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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" 10 19.61%
Finish "Chouseishin Justirisers"
10 19.61%
Finish "Kamen Rider V3" 5 9.80%
Finish "Kamen Rider V3"
5 9.80%
Kamen Rider Fourze 14 27.45%
Kamen Rider Fourze
14 27.45%
Avatar: The Last Airbender 13 25.49%
Avatar: The Last Airbender
13 25.49%
Sailor Moon ('92-'97) 8 15.69%
Sailor Moon ('92-'97)
8 15.69%
Other (Say what in the thread) 1 1.96%
Other (Say what in the thread)
1 1.96%
Votes: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 8th, 2015, 01:09 PM #21
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Your comment about a running tally of which Undead have been sealed made me think of how in OOO they would show which Core Medals Eiji had and which ones he'd gained and lost in that episode; that particular execution wouldn't work for Blade I think, but Hirose entering that information on her computer where we could see it would work.
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Old March 9th, 2015, 05:44 PM #22
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Maybe not the OOO method (which was great) but at least something that shows how many of each number and of each suite remain so we can keep track of what is still out there, who can seal it and how many more exist.

Oh and I finally figured out the order of the characters in the "posing" part of the opening, since it is the way they're introduced in the credits. It's basically Kenzaki -> Aikawa -> Hirose -> Koutarou -> ???? (mystery man in hat I call him) -> Tachibana. It isn't so bad once you get past the part that they're just randomly posing.

-----

Blade 9: I'd be more scared if the zebra spoke rhyme...Blade better seal it cause that's a matter of time!

Aikawa continues to show a very conflicted nature regarding where he belongs in the world and if he really does have anything to really fight for or not. On one hand he is an Undead made to fight in this Battle Royale and to defeat all opponents; but on the other he has emotions and is trying to figure them out. His battle and rivalry with Kenzaki furthers along the idea that he is only made to fight (even if Kenzaki merely sees him now as an Undead), but he protected someone who was being tormented, showing he can fight for others if he does put his mind to it...even though he later says he only did it because they pissed him off. He does care about Koutarou's niece, but at the same time still wants to see the world burn...whichever will win out in the end is still up in the air at this time.

At the same time, Tachibana continues to figure if he has something to really fight for and to survive for, whether or not he can get through this malady that he does currently have. But it feels like every time he gets closer to something that may make him overcome it, something just shows up to screw him over. On one hand, the doctor Sayoko actually wants to marry him and that seemed like it would be enough to maybe help him get over that fear in his heart...except he ended up fighting Isaka, who is one of the higher ranked Undead which only makes the battle worse. And to make matters worse, Isaka has offered a way for Tachibana to get over his problems, except we know that he wants to use Garren for his own means which means this won't be any good for him. (especially if it involves the dreaded...green liquid)
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Old March 9th, 2015, 08:36 PM #23
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To clarify one thing at least, any of the Riders can seal any of the Undead, not just the ones of their own Suit. That said, they are restricted to using only the ones of their suit, so taking someone else's Undead can be an important part of the power dynamic.

You know, you refer to Aikawa as an Undead "made to fight in this Battle Royale" and that is a very interesting way to put it.

Tachibana is a guy who can't help stumbling a lot and being a Kamen Rider means that those stumbles are going to be painful indeed.
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Old March 10th, 2015, 06:11 PM #24
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If anyone can seal any suite, then how do they make sure they have the right card? Or is that just magically the number that appears on the card once they are sealed?

-----
Blade 10: I really wouldn't want Kotarou as a cow...Hirose, sure, but not Kotarou.

Tachibana should learn a lesson after this whole ordeal is over and done: when you spend time in "green liquid" set up by a high-level Undead claiming they're going to cure you, don't believe it. Obviously considering the desperation that Tachibana had in trying to get back to how things were earlier due to his position as Garren and the Battle Royale, obviously he rather just do the easy way rather than the practical way. But said easy way obviously shows its flaws: he may seem stronger but he can hear Isaka's voice in his head and basically is at his every command. It really just feels like Isaka did him a favor just for whatever he really wants, and at the same time he wants to probably make the control of all the Riders at this point prime due to the scenario, with Aikawa most likely on his side, Garren definitely on his side, a new Rider coming that will obviously be on his side...and the potential that he can get Blade on his side, then basically he'll just control the entire deck and no one can stop whatever he really wants. Obviously, Kenzaki isn't going to fall for it and Aikawa is having his own questions of whose side he's on and obviously isn't as controllable as Isaka wants him to be. But with Tachibana on their side, you could say they have an...Ace in the hole?

Meanwhile it is peculiar that Aikawa is literally using the kid he saved last time to spy on Kotarou's family just to see how they are. guess that considering current scenarios he just wants to maybe make sure they really are who they claim and to further investigate the love that the man he's obliged to really does exist, maybe even in him. (that and I sort of wonder if he died in the same storm Kino lost his arm and younger brother in...that flashback's been played a lot up to now)
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Old March 10th, 2015, 07:58 PM #25
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I recall in the first few episodes that when one of the Riders was about to seal one of the Undead, one of their blank cards would glow to signal that it was the right card to use. It's been a while though.

~

For a guy who was initially impressed upon us as the reliable mentor type for our new rider Kenzaki, Tachibana does not make good decisions and I can't help thinking that even if BOARD didn't get wasted that this would have become apparent over time.
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Old March 11th, 2015, 06:27 PM #26
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cypsiman2 wrote: View Post

I recall in the first few episodes that when one of the Riders was about to seal one of the Undead, one of their blank cards would glow to signal that it was the right card to use. It's been a while though.
sort of remember that except at this point its just "throw a card, suck them in". I sort of originally just thought that suite didn't matter, just the number rank and thus how they can be caught by any of the four unless they already have that Rank...but it really isn't that clear and it would feel unfair if one number is caught and an "evil Rider" needs that number now. Probably why they just let anyone catch whatever Undead they can.

-----
Blade 11: If Aikawa's friend did become famous, I'd have him drop the floppy hat. It would just make people think that "The Destroyer" is coming.

Tachibana's "cure" by Isaka's group is more or less a ruse: sure it is allowing him to fight once again but unfortunately its all for their own purpose: for the creation of their own "ultimate Rider". Since both Tachibana and Kenzaki are both human, they're seen as problems that the higher Undead want to deal with, but Tachibana's scenario of the weakness his heart at least allowed for them to use him for their own purposes. But unfortunately Tachibana still has the will of a human and the will to know when to stop when he's told to due to going too far. Luckily that is sort of what Sayoko and Kenzaki are able to do, but Isaka keeps his prize for the moment due to bigger concerns: the final Category Ace Undead, who is actually still out there. And surprisingly...the Undead target they're aiming for is a Spider. Which means that if its captured, then we're probably going to get our first ever...um, Spider Rider? (yeah, wrong TV show but still considering we did have a Bat Rider in Ryuki [and another one who will be an actual Bat Rider main], it is surprising that one of the classic Rider MotW would wait until season 5 of Heisei to potentially get a Rider...but first things first: Tachibana still has to catch the thing for Isaka!) The factor of the Spider Undead being an Ace-level is interesting in itself, in that it appears like a normal Undead so far thus in the "beast" aspect, but with the knowledge that Ace-Levels are the only ones used for Rider Systems, it will be maxed out once it presumably becomes the "Clubs" of the four suites...so it is something to look out for.

Meanwhile, Aikawa is still hanging out with the kid he saved from punks a few episodes ago; interestingly his father is a music producer and there is this whole "follow the system vs. my own way" thing going on, with Aikawa's weird words of doom being misinterpreted interestingly in "destroy the boundaries that bind me to my current situation". It is amazing that he does have another supporter outside Kotarou's sister and niece...but considering Amane is coming after him, problems are just around the corner.
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Old March 11th, 2015, 09:54 PM #27
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Spider's are among my favorite Kamen Rider monsters, the Undead are among my favorite monster designs, so I like the Spider Undead's look a whole hell of a lot.

As for Aikawa, this sort of thing is good every now and then, giving the loner type like him a new environment and a new character to bounce off of; how long it will last with his old life catching up with him, hard to say.
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Old March 12th, 2015, 06:02 PM #28
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I'm sort of debating currently on if I am going to do a special full review for Turboranger considering that things have been way too chaotic. I really should just do a shorter review like I have been doing with KR for the Sentai; but I guess I've been getting way too in depth. (says the idiot who spent nearly half of the entire Goseiger review talking about Brajira) I will keep those reading this informed...but I may throw out some Sentai tomorrow after all in preparations for Monday...

-----

Blade 12: So if the Human Undead looked just like Aikawa...did he mope the other Undead to death last Battle Royale to gain victory?

What does it really mean to be "human"? Unfortunately this question really is a focal manner regarding Aikawa's story arc, made even more peculiar with the elements of this episode. In this case, we knew that he used the power of the Mantis Undead to "Change" into Chalice, but to change back...he uses the Human Undead card, which for him works just like the human Riders using Ace Undeads to change into Rider forms. So it does bring up a question: if the "Change" power for Aikawa is the Mantis Undead Ace card, is he actually the Mantis Undead and Chalice is closer to his true form...or is he something else using the Heart suite as his means of going about as both a human and a Rider? Regardless, it is the fact that Aikawa isn't human that ends up giving him all the problems: he wants to exhibit elements to make himself closer to the humans he now live among, but everyone continues to see him as a monster who just brings trouble everywhere he goes. When he tries to save a girl, she gets scared; and at the end of this Ichinose storyline, he blames Aikawa for the destruction of a boat during a battle with an Undead. As much as Aikawa wants to prove he can be human, the same human society keeps turning their back on him, which could end up making him less human in the process. Yet at the same time one of the few facets that keeps him human, Kotaro's family, is still looking for him and want him back even after all the chaos he brought into their lives. To Amane and her mother, Aikawa is family regardless of the calamity and thus possibly the closest aspect that will make him closer to human. But if he keeps turning his back on them, Aikawa will probably just end up growing colder and more like the Undead he is supposed to be.

Meanwhile, Kenzaki's scenario isn't improving with Tachibana under Isaka's control and the tricky nature of the Spider Undead, the last of the four Ace Undead. Tachibana just won't let up on that mission and obviously won't let Kenzaki or even Sayoko in on this. And because of Sayoko's investigation, she may end up in trouble thanks to Isaka...which pretty much means she shouldn't be trying to get into other people's business, huh?
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Old March 12th, 2015, 06:18 PM #29
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It is certainly a puzzle how the Human Undead managed to achieve victory in the previous Battle Royale 10,000 years ago, one that is at the heart of the series as a whole; how did humans, weak puny humans, achieve dominance and dominion over life on Earth? And of course, the mystery of Aikawa himself only grows, is he the Mantis Undead or something else entirely? A hint on that has appeared in the show already, but I will not say what it is.
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Old March 12th, 2015, 07:36 PM #30
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cypsiman2 wrote: View Post

And of course, the mystery of Aikawa himself only grows, is he the Mantis Undead or something else entirely? A hint on that has appeared in the show already, but I will not say what it is.
I wonder if it has something to do with there being 53 Undeads instead of 52...

-----

Battle Fever J Revisited - Prologue to "The Denzi Age"

With my next Sentai watch starting on Monday, I decided to revisit two episodes of Battle Fever J, mostly due to some actors who are going to be showing up again in the near future for me. The first episode, BFJ 3, is pretty much notable as the first appearance of Machiko Soga in Sentai. Now obviously if I'm going to watch Soga, I really should just go back to Zyuranger...that or that disgusting end of Magiranger (which she was great in regardless of how horrible Magi's finale was; she went out in style regardlss) But of course Soga is a toku actress even prior to Sentai, mostly due to probably her most notable non-Sentai role as the witch Bellbara in "5nen 3gumi Mahougumi". Here she's not a witch...or a queen, but she is rather witchy, being an Egos Monster who is created by Satan Egos as part of a scheme to get the secret plans for the then-under-development Battle Fever Robo. As I mentioned in my BF review, I really did like the evolution of the importance of the giant robot early on and that basically it is a massive arms race between the National Defense Ministry and Egos in who was going to get this done first. Soga's role here is rather minor, but she just makes a massive impression from the moment she comes on the screen...well her and Kenji Ohba but they share that aspect. (he spent most of the episode playing with one of Hamster-kun's cousins...who I still say is probably the real Egos spy knowing Hamster-kun like I do)

The other special watch of the night, BFJ 16, is the "Queen of Darkness" Black Tiger Mari episode. While this is pretty much defined by Michi Love (who is amazing even over a year after she last played Karen in J.A.K.Q.), the focus here is more on Naoya Uchida, who these days is more known for leading the Uchiha Clan than being a hero. He'll be in focus in full Monday, but here he really shows a strong performance as the elder brother trying to protect his younger sister from the dark path she has fallen into in order to prove herself. They really don't explain sadly why she did but I did like the impression that made Uchida and Michi seem like siblings in this episode and the drama he gets across. Likewise there is a really hilarious appearance of Kin Oomae as the Fighting Monster (and not even in a mask or anything); I've already seen him in Gorenger and Goggle V aside from this but this is probably one of his most entertaining Sentai roles...not sure if he'll come back in my next Sentai but...stranger things have happened.

Oh and to just get it out of me due to tradition: ...AND DIANE MARTIN IS USELESS...AS USUAL!!!!
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Old March 12th, 2015, 07:49 PM #31
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Yeah, it really is a small world with these look-alikes... after all, Shirou and Daigorou both met Retsu on separate occasions. Kenji Ohba and Machiko Soga both made impressions on me early on in Denziman, and not just due to having familiar faces; they both brought a certain something to their characters. More on that later.

Oh, and useless doesn't even begin to describe Diane Martin.
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Old March 13th, 2015, 07:53 PM #32
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timegold wrote: View Post

Oh, and useless doesn't even begin to describe Diane Martin.
It was a running gag in my Battle Fever review; considering I only did episodes with Diane Martin, I had to say it. (I was thinking of throwing in the Shinji Todo ep since it is one of my favorite BFJ eps but since Soga and Naoya Uchida are so well known and I wanted to remind myself of them, they chose themselves...and to remind myself on how awesome Michi Love is)

-----

Blade 13: The hat man in the opening has an identity and an actor...things are getting serious now.

Its tough to say who is really in charge of the search of the Club-category Rider associated with Spider Undead. On one hand, Isaka is trying to find the Rider for the hopes of creating his "ultimate Rider"; but at the same time the Spider Undead is doing a search of his own to find someone suitable to utilize his power. Considering that all 53 Undead should be wild cards in this tournament trying to defeat each other instead of helping each other out, I would be surprised that the Spider Undead wants to find a human who can utilize his power instead of going it alone; but with three other Ace-cards used for Riders, it probably just wants a companion to go along with it. Isaka seems to be using whatever methods the Undead is utilizing itself for his own traction, but Spider Undead still has last say, seeming to possess a kid and calling himself "Leangle" even without it captured or in a Rider system yet...though if the Undead has a partner and Isaka doesn't realize it, it sort of defeats the purpose of having it captured and then finding a human partner when it sort of has a human partner already. (if the kid, Mitsuki, is still in there)

Meanwhile the battle with the Undead remains intense with Kenzaki trying to figure out more from Sayoko about "that plant" used for Tachibana's treatment, which actually was something known to the Undead and which ends up only harming more than helping. Its tough to say if Isaka knew about it already or got it from the BOARD research, but knowing that it hurts just as much as it heals really does show that it really is just for Tachibana's control until the Spider Undead and the 4th, Undead-controlled Rider, is fully created. At the same time, Aikawa continues to deny any real human emotion considering what happened last time and discovering the cruelty of those he wants to protect...but then Amane appears again and he melts down. It really is tough for him to be a pure "monster" if he has connections like a kid who really gives him something to care about instead of merely to destroy as an Undead in the Battle Royale. But likewise he too is after Spider Undead, probably less to do with Isaka and more to just keep another Rider out of the fight and to just seal it properly...but at this point whoever will get control of the Undead (if anyone considering how well Spider Undead is doing for itself) is anyone's guess.
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Old March 13th, 2015, 08:00 PM #33
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Ah yes, the Spider Undead, Leangle, and more importantly Mutsuki...the point where, at least I feel, Blade starts to hit its stride.
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Old March 13th, 2015, 08:03 PM #34
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I do like the way Blade builds up Leangle, Mutsuki, and the Spider Undead, and I will second that the show really gets into its stride when it starts this plotline and character arc.
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Old March 14th, 2015, 06:04 PM #35
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Blade 14:

I think this episode can be filed under "Tachibana's worst day ever". With all of the difficulties he's had in trying to get the Spider Undead and help Isaka, let alone keep up his health considering the plant he was using to treat himself, it was all bound to come crashing down upon him, mostly thanks to Isaka. While he finally was successful in capturing the Spider Undead, Isaka pretty much took everything simultaneously, including taking the Spider Undead and, in a blow more or less separate but still devastating, killing off Tachibana's girl Sayoko. It was shocking but unfortunately she got a bit too defensive in protecting him and the power of the Undead, especially an Undead as high as him, is always going to surpass a human who doesn't have a Rider system protecting them. I should have seen this coming with her finding the last puzzle piece but I guess with the whole distraction of the provocation that Isaka gave prior, it didn't quite dawn until it happened.

Meanwhile, Aikawa is still trying to cope regarding his belonging matters as Kenzaki tries to help him out after his defeat in the previous episode. Aikawa continues to try and figure himself out and define himself by his monster side as opposed to the humanity he has due to the Human Undead, but Kenzaki's protection and healing of him this time around is more to do with what he's done up to now, regardless of the green blood flowing in him. The problem with Aikawa is that he ends up going back and forth between his human and Undead sides whenever one side gets more overwhelming; in this case as he starts trying to get away from his Undead side and Kotaro tries to confront him as a "monster", Kenzaki brings him closer to human again...but at the same time, an Undead captures Amane and Kotarou's sister leading to him forcing himself into combat once again with the human side overwhelming the Undead aspects within himself, forcing the conflict to continue on as he just can't ever have peace in deciding between one or the other.
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Old March 14th, 2015, 06:12 PM #36
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Ataruman wrote: View Post

Blade 14:
I should have seen this coming with her finding the last puzzle piece but I guess with the whole distraction of the provocation that Isaka gave prior, it didn't quite dawn until it happened.
I think that's a sign that the show is doing things right, that in retrospect you see that the buildup was there but at the time you didn't that was what was going on.
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Old March 15th, 2015, 02:41 PM #37
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She was always a target but the way it was blended together like that at least took away some doubt until it happened.

-----

Blade 15: I wouldn't worry, Kotarou; at least your sister and niece aren't being protected by an Orphonoch.

Whenever I check out the Wikipedia article for Blade, it seems like it divides the story of the series into four different segments, the first of which ends with episode 15. And in some ways, this does feel like the end of a story with a few important turn of events while setting up more stories to come. Most importantly, this is the end of the whole saga we've been witnessing regarding the battle with Isaka/Peacock Undead, particularly in relation to Tachibana with all he's done both to help and destroy him. Isaka tried to help Tachibana to control him for his own purposes, but did so at a cost both to further destroy Garren's health and to eliminate anyone who gets in their way, including Riders and humans alike, the last straw being the death of Tachibana's girlfriend Sayoko. This episode was literally a pissed off Tachibana reborn, finally taking charge of his life after his health scare brought about from becoming a Rider in the first place and eliminating the problems that have truly hindered him, with him being used to this point where he has nothing left but the tears and the anger that still remain inside him. His final battles with Isaka were amazing, just showing the emotion as he just breaks free from the control he's been under for a major section of the arc and finally taking his final revenge while eliminating the fear within him of dying, which died the moment that Sayoko was eliminated for trying to help. In the end, Isaka finally falls; but the scary thing is not just what it took for Garren to stop him, but the fact that this was the power of a high-level Undead, particularly one merely of the level 'Jack'. If I know my playing cards, then Jack is merely the first of the three tiers prior to Ace itself...so if this is what a Jack can do (and we have three more out there, let alone four Queens and Kings)...this is going to be a long battle.

Meanwhile, Kenzaki does the smart thing in telling Aikawa to go back to Amane and her mother, even with the risk of what Kotarou will feel about it. The restaurant is really the only place where he belongs where he doesn't seem to have any problems dealing with being either a "human" or an Undead; let alone with Kotarou working with the BOARD remnants to clean matters up, they will continue to be in danger from any other Undead or other threats. The BOARD leader likewise was found again but carted off by Isaka's followers probably to those working alongside him but who survived this. Meanwhile, Mutsuki somehow failed the test to become Leangle like all the others captured this time around...but it doesn't seem like he's out of the story considering the weird vision that he had prior...unless everyone who is a Leangle candidate had said vision, then he somehow will get that power eventually...
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Old March 15th, 2015, 02:52 PM #38
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Garren vs. the Peacock Undead is a really great climactic battle for this point in the series; Tachibana's been dragged through hell, Isaka's been manipulating everyone all over the place, and now all is out in the open and all the anger and determination is unleashed with some really nice choreography to back it up. It's one of those fights that really stands out in my mind.
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Old March 16th, 2015, 06:56 PM #39
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Quick thing before my Blade review for anyone reading this: due to circumstances regarding a cancelled vacation, I am trying to figure out how to redistribute or use some time I have in the near future that could be either two "two-week breaks", a normal break with a three week break, or a possible long "four week break" where I could be watching two 13-episode series (toku, anime or whatever) or a whole 26 episode one. Any suggestions, go for it. (my thought is maybe watch the first Akibaranger series and/or After V, but I want to hear what anyone else says about how I should split the break up...then again if I make it 4 weeks then the next Sentai after the one I start tonight will immediately start after it but then again they are connected...sort of)

-----

Blade 16: Why can't we just have one montage where Mutsuki randomly tries to activate his belt while saying "Shazam" or making rock handsigns?

The beginning of the episode was mostly just fallout from the last episode and the end of the arc that has just completed. With the Isaka threat over and done, Tachibana has decided he wants nothing more with the Garren powers and has turned in his belt accordingly; considering what he's just been through losing his girlfriend and nearly losing his health, I sort of don't blame him for doing so. (even if he does probably return later on...or sooner due to scenarios) He probably just wants to relax for a while even with the threat of the remaining Undead out there, especially with matters still continuing to change rather quickly. Likewise, it does seem like not just Karasuma but everyone working under Isaka was brainwashed into making the "Clover Belt" (which is funny that I'm talking about with St. Patrick's Day tomorrow) so it really showed the sway he had in doing what he had done. Meanwhile, Aikawa continues to act rather suspicious in his ways in wanting to protect and be Chalice, but do so by his own methods and not in the ways Kenzaki is trying to make him fight. When the Dragonfly Undead attacks again that previously tried to capture Amane and her mother, he is willing to fight in a crowded restaurant with the threat of others being hurt without caring, showing he really is driven to protect but doesn't care who or what gets in his way in order to do so, which disheartens Kenzaki.

But of course the episode really is for the most part the full revelation of Kamen Rider Leangle and the power and sway it has in its usage. Even though the Spider Undead has been captured to become a "change card", it has the power to make anyone who looks at it under its control, as it nearly does to Kotarou at one point. (seriously if he wants to be a Rider, just use the Garren belt now Tachibana's done with it!) When it mysteriously vanishes, it ends up once again in the hands of Mutsuki, who previously was "close but no cigar". (and somehow just suddenly gives me this weird Peter Parker vibe...I guess then its appropriate he gets Spider powers though I wonder if its more like the Venom Symbiote) But somehow, whether by his own volition or Spider Undead, it actually works...but who is in charge when Leangle finally shows up is hard to say considering it is willing to attack both Chalice and Blade without a moment's notice! Is it Mutsuki testing himself, or is the Spider Undead giving an opening welcome to his new prey...time will tell.
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Old March 16th, 2015, 07:04 PM #40
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> cypsiman2
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cypsiman2
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The scene of Chalice kicking the Dragonfly Undead into the restaurant is another one of those scenes that really sticks with me, it's just a really good way to communicate both what Chalice's priorities are and how those priorities fit into the larger context of the show.

And yeah, Spider Undead, even when sealed he is just a real bastard of a bastard. Love Leangle's debut and how dramatically over the top it is with the sudden storm clouds and all that.
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