Triple Top Seven!!! Gosei Sentai Dairanger!


I did it previously with Zyuranger, and now I'm doing it again with Dairanger. That's right, I made a special marathon of Dairanger (my second of the year--typically I watch Dairanger during the summer) to type up this special blog before the year was out. So here goes...

Oh, and you know how I hate when people put *SPOILER ALERT* at the head of things. This is Dairanger, FFS. If you haven't seen it yet--that's your damn problem.


Top 7 Problems With Dairanger!

07. The Ending (for Gorma)

I'm very split on the ending. On one hand, it's perfect. When it comes to how it ended with Gorma...welllllll...it just left more questions than answers. The epilogue was funny, but that too left more questions than answers. I guess we'll find out in 2043...

06. Kazu

Not an awful character, he mostly suffered from neglect. Whenever he did have episodes, they were usually decent...but he was kind of in the background for the majority of the show. I mean, when everyone was getting encouragement from characters who had died or had moved on, he got encouragement from Kameo.....who was alive....who was alive and in his pocket... Kazu was never really given a great trial or rival like the others. Even Rin had Media Majutsushi...but for whatever reason Kou's mother appeared to her for encouragement.

05. Daigo

On the flipside, we have an interesting character who was miscast. Tatsuya Nomi did a good job when it came to action scenes and having a stoic look for Daigo...but once he needed to show any kind of emotion, he totally lost control of his face. He kind of cranked it up to 11 a lot of the time. Which is kind of a shame since he seemed to be the most in-tune with his mission as a Dairanger.

04. Dairenoh's strength

I like just about every mecha in this series, but I don't like Dairenoh that much. He was borderline invincible. I can only think of a few times when Dairenoh was ever in a pinch...especially one that made it necessary for something like Kibadaioh to be created. It took something as massive as Daijinryu for Dairenoh to have a problem...

03. Suddenly...China...or is it!?

A handful of times in the series the characters are suddenly transported to China or end up there. I get that this goes with the theme of the show, but it just felt...oddly done and kind of sloppy. When the group needed to find the Tenpo Lailai, Rin was suddenly teleported there and the others followed (in their Jeep somehow). This is fine, but other times it's less straightforward. Is the Gorma fighting ground in China? It looks like it would be compared to how the setting looked, but the Kiryoku and Yoryoku towers were clearly in Japan. Not to mention the Gorma Palace would have to be located in China for the Dairanger to have never encounter it before the finale. It would make sense for it to be there...and since it seems to remain hidden, wouldn't it be there?

02. Zaidos' Demise

He was as eerie, calm, and competent as Shadam and Gara for most of the series. The last few episodes he was made out to be the screw-up of the bunch. Wha? All three seemed cool in their own ways and suddenly Zaidos is a joke?

Also, what's up with how Zaidos holds his hands? It looks like he's holding two brandy snifters at all times.

01. Pick a damn side!

Some people might not agree with me on this, but there is a mind-boggling amount of side-switching in this show. Ryo's father left the Dai tribe to join Gorma, there was a struggle by each side to get Kou, and there was the last minute switch (well...it was more of a reversal) by Kaku. That was the one that really bothered me. Even though the seeds of this switch were planted early on, it just seemed to be totally unnecessary. I'm not entirely sure what the series would have gained if Kaku was around for the end, but it was kind of a bummer not having him around seeing as he was pulling the strings behind the Dairanger for most of the series.

Getting back to Kou for a second... He is a child of Dai and Gorma. His mother died in the cave with his twin brother, Akomaru. Shadam gets very close to revealing to Kou that he is his father before Ryo tells him to shut up. So...he never finds out the truth about Shadam? I imagine that Kou had an awkward conversation with Rin after she parted ways with the other four.

Kou: Now that Gorma is gone, I can look for my father!
Rin: Yeah...about that...

Poor kid. Sorry, I got off topic...


Top 7 Wins With Dairanger!

07. The Ending
OK, so I mentioned above that I didn't like the ending for Gorma. I did, however, love how it ended for Dairanger. After the Gorma Palace is wiped out by Daijinryu, the Dairanger can finally disband for real. In probably one of my favorite shots in Super Sentai history we see the team slowly part ways. It kind of reminds me of the ending of The Graduate in how it was edited. Rather than the typical cutting point to show how they all lived together--happily ever after (when they join hands) the scene keeps moving with Kazu first walking away, then Daigo, then Rin, Shoji then gives Ryo a light tap before leaving. Wow...I'd be lying if I said I don't get a little misty-eyed whenever I see it. It's really wonderfully done.
The epilogue is kinda stupid, but it does introduce one awesome concept...DAIRANGER IN 2043!!!
06. Kou & Akomaru
This is usually a point of contention for a lot of people, but I actually liked these characters.
Despite being a member of the Dairanger team pretty early on in the series, his affiliation was in jeopardy a number of times as the series went on...and for good reason. Being the son of a Gorma man (Shadam) and Dai woman (Ummm.....Kou's mother never did have a name) he could've been a member of either team. Once you look past his childish behavior (hey, he was a kid afterall) he wasn't that bad of a character. He had a legitimate reason to fight Gorma, and did so despite not being a very strong fighter.
Akomaru didn't really have much to offer Gorma much to his own frustration. He wanted to be leader--and to win his father's approval, but couldn't quite figure out how to achieve either. He ends up dying only to pulled from Hell by Gorma XV. He is never quite successful in his missions, but he has endless determination to become the best.
Both characters are pretty interesting and are given a large share of screentime. They certainly kept the show moving along and both had plenty of reason for existing in the story.
05. Jin
Where to begin...?
First off, I endorse any appearance of Yutaka Hirose in a Tokusatsu series. He was excellent in his three previous Sentai villain roles, but Jin is a special case...because he isn't Gorma.
Having Ryo face an unknown element in the middle of his ongoing battle with Gorma was a brilliant move. Once Ryo was given a savage beating from Jin after witnessing a second assassination (this one was successful), it was clear that maybe Ryo's skill isn't quite where it needs to be if he can't beat someone who isn't even associated with Gorma. During their rematch, Ryo is able to match and eventually beat Jin when he is distracted.
Jin actually *uses* Gorma to become stronger in his quest to beat Ryo, but never willingly joins. To see them eventually become allies is great too. I don't really like when bad people become good in shows, but Ryo's plan of killing him with kindness lead to some nice moments of Ryo and Jin bonding. Especially when Ryo carries Jin and his wheelchair up the stairs. Heh.
I love the idea of an outside variable causing a major disruption for Ryo as it lead to some of the best fights scenes in the show. One guy was able to do what Gorma had failed to do for 26 episodes...beat Ryo into a bloodied seizure.
04. Music
Eiji Kawamura is in my Top 3 of Tokusatsu composers. This is his first Sentai series...and it is fantastic. Some people don't like the music from Dairanger, but I think it has a special darkness mixed with a slight Chinese vibe. Kinda to the same degree with which he handled Kakuranger's music and it's Japanese vibe. It's there...but not all of the time.
In terms of amazing fight music, Eiji Kawamura has it on lockdown. Go back and listen to his catalog of Tokusatsu soundtracks and you'll see what I mean. He also did Kamen Rider BLACK, BLACK RX, ZO, J, Lady Battle Cop, Dairanger, Kakuranger, and B-Fighter. All of them have some fantastic pieces in them and are overall great.
On top of all that, it has my favorite Sentai Ending song. [Happy, D3rachi?]
03. Ryo & Shoji
My two favorites from the series.
Ryo was very convincing at being a team leader and skilled fighter. As I mentioned before, his rivalry with Jin is spectacular as well as most of his fights in general. After a string of red heroes who were really nothing more than a bunch of lame goodnicks, it was refreshing to have an actual skilled fighter in charge of a team. Keiichi Wada did a wonderful job portraying Ryo and bringing a great character to life. This........would've been wasteful casting had this happened:

Keiichi Wada as Kazu...Keisuke Tsuchiya as Ryo...
Shoji is a cool guy. Also a skilled fighter, but also a somewhat troubled guy. He seems to have a checkered past as he was briefly shown to be a failure as a thug. He has since moved on to become a boxer (and is mentioned to have been a champion in the epilogue) and a spirited guy.
One of my favorite Shoji moments is when he is leaving his friends to meet Kamikaze for their final duel (a motorcycle race). He throws down some money and says "Keep the change...!" before leaving the restaurant. After a second Ryo yells "Hey, you didn't leave enough!!". Hahaha...I love that guy.
02. Designs...all of them!
Everything looked good in this show. The Dairanger suits, weapons, villains...everything. The only things I didn't like so much were the Kiryoku Bazooka and Dairenoh. The rest of the mecha looked cool, though--especially Ryuseioh.
01. The Series
This is a little bit of a cop-out, but yes...I consider this show a big win for Super Sentai in general.
I can watch this show every year and it hasn't gotten old. Like all Sentai shows between Dynaman and Carranger, the episodes are 18 minutes long and can be marathoned easily. This show especially is very fast paced, gripping, and easy to watch. The characters are great, the villains are cool and mysterious, the action is top notch--this show is amazing.
Top 7 Dairanger Episodes!
07. Saraba! San Baka (Episode 40)
The final episode with the Three Idiots. Shoji is in a race to the death with Kamikaze. Fittingly Kamikaze lives up to his name and knowingly drives into Zaidos at the finish line after learning that it is loaded with explosives. He did this because he realized that Zaidos had no faith in his ability to win the race on his own.
06. Tamashii Chodai!/Oretachi amai ze! (Episodes 3&4)
Two-parter. This episode.....HAD to have given kids nightmares. Kagi Dokeshi is on the loose and he is stealing souls of children and using them to power his army of killer dolls. This set of episodes is full of great story and fighting.
05. Tofu de yottaa (Episode 12)
A Kazu focus episode! One of, like, two of them... Anyway...I liked the focus on drunken fighting in this episode, even if it never really happened. Shoji and Daigo disguised as Cotpotros and switched Tofu sennin's sake with water, which resulted in Kazu only having to pretend to be too hammered to fight, leaving an opening to attack.
04. Hiken!! Dekee yatsu (Episode 37)
In this episode, Daijinryu appears prompting a couple of failed ceasefires between Dairanger and Gorma. I wasn't too crazy about Daijinryu, but man...did he leave an impression. Between his frantic music and sheer destructive force...this episode was definitely a shock. There was no conceivable way that the Dairanger could stop this thing...and no real idea what it was or what it wanted.
03. Uragirimono!/Oyagiii!! (Episodes 7&8)
Two-parter. The team is faced with a mysterious new Gorma opponent named Choryo who turns out to be Ryo's father. Upon learning that Ryo is his son, he decides to help the Dairanger out by informing them on how to combine their recently obtained Kidenjuu into Dairenoh. Upon his death, Choryo is forgiven by his previous teammates for being a traitor and joining Gorma.
02. Tenshin daa!/Kiryoku daa! (Episodes 1&2)
Two-parter. Not much to say other than this show has a fantastic debut episode. They waste no time getting into the action. I think Ryo is attacked within the first thirty seconds. The introduction of Ryuseioh is also amazing...
01. Iya na iya na iya na yatsu/Saishu ken da da daa (Episodes 26&27)
Two-parter. This episode introduced Jin, showed him mercilessly kill several strict martial arts masters and violently beat Ryo in one of the best Sentai fight scenes ever. In turn, Ryo trains for his rematch with Jin and barely beats him...leading to a new rivalry for the remainder of Jin's time on the show. 
Seriously, this is one of my favorite two-parters ever.


There it is...my Triple Top Seven of Dairanger! Be sure to check out my other Top 7 lists. More to come...because I just finished rewatching Jetman for the first time in about thirteen years...

Anyway...thank you for reading my blog and watching my videos. I will be back in 2014 with loads of new content both here and on Youtube.

See you in the new year!



...Forte Continued...and Jinzoningen Hakaider...

(This is Part 2 of my blog about Forte Music Entertainment. If you missed Part 1, check it out here. I wrote it about two months ago, so it's worth having a refresher even if you did read it already.)

So I covered the basics before, but I didn't mention a couple things in my earlier post...

The career of Susumu Ooya doesn't seem to exist outside of this crappy label. Ooya did four songs from Janperson [this includes both theme songs] as well as a few decent songs from DBZ. All info I managed to dig up on this guy says he retired from entertainment in 2002, but I don't see any recording past his DBZ songs from 1995. Bummer. I might be in the minority, but I liked his songs.

I mentioned previously that the label was abruptly dropped in the middle of 1995, but I don't think it was a "just walk away" situation--it was more of an "ABANDON SHIP!". The second B-Fighter single being released by Columbia was one thing, but the ultimate weirdness happened to Jinzoningen Hakaider...

A little bit of history...

In 1995 Kikaider's rival, Hakaider, was given his own movie where he somehow portrays the protagonist. Jinzoningen Hakaider [or Mechanical Violator Hakaider OR Roboman Hakaider] was released in lieu of a new Kamen Rider film that year. They even gave the movie the most badass trailer in the history of Tokusatsu movies. Brief, non-spoiler, awesome narration, and full of action.

The premise was bizarre. An evil or is he!? robot is freed from his comically large chains and immediately sets out for vengeance against his creator, Gurjev. Gurjev and his right hand man, Michael, live in the walled city called Jesus Town [...] where everything is squeaky clean and perfect...except for the rebels! Upon breaking into Jesus Town, Hakaider saves a band of rebels and befriends them as much as an emotionless killer could. Ultimately he is able to face Gurjev and Michael [whose white armor suspiciously looks more and more like a mixture of Kikaider and bad claymation as the fight wears on].

That is just a very basic synopsis. It is a very strange movie with a strange message loaded with even more strange imagery. Hakaider enjoyed a different type of popularity than the Kamen Rider movies of the previous three years. It was given a regular theatrical release, an eventual Director's Cut [I believe this is one of the first Toei Hero movies to do so] and it even has an American release [with both versions of the film...Thanks, Media Blasters!] based on Kikaider's popularity in the western States. It's worth checking out--that's for sure!

So naturally there was a music release of some kind for this film. Surely there is just a single and music collection to cover this movie. Try four...

Whatever weirdness was going on with the production of the movie [there had to be some. I refuse to believe otherwise when there are two different versions of any movie--it has to be more than runtime] there was definitely some weird stuff going on with the music. The film's ending theme song is a little song called "WILD SIDE" by MODE that everyone seems to be familiar with. Despite being cross promoted with the film, WILD SIDE does not appear on the Hakaider Music Collection. WILD SIDE only appears on the CDSingle of the same name. Right there, that is two CDs.

On the Hakaider Music Collection [which, by the way, was put out by our good friends at Forte Music] we hear two other vocal songs called "mouichido meguri au hi made" and "omoide o hanataba ni kaete" by pianist KYOKO SOUND LABORATORY. These songs can be considered image songs--as they are in the booklet, but I imagine that one of them was originally destined to be the ending song to the film. In addition to being on the Music Collection the two songs had their own 2-track CD Single. We're up to three CDs.

Oh yeah, I should mention that the majority of the music on Forte's Hakaider Music Collection ummm...wasn't really used in the movie. Variations, yes, but it's kind of like listening to a bizarro version of the music that is actually in the movie. The short, modernized version of "Hakaider no theme" that plays right before the end credits start is a lot campier on Forte's CD.

SO...after the movie was released on VHS and Laserdisc in regular and director's cut, a director's cut Music Collection was also released by Columbia. Their version of the soundtrack featured the music that actually ended up in the movie. The only issue was that WILD SIDE was missing. The KYOKO SOUND LABORATORY songs were also missing, but they're pretty much imaginary at this point. Four CDs.

Let's recap.

MODE "WILD SIDE" Single - Fun House
KYOKO SOUND LABORATORY Single - Forte Music Entertainment
Hakaider Music Collection - Forte Music Entertainment
Hakaider Music Collection Director's Cut - Nippon Columbia

How did this happen? Why did this happen? What the hell?? Four CDs on three labels...

Initially I was going to do this post as a Rare CD Round-up and upload the Forte version of the Music Collection to Youtube, but I decided to just post the two KYOKO SOUND LABORATORY songs along with the Forte Version of Hakaider's theme as well as the Director's Cut CD version. You decide which is better [Director's Cut].


So there you have it. Just before Forte was stamped out of existence it managed to confuse the hell out of us one last time. Good riddance to a lousy music label...

Thank you for reading my two-part rant on a topic that probably nobody cares about. Hahaa.

See ya next time!



....into the future!

I don't have much in the way of blog content this week...so I would just like to take some time to talk about 2014 videos.

Let's kick things off with a tentative schedule of upcoming videos...

#347 Dragonranger Figuarts [24.November.2013]
#348 Ryuuranger Figuarts [01.December.2013]
#349 Kibaranger Figuarts [08.December.2013]
#350 350th VIDEO [15.December.2013]
#351 Audi Quattro LWB [22.December.2013]
#352 Denkou Chojin Gridman ULTRA-ACT [22.December.2013]
#353 DX Daimugen (Dairanger) [29.December.2013]
#354 DX Change Sword Box (Changeman) [05.January.2014] %
#355 DX Ranger Stick Set (Zyuranger) [12.January.2014] %
#356 DX Auto Blaster (Carranger) [17.January.2014] %
#357 DX Carnavic Part 1* (Carranger) [17 January.2014] %
#358 DX Five Laser (GoGo Five) [26.January.2014] %
#359 Denpa Ningen Tackle Figuarts [02.February.2014]
#360 Kamen Rider ZX Figuarts [09.February.2014]
#361 Alfa Romeo Type 33 Stradale Prototype [16.February.2014]
#362 Sailormoon Figuarts [23.February.2014]
#363 Kankichi Ryotsu (Kochikame) Figuarts [23.February.2014]
#364 Godzilla 1964 (Mothra vs. Godzilla) Monster Arts [02.March.2014]
#365 Pteraranger Figuarts [09.March.2014]
#366 Armed Tyrannoranger Figuarts [16.March.2014]
#367 Mammothranger Figuarts [23.March.2014]
#368 Toyota 86 [30.March.2014]
-- April is Kyoryuger/Go-Buster catch-up --
-- May is 2014 Sentai stuff/misc things --
-- June is KAKURANGER MONTH 3 --
-- July is Kamen Rider BLACK Figuarts --

% Side-Arm Month
*I uploaded Part 2 of my Carnavic video back in 2011

A few notes on the above calendar and 2014 in general...

-Most of the videos listed are already finished. There are a few exceptions such as Kamen Rider ZX and Mammothranger...but that's only because they haven't been released as of this writing. Since the videos listed are pretty much done, expect this schedule to stand pretty firm unless there are some unforeseen problems. INFACT, I will probably upload a few short videos on 2014's Sentai in addition to the videos that are already scheduled. So the schedule above is correct in the dates, but the video numbers might be a bit off.

-A couple of weeks will be doubled up with videos. Since I'm not really an anime guy, I decided to put my two anime Figuarts videos out together on one week.

-DX Daimugen will juuuuuust make it in for the last minute of Dairanger's 20th anniversary. ^^

-2014 will be Kakuranger's 20th anniversary! My favorite 90s Sentai will be getting it's THIRD theme month. I'm not entirely certain that it will be April June, but expect four five weeks of new Kakuranger toy reviews including Kakulaser and Nekomaru.

-Kamen Rider BLACK Figuarts will be getting it's own month at some point. Kamen Rider BLACK, Shadowmoon, Battle Hopper, and Road Sector. A new BLACK RX and Acrobatter will be out in 2014...so expect them aswell...

-2014 Sentai toys, naturally. I also need to do some catch-up with Kyoryuger and Go-Busters.


So there you have it! I am...pretty much set for 2014. Hahaa. Check in next week for my 2015 schedule. My first review for January of 2015 BETTER be a hoverboard...

Let me know what you think of my schedule in the comments, Twitter, or...Skype...or wherever you like to talk to me.

See ya!


P.S. My first blog of December will be my continuation of my Forte Music Entertainment blog. Promise! It's been written already...I just need to re-rip the disc I wanted to share.


TRIPLE TOP 7!!! Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger!

For whatever reason I was extra-receptive to my annual Kakuranger viewing this year. Once I finished up Kakuranger, I felt to give another show a try with the same kind of detailed viewing. Up this time was Zyuranger...which I haven't seen in it's entirety in about a decade.

Since I have quite a bit to say about the show... I have decided to do THREE Top 7 lists...all in one post! So...let's get to it!

Oh, and I think *SPOILERS* are stupid. This show is 21 years old...dammit...that's a spoiler alert, isn't it?


Top 7 Problems with Zyuranger!

NEUTRAL: Bandora

She always had these airtight plans, which was cool. She definitely had her shit together way more than the badasses in say...Golgom from Kamen Rider BLACK, but she was just not my type of villain. All she really did was set traps. They always worked and they always lead to...*skip down to #2 on this list*

This isn't to say I didn't like her the entire show, but I just grew weary of her ways. Her powers were seemingly infinite and her plans didn't seem to get much bigger or smaller over the course of the series. They just involved new players each time.

I know she is a fan favorite, but considering that this is the neutral on my list of dislikes...I think it really means I didn't think of her one way or the other.

I'll tell you what, though...I *really* hate that damn song of hers. I need to write a song of my own about how much I hate her song.

07. Kids of the week

Zyuranger and Kakuranger are, correct me if I'm wrong, the two biggest kid-centric shows of 90s Sentai. Oddly I think that Zyuranger pulled it off better. They gave the kids some really neat roles about half of the time. The rest...were just sadsacks whose parent/parents died. Ehhh. Those were the ones that I rolled my eyes at.

06. The Budget

This show was done with very little money and it shows. I give them credit for putting this show together as well as they could, but it just screams of cheapness. Obviously the cash started flowing again for Dairanger and Kakuranger...

05. Fading Energy

Even when the stories were getting more dramatic and heavier, the overall energy of the show fizzled out pretty quickly. The 2-parter with Dora Sphinx was way more interesting than pretty much any episode in the 40s.

04. Dan

Useless. Even in his focus episodes.

03. Kai

Kai always left a lasting impression on me. I dreaded nearing the final episodes...

For the unintiated: Kai is Bandora's son. He previously died after being a shithead and falling off a cliff but returns to everyone's surprise donning possibly the worst costume in the entirety of 90s Sentai (YES, this includes Dorafranken......ugh). From there he just plays the role of angry kid until Kyukyoku Daizyujin sent him crying to Mama.

Really? He is what ultimately ended this show? Alright...

02. Every...EVERY little thing is a trial of might/worthiness

I understand the Densetsu no Buki being a trial since that was early in the show and it made sense. From there it felt like there was a new seemingly impossible trial for them to overcome on a weekly basis. It was just getting rediculous for things like the Dino Crystals (which made NO sense to begin with since they were made from their Medals...which they already had...) and Thunderslingers (Geki and Burai had to navigate a mountain while under attack BY THEIR OWN MECHA to get a set of pointless--but neat looking--weapons that were almost immediately forgotten. OH, and Burai didn't even get one. WHOMP WHOMP WHAAAA).

Also...Bandora putting Burai through a trial to get the Hellfriede was just beyond stupid. What the hell... I guess that's how it goes on both sides of this fight. Even though the only real hardship Bandora ever had prior to the finale was her having trouble reciting a spell one time. Bah...

01. Plotholes

I don't really want to get too deeply into this one--it should really get a Top 7 list of it's own. The plotholes in this series is actually what Bandora used to swallow King Brachion into the Earth at the end of the series...


Top 7 WINS with Zyuranger!

NEUTRAL: The Ending
Technically they lied to the old woman when they said they were going to celebrate her birthday with her every year...
Anyway, yeah. The ending is low on this list because, like Bandora, I'm pretty neutral with it. If you watch Zyuranger, Dairanger, or Kakuranger you'll get basically the same ending with some minor variations.
Dairanger did it best, though. I always roll a manly tear during that shot where they slowly part ways, which is basically the only difference between the three endings. It's perfect...
07. Kids of the week
The good ones. Some lucky kids got some dream roles. Especially that little bastard that got to fight Daizyujin. That was awesome. Hahaa.
06. Weapons
I can't think of a single weapon in this show that I don't like. Both forms of the Densetsu no Buki were great...even Hellfriede was awesome.
05. Mecha
There are few mecha in this series, which is good. They are all great mecha, which is good. Even though there were very few mecha in this series, the fights seemed pretty fresh. Sometimes they would just give the mecha fights a break and use the Howling Cannon or Thunder Slingers...even later on in the series.
04. Suits
I like the suits in this show. Due to this, I have pretty much commited to buy whatever Figuarts they release. Just Tiger and Tricera left...
03. Music
The background music in this show was done by the great Akihiko Yoshida. Zyuranger features a mixture of new score as well as the odd piece of music from Fiveman and Turboranger, which were also scored by Yoshida.
The music fits the show wonderfully and has a somewhat classical style that would fit in during the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s on some pieces. Kind of surprising since Yoshida was a young composer at 32 when this show came out. Sadly he didn't seem to have much of a career as a composer outside of those three series.
02. Goushi
Goushi was the polar opposite of Dan. Bandora even pointed out that he was the only thing keeping Zyuranger together.
Every time Geki has a thought or notices something, does he turn and go "...Mei!"? NO! He turns to Goushi. Goushi is the coolest.
01. Letting Burai Die (and keeping him dead)

If you go back to my list of dislikes, take a look at #2 again. Yeah, the trials of worthiness. Ugh.

Well, there was a last minute trial to save Burai (ofcourse). Goushi and Dan failed to make it in time, but were given the water anyway to save the child that Burai saw in his dream. As it turns out, Burai wouldn't have been saved by the water anyway so it was a losing fight to begin with.

At the cost of losing Burai, it showed that there were actually some challenges that were too big for even Zyuranger to overcome. Granted, this was definitely a tall order...preventing imminent death.

Sure Burai's image came through the Zyusouken to inform them that the Shogozyu were still alive...but...actually, yeah they shouldn't have done that.

Regardless, Dragonranger was not there to help them fight off Kai and twitchy-face at the end. I'm really glad they kept him dead.

Burai is up there with every rockstar who died in their prime...including Gasha Dokuro...


Top 7 Zyuranger Episodes

NEUTRAL: Episode 01 Tanjo!

It's a good debut episode, but not a GREAT debut episode. Geki's first appearance is pretty awesome.

07. Episodes 17-22 The Burai arc

Chances are you have atleast seen these episodes.

06. Episode 05 Kowai nazo nazo! & Episode 06 Tate! Daizyujin!

Two-parter. I liked the twisted mood of the first part and finally getting Daizyujin in the second. I was always a bit confused on how the Zyuranger were able to answer any riddles at all considering they had barely come out of their suspended animation at this point.

05. Episode 35 Ninja Senshi Boi

I didn't mention this on any of my other lists, but watching Zyuranger after Kakuranger...you can definitely see the seeds of Kakuranger throughout the series. Things like finding out Doramonster information from the Dino Denki (...which they pretty much abandoned...damn you, plotholes!) and the ninja theme of this particular episode seemed to carry over into Kakuranger.

Just watch it and you'll agree that this is proto-Kakuranger.

Oh, and it was pretty cool to see the kid of the week have a sword fight with Grifforzer. Heh.

04. Episode 38 Mei-hime shichihenge

I'm pretty sure Mei got the most focus episodes outside of Burai (let's face it...every episode with Burai was a Burai focus episode). This is easily the best of them.

03. Episode 15 Yabure! Ankoku cho ken & Episode 44 Onna kenshi! Nippon ichi! (TIE)

I couldn't decided which of these episodes I liked better, so I included both.

Episode 15 involves Doraknight. Bandora recognizes that Goushi is the key player that keeps the Zyuranger together and has a special sword created to specifically take out Goushi.

Episode 44 involved Dorachimera. Dorachimera is kidnapping and utilizing Japan's top stars in various fields. In addition to stealing skills, he is stealing all of the children's idols. When he gets to Sayaka Yamazaki, Japan's top kendo artist, he gets quite a bit of resistence. Goushi arrives and the two are able to retreat. After she declines his protection, she is possessed by Chimera and faces off with Goushi in a duel. After getting very badly injured in the duel, he is able to rid her of Chimera.

02. Episode 33 Oshiete! Yukidama

This episode is...pretty standard up until the end...and this is one of the shining examples of one of the good kid-of-the week.

This is one of those pointless Dan episodes where he isn't useful at all. After failing to join together the gem on Dorareiger's head and the one from Saori's necklace, Saori (who is a bit of a coward) is forced to retrieve the dropped necklace and join the two gems herself. She runs through a series of explosions, joins the gems and literally saves the day. The other four Zyuranger are freed along with all of the other people who were kidnapped. More incredibly...Saori was the one who somehow figured out that the gems needed to be joined together.

Literally the only two things the Zyuranger did this episode were get kidnapped and finish off Dorareiger with the Rangerslingers.

01. Episode 32 Geki yo namida o kire!

I love this episode. There is a Doramonster, but who cares about that guy. Geki is distraught after finding out Burai's secret about his limited life. He is unable to focus on his job and is duped by Bandora into letting the Doramonster develop into a humanoid creature.

Goushi, who is awesome, is having none of this.

He shows up to Geki's one-on-one fight with Doranarcissus disguised in a black knight armor posing as a Doramonster. He manages to steal Geki's DynoBuckler and fight him while fending off Doranarcissus. Geki finally gets his act together and defeats Goushi by slicing his armor down the middle. He is shocked to learn that Goushi was in the suit the whole time. Goushi, who took quite an attack head-on, only passes out from Geki's finisher. Doranarcissus unloads a large explosion on the two of them and they seem to die in the large fireball.

...ofcourse not. Daizyujin rises from the ground holding Geki carrying an unconscious Goushi.

......that...was awesome...
Daizyujin rising from the ground was an incredible sight too.
Great episode...
Well, there are my three Top Seven lists for Zyuranger! To see my other Top 7 lists, click on this link right here.

I'll return soon!



I've hit a snag...

Oops! Problem!

Well... I've been trying to post Part 2 of my little rant about Forte Music Entertainment. The trouble is...my computer basically. It is well past the five year mark and it's CD drive is officially kaput. If it does read a disc, it basically remixes the songs for me as I rip. My other laptop, which I use almost exclusively for ripping CDs, isn't ripping CDs anymore either.

I am currently in the market for a new computer so that issue should be resolved soon.

Usually I would take this opportunity to post an updated video schedule or something. The trouble with that is that I'm not exactly sure about what I will be doing at the end of the year. I have so many completed videos that I could basically not take a single photo until April and still have a new video every week.

I continue to add 2-3 new videos a week to the bank and, frankly, I'd like to go a little above and beyond at the end of the year. Here is what my upload page currently looks like...

I am thinking that maybe I should toss up a bunch of videos during the final week of the year. Maybe add a video on Christmas, New Years Eve, and New Years Day. That would be fun, no? Let me know if you think this is a good idea, or that videos might get lost in the shuffle (my biggest concern).

I won't give a solid schedule for February or March just yet, but I will say this much. Kamen Rider Figuarts will return in February, March will most likely be a grab bag.

That's it for now. I will definitely be back with the remainder of that Forte post as soon as I resolve my computer issues.


P.S. You guys are really going to want to watch my Zyuranger Figuarts videos. Especially Dragonranger...


Forte Music Entertainment...*sigh*

As you most likely noticed through this blog and my videos on Youtube, I am a Tokusatsu music savant. To be fair, I *was* a Tokusatsu music savant. I kind of stopped when Kamen Rider music and songs migrated over to avex from Nippon Columbia and became all kinds of awful. I will say this before I continue...avex ruins *everything*. Digitalian is eating breakfast, a Sony release by Tetsuya Komuro, was my favorite album of the 1980s. It's sequels were put out by avex and sounds like avex schlock.

Anyway... Point established, I am a Tokusatsu Music Man until about 2003.

The way it worked was, for the most part, simple. Super Sentai was, and still is, 100% Nippon Columbia with all official music. Metal Hero was on Columbia between 1982-1992, 1995.5-1998. Kamen Rider was Nippon Columbia 1971-1992, 1996 (Showa Song Collection Reissues)-2001 with a couple other labels sprinkled in for the movie Rider Singles (ZO, J). Ultraman...was all over the place, let's just say Nippon Columbia handled the important stuff until the late '90s and scores of other labels jumped in for the dozens of EPs and Singles that get put out constantly.

Eagle-eyed readers might have picked up on something a little strange with the Kamen Rider and Metal Hero licenses. If Nippon Columbia wasn't handling the music releases between 1993-1995...who was? Forte Music Entertainment!

Very little is known why the new label was formed, but the jist of it goes like this. Forte Music Entertainment was formed by Nippon Columbia in 1992 as a sub-label which specialized in Toei Tokusatsu and Anime licenses. The earliest releases under Forte were from the beginning of 1993 with Janperson's Theme single followed by several releases for Dragonball Z (DBZ releases 1993-1995 were Forte EXCEPT Hit Songs 14-17--they were still with Columbia), Sailormoon (which I believe was exclusive to Forte during it's lifespan), and the final Toei Fushigi Comedy Series Shushutorian. The releases kept going until mid-1995 when all franchises abruptly switched back to Columbia. By 1996, Forte was completely dissolved.

The bulk of Forte's releases seem to be Sailor Moon Song and Music CDs as well as some truly strange Dragonball Z Concept Discs, Movie Singles, and EPs. For good measure, they also handled the Super Famicom music CDs for both licenses and music from some smaller anime titles.

So how does this cause bother for a Tokusatsu guy like myself?

Forte releases were inferior in almost every possible aspect. The artwork was always awful (and sparse past the covers), the discs were/are very uncommon compared to their Columbia counterparts, and the content was always very light. To illustrate just how lacking the Forte discs were compared to their Columbia counterparts, here is a list of the number of vocal songs (including theme songs) from each Metal Hero show of the 1990s with the Forte releases in bold.

Winspector (1990) 16
Solbrain (1991) 14
Exceedraft (1992) 15
Janperson (1993) 8
Blue SWAT (1994) 8
B-Fighter (1995) 8 (+2 from Nippon Columbia)
B-Fighter Kabuto (1996) 19
B-Robo Kabutack (1997) 10
Robotack (1998) 10

Eight songs each...including the theme songs... Terrible. These weren't discount releases, either. These were priced as if they were normal Columbia releases.

B-Fighter started on Forte...
If you take a look at B-Fighter again, you'll notice that midway through 1995 Forte had ceased releasing new titles and relinquished the licenses back to the parent label. Columbia released a final single for B-Fighter with the Black Beet and Mega Herakles theme songs (as well as the glorious Karaoke versions of the songs, something that Forte only sometimes put on their singles).

...and ended on Columbia...
Once the licenses for all of the franchises were reverted back to Columbia, it was business as usual. Since some time has passed, you think reissues would be made to finally give people a chance to add this rare music to their collections. Well...no. Columbia started the wonderful ANIMEX 1200 line of 1200 yen reissues of rare and out of print albums. During the span of these reissues from 2005-2007 not a single Forte release was touched. The Metal Hero music collections reissues went up to Exceedraft and stopped.

Time has been kind to vocal song collections, however. These have been reissued in multiple compilations since the mid-90s. Basically as soon as Columbia got the Metal Hero franchise back, they lumped the Forte songs together into a set and put them out.

Due to the fact that it was released under Forte, my favorite Tokusatsu music collection had it's first and last release in 1994...
Still...tons of music from Sailormoon, Dragonball Z, and Metal Hero have not been heard from since their flopped experiment label dribbled them into stores in the mid 90s.

The weirdness doesn't end there... I haven't even talked about Hakaider yet...

...continued in Part 2...


P.S. Here is a list of a majority of Forte Music Entertainment's releases. Missing are all of the Tokusatsu releases.


Top Seven Problems With Kakuranger

Every year around this time I like to take a few days to marathon Kakuranger. I'm not sure if I've ever made the official declaration, but it is my favorite Sentai series of the 1990s. Yes, even though I know in my mind that Dairanger is the better show, my heart has always had a stronger affinity for Kakuranger.

Yeah, I don't know either.

Regardless, I always get a giant thrill watching the show even though it has a number of major issues. This is a list of some of the problems I've always had with the show.

NOTE: I am writing this list entirely from memory. Yes, I have watched the series several times...but I also tend to have spotty memory. Let's face it, memorizing IRL stuff is way more important than a 20-year old TV show...

07. I feel for you...

While each Yokai was a true menace and usually either killed or atleast incapacitated innocent people, I couldn't help but feel bad for some of them--particularly early on in the show.

One of my favorite episodes of the series is episode 17. Amikiri (played by Ami Kawai) one day decides that she is fed up hanging out in the Yokai bar (Seriously. She is seen in the background several times in the series up to this point and suddenly remembers her burning grudge with Saizo's ancestor???) and finally moves in to exact revenge on Saizo. Why? His ancestor cut her arm off.

She doesn't do much of anything wrong except make misery for Saizo by cutting up his used Honda City. Ummm...she also likes dancing...but doesn't really cause much havoc outside of harassing Saizo. I kinda felt bad for her. I mean, yeah, the alternative would be much worse--she kills Saizo and probably the rest of the team (since Gashadokuro is in town at this point), but I'd be pissed off too if my arm was chopped off! Then to be sealed away for hundreds of years to stew about it?

I felt similar about the Yokai from episode 9 and the strange moodiness in episode 10 made me feel bummed out about those guys too. Though, they were pretty menacing.

06. The weakest link

People seem to think that Saizo is the weakest of the group--I disagree.

I feel that largely Seikai and Saizo are pretty interchangeable in their uselessness, but atleast Saizo had some really cool and memorable moments. The Saizo-focused episodes were almost always good since his character was a consistent failure (losing his wallet/gold, getting his car diced up, being blackmailed over underpants photos, having his Daimoah disguise fail almost immediately, having his face stolen, etc.). It was fun to see Saizo constantly fail.

Seikai is the real deal.

He was...*ALWAYS* getting kidnapped. His focus episodes were just alright I guess. When he wasn't getting kidnapped, his insides were being taken over. There was one episode in the teens or so when, for once, he was the only one not captured and he had to save the day. The guy was barely a hero...which I guess can be said about puffy-chested Saizo...but he was fun. Seikai was just meh.

Oh, and that yell of his. WAAAAAAAH~!

05. Daimaoh

I kinda like Daimaoh, but I don't. The way he made his arrival was pretty creepy and I felt that he was dealt with appropriately in the finale.

I guess it's just the costume.

04. Pulling the plug on Koshakushi

I genuinely liked the narration in this series. It wasn't overbearing like Dekaranger but it was able to get across important points about the Yokai or just random stuff.

If I had to bet, I'd say that Enjo Sanyutei was let go because his narration required screentime that was no longer available. His stint ended at the midpoint when the shit hit the fan plotwise and the 18 minute runtime was just not enough. Having either the Yokai or one of the Kakuranger's explain the Yokai briefly was definitely less time consuming. Also, the series definitely took a sharp right turn with it's momentum...so who knows how well he would've fit with episodes like Jiraiya getting beaten to a bloody pulp.

It was sad to see him go, but he definitely looked well-rested when he made an appearance in episode 39.

Speaking of Enjo Sanyutei...

03. The kids aren't alright

Like the previous shows with Noboru Sugimura as head writer, this show is lousy with brats of the week. It just gets olds. Kid is either A) A burden B) A brat or C) Crucial in saving the day. If you've seen Zyuranger or Dairanger, you know the drill. It just feels like that dial was turned up a bit for this series.

.....minus Kou.

02. Jusho Fighters

I like the Jusho Fighters, but I don't. They debuted in episode 12 to be more nimble versions of the Kyodai Jusho. Instead of being alternate forms of the Jusho, they were their own entities for some reason. I guess there was a need for Kakuranger to suddenly have ten mecha at once instead of just a paltry five. On the flipside, the Jusho Fighters did have some pretty exciting fights and were definitely fun to watch.

My issue is how they were brought in and, more importantly, how they vanished without a trace.

For starters, episode 12 was just lousy. Enough said. After Episode 22 or so, they are basically abandoned. I think Battle Saruda appears once to do a triple-attack with Red Saruda and God Saruda...and that's all we ever saw of them.

They were pretty pointless in the long run.

01. Who's The Boss?

Tsuruhime is largely considered to be the leader of the group, but is she really? Sure, she is clearly in charge until about episode seven. From there, it's very murky. Her leadership issues rise once again when she is tested in episode 26 when she has to protect the robo-Kakurangers from harm FAIL. Her family history is also revealed in that episode, which becomes a recurring plot thread for the remainder of the series. There is also a definite push at the end to hammer the point home that she is the leader.

The real issue is that Sasuke is awesome. He seems to be the leader of the group when it matters. Episode 16 comes to mind as one of the best examples of his true skills as a leader. When the others are violently captured, an injured Sasuke has to free them from the grasp of the Shuten Doji Kyodai. He stealthily breaks into the warehouse where everyone is being held and is able to sneak his friends a small blade undetected.

That is just one example. It felt like Sasuke was not only the master of skill, but also a master of strategy. For being *not* the leader, they certainly gave him the bulk of the glory.

My theory is that, while she did a great job, Satomi Hirose was too young to play Tsuruhime. Her acting is much better than it was in Shushutorian the year before, but this is going from a shared starring role on a Fushigi Comedy Series show to leader of  it's flagship Tokusatsu series. On top of this, I think the novelty of having a girl as the leader didn't translate into easy writing. Maybe it would have been an easier task if the role was given to a more capable actress.

She plays a tough girl, but outside of the few times she gives instructions or has a plot thread thrown her way...Tsuruhime just feels like she's co-pilot to Sasuke.


Sheesh. After reading that it probably looks like I hate the series. Not so! It's definitely my favorite of the 90s even with all of the flaws listed.

If you haven't watched the show yet, give it a go. It's being subbed as of this writing. I tried out the first few episodes of it and can attest to it's quality. Seriously, go watch it!


That conclude another Top 7 list. Please be sure to check out my previous Top 7 lists with this handy link.

See ya next time!



The SH Figuarts Wishlist

Everybody seems to have a Figuarts dream. As with everything in life, you can't always have it all. I feel that my wishlist hits the Eventually-Maybe-Never spectrum of chance pretty well.

Here is my ultimate Figuarts wishlist. I hope to revisit this post later on down the line to see what, if anything, gets released. Maybe they'll end up here, maybe not!

Kamen Rider

-Kamen Rider BLACK RX Updated Version (Eventually). It's only a matter of time before this happens. The 2009 version of this figure is abysmal. It isn't as bad as the 2009 version of BLACK, whose updated version will be out next month I believe, but it's pretty awful compared to the Figuarts of today--or even the Figuarts of 2011.

-Roborider (Maybe--Tamashii Exclusive?). Roborider is pretty awesome. It's definitely a suit worthy of the Figuarts treatment.

-Biorider (Maybe--Tamashii Exclusive?). Natually. All three of the BLACK RX suits + the updated version of BLACK. I want to live out my Kotaro fantasy. That sounded weird...

-Shin Kamen Rider (Maybe). I *really* want this to happen more than any other Rider. Shin Kamen Rider is easily my favorite Kamen Rider movie of the 90s and grossly underrated and ignored.  My original plea for the a ZX figure was "He was the 10th Rider!". Well...Shin is the 20th Anniversary Rider!

The movie seems to be gaining a following...so fingers crossed! Oh, and if it is released, it really needs to come with Goshima's head/spine.

-Kamen Rider ZO (Maybe). Excellent movie, excellent suit. I'd definitely like a ZO Figuarts.

-Kamen Rider J (Maybe). Only if the previous two movie figure come out. I really could take or leave a figure of J...but an effect hand where he has his hand in the "J" pose would be the coolest thing they could do for this figure.

Super Sentai

This list is surprisingly short. Sentai Figuarts don't seem to be massive sellers like the Rider ones are. I have picked up several of my Sentai Figuarts in the ¥1000 range. Not to mention, liking Sentai Figuarts is more difficult since there is a whole team to like versus the easier task of picking and choosing Riders.

I'm really not getting my hopes up for anything here...but if they continue to release great figures of characters like Ryuranger, I'll be there!

-Remaining Zyuranger (Eventually). They previewed them. Now...they just need to release them.

Metal Hero

Pipe dreams. All of them. The Uchuu Keiji ones that they are in the middle of releasing are all Tamashii Exclusives and, frankly, unappealing to me. I liked the Megahouse figures and don't really see the need for more Super-Articulated figures.

Given that all three of the figures on my list have been given the Ranger Key treatment for that lousy movie that they appear in, who knows...

-Jiraiya (Never)

-Kidou Keiji Jiban (Never)

-Janperson (Never)


I'm not big into Ultra-Act figures. As of right now, I only own Ultraman and the fan-flippin-tastic Gridman figure. Infact, I really can't think of any figures that I'd like to own. Maybe the anime colored Jonias figure that is going to be out soon.

Misc. Tokusatsu

Jinzoningen Hakaider '95 (Never). I'm sure you noticed by now that I am a fan of the Ishinomori movies of the 1990s. This one also has a cult following--even in the U.S. thanks to the 1970s airing of Kikaider in Hawaii and the 1995 Hakaider movie being licensed and sold in the 'States since late 90s. If you don't own the U.S. DVD of this movie...get it! It has both versions of the movie subbed plus a dub (IIRC).

Seiun Kamen Machineman (Never). For funsies, mostly. I always thought this was a suit that was so bad that it's good. Plus Bandai would be forced to make a clear plastic cape for it. Maybe if it comes with Ballboy all the Machiko Soga fanatics will demand it.

Kyodai Ken Bycrosser (Never). There is absolute potential for greatness if they release figures from this show. Too bad the world will never see them.


I have a whopping total of two Anime Figuarts figures. That could change if they meet my demands! Please! Hello? D:

-Trunks (Dragonball Z) Reissue (Maybe). For us slackers that missed out the first time. Given how much this figure goes for now and the fact that 17 and 18 are possible future releases, Bandai would be crazy to pass up a reissue!

-Go Mifune (Mach Go!Go!Go!) (Never). Dream on, CC... He might be an anime relic from another time, but he does make an appearance every now and then.


So there you have it. My wish list for S.H.Figuarts. I know that some of my choices are a bit off the wall...but a boy can dream!

In the mean time, here is a list of Figuarts that very much exist because I own them.




In my last blog entry I basically answered a question that nobody had ever asked me. This time, I'd like to address a glaring concern that seems to come with my videos. I want to talk about why I think DX Super Sentai mecha toys are bullshit today.

Let me start with the best: Super Liverobo.

Super Liverobo is the combination of Liverobo, a three-piece mecha, and Liveboxer, a two-piece mecha. What makes the combination so appealing in it's toy form is that Liveboxer and Super Liverobo was never planned at the beginning of the series. At some point in production they managed to put together a second mecha that not only looked cool as individual vehicles, but also neat(ish) as a mecha and awesome when all five were combined into one. Super Liverobo is like a car that is tuned to the point of perfection. It truly is a complicated design, but it is a complicated design that works brilliantly.

I haven't even started on quality. I can take or leave Die Cast on most DX Mecha.

There is something wonderful about the DX Chogokin mecha of the 1980s. Chogokin toys of the 1970s were usually 90-100% Die Cast affairs with little playability and, as a result, pretty rotten designs that seemed to lose their paint quite easily. I know these toys are beloved by many, but DX Chogokin toys of the 70s were junk. By the time the mid-80s rolled around, the DX Chogokin toys were a nice blend of plastic and metal. They always seemed to have a perfect heft, and were never off-balance when they stood up.

OK, I'm rambling now. The point is, Bandai made the premiere mecha toys for a long time. Then...they suddenly stopped.

You may have noticed that I have a strange affinity for the Gaoranger Power Animals toyline. I didn't care much for the show, but the DX Chogokin (!) mecha toys were virtually on par (give or take on some aspects) with the quality Sentai mecha toys of the 1980s. They were definitely an enormous leap forward from the Timeranger mecha line in all fields, but the most important one was quality. There was a clear strive to build these toys in a loving way that had only been seen sporadically by Bandai through the 1990s.

...and then came Hurricaneger. The Shinobi Machines were larger, cartoonish things that suck. The box says DX Chogokin, but I'm not sure why--there isn't much metal. The Shinobi Machines began a continuing era of poorly designed toys with weird glossy finishes that stink like cheap electronics.

The irony is that the Shinobi Machines are themed off of the same animals/colors as Liverobo.

Ever since then I haven't cared for DX Mecha. They just feel like they should be made by Takara/Tomy rather than a premium toy brand like Bandai.

Things really got bad by the time Shinkenger and Goseiger came around. Really... HOW is this toy appealing?

A collection of badly-made sex toys.

Compromised by a terrible gimmick. Result? Unfinished toy.

While some toys like Henshin Items have been almost unchanged in price in their 30+ year history, DX Mecha have somehow managed to be more expensive, worse in quality, and are released in a state of almost unfinished build.

In my ramblings, I guess my message is murky. The point is this...

I feel that mecha and their toys have diminished in design and quality over the years. Designs have been compromised thanks to the fact that they have to connect with every other mecha in annually expanding toylines. There is no drive to make good looking toys anymore. They just want to pile as much shit on to primary mecha as possible.

Oh well...

I guess some people seem to like these toys, but it's hard for me to like them when I know they aren't finished. I guess I feel the same way about video games and downloadable content. Bullshit.



The Most Difficult Purchase

I get a lot of questions about toys and toy collecting. So much so that I made one FAQ and another FAQ. OK, those might be a little out of date...but the fact remains, I get a lot of questions. One question that nobody seems to ask is what my most difficult purchase was.

Well, here is the answer to the question nobody asked:

My changer collection was mostly complete by November 2007. I was missing the Masking Brace, Change Brace, and Dragon Buckler. At that time, the Dragon Buckler was a regular on Yahoo Japan Auctions so I wasn't exactly falling over myself to find one (I waited long enough and found myself a sealed one a few months later). The Change Brace was semi-regular, so it was a matter of waiting for the right one.

The Masking Brace, however, was a ghost. Maskman toys have been notoriously scarce--especially in the box.

I put feelers out to some contacts to see if they could source one and how much it would cost if one could be found. Well, the news was pretty gloomy. Easily $500US and a very long wait. With no other options, I told my them to keep an ear to the ground for this super-rare toy. For the time being, I would check Yahoo Auctions everyday.

Months later, a blip on the radar--a Masking Brace was finally listed on Yahoo Japan Auctions! I excitedly told my then-girlfriend, now-wife that my holy grail had been listed on YJ Auctions. Ofcourse she didn't care, but to this day this was the most excited to see something listed on Yahoo Japan. Since I wasn't bidding myself at this time (in fact, after this auction I went ahead and got myself an account and have bidding on all of my own auctions ever since) I made arrangements to have a very high bid placed on my behalf. The weeklong wait...was the longest wait of my life.

The morning of the auction, I woke up early. I don't know why...it's not like I could do anything about the outcome at that point. Refresh...refresh...refresh...aaaaand it ended. Did I win? DID I WIN??? There was a last minute bidding war between my bid and someone with a very similar scrambled account name as my bidder. I contacted my bidder and about an hour later he confirmed that it was mine!

The total? ¥32,000. At the time, the conversion was ¥125/$1USD. So in the end, I paid $256 before shipping and chipping a few dollars for the help. Not the most expensive toy I bought, but definitely no small purchase.

Two weeks later, at the end of November, I was in possesion of the most difficult of the Sentai Henshin Items to purchase. I put together a video for the toy, of which this photo came to be...

...which has been my channel's icon ever since. It's a tribute to the time I lucked out and got a toy that I shouldn't have been able to get so easily and for a somewhat reasonable price. I was able to easily complete my Changer collection soon after I made this purchase, and the rest is history.
I did, however, make an alteration of my icon since then:

I made the change to my icon following the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake.

In the end this was a purchase in which my excitement has not diminished even a little bit. I still get excited every time I see the Masking Brace perched high among lesser toys like the Magiphone, or Accellular, or even Dragon Buckler (seriously, it's not that great of a toy). I'm proud and delighted to own my Masking Brace.

They say the chase is better than the catch. Nah--not this time.


So that is the story of my most difficult purchase. If you have a toy story you'd like to share, I'd like to hear it. If you have a Google account, you can comment to this entry in my blog. Or, if you'd just like to tell me and me alone, hit me up on Youtube message or one of my other haunts.

Thank you for reading.



Tangled Up...


I've been very busy for quite some time now. In fact, remember that schedule I posted a couple of months ago? The dates are going to remain the same, but here is an update on to what upcoming videos are completed [AND pre-uploaded] as of the 20th of July...

[X] #330 DX Gaburichanger [28.July.2013] @
[X] #331 DX Kyoryujin [04.August.2013] @
[X] #332 DX Zakutor [11.August.2013] @
[X] #333 DX Parasagun [18.August.2013] @
[X] #334 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.5 16v Evolution II [25.August.2013]
[X] #335 Kamen Rider X Figuarts [01.September.2013]
[X] #336 Amazon Rider Figuarts (Amazon.co.jp Edition) [08.September.2013]
[X] #337 Kamen Rider Stronger Figuarts [15.September.2013]
[X] #338 DX Won Tiger/Kibadaioh [22.September.2013]
[X] #339 DX Gao Lion [29.September.2013] *
[X] #340 DX Gao Kentaurus [06.October.2013] *
[X] #341 Power Animal Round-up [13.October.2013] *
[X] #342 Skyrider Figuarts [20.October.2013]
[X] #343 Kamen Rider Super-1 Figuarts [27.October.2013]
[  ] #344 Red Hawk Figuarts [03.November.2013]
[  ] #345 Black Condor Figuarts [10.November.2013]
[  ] #346 Tyrannoranger Figuarts [17.November.2013]
[  ] #347 Dragonranger Figuarts [24.November.2013]
[  ] #348 Ryuuranger Figuarts [01.December.2013]
[  ] #349 Audi Quattro LWB [08.December.2013]
[  ] #350 350th VIDEO [15.December.2013]
[  ] #351 Kibaranger Figuarts [22.December.2013]
[  ] #352 Tackle Figuarts [29.December.2013]
[  ] #353 DX Kakulaser Set (Kakuranger) [05.January.2014] %
[  ] #354 DX Change Sword Box (Changeman) [12.January.2014] %
[  ] #355 DX Ranger Stick Set (Zyuranger) [19.January.2014] %
[  ] #356 DX Five Laser (GoGo Five) [26.January.2014] %

@ Kyoryuger Month
* Gaoranger Month 2
% Side-arm Month

As you can see, I have added videos for the last two weeks of 2013 and covered January 2014. I have been working pretty hard to get these videos done since I don't have a whole lot going on this Summer. I might spend a weekend doing track days (and casino for the Mrs.), but I have the time to knock out photo-taking for four videos in a good seven-nine hour block. Yes, this sounds crazy--but when the Winter rolls in and my videos still have the bright Summer sunlight, I think it will be worth it.

I'd like to cover a few more topics since I feel like I have a lot of loose ends to tie up.


Figuarts. I have them. Quite a few of them. In my earlier post I mused how I would be buying a Kamen Rider BLACK Figuarts if they made an updated version. SURPRISE! It happened. Also, I pondered where the hell Kamen Rider ZX was. BINGO! I just hope they fix his helmet (The picture of the prototype looks more like Meatwad with that too-wide head) before it is released.

Well, I ended up buying a lot of the three BLACK Figuarts. I kind of look forward to comparing the 2009 BLACK to the fantastic looking 2013 version coming up. Since Shadowmoon is only a re-issue, there is no sense making that purchase again (the intial figure came out in 2011 and looks quite good). Now...we can just wait on a new version of BLACK RX.

Check out my list of Figuarts figures.

OH. Also, I haven't been too keen on Sentai Figuarts until Tyrannoranger came out. Seriously good figure. Much better than Dragonranger.


Twitter. Fuck Twitter. I'm very sick of that service. These days I find that it's only value to me is to notify a portion of my followers of new videos that follow me for that reason.

I know there are a great deal of good people on Twitter, but this is what runs through my head whenever I look at my timeline recently. I know the simple solution is to just unfollow a ton of people until I'm left with (the inactive) @BeastieBoys and @BreakingNews, but I think walking away without threatening to leave (as this seems to be the cool thing to do...) is my best option.

Of course, if you need to get a hold of me...there are other places. I also read mentions. I'm just done with the feed. I'm fairly certain I follow adults, yet all I see is incessant bitching about the quality of the subbed DVD-rips that they downloaded or "why me!?" bullshit. Feh. To those I say...grow up. You'll never find yourself if you are a chronic victim.

To the cool people on Twitter...sorry. Chances are I know you from other places, so I'll see you there.

Maybe I'll be back, but this is just out of control.


That's all for now. I'll be back next month with a brand new Rare CD Round-up featuring......Shinichi Ishihara.




The Top 7 Anime Theme Songs

I'm not entirely sure why I am making this list. I am not much of an anime fan...maybe only a handful of shows. In my many years of being an anison fan, however, I have crossed paths with the genre and have come to like a lot of it's music.

Now I don't want to make a list of obvious contenders...so the following songs are all great and should be on this list, but are just too...common.

CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA [Dragonball Z]
Moonlight Densetsu [Sailor Moon]
Pegasus Fantasy [Saint Seiya]
Just Communication [Gundam W]
makafushigi Adventure! [Dragonball]
Soldier Dream [Saint Seiya]
Flying in the Sky [G Gundam]

All songs I love to death, but this list would've been kind of boring if I included them. Everybody loves those songs...so what's the point? So...let's look at my favorite anime theme songs!

07. Mach Go! Go! Go! (1966) LINK

This might be cheating, but I think it's fair to say that the American dub version of this song vastly surpasses this in popularity. Meanwhile, this version has much better car sound effects (the Speed Racer dub uses the sound of toilets flushing sometimes...I wish I was making that up!) and the opening video has more international travels. It's just better...especially the crazy drum solo at the beginning.

06. Cyborg Kuro-chan (2001) LINK

Two things I don't like...cats and raggae. Somehow this combination comes together for this absolutely bonkers song. I'm not entirely sure how I came across this song (I think it was during the WinMX/WinNY days) but I liked it immediately. The show itself looks very bizzare...but we're talking theme songs here. Also, sorry not sorry if this gets stuck in your head.

05. Ru-Ru-Ru-Russian Roulette (Dirty Pair - 1985) LINK

I like this song for reasons I don't quite understand. Maybe because hearing it makes me think of 80s Sunrise animation. Maybe I like a theme song that seems to celebrate stuttering. It's probably the bass. Yes, it's the bass.

04. ottodokkoi nihonbare (Kyatto Ninden Teyandee - 1990) LINK

Again with the cats??? What the hell! OK, so this song is great. Insanely catchy, and a lot of fun. I've been meaning to revisit this show now that it's out on DVD, but I know it won't be as good as I remember. I'll always have it's theme song, though.

03. Dunbine tobu (Aura Battler Dunbine - 1983) LINK

For whatever reason, MIO/MIQ is a prolific anison singer who hasn't really crossed the realm into Tokusatsu songs. From what I can gather, she has only done two. One was a cover of "Danger Melody" from Sharivan for the Tokusatsu Oh remix album in 2001. The other was a song from Gekiranger. Of all of the anime on this list, this is probably the one I know least about.

So the song...it's like a much better version of the Bioman theme song. I dig it!

02. Running to Horizon (City Hunter 3 - 1989) LINK

I am limiting myself to one City Hunter song for this list. Many of you will agree, that I picked the right one. Running to Horizon is from my favorite JPOP album of the 1980s, so really it is no surprise that it ended up near the top of this list as well. The album in question is called Digitalian is eating breakfast by Tetsuya Komuro. He also happens to be the keyboardist/producer behind the band TM Network...you know, the band behind Get Wild.

If you ever feel like falling down the Youtube rabbit hole, check out a few videos of Tetsuya Komuro doing work as a producer. You'll appreciate how much depth goes into pretty much any song he touches. This song is probably the masterpiece of his producing skills.

I can go on and on about how great his music is, but let's face it...the reason this song is on this list is because it's an anime theme song. As a theme song, it works brilliantly. There isn't a show out there I think could make this song work as a theme other than City Hunter. Granted, it's City Hunter 3...but I'll let it slide.

01. Yoroshiku Tuning (Yoroshiku Mechadoc - 1984) LINK

This is the perfect song for me. I know it's pretty damn obscure and that 100% of the people reading this list will disagree with me. Oh. Well. This is the ultimate song for the boy racer in me.

Oddly, I am not very familiar with the show that this is attached to. I was inspired enough to purchase the Animex 1200 CD of it's soundtrack. Years later, it's one of the few Animex 1200 CDs still available for sale...pity, I think it's dynamite.



Isn't it odd that two of the shows involve cats and that it begins and ends with shows about boys racers?

Anyway, yet another Top 7 list has been done. If you'd like to revisit my previous eight lists, here is a handy link to a page with links.

Catch you later, you badly animated fools!