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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Akibaranger Season 2 Episode 8 Review: We Need a Villain!

For this episode of Akibaranger, Tsuu is continuing his greatness with a new genius plan of making a monster that can imitate past Sentai villain generals! Will Tsuu succeed or can the Akibarangers find a way against all the generals in one monster?
I really want to talk about the MOTW Mutou Mushiten first since even though it is a remodeling of Tentro Raiger, it's still awesome. First he is a Kenma which was the strongest ranking type of villains in Gekiranger. Then his fist is accessing many moves of past villains, but they follow a pattern. All the villains he imitates are by one certain stunt actor. I will cover that next, but going on with Mutou Mushiten. He easily screams Kenma because of his overall gold plating and he has the belt buckle symbol like other Kenma. I will say the red sleeves could have been slimmer, I know it's trying to make his arms look bigger, but cloth is not the best material for that. Also his weapons mostly looked like cosplay weapons as they all had gold on them and they all portray a certain villain. So he is mostly the cosplay monster which is pretty awesome. Now onto the stunt actor he copies, Yoshinori Okamoto!
Akibaranger did an episode heavily focused on a famous stunt actor in season one with Niibori who played a lot of Red warriors in the franchise. Okamoto is the opposite though as he plays the villains that the Reds must overcome. Then for a side note I love both of those episodes, it's great to tribute the stunt actors as they did a whole lot to make these shows great in the action department. Now I haven't seen all of Maskman and some of the other series he was in, but I do know his characters. I love stunt actors a lot and the idea of them as doing things is always much better than CGI. Also these stunts actors got damaged a lot and this episode even briefly mentions that. So again it's great to see Akibaranger give tribute to the stunt actors again, but how was Okamoto portrayed in this episode?
Yoshinori Okamoto was amazing in this episode no doubt about that at all. I really liked his appearance more than Niibori because even though he gave Mitsuki some great teaching we got to see Okamoto's ideology about being villains. He loves to be a strong villain, but his favorite part is to die with beauty. This means dying in battle in a great style making the hero looking stronger. Again this is what I mean about stunt actors being amazing, they put a lot of effort in their roles. Even if you didn't like the character in general you can still give credit to the hard work that was done. There are many amazing stunt actors out there and each one of them want to do their best with any role they got. It could even be the MOTW, but they will still do their best no matter what. It's too bad we didn't get a recent appearance from him in any of the recent Sentai series. He did do stunt work for Akaranger in Gokaiger, but we need another one of his characters.
To make this even better, Okamoto is put in the episode greatly. There is a reason how the MOTW can copy his moves which is because Tsuu had him do some motion capturing for him. Tsuu had him perform his many moves so that his monster can use these moves. This gives us a nice moment for Tsuu as he shows how much of a villain otaku he is. I mean this will be a dream for any Sentai fan to see a stunt actor perform his famous roles once more, but Tsuu loves villains with a passion. So this easily gets ten times bigger for him and now he creates a monster that tributes those moves. Even when the monster died, Tsuu saw it as a beautiful death which is exactly Okamoto does. So not only was this great man given so much love he was put into the plot of this episode very well.
Before the team met him they thought they were tracking down Tsuu. This leads to some nice funny moments as the team try to see who he is. Nobuo tries to last as long as him in a sauna, but he ended up burning up and out of energy. Luna tries to give him a bad message by using a big rock slate and a deck brush, but the man doesn't even feel it. Then Moegi tries by doing the same, but with high heels and stepping on him. So not only can this man perform great stunts, but he has a body that is strong as metal since the sound effects were metal sound effects! Nobuo even tried attacking him thinking he was Tsuu and he got a quick butt whopping from Okamoto. Again it is that nice over the top element in Akibaranger. Then we even got an appearance from Mr. Kamen Rider himself, Seiji Takaiwa who did stunt work for both Sentai and Rider, but too bad this show only knows about Sentai. So Okamoto even had funny moments in this episode, just perfect!
Alright on with the plot of this episode now. In this episode Malshina was not that involved since well she got put into an acrylic box which really looked like how Princess Iaru from Maskman. Also to go along with that moment the Maskman theme was playing since the MOTW pulled off a move done by Oyobur. Along with some more tributes in the final fight as the team use the weakness of the monster's strong desire to die with beauty. They recreate a famous fight from Changeman with Babuu and Change Dragon. This was an awesome moment as they even shown us how they used the sunset effect. Akiba Red was in Super form and he got a fake Changeman shield, his weapon is sort of similar to Changeman's sword, and he even imitated Niibori's moves. There were even camera angles that were used during that fight, too bad it wasn't perfect.
There was one moment that took me out of this awesome moment which was the reveal for the new cannon weapon for the heroes. I mean this comes out of nowhere. They just take out the weapon after a couple of slashes. It would have been better to see Red actually do the finisher with his sword and recreate the finisher from that fight. I'm surprised Red didn't do this since you would think he would love to fully recreate a scene like that since he did that in episode three. Oh well what about the new weapon, it's okay. The Penultimate Cannon is not a better weapon for me because of how obvious it was going to be. I mean the Dairen Bomber weapon so gave it away because it can probably hold something. At least with the Bazooka it had some creativity with the three weapons it had.
Now the final thing to bring up is that we get a little hint about a new character like in the last episode. There was a final scene where we are in a hospital where a weak man is watching Boukenger. I wonder what they are building up to here? Is this man connected to the heroes or to the villain? We can tell he is a Sentai fan since he was watching Boukenger which is one of my favorites. Then what will this man bring to the series I mean he is easily not in any condition for fighting, maybe it's connected to another reason why Tsuu wants to use the delusional world? Oh well this is pretty good build up right now as these scenes are being saved till the end of the episodes as I always wonder what they have to do with the series.
Overall this was an episode I so needed since many of the previous episodes didn't have the greatness that season one had. This episode easily gets there thanks to an amazing tribute to Yoshinori Okamoto as he got a lot of praise in this episode. I mean who cannot forget some of his roles they were pretty awesome. Also it's a much better look into the 80's Sentai since Gokaiger didn't do much of that sadly. I would give this episode an A things could have been perfect except for some odd moments in the episode like Luna's and the new cannon weapon.
Next Time: Machine Itashar's return?

3 comments:

  1. siegfried jurgenJuly 2, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Awesome Review! Although I would like to add you forgot to mention the surprise cameo of Seiji Takaiwa (the main suit actor in the recent Kamen Rider shows as well as being Ninja Red, Time Red and Magired)

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    1. No I just made a huge mistake in the review, for some reason Jiro Okamoto got stuck in my head.

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    2. siegfried jurgenJuly 7, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      No worries! :)

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