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.
Episode 04: "Gentaro Travels Alone"
1)"Featuring Devil Tiger" - a fire-breathing robot.
2)Gentaro's whip actually seems to hurt DT!
3)There are shots where it is obviously a toy boat circling DT. Also, this seems to make the robot dizzy!
4)Goro can sew.
5)Didn't need to hear Goro's "The last time I wet myself" story.
6)"The tenth shadow of the Shiranui Clan" - so, she is a Shiranui. But I have a feeling we haven't seen all of her secrets yet.
7)"Crap! You animal! Gorilla! Chimpanzee!"
8)So Gentaro just lets the boat crash?
9)Why didn't the Shiranui just mow Gentaro down from ambush?
10)Suddenly, they start getitng all "arty" with the robot battle.
11)DT's "silent laughter" is both goofy and creepy.
12)Maybe robots that explode when their remotes are destroyed wasn't such a good idea.
13)Ending scene: Gentaro throws a rock into the water!
Overall: I'm still enjoying this, but, boy, I sure wouldn't want to hang out with these people.
"Featuring Devil Tiger" - a fire-breathing robot.
…a pot-bellied spikey robot. Seriously, with that gut and helmet, DT looks like a biker.
Also, this seems to make the robot dizzy!
I think that was Gentaro’s strategy.
Didn't need to hear Goro's "The last time I wet myself" story.
It’s not often bedwetting is discussed on American TV.
"The tenth shadow of the Shiranui Clan" - so, she is a Shiranui. But I have a feeling we haven't seen all of her secrets yet.
Yes, I’m thinking she might be a defector. Regarding the Shiranui’s Clan’s seeming ineffectiveness for the past 2000 years, I think the theme song lyrics might hold a clue: “From the bottom of hell come alive again devils incarnate.” Back to Yukiko, how come she carries the guitar, but Gentaro is the one who always plays it? If he’s a “singing cowboy” let him get his own damn guitar!
So Gentaro just lets the boat crash?
DT's "silent laughter" is both goofy and creepy.
Yeah, that was… yeah.
Several weeks ago, Tracy asked me for a curse word to use at work which a client who overheard would not know. I suggested “shimatta,” which was used in last night’s episode and translated as “drat.” (See Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice for the definition I use.)
Yesterday after I got home from work, I looked out my back door and imagined a giant monster rising up from behind the row of houses across the way.
I still got it.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
Also, this seems to make the robot dizzy!
I think that was Gentaro’s strategy.
I agree, but it just seems odd to me that a robot could be made dizzy.
Episode 05: "The Duel in the Autumn Wind"
1)"Featuring the Bullet Robot: Monster Zorro!" Not sure why it's the "Bullet Robot" - it looks more like a big spiked ball, sort of a militarized version of Tik-Tok of Oz. Fairly goofy-looking. Also, it's not particularly reminiscent of Zorro, either.
2)"You cowards! I'm naked here!"
3)Wow, Gentaro really slaps Yukiko around! Even if she is a heel, that's wrong!
4)"You're the first woman to hold me since my mother!" I'm not surprised.
5)Ending scene: Gentaro strides away.
6)Goro and Yukiko seem to be playing rock-paper-scissors during the closing credits.
Overall: Gentaro is really unlikable in this - I'm starting to wonder if we shouldn't try to find out what the Shiranui's agenda would be if they did take over. Maybe they'd be more reasonable.
Episode 06: "Lullaby for a Warrior"
1)"Featuring the Shooting Robot, Black Knight, and the Bombing Robot, Bronze Demon". Bronze Demon looks as though it's throwing explosive oranges.
2)I can't help thinking how quickly Godzilla or Gamera would demolish these robots.
3)I'll leave it to Tracy to comment on Gentaro's horsemanship, since anyone who can ride a horse five yards without falling off seems impressive to me.
4)The exploding horse trick!
5)"Don't go! I love you!" What. It's not that "the bad girl falls for the hero" isn't an ancient, accepted dramatic twist. It is. But Gentaro is so unlikeable! I feel bad that she died for this churlish idiot.
6)"The Shiranui have kept themselves going by hating the Yamato race." "Shiranui" apparently means "unknown fire" and is a sort of "ghost light" known in Japan.
7)Iron King isn't really all that effective of a hero.
8)Next: "Our god of curses..Monster Bird!"
9)Ending Scene: Gentaro sings at Yukiko's grave.
Overall: Interesting. I expect some kind of a turning point in the next episode or two, since we seem to have gone through most of the Shiranui already.
Episode 07: "Those That Fly the Skies"
!)"Featuring the Jet Robot, Monster Bird!"
2)I think this is the first time we see IK fly.
3)Explain that to your insurance company, Kazuko!
4)"I have to save the multitiudes. I can't bother with one or two."
5)"Fool! You know that I need water when I've been active!" OK, Gentaro's officially a moron. On the other hand, why doesn't Goro just tell Gentaro that he's Iron King?
6)How does Gentaro get the Iron Belt back after he drops to the ground?
7)"Beyond the Bon Festival, nursing is so hard." The Bon Festival occurs in late summer. It's sort of the Japanese Day of the Dead.
8)Now Goro gets all slappy!
9)Where did Kazuko get another plane?
10)I'm pretty sure Gentaro shouldn'tve been able to jump down onto the robot like that.
11)I also call BS on him getting back to her plane.
12)Next: Silver Rider!
13)Ending Scene: Our heroes say goodbye to Kazuko.
Overall: An OK episode.
Episode #5: See? I told you every show of this type must have a giant, rolly ball-thing! What I don’t get is how the Japanese tourists attracted to the site could have thought, even for a moment, that it was a meteorite. I had bolts, for God[zilla]’s sake!
Tracy and I made the exact same comparison to Tik-Tok of Oz.
Wow, Gentaro really slaps Yukiko around! Even if she is a heel, that's wrong!
That took us aback, too. And it’s not so much that he struck her once. He lays into her, takes a break, then lays into her again! The “is she really a traitor?” angle had become my favorite aspect of the show. At least she lost her pigtails.
"You're the first woman to hold me since my mother!" I'm not surprised.
That’s funnier than what I was going to say.
Gentaro is really unlikable in this.
Tracy and I have come to the conclusion that, quite simply, Gentaro is a d*ck. He’s a d*ck to his (not surprisingly) only friend, he’s a d*ck to the girl who travels with them, he’s just an all-around d*ck.
"Don't go! I love you!" What. It's not that "the bad girl falls for the hero" isn't an ancient, accepted dramatic twist. It is. But Gentaro is so unlikeable! I feel bad that she died for this churlish idiot.
Their relationship is… “complicated.” Some women are simply attracked to “bad boys” and that’s all there is to it.
I knew using the horse as a mine-field tester wouldn’t set well with Tracy.
Iron King isn't really all that effective of a hero.
Considering the human he’s based on are you really surprised?
"Fool! You know that I need water when I've been active!" OK, Gentaro's officially a moron. On the other hand, why doesn't Goro just tell Gentaro that he's Iron King?
Does Gentaro still not know? Tracy and I couldn’t decide.
Where did Kazuko get another plane?
My question is why did Gentaro force her to come along with him? He could have just let the plane crash when he jumped out, as he did with the boat. Earlier, he jumps aboard Kazuko’s plane, then forces her to let him fly it. Excuse me!? If the point of the show was Gentaro learning to become a hero his actions would be more palatable, but I’d don’t think that’s the character arc this series describes. He’s just a d*ck.
I would like a recording of Gentaro’s renditions of Japanese folk songs. (“Now, on two compact discs!”)
I gather Ishibashi was something of a pop star back in the day.
Episode 08: "The Shadow Area"
1)"Featuring the Tank Robot, Silver Rider" - which looks a bit like a Scyther on wheels.
2)"I dislike you guys very much."
3)"Today we will surely kill Gentaro Shizuka." You keep saying that, but it doesn't happen!
4)Gentaro plays the piano, too!
5)IK apparently has some kind of a ranged weapon.
6)Mouse tanks? Seriously?
7)Next Time: Gold Fire!
8)Ending Scene: Our heroes prepare for the final battle!
Overall: An OK episode, the story of the brother and sister was nice.
Cramming to catch up in the next couple of days.