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
Read More


Boukenger 43: The Dangerous Christmas Present

Ah, it’s good to be back writing. I doubt any potential readers will agree. Have a happy new year, everyone!boukenger43-title

This is the story of how Satoru Akashi just wanted a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas, but it ended up turning into a giant rubber monster which then proceeded to shoot laser beams at his eyes, rendering him blind for all eternity, while gleefully shouting, “How about I give you laser eye surgery to improve your vision!” Ha! You wish the Boukenger Christmas special was that awesome!

Every year, Super Sentai has a Christmas-themed episode fairly late in its run, usually as a breather episode before the final story arcs kick in. Because of this, these episodes tend to range from pretty crazy to batshit insane. The episode in question is mostly the latter. And so what better way to celebrate the spirit of Christmas than by gathering in front of the TV (or more likely computer screen) and tuning in to the adventures of our favorite rainbow-colored adventurers? I know, most of you are answering, “Tuning in to the adventures of Bruce Willis in the Nakatomi Building”, but in this case we’ll have to settle for second best.

Just a taste of what we are in for, folks.

Just a taste of what we are in for, folks.

So the episode begins with Satoru Akashi, AKA Bouken Red, carrying a sucre cake he just bought, about to eat it with his friends. As usual, he’s complaining about that he has to all the dirty work. Happy Holidays, kids! Suddenly, a girl dressed up in a Santa costume falls from the sky, who Akashi catches. He also accidentally snatches a pendant of some sort, which the girl is quick to take back. When Akashi asks who she is, she tells him that she is actually Santa Claus, to which Akashi responds by believing that she is insane, which is a response that is surprisingly rarely seen in Super Sentai, ESPECIALLY this season. Unfortunately, in all the commotion, the sucre cake is ruined, and since it was the last one, that’s the one the Boukengers have to settle with. Naturally, the story of “it was smushed by Santa Claus who was a young girl wearing a miniskirt” doesn’t exactly inspire belief in the other Boukengers. Which is weird, considering all the other myths and legends in this show that the Boukengers do believe.
That moment when you threw the peanut too far for your mouth to catch.

That moment when you threw the peanut too far for your mouth to catch.

So Santa is celebrating that her job is done for the year, when she hears a child in distress. It’s some random brat who wants a cool robot toy. Somehow I feel as if she didn’t do that thorough a job. Anyway, all she has left are a REALLY cheap looking baby doll and a scary Golem-faced one. The episode first builds up the importance of the pendant from earlier while Santa leaves the second of the two remaining toys with the boy. The next morning, the boy checks his stocking, and finds the latter of the toys. Naturally, he thinks it’s lame. Wow. Someone is getting coal next year.
The excuse your parents came up with every time you didn't get a present you wanted.

The excuse your parents came up with every time you didn’t get a present you wanted.

As Santa wakes up the next morning, a high-pitched voice asks her for a present. This high-pitched voice, as it turns out, is Boukenger Big Bad Gajah doing a falsetto, something which provides more disturbing Christmas imagery than any Silent Night, Deadly Night movie could offer. Obviously, he actually wants a “Precious” that she is holding, as that’s pretty much all that Gajah lives for. He’s kind of a boring villain, really. Just about every other villain in this show was way more interesting.
Arch Priest Gajah, expert ladies' man.

Arch Priest Gajah, expert ladies’ man.

Meanwhile, back at SGS base, Makino has gotten another cake, but Mister Voice (Japan’s answer to Zordon) calls them up, telling them that Gajah has been sighted. Of course, they see the miniskirt Santa being hunted by Mooks, which they proceed to destory after morphing. While this is going on, of course miniskirt Santa is off being the worst kind of distressed damsel, the only role Rina Akiyama has ever played ever. After miniskirt Santa escapes from the conflict Bouken Red tells his teammates to clean up the rest of the Mooks while he “secures her”. Yeah, whatever that means. Bouken Black, AKA Masumi Inou, is just as confused as I am.
But who needs to comprehend the plot when you're the destroyer of worlds?

But who needs to comprehend the plot when you’re the destroyer of worlds?

Miniskirt Santa thinks she is safe, but Gajah sneaks up behind her and steals her bag, believing the Golem to be inside. He also takes her pendant, only to be interrupted by Bouken Red. So Gajah disappears with his Plot Convenience powers. Following is a pretty boring expository scene of miniskirt Santa revealing that the Golem is (big shock!) a precious, but since she gave it to the boy earlier, it’s safe for now. Back to what we really came for, which is a lot of wire stunts and spandex! After the rest of the mooks are cleared up, everyone else decides to return to base until Akashi calls them.

Speaking of Akashi, he’s having another expository conversation with miniskirt Santa about Golem, and how the pendant she was wearing is Golem’s control device. She reveals that she gave the Golem to a boy, to which Akashi gets pissed because, you know, giving a dangerous object to a little boy in a tokusatsu show is just asking for trouble. As Akashi is chewing her out, miniskirt Santa buries her face in her hands and says that she “hates Satorin” and starts weeping. Yeah, it’s as awkward as it sounds, both in and out of universe.

Hey, even bad guys need their teeth to sparkle!

Hey, even bad guys need their teeth to sparkle!

Meanwhile, in an absolutely hilarious scene, Gajah is, as usual, making a speech in his usual hammy style, talking about how he will use the Golem to take over the world (also reminding the forgetful little kids that the Questers Gai and Rei died extremely violent and explosive deaths at the hands of the Boukengers last episode), while stroking the BABY DOLL that he stole! I guess being asleep all these years might have distorted his sense of the difference between a Cabbage Patch Kid and the shit monster from Conker’s Bad Fur Day.
If there's anything this episode is good for, it's giving me new things to add to the "destroyer of worlds" gag.

If there’s anything this episode is good for, it’s giving me new things to add to the “destroyer of worlds” gag.

Meanwhile, Akashi is still hanging out with miniskirt Santa. And by “hang out” I mean give us 30 seconds of the two bonding (in a weaker reenactment of the Rainbow Cloth episode) before the plot kicks back in. Hey, it’s what happens when your main character’s a workaholic. There’s what I think is supposed to be a joke involving miniskirt Santa “forgetting” where she last left Golem, but because they go to the boy’s house the next scene anyway, it’s entirely pointless. Akashi gets the idea that the boy is showing his new “toy” off at the park and suggests to search there. But miniskirt Santa wants juice. Okay.
A rare screenshot of a character with her mouth closed.

A rare screenshot of a character with her mouth closed.

While everyone else is sitting on their asses eating cake and wondering how Akashi’s “date” is going, Makino finally gets information about Golem. What follows is more exposition about Bohemia and destruction, but the only real purpose of this scene is for the others to confirm that the Golem is indeed a Precious, a rare treasure that could be dangerous if in the wrong hands. Speaking of “the wrong hands”, Gajah is trying to cast his spell to control the Golem, but of course it doesn’t work on Shou, the most generic doll on the planet. Still, he manages to control Golem from a distance. As he is doing this, some kids are showing off their Christmas presents. The boy from earlier tosses Golem on the ground, because he’s an ungrateful little shithead who totally deserves to be run over by Golem driving a remote control car. The fact that Golem drives the car past two people (miniskirt Santa and Akashi) and they don’t immediately burst out laughing at the image is in itself hilarious.
He was metaphorically kicked in the nuts so hard it became literal.

He was metaphorically kicked in the nuts so hard it became literal.

So Akashi finally calls everyone, saying that he has located the Precious, and that it is active. Gajah, meanwhile, has found Golem, and successfully fuses the pendant on its forehead, turning into the man in a rubber suit that destroyed a country a long time ago. To demonstrate his immense power, Golem destroys the first CGI building that he sees. Akashi and miniskirt Santa are there, so Akashi morphs, and the two fight fight fight fight fight… and Akashi calls the sword man Zubaan out to fight fight fight fight fight… and the other Boukengers arrive in order to fight fight fight fight fight…. basically there’s a lot of fighting. But it doesn’t matter how much the Boukengers get their asses kicked, because they just do what they every episode and pull out the Dual Crusher to destroy the Golem anyway. Of course, Golem’s most powerful form is actually gigantic.
He has exactly one facial expression, and it can't be one that's healthy for your kids to see.

He has exactly one facial expression, and it can’t be one that’s healthy for your kids to see.

So while Golem is running amok through the town made of refreshingly old-fashioned practical models, Akashi asks miniskirt Santa if there is a way to defeat it. Miniskirt Santa responds with more expository shit about how the characters on the pendant say “truth”, but remove one and it says, “death” or whatever. I guess it makes sense to Akashi, though, because he calls upon the DaiVoyager and it turns into the DaiVoyager, while Eiji boards the SirenBuilder. Of course, the battle doesn’t initially go well, and all miniskirt Santa can do is cheer them on, which is as useful as anything she has done all episode.
Golem may be able to destroy countries, but he CANNOT do a Tales from the Riverbank stare.

Golem may be able to destroy countries, but he CANNOT do a Tales from the Riverbank stare.

So while Eiji distracts Golem, Akashi form switches to the GoGo Drill, for an accurate attack on the pendant on Golem’s forehead. This properly changes the characters on the pendant, and Golem is defeated. Gaja takes it as well as he usually does (by looking like his legs had a pleasant encounter with the skis inBaby Geniuses.
Gordom Civilization Priests just could never get the contact lens on properly.

Gordom Civilization Priests just could never get the contact lens on properly.

So Gaja walks off, mentioning that the power of Gordom is needed. This is foreshadowing the three-part season finale that starts next episode, but that’s all serious and shit, and we’re not here to be serious.

After all the madness is a cap scene involving everyone teasing Akashi about his “date” with miniskirt Santa. He denies it of course, but miniskirt Santa confirms it while skywriting “Merry Christmas” in the sky in glitter, in a gesture that will not create conspiracy theories or make headlines in any way. Of course, Sakura Nishihori, BoukenPink, is pissed. Cue “girl chases guy” ending.

Like a lot of Boukenger episodes, this one was made with the sole purpose of destroying anything that your brain deems to be sane or normal. If you love plots that make no sense, really REALLY hammy acting, and Christmas being treated with the joking respect that it deserves, then this blissful 22 minutes of screen time is for you! Be sure to consume package contents with heavy doses of eggnog and Power Rangers action figures.

Next week: It’s a movie recap! If I can find a file or something! Until then, see you, and don’t take the last sentence of that last paragraph too literally!