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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Akibaranger Episode 1 Review: The Delusion

We begin the new series with Nobuo doing a cheap cosplay of Deka Red. His boss then smacks him across the head with a clipboard. She starts to rip off the red tape on his pants and the S.P.D logo on his back wondering what it is. Nobuo gets angry and tells her that it's the 28th Super Sentai series Dekaranger and starts to say the word for each letter. His boss gives him the clipboard and he sees that on his delivery run he can meet someone special to him again. He gets over excited and starts to head out as his boss yells at him to not make any detours and to stop daydreaming. He doesn't listen though as he notices something in a store. What was in the store is Great Five from Maskman in a mint box! He starts to head into the store, but he sees an ad for an anime series. He then daydream as the cardboard cut out of the character Aoi starts to talk to him about how her movie is coming out soon. He decides not to go for the Great Five even though he wanted to dedicate his life towards Super Sentai he is also a big fan for Aoi. Nobuo begins to get back on track as a woman is following him by car it seems with a female passenger. Nobuo gets to the targeted destination and meets Sayaka as he starts to daydream again that she is in love with him. He quickly snaps back into reality, but he then notices that the movie for the anime has been announced as he gets excited for it. Sayaka wonders what he was looking at and he tries to hid his love for the show. He soon gets out and starts to think what will happen if Sayaka finds out he is a fan of Sentai and calling anime girls my wife. Yea I think that wouldn't go well with the ladies. He soon sees a purse snatcher though and he saves the day by riding down some stairs with his bike and hitting the villain down on the ground. Nah that didn't happen he was just dreaming again as he did try to go down the stairs, but he fell down. The woman then gets the bike and throws it at the villain as she retrieves the purse by herself. The woman from before gets out of her car then and asks Nobuo to be a part of Akibaranger, but what is that exactly?
After a great opening theme I mean really I finally know some of the lyrics now and they just make me laugh. Well back on track Nobuo is excited that he is going to be a red warrior in a Sentai team. He starts to get too excited and talks about Ranru from Abaranger as she got her powers after stopping a mugging. He thinks he did the same, but the woman in the back says he didn't do anything. The older woman though says that Nobuo as great power that no one else can have. Nobuo then talks about where they will be going over the script if it will be Toei or the Ginza office and when the filming will start. The woman tries to tell him something, but he ignores her and talks to the other girl in the back. Her name is Aoyagi Mitsuki and Nobuo gets over excited because he realizes that she is the blue warrior. He then asks who they are looking for next and he isn't happy to hear the word yellow since his name as Aka in it (his full name is Akagi Nobuo) and Mitsuki as Ao in her name. Nobuo then says that the yellow warriors has to have the "Ki" character and in his 29 years he never met someone like that. Mitsuki is surprised how old he is and then he starts to think about the great Sentai Reds will do as he thinks of Denjired and Jetman. He then notices someone is poking him with a furry stick as he sees a girl cosplaying as a neko neko. She is Akiba Yellow and her name is Moegi Yumeria. Nobuo isn't happy to see her though as a team with females being yellow and blue on one team has never been done before. Moegi is excited to hear this and wants to be like Chisato from Megaranger and Nobuo is impressed to see that she has knowledge of Super Sentai. The woman then tells the three to get in the car before they get caught in the storm, but Nobuo thinks it's an alien invasion, but he gets poured on by the rain.
The woman take the three to a location and Nobuo sees it as their secret base. There place is called the Sentai Cafe Secret Base. The gang enter into the cafe and see two cosplayers as Natsuki (Bouken Yellow) and Houka (Magi Pink) and also many Sentai toys. There is even a statue of Gingaoh from Gingaman as Moegi sees Mandoraboy from Magiranger. There the woman introduces herself and the three think her name is Doctor Professor Hakase, but her name is Hakase Hiroyo and she is not a doctor, but a manager. Nobuo catches on because of the Sentai theme and says he should be called commander. Mitsuki is soon ticked off by all of this and starts to head for the door, but Hiroyo stops her. I guess Mitsuki knows martial arts because Hiroyo says if she really cares about it and shows a newspaper article. By the pictures I think she lost her big match as Nobuo tries to encourage her that she will learn with the him and Moegi. Mitsuki sees that she will not learn anything from this place. Hiroyo says that she should test something out before running away as she shows them their Henshin devices. It's the MMZ-01 and its mostly a figurine of Aoi from the anime series. Both Nobuo and Mitsuki get excited to see it and there the two figure out they are both fans. It's more sad for Nobuo though since he is 29 and still loves Sentai and drools over Aoi. Nobuo sees that the two have something in common though and she tries to brush him off, but he says that they are the same as the two start to bicker for a while. There Hiroyo tells the three to use the Aoi device to transform as the codeword is "Grand Delusion." The three say the two words, pull the trigger as it turns into a gun, and the three are transformed into the Akibarangers!
When they transform they find themselves in a warehouse as Nobuo knows it's a common spot for Sentai teams. The best part though is that they actually transformed and they find out that this isn't fake like the shows. Nobuo is completely excited that he is a real Sentai Red as he screams with excitement and Moegi yells along with him. To test the powers a wrecking ball is sent towards them and Nobuo is happy to see it since he daydreamed about this for a while. He doesn't move either so Mitsuki punches it and with the power she destroys it. Then a much bigger one is tossed at them, but the three use their blasters to destory it. The three are impressed by the powers and Nobuo is glad to be part of the 37th Sentai team, but it doesn't seem like that will happen. The three don't have any official recognition, so for now they are an unofficial Sentai. Nobuo then sees their mission is to protect the Earth and become an official Sentai. Hiroyo then gets the three back into the cafe and there they find out that there is no info on who they are fighting. Hiroyo does know that there is some sort of foe out there, but she doesn't have any details though so the three will have to report if they find anything strange. It is not night time as Nobuo is thinking on how hard it will be to find any villains. Luckily though a girl faints on the ground and it's not that convincing. Nobuo tries to talk to her as it seems her cafe is in danger. Nobuo finds the cafe and gets the other two to tag along as they look at the cafe. Nobuo knows that their foes are in there because of a van with the name Replica Real Estate as it reminds him of the Replica Realms from Magiranger. The three enter into the cafe and see two girls dressed up as Nai and Mea from Magiranger as they try to trick Nobuo, but he grabs the two and suspects them to be a monster since Nai and Mea combined to become a monster. He is right on the dime as well as the villains show themselves.
The three transform into the Akibarangers as they are transported to a snowy hill. There the team do their role calls and strike a pose! Then the usual explosion comes in and scares Mitsuki, but Moegi gets happy as Nobuo tries to keep them in their poses. The villains they give off their names, the leader is called Malshina and the chief as a really long name, just call him Shibuya. She then summons her grunts as the fight begins! Blue goes in first and easily takes out the grunts with ease. Next is Shibuya and they go straight into the finisher, but the grunts block the blow as Shibuya calls them cowards for pulling out their finisher already. Blue wonders if that was unfair and Red starts to call her Blue. She doesn't want to be called that though, but since she transformed that will be her name in battle. Red then begins to say that stopped around Fiveman though and it barely comes up anymore. They take too long with their conversation though as Shibuya attacks the three. Shibuya is too strong for the three as he throws and kicks them around. It seems that the villains could win, but Malshina gets too cold and leaves the rest to Shibuya and when she leaves it's time for a comeback. Since she left the rest to Shibuya it usually means that it's time for the defeat of the monster. Now the three kick Shibuya around this time even though they didn't get any power boost. Nobuo then mentions that in Super Sentai that the consistency of power levels don't exist. The team use the Moe Magnum finisher on Shibuya and they get their first win. Blue thinks everything is over now, but Red mentions that a monster will usually come back as a giant. The team will now have to call their robo, but they don't have one it seems. The three get on top of a cliff and wait for the monster to turn giant, but he never does. The team get back to the cafe where they get praised and Nobuo thinks he has good physical strength. Hiroyo mentions though that doesn't matter since they are in a delusion and everything that happened in the fight was one even the villains are a delusion! The episode ends with Nobuo completey confused on what is going on.
Akibaranger really made a good first impression on me. First I love the comedy, the jokes are very well done. For this episode the jokes were based on the pretty basic parts of the franchise, but there were some really good ones like how power levels don't stay consistent. The series is low budget, but it gives it more appeal. Another funny thing that is funny is how the episode was executed because we know nothing right now. This usually happens in Sentai and the series moves on and gives more knowledge during that time. The characters are enjoyable, but not really any deep characterization yet. Nobuo though got a lot of focus and he is a blast. He is like Gai, but I think he is more of a fan and how he is seen in a world where Sentai is just a show is funny. Since it's a little odd to be a fan of a kids show when your 29 and his obsession with Aoi doesn't help. I think I'm going to be like him, but not with the whole moe thing. The fights were good as I said before it's low on the budget, but this series is supposed to be comedic and the fight did have good comedy elements to it. Overall everything isn't explained which is a usual thing in Super Sentai and the series is already poking fun at big things in the franchise. It's funny and that's the most important thing and the first episode really delivers the comedy element. I give it an A- since the comedy can be straight forward and sometimes subtle.
Next Time: Ban!!


  1. Yep, I actually really enjoyed this show. Of course one should know that when brought on to the real world, Nobuo would look really pathetic and shunned, but hey, it's a show, we can laugh with him, and probably expect character development to kick in. Because, guess who's the writer... yep, Naruhisa Arakawa.

    Also, you kinda forgot to say that Mitsuki isn't such above being Otaku, that she actually LIKES Aoi, despite her filmsy rebuttal that she's only in for the fighting scenes. Overall, despite their premise outside, I think these three has just as much chance to develop like other Sentai heroes.

    So yeah, be lookin' forward to this one.

  2. I know there is going to be development, but the first episodes are simply going to give us the usual character traits like what sentai does mostly. I am really hoping that the series can continue to be funny like this episode.

  3. I really loved the first episode. =D