The CD Collection--Kaito Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger CD Single

Welcome to a CCLemon99 review of this year's Super Sentai Theme Song CD Single. This is the companion post/review to my video on the Lupinranger VS Patranger CD Single.

While Japan is one of the few countries resilient to declining CD sales, there is still an ever-growing need to include incentives to CD releases to make them just a little bit more collectible than your standard release. My aim here is to kinda walk through this release from start to finish. I did a short video for my Youtube channel to show off all the goodies, but I'd like to explain everything with a little bit more detail here on the site.

I would also like to put out there that no, I will not give you the music. Buy the CD. That's kinda the point of this post. I want to kinda explain the point of CD collecting in 2018 versus mindlessly downloading everything. Buy a CD every once in awhile... A theme song single like this is a perfect example of something you should buy. It's cheap and usually has some kind of bonuses to make it worth while. Before I get into the package...how about I take a look at each track on this disc? This is a CD after all.


Kaito Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger Shudaika

01. Lupinranger VS Patranger [Project.R(Tatsuhiko Yoshida & Hitomi Yoshida)]

I'll have to evaluate this song as best as I can without getting ahead of myself...

This song incorporates themes from both Lupinranger, Dial o mawase and Chase You Up! Patranger. The weak link by a country mile is Hitomi Yoshida. My...word... I really haven't been paying attention to too much Project.R for this very reason. I...cannot stand her voice. It's not singing. It's just a series of shrill noises. Project.R's uninspired music and horrible vocalists has made me fall out of love with Tokusatsu music in a big way.

At least we were spared Hideaki Takatori or worse...YOFFY's honking.

02. Lupinranger, Dial o mawase [Project.R(Tatsuhiko Yoshida)]

The much better theme song. This almost has a late 90s feel to it. I was kinda surprised to find out that Tatsuhiko Yoshida is only twenty-eight years old. He has a little bit of a Shinichi Ishihara thing going for him...though he's a little too wooden. He was a good pick for this song. The overall smoothness of this song is kinda reminiscent of the Dekamaster theme song and

03. Chase You Up! Patranger [Project.R(Hitomi Yoshida)]

Bad. The singing. I really can't deal with the singing over top the boring music. I was hoping that the Karaoke version would kind of remedy this, but the music just isn't all that exciting. This too reminds me of a 90s Tokusatsu theme song...Vanny Knights. Hell, even the singing is just as bad in that one. Actually, it's probably worse.

Remove "Patranger" from the lyrics and this can be a song from any anime. "Drag-onball It's Show Time". Yeah. Ugh...

04. Lupinranger VS Patranger [Original Karaoke]

05. Lupinranger, Dial o mawase [Original Karaoke]

06. Chase You Up! Patranger [Original Karaoke]

07. Kaito Sentai Lupinranger no theme [BGM]

Jazzy! I really dig it. I mean, even when they announced Lupinranger VS Patranger, my mind immediately went to Lupin III...and when you think of Lupin III, it's hard not to think of Yuji Ohno's incredible theme song and subsequent jazz soundtrack to back it. It should come as no surprise that the BGM theme of Lupinranger fits the name like a glove.

08. Keisatsu Sentai Patranger no theme [BGM]

Sounds like music from Go-onger...and Goseiger...and Gokaiger...and ToQger...and...

OVERALL: I enjoy the two dedicated Lupinranger tracks quite a bit. The Patranger tracks are just either incredibly bland or just ruined by that woman-child voice. I'm not up on my Project.R history, but wasn't Mayumi Gojo available? If they needed a decent Project.R singer, they should have gone with her. I really liked the Go-On Wings theme song...

Looking past the blandness of the Patranger music, this single wasn't bad at all. Given the nature of the show we got more content than usual...plus some BGM tracks! A pretty good value for what is usually only a boring four-track single. Twenty-five minutes of music for a low price...I approve.


There's more, though! As I was rambling about earlier in this post, this CD came with some extras...and even more extras if you bothered to pre-order it. Nippon Columbia has done extras to varying degrees of splendor in the past. For Go-Onger we got an Engine Soul and for Gokaiger and Go-Busters we got a Ranger Key. There were some stinkers out there like the ToQger lenticular print and the Kyuranger pop-up nonsense.

This release...kinda combines the good and the bad. The sheer amount of features kinda inspired me to make the video since there is a little bit too much for me to share in just this post. I took like forty-plus photos of this damn set...

The CD itself comes in a sleeve with a pop-up of Lupinranger VS Patranger. OK, kinda weak. BUT. If you're brave enough to cut up the designated pages of the booklet, the pop-up suddenly becomes a calendar covering April 2018 to March 2019. Neat. It would kinda be neater if I could do this without destroying the booklet, though. Hahaa.

A special Carddass card was also included for use with the latest version of NamcoBandai's card-based arcade game.

The main extra is probably going to become the most desired over time, though. If you had the foresight to pre-order the CD Single, you got yourself a swing keychain featuring both the Lupinranger and Patranger logos on it. Pretty neat, huh? My only gripe is that it wasn't incorporated into the case at all. It was just kinda lazily taped onto the wrapper.

All things considered, this is a pretty jam-packed set for only $14. A pretty lengthy CD Single, pop-up case with calendar, Dice-Oh card, and the cool little keychain. I approve. Nippon Columbia has taken a wise approach to making CD collecting more appealing this time around. Just think back to fifteen years ago when you paid the same price and got the Abaranger theme songs, it's Karaoke versions and absolutely nothing else. Dark ages...

So yeah...remember to pre-order CDs even if you aren't totally convinced that you'll buy them. You never know what kind of bonuses will get tossed in and you can always cancel before it ships. Hehe.


For more Tokusatsu CD goodness be sure to check out my CD Collection page. Next month on this site I will be doing DAILY POSTS. Thirty new posts in the month of April. It's insane and I'm really looking forward to it!



Top Seven Toys That I Wish Existed

Welcome to another CCLemon99 Top Seven List!

This time around I'm going to reveal my Tokusatsu toy wish list. Given the toyetic nature of Tokusatsu shows, it's pretty rare for something shown on screen *not* to have a toy. However, there are a handful of occasions where we missed out on something potentially great. I'm sure I'm missing some things out there, but these are the big ones that I could think of.

I'm going to leave out things like Super Robot Chogokin and SHFiguarts because, well, I pretty much do an annual wish list for things like that. Those lines are more or less still alive despite Figuart's obsession with Disney these days. Practically everything on this list has zero chance of getting a release...except maybe my top pick. *fingers crossed*


07. DX Fire Wolzaphone [Mahou Sentai Magiranger]

Mostly so people can stop asking me where I got mine...

This is actually a good request, though. There is, and always has been, a massive demand for this toy. The fact that Bandai never gave it a standard release is trifling. You can only really go two routes for this one. Either wait very patiently and fork over a truckload of cash for the incredibly rare magazine giveaway, or do what I did and go the custom route. In my case, my friend Kingranger actually made mine to my own specifications--and even made an awesome custom box. The electronics feature the standard Wolzaphone sounds, so it would have been nice for Bandai to put some kind of quick release together. Alas, this was the days before Premium Bandai...


06. DX Giga Bitus [Seijuu Sentai Gingaman]

I reviewed Giga Bitus recently. While I enjoyed the toy that was released...I kinda wish there was some kind of full scale release to hold both DX Chogokin Giga Phoenix and DX Chogokin Giga Rhinos.

While having a mecha that can comfortably hold ten other mecha inside of it would be prohibitively expensive and large, a boy can dream...


05. Densetsu no Buki & Hellfriede [Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger]

I might be alone on this one. I actually really like the normal versions of the Zyuranger's Legendary Weapons. That said, they might be just a little bit too drab for toy versions to be necessary. We did get the transformed weapons at least.

Hellfriede, on the otherhand, should have definitely gotten a toy. If you were fighting your younger brother in the backyard, you obviously were re-enacting the Tyrannoranger vs Dragonranger fight. It's pointless without Hellfriede!

It was an awesome design that was just begging for a toy version...


04. Witchblade [Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers S3]

I was disappointed when I learned that this toy doesn't exist. The seventeenth episode of Kakuranger is one of my absolute favorite episodes of the series. It explored an idea that I wish was revisited more than just this once in the series--revenge. Yokai Amikiri is after Saizo because his ancestor cut off her arm. It resulted in one of the most striking and memorable battles in Sentai history.

The most maddening thing about the cancellation? It was the only figure from this 1995 Action Evil Space Aliens line that never made it to production. UGH! Between this and the lack of Scorpina/Lammy I think Bandai may have had something against Ami Kawai characters...


03. DX Roborider & Biorider Henshin Belts [Kamen Rider BLACK RX]

I might be only one of three people who care, but I would have liked the final two iterations of the King Stone. Roborider had those cool mechanic gears while Biorider somehow managed to make the King Stone whole again.

While the DX Sunriser isn't perfect, it would have been nice to have DX versions of the other two to go along with it.


02. DX Fuun Maboroshijo [Ninja Sentai Kakuranger]

Kakuranger has an already great toyline, so this one breaks my heart in a big way.

So Bandai definitely had plans for this one. What made them back out is anyone's guess. It could be that the Wind Illusion Castle is hardly ever seen in the series. It could also be that, from a series perspective, Muteki Shogun was usually seen busting through the roof.

Based on the concept drawings, I can't even say that this would have been that large of a toy. DX Muteki Shogun isn't all that large, and the concept shows that it would have done a clever job of storing the Jusho within.

This toy doesn't appear to be that much less than what King Pyramider was just a year later. I'm sure some more fun features could have been tacked on as well... This likely would have been one of my favorite Kakuranger toys had it been released.


01. Vulcan Brace [Taiyo Sentai Sunvulcan]

*sigh* I know what you're thinking. Whenever Bandai releases or announces new Sunvulcan toys, it usually kills the line that it's from. DX Ranger Keys (non-Web Exclusive) and SHFiguarts are two examples where some of the final toys released were from Sunvulcan. Well...this is one that I kinda hope comes into fruition.

A 1981 release of this likely wouldn't have been all that special. Given the Goggle Brace and Dyna Brace that we ended up getting, it probably would have only focused on VulEagle. You know what though, so what? It would have been *something* much in the same that the Goggle Brace and Dyna Brace are *something* as well.

This is where the Super Sentai Artisan line would come in. How hard would it be to make this happen? It's an easy design that can utilize a basic faceplate swap system. It's also the only major Sentai Henshin item that doesn't friggin' have any kind of toy representation.

While I would love to have a toy from 1981 Popy, a 2018 Premium Bandai version would be just as welcome in my collection.


Those are some toys that I could think of off the top of my head. What non-existent toys do you long to see become a reality? Let me know! I'd honestly love to hear what everyone thinks. Dream toys? Cancelled toys? Impossibly limited quantities? Let's hear them!

I will be back next week with a new annual segment that I would like to try out. April is going to be a monster month on CCLemon99.com. Thirty new posts. 3-0. Every single day. Stay tuned for that...

See ya!


CCLemon99 Top Seven Lists


Power Rangers Lost Property

It's been a crazy week, huh?

This post was initially going to be dedicated to Go-onger. I hate the series, but I really *really* tried to enjoy it. While it never clicked with me, I enjoyed a lot of the design elements like vanilla Engine-oh, the Henshin Items, and even the Engine Souls were a neat idea back in the gimmick-lite days. The most interesting thing from the series, however, is how Toei pulled off some expert level trolling by making Disney adapt ripoffs of their own property. Bravo, really. I was truly impressed. Disney-Pixar (or "Dixar" for short) released the film Cars in 2006...and two years later we have...Go-onger.

Talking animated cars you say??

Nope. Totally different. Nothing to see here.

While I could go on all day about how Toei has become a reactionary studio rather than a visionary one, I think mentioning my abandoned topic is actually pertinent to, ummm, current events. Go-onger, and it's adaptation Power Rangers RPM, was the first major step to bring us where we are today. It was the last time I felt a true sense of normalcy in the Power Rangers franchise.

For those who may have missed the news, Bandai America will no longer be the license-holder for Power Rangers toys starting in 2019. Hasbro will be picking up the toy license and possibly even control of the entire franchise further down the line. How the hell did this happen? Does it even matter?

Bandai America has been in the adaptation business longer than most people give them credit for. Remember the Godaikin line? Bandai America was releasing toys under the Bandai name even before Bandai Japan was (they were still using the Popy name until 1983). Weird, right? That line brought all kinds of earlier goodies to the United States before any kind of franchises were established. Go Lion before Voltron, Super Sentai before Power Rangers...hell, even Spider-man's Leopardon. 

Bandai America really wasn't much more than an importer in the 1980s, however. Did you know that Bandai sold repackaged toys stateside from the 1988 Toei Metal Hero series Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya? Yep, I have a ziploc baggie full of those figures in my desk drawer (They were called Tacky Stretchoid Warriors...heh). The launch of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was a perfect storm for a lot of reasons. After several tries, Saban Entertainment was launching it's American adaptation of arguably the best possible series they could adapt. Not to mention, they had a packed toyline specifically tailored for the US market from Bandai America. You can tell that Bandai America had put a TON of thought into the Power Rangers toyline--adapting only the essentials from Japan and creating a wide range of action figures to stock up on at a reasonable price point.

From the beginning there were some trifling decisions, however. The Power Morpher in particular was the biggest fumble and yet the best mistake they could hope for. It was upside-down, had lousy decals, lacked a holster and most importantly.....never had the Green Ranger's coin. It certainly did a wonderful job of driving up the price of the Zyuranger version until the Legacy Power Morpher cleaned up a 20-year old mess.

While the differences between Super Sentai/Power Rangers toylines tended to fluctuate annually, things didn't really seem to make a major turn until Boukenger's adaptation--Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive. Granted, I am only an outside observer of Power Rangers toys...but I seem to recall someone posting a scathing review of the Drivemax Megazord in the form of several unflattering photos and the simple caption ".......what a piece of shit.......".

When the Power Rangers franchise ended up back at the newly formed Saban Brands, things didn't really seem right. The first order of business was to adapt the next chronological Super Sentai series, Shinkenger. That's great...but from there every new series was spread over two years.

While the series proper was entering a phase of disconnection with Japan, the toyline had been there for years. Bandai America was producing shit. I'm sorry if you happen to be one of the very few fans of Power Rangers toys from the mid 2000s to today, but...everything produced for the current shows was just disposable crap in collector-unfriendly packaging. I covered the Legacy toyline at good length last year (Part 1, Part 2), but while it was enough to appease some collectors it suffered something of an identity crisis of it's own. 

While plenty of people were more than happy with Legacy toys, there were also quite a number of fans who were quick to point out the flaws. "Will they EVER get out of MMPR??" was the battle cry. The Legacy line has been around for five years and is now *just* getting out of MMPR. Five years to kiiiinda cover toys that come from a toyline that lasted three years. Then there was the group of fans who noticed something even stranger...the Imaginext toys by Fisher-Price were absolutely crushing it.


Yeah, so those kids who enjoyed Power Rangers in 1993? They have kids of their own now. It's diabolical. The toys are absolutely friggin' adorable, have the built-in brand recognition, and have some really cool features and favorite characters that aren't even Tommy-related. The audience may be skewed younger, but a lot of fans seem to agree that they're some of the most interesting Power Rangers toys in a VERY long time. 

Bandai America really dropped the ball there. It wasn't that long ago that I went to Bandai America's site out of curiosity to see what licenses they have these days. The site is a graveyard of years-old movies, Power Rangers, a PAC-MAN plug and play (Namco-Bandai, so duh) and Dragonball Super. I've actually been thinking a lot about Dragonball toys in light of the current Power Ranger toy situation. It sounds familiar...

The brief history of Dragonball toys in America goes something like this. Dragonball had a small line of toys in 1995 based on a Funimation/Ocean license and a brief thirteen-episode dub. In 1996 Funimation and Ocean entered a partnership with Saban and skipped ahead to Dragonball Z. Bandai America followed suit and copied the MMPR formula. Several toys from Japan and Asia were adapted for the US along with a set of new action figures. Bandai quickly and inexplicably dropped the line with Canada's Irwin Toy swooping in and seemlessly resuming the toyline through reissues of the previous Bandai America line as well as more imports from Bandai Asia and France's AB Toys.

Things kinda took on a life of their own once Irwin began producing toys in-house. While I'm not much of a fan of the Irwin developed DBZ toys, these continue to be fan favorites for the wide-range of characters (Leisure Suit Yamcha anyone?), decent quality and details, and low price point. Everything was going swimmingly until, well, Irwin shit the bed. Having the hottest anime intellectual property in North America somehow resulted in the company filing for bankruptcy in 2001. The license went to Jakks Pacific whose toys I have zero recollection of. The 2002 deal for the license was pretty short-lived and Bandai America ended up with Dragonball toys once again by 2007.

The most current Bandai America Dragonball toys aren't too dissimilar from the current Power Rangers toys with an extra layer of "Who the hell are these toys made for?". They're too cheap and kiddy for the fan who actually watches Dragonball Super. I mean...that's what we have Figuarts for, right? The series airs on Adult Swim for god's sake...


I guess the best way to end this post is to say this...

I wish Bandai America all the best. Jobs will be lost over this, but the reality is that years of poor decisions have brought us to where we are now. Hasbro is definitely a force to be reckoned with and while the degree of dignity in which they handle the franchise toys remains to be seen, it certainly isn't the worst thing possible. I say this as someone who only casually observes Power Rangers toys, though. Cautious optimism is probably the best approach.

Go-Busters being adapted next on the other hand...wasn't Kyuranger developed with input from America? I think Toei may have finally been out-trolled after all these years...


P.S. I highly recommend visiting grnrngr.com for incredible database on not only Power Rangers and other Saban-related Bandai toys, but several guides based on the series itself. My personal favorites are the Zyu1.5 and Zyu2 guides as well the episode guide, which lists goofs and the Sentai episodes used for every episode.

UPDATE: Ehhh whoops. I erroneously stated that the US release of Jiraiya toys were released by Mattel for some bizarre reason. Nope. Bandai America in 1990. A trial-run perhaps? Get this...Jiraiya was actually a bad guy called "Fringe" according to the story and bios on the card. Not only a bad guy...but a sidekick who is also a parking lot enthusiast. O...K...?


Ultraman vs Kamen Rider: 25 Years Later

Sometimes I have these moments where I really have to stop and wonder why I like Tokusatsu. It's been a part of my life as far back as I can remember, but these days I find myself wondering just how I can like the genre versus just selecting a handful of shows that I really like. Some people live by angsty stories, some people like the absurd nature of the genre, and then there is the third set who likes anything shiny and new no matter how soulless it looks. The one common thread we all have is the action and effects. Every series starts out as a giant block of action and effects. The goal of the writer is to chip away anything that isn't a kickass series.

Writers today seem to chip away to the point of nothingness. Bandai wants a gimmick? *chipchipchip* Wait, they want a SECOND gimmick? *chipchipchip* Why don't we give the series some impossible setting to limit us to an awful set, bad CG and lazy trickshots? *chipchipchip*. By the end of the sculpture we're left with just a hollow series that is 1/25th the size of the block we started with.

I recently sprung for a copy of Ultraman vs Kamen Rider on DVD. It was cheap and an otherwise uneventful purchase. I'd seen the special in the past, so I didn't immediately watch it when I got home. It was one of those "It's nice to have again... I'll get to it someday.". I'm so glad I did just that...

For those who haven't seen it, Tsuburaya and Toei teamed up in 1993 to produce a 90 minute TV special which was broken into various segments such as "Henshin vs Henshin" and "Kaiju vs Kaijin" and interspersed with interviews and a glooooorius battle featuring Ultraman and Kamen Rider side by side.

Revisiting this special twenty five years later really put me in a better space. It may be 70% clip show, but it really is the perfect reminder of why I started liking these silly shows in the first place. When was the last time I watched an episode of, I don't know, Ultraman Leo (best Henshin, by the way...maybe not so much in the clip they used in the special though. LEOOOOOO!)?

The centerpiece of the special has to be the awesome battle featuring Ultraman and Kamen Rider. Ultraman is battling a Kaiju in the background while Kamen Rider fights a Kaijin on ground. Both battles end in simultaneous victory causing the Kaiju and Kaijin to merge. Kamen Rider grows to aid Ultraman in the fight ending in a overall victory. I know those are only words, but it's a damn exciting fight.

The big grain of salt with these specials is that, yes, of course it's good. That's because the clips are good. They cut out two plus decades of filler. Even then, though, the stories were never too much to get in the way of the action and effects. Ultraman had a limited time on Earth, but that's where the Science Patrol came in.

I kinda feel like rediscovered a lost love. It turns out that if you do as little chipping as possible to that block of action and effects, you turn out with a much more engaging show and memorable show.

In my first post of 2018 I sung the praises of 1993. It really was a milestone year for the genre. So much was right about it (and YES, I know Power Rangers debuted that year...it wasn't part of the narrative I was going for) and it seemed like the possibilities were endless. Tsuburaya and Toei working together to remind you just what an awesome run they've had.

From there it kinda just...went away. The next year Toei decided to make Kamen Rider J. If I worked for Tsuburaya I would have been like "What the hell, man?". That's alright though because Noboru Tsuburaya was busy doing weird things like recording vanity CD single with a little foreign girl until his untimely death in 1995 (so untimely, in fact, that the aforementioned CD was released posthumously). Ultraman Tiga debuted in 1996 and lead to a string of successes for the small studio since. Kamen Rider went away arguably forever after J. This special is the perfect celebration of not just Ultraman and Kamen Rider, but the genre as a whole. There was still the worlds of Toho and P-Pro to explore. Imagine if Godzilla and Sprectreman got in on the action too!

I know this post was very rambly, but I actually got really excited watching this special. This is why I got into the genre versus just being a fan of a handful of series. This is why Bandai continues to make several new toys of fifty-year shows every year. Am I sad that I feel it peaked far too soon? Honestly, not really. Today's shows are the future 30-something's memories. They definitely aren't for me...but one day that kid will look back and remember the good old days.

Catch you next time!



My Biggest Failing: Song Lyrics

I was going to write my initial thoughts about Blahranger vs Mehranger and it's inevitable Summer movie Blahranger vs. Mehranger: WANTED--Dekaranger and Gavan are Criminals!?!, but isn't this site already full of unpopular opinions? Instead...I don't know. I really want to write something a little more personal. Something I've dealt with basically my whole life, but really hasn't bothered me all that much until about the past year or so. Song lyrics are completely beyond my grasp. They just...don't register to me.

A little background I suppose. I come from a musical family, but MUCH more so on my father's side. My brother is a singer and has been fairly musical over the years (he owns a didgeridoo, FFS...). Me? I've only ever listened to music. Lots of music. I'm typically awake 19-21 hours a day and average about 12ish hours of that listening to some kind of music. You know this given the sheer amount of CDs I've reviewed on this site. I've been working on a secret future project for the site that has been kinda messing with my mind a little bit. Two CDs in particular really had me questioning how bad I am at absorbing/comprehending exactly what I'm listening to. 

So I put it to the test. I tried to memorize the lyrics to an easy song (Sabotage by Beastie Boys) over the course of a week and see how I fared at the end of seven days. It...was poor. I got a good portion of it, but considering it's a song I've heard likely hundreds of times in my life, I should have nailed it. There are some assholes out there who haven't seen Facts Of Life since it was airing and can gleefully sing along to imaginary music and completely nail it...and that piece of shit finished it's run thirty years ago... The worst is when they follow it up with "Yeah, that show sucked but I caught it on one night and...isn't the theme song just so catchy? *laughs*" Go to hell...

Memory isn't the problem. I can remember the most trivial and minute details from conversations and events going a long way back, and yet song lyrics are basically...

I love this song!

You may be thinking..."so what?". This is a personal problem and I'm not all about airing my grievances after all. I think the point I'm trying to get at is that I hear music much differently than a lot of people. Vocals are almost completely irrelevant so long as the singing is as melodic as the music it's accompanying. The kind of singer where their voice becomes it's own instrument--that's what I'm attracted to. A great singer is a great singer, but sometimes I get weird looks from people over digging songs with questionable lyrics. People generally seem to think I have very good tastes in music...and that's kinda encouraging at least. Maybe it's just that I hear things that aren't there. Music gives me feelings of colors more than any kind of literary fulfillment. I can read a poem for that.

Going forward I would keep this in mind when you read something of mine on this site. I can usually tell when a song's lyrics are of above-average importance, and in that case I'll look them up and really try to get the gist of it. Then there are songs like this where I have no choice but to actually read the lyrics thanks to the damn hook (and in this case...the song is about ego rather than...you know...).

Now...if there were only a way to explain this to my wife. She's been asking me to sing her a song...any song for well over a decade. Sorry, honey. : [


I know this post was a little bit unusual, but it's kinda important since a pretty major component of every song usually flies right over my head unless I sit down and really read the lyrics. Just try to keep that in mind going forward. Especially with my super-secret upcoming project...

I will be back in February for a review on a "vs". Figure that one out. I imagine I'll also get into Gingaman for my mid-month post if it doesn't bore me to death. 

Bye now!



1993 Sure Was a Thing... (Dairanger Fan Theory Special)

Can you believe that it's 2018 already? Yeah, it may look like a random number, but when you take in to consideration that we're 25 years removed from one of the most ambitious years of the 1990s, it's kind of a special anniversary year. I mean, just look at this murderer's row of stuff that happened in 1993...

Kamen Rider ZO: The comfort food of Kamen Rider. Thin plot, but dazzling action and effects. Seriously, this movie is pure eye candy with a killer soundtrack. What's ZO's name? Who cares! Just enjoy... (Check out the manga for extra weirdness...)

Tokusou Robo Janperson: Taking the Metal Hero franchise to unfamiliar territory. The idea of a crime-fighting robot is far from new, but it was something that hadn't been attempted since the 70s and really hasn't been done on it's own since. 

Ultraman Powered: Largely considered the red-headed stepchild of the Ultra family, this series does have it's place in history. I mean, at the bare minimum there is a chance that it's responsible for getting Kane Kosugi cast as Jiraiya in Kakuranger. Then again, he is extremely talented...so maybe not.

Denko Chojin Gridman: Another Tsuburaya production that has gained momentum as a cult series in the years since it aired. It featured a unique take on computers that only fed into the longevity of it's legacy. It has been revisited over the years with a cancelled 90s sequel, an animated follow-up in 2015 and an animated re-imagining scheduled for release in 2018. 

Kamen Rider SD: A low-budget OVA that finally gave the SD Riders some life outside of toys, manga, and video games. Ultraman had been animated in many different styles (The Ultraman, Ultraman Kids, Ultraman USA, and more in the time since) so it was kinda cool to have Rider get the same brief treatment.

1993 was such a busy year! Well... I just wanted to recognize that 2018 is the 25th anniversary of a lot of great and memorable series. 

Take care and I'll talk to you all soon!



How could I forget?! Dairanger is one of those series that I love, but really haven't talked about all that much. When I was putting together my page of Super Sentai articles, I noticed that I had only talked about the series once. How is that even possible? Dairanger is second only to Kakuranger as my favorite Super Sentai series. I guess I am here today to bring new life into an old theory that I'd casually brought up in conversation with @RoryDropkick. His reaction kinda encouraged me to go on and try to flesh one of my crazy theories into a post...

Something that has vexed a lot of fans about Dairanger for years was it's original casting of Keisuke Tsuchiya as Ryo/Ryuranger and Keiichi Wada as Kazu/Kirinranger. The knee jerk reaction is one of relief--bullet dodged! I mean, I never had a problem with Tsuchiya but his casting as the lead seemed a little odd. Since he ended up in the unenviable position of yellow, he never really got much in the way of decent stories...so we never got to see what he was capable of in the series. The problem is that Keiichi Wada is sooooo gooood. He would have absolutely been wasted as fifth banana (let's face it, yellow is an afterthought pretty much every single time). The infamous test footage/trailer with the swapped cast really isn't a good gauge on what could have been, but obviously something must have forced the last minute change.

Consider, just for a second, what could have been...

One of my biggest gripes with Dairanger is how Ryo's family was quickly discarded. For what should have been a major arc considering the intrinsic nature of the relationship between Dai and Gorma tribes, Ryo's father, Choryo, was gone at the end of a two episode arc in episode eight. He also had a sister who vanished after the fifteenth episode. Why bother introducing family like that if there is no lasting effect? Sure, Ryo's father did play an important role in passing knowledge of Dairenoh on to Ryo, but surely he had more to offer.

It all seemed kinda sloppy...like it had perhaps been slapped together last minute.

What if...the Ko and Akomaru story was meant for Ryo and a twin brother?

The casting all kinda makes sense now. I mean, I wasn't in the room at the time, but it is fact that skills and interests of actors got written into shows all the time. Keisuke Tsuchiya being cast as Ryo certainly sets of signals that perhaps the wheels were in motion for his twin brother, Daisuke, to play a larger role in the series. Could he have been the original Kibaranger?

I'm not saying that Shadam would have still been their father, but what if Choryo was meant to be more of a presence within Gorma? He was the original Ryuranger, yes, but he also defected to Gorma when Ryo was a child. Given that his mother was a human woman, who is to say that she couldn't have also been from the Dai tribe as Ko's mother was? Ryo and his brother would be born, and Choryo splits for Gorma with one child leaving Ryo to carry on as he pretty much did. 

This does set up some problems, however. 

For one, we had just come out of Zyuranger, which featured basically the same scenario with the jilted brother as the sixth hero. This story is a little more pure, however, since Zyuranger's conflict between Geki and Burai really came off as more of a misunderstanding than anything else.

There is also the whole what-do-we-do-with-two-Ryos thing. Maybe this theory should be treated less like Ko being Ryo's brother and more like Blue Beet and Black Beet. In B-Fighter, Jamahl created a clone of Takuya/Blue Beet (played by Daisuke Tsuchiya) called Black Beet (played by Keisuke Tsuchiya). This is a stretch, but when you consider the fate of the members of Gorma at the end of the series, it could work. What if Ryo's twin is, in fact, a clay copy? (Oh yeah, spoilers...). It's entirely plausible, no?

My point is...the possibilities are endless and that the trailer featuring the original casting along with the sloppiness of how important relative characters were treated leaves a lot to the imagination. If you really didn't want to see Tsuchiya as Ryo, maybe consider that if had been cast as Ryo we wouldn't have had Ko/Akomaru. Is that a fair trade off?

What do you think? Were there bigger plans for a Ryo played by Keisuke Tsuchiya? What kind of stories do you think it could have given us? I'm always curious about the "what could have been" and little nuggets like the swapped cast trailer always send my imagination spinning...

Happy New Year!



Triple Top 7: The Best of 2017!

It's the end of the year. Thank god. This has been one hell of a year. I hit my ten-year anniversay and semi-retired from Youtube (HA!). The CCLemon99 flame still burns on even if it means I have to take a small step back. The site has continued on and I have tread new waters through various new topics...

You like that? Honestly I remember very little of what happened this year. I'm usually my own best historian, but I really had a hard time remember what I did this year and what was announced. Seriously, when the memory starts going...it goes FAST. In my defense, I've had a whirlwind year in the real world. A series of events unfolded that had me on the road in September and lead to a bizarre promotion of sorts that felt more like a take-over than anything else. Yeah...long story. It's kinda funny that I don't talk about real world stuff too much here and I don't talk CCLemon99 stuff in the real world. I just kinda mention things in passing here and there. My wife rolls her eyes whenever I talk work or CCLemon99...so I guess that means I may even have a third life...

This post is a little late because I literally went back and re-watched every single video and re-read every single post. Now that I've refreshed myself on...myself, let's take a look at some of my favorite announcements of 2017 and my favorite content of the year!


Top 7 Announcements of 2017!

07. Get Wild Song Mafia announced for release. (February?)

I think I missed the official announcement for this one, but only caught it during the stealth Amazon Japan listing in late February (based on when I ordered it). I ordered it before the set even had a tracklist or title, so I think I may have caught it a little bit early.

Basically this crazy set is multi-label celebration of TM Network's GET WILD that was released on the song's 30th anniversary. You would think that 30+ versions of the same song over four CDs would get boring, but it's surprisingly diverse. As I mention in my review, the song is something of a science experiment as it's always molded to the current image of the band.

06. SHFiguarts Sky Turbo (February)

I've been waiting for this one for awhile. My SHFiguarts bucket list is largely complete...so there really isn't a whole lot to get excited for. Maybe 2018 will bring Blue Version, Tentoro (they'd probably spell it Tentolaw), Z Bringer, J Crosser...and BANDIT (Shin's bike......which better happen!)

05. Cinema-Kan's Ultraman Powered CD Set (February)

This is easily my favorite Tokusatsu CD release of the year. Excellent, excellent music released in a budget CD set by a fantastic small record label in conjunction with the recent Blu-ray release. It certainly blew away the overpriced set (twice as expensive and only one more disc) that Columbia whacked together for USA & Great. Highly recommended!

04. Shout!Factory announced Gingaman will be coming to DVD! (July)

The funnnn...

03. Shout!Factory announces Megaranger will be coming to DVD! (April)


02. Shout!Factory announces Carranger will be coming to DVD! (January)

ENDS!!!!! :D

01. "Your car is here...wait, no it isn't. Umm...NOW it is...! Yeah, definitely for real this time I think!" (February)

Turns out there was a lot of excitement in February. This one totally takes the cake, though. The car that I had ordered months earlier had finally arrived...but wait, it didn't. A near identical one showed up that was about $5,000 more expensive than the one I ordered. A few days later, the car I ordered arrived. I tell the full story here. I've been loving the hell out of my Subaru BRZ ever since.....


Top 7 Posts on CCLemon99.com

07. The CD Collection--TM Network Original Singles 1984-1999 + BACKTRACKS 04.Nov

I've always loved TM Network, but I never really considered myself a super-fan. Exploring this set really gave me a new appreciation for the band. I've had this one for a few years, but never *really* examined it. It was a treat and it inspired me to pick up some more of their albums. I really dig the RHYTHM RED album that they released as TMN. Full disclosure...this wasn't a super-popular post, but I definitely enjoyed it.

06. The CD Collection--Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Japanese Dub CD Singles 16.Mar

I think I had been threatening to make this post forever. It was nice to finally get it off my chest...and you know what? People dug it. The MMPR Japanese dub has always been a curiosity for fans, so it was nice to bring these CDs to light. I even admitted that I dug that over-produced version of Go Go Power Rangers. I mean, if the Teletubbies had some great shredding in their theme song, I'd love that too. I'm easy that way.

05. Journey Through The Decade: Ten Years of CCLemon99 25.Jun

I wrote up a big retrospective to briefly sum up my ten years as CCLemon99. You would think that writing that I would have had a pretty firm grasp on what I accomplished this year. Yeah, nope. I recommend the post, though. Even if I didn't accomplish any of the things I said I would in my forecast. The 1982-2017 video will happen in 2018 since Bandai is holding out on the final Kyuranger changer until then. Clearly I haven't reviewed any of the Kyuranger Changers. Who knows about Daijinryu...I may or may not have gotten one...

04. Power Rangers Legacy Toys Part 1: Weapons & Morphers 01.Jan & Power Rangers Legacy Toys Part 2: The Zords 14.Jan

The first post of January is usually something big and bold. Could I have gone any bigger and bolder? This two-parter talks about the higher-end Legacy toys. It turned out to be a pretty popular set of posts...so everyone really wanted to know my opinion. Go figure...

03. Top Seven Best & Worst Toy Surprises 05.Jun

A topic that was recommended to me. It was nice to recount some utter toy failures along with a handful of times a toy really had me stumped (in a good way).

02. Akina Nakamori Singles Box 1982-1991 [PART 1] 09.Jul & Akina Nakamori Singles Box 1982-1991 [PART 2] 20.Jul

This was a real treat. I've since learned that there is a certain subset of Nakamori fans that have derided this beautiful box set as an unauthorized work that isn't worth the money. In it's defense, it features a lot of previously unreleased material and is lovingly assembled. Warner still owns the rights to this music, no? It's not like it's just another arbitrary "best" album. You know what, though? Even those are great for new fans to cut their teeth on. Hahaa.

That said, I realllllly enjoyed writing this set of posts, especially coming off of something emotionally draining like my big TEN YEAR video. I'm already planning another month of Akina Nakamori in 2018. Both posts are going to be bonkers. One more than the other, for sure! This is one of the things I look most forward to in 2018!

01. Toy Story: Jiban's Denshi Police Techou & The Local Toy Scene 16.Oct

Every time I write a toy story post, I usually think to myself "I really don't have any stories after this one.". Considering I have several of these posts, this clearly isn't true. One day I just started thinking about some of the stores I used to frequent when I was younger and was like "Oh man, I need to write about this...". Due to Google's crappy built-in site analytics, I'll never know where the traffic came from...but this post got a ton of traction. I'm glad...because this was a pleasant stroll down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed it too! Unless you're the lazy ass who didn't want to get the Goggle Robo down for me...


Top 7 CCLemon99 Videos of 2017

07. #521 Power Rangers [2017 Movie] Power Morpher 01.Jan

I think this was part of my 'toy surprises' post. I dug the toy and I actually really enjoyed putting this video together. I even did some dark shots...and I neverrrrr do dark shots! It turned out really nice, IMO.

Oh...and did I ever catch the new Power Rangers movie? Nope. I think I called it early on... Vin Diesel being the bad guy in the latest Fast & Furious movie was probably the better Green Ranger story of 2017. Full disclosure, I didn't see that piece of shit either.

06. #536 Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman DX Max Magma 16.Apr

I...really didn't want to review this one. The finished video came out really good, however. Something I never admitted at the time out of sheer embarassment: I had to reshoot like 60% of the video. I take 4:3 photos for the site and forgot to change my camera back to 17:9. I was getting some excellent shots, too. Nope. Had to go back and take those photos allllll over again. Oh well. I guess that lead me to enjoy the video a bit more.

05. #530 Kamen Rider Kuuga SHFiguarts 05.Mar

I broke through the Heisei(ish) barrier. Not only is this figure fantastic, but the photos turned out excellent. Combine that with some excellent Kuuga BGM and it all turned out great. *thumbs up*

04. #562 Chojin Sentai Jetman Tetra Boy 31.Dec

As I mentioned in the video's description box, this is the very last of the 1990s Super Sentai mecha that I haven't covered. Yes! I started with Daizyujin and ended with Tetra Boy. Kinda weird how I came full circle, eh?

The video itself turned out really cool despite my burning hatred for Jet Icarus. What can you do, though? I couldn't have thought of a better video to close out the year.

03. #550 Transformers Sega Megadrive & Genesis Megatron 17.Sept

Not only was it right around my Birthday, but it was also the 550th video. I felt like doing something a little bit wacky. It's brief, but something I enjoy going back to watch every now and again. That funky music really helped make this video stand out just a little bit more...

02. #529 Kamen Rider J SHFiguarts 26.Feb

At last! J! Finally! YES!

Even if this toy was a total dud, I would have worked extra hard to make sure this video was a winner. I played around with angles...and I even got those SHF city sets. After all that, I took particular care when I edited the music together. The version of the ending theme song used is the CCLemon99 Mix. Hahaa...

01. #546 CCLemon99 TEN YEARS 25.Jun

It had to be this, right?

There have been a handful of times when I've shot videos over a few months. In those cases it usually means I take photos of an unused sticker sheet in March and then take photos of the completed toy in June. This time around I started in April, continued in May, and finished in June. This was an ambitious project that really came together only as I shot it. I filmed a trip to the beach in the freezing cold, then I boiled when I filmed my car in the business parking lot (had to wear that jacket for continuity...).

The dream was to use this song, The Theme From 'BIG WAVE' by Tatsuro Yamashita. That song frequently gets removed from Youtube, though...so I had to play it safe. As you can see in the video, I found a suitable replacement. Had to use the Karaoke versions, though, since Kyosuke is singing about riding in a convertible which my car clearly isn't.

I was incredibly nervous when I uploaded that video. How much did I want to reveal? I put a copy of it on my phone since I like to revisit it frequently. The whole thing still seems foreign to me. Have I really been doing this ten years? Yes, yes I have. I made this video? It's all the places I go, and the car that I drive...but it just seems so unlike me to make such a thing.

Thank you for checking it out if you did.


That's it for this post and yet another year. Be sure to check out past Top 7 lists on this handy page for write-ups from previous years.

I'll catch you all in 2018!

Love and tofu,



CCLemon99 Posts of 2017

Power Rangers Legacy Toys Part 1: Weapons & Morphers 01.Jan
Power Rangers Legacy Toys Part 2: The Zords 14.Jan
The Abandoned Kamen Rider Stronger Theme Song... 01.Feb
Toy Story: 2017 Subaru BRZ 14.Feb
The CD Collection--Ultraman Tiga, Dyna, and Gaia 8cm CD Singles 02.Mar
The CD Collection--Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Japanese Dub CD Singles 16.Mar
CCLemon99 Magazine Issue Four 03.Apr
The CD Collection--GET WILD SONG MAFIA by TM Network 14.Apr
Gekisou! Accel Changer! ~Carranger Part 1 of 3~ 01.May
Pegasus & Uchuu Bosozoku Bowzock ~Carranger Part 2 of 3~ 10.May
Triple Top Seven! ~Carranger Part 3 of 3~ 20.May
Top Seven Best & Worst Toy Surprises 05.Jun
Journey Through The Decade: Ten Years of CCLemon99 25.Jun
Akina Nakamori Singles Box 1982-1991 [PART 1] 09.Jul
Akina Nakamori Singles Box 1982-1991 [PART 2] 20.Jul
The CD Collection--Kamen Rider Kuuga! 8cm CD Singles 04.Aug
CCLemon99 Magazine Issue Five 19.Aug
The CD Collection--Ultraman Great, USA & Ultraman Powered Box Sets 1.Sept
The CD Collection--Kikaider The Animation & Zebraman 15.Sept
Maybe Tsubasamaru's Theme Isn't a Problem After All--A CCLemon99 Follow-up 02.Oct
Toy Story: Jiban's Denshi Police Techou & The Local Toy Scene 16.Oct
The CD Collection--TM Network Original Singles 1984-1999 + BACKTRACKS 04.Nov
INSTALL! Denji Sentai Megaranger Part 1 of 2 17.Nov
Wins, Opportunities, & Top 7 Episodes! Denji Sentai Megaranger Part 2 of 2 01.Dec

CCLemon99 Videos of 2017

#521 Power Rangers [2017 Movie] Power Morpher 01. Jan
#522 Himitsu Sentai Goranger Ranger Mechanix 2 Variblune 08.Jan
#523 Himitsu Sentai Goranger Ranger Mechanix 2 Varidorin 15.Jan
#524 Dai Sentai Goggle Five Ranger Mechanix 2 Goggle Caesar 22.Jan
#525 Kagaku Sentai Dynaman Ranger Mechanix 2 Dyjupiter 29.Jan
#526 Chojuu Sentai Liveman Ranger Mechanix 2 Machine Buffalo 05.Feb
#527 Kamen Rider Stronger (Charge Up) SHFiguarts 12.Feb
#528 Kamen Rider ZO Doras SHFiguarts 19.Feb
#529 Kamen Rider J SHFiguarts 26.Feb
#530 Kamen Rider Kuuga 05.Mar
#531 Kamen Rider Agito 12.Mar
#532 Seijuu Sentai Gingaman Red Spark & Gingared 19.Mar
#533 Seijuu Sentai Gingaman Galeo Pulsar 26.Mar
#534 Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Zyouh Changer Final 02.Apr
#535 Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman DX Star Five 09.Apr
#536 Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman DX Max Magma 16.Apr
#537 Gosei Sentai Dairanger SAS Aura Changer & Kiba Changer PART 1 23.Apr
#538 Gosei Sentai Dairanger SAS Aura Changer & Kiba Changer PART 2 30.Apr
#539 Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger SHFiguarts Howling Cannon 07.May
#540 Honda ASIMO (Lost Video from 2009) 14.May
#541 Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger SP License TV-Kun 21.May
#542 Choriki Sentai Ohranger All Mecha 28.May
#543 Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger Dino Brace Abaremax Version 04.Jun
#544 Power Rangers S.P.D. Master License (Korean Version) 11.Jun
#545 Gaoranger Growl Phone (Chinese Version) 18.Jun
#546 CCLemon99 10 YEARS 25.Jun
#547 Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger SAS Dragon Buckler 06.Aug
#548 Skyrider Sky Turbo SHFiguarts 20.Aug
#549 Kamen Rider Super 1 V Machine SHFiguarts 03.Sept
#550 Transformers Sega Megadrive & Genesis Megatron 10.Sept
#551 Kamen Rider Ryuki SHFiguarts 17.Sept
#552 Singer Porsche 911 01.Oct (Almost immediately blocked in most countries)
#553 Chosei Kantai Sazer X Knuckle Cross 15.Oct
#554 Chosei Kantai Sazer X Shark Knuckle 22.Oct
#555 Kamen Rider 555 SHFiguarts 29.Oct
#556 Kamen Rider ZX Helldiver SHFiguarts 12.Nov
#557 Kamen Rider Stronger Kabutolaw SHFiguarts 19.Nov
#558 Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger DX Whale Change Gun 03.Dec
#559 Seijuu Sentai Gingaman DX Chogokin Giga Phoenix 10.Dec
#560 Seijuu Sentai Gingaman DX Chogokin Giga Rhinos 17.Dec
#561 Seijuu Sentai Gingaman Giga Bitus 24.Dec
#562 Chojin Sentai Jetman DX Tetra Boy 31.Dec