2019/01/18

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid...waitaminute...

Hello!

I will be the first to admit that I'm not a gamer. Video game production and consumption has become a toxic wasteland of garbage and drama that I tend to steer clear of. I could go on and on about how out of the loop I am, but I think it's fair to say that you get the point. Something has finally entered my peripheral that made me take notice of a recent video game...and it's announcement certainly gave me a chuckle.

Like many of you, I caught a glimpse of the next attempt at a Power Rangers fighting game. I loved the Fighting Edition game on Super Nintendo, so this has all the makings of expanding wildly upon that. Granted, we've only seen a little bit of it so far and really don't know much about it other than it's April 2019 release date and that it is being produced by Nway Games in conjunction with Hasbro and Lionsgate.

...and Bandai if the teaser is anything to believe...

Bubbles and imperfections...?

...weird shade of green with lousy paint application...?

...could it be!?!?!

Obviously there is no way of confirming this, but their selection of helmets is somewhat nebulous when you think about it. Anyone can get their hands on these flawed, yet 1/1 scale replica helmets that Bandai released recently. The use of the helmets certainly jazzed up what could have been an otherwise boring gameplay ad with JDF's endorsement. It all seems like much too much of a coincidence if you ask me...

That was literally my first impression when I saw this teaser. Those have to be Bandai's Legacy helmets. I could be wrong...but I seriously doubt it.

My second impression was that maybe I should start stepping on other people's feet as I punch them.

This all looks...unnatural.

My third impression is...maybe it's time I finally open my PS4 and give this game a shot. It could be fun! Hoping for the best on this one.

What do you think? Are those Bandai Legacy helmets? Will this game be any good?

See ya!

-CC

2018/12/31

The CD Collection--SSSS.Gridman Singles & Original Soundtrack


It's been sooooooo long, huh?

Welcome back to another post in my never-ending CD Collection series! Today I will be looking at three CDs from the new SSSS.Gridman anime series. Personally I haven't seen it, but there has been some noise about the show online. People are saying it's derivative of a show that derivative of Ultraman...yeah, I don't know. All I know is that it gives me something more interesting than the usual borefest Super Sentai music CDs that I collect.

This post was...delayed. The wonderful folks at CINEMA KAN were slated to release a remastered 2-Disc Denko Chojin Gridman Music Collection the same day that this OST was released, but it has been delayed until the end of January. That along with a week-long delay in delivery of the OST has kinda left me with this last minute review of some SSSS.Gridman CDs.

On top of the freshly released Original Soundtrack, the Opening and Ending theme song singles were released back in October/November. Why not start back at the beginning...?


---------------


OxT UNION [OPENING THEME SONG]
PCCG-70434
2018.11.07

01. UNION

Nah. I'm good...

This sounds like every Anime theme song since like 2003. I guess it's fitting since this is an anime series, but I was hoping it'd have something more of Tokusatsu influence given the source material. Then again, Tokusatsu theme songs have basically become anime theme songs these days.

I swear...100% of these anime theme songs have the exact same hook to make it easy to drop into a 30 second promo.

This isn't terrible, just horribly bland.

02. Yume no Hero OxT Ver

Oh hey, how about that? A cover of the Denko Chojin Gridman theme song.

You know what...the singing may not be the best, but this certainly made this purchase worthwhile. The Denko Chojin Gridman theme song has grown into something of a cult favorite among fans, so it's nice to see that it got some new love. This could have been far, far worse. Remember that new version of Kamen Rider ZX's Dragon Road? Nightmare fuel, that.


03. UNION [Instrumental] 
04. Yume no Hero OxT Ver [Instrumental]

The Limited Edition version from Amazon.jp came with a print of the cover image.


Pretty neat, huh? It's 45 sized, which...makes sense...



---------------


Maaya Uchida youthful beautiful [ENDING THEME]
PCCG-01725
2018.10.17

01. youthful beautiful

Again...this song is rather generic but really not bad. Weirdly, the face and voice is kinda familiar if you're an Akibaranger fan. Maaya Uchida...hey, I own a toy with your voice...

This is definitely more of a song I would listen over the OP, but not something I'd listen to on the regular. I appreciate it's energy at least.

02. kimi no heroine de iru tame ni

A strange jazzy song that I really can't get into. It reminds me of some of the lazier songs from a lot of 90s Sentai song collections. Better yet...if you told me this was from the B-Robo Kabutack song collection I would believe you. I really don't like Uchida's higher pitch in this one.



03. youthful beautiful [Instrumental] 
04. kimi no heroine de iru tame ni [Instrumental]

DVD


This DVD contains the music video for youthful beautiful, a shorter version of the video set to the instrumental version of the song, and a 'Making Of' video.

Much like the OP Single, this single came with a photo bonus if you sprung for the Limited Edition from Amazon.jp.


It may not be Gridman themed, but...thanks for the extra image of Uchida I guess...


---------------


SSSS.Gridman Original Soundtrack
PCCG-01740
2018.12.18

As I mentioned above, I really had no idea what to expect given that I haven't seen this anime. Sometimes going blind into a CD review can be fun...

I have to say...I thoroughly enjoyed this CD. The tone is certainly more on the serious side. The music itself is almost a throwback to Tokusatsu soundtracks of the 90s. You have the metal action tracks mixed in the near-Seiji Yokoyama sounding orchestral music. The composer of this series is Shiro Sagisu who, truthfully, I have never encountered before outside of the awesome Shin Godzilla film. I definitely hear some Godzilla-esque tunes here now I think about it.


Every once in awhile this disc does serve up a dud (BGM shouldn't have lyrics....HumanLove............), but overall this is a solid and refreshing listen. It fits in nicely with the Tsuburaya library of music much in the same way the Denko Chojin Gridman music collection did. It isn't Ultraman, but the DNA is there.

Check this one out! I'm looking forward to seeing what a second installment would bring to the table if there is one in the future.

Oh yes, if you managed to order on Amazon.jp you got this bonus print of the amazing cover art.


Seriously...I love this cover. It's risky that it isn't an overly colorful mishmash of characters like the OP single is, but I love it!


---------------


It's been a long time since I've reviewed some Tokusatsu/Anime CDs. If you want to read more, be sure to check out my CD Collection page. I am DEFINITELY looking forward to the CINEMA KAN Denko Chojin Gridman Music Collection. Expect to see that review very soon.

Oh yeah, I also posted a 2018 Year-End post in tandem with this one. Be sure to check that out!

Take Care!

-CC


CCLemon99 2018 Year-End Review

Canadian Toys R Us!

Hello!

This is the annual post where I review all of the content that I put out in the previous twelve months. 2018...has certainly been a year. Personally I've had some ups and downs. Ups: Trips to Mexico and Canada. Downs: Where to begin?

The Youtube Channel and site output kinda reflect this. Here is the list of content that I did manage...

CCLemon99.com Posts of 2018

On the site I posted a whopping fifty-two posts in 2018. Two posts went up every month with the big exception being April. I tried something new in April where I reviewed every Akina Nakamori album with a few extras. So far, that experiment has been worth it considering the feedback I've gotten from people looking to get into Nakamori and not really knowing where to begin. I didn't expect big numbers, but I see that project going on to help other prospective fans in the future.

Outside of the Nakamori project, I'm proud of a lot of the site content that I released this year. A lot of good thought pieces and two great Sentai overviews (Gingaman and GoGo Five) to finish out the year. The weird hit of the year was the Maskman BGM post... I'm definitely going to name another stinker soundtrack in 2019. You asked for it!

1993 Sure Was a Thing... (Dairanger Fan Theory Special) [01.January]
My Biggest Failing: Song Lyrics [16.January]
Ultraman vs Kamen Rider: 25 Years Later [01.February]
Power Rangers Lost Property [17.February]
Top Seven Toys I Wish Existed [08.March]
The CD Collection--Kaito Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger CD Single [18.March]

Akina Nakamori Month
Akina Nakamori Month Introduction [01.April]
01. Prologue [Jomaku] (1982.07.01) [02.April]
02. Variation [Hensoukyoku] (1982.10.27) [03.April]
03. Fantasy [Gensoukyoku] (1983.03.23) [04.April]
04. NEW AKINA Ètranger (1983.08.10) [05.April]
05. ANNIVERSARY (1984.05.01) [06.April]
06. POSSIBILITY (1984.10.10) [07.April]
07. BITTER AND SWEET (1985.04.03) [08.April]
08. D404ME (1985.08.10) [09.April]
09a. Fushigi (1986.08.11) [10.April]
09b. Fushigi Part 2 - Wonder (1988.06.01) & MEGATREND (1987.03.25) [11.April]
10. CRIMSON (1986.12.24) [12.April]
11. Cross My Palm (1987.08.25) [13.April]
12. Stock (1988.03.03) [14.April]
13. Femme Fatale (1988.08.03) [15.April]
14. CRUISE (1989.07.25) [16.April]
15. UNBALANCE + BALANCE (1993.09.22) [17.April]
16. la alteración (1995.07.21) [18.April]
17. SHAKER (1997.03.21) [19.April]
18. SPOON (1998.06.17) [20.April]
19. will (1999.12.01) [21.April]
20. Resonancia (2002.05.22) [22.April]
21. I hope so (2003.05.14) [23.April]
22. DESTINATION (2006.06.21) [24.April]
23. DIVA (2009.08.26) [25.April]
24. FIXER (2015.12.30) [26.April]
25. Akina (2017.11.08) [27.April]
BONUS: Cage (2017.11.08) [28.April]
BONUS: true album akina 95 best (1995.12.06) [29.April]
Top Seven Favorite Akina Nakamori Albums [30.April]

AWFUL: Hikari Sentai Maskman BGM [08.May]
I'm Calling It Now. The Winner Is..... [26.May]
A Decade of Sentai Henshin Item Toys [08.June]
11-Years on Youtube ~ The Odd History of Daijinryuu [24.June]
An Appreciation of Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic" and "Body Movin'" [10.July]
CCLemon99 Magazine Issue Six [25.July]
Toy Story: Dyna Brace...Dyna Brace, Dyna Brace, AND.....Dyna Brace! [14.August]
Youtube Hiatus [31.August]
Ginga Tensei! Seijuu Sentai Gingaman Part 1 of 2 [15.September]
Wins, Opportunites, & Top Seven Episodes! Seijuu Sentai Gingaman Part 2 of 2 [21.September]
Top Seven Best Metal Hero Ending Theme Songs [05.October]
Chakuso!! Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five Part 1 of 2 [28.October]
Wins, Opportunities, & Top Seven Episodes! Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five Part 2 of 2 [03.November]
November!! *Shakes Fist* [30.November]
CCLemon99 2018 Year-End Review [31.December]
The CD Collection--SSSS.Gridman Singles & Original Soundtrack [31.December]

CCLemon99 Videos of 2018

This year has really sucked for the channel. I love what I have managed to scrape out, but the crackdown really killed output. My videos are still unlisted for now, but they should be public again in the future. For now, these links will take you there...

Kamen Rider Takeshi Hongo SHFiguarts [14.January]
Kamen Rider 1 S.H.Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou [28.January]
Cat Ninden Teyande Yattarou ESGokin [04.February]
Kamen Rider Blade SHFiguarts [25.February]
Ninja Sentai Kakuranger 5 Set Mini [11.March]
Kaito Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger CD Shudaika [18.March]
Tokkei Winspector Bikel SHFiguarts [01.April]
Tokkei Winspector Walter SHFiguarts [08.April]
Tokkei Winspector Full Package Option Set SHFiguarts [22.April]
Taiyo Sentai SunVulcan VulShark SHFiguarts [06.May]
Taiyo Sentai SunVulcan VulPanther SHFiguarts [13.May]
Taiyo Sentai SunVulcan SHFiguarts [27.May]
Tensou Sentai Goseiger Tensouder Change Card [10.June]
Ferrari F355 Berlinetta [Hot Wheels Elite Model [17.June]
Gosei Sentai Dairanger Daijinryuu [24.June]
Gosei Sentai Dairanger Plahero Daimugen [01.July]
Choriki Henshin Ohranger COMPLETE [15.July]
Power Rangers Red Ranger SHFiguarts SDCC 2018 [29.July]
Power Rangers Green Ranger SHFiguarts SDCC 2018 [29.July]
Uchuu Keiji Gavan Retsu Ichijoji SHFiguarts [19.August]
Power Rangers White Ranger SHFiguarts [09.December]

That's all for 2018...see you in 2019!!!

-CC

Triple Top Seven: The Best of 2017!

2018/11/30

November! *Shakes Fist*


Hello!

OK, so I wasn't able to finish my Timeranger write-up in time to finish out November, so I may as well go over some random housekeeping stuff since...yeah, keep reading...

We're finally coming up on December! This month I will be making a return to Youtube. Why did I stop? Well... I kinda detailed that in a previous post. I guess I can explain it a little bit better since the storm has kind of subsided.

My account was perilously close to getting terminated. I got a strike one week (lost two videos) and another strike two weeks later. Last time around it was Columbia who was making strikes. I would prefer that they go the avex route and just monetize videos with their content, but whatever. This time around RIAJ was making the claims. All of them were manually flagged, so whoever was after me wasn't going to stop. This explains why most of my videos went unlisted. I know people have been asking and I haven't really been able to answer, so there it is.

I am going to wait a little more time before uploading again just to be safe, but you should see the next CCLemon99 video on either the 9th or 16th. I also intend on making my videos public again. If the bloodletting continues, I may have to permanently unlist videos and just create some kind of directory here on the site. Kinda sucks that I have 11+ years of content teetering on the edge, but I'm also kind of over it at the same time.

When was the last time anything new, exciting, innovative, and competitive came from of Japanese entertainment? Food for thought. Continue shrinking away to nothing in line with your silly protectionist and self-destructive laws and ideas. Didn't Nintendo finally get rid of their horrific Youtube Creator program where they collected 40% of your revenue if you dared show more than a few seconds of game footage? You know, the same program that rolled out alongside their recent Wii U console flop? While others flourish through what amounts to free promotion, Japan sends itself to the basement and hopes for the best...

Anyway...

I've had a pretty rough month. Got into a car accident that I'm still dealing with the fallout over. More on that when it's resolved. Work has been killing me with 12+ hours days and constant nightmare scenarios cropping up thisisfine.png. On top of the other IRL nonsense. Yeah, it's been lousy, but I'm taking it day-by-day and looking forward to all the time off I'll be having in January.

Sorry if I sound like a bit of a crank, but really I've just been busy. People around me are stressing worse somehow despite the responsibility falling on my shoulders. College taught me infinite patience and work has taught me how to deal with otherwise debilitating pressure with decent spirits. The image above, which I took in Arizona in January, is one that kinda keeps me motivated. I'll be out of the cave soon.

Timeranger is coming up soon...for real! I am going to try my absolute damnedest to have both parts happen in December. I also have some SSSS.Gridman CDs to review...two singles so far plus the Original Soundtrack (BADASS cover, btw) coming out at the end of December. Not to mention that the wonderful folks at CINEMA-KAN are releasing a new 2-Disc version of the Denko Chojin Gridman Music Collection on the same day. I am certainly looking forward to that more than anything. The 1993 single-disc original print was good, but this is sure to be incredible.

I'll be back soon! Be sure to check out my Gingaman and GoGo Five write-ups if you haven't already!

-CC

2018/11/03

Wins, Opportunities, & Top Seven Episodes! Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five Part 2 of 2


I'm back for Part 2 of my look at GoGo Five! In Part 1 I looked at all of the characters in the series. While it isn't as dense as Gingaman was, GoGo Five still had a lot of moving parts involved, so be sure to give the previous post a read.

As I have been doing in my recent write-ups, the second part has what I thought were the wins and opportunities of the series as well as my top seven favorite episodes. To top it all off, I'll give my overall thoughts on the series.

Here we go... Let's finish GoGo Five!

--------------------


GoGo Five WINS

WIN: Music/BGM

It was pretty much expected for a Super Sentai series of the 1990s to have a great music collection. GoGo Five didn't disappoint!

Keeping with the family theme of the series, GoGo Five's music was composed by Toshiyuki Watanabe, son of Michiaki Watanabe (...you know his work...). Yeah, Super Sentai was now old enough that the composer of the original series now has a son to score his own series. While I tend to not favor the elder Watanabe's music too much, Toshiyuki Watanabe's lone Tokusatsu TV series entry is amazing. It was a little more modern than recent series scores and just fit like a glove.

Worthy of making a CM appearance

On top of the fantastic music collection for the series, there was a great song collection featuring songs by Shinichi Ishihara (who was FINALLY getting the Super Sentai love he desperately deserved after previously only providing the theme song to Turbo Rugger in Turboranger and three CM songs for Megaranger). The Positive Groover himself even appeared in the series...


It doesn't end there either, we also got songs from Takayuki Miyauchi, future series theme singer Yukio Yamagata, an ending song by Naritaka Takayama, and even a song from one-hit wonder and Mondo himself...Mike Maki. I wouldn't call this series a music-lover's dream, but it certainly exceeds any expectations anyone would have for a series about Rescue Workers for sure.

If I had one complaint about the music, it'd be that it was too quiet during the series. That's more of an audio engineer issue, though. Seriously...crank it up!

WIN: Episode Pacing

There isn't a whole lot to say here except that the episodes were paced a little bit better than the previous two series. During Megaranger's run, five minutes were added per episode and neither Megaranger nor Gingaman really did much of anything worthwhile to fill the time. GoGo Five managed to nail it a little bit better with only a few instances of extended scenes added in to fill the time.

WIN: Plot & Progression

Working the very real-life phenomenon Grand Cross into the story and giving it subsequent reason to continue on afterward is easily one of my favorite things about GoGo Five. The episodes were even timed so that the Grand Cross episode would air the week of Grand Cross. They easily could have gone after the low-hanging fruit of the looming year 2000 and the Y2K Bug having some menacing series device, but it was something only briefly mentioned in discarded in the annual clipshow episode.


While I gave Gingaman some grief for it's smooth and almost uneventful progression, GoGo Five just seems to handle it better while not really doing a whole lot differently. Grandiene was this series version of Daitanix, but it just seemed less stupid that it was a person instead of a monster/ship. Monstership?

While it was certain that *something* would happen with Grandiene during Grand Cross, who really saw Mondo of all people stopping her revival? The results of which leaving Grandiene in this deformed state for almost the remainder of the series. Again...great planning.

WIN: Not Caving In

It was refreshing not having a sixth hero in this series. Liner Boy is considered to fill the role, but he had no bearing on the series outside of his lone focus episode. Good.

WIN: Effects


This series has some absolutely wonderful effects. Between the clear visor helmets and the heavy reliance on incredibly detailed practical effects for the mecha, GoGo Five is a very pretty series to look at. I think one of the reasons I never got into Victory Mars as much as everyone else is the lousy CG transformation. This series, in my eyes, is the last great special effects series. It may not be number one in action, but Super Sentai is waaay more than that.


I'm glad the clear visors was something they didn't abandon early on. In fact, I felt like they doubled down hard on them as the series went on.

WIN: Tech & Mecha 

GoGo Five is full of both of these things. While I never got into Victory Mars and found Liner Boy kind of annoying, I looooove the mecha of this series. This made for some excellent toys, naturally. The GoGo Brace and weapons of the series were also really neat. No need for the gold-plated nonsense that Gingaman had. There are overtech Sentai series that just could not make it work, but GoGo Five certainly got it right.

WIN: Cast & Characters

I like the cast in this series. The Tatsumi family are fun and the creepy and cold dynamic in Psyma plays well throughout the series...almost like a better version of Vyram. What are characters without cast? I covered this more in Part 1, but I think a good job was done by all. Even the stuntish casting of Mike Maki was good.

--------------------

I can't tell you how much I hate this shot. I know it's supposed to be funny, but c'mon!

GoGo Five OPPORTUNITIES

OPPORTUNITY: Rescue Theme???

While there was a fair amount of rescue theme scenarios played out in the series...there could have been just a bit more. The series begins and ends with some major rescue operations but kinda just falls into filler-hell for awhile. That isn't to say that the series became bad at any point, I just felt that they could have incorporated just a little bit more rescue themes into the filler episodes. 

OPPORTUNITY: Deep Family Rift

While the series tied everything up in a nice little bow, it was a long road to get there. The disappearance of Mondo is quickly resolved in the first episode (Sho certainly is the only one with a memory longer than ten minutes), but Ritsuko was another story. We don't really learn anything about her or her absence until the end of the series. She went out to search for Mondo, abandoning her children in the process. The plane she was on crashed, and she ended up in a coma for several years. Somehow her spirit managed to help GoGo Five escape Hell despite her being alive?

Honestly, this series would have been more interesting if the Tatsumi kids were just adult versions of sadsack kids-of-the-week from previous shows (Mom is dead, Dad is on a business trip). Bringing Ritsuko back in was a pointless endeavor even if it made the Tatsumi family one again. 

I know, I'm cruel like that...

OPPORTUNITY: Psyma Revivals

Zylpheza coming back to life two and a half times wouldn't have been such a bad thing had they not done it in such quick succession. Also, wouldn't Denus have been a worthy revival? She never really had a resolution with her conflict with Nagare. Her sacrifice to revive Zylpheza was a tad anti-climatic especially given how he was dispatched not long after. 

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Top Seven GoGo Five Episodes


07. Otototachi no hanran [13]

After skipping out on Matoi's rescue training to enjoy a meal at a fine restaurant, the Tatsumi siblings are caught without their GoGo Braces in a Psyma attack. While they are able to save the other patrons and restaurant workers, they become trapped inside the building. Matoi is forced to save them.

On one hand, the younger siblings are jerks for swiping those tickets and having a meal without Matoi. On the other hand, it's very likely that everyone in that restaurant would not have made it without their guidance. It was a random happenstance, but it all worked out in the end. 

--------------------


06. Matoi ga maketa otoko [41]

Matoi gets a visit from his rival/superior! In the midst of their challenges, Matoi ends up in a real rescue situation that has him hanging from a lone tree on a cliff face. Matoi was able to hold on long enough while his rival, Kudo, was able to go to the bottom and assist from below.

Matoi was the lone driving force behind the Tatsumi's for the entire series. Sure, Mondo created the tech...but they would be nothing without the infinite determination and willpower of Matoi. We learn a little bit more about his firefighter days and learn that he wasn't always top dog. In fact, there was someone who bested him at everything. 

If Kudo looks familiar for some reason, the answer is actually closer than you might think. Kudo is played by Kurano Maki. Yep...Mike Maki's real life son. Real life son versus TV son!

--------------------


05. Nusumareta chikara! [09]

Matsuri's disabled former co-worker Mizuki accidently swaps abilities with Matsuri. This leaves Matsuri unable to fight with Mizuki taking her place fighting alongside GoGo Five. While she is unable to transform, she follows Matsuri's instructions and is ultimately able to revert Matsuri's abilities back to her. At the end of the day, Mizuki decides to stop being stubborn and takes up physical therapy to remedy her workplace injury.

GoGo Five isn't very big on notable guest stars, but this one was a great pull. Mizuki is played by Chie Tanabe. She was notably Ran of the Hana Kunoichi Gumi in Kakuranger, but was also a longtime stuntwoman for Toei in the 90s. This lead to a great guest appearance and great episode. 

--------------------


04. Utsukushi Psyma no wana [07]

Mondo's old friend Dr. Robinson is in town to deliver a disc of information regarding the Earth's faultlines. Wikipedia not being invented yet, Psyma is hardcore after the disc. Mondo enlists his children to escort the Doctor and ensure that the disc is safe. This leads to some pretty hairy and somewhat funny situations as Denus is actually accompanying them in disguise. Matoi playing an over-the-top hostage negotiator in particular is one of my favorite moments of his.

The disc? It was already delivered to Mondo via a photo that Dr. Robinson asked them to deliver early in the episode.

--------------------


03. Hatsuyame wa Psyma no Melody [45]

GoGo Five's cracked out New Year's episode possibly surpasses the Kakuranger New's Years episode out of sheer weirdness.

Psymajuu Bahamuu steals the dreams of Nagare, Sho, Daimon, Matsuri, and Kyoko. In an attempt to wake everyone up, Matoi dives right into everyone's dreams. This leads to a long string of sequences of bizarre nightmares for Matoi to deal with. Mondo is able to sing a song to wake everyone up, but this leads to another bizarre mecha battle sequence.


This episode had so much packed into it. The aforementioned Shinichi Ishihara cameo kicked off this episode and from there it just got weirder. Matsuri and Denus having a song-off during a mecha battle was par for the course. 

The plot was pretty thin, but this was certainly a visual treat and a little bit of levity before ramping into the finale.

Did I mention that this was the first episode to air in 2000???

--------------------


02. Kichi kaimetsu 0byo mae [40]

Daimon and Matsuri invited a boy named Nobuhiko to visit Bay Area 55. Before picking him up from the hospital, Denus had given him a bouquet of flowers that were full of Psymajuu Hilgemuuja's worms. The worms successfully infect Bay Area 55 and were aiming to detonate the fuel within. Daimon launches a gritty rescue mission to not only rescue the trapped Nobuhiko and Matsuri, but to stop the insects from overloading and blowing up Bay Area 55. In the end, the three were able to save Bay Area 55 before rejoining the other GoGo Five in battle.

This episode has a frantic pace that jumpstarted the energy of the series leading up to the finale. Where most series start to sputter and lose budget momentum, GoGo Five was just warming up.

--------------------


01. Kyuukyuu Senshi! Tatsu [01]

The first episode is really cool. It waste ZERO time not only getting the Tatsumi gang into their GoGo Five Anti-Hazard Suits, but also into their mecha. Before we ever get a glimpse of Psyma, Magma Golem appears as a giant.


I genuinely think that the first episode of Ohranger may be my favorite first episode in all of Super Sentai. The pacing was just perfect. Baranoia was coming and U.A.O.H. was ready...ish. The debut of GoGo Five kinda mirrors that, but in a much more realistic and clinical way. Mondo was ready and his children, unbeknownst to them, were also ready. There was no need for quests to attain weapons and trial of strength to combine their mecha. It was all there. Not only that, the almost-complete second mecha was also there.  

--------------------


While I can't say that GoGo Five is my favorite Super Sentai series of the 1990s, I would say that it very comfortably fits in the top five. That's high praise when you look at the rest of the 1990s catalog. Megaranger? Nope. Jetman? Helllll no. I'd probably put this series at fourth favorite of the decade if you forced me to.

GoGo Five may have a bit of a jerky start given how shaky the Tatsumi family was with Matoi being the sole guardian. The stronger they became, the stronger the series became. The fact that this series never fell into the usual spell of malaise that occurs in the forties is what makes it shine. We can all agree that the resolution was the best anyone could have hoped for. Nobody had to die for the sake of *deep plot, yo*.

While I know that my favorite series, Kakuranger, likely won't appeal to everyone...I think GoGo Five is the perfect middle ground for everything. The general lack of opportunities I saw in this series kinda reflects that. Everything just makes sense. There is a little bit of Sentai absurdity sprinkled in, but this series has a common appeal to those who may not appreciate the over-the-top. You may not have the same favorite episodes, but I can almost guarantee you'll dig the series if you haven't checked it out already.


--------------------

I hope you enjoyed my GoGo Five write-up! Like I mentioned in the previous part, it was a series I was looking forward to revisiting once again. Next time, in my slow catch-up with Shout Factory's releases, I will be looking at Mirai Sentai Timeranger. Look forward to both parts of that and my year-end wrap to close out 2018.

See ya next time!

-CC

Chakuso! Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five Part 1 of 2
Super Sentai Series Reviews
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2018/10/28

Chakuso!! Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five Part 1 of 2


Welcome to another CCLemon99 Super Sentai series review! This time I'm looking at a series I'm definitely more familiar with and one that I've been dying to get into for some time. Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five!

This is the final series that I was *REALLY* hoping that Shout Factory would make it to, but I'm certainly thrilled that they're continuing beyond this. While Past-Me never really got too much into Megaranger or Gingaman until my recent revisits, GoGo Five's approach to Super Sentai was something that drew me back into the genre at a pretty critical point. Granted, Present-Me doesn't give a damn about new Sentai (ask this guy...he broke the news of the 2019 Sentai to me in person. I think my reaction was something like 😑) but I think I was at a point where I could have been a much more casual fan. GoGo Five brought me back in for reasons I'll likely get to in the next post.

In the meantime, the usual *SPOILER* warning is right here. Just watch the damn series at this point. We're coming up on twenty years for Pete's sake...

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Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five

The Tatsumi family has a deep lineage in rescue work in Tokyo. The current-day members of the Tatsumi family carry on the tradition. Suddenly the Earth is under attack and they are faced with their missing father, Mondo, who has emerged with a program to ward of the impending Doom's Day scenario in August 1999 called Grand Cross. Armed with gadgets, rescue tactics, and infinite willpower...can GoGo Five succeed?

While the Tatsumis were employed as emergency workers in the first episode, Mondo had submitted their resignations in the second episode. In order to prevent the resurrection of Grandiene, they needed to be ready to fight the Psyma family at a moment's notice. They all lived together in a house while Mondo spent the majority of his time continuing work in Bay Area 55. Despite no longer being active-duty, the team did still carry out rescue missions and were heavily relied upon by the fire department.

The theme of family does come up constantly. While the Tatsumi family is more or less in shambles, it becomes stronger as the series progresses. First Mondo reappears, Matoi is able to pass on his determination and willpower to his siblings, and finally they are reunited with their long-lost mother.

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Matoi / Go Red

The eldest Tatsumi sibling and the one who raised his siblings after first the disappearance of their father and later their mother. As a firefighter, Matoi usually ended up leading rescue missions as GoGo Five and would often use his firefighting training as GoGo Five training for his siblings.

Matoi is great. His endless optimism usually blinded him from the fear and sadness that would hinder someone in his situation. There were a few moments where cracks kinda showed, but he never let it get the best of him. When forced to retreat from Psyma he said something along the lines of "I'm not afraid! ...but why am I shaking??". It's great when the series cheerleader is not only within the team, but it's leader. His optimism and determination annoyed his siblings when situations got tough, but it made them stronger by the end of the series.

I thought Matoi was at his best when he was being a dick to his siblings. It's what you would expect from an older brother, right?

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Nagare / Go Blue

A scientist with the fire department, Nagare at first seems like a woefully bland dude. As the series progresses, however, you we come to realize that he is certainly his father's son. He never explicitly works with Mondo, but he does create some GoGo Five tech on his own such as the Go Blasters. Some friendly competition never hurt, I suppose?

While you would expect the second-banana to be the voice of dissent, Nagare never disagreed with Matoi since he likely agreed with his sometimes harsh motivation. His nature as a scientist lead him to analyze situations rather than hopping head first into battle like his younger siblings tended to do.

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Sho / Go Green

The middle child. Sho is a skilled helicopter pilot with the fire department and tends to be an emotional dude. He not only fights back at Matoi's direction, but holds a serious grudge against Mondo for abandoning the family to prepare for Grand Cross.

As he is pretty emotional, he has a hard time destroying the Big Douser robot he helped Nagare develop once it had been taken over by Psyma. Nagare? He had no real reservations since he knew it had to be done.

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Daimon / Go Yellow

Daimon is the youngest brother and a police officer. He tends to be a little bit impulsive and is prone to making mistakes. He did attempt to diffuse some situations on his own, but usually ended needing to get bailed out. Being the youngest there is some resentment toward his older brothers as he was at the tail end of getting all of their hand-me-down clothing. He is also an avid Judoka, which lead to his re-emergence in Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai.

A quick note about Daimon's actor Kenji Shibata. He has been battling the symptoms of an inoperable brain tumor since GoGo Five. In fact, he first discovered the symptoms as the series was wrapping up. He emerged to share the story of his condition and had a reunion with his GoGo Five castmates in the Spring of 2018. I highly recommend checking it out in this video.

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Matsuri / Go Pink

Matsuri is the youngest overall and only daughter of the group. She is a paramedic which often lands her partnered with Matoi during his rescues. She tends to do the household cooking while her brothers do the other chores around the house. Of the five, she misses their Mother the most and was able to recognize the sound of her Mother's Christmas charm while they were trapped in Hell.

I kinda feel bad for Matsuri. Early on in the series she had a great presence and was a major part in keeping the series moving forward. Suddenly she just kinda ended up in the background for the remainder of the series. The last focus episode she truly had was 32. Then again, if the series continued it's focus on her it probably would have lead to Nagare being even more blah than he already was and Daimon just being bratty without ever getting into why he was.

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Mondo Tatsumi

The father of the Tatsumi sibling and creator of the GoGo Five program. Other scientists did not buy into his theory on the Grand Cross (which was a real thing, BTW) bringing destruction to Earth. Mondo quietly disappeared circa 1989 and emerged a decade later when the first Psymajuu appeared. He immediately set his children up with their GoGo Five tech and sent them into battle.

Much like Nagare, he is rather dense and incredibly emotionally shallow...especially early in the series. Later on he has moments of "How could I send my children into battle??", but really this was the plan from the start. We do get a little more insight into Mondo during the episode when the scientists and Tatsumi guys became kids again. While the guys were looking for Matsuri, who they thought was lost, child Mondo was doing endless calculations on the Psymajuu eventually finding it's weakpoint.

This kinda begs the question...just how young was he when he discovered his Grand Cross theory? Did he marry Ritsuko as a utilitarian effort just to have five children in quick succession? His willingness to send them into battle early on with zero conscious would suggest that...and maybe his later regrets came only after he reconnected with them. It's kinda slimy, but as a scientist he saw it as a necessary means to conduct his experiment.

Then again, there is that time that he took a break to appear on TV in 1992...

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Mint

The annoying helper/robot of the series. She is apparently the only program on the planet affected by the Y2K bug outside of a few traffic lights.

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Kyoko

Sho's co-worker and a shuttle pilot. She pops into the series at random and has a dream of becoming a member of GoGo Five. As Mondo never anticipated a sixth member, this is something that was never realized in the series proper. Early on she was able to assist Matoi during a mission, but largely stuck around for banter.

Personally I found Kyoko pretty damn annoying. As we saw in the cracked-out New Year's episode, not only did she dream of being in GoGo Five, she dreamt of being Go Red. The nerve! She could barely fly a damn plane and she wants to replace the infinite willpower of Matoi??

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This may be the only shot in the entire series with all siblings, Pierre, and Grandiene...kinda...

Psyma Ichizoku

The protagonists of the series are also a family. Psyma is made up of a band of four siblings and their butler who are trying to revive their mother, Grandiene.

Psyma are genuinely creepy at their best, but conniving jerks toward each other at their worst. Early on they were fairly efficient even if they never managed to defeat GoGo Five. Once Grandiene and Salamandes were in the picture, however, each family member more or less acted on their own agenda. The opposite was going on with the Tatsumi clan, so this dynamic was fairly interesting to watch play out.

The end game, of course, was for Grandiene to take over the world and wipe out humanity. Despite being one family versus another, there really was no anti-theme to Psyma. It was just happenstance that Psyma was up against a family of rescue workers whose father was a brilliant scientist.

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Grandiene

The initial goal of Psyma was to revive their mother, Grandiene. She began to emerge as a spirit as the Grand Cross approached. During the ceremony to revive her on the date of Grand Cross, Mondo interferred and managed to cut the Minus Energy stream that was reviving her. This resulted in her deformed partial revival.

Grandiene is truly twisted. She doesn't give a single damn about any of her children and will sacrifice them in a heartbeat if it means achieving her goal at ruling the Earth. While Mondo's parenting may be questionable, this is truly messed up. She does eventually revive to a complete form before being wiped out by Matoi. Following this, she took on a new form as a spirit.

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Zylpheza

The older brother of Psyma. He was in command early on, but began to waver once Grandiene begins to return. He is very close with Denus and Cobolda, but does not trust the infant Drop in the slightest. After his death, he was nearly revived by Denus once and later revived for real...only to be killed...and then revived AGAIN. Predictably he died once again.

While he was a menace to GoGo Five, he put his siblings above all else. After being betrayed by his mother, he told Matoi where he could find Grandiene to defeat her.

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Cobolda

The younger brother of Zylpheza and older brother of Denus. Cobolda largely hung around in the back until aligning with Denus upon Zylpheza's death. Grandiene basically sent him to his death in a final battle against GoGo Five. Zylpheza tried to warn him that he was being used, but to no avail. In the end, Grandiene ended up dispatching him through Zylpheza.

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Denus

The younger sister of Zylpheza and Cobolda, but older sister to Drop/Salamandes. Denus was great at spying and doing undercover work against GoGo Five while being an average fighter. She developed a grudge against Nagare that never really had a resolution. In the end, she sacrificed herself to help revive Zylpheza for the first time. Her reason was that he was the only sibling that treated her decently.

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Drop

The often sleeping infant and youngest sibling of the Psyma family. He did contribute his own Psymajuu from time to time, but was largely just carried around by Pierre.

He eventually evolved into...

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Salamandes

The new Dark King following Zylpheza's death. He is immensely powerful, but over time proves to be just as ill-equipped at defeating GoGo Five as everyone else in Psyma. He evolves again as Yuumao Salamandes in order to escape Hell, but is taken out by GoGo Five. Alongside Zylpheza, Salamandes is revived by Grandiene to fight for her in the final battle as she no longer had a body of her own.

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Pierre

Psyma's butler/wizard. He summons Psymajuu from cards provided from Psyma as well as his own deck. He also uses revive cards to enlarge dead Psymajuu to continue their battle against GoGo Five's mecha fleet. Pierre has a bizzare and unwavering loyalty to Salamandes. After Salamandes is killed for the first time, Pierre is seen drunkenly wandering the streets on New Year's Eve.

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Imps

The grunts of the series. I'm not a huge fan of these guys. Their designs are kinda blah even though I totally see what they were going for. They didn't do anything particularly weird or unique during the series. Remember in Megaranger when the Kunekune piled on top of each other to form a giant Kunekune? Every series needs a memorable moment like that to give their grunts a little more to do than get elbowed and flipped.

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I hope you enjoyed the first part of my look at GoGo Five. Part two will be up soon and, as usual, will contain more of my thoughts on the series itself. Oh...and I'll have to come up with a list of Top Seven favorite episodes.

Stay tuned!

-CC