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Superhero Time 4-12-12

8:00 AM on 04.12.2012 // Salvador G Rodiles
  @TheCrimsonBlade

Where there is light, shadows lurk and fear reigns. Yet by the blade of knights, mankind was given hope. Sorry about the delay for this week, people. While I was scrolling through the usual stuff, I ended up getting involved in this battle that required me to be up during the darkest hours. Unlike your regular kind of evil, this kind will always exist as long as people with wicked hearts continue to exist. It is also the kind of job where your life is always on the line, and I assume that you also get payed well too. 

If you have figure out the series that I am referring to, then you know what is going to appear today. When I mentioned that there were going to be changes, I was not kidding around. The first of many is going to be a segment where I give my thoughts on a tokusatsu series, movie, or short that is not related to Super Sentai or Kamen Rider. For the moment, this is going to be a once or twice a month feature (If my schedule gets too busy, it might be every other month.). 

As you are doing your best to avoid getting eaten by evil creatures, drop by and check out this week's special installment of Superhero Time. 

 

The weekly tokusatsu coverage

Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters Episode 7

Hiromu gets frozen by a chicken again.

Why focus on the main team of the series, when we can take a look at the everyday life of a mechanic that maintains the Buster Vehicles. These dedicated group of people work countless hours, so that each machine is fully charged and ready for any Vaglass attack. If anything goes wrong during this kind of work, then it could mean that all the hard work that has been done up until now could go to waste. 

CB 01 Ace happen to be the thing that went wrong today as a young mechanic messed up on the repairs, and boy did he make Hiromu furious. 

I would have to say that this episode succeed in making it up to me for making the Go-Buster-Oh resort to reused footage sequences, which gives the series a realistic take on the premise. Each character and gimmick in the show has its own drawbacks, and it is the job of every person to cover for what the other person is not good at. If there was one disappointment, it would be that Enter did not take advantage of the new information that he has acquired. 

 

Kamen Rider Fourze Episode 30

Ohsugi knows the truth now

Now it's time we say goodbye to Gentaro and the rest of the club, because they have now been caught by the school faculty. Their hard work to protect the school has gone down in flames, and the chairmen officially wins the battle. The only one left to fight is Ryusei, who has still manage to keep his identity of being Kamen Rider Meteor a secret from everyone else. 

When will you learn, you can't take me serious all the time. Lets just say that Gentarou manage to prove himself as a person today, and the club succeed in accomplishing some new goals. I am kind of glad that my prediction was off from last week, except that I was close to what was going to occur. 

This new occurrence will focus on Ryusei again, when the time comes. And the way that this arc was resolved has taken this series into new galaxies that it can explore (It's a figure of speech.). What really matters for today is that Ohsugi definitely takes the award for most ridiculous expression made for this entire week. 

 

The tokusatsu spotlight 

The Garo series

Number of episodes: 25 (Garo), 24 (Garo: Makai Senki), two extra episodes (One for Garo and one for Makai Senki.), one special, and two movies

The golden knight has arrived.

The world of Garo takes us into the life of Kouga Saejima as he fulfills his duty as a Makai Knight that protects the world from the creatures that feast on mankind known as the Horrors. During one of his missions, he encounters a girl named Kaoru who ends up being in a wrong place at the wrong time kind of situation. From then on, Kaoru ends becoming the target of many Horrors, while she ends up slowly developing a bond with Kouga throughout the series. 

Having been only a fan of Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, Garo succeeded in blowing away my expectation in regards to how a tokusatsu series should be made. For one, the costume designs are one of the best that I have seen as of now. The detail placed into monsters, creatures, and machines are quite the spectacle in an artistic sort of way. Especially the suit design for the main hero, which makes you think that he is wearing an actual golden armor that resembles an armored werewolf knight. You can also tell that there was a lot of hard work thrown into the other designs of the series, such as jewelry, architecture, environments, and special effects. Each of these elements manages to succeed in bringing the world in the series to life. Finally, the CG surpasses that of any other tokusatsu series on Japanese television at the time (It gets even better in the later installments.). 

The first Horror that appears in Makai Senki.

Witnessing each battle in Garo is like experiencing a marvelous event of great things clashing together. While most of the battles are very quick, the quality in the visuals and fight sequences make up for the short time. This only applies to the battles when Kouga summons his armor, and there is also a reason in the series why the battles tend to go fast. However, we also are treated to fight scenes where Kouga utilizes a mix of martial arts and swordplay into his battles when he is not transformed. In a way, it kind of reminds me of how the battles play out in the Devil May Cry games, since Kouga also fights demons with a blade like weapon while wearing a trench coat -- I guess that makes his armor the equivalence of Dante's Devil Trigger from the game. 

While the series does have a bit of a conflict early on, there isn't much of a main objective for the characters in the series to accomplish compare to other tokusatsu shows. Instead, Garo's story plays out like a drama with the way the relationship between the characters are handled when a Horror is not around. Other themes that the series delves into are rivalry between comrades, the structure of special realms in the series, and various other elements that you can expect out of a serious story. To put it in simple words, Garo's purpose is to entertain its viewers with what it specializes in. 

Kouga and Kaoru having their own moment

On the subject of the Horrors, they only possess people that have a wicked heart. Garo does a great job in handling these characters in ways that you are freaked out by their actions, which end up going into inhumane territories on how they go about devouring human beings. There are also moments where humans would get used by them, which would question the faith in humanity that most of the characters have. 

With that said, Garo is not a series that is targeted towards children. The series refuses to hold back from toning any scenarios down, and there is a bit of female nudity thrown in on a few occasions. You could say that also it plays the Gothic (Not the group of people that wear black.) themes pretty well with the dark tones that the series delivers. 

Outside of the original series, there are a couple specials and movies that continue Kouga's adventures. With each new installment, the quality of the visuals manage to reach new levels that will impress its viewers. These sequels include Garo Special: Beast of the Midnight Sun and Garo: Red Requiem, which both installments succeed in adding more to the world that we have been exposed to. There is also Garo: The Kiba Gaiden, which adds a bit of extra elements to those who finished the first series. 

Rekka aiming her brush at someone.

As of last year, a new Garo series aired in the form of Garo: Makai Senki, which was a huge improvement in the visual department compare to the first series. One of the best parts is that it brings together elements the previous installments that also acts as a reward to the viewers. There was also a bigger conflict that played a big role in the series. While it did manage to give us more depth on the characters, there was something about the battles that were not as memorable as the ones shown at the end of the first series. Don't get me wrong, they were still gorgeously impressive, just that there was one segment that it was almost impossible to top in the first series, because of the ridiculousness that was done during that specific battle. 

Garo opens up a new direction where tokusatsu series can go, if the proper pieces are set into motion. The mature themes, visuals, designs, and fights prove to us that people can create tokusatsu shows that can look like impressive pieces. As Makai Senki comes to an end, Kouga still has some important duties to fulfill. There is a chance that the next installment might be the final one.  

If your heart has been in the mood for a dark and serious toku series for a while, Garo might have the proper techniques that will shed light into your desire. And one more thing, if you ever plan to check out the series, make sure to skip the 13th episode of the first series. Why you say? Because it is a recap episode. However, unlike most series, a majority of Garo's explanations are done through visuals. So there might be a chance that most viewers missed out on how certain things work. The same also applies to the special episode that aired right after Garo: Makai Senki ended, which I was able to avoid.

 

 

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Salvador G Rodiles, Senior Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure TheCrimsonBlade Tips
Salvador's an average bystander that's taken his first steps towards a life changing goal. He's currently devising a way to balance his love of anime, manga, video games, and tokusatsu into one m... more   |   staff directory



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