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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger Series Review

 You remember Akibaranger a short 13 episode series that parodied the Sentai franchise. I was doing episode reviews for them, but this was around when I graduated from high school so I had a lot of things to do. This is where my delay really started to hit and I just forgot about Akibaranger. So I watched the last couple of episodes straight recently and I'm going to do the series review. So let's talk about the plot of the series. The show focuses on three characters who all have some sort of delusions in their lives. The first character is Nobuo who still loves Super Sentai even at the age of 29. He also has a love for an anime series called Z-cune Aoi. So basically he is a typical Otaku as he works for a delivery service and tries to break his lonely streak. Nobuo constantly has day dreams and this is what interests a woman named Hiroyo as she wants him to be the next Red of a Super Sentai. This is the best news to him ever as he is excited to be part of the Sentai franchise. In a car he meets the upcoming Blue, Mitsuki and she isn't into Sentai like he is. Finally is the Yellow of the team as she is Moegi, a cosplayer. Nobuo then finds out that it's a three team Sentai and there are two female members! Later on they are given their transformation devices which look like Aoi from the popular anime series. There we find Mitsuki's obsession as she loves the series as well. The team then transform and wait they actually transform! All three of them are ecstatic to have this as they even become stronger. Now the team are sent out to find whoever the villains are and soon they find Malshina and the Chief Clerk Shibuya Seitakaawadachisohidenagaaburamushi. The team transform and with Nobuo's knowledge of Super Sentai they defeat the Chief Clerk as Malshina takes her leave. Now the team is ready for more fights, but their fun is soon ruined as they are told everything is a delusion! The warriors of Akiba are simply and the villains are just in their heads, but is there more to this? Either way the team's task is to become official by any means!
Pros- I have seen parodies before and there are a lot of bad ones. For example America makes a lot of bad parody movies that just mock them without context. This series has ton of context and it doesn't bash the Sentai franchise. They just poke at the cliches like when a villain is supposed to be defeated. So this is easily the best parody I have seen as it doesn't bash the original material and has a lot of great jokes. There are even some very good references as some are obvious, but there are very subtle ones as well. Adding to the humor are the characters and the best is Nobuo who is just a lot of fun. His quirky personality and his obsessions make his scenes the funniest and hardcore Sentai fans will love him. Mitsuki is like a newcomer as she doesn't know a lot about Sentai, but she soons starts to like it as well. Moegi is also a big fan of Super Sentai, but she is a creepy fan as she writes fan fiction based on the franchise. The villains are good as well with the Chief Clerks being a some sort of cliche villain. The series also does have the official warriors join in thanks to the delusions and we get Dekared and Boukenred accompanied by their original actors. There was Red Hawk, but he was silent sadly. There is even a tribute to the stunt actors like Kazuo Niibori and seeing that was very nice. That episode also had good jokes about how episodes are made. Now I thought this was going to be a straight nonsense series and it was, but it had a lot more. The show starts to play with an actual story arc! I don't want to spoil it, but it feels like a Showa era Sentai series then. During this everything goes crazy, be prepared for the fourth wall breakers. I mean wow my mind was in a complete boggle when I first saw the last episodes. The action is good, but this is a lower budget series so don't expect too much, but for what it is it delivered perfectly. Writing is also a big part since the jokes are dead on and as I said in the last episodes have the best fourth wall breakers I have seen.
Cons- This is a more mature series, but it still feels somewhat controlled. There are perverted moments, but nothing too bad compared to past Sentai series. I guess compared to today Sentai series it's not good for children, but the perverted nature reminds me of some scenes from the Showa era. As I said before the series is low budget as they can't have many new things as that is a downfall as well. I was also sad about the length of the series, but at least is all flowed correctly. Moegi did got annoying at times with her cosplays, but it's a part of her character so it isn't a big flaw. Finally the last episode is a clip show, but they even make that enjoyable in the end and gives us a tease at a 2nd season.
Episode 2 and Episode 3 are probably the most dangerous episodes for kids
Overall- This is a really funny series that Sentai fans will love. There are very good references and reference jokes, the heroes and villains are enjoyable even without some deep development, it doesn't feel rushed even with only 13 episodes, action is good for what the series can bring, and the writing is top notch. I give this a high recommendation to hardcore Sentai fans and even newcomers as the series isn't too mature. I give this an A and there needs to be a 2nd season!

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