Garren (though really Kotarou should try if he wants to be a Rider that badly), if only to prove he can be a Rider even with his now psychotic methods of law enforcement. And to make matters worse, once Mutsuki has had enough of the Leangle Belt trying to control him...Kiryuu immediately takes it...and masters it. It just makes it all the more scary knowing that Mutsuki with his noble mind at least can try to make Leangle work for him even if Spider Undead wants to do evil things with the power...while Kiryuu is just going to let it possess him and work perfectly with it. Yeah...so then if Mutsuki is Peter Parker, then Kiryuu is Eddie Brock.
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Old March 18th, 2015, 06:02 PM   #48
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Personally, Kiryuu's presence and role in this arc feels incongruous to me, probably not helped by the fact that this arc is written by Inoue; previous episodes hammer home so much that not just anyone can be a rider, that only certain people can synch up with the Category Ace Undead, and then this guy shows up and is able to be Leangle effortlessly. It just doesn't sit right with me. Plus, having Mutsuki lose the Leangle belt like this so soon after getting it muddies the progression of his arc.
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Old March 19th, 2015, 05:25 AM   #49
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I don't see any real problem with Kiryuu (especially we know he is qualified to be a Blade Rider, but failed prior; just like Mutsuki did during Isaka's Leangle tests prior to Spider Undead personally choosing/using him) since it does in a way further along an element regarding the story of Leangle; namely that this is what happens if someone more of its mindset utilized the power. The main Leangle story is about how Mutsuki is trying to defy this and ultimately gain full control, so it isn't so bad when someone who really doesn't care and just wants power is able to coordinate with the Spider Undead, thus to show what happens and thus get back to Mutsuki's main storyline of trying to defeat the monster he's now stuck with. (besides, Inoue tends to like having "extra Rangers/Riders" or powers that have multiple users like the Faiz trio, so I think we should just indulge his whims with this before getting back to what matters)

-----

Denziman 3: Daigorou Oume: when he isn't eating anpan, he's stealing your spaghetti.

The more I watch Denziman, the more I realize how similar it is to the basic original concepts of Power Rangers than nearly any other Sentai out there outside Zyuranger (which is more due to the footage). In this episode, we end up furthering along that comparison with the five of them becoming "tutors" (I'd say teachers but the Hoshikawa family would complain) in various activities, and for the most part it does match up rather closely with the classic Power Rangers. (Akagi/Jason with karate, Midorikawa/Zack with "an alternate fighting style" [Boxing/akido]; Kiyama/Billy with "science stuff"; Momoi/Kimberly with "the girly one" [gymnastics/swimming]; which leaves the "more relaxing martial artist" combo with Daigorou and...um...Trini) Obviously with these classes, the five can stick together and be Denziman when need to, especially with IC finally giving them "the express to the super-fortress" (which really should have been this episode's title instead of the first) from their little clubhouse.

The plotline is rather topical for the late 1970s, with Hedrian sending out a Vader Monster that not only causes massive earthquakes but steals oil tankers and refineries, in order to use them to just cause random chaos to society. (I rather they be used to pay for space taxis myself) The attacks by Chikagerilar are pretty good and just show the devastation it can do on its own alternating between "big" and "small" modes. On the other hand, this is the first real "kids in peril" episode, which involve a few of Akagi's students going down a "demon's hole" only to become captured by Chikagerilar and needing the Denziman to rescue them. I'd complain but it is the first of the season and at least these kids are sort of associated with the Denziman instead of just being random kids of the day...still wasn't that good but we're still in introduction mode at this point so I'll just let it slide.
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Old March 19th, 2015, 08:31 AM   #50
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It's not like the Hoshikawas were teaching that often >.>

Get used to the kids in Denziman... except for one who noticeably disappears midway through the season (which kind of ruined something they were going for).
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Old March 19th, 2015, 05:51 PM   #51
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So the "get used to the kids"...you mean these kids (Akagi's group) or kids in general? Because...kids and Sentai from the mid 70s to early 90s is sort of given.

-----

Blade 19: Give back my...precious...Belt!

Kiryuu on the surface is probably the best candidate to be Kamen Rider Leangle, due to the similarities between himself and the Spider Undead: neither seem to have the respect of the others and both have a massive drive of vengeance and to show what they have against all opponents, particularly Kiryuu's obsession with wanting to be Garren. By comparison, Mutsuki is a wimp who merely lucked into having the encounters that allowed him to become Leangle even if the Spider Undead is merely controlling him; under the pretense that he thinks he can defeat its influence eventually and make himself into a true hero. At the start, Kiryuu is obviously on the advantage, becoming Leangle and showing his stuff, even letting the Spider Undead continue his "hatred stance" towards Chalice knowing about all that Aikawa has been going through. But at the same time, while Mutsuki is glad to be rid of the belt, there is still something "sinister" inside of him...to me, this is not the same "possession" that the belt typically gives with all the little spiders and whatnot; this is more or less that first encounter matter by which Mutsuki had with the Spider Undead, the one that seems to drive deeper within Mutsuki's darkness and pretty much guarantee that if he isn't Leangle, he'll go insane. He is willing to do anything to get the Leangle belt back, even nearly give up the Garren belt to Kiryuu thinking he can be Garren with him as Leangle; but unfortunately Kiryuu's will is way too strong in the bond they have.

Of course, the reason why Kiryuu's will is so strong is because of Tachibana: for the most part he wanted to remain Leangle as long as he could fight one-on-one with Garren in a true Rider fight to prove that he is the superior. As much as Leangle bonded better with him in some manners of respect, it is this desire that pretty much allowed for the bond for a short time to be closer to him than it is to the natural bond between the Spider Undead and Mutsuki. I think in some ways, Kiryuu wanted to prove either his superiority or the superiority that let Tachibana become Garren in the first place, to show he was the better Rider as well as to allow for the real Garren to return to the Battle Royale. And once that was done, Mutsuki obviously had the stronger influence ultimately leading to him retaking the Leangle power and destroying Kiryuu. It really is sad thinking it over, seeing that Kiryuu had wanted to be a Rider and really only became one due to a fluke involving his own potential and the will that allowed for him to use Spider Undead for the brief period even with the Mutsuki bond way more true in some manners of respect. You could say it doesn't help Mutsuki's storyline but I still sort of say it does, in that Mutsuki really is the only one who can tame the Leangle power, while Kiryuu could only use it for the short time due to past potential and his own desires which faded away once Garren defeated him fairly.
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Old March 19th, 2015, 08:54 PM   #52
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So the "get used to the kids"...you mean these kids (Akagi's group) or kids in general? Because...kids and Sentai from the mid 70s to early 90s is sort of given.
I'm 90% certain that those kids are the recurring ones. I'm not absolutely sure, though, since they're not that major of characters, and their names didn't come up much.
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Old March 20th, 2015, 05:13 AM   #53
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Nothing wrong with recurring kids I actually admit. In truth as I mentioned prior: I don't mind "kid moments" in Sentai, but only when it gets rather ridiculous (a few things come to mind) that it just becomes a turn-off.

-----

Denziman 4-5: Some people make a pact by blood. Daigorou does it with anpan jelly.

While I really should have realized it a bit sooner, 4 really does give us a bit of a modus operandi regarding the Vader Clan: it feels to me like Earth is less something they want to conquer for some reason or another and more just a "plaything" that Hedrian can use to torment and drive nuts, even with much of their murderous intentions remaining as such. Its a bit less like Deathdark's "experiments" and more like the Jashinka with "well let's see if we do this to the people of the planet". The plot here does give us that intention, with it involving Hedrian using a Vader Monster to take photos of the most beautiful girls they can find...and then having her use said pictures as voodoo dolls to kill them one after another. It really is the most effective and creepiest plot the Vaders have done up to now, really getting across the queen's arrogance and obsession with being the best and allowing for her to take her anger out on the planet she wants to rule. Denziman get involve when the first victim was at a fashion show that Daigorou and Momoi were watching where the female victim is literally sucked into a wall where she ultimately becomes suffocated to death in an extremely gruesome manner (with the bizarre unintended moments making it seem like Hedrian was touching her boobs in the photo). In order to lure her out, Denziman have to use a girl of their own to lure out the Vader cameraman, but unfortunately for Daigorou it ends up getting personal since said girl is an "adopted sister" of his at the circus (played by rising actress Junko Mihara, who currently is more a supremely controversial member of the Japanese Diet). I sort of like the bond they give Daigorou and Sachiko even if she's more just a lure for the Vader plot to be blown up, showing the concern that if the Denziman's plot failed, then someone close to him would end up being killed in the process. It is a danger to bring someone this close into your battles and luckily it does work out in the end, but it was bizarre that Vader Castle would just randomly leave the safety of their dimension just to have a brief air battle with Denzi Tiger.

After a great episode (probably the best so far in the season), 5 unfortunately returns us to our regularly scheduled weirdness. Mind you the plot this time isn't so bad either, involving a very "Little Shop of Horrors" scenario where the Vaders leave a Vader Monster plant in the human world that a man takes in to take care of only for it to kill him and start trying to take over the apartment for victims to get strong enough to defeat DaiDenzin. The initial concept of the plot was neat, particularly with this grumpy old man taking the glowing Vader flower only to be eaten by it. It does get rather dumb, though, when the main reason that the Denziman decide to protect the apartment is that Santa, one of the kids that hangs out with Akagi's group, turns out to live in said apartment and thus he's now in particular in danger with the killer plant running amuck within the walls. I don't mind the brief story element that reveals why Akagi actually cares about Santa, involving him being trained by the kid's father, but I think that concern over one kid in particular when an entire building and everyone in it is under threat of a killer plant is just a bit too much. Further, if the plant is trying to conquer and eat its way through an apartment building, I guess I expected more victims being eaten after the first one who first brought it inside, but I guess that's from my experiences with killer buildings thanks to some other Sentai...though at least it didn't start singing with a Levi Stubbs voice.
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Old March 21st, 2015, 05:20 AM   #54
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Yesterday was hell but at least its over with...

Blade 20: Sure the high-level Undead aren't actually more educated Gurongi?

With Mutsuki once again Leangle, Tachibana has a major guilt complex about how things got set up the way they currently are; particularly in that he was the one who created this monster by sealing the Spider Undead in the first place. He thinks that he has to save Mutsuki from this fate but at the same time Mutsuki still thinks that he has to be a Rider and that somehow conquering the power of Leangle is going to be enough to free him from his fate of "being born in the darkness". When Leangle frees an Undead from his own deck to cause chaos, Mutsuki sees himself responsible and wants to get it back, but at the same time Tachibana wants to make sure that he handles this both due to obligation and out of fear of what Mutsuki could do with is failure to fully control the power of his belt and its properties that it possesses mostly due to him helping in create it in the past. Of course, that isn't really the only problem from working with Isaka that has emerged: due to Tachibana easily defeating Chalice before, Aikawa has his own grudge he wants to get cleared up now that Garren is back in the game...which means this isn't going to end well.

Still speaking of Chalice, we also have Kotarou, who is trying to deal with the continued protection his sister has through an Undead even though he really isn't a fan of it. But at the same time, he may find himsef caught within the trap of the Undead as well, when a female high-level appears to to seduce him into screwing with the Undead Searcher of Hirose at the orders of a male one! While Kenzaki himself isn't directly involved with this, it all becomes linked when he suddenly finds himself fighting the Capricorn Undead all while the female one continues her work on Kotaro...thus perhaps Blade's downfall will be the libido of his idiot partner...
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Old March 22nd, 2015, 06:23 AM   #55
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Blade 21: At least Kotarou proves you can get drunk on milk without being Alex.

It seems rather apparant to all those involved, particularly Tachibana and even Aikawa, that Mutsuki is just a problem regarding the dealing with his powers. He may have the Leangle belt and a tenuous alliance with the Spider Undead, but its' using him to assert its own will. Considering he sealed the Spider Undead and doesn't want to see Mutsuki get trapped in its grip any longer than he has to, Tachibana has decided to do something about it, hoping to train him in hopes that through making him more capable from his weak state, he will be able to overcome the Undead's control and truly be a Rider if he's trapped with the power now. Of course, for Mutsuki its a victory in some respects in that everyone sees him as a Rider at this point, but he still has problems and needs to get through them; I'm not sure if training like this will work but it is a means so far to do what is needed.

At the same time, it is rather apparant that Kotaro has been played the fool by a duo of Undead; not just the Capricorn Undead but the female as well, who is likewise on the means to attack. Aikawa is willing to help now but it seems apparant he's only really in it to stop the Undead himself, even if it leads to all his interactions with human beings, whether it is changing him or not. Of course aside from Aikawa, Kenzaki's also trying to make sure that Kotaro doesn't get into trouble...but that probably has to do with him and Hirose living in the house and not wanting to lose that free ride while the Undead are running amuck. Luckily the Capricorn Undead is dealt with (all that work for Isaka, a Jack level; and this one only took 2 episodes...) but somehow I think that with the possibility that his female partner is a Queen, we have a new stage of "high-level Undead" to worry about now.
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Old March 22nd, 2015, 09:26 AM   #56
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One thing to note is that Isaka spent much of his time avoiding a direct confrontation with the riders, trying to create the ultimate rider to fight for him and such, whereas Capricorn Undead did not.
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Old March 22nd, 2015, 01:51 PM   #57
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Yeah, he was really out there and that probably doomed him. At least Isaka used his increased abilities for intelligent matters.

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Blade 22: Don't worry, Kotaro; once we capture your girlfriend, you can look at her card anytime.

What exactly are the Blade Riders fighting for and how does that affect them? As we've seen, the three Riders already encountered tend to have their own modus operandi: for Kenzaki, it is his job as well the satisfaction of others due to his own tragedy; for Tachibana, it is likewise a job to finish up, clean up BOARD'S mess and in memory of what Isaka pulled on Sayoko; and for Aikawa, it is a different sort of job but he's a bit more enigmatic since he's pretty much an Undead from the past doing it while wearing a human disguise. But for Mutsuki, its a lot harder than that: not only does he have to deal with his own traumatic past of being basically a "locker baby" but likewise the scenario that has somehow lead to the Spider Undead to "use" him in order to accomplish its own desires for power. While his training is helping him maybe become closer to truly using the power, he is still without purpose and is upset that he doesn't have the same tragedy or drive, let alone the nightmare of the Undead using him. But somehow Kenzaki is giving him a bit more in regards to accessing true "hope": by just doing good, he'll feel good, and perhaps by having hope within him, it may be enough alongside the training to just seal away the power of the Spider Undead and let the true "Leangle" fight instead of merely the "Leangle" that is being used for someone else's desires.

Meanwhile, more of the "High Undead" are emerging from the woodwork and they all seem to be attracted to Aikawa due to his past history with them. Aside from the female from last time, we have one man who seems to be speaking about what really should be dominating the planet (which somehow matches a Black ep I just watched)...while another high-level has a promise that Aikawa must now follow through with. And at the same time, another of the human accomplises of the family has appeared and she wants to help him out with his photography, but with the cost that she may find out more about him that she may not want to know...
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 08:05 AM   #58
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Honestly, Mutsuki's backstory is one of the most bizarre things to ever happen in a Kamen Rider series; I mean, he was stuffed into a locker as a baby, but it is never explained who did this or why they did this, so it just feels really really weird and awkward as the foundation for all of Mutsuki's angst.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 08:19 AM   #59
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Which is what I'd say is the crux of Blade's problems: lots of over-the-top melodrama for the sake of melodrama, either it's given very little context or explanation, or the explanations that are given are very obtuse and head-scratching.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 05:45 PM   #60
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I don't mind the melodrama of Blade: the characters at least are honest to each other and talk to each other about the important stuff...unlike in the Inoue seasons where its all "hide and manipulate until we all crack". I think Kusaka would go nuts in a universe like Blade where everyone is open and there is no one to manipulate.

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Blade 23: Don't mind Aikawa using Float Dragonfly...he just wanted to see if he could become V3 with that card.

Its amazing that its actually nearly halfway near the series and we're just now finally getting a bit more of an in-depth study regarding the Sealed Cards and how they work, in particular the multiple uses of them and how to and not to use them. Obviously with Tachibana and Mutsuki's storyline, we get the whole concept regarding the suites and how there are exactly 13 of each, with most of Mutsuki's already captured by Isaka prior to the Spider Undead. It is a bit ridiculous that Mutsuki is trying to get the hang of being Leangle and wants to make his own combos, particularly after he finally caught a card of his own this time around...but Tachibana just shoves it off claiming "this isn't some card game"...well there are still points ofr the usage of power and you're sealing monsters into cards, so it is sort of a card game. A card game for the fate of the world due to circumstances of the battle royale...but a card game still.

On the other side of things, we have Aikawa and his own problems regarding his own identity, particularly with the photographer and the latest Jack-level Undead attacking them. The photographer obviously sees that Aikawa isn't human and he doesn't admit to be human, thus confirming it, obviously trying to keep his distance. But when the suited Undead appears to him, he states that somehow he isn't "Chalice", the Mantis Undead either...which seems to suddenly confuse me in that somehow not only are the Ace-Levels not only Undead (like we saw before with the Spider Undead) but may have warrior forms as well, which somehow are associated with the four Ace "Change" cards. (so basically there is a "Chalice"...but there is still the Mantis Undead?) With the concept that Aikawa isn't the real Mantis Undead but using its card to be Chalice, he actually steals it with the idea that he can be freed and thus eventually fight as the last opponents in the tournament. Of course its up to Kenzaki to sort of right his path once again and to just embrace who he is and what he is fighting for, let alone the concept of the humanity he discovered and is discovering through Amane and her mother...but it does leave the question: if Aikawa is an Undead, but isn't the Mantis Undead/Chalice...then what is he really? If Undead can become other Undead with Sealed Cards, then could another Undead be using the Chalice card as well as the suite of Hearts, such as the "Spirit" card giving him the Aikawa form? It does boggle the mind.

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Denziman 6: After a roller coaster ride like that, they probably all rushed to the bathroom before the battlefield.

One of my biggest problems with this season so far that I've come across has to be that I don't know if or how any of the Denziman really matter or have anything that should keep my interest in them. Whenever something comes up or happens that could lead to an interesting character focus episode, it just suddenly gets genericized and the focus is suddenly shifted away from one member while others tend to come to the rescue or to prevent that focus in their character from really being seen. I know character focus isn't really a matter in early Sentai considering Battle Fever didn't really have focus on its characters early on either; but its focus was more on the giant robot arms race with Egos that lasted long enough to keep interest before we got actual character episodes; and of course both Gorenger and J.A.K.Q. had character focuses early on let alone all the seasons after this for the most part.

I say this because last night's episode actually felt like it could have been an interesting early focus episode on Kiyama, who really does need a bit more to him after being in the background for most of the first five episodes outside being "the scientist", but what feels like could have been a Kiyama episode just felt taken away from him somehow or another. The main focus, actually, was on a girl whom Kiyama and Midorikawa saves from committing suicide due to some problems she's been having with her own life, in particular the fact she really doesn't have the best relationships with her mother. A girl with such trauma is someone who really does need someone to talk to and to help get through their problems. But of course someone with such trauma is also an easy target for Hedrian and the Vader Clan, who use a Vader Monster to "fuse" with her and create a demonic clone of her who starts running amuck and causing chaos, attacking her mother with psychokinetic powers and even causing problems at a birthday party that Kiyama and Momoi invite her to for one of the other "kids". With how much of an interest Kiyama seems to have in this girl, I would have expected him to be more active in helping her out and discovering that she maybe is a Vader clone...but instead, he, Daigorou and Midorikawa go to an amusement park where they get sickened by some Vader pranks on a roller coaster...and its Akagi and Momoi that discover the real girl and figure the Vader clone was with the ones at the park and put a stop to it. It really does prevent any development when you have one character in focus and someone else entirely solve the problem; the same thing happened in the previous episodes where you have one Denziman in focus but some of the others teaming up to defeat the problem. If the episode maybe focused more on the relations between Kiyama and the girl, maybe focus on the source of the problems she has alongside her being used by Hedrian, then maybe it would have been better than it turned out.

Last edited by Ataruman; March 24th, 2015 at 05:14 AM. Reason: Denzi 6
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