Another tokusatsu. Blame Jeff Pl.
Episode 01: "Secret Messenger of the Morning Wind"
1)The opening and closing themes are OK, but not particularly distinctive.
2)Our hero is Gentaro Shizuka, a "laughing daredevil" type. A skilled fighter, he is capable of Ken Kurenai style "improbable leaps". He's got a magic stick that seems to serve many of the same functions as Daredevil's billy-club. Also, he sings and plays other people's guitars. I suspect that I am going to have fun not liking him.
3)His sidekick is Goro Kishima, sent by Professor Tsushima to help Ken Gentaro. He is vaguely Gilliganesque. In times of trouble, he uses IRON SHOCK! to transform into...
4)Iron King, a giant Ultraman knock-off. Gentaro recognizes IK and says "But I wonder when Professor Tsushima completed Iron King...", which implies that IK (and also Goro?) is an artificial being. IK has an analogue to Ultraman's "color-timer" - a flashing light that indicates when his water level is low. This is important because "Iron King loses his ability to fight when he loses his bodily water." This gives him a limited time to fight, and also mean that Goro is thirsty all the time, a clue which any five year old could pick up on, but which will no doubt come as a huge shock to Gentaro when he discovers it around Episode 25. So far, IK's special moves include IRON KICK!
5)Whilst wandering in the forest, they encounter Yukiko Takamura, who is vaguely reminiscent of Miss Land O' Lakes. I'm guessing that she's either a potential love interest for Gentaro, or a shady character.
6)The chief enemies are the Shrianui Clan, who have bene plotting to conquer Japan for 2,000 years, which seems like an awful long time to have not apparently achieved all that much. There seems to be about ten of them, and they don't fight alot better then the Gargoyles or Mecha-Robos did. How they expect to conquer Japan is beyond me. They do have giant robots, which they appear to be conveniently sending out one at a time. They're not very distinctive-looking. The one is this episode is Vacu-mirah the Vacuum Robot, whose power is that it both sucks and blows, to steal a line from Bart Simpson. It is controlled by a Mecha-Robo Shiranui posing as Evil Grandma. It battles IK inconclusively, and is blown up when Gentaro hits it with its own control badge, which seems a bit of a design flaw.
7)Fun quote: "Impudently, the National Security forces have discovered us." Yeah, how dare the National Security forces discover a threat to national security!
8)Next Time: Gyro-gesu the Slicing Robot!
9)Ending scene: Gentaro laughs like the hopeless fool that he is!
Overall: So far, so good. This shows promise to be mildly amusing.
I wonder if these fast transitions were an attempt to keep the kiddies watching. Perhaps the thought was that the end of a story arc might be too tempting of a "jumping-off" point, otherwise.
Episode 20: "The Titanians Strike Back"
1)Featuring Kabutoron again.
2)"You brought enough for us, Tenko?" Did she also bring enough gum for everyone, too?
3)"Goro, what are you doing eating an icicle in this cold?" Why doesn't Goro just take to carrying a larger canteen around with him?
4)"Hey, it's a peasants' uprising!" Yeah, OK.
6)"Rider Kick!" I wodnmer if that's a Kamen Rider joke?
7)Did he just punch him in the groin?
8)No way do those balloons lift Kabutoron.
9)If IK,had that energy beam, why didn't he use it sooner?
10)"Number 3, make another attempt to conquer Earth." Kid of a pretty vague instruction, there.
Overall: An OK episode. It seems that now that they have a "big sister" character to play off of, Goro and Gentaro are more immature than ever.
"Featuring the Space Bug Monster Kabutoron" - sort of a chubby beetle that spits balloon bombs.
…or a penguin barfing pomegranate seeds. You might say Kabutron “screwed” IK.
"Iron King my ass! Time for Plan B!"
Definitely my favorite line of the episode. I may adopt it as my personal motto.
Noriko Fujimoro - looks like she's going to be their foil for the final story arc.
Foil or babysitter?
No way do those balloons lift Kabutoron.
I haven’t thought of that song “99 Luftbaloons” by Nena in years decades.
It seems that now that they have a "big sister" character to play off of, Goro and Gentaro are more immature than ever.
I believe this episode marks the series’ first fart joke.
All the cops in this episode remind me of Pete and Dim from Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange.
When the Doctor was introduced, I thought hoped we’d finally get some backstory as to the creation of IK, the choice of Goro, etc.
That two-against-one battle went on for far too long.
Tracy observed that the kids in this episode could have used Inspector Bicycle because no one believed them. am I the only one who thinks letting the kids string together highly explosive balloon-bombs was a bad idea?
Episode 21: "Kama Gurus Wants Lethal Gas!"
1)Kama Gurus is a giant mantis that shoots Silly String out of its belly button. The name is similar to that of Toho's giant mantis, Kamacurus, although both names are probably derived from kamakiri, the Japanese word for "mantis".
2)"Don't stare at me like that, you idiot!" Goro finally finds someone to talk to on his own level.
3)"They might appear elsewhere, so let's watch TV."
4)"You fool, there is no word 'unfair' in Titanian." Well, considering the whole language seems to consist of "Titanian!"
Overall: An OK episode.
Kama Gurus is a giant mantis that shoots Silly String out of its belly button.
The name is similar to that of Toho's giant mantis, Kamacurus…
…and the “silly string” similar to Mothra.
…although both names are probably derived from kamakiri, the Japanese word for "mantis".
Gentaro took a risk burning the webbing off his body. What if it had been petroleum-based and highly incendiary?
For some reason, this episode’s fight scene reminded me of a Monkees vidio (or “romp” as they referred to them then).
I was also wondering what Doctor would mesh well in a crossover with this show? The Third, I think. Maybe this is what’s going on in Japan while the Doctor is stuck at UNIT HQ.
Well, it's about the right time frame for the UNIT stories.
Episode 22: "Terrifying Titanian Hell"
1)"Featuring the Space Monster Kiri Goron" - a sort fo gas-breathing cricket.
2)"I am very lucky." No, you aren't.
3)"You know what I look like." So what?
4)"You'll make a good wife!" "Idiot!" Comedic banter!
Overall: An OK episode. I'm starting to ge the feeling that the Titanians aren't exactly the "A-Team" here. They're more like some screw-ups who were sent off to Earth as "busy-work".
“Wow, use a breath mint, pal!”
The ice cream cone to the face continues to endear the increasingly immature Gentaro and Goro to us.
I had looked away briefly when Gentaro got himself trapped between those rocks, so I wasn’t quite certain what Kiri Goron was up to. It looked as if he was “getting friendly.”
"You'll make a good wife!" "Idiot!"
Tracy asked if she was a good wife even though she has never thrown me a grenade.
Actually, I think it was a gas mask.
Right, right. I wasn't paying the closest attention to that scene, either. When I read "You'll make a good wife!" I thought it was Tenko speaking to Gentaro (which would have been funny).
I'm going to be off the board for the next few days, but I was really looking forward to "The Insect Humanoid Masquerades as a Woman." That title reminds me of Jack Kirby's Insect Queen from Captain Victory ("Where the men look like women and the women look like bugs" according to my wife).
Episode 23: "The Insect Humanoid Masquerades as a Woman"
1)"Featuring the Space Bug MOnster Kangarole" - a sort of chicken/bug that breathes fire and shoots acid out of its antennae.
2)And Goro and Gentaro are dancing with each other...
3)"We can't just start torturing her, can we?" Don't give him any ideas.
4)"Any human woman would show a reaction when I say I like her." Well, that's true, but probably not the way he thinks.
5)Suddenly, this show becomes Charles in Charge.
6)Gentaro catching Junko when she's dropped seems a tad unlikely - surely she'd've gone all Gwen Stacy?
7)IK has fire extinguishers in his fingrs?
8)"Unfortunately, it takes both of us to complete each other." Ohhhhh-kayyyyy.
9)Ending: The world famous "Was she waving or not?" scene.
Overall: A pretty good episode, though the critter's a bit of a let-down.