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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 June 12th, 2019, 08:04 PM #3681
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> timegold
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Ataruman wrote: View Post

"maturation"
Wagon: "Are we maturating right now?!"

Ataruman wrote: View Post

(and neat, Wagon actually did something important!)
Wagon: "I always do something important! Oh, did you say something?"

Ataruman wrote: View Post

At least Wagon can probably do "train boner jokes" without any brats around again.
Wagon: "Jokes? What makes you think it was a joke?!"


All right, so we have a narrative that's clearly inspired by Timeranger's endgame - one willing to sacrifice himself to protect others, but those others coming back to rescue him from himself - but what makes this different is how it actually felt like Dairanger thematically. Taking the concept of yin and yang, not reaching a conclusion to the battle but a sort of a coexistence by necessity, balance being restored to the protagonists. And it's partly thanks to Akira, someone who embodied that, and someone who went Hyper Toq #6 finally, showing he can exchange with Right, and since he was born of the darkness, he can work with Right through it. That's what makes the setup for the finale strong.

But as far as the villains go, if you can even call all of them that, they've had to find their balance too. There's a nice symmetry between Z previously swallowing Grita and Grita now sealing Z, something to keep the darkness in check, but with darkness still being a necessary existence.

There are also some Fiveman comparisons to be made, though Ninninger vs Toqger seems like a plot that would better fit a Toqger vs Fiveman, more on that later.
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Old June 13th, 2019, 06:46 PM #3682
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timegold wrote: View Post


Wagon: "Jokes? What makes you think it was a joke?!"
Reality and Wagon-world are two different things.


All right, so we have a narrative that's clearly inspired by Timeranger's endgame - one willing to sacrifice himself to protect others, but those others coming back to rescue him from himself - but what makes this different is how it actually felt like Dairanger thematically. Taking the concept of yin and yang, not reaching a conclusion to the battle but a sort of a coexistence by necessity, balance being restored to the protagonists. And it's partly thanks to Akira, someone who embodied that, and someone who went Hyper Toq #6 finally, showing he can exchange with Right, and since he was born of the darkness, he can work with Right through it. That's what makes the setup for the finale strong.
The situation with Akira was OK...but he didn't really feel like he did much....then again by helping the ToQger get this far, it worked out. (but you can thank Glitter for that too) Really if one thing differentiated this from Timeranger, it's that Akira completed his story instead of just dying in place of someone else. I did think the whole "this is my place to live" bit was cliche but cute.

But as far as the villains go, if you can even call all of them that, they've had to find their balance too. There's a nice symmetry between Z previously swallowing Grita and Grita now sealing Z, something to keep the darkness in check, but with darkness still being a necessary existence.
I still think other media have done "we need both light and darkness to exist" better. I like the concept that both are intertwined with the idea that growing up is embracing a bit of darkness and even dark beings can find the light (such as Glitter or Schwarz and of course Akira), but it really doesn't feel like it works as well as others honestly. But hey...it's still better than Dairanger.

-----

Was sort of hoping to finish all things ToQ tonight...but due to circumstances beyond my control (aka: I didn't have ToQger returns and my source is taking forever), we at least get...one of the two final media (plus I was able to knock off two more Zyuranger episode summaries for the Wikia!) So without further ado:

Ressha Sentai ToQger vs. Kyoryuger: The Movie

There's cradle robbing...and then there's Ian hitting on Mio...SERIOUSLY, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON'T PUT TWO GIRLS ON THE SAME TEAM, EVERYONE!!!!!

The last few seasons and their connections with the Vs. movies have just been a really weird experience for all those seasons involved, particularly due to how many Kobayashi series have been involved. When we got Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger, we got a really wild movie that does strongly connect with the Busters theme of sacrifice and working together with your partners as well as a lot of Gokai fanservice. But unfortunately when we got to what should have been Kyoryuger vs. Go-Busters...the Busters were basically sidelined to doing side-work helping the dino team while they're with a bigger crossover with the Zyuranger and Abaranger. Considering how disrespected a Kobayashi team was last time, you do wonder what she would do when her ToQger finally teamed up with the Kyoryuger, who sort of did team with the Go-Busters at first but really on the surface until all the dino stuff overwhelmed them and the Busters were relegated to the BG work. Unfortunately...this movie, while entertaining and with a lot of fun moments, probably feels a bit like Kobayashi trying her best to make it work but with not much of the themes really working together except on the surface, with this more being about the ToQger and thier position in the whole scheme of Sentai once they encounter a team that is much bigger and flashier than they are. What's worse: it sort of feels like it's derivative of another Kobayashi Vs. movie in how it's approached without the tension and interesting elements going on with it.

The concept of the movie...basically was spelled out last season before the ToQger arrived on the scene: when Deboth was finally stopped, he mentioned he had a creator that would come to take his revenge on his downfall. Said creator, Creator Devius, does finally show up by crashing into a Galaxy Line station and "emerging" in there with the idea that in one day's time, he'll be fully powered and destroy the Earth. Obviously both the ToQger and Kyoryuger have their reasons to stop Devius (Kyoryuger to finish the job, ToQger for the damage he did to the Galaxy Line), but it isn't made any easier when an apostle of Devius, Salamaz, gains the support of the Shadow Line and it turns out that the powers that both teams use doesn't work on other: the Zyudenchi/Bravery doesn't work on the Shadows; while Imagination doesn't work on Deboth beings! It sort of just comes down to a "chocolate and peanut-butter" solution with the teams swapping abilities, with Zyudenchi in the ToQger weapons and Ressha in the Kyoryuger ones...but the movie just does so much as if it sort of wants to stuff in as much as possible in it's airing time! These include a Shadow Kaijin that reverses time that turn the ToQger back into kids (and Ucchi...somehow...into a baby), a ridiculous battle where Salamaz "fuses" with darkness power to create...basically the equivalent of Kurous in cardboard boxes playing train (AND IT TAKES BOTH TOQ-RAINBOW AND BRAGIGAS WITH ALL ZYUDENRYU TO STOP IT!), a fused Zyudenryu to break into the Galaxy Line station, Daigo teaching Right the "sneak onto a train to do what you want" bit he uses in the ToQ endgame, and a huge final battle where they all stop Devius with a combo of all ten Kyoryuger, plus the ToQger and the Shadow Line (with a funny bit where Nero wants to do a roll call and Z and the others ignore him), mostly due to Candilira and Luckyuro praying at a shrine. (if they want to do more, maybe they should move to Korea)

My big problem with the movie is it's hard to say whether or not the lessons of Kyoryuger even matter in this movie. Obviously Kyoryuger isn't the best series and it wears it's lessons on it's sleeves, but it does have some lessons of people of all walks of life coming together to face down an enemy with the whole "brave" thing sort of just being a means to bring them together, even with it's problems. They use "Brave" a few times here but of course it just feels rather threadbare in how it is used and it's more about the flashiness and explosions, which this season isn't really about. Not surprisingly the ToQger lessons have more meat to them...but they really don't need the Kyoryuger to get to these lessons even though they sort of do. It mostly comes about due to the concepts of "big picture vs. small picture" in regards to saving the world, with the idea that the Kyoryuger are these big heroes who save the planet time and again from ancient threats that keep trying to conquer it, while the ToQger are on this journey home trying to defeat the Shadow Line station by station with their own concerns. There is a smaller scale to what the ToQger are doing, but in a way they reason that they're sort of saving the world too: it isn't just some massive world-buster but by freeing towns one after another on hopes of getting home, with each saved town just another section of the world they save. I really do like that philosophy in the small picture linking up to the general big picture; sure it gets into "save the world" nonsense at the end when Z doesn't give a damn anymore and decides to just coat the Earth in shadow, but for the most part it is how ToQger rolls and it's fine in doing things this sort of way. It's probably the only meaningful thing that is gained from this crossover...otherwise it really is just sort of a weaker version of Shinkenger vs. Go-Onger without the tension of the whole Takeru/Sosuke rivalry and...with the Kyoryuger.

Oh and as for "that other team"...the Ninninger cameo is rather weird and all of a sudden: it sort of just happens when Clock Shadow is pursuing the teams after they get away but before the "they're children now" twist...and somehow the factor that the girls are introduced together (and the weirdness of "oh yeah, Brave doesn't work on Shadow Line beings...BUT NINTALITY DOES!") seems to undermine the whole lesson of the movie. (and seems to ride more on the recent "girls don't matter so they'll be put together" trend this franchise has gotten into) But hey, they are flashy, which...is it a plus?
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Old June 13th, 2019, 09:01 PM #3683
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Ataruman wrote: View Post

There's cradle robbing...and then there's Ian hitting on Mio...SERIOUSLY, THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON'T PUT TWO GIRLS ON THE SAME TEAM, EVERYONE!!!!!
Ian hit on a slightly underage Yoko last year. This is just what happens when you let Riku Sanjo and Koichi Sakamoto shape a character, that's just how they'll always be. Sad thing, Ian isn't even the biggest scumbag on that team.

Some praise Riku Sanjo's writing style for the sense of continuity it brings, but honestly, this is not the place for that, writing Kyoryuger's ending in a particular way that weakened its own conclusion and forcing this crossover to take this direction. It's one thing that hampered the potential, compounding the Kyoryuger's difficulties in getting along with any team.

That being said, the Kyoryugers didn't have to ruin everything. Indeed, it's amusing and poignant that the Toqgers are the more mature people than the Kyoryugers. Indeed, the Toqgers are capable of learning their lessons on their own and don't throw a tantrum about needing to share the spotlight. And, the Toqgers did more to teach about "Brave" than Riku Sanjo ever bothered writing.

Luckily, Toqger vs Gaim exists, and those two are way more compatible in terms of narrative themes.
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Old June 14th, 2019, 06:11 PM #3684
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timegold wrote: View Post

Ian hit on a slightly underage Yoko last year. This is just what happens when you let Riku Sanjo and Koichi Sakamoto shape a character, that's just how they'll always be. Sad thing, Ian isn't even the biggest scumbag on that team.
Well it isn't Daigo since he's the glory hog; so who would that be?

Some praise Riku Sanjo's writing style for the sense of continuity it brings, but honestly, this is not the place for that, writing Kyoryuger's ending in a particular way that weakened its own conclusion and forcing this crossover to take this direction. It's one thing that hampered the potential, compounding the Kyoryuger's difficulties in getting along with any team.
Yeah...if it's complete, why would you have an "there's someone above me" type ending like that? It was a huge nitpick among others in the season that had a lot of nitpicks, but I think the problem is Kyoryuger is just too much flash and not enough meat to it; and whatever meat it did have can be lost because...of the flashiness. (probably at least it did lead to a good gag in the movie where the ToQger are nearly blown up by a roll call explosion by the Kyoryuger)

That being said, the Kyoryugers didn't have to ruin everything. Indeed, it's amusing and poignant that the Toqgers are the more mature people than the Kyoryugers. Indeed, the Toqgers are capable of learning their lessons on their own and don't throw a tantrum about needing to share the spotlight. And, the Toqgers did more to teach about "Brave" than Riku Sanjo ever bothered writing.
Really it's just another ToQger movie that happened to have "over the top dinosaur people" in it. The Kyoryuger's only purpose is to give them Zyudenchi to fight Deboss elements.

Luckily, Toqger vs Gaim exists, and those two are way more compatible in terms of narrative themes.
It's hilarious when the creepy and dark Rider season airing at the same time works way better in a combo than your previous Sentai series.

-----

Ressha Sentai ToQger Goes and Returns: Super ToQ 7gou of Dreams

One of these days we're going to have another Violet Ranger who isn't just meant to be put in a retirement home.

Is 20 the perfect time to have a mid-life crisis? Considering how we have lines like "40 is the new 20" in getting older is like being younger in this day and age, it seems strange to have an element where getting old means you just have problems when you're supposed to be the prime of your life. However there's a weird thing about the ToQger: at the time when a typical Sentai hero is probably getting their powers for the first time, the ToQger...have had them and lost them: because their power is based on their childhood capabilities of Imagination, they've reached an age where Imagination is just sort of "lost" to them and they can't use their ToQger powers anymore, which is made all the worse when an unknown Shadow general named Archduke Hei decides to take advantage of their age and lack of Imagination (plus a bizarre time paradox I'll get into) to attack them. However, the five ToQger actually get a second chance when a time hole throws them back into the past...but the weird thing is that they don't return to 2015 (when this special originally was released)...but 2017, two years into their future (and two years past in our time) at the time when the five ToQger actually graduate from Elementary School! It's at this point that Hei begins his assault and it's sort of up to the ToQger to save the day...except the ToQger who save the day are actually the ToQger of 2017 (the kid ones) as the adult ones try to figure out where they went wrong and try to regain their imagination so that they can figure out how to deal with Hei in their time.

This is a really surreal special that unfortunately seems to screw with elements of time travel, time paradoxes and whatnot while teaching a bit of a tired lesson but at the same time is handled decently even if it's sort of been done before and better elsewhere. I'm not really a fan of the whole "the older ToQger lose their Imagination and thus can't transform" plot element used to introduce the team here because we end up learning a major lesson in the series that Imagination isn't something that's based on age but something that sort of lessens more as one gets engrained into the harshness of the real world and sort of just put childish things aside. That doesn't mean you can't have Imagination and they even say in the final episodes that the people of Subarugahama, in particular the parents and families of the ToQger themselves, have such strong imaginations to at least have the New Years letters sent to them reach them even as their town laid dormant from the Shadow Line influence. (and possibly influence how the five end up turning back into kids at the end) Another problem I have is that it seems to also continue to confuse the element of maturation considering that you have the regular maturation of "growing up"...and the "artificial maturation" due to their exposure to the darkness from Z himself that Right was given at the start of the show, a maturation that lead to the problems towards the end of the show and that seem to never have any explanation on if or whether they ever really got over unless they just passed it off as "well they're kids again so it doesn't matter and they'll just mature as humans tend to". (and then there's Wagon...but her "maturation" is something else altogether) It really just feels bizarre that the five strongest imaginations in a certain area who bounced off the Shadow Line at the start to be ToQger in the first place suddenly has zero imagination as if the ten years from the end of the show to where they start literally made them completely different people (though at least in Tokkachi's case, his sort of makes sense in wanting to appear adult by wearing contacts instead of glasses showing his continued element of self-esteem in his appearance). But regardless of the problem regarding the whole element of the adult ToQger needing to relearn Imagination to use their powers again being ridiculous, it still sort of works, particularly the bit with the two Mios and Kagura and the cream puff and younger Tokkachi convincing the older one he's fine how he is.

The more interesting element of maturation that happens in this special that actually works is a bit of a conclusion regarding Akira and his own development. The younger ToQger want to have Akira around because of Right wanting to have a "ToQger graduation ceremony" with all their members, including their 6th. Akira seems to vanish at first, but strangely they sort of come across him...but in a weird way since what they come across...is his tank top shirt, which ultimately is revealed to be a Shadow Kaijin named Tanktop Shadow that was partners with Akira and who was protecting him all along in his Akira form just as Akira was protecting the ToQger. Tanktop Shadow actually betrays Akira and gives him over to Hei, but for an interesting reason: while Shadow Kaijin are immortal, taking a human body and living as a "humanoid" leads to the possibility of other human traits developing...such as aging; there is a possibility that Akira won't be like the "imagination beings" of the Rainbow Line and will actually grow old and eventually die, something Tanktop Shadow doesn't want to see happen to his partner and thus why he betrays him and throws him to be a warrior for Hei's forces. It's an interesting concept in that while the ToQger are dealing with the ideas of maturation in the element of growing up, Akira and Tanktop Shadow are dealing with maturation in the element of growing old, in dealing with ones own mortality compared to the immortal nature that Shadow Kaijin have of dying, returning to darkness and eventually reforming. Eventually, Akira gets through to him that there are things worth being "human" form and living for, and that the metaphor of the rainbow is likewise a metaphor of the fragility of human life, sparkling in full brightness before dissapearing after giving it's all. It's sort of what allows for Tanktop Shadow to finally protect him when Hei turns against him and even leads to the two reuniting in 2025 for the final battle.

While the themes are spotty and there's a whole mess regarding time paradoxes I really don't want to get into (the older ToQger know everything that's going to be said before it's said yet if they don't say it then how do their younger selves know to stop them when they're older?), it's still got it's fun moments and remember that it is ToQger. These include Wagon taking over the "conductor role" and the Conductor moving to "Rainbow Line Police", finally getting his own ToQ powers in ToQ #7 (even if it's a recolor of ToQ #6...but it does allow for ease of transformation); it's weird he gets the title for the special but his short fight early on and joining in the final battle is still fun. I also just like the continued fun regarding the powers the team has and the idea that it's mostly about the kid ToQger and the adult ToQger working together, acknowledging that both were the team and not just the adults we saw most of the season. (I sort of wish we got Line Changes but that gimmick probably wore out it's welcome and the DVDs budget isn't that big...I still liked it though) Despite it's problems, it isn't that bad a watch; it isn't as insane as Kobayashi's other Returns movies (considering what Shinkenger and Go-Busters got) but it did complete a lot of the main ToQger themes in a different setting.
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Old June 14th, 2019, 08:57 PM #3685
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Ataruman wrote: View Post

These include Wagon taking over the "conductor role"
Ticket: "Wait, Wagon, you put your hand where?!"

And move over, Omotesando. Tanktop Shadow is the only one for Zaram.

With this movie, we might call into question a few things with Kagura's return in Super Sentai Strongest Battle the mini-series, specifically with the aspects of Imagination. Did the Toqgers really lose it, or did they "forget" it and leave it latent in their memories? It's where the line is drawn between "imagination" and "Imagination", and there's something important about keeping that child-like wonder. There is the parallel, though, with Akira not losing his light, in that darkness does not have to be his defined natural state, and aside from the plot point of saving their friend, it really ties this together thematically.
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Old June 16th, 2019, 05:05 PM #3686
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timegold wrote: View Post

And move over, Omotesando. Tanktop Shadow is the only one for Zaram.
At least they have an excuse for getting physical.

With this movie, we might call into question a few things with Kagura's return in Super Sentai Strongest Battle the mini-series, specifically with the aspects of Imagination. Did the Toqgers really lose it, or did they "forget" it and leave it latent in their memories? It's where the line is drawn between "imagination" and "Imagination", and there's something important about keeping that child-like wonder.
Somehow it's not like Arakawa to ignore a plot point like that (especially since the elementary school graduation was in 2017 and it was 2 years later when this supposedly happened...wait she was an 8th grader?); but he does also tend to make up his own canon sometimes so...my guess is he uses his usual logic of "it's crossover world, what the creator intended doesn't matter since every Ranger ever still has their powers at all times regardless of the original's story".

Then again it will be a long time before I get to that special I suppose.

-----

Kamen Rider Ghost: RE:BIRTH: Kamen Rider Specter

One of these days, someone needs to create a health board in Ganma World and reveal too much takoyaki isn't good for you.

As I reach perhaps the last real media of this series (OK, there's still the Ex-Aid crossover but it's hard for me to say what more they can do), one thing has become apparant: if you want to do something tragic and horrifying to a Rider in this universe...do it to Specter. Makoto has been through so much crap and so many problems throughout the entire series that for the most part he's the embodiment in this universe of the classic Kamen Rider trope of "a man who gains evil powers and works to do good with them". However just when you've thought Makoto has been through the wringer with everything he's been through throughout the entire series...this movie just adds one final layer of crap to throw at him and emerge from...and it feels like that he's gained so much "evil" to deal with now that he's basically the Rider equivalent of Devilman when it's all over! (though at least his BFFs are Alain and Takeru and not Satan)

This movie involves the sudden "return" of yet another man from the Ganma World who has come to try and reshape it to his own form while at the same time not telling anyone about what he's really doing. That man is one named Danton, who had been locked away within a Ganma prison for doing his own experiments and clashing with the concepts of an "ideal world" that was being formed, particularly those of leader Adonis and his idea of "a world without death". Danton believes in survival but his is a bit closer to Kaidou from KR Gaim: he thinks the Ganma have to evolve in order to survive and is willing to do experiments that he believes will be used to improve their way of lives. (though honestly that probably makes him more a fusion of Kaidou and a less insane version of Sengoku); even if said experiments are sort of also a means to allow for his own continued survival such as placing internal markers to make Ganma fuse with him to repair any wounds he takes to keep his body refreshed.

What does this have to do with Makoto, though? Unfortunately, a lot because Danton actually wins Makoto over to his side due to a rather horrific and unexpected revelation that just feels like it adds some new depth but adds a brand new "what the heck were they thinking" to all this. It turns out that Makoto and his sister Kanon...are actually dolls: artificial contrusts created in Ganma World given life with similar personalities as if possessing one or similar minds. On one hand it seems like this reveal ultimately does clear up where all those "Fake Makotos" emerged from when Adel was playing around with them as his bodyguards during the last quarter of the show. (somehow Danton reveals that 15 were already sacrificed; I'd say maybe they were sacrificed to make all the Ganmaizer clones but that's a completely different can of worms in themselves) However, it does just feel insane and bizarre that a lot of what Makoto and Kanon fought for the entire series, especially the first quarter when Kanon was merely an Eyecon and Takeru used his first encounter with the Great Eye to bring her back for him...was a lie: if they had an entire depot of these clone bodies that they could have used at any time if they figured out how to transfer souls from one body to another, then why didn't anyone do that, especially if Adel possibly knew about all the clones and used several to protect him at the end of the show? (obviously Adel had his own agenda and didn't even matter when saving Kanon but knowing that all these clone bodies existed would have just made it all the easier...and heck, Danton is dissapointed too and tries to kill our Kanon when he found out about her "dying and coming back!" even after trying to save her) Obviously this whole set-up is sort of just to bring about the classic story of "who is my real parents and where do I fit into all this", but it feels insane and dumb that they would late this long to reveal something this important especially when like Makoto, we get this impression the entire series that they were just humans who became trapped in Ganma affairs by accident; plus it does lead to more questions and concerns about the relationship with the man they thought was their father and Makoto had to come to terms with in the Ghost movie.

Regardless of this whole situation, Makoto basically falls for it due to just the shock of everything and this whole sudden idea that he owes this Danton his life for giving it to him in the first place, thus is willing to sacrifice everything, including his friends and his partnership with them, to bring Danton's world about. He really does just ends up needing to be shocked to join with anyone to join with them and considering the newest revelation, obviously he thinks that Danton's world is personified with himself as it's personification of the power of "evolution". But of course as we see throughout the entire movie, Danton is about evolution but is also really about survival, particularly his own self-survival and becoming willing to gain power within the Ganma and exploit it to become immortal via his own personal evolution. And of course if anyone stands up against his ideals, whether it be Alain and his desires to bring about a better world based on a better rendition of Adonis' ideals, the people who don't want to "evolve" to be under his thumb in a different way than living in coffins in fake bodies, those who want to restore the sky to make things better in that sort of way (basically we have Akari and Igor doing just that all movie) or even Kanon due to her whole "she died and came back thing", then he considers it a means of failure and is willing to sacrifice it for his world where the strong survive and the weak falls away. Of course with this being Makoto's movie, he basically not only falls for it but ultimately has to fight against what his "real father" (you know...like Mr. Fukami...and Ryuu for raising him...he literally states now he has 3 fathers!) stands for, which as noble and intended as they are remain as twisted and destructive as he is. And this basically gives Specter his equivalent of Mugen Damashii, but it somehow becomes easily the best form of any Ghost Rider in the series, being the inverse of Takeru drawing on the power of connection, God and the emotions that bring people together...and instead being on the connection of "lonliness, the Devil and the sins that one must embrace sometimes in order to survive". Sin Specter alone is probably worth the entire price of admission for KR Ghost as a farnchise, just giving me amazing vibes and desires for a true "Devilman" approach to Kamen Rider for the classic concept of "evil powers used for good". The amazing thing is that even though he stands up to Danton and destroys him and his ambitions, he sort of does acknowledge in the end that he did have good intention even with the evil ways he tried to bring it about and that the reveal about Makoto being this weird doll/clone thing is actually true and remains canon and thus he has to embrace him as a father just as he has his other fathers and continue living his own way of life.

While the movie is basically Makoto-based and concludes his arc, that doesn't mean that the other Riders and characters were ignored in any fashion with this the last really substantial Ghost media out there. Takeru is more a side note at this point and most of him is supporting his friends, though he sort of gets into a rivalry with another of Danton's "cloned children", a girl named Chloe who ends up fighting him a few times in the special (and I find out later eventually becomes his wife...thus making him even more related to Makoto even with this whole "he's a clone/doll" thing). We do catch up on a few of the other characters, with a few surprises such as Javert being Takeru's new watcher due to Onari going into a more Shotaro Hidari-style detective agency for paranormal events and the aforementioned element of Akari and Igor working to finally remove Ganma World's red sky. (which ends up being a plot point in the climax as part of Danton's plot to kill anyone not on his side) We also see Alain trying to protect his legacy and truly start his reign but being conflicted due to Makoto's sudden turn and his need to try and save him. This leads to the other new Rider form of the film, "Yujou Burst" declaring his flaming fires of friendship, which takes away from his scuba motif unfortunately and feels rather ridiculous.

And with that, we FINALLY put an end to Ghost...and Kamen Rider for a while. Admittedly after all these series, a break is well deserved...and needed with how tough Drive and Ghost were to get through. But even though we put this on pause, that doesn't mean that I'm not going to start talking about the gaming Rider right now...I'm not sure when, whether it be next year or later, but Ex-Aid will be coming...I just need a break after all these Rider shows.

However I'm still watching something with Fraggle Rock on Sundays coming this July. Not sure what but...maybe I'll tell you after I go to that brand new Pizza Hut in Area 11...


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Fraggle Rock: Ep. 43: Doomsday Soup

What sort of alternative lifestyle is being invisible? Eh...you can probably do anything while like that.

As the local culinary of the Fraggles, Boober takes pride in trying to make meals that actually are enjoyed by himself and all the other Fraggles within the rock. One he really prides is his Radish Gumbo, a soup he thinks he can easily make until he finds out he has no radishes and Mokey's away doing...Mokey things! Unfortunately after a traumatic incident involving Junior trying to thump him, he tries to fix the soup by replacing the radishes with whatever else he has in his kitchen (rutabegas, plus greaseberries and skunk cabbage) and it just ends up becoming a disaster. Yet the main plot of the episode actually happens due to another disaster, where his laundry water also has to be abandoned (too much yeast in his rock soap) and mixes with his "rutabega gumbo"...and then things get strange. This episode actually turns out to be really fun because of just the idea of one disaster leading into another and just how Boober has to cope with it all considering he's the "doom and gloom" Fraggle of the rock and wants to make the best of making sure his friends are safe, his laundry clean and his food edible. In the case of the weird mixture of wash liquid and soup, he ends up making a weird concoction that turns Fraggles invisible making it seem like the Fraggles finally have a way to deal with Gorgs without being thumped...yet at the same time it still nearly does hurt Boober, yet also ends up having an even more apocalyptic effect that leads to an extremely amusing finale involving the soup, some Gorgs and a bunch of spring cleaning that Junior is caught between Ma and Pa about in a fun little subplot. I'm amazed to say it but I think this episode actually did everything it had to and did it right in it's direction and presentation...and no apocalyptic soup can stop that. (but it does help)

Doc & Sprocket: Doc tries to get some spring cleaning done of his own, but spends most of the episode trying to fix a broken water pipe in the workshop...I'd say "what about the Fraggle water supply" but he never turns it off and it just ends up spritzing him during the repairs.

Songs: Regular lyricist Dennis Lee isn't here but we get Tim Wynne-Jones and his songs are actually more amusing and interesting than what we tend to get. I particularly like "Dump the Stuff Out (Yucky For Sure)", which is Boober's lament about his failures as a chef that he has to deal with after the Rutabega Gumbo turns into a disaster done as a sea chanty; and I really like Junior's "Spring Cleaning" as probably his best song thus far and one showing his dilemma of being stuck between two Alpha Gorgs who want their way. The weakest is probably "A Fraggle You Can't See", which is a nice song but sort of really hard to decipher the lyrics.

Postcard: In another hysterical bit, Matt decides to test out the speed of "fast food"...by making the items race one another!

Fraggle Rock: Ep. 44: A Cave of One's Own

Considering the hammock is now a slingshot, you sort of feel happy the two didn't end up near a bunch of rocks.

Considering that we've seen Gobo and Wembley's cave as a central location in the Rock since the beginning (even back when Matt lived there before heading into Outer Space), it's strange that the girl Fraggles never seemed to have a place to hang out and do their own thing. Amazingly, Mokey and Red are convinced to finally do just that...and in a bit of Fraggle magic that sort of works in the logic of the universe, it just so happens to finally emerge when the two want it, in a perfect natural setting for Mokey and, for Red, really close to the Fraggle swimming hole so she can just dive right in! Unfortunately it sort of turns into what could be considered an "Odd Couple" sketch from there due to their conflicting lifestyles: Mokey likes things organized, Red rather have clutter; Mokey brings out and makes a special place for her "night-blooming yellow-leaved deathwort" Lanford (a recurring supporting character who appears first here and for the rest of the series), while Red wants to show off her Tail-Tugging Trophy to just stick it to Gobo some more. There is this strange understanding here that tries to make it like the two of them want to be like the other to be able to live better but it all falls apart and it's tough for me to see; my problem is that it doesn't really feel like it's an "accomodation" element and tries to probably clone "I Want To Be You" from last season where Mokey and Red do the exact same thing in more comedic results. A lot of the episode is just arguing between the two "friends" until they come to some sort of "agree to disagree" conclusion where they realize that they want to be themselves and not just try to force their lifestyle on the other or make it seem like they have to change so that the other can live there better...it's hard to say how it's going to improve them but at least we get another set for the Fraggles to interact in. (and it's way more successful than "Boober Rock" in giving us that I suppose)

Doc & Sprocket: Doc tries to protest some local property on his street being turned into a bed and breakfast...and then he meets the attractive owner of the property and his tone changes.

Songs: The lyrics remain Tim Wynn-Jones like last time but I think the songs are somewhat weaker: we get "Somewhere There's a Special Place" which is just a song about Mokey and Red contemplating what they want in a new home and thinking the other is going to go along with it just fine (until otherwise); and the slightly better but chaotic "Share and You're Not Alone" involving the cave-warming party as tensions continue to grow between the girls.

Postcard: Matt is forced to "move into" a toybox of two girls when wandering their room...and we don't just get Kermit and Oscar and Bert dolls...but a Strawberry Shortcake lamp?

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ARIENAI TO WAKUWAKU MON DA (and everything else in between)
A Pretty Cure Rewatch
Futari wa Pretty Cure


9: As I've mentioned prior, I'm just a sucker for the Nagisa/Mepple relationship in that it isn't something we see in the franchise anymore with how similar all female leads seem to become recently and how every fairy outside Mepple and Milk being rather...bland and happy and love everything. This one highlights a problem when Mepple gets sick after a huge argument where he isn't fed and I think it works better not just in highlighting this element of the storyline but also in demonstrating the Nagisa/Honoka dynamic and how close the two have become, feeling less forced than the previous episode which obviously had to be done due to working out those sort of issues. It also adds more comedy with the crazy vice principal and has a hilarious sequence with the Zakenna and Gekidragon; the Zakenna reminds me a lot of one of my favorite ever WSJ manga, "Jigoku Sensei Nube", who had a rather notable and infamous chapter involving a "life model" such as used in this episode. I love the Gekidrago comedy here, both in how Nagisa gets Mepple back after he tries to take the transformation device...and how the giant Zakenna randomly squashes him with it's feet being separate from it's upper torso! It's just this sort of absurd humor with the battle that just makes me love the Gekidrago era of Futari. (plus "withstanding battles" that work wonders here showing his power...yet become annoying when simiarly done in the second half of Max Heart)

10: I sort of didn't expect to be doing this episode on Father's Day but it's just interesting in general how fathers tend to be treated in this franchise, though it really takes later seasons to bring that out and other elements such as dealing with divorce (the Aono family; though I find it weird we never meet him despite knowing Miki's brother lives with him), villainous fathers (Sabaku, Mephisto), deceased fathers (Yayoi's father Yuuichi Kise) or the generic nuclear family whether or not the father is always around. In Honoka's case, both her father and mother tend to run around with their jewelry practice and she doesn't see either that often thus treats any time they arrive in Wakabadai as an event...yet the episode really isn't about that since most of it is Honoka trapped in a bank first with a bunch of deseprate robbers and then with Gekidrago...and on her birthday even! I sort of find dissapointing we don't get more about Honoka's family but it is interesting how Honoka diffuses a tense situation with just compassion and how she's even able to manipulate the media to her advantage to get Nagisa to meet up with her. It's ridiculous how Nagisa gets into the bank and the whole messy "jewels help the Cures defeat Gekidrago bit" like they're Linkle Stones from Maho Girls...but what can you do, the show can be like that even back then. Though it's also funny that when Nagisa makes a present for Honoka, it's a silver-making kit she borrowed from Shiho...if this was a later season, it would be some chinsy fairy braceley/necklace maker thus realism wins out again.

11: If there's another thing among many that I admire about Futari, it's that the first real sibling relationship depicted here between Nagisa and Ryota is just so comedic and "antagonistic" between one another (especially with how nearly all the sibling relationships seem to be perfect and loving and the Cure tending to be the youngest after this...really the only other interesting one is Nao being the eldest of a huge family...which something similar is being done now in Star Twinkle). I just like how Nagisa seems to just bare with her brother and even gets advice from her father in regards to how to torture him with a Cobra Twist...yet continues to be there for him whether it be going to the aquarium for a school project...or protecting him in what ultimately turns out to be her and Honoka's final battle with Gekidrago. It's interesting that an episode that's basically just a trip to the aquarium with your brother and your BFF leads to the final battle with a Dusk Zone general, plus how it really is just that anger that allows for the Marble Screw to be so overwhelming it finally kills the poor big oaf. But Gekidrago remains hilariously entertaining to the end, from his swimming around a fish tank at one point to making the entire aquarium attack similar to Pissard and the art museum...to his "final form" just being fused with a bunch of fish hilariously and the reactions the Cures have seeing how ridiculous this all is. (it does now give me hilarious images of the infamous "This Is Unicorn" bit from The Headmasters though)

12: And thus we move on to our next Dark Zone general and she's already an interesting character from the start: Poisony sort of just feels like the prototype to a lot of the "spy/comedic villain" characters which we get later on, easily being a bit of an inspiration for the likes of Bunbee, Westar, Trio De Minor and Shut...but being the female general she's also a bit closer to the likes of Arachnea, Sasolina, Marmo...even Eas in a way. Though if you want to complete the main Labyrinth trio, the funny thing is that Poisony has Westar's comedic timing, Eas' arrogance and her plans are actually way closer to Soular, taking advantage of knowledge and situation and using more psychological and thought out tactics to take her opponents down such as the chocolate stand to get to Nagisa or the weird illusion with Professor Breakstone to get to Honoka. Yet as amazing as Poisony is in her introductory episode...this is also the episode with the bombshell that Sanae possibly knows who Mipple is and can be hinted at knowing that her daughter and her new best friend are Cures; they even suggest that Sanae even has powers of her own when she held Mipple both tossing Poisony and withstanding an attack from her! Obviously this isn't going to be Kaoruko Hanasaki and we only find out a bit more later on in the season (and really that's it even if that other episode is one of the most powerful in the Futari era), but it's really weird and a shame that we get so little about Sanae's connection to Mipple and just the potential of power of Garden of Light fairies prior to Mepple's arrival and the awakening of Cure powers. In fact there is so little said about the destiny of the two and why they were chosen to begin with other than "because", at least compared to other seasons where the explanation is a bit more concrete and stronger (Splash Star: Saki and Mai encountered Flappi and Choppy that night they met at the tree; HeartCatch: those who had the dream of Cure Moonlight's fall as well as of course Tsubomi being the granddaughter of Cure Flower anyway; Suite: the special duo with the G-Clef Notes with the other two having massive connections to the Major Land royalty anyway....and for most of the other seasons it's the similar "magical destiny" we end up getting); it doesn't hurt when things are random but when you have the bizarre backstory of Mipple having arrived on Earth a century prior in Italy and just ending up with Sanae Yukishiro by chance and possibly during one of the worst tragic periods of human history, you really want to know more.
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Old June 16th, 2019, 05:23 PM #3687
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> Akiba Black
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Akiba Black
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Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,119



Yeah, like I’ve said before it would have been nice to get a little more development on the Sanae/Mipple connection, even if it was something as simple as a brief conversation between the two of them later on. Hell, you could have it turn out that she’s a former Cure or something like they would eventually do with Kaoruko in HeartCatch.

Future seasons have shown that being a kid isn’t necessarily a requirement for becoming a Precure after all (and in some cases you don’t have to be a human being or even a girl for that matter).

And yeah, some later seasons handle the whole “chosen by fate” aspect a lot better in my opinion with some of the girls being shown actually earning their powers through acts of bravery as opposed to dumb luck. In this particular season it was more along the lines of “Hey kid, you’re a superhero now. Transform or you’re literally going to die”.

Last edited by Akiba Black; June 17th, 2019 at 08:40 AM.
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Old June 23rd, 2019, 05:38 PM #3688
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> Ataruman
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Ataruman
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 9,891



I don't like the past Cure idea for Sanae. Sure it works for a season like Heartcatch, but the world here seems to abide by a different set of rules and having that added on to Sanae without another partner just feels...off. (especially considering that if time is taken into consideration, it's the same Einsteinian mess as how Mipple arrive 100 years ago; which makes me wonder when the heck did the Dark Zone follow them and how) Besides, can't a character just be associated with the weirdness of the other world without being a Cure themselves?

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Fraggle Rock: Ep. 45: Wembley and the Great Race

Somehow I just imagine gambling for Fraggles is the equivalent of having to fight attack dogs just to take money out to pay up.

Wembley is someone who isn't that interested in competition, especially compared to more competitive Fraggles like Gobo or Red: He just wants to have fun when racing and doesn't care whether or not he wins or loses. Unfortunately after Red gets hurt just before the big Fraggle rockbeetle race (basically just a rolling a ball while yelling out "rockbeetle!" over and over), she basically just recruits Wembley to race in her place...and tries to instill a bit of her own competitive "crush Gobo or nothing" drive into him. Surprisingly this actually ends up working when Wembley wins the race, but all it does is more or less piss Gobo off leading to more races and a situation that isn't made any better by Red just pushing Wembley to keep racing and keep crushing Gobo as if she has a death wish that she needs to take him down in every means possible or else. This leads to more races of varying weirdness (one basically just running but inversing back and forth while tending to run in one direction; the other more or less a weird Fraggle-y marathon) as Wembley sort of just grows more and more spiteful about how much he hates doing this and how he really doesn't want friendships ruined because of Red and Gobo's competitive drive. It's an interesting episode and I do like Wembley's perspective on all this, but I think what hurts it is that I don't see why Gobo has to care about winning so much, especially since his only hatred of losing is generally to Red, not just any Fraggle that beats him. Obviously it has the obvious lesson of "we're friends no matter what", but I sort of wish they clarified some of Gobo's feelings and just made it feel more like Red is the one who should be balmed for the mess than Wembley who just sort of wants to compete and mostly wins the first time due to chance.

Doc & Sprocket: Doc tries to make Sprocket enter a dog show to prove to Shimmelfinney that he's a worthwhile dog, but Sprocket wants nothing to do with their competitiveness.

Songs: Third consecutive episode Tim Wynne-Jones writes the songs and it has probably one of the most catchy songs of the series in "Friends Till the End" reaffirming the Gobo/Wembley friendship early on before the racing. On the other hand "Front 'N' Back Patter Song (Turn Around Now)" just sounds incomprehensible at times and I can never understand what they're singing!

Postcard: Matt discovers track and field racing, though thinks it's more about cowardice against the starting gun!

Fraggle Rock: Ep. 46: Doozer Is as Doozer Does

I highly doubt "storming the place" is the perfect way to get a second interview; even if it did work to Doc's advantage. (flirting is even worse)

The world of the Doozers is an interesting one, being a society more based on work with not as much of a concept of individuality outside the "rebels" like Cotterpin. Wrench, Cotterpin's classmate, is one of your more traditional Doozers who just wants to get a good job and get by without standing out too much. Strangely the group he's with ends up being a bit more stand out than he realizes due to the good work they do, allowing for them to actually gain an important project from the Architect for securing foundations within the Doozer city. Unfortunately...it turns out that the squad Wrench is in is a bit more individualistic than you'd originally think, being a squad of rebels who while good at their jobs, want to do things that they think are "rev" (a weird Doozer term for "cool") without any care for what others think about themselves. This rebelliousness is further discovered when they decide to take up "flooping" (basically pogo sticks) just for the sake of fun and even make Wrench join in with them...before discovering a weird secret about doing so: flooping causes the hiccups, which to Doozers is a very dangerous malady that can cause problems when building constructions! The episode is rather obvious in it's presentation and it feels strange that all of a sudden we have these greaser-esque Doozers in a squad that really weren't that individual prior; but I think that Turbo's group and their element is more to just drive the story regarding Wrench, who is more square as a Doozer and rather be square when he finds out that flooping causes the hiccups and thus doesn't want to cause any problems to disturb Doozerdom, which ultimately happens in the culmination when his partners just start hiccuping after a flooping session...during a whole period where they're doing all that important "improve the supportwork" work! It's not the best episode but anything more to develop the Doozers isn't such a bad thing; it's just too bad this is Wrench's only focus and everything else remains, as usual, on Cotterpin.

Doc & Sprocket: Doc interviews for a job at the new bed and breakfast but ends up sort of getting into problems because the owner thinks he's overqualified...and somehow gets the job after giving her a piece of his mind?

Songs: This episode probably has one of my favorite music moments of the series, "Rev", a song used by the defiant Turbo and his crew to prove to Wrench that their group is cool after getting the special assignment. (and even has a bit of Doozer moonwalking...and this is years before I found out Michael Jackson did it first!) As great as "Rev" is, the other shorter song of the episdoe, "The Flooping Song", feels like it's trying too hard with the "Devo aesthetic" that I think was perfected by the Cave Fraggles.

Postcard: Matt learns about peer pressure his way when he tries to follow a line boarding a bus! (with an ad for "The Captain's Inn" on it?)

Fraggle Rock: Ep. 47: Boober's Quiet Day

So you can use two Boober puppets but you can't make two of Sprocket? Eh, I suppose someone has to play that monster.

Boober sort of is one who just likes having his peace and quiet on occasion, which is a good thing sometimes for a Fraggle. Unfortunately when Boober wants to get some quiet, it ends up leading to someone who isn't quiet literally showing up...yeah, Sidebottom again. The first Sidebottom episode wasn't too bad in sort of trying to reconcile Boober's "fun side" with his dourness, but this one is just annoying in that it's basically about Sidebottom forcing Boober to lie so that he can try and get some peace and quiet and leading to a lot of chaos, such as trying to deal with a monster babysitting, getting some nests for Mokey to make ink with or, in the stupidest subplot, taking the position of "The Old Gypsy Lady" who occasionally comes by the Rock to just do fortune telling and other gypsy things. (wait there's such a thing as Roma Fraggles?) It's all an excuse for Sidebottom to force Boober to expand his horizons, but I find it all rather annoying in that he ends up just screwing with Boober preventing him from having quiet, especially considering that sometimes a Fraggle wants just that and the lies build up until he barely gets a bit of a quiet day when he really should have had way longer than he ended up. I think it's this episode with it's rather stupid plot and the return of that annoying "fun lover" that made me not like Sidebottom, despite what Boober tries to do to reconcile him as part of who he is.

Doc & Sprocket: In another dumb plot, we get Doc on his own for once sending Sprocket to the vet for a flea bath...and being bored without him.

Songs: Only one song this time written by another lyricist, B.P. Nichol...and it really isn't that good, with "The Gypsy Song (I Sniff The Rose)" just being a boring, typical gypsy song that reminded me a bit of Peter Seller's first number from "The Muppet Show" sadly.

Postcard: Matt discovers the joys of people using napkins...and gets nothing out of it.

Fraggle Rock: Ep. 48: Invasion of the Toe-Ticklers

At least the Gorgs' ecological mistake didn't bring the end of civilization as we know it...can't say the same about the Sinclairs.

One thing about this show is it has an interesting element involving ecological impact and trying to live not just together as one race but with all those around us. It's been a while since we've had a lesson like that but this one brings an interesting one when Mokey discovers a small caterpillar creature that appears in the Gorg's garden while she's just embracing nature in general. She thinks it's cute, but sort of thinks she has to protect them when Ma Gorg decides to exterminate the larva due to eating flowers that remind her of her bouquet on her wedding day. Of course the obvious happens but it's interesting that things don't really seem to get better on either side: for the Fraggles, they like the Toe Ticklers at first but they turn out to just eat everything as caterpillar tend to; while the Gorgs discover that those cute flowers that Ma wanted to protect become these horrific stinkweed that end up ruining the olfactory nerves of any Gorg that lives there! Obviously it becomes an issue of getting the balance back though it's done by trying to add a bit more for Mokey's character...but unfortunately my problem with the episode is it just seems to smash together several lessons from previous episodes into one whole and it doesn't work, combining Mokey's bizarre ecological concern that screws Fraggles like in "The Preachification of Convincing John", bringing a creature that doesn't belong to the rock like "Wembley's Egg", and even a brief cave-in plot like "Marooned"! And it's all for a bunch of larva that become a bunch of...jellyfish creature? (they're called Purple Sproingers and they do eliminate the Gorg's stinkweed problem but they're basically just flying jellyfish)

Doc & Sprocket: Doc causes an uproar when he realizes there's a fossil bed near the B&B just as Miss Arborgast builds a new gas line around her property; this story actually works better in trying to figure out the balance between ecological protection and the needs of the people at the same time.

Songs:
We get another nice Mokey song by way of "The Joy" which isn't too bad early on (though she tries to reprise it near the end and it is just sobbing over a Toe Tickler/Purple Sproinger cocoon); though we also get a funny little song called "(You Were) Born to Laugh" when the Fraggles enjoy the caterpillars prior to realizing that they just don't belong in the rock.

Postcard: In a funny ecological message, Matt tries to figure out how SIlly Creature litter works by giving it back to one; she throws it out...then throws him out too when he thinks everything belongs in the trash.


-----
ARIENAI TO WAKUWAKU MON DA (and everything else in between)
A Pretty Cure Rewatch
Futari wa Pretty Cure


13: I'm sort of surprised that this episode actually has a lot of stuff about...well, multple characters. Firstly is of course the factor that Poisony isn't fighting alone in this arc and her "brother" (relatively) Kiriya is assisting her in his own way by being our "villain who spies on the good guys and stuff happens" character. I think that the most surprising element about Kiriya being used as that is that he's not just the first but probably the only male this trope this has been done with; every other one has been a potential Cure and female so...I don't see why they don't do another male spy like this (I mean I get it when they did the Kiriya Sisters and even Eas but now it's basically just a Cure trope). In the same vein, we get a couple really funny Poisony bits here making me wish we had another female "weird general" like her in the same regards instead of that being pushed on male generals later. The second is Yuriko in her first real focus episode, basically being the big organizer of the science club and sort of the one who leads even if Honoka is the brains of everything; I do like the whole ending where she wants the experiment named after Honoka but they name it after her again. And lastly...there's those two. The Natsuko and Kyoko stuff here lead into next episode, but I do find it weird how they're in the room when Nagisa and Honoka transform...yet don't witness that but do witness everything else from Poisony's latest Zakenna. I still find it hilarious that Natsuko is Hibki...yet Kyoko's VA doesn't become a Cure herself but later on becomes...Riko's big sister? (yeah, Natsuko becomes a Cure and Kyoko becomes the sister of a Cure? That's not fair...oh and another thought, considering the future and multiple series they interact in both prior and after this, including Pretty Cure...Kyoko really should have been Fumiko Orisaka)

14: Considering the madness of Natsuko and Kyoko encountering Cure activities last time, this time we get the comedy of the two thinking they are Cures, complete with the weirdness of what they think the two of them are like with Nagisa and Honoka...just caught in the middle. The comedy early on is great with what the two idiots think the Cures are like, though somehow when Poisony brainwashes them into being her servants it loses some of that edge since they display no personality, merely just sort of being like braindead dolls under her control; it's still cool that this is our first real "evil Cures" even if they are just humans wearing Cure outfits but it is weird regardless; though really it's more for the Natsuko/Kyoko comedy...ne!? (oh and another realization: so basically we got Miki's mom brainwashing Riko's sister and Hibiki as a Cure team...yeah, this season is weird)

15: I don't really like the idea that whenever one Cure does something, the other one ends up there immediatley and it just sort of leads to things happening...but I do like the comedic coincidences here mostly because when Nagisa and Honoka end up at the same inn as each other, we get a hilarious moment involving Poisony being squashed in a dresser watching over them similarly. There are two main stories here admittedly: one is about the whole "legend" of the nearby island and the two warriors who fight on behalf of a maiden they both loved (the red and blue motif combined with the name "Hibikijima" makes me think the Cure writers were already in the know about the next KR series in 2005); plus the relationship between Nagisa and her father whom she feels embarrassed around but who ends up looking out for her better nature; even leading to a shocking moment where he sort of just yells at her for disobeying orders to go to that island in the first place. I do like the realistic nature of the Misumi family and that Mr. Misumi just is a normal father looking out for his daughter...though considering Honoka came with her granny, it's sort of a shame we never get much outside "my parents are always away doing jewelry work" for her.

16: Sometimes I wonder: if Nagisa is basically the original prototype for all Pink Cures, is Honoka the prototype for all Blue Cures? She does have the Blue on her outfit alongside her white in the same place Nagisa has pink, is from a high class family, is smart, graceful and does have most of the attributes of your prototypical Blue Cure (well ignoring the Erikas and Aois of the world) I state this because the same could be said about Yuka, the upperclassman introduced here who feels even more like your future typical Blue Cure (super smart, skilled, good at everything...even rich!) and of course has the whole "am I really the same as everyone else" conflict you'd expect more from Karen or Reika later on. (with Mana's "I'll do anything as a ringer" personality and even a tiny bit of Alice!) It's an OK episode and I do find it clever that Poisony actually uses Yuka's shadow to give her more of the "freedom she desires"...though it's sort of made funnier in that Poisony ends up as a fortune teller to trick Yuka into the Zakenna scheme...and considering Yuka's other notable VA work in this franchise is Miyuki from Fresh (the dancer, not the fairy tale otaku/Happy from Smile), it's sort of funny that it's a fortune teller considering how Fresh starts...and again, Poisony being Miki's mom in the same season. (oh and you have to laugh at Nagisa's scheme for picking out the real Yuka and how Poisony doesn't want anything to do with it and just merges the shadows into a super Zakenna)
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Old June 23rd, 2019, 06:00 PM #3689
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Fair enough, it still would have been nice to have some kind of interaction between Sanae and Mipple though.

While there haven't been many male spies as far as I can remember there have been instances of male enemy generals switching sides. Off the top of my head there's Soular and Westar, basically every general in Go Princess except Close, Mephisto (he was in charge but still technically a servant of Noise, even if he wasn't fully aware of it), Bunbee, Phantom, Julio in KiraKira, and basically every villain in Hugtto. Granted, a lot of those only turned near the very end of their respective season.

There were also a few instances of generals that never fully switched sides but did wind up helping the Precure in some form or another on occasion (Kintolesky, Ira, Batty). But yeah, it could be interesting to have a male enemy spy again one day.

Also to be fair, not every Pink is an idiot (Tsubomi, Mana, Megumi, etc.) but they are at least a bit naive in their own way. Blues generally seem to be either intellectual types or in the case of Erika and Hime, spastic balls of energy. Though offically speaking, Honoka is the only Futari Cure whose official color matches her literal one (whereas Nagisa is Black but is classified as Pink and Hikari is Pink but classified as Yellow).

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Old June 23rd, 2019, 06:04 PM #3690
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Akiba Black wrote: View Post

While there haven't been many male spies as far as I can remember there have been instances of male enemy generals switching sides. Off the top of my head there's Soular and Westar, basically every general in Go Princess except Close, Mephisto (he was in charge but still technically a servant of Noise, even if he wasn't fully aware of it), Bunbee, Phantom, Julio in KiraKira, and basically every villain in Hugtto. Granted, a lot of those only turned near the very end of their respective season.
I wasn't saying that both genders can't switch sides so easily, I'm more saying that Kiriya feels like he's doing what would be done by a female character in all the later seasons (Kiryuu Sisters, Eas, Regina, Ruru) and that's what I want to see again: just the idea of a male character who does it. Preferably one who doesn't become a love interest like the mess of Kiriya and Honoka.
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Old June 23rd, 2019, 06:15 PM #3691
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Regina wasn't really a spy per se (in fact she was pretty open about where her allegiances lay), she just happened to become obsessed with Mana and things just spitballed from there.

Kiriya is technically the prototype for the enemy spy who gets too close to the Precure and winds up switching sides trope, though the Kiryuus were the first to actually join the team as a result of it (and Eas was the first one to become an official Cure).

But yeah, as long as it's done well and you don't try to force a love interest plot in there I wouldn't mind seeing it again. Julio in KiraKira is sort of like that but in his case his cover is blown early doesn't actually wind up fully defecting until a little later when his sister enters the picture. He also sort of becomes a Cure like ally later on (commonly nicknamed by fans as "Cure Waffle") but it lasts maybe 3 minutes at most..
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Old June 28th, 2019, 08:38 PM #3692
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It's still a franchise finding itself but it does make me wonder why the heck all the spies post-Kiriya are girls other than "well we need to make them sympathetic and tied to the Cures so..."

-----

LAST TIME ON POWER RANGERS...

("Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley starts playing)

Yeah...that basically explains last season...but for those who aren't Rick Astley fans...

Despite the begging and pleading of one Trini Kwan (RIP Thuy Trang), the planet continued to become polluted to the point that empowered an ancient race of creatures known as Orgs, lead by a so-called "Master Org" who in actuality was Dr. Viktor Adler, a jealous environmentalist who gained power to get revenge on the man who stole the girl he liked before going through an entire arc of whether or not he really was an Org to his own minions. However while he was able to kill both the rival and the girl, he was unable to kill their newborn son Cole, who became adopted by a jungle tribe and raised to become a wild jungle man until he returns to civilization to join with the Power Rangers team of the city of Turtle Cove, who were also fighting against the Org menace resurrected in modern times. Fighting alongside a rough air force pilot, a perky martial artist, a man in touch with his feelings (and flowers) and a "kid" who actually isn't that bad of a bowler while being lead by one of the most stoned...er, far out mentors in Power Rangers history, the team fought against the Master and his two minions and the ever-changing leadership within the Org ranks, even facing off against a mysterious and wild dark warrior who turned out to just be some ancient guy with masculinity problems when not in his fur-suit...er, armor and who had to prove himself with his pool cue. After a long and hard showdown (that still wasn't enough to cure Merrick of his ED problems!), the Wild Force Rangers were able to save the planet from the threat of the Orgs and help their two generals realize they really weren't cut out for this evil thing and allowed for them to leave in peace. But of course there are two lessons you need to remember about this season: Viktor Adler always finds a way to return even more horrifying than ever...and the DEM machine of the toys...er, Power Animals will always save the day...when not annoying the Rangers with stupid over-the-top environmental lessons they already knew about. And heck, we even got a fight with the massive legacy of the entire Power Rangers saga as every Red Ranger ever (sans Rocky...seriously, you remember Aurico but not Rocky!?) defeated the potential return of the Machine Empire and everyone admired the greatness of...Jason...what, did you think I meant it was that Green idiot?

OK, you get all that? So then, here's my next instruction...

Forget everything you just heard. Forget Wild Force, forget any season that ever happened and the last 458 episodes. Because none of that matters now...well for the moment.

It's a new day: a new season, a new production company, even a new country! So then...how in the world are there going to be new Power Rangers...if there aren't any Power Rangers!?

A storm is brewing...will we ride it out...or be blown away?

StrangerAtaru's (occasional) Power Rangers Franchise in Review!
Season 11: POWER RANGERS NINJA STORM


This season review is dedicated to the memory of Pua Magasiva, who portrayed Shane Clark; Grant McFarland, who portrayed Sensei Kanoi Watanabe and Lothor, & Alistar Browning, who portrayed Dustin's father...and has a way more important role in a later season but it's best to just acknowledge him here.

Any jokes made on your behalf is not mean spirited, just me being silly.


Prelude to a Storm: aka: Wind of Change

OK, the opening is...very confusing. We get a prelude narration before the song begins (yeah we got it with MMPR season 1 but the Rita/Zordon bit is sort of classic), then...surf rock? Why surf rock for a Power Rangers theme? Also confusing: no credits yet for the Thunder Rangers (which works), but yet we get footage of them and their Zords all over the place, not even shadowed like the Gouraiger at first! Oh and they better not make the sensei CGI all season; it takes away my "real hamster/puppet hamster" jokes I had with Hurricaneger!

And our series opens with...surfing. Well it isn't DIRT BIKE RACING!!!

Oh come on, you're too small for Baywatch, get some implants and call back after you've healed!

Wait how long has this been beeping...FIVE HOURS!?

So we go from surfing to skateboarding? Isn't skateboarding just surfing on land?

Oh come on, I can pull off better moves in my Tony Hawk game!

What new rail? The place looks so worn down that he probably did it without you realizing it.

Well someone wants to keep up with his studies; yep, he's potential Ranger material.

No wait, there's our dirt bike...wait, so we got extreme sports previously seen by DynaRed, DynaBlue and Yellow Lion...heh, considering they're also ninjas covering DynaBlack, they really should have switched out the skateboarding for...whatever Nangou did.

It stinks that of the three, only Tori is associated with a mediocre video game considering Excitebike and Tony Hawk...but then again, I liked California Games!

Yeah he crushed his competition and is the best bike out there...not bad?

I'm not a fan of this sort of bike; the chain is so painful and you have to switch gears manually.

We'll talk later, maybe even roll in the dirt...on bikes!

Seriously I didn't buy this VW Van to run around alone; that is terrible gas mileage.

BOO...er, BURG! (that is a weird way to scare her, Shane)

Where is Dustin? Just recreating the Timeranger opening, but you know him.

Oh come on, now how is Tori going to reach the pedals!?

How can they be late. Step one: no watches.

Reliable? That watch was stuffed in her bag for hours all we know.

Wait, so the Power Rangers do exist!? Despite the last episode being "the end of the Power Rangers"?...that didn't last long.

Mellow reflective dude...yep, your Chad or Danny types.

The risktaker, the adrenaline guy...is Shane talking about Forgetful Oliver back in Angel Grove? (he better be back in Angel Grove cause I'm hearing terrible rumors about Reefside)

Tori...yeah, she's definitely your Trini or Kendrix...sniff...bad examples...

COMIC BOOKS!? SERIOUSLY, TORI, THE BOOM BOOK ISN'T EVEN GOING TO BE OUT FOR A DECADE! (ask Cam about them sometime)

Oh yeah, whatever, nevermind. (well it's that or bring up that Tori sounds more valley girl than Kim first did)

It's just a generic forest...or do you three hate the Red Deer? (it's New Zealand, roll with it)

So if we meet with the Fellowship...do we say hi or ask Peter Jackson for a cameo?

How quiet is it? Don't ask me, it's so loud under this roaring waterfall.

OH NO, IT'S THE EVIL DEAD! GET ASH QUICK!!!

Ninjas. Evil...Kiwi...ninjas...I always knew this country was suspicious.

Well we have a surprise...WE'RE NINJAS TOO!!!

Hah, running on water...yeah we know the whole "chakra with your feet" trick too. What, you think we ignore reading Naruto weekly?

Quick, dive into...NOT LIKE THAT!

Oh come on, steam? If you're Earth ninjas, at least have pepple flying up or something.

Ninja Art: YELLOW EXPLOSION!...er....sunken manhole?

CROUCHING TIGER EFFECT TIME!

Dang it, how come Goku can do it better than I can?

So...you two failed too, huh?

Oh man...if that falcon turns into a human, he better not be played by Daisuke Shima.

Dustin, you're not getting out of this bad acting.

NINJA ART: SCATTER!

The short version: you three suck as ninjas! Maybe you should find a new job.

No it wasn't so bad...if we knew the waterfall had a portal we could have just gone in and avoided the onslaught of killer ninjas.

Dustin, no one wants to hear it now. Go back to your Power Rangers comics.

We don't care whose fault it is...but yeah, it's yours Dustin.

I figured Japanese settled in New Zealand but that is one nice hidden temple.

Punctuality? Well yeah Dustin and Shane I see yet Tori...yeah, she stuffs her watch in a bag and ignores it.

How to change it. Two words: WATERPROOF WATCHES!

Expulsion? Wait...why do these three even NEED ninja school!? Especially considering their other lives?

What potential? Let them just stick with extreme sports, at least they're good at those.

Yeah, just go somewhere and read...ninja info cards or something.

And here comes our smug nerd for the season.

Yep, Cam; what a kid.

Wait the rumbling's from the sky? Not the earth like a Rita quake?

I never knew spacecraft could create weird purple space vortexes.

And here's our villain...and his creepy, creepy laugh.

See, they have their own store; they don't need ninja training.

Maybe if you could shrink that down, you'd have something to keep to sensei's punctuality.

Such a simple trick...wait Shane didn't you already do that?

Have I told you that I lo...er, you're cool?

The sky was all purple, there were people runnin' everywhere
Tryin' to run from the destruction, you know I didn't even care


We're early...oh hey, mindless distraction to save our lives!

Yeah if we're late, we're definitely going to be dead...good thing to say or bad?

I really need better foliage in my temple...wait why is it so dark now?

Yes, I knew it, the purple sky means Lothor...wait, whose Lothor, that space guy?

And here's Lothor...and his band of idiots.

The Force is Strong in This One...er, Dark Energy is Strong, same thing.

It's been a while. So...Mexican luchadore or one of those Japanese ones.

Look it took me a while to get an army to destroy the Earth; I was doing alright but then a good chunk of it was annihilated by that blasted Z-Wave thing and I had to start over.

It doesn't have to be this way...I don't have to literally be talking to myself like we're identical twins!

That...was one explosive statue.

Wait is she Zurgane? I thought Lothor told us Zurgane was dealing with this?

Army of mooks vs. army of non-Ranger ninjas...considering this franchise, I say it's a draw.

OK, whoever is firing the lasers from space to distract everyone is actually a smart move.

Meanwhile back with "Motor Repair with ninjas"...

I have an idea: we sneak into sensei's lair...and change the time on his clock!

Shane's wrong: I knew a ninja who overslept once. Sure kicked my ass but it isn't like he had to think about brushing his teeth or making breakfast.

Secret Art: CELL'S POWERFUL HANDS!!!

Sensei at least speaks softly and carries a big stick.

Really, the girls are just waving their arms around! Even the big green guy's doing more work than those two!

Ninja Art: BUBBLES!!! BUBBLESBUBBLESBUBBLESBUBBLES...I like bubbles.

At least there should be enough air in there to breathe compared to what Jashinka did to them.

Oh and let's destroy the academy too; no big deal, just for funsies.

Congratulations: your lateness allowed you to survive...THE NINJA-POCALYPSE! (it's like the Dino-Apocalypse but with ninjas)

Yeah that's rather...obvious, Dustin. Though it's a real slow ripping of said school.

It's surprising that Lothor uses more wind than the so called Wind Ninja Academy.

So our school is gone and our entire green lucious meadow has turned into "the quarry"...so, are we Power Rangers yet?

Dustin, purple sky monsters do not equate to earthquake.

It's an inverse earthquake: the sky shook and swallowed the school upwards.

So then who wants California? Um...I wouldn't take California: too many Ranger teams there. (oh and earthquakes, drought and, in a few years, the Governator)

One can imagine what Marah and Kapri's parents look like...though I swear there's this girl in Reefside that looks like Marah...twins?

Why would he take in his nieces? Is this a "to learn discipline" thing ike the ninja school? (and if they're in space...well aliens have family too)

Well you guys aren't useful for the next 37 episodes...later!

So final phase...wait is anyone dealing with Earth now? Not since Viktor Adler was dealt with? What about that Oliver guy...yeah better take the planet before he and Anton Mercer beat me to it. I hear those Tyrannodrones are nightmares.

Wait his plan is to deal with...ninja academies. How the heck are ninja academies Earth's only defense? Or did they take over Earth's defense after Wild Force?

Yeah I took the roll calls...three students are definitely missing. See this is why I always take paperwork before I invade.

I'm with Lothor: these sorts of screw-ups always happen.

Um Lothor, nothing is standing there. Sure there are three ninjas but the academy's still a wasteland.

Yeah we're the only ninjas left on Earth. Too bad no one wants to take a side trip to the Desert of Despair or anything...

Those rocks are moving...SOMEONE IS ALIVE!

Oh it's just Cam, nevermind.

Well I'm having a hard time breathing and my glasses are broken but...at least I survived.

And this is why you need space lasers.

Seriously despite being a goof, Lothor's competent in what he's doing.

Oh this cellar...yeah ninja stuff, but just get down here.

This place...oh just a little place we carved out, you know how we get.

Just ignore that handprint that looks like a electric ball toy.

Wait...WE HAD THIS UNDER THE DOJO THIS WHOLE TIME!? AND I THOUGHT WE WERE ANTI-TECHNOLOGY!?

Don't ask, do you realize how expensive it was to get this built? My dad is just weird like that.

Of course it's a secret: if we didn't have secrets we wouldn't be ninjas.

And there's...a hamster...that talks...and rides a golf cart.

Nope, looks way cuter than sensei...we're stuck with the CGI hamster aren't we? Meh.

Guinea Pig, hamster...same thing. (not really but I'm just so used to hamsters)

Yeah...it's a long story...but hey we have time.

So...Lothor's from Earth? Wait...then how the heck did he get all that crap in space? (and wouldn't anyone notice him picking up his nieces for their little "conquer the universe" space road trip?)

Not sure why it turned me into this...really I was hoping for something fierce and ferocious but they wanted to sell toys.

Yep, he has an army...oh and his nieces but they're harmless.

Whose going to be dumb enough? Um, Dustin...got a mirror?

Dad, why do we need morphers? We're not Power Rangers...and seriously, do you realize how hard it was to hack into Aquabase to get the Morphing Grid information?

THEM!? Um Cam...the original Power Rangers had a wimpy nerd and a valley girl, at least these are second-rate ninjas so they'll be fine.

Them? Yeah I'm not a fan...seriously, Cam thinks we're giant ants or something!

Cam if you don't give them the morphers, Andrew Hartford will first...and trust me, we don't want that.

Yeah they're a little gaudy for morphers but at least they're not cell phones.

YES I KNEW IT! THE RUMORS WERE TRUE! AND THIS ALSO PROVED THERE ARE SPACE BUGS AND FUTURE MUTANT CRIMINALS!

So he's a wind ranger and an Earth ranger...and a Yellow...WAIT, HE'S NOT A GIRL!?!?!?!?

Tori I can see as a Blue: no pinks so blue is a good second choice.

Reaching for the stars? That's why? Um...Lothor went into space, I don't think Shane can top Lothor going into space.

Wind Rangers Protecting Earth...and something to do with water, we'll work on it Tori.

Yeah...Shane and Tori don't get it. And I'm with them: you get some goofy morpher and have to save the planet and there's no instruction manual?

OK, Cam's line here was hilarious. It's good to have idiots who have no idea how to be Rangers sometimes to lead to this sort of cynical humor.

Yeah there's a distant shot here in the camera but believe me it's Lothor.

Wait that's not Lothor or his generals, that's...some guy.

Hey I'd forget it too cause it's too complex compared to "Its Morphin Time".

And...why isn't Cam a Power Ranger if he knows everything?

Watch the master...NINJA STORM, RANGER FORM, HA!

Nice, semi-close to the original only with the Kiwi actors.

Dustin's dream of being a spandex-wearing superhero has come true...I'm happy for that.

OK, we'll do it to. If Dustin's going to look goofy, we may as well too.

No overdramatic opening but this isn't Hurricaneger so it's understandable.

BUNNY HOP TIME!

Well we have wind powers so may as well use them.

OK you're crowding me, just gonna cut through the line...literally...

Wait no one told me we had shurikens! (then again...stock footage...)

Seriously now they're turning this into an infomercial!

Actually...we haven't seen a girl in spandex walk on water. Heck they didn't even use that in our Alien Ranger footage with Delphine AND SHE'S A WATER-BREATHER!

It's funny he's a lion theme yet he digs like a mole. Why didn't they make him a mole?

Oh and here's our handy-dandy explosion feature!

Lothor: POWER RANGERS!? THIS IS WHY I SPECIFICALLY INVADED AFTER ALL THOSE OTHER TEAMS LOST THEIR POWERS!!! (and thank goodness Shayla's back to sleep...or stoned out of her mind...same thing)

Yeah...there's me too...and I've got...RED CARDS! (I'm so useful in soccer games)

HANG GLIDER MODE...wait we have hang gliders?

Really, it's made of vinyl and he has explosive cards. That's not smart.

WHY DIDN'T LOTHOR TEACH ME HIS FLYING TECHNIQUES!?!??

That's it, I'm going to...do nothing I suppose.

Oh and we also have these weapons...I guess they just know they have them or Cam's speaking through the helmets.

Blue? He looks more...off-white?

He probably never signed up for this course. Put him on beginner or something.

Oh and I have heat dryer; it's for my hair but I can nuke you too.

Oh and we can turn it into a cannon...nifty.

Yep, we blew him up...literally, there are chunks of that guy everywhere, it's disturbing.

Neat they kept the Hurricaneger visor function. More Ranger helmets need something like that.

Yeah...I still can't believe it either.

THAT WAS TOTALLY WICKED!!!

Um, if you can lower your visors, why did you take your helmets off?

Look, not everyone pays attention to the news or knows about all the weird stuff we've gone through for the last decade or so.

Yeah you were alright. Cam's got a headache but I'm satisfied.

Lothor won't rest...and we won't stop seeing gibberish on our ops screens.

The future is in your hands...somehow...

Thoughts: It's silly to say this but this was a fun new beginning to the franchise as we enter into the Disney era. It's weird that we sort of have this feeling that we've got a "break" from continuity with the idea that Power Rangers were just a myth until they see it for themselves; and while you have to debate the plausibility of that (I mean the UAE's final invasion of the planet, plus they probably could have heard what happened to Mariner Bay, Silver Hills and Turtle Cove), I do like that it does feel like they want to break from everything and try to start fresh as if Power Rangers hadn't existed until now. Some of the characters are probably going to take a while to get used to, such as Dustin's "bro" persona and Cam's annoyance (though I do like his quips like his cynicism that the future of Earth is in the hands of these three idiots), but it's still a nice start. Also nice is just how Lothor is introduced: he does seem like a goof but doing things like blasting the Wind Ninja Academy in a scorched Earth maneuver to kill the future Wind Rangers and even his showdown with the sensei at the start really show he means business even with the silly elements of his "road trip with his nieces to conquer Earth"; it feels like a combo of both early and later Lord Zedd in being silly but still super deadly when he has to be, and I like villains like that.

There's No "I" in Team: aka: Four Cheeks are Better Than Three Heads

Wait a minute, did those three just sneak into one of Fred's dimensions?

Who decided to bind them at the wrist...I say it's Cam's fault, it generally feels like it.

Seriously, if we could work individually, we could be like Riders! I mean what season is on in Japan right now (cut to Faiz)...well at least Kusaka hasn't shown up yet.

OK, whose idea was it to make them learn under a guinea pig?

What kind of scroll? Probably a parchment kind I say.

Um...that scroll is floating in air...you guys see it?

Yeesh, there's data tracks on it's back! Seriously, they just stole the simulator from the Megaship!

So a fortune cookie lesson. So...why did they adapt Hurricaneger instead of Dairanger?

OK, I'll run...BUT YOU TWO HAVE TO COME WITH ME!

Yeah, Tori and Dustin are totally bringing down wind resistence.

Oh great, virtual Kelzaks too? As long as they're smarter than Craterites I suppose.

I'm with Dustin: a team of 10 Rangers is stronger than a team of 3.

This better be part of the training cause if it isn't, I'm yelling at Cam...and Sensei, maybe.

Well at least they've learned synchronized rolling.

Can someone please take these wristbands off...oh thanks, random Kelzak.

Yes, Shane 1, Dustin and Tori...um...0?

Yeah, taking the scroll at the cost of your friends isn't a good idea...unless you really want to go the Faiz route.

Yeesh, so it was a simulator. So then...how did the Kelzaks rip off the wristbands?

Cam: Congratulations, you suck. If we weren't fighting Lothor, our planet would be doomed by now.

Yes, you can relive your horrific teamwork nightmares again and again in your "Power Rangers Ninja Storm" PS2 game!

Why do you fail? Because Shane's probably trying to be the next Tommy Oliver?

CGI guinea pig, away!

Wait, you have a home? I thought you'd live at Ninja Ops.

Shane, listen to Dustin: sleep is good for you.

Hey was that BG noise the opening trill from Steve Miller's "Jungle Love"?

Oh sure, blame them when you were the idiot leaving them to Kelzaks. Smooth, Shane.

Funny, it still looks like ninja school to me.

If you want to be a Rider, Shane, then be a Rider. That's what Dustin's saying.

Oh great; Shane's feeling like a future user of the Kaixa belt.

Fine, be that way, I'll climb these dark stairs on my own!

Oh great, Marah sucks at tech. Let's hope she erased all of Lothor's future plans for the sake of the planet.

Zit? What those beauty mark gems on your face?

Wait, Kapri's MotW summoner is a PDA!? How...convenient. And...appropriate. (then again it does show that Wedinu was more important than Fribeejo)

Instantaneous service; they really need to make an app for that.

OK, does planet Stupid exist and would Marah know anything about it's inhabitants?

I know they're Lothor's nieces but...same side of the family or different relatives?

LOOK YOU TWO: STOP THAT GRATUITOUS LADY WRESTLING OR I'M RETURNING YOU TO YOUR EARTH PARENTS! AND NO FUNNY COSTUMES EITHER, THOSE STAY WITH ME FOR MY NEXT MINIONS!

Lothor: the only villain who admits his GERD.

So planet Stupid's power is electromagnetism...sure, could have gone with a cool name but Stupid works for the name of an electromagnetic planet too.

OK, you're stuck together...NO FEELING UP EACH OTHER'S BUTTS OR TEAM TWERKING!

Jeez, why the heck didn't I buy a neck pillow for days like this?

Yeah Cam...working on the Megazord this late in the game is probably not the best of ideas.

What can't be found in a computer? Well considering algoriythms and whatnot...nah, you can find anything on the internet.

Wait how does Dustin know Shane's fighting Lothor as we speak? We haven't seen him since that cutaway to Lothor's ship.

Shut it about teamwork, sensei. Riders are saying otherwise.

Yeah just hope Shane pulls a dumb mistake that will force him to realize...hey, I'm a Power Ranger, thus TEAMWORK!

And what about skateboarding is teamwork? See I told you he wasn't doing diddly.

Hey Shane,it's a new obstacle: leap over them for extra points!

Oh Marah, you move backwards and let Kapri move forwards and it will work.

Yeah this isn't one of those "secret identity teams" so we can just deal with him like this.

That is one effective PDA.

Let's hope Marah pushed the right buttons; for all we know she just alerted SPD that they're on Earth.

At least she pushed the "summon monster" button...though it's a rather compact monster.

Making connections is more Kapri's thing; she's got the PDA you know.

Japanese stock footage is so convenient.

Yick, I swear there's an absurd avante-garde artist making statues like that.

Sorry, I don't talk to cashier women.

Hey Kelly...mind if you become my boss; I hate being bossed by a guinea pig and his son...and yes, you heard me right.

Teammates? In Capitalism!?

And if I don't trust in them, they get fired and I hire some new friends...er, co-workers.

Yeah Kelly...I have a secret now...but not really...just let me handle this.

I'm with Shane, the footage here really isn't as good as the Japanese one.

What's up...I say an avant-garde art piece, probably lead to casualties but you know how art gets.

So from creepy magnet monster to...the butt sisters. Yeah...that's about right.

No one to tie you down with; may as well just throw debris and hope for the best.

Metal...no, metal's not an element this season unless you mean Dustin.

Shane, you're being beaten up by trash cans..um, Shane...

Cam's typing super fast...SOMETHING'S UP!

The police really do seem to have all of this city covered...so why do we need Power Rangers again?

Nope, not yet. We haven't had Shane learn humility yet.

Yet despite the new stuff, the warehouse set looks familiar.

NINPU, SHINOBI CHANGE, HA! (yeah should have done it last time)

Eh no worry. No other Rangers mean Shane has no one to be trapped in your scheme with.

Hey he's an S! SHANE STARTS WITH 'S'!

I always knew bicycles weren't as healthy as driving.

Yep, this is what the dumb guninea pig was after. You don't have to massacre him just to get your point made, Sensei!

OK I get transforming but how are they going to rush to Shane?

I get ninja super-speed but seriously, how did they get from Ninja Ops to here in a flash?

Am I OK? Oh got a few broken bones and my lung is punctured but...

Seriously the only reason there was a crisis is because of a stupid guinea pig teaching a lesson. Zordon never did any of this...heck not even Shayla did this!

Great? Seriously, considering Shane's about as bad as the rest of you, how is he considered the great one?

I'm with the magnet from planet Stupid: I'm stick of this moralization when there's a fight going on.

New plan: RUNNING ON AIR!

ATATATATATATATA!!!!

Over him? I never liked this guy to begin with.

CHARGE-AND-UP...

We could stop him if he didn't keep shooting at us.

Wait they're using Dustin's finisher? (checks) Nah it wasn't a Kouta episode so really it matches the footage.

Time for the old Coyote and the anvil bit...buh bye, Stupid.

Eh if Shane fought alone he'd win eventually...I think...

Wait he took them for the summer? OK Lothor...how did you come to Earth to pick them up and not get noticed?

Just let me borrow this so I can do the giant growth...

Um Dustin...he got bigger, not fatter.

Cam: Come one, can't I screw with this a bit longer? Better me screwing the Megazord up than them.

Yeah we have Zords, pure and simple. Don't ask where they come from because you know the answer.

Holographic portals...wait an entire plane is a portal!?

The dolphin's a ship, that works.

A FERRIS WHEEL!? SERIOUSLY, HOW THE HECK ARE THEY GOING TO REPLACE THAT!?

Know what your color is, that's your Zord.

I don't think it's better than Tori's VW van but...they're fine.

Seat warmers? Well Dustin's not interested in a stereo.

He does have a point: metal isn't going to work on this guy.

JET PHOENIX, GO! (wrong season?)

Seriously Tori, the fire's doing well why put it out?

Tossing a giant like a ball is just utterly ridiculous.

It's still not as ridiculous as the Rhino and Armadillo's soccer stadium summon.

Penalty for too much celebration on field!

I'm so lost: if Dustin's Earth, why does he have wind powers here and Shane has fire instead of air?

Oh that's just gross...seriously they needed to make a vomit joke?

Guys, do we need to compliment each other via video?

After the "blowing chunks" joke, I'm surprised Dustin didn't go for the obvious fart joke with the afterburners.

Wait that's it!? No Megazord!? That's a shocker.

No wait he's a magnet...should have seen that coming.

Sensei, why do you need to pull this in the middle of the fight?

So we form the Megazord by way of...a scroll lesson? Are you sure Cam didn't just give them the instruction manual?

Guys, save all the "Mega" puns for the Neo-Saban era.

Yeah, magnetic debris isn't going to really work anymore.

Power level? That's how they handle the Karakuri balls?

Level 1: a Snake Sword. Well...it sounds like a snake.

Really, they use the theme song for the finisher? Not as epic as the Senpuujin finisher music.

Yep teamwork...and all we needed was to be yelled at by a guinea pig.

If they kept that pose a while longer they would have gotten into Guiness you know.

What do you mean they're not toys? Then what is Bandai selling?

Never escalate a battle...seriously, Sensei met Zordon somewhere along the line.

And where the heck did he get his hands on a jigsaw of their new Zords?

And meanwhile, Marah and Kapri need to contemplate how to go to the bathroom together.

What would nail polish remover do in a situation like this?

Yeah my nieces are useless...TIME TO BRING IN TWO OTHER GUYS!

The Evil Power Ranger card...ALREADY!? IT'S ONLY EPISODE 2!!!!

Thoughts: I get the idea of learning about teamwork being a ninja squad but I don't get what the heck the Sensei's point was in tormenting Shane like this. He screwed up because of a really stupid lesson, then he holds back Tori and Dustin to get his butt handed to him by the MotW until he admit "I need you!"...and then they kick their butt without problem. Wouldn't it be easier if the three of them work together to resolve that issue...or if Shane just realized earlier that he had to work with them...or if the sensei and Cam's training methods weren't so restrictive that it makes Shane think he didn't need the other two!? At least the sub-plot of Marah and Kapri was amusing, and the funny thing is despite their predicament, they were working together way better than the Rangers were. The explanation regarding where the Zords come from wasn't bad but still made little sense in that it's "holographic teleportation"...yet they still seem to appear where objects were in the real world. Oh and Thunder Rangers preview...and they're seriously on Lothor's ship already. Guess sadly that means now "being scoped out and having them CHOOSE to join the villains early on"...but hey maybe they'll surprise me with their explanation but the way that the Kasumi brothers were handled in Hurricaneger was so well done in that arc that I wonder what PR will do with them.

Beauty and the Beach: aka: The 60s Weren't Good To You

Time to remind ourselves that Tori's a surfer I suppose.

Why did she bring those two amateurs with anyway?

No wait, she only brought Shane...who the heck is this guy?

So now Shane's a proxy guy. He must have problems with his love life.

Super-Cute Surfer Hottie? Really, Tori, he probably has a name!

Come on, maybe Shane likes you and wants to be yours too.

Hang out? Where: at the shop you watch videos at or at Ninja Ops?

Doofus, Shane? Nah, just overprotective. Now Dustin...he's a doofus with a capital D.

Oh great, even Marah's jealous of Tori's love life.

If you want to dig, just join Dustin; he has Earth powers and everything.

Kapri seems the mature of the two nieces...Marah just seems to have a short attention sp...SQUIRREL!

I really need a new Hawaiian shirt...I mean we're sort of close...maybe...

Red stands for jealousy? Seriously, Tori, either you're a genius or you're nuts.

I'm a girl. Sure that means nothing in this day and age but I was still physically born with ovaries so...

A guy girl? So Tori's our first transsexual Ranger and this is basically Sun Vulcan?

See, now Kelly, she's a woman.

A half-open envelope...sure you shouldn't be putting it through security?

Girl Sport magazine...you got to be progressive somehow I suppose.

Gorgeous girls...yeah, Tori's not swimsuit issue material, rather stick to surfing.

Silent Ranger mode, activate!

No you're not a dopey tomboy...more an arrogant bitchy tomboy.

And thus she talks to the guinea pig about a magazine involving girls in sports. Um...why are you talking to the guinea pig?

Thank you Tori: you point out the same thing I have about the guinea pig.

Three weeks of writing code...yeah seems right with how long the show's probably been on up to this point.

Status on Marah and Kapri: ordinary teenagers who've seen space...they'll do fine.

Trip to the mall? Seriously, that's second-hand clothing.

He's already expecting them to fail...so why not just send Zurgane from the beginning and avoid step one?

Oh him. That guy abducted all the ninjas...you know...Chuubo?

Poor Chuubo, really he needs to respect space.

If you die now, you won't learn anything.

So said second-hand trailer is Marah and Kapri's doing? Where the heck did they have time to rent that thing?

Oh...and those two are there too. And...why?

Hey they're still brothers! They kept something interesting from the Sentai...

Something tells me that some fat woman and old woman are going to come bursting out of that trailer.

Hey, look at us, our hair is nothing like those two nieces of your enemy!

Ordinary? Well she isn't a Kimberly but still...

Seriously it's like she stepped into a time machine and emerged as Dusty Springfield.

Wait what does some 60s reject look have to do with girls in sports?

Lothor really doesn't trust them if he places such an obvious plaque on the PDA.

I feel sorry for Marah; she really doesn't use that much makeup.

Hey plan B...and they didn't even need Zurgane!

This is seriously how I'd imagine Power Rangers in 1966 playing out.

Despite the advanced PDA, they still use an old fashion camera. Classy.

And...evil twin. So...what the heck is she here for?

Buh bye, real Tori.

Yeah we're about the same age. Long story, I've just seen so many weird things the last few years.

OK, mission over: MALL TIME!

That does it: I'm not singing Enka...or "Son of a Preacher Man".

It looks like a blank set with a computer for a camera hole.

Oh great, the lens is amplifying the Kelzak faces!

Come on, it's a nifty camera, I'm sure the Kelzaks could have found some use for it.

When in doubt, strip down to ninja outfit.

Guys, get me out of here; I was in a ridiculous costume and now stuck in a camera!

Knock knock, whose...um, Tori, are you going to some retro party?

She sounds angry...obvious fake.

Can't you tell by my cold voice that Kelzaks tried to kill me?

Nope, no way out and steam on the floor...yeah, Rita would have loved this place.

NO, GUINEA PIG SENSEI SPIRIT, RUN AWAY!

Super magic geyser powers, activate...um, what?

Seriously "Tori", Dustin's hungry and needs a burrito. Let him get his gas!

You're not the one driving so how do you know? What if there's traffic or a random herd of sheep?

Yep, Akira's watching traffic, definitely a problem.

Hoo boy, angry girl in 60s gear on the rampage.

Yeah...maybe if we had the Blue Senturion this wouldn't be so embarrassing.

Oh great, she's actually Zuul the Gatekeeper; no one growls like that.

Well she's about as lucky as Shane in getting a mate.

What guy? You said I'm a man so I need to like girls...or something...

She's really gotten shrill since she look up her 60s garb.

Wait, slow mo or speed, which is it Tori?

Yeah...I'm not sure that other Tori knows about the ninja outfit...or ninja anything.

So then we got real Tori and bitch clone Tori...which do you think will be believed better?

Tori, you were wearing that a moment ago...yeah Marah and Kapri put you in it but you could have rebelled.

Oh come on, I was hoping they'd look different in the fight!

Yeah it really doesn't help when the evil one looks like the good one.

Do you realize how much you wasted on my charge card with your little rampage? Even what's his name...Chuu something...is smarter than you!

Wait Zurgane's plan C now? Well the idiots did take the Kelzaks.

Yeah, I think they also just discovered Chuubo.

Not sure which to attack but this will be sorted out...eventually?

Oh great and now we have a rhyming chameleon monster; as if this couldn't get any more embarrassing.

Hey we can copy too: SYNCHRONIZED MORPHING!

Oh will you two just figure out which is the real one so I can call the other a Phoob?

Hey...water...do I have to go to the bathroom...and if I do, can I control it?

Eh, 2.5 stars, sure Avatar isn't a thing yet but I can see that as a basic for Aang to learn.

Cue Wicked Witch of the West "I'm Melting" bit...cut, print, that's a wrap.

Oh come on, Tori: water constructs are people too!

IT'S AN EVIL CLONE, KILL HER!

Waldo? DUSTIN'S NAME IS WALDO!?!?!? Well...we know where he is now!!!

Well if people try to take Power Rangers seriously, let's remember there was once a Ranger named Waldo.

Ranger therapy...really, I don't think Sensei's the best mentor to deal with that...wait are any mentors good at therapy?

"I say"...so he's a rhymer and Pops from "Regular Show"?

"Shadow battle"? Eh, I know it's stock footage but it makes zero sense in American/Kiwi context.

Makeover? The Kelzaks still looks like Kelzaks...except...more explody...

(to the tune of "Love Stinks") You beat the Kelzaks...WELL WHOOP-DE-DOO!!!!!

What, did the monster need the commercial break to figure out what rhymed with "doo"?

Oh seriously that was a lame rhyme, are they really trying to put in the time? (no...I'm still scarred from "Island of Illusion", I'm not doing it again, my friend...DANG IT!)

That's not magic. Really, is anyone going to tell Tori about Briarwood?

Poor Copybot. He really should have been made one of those Jesus lizards.

I know they eat lizards in some cultures but sushi?

Time for the Tori-formation of the finisher.

First a melting witch, now a monster in a ball...guys, hate to tell you but "The Wizard of Oz" has nothing to do with ninjas!

Lothor never owned a dog. He hated the gaping in shock at being run over part.

Wait, Zurgane has a PDA too!?

I'm not sure this is the typical "growing up", Shane.

Sorry Tori but this isn't growing. Tommy as a giant beating up the classic Megazord, that's growing...you just get giant robots.

Don't tell them you're over there, Copybot, that ruins the surprise.

It's nice when the villains use the same tactics we usually see from the heroes.

DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Lightning mode? Ah so Hurrier Mode is basically the Lightning Round of a game show!

OK, we need to make some popcorn to see if Cam's theory is right.

I love Hurrier Mode; and I wish more Zords could do that.

Ants? Where the heck does Copybot see ants?

SPIN THAT WHEEL!

Now to bring out the big blades.

Wait are you slicing the clones or are they showing they're clones and vanishing?

Oh great, Cam's going to keep counting until either the monster's done or the Megazord...returns to normal.

Now it's our turn to strike with a clone attack.

No death quip, no rhyme...Copybot, you're a waste of time.

Well they better accept tomboy Tori cause they're stuck with her.

Tori is the surfboard expert? What about Kelly; it's her shop!

OK, here's five bucks, now talk to him!

Uugh, him again?

Dill? Suddenly I'm in the mood for pickles.

Marah you're adorable but I agree with Kapri on how disgusting Ranger love is.

8 legs and an exoskeleton...seriously didn't Scorpius have any male heirs?

Nah I don't blame the nieces. Tori seeing visions of guinea pig sensei more saved her than their problems.

What master plan was set back by beach costume party?

Some villains get beaten up or shocked. Those two go to their rooms.

At least you have the evil Rangers.

Thoughts: I get female empowerment and "trusting yourself", but again this episode really just feels rather cliche and heavy handed in how it handles itself, particularly in the whole element of how Tori perceives herself. If she wants to be strong and beautiful without worry of typical standards then let her; though it feels goofy that the magazine she was set to go into was basically just a swimsuit mag with sports girls...then again it's Marah and Kapri so at least their own idiocy and juvinille behavior makes it somewhat understandable. I do wonder what the heck the two did to screw up Lothor's plans though, but regardless we still have the Thunder Rangers still being built up so at least they're still going to play some sort of role in things as we move forwards. Oh and it's still hilarious Tori and her clone spent part of their episodes in a groovy 60s outfit...maybe she should have ended up with Shayla instead of that ninja school.

Looming Thunder: aka: Irresponsibility with Extra Froth (or: Where's Waldo?)

Guess it's time for another footage real for Wal...er, Dustin.

And here comes two suspiciously dressed bikers...yep, obvious who they are...those guys from the A-Ha video.

Hey no cutting in line you two!

Yeah we get it, they're better than Dustin; why didn't Tori or Shane get this sort of thing?

Thanks for another Great Racing Season...it's episode 4, the season's over already?

Factory pros...that's it...THEY'RE ROBOTS!

And...they're brothers...but they look nothing alike. So...adopted?

Yeah there was mud everywhere, look at how clean our tires are.

At least Dustin is bringing up "wait, you two are brothers?" thing.

I don't get why Power Rangers don't seem to like having family work together from day one? I mean sure later Rangers can be related to earlier ones but not at the beginning, not even actual brothers from the original season!? (I mean sure I get it with the Tatsumi and later with the Ozu but why not make the Thunder Rangers biological!?)

My name's Wal...er, Dustin (sorry, so embarrassed that it slipped)

Wouldn't have heard of it? Um, he works at a shop with track videos and his assistant is the owner. So...Hunter's just being a jerk.

Do you realize how much acceleration we had to do to overtake you despite starting from a cheating position?

Too much air? But good air helps make it look awesome!

Follow us at night? Um...is Blake hitting on Dustin?

Next time...and maybe we'll confuse you a bit more about the brother thing.

What training? I thought training ended when all the other ninjas were sucked away?

Why do you do this? Because you're Waldo.

Hey look, the Kelzaks found you. Now all they need to find is Whitebeard the Wizard.

Um Dustin, I know you're surrounded 10 to 1 but...ninja abilities? You're a ninja, right?

OK, they'll get this close but they won't slit your throat.

Where were you two...AND WHY DID YOU GET BIKES INSTEAD OF CAM'S MAGIC TELEPOR-NINJA-WHATEVER!?

Shane, this isn't Kuuga, no bike tricks.

Cam, this show is a toy commercial. You give a Ranger toys, this happens.

No one listens to the guy with glasses? Heh...no wonder Billy switched to contacts.

Seriously why bikes? The hang gliders are just lore elements, you can't just throw them into stock footage and ignore them, man.

Wait, why the heck would he make bikes for everyone but the BMX racer?

OK I'll get it...but first, I show off my custom Atari controller!

Wait they got a truck!? So...Optimus Prime or Titan Boy?

Oh and here's your bike. At least yours can't be confused with a Thunder Ranger.

Cam...this is how they are. Just deal with it.

Hey we're together...LET'S RE-ENACT THE DAIRANGER ENDING!

Freaks? The Kelzaks would take offense at that line.

They're so confused...poor guys really need better navigation systems.

HEY THAT WAS A HIT AND RUN, ARREST SHANE IMMEDIATELY!

Guess they can still kick them on them too.

Do they just have to talk all the time during all the fight scenes now?

250s? Oh...250cc...yeah, a bit obscure for this show surprisingly.

Too bad? I thought you liked beating Kelzaks up?

CHARGE!...RUN AWAY.....

And they untransform with just "Ninja Form"...and what about "civilian form"?

You were lucky. Sure...that's what they all say whenever brand new tech is rolled out.

Cam, how do you know there are video games on the disk? I mean he could be distracted but whatever's on the disk is whatever's on the disk.

OK, prove you're not a doofus...WALDO!

Where was he? What people don't ask about what you and Tori do yet Shane is the special one?

Hooking up with two guys...wait, maybe Dustin is gay after all.

Thunder Rangers: Were they talking about us?

Wait how did you instruct Zurgane into that? He was nowhere around with those Kelzaks.

Yeah, bad movies tend to involve the generals randomly sending mooks to the slaughter.

What sort of latte does Zurgane like anyway?

Yeah, the Thunder Rangers...didn't they know they were there?

Lizard? I thought her inspiration was a snake?

Considering how those two got into Dustin, I'm not sure you can interest them.

You were behind schedule last time, now you don't care? Which is it, Lothor?

Come on, Lothor's chillin like a villain...LITERALLY! Respect is for Fred-type villains.

I really think Lothor needs to get into the coffee industry after this episode.

(In Derpy Voice) Muffins...

How many times...well we did have the last episode called that so...

We're not on a schedule but I won't wait so...um...good luck?

How can you tell they're yummy? They could look hideous under those masks.

And now an earthquake...is this part of their ultimate plan?

Guess it is; though not sure the hospital's the best place to start the plan.

Yeah they're earthquakes but it's a monster, not a generic "something evil's happening" earthquake.

Guess not even Ninja Ops is immune to the quakes.

Well that was quick...moles. Very big moles.

Meh, generic drill monster. Pass.

Oh great, Dustin was at the track again...really, is this his "in the closet" phase?

YES, THE QUARRY LIVES! IT'S EVEN IN NEW ZEALAND!!

Split screen to get it all done at once.

His head looks more Man-At-Arms than mole-ish.

Yeah, the spandex does give it away, huh.

What, just go all the way and say "HOLEY GUACAMOLE!"

Yeah about time he remembers he can do that.

That's a problem when you have a guy made of metal fighting fleshy parts and spandex.

Inside out? Just from underground? That's not really inside-out.

Idea: DIVE INTO THE HOLE AFTER HIM...no wait, that's what makes sense.

Shane, Tori, these are my boyfr...er, bros.

Yep, I see you wear our colors...or we wear your colors?

And they leave Tori with them. After last time...not a good idea.

What Dustin's doing with these two...really do we really want to know on a kids show?

Would Sensei do that thing with his nose when he isn't a guinea pig?

Guess Blake is bi after all.

And there goes my sexuality jokes. If they consider him a goof...I guess they think he's a drag queen or something.

Oh and I thought that was the Sensei's workout. Of course he'd be a jerk to piss Dustin some more.

Oh come on, Tori, you got over your vanity issues last episode; why talk of pecs?

Do you know Hunter and Blake...I mean do you REALLY know them?

Skater buds? I never see Shane or Tori hang out with anyone outside Ninja Ops.

Seriously, you have new friends and you can't just trust in them? (yeah they're evil but still...)

Me, messed up priorities? After what you and Tori did in the last two episodes!?

Today really feels like it's "beat up on Dustin" day, isn't it?

Not a kids club? Seriously, what about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Fan Club? They got Tommy and Kim in the video and everything.

Can someone please tell the guinea pig he isn't helping?

Screw you guys, I'm going riding...oh and do I have permission to use the new bikes?

Well there's still Kelly...sure Hunter and Blake are evidently evil but she's still on his side...hopefully.

They keep talking about the 250s like an actual race and not a different variety of bike!

Yeah it's hard to hang around dudes...I know Tori's a girl (well biologically and we had that issue last episode but...) but what the heck is Shane anyway?

Oh and here comes that supposed mole thing...really you two, if this is part of your plan...why let it attack you?

OK Dustin, it's admirable you wear your morpher in public but not in front of the suspicious duo.

Why does he want to bail? Well considering your behavior towards him it isn't like it's helping things.

C'mon Dustin (Yeah...that's suspicious)

"Got your backpack, sucker!"

This is like last episode only it's Shane and Tori tormented and not Shane and Dustin.

Tough? Well he did just toss you while sunk underground so...understatement?

How the heck does the mole know that Dustin's washed up? I get him working with the Thunder Rangers but they didn't do anything evil, just hold him back.

What traffic, Dustin; did Waldo happen to come across a flock of sheep in the road?

Oh man...they look like ants down there!

Back off: I've got a hammer and I know how to use it.

GERONI...WAIT, I FORGOT, WHAT IF I DON'T MAKE THIS LANDING AND I GET FLATTENED ON THE GROUND!!!

And...he ducked. What a way to screw up an epic entrance, Dustin.

Look I refuse to use the "Hammer Time!" joke here because Dustin's voice just made it sound so unappealing.

This is dedication, Sensei? Looks more like making up for lost time.

Big Bang? Wouldn't the Air Ninja do that and not the Earth one?

Know what I'm thinking? Um...concrete to prevent the mole from digging into property?

It's no fun to be a flat coyote, Waldo.

I feel sorry for Marah: she doesn't have the brain power of Kapri or Zurgane to use the PDA growth device.

At least it wasn't the latte-summoning device.

Cam looks disgusted being stuck pushing Zord summoning buttons episode after episdoe.

Yeah, you do have to dig up property to get the plumbing installed right.

Yeah we do have the speed mode...but can it work underground?

GOING DOWN! So...turn back and get stuck so he won't get you down there.

They're skipping to 4? That's the big problem with numbering your toys.

At least they got a hammer like Dustin's...and again with the stupid "Hammer Time" joke. This isn't making it any funnier.

Dustin rocks...but Waldo's still an idiot.

Hey maybe this time he can hang out with real friends...and spill mud on them.

Look faster? How does one "look faster"?

Where are Hunter and Blake? Um...who are those two in the background as you talk about them?

Yeah we get it: Waldo was trying new things and conflicted about his sexuality but I think it's a phase.

Wait you're making them ride too? Seriously would Shane make you ride skateboards if that was your transport?

Oh there they are; and they're using voice modulators.

Thoughts: So Dustin wants to hang out with friends that aren't Rangers and they suddenly call him irresponsible? I don't get this franchise sometimes: they make a big deal about having lives in some seasons; make a big deal about sticking together and limiting that sort of thing in others...and yet when Dustin tries to make friends, suddenly they have to make him irresponsible and "you can't keep your priorities straight" when he obviously can? Obviously Hunter and Blake are the future Thunder Rangers (having not been revealed yet) and of course any moment Dustin spends with them is part of an elaborate scheme to screw the Wind Rangers over, but it feels ridiculous that the episode tries to get across this dumb lesson of "don't have friends unless they're also Power Rangers"; it makes it feel like it's Sailor Moon where no one can have friends outside their magical past/future warrior friends (and relatives) because everyone else sucks and have nothing to do with anything. And if they are to keep to being Wind Rangers, then why are they even allowed to keep doing their extreme sports or hang out with Kelly at her shop? Regardless, I do like how the "adopted" brothers actually did consider keeping Dustin distracted as the scheme while using the mole monster to screw with the town; and the interactions on Lothor's ship continue to be hilarious, particularly with the coffee shop interaction.

Last edited by Ataruman; June 29th, 2019 at 03:42 AM.
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Old June 28th, 2019, 09:02 PM #3693
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> Akiba Black
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In terms of male spies in Precure there was also that little bee fairy in Maho Girls whose name I forget (though he wasn’t exactly evil per se and was more just being blackmailed by one of the villains).

As for Ninja Storm, while not one of my personal favorites it still has its charm. I will say that Lothar is a much more entertaining villain than Tau Zant from the Sentai at least (who mostly just sat around until near the very end of the series).

Last edited by Akiba Black; June 28th, 2019 at 09:02 PM.
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Old June 28th, 2019, 09:12 PM #3694
> AkaPrimoWhiteDragon
Ride of the Valkyrie
 
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Ataruman wrote: View Post

Victor Adler
Viktor.

It's written on something at the end.
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Old June 29th, 2019, 09:55 AM #3695
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> timegold
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Ataruman wrote: View Post

("Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley starts playing)

Yeah...that basically explains last season...but for those who aren't Rick Astley fans...
If I were inclined, I'd find every clip of it, mash them together, add the counter, and edit the song into the background.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

(RIP Thuy Trang)
Yeah... this needs to be said, and it's really unfortunate about something else to happen to Pua. Just have to honor his memory. Grant too, he was a star villain.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

It's a new day: a new season, a new production company, even a new country! So then...how in the world are there going to be new Power Rangers...if there aren't any Power Rangers!?
Move to Japan, there ought to be something there. Maybe even a bunch of samurai.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Oh come on, you're too small for Baywatch, get some implants and call back after you've healed!
Aaand that just escalates thing beyond Disney's protocol. Sure they'd want to open that way?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

I'm not a fan of this sort of bike; the chain is so painful and you have to switch gears manually.
Manual... shift? What century is this?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

BOO...er, BURG! (that is a weird way to scare her, Shane)
Eh, better than Borg.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Wait, so the Power Rangers do exist!? Despite the last episode being "the end of the Power Rangers"?...that didn't last long.
Maybe this is the land of desk receptionists. "No such thing as Power Rangers" and all.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

So if we meet with the Fellowship...do we say hi or ask Peter Jackson for a cameo?
You'd have to be in New Zealand first. And then prepare to take an unexpected journey.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Ninja Art: YELLOW EXPLOSION!...er....sunken manhole?
That's what makes it so effective. These aren't the best out there, far from it, and they indeed fit the type of those who need work to get ahead.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Expulsion? Wait...why do these three even NEED ninja school!? Especially considering their other lives?
Those scholarships have to go to some institution!

Ataruman wrote: View Post

The Force is Strong in This One...er, Dark Energy is Strong, same thing.
Marah... Kapri... I am your uncle!

Ataruman wrote: View Post

So then who wants California? Um...I wouldn't take California: too many Ranger teams there. (oh and earthquakes, drought and, in a few years, the Governator)
On the bright side, green energy! (Not that type of green energy, stuff powering up things like Venjix)

Ataruman wrote: View Post

One can imagine what Marah and Kapri's parents look like...though I swear there's this girl in Reefside that looks like Marah...twins?
Oh dear, did someone's mom have an affair with a space ninja? (Or... wait, who's on which side of the family?)

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Wait his plan is to deal with...ninja academies. How the heck are ninja academies Earth's only defense? Or did they take over Earth's defense after Wild Force?
Probably something to do with ninjutsu being the best defense against ninjutsu... sure, time-traveling cops might be able to deal with them, but there's something about some Prime Directive.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Yeah we're the only ninjas left on Earth. Too bad no one wants to take a side trip to the Desert of Despair or anything...
That guy's in a coma or something.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Those rocks are moving...SOMEONE IS ALIVE!

Oh it's just Cam, nevermind.
CAM IS ALIVE!

Ataruman wrote: View Post

And there's...a hamster...that talks...and rides a golf cart.
Does he need a licence?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

THEM!? Um Cam...the original Power Rangers had a wimpy nerd and a valley girl, at least these are second-rate ninjas so they'll be fine.
It's like Cam has some family complex or something. Prepared all his life for being the hero, then these come along. Okay, it's not that much, but there is a nice contrast in the characters.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

So he's a wind ranger and an Earth ranger...and a Yellow...WAIT, HE'S NOT A GIRL!?!?!?!?
Don't be silly, yellow ninjas aren't girls. (Or... wait... Aisha...)

Ataruman wrote: View Post

HANG GLIDER MODE...wait we have hang gliders?
Wind ninjas, of course. Gotta catch that wind in another extreme sport.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Wait a minute, did those three just sneak into one of Fred's dimensions?
Nah, Fred left those things in Los Angeles, on an entirely different continent.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Seriously, if we could work individually, we could be like Riders! I mean what season is on in Japan right now (cut to Faiz)...well at least Kusaka hasn't shown up yet.
They kind of have a red, a blue, and a yellow... really not the best of fates for these three!

Ataruman wrote: View Post

So a fortune cookie lesson. So...why did they adapt Hurricaneger instead of Dairanger?
Mmm... tasty destiny with paper...

Ataruman wrote: View Post

I'm with Dustin: a team of 10 Rangers is stronger than a team of 3.
looks at the team with 10+
Nah, I'm good. No need for another genocide.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Cam: Congratulations, you suck. If we weren't fighting Lothor, our planet would be doomed by now.
Well, that's a wrap. Season's over, folks.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Wait, Kapri's MotW summoner is a PDA!? How...convenient. And...appropriate. (then again it does show that Wedinu was more important than Fribeejo)
PDA? Those will never catch on! Who'd want a device that can connect with the entirety of the interwebs at their pocket?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Let's hope Marah pushed the right buttons; for all we know she just alerted SPD that they're on Earth.
Unless they have some ninja encryption of their signals, their bumbling manners would've already alerted SPD.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Japanese stock footage is so convenient.
Saban has said that for years.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

A FERRIS WHEEL!? SERIOUSLY, HOW THE HECK ARE THEY GOING TO REPLACE THAT!?
They're ninjas, they were never there! Property damage, what property damage?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

It's still not as ridiculous as the Rhino and Armadillo's soccer stadium summon.
What would even be as ridiculous as that?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

I'm so lost: if Dustin's Earth, why does he have wind powers here and Shane has fire instead of air?
Element mix: snowstorm technique. That's what we'd expect next.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Guys, save all the "Mega" puns for the Neo-Saban era.
Mega wait for the mega groan.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Time to remind ourselves that Tori's a surfer I suppose.
Hey, did you hear that Tori's a surfer?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Super-Cute Surfer Hottie? Really, Tori, he probably has a name!
Oh well, if people objectify one gender, might as well objectify all genders, right?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Three weeks of writing code...yeah seems right with how long the show's probably been on up to this point.
They probably need a programming class. Much more efficient ways to do that.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Hey they're still brothers! They kept something interesting from the Sentai...
Good opportunity to use that brotherly bond, also with their story to come about how much they've relied on each other. Family is actually kind of important this season.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Despite the advanced PDA, they still use an old fashion camera. Classy.
Vintage.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Seriously "Tori", Dustin's hungry and needs a burrito. Let him get his gas!
If it's Taco Bell, he'll get more than just gas.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

IT'S AN EVIL CLONE, KILL HER!
Classic "which one's the evil one" moment.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Waldo? DUSTIN'S NAME IS WALDO!?!?!? Well...we know where he is now!!!
Ninjas are supposed to be better at hiding!

Ataruman wrote: View Post

I know they eat lizards in some cultures but sushi?
Mmm... lizard sushi...

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Wait, Zurgane has a PDA too!?
Oh no they're everywhere! Mr. Bills is taking over!

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Ants? Where the heck does Copybot see ants?
To some, like that one Orson Wells character, all people look like ants.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Now it's our turn to strike with a clone attack.
Oh no... that "Attack of the Clones" movie is out!

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Dill? Suddenly I'm in the mood for pickles.
Just don't get sour or salty about it.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

8 legs and an exoskeleton...seriously didn't Scorpius have any male heirs?
The way Scorpius moved around, he seems to have 0 legs.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Yeah we get it, they're better than Dustin; why didn't Tori or Shane get this sort of thing?
There's a twist: rivals wearing colors that match someone else.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

And...they're brothers...but they look nothing alike. So...adopted?
Asked... and answered!

Ataruman wrote: View Post

My name's Wal...er, Dustin (sorry, so embarrassed that it slipped)
Hi, Waldustin!

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Follow us at night? Um...is Blake hitting on Dustin?
Duh.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Next time...and maybe we'll confuse you a bit more about the brother thing.
Oh... so more than just brothers?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Shane, this isn't Kuuga, no bike tricks.

Cam, this show is a toy commercial. You give a Ranger toys, this happens.
Well which is it?!

Ataruman wrote: View Post

No one listens to the guy with glasses? Heh...no wonder Billy switched to contacts.
Wait, we didn't have to listen to "Never gonna give you up" last year?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Hooking up with two guys...wait, maybe Dustin is gay after all.
Go on...

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Considering how those two got into Dustin, I'm not sure you can interest them.
What, already?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

I really think Lothor needs to get into the coffee industry after this episode.
The Kamen Riders claimed a monopoly on that.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

YES, THE QUARRY LIVES! IT'S EVEN IN NEW ZEALAND!!
But it's a new quarry now!

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Shane, Tori, these are my boyfr...er, bros.
It's the twenty-first century, Dustin. You can say it.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

And there goes my sexuality jokes. If they consider him a goof...I guess they think he's a drag queen or something.
Well, they could give a whole new meaning to "drag races".

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Do you know Hunter and Blake...I mean do you REALLY know them?
How much can you really know a man?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Today really feels like it's "beat up on Dustin" day, isn't it?
Is that what they're calling it now?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Screw you guys, I'm going riding...oh and do I have permission to use the new bikes?
Is that what they're calling it now?

Ataruman wrote: View Post

OK Dustin, it's admirable you wear your morpher in public but not in front of the suspicious duo.
How plot convenient.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Look I refuse to use the "Hammer Time!" joke here because Dustin's voice just made it sound so unappealing.
So, you've stopped "Hammer Time".

Ataruman wrote: View Post

They're skipping to 4? That's the big problem with numbering your toys.
Number 3 must still be in development.
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Old June 30th, 2019, 04:15 PM #3696
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Akiba Black wrote: View Post

In terms of male spies in Precure there was also that little bee fairy in Maho Girls whose name I forget (though he wasn’t exactly evil per se and was more just being blackmailed by one of the villains).

As for Ninja Storm, while not one of my personal favorites it still has its charm. I will say that Lothar is a much more entertaining villain than Tau Zant from the Sentai at least (who mostly just sat around until near the very end of the series).
Did Chikurun ever have a gender? I presumed it was female too considering the same problems with Mofurun.

Eh, even if Tau Zant sat around, I loved the Jakanja and he was basically the prophet for the Evil Will so it all worked out for him.

AkaPrimoKanyeWest wrote: View Post

Viktor.

It's written on something at the end.
Yeah you know me jumping into things.

timegold wrote: View Post

If I were inclined, I'd find every clip of it, mash them together, add the counter, and edit the song into the background.
That...would be some recap.

Yeah... this needs to be said, and it's really unfortunate about something else to happen to Pua. Just have to honor his memory. Grant too, he was a star villain.
When was Pua/Shane a villain? Am I missing something?

Maybe this is the land of desk receptionists. "No such thing as Power Rangers" and all.
So that explains it!

You'd have to be in New Zealand first. And then prepare to take an unexpected journey.
Step 1's accomplished at least. (wait is Blue Bay Harbor California or "New Zealand that feels like California?")

on't be silly, yellow ninjas aren't girls. (Or... wait... Aisha...)
Her inspiration wasn't really a ninja either.

looks at the team with 10+
Nah, I'm good. No need for another genocide.
Yeah...I just remembered that Kotaro Minami worked with 10+ Riders during RX's endgame too.

Ninjas are supposed to be better at hiding!
People's been finding him for over 30 years now so it isn't that good.

Wait, we didn't have to listen to "Never gonna give you up" last year?
Only if you consider Danny was the one who forced it on us more than Max.

It's the twenty-first century, Dustin. You can say it.
Not under W he probably can't. Still got to wait 6 more years.

-----

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion: Pre-Game Set-Up


OK, I think I need an intro for this new watch for the rest of the year cause I have some things I need to admit.

1. I like villains.
2. I like giant robots.
3. I like realistic-esque giant robot series that talk about the trials and tribulations of war. (I really need to find a way to get back into watching Gundam somehow)
4. I don't...mind...special powers within characters if it works to the story. (though in the Gundam case, I think somehow Newtypes works to it's franchise but also sort of ends up being a dividing line that screws other characters in the same way as not being a Saiyan in DB, not having a Quirk in MHA, not having ninja powers in Naruto, etc.)

With all that said...I admit the first time I tried to watch Code Geass a decade or so ago...I wasn't impressed. I get it's a huge franchise and many people consider it one of the great modern mech anime but there just was something about it: the fact that the main character is a super genius turned villain (ala Death Note), the CLAMP designs, the magic eyeballs that made me all the more annoyed at franchises like Naruto, the random high school hijinx in what's supposed to be a realistic giant robot anime with a war...and probably also the fact that I was watching the first few episodes taped off Adult Swim and I was sort of just falling out with it, both due to my own life and just how AS didn't seem to care and I was having a hard time taping anything I was interested in while all they seemed to promote were their annoying comedy shows which were either gross, stupid or Seth McFarlane.

However, a few things have brought me back to try this again: aside from the obvious "a cheap Blu-Ray set I got from Best Buy", a friend sort of pushed me into trying it again and going through it all for once. That and a few other factors (wanting to do another mech anime, the mere fact that we have the awesome combo of Ami Koshimizu and Fumiko Orisaka in another anime...and as a Suite Pretty Cure fan, you know how much I love that season and the duo, just generally trying to catch up and do another anime of this sort in the same way as Gurren-Lagann last year), I figured to give it another try. I sort of hope that the hype is worth the grief, though.

At least I should be getting pizza out of it.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion: Stage 1: The Day a New Demon Was Born

I know girls can be poisonous to guys but I think the Brittanians are taking it a bit too literally.

Lelouch Ramparge is a boy who has lived a life as a lie. A Brittanian hidden away in the nation of Japan, he always thought he could just live among the people in a peaceful, quiet life. However, his loyalties are not the same as those whom have other ideas for the nation: seven years before the series began, Lelouch witnessed the conquering nation as it destroyed Japan and turned it into another of it's colonies, making it into their new "Area 11" of their Brittania Empire and turning those who live in the nation other than pure-blooded Brittanians into trash unless they swear allegiance to their conquerors. Despite his potential heritage, Lelouch has hated the Brittanians...but he could do nothing about it, witnessing as they transformed Japanese society to be more like their faux-British concepts (even though they're based in the Americas...yeah I know they reveal later that Brittania is basically the US and the real Great Britain is part of some European alliance in this world) other than to try to live a peaceful life, showing off his genius in chess and suffering amidst the fellow "Elevens" despite his higher class and position in a society he should be taking advantage of. However, it all changes one day when he encounters a group of "Eleven Rebels" who steal something precious from them that they're forced to get back, leading to an invasion that mercilessly slaughters anyone who they consider an enemy, including children and the elderly. Through the encounter, Lelouch makes multiple discoveries that would change his life forever: one being that his Eleven friend Suzaku is now a member of the Brittanian army trying to win prestige...and the other being that the "poison gas" that was supposed to be what the rebels stole was actually some strange green-haired girl who makes a contract with Lelouch: she will give him the power to possibly change the world like a King, but it comes with multiple costs: he will be forever alone with this power and he must accomplish something eventually which will make this girl's dreams come true. Lelouch partakes in the deal and suddenly gains the power to make those with weak minds do whatever he commands, even killing an entire squadron by suicide with his first move! He finally has the power to change this world...but at what cost?

All that said, this is an interesting opening episode and it sort of shows the details made to try and boost and show the interesting sides to this world as it starts to be revealed. Somehow I think there's an obvious political statement at the start with the "American invasion of nations and subjugating them to their rules" aspect as if a satire of American interventionism for their own goals (they claim they wanted Japan for natural resources) while showing that this is a rather merciless world where anyone can and will die due to the Brittanian beliefs that the people they conquer are so beneath them that they can be slaughtered without problem. Lelouch...is a difficult character to get around but I find it rather bizarre that they seem to suggest even at the start that his life is a lie yet at the same time seem to not really explain too much: they suggest that he is an actual Brittanian (if not descendant from the royal family) who of course has sympathies with the Japanese and wants to save Japan...but why was he in Japan prior to the Brittania invasion if he has such an important role as a member of the empire's royal family? A lot of this is set-up of course and it sems to show a lot of the main elements of it: the Brittanian royal family connections, the mecha combat suits the Knightmare frames (talking about older and newer models), the connections Lelouch has not just with Suzaku but with the mystery girl and even those of his high school such as this bizarre orange-haired girl Shirley who nearly gets him killed by a cell phone call, and of course the Geass phenomenon that somehow can brainwash people. The contract element is very Death Note esque though it seems to be "I'll help you and you help me" as opposed to the connection between the Shinigami and those who kill by the notebooks in the manga, though I'm not sure just "brainwashing peoplet to kill themselves" is going to work eventually considering that if that's all it did, the series would be over with instantly. But hey, it's an interesting start and I'll see where this goes.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion: Stage 2: The White Knight Awakens

Honestly naming mech after British towns is way cooler than the "Arthurian" names everyone uses.

Lelouch may have gained the power to change the world, but unfortunately you can't change the world if you have nothing to use as resources. Luckily for him, he actually lucks into getting a Knightmare frame by way of a major Brittanian soldier, gaining one of their newer Sunderland models through his Geass power and, more importantly, using the radio within the frame to contact the rebel forces already engaged with the enemy and start instructing them in how to fight back. It's actually an interesting move done here in that with Lelouch already basically a chessmaster himself, he can use his knowledge of strategy to manipulate others at his will (without magic eyeballs luckily) and allow for a greater chance of victory. It's also interesting that since he doesn't want anyone to know who he is, he actually refuses to show himself to his new potential followers and thus allow for them to be lead by a "mystery savior" who is willing to fight alongside them for Japan's freedom from the Brittanian forces. Unfortunately while this goes well at first...this is still a giant robot anime and of course the enemy has a new robot they want to show off to prevent these upstarts from taking a victory. This mecha is the new "Lancelot" Knightmare, which is easily more powerful than the Sunderland and wipes the floors of the rebels. But making it more surprising is that the one piloting the Lancelot...is Suzaku, Lelouch's friend; this sort of shows an interesting dichotomy of both wanting to save their world but by working as direct opposites in both manners: Lelouch being this "black knight" who wants wants to save Japan with nobility but do so by dark means such as brainwashing and acting as a mystery chessmaster; while Suzaku is actually working his way up as a Brittanian soldier and fight for the enemy as their "white knight" but do so by his own means. Ultimately while Suzaku wipes the floor with everyone, it ends only because Lelouch is able to Geass his way into the prince that controls Japan, Clovis, who does finally reveal Lelouch's own royal heritage (he's 17th in line to the throne)...but is somehow surprised that Lelouchi is in Japan in the first place. Obviously it's a cliffhanger but it does seem to show that not even the Brittanians know everything about their own and that with how little they know of Lelouch' involvement with the Japanese forces, he could use this to his own advantage the less they know/comprehend on what he's doing.

-----

Fraggle Rock: Ep. 49: The Bells of Fraggle Rock

What is with everyone forgetting their mittens in this special?

Has anyone else ever made a holiday special about the Solstice as opposed to Christmas or one of the other religious-esque holidays? Well considering no one else has and Fraggles aren't the type to really revel in anything other than the natural surroundings and concepts of their world, they decide to take up the "Solstice Holiday Special" tradition no one else was asking for. At the time of our Solstice, the Fraggles have to undertake the "Festival of the Bells", an event where they all have to ring bells in order to prevent the rock from freezing over and stopping all motions from the cold. It's a neat concept...but as usual Gobo nearly screws it all up due to his own curiosity: he doesn't get why the festival has to be done hearing the same story about the bell in the "heart of the rock" until he discovers that there's a map showing that there may be a bell (or a bell-shaped cave" in the "center of the rock" and he thinks that if he can find it, then he can prove the reason as to why they have to celebrate. Unfortunately...this goes about as badly as "The Day the Music Died": he makes the Fraggles not undertake the ceremony until he returns with the Great Bell at the center of the story, and the entire rock literally starts freezing over and all Fraggles with it because of his stupidity. I'm sort of torn about which episode did it better since "The Day the Music Died" came first", but one advantage this episode has over that is Cantus, who basically is there as a spiritual advisor to tell Gobo "you're an idiot, the heart of the rock is in all of us and isn't just some physical thing"; that the story gives reason to what they do but that you don't have to take things literally. It's actually sort of a good episode to give the concept on how religion or tradition works: more it's about reasons that people do things and stories that end up forming to try and justify it even if it isn't true. It's actually a special that could be a good means to explain that maybe no religion has it's basis in reality...or that it has some basis in reality but it gets augmented to the point that people think something is true when it actually isn't and there's a deeper base element to it that make people use the story to believe in something imaginary when it's more for something greater that is used to make a story to simplify it....but this is Fraggle Rock so it isn't like we're going to be destroying Christmas just for the sake of keeping a bunch of puppets alive.

Doc & Sprocket: Doc gets obsessd in learning about every single winter festival he can after explaining to Sprocket that the time of year isn't just about Christmas.

Songs: The standout song of the episode and surprisingly one that never caught on as a holiday song is the big one used to center the whole special, "There's a Promise"; it's a really great song and extremely memorable but it's so short that it isn't like it's just going to erupt and become a modern Christmas classic even from a TV show along the lines of "Christmastime is Here" from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". The other two are more utility: "Weeba Weeba" is about the Weeba Beast that was a part of the bell story that basically is just the Fraggles saying "Weeba" a lot; while "The Festival of the Bells" is the actual music used to close the festival once the Fraggles finally play them, in the same sort of way as the climax of "The Lost Treasure of the Fraggles" I suppose.

Postcard: Matt discovers the whole "giving milk and cookies to Santa" tradition and decides to steal one...it isn't like the kids would notice and they'd think something that would probably be to their advantage.

Fraggle Rock: Ep. 50: Red-Handed and the Invisible Thief

I'm confused about Fraggle justice...and what about the pie fight?

Red is someone who likes to make sure that she keeps things personal if she likes something and doesn't want to have anyone touch them. So when she starts losing her radish bars to a mysterious "thief" stealing from her, she sort of goes a bit off the deep end in trying to find out who is behind their theft. The episode sort of works in that way like a locked door mystery in that it Red knows that someone is stealing the bars (and possibly eating them), are able to get in and out without anyone noticing and thus is able to get away and cause her a lot of problems that she doesn't really want to have anything to deal with. And of course the episode has your classic "false accusations against your friends" trope with Red thinking that someone is stealing them that she knows of and that she wants to bring them to justice, which in this case is Mokey since the two of them are cavemates now (it turns out in this episode that any Fraggle that doesn't have their own cave to live in just...lay on the ground and sleep somewhere, which is probably painful) But in a rather cliche ending (though I sort of thought it was Lanford myself), it turned out that Red is a sleep-eater and thus she stole all the Radish bars while she was asleep, thus...really it of course is about false accusations and dealing with the consequences of nearly ruining friendships because of them so...really, what was the point of all this?

Doc & Sprocket: Doc thinks some mysterious men are stealing Mrs. Arbogast's furniture...but it's just her family dealing with the B&B while she's away (too bad no one told Sprocket).

Songs: "Sweet Sweet Little Treat" is basically the candy commercial that no one asked for that we got anyway, being addictive but probably not in a good way. "The Hum Song (Hold Each Other's Noses)" is way more amusing, being about the wacky rituals of the Council of Venerable Fraggle Sages. (basically made up of...the first three Fraggles to show up that day)

Postcard: Matt thinks that Silly Creatures gain "directional guidance" by way of watches and clocks, but sort of misunderstands them horribly.

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ARIENAI TO WAKUWAKU MON DA (and everything else in between)
A Pretty Cure Rewatch
Futari wa Pretty Cure


17: Ugh, another Fuji-P episode...why? I find it ridiculous that the episode's excuse is "one of Fuji-P's friends invited us to help with the vegetables", but it all just turns into this huge love fest with those two, with Honoka and Kiriya, even with the two who own the farm who fight but actually love each other (though I do like the part where the elder farmer protects his wife during the Zakenna attack). Heck we even get another useless toy that is used as a love checker with the nonsense of "let's see how well characters can get along"...and the stupidest part: what the heck does Kimeta have to do with anything other than setting up the plot!? The only good thing about the episode remains Poisony, especially how she barges in with a combo worm and centipede Zakenna and who actually knew to split the Cures up to stop them despite the contradictions of "you can't do anything without your partner"...only with Nagisa smashing down a cave wall without Honoka around.

18: As annoying as Nagisa/Fuji-P is, it at least has nothing to do with the main story...unlike Honoka/Kiriya. This episode of course is one where Kiriya shows he has feelings for Honoka and it looks like she's trying to help him...but trying to help him with another girl who likes him but of course he wants nothing to do with her (a one-shot girl unfortunately) I really hate when this franchise goes into "love mode" and this one isn't any better especially building from last time. I do like the running gag about Nagisa and the test worries she has and the battle with Poisony in the mirror world...but obviously with her fighting on her own, this means her time is running out soon.

19: Sometimes I forget how dumb the original Futari can be due to nostalgia of what it does right. Behold: an episode where we get an opening scene that can be easily resolved (really Honoka, scan Ompu and Mepple can share his sweets with Mipple) and Mepple saves all of Earth and the Cures by...running towards Ilkubo while waving his arms around. I get what it tries to resolve with the issues of Mepple being a jerk and neglecting on his duties, but how can he do his duties when most of what he does is scan cards so Nagisa can fight? I do have to say that Iilkubo is probably the second best Piccolo proxy in the franchise (true Goyan is #1) and his power prior to "Mepple waves his arms" is terrifying in itself.

20: And with one episode, we're back on track with the excellent final battle with Poisony. I really love her final strategy, sort of "becoming" Honoka and using it to try and gain all she can from Nagisa, screwing up at first but then becoming a perfect replica until they use that diary subplot from some time ago to actually have something to reveal who is who. And the final battle is just an impressive one with Poisony basically fighting for her life so she can survive and presumably stay with Kiriya only for the Cures to defeat her in a rather sad ending that actually is a creative usage of the Marble Screw; I even like Kiriya's reaction finding out that his sister is now gone. If this was a later season, Poisony probably would have survived or had a similar fate to what happens to Kiriya later on...but the early seasons do a good job to remind us that as good or interesting as a villain is, death is still a thing and you can't just redeem everyone.

21: And now for an episode that sort of feels like a blueprint for later events but still has...some impact. Not as much as you'd think because unfortunately it's screwed over (particularly by the end of the series) but it is still great just seeing how it plays out. On one hand the mess with Kiriya and Honoka unfortunately just lead to trying to give us more emotions to how it all occurs when he reveals who he is to her. On the other...while the fight is decent, some of the whining sort of just brings it down with "weren't you happy" and "fight your fate". Admittedly while I do love the ending that we get with Kiriya accepting said fate and walking back to face the darkness, it sort of feels ike something that probably was done better with the Kiryuu in similar circumstances...I'd say other seasons but most of the others that do it aren't "random embodiment villains created from evil that actually learn good" like them.

22: I'm sort of torn about the factor that Cures don't seem to have pets anymore: on one hand,a pet actually allows for another factor that make the Cures human and gives them another companion that isn't their fairies or BFFs (especially when many modern fairies tend to take the form of domestic animals in a weird way); on the other, it prevents bizarre episodes like this where we have not merely a story of Honoka's dog Chuutaro trying to look after a dog looking for it's master...but they talk too, conversing with one another privately in probably the only time that's ever been done in this franchise. There's still stuff from the fall-out of Kiriya's sacrifice and Ilkubo revealing he knows of Wisdom...but really the talking dogs...just talking dogs. (still not as bad as Filia possessing Saki's cat) Oh and another neat thing: it's basically a Tanabata episode...but it's just a thing, not something to push as a major element of the episode.

23: I'm not a fan of whenever everyone seems to gather at the same place and time due to circumstances that only benefit the plot; in this case it's "oh the lacrosse team and science club are having their summer breaks together around the same camp", thus of course allowing for Nagisa and Honoka to be together. With that said, there are two things I do like about this episode: Shiho's little "stunt" that frightened everyone when she was just taking a shower...and Ilkubo basically using all his intel to get his hands on Wisdom, even manipulating the Marble Screw to get the power to summon him. Considering the possibility that the franchise was only going to be 26 episodes, this really is the perfect "holy" moment before the final three episodes of resolution...I'm just not looking fowards to what happens from next episode onwards (not Ilkubo...that...)

24: This episode is one that sort of confuses me because of something it does: there's a whole sequence where somehow Ilkubo summons up a ruined city claiming "this is the future that awaits you"...and it seems like it's a completely different set for several minutes. I wonder: did they make this fight sequence thinking that we were going to have a 26 episode anime and thus this would be the last major battle in Wakabadai until the last battle in the Garden of Light...or was it always meant to be this way? Regardless, this is a great final battle with Ilkubo, just sort of continuing from last time and actually has the great element of even if someone from the Dark Zone gains all 7 Prism Stones, it's still too much for them to hold and thus it will lead to their own potential downfall. It's probably the only way they could defeat someone like Ilkubo and I am happy that this sort of thing happens.

With that said, this is also the episode that the Prism Stones are all reunited and thus the main task is finally completed for the season. And that also means...sigh...Pollun finally shows up. Here's the funny thing: if this was it and there was only this and the last two episodes, then obviously Pollun wouldn't be so bad: sure he's an annoying brat (and gets worse as things go on), but for two+ episodes and as a plot device to get the Cures to the Garden of Light and back, plus with the idea that he's a prince and thus "tied" in a way to the Queen of the Garden of Light (in a royal way, not in a "Hikari" way), then...it would be bareable. I mean he isn't as obnoxious as Mepple...yet...but still I'm looking at it from the perspective of "26 episodes and that's it" Sadly...that's not what happens...and considering it has a device form, it feels like they know more is coming.

(oh and because I have to now with what's starting...even if the next couple episodes are good...73 episodes and 2 movies until Splash Star)

25 (72 until SS): For the most part, this episode is just build-up to the final battle, with the team going to the Garden of Light (and why put grandma Sanae to sleep with what she knows?) and meeting with the Elder...and the CGI drawing/Queen...in order to bring an end to everything (but not). I do like the comedy with the Elder always screwing up the Cure names and the bit where the servants yell at Mepple and Mipple for misusing them. But the Queen...yeesh, why did they basically make her an unmoving CGI statue? It works for the transformation card (even if the Queen thing remains next season) but to make the actual Queen CGI just feels...wrong. (the only funny thing is I just realized her VA will next year start playing Rangiku Matsumoto in Bleach...and it all makes sense in her look...and hair...and...hugeness...though the Queen's hugeness and Matsumoto's hugeness aren't exactly the same...but they're both still huge...respectively...) I'm not sure how the heck Ilkubo survived but I find it funny that at this point he basically looks like the prototype of a Throh...and I thought Oricorio was the only Cure-influenced Pokemon. Oh and I sort of wish Nagisa and Honoka became fairies considering Smile...

26 (71 until SS): And so we reach the end of the series...well OK, the end of the "good" part of the Futari era. (see my new counter) I'm really confused as to how or why Ilkubo returns considering what happens here with him returning, powering up and then being killed but...eh, it is what it is and it feels like he's more obsessed in revenge than the mission now so the Evil King had to get rid of him. As for the final battle and whatnot...if this was the final true battle of the entire series and we got literally nothing else...and I don't just mean the rest of the Futari era but literally no other Cure series ever...I'd be satisfied. The end is really good and they do imply that the Evil King and Queen are connected, plus it's just great to see her in actual animation instead of just a CGI statue like she is most of the time. And amazingly the restoration of the Garden of Light and the farewell to the fairies...only not...is well done and actually strong considering what keeps happening over and over not just this but practically every other season as well. You can really tell the connection between Mepple and Mipple and the two Cures is strong enough that the farewells here actually mean something. My only real complaint...aside Pollun sticking around...is that instead of just one more stupid episode with Ha-chan the God screwing with everyone and nothing being resolved...we get 70 episodes of screwing around. I mean, those three things that flew out of the Evil KIng as he died have to mean something...don't they? (and I'm not knocking on the Dark Seeds because there are cool things about them and the second half of Futari...but...)
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Old June 30th, 2019, 04:43 PM #3697
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I always assumed Chikurun was a boy (mostly due to his appearance, voice, and mannerisms) but I could be wrong. As for pets, I think Hikaru from the current season Star Twinkle owns a dog but we’ve barely seen it as of yet.

Come to think of it, when was the last time a Precure season actually flat out killed off a major antagonist (I know it hasn’t happened since Maho Girls at the very least)?

But yeah, it’s very clear that Toei was not expecting Precure to turn into the huge franchise that it did and it really shows in the next 70 episodes (though there are a still a few good ones scattered about at least).

Regardless, the first 26 episodes of Futari form a cohesive story with a clear beginning, middle, and end and ignoring the fact that they suddenly introduce a bunch of new characters right at the end you easily could have stopped it right there if you wanted to.

It would be interesting to have another character that was born from evil and learns how to be good on their own.

I think the closest we’ve gotten so far is Ruru from Hugtto and to a lesser extent Setsuna from Fresh (though as we see later the citizens of Labyrinth were literally blind to anything that was happening outside their dimension thanks to Moebius’ Orwellian style information control) whereas Siren and Towa were just brainwashed (hell, the latter is basically just one motorcycle short of being a full fledged Kamen Rider).

Last edited by Akiba Black; June 30th, 2019 at 05:05 PM.
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Old June 30th, 2019, 05:33 PM #3698
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Ataruman wrote: View Post

(oh and because I have to now with what's starting...even if the next couple episodes are good...73 episodes and 2 movies until Splash Star)

26 (71 until SS): And so we reach the end of the series...well OK, the end of the "good" part of the Futari era. (see my new counter)
I'm about 18 episodes and one movie away from Splash Star. That counter's a fun gag.

As for the first 26 episodes overall, it was a simple story but I think it worked and caught on based on how grounded in reality it was compared to something like Sailor Moon. There's something about that first half that I think the creative team has never been able to recreate, at least when they're continuing the story of Honoka and Nagisa that is as that's all I can speak for.

The Cures weren't immediately best friends and got along because the plot says so, they had to iron out the kinks and get to know each other as any people who are forced together had to. They're imperfect and real. While you could argue about the amount of focus Honoka gets, I think that both Cures came out of that first half as fleshed out characters. Again compared to Sailor Moon, where the Scouts all instantly sort of get along and mesh. Yeah Usagi and Rei fight but they still care for each other.

Futari's greatest strength is that it didn't place the magical girl aspects before the girls own lives, and they had to grow into their role as heroes. We got to explore both girls' lives and the world they live in. The Cures at the beginning were horrible fighters, but they grew into it. That's something I've never seen in all the magical girl stuff I've watched. They all just seem to know what to do instantly.

Yeah the first half had flaws, but I think there was more good. And then Pollun came in and ruined everything.
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Old June 30th, 2019, 06:36 PM #3699
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Eh, I would argue some of the later seasons handle that aspect just as good if not better than Futari did. Though while they all had their flaws it kind of bugged me that the DokiDoki girls were all special in their own way even before becoming superheroes, which sort of goes against the whole Everyman aspect Precure usually goes for.

Also to be fair, while most seasons have it that at least one Cure was familiar with some of the others (and Nagisa and Honoka technically did know of each other at the start of Futari), they usually aren’t friends and probably wouldn’t even normally hang out with one another had it not been for special circumstances.

The only seasons I can think of where a majority of the team are basically strangers staring out are Hugtto, Maho Girls, KiraKira (sort of) and I think Go Princess.
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Old June 30th, 2019, 07:24 PM #3700
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Ataruman wrote: View Post

When was Pua/Shane a villain? Am I missing something?
Grant, not Pua.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Gurren-Lagann
Well isn't that something, the English voice actors of Lelouch and Suzaku are also the ones of Rossiu and Simon.

Ataruman wrote: View Post

Lelouch Ramparge
Lamperouge. He adopted a French name (roughly, "red lamp") when he went into hiding.

The chess metaphor is quite apt: in one sense, Lelouch is the pawn here, something that takes little notice, but where the difference of one pawn can amplify, especially with the potential to be promoted to a knight, bishop, rook, or queen. But even a single pawn can wreck the position, thwarting the opponent's strategy, just being a pawn. Yet, and more obvious to the story, he's also the chess grandmaster, being able to plan and manipulate and outsmart. The difference being that unlike a chess player, he's in the literal game, and everything around him is at stake as opposed to some simulation.

And so here he is. Accepting the catalyst of a power, one which can be wielded for good or evil, one which the Brittainian military was afraid of (and even managing to provoke an Eleven insurgent attack as they covered up what it really was). There's a lot to be said about Lelouch's and Suzaku's morals, about where the line is drawn and how far they can stray from their ideals. Yet they're friends with an understanding of each other, even a past reliance on each other. The juxtaposition, highlighted at the end of the second episode when the conflict has come about, is interesting: Lelouch is a Brittainian fighting alongside the Elevens to achieve some goal related to his Brittainian lineage, while Suzaku is an Eleven fighting alongside the Brittainian military to try to prove his worth as an Eleven.
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