Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tokusatsu Review: Kamen Rider Gaim Gaiden Zangetsu & Baron Part 2: Drive your funky soul!

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Part two of our double feature starts off with Kaito Kumon walking in the Helheim forest flashing back to the events of episode 21 where he joined up with Ryoma to find and kill the Overlord Demushu, the then theorized leader of the Helheim forest. Ryoma calls in to ask if Kaito's found anything; Kaito says he only found two things, jack and shit and jack left town. Ryoma apologizes for asking Kaito to do this on the anniversary of his dad's death, however Kaito tells him it's none of his business flashing back to what happened after his father sold his factory to Yggdrasil. Kaito doesn't hate Yggdrasil for what happened, what he hates is how weak he was at that time.

We then cut to... um Kaito acting like a complete wacko in a luxury hotel room.
Please stop smiling, you're killing more Kitties then the Puppies that die when Seto Kaiba smiles.
Yeah this mirror universe version of Kaito is named Shapool (or Shapur as the subtitles call him) the heir to a foreign country who's watching the early exploits of his doppelganger transforming into Baron.
"Sir I'm afraid that we are quite late for your Village People auditions as it is without stopping for cakes. Though I heard the owner might be someone as qualified for a part in the band as you sir."
This is Shapur's butler and yes before you can even make the joke, his name is in fact Alfred. Alfred tells Shapur that the cakes will have to wait since Shapur's father has told him to inspect Zawame. Alfred tells him not to be late and heads for the car, Shapur pouts as hard as he can while calling him a tightwad and I'm sorry I just can't get over seeing what looks like Kaito acting so damn goofy, it's waaaay too funny. Now before I get slammed with comments (though at this point I'd take any comments) yes I know that Shapur is played by Kaito's actor Yukata Kobayashi, in fact this is one of the positive points in this movie something I'll elaborate on later as Shapur makes his escape and runs into himself, I mean Kaito.

Kind of obvious which one is green screened. Though they can more then make up for it if they decide to recreate this scene.
Alas no, Shapur just starts annoying Kaito until he maces him and switches clothes leaving Kaito unconscious on the park bench in Shapur's clothes. Okay several questions come to mind here, first shouldn't Shapur knock Kaito out in a secluded location where there are less potential witnesses? I mean parks are pretty populated locations where people could easily spot this guy knocking someone out and switching clothes with him. For that matter, where did he change? Was it behind a bush, a park Bathroom or did he just decide to strip and change in public, I mean even in Japan, a country that sells used high-school girls panties (seriously) giving your twig and berries a breather in a public park can't possibly be the slightest bit legal. I mean people are clearly walking by the area in the following scenes!

Speaking of clothes, couldn't Shapur have just visited a tailor or a clothing store or something to recreate Kaito's outfit? If the point is to disguise yourself as your other-self, knocking them out is not exactly going to make your counterpart sympathetic to your situation dude! I mean money is clearly not an issue for you unless Alfred is handling all of the expenses and thus holds your spending money, but if not then don't be such a tightwad idiot! I'm not even going to get into the identity theft that this clearly brings up and just continue with this mess of a plot.
"And now for Bum Reviews, with Kaito Z Bum"
 Of course after being knocked out, left on a bench and having his clothes stolen Z Bum is pissed off but good. As for Shapur, he's prancing around like Tingle after spending the night with Dr Rockso and Kaito swears to hunt him down and skin him with a toenail clipper. Speaking of pissed off; Alfred and Shapur's father are livid since apparently Alfred was being paid to kill Shapur; by is own father! Yeesh maybe my Seto Kaiba joke was more on the nose then I thought.

But enough about this horrible premeditated child murder now is the time on Gaim where we dance!
Yeah Shapur found where Team Baron is dancing, he starts to dance like a maniac and the rest of Team Baron give looks like Kaito has lost his freaking mind. I mean these guys were handpicked by Kaito to be part of his dance troupe so of course they should be able to spot something wrong about their former leader, and Zach the guy that Kaito left leadership of Team Baron to should be able to see that something is wrong with him from miles away. Nope they just dance with him, Zach you have failed not only as leader of Team Baron but also as a practitioner of Hip-Hopakido. Now go to your room! Even when Kouta and Mai show up they notice that this thing that looks like Kaito should not be Kaito.
It's the kitty Apocalypse.
Who the hell are you?
But even then Mai and Kouta just dance with them anyway, chalking it up to Kaito finally pulling his banana spear out of his ass.
Yeah I honestly have to say this but at this point it needs to be said. Congratulations Japan, you now have yourself your very own iteration of this infamous scene. Take a bow and enjoy.

I'm sorry but it's true we've reached Emo Peter levels of out of character goofiness here, and just like Spider-Man 3 nobody can tell that something is off with Kaito. Even when "Kaito" takes Mai with him to Charmant for cake Kouta's all like "I kind of like him this way". Though personally I do too. Meanwhile with Captain Sourpuss Alfred's caught up with him and thinking that he's Shapur tases him and takes him back to the hotel to kill him. Meanwhile back with Shapur and Mai he's baking a cake in the kitchen, how does she not notice something off with this scenario I mean they, they don't just...... Oh lord I have to stop getting off track or I'll never get through this. So anyway, yeah Shapur is making Mai a cake, why, well most likely so Yukata can demonstrate his actual baking skills. Yeah apparently he's a really good baker, the things you find out about a person. Though, eh I'm curious, I'd try one, especially if it looks like the cake he made for Mai, much to Jonouchi's chagrin.
I never thought I'd say this but thank whoever is up there we're back to the Filicide plot. Kaito wakes up in the hotel room with his arms tied up. (Fan Girls that little thought for later was for you. <3) He overhears Alfred telling his two goons to fit Kaito for a pair of cement shoes thinking that he's Shapur. Kaito thinks that's the reason why Shapur switched with him and kicks the goons asses and ran off before telling Alfred he grabbed the wrong guy.

Back at the ranch Oren shows up and is none to thrilled that Joey just let "Kaito" use their Kitchen. He's about to tell Monsieur banane au revoir when he gets a call from Alfred (he even has the guitar riff played during his transformation as his ringtone) who wants to hire Oren to capture Shapur. But I'm guessing that Alfred only gave his physical description to Oren since he thinks that "Kaito" is actually Shapur, I mean he is but he thinks that Kaito Kumon is actually Shapur all along, which is more then a tad stupid. Point is Oren is after "Kaito" and transforms into Kamen Rider Bravo to fight him since he knows Kaito isn't one to go down without swinging.

After Mai tells him to transform Shapur pulls out the Sengoku Driver, but of course since Kaito had one of the original Prototype belts it's locked to his DNA so Shapur can't use it. Which should be a gigantic clue that he's not who he says he is. But Baron is stuck in moron mode and completely forgot when Ryoma told him about the differences in belts when he got his current custom mass production belt not four episodes before the chronological events of this special!
I'm not even half way through this special and I still have 20 or so minutes to go. So Zach shows up and transforms into Kamen Rider Knuckle to hold Bravo off while "Kaito" and Mai make tracks. That's when the real Kaito shows up and a few tiny sparks decide to go off in Mai's head and realizes that "Kaito" is an imposter. Kaito then grabs Shapur and drags him off no doubt to where he has the toenail clippers. Meanwhile we see Alfred meeting with Ryoma, so you know that something bad is about to go down.

You would in fact be right since the reason for the duo's trip was for Alfred to fund Ryoma's research in exchange for at least 500 Sengoku drivers since Alfred's boss knows that Helheim is coming and wants his family to be among the lucky few to survive. But Ryoma being the crafty bastard that he is picks up that Alfred has ulterior motives due to the amount of requested drivers. Alfred outright admits that he's going to sell the extra drivers to the highest bidders, usurp his boss and take over their country. Ryoma says that he likes that kind of sneakiness and gives Alfred a gift.
A Genesis Driver and the Prototype Dragon Fruit Energy Lockseed.
Ryoma of course is offended that Alfred thinks he can just use his research in his little money making scheme and is going to be using him as a test subject for the Dragon Fruit Energy Lockseed. Yeah free tip dude don't try to shyst a shyster. Back to the wonder twins the two swap back their clothes and Kaito takes back his driver. Shapur tries to apologize saying he just wanted to be free, but Kaito says he did it just to avoid being killed and fills him in on his father trying to kill him. Shapur tries to run when he hears cars but Alfred shows up and starts kicking his ass, saying that his father wants him dead and that he'll be killing him once he's done with Shapur and that he's going to be taking over the organization.

Kaito shows up to kick the goons asses and turns his attention to Alfred having flashbacks to being abused by his father in a drunken rampage and is going to kick Alfred's teeth in because he pisses him off. That's when Alfred takes off the kid gloves and pulls out his Genesis Driver and Lockseed.
Becoming Kamen Rider Tyrant.
Kaito then transforms into Baron and fights Tyrant. But since Baron is an Armored Rider and Tyrant is a New Generation Rider; Tyrant kicks Baron's ass before he switches to Mango Arms and reengages managing to overpower Tyrant so he and Shapur could retreat. Tyrant tries to run after them but the Genesis Driver starts to short-circuit forcing Alfred to power down. Later that night Kaito and Shapur swap back stories that Shapur was adopted since his father didn't have an heir to take over their organization. But since he now has a real son Shapur is just in the way.

As for Kaito he says that after his father sold their factory to Yggdrasil he regretted his decision, was tricked out of his money, started drinking then beat Kaito before killing his mom and then himself in a drunken rampage. Kaito then tells Shapur that the only thing worth trusting in the world is your own power.
Essentially that, Peko then shows up telling Kaito that Tyrant has been attacking Team Baron and abducted Zach to lure Kaito and Shapur out. Now it's personal, Kaito heads out to save Zach and finds him in the standard abandoned warehouse. Kaito then is attacked by Alfred head on, calling him out as the pathetic weakling that he is by just using his unearned power to attack those that are weaker then him. Alfred gives absolutely zero craps if he's a weakling and just as he's about to transform the Dragon Fruit Lockseed starts to sprout Helheim vines and turn him into an Inves.

Alfred still doesn't care and just demands Kaito hand over Shapur, Kaito says he'll gladly do it if he can beat him. Alfred transforms into Tyrant and starts his assault. Kaito transforms into Baron where the fight starts but leads into the dumbest sequence of the special. Baron knocks Tyrant into some debris where he comes out riding a dirt bike that comes out of nowhere, and no this isn't a Lock Vehicle, a normal fully functional dirt bike just happens to be in an abandoned warehouse all gassed up and ready to use. Not only this one but Baron just happens to find another one and the two just start riding their dirt-bikes.

I'm not kidding when I say that this sequence mainly consists of the two just doing stunts on their dirt-bikes, they don't even fight they just hop around doing stunts until the end of the sequence where Baron manages to knock off Tyrant. Do you know how long this sequence lasts? Approximately 1 minute and 21 seconds, yep the first minutes of this specials climax starts off with bike stunts. Look I know that Kamen Riders typically ride motorcycles but we don't want our final fight to mainly consist of bike stunts and only one actual attack done during said sequence, whoever was responsible for this scene needs to be sacked and hard.

Time to wrap this up; Tyrant takes a major hit from Baron and the Dragon Fruit Lockseed takes over him completely transforming him into an Overlord Inves. Baron gets completely overwhelmed by the Overlord when Yoko shows up to give him the Ringo Lockseed that Ryoma took from Touka.
He uses it and becomes Baron Ringo Arms.
With his new power Baron is easily able to go toe to toe with the overlord. Even when the Ringo Lockseed starts to infest him with Helheim's power Baron suppresses it with his own willpower. He then executes his Sparkling finisher and kills Tyrant once and for all. With this victory Baron powers down and destroys the Ringo Lockseed with his own hands. Our story ends with Kaito getting a letter from Shapur saying that he's going back to confront his father, Kaito visits his families grave swearing to obtain the power to destroy the world and Yoko watches from the shadows and sees something from Kaito.
A glimpse of the power that Kaito seeks.
So that was Gaim Gaiden Zangetsu and Baron. Zangetsu was the clear better of the two while Baron made my head hurt from all the stupid. Though Baron does have one saving grace and that's the performance of Yukata Kobayashi as both Kaito and Shapur. The contrast between the two personae really help to show his range. His performance and the silliness that comes with it save that part of the special from becoming unwatchable. Now on to more tasty meat for next time where we get more Gaim action by taking a look at Drive and Gaim's crossover movie. See you soon.

Kamen Rider is owned by Ishinomori Productions, Toei Productions, and Bandai.
Yu-gi-oh! 5D's is owned by Katsumi Ono, Konami and Studio Gallop.
Spider-Man 3 is owned by Marvel Studios and Colombia Pictures.
Duck Soup is owned by Paramount Pictures and Groucho Marx.
Archer is owned by Adam Reed, Floyd County Productions, Radical Axis and FX Producions.
Zoolander is owned by Village Roadshow Pictures, VH1 Films and Paramount Pictures.
Electric Café is owned by Kraftwerk and Kling Klang Studios.
People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul is owned by James Brown, Tim Rogers, Cliff White and Polydor.
The Ren & Stimpy show is owned by Bob Camp, John Kricfalusi, Spümcø, Games Animation and Nickelodeon.
Conan the Barbarian (1982) is owned by Dino De Laurentiis Corporation and Universal Pictures.