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Toei Tokusatsu World Reviews: Bicrosser

There’s a reason I tend not to stray far from the safe bastions of Heisei-era Kamen Rider and Super Sentai, and Kyodai Ken Byclosser (兄弟拳バイクロッサー), or simply Bicrosser, is a prime example of why. This first episode is pure nonsense and not in the fun way. In the way where you have to wonder if this was meant to be parody but was created with the utmost sincerity.

bicrosser bros

Here’s the breakdown; Ken and Ginjiro Mizuno, brothers in university and high school, respectively, are at home being massive dorks about motorcycle model painting and mid-80’s PC gaming when a mysterious light enters their room and disappears into the mountains. They give chase and are attacked by the Blackmen of Dester, who were there to excavate the stone idol of Devil Gola.

After a brief motorcycle chase, they’re thrown off a cliff and into the Bicrosser, a ship created from the light they saw earlier. The mysterious entities responsible, who are never named, are from the Pegasus galaxy and they came to Earth looking for two brothers born on specific days according to their prophecy. They are given the power of the Bicrosser to avert disasters that will come.

bicrosser doctor q

Meanwhile the Dester organisation, led by the jewel-obsessed Doctor Q, wants his minions to make children cry so the idol of Devil Gola will produce more diamonds and that will help him conquer the Earth… Somehow.

Then the good doctor unleashes a robot monster to menace some poor handywoman. The brothers hear her scream via telepathy, transform and attack the monster. They barely hold their own but pull-out their ultimate weapon, the Blazer Cannon, and destroy the monster. The day is saved, laughs are had, the episode ends and I’m sat here questioning my life choices.

This first episode is a rushed mess and yet doesn’t seem to have the time to explain anything so you’re kind of thrown into this inexplicable situation with little-to-no context and with no real grasp on any of the characters. The brothers are fine but they barely get any characterisation and their actors being a good ten years older than their characters was really distracting to me.

bicrosser suits

The Bicrosser suits are plain and generic and between those and the design aesthetic of the vehicles, I thought I was watching a lost Space Sheriff/VR Troopers pilot.

Why are the brothers important? Why is Doctor Q a mad scientist after a demonic idol when all he really wants are jewels? Why does this show look so cheap but had so much money put into it’s model work? Answers weren’t very forthcoming and I couldn’t find a shred of information about this show apart from it’s bare bones wiki entries.

I can’t even say I disliked it, I was just confused by how and why it was allowed to exist. It’s not surprising that the Bicrossers aren’t really remembered when you think of the great Metal Heroes of yesteryear but that makes me even more curious as to the background of this show.

blazer cannon

Bicrosser is an odd show that baffles me and I recommend seeing it purely for the novelty of a henshin hero wielding a motorcycle as a cannon because I think THAT was the original idea Ishinomori had and then built a story, such as it is, around it.

You can now find Bicrosser, as well as many other tokusatsu shows, on the TOEI Tokusatsu World Official YouTube channel to watch for free with English subtitles.

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Going ガガガ – A Tokusatsu GaGaGa Series Review

Channelling the fandom troubles of geeks and nerds everywhere, Tokusatsu GaGaGa was a series that kept us feeling gaga from start to finish.

We’ve all seen Akibaranger, right? I feel confident making that statement to the toku-watching community as a whole and, at the very least, you’ll be aware of it’s themes or those wacky GIFs of the “Powerful Rangers”.

So what if I told you that there was a show that captured the toku otaku experience even more-so than that? A show that dealt with tokusatsu as a fandom, fandom as a stigma, camaraderie, societal and familial pressures, and living up to the ideals that inspired us as children?

That show would be Tokusatsu GaGaGa; an adaptation of the Niwa Tanba manga of the same name that follows Kano Nakamura as she navigates her mid-20’s in a serious career while hiding her geekiness from her co-workers and family. It’s a very engaging story for me personally but I think it’s broader implications are what make it stand out amongst the J-Dramas aimed at people who like rubber monsters and explosions.

Simply put; Tokusatsu GaGaGa is about feeling ‘other’ in what most would define as ‘regular’ society. It’s about hiding something core to your self-identity out of fear of rejection, being ostracised by your peers, or as just being too childish, something many in the Western toku fan base has bemoaned when Power Rangers is derided in mainstream consciousness.

These themes are explored in the show in a number of different and unique ways, from metaphorical cuts to the in-show Sentai and Metal Hero series (Bestial Storm Jushowan and Emerjason, respectively), delusional instances of superheroes appearing to Kano to inspire her, or how certain characters compare experiences in differing fandoms. [Warning: Character and Plot SPOILERS AHEAD]

Lead actress Fuka Koshiba, and the rest of the cast to an extent, excel in bringing to life these relatable characters and making their respective journeys truly engaging. Kano Nakamura is a fantastic character who and the expressiveness of Fuka’s acting highlights both her dramatic and comedic elements. Frankly, I’d love to see Fuka in a proper Toei show, she’s got the chops to be a fantastic Sentai Red.

Joining Kano are “Sentai Sempai” Hisami Yoshida, an older sister-type with a fondness for butts. Her relationship with Kano is sweet and almost borders on the homoerotic sometimes and I honestly can’t tell if that’s intentional or I’m just reading too much into the long, lingering looks that they share frequently. I’m just saying, this show is already one big analogy to being LGBTQ+, I wouldn’t put it past author/directorial intent (I haven’t read the source material to confirm if it’s like that there) that it is.

There is also “Stoic Idol Fan” Yuko Kitashiro, Kano’s hard-nosed co-worker who hides a love of J-Idols The Bee Boys behind her Aubrey Plaza-esque looks. “Mr Yakuza” Masaaki Matsumoto, a crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside shop owner who feels great shame for his love of magical girl shows and “Damian” Taku Tamiya, a cram school kid who befriends Kano and acts as a mirror to Kano’s own childhood experiences. Each highlights an aspect of her personality and allow us to explore Kano’s views on life.

There are other ancillary characters who act as plot points or comic relief but the only other character of note is Fumi Nakamura, Kano’s mother. Often represented as the ever-present villain of Jushowan, Genka Shogun, Fumi is an over-bearing traditional mother who projects her values onto her daughter and much anxiety ensues. This is an experience that I’ve had and I’m sure it’s something many who love superheroes into their adulthood have had to deal though with the genre becoming more mainstream, this is being mitigated somewhat.

Kano’s arc with her mother is pretty compelling and you almost begin to sympathise with Fumi until a fateful lunch date when she goes too far and then IT IS ON. Seriously, there’s a moment in episode 6 that made me scream “Get ‘er, Kano!” as the show’s theme song (performed by Golden Bomber, whose lead singer performed Life is SHOW TIME) kicks in and it’s absolutely brilliant.


In terms of being a tokusatsu, there’s plenty of references, homages, and production details that call back to the long history of toku in Japan. Cameos of suit actors, beloved voice actors, and the action director himself being a suit actor alumni all give this show a pedigree to rival that of any official Toei production (Toei did lend their aid to this NHK production though to what extent, I don’t know). The suits look just as good as something Toei themselves would produce and I would definitely watch an Emerjason show!


I heartily recommend checking out Tokusatsu GaGaGa if you’re looking for something out of the usual toku shows that has a lot of heart and a genuine love for the genre. The 7 episode show was subbed by both Big Nova Subs and TV-Nihon and can be found wherever you’d usually find fan-subs.

Have you seen Tokusatsu GaGaGa? What were your thoughts on it? Let us know!

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SSSS.Gridman Full Series Review

Anime and tokusatsu collide in a highly satisfying way in SSSS.Gridman. With the series completed, we take a look back.

(Spoilers if you haven’t watched the series yet, obviously)

SSSS.Gridman a faithful love letter to tokusatsu as a genre, full of easter eggs and satisfying design choices that make it feel right at home among its classic contemporaries. Co-produced by respected anime veteran Studio Trigger and Ultraman creators Tsuburaya, every episode feels like an evolution of the types of stories that can be told through the lens of tokusatsu and anime, while remaining faithful to fans of live-action “Guys in rubber suits” action and Trigger’s traditional visually stunning animation at the same time.


This series serves as a modern, anime-based retelling and reimagining of 90s-era tokusatsu series Denkou Choujin Gridman, which was later adapted into the short-lived American tokusatsu series Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad. Presumably, the latter is what the SSSS. stands for in the name of this series as well.

SSSS.Gridman centres on average student Yuta Hibiki, who wakes from a coma to find he has no memories of his life. As he begins putting the pieces together, he is assisted by his friends Rikka Takarada and Sho Utsumi, and the three eventually stumble upon Hyper Agent Gridman, living in an old computer in the back of Rikka’s family’s curio shop. This sets up the first episode of an action-packed series that keeps throwing plot twists at the viewer and evolving, right up to the finale. All throughout, the core team of Yuta, Rikka, and Utsumi learn about each other, and about their other allies, who transform with Yuta to become Gridman’s upgrades and weapons.


Everything about this series is made to feel as authentic to tokusatsu series, and specifically Ultraman as possible, while also expanding on what can be shown and done through the lens of anime. This includes small nods like the first introduction of each new form for Gridman, and later GridKnight, using the same entrance animation as seen in recent Ultraman shows, with the camera zooming slowly on the head of the hero, making it appear as though he is growing. Kaiju look and move as though they are being rendered in live-action, moving the way people in costumes would move and including parts like long, flopping heads and necks, slow and bulky movements around the city, and more. This even extends to the “scenery” Kaiju, who are always shown in the city skyline but never seem to move.

Another big nod comes in the introduction of the series’ primary antagonist, Akane Shinjo. This “Kaiju girl” is, by her own admission, a fan of Ultra series, as is Utsumi, and builds her Kaiju to go rampaging around the city when she gets bored. Shinjo and her alien companion, Alexis Kerib, repeatedly destroy and reset the city, erasing or killing people Shinjo does not like or finds distasteful along the way. When the source of Shinjo’s power is revealed, it leaves the heroes reeling, trying to figure out what to do, and this arc becomes the late half of the show’s driving force.

Overall, I highly recommend giving this series a watch, if you have the time, and at only 12 episodes, it’s worth every second. All episodes of SSSS.Gridman are available in Japanese, with English subtitles via Crunchyroll/VRV, or with dubbed English audio via Funimation.


What did you think of SSSS.Gridman overall? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

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Kamen Rider Build: Episode 5 Review

When this episode was first teased, it left us on a big cliffhanger. The owner was revealed to be in possession of a panel of the Pandora Box, leading Sento to question whether he was a member of Faust. Although the episode did reveal things about him, it was quite anticlimactic compared to what we were originally shown.

The episode begins with the owner telling Sento about how he was the astronaut who activated the Pandora Box, explaining how he found the panel. As I said, this is kinda unexpected. Although it makes sense, it’s still confusing why he didn’t just tell Sento when he found him considering his reaction.

While we get to learn more about the owner, some of Sento’s back story is revealed too. We learn that, before he lost his memory, he was actually a member of a band. It’s kinda funny how he may not be as smart as he was initially claiming, although he did leave the band to work on a new drug so that kinda makes up for it. Personally, I think this is a bit to early for a reveal like this. I know I said in my episode 2 review that I’m glad the show is taking risks this early, but Sento and the owner’s reveals should’ve been saved for episodes 9-12.

We also get to see more of Blood Stark. In my opinion, he is probably the most threatening villain in the series so far. He was shown to be intimidating from his first appearance but this episode just makes him look even cooler. Speaking of cool… The new form in this episode, NinninComic, is probably one of my favourite forms so far. I especially like the new weapon, which incorporated 4-panel manga into the design.

The SMASH of this episode was created from one of Sento’s old band mates. He wasn’t defeated though, since Ryuuga stopped Sento from extracting the essence so he could test his theory that SMASH return to the Faust HQ when their essence is returned. Segueing nicely into the next episode.

Overall, this episode was okay. The plot twists should’ve come later on but they were well executed either way. I’m looking forward to the next few episodes.

What do you think of Build so far? Let us know in the comments!


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Power Rangers Ninja Steel: The Story So Far.

Power Rangers Ninja Steel is the 24th and current season of Power Rangers. It was adapted from the Super Sentai series “Shuriken Sentai Ninninger”. Next year, it was get a second season called ‘Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel’ which will celebrate the franchise’s 25th anniversary! Before then, let’s have a look at how the series is going so far. Just a warning, this will contain spoilers for the first 12 episodes of the series. If you haven’t seen any of these episodes, I would recommend catching up if you don’t want these episodes to be spoiled.

Ten years ago, a mysterious star shaped object called “The Ninja Nexus Prism” crash landed in the backyard of Dane Romero, Earth’s greatest ninja. Dane removed the metallic ‘Ninja Steel’ coating of the prism revealing the Ninja Nexus Star, a powerful shuriken. Not long after, the monster Galvanax came to search for the prism, so he could use the star’s power to rule the universe, attacking Dane’s son, Brody, in the process. He tells his other son, Aiden, to run away with the Ninja Steel and hide it. Dane goes to rescue Brody from Galvanax and uses the Ninja Nexus Star to transform into the Red Ninja Steel Ranger. However, he fails to defeat Galvanax and loses the Ninja Nexus Star to him. In a final attempt to defend the universe, Dane breaks the star into six pieces but sacrifices himself in the process. The six broken pieces appear in the Ninja Nexus Prism and they transform into six Ninja power stars. Galvanax’s general, Ripcon, captures Brody and makes him a prisoner on Galvanax’s ship.

Episode 1 – Return of the Prism

10 years later, in the present day, Galvanax’s ship goes back to earth to film his TV show, Galaxy Warriors, and find the Ninja Steel. After learning Galvanax’s plan, Brody escapes the ship with Redbot (a robot), Mick (the ship’s mechanic) and the Ninja Nexus Prism. However, they crash land with Brody and Redbot being separated from Mick. After they land, Korvaka (one of Galaxy Warriors’ contestants) follow Brody in hopes of finding the Prism. Brody gets attacked by Korvaka but Sarah and Preston, two students from the nearby high school, come to rescue him. Three of the stars inside the prism glow, Allowing Brody, Sarah and Preston to transform into the Red, Pink and Blue Ninja Steel Rangers. They defeat Korvaka and decide to go back to Brody’s old house to look for Aiden and the Ninja Steel.

Episode 2 – Forged in Steel

Meanwhile, Calvin, a car enthusiast, and his girlfriend, Hayley, find Mick while driving. Suddenly, an army of Kudabots try to attack them. Calvin and Hayley escape from the Kudabots and go to the high school. When they arrive, Mick gets mistaken for the new teacher. When Brody and his friends arrive at his house, they find a clue left by Aiden telling them where he hid the Ninja Steel: at the high school inside a trophy that his dad won. After telling Mick through his datacom, another contestant named Ripperat attacks Calvin and Hayley but the prism lands in front of them. Two more stars glow and Calvin and Hayley to transform into the yellow and white Ninja Steel Rangers. Brody and friends arrive at the school and they defeat Ripperat but he grows to giant size. The prism shows a vision of five Zords and, with five new power stars, they use the Zords to defeat Ripperat. They go back to the school and convert the out of order painting room into their new secret base. To close the episode, Sarah points out that one of the power stars is missing. It is then revealed that another one of Galvanax’s minions, Madame Odius, has the last power star.

Episode 3 – Live and Learn

While the other Rangers are studying for a quiz, Brody gets alerted by his datacom that a new contestant, Spinferno, has landed on earth. He goes alone to fight Spinferno using his datacom to help. He goes back to school for the quiz but he uses the datacom to cheat. He gets caught and puts the datacom into his bag. It later falls out of his bag so, when Spinferno comes back, they have to defeat him without it’s help. Galvanax summons a giant Skullgator to fight the Rangers. It overpowers the Ranger’s Zords but they form the Ninja Steel Megazord and defeat it. As an apology, Brody presents the Rangers with ninjacoms, a way to communicate with the team from long distances.

Episode 4 – Presto Change-O

After one of his magic shows fails, Preston discovers he can do real magic. Meanwhile, Brody discovers Galvanax has landed on earth. The other Rangers come to help him, but Galvanax retreats and summons another contestant, Slogre, to defeat the Rangers. Slogre attacks Sarah, Calvin and Hayley with mist but Preston scares him off using magic. Preston decides to try out his magic in another show but he ends up harming some of the other students. Meanwhile, Sarah, Calvin and Hayley discover that Slogre’s mist makes them slow down. Slogre steals their power stars but Preston uses his magic to get them back. He learns that he can only use his magic to help others and not for personal gain. He and Brody defeat Slogre and the rest of the team go back to normal speed. Slogre grows to giant size and the Rangers form Ninja Steel Megazord: Dragon Formation to defeat him once again.

Episode 5 – Drive to Survive

The team sees Calvin working on a new motorbike. After Sarah asks him if she could have a ride after him, Calvin reveals that he can’t drive due to a fear he has. So, Sarah offers to teach him. While Calvin is learning to drive, he falls off the bike and runs off. Meanwhile a new contestant, Tangleweb, captures the Rangers and eats them and Calvin’s new motorbike. When it is learned that the only way to help the team escape is to drive the motorbike out of Tangleweb, Calvin faces his fear and uses the bike to break the barrier to the exit. The Rangers defeat Tangleweb and he grows to giant size. They summon the Zords but Tangleweb traps them in webs. Luckily, the Prism creates a new Zord, the Rumble Tusk Zord, and manages to break the other Zords free. They form the Rumble Tusk Ninja Steel Megazord and defeat Tangleweb once more.

Episode 6 – My Friend, Redbot

Redbot is seen reading a fairy tale book about a ball. He asks Hayley whether she would like to go to the school dance but she declines, under the impression that he was joking. When she returns to the painting room later that day, she finds that Redbot is gone. She uses her dog, Cody, to help her find him but comes across another contestant, Badpipes. Badpipes uses his bagpipes to hypnotise her into giving him her Power Star but before she can hand it over, Redbot kicks him, knocking the bagpipes out of his hands. She tries to escape using Redbot’s rocket boots but they only get so far before they crash land. She recovers from the but Redbot and her ninjacom malfunctions.

Hayley sends Cody out to get help while Redbot reboots. She realises that Redbot wasn’t joking earlier and apologies to him. She follows after Cody but the Rangers arrive before she can catch up with them. Badpipes appears with Ripcon and uses his bagpipes to hypnotise the Rangers until Hayley arrives and destroys the bagpipes. The Rangers fight Badpipes while Brody Fights Ripcon. Ripcon retreats and the Rangers beat Badpipes. He grows giant but the Rangers form the Rumble Tusk Ninja Steel Megazord and defeat him again. It is then revealed that Madame Odius is keeping a prisoner that appears to be powering the Gold Power Star. Hayley, feeling bad for Redbot, dances with him back at the painting room.

Ninninger Gekiatsutou Ichibantou

Episode 7 – Hack Attack

Sarah is seen attending various clubs at the same time. Afterwards, when demonstrating a new upgrade for the Ranger’s Ninja Blasters, her teammates ask how she could be at multiple clubs at once. Suddenly, a new contestant, Hacktrack, attacks the Rangers and somehow makes Sarah disappear. The team goes back to the painting room to warn Mick about what happened, when they see Sarah sitting in front of a set of monitors. She explains that she’s been using holograms to make it look like she’s been taking all the clubs. Hacktrack then manages to utilise Sarah’s holograms to make multiple giant Galvanaxes appear.

Sarah creates four holograms of herself to try and find a new way to deactivate the Galvanax clones. Meanwhile, the rest of the Rangers try to stop Hacktrack. When her clones end up disagreeing with each other, she deactivates them and tries to stop the clones on her own. She creates a fake hologram projector that makes Hacktrack lose control of the clones. The team defeat Hacktrack and he grows to giant size. The Rangers summon their Zords but Hacktrack files into space. They catch up with him using the new Astro Zord and the Astro Ninja Steel Megazord. They defeat Hacktrack but the Astro Zord flies off to Galvanax’s ship. Madame Odius’ prisoner uses the last Power Star to transform into the Ninja Steel Gold Ranger and escapes in the Zord.

Episode 8 – Gold Rush

The Rangers go to an autograph signing event for the country singer, Levi Weston, when Ripcon attacks with Kudabots. Brody rescues Levi while the other Rangers fight Ripcon. Ripcon makes Levi’s manager trip, revealing the Gold Power Star in his briefcase. The manager escapes while Levi asks Brody to be his bodyguard. Ripcon retreats but captures the manager. Brody is getting burgers with Levi when he is alerted that Ripcon has captured the manager. The Rangers try to fight Ripcon but they get caught in a net. However, the Rangers manage to rescue the manager and the Power Star but he can’t morph and runs away. From out of nowhere, Levi enters and picks up the Power Star to transform into the Gold Ninja Steel Ranger. Ripcon retreats but a Skullgator appears in his place. The Rangers form the Ninja Steel Megazord to defeat it.

Episode 9 – Rocking and Rolling

The Rangers are attending one of Levi’s concerts when they notice frequent earthquakes. They go to investigate when they find that a new contestant, Stonedozer, is causing them so he can try to destroy the concert hall. The Rangers manage to stop the concert and rescue the people before the building is destroyed. Stonedozer tries to escape but Levi catches up with him and defeats him. He grows to giant size but the Rangers summon the Bull Rider Megazord and the Rumble Tusk Ninja Steel Megazord to defeat him once again.

Episode 10 – The Ranger Ribbon

The Rangers are seen at the ribbon tree, a tree that people tie ribbons around to commemorate special occasions. As the Rangers talk, some people arrive and threaten to cut down the tree, to make way for a new building. When learning this, the Rangers try to protect the tree. It is revealed that Preston’s father is in charge of the building, he argues with the team and then leaves with Preston. The rest of the Rangers put up flyers in an attempt to save the tree. Preston returns and a protest is started in an attempt to save the tree. Preston’s dad tries to cut it down anyway but a ribbon celebrating Preston’s day of birth falls down, causing him to have a change of heart. As the Rangers are putting up a sign for the tree, a man walks up to Brody revealing himself as his brother, Aiden.

Episode 11 – Poisonous Plots

As an army of Kudabots attack the city and the Rangers, with Aiden, go to fight them. During the fight, a new contestant, Toxitea, poisons Brody, offering the antidote in return for the power stars. While Mick tries to make his own antidote, Levi and Hayley takes the other team’s power stars and makes chocolate replicas of them in an attempt to trick Toxitea. The trick worked and Brody is cured.

Episode 12 – Family Fusion

Ripcon attacks the city. Levi stays at the school to work on a new star while the rest of the Rangers go to fight. Aiden investigates in an attempt to find the Ranger’s base. Levi is delivering the new star to the other Rangers when Aiden breaks into the base to steal the Ninja Steel; Levi tries to fight him off. Meanwhile, Brody uses the Fusion Star to weaken Ripcon but he retreats before he can finish him off. The Rangers go back to the base to find Levi fighting Aiden. Levi shoots a laser beam into his chest when it is revealed that he is actually a robot. The Rangers defeat Aiden and all of his memories are transferred into Levi, where it is revealed that Levi is actually Aiden with his memories wiped. Ripcon is grown to giant size and so the Rangers use the new Fusion Star to combine the Bull Rider and Ninja Steel Megazords into the Ninja Fusionzord and defeat Ripcon once and for all.

Overall, this season is disappointing so far. The acting, story and characters are a big downgrade compared to Dino Charge. However, I do feel that the series is improving. The latest episodes were actually alright and I personally didn’t see the twist with Levi actually being Aiden coming. I’m excited to see what the next 8 or so episodes will bring.

What do you think of Ninja Steel so far? Let us know in the comments!