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.

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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.
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,