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Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patoranger Episode 11 Review

What an opening this week, as the Patrens are profiled like the police characters on shows like Law and Order in the US and UK. We get a flashy introduction, with the Patrens looking fantastic in fitted suits, and a short battle against minions in black silhouettes of Lupin Red leads to the reveal that they were on a movie set the whole time. Sakuya is enthusiastic about the prospect of making a movie and making the Lupinrangers look, “totally lame.”

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It’s a light-hearted, somewhat over-the-top set up to what proves to be a return to the more familiar tone of previous Sentai shows. The change is not unwelcome, as a bit of fun or silliness can easily balance out the melodrama that can sometimes come with darker tokusatsu series. Ike Nwala is great as Commander Hilltop, as always, and his somewhat comedic bravado is clear as he suggests they make a Patren movie as a PR push. The Lupinrangers, it seems, are popular with the common people.

Speaking of the Lupinrangers, it seems that they are keeping their eyes on the prize, so to speak, and their next target is the film studio where the Patorangers are shooting their PR film. The humour in this episode is very adult, for a Super Sentai series, complete with Sakuya and Keiichiro genderswapping anatomically, as well as mentally, at the command of the movie director, who exclaims that Sakuya needs more sex appeal.

Confusion ensues when the Lupins arrive and see the police already on site. They are unaware of the movie being filmed, and are on target to track the Gangler, who is set up early to be rereleased as the movie’s director. Sakuya refuses to stop the movie, leading to some cringe inducing forced cuteness on his part. If nothing else, the actors who play the Patorangers all seem to be enjoying themselves in this episode, especially Ryo Yokohama, who plays Sakuya.

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After transformation, there is an interesting moment using Sakuya’s voice and a well-endowed female suit actor, using a feminized version of the Patren Nigo suit. The other Patrens experience a similar transformation, and begin to panic, while the Gangler uses the opening created to knock all six to the ground and escape. The suit actors, now a female red, female green, and male pink, are swamped by the film crew, and the scene cuts out.

When next we see the Patrens, we are back to the actual team actors, now genderswapped in hairstyles and clothes. Tsukasa, as a male, bears a striking resemblance to Kamen Rider Drive’s human form. A brief flashback gives us some clues into Sakuya’s background as the group talks and Sakuya’s introduction to his partners is shown as a motivational moment of personal growth.

After the gender swap, it doesn’t take the Patrens long to figure out what the director, a Gangler called Pitchcock, is up to, and their shocked reactions to the new script show that they are clearly uncomfortable with the changes. The film begins shooting again with the Patrens in their new roles, and the true nature of it is revealed in no time.

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From here, the normal battle routine turns into a parade of physical humour and sexual jokes, making the show fall into tropes that are bit more in the vein of ecchi anime like High School DxD than seen in the past.

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The human form of Pitchcock is revealed, and the battle continues. Per the usual flair, the teams pair off to fight each other while one Ranger at a time goes after Pitchcock. When they get his Lupin Collection Item, they depart and leave the Patrens to make their move. Another comical scene plays out as their genders are inverted, returning them to normal, and each ranger grabs and gropes at themselves for a moment to make sure everything is in place.

During the mecha portion of the fight, we see the debut of the Hammer Dial Fighter, which has been previously shown in toy scans.

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A wide, swinging spin attack with the new weapon destroys Pitchcock easily. We get a hilarious look at the Patrens in their normal bodies, still wearing their pre-transformation clothes. The episode ends on a light note.

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This episode lacked in substance, but made up for it in laughs. Personally, I enjoyed it. What are your thoughts. Leave a comment below!

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Kamen Rider Build Episode 32 Review

The familiar, heavy tone is present in the opening of this week’s Build, as Sento returns to Touto’s capitol building with Pandora’s Box in tow. As he and Prime Minister Himuro discuss the next steps, Kazumi gets a phone call, though we do not see who from. Upon returning to Cafe Naracita, Banjou learns of his Martian heritage, via the DNA test results and lab documents on Sawa’s computer.

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The show wastes no time in setting up Kazumi’s arc for the week, using Pandora’s Box as a bargaining chip for the lives of the Hokuto government officials taken by Seito. At the same time, team Build talks over the revelation about Banjou’s heritage, and the man himself tries to rationalize it however possible. The weight of questioning his own humanity is colossal, and immediately evident on Banjou. Oddities begin to crop up, and they immediately suspect Isurugi’s involvement.

There is a certain air of duality here, of conflicting loyalties and what identity means to the individual, as Kazumi is forced to choose between his nation and his world, while Ryuga questions everything he thought he knew about himself. The only one seemingly not troubled, outwardly, is Gentoku. He has made his choice, and releases the hostages by cutting through their ropes after being ordered to kill them. We then see him take on multiple Hard Smashes, before his kill switch is pushed by Utsumi and his transformation deactivates.

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Between bursts of action, this episode is heavy on existentialism and characters spend much of their time in quiet contemplation. Pieces of the puzzle begin to come together in exploration and discovery, rather than through combat. It comes to light that Isurugi had met Banjou before, shortly after his return from Mars, and the implication is made that Banjou’s amnesia was the direct result of that meeting. Political negotiations begin, and as they heat up, we see the area around Pandora’s Tower begin to quake.

Isurugi’s plan is coming together on a grand scale. Playing with a new type of Full Bottle in Midou’s office, he tells Midou, who is really Nanba, to be patient and let the Ultimate Driver be designed first. For those who pay attention to toy scans and leaks, the Bottle Isurugi is using fits into the Evol Driver, and the Driver itself is the one Isurugi refers to.

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Each week, we seem to find Isurugi’s hands on a piece of the puzzle, as he gets closer to his goal. He is a master of deception and subterfuge, and his ambitions seem to eclipse even those of Gentoku, or Ex-Aid’s Dan Kuroto.

Kazumi continues to fight, joined by Sento, and the cut away from the fight shows Banjou in a graveyard, sitting on the ground in front of his deceased girlfriend’s family grave. The battle sequence, though, gives weight to a question I recently saw floating around a Facebook group board. As often as the Washio brothers lose, how can Nanba still consider them useful? Apparently, this week, the answer is to use them as bait. With Kazumi and Sento engaged far away from the Capitol building, Isurugi takes a squadron and makes his move. He is met by Banjou.

Isurugi and Banjou have a meaningful exchange, which only deepens Banjou’s mental crisis. Down, but not out, Banjou stops Sento from intervening in the fight, and gets up to challenge Isurugi again. This time, the battle is one sided in the other direction, and Isurugi appears almost proud at how easily he is defeated. Gentoku, left to himself, kidnaps his father from inside the Capitol building and teleports away.

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The preview for the next episode reveals that it will focus on the debut of Kamen Rider Evol, now revealed (albeit somewhat predictably) to be Isurugi’s upgraded Rider form, far surpassing Blood Stalk.

What did you guys think of this week’s Build? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

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Tsubaraya Productions Win Momentous Rights Battle in Court

After a long and drawn out legal process, Tsubaraya Productions claim the worldwide rights to their early Ultraman series

Following a weekend marathon of Ultraman Leo done by Shout! Factory and Twitch in association with with Tsubaraya Productions, Takahashi Ryota, Tsubaraya’s business manager, staged a press conference on the 24th April where he announced the long-awaited final verdict on in regards to the legal showdown between Tsubaraya and Thai-based company Chaiyo! in regards to the licensing dispute over the on-going Ultraman franchise. It was settled at a California Federal Court where it was declared that an alleged contract held by the Thai-based company is null and void. Tsubaraya Productions also summarily published an English press release on their own website at 10pm PDT.

NOTICE OF WINNING JUDGEMENT IN U.S. LAWSUIT REGARDING “ULTRAMAN” RIGHTS

In the copyright-related lawsuit that took place in the United States between Tsuburaya Productions Co., Ltd. (“TPC”) and UM Corporation (“UMC”), the United States District Court, Central District of California, entered a final judgment on April 18, 2018 affirming the entire claim of TPC, including that the supposed agreement dated March 4, 1976, claimed by UMC as the basis for its alleged rights in “Ultraman,” was not an authentic contract.

In addition to confirming that TPC possesses all the rights to develop and expand any audio-visual or other creative works or products based on “Ultraman” characters or stories, the judgment required UMC to pay damages for its infringement of TPC’s rights.

1. Court and Date of Judgment Given
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
April 18, 2018 (local time)

2. Developments Thus Far
On May 18, 2015, UMC filed a lawsuit against TPC in the above court, seeking confirmation of its alleged rights to use the “Ultraman” series and characters created by TPC. On September 11, 2015, TPC filed a countersuit against UMC and its licensees to confirm TPC’s exclusive worldwide rights in “Ultraman” and to recover damages from UMC and its licensees for their infringements.

In support of its assertion of rights, UMC claimed that there was an agreement signed in 1976 (the “Document”) by Noboru Tsuburaya, who was the representative of TPC, which gave Mr. Sompote Saengduenchai, a Thai businessman, rights to use and exploit “Ultraman” worldwide, excluding Japan, and that UMC had succeeded to Mr. Sompote’s alleged rights.

TPC asserted that the Document was a forgery, such that UMC had no rights to use “Ultraman,” and that UMC infringed TPC’s copyrights by doing so. Therefore, the principal point of dispute in this lawsuit was whether the Document was an authentic contract signed and sealed by Noboru Tsuburaya, or whether it was forged.

The dispute between TPC, UMC and Mr. Sompote has continued for more than 20 years. The background of the dispute is as follows.

In 1996, the year after Noboru Tsuburaya passed away, Mr. Sompote suddenly presented to TPC a copy of the Document that was supposedly signed by Noboru Tsuburaya in 1976, and claimed that he possessed in perpetuity the right to use the “Ultraman” series worldwide excluding Japan. The Document presented by Mr. Sompote was a mere one-page document, and the original was not disclosed.

There were many misstatements in the Document regarding basic matters that would never have been made, had Noboru Tsuburaya actually prepared the Document, such as errors in TPC’s company name and the names and episode numbers of the works of the “Ultraman” series. In addition, specific licensing fees were not provided, and there were no provisions for matters that would certainly be provided in genuine licensing agreements.

Additionally, during the 20-year period between 1976, when the Document was supposedly prepared, and 1996, the year after Noboru Tsuburaya died when it was first presented to TPC, Mr. Sompote had not exercised his alleged rights based on the Document, nor referenced the existence of the Document even once.

During this 20-year period, Mr. Sompote never developed a global business for the “Ultraman” series, as he later asserted he was entitled to do.

On the other hand, even after 1976, including while Noboru Tsuburaya was the representative of TPC, TPC made considerable investments to produce and globally distribute the “Ultraman” series and build an international brand. In response to those activities, neither Mr. Sompote nor anyone affiliated with him ever claimed the existence of the Document or Mr. Sompote’s alleged rights.

Based on such facts and others, TPC firmly believed that the Document was a forgery, and it has therefore been in dispute with Mr. Sompote and UMC. Whether or not the Document was forged has been disputed in the courts of Japan, Thailand and China in the past.

In Japan, TPC requested a handwriting analysis by the court regarding the Document, but an analysis was not conducted, and a decision that the Document was an authentic document was therefore rendered without a confirmation of the original Document being made.

In Thailand, handwriting analysis procedures were conducted, and, as a result thereof, the TPC’s claim of forgery was recognized and TPC won the lawsuit. In Thailand, the forgery of the Document was not only decided in a civil case, but also became a criminal case, and Mr. Sompote was convicted of forgery.

In China, while TPC won the lawsuit in the first instance, the judgment was reversed at the higher court so it would be consistent with the judgment from Japan.

In the Chinese and Japanese judgments, it was recognized that the Document, even if not a forgery, granted only limited rights to use “Ultraman” works from the early-Showa era series (mid 1960s to mid 1970s). In the judgments of all of the countries, it has been recognized that, regardless of the outcome of the lawsuits, the copyrights in “Ultraman” belong to TPC.

3. U.S. Judgment
In the lawsuit in the U.S., enormous amounts of documents, materials and communications that both parties had in their possession were disclosed and analyzed over a long period of time through a procedure called “discovery,” which was not available to the parties in any of the other lawsuits.

As a result thereof, new facts and evidence, which had not become apparent in the lawsuits in each of the other countries, were revealed.In addition, depositions (testimonies conducted under oath before trial) and witness examinations of numerous witnesses from both parties and of handwriting analysis expert witnesses were conducted.

Furthermore, Mr. Sompote, who is the alleged recipient of, and the only living alleged witness to the creation of, the Document, refused to accept service of the complaint for the U.S. lawsuit without reason, and refused to appear in court as a witness.

In November 2017, a trial was held before a jury of 8 members of the community. On November 20, 2017, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of TPC on its claim that the Document was not an authentic or valid contract that had been signed and sealed by Noboru Tsuburaya.

After the jury reached its verdict, UMC filed motions to try to overturn the verdict on the grounds that it had been reached through error and was not supported by evidence. On March 28, 2018, the district court denied UMC’s motions and maintained the jury’s verdict.

On April 18, 2018, the district court entered a Final Judgment which, consistent with the jury’s verdict, states that the Document is not an authentic agreement that was signed and sealed by Noboru Tsuburaya, and that the Document is invalid, and which prohibits UMC and its licensees from using “Ultraman.”

We believe this victory in the U.S. lawsuit solidifies TPC’s decades-long efforts to fully and finally resolve this dispute and confirm its worldwide rights in “Ultraman.”

4. TPC Comments
The above judgment recognizes TPC’s claim in its entirety.

This complete winning judgment was rendered after numerous witness testimonies and analytical opinions of handwriting analysis experts, in addition to the detailed evidentiary disclosure proceedings that lasted a long period of time and required enormous efforts. We believe that the credibility of such judgment is extremely strong. Based on this judgment, TPC intends to actively proceed with the further overseas expansion of the “Ultraman” works.

We are grateful for the continuous supports of all our customers, stakeholders, and fans of the “Ultraman” series.

-End Quote-

With that declaration, Tsubaraya Productions are now finally fully free to distribute their first 6 entries to the Ultra Series: Ultraman, Ultra Q, Ultraman Taro, Return of Ultraman, Ultra Seven and Ultraman Ace, in North America and beyond. While this is good news for all the Ultraman fans out there, with any luck the franchise won’t hear from Sampote Saengduenchai, TIGA International or UM Corporation ever again.

Are you excited by the prospect of getting the early Ultraman series on official DVD or via streaming services? Let us know your favourite Ultra in the comment section below!

[Ultraman Leo & Ultraman Astra art Source: Jacksondeans]

[Article info Source: augustragone.blogspot.co.uk]

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Fujioka Hiroshi suffers minor traffic accident

Fujioka Hiroshi, best known as Hongo Takeshi or Kamen Rider Ichigou, was recently in a minor traffic accident.

One of toku’s favourite sons, Fujioka Hiroshi was in a minor car crash involving himself and a taxi on April 18th, 2018.

The accident happened on a junction with no traffic lights in Tokyo. According to Tokyo Police, the car Hiroshi had been driving had crashed into the taxi. The taxi driver had reported a minor neck injury while Hiroshi said he was unharmed. Thankfully, the taxi had no passengers when the crash happened.

When questioned about what happened by police, Fujioka Hiroshi told them “I paused and proceeded slowly, but we collided.”

After it was revealed that the crash had happened, the news spread quickly and some managed to misinterpret the news, believing that Hiroshi himself had been hit by the taxi. The conjecture led some fans to suggest that being the original Kamen Rider allowed him to walk away unharmed where the taxi and driver where damaged instead. There’s a Chuck Norris style joke in there somewhere.

The accident also reignited the debate about being allowed to drive after a set age. Some argued that despite being a Kamen Rider, Fujioka Hiroshi can’t win the fight against aging and brought up the argument about the elderly returning their driving licenses after a certain age.

We will keep you updated as and when more details become available.

[Source: Daisuke Toku]

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SODO Sundays – April 22nd, 2018

Hello, tokusatsu community! Joshua Perry here to talk about SODO figures on my fortnightly series, SODO Sundays. This time we have some news from the Kamen Rider Build along with YUDO news for Lupinranger vs Patoranger.

Kamen Rider Build

The next figure for Build Set 9 has been revealed! The new form Cross-Z Magma is joining the line. This figure comes with his Magma Knuckle weapon as well as a stand like usual.

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At the end of April, the Build Guardians Set will be released. Back when it was first announced, the Seito versions of the Guardians had not yet shown up in the series but the set has been revealed that there are stickers included for a Seito Guardian.

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That’s not it for Build villains though as a special Build Set will be released in August featuring more Build villains. So far revealed to be in the set but no figure pictures yet are the Hard Guardians from the show and the Bi-Kaiser from Heisei Generations FINAL.

Exciting to see what else will be revealed in that set in the coming months.

Lupinranger vs Patoranger

As the first set of YUDO figures releases for Lupinranger vs Patoranger a prototype for a future figure in another set has been revealed as the grunts known as the Portermen. It’s unknown when this figure will be released.

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A special feature of the YUDO has been shown as the figures can hold parts of the Minipla Mecha as weapons like in the show.

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As always you can watch SODO Sundays Episode 17 here:

That’s it for this edition of SODO Sundays! The next edition will release on May 6th on both Toku Toy Store News and YouTube channel. 

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Kamen Rider Amazons Officially Released in US and UK

What a surprising turn of events! This is definitely a welcome sight, as Kamen Rider Amazons season one has been officially released on Amazon Prime Video in the US and UK under the name Amazon Riders. As of writing, only season one has been posted, but season two is likely to follow, if season one is well received. Kamen Rider Amazons is one of the most beloved series in recent years, and the first to be released in an English-speaking territory since 2009’s Kamen Rider Dragon Knight, an English adaptation of Kamen Rider Ryuki which featured mainly American and Canadian actors.

Starring Tom Fujita as Haruka, the adopted son of a Pharmaceutical CEO, and Masashi Tanaguchi as Jin, a disgraced scientist who dedicates his life to hunting the Amazon monsters, Amazons is a dark, violent, bloody twist on the Kamen Rider formula, but it is definitely not without its light moments. The series places a large focus on self-discovery in Haruka, as well as a survival-against-all-odds scenario in which predator and prey are one and the same. Haruka, an Amazon, must consume protein to survive his mutation and the effects of it, and joins Jin in hunting other Amazons after discovering that Amazons have become the apex predator, taking humans down one notch in the food chain to make them into prey. The plot twists and turns many times along the 13-episode first season of Amazons, and is sure to keep you entertained.

Tom Fujita (Left) as Haruka Mizusawa and Masashi Tanaguchi (Right) as Jin Takayama

Are you planning on watching Kamen Rider Amazons now that it is officially available? Are you rewatching the series? Let’s discuss!

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Potential New Kamen Rider Build Toy Listings Includes Final Form For Grease

New Toy listings have come out detailing the last few Kamen Rider Bulid Toys.

These were leaked by a 2chan user who has shared correct info before, however, it is worth taking this with a grain of salt anyway.

DX KarasuRobot Sclash Jelly

Price- 3,200 Yen

Info- Transforms grease into his Final Form. To use, the cap is spun, and then inserted into the SclashDriver.

DX RabbitDragon Bottle

Price- 3,200 Yen

Info- Special item that appears in the summer movie! Insert into the driver to henshin, and into the FullBottleBuster to activate a finishing move!

DX EvolBottle Set

Price- 1,800 Yen

A set of 4 bottles belonging to the exclusive Movie Riders appearing in the summer film. Insert into the EvolDriver to henshin.

Campaign item:

Via Gambarizing, people can obtain the F1 bottle! Using it together with the Keisatsukan Full Bottle will activate the Kamen Rider drive form!”

All of these toys will be released in July.

Will you be getting any of these toys? Let us know in the comments!

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Ultraman R/B Title and Release Date Confirmed

Ultraman 2018 now has a name and a release date! Via the latest image from Tsuburaya shown below, the title has been confirmed as Ultraman R/B (pronounced Rubu, read as Rube) and will feature two protagonists, now officially dubbed Ultraman Rosso (red) and Ultraman Blu (blue). The primary series antagonist, as revealed earlier, will be Ultraman Orb Dark.

All three use an Orb gimmick to obtain their power, with Rosso drawing from Ultraman Taro and Blu from Ultraman Ginga, respectively. Ultraman Orb Dark, as his name implies, will be a re-imagining of the classic hero.

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This announcement comes after a busy week for Tsuburaya, with magazine scans and information about the new series coming in plentiful bursts earlier in the week to reveal the changers, gimmick items, and Ultraman Orb Dark’s existence. There is still much speculation about the plot of the show, and how it ties to existing Ultraman canon. Will Geed make a return appearance? Will the two new characters have a mentor in the form of some older Ultraman veteran? Only time will tell, but look for Ultraman Rube to premiere in Japan on July 7th, 2018. The global release will follow shortly after.

What are your thoughts on the new show? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

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Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger vs Keisatsu Sentai Patoranger Episode 10 Review

This episode opens on a somber note, picking up from the moment we left off. The Lupinrangers are trying to find a way to deal with the Patorangers having destroyed a Lupin collection piece, and the music sets the tone. Kairi leaves and spends some time thinking, believing he is alone on a walking bridge. Keiichiro stumbles on Kairi and offers him a drink, and a listening ear.

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It’s a nice way to set the tone for the episode, and lends a bit of irony as Keiichiro lectures Kairi about anger. We see a brief flash of the familiar enemy responsible for killing Kairi’s brother, Touma’s fiance, and Umika’s friend. Kairi seems driven, now, Nearly blinded by purpose. How this plays out will be very interesting in the episodes to come.
The early scenes with the Lupinrangers have an air of true desperation to them. As their misson was to retrieve the Collection, this could mean their failure and the loss of their loved ones. The weight they carry is palpable in these moments, even as Touma begins to formulate a plan and light the spark of hope that will restore them. We see the aftermath of the last episode’s botched operation play out on all sides, including the Ganglers, as Kairi moves forward with determination towards his goal.
It doesn’t take him long to track down his target. Before Kairi can even draw his weapon, Zamigo is able to get a shot off, turning Kairi’s hat to ice and knocking it off his head. His Gangler form is revealed, and we cut to the police following Bletz back to the same place.

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Kairi and Zamigo have their stare down inside a familiar industrial building, seemingly the same one from a few episodes ago but with shots redone from different angles. Even still, the setting feels somewhat new, and the shots are set in a way to demonstrate how confined the space is for a fight to be playing out.
Kairi vows to go after Zamigo, and gets the blessing of his teammates before they part and take on the two missions at hand. Outside the warehouse, Touma and Umika enter into a fight against Bletz and the Patorangers, while Kairi faces down Zamigo inside. Touma nears success, only to see it slip away, and the twist at the end of the last episode is explained, albeit simply. Umika retrieves Bletz’s item, narrowly dodging a finishing attack from the police in the process.
Inside the building, Kairi is completely on the defensive as he dodges shot after shot from Zamigo. They make their way outside, and Kairi finally ends up taking a hit. The Scissor and Blade Dial Fighter reveal a new ability, a sword and shield combination, that Kairi uses to stop Zamigo’s finishing attack.

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The Gangler then makes a formal introduction after praising Kairi, and exits. The last remaining piece of business is Bletz, and Good Striker lends himself to the cause, with impeccable timing, as always.
At last, we see the full extent of Bletz’s power, and at the same time, we are treated to a new mecha in the form of LupinKaiser Knight form. The clones of Bletz start to fight amongst themselves, creating an opening, and the Lupinrangers seize the opportunity. We then return to a quiet sense of calm, as the routine is restored.

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In a brief exchange, we see a bit of friendly banter between the Lupinranger and a solo Keiichiro, now established as a regular customer at the Bistro. Keiichiro appears happy that Kairi is noticeably back to normal, and they even go so far as to give Keiichiro a nickname in the Bistro, K-Chan.
This episode is much lighter than the one before, at the end, but it does a good job of balancing out the contrast in tone. The arc of this episode seems to serve as a narrative framing device for the power of hope, and a demonstration of what can be accomplished with determination and drive. The next episode, based on the preview, seems like it will be more of a fun ride than the past two, which will serve to balance things out nicely.

What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

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Kamen Rider Build Episode 31 Review

This week, we have another episode packed with exposition, and the plot jumps forward by leaps and bounds. This episode is essential for anyone who wants to keep up with Build, moving forward.
Picking up where we left off, Misora learns that Ryuga might not be human. The news comes via Sawa, and the conversation takes place while Sento and Ryuga continue to battle the Washio brothers. It’s an odd scene, a beach filled with picture frames of varying sizes and shapes. This is seemingly a pocket dimension inside of Pandora’s Tower.
Gentoku enters the battlefield, and brings with him all the intensity of a Kurosawa film. Something about his aesthetic always seems to be able to call back to an earlier time in Japanese cinema, while still capturing the high level of technology that comes along with a setting like the world of Build.

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As the fight continues, Gentoku reveals that everything that has happened to Ryuga thus far, including Kasumi’s death, has been a part of Isurugi’s master plan. The intention is for Ryuga to get stronger, at all costs, and explosive growth requires a major emotional response.

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Far away from the fighting, Sawa continues to explain her findings to Misora, and we see a flashback of a research lab operated as a partnership between Nanba Heavy Industries and the government.

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Which government, Sawa does not say, but the timeline is briefly thrown into question based on Sawa’s statements that Ryuga was a research experiment at the lab. She continues on and we are treated to an extended flashback sequence that reveals Ryuga’s origins, as well as some information about the world as a whole leading up to the Mars mission.

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Gentoku takes on Sento once again, but this time the fight serves as far more than another clash. In a surprising turn, Gentoku tells Sento as much as he can, then gives Sento an order. “If you understand, take me out now.”
He gets to his feet, and in a single stroke, the fight is over.

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Gentoku collapses to the sand, defeated, and Sento passes on what he has learned. The group continues on through Pandora’s Tower, and find Stalk at the heart of it, guarding Pandora’s Box. Stalk summons a pair of Nanba-designed android soldiers to handle Sento and Kazumi, while Stalk turns his attention to Ryuga. Stalk’s new ability is shown far more directly here than we have seen previously, now that he is involved in combat lasting more than a few seconds.

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Stalk is no longer holding back, when we cut back to the fighting. After a tense moment, Ryuga picks himself up off the floor. When he does, his eyes are burning red. Stalk hits him again with a beam from Pandora’s Box, creating the Magma Full Bottle, and Ryuga gains the new Cross-Z Magma form shown in the marketing for the Magma Knuckle item.

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The transformation is relatively slow, highly detailed, and as is common with a new form, shows the new suit one piece at a time before he enters the arena once more. After being defeated, Stalk remarks that he needs, “The Ultimate Driver,” for everything to fall into place, and our heroes make their exit.
It seems Stalk will become Kamen Rider Evol, after all. This twist, while predictable, is consistent with his design. The last piece of information Sawa and Misora uncover is that Sento’s father had played a part in the Sky Wall incident, and after the reveal, the episode ends. Next week’s episode, based on the preview, will focus on this information and uncovering where Sento’s father fits into the puzzle.

What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

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Ultraman Russo and Ultraman Bull Changer and Gimmick Items Revealed

More information has been released about the upcoming Ultraman series for 2018, this time in the form of high-resolution pictures of the changers used by Ultraman Russo and Ultraman Bull.

Based on the scans, it seems the default form for each Ultraman will be Russo Flame and Bull Aqua, based on Taro and Ginga, respectively. The gimmicks this season are orbs, rather than capsules, but follow the motif used by Geed’s Ultra Capsules in the sense that each gimmick device will act as a power battery to channel previous Ultraman characters and Kaiju or Daikaiju.

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The gimmick items, Orbs, seem to be similar in design to Kamen Rider Ghost’s Eyecons, or Uchu Sentai Kyuranger’s Kyutama globes. Each Orb has a unique design, shown in the images below, such as one Flame Orb having horns but not the other.

A limited selection of weapons is also pictured, one vaguely resembling the Klingon Bat’leth of Star Trek fame, another looking a bit like a container of some kind, maybe for Orbs or for some unseen card gimmick.

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Also pictured is a dark version of Ultraman Orb, shown in an image next to one of the new changers made up in similar colours to his suit. Could we be seeing the series antagonist now? Only time will tell.

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Look for more information later on. Updates will be provided as information becomes available. The as-of-writing untitled Ultraman 2018 will premiere later this year.

What are your thoughts on these new changers, powers, and gimmick items? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

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Engine Sentai Go-Onger 10 Years Grand Prix: New Cast Members Added

Gaiark’s Pollution Ministers were recently revealed to be returning in the upcoming film Engine Sentai Go-Onger: 10 Years Grand Prix.

The upcoming film has officially added cast members from the original series Engine Sentai Go-Onger. Nao Oikawa, Mitsuaki Madono and Kiyoyuki Yanada will be reprising their roles as Kegalesia, Kitaneida, and Yogostein. The voice actors who played the Engines are also returning.

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Beyond the three veteran actors, a few guest stars have been announced.

  • Satoshi Jinbo (Kamen Rider Ryuki’s Alternative Zero) as Minister of Defence Shinichiro Noizumi
  • Yu Kamio (Kamen Rider OOO’s Kyoryu Greeed) as Special Police Leader Torao Kurei
  • Rai Takahashi (Kamen Rider Ex-Aid’s Young Emu Houjo) as an unknown character who will play a “Key Role” in the story of the film.


Engine Sentai Go-Onger: 10 Years Grand Prix is being written by series writer Sho Aikawa, and will be directed by Katsura Watanabe, the former director of Go-Onger itself. Engine Sentai Go-Onger: 10 Years Grand Prix is currently slated for a September 26, 2018 release on Blu-Ray in Japan.

Will you be catching up with the Engine Sentai team in September? Who are you most excited to see? Sound off in the comment section.

Source: Ukiyaseed / The Tokusatsu Network