Sunday, April 26, 2015

Video Game Review: Persona Retrospective: Persona (PSP) Part 7: Red Roses.

In case anyone forgot our group has to find the Expel Mirror, but where is it? Well if anyone did some exploration in the beginning of the game they'd know it was on display at the historical society. Once they reached the Historical Society the group used the Old Bronze Key that they found near the statue of Jenifer Carrol to open the door. Inside they see a painting of the creature that was stalking them in the apartment building.
While they looked at this painting they wondered, why was it so determined to find them, what did it want? Why did looking at it give them such feelings of hatred, horror and revulsion?
Wait, oops sorry wrong Historical Society, this one is far less terrifying, no they just go inside and find the mirror straight away. The mirror shows a hologram of the girl in white who tells them not to take the mirror. But since they have no other way to beat the subway guardian they have no choice but to take it. So they make their way through the tunnel and use the mirror to defeat the guardian Yog Sothoth Jr. Be warned if you go into this fight under leveled, under equipped and with weak Personas you might have more then a few problems with this guy. Luckily there's a Save point and Trish's spring near by before the boss room, all you have to do is hit him with Nuclear, Blast and Gravity spells, 1 handed weapon attacks and you should be fine. Just keep in mind that he likes to lower your teams attack and hit rate, inflict sleep and that his other spells have an area range and may inflict status effects and you should be okay. Once the thing that should not be is no more Aki will show up again for another taunting session and warn that she has another game set up for them. Once the group hits top side the only way to get to the rest of the east side of town is through a building called the black market. This place is evil, evil, evil, evil, evil! Once people step inside this place they become trapped by a spell cast by the boss of this place; the "Harem Queen" which means that nobody can leave unless she says so. But of course she isn't the type to let her playthings go that easily and nobody can ever leave so you have to find this queen at the bottom of her lair, the Karma Palace and kick her ass. Now this isn't too bad since all the stores and shops are still open inside the black market, including a hospital, a Satomi Tadashi, the Rosa Candida shop and an entrance to the Velvet Room so if you need some new equipment, now's the time to stock up and upgrade. Now the gang needs to gets some info on their new enemy so their first stop is the Peace Dinner, there they learn that this whole building is under the iron fisted rule of the Harem Queen who has apparently taken over the building in the last month where she forces her subjects to continuously praise her art work and serve her every whim. Once they get the info from the Diner's Master the gang heads off to the palace next to the casino. Be warned, this place is a maze and there are several powerful demons in this place so if you haven't powered up, you're going to be in a world of pain. But just because you're in a maze doesn't mean you shouldn't explore everything, in several rooms there are totems for fusing Personas so definitely get them. Once the gang reaches the 8th floor art gallery Maki notices that the displayed painting belongs to Chisato, Yosuke's girlfriend. They believe that the Queen has taken Chisato prisoner since everyone says that her painting is the Queens. But when the gang reaches the Queen's room they find out that Chisato is the Queen!

Yeah it turns out that Aki decided to give Chisato a magic mirror that grants any wish she makes on it. However she forgot to mention that whenever Chisato makes a wish on the mirror she gets; well a certain something on her face.
Which coupled with her anger towards Maki and her own low self-esteem drove her to go crazy and down the route of a narcissistic megalomaniac. Maki tries to reason with Chisato but she's not having it, even going so far as to say that the only reason why she even dated Yosuke in the first place was because she knew Maki liked him. And she just keeps going on and on about how everybody liked Maki more, they all loved her art more then hers even though she was prettier then her and.
Yeah pretty much. Mark of course calls her out; figuring out why he didn't like her art, Chisato is ugly through and through and it's reflected in her art work. Nanjo pours more salt on the wounds saying that the only reason people praise her artwork is because they're scared to death of her. Mark then adds the cherry on top by summing up her artwork.
Close enough. With that statement Chisato wishes with the mirror to teleport the bungholes out of her castle. So the true evil comes into the light, they have to go through the whole palace all over again just to get back to her.
Needless to say this place can go to hell on a golden chariot shaped like a toilet. So the gang then restock their supplies, equipment and get new Personas then they make their way back to the palace to confront Supergirl-Prime. Once they made it back to Chisato they find that she has even more moles then last time and is even more crazed. She asks Naoya to decide which is better, Maki's paintings or hers. To sway his opinion she then uses the mirror to turn Nanjo, Mark and Reiji to stone, she says that she'll change them back once Naoya says her paintings are better, but of course he says that Maki's are better because he won't be intimidated by someone like her. (Besides if you did say that her's was better the next fight will be more difficult. You may have your full party but the boss will have far more HP and stats then if you said no.) Aki then shows up to make things worse by saying that if she kills Naoya and the rest of the group she'll fix her face with no strings attached. So Chisato makes another wish on the mirror to give her the strength to kill Naoya and Maki. The Harem Queen shouldn't be too much of a problem, even with only Naoya and Maki, the only problem to worry about is her Petra Eye ability, which has a chance of turning a party member to stone, so bring some Dis-Stone items before you head down to the Karma Palace, she also has Dia, which she can use to heal herself a little bit, just stick to ice and Wind attacks and you should be fine. Once the Queen is knocked off her throne Aki pours salt in her wounds saying that she wouldn't fix Chisato's face even if she did kill them and all that Kandori thought of her as a guinea pig and a useless pawn and that "Even if Chisato loses she's not worth our trouble." They were just going to let Chisato live the rest of her life with a mole ridden face with the knowledge that she killed her best friend and her friends because of her jealousy and selfishness. Wow, that's just plain old fashioned cruel. Aki then teleports out laughing her ass off all the while. Maki, despite everything Chisato said and did is still going to try and help her; because she still considers Chisato a friend. Chisato then breaks down and says that everyone will hate her now. Maki says that isn't true and Yosuke teleports in (seriously) and confesses his love for her. And with that confession the mirror shatters, everyone is returned to normal and Chisato loses all the moles covering her face. Happy Endings for everyone!
Chisato tells the group that she knows that Aki lives in a castle. So next time it's time to raid Kandori's castle!

Please be sure to read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

Shin Megami Tensai Persona is owned by Atlus and Sega.
Silent Hill 2 is owned by Konami Computer Entertainment and Team Silent.
Austin Powers: Goldmember is owned by Gratitude International, Team Todd, Moving Pictures, and New Line Cinema.
Superboy-Prime is owned by DC Comics, Elliot S! Maggin ad Curt Swan (based off the original character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. 
Beavis and Butthead is owned by MTV Networks and Mike Judge.
Deadfall is owned by Tristar Pictures and Christopher Coppola.
The Simpsons are owned by Matt Groening, Gracie Films, and 20th Century Fox Television. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tokusatsu Review: Shuriken Sentai Ninninger Vs. Kamen Rider Drive Spring Special: Part Three: NOT THEM AGAIN!

For a recap on my thoughts so far, here they are. Where we last left off our Ninja destroyed several buildings, slaughtered thousands of people and are rightfully being detained by the police. We then cut to Mach getting the crap beaten out of him by Sangou, but he just leaves saying that Mach will die eventually. So.... why not just kill him now? OH YEAH there is no good reason. Yeah it's not like you work for Shocker or anything and getting rid of a Rider THAT CLEARLY STANDS NO CHANCE AGAINST YOU would benefit you and your bosses or anything down the line, but there goes me and my logic again.

 Speaking of not making sense we then shift the focus of this crossover to Shinnosuke who is confused at not only everyone's attitudes starting to take a turn for the tyrannical but also the higher ups decision to making sure that the Ninningers fry like bacon in the chair, even going so far as to give them higher priority then the Roidmudes. But then again them escaping their cells didn't exactly help Shinnosuke's case.
There were Ninningers here, they're gone now.
 Hell even Krim is all for carrying a torch in this proverbial witch hunt. Granted his reasoning is a little bit more sane, he thinks that the Ninningers are dangerous since they come from another world, which could lead to some serious problems if they are not dealt with.
In other words the universe doesn't like its peas mixed with its porridge.
Shinnosuke still wants to try and help them by sending them back to their world by hunting down #089 but Krim says its no dice until the Ninningers are dealt with and the people of their world come first and the needs of the mango out way the needs of the figs or something like that. Shinnosuke walks out to get some air and think when.... oh for god's sake.
GEE DICK LET'S FIGURE THIS OUT! Was the mansion always there, no THEN IT IS AS SUSPICIOUS AS ALL HELL YOU SCHMUCK! Seriously how did nobody notice a mansion teleporting outside of a frigging police station?! You'd think that maybe somebody would notice something this frigging big that sticks out like Godzilla's thumb. Hell even a drunk, blindfolded Ray Charles could tell you that this doesn't fit here! Ugh anyway because even Shinnosuke isn't stupid enough to miss something this suspicious (granted it's right in front of his face but still better late then never) he checks it out. Inside the Ninningers are panicking over Tsumuji fading away and they can't find where the enchantment under the sea dance is to fix him. Their Grandpa is vanishing too but he's less then helpful.
I could tell you where to find him so you can kill him faster and hopefully save us all but I think you should find him for yourselves because, well let's face it I'm dying before you all either way so I might as well take everyone else with me.
 So after Old Ninja moonwalks out of there (seriously) the team walks out to find #089 but of course since Old Ninja is a psychotic old coot, he gave them nothing to work with and are pretty much up the creak without a paddle. Making matters worse Shinnosuke tracks down Takaharu at the docks. Shinnosuke is of course conflicted between his duty as a police officer to bring in the Ninningers on his superiors orders and his duty as a Kamen Rider, to help those he can who desperately need it. So of course he decides to help Takaharu and his family get back home. But then Otta and other officers show up and the two decide to book it, leaving Kiriko and Krim behind. Meanwhile Cloud discovers some workers who are under the effects of Buruburu's slime, he's then attacked by the Yokai from behind. Cloud manages to transform and hold him off until Kasumi, Fuuka and Nagi provide him with back up. We then cut to our red heroes not having a clue in their heads about where to find #089. The two then get attacked by the Hitokarage.
The foot solders of the Yokai.
The two make an escape thanks to Kiriko and her getaway van. She gives Shinnosuke a picture with two familiar images on it.
Oh god, not them again.
Kyuu found the picture of the silver haired man online, he apparently went by the name Dr D and was researching something at an odd research facility, and that it exploded 40 years ago and Dr D went up in flames with it screaming about how he found a way to "return the era to zero" as it were. How that website knew about any of that is beyond me and this whole situation doesn't make a whole lot of sense but let's move on. Kyuu also says that there have been reports of his Ghost wandering around the abandoned site so the trio decide that's where #089 is hiding. At the site the trio are attacked by a familiar monster; Hiruchameleon aka General Black of Gel-Shocker.
Now the one hang up I have about this is that he's wearing the wrong emblem on his belt, as I said General Black worked for Gel-Shocker, not Shocker Classic. I know that both organizations were essentially the same thing since the Great Leader was running the show for both groups but I just want some consistency here. Also I think Gel Shocker had a cooler emblem. I mean snakes make things cooler by default.
Using his camouflage powers he nearly choked Shinnosuke until Mach chased him off. Go powers down telling them about his encounter with Sangou.
I think this "Abandoned laboratory" is actually one of Toei's prop warehouses. You can see three of the cloths that were most likely used by the Greeed from OOO and that weird viewing globe thing that the Vyram used in Jetman and Dr Samejima used to get to Nejirejia in Megaranger.
Anyway Go apparently did some research on Dr D and discovered the Double Riders. Even though at this point in continuity Shinnosuke already encountered Kouta Kazuraba AKA Kamen Rider Gaim in their crossover movie. But there is a possible explanation for why they don't know about the past Riders, but I'll discus that when we get to that plot point. The most interesting part is that Go mentions that while the Double Riders fought Shocker, there was no mention of a third Rider.
Again, during the time of the Original Shocker/ Gel-Shocker. V3 didn't come around until Destron was running around.
Go then theorizes that the world is being distorted, not only due to the appearance of the Yokai and Ninningers but also that of Sangou as well as the people's subtle personality changes. It all becomes clear when Shinnosuke notices the Shocker emblem in Go's photo and he starts to put the pieces together.
Though I may have to call BS on this one, especially if this really is a former Shocker facility. I may have very little experience watching the original series, but if I do know one thing about Shōwa era Rider series; it's this. Rider finds base, Great Leader makes it go boom like he was Michael Bay. So yeah for this facility to be this intact is nothing short of a miracle.
Or the Great Leader may have been waiting on this one for some dumb reason since we see Turtle Bazooka firing at the base with everything he's got.
Again, Turtle Bazooka was a Destron Monster not a Shocker Classic monster. Hell in this crossover he isn't even wearing any emblem on his waist.
Once the base is destroyed the we see the other four Ninningers struggling with Buruburu, and are forced to pwer down when they are hit by a sneak attack by some Hitokarage and Roidmude #076. Suddenly the Trailer Cannon shows up and sends several Shift Cars out to protect the Ninningers from the Hitokarage's attack. Yep Shinnosuke, Kiriko, Takaharu and Go made it just in time. Yep apparently Krim used Tridoron to get the four out of the building before it was completely destroyed. Wow, way to keep us in suspense guys, M. Night Shyamalan would be overjoyed by this. -_- Shinnosuke even figured out who is really behind all of this nonsense. The revived Buruburu reveals himself to be Dr D aka Roidmude #089. But the Roidmudes aren't the true masterminds, and if anyone with a frontal lobe was paying attention you have most likely figured it out for your self, spoilers it was Shocker.

Yeah as if the old monsters, and the giant emblem weren't enough of a tell, but if you still needed me  tell you this then congratulations, you ate paint chips as a kid.
No no, that's just the Shocker emblem as a belt buckle, the Great Leader loves to communicate through these things. He then explains that Dr D did die 40 years ago but they had enough of his cells left over to recreate him through the Roidmude. Hold on stop, time for some major deconstruction here.
This is a screenshot of the Original Dr D from the original Kamen Rider show back in 1973. In the episode he was featured in all he was doing was researching how to defeat Kamen Rider 1. Keep this in mind as the special says that he dies two years later doing research about how to rewrite history.
 Also keep in mind that Great Leader here says that Dr D worked for Shocker, again time to call this into question as when Shocker was transitioning to Gel-Shocker part of the change involved killing every single remaining Shocker member. Stupid yes but it did happen. So yeah if Dr D did work for Shocker he should have been another body on the pile, but from the picture up there we can clearly see the Gel-Shocker emblem so we know that Dr D was around during that time, meaning Dr D was recruited after the culling of Shocker. Next, the time of his death, he supposedly died 40 years ago, but if he were still loyal to the Great Leader that would have meant he was working for Black Satan, not Shocker, and yes I know that all of the Great Leader's organizations are still technically Shocker since they were still lead by the Great Leader but still this special says Shocker so I'm calling it out! Now for the major elephant in the room, how in the hell did Roidmude #089 copy someone who has been dead for 40 years by their own admission? Now I know that there was a case in Drive about a Roidmude copying a dead person.
This is Volt, aka Roidmude #024, he was copying a person who had been dead for an indeterminate amount of time.
 Now the major difference is that the Roidmudes have been in hiding for at least 15 years, so #024 could have copied him while he was alive. Bringing this back to my point about #089, Roidmudes can only copy living subjects, so how did this one copy someone who has been dead for DECADES?! Maybe it could be explained that the Great Leader kept extensive visual and audio records of all of those who worked for him, whether willing or coerced, and he kept several DNA samples from like Shocker health exams or something. But it's never stated, all they give us is that some of Dr D's DNA was kept on ice and #089 somehow was able to completely recreate himself from that. But I'm sticking to my theory as it would be the only way this makes any sense. Also, for that matter, how in the hell did Shocker manage to get their hands on #089 in the first place? My theory is that Shocker was studying the Roidmudes (as well as every other evil group that came after them that wasn't lead by the Great Leader) and discovered the Roidmudes' copy ability, captured one and had #089 recreate Dr D from the visual records that I mentioned before. But I'm done deconstructing how this doesn't make any sense in regards to continuity I'm just going to say the Great Leader stole the Continuity gem from Deadpool and move on.
And remember kids, when a dude in a really stupid hat offers you chimichangas for some time with your special stone, kick him in his special stones and take the damn chimichangas and have yourself a merry little fiesta. There's my cameo gimme my pay.
 Yeah hows about hell to the no tumor mouth! I already have two 4th wall breaking assholes to deal with and at least they don't point guns at me when I get on their badside.
Wanna repeat that, Fatass?
 See what I mean, also because I run this show I can just shut you out. Bye bye; hope Ryan Reynolds doesn't mess you up as badly as last time. Back to this madness, #089 says that using his body as the foundation they were able to finish the original Dr D's dimensional distorter. Takaharu figures that destroying #089 will fix everything but #089 says that he's achieved a new power after absorbing the Sealing Shuriken that Izayoi gave him, becoming Shocker Buruburu.

Meet the new boss, same as the old. Also get used to seeing this guy in future crossovers involving Shocker, if you have the emblem odds are good they'll use you again and again and again.
 Now with the true enemy exposed our heroes transform, the bad guys get reinforcements from Turtle Bazooka, Hiruchameleon and some Shocker Combatants.
 Thus the battle begins. It seems to be going well until Shocker Buruburu demonstrates being a embodiment of fear with his Terrible Pressure power. He might not have a Sinestro Corp ring but he does do the job of immobilizing the heroes in a field of pure terror. Drive then transforms into his Super Form, Type Formula to break out of the AT Field using his super speed and attack Shocker Buruburu. Not one to be outdone Mach transforms into Type Dead Heat to help Drive. With the distraction the Ninningers combine to form a freaking tornado to slice Shocker Buruburu to pieces, the seven then combine their finishers to send Shocker Buruburu to the scrapyard, destroy his core and collect the original Buruburu's sealing shuriken. So UFOmaru, Tsumuji and Old Ninja show up to take the Ninningers back to their world, good-byes are exchanged and we cut to Sangou who says that #089 was just a prototype for their history revision machine. Which finally could explain why everyone was acting so weird and why Shinnosuke didn't know about the previous Riders. As we see in the movie Sangou was sent back in time to kill the double Riders and thus the world would fall under Shocker's rule and every Rider that follows the originals would be a Shocker Rider. It could also explain the differences in continuity seen here. This whole time they could have been in an alternate world, not the Rider's prime world if the universe uses the Multiverse theory. This could have been a alternate universe created from the invention of the History revision device which generated the wormhole that Izayoi used to get to this world and create Buruburu as part of the plan of the Alliance of Shocker, the Roidmudes and the Gengetsu army. The Great Leader really did steal the Continuity gem and this is the effects slowly affecting the world. Whatever, this crossover, had some problems. There was very little character interaction pieces aside from the ones with Shinnosuke and Takaharu, but then again Ninninger was only five episodes into its runs o the limited characterization is a little more tolerable and understandable. To make matters worse the franchise history seemed to get kicked in the head more then a few times as I mentioned before and I honestly can't help but think that the "history manipulator" was just a convient plot device for Riku Sanjo to cover his tracks. Could you tell this and Drive were written by the same guy that wrote the screenplay for this thing?
For those who hate Drive, you now have more evidence in your case regarding the flimsy quality of the storytelling engine (not pun intended) of the show.
 But there were some concepts that I think were executed far better then the Gaim/Toqger crossover that we got last time. Like for example there was a small scene of the villains interacting. Granted it lasted less then a minute but it was there and maybe next time we can get some more with the next generation of bad guys. I also liked how much better the Gengetsu army's methodology interacted with the Roidmudes, and when the Rider Monsters grew to fight Shurikenjin at least it made some semblance of sense. The scenes trying to tie into the movie was questionable but at least it showed Shocker doing a test run on their latest take over the world scheme, and at least this time travel plot doesn't involve Den-O. And when we see the Ninningers interacting with Drive to fight the Rider Robot thing we at least know how they know each other if history has been altered. All in all, not bad but definitely one you need to switch your brain off for. I will return you to your regularly scheduled Persona retrospective next time.

Please be sure to read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

Kamen Rider is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.
Super Sentai is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.
Star Trek The Next Generation is owned by Gene Roddenberry, Paramount Domestic Television, and CBS Television Distribution.
The Simpsons are owned by Matt Groening, Gracie Films, and 20th Century Fox Television.
Beauty and the Beast (1992) is owned by Goodtimes entertainment, Golden Films and Sony.
Phelous and the Movies is owned by Phelan Portland and Channel Awesome. Yep. 
Deadpool is owned by Marvel Studios, The Walt Disney Company, Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza, 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tokusatsu Review: Shuriken Sentai Ninninger Vs. Kamen Rider Drive Spring Special: Part Two: Ninja Cops

You know I'm really starting to get sick and tired of seeing the word "Ninja" in so many goddamn titles. With all these references I keep making I feel like I'm going to turn into a certain far more successful and talented critic, maybe if I start reviewing Godfrey Ho movies and filming myself sitting on the floor with terrible video and audio quality my views might pick up. Eh maybe someday. Anyway we open this special on one of Izayoi's Yokai attacking people so she can gather more fear; thanking a man with Silver hair for aiding in the creation of this Yokai.
This is Yokai Buruburu, who looks like if someone tried to cover car parts with paper mache.
The Ninningers show up to kick his ass. After Buruburu introduces himself Nagi makes a joke about his name and Buruburu goes nuts and tackles him which leads Cloud to think that the Sealing Shuriken might have attached to a car. See the reason why is the word Buruburu is also the Japanese pronunciation for Vroom (also spelt varoom,) which is an onomatopoeia that represents the sound of an engine revving up.Which to be perfectly honest sounds clever to me, or at the very least it sounds like the type of joke I would make if my knowledge of the Japanese language were higher. Back to the fight Takaharu tries to attack Buruburu from behind when it activates the heaviness, wait WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? Yeah it triggers the heaviness and kicks the Ninningers ass' before he escapes. The Heaviness wears off and Takaharu gets fired at by Tridoron, since Drive thinks that all five of the Ninningers are Roidmudes. Which is pretty stupid since they don't look anything close to previously encountered Roidmudes. The Sentai team engages the Rider and both parties are pretty even; even when Drive uses his Shuriken themed Shift car Midnight Shadow to gain an advantage. It doesn't work as they just use their substitution Jutsu to catch Drive off-guard, only for him to switch to Type Technic to blast their projectiles. Takaharu asks why in the hell Drive is attacking them, its as I said Drive thinks they were the Roidmudes that attacked earlier, the Ninningers of course have no idea what the hell he's talking about. When the group tells Drive that they're Ninjas Drive doesn't buy it for some reason.
You have to deal with shape-shifting monsters on a weekly or so basis and yet you draw the line at brightly colored Ninjas? What a useless guy.
Kiriko shows up which clues the Ninningers in that Drive is with the police. Takaharu is relived as he can just prove his innocence and be on his way. Okay then.
OUR HEROES EVERYONE one is an, impulsive, out of character idiot and the other is a just plain old fashioned idiot.
The others manage to get away as our brave Red is taken to the clink. Meanwhile Go, aka Kamen Rider Mach is taking pictures of some strange phenomena in the sky.
Hey as long as we don't start seeing a images of a flying city held up by giant balloons I think they'll be fine.
We then move to the Igasaki mansion as the four that got away have tea with their uncle/ father (in Fuuka and Takaharu's case) Tsumuji Igasaki while discussing how to take down Buruburu. They're not too worried about Takaharu since of course he's a Ninja and can escape by himself with no problem. Speaking of, Shinnosuke and Kiriko compile Takaharu's story, not exactly believing his whole "We're the Ninninger" story, apparently they haven't heard of them before this; well yeah it makes sense since the Ninninger have only been active for 5 episodes at this point in time so, yeah.
UNCLEAN HEATHEN! How dare you claim to have descended from the great and powerful Mako?
Forgive him lord Mako, he knew not what he did.
 After being forgiven by Lord Mako for that bit of blasphemy Shinnosuke is still exasperated with Takaharu and just wants him to confess to being a Roidmude, while the interrogation is going on Krim (through the eyes of the Type Speed Shift Car) analyses Takaharu's outfit and armaments and discovers that they aren't from this world and that they could be dangerous. But before Shinnosuke can put Takaharu in the ultimate torture device; the comfy chair he just poofs out of the room. Meanwhile Izayoi is overjoyed by the amount of fear she was able to collect, thanks to the help of Heart, Brain, Medic and Mr Silver over there. Brain doesn't take kindly to Izayoi calling them mechanical dolls but Medic and Heart tell him to knock it off since, either way they're monsters to humans.
Hey Boss, can I play? Not until you gather more fear young Yokai!
Back at the ranch Shinnosuke is looking for Takaharu who powers down after dicking around with him. Shinnosuke has a slight break down trying to figure Takaharu out, but before Shinnosuke can be taken away by those nice young men in their clean white coats we find the two old goats arguing about the existence of Yokai.
I love Otta's face there "ohohooooo no I ain't gettin involved with that."
After arguing about how both of their shows are silly the heaviness is activated as the other Ninningers are under attack by Buruburu. Takaharu and Shinnosuke head off to the scene as Go takes more pictures of the green disturbance and gets intercepted by a green Rider.
This is GP's villain Rider, Kamen Rider No. 3. Now to start a game, every time you see a Shocker emblem, take a shot.
Go transforms into Mach and engages Sangou while Takaharu finds the rest of his team shivering in absolute terror in a puddle, when Takaharu tries to find out what happened the heaviness is activated and the girls send him flying, the shift cars then arrive and knock them back. Shinnosuke thinks that the five are Roidmudes after all but Takaharu just tells him to stand back after claiming to show him how he beats a Yokai. Takaharu engages the others, but when it looks like he lost his Ichibantou countering Cloud he actually engaged his Meramera ja fire attack to strike the puddle, which turned out to be Buruburu in disguise emitting the heaviness. The others were just covered in Buruburu's fear causing mucus, which explains why they were attacking Takaharu. Finally convincing Shinnosuke of their innocence Takaharu transforms into AkaNinger to fight Buruburu with the rest of his siblings. After Buruburu regenerates from Takaharu's slash, Krim notices that Buruburu's body is composed of a Viral Core, the body that houses a Roidmudes Core. Suddenly Doc Brown shows up with Izayoi and two Roidmudes, #016 and #057 and he reveals his true form.
I don't know whether Scarecrow would laugh or be jealous of this joker.
Scratch that, he'd be laughing his ass off.
He turns out to be Roidmude #089 and with that revelation Shinnosuke transforms into Drive to engage the Roidmudes, noting that something is different with #089. The Ninningers use their finishing move on Buruburu, destroying him and changing him back to a purified sealing shuriken which is taken by Izayoi which is then given to #089 saying that there's still a use for it. #089 suggests using the other two Roidmudes and Izayoi agrees; using her Goten Yo Shuriken to make #016 and #057 grow. #057 grabs Drive as the Ninningers summon their Otomo Nin, when we cut to Brain recreating the same joke as last time, with Heart and Medic not believing Brain when he tells them about the battle between the giants even though it's right behind them, yet they don't see it when they get out of view. All that served was Brain thinking he's going nuts, MOVING ON! The team form Shurikenjin.
Asymmetrical as all hell in terms of design and individual components but it really does work.
The two Giant Roidmudes engage Shurikenjin with #057 still holding Drive, they manage to get Drive free by tickling #057 yes seriously, and Drive lands safely on a building.
You sure he's fine? Ah he has armor and Mad Doctor it's all good.
The Bat Roidmude begins an aerial assault so Takaharu summons UFOmaru to engage for a 2 Vs 2 battle.
"We are about to engage the Roidmude, your orders sir?"  "Increase speed, drop down and reverse direction!"
Such brilliant tactics ground the bat and the team combines UFOmaru with Shurikenjin to create Shurikenjin UFO.

Using the power of Space the team destroys the two Roidmudes and their Cores. But suddenly UFOmaru disappears into the green tear. Alright you shmucks YOU TWO KNOW ABOUT THIS DON'T YOU?! Show up and confess already!

You get points for being on the right track. You lose points however for not finding the true culprit, much like that detective who is resting his physical and psychological trauma. Now now brother, be nice he at least knows where to start looking. But he should at least know that there are others in those worlds who may yet create similar phenomena. Perhaps one may be responsible right now; perhaps we should visit these worlds more often to observe and come to our own conclusions. Sir could you perhaps be a travel guide and give us a hand as to where to visit first?
 I'm not letting you to get anywhere near this mess, I don't want to imagine what could happen, it could make Crisis on Infinite Earths look like the Anglo Zanzibar war by comparison. Spoilsport. Though he does have a point. In this world he might, in others perhaps not. Perhaps he should be looking at our current set of players now. There are those who belong yet don't. They don't belong and yet they should. Time to get a move on. We should be along as well. Wait, where are you two going?
On holiday. Where we're going you may not follow. But you can follow if you may.
I don... I just, ugh I don't get you two. Anyway Izayoi shows up and tells them that UFOmaru didn't disappear but that it was erased from existence. She then says that they are actually in Drive's world, not their home-world. O_O WAIT COME BACK YOU TWO, I'M SORRY HELP MEEEEEEEE!!!
Seems they aren't returning my calls, crap. She says that the dimensional distortion that brought them to this world was created when she used a corrupted sealing shuriken on a Spider Viral Core creating the Roidmude Yokai hybrid Buruburu. OKAY STOP, foul on the field. How in the hell did Izayoi even get into the world of the Riders without the distortion in the first place? Does she have the power to travel between worlds already? Did a tear open up and she just threw the sealing shuriken inside or was there someone else who created a tear and Izayoi come through to help make it bigger? It's obviously related to the green thing in the sky since that's what Izayoi used to get back to the Ninningers' home-world leaving them stranded to eventually be erased from existence. if anything it might have something to do with #089 since she was confident to leave Buruburu's Sealing shuriken with him. Anyway she says that they will disappear starting with the oldest and that's way UFOmaru disappeared. We see Tsumuji pull a Marty Mcfly and start to become transparent while collapsing in pain, and I don't think a dance is going to help. To make matters worse the police show up to arrest the Ninningers for the destruction they caused fighting the Roidmudes. Hey come on it wasn't bad all things considered.
O_O Oh, um heh heh heh, it was just the abandoned buildings district?
Well, um good luck in the joint guys, remember not to drop the soap!
Will our nimble new Ninja team avoid joining a lifelong jailhouse jamboree? Will our red hot racing detective be able to save these jovial jujitsu using juveniles from singing the jailhouse blues? Will the Roidmudes savor this devilish dual dimensional destruction? Will Mach be able to put the breaks on Sangou before he crashes and burns? Will the Lutece duo stop horsing around and get their asses in gear in time to help our host? Tune in next time, same David time, same David blog!

Please be sure to read, comment, spread the links, re-tweet and follow me on Twitter @OnDavidsBrain! and support me on Patreon.

Ninja Five-O is owned by Hudson Soft and Konami.
Kamen Rider is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.
Super Sentai is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.
Nostalgia Critic is owned by Doug Walker, Channel Awesome,, and The Walt Disney Company.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is owned by Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Python (Monty) Pictures and EMI films.
My Little Pony Friendship is Magic is owned by Studio B Productions, DHX Media/Vancouver Hasbro Studios The Hub Network, Lauren Faust and Bonnie Zacherle.
Portal 2 is owned by Valve Corporation and Gabe Newell.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tokusatsu Review: Shuriken Sentai Ninninger Vs. Kamen Rider Drive Spring Special: Part One: My thoughts on the seires so far.

Yep, this is a thing now.
Toei seems to have created a new tradition. The Kamen Rider/Sentai crossover special to promote their latest movies, and of the two that have been made so far at the time of this entry at least one is somewhat better then the movie itself. Last year we had a crossover special between Kamen Rider Gaim (my personal favorite Rider series) and Ressha Sentai Toqger a series that makes me want to lobotomize myself with a chainsaw. There was some stupidity, plot points that made no sense and scenes that only a bottle of absinthe could calm me down from. Now we have a new crossover movie out in Japan, Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3, which considering that this movie is being written and directed by the same assholes that wrote the last Taisen Film, Shoji Yonemura and Takayuki Shibasaki respectively, involves Time Travel, Shocker and the Den-O crew, and in the past those plot elements created a concoction about as loved as Judge Doom's Dip, I think that Havik can sum up my thoughts rather eloquently.

Now this is my initial thoughts on this of course but I do have a sixth degree black belt in bullshit and can thus usually tell when a movie, show or meal is going to suck. If Kamen Rider Taisen GP is good then great, but given the history that Toei has with Shoji Yonemura and his work on these Rider movies I don't have the highest hopes for them. Enough negativity time to give my thoughts on Drive and Ninninger before I cover the special. Now you may recall that I've already given my thoughts on Drive's first episode a few months back, if not, here's the link. Now for the details of what have happened since then, be warned there will be Spoilers out the wazoo here so this is your last chance.
It turns out that the Belt is actually the remaining consciousness of a scientist named Krim Steinbelt who helped create the 108 Roidmudes with his colleague Dr. Banno. Apparently the Roidmudes, like the Robot Masters were originally created to help mankind, somehow since the number of them is most likely a reference to the 108 malas of Buddhism I'm still not to clear on the actual helping details. But unlike the Robot Masters the Roidmudes seem to have gone Maverick and have developed, well a certain mindset.
However unlike Mecha Ryan; the Roidmudes don't want to completely destroy humanity, just replace them, as Homo Superior or something like that, to that end the Roidmudes are trying to evolve into more powerful forms that are more; how they consider human. I say consider because 9 times out of 10 the humans they copy tend to be sociopaths, murderers or generally bad people and the Roidmudes consider coping evil people to be a good thing, since like Xemnas they believe that anger, lust, greed and other negative emotions are what humans generally act upon. Their ultimate goal being to find the Promised Number which will allow the Roidmudes to whip out humanity and take over. This actually leads to what many people consider to be a huge problem with Drive. See when the Roidmude leaders Heart, his main squeeze Medic and his #2 man Brain discover that a Roidmude isn't evolving to their standards they send out their Grim Reaper, Mashin Chaser.
"He was a one eyed, one horned, drivin Purple Roidmude eater, one eyed, one horned, drivin Purple Roidmude eater, a one eyed, one horned, drivin Purple Roidmude eater sure looked strange to me."
Chaser is revealed to be Shinnosuke's successor Kamen Rider Proto-Drive and the Roidmudes prototype, number 000. After the Global Freeze Chaser was captured by the Roidmudes and was reprogrammed to destroy ones that are either not evolving properly, evolving too closely to others or ones that don't evolve at all, the difference between Chaser and Drive is that Chase only destroys their bodies but he leaves their Viral Cores, the actual bodies and souls of the Roidmudes intact so that their programing can be whipped clean and have a new chance to evolve in a unique way. Eventually Chase remembers that he was originally created to destroy Roidmudes, so Medic decided to reprogram him in a new way. She changed his core programing so instead of protecting humans, Chase now thinks that he has to protect Roidmudes. Eventually Shinnosuke was forced into destroying Chase completely, but now Chase is alive somehow, and ugggggghhhh. You can start to see what the problem is, there is waaaay too much focus on the Chase subplot and less is given to the actual main characters and the other villains. And any development that is given seems to have had little to no foreshadowing, like Brain's rivalry with Medic for taking too much of Hearts attention from him. We don't see why someone like Brain, who seems to be a cold logical thinker would react to Medic's success like he has, should he not care who does a better job as long as it gets done? That would make more sense in regards to his characterization then suddenly being jealous over Medic taking Heart's attention? I want to like Drive as a show but it's just coming off as clumsy in its story execution. But there are somethings that I do like about Drive so far. I like the actual investigations preceding the Roidmude fights, it lets us see that our heroes aren't idiots and that Shinnosuke is slowly returning to his old persona with every case, him displaying less of the lazy personality traits that he was displaying when we first saw him, another good thing is that Kiriko is actively taking part in combat and at times is more capable then Drive and Mach ( Drive's secondary Rider and Kiriko's younger brother). I also like the variety of powers provided by the shift cars, from ice powers, teleportation and healing, and each can complement Drive's different forms perfectly, with Type Wild working with Shift Cars that help his offensive stats, Type Technic uses cars that have powers for specific situations like bomb disarming and gravity control. I don't know it's like if Micro-machines gave people superpowers, but then again.
That's enough of the Rider, now for the newest Sentai, the Ninjas that rampage in the sun instead of hide in the shadows, Shuriken Sentai Ninninger.
Ninninger tells the tale of five siblings that are descended from "The Last Ninja."
You just know this Sentai is going to be badass if the team is descended from a guy that looks like he can kill you just by fucking looking at you.
Wait what? That's not their last Ninja? Okay hold on.

Here we go.
So our Sentai stars a group of Ninja antique dealers who are sought out by a US government agency after a team of scientists are taken hostage by terrorists. Wait that's not the plot either? Hold on a second here, sometimes being a master of bullshit comes with a price, I have a tendency to seek out references like a bear is drawn to Honey glazed Salmon. Okay our team isn't descended from an obscure NES game, Swan from the Warriors, Sonny from Xanadu (thank Zeus) or the almighty glory that is Mako.
Nope it turns out that they are descended from this guy.
Yoshitaka Igasaki, the man who used the 48 sealing shurikens to seal away the reborn enemy of the Igasaki clan, Kibaoni Gengetsu and his Yokai army. Now in 2015 the seal is broken by Gengetsu's last surviving General; Izayoi, and the evil will of Gengetsu which was contained in the sealing shurikens has corrupted them and are scattered around possessing inanimate objects to resurrect his Yokai army so they can collect enough fear to not only resurrect his Generals but also Gengetsu himself and unite the world in all consuming fear of him and his monster army. Since of course his age has caught up to him Yoshitaka decides to have his grandchildren who have also been studying the ways of the Ninja (to varying degrees of diligence) to take up his mantle, defeat Gengetsu and his Yokai and claim the title of "Last Ninja".
 Let's go down the list here, first there's our AkaNinger Takaharu Igasaki, he's the red of the group (duh) and is the only one among the group that wants to become the Last Ninja more than anything else and has spent his entire life to practice his Grandfather's craft, to the detriment of anything else, yeah we have another idiot Red on our hands, but unlike Right and Daigo, Takaharu so far is much more tolerable then them, (especially Right GOD I HATE HIM!!!) The big difference is that unlike Right who was just an asshole Takaharu does have focus and an actual drive to improve himself in his Shinobi skills. It's not that he's an idiot; he just sees other skills as unnecessary, kind of like Goku, and like Goku Takaharu does excel on the battlefield. Next is our blue dude, Yakumo Katou aka Cloud. He's our Seto Kaiba of the group, he's an elite jerk, has a rivalry with Takaharu just to spite the guy, thinks the Ninja training is useless compared to his magic skills (yeah before all this he was studying magic in England, my guess is that he was in Ravenclaw.) He even has a giant blue dragon as his mech.
Uncanny ain't it? As I said everyone aside from Takaharu doesn't really give a crap about being the last Ninja and are basically just doing this to protect the world, not to see who will take their Grandpa's title. Overall Cloud seems to be a good balance for Takaharu's well, hotheadedness. Now for our Yellow Ranger Nagi Matsuo, unfortunately I don't really have very much to say about him, we do know that true to his designation on the team, he's a coward initially too scared to take part int he fight until he was encouraged by Takaharu. Though like me he does try a variety of job to gain different experiences that may come in handy later down the line. I'm guessing that might be the plot device the writers will use as to how Nagi has the knowledge to solve certain situations, he does have several licenses and certifications in various fields. Now for our White Ranger, the first Female White Ninja Ranger since Tsuruhime in the first Ninja Sentai, (what a coincidence :3) Fuuka Igasaki. And much like the real leader of the Kakurangers Fuuka seems to be the mother hen of the group and is usually the first one that refuses put up with Takaharu's crap; especially since she had to grow up with the dude. Again we haven't really had many episodes with her yet to flush her out but if I were a betting man she might just develop that way, but there goes me and my logic again. Last but not least is Kasumi Momochi our MomoNinger (a bit on the nose ain't it?) She's the more technologically inclined of the group and the most blunt and direct when it comes to calling people out. From what is shown so far she will probably take up the same role that Billy did in the Mighty Morphen days, using her mechanical expertise to create devices that will aid the Ninningers when their Ninja skills can't cut the mustard. Now for me to talk about the suits themselves.
But in all honesty I really do like the designs of the Ninninger suits. I see they've taken inspiration from the Gaoranger/Wild Force suits with their emblem on an actual sash that they wear. Most of the suits is their primary color with black in certain areas to make the main colors pop, specifically the arms and gloves. The girls also get more black around the thighs to help give their legs more of a high boot look. And their helmet's visors are designed as different shaped Shurikens to help the rangers have their own unique look with a white point on the top of the shurikens shaped in a way to convey a facial expression on the visors. Striking, cool and far more creative then the Toqger's suits. Now that I'm done gushing about that time to talk about their mechs, their Otomo Nin. Since this is the 39th Sentai with big #40 coming right after this the designers decided to make each of their mechs a tribute to previous motifs of Sentai Mechs. In story Yoshitaka designed each of the primary Otomo Nin to match the interests of his Grandchildren, they and all the other Otomo Nin were each reverse engineered off of UFOmaru which was given to him by Aliens. GOD DO I LOVE THIS FRANCHISE!( Personally I hope that they expand on this plot point with maybe the aliens that designed UFOmaru themselves showing up asking for help or something, don't just leave this plot point open like that, expand on it, at least I would.) Anyway, first is Takaharu's mech, representing Humanoid mecha is Shinobimaru.
Previous examples is the Giant Beast Generals from Kakuranger (cute I see what you did there) and the Majin forms of Magiranger.
Dragomaru (which I showed earlier) is Cloud's mech representing mechs based off of Mythological animals such as the Mythical Ki Beasts from Dairanger, and the various Dragon mechs in Sentai's history. Next is Dumpmaru Nagi's Otomo Nin.
Dumpmaru pays homage to the various mechs based off of construction and service vehicles such as VRV Robo from Carranger, the GoGo vehicles from Boukenger and the 99machienes from GoGo Five.
Then comes Robo Koromaru aka Wanmaru.
Wanmaru represents the mechs based off of non mystical animals such as the mechs from Liveman, the Star Beasts from Gingaman and the Gao animals from Gaoranger.
Finally there is Byunmaru. Which represents mechs based off of advanced technology like the Jet Machines from Jetman, the Changers from Changeman and Mega Voyager from MegaRanger.
Trains, why did it have to be a train? And so soon at that?
Together they form Shurikenjin.
This proves that having inconsistent mech themes can actually work. At least it's better then, well you know.
Now that you're all caught up and know my thoughts on these shows, time to get to the special itself next time.

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Kamen Rider is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.
Super Sentai is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.
Mortal Kombat is owned by Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and NetherRealm Studios.
Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal is owned by Insomniac Games and Sony Computer Entertainment.
Micromachines is owned by Hasbro.
The Last Ninja (1983) is owned by Paramount Television and William A. Graham.
The Last Ninja (NES) is owned by Activision and Superior Software.
Nostalgia Critic is owned by Doug Walker, Channel Awesome,, and The Walt Disney Company