Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How Super Sentai saved ChrisX

Okay, this is just a moment of outburst that would just last for the moment, but I feel like I wanna express my gratitude to the Sentai franchise for something. Just keep reading.

As I mentioned before, I'm troubled to what transpired in BlazBlue, about my favorite lady betraying the image I had for her. True, I'm slightly getting better and trying to understand. But the world of fiction isn't as merciful. It's like 'depression is the new trend'.

I lately bought the PS3 Mortal Kombat. Good game, a throwback to classic MKs. The Story Mode on the other hand... it's kind of bittersweet to the point of depression. I won't spoil you much as this is a recent game, but I will say that they really went out to make that world (Earthrealm) a crapsack one, with something horrible happening to many heroes and fan favorites, and even the God of Thunder Raiden committing mistakes after mistakes leading up to that horrible thing. It was really depressing, I never thought that 'gory fun' suddenly gets to 'gory seriousness'. Wasn't as bad as my problem with Litchi, but MK takes a new level in depression. You need to play it.

Then comes the PSN outage. Here and there, complains about Sony piled up, especially after the reveal that personal information have been leaked, and PSN is still down for uncertain time. I know it will return back one day, and I don't use Credit Cards, but all this time the complains have been piling up and even if Sony gets back up, it'll have to deal with the loss of reputations, now that many people dislike it for being untrustworthy on the security.

So I opened this blog of mine, looked at the top picture... and then...




Gokaiger movie info, Junichi Haruta, Sayoko Hagiwara and Kenta Satou returning for the movie... NOSTALGIA, HOOO!! (Well, not so much nostalgia when it comes to Dynaman since I just finished watching it the first time, but still it gave me a good appreciation to that show) It was such a wham announcement it made me forget the troubles I'm having in other places. You can bet your ass that when those three (ESPECIALLY Junichi Haruta) appear on screen, even if he's not I'm gonna yell in excitement, like how Nostalgia Critic reacted to 'Frying The Coke'.

I'm pretty sure Sean is psyched with the presence of Ryosuke Sakamoto since I'm pretty sure he's Filipino and Bioman is pretty big in Phillipines, kinda like Goggle V in Indonesia. I'm not quite surprised with the announcement of Naoya Makoto and Hiroshi Miyauchi, though, they're like a must-appear list so it was kind of expected, Akaranger led the Legend War, plus Big One is... well, Big One. Both of them are the biggest names of old school Sentai. Yes I do realize that there's also Keiichi Wada, Mika Kikuchi and Kenji Ohba to count but it's nostalgia we're talking about for the moment.

So yeah, I'd like to thank Sentai for keeping my optimism up. While the world of videogames seem hell bent to make the stories seem pessimistic (though not closed for future improvement), Sentai always kept the optimism, getting my hopes up. Thank you Toku and Sentai!

Monday, April 25, 2011

History of ChrisX And Super Sentai

Yeah, yeah, I'm just following the leaders (That Chick and Fantasy Leader). But hey, may as well!

Well it started on when I was a little boy, about 4 years old or 5... In the ages of VHS. In Indonesia, back then, Dai Sentai Goggle V was the big thing about Sentai. I only had few episodes of them, episodes 5 to 8, then jump to 37 to 40, then jump to the last 4. But I really enjoyed it, since well it doesn't really depend on storyline, but just how kickass the action scenes were. I did miss out when the actors of Goggle V visited Indonesia, but hell... this is why I still have great memories of Goggle V.

Time passed, and before there was Power Rangers, Indonesia have been enjoying some Sentai. Aside of Goggle V we had Hikari Sentai Maskman, which was aired in TV and has dubbings. And yes, I used to own the VHS only for a few episodes (already dubbed). But by that time, there's also the mind-blowingly popular Kamen Rider Black on TV (and again, in Indonesia, we used to call him 'Ksatria Baja Hitam'/'Black Iron Knight') so I suppose I wasn't as hyped as I was to Goggle V for Maskman, because there's Kamen Rider to occupy me. But even then, I held great memories for Maskman.

Kamen Rider Black and RX got me good on Toku, and along the way, I also enjoyed partials of TV airings of Liveman, Turboranger and Flashman, but not as much as Maskman or Goggle V. There's also Kamen Rider Super-1 on the air, but at that time I became rather caught in school business and such so my liking for Toku kinda wanes. Plus, you know, video games is my main hobby.

But aside of that, around that time, there's Power Rangers. To be honest, I was really cool with it, but for some reason, I mostly concentrated on parts on the first season. It was good, but by that time I got really swamped with school.

Skip on years later.

My brother returned from Singapore... he gave me some modern Sentais like Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, Mahou Sentai Magiranger and GoGo Sentai Boukenger (currently incomplete). I did like how Dekaranger turned out on the first episode, but again, I'm swamped with university business and gaming has been rather tight on me.

Then I graduated university. The year was 2008.

Years in university, plus Super Robot Wars got me quite into anime and I was thinking 'What kind of live action Japanese TV I could watch for the moment?' And after thinking, then I saw... Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, in promo. Hey, I like the concept of samurai, and I think this may be fun. So I got the first few episodes and... I'm hooked. Seriously. I watched Shinkenger from first to the end, got to see some Sentai openings to relive nostalgia and it would be around that time (I think) that I discovered a youtube account named 'Divaqueen' or something, who used to hold videos about her favorite Sentai warriors, etc, mostly image slides. It was also from her account that I saw some Sentai cutscene clips which made me want to hunt down some episodes of old school Sentai. I didn't care if it was RAW, I had to take what's given thus far. So I started with Goggle V, then moved on to other nostalgia pieces like Turboranger and Maskman, and eventually also new materials like Jetman and Zyuranger, and even my brother's given Sentai back then (Dekaranger). And yeah, that, along with Kamen Rider Decade, inspires my fic...

When I asked where Divaqueen got those images, she linked to the Super Sentai Images blog, in which it directed me to Sean's blog. And after seeing Sean's blog, I became more and more involved in Sentai business, and this blog is created.

So there we have it. It started big with Goggle V and Maskman, but education business caught me busy that it kinda waned out, even for Power Rangers... nearly revived with Dekaranger, and fully revived with Shinkenger. I hope it's been a good read.

P.S: Will add pictures later! Keep watching on this post, will ya?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Super Sentai Humorous Moment 3: Dekaranger

We now return to yet another funny moment in Super Sentai. This time, about Dekaranger... featuring Umeko/Deka Pink.

This is seen in Episode 12.

So it starts out with Umeko enjoying her bath... when in a sudden, Doggie announces a strangeness that they needed to investigate. In disappointment, Umeko got out of her bath to dress up...

Doggie Kruger was proud with how the Dekarangers were hurrying to the crime scene diligently... until Umeko arrives, her hair not yet cleaned up and there's still the bubbles and shampoo on her hair. Doggie immediately becomes angry and asks what the hell happened to her head. Before Umeko could explain, she snooze... and the bubble on her head flew over to Doggie's mouth.

Umeko's expression was completely deadpan and she puts on her hair... 'hat'... whatever onto Doggie's mouth like it's a place where you hang your clothes for being dried by the sun and entered the tunnel to enter her Deka Machine, while Doggie just stared there doing nothing. She did transform inside and apologized.

And when she arrived at her Deka Machine, she snooze so hard her Deka Machine jumped and surprising Swan on how 'energetic' she was. And that's the last straw for Doggie as he yelled "UMEKOOOO!!!!" to her tunnel and Umeko gave out a hilarious "I'm sorryyyyy!"

The rest of the episode isn't much LOL worthy, but still, Umeko's antics with Doggie Kruger in this episode always crack me up.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sentai Character Talk 6: Mako Shiraishi/Shinken Pink

Okay we're back for another character talk. Let us talk this time about a Shinkenger, particularly Mako Shiraishi AKA Shinken Pink. Hey, if Sean can talk a lot about her, so can I (No hard feelings Sean, just that your favoritism to Mako is just so seen and acknowledgable)

This lady is Mako, descended from the Shiraishi clan, a clan in servtitude of the Shiba clan to seal the Gedoushuu, and she worked as a kindergarten teacher before the next battle with Gedoushuu began. She pretty much defines the 'big sister' archetype. Chiaki called her 'nee-san', Kotoha idolizes her so much she'd ignore one of her blatant flaws (which we'll talk about later) and even Takeru knows not to really be harsh on her. Sensible and mature, but also tough as heck, people may think she's a 'tomboyish' archetype like Yuuri of Timeranger or Sakura of Boukenger, but I'd say Mako is more of the 'nurturing, motherly type' which is pretty prevalent in the very old school Sentai shows.


Mako... didn't have a good, normal past. When she's little, her mother, already crippled due to her previous battle with Gedoushuu, had to move away from home with her father, to Hawaii, leaving Mako to continue on the Shiraishi clan's samurai training from her grandma. Mako trained rigorously, even if she had to foresake her normal childhood. This was why she became a kindergarten teacher, she wanted to provide the children a good childhood that she never had.


What Mako didn't know back then was that her mother's crippling was so bad she's paralyzed so she had to take medications in Hawaii, not because she's had enough of her child. This, at first, left Mako bitter about her parents a bit, but once she learned the truth, she became more respectful to them and her ending had her return to Hawaii... though probably returned just in time for Goseiger vs Shinkenger.

Aside of that, Mako was, admittedly, kind of static. She didn't improve much outside being less cold during that time she got hugged by Kotoha. She remains a good big sister figure for the Shinkengers.

In battle on the other hand, she seemed to be drawn with Usukawa Dayuu. When she got sucked into a dream world sharing with Dayuu, she ended up seeing her past and probably felt pity on her state, though Dayuu would take none of the pity. She ended up fighting her a lot and was quite sad when Dayuu sacrificed herself for Doukokuu. I think at that time Mako felt pity on Dayuu's fate and eventual death, regretting that she couldn't reach her out. But overall, they still held the same 'Girl-girl rivalry'.


If Mako lacked in development, she's already got a lot of traits to make up for it, though.

First off, her big sisterly figure means that she always had an urge to hug someone in need. Kids, adults, or even toy lanterns, if they feel depressed, she always had an urge to hug them out and comforting them. Of course, this doesn't mean she's ready for romantic commitment... as Ryuunosuke learned it the hard way. She hugged him not because she wanted to start a relationship, but she just thought his depressed self unsightly. Poor Ryuu-san didn't know that his default personality at that time was 'Annoying like hell' so it also ticked Mako off that he'd jump at her that instant. She'll cuddle as needed, not cuddle as long as she can. In other words, she values efficiency.

Being a kindergarten teacher also helps her for understanding many people's feelings. Including her teammates, she could sometimes understand how they were feeling, which led her to that one incident with Ryuunosuke (above), or how she tried comforting Kotoha when she felt lonely, topped with how she later attempts to sympathize with Takeru when he felt a bit too intense regarding his role. So it's not that she's tough and cold, she's a very understanding and nurturing lady.

But perhaps, her biggest trait is that... She's a horrid cook. And this is a frigging understatement. Takeru, the one who usually kept his cool, just freaked out at the prospect of her cooking (though less than that one haunted house). "Is that edible" indeed. And even the sight of her in an apron is just plain traumatizing for the Kurokos. She even uses her Shinkenmaru to 'murder' an onion, for Pete's sake! However, Mako is a hardworking girl, so she'd try her best to improve, although even until the end of Shinkenger, there's no progress at all... she'd try harder until she succeed. After all, her dream was to be a good wife, so cooking skill is a must. Then again, when your childhood is spent on training to be a samurai, who had the time for culinary training?

A rarely shown trait of Mako is that she seemed to have a hidden yearning for singing. Especially when that time she sang at the V-Cinema episode, it was in her dream that she becomes an idol singer. Of course, once everyone is back to the normal world, Mako would deny that she likes being an idol singer, but I'd just chalk it down that she's getting a bit flustered.


I think I did tell about pairings of Shinkenger. Mako went along well with pretty much everyone. While initially refusing to Ryuunosuke, after that one incident, she's back to normal, professional relationship with Ryuunosuke, and if she shoves him off, it's because he's asking for it (like that one in the end of the soul-swap episode). There's also the one with Takeru, which is probably my favorite, just too bad it goes nowhere... and I think I can see rabid Kotoha fanboys glaring at me right now when I said that. Speaking of that, there's also Kotoha to consider pairing for, and I admit, Mako-Kotoha pair is a near-legendary one, up there with Jasmine-Umeko from Dekaranger. As of Chiaki, all I see is just about a sisterly respect view for Chiaki, calling her 'nee-san', probably why in Chiaki's dream in V-Cinema, Mako became the superior police for him. It's got a good start, better than Ryuunosuke even, I gotta admit. But then again, I shipped Chiaki with someone else -_-...

I dunno how much I'd value her pairing with Genta and Kaoru. Mako treats Genta the same way she treated Ryuunosuke, professionally. And she didn't get much time to interact with Kaoru.

In conclusion, that's Mako for you. She's admittedly static and just develops slightly, but she's got a lot of quirk and traits that makes her lovable. Perfect for you siscons out there. I think she helped a lot in reigniting my passion for Sentai after leaving it so long since the ages of Goggle V and Power Rangers. Of course she's not the only reason, but Mako pretty much gains my respect, and thus far, I think she's deserving her position as one of my fave ladies of Sentai...

Wait, what? YOU'RE COOKING NOW!? Oh dear, I hope my stomach is strong enough to endure. (Won't somebody please think of the poor little onions...!!)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Super Sentai Humorous Moment 2: Boukenger

Okay so we're back for another humorous moment. You can bet your ass that one day this video will get removed, but before that, let's have a look. And yes, I've watched near halfway of Boukenger and this is one of the funniest moments... no, entire episode of funny, and this is its peak.

Satoru Akashi is a disbeliever for fortunes, and what luck, for this mission to get the Dragon Eye, he gets his luck fixated to be the worst possible and we get to see all kinds of misfortunes he's rained into. Those were deadly misfortunes, but god damn it, they're too hilarious to not cringe with! Fortunately, the rest of the Boukengers tried fixing his luck by giving him fortune-increasing items.

(Video starts here) Then they approached Ryuuon and his current Jakuryuu, Talong... and Bouken Red's appearance looked SO ridiculous Talong was laughing his ass off. Even the usually sadistic bastard Ryuuon can't help but also laugh at Bouken Red's getup. While the Boukengers do their roll call reversed (Red's last), both Ryuuon and Talong were too busy laughing their asses off, because seriously, all those accessories does make Bouken Red look totally ridiculous. Intending to end this seriously, Bouken Red coughs up and declares...

Endless Bouken Spirits! Go Go Sentai Boukenger!!

And there goes the usual explosion of Super Sentai following Boukenger's entrance... Looks awesome... except that the explosion caught on Bouken Red and his teammates had to put it off. (Video ends here)

What follows is that Bouken Red managed to flip off all his misfortunes while giving off speeches of friendship and eventually beats Talong, his luck restored to normal, Talong grows big, then he gets hit with worst luck and destroyed... But the fun didn't end there. Back in SGS, Satoru still insists that he's a disbeliever of fortune telling... until Eiji pulls out a 'Good Fortune' talisman right from his back pocket, and Souta finds out that he was actually browsing about fortune websites, embarrassing the hell out of Satoru. So he secretly was a believer!

This is an episode full of funny, worth jumping the rest of the Boukenger episodes just for this episode. I will have to admit that Satoru succeeded Takeru (Maskman) in terms about 'just because you're the Red Ranger, doesn't mean you never get to be the butt end of jokes'. In fact, there's a lot of instances of Satoru getting nasty physical jokes, usually at the end of episodes, but this one takes the whole episode to showcase him being that.

Sean may disagree with me, but this is why I wouldn't be able to see Ryuuon in the same caliber as Radiguet. As much as a sadist he is, Ryuuon occasionally jumps in the humorous moments, just like this episode, or some previous episodes when the Jaryuu gets some knowledge and instead boycotted him. If it was Radiguet, I think he wouldn't laugh, but rather just move in for the kill. But maybe it's just me. Of course Ryuuon is still an SOB. Just... an SOB who knows when to provide laugh to the audience when even he gets the butt end of jokes.

I think after this you can expect some actual Boukenger posts from me.