Ultraman X Series Recap Part 2

I have a new canon in which Daichi is Akari Ozora’s father in Aikatsu, and the “light” that Ichigo saw in her back in season 2 was her Ultraman blood. Also, Johnny Bepp is Gentaro Kisaragi’s cousin.bepp-sensei

Anyway, on to the second part of Ultraman X.ultramanx2-1 Read More

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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

Sailor Moon Crystal Series Recap Part 1

Oh, Sailor Moon, how I’ve missed you (and making fun of you)! And many others had, too, or else we wouldn’t be getting the huge glut of SM related stuff right now. In addition to the new anime, there has also been a sorely-needed re-dubbing of the 90’s version, which had Johnny Young Bosch as Artemis! I don’t watch nearly enough (dubbed) anime to have especially strong feelings about Johnny Young Bosch, but I have seen more than enough Sailor Moon to have lots of love for Artemis.

Artemis

But anyway, the new anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, is the first production of Sailor Moon in a while that people watched and made money, because no one gives a crap about the tokusatsu version (always a damn shame) or the musicals. I guess it’s a fact of life that Japanese people will never be seen as existing in the third dimension with normal-sized eyes. So, for all the hype, and all the delays, was it all worth it? Well, no, not really.

The big draw behind Crystal was that it would be a faithful adaptation of the manga, which I think may be overselling the original story a bit, because despite its importance, in my opinion the first two arcs of the manga aren’t especially great. Hell, the Dark Kingdom Arc was kind of a slog to get through for me. It was the Infinity arc where things really took off. Taking the relatively short chapters of the manga and transplanting them to a 25-minute episode is only going to hurt them. Oh, sure, there were a few “changes”, but they are inconsequential at best. In the end, this new anime feels like what it is: something that Toei threw together fairly quickly to make a buck off of the long-time fans, and attract new ones who never read the manga. And I am going to spend an inordinately long period of time making stupid jokes about it. Be prepared for the ride. Read More

Ultraman Ginga S Series Recap Part 2

Last time: Shou was being all angsty, an old monster from the classic Ultraman shows attacked, Ultraman Ginga got some random new power, and Hikaru made a friendship speech. I kicked myself for not making a reference to Dark Precure. Repeat 8 times, and that was the first half of Ultraman Ginga S. Now, the more varied conclusion. Read More

Ultraman Ginga S Series Recap – Part 1

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A couple of months ago, I watched, recapped, and summed up my thoughts about the series Ultraman Ginga. A relatively short story even shorter, I didn’t like it very much. It was almost enough to make me wonder if the Ultra Series was ever even all that great to begin with, to make me wonder if my childhood was a lie, to make me wonder if Tsuburaya would ever drag themselves out of the hole that they’d dug. Well, fortunately the answers to these questions are yes, no, and yes. Ginga‘s sequel series, Ultraman Ginga S, is rather superior to its predecessor. Like GingaGinga S is rather silly and over-the-top, but not in a way that insults your intelligence, and with characters who the writers even bothered to make likeable. I can happily say that Ultraman Ginga was only a terrible but brief misstep in the Ultra Series otherwise stellar run. Let’s take a look at exactly how this series managed to outdo its father show by recapping the first eight episodes! Read More

Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3 Recap

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So once upon a time, there was this blogger who wrote a post on, well, Blogger. It was a recap on the film Kamen Rider Taisen, despite this young blogger obviously not knowing jack shit about Kamen Rider. That blogger was, of course, yours truly, and I didn’t like that movie very much.

Despite this hurdle, I’m actually pretty proud of my old recap of the previous Taisen movie. I personally think that that was where my style really started to take form. Sure, I mostly went from incoherent rambling to slightly less incoherent rambling, but the Kamen Rider Taisen recap is still my personal favorite of my own blog posts.

Since then, I’ve had several months to catch up on all the Rider material that I have missed, and I’m sorry to say that I mostly have not taken advantage of it. Unfortunately, I still have yet to venture much outside of the Neo-Heisei era of the show, but I’m working on it. I’ve just been really busy…

...doing really important things, I swear!

…doing really important things, I swear!

Haru no Carnival sucked by the way. And I was hoping that the All Stars series wouldn’t succumb to the Taisen curse!

Aside from the TV series themselves, I still have yet to watch most of the Movie Wars, and I still haven’t seen the first two Taisen films. Of course, given what I’ve heard about those movies, I’m not sure I want to. But I did watch the latest one, and it’s time to share my thoughts. This movie is… not nearly as bad as Kamen Rider Taisen, somewhat surprisingly. Not very good, either, (as in, at all) but why not let the movie speak? This is Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3! Read More

Darker than Amber Recap

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Oh, Robert Clouse. What will people remember you for? They will remember your for Enter the Dragon, which technically wasn’t even really your movie. You’ll be remembered for Game of Death, or in other words, for crapping on Bruce Lee’s legacy by refusing to let a dead project die peacefully. You’ll be remembered for trying to introduce Jackie Chan to the West in the most awkward way possible in Battle Creek Brawl. And you’ll probably be remembered for Gymkata, too, though I doubt you’re too happy about that.

But some may remember you for this movie, the (to my knowledge) only adaptation of John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee novels. Basically, Travis McGee is to Batman what James Bond is to Superman (credit to Roger Ebert for the analogy). Basically, he’s a self-described “beach bum” who generally takes cases when he’s running low on funds, and is self-employed, so doesn’t have the luxury of shiny gadgets to get him through tough situations, or a sexy name.

Interesting enough premise, but given this movie’s failure at the box office, not an especially profitable one. Apparently it impressed Bruce Lee enough so that he gave the directing job for Enter the Dragon to Clouse when he saw the production. Most reviews I’ve read about it are pretty positive. So I guess there must be something about this movie that got people excited, right?

I know I’m supposed to answer my rhetorical question with a “Hell no, this movie is way overrated” or something, but I honestly have nothing concrete to say about it, because I don’t remember a thing about it from when I watched it in preparation for this recap. I can’t say if I liked it, if I disliked it, or really anything other than it was a movie, and I just spent 90 minutes of my life watching it. i suppose part of the reason is because I was watching an incredibly shitty VHS rip, and so I couldn’t process anything that was going on.

Fortunately, it turns out that the entire thing is available on Youtube for free, and in much better quality (and without Swedish subtitles; the copy I first saw had those). So, basically, instead of watching the movie again in preparation, I’m going be doing a blind recap, with almost no knowledge of what is going to happen, and see how it holds up. Read More

My Top 10 Fictional Heroes

It is often said that one should not meet one’s heroes, because they will inevitably disappoint you. It is a good thing, then, that I will never meet most of my personal heroes, given that they exist within that unreachable realm known as fiction. Maybe that’s why a lot of people would say that the ones who have inspired them to be better people are fictional. Sure, there were plenty of great people throughout our history, but we will never really ever have experienced the journey along with them. On the other hand, fictional characters are people whose experiences we DO get to witness first hand, and thus we can get the purest sense of who that character is, and how he thinks and feels.

What I am saying is that, in a sense, fictional characters can be more real to us than real people are. No matter who you are, there is at least someone (most likely from childhood or adolescence) on a television show, book, or film that has profoundly affected your view of the world, your morality, or the way you interact with others.

Basically, what I’m saying is, I really, really like these ten guys who I’m about to gush over, and such behavior is not immature or childish. Well, it can be. And in this case it probably is. But regardless, these ten characters are people (or not even necessarily people) from my childhood, adolescence, and even my early young adulthood who have inspired me to be a better man than I was yesterday. And if fiction can have that kind of impact, well, it is not to be dismissed. Read More