Apologies About the Lack of Updates

Sorry about the lack of posts in recent days. I have some important things going on right now, and it might be a bit before I (semi)regularly update again. I am planning on continuing the “Smile Precure vs. the World” thing, and after that talking about a certain time-travelling sci-fi show that I have a rather complex relationship with. Until then, though, I have to figure some things out and also deal with the pesky thing known as real life. Sorry again.

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Top 30 Hayakawa Showdowns

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My favorite television show of all time is Kaiketsu Zubat. I love the atmosphere, the setting, and the style, but what’s most impressive to me is how it can be so many things at once. It’s funny, but also dead serious. The hero, Ken Hayakawa, is kind of an egomaniac, but he has a heart of gold. The villains were always garishly dressed and over the top, but many of the evil acts they did could feasibly be done by actual sociopaths. which made them genuinely horrifying. It was a show that could channel Adam West’s Batman and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, often at the same time. Overall, it’s an unforgettable experience that stays with most people who have seen it, which unfortunately is not as many as it should be.

One of the hallmarks of the show was that in every episode, at some point a group of foot soldiers from the Consortium of Evil, Dakkar, would be harassing some innocent bystander(s) (who were women or children disturbingly often), only to be interrupted by Hayakawa strumming his guitar and making his entrance by way of the coolest looking shot possible given the setting. He would then proceed to beat everyone up before meeting up with the current evil organization’s hired goon, an assassin renowned for a particular skill. Hayakawa would then claim that this person is only the second best in Japan at his specialty, and point at himself when inquired who was the best. What followed was usually the highlight of any given episode, the Hayakawa showdown: the challenger would attempt to show Hayakawa that he was indeed the best in Japan at his skill, only for Hayakawa to prove him dead wrong.

These were the scenes that showcased the great Hiroshi Miyauchi’s talents the most. If it were anyone else playing Ken Hayakawa, he would have come off as smug and condescending. But with Miyauchi in the role, Hayakawa was given a roguish charm that lent a massive heroic quality to Hayakawa’s bragging. When he claimed he was best in Japan, you knew you were in safe hands, and that he would never allow an innocent to be hurt under his watch. Hell, Ken Hayakawa made my list of fictional heroes way back when, a list that is in sore need of an update.

In total there were 32 episodes of Zubat, and with the exception of the last 2, every one featured a Hayakawa showdown. And to honor this wonderful show, I am counting down my personal ranking of all of them. Be warned, though. The descriptions alone will blow your mind with awesomeness. The only way to top the rush you feel will be to watch the show itself, which you can do by visiting the wonderful folks at Millionfold Curiosity. Thank you guys for all your hard work!

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The Samurai Persistence Monopoly

shinkenger14-titleThis episode of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger begins with Ryunoske Ikenami trying to help out with the chores around the temple, to no avail as the Kuroko insist on doing the menial work themselves. However, in the middle of one of Ryunosuke’s tougher fights trying to wrest the broom from the Kuroko’s hands, a stranger vists.shinkenger14-1
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Smile Precure vs. the World: Deceased Parent Edition

smile-titlePretty Cure is a franchise that is infamous for reusing certain plot elements. And of all its more than 10 seasons, the worst offender is Smile Pretty Cure. But is it fair to call the episodes of Smile that reused previous episode plots lazy or repetitive? Did the soft reboot episodes do anything different with what was previously done with the same concepts? Are rhetorical questions annoying?

I’m going to be taking a look at episodes of Smile Pretty Cure that are essentially remakes of episodes of older seasons, and comparing them to see what they did differently, what makes them distinct, and then giving a half-assed and arbitrary opinion about which one is better. Be prepared, because we’re in for a ride. Welcome, my friends, to “Smile Precure vs. the World”. Why is it called that? Because 1) it’s a catchy title, and 2) “Smile Precure” has the same initials as “Scott Pilgrim”. Now let’s get started!

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Karate Girl (2011) Recap

karategirltitleIt is amazing the kinds of things one can discover on the Recommended Videos section of YouTube. For every Let’s Play episode, pop song parody, or pointless list fulfilling a very specific niche, there are genuine gems you would have never discovered in a million years otherwise. For me, one day I was busy scrolling through (which means that I was probably supposed to be doing homework) when suddenly:

Holy shit! I knew the second it was over that I had to watch the whole movie, because miracles like this are destined to be blogged about by losers on the internet. Read More

PGSM: The “Special” Act

Hello, readers! I’ve been pretty out of it for the summer, mostly because the last few recaps have burned me out, and left me feeling kinda empty, like there was something missing. I don’t think they’re bad or anything, but they seemed to lack a certain spark that I see more when I read over my older stuff. Basically, the way I was writing most recently felt more like an office task, with me trying to insert certain things in certain places, regardless of whether or not it really worked, and in the end the whole process started to feel mechanical. As such, I took the last few weeks to clear my head a bit and relax.

So after quite a few weeks of inactivity, I’m back, trying to go back to the more free-flowing form of my earlier entries. I will definitely need a few posts to get back my footing, so bear with me. Or don’t; no one’s forcing you to read. Read More

Ultraman X Series Recap Part 1

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2013 was kind of a rough year. Things weren’t so hot at Toei, with Kamen Rider Wizard and Doki Doki Precure generally considered by fans to be among the weakest installments of their respective franchises, and my personal dislike of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger (which, admittedly, seems to be a somewhat unpopular opinion). But the year was perhaps hardest on the Ultra Series, because that was the year Ultraman Ginga came along. I did a recap of the show way back when, and I did not like it very much, to say the least. Ginga S, while no masterpiece, was more likable and truer to the spirit of the Ultra Series, but not enough to really let me know that the franchise was back on its feet.

Well, I do know now that the franchise is back on its feet, because Ultraman X is one of the best seasons of the series in quite a while. It came at the right time, too, because immediately preceding Ginga was a period of basically nothing but Ultra Seven spinoff media. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but combined with the much more gimmicky Ginga shows, it’s hard not to leave with a bad taste in your mouth. X knows how to use the Spark Doll thing to its advantage, without feeling like it’s just suckering the viewer to buy toys. I mean, it is, obviously, but the show is never blatant about it, as the story and characters come first, and that’s what really will get people buying. But enough chitchat, it’s time to delve into the mountain of awesomeness that is Ultraman X! Read More