Posted on Leave a comment

Gallery: Rider Kicks Figure Series – Kamen Rider Grease Blizzard

The Rider Kicks Figure series is latest in a long line of budget gimmick figures. This year’s line of Legendary Riders is going back to take one final stand with Kamen Rider Grease Blizzard.

When Team Build assaulted Evol’s Pandora Tower, Kazumi stayed on a lower level to hold back clones of his friends; the Hokuto Trio. Severely outgunned, Kazumi drew open the memory of his friends and the brand new Blizzard Knuckle to transform into Kamen Rider Grease Blizzard and avenge his fallen brothers.

RKF_Grease Blizzard_Toku Toy Store (5)

RKF_Grease Blizzard_Toku Toy Store (3)

RKF_Grease Blizzard_Toku Toy Store (2)

RKF_Grease Blizzard_Toku Toy Store (1)

A full review of the RKF Series: Kamen Rider Grease Blizzard by Mint in Box Reviews can be viewed here:

This figure, as well as other Rider Kicks Figures, are available from Toku Toy Store. Stay tuned for further Rider Kicks Figure reviews and galleries!

Posted on Leave a comment

Gallery: Rider Kicks Figure Series – Kamen Rider Grease

The Rider Kicks Figure series is latest in a long line of budget gimmick figures. This year’s line of Legendary Riders takes us back to the long-lost past of 2017 with Kamen Rider Grease!

Super-serious with otaku leanings, Kazumi Sawatari (猿渡 一海) was a resident from Hokuto and the leader of the Hokuto Three Crows. During the war, he was given a Sclash Driver and the Robot Sclashjelly to transform into Kamen Rider Grease, later aiding his fellow Kamen Riders in their battle against Evolto.

RKF_Grease_Toku Toy Store (6)

RKF_Grease_Toku Toy Store (5)

RKF_Grease_Toku Toy Store (3)RKF_Grease_Toku Toy Store (1)

A full review of the RKF Series: Kamen Rider Grease by Mint in Box Reviews can be viewed here:

This figure, as well as other Rider Kicks Figures, are available from Toku Toy Store at £24.99 each. Stay tuned for further Rider Kicks Figure reviews and galleries!

Posted on Leave a comment

Kamen Rider Build Episode 47 Review

What an emotional gut-punch this entire episode was. In 23 short minutes, many previously-understood aspects of the story are turned on their heads and we are taken for a ride in terms of action pieces and heartfelt moments of character development. Before we begin, though, we will be discussing spoilers for this episode, so if you have not seen episode 47 of Kamen Rider Build, I suggest you watch it before reading further.




The moment we have all been expecting for a few weeks now has finally come to pass. Sawatari Kazumi, Kamen Rider Grease, falls in battle this week and joins his friends, the Hokuto Three. In his last moments, he regrets allowing himself to die and leave his friends behind. In addition, we learn that Kamen Rider Mad Rogue, Utsumi, has been secretly working against Evolt from the beginning, plotting his revenge on Evolt for the murder of Nanba Juusaburou at the beginning of the Evolt Phase 3 arc. As Utsumi puts it, “The basic Rider System is insufficient,” and so he decides to bide his time. This week, he strikes.


Utsumi and Gentoku take on the cloned HellBros


This whole episode comes with an emotional weight and gravitas that, to me, is very reminiscent of the same point in Kamen Rider Gaim, though in that series, we were losing 2-3 major players in every single episode until only the title character remained. The contrasting fights this week are set up extremely well, with Kazumin taking on the clones of his deceased friends while Gentoku and Utsumi face off against Evolt and a reborn BiKaiser or HellBros, created from Evolt’s DNA. They are victorious in recovering a Lost Bottle after this battle, but Evolt himself appears and makes quick work of Utsumi, who is also killed this week.



Utsumi’s end adds a new level of depth to his character though, as we see that he is able to use the Evol Driver and upgraded Rider System due to his status as a cyborg. When he dies, though, he overloads and short circuits, giving Evolt the room he needs to land a killing blow. No one mourns for him the way they do for Grease, as Utsumi spent the majority of the series as a primary antagonist. For Grease, on the other hand, there is genuine grief shown on the part of his teammates. By the end of the episode, when they know he has fallen, they look defeated, exhausted, genuinely broken up over the loss of a friend as they should.




This whole episode carries an air of finality, of the grief the characters hold for their lost friend and the desperation they feel knowing he likely will not be the last of them to fall to save their world. The preview for the next episode seems to indicate this as well, as we see a single shot of Gentoku glowing purple and seeming to fade away, in the style of Avengers: Infinity War.




This episode left me reeling, and I’m sure many of you feel the same. Leave your thoughts below and let’s discuss!

Posted on Leave a comment

Kamen Rider Build Episode 46 Review

As we enter the final stretch for Kamen Rider Build, the endgame has finally begun. This episode begins with Evolt revealing his existence to the world, and only builds further from that jumping off point. Throughout this episode, tensions are high and there is a sense of finality, of ending to it all. Characters’ motivations and decisions are explored nicely, and without giving too much away, the show chooses to prove an ongoing fan theory correct in its final moments. The desperation these characters feel is palpable, fighting against what is easily the single most powerful enemy to ever grace a Kamen Rider series, or maybe even in all of Tokusatsu in general.




Evolt’s challenge, issued to Team Build in the same broadcast in which he reveals himself, shows that he is still relaxed enough to think of their existential struggle as nothing more than a game. The fact that he caps off this performance by swallowing 20 square kilometres of the city in a black hole only reinforces Evolt as a cosmic-level threat. In all of Eastern superhero fiction, I can think of no character who even comes close to this level of destructive power. Team Build, for their part, put their desperation and determination on full display, as we see a glimpse of the Devil’s Scientist still living in Sento.


His solution to defeat Evolt is to erase a parallel Earth using Pandora’s box, and let Evolt’s energy fuel the fusion. The result would kill or erase billions of people on both sides of the fusion, and nearly every other character, rightly, questions this plan. Still, seeing no other way, they proceed, and play into Evolt’s game.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The game, as Evolt calls it, is for Team Build to enter the base of Pandora’s Tower and fight their way to the top. They don’t make it out of the first room before Grease is confronted by the ghosts of his past, in the form of Evolt-created clones of his dead friends. Despite seeing through the illusion and staying behind to fight, he is naturally hesitant to go all out. As the rest of the team moves forward, we are given contrasting shots of the action, and the multiple cinematic influences on the team behind the series become clear. The whole scenario seems to be drawn, in large part, from a classic action film from Indonesia called The Raid, known in the west as The Raid: Redemption, while Grease’s scenes parallel classic Westerns and Samurai films. It feels like a mix of The Magnificent Seven, Shane, and Rashomon.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Like any classic Samurai or Cowboy, Kazumin faces this challenge with the steel and grit of a man who knows what needs to be done for the greater good, and has resigned himself to being the one to do it. If this is where Sawatari Kazumi falls, then it is a good end. This is a man who began his time in the series as a primary enemy, and became one of the hero’s closest allies. It would be a fitting end to his arc, all things considered. We will find out in Episode 47, and given the episode title and preview, it looks grim.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


What did you think of this week’s episode? Leave your thoughts and let’s discuss!

Posted on Leave a comment

Kamen Rider Build Episode 42 Review

A new Build appears! For all the focus in the PV at the end of last week’s episode, this new Build actually plays a fairly minor role in the episode. To the writers’ credit, though, they quickly dispatch with the mystery as to the new Build’s identity. For the ones who haven’t seen the episode, we will be discussing the identity of the new Build here, so a spoiler warning is in effect. This episode is very heavy on two things: action and introspection. Both of these are good and lend a lot to character development, but the dynamic that Kiryuu Sento and Katsuragi Takumi are separate people sharing a body is still awkward.

This is present especially during a particular sequence in which Sento and Katsuragi are talking in a dream-like hallway, in their shared subconscious, and Katsuragi admits to manipulating their memories to keep their days as Akuma no Kagaku-sha, The Devil’s Scientist, vague and blurry to Sento. In most split personality cases such as this, the way these two act would be considered a mental illness, akin to James McAvoy’s character in the 2016 film Split. Even if it does lend an interesting dynamic to the show at times, it can be a bit off-putting to think about how these scenes must be playing out to a neutral observer. The real highlight this week, though, is Evolt and how far he is willing to go to achieve his end goals.


In a single fell swoop, Evolt manages to make the Kamen Riders a public menace, unite the three nations of Japan under him, and put the whole of his power behind a show of force that is intended to destroy a symbol of power. The act is something of an equivalent to the real-world nuclear deterrent theory, though the Riders keep fighting until the event is over and the capital building of Touto has been destroyed in a literal black hole. It’s during this sequence we hear the familiar sounds of early Build forms like NinninComic and RabbitTank, as the new Build swoops into the fight to defeat Banjou but not seriously injure him.


The show is a bit heavy-handed as it sets up the reveal that ends the episode, but thankfully wastes little time in establishing the new dynamic for the final eight episodes. Build now plays for both sides, as Katsuragi Shinobu has managed to replicate not only his original designs for the Build Driver, but specific bottles. When he appears and reveals himself, he does so in the base RabbitTank form seen from the beginning of the series. This reveal is meant to leave Sento torn between his duty and the father he thought he’d lost. One thing is clear though. Katsuragi Shinobu is now firmly with Team Evolt.


With all of these different plot elements coming together, Kamen Rider Build is shaping up to finish in spectacular fashion when it concludes next month. Characters are constantly evolving and the dynamics keep shifting, but it is never dull. Keep an eye on the plot as it develops and you are in for a wild ride! What did you think of this week’s episode? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss!

Posted on Leave a comment

Kamen Rider Build Episode 40 Review

We open on the debut battle for Build’s final form, Genius, and he is fittingly able to decimate Utsumi with ease. Mad Rogue is defeated effortlessly and with devastating effect, before Evol enters the fight. Evol vows that he will be in control of humanity’s future. Leaving Kazumin in a near-catatonic state, he leaves with Mad Rogue and we are treated to a very different look at Gentoku, as well as a fourth-wall break intermission.


Gone is the ronin seen previously, replaced by a 90s era punk rock image, long hair and unkempt beard and all.


In a brief meeting, Kazumin receives the Dragon Jelly from Banjou, somehow, despite it being melted and destroyed in a previous episode to form the Magma bottle.

As Evol’s full plan is revealed, Kazumin laments the loss of his friends once again, as well as the ever-escalating conflict. Sento returns to Katsuragi Takumi’s childhood home, in hopes of retrieving his father’s research notes on Evol. The two men, sharing a body, have a brief exchange about a new idea called Lost Bottles, which are revealed to be the source of the Hokuto Trio’s Smash forms.

A few more big reveals come to light, as Kazumin tries and fails to retrieve the Lost Bottles, and becomes a subject of human experiments to become a Lost Smash. As Kazumin flees the facility, we learn that the first new Lost Smash, shown earlier to be a woman, is actually the former Prime Minister of Hokuto, and she takes of the form of Shokuchi’s Hard Smash.


One thing about this episode that doesn’t seem to make sense is that, when rescuing Kazumin, Sento holds himself back and actually begins losing ground in the fight in his reluctance to use the Genius bottle. It’s only when Utsumi has him decidedly outmatched that he finally switches to Genius. As Kazumin lays seemingly dying, he sees Sento continuing to fight and manages to get up. An attempt to use the Dragon Jelly gives Kazumin a second Twin Breaker weapon, rather than a new form, but he is now able to charge each with the power of Robot and Dragon, and flies into a rage that allows him to seemingly ignore his earlier injuries.

Lost Smashes are rendered a near negligible threat nearly as fast as they are introduced when Sento finds a way to destroy the Smash cells without harming the human host, and manages to save the Prime Minister. This will end up being important in the episodes to come, as Evol continues to build the army he discussed in this episode.

The episode ends on the revelation that Katsuragi Shinobu is alive, and a preview gives us a glimpse of what is to come, as well as a trailer for Build’s summer movie, Be The One, featuring Kamen Rider Blood. The film will release in Japanese theatres on August 4th, 2018, shortly after the end of the series.


After the reveal that Katsuragi Shinobu is alive, do you think Build will repeat Ex-Aid’s final character reveal, a la Dan Masamune/Kamen Rider Cronos? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

Posted on Leave a comment

Kamen Rider Build Episode 39 Review

As we begin to race towards the conclusion of Kamen Rider Build, the tension continues to mount. After the reveal in episode 38 that Utsumi is willing to side with Evolt to become Kamen Rider Mad Rogue, the fight continues and we see where the “Mad” in his new title comes from. Utsumi fights and acts like a rabid dog without a leash, and claims to do it so that he can explore his own scientific brilliance. To accentuate the danger here, and add to the tension, we see a great deal of what Utsumi can do as a front-line combatant, including a first-person view from the perspective of Gentoku as a devastating hit lands.


Our heroes are ultimately defeated, and forced to retreat.

This episode, overall, is heavy on themes of friendship, trust, and what people can and will do to one another. This is shown in a few ways, the largest of which being a declaration that Banjou must be defeated alongside Evolt to keep the world safe. The words come from Kiryuu Sento, but are truly spoken by Katsuragi Takumi, with the cold, calculating logic of a man who has long since closed himself off to others. Katsuragi is arrogant and self-aggrandizing after completing the Genius Bottle, and all of these little moments build up to Kazumin tracking Banjou far away from the Build Cave, with a surprise attack.


It’s only after the fight ends in a draw that we learn Kazumin is trying to help Banjou get stronger so they can all survive.



On the other side of the coin, we see a more introspective look at Utsumi, staring out at the river over the bridge where he was shot by Gentoku early in the series. He regrets that he has had to come this far, but acknowledges, to himself and the world, that he believes his actions since that incident are justified. He screams this declaration, “I’m not wrong,” to the sky for all to hear. It’s an interesting look at a quiet character who, up to this point, has largely been a background player. Utsumi has come into his own since the Nanba arc began, much more so than he did as a member of Faust early on.


There is a bonding moment between Kazumin and Banjou, following their training session, where Banjou turns a solemn vow into a joke, but the two don’t have much time to enjoy it before Utsumi leads a squad against the remaining government of Touto. After hearing of this, Gentoku comes to terms with his part in the conflict, and insists on joining the fight. This is made harder to watch as Gentoku can hardly stand, falling even as he declares to Katsuragi to trust him one more time.

When Build finally enters the fight, he and Utsumi debate the merits of what Evolt has to offer. It is a debate, at its heart, about ethics in science. Neither man has a good record here, but Katsuragi speaks of intent and contribution to mankind. Utsumi, rightly, puts the technology of the Rider System at the heart of the conflict.


He illustrates this point in his speech well, and shows a clear difference between them. Katsuragi Takumi’s lack of experience in battle is made clear as Utsumi attacks and he can hardly fight back. When their talk concludes, he tries to use the Genius Bottle, only to find it unresponsive.

The intense pressure of the situation, as well as a hard hit to the head, lead to an introspective view of the split personalities that make up the man who is Build, and Kiryuu Sento is reborn, with both men’s memories intact. Only with Sento restored is the Genius Bottle able to work.


The episode ends with the first transformation of Sento into Build’s final form, Genius, a white suit made up largely of bottles and tubes.


What did you guys think of this week’s Build? How do you feel about Build’s final form? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

Posted on Leave a comment

Kamen Rider Build Episode 37 Review

Sento has been taken over by Evolt, leaving the roles reversed from the previous episode. In Evolt’s own words, this is a downgrade he took for the necessity of survival after Sento’s plan from the previous episode nearly killed them both. The end result leaves Banjou free, but no longer able to transform. When he tries and fails, there is a moment where a comedic sound effect could have been inserted with great effect. There isn’t much light left in the situation in which our heroes find themselves, but that would have added some levity. After the opening credits, we see Banjou continue to struggle to transform, and learn that Evolt is now whole, making Banjou a normal man. Kazumin tags in and begins to pound on Evol, but to no effect.


It’s then we see Evol truly angry, fighting seriously for the first time. He is able to easily defeat the whole of Team Build, even after taking a downgrade, and this moment is meant to tell us exactly the level of power we are dealing with. This is Evol at Hazard Level 5, and by his own words, he needs to reach Hazard Level 6 to use the Revolution Trigger and the full power of Pandora’s Box. In a secret meeting, we learn that Nanba knows the truth, and is still willing to aid Evolt to some extent.


Out of desperation, Banjou and Kazumin go to Gentoku for help, and when Gentoku admits his involvement in the Faust lab came from a place of nepotism, Banjou literally begs Gentoku to back Kazumin up in the fighting. Like Banjou, Gentoku claims he can no longer fight, but for a different reason relating to the emotional drive needed to power the Rider System. When we do see the now white-haired Sento, he has adopted the voice, mannerisms, and body language of Evolt, which is in part thanks to a great performance by actor Inukai Atsushi. He even manages to pull off the classic crazy eyed head twitching of Japanese super villains flawlessly.


When the heroes do bring Pandora’s Box to Evolt, it’s revealed that the whole thing was a trap, because of course it was. The fact that Banjou expected anything else lends a bit to his character trait of not always being the sharpest tool in the shed, but does give him consistency of character. It’s here we also see a panel missing from Pandora’s Box, likely the recently-revealed Faust Panel, which is due to release for consumers in October of 2018. The battle, originally 3-on-1, becomes 3-on-2 when Gentoku intervenes to protect Kazumin from the fight against HellBros.

After they are defeated, Evol enters the fight in Sento’s body, but does so using the Evol Cobra form. Gentoku, after being confronted with the truth of his inability to lead, acknowledges it, and says that his drive to fight is to lay the foundation for whoever comes next in the name of love and peace. Evol upgrades back to Evol Rabbit, and begins to handily take on both riders at once, while Banjou stands helplessly watching. In a fit of desperation, he takes the Dragon Evol Bottle, and is knocked away from the fight with it still in his hand.

Thinking the Dragon Evol bottle will work the same way as the regular Dragon Full Bottle, he continues fighting with the bottle in his fist. Hoping to use its power to amplify his own, the way he is absolutely crushed by Evol in response, set to dramatic, tragic music, gives the whole exchange a feeling of true desperation, of a fight for survival on Banjou’s part.


At his worst, his lowest moment, the Bottle activates, and explosions of blue fire accompany every punch before the bottle changes to work for him. The Cross Dragon changes as well, and Banjou’s latest form debuts.


Kamen Rider Cross-Z Great is born, and stands on equal ground with Evol Rabbit.


The music, pacing, and shot composition all change to something much more upbeat, signaling the turn in the fight, and Banjou reverts to Cross-Z Magma to end the fight. Evol, clever as he is, absorbs the energy of their shared finishing attack to fully activate the Revolution Trigger, and a tornado of energy forms as Sento is freed. Evol’s final form appears from this whirlwind, and Evol is now able to exist as an independent being, without a human host.


We leave the episode on the cliffhanger of Sento’s memories of Katsuragi Takumi returning.

In the preview for next week, we see the first in-show glimpse of Mad Rogue, who will debut next week, followed by a clip from 5, which is set to release in June.

Once again, Kamen Rider Build has done an excellent job of raising the stakes, creating a more complex and desperate situation for our heroes as we head into the next episode. With between ten and thirteen episodes remaining, who’s to say what other plot twists will come up along the way. Do you have any theories or things you want to see? Leave a comment below!

Posted on Leave a comment

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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

Posted on Leave a comment

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!