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.

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Episode 10: "A Kiss for the Dead"

1)Boss Shiranui spent way too long gloating.

 

2)"A singing voice can help more than powerful weapons."  Sure, if you're the Black Canary.

 

3)"Tengu" is a sort of Japanese demon.

 

4)"I'll make sure your death is miserable."  Why, thank you!

 

5)"Good night." Yeah, OK.

 

6)IK beats Gold Fire up with his own hand!

 

7)Nobody dies more entertainingly than tokusatsu villains.

 

8)Zaira-Unicorn - they're going from goofy robots to goofy monsters!

 

9)So, the next set of heels is the Phantom Opposition Party, a.k.a. The Phantom Militia, dressed sort of like Arabs with little Punisher logos, for some reason.

 

10)Ending Scene: Gentaro and Goro get new orders!

 

Overall: So, this is the wrap-up to the first story arc. Kind of a confusing ending, there. You'd think they'd get at least five minutes to enjoy beating the Shiranuis before the next guys showed up!

Five minutes? They changed villains so fast my head was spinning. I had barely voiced my opinion of the SK leader's demise when the new group leader was telling of his world domination plans. I have no idea what is going on now.

I have no idea what is going on now.

Just another day at the office for me, then.

Owing to scheduling changes, I watched another episode this morning:

 

Episode 11: "Tokyo is Burning"

1)The "giant monster as terrorist weapon" idea is an interesting one. From what little I know of Tokyo's geography, the locations they chose would be good ones to paralyze the city.

 

2)She doesn't look like a "Kathleen", somehow.

 

3)Did that jackass just sucker punch a princess?  That's a new low, even for him.

 

4)Do they have to walk back to Tokyo? Couldn't the League of Nations or whoever they work for send a chopper out for them?

 

5)So, the POP locked him up, but didn't take his magic stick away from him?

 

6)And they left the keys in the car?

 

7)Oh, and there's scenes when Z-U is chasing the car that it's obviously a toy.

 

8)IK now has a gravity beam, apparently.

 

9)I call BS on the Iron Belt being able to cut the monster's tail off.

 

10)Ending Scene: Gentaro and Goro run away together!

 

Overall: An OK start-up to the new story arc. I don't blame the princess for trying to run away from these two jokers.

Episode #10:

Boss Shiranui spent way too long gloating…

He used the word “shimata” again, this time translated as “Rats!” rather than “Darn!” (Who does he think he is? Charlie Brown?)

So, the next set of heels is the Phantom Opposition Party, a.k.a. The Phantom Militia, dressed sort of like Arabs with little Punisher logos, for some reason.

Five minutes? They changed villains so fast my head was spinning.

“People come and go so quickly here!”

I have no idea what is going on now.

Yeah, but you’re loving it!

Tracy and I watched “The Monkees” on DVD a while ago, and in one of the ad-lib interviews sections, Mickey Dolenz explained how he made his pancho out of a tablecloth by cutting a hole in the middle. Gentaro’s reminds me of that.

Episode 11:

"Tokyo is Burning"

How to achieve a special effect on a shoe-string budget, tip #27: set off an explosion in from of a photograph of downtown Tokyo.

She doesn't look like a "Kathleen", somehow.

I wonder what (mythical) country she’s a princess of? They could have at least named it.

Did that jackass just sucker punch a princess? That's a new low, even for him.

He did. It is.

IK now has a gravity beam, apparently.

Sure, why not.

I call BS on the Iron Belt being able to cut the monster's tail off.

Wait’ll you see episode #12. :) Still, being crushed by the tail of one’s own giant monster is irony writ large.

I accept evolution as a scientific fact, but Z-Unicorn makes a strong case for “intelligent design.” I mean, there’s just no way it could have evolved naturally!

Apparently Gentaro has a second Iron Belt when the need writer’s fiat arises, because the princess was tied (tied!) with one when she was captured, yet he had another when he set off in pursuit. Perhaps scene-to-scene continuity is too much to expect from this type of show…?

I love it when tires squeal on dirt roads.

We watched two episodes last night to accommodate your schedule, so I’m ready for the next episode whenever you are.

Oh. I probably won't get to watch another episode until tomorrow morning.

 

I'm pretty sure Gentaro said Z-U was a robot, although he could've just been blowing smoke.  Perhaps it's a cyborg.

 

I'm getting ahead of myself, but I had to google that one.  Based on the name, I was expecting something out of My Little Pony.

Um ... not so much.

Yes, Gentaro did say later in the episode that Z-U was a robot, but I’m thinking it must be a genetically engineered cyborg of some sort. And as I said above, wait until you see the monster from episode #12… and tell me if, when you were a kid, that wouldn’t have been the coolest toy ever.

I’m really enjoying the new direction… although I continue to root for the “bad guys” because Gentaro is such a d*ick.

Episode 12: "State of Emergency in Tokyo"

1)"Featuring the Monster Robot Tonga Zaurus", essentially a giant brontosaurus.

 

2)"Professor Flasher"  - sounds like an X-rated Silver Age Atom villain.

 

3)The"bronto tank" is sufficiently goofy.

 

4)"He's enjoying bowling now."

 

5)The fight scene between Gentaro and the POP in the club looked for a minute like it was going to breakout into a dance number.

 

6)"If you love him, follow him no matter what he does."  Maybe you don't want to take advice from a man who's left a trail of dead women behind him.

 

7)"You just like battles." She's got you there, Gentaro.

 

8)"Suicide Note" - Do people actually title them that way? Well, maybe they do in Japan.

 

9)"I can't put up with suicide."  Yes, it's just not on, you know.

 

10)"Is golf that much fun?"  Compared to hanging out with you?

 

11)I keep waiting for IK to step on the bronto tank.

 

12)The bit with IK literally running circles around T-Z caused the goofy-meter to blow up.

 

13)Is that going to be the motif for this story arc - killing them with pieces of their own monsters?

 

14)Ending Scene: Reiko follows Gentaro and Goro.

 

Overall: Well, that was fairly amusing. Tonga Zaurus was fun critter.

 

 

Episode 13: "Attacking the Underground Fortress"

1)You know, watching Episode 12, I wondered if something was still up with Tonga-Zaurus when its head moved at the end. that said, I did not expect the whole "head and body moving spearately" business we got in this episode. This is weird, even for a tokusatsu.

 

2)"Reiko, I actually love you!" Were you faking it up to now?

 

3)Goro's pretty quick to smack a prisoner around.

 

4)Alright, where did he get the diving gear from?

 

5)"Gentaro, are you alright?"  No, you idiot, he's just been stabbed.

 

Overall: An OK episode. Tonga-Zaurus is my favorite critter in this up to now. The "every woman falls for Gentaro" bit is getting a bit old.

 

 

Episode 13: "Secret of the Brainwave Robot"

1)"Featuring the Monster Robot Jurass Don", which looks a bit like someone mated Anguirus with a chihuahua. It breathes fire, flings lethal playing cards, and can grow a second head that breathes a freezing mist.

 

2)The "panda-tracer" is an amusing idea.

 

3)Goro has parents. So, he's not a construct, after all.

 

4)"This might be the last evening you both have heads and all four limbs."  Well, that's true for all of us, really.

 

5)And, he shot himself!  You see so few sucides in American kids' TV.

 

6)Ending Scene: Gentaro fences with Ken!

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