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9:53 AM on 03.06.2015

Rider Battle: Favourite Vent

Late night? Early morning? Or a lazy afternoon?

Either way, it's time for another Rider Battle. And this, my friends, is one of the more interesting ones to date.

*DING* *DING* *DING*
FIGHT!!!

Kamen Rider Ryuki - Episode 24

Alright! Now we're getting into the "secondary forms" part of the show. You know that old trope! Well, Ren has his "survive" mode.. Which is kind of surprising. You'd think the main character would get this power first but in the eyes of Ryuki, that's just basic storywriting. Still, the new cards are good and the Survive look is incredibly classy. An awesome look.

After the death of Miyuki, Yui, Ren and Shinji cope in various ways. Shinji blames himself, Yui freaks out and blames her brother and Ren....does his Ren thing. The "I don't care" school of grief.

Oh and hey! That journalist sub-plot is going somewhere! It never really lost it's focus really. Which is a thing that Dragon Knight will never, ever understand. One of Shinji's co-workers is face to face with Mr Prisoner. And they engage in the theory of his violence. It's interesting to see such a character that isn't just a psychopath but one who doesn't need to justify his actions. He just does it.

And from there we get an idea of his backstory. Family died in a fire and has been alone ever since. Twist though, his little brother is alive and his only just found out. So I can only assume that this might turn out to be a two-parter pay off. Which ain't half bad.

But the biggest twist of the episode cam right at the end as Shinji, Ren and Mr Laywer lose their mirror monster. Their contract cards are blank and at the center of this is Yui's brother.

"It's over. The Rider's battle is over."

I'm pretty excited to see what's happpening next. I'm hooked Ryuki!


Kamen Rider Dragon Knight - Episode 21 (Strike's Ultimatum)

Ooooooooooooooook Dragon Knight. You may've won me over with your cold open. Xaviax wheeling around Kit's dad, teasing his. And the Cho brothers being caught lying about fighting Kit. But dammit, I really don't care about Lacey's stupid sub-plot. And I'll keep bitching about it till it's resolved.

Meanwhile JTC finally reviels himself to be James, also know as Kamen Rider Strike, to Maya and Kit. You can expect the reactions that follow. He offer's Kit an ultimatum (oooooooooh, now I get it....Strike's Ultimatum.....). Len's advent deck for Kit's father...which he refuses. Instead comes up with a plan to distract them for Maya to take his father to safety. Interesting, interesting. Strike makes another offer for Kit to join "the dark side", he refuses. Nothing I haven't seen before.

And then Kit vents one of the Cho brothers, Spear. Ok, now that is amazing.

This is a big deal. Kit has always been on the side of not venting a rider. So when he finally does, fueled by Chris's death, we see the toll it takes on him as he stares at the advent deck of a vented ride, hands it over to Len and walks out. Says nothing. The final scene he has is him next to his father, looking regretful about the whole thing. It's by far one of the greater moments in Dragon Knight.

Ooooooooh yes. And we're teased with a new Kamen Rider. What's this? This is a female rider?!?! Good! I welcome this with open arms.

This episode is going down as one of the best episodes in Kamen Rider Dragon Knight!


The Edge: Dragon Knight

For the record, Ryuki came really close to taking it this week. However Kit's first vent is a big deal and how they dealt with it is credited to good writing and directing. The pace was exellent and apart from one little problem, it's still my prefered episodes in Dragon Knight.

Now. I'm currently involved with a stage production at the moment and next Friday is looking waaay too busy. SO! I'm going to push the next Rider Battle for next Sunday.

But hey, in the meantime, if you like my work I'm currently building a site that houses not only my Japanese related blogs but also more....I'm hoping. I've got two more projects in the works and hopefully they'll be up in the next week weeks.

So until then, please check out my new site, sideshowalley.wordpress.com and look at...all the stuff you've seen here...

...Seeya next week.

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4:44 AM on 02.28.2015

It's Bootleg Time! Power Rangers Fan Film Returns!

Earlier today, the fan film "Power/Rangers" has started showing up again on YouTube and Vimeo. The dark and gritty viral sensation brought forth the wraith of Saban, the current owners of the Power Rangers franchise, and was removed earlier due to copyright infringement. 

Truth is, producer Ari Shankar and director Joseph Kahn argued that this was a dark satirical film and therefore protected under the Fair Use laws. Which Saban finally agreed to drop the case. The confirmation came in the form of Kahn's Twitter page.

"Hey internet, YOU WON. Saban has kindly and generously agreed to let us show POWER/RANGERS!" - Joseph Kahn, Twitter.

However the catch is the film has to have a disclaimer at the start to make viewers aware that a) It's an independant bootleg, b) The film is not endorsed by Saban. and c) That the film is a hard R-Rated film and that viewer discretion is advised. 

Now that's not a bad compromise. However, that still doesn't change my stance on Saban's attitude to fan made media. And it's been something that's been bugging me for some time. 

The film can be viewed on YouTube and Vimeo right now. Watch it. Like it, don't like it. Either way, let's just sit back and drink in this victory of the fans. 

Source: Crave Online

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5:48 AM on 02.27.2015

Rider Battle: Revival

Ok, couple things.

1. I'm not going to promise that this is going to be a weekly thing. I think we both know that's silly.
2. To make sure I don't experiance burn out, I'm running this every two weeks.
3. I'm sllllllllllllowly setting up my own site to display more of my work. Showcasing not just Rider Battle but other topics like gaming and films.

...But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll explain everything after this week's Rider battle. Sound good? Let's get to it!

After a heartbreaking episode of Dragon Knight, does Ryuki have what it takes to take the edge this week? Or are they just pulling an unconving poker face?

....Well I guess you'll have to read it then...

 

*DING* *DING* *DING*
FIGHT!!!

 

Kamen Rider Dragon Knight - Episode 20 (Letter From The Front Line)

Little over nine months since I saw the previous episode, have any of my thoughts changed?

No.

The sub story about Lacey's doubt is still regarded as one of the more stupider things in the show thus far. Chris is one of the few characters I give a damn about. And oh yeah! Xaviax is still one of my favourite Kamen Rider villians I've seen.

So. What happens now? Well still letting Chris's death sink in, Len blames himself...but also doesn't. Confused?

Ok, well a while back I mentioned that Len was shown talking to a reflection of himself. A kind of polar opposite to him. It's never explained why. However in this scene...........it's not explained either. In fact, it's one of the more confusing aspects of the show. But I'm sure it'll work out in the end. After all, I did say that one of Dragon Knight's biggest flaws is that it reveiled it's cards way too early in the show. But now? Well now I think the show has finally calmed down and is giving some amount of build up.

The one major issue I still have is this stupid Lacey/journalist subplot. At this point I'm not even apologising now. Lacey, acknowledging that kamen riders exist, is comforted by this journalist that's being hanging around. The one who has it out for Maya. She then convinces Lacey to steal Maya's journal, with the information about the kamen riders, to then give to the journalist in the hopes of helping Maya- and oh god! Are you still reading this?

Look. This Lacey/journalist thing is going to go exactly where I know it's going to go. My problem is that it's poorly written to be entertaining for me...or anyone for that matter. It's a major problem that the show keeps shoe horning in and it feels they're not even trying at this point.

"Oh I must give this journalist all this information about kamen riders that she'll use to help my friend and TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTALLY not use it for personal gain."

...I'm really hoping it gets better...Otherwise they might as well call it Kamen Rider Pantomime Knight

Kamen Rider Ryuki - Episode 23

So it turns out Miyuki's friend (a.k.a. the one who was suppose to be the rightful owner of the advent deck Miyuki owns) was killed by the same monster he was fighting. Ok Miyuki, now I know why you acted so out of character...Would've been nice to know that before hand. Not in a "ZOMG!!! I MUST KILL YOU!!!" way but atleast have a few quick flashbacks of his demise. Not heavily detailed but atleast in a way that it gives the audience some sense of what he's doing. However, this is all masking another question about this subplot...

Why should I care?

In this episode we see a flashback of him and his friend and how he died...But...it's just...too...artificial...

When I say artificial, I mean we given a "picture" of these two guys. "They're friends. This scene shows it." seems to be how it feels like. But we as a viewer can't really engage with it or even believe it because there isn't enough info to go on. It might as well have been a random passerby. They walk, the friend gets attacked, he rejects the rider position and dies with the added bonus of Miyuki trying to save him. Which I guess is the only "friend" thing I've seen here but even then...it might as well have been anyone else. Now take Kit from Dragon Knight on the other hand. We know him and his dad are close because we see these snippets of dialogue with the two. How they react off one another. And that was the first episode. We knew, right off the bat that his dad was the most important person in the world. So When he reacts from other characters antagonising him about his dad's whereabouts, yeah, I can accept Kit's change in behaviour. I can accept his rage. Because we know how much his dad means to him.

Miyuki? Well...It's the Lacey factor...It feels forced.

But anyway, in a fight between him and Mr Prisoner, Miyuki dies saving Shinji thus changing the fate of the kamen riders. Now, I will say that his dying moment was amazing to watch. The slow fade of the music, the echoing of his thoughts, trying to warn Shinji about Yui. It was great.

...BUT!

I...didn't care. It felt way too forced. Yeah the death scene was amazing but I couldn't get the same feelings I had when Chris died in Dragon Knight. We knew a bit about him. His past, his personality, his weaknesses. So when he died, it meant something. When Miyuki died, it just felt like he might as well have not even showed up. My problem is that I had high hopes for him. To see his development as a character but I guess we never got it.

The Edge: Dragon Knight

I had high hopes for Miyuki. His send off meant nothing to me. So it's yet another step back for Ryuki. Which is a shame because there's certain aspects of the Ryuki story that I actually like. The mysterious brother of Yui, the enevetable showdown between Mr Lawyer and Mr Prisoner, and oh yeah! Ren achieved a new form this episode. But it got overshadowed with Miyuki's death...That I still don't care about.

But believe me this week's edge was given to Dragon Knight by default. The Lacey thing was just as bad if not worse. And the sad thing is there's more to it. I will say how everyone handled the aftermath of Chris's death was exellent...Still a win by default.

Join me next fortnight as I reshuffle the advent decks and deal out the hands for another round of Rider Battle!!!

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1:18 AM on 02.27.2015

Power Rangers fan movie taken off the Morphin' Grid

It seems that the fan film, "Power/Rangers" has had more than it's five minutes of fame and just like clockwork the film has been removed from YouTube and Vimeo due to a copyright infringment.

The film, a satirical dark and gritty dipiction of the Power Ranger's universe, set in a bleek future when the machine empire have taken over the world and in all the chaos we learn about how the original Mighty Morphin' gang have lead their lives. Add in some stunning special effects, amazing fight choreography and this is by far one of the best fan films you could've seen.

Director Joseph Kahn has made statements towards Saban, the current owners of the Power Rangers franchise, that after the film's removal was harassing him. He also claimed that there was no copyright issue and that all the footage in the film was created and by doing this Saban is hurting themselves.  

"Instead of supporting the good will of the fans, they’ve turned it into a legal issue. It doesn’t sound like they’re thinking of the fandom at all." He said.

However the sad fact is whether or not there's an actual violation of copyright law, in acordance with the law YouTube and Vemio have no choice but to remove the content whenever a claim is made.

At the moment producer Adi Shankar has been talking to an attorney with plans on fighting the decision. 

For those who still wish to see the short film can still see it on Adi's Facebook page.

I'll be keeping an eye on this story as it unfolds.

Source: Huffington Post

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7:12 AM on 05.11.2014

Why Power Rangers Super Megaforce doesn't work



So I was going to post another round of Rider Battle last week (and the week before...) when a certain show appeared on my radar. Now I can get annoyed with certain shows but for Power Rangers Super Megaforce, I was angry. Mostly because there are elements that I think are more of a problem rather than a plus. As a result I've written this critique to voice these.

Now let's back up a minute and give you a bit of history into my fandom. As a child, I grew up on Power Rangers. My mother even bought a megazord or two because I loved the series. (In Space being my favourite to date) And to make this depressing (I think) my mother bought me the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers boxset on my 21st...I kid you not.

It was only until a few years ago that I was told that Power Rangers uses stock footage from it's Japanese source material, Super Sentai. Which for die hard Power Rangers fans is common knowledge. (And for a Japanator crowd, this is obvious) I decided to sit down and watch Kaizoku(Pirate) Sentai Gokaiger. Think Pirate Power Rangers. Looks familiar? It's now the new look at Super Megaforce. The point is the Sentai I watched was brilliant. Guest appearances from past rangers. Fan service to the max. Even the silver ranger was great. Bottom line, it was probably the most nostalgic thing in Super Sentai and the TV ratings were icing on the cake.

After the first three episodes, I decided to write this critique. Before anyone calls out "Sentai Fanboy!", I'm saying this as a Power Rangers fan and someone who wants to see it succeed long enough for my future kids to grow up with the same show I did. So with that out of the way, here's some of the things I found that didn't work in Super Megaforce. In my opinion.

1. The Pirate Motif



This is probably the first mistake that Super Megaforce makes. Now I totally understand the writer's intention of bringing this back to the old Mighty Morphin' days but the difference is the costume motif. Look at the costumes, the megazord, the ship and the weapons then describe the look they all have with one word.

If you said "Pirate" 20 points to you. Which I wouldn't have a problem with however the people who own the suits are my issue and the main reason why it doesn't work. The team is composed of teenagers who are kind hearted. In episode two, they're seen rebuilding an ice cream bar. The opposite behaviour. The writers could've made the team outlaws or deem Power Rangers a threat. Maybe the bad guys could've given them a choice of death or hatred for Power Rangers and the team have to spend the series proving their worth to Earth by defending it. There's a lot of possible stories the writers could've gone with to make the motif work but they choose to play it safe and as a result it gives the awkward feeling. "Pirates are...good?" or "Who are these pretenders?".

2. Super Megaforce NEVER explain the past 16.5 Power Ranger Teams



This is another massive issue I have with and another misstep by Super Megaforce. Now look, it's Power Rangers cannon that each planet has it's own team of Power Rangers to protect them. But the last time that was mentioned was years ago. The new fan are unaware of that convenient plot point. So imagine my surprise when a certain set of suits appeared which has never been seen or mentioned in cannon for the past 21 years of the franchise's existence. Well that's not technically true because die hard fans HAVE seen this team before. Well maybe just one member. A certain white ranger? Yes for reasons unknown instead of changing the outfits back then along with the white ranger, they just copy/pasted the one ranger along side the mighty morphin' team. Point is we've never seen these other rangers before.

Fast forward to episode two of Super Megaforce and this legendary mode dbut, the team can't help but say how awesome it is while never explaining why these suits exist or why the Earth rangers can use them. The western audience HAS NOT SEEN THESE RANGERS BEFORE!!! But Saban is expecting us to just sit here and look at the awesomeness of rangers we've never seen. When in reality all we see is, "Hey rangers, here's a new power...have at it."

Now, I'm all for introducing new rangers in this show but there has to be an explanation as to WHY they're available and WHO those particular rangers were. Writers could've made up ANY back-story to this legendary mode but they don't.

Hell, I'll give you my top 3:

1. The Armada destroyed a planet and the spirit of those rangers journeyed to Earth to give the Power Ranger's a hand in doing what they couldn't by giving them their powers.
2. Gosei designed these rangers but they're a prototype and the rangers wanted to test them out.
3. The Armada was developing ranger keys to combat the Rangers and the rangers fought and acquired them. Now making them tools for good.

If you're going to put a team of legendary rangers that we've never seen before, give them a reason to be there. Don't just throw them in. And while they might not show the other 16 teams the thought occurs they if Saban keeps using stock footage then they'll have no choice but to show them.

3. They never explain how to "master legendary rangers"



To acquire more zord types, the rangers have to master the legendary rangers. This is something I could get behind. BUT what we see if the rangers using a legendary power for a few minutes then Gosei, their mentor, just give them the zord ability because the plot calls for it. And some of the other ways to master don't even make sense. For example in episode three where Noah uses five blue ranger keys and for some reason the rangers unlock the power of Mystic Force. Wait...How does that work? Although I will admit, the third episode is by far the biggest problem I have but I this post is getting too long as it is. So I'll save it for another time.

Say what you like about Gokaiger. At least in that series, those rangers had to prove they were worthy of those powers and sometimes even worthy to hold the ranger keys.

Final thoughts.



Now it seems like I'm being harsh on Super Megaforce but please not that I'm not attacking it. I even find the actors to act very well in this with John Mark Loudermilk, a.k.a. Noah being one of my favourites. I'm mainly pointing out the things that don't work, in my opinion and suggest what Saban could've done. Which by the way, writers for the show, should you happen to be reading this wanting to use the ideas I've presented, go right ahead. You don't even have to pay me.

My point is there were and still are various ways to approach this series with the source materials the writers have. But because I'm so fired up, next week I'll give an inside as to how Saban could improve future Power Rangers.   read


9:43 AM on 05.02.2014

Rider Battle: Shattered




Normally this is the part where I say something exciting and intriguing. But after watching this week's episodes of Ryuki and Dragon Knight, I can't really do that. Not that the episodes are bad, they're not. It's just some really, really good spoiler heavy writing that left me a bit sad. So let's get this week's Rider Battle started...

*DING* *DING* *DING*

FIGHT!!!


Kamen Rider Ryuki - Episode 22


One prisoner rider, two contracts. What can Ryuki give this week?

...Well a pretty brutal beat down. With him ignoring the fact that riders can only be in mirror world for a short time. He's unbelievable and hands down one of my favourite riders thus far. I've gone on about how demented he is so something like this will come as no shock. I mean would you be shocked if I told you he kidnaps the lawyer-man's assistant as bait to draw him out? Didn't think so.

Miyuki confronts Kanzaki, Yui's sister and giver of advent decks. Why do they fight? What's the purpose of riders fighting? But the only response was a folder and a card with Kanzaki's word, "Fight".

Upon reviewing the contents of the folder they find a lead about Yui and Kanzaki's origin and decide to follow it. Ren is in the camp of not getting Yui involved.......with the disappearance of her brother.......Well I guess if you found out a loved one is orchestrating a battle royale to the death you would probably be incredibly heart broken. Turns out there was an explosion and the pair were victims of. Kanzaki was hurt while Yui wasn't. It's not a lot to go on but it's creating a nice sense of mystery which I always like about Ryuki. It keeps it's cards close and lays them out when they need to, card by card. something Dragon Knight is only now getting.



Speaking of heart broken, Miyuki believes he's going to die so this entire episode is him debating to either let it happen or change his fate. As much as I try, I can't really get involved with this. All of a sudden he goes berserk trying to kill a mirror monster to avenge his friend. Pushing Shunji out of the way to do it. And for someone whose been calm and collective this entire time feels very two-faced. Granted, he's been motivated to honour his friend, who was supposed to be a kamen rider but died letting Miyuki take his place, BUT! We only just discovered this ten minutes before the fight begins. It literally comes out of nowhere. I guess Ryuki tried to reviel it's hand to quickly.

It would've been nice to see backstory a little earlier because I just feel a little confused. Let's hope next episode explains it a lot better.

Kamen Rider Dragon Knight - Episode 19 (Semper Fi)


Chris encounters JTC, who offers him a cure for his asthma and the only catch is to vent Wing Knight. Obviously Chris fights him instead. As lame as it is, I didn't mind. The only reason is because of how JTC treats the whole scene. "Ok, you're probably not going to agree but work for us and we'll cure your asthma......ok, you wanna fight instead....Sigh. Fine"

So the two fight with JTC taunting him with his failures and Chris running the hell away. Now this is the first time Chris has every seen JTC but not his name so I hope this'll be fun when the time comes.

And holy crap, someone made the exact same comment I made last week about Lacey's doubts about the kamen riders. Far out! One of Maya's friends says, "Maybe we can ask Kit to transform in front of her. I mean, I'd like to see that too." That is without doubt the best thing written in this god damn sideplot. And what was Maya's response? "They don't do it for fun." ....Then why not just bring her with you. I know I'm making a big deal out of this but this has to be addressed. (Spoiler alert, she sees them transform....then runs off....)

But before this gets too deep, the Cho brothers appear saying, "Who wants to play cards?" Classy line....until Chris replies, "I do"....sigh...But whatever we have a three VS two match and I gotta say, I kinda liked it. Well mainly the part at the end when Kit is given a choice to vent one of them but can't bring himself to do it.

But all that is shoved aside for Chris's act of heroism as he sacrifices himself to save Len. Dragon Knight! How dare you make drama! But seriously, when that moment happened I was so upset. What made it work was that the writers gave Chris a personality and with a backstory I actually cared about. So when he finally did get vented, I couldn't help but feel depressed about that fact. They even show a flashback of the three of them making a pact of friendship.



What I'm trying to say is if you give your characters personality and try to not make them so cardboard cut out, then I'll care about what happens to them.


The Edge: Dragon Knight


Holy crap it's been ages since Dragon Knight has won the edge! But it's well deserved. Chris was one of my favourite characters and now that he's vented the trio has been demoted to a duo. While Ryuki tried to pluck at my heart strings, it just seemed a bit out of left field. So yes, Dragon Knight gets the edge. I just hope it can keep up.

How will Kit and Len cope? What does Miyuki's fate have in store for him? Why should I care about Kit's father that's still missing?

All these questions will be answered next week on Rider Battle!   read


7:18 PM on 04.26.2014

Judge An Anime By It's Opening: Betterman



[NOTE: The following is a joke and isn't intended to be taken seriously.]

This week I didn't watch Betterman and to be honest, I'm not impressed. Not because of it's vocal qualities or that one scene where the protagonist communicate with a whale through line dancing. But rather because of the fact that this anime is actually a documentary. That's right. Betterman is a documentary featuring anime. Surely this is something that should be an amazing thing to watch but it isn't.

Ok, perhaps I should explain the premise. Betterman is an environmental documentary about ocean life and the discovery of merpeople. Now a normal documentary would have people giving information to the audience because that's basic doco making 101. This however replaces shots of experts with animated versions of the same people. Now surely you're thinking "Sideshow, merpeople exist!?" Well I'm not sure they do since you only see anime caricatures of them that it's impossible to take it seriously. There's even a scene where one transforms into a rainbow haired geek but the transformation scene they show make it seem like they've spliced Sailor Moon into this.



Another thing is at that the anime claims that these are real scenes but some of them were dramatised. But they never tell you when it's dramatised so you have to assume it's all false or be very disappointed. Seriously, did the writers take a page or two from the Amish Mafia school of writing? All the way down to the one episode where they interview the cast and the amount of times they said the phrases "We're really merpeople" and "merpeople exist" you'd able to play a drinking game and be sent to the hospital for alcohol poisoning.

Bottom line, this is not worth your time. Unless you want to watch a documentary that is unsure about it's own facts then it's best to just avoid this.

Verdict: "Unfappable"

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6:49 AM on 04.18.2014

Rider Battle: Betray Vent




I seriously need to stop with these sabbaticals...

Anyway, welcome to another Rider Battle. The first of 2014!

If you're unfamiliar, Rider Battle is a c-blog series that compares Kamen Rider Ryuki to it's western counterpart, Kamen Rider Dragon Knight.

Click here to go to my first one if you'd like a refresher.

Now on to the main event! This time it's a double dose of Ryuki VS Dragon Knight. Who will come out a winner? Let's find out!

*DING* *DING* *DING*

FIGHT!!!



Kamen Rider Dragon Knight - Episode 18 (The Brothers Cho)


The three riders exchange stories about their past. Len was training for years to become a Kamen Rider. Kit the trouble maker and Chris walks off because of his daddy issues. Thinking he's a disappointment to his father because he couldn't be a marine. Glad someone managed to bring up the possibility that maybe his father should know he's a Kamen Rider. Sometimes this show can be smart.

Maya's friend, Lacey chews her out about the Kamen Riders. "Cute boys don't turn into superheroes with a deck of cards." as demands proof. Lady, it's been 18 episodes! How the hell did you avoid the attacks? Back in episode 2 Maya tried to buy time distracting Lacey while Kit transforms. Question, why bother hiding it if you're just going to talk freely about it? And furthermore why not just get one of the guys to come in and transform in front of Lacey? Boom! Kamen Riders exist, shut the hell up! But instead Lacey walks off frustrated that Maya chooses "make believe" over "reality". If anything, this is a stupid sub plot for that stupid ex-boss reporter of Maya's to get one up on her. It stinks just as much as the Torque sub plot. And if you remember how angry I was then, I'm just as angry now.

But still, two new riders have entered the ring so there's a change up.....I hope. Kamen Riders Axe and Spear, two brothers who commit crime.....poorly. Tricked by Xaviax to help in a heist and destroy Len. Who is still by far one of the best people to watch in a fight scene untransformed and even has enough time to taunt at them. "I should probably tell you guys you're being tricked but somehow I don't want you on my team.". At least in my mind it's a taunt. The Cho Brothers (who'd imagine that's their name) are just stupid. Low level thugs. Meh, I'm in. Might be fun.

Speaking of fun, at the end of the episode Kit finds that his comatose father is missing. Leaving only a coin with a snake on it. Which I'd love to see how that ends.

Apart from the Maya/Lacey sub plot, I have no real issues with this episode. I can't wait to see another Len fight scene and how the Cho Brothers will retaliate.


Kamen Rider Ryuki - Episode 20


Last time, the Ryuki throw down started and ended with the psycho prisoner turned kamen rider taking the rhino rider's life as well as a stalemate between Shinji and the Prisoner himself.

And to top it off, Ren comes to help this prisoner escape in a stolen police car. If anything Ren seems like he's still questioning where he stands in this rider war. Fight? Befriend? I see this as a slow pay off if done right. Maybe at some point a massive betrayal causing Shinji to go a downward spiral for a few episodes? That might be interesting. From a story perspective.

After seeing a former rival being taken down so easily has shaken up Shinji. Considering whether or not to kill this prisoner in retaliation. Regardless, the search for Ren is on!

While that's going on let's throw in the rhino mirror monster causing rampage in the background just for good measure. But really the main focus is finding the Prisoner for a second round of fighting. But once again, Ren comes to the rescue.....but changing teams.

To be honest, my interests were only in Ren's siding and how it effects this web of connections.


Kamen Rider Ryuki - Episode 21


Picking right back up after we left last episode, Ren forces Shinji to fight only to be defended by Miyuki at the last minute, warning Prison Rider (see what I did there?) about Rhino Rider's monster avenging his fallen master.

Shinji starts questioning whether or not he should stop the fighting. To stop it means preventing Ren's girlfriend, Eri, from ever waking up from her coma. Caused by Yui's brother, a.k.a. the guy responsible for handing out the Advent Decks to begin with. It always comes back to this web of connections. Finding out who knows who and how is always interesting to see.

It's also great to see the hook of this show in full swing. Last rider standing wins great power. Ren wants his girlfriend, Mr Lawyer wants eternal life and so on. Shinji has no desire, just to stop the fighting.

Still, that doesn't stop him from having another round with Prison Rider while Yui and Miyuki look into the whereabouts of Yui's missing brother. Bringing some painful memories as well. I really want to know what the deal is with her brother. So far all I know is that he made an experiment to see what Yui sees, causing this entire rider tournament to occur in the first place.

The final twist in this episode being that Prisoner has made a contract with the Rhino mirror monster that was chasing after him, making him twice as powerful. As expected, this guy is completely nuts and will go to great lengths to fight and leave his opponents defeated and devoured by mirror monsters. This guy makes this arc very interesting to watch.


The Edge: Ryuki


Betrayal, crazy rider, mysteries of a missing person, How could I not give the edge to Ryuki?! He's gone to lengths just to have more power and I'd love to see what that'll lead to. Plus I'm still pretty pissed about Lacey in Dragon Knight. There's only so much of her act I can put up with. So yes, another point to Ryuki.

Tune in next week for another instalment of Rider Battle! Fully revived* and heading to our halfway mark.

And finally, a last thing. This is one of a many "tricks" I have up my sleeve? What will they be? Keep diving in the c-blogs this month to find out!

*(.....seriously, I mean it this time.....)   read


12:04 AM on 10.23.2013

Rider Battle: Web of Connections




Ok, so I've watched Kamen Rider Gaim and if you haven't watched it....at least give the first episode a go. Now while I go listen to the opening for the one hundredth time, please enjoy this week's Rider Battle!

*DING* *DING* *DING*

FIGHT!!!



Kamen Rider Ryuki - Episode 19


Stumbling into a hostage situation Shinji lays low and scopes the situation. Chaos ensues and at the center of this is a newly escaped prisoner (and newly born rider) waving a gun and wanting tone thing. THE LAWYER!!!! The web of connections are spinning and it makes me feel great. Yes, this is a kid's show but you have to admit there's some intelligence going on here. "This guy knows ___ because of ______ and therefore ______" is the key of finding out where everyone stands. For example, The prisoner knows Mr Lawyer because of the fact he was the only guy who could get him out of jail but refused and therefore seeks revenge. It gives characters meaning and a purpose. In Dragon Knight the main thing is "This guy is told to vent Wing Knight". There's no connection. No other reason for us to care. Sure, characters like Kamen Rider Sting are improving.....but only just.



Nineteen episodes in and we finally get what we've been waiting for. A battle royale of riders! It reminds me of the episode of Dragon Knight when they tried that. Only this time it feels like there's a lot more at stake. Ren is fighting to buy time for Miyuki to find Yui, who was kidnapped as a bargaining chip to fight. Miyuki is trying to prevent Ren's defeat. Lawyer and Prisoner settle the score and Shinji finally joins the fray in an attempt to stop the riders from fighting altogether.

And the pay off? The Rhino rider being eliminated by the hands of a psycho with the defence of "you're in my way". It just shows how heartless this guy really is. As if we needed a reason before. This just had me wanting to do another Rider Battle right here and now so I can see what happens next!


Kamen Rider Dragon Knight - Episode 17 (The Power of Three)


After getting his ass whooped by Strike, Chris gives up being a rider...again. But gets a quick pep talk by Len using sticks. A quick two minute thing but it does the job. Now making it a trio of rider.

Xaviax finds more recruits. The Cho brothers, two bike thieves who are "not that bright". Cool a rider brotherhood. I'm in for that. So he goes to meets the two as...well...a heist planner. Kinda works for me.

Oh remember all those episodes ago about all the monster victims being in a secret hospital unit? Well they thought Kit seeing his dad there would be heart warming....no. It isn't. It's not working for me. I think because it's been too long since anyone has even mentioned it. If anything this is showing that there's a writer who JUST remembered that they opened this plot point. It's a nice tool to use and no I'm not saying bring this up EVERY TIME. What I mean is it's a really big gap from when now till the last time it was mentioned.

JTC catches wind of Len and the others wanting to question him and sets up a trap in an attempt to vent Chris. A thing I've noticed, these scenes seem to give me the impression they actually made their own footage for this. For one, it's a clearer image. For two, I don't thing that Shinji and Len have ever fought on grass.

The end game is "work as a team, you prick!". What this episode says to me is that it's setting up for something bigger. And I hope to Gaim that it pays off. I don't want to see another Torque!

The Edge: Ryuki


Rider Royale and a web of connections. This hit everything that it needed to make a really great episode and it's a good thing to give the Prisoner enough screen time to give viewers an idea of exactly who he is. An evil, heartless bastard.

It's that time again next week as Ryuki comes in with a set of two to take on Dragon Knight. Who will take the edge next week?!

....I dunno, I haven't watched it....
  read


2:30 AM on 10.16.2013

Rider Battle: Vexed




Another week, another battle is upon us? Go, go. Let's go! Let's find out who comes on top!

Rider Jump!

Rider Kick!

Kamen Rider. Kamen Rider. Rider! RIDER!

..............Moving on......

*DING* *DING* *DING*

FIGHT!!!


Kamen Rider Dragon Knight - Episode 16 (The Hero of Gramercy Heights)


Len makes a smart move about being suspicious of the notorious JTC, Maya's contact about Kamen Riders. So him and Kit go searching for this guy. Partly to question him about the riders and also because they want to know how the hell he knew about them in the first place. For those who've just started reading this JTC is also known as Kamen Rider Strike, Xaviax's right hand rider. Good, a race for more riders but one asks: Who has the Advent Decks? .....oh.......Xaviax......how awkward.......

Chris is still refusing to fight and gets a pep talk from Maya. I get that he needs this. The dudes been treated like a puppet by Xaviax but I think Maya's probably the least likely person to give this talk though. Mainly it's just back story and flashbacks of him so it's a tad forgiving.

Following a lead, Kit and Len fight a robot. Which I'm a bit curious about. A robot monster from Ventara? Usually they're more bio-related monsters so this is the first I've seen of a robotic one. Not a big deal at all by the way. Just an observation.

I think the fact that the main characters are starting to put two and two together quicker tells me this show is starting to think about all the things it sets up. That's not to say that they should reveal everything at once. What I mean is these characters now possess the intelligence they should have. Len, for example. The only people who know about the riders are the riders themselves, Maya and Xaviax. Why does this hacker know about them too unles Xaviax approched him? A good episode. It left me hanging.


Kamen Rider Ryuki - Episode 18


It's the birth of a new rider folks! An insane prisoner. But it turns out Yui's brother is a psycho. "Hey you. Crazy guy with anger issues. Here's the power to beat everyone to a pulp.". The brother fascinates me. What's his plan? Why this guy? I would like to see more of him but I understand the mystery. It's about the web of connections between the riders with him starting the initial weave.

And right now the latest connection is that Mr Lawyer is his first target. The guy who couldn't get him out of jail because being "vexed" can't cut as an excuse. He's AWESOME!!! Bringing some lively flavour to the mix. Who'd have thought it took a psycho prisoner to do it? Now it should be noted that he's JTC's eastern counterpart and it makes me think about which one I prefer. A rider whose insane and wants nothing but revenge? Or a rider who is basically a henchman to the main villain? I think I might need to see more of this guy before making a call. Ending the episode at the height of a hostage situation is a bonus.....entertainment wise. A great introduction to a new rider.


The Edge: Dragon Knight


To be honest I was about to give The Edge to Ryuki because of the new recruit. What stopped me was Len and his thoughts about JTC. The writing has improved and that's why I think it should go to them. If this episode were written in it's early days, this would've been part one of a five part episode for Len to reach that conclusion. Better writing and story structure are elements in an awesome cake of Kamen Rider.

Next week, another Rider Battle. I'm jumping back into the mirrors to sleep for a time knowing that I'll be safe from Mirror Monsters.   read


11:06 AM on 10.09.2013

Rider Battle: Cross of Facepalm



[NOTE: Due to the fact it's 12 in the morning there will not be any screen shots or links in this week's Rider Battle. At least until tomorrow when I can stay awake for more than 30 seconds........35 seconds would be nice.]

.........Finished Kamen Rider Wizard............."Cross of Fire"????? Are you kidding me?!

....Oh....right....introduction to this week.........Nope, to annoyed by this to write a proper one.

*DING* *DING* *DING*

FIGHT!!!


Kamen Rider Ryuki - Episode 17

Ren hesitates costing him lose to Jun which shook him up in the process. I think it's nice to see his character break down after someone simply saying that he isn't the tough guy he thought he was. Yes, the man with no soul has one. But why they drag it it on for this long is a bit...boring. Don't get me wrong, it's cool seeing it but we've seen in earlier episodes he isn't the bad guy here. Miyuki tells Shinji of Ren's fate. If he fights, he'll die. If he quits, he'll die but on the inside. Shinji blows it off as nonsense causing some tension between all three....then it disappears...nice....(not)

Jun is under investigation due to the "games" he played a couple episodes ago. By the way, Jun is a lot better than his western counterpart Brad. For starters, he's picked a side and stuck with it. He's an evil prick. Brad dances around it. But when it came it be vented, Brad still went after Len. Yeah, he was forced but for what? A trophy? Given the amount of time he spent in Dragon Knight he would've had some perspective but no. See I'd be fine if he only cared about the trophy, clearing his name and see how he tosses aside morals in the run that he had. Meanwhile Jun is already there getting programming students to kill each other in mortal combat. Steals Shinji's contract card and threatens to destroy it he doesn't march to the beat of Jun's drum. In other words, Jun has more of a definitive character than Brad is.

Ryuki's web of connections links more characters together as it turns out Jun's lawyer is - you guessed it - Mr Lawyer! Fun! I love this guy whenever he get's some screen time. So I'm looking forward to another encounter.

And finally after seventeen episodes, someone actually explains why the riders exist. "Only those who want their wish granted choose the path of a Rider". Finally! I was beginning to question the whole thing. See, it all comes down to the wants. Miyuki wants to change the fate of the riders. Ren obviously wants his girlfriend to wake up from her coma. Mr Lawyer? Well you can throw it down to two things. One, he wants power. Two, he wants to be cured of an incurable disease (thinking back on a past episode I previously praised). What about Shinji? Well according to Miyuki he doesn't have a want, just a debt. In my books wanting to defend people from mirror monsters...counts as a want.

Speaking of which....the mirror monsters are still a thing....right? Because it's starting to look like the rider conflict is more important than civilians. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of rider vs rider. It just feels like the mirror monsters feel like they're a distraction rather than a threat. Which I'm not a fan of.


Kamen Rider Dragon Knight - Episode 15 (The Many Faces of Xaviax)

Ok, if someone who was on the production team of this show happens to watch this (I seriously doubt it) but if they do know this: Should you choose to make another Kamen Rider series, STOP WITH THE FRIGGING LONG RECAPS! A minute and a half of recapping an entire episode.

Ironically I bring this up when Dragon Knight chooses to have a recap episode. Yay...bad timing...

At least it's in the form of bring Sting up to speed but at fifteen episodes in, the viewers don't need a refresher. Or am I missing something? But I will had it to them. The dialogue the characters share while reminiscing is really fun to hear. The amazing thing is that they refuse to be very clich. "Remember when we..." lines are always boring to hear. This format is better.

If it sounds like I don't have much to say its because I honestly don't have anything new to bring up other than it's a recap episode. I just thought I'd seen the last of Torque and now I get to see him again. UGH!!! GOD I HATE HIM!! Though it was nice to see Camo again. I like that guy. Thought he was robbed.

Actually now that I think about it. Len acknowledges that Brad wanted to clear his name. Still think it's a dumb idea that the two constantly fought. Weird...

Sting, who will be referred to as Chris from here on out, takes all this and...leaves. His asthma is too much a problem for him to apply himself as a rider. Asthmatic patriot in the west and a fortune teller in the east. I'm actually torn between which version I prefer. Miyuki and Chris will just have to fight it out in the upcoming episodes I'll be seeing.

Overall, nice little recap. No please! No more minute thirty recaps....please?


The Edge: Ryuki

Sorry, Dragon Knight, a recap episode is not an actual episode to me. It AN episode but it's not a proper episode because it's already telling me what I already know. Ryuki gets it anyway because they finally gave the reason to become a rider. FINALLY! What it means is that they're giving away answers to questions we've been wondering about. Why do the riders exist? The origin of the mirror monsters. The whereabouts of Yui's brother. Pieces that Ryuki is willing to share with you.....eventually. Also it does what I keep complaining about with Dragon Knight. Don't fire all your shots at once.

Ok so thanks to a certain podcast (not going to name any names.....Jtor.....) I finally decided to watch Attack on Titan. At this point I'd like to tell you about my current internet plan. I've got a certain about of gigabytes that I and my whole family share. We go through the limit, the net speed crawls to a snail's pace. Actually even slower than that. For the rest of the month. So that shows you how much I'm getting into this series...and how much I'm mourning my download limit as I might potentially drain every last byte.

In fact to save on my downloads I can't even end this with_ut _ _ro_per __g_ off.   read


11:59 AM on 10.02.2013

Rider Battle: Time Stamp




So since I had work today, Rider Battle took a slight delay. Just to give you an idea I'm going to put up time stamps when I wrote each segment.

That out of the way let's see how Dragon Knight and Ryuki fight it out this week on Rider Battle!

*DING* *DING* *DING*


FIGHT!!!



Kamen Rider Dragon Knight - Episode 14 (Xaviax's Promise)



(9:44pm)


Thrust VS Wing Knight! Torque VS Strike!

...Yeah they're really pointless fights. ...Ok, maybe just the Thrust VS Wing Knight. Part of the problem is that there's no explanation. No back and forth. I mean we, the viewers, know but the characters don't and it just makes this depressing. Several episodes Thrust has been wanting to fight Len "Let's finish this." *sighs* It bugs me they dragged it out as long as it did. So I was pleased beyond belief when a he finally got vented.

The hero riders are now up to three by my books with the newest addition of Sting and I'm starting to look forward to see how his journey in this goes. ...Seriously. I just want something to differ from the norm. It keep things interesting and-

HOLY HECK TORQUE IS VENTED!!! YES! FINALLY! I know I've been on his case for a while but he's just a horrible character and in my eyes hasn't contributed much. Or at all for that matter. The "I'm your friend but not really" thing, the "I'm on your side but I'll kill you because you didn't believe me" thing. I've had it. And so I'm not sad in the slightest of his vented state.



Endgame, I enjoyed this episode. Ok NOT just because of Torque. Main reason being it seems Dragon Knight made improvements for the better. ...Now please...Keep it that way.


Kamen Rider Ryuki - Episode 16



(10:56pm)


So while Shinji got his ass kicked last episode, Ren and Miyuki come to the rescue. But not until his card is stolen by rider number six. Yeup, the rhino guy. And this guy is better than a mere motocross racer. He's Shinji's new boss!

Which reminds me. You know what I JUST realised? Shinji's boss is an antagonist in a certain Makai Knightly kind of show? Hmm, small world even in such a time frame.

So with Shinji de-Ryuki'ed and Ren being the strongest protagonist by default, he overcomes his fear of being the tough guy- NAH! He flat out refused to help him out. Besides, Miyuki has been on his case about how he isn't such a tough guy. Yes, under the leather and dark attitudes, Ren's just a big ol' softie. To be honest I want him to stay that way. The tough guy with a kind heart. It makes sense. His loved one is hospitalised due to the Mirror World experiment to begin with. Bring someone else closer to you and you might feel incredibly afraid they'll be hurt by mirror monsters or something rider related.

Ok, so let's go back to the whole Rhino Rider (not actual name) being Shinji's new boss, Jun. Hilarious move. And holding Shinji's card to ransom? Genius! If a contract card is destroyed it means no more rider. Meaning that dragon that's been helping Shinji all this time? Yeah the moment that card it gone is when that dragon consumes Shinji. Harsh but probably better than staying in an advent void forever.



The only rider that should be getting more screen time is Miyuki. He's pushing the right buttons but is so far in the sidelines in comparison that it's not even funny. Is there something he's hiding? Is there some darker motive at bay? Please Ryuki, help me out here.

The Edge: Dragon Knight


(12:03am)


No it isn't because Torque is gone.

....Seriously.

I'm giving the edge to Dragon Knight because it's finally starting to cut off pointless things. Torque and Thrust vented, three hero riders now. Things are looking up. My faith is restored. Now please, please, please, please. Keep it up.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to pass out after I post this. While I go do that, enjoy your week and I'll see you next week.

(2:33am)
  read


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