2019/01/28

The CD Collection--Denko Chojin Gridman Original Soundtrack


Welcome to my CD Collection review of the brand new Denko Chojin Gridman Original Soundtrack from our good friends at Cinema-Kan. They previously released the excellent Ultraman Powered Original Soundtrack so we're certainly in for a treat today. It's always nice to see what a smaller label can do versus the giants like Columbia or avex. You can always tell there is just a little more passion involved in getting a release out.

Let's get into it...

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Denko Chojin Gridman Original Soundtrack
CINK-85/86
2019.01.23

As you likely guessed from the photo at the top of this page and the fact that that I've reviewed the 1993 CDs in the past, this is not Gridman's first CD release. I stick by my original assessment of the Gridman Music Collection. To put it quickly, I thoroughly enjoyed Osamu Tetsuka's music collection, but found it to be my least favorite of the stellar soundtracks to the rest of the 1993 Tokusatsu line-up (Gosei Sentai Dairanger, Kamen Rider ZO, Tokusou Robo Janperson, Ultraman Powered). To be last among the music of that year is hardly a negative, though.

So what is the purpose of this set? Well, it's a two-disc CD set versus the 1993 edition's lone disc. While that could mean that the second disc could just be comprised of the theme song single, it's actually much more than that. No, Cinema-Kan diligently combed through the Tsuburaya archives and found every last shred of content they could for this set...and even a very nice surprise!



DISC ONE

This disc contains a good portion of the content you would expect. All vocal songs are represented as well as a lot of the familiar BGM tracks from the 1993 version of the music collection. The vocal songs, might I add, have grown on me a bit more over time. Both theme songs by Norio Sakai are gems. Who doesn't love Yume no Hero? Of all of the Tokusatsu theme songs of the 90s, it's the only one that I've enjoyed more over time. The sentiment I have for the lone vocal song, Futatsu no yuuki by Compoid Three, is similar. The bassline and horns are just so damn good. Like the original music collection, there is also an instrumental version of Futatsu no yuuki included.

Overall, this disc is what you would expect..........until you get to the last track...

The bonus track of this album is an alternate version of Yume no Hero! WOW! I had no friggin idea this even existed. How different is it? Musically it's the same, but lyrically it's different. Is it any better than the final version? NOPE. It's weird how the smallest changes can kinda diminish the slickness of a song. In this case, the lyrical differences are a little janky.

That said...what an addition! Columbia didn't have the guts to release the alternate version of the Kamen Rider BLACK RX theme song on that big 3-Disc set. You rule, Cinema-kan!

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DISC TWO

The content that inhabits this disc is largely made up of alternate takes and a lot of the smaller incidental music that was completely missing from the 1993 version soundtrack. This is the type of thing I live for. A lot of the stuff here has little bits of background noise and imperfections. They're wonderful little snapshots in time. The alternate takes are always welcome as well, especially when it comes to the badass action tracks from this show. You know... I probably like this soundtrack more than the Janperson music collection in retrospect. Janperson's music collection is more comedically derivative of Hollywood movie soundtracks with a splash of original action themes. Gridman is 100% original and 100% awesome.

The big new additions on this disc are the TV size versions of both theme songs which, correct me if I'm wrong, have never been released before. Yeah, the old version of the music collection featured the full size versions. We also get Instrumental versions of both theme songs, which were absent on the 1993 CD. There are four Karaoke tracks to finish the disc off. Both theme songs (previously released on the CD Single), Futatsu no yuuki (previously unreleased), and the Type B version of Yume no Hero. Again...wow! Like I said, it isn't different musically, just lyrically. The chorus singing is what necessitates the separate version.


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There it is! This release was certainly worth the wait. It combines the two previous Gridman CDs, adds a healthy amount of additional content, and does it at a very efficient price. Cinema-Kan, you're definitely alright in my book. I absolutely recommend this release as well as the Ultraman Powered Original Soundtrack. I'm looking forward to what Cinema-Kan has in store for the future.

For more CD Collection goodness, check out my page here. I have more reviews and research materials there.

Take care!

-CC

The CD Collection--SSSS.Gridman Singles & Original Soundtrack
The CD Collection--Gridman, Changerion, Guyferd, Mikazuki, & Evolver

BONUS: Some of the awesome extras hidden in the artwork. I love the layout of the 1993 Original Soundtrack, but this new release wins on the sheer coolness.


Gridman Sigma!



Inner side of the obi


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...?


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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...



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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...


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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!


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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 √ątranger (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!

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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.

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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. 

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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!

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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. 

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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.

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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???

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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.

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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.  

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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.


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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

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