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Friday, May 24, 2013

Akibaranger Season 2 Episode 4 Review: Relive the Moe!

After the amazing Dairanger episode from Akibaranger it seems we take a little side path for the anime character Aoi. What will the Shogun do to the precious Aoi-tan?
As I said before this episode takes a look into the anime fanbase and not the Toku one which is fine, because the show is about otakus in general. Anime is still around and the fanbases for these series can be big and yet creepy at many times. In episode 2 we saw a couple of pervs get nosebleeds from an Aoi-tan sex anime so yea I am expecting more jokes with the anime fanbase. So this time the world of delusions start to affect the character Aoi-tan and the movies regarding the character. Her loving image is changed to a horror like character as there are images with blood over her face and even some where she has pitch black eyes. Also I can't forget about that evil smile. The reason this becomes the plot point is because Malshina notices how the team loves anime and Sentai so she wants to see what's happens when one of their things are ruined. It's a good plan, but if she remembered from the last episode our heroes will try to save their favorite characters.
There is then another interesting plot point in the series since we finally find out what Moegi was up to when she was gone. She got married..... EH?! It seems like everyone except Nobuo knew about this and there is a great reason for that. When Nobuo hears of this he was thinking of how the wedding would happen. He wanted to appear as the villain and kidnap the bride in a Sentai manor and have the groom defeat him and save his wife. That is exactly why they didn't want him at the wedding because Moegi had to forget about her otaku ways for this marriage mostly because of her mother in-law. This doesn't mean that Moegi hasn't given up on her otaku ways since she starts dressing up in her crazy outfits when she first came back. Sadly the team get stuck in a pinch since Blue isn't around and the villains bring a big challenge this time so they need to get Moegi's rottenness to the maximum!
For the villains the monster for this episode is a Sun Vulcan monster. It's a Monger with a big tablet on his face and it looks great. The suit design for this monster really shows some cartoon aspects on it which was very apparent with the Monger's designs. They were pretty wacky with their designs so seeing a Monger with a tablet just smacked on his face fits the theme greatly since some Mongers had this design. I remember one just had a camera head. Well to be exact it's a smart phone not a tablet, but it really just look like a tablet on his face. It's weapon is mostly a rod, but it has a giant ear piece on the top. It's powers then were well using the smart phone on his face as he shown fake comments on the Aoi-tan movie where fans were not happy. He even forces these inside their heads by using a beam that projected his image in their heads. My goodness was this monster goofy and it's just perfect for the Monger designs.
Thanks to the new Monger he ruined Aoi's image as her anime even starts to fall down. This causes not only changes for her image, but trouble for Hakase since she was the voice actress for her. Hakase gets completely in the red as her cafe is rundown with no lights and many broken items. The whole scene even puts a Sepia effect to showcase how poor she got and it wasn't really needed. I guess they didn't want to make the walls look crumbled so they did that effect. Also even Hakase's clothes become worn out and her hair becomes a complete mess. Then while our heroes try to get more power she does still tries to get Luna back on the team. 
Another interesting part for the villains is Malshina once again as she discovers that she can use a new power. This is because she carries a black Aoi-tan which is called the Moyamoya (to feel sad) Zukyuun. Then she discovers that she can use it to transform thanks to Nobuo clearly blasting it out. She didn't know that she could use it for that reason way to go Nobuo. Now Malshina can transform into a skimpier suit and boy it's obvious they are doing some more "mature" themes. When she transforms it's like Sailor Moon, but this time Malshina has to cover herself up. The suit keeps her black latex, adds more fishnet clothing to her, and a big helmet over her head. It looks fine, but the only problem is that it's so obvious when they have the stunt actor in the scenes. They are using skin tone clothing for the stunt actor and it's very easy to see, the only times we know it's the real actress is when it's really up close. One part I do like though is the helmet cause it has a latex mask over her mouth and when opens the helmet off she has to pull it down and open the helmet then. It gives a more natural feel for the helmet which is a very nice touch. So now Malshina can even fight back with more power, but we all know the delusions that our heroes have will triumph!
To counter the new delusion warrior and without Luna around, the team needs Moegi is get a full power boost through her rottenness. She goes to her new home which is huge! Also Nobuo accompanies her as a fake butler. Moegi has to write a new BL doujin so that she can have an increase in power and even though Moegi has to dress more normally and live in a rich and classy environment she is still Moegi. She hides her wigs, manga, and her drawing table in her room as she will finish the doujin quickly. During this Nobuo has to help her since her mother in-law comes around many times. The first time she comes is when she wants help with the computer and when Nobuo looks around in it he finds many sites that lead to unquestionable things. The best part though is when Moegi has Nobuo tied up in rope and being hung upside down so that she can get some ideas. Nobuo even goes for the role as he keeps talking about how tight the ropes are. Sadly, Moegi forgot the most important thing, the window! She left the blinds open as the mother in-law clearly sees her drawing and writing the doujin. These scenes were pretty nice since it's always fun to see our otakus interact and we get to see Nobuo in another interesting part.
Moegi soon completes the doujin, but it's not anything that we were expecting. It's actually for Nobuo as she makes a Aoi-tan doujin. After reading it Nobuo gets powered up and then the team hear about the Smart Phone Monger attacking people. So wait were they deluding that they saw a news coverage of him or was he in the actual world? Oh well the team get into action and then all of a sudden Luna appears as Blue again. Yea she comes back for some reason. I guess Hakase did something to convince her as there wasn't an explanation, but I guess the next episode will explain why. We didn't see much of Luna for this episode as she got one scene outside of the action which she was just doing a video so that she could post online. She even got a call from her manager. I would say Hakase probably did some convincing with the manger since he seems to have Luna on a chain. Still Luna was still cheerful in the fight and her intro for the second fight was great she just runs past the villains and heads to the two heroes.
The first action scene was with the two otakus having a field day knowing that they are fighting a Monger so they pull of some nostalgic attacks! The Sun Vulcan theme plays for a little while as the two pull of their moves. What's great is how well they were doing and then when they were singing a new song it mentions having three is better than two. This make them realize that Blue was not around and then they start to lose. they get bashed around and then Malshina appears with her new powers. As I said before you can clearly know when it's the stunt actor, but at least the fight choreography still keeps her moves. Malshina keeps to grabbing other people's breast and throwing them around when she gets that grab. She has a slash move as well and she has the same finisher as the team with their guns, but with a different name of course. I loved the first fight cause of how of the transition between our heroes winning and loosing came with great humor and timing. There was one more reveal though as it's time to go SUPER!
Thanks to Moegi's new doujin this gives Nobuo a new power. This leads to a scene where we actually see the pages of the book and I love this style of animation! The manga animation looked really good and I love how Nobuo and Aoi are the main characters. It created some nice humor and showcased the strong passion he has for her. Then we cut to an anime moment where color and movement appear in this scene. Nobuo gets a kiss from Aoi as this pumps him so much that he creates an upgrade for himself and there was heavy opera music playing at that moment! It summons a new Aoi device as he uses it to transform into Super Akiba Red! Aoi appears and forms around his body and I love that style since it really does make it look like someone is holding onto him. What's funny though that this armor of his doesn't actually protect him since he doesn't want Aoi to get hurt. So he lets himself get hurt more, but that passion just makes him more strong since he has to protect his waifu! He even gets a new finisher which is mostly two slashes, but there are some nice additions to it. The Aoi part of his armor glows and then after the two slashes he sends a fire slash thanks to scratching the blade on his hair part of the armor. First the delivery was amazing thanks to the manga and anime scenes and seeing Nobuo finally get his waifu is great. I love the look on the armor a whole lot and the new weapon is simple, but again it's the delivery that really made this form awesome.
So our heroes win the day thanks to the new power that Nobuo as required and when he brings Aoi back to life it saves her image in the real world as well. Sadly the mother in-law saw the two when they were in a delusion so it just looked like shadow fighting. The mother though reveals something about herself, she is an otaku as well and she was even an anime singer. This leads to an amazing ending theme moment, if you couldn't tell the mother is played by Mitsuko Horie who sang for the opening theme of Ninja Captor. In the Akibaranger world though it was an anime series called Ninja Captain. The ending theme is a different version of the song, but it's still awesome to see a Ninja Captor reference in Akibaranger. Again for those who don't know Ninja Captor was actually apart of the Sentai franchise for a moment (Toei called them the second series), but they were removed because a different staff made the series. So in ways they were the unofficial Sentai before Akibaranger. There was even some other references like one to Shotaro Ishinomori who started the Sentai franchise. I loved the ending so much and the Ninja Captor song is really catchy, whoops I mean Ninja Captain.
This was another great episode, but there are little flaws. I was wishing that Moegi's husband would become a character on the show since this makes the marriage angle of the episode just seem like nothing. I mean they could have just had someone else in her family tie Moegi down of her otaku rights. Then Luna coming back for no reason was odd, but I have a feeling it will be brought up later, hopefully. Also there was enough information to have us think what the reason was. Other than that though there were great references and this episode really packed a lot with so much energy! I give this episode an A-
Next Time: In America!

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