Spring season has proven to be a strong season for anime this year, and there seems to be nothing that could stand in it its way. Just in case something does go wrong, a group of selected individuals have been given the opportunity to defend the anime season and all things related to otakudom.
Ladies and gentlemen, lets give a round of applause to the Hikonin Sentai Akibarangers. These three individuals will make sure that the streets of Akihabara will continue to remain safe for any otaku that wishes to shop within its sacred grounds.
If you thought that Akibaranger was going to begin with some sort of setup to a crisis, then you might want to go else where, because this series has nothing to do with Super Sentai. Hence the term "Hikonin," which means unofficial. Taking this into account, the beginning of the series has our main hero Nobuo Akagi acting out his favorite sequence from his most loved Super Sentai series during his work shift at a delivery company. I am not kidding, this is really what went on during the first parts of the episode.
So yeah, Nobuo is your run of the mill otaku that has a huge obsession over Super Sentai, along getting moe over the fictional character known as Aoi-tan. Other than the main character being an otaku, the show has also taken the liberty to use certain terms such as "mai waifu," which will guarantee to us that this series is going to make fun of every otaku like behavior that has ever existed.
However, the show also requires that you are somewhat familiar with Super Sentai, because the show will toss in random references to various shows, along with driving various tropes from the series right into the ground. Before you walk out on me, you might be able to still appreciate the series if you are familiar with Power Rangers. If anything, you might enjoy this series for being a series that makes fun of the cheesy elements from its official counterpart. Or you can think of it as a longer version of Rolling Bomber that takes the humor to a whole new level.
To go with the Akihabara setting, the group obtained their changers known as the MMZ-01 aka Moe Moe Z-Cune from a Super Sentai themed cafe. When they transform, they obtain the ability to get transported to an open area, so that they can commence their battles without causing any sort of collateral damage (It also leads to an ambiguous question.). There might also be the possibility that we might encounter some cameos from Super Sentai in the later episodes, which would give us a new take on the official heroes.
The soundtrack comes out as a bit of a surprise, because it actually compliments the whole otaku/Akihabara theme of the series. Halko Momoi (You might know her as the voices of Faris from Steins;Gate.) sings the opening theme for the series with the help of Yukio Yamagata aka the guy that sings the opening theme of Gaoranger as he yells and growls. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that Hatsune Miku sings the intro sequence for the Akibaranger's grand delusional entrance. Can you guess the name of the mastermind that was behind this ingenious soundtrack? Time's up! It was none other than Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell, Death Note, and Eden of the East), which might be classified as a new direction for his style of music.
But wait, where is the great evil that threatens the peace of society? Alright fine! There is no major villain that sets up the story in the series, instead the group just manage to stir up some trouble during a crisis that was going on in a themed cafe. Before you put the blame on the Akibarangers, these villains want to tear down and remodel the area of Akihabara, which would put an end to the anime/video games/manga/electronics culture that the area has been known for.
The show also throws in a few cartoony antics, which compliment the delusional habits that Nobuo exhibits throughout the episode. Mizuki Aoyagi aka Akiba Blue has also become one of my favorite characters, because of how she reacts to Nobuo and Yumeria Moegi's aka Akiba Yellow enthusiasm when they get ready for battle. Thus one of the many elements that makes the each major sequence look like a series of outtakes.
Akibaranger has manage to live up to my expectations, and there is still plenty of potential left in the series. Based on the things that they got away with for today, we can say that they kept their word in making Akibaranger a series targeted towards older audiences. Last but not least, the rest of the main team consists of people that worked on various Kamen Rider projects from the Heisei era and Keiichi Satou (Karas and Tiger & Bunny). With that said, I think that Akibaranger has what it takes to win over the hearts of tokusatsu fans and maybe anime fans as well.
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