2022/04/30

Song Collection: Gosei Sentai Dairanger


I would count myself among Dairanger's biggest fans. It made "S" tier when I did one of those trendy Tier lists. I have nothing but fond memories of the series from my youth that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Great show, great designs, great action, great music. 10/10.

...I just wish I could say the same for it's tragic Song Collection...

For this post I'll be listening to my copy of the Gosei Sentai Dairanger Complete Song Collection from 1997. I briefly talked about that disc here in the past.


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

01. Gosei Sentai Dairanger / NEW JACK Takuro (Hirokazu Umeda)

The Dairanger opening theme song is on a level of amazingness that I think may be unattainable for any other TV show. Think of how incredible the accompanying video sequence was as well. I have to give Toei credit...they pulled off concise editing when they put it together--those images of Ryuseioh roaring out and breathing fire to this soundtrack are perfection.

There is no way to not be hype when this song is playing. NEW JACK Takuro's labored singing was kinda revolutionary if you think about it. We've had some powerhouses sing Sentai theme songs in the past like Akira Kushida, Takayuki Miyauchi, and Hironobu Kageyama, but none of them were able to open the floodgates this much. I think the closest we got was that little *boom* in the Liveman opening theme song. Or maybe Mojo's yell in the Battle Fever J ending. This is appropriate hype for the series it's attached to.

Check out the demo version of the song here. You can catch the madness in it's infancy...

02. Ai no Solider / Gouji Tsuno

Here is where it all goes wrong.

You know what, I've never hated this song as much as some of the ones we're going to explore going forward. It's a bad singer with the most generic rock song attached to it. It's just there...not the worst, but NOWHERE near good.

The best part of this song, obviously, is "I LOVE YOU! ON THE FIRE!".

Huh??? Alright, my man.

03. Utsukushi hana no youni / Gouji Tsuno

When I was early in my Youtube channel I genuinely worried about what songs I would use for Dairanger toys. Some songs are painfully limited (Won Tiger, Gorma, Ryuseioh/Dairenoh, Daibuster, Rin's song) and the rest...were this slop.

The badass imagery in the Dairanger opening video? It's related to this deep, dark, forgotten song hell. 

If I could aptly describe this song, I guess I could say this is a peaceful meadow of lameness that somehow wandered into a fierce battle for the planet.

As limited as this song collection is, I really hate this for wasting precious space on the disc.

04. Ikki ni shuuchuu! / FUNKY Y.K. (Yasuo Kosugi)

This is the lone decent, unaffiliated song in the song collection. I don't think FUNKY Y.K. is all that great, and kinda verges on sucking on this song with his hamminess. I appreciate the energy and classic rollcall! It's a little retro in that sense, even if Zyuranger also has a song with a rollcall. It's something that kinda went out of fashion at some point.

Yeah, I like this one.

05. Gorma Gorma Gorma / Gouji Tsuno, Pythagoras

I have a hard time getting into villain songs. Sometimes they're great, but mostly they're just obnoxious. This song can definitely be filed under the latter even though it has a pretty slick beat.

Credit where it's due at least, it's incredibly modern. Songs would sound like this for pretty much the remainder of the 90s. The mopey singing from Gouji Tsuno is a big holdback. We also have the return of Pythagoras, who you probably don't remember from the Zyuranger ending song. He provides the rap portions here...it's pretty fun.

06. Kaze no senshi / Yoko Ishida

Overrated.

For a song that had an episode's plot wrapped around it, this is a bland 'ole time. It's just boring. It isn't terrible, but it's farty beat never really did anything for me. 

Yoko Ishida did a fine job in one of her early songs. She's one of those singers where I've seen the name plenty over the years, but then realize that I only know her from this song and a song from B-Robo Kabutack that I'll probably cover some day. Still active...but just not into Tokusatsu much.

07. Hi no fuke Daibuster / Nobuhiko Kashiwara

A great action song--one that finally fits the series perfectly. It's almost as if it shares DNA with the theme songs. This one is rad. Definitely best of the series.

08. Ryuseioh ~Dairenoh no theme~ /  FUNKY Y.K. (Yasuo Kosugi)


While Funky Y.K. was a fun guy to listen to in Zyuranger's Dragon Caesar no uta, this song is just...dreck. The singing is just...bad. Or at least he was the wrong singer for the job. Not only that, but the music is pretty weak outside of the guitar work. How lazy is it that Ryuseioh and Dairenoh had to share a theme song?

There is so much wrong with this half-assed theme song that I really just never consider this to be a mecha theme song. Ryuseioh and Dairenoh deserve way better than this...

09. Chikai / FUNKY Y.K. (Yasuo Kosugi)

The very beginning 20 seconds of this song are painful. I've edited it out of all versions that I use for portable music. After that...it's a decent enough song. Again, I don't think the Funkster was the right choice for singing, but here we are. If you can stomach the beginning, you'll be rewarded with a modestly alright song.

The only thing that can make this song worse is the cast singing it...which totally happened on that Promotional Drama CD...let's not talk about that.

10. Oretachi muteki sa!! Dairanger / NEW JACK Takuro (Hirokazu Umeda)

The amazing ending theme song to the series. Like it's Opening counterpart, this one gets it right from beginning to end. It's just so slick and perfect. There are few better songs out there to bring Super Sentai episodes in for a landing. Catchy, exciting, but also pretty damn chill. Especially the instrumental bits. 

11. Won Tiger no uta / Nobuhiko Kashiwara


This is the Dairanger mecha theme worth listening to.

We have a better singer this time around...and even an up-beat song with some Won Tiger sound effects thrown in. It might not be the best mecha theme song, but it's certainly a nice return to form that had been lacking in some of the years prior to this.

12. Gosei Sentai Dairanger [Original Karaoke]

13. Ikki ni shuuchuu! [Original Karaoke]

14. Kaze no senshi [Original Karaoke]

15. Hi no fuke Daibuster [Original Karaoke]

16. Ryuseioh ~Dairenoh no theme~ [Original Karaoke]

17. Oretachi muteki sa!! Dairanger [Original Karaoke]

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

This is a rough listen as a Song Collection. The great songs are the ones you know and the bad songs are BAAAD. Everything in the middle is pretty forgettable. 

I know I haven't reviewed every Super Sentai Song Collection of the 90s, but I need to make this perfectly clear here and now. This is the worst...by far. Zyuranger is down there in lameness, but this is a whole new level of weak. I want to say this mostly stems from sheer disappointment since I didn't hear all of these songs until years after the series was over. Toei wisely left a lot of these songs to rot, but not smart enough to just not bother releasing them. I guess they needed to put *something* out for a song collection.

Skip it. Amazing theme songs with completely uninspired junk around it.

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

If you enjoy the Dairanger theme songs, make sure you check out the post I did where I uncover the demo versions of both theme songs...along with Changeman for good measure.

I'll be back soon with a brand new post about a newly released thing. It's some stuff that kinda snuck in under the radar, so we'll see how it really is.

See ya next time.

-CC

2022/04/06

The CD Collection--Avataro Sentai Donbrothers Shudaika Limited Edition

I guess it's that time of year! I received my copy of the Avataro Sentai Donbrothers theme song CD Single in the mail today. As usual...I am completely unprepared. I haven't watched the show or heard the songs yet. I probably won't watch the show. I didn't watch last year's show. I don't remember the songs from last year because I haven't heard them since I wrote that review. You know...the usual!

This is something of a rare thing I think. I want good Sentai music. I'm not walking into this as a fan of this series so I won't be blinded by fandom into loving a song that could very well be subpar. This is a genuine reaction. If you're into that sort of thing, then continue reading my annual Super Sentai CD Single review. If not...enjoy the pretty pictures?

Here goes...

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

Avataro Sentai Donbrothers Shudaika Limited Edition
COCC-17966
06.04.2022

01. Ore koso Only One / MORISAKI WIN

I think this is one of the more well-produced opening theme songs in recent years. It has a more late-90s chill vibe, which is refreshing. I may be a bit jaded since I can't think of a decent song since like...Gekiranger? This is decent. I can see it becoming a bit tiresome on repeat listens, but I'll have to remember to put this on every once in awhile.


The singing isn't incredible, but I guess the funk factor is enough to cover it. The Columbia brats being kept at a minimum keep them effective. Yeah--I like it.

02. Don't Boo! Donbrothers / MORISAKI WIN

This one is a nice complement to the opening theme song. It shares a singer, so the continuity is there (mercifully.....because there is nothing worse than a bad opening theme song followed by a worse ending theme song sung by someone like Sister Mayo). 

Again, I dig the production--the 90s feel combined with something more than a threadbare idea of a song is what I feel that Super Sentai has been lacking. I vaguely remember liking last year's ending theme song, but I can't remember the last time I liked both theme songs.

03. Ore koso Only One [Original Karaoke]

04. Don't Boo! Donbrothers [Original Karaoke]

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

BONUS ITEM #1

I suppose the first bonus item to talk about is the one that is packaged in with the disc. The Avataro Gear is a Limited Edition version that is only included in this set. It does come with an instruction sheet to show how it can be used with the DX Donblaster, which is...helpful?

This is pretty standard fair going as far back as the Engine Soul included in the Engine Sentai Go-Onger Shudaika in 2008. Sure, the gimmicks have gotten much less elaborate, but they've always been small enough to pack in with a CD.

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

BONUS ITEM #2

The second bonus item is a clear card that is a preorder exclusive item. It's neat I guess...if you have a photo the right size to line yourself up with Don Momotaro.

It's definitely not the weakest bonus, but it's pretty weak. At least it wasn't a poster to make the shipping cost outrageous!

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

Set Overall: I can't say that I'll have time to watch the show, but my annual foray into the Super Sentai Theme Song thing was actually a pleasant experience this year. Burmese singer MORISAKI WIN did a fine enough job providing vocals against a solid duo of well-produced songs. 

The bonuses were adequate. What else is there to say? It's pretty cookie cutter at this point. CD+Toy+Pre Order Bonus. Last year we got a bonus disc and the year before we got the soundtrack to that Sentai Battle thing (I think? Or was that the year before...?).

It's definitely worth picking up this set. Whatever issues that Columbia is having with Amazon has kinda forced me into ordering more CDs from CDJapan...who has been pretty generous with the coupons and discounts lately. Just saying...

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

That's it for another year of Super Sentai theme songs. Be sure to check out my music collection - CD page. If you're really feeling frisky, I have a recent post about the demo versions of theme songs from Dengeki Sentai Changeman and Gosei Sentai Dairanger. Check it out!

Have a good one!

-CC

PREVIOUSLY.....


CCLemon99 - Live Action Sounds [Full Tokusatsu Medley Album]
The CD Collection--The CD Collection--Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger Shudaika ["Zenryoku Zenkai!" Ban Limited Edition]
The CD Collection--Mashin Sentai Kiramager Shudaika Limited Edition [Amazon Japan]
The CD Collection--Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger Shudaika Limited Edition
The CD Collection--Kaito Sentai Lupinranger vs Keisatsu Sentai Patranger Shudaika Limited Edition

2022/03/31

Demo Version! Dengeki Sentai Changeman and Gosei Sentai Dairanger!


My CD Collection is vast and truly all encompassing...but once in a blue moon I score a new CD for the collection that is so monumental that I need to dedicate a post to it.

I am not going to write a full review this time...I am just going to share (pieces) of what I've discovered. The CD in question is Katsuo Ohno's Maboroshi no Melody Vol.5 ~Ohno Katsuo maboroshi no Demo Tape ongen~ from 2008. It is the last in a series of demo tapes released by Ohno between 2003 and 2008. This is the only one that is relevant to my little mission--and also the most difficult to find.


I have been looking for this CD for years. It was released quietly in 2008 and after missing the initial run I was left to watch and wait. I had a couple of misses over the years before FINALLY scoring a reasonably priced used copy in March of 2022. 

The disc features several tracks that I am completely unfamiliar with...but five that I am *very* familiar with...


Dengeki Sentai Changeman Demo Track Medley


The liner notes give some very basic information on the series, the singer of the final version (KAGE/Hironobu Kageyama) and mentions that Ohno was also responsible for Mermaid & Phoenix as well as Soldier Dragon ~ Yuusha no michi despite not being present in this collection.

I dig the subtle difference in NEVER STOP Changeman...including the more subtle intro. I shared these with Changeman superfan Shogo B'Stard who immediately noticed the different lyrics, which inspired me to just post them up...so here you go:

NEVER STOP Changeman


GREAT PASSION~Jounetsu no arashi~


LOVE FOREVER


I should probably note that the demos for both of these songs are full versions. Pretty neat, huh? I only used snippets for each track because the whole situation seems somewhat nebulous. This CD is *rare* and I don't know if Toei/Ohno really want the whole things out there.

The demo for GREAT PASSION is probably the biggest difference of the lot and it's pretty obvious that Naomi Miyanaga's effortlessly perfect vocals in LOVE FOREVER are what make that song as great as it is.

Gosei Sentai Dairanger Demo Track Medley

These are a ton of fun.


The liner notes on this one are kinda funny. It talks about how Sentai started with either Goranger or Battle Fever J depending on how you look at it. It then goes on to say that these are unusual for Ohno in that they are only short, structural demos for how the lyrics should be sung...which tracks since the end songs match this pretty well. Kenji Yamamoto (infamous plagiarizer) was in charge of the arrangement and brought in more traditional sounding instruments like a shakuhachi for the final version.

That makes a lot of sense since these songs are pretty revolutionary--especially the ending song Oretachi Muteki sa!! Dairanger. Speaking of...the only major lyrical change is in this song where "Oretachi muteki sa!!" becomes "Oretachi muteki da!!". This isn't in the snippet, but you get the gist.

Gosei Sentai Dairanger & Oretachi Muteki sa!! Dairanger



I thought this would be fun to share these virtually unheard demos. Enjoy...and please don't bug me for the full versions. Haha.




-CC

Reebok X Power Rangers -- HUH?

If it weren't for a random ad on a website, I wouldn't even know this was a thing...

Today I'm going to take a look at possibly the most bizarre major merchandise collaborate I've ever come across--the Reebok x Power Rangers line. As a dude who really digs sneakers, I was intrigued by the concept. I bought a pair of Tron adidas back in 2006 and the year before I bought several pairs of the adidas Superstar Anniversary sneakers...which included my all-time favorite sneaker (the blue suede Superstar).

Feet are gross, so I can appreciate un-gross things to cover them up is what I'm getting at. Let's take a look at these Power Rangers Reeboks and see how they turned out.

------


Power Rangers Question Mid Basketball

I'll start with what I believe was the original shoe (?). This is the Megazord themed sneaker that draws in some vaguely memorable styling and color cues without being too overbearing.

This one...is alright I guess? I give them points for being asymmetric in a world where your two shoes should match. They're fine. I respect the game, but I wouldn't wear them. 

The trick box is kinda neat I suppose.

------

Power Rangers Classic Leather

This is the blandest fucking shoe I've ever seen. How is this even part of the line?

------

Power Rangers Answer IV Men's Basketball

I kiiiiinda dig this Lord Zedd themed sneaker with the tubing looped around to the heel. Outside of it being woefully impractical and possibly being a tripping hazard, it's neat.

I think the only thing about it that I actively dislike is the location of the zipper...and possibly the silver. I get it--it fits with the theme. Silver shoes like that just don't work in the real world, though.

Yeah, like I said...this one is kinda sorta OKish. It certainly looks better from a distance. 

Good from afar, but far from good lookin'.

------

Power Rangers Instapump Fury 94

This one really saddens me. As a dude who had a pair of Reebok Pumps in the 90s, I was hoping they would do something cool with the design in this line. Nope! Instead we are given the fugliest shoe that I've ever ever ever seen.

On the other hand...this shoe leaves zero-doubt to what it is or who it is trying to pay tribute to. The details are there, and I'm sure that this designed meticulously up close without ever taking a step back to check their work.

Truly headache inducing...

------

Power Rangers Zig Dynamica

You know what...? This might be my pick of the bunch. It's discreet, but it gets the job done perfectly. The pentagram on the tongue of the left shoe is a really cool touch. Not to mention, the shoe itself looks pretty cushy. Its everything the other shoes in this line aren't!

It may not be my style, but I can get behind this!

------

Power Rangers Hurrikaze II Low

Saving the best for last!

Kidding! This is by far and away the biggest disappointment of the bunch.

First off...as you may know I am a major fan of Ninja Sentai Kakuranger. I will jump at any chance to add to my collection. The problems here are numerous...

-Why did they pick the Grandpa shoes as a base?

-If they were going to go with such a bland design, why not go big and make the left shoe camouflage and the right shoe white??

-The 90s Bandai "EVIL SPACE ALIENS" is so out of place on the tongue.

-"I got a life and I'm lovin' it". Is that a thing??

This is the one that I got the ad for on a random site that introduced me to this line. I was drawn in by it's badness and kept a consistent stream of disappointment as I saw what else was up for grabs.

------

Ummm...so that's that for that. You can check out the shoes on the Reebok site here, or you can wait until the next Power Morphicon to see them in action against bad convention hall carpeting. 

Anyway...Bye!

-CC

Hang on a minute...

Boots with the fur?

Reeboks with the strap??

Hurrikaze II LOW???

I can't be the only one who noticed!


PREVIOUSLY...

2022/02/28

B-Fighter's B-Commander BS [Jukou B-Fighter B-Commander Complete Edition]

This is completely random, isn't it?

I've been a fan of Bandai's retro releases and have been keen to pick up, well, most of them. We got some cool Sentai releases under the Super Sentai Artisan line, but that has kinda faded out over time. This time around, one of the better toy lines from the 90s is getting some love.

We're getting a reissued B-Commander set!

Now...I know that B-Fighter isn't the most exciting series, but it is an awesome toyline. I've owned every toy from the series and have always held the B-Commander in high regard. It's pretty awesome, no? 

This isn't something that I would normally dedicate a post to, but I just have to get this off my chest...

Bandai has done some extra-top level nonsense by not only limiting sales to Premium Bandai, which is...fine, but they completely geolocked the damn product listing. That's right. Unless you're using the right VPN, you can't even view the damn site.

It's amazing how far Bandai will go to limit sales of their own stuff to the point where you can only see the crumbs of availability from their twitter account. Then they get all shocked Pikachu when nobody buys their expensive, only available for a two month window, and now GEOLOCKED web shop toys. It's a problem when their stuff immediately goes on to be scalped and never comes back down to Earth.

You know what? I still haven't seen the site. I sent the link to my friend and asked them to buy me two. Good job, Bandai. I still bought it. I have no idea how much money I spent, but I put an order in for two.

-----

The toy itself is worth talking about. 

It comes with a stand, two sets of figures, and interchangeable antennae...?

Hang on...I am fortunate enough to own a couple of the 1995 B Commanders and I can say without a doubt that one of the coolest things about it is the slick storage feature for the different modes. This goes beyond clever things like Doron Changer's Medal slot. The G Stag antennae fold down on both sides while the Blue Beet and Reddle antennae fold over the backside. It's very smart, and due to that I think some lightly abused toys that otherwise would've had missing antennae still had them. Granted, the mini figures were always missing, but it's still passable without them.

The new slot-in antennae are pretty weak. I'm sure it was done to make way for the new personalized sound clips by Daisuke Tsuchiya, Shigeru Kanai, and Takashi Sasano (really?? They had two Reddles and they couldn't get either??). Personally I more excited for the Henshin sounds since B-Fighter had a top tier sequence.

I like the addition of the transparent mini figures as well...and the new details painted into an old classic. I haven't even gotten my hands on this yet and I seriously love this toy. June is going to be awesome...

Seriously, this being locked out of the West is some supreme lunacy. The places you can buy this are charging a huge Bandai tax on this one. Good luck if you're in the market...

Let's see if we'll get the Command Voicer while they're at it. That toy has *the* most satisfying feel of any toy I can think of...you know, when you slide that card in. It's such a great feeling. Why stop there? Maybe we can get a *real* version of the Insect Commander? Instead of that three card nonsense we got first time around...

Looking forward to June!

-CC

PREVIOUSLY...

HASn'tBRO

The topic of Hasbro taking over the Power Rangers properties has been one of intrigue, optimism, frustration, and annoyance. In that order.

2018: We are given the news that Saban was ditching Bandai and awarding Hasbro the rights to manufacture Power Rangers toys (with the option to gain full control of the franchise in the fine print).

2019: It's here...we get an overdue Go-Busters adaptation and the birth of a promising, yet shoddy figure line called the Lightning Collection.

2020: A year in and it's all but confirmed at this point that Hasbro killed Super Sentai DVDs in North America and...quality control is still lousy.

We're now four years removed from the announcement of Hasbro taking over the franchise and...I'm done. It's more fair to say I was never in. I bought the Lightning Collection White Ranger, grimaced at the lousy quality, and went on with my life. That is 100% of my Hasbro Power Ranger toys.

Maybe I'll get that Ecliptor and...Empress...Skank (???--legit know nothing about anything post like season two of MMPR) set, but it's such a battle to make sure you get a figure with decent quality control that I probably won't bother.

Zord Ascension Project

...or...

Hasbro has some horrible NFT scam happening where you knock three times, pray you're in the right time zone, find the right glory hole, and maybe you'll get a special paint job on your Megazord (that's how those things work, right?). 

That wasn't my biggest "problem", though. I posted an image of the familiar logo in jest and got some idiotic reactions. This is why I don't tweet much anymore. 

I know there are people out there who inherently cannot detect sarcasm and/or take what they read literally. When I tweeted this out last week, I wasn't upset. I wasn't mad. I was more baffled at the course of pure ignorance than Hasbro has been on during their stewardship of the Power Rangers franchise.

The only thing I've genuinely tweeted in anger is that time I called Mark Wahlberg a piece of shit...he...is just human feces. 

So yeah, those responses ranged from...

"Nuh uh...that's not the Zyuranger logo" to "Maybe, but they have the right to use the logo as they please" to people that follow me liking *only* the tweets from people giving me shit. (Bruh)

I will say this...people mostly agreed with my tweet. Like...yeah, that *is* the Zyuranger "Z' being used for some NFT garbage. I normally post something and close twitter to let the responses come in. This time...I paid attention. 

It is kinda sad when people are just so invested in their "brand' that they will swoop in to defend their faceless company "friend". Nothing new there, but man is it pathetic. Can't we settle on the fact that Hasbro doesn't know it's ass from it's elbow when it comes to Power Rangers or it's Super Sentai source?

This tweet is...pretty much what's up...right down to how he says "Power Rangers". He's referring to this dumb shit:

You mean...this "funny envelope symbol"?

Spoiler: They fucked the finished toy up anyway. Of course they did...but Mouthpiece Magoo felt confident enough to say it'd been corrected for release for some reason. I guess I would just make things up as well if the fans shit a fireball and my bosses were none the wiser to the property in question.

I guess the moral of the story is that companies are not your friend. You can be an uber-collector like me and hold deep and infinite contempt for someone like Bandai Japan who at least puts out the goods to keep you coming back. When it comes to the lazy shits at Hasbro, you have to ask if they're really worth defending every single time.

-CC

P.S. Good luck not thinking of Jon Waters saying "ZZZAP" whenever you see that stupid NFT logo now...

PREVIOUSLY...