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jessybxx ([personal profile] jessybxx) wrote2011-02-16 10:33 pm
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Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger episode 1 review (with videos!)



The first five minutes of episode 1 already blew me completely away. They tell of the Legendary Great War which all 34 previous Super Sentai teams have been fighting in. Apparently, the same empire (Zangyack) was behind all of those different groups of villains. All of them combined their powers to repel Zangyack (something within me wants to type Zangyaku to make it look more Japanese but I'm sticking to the way G.U.I.S. [the subbers] write it) but by doing so, lost their abilities.
So, it seems that with this 35th Super Sentai series, Toei and Bandai are trying to put the whole franchise into a bigger context. In my opinion, this is quite a good idea because it's been a bit of a mess over the past three and a half decades, with some of the older series suddenly being taken out of the franchise only to be included again later and so on.
Some elements of this end up coming out a bit weird (why do people suddenly know about the Sentai warriors' existence and talk about them as if it's the most normal thing in the entire world?) but the way it ties the whole thing together feels really, really great.
Also, 199 people in coloured suits (I'm not saying spandex because the earlier series didn't use that yet) charging at thousands of (computer-multiplied) aliens? Could anything be more FUCKING EPIC than that?
The opening song is nice but certainly not the best one ever. However, I love the lyrics, especially "Inochi wo kedaze hoshikerya sono te de tsukame" (Live life to the fullest and take everything you desire). Very encouraging and exactly what Sentai music should be all about ^^

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As always, the five main characters represent a variety of character traits and attitudes (the bold captain, the sensitive boy, the tomboyish girl, the noble ojousama etc.) and they all look rather cute, possibly even cuter than usual. The comedy hits the right spots (especially the scene where the Zangyack army blew up the diner where the Gokaigers were eating and they all froze in the middle of their actions. Nothing new but brilliantly executed!).
The henshin scene is unusual in that the Gokaigers have a very... how shall I put it... casual way of moving when in their suits. But then, they're not disciplined samurai or law-abiding policemen so I guess it comes with the territory and is very fitting.

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Now, our current Sentai are pirates so their way of fighting is also considerably different from most of the others. Each of them wields a saber and a gun. During battle, they kept exchanging those so that they can use two specimen of the same weapon at the same time. The fighting scenes feel really different and much more interesting to watch than those in most of the previous series, especially for someone like me who, weird as it may seem, isn't the biggest martial arts fan in the world.
You might have seen me mentioning the fact that the Gokaigers are able to utilize the powers of the 34 previous Super Sentai teams and we now know what exactly this means: They can actually transform INTO THEM. I think I actually screamed when I realized this. In episode 1, they turned into Goranger, Shinkenger and, something that almost made me burst into tears because it's my all-time favourite Sentai ever, Magiranger. A great idea and I can't wait to see more of this aspect.
Since this is only episode 1 I can't really say anything about character development and plot but I'm confident there'll be a lot going on in that area as well. After all, this is (modern) Super Sentai we're talking about ;)
Did I mention they have a talking robot parrot? Its name is Navi (nomen est omen because its job is to actually steer their ship, the Gokai Galleon) and is voiced by TAMURA Yukari. Woo-hoo.
Also, and I'm sure it's just cleverly made to look like it, but I've never seen a Sentai series look this expensive. There's lots of CGI (for now, all the scenes with Gokai-Oh, the Gokaigers' big mecha have been entirely computer-generated which is extremely unusual) and the explosions during the standard fight scenes (as in, sans mecha) seem to have at least tripled. Big(ger) budget or not, it all looks very, very cool.
Still one of my favourite elements is the ending song (or rather songS because its concept will inevitably lead to several versions, you'll see why in a minute). In it, they enumerate all the 35 Super Sentai teams in a style very similar to the good ol' Pokérap. At the end of the first episode, they did the first twelve (Goranger to Liveman). If we assume they'll keep doing twelve at a time, there'll be at least two more versions of the song (probably Turboranger - Timeranger and Gaoranger - Gokaiger so that the third installment only has eleven Sentai in it). Can't wait to get the full song which will be released on CD together with the opening on March 2nd. I actually considered ordering the real thing but I guess I shouldn't overdo it, right? However, I might get the complete song collection if there will be such a thing (judging from recent series, there has to be one). I already paid 12,50€ on that magazine with the giant poster in it so for now, that's enough money thrown that way... for now ;)

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To sum this up: Gokaiger episode 1 was a blast and I can't wait until Sunday to see more =)

I also made 76 screencaps (There's one evening wasted XD), if you want to have a look at them, they're in this album on Facebook. I've added some more or less explanatory comments to most of them. So, enjoy ^^



Sorry for going on about this forever but considering this is what you might call the temporary climax of a 35-year old franchise which happens to be one of my favourite things in the entire world, I can't really help it.