Sunday, 28 November 2010

Ten Most Hated Kamen Rider Characters

 27/03/16: We're a fandom with a lot of pent-up anger, so it's no surprise that there's even more Kamen Rider characters beyond this list that we don't like:

Five More Kamen Rider Characters Everyone Hates

Friday, 5 November 2010

Overview: Kodai Shoujotai Dogun V

 After the success of 2009's Kodai Shoujo Dogu-chan, 2010 sees the arrival of a new series, Kodai Shoujotai Dogun V. Yazawa Erika returns as Dogu-chan, overseeing a squad of five other Dogu girls.

Kodai Shoujotai Dogun V
 If you watched Dogu-chan as it aired, then you'll have a good idea of what to expect: light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek entertainment, with a sizeable helping of fanservice. Dogun V models itself after classic harem anime and manga, with an ordinary boy - played by Samurai Sentai Shinkenger's Suzuki Shogo - suddenly surrounded by five scantily clad, perky girls.

 Momose Misaki's Doji-chan is our main woman this time around, and she plays her role with cutesy aplomb. Doji-chan's four comrades, all with confusingly similar names (prepare to begin straining your ears to work out whether it's Dore-chan, Doro-chan or Dori-chan who's in trouble this week) all embody various "types" of girl sure to appeal to Dogun V's male audience. I can't tell you that the sexy nurse or the lovably clumsy Kansai girl are particularly original character types, but Dogun V isn't pretending to be deep stuff.

 Suzuki Shogo returns to the relatable everyman role that earned him a fanbase in Shinkenger, and for the most part pulls it off. I mentioned earlier that Dogun V takes inspiration from harem anime such as Tenchi Muyo! and Love Hina; fortunately Suzuki's Shota has so far managed to avoid the slightly pathetic wetness of protagonists like Tenchi.

 Don't expect any deep thoughts or philosophical reflections on life, but Dogun V is a fun way to waste an afternoon. If you're a fan of harem anime, 2007's Cutie Honey The Live, or just girls in skimpy clothing then Dogun V is worth checking out.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Past and Present: Gaoranger's Futaro

 Looking at the career of an actor post-tokusatsu can get pretty interesting. Naturally you've got the alumni we all know about, like Kamen Rider Kuuga's Joe Odagiri or Kamen Rider Den-O's Takeru Sato, both now so famous it's hard to miss them, but what about the alumni who take more unusual career paths post-tokusatsu? What about the ones who go on to do something other than act? Or even the ones who apparently just drop off the face of the planet?

Gaoranger's Futaro
 2001's Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger featured a young boy by the name of Futaro, a cute little guy who popped up towards the end of the series. As a rule it seems like starring in a Toei production as a kid gets you going places, so what happened to this particular child?

 Futaro was played by a young Daiki Arioka, all of ten years old at the time. He went on to join Johnny's Jimusho, Japan's best-known talent agency, in 2003, where he remains to this day. However now he's better known for being a member of boyband Hey! Say! JUMP, who released their first single in 2007. He continues to act in the occasional drama, most recently in 2008's Scrap Teacher.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Five Things Toei Loves

 Watch a handful of Sentai shows and a couple of Kamen Riders, and you'll start noticing similarities. It's not just you: there are just some tropes and plots that Toei uses again and again. Sure, at a glance the tragic melodrama of Kamen Rider 555 and the feel-good family hijinks of Mahou Sentai Magiranger have nothing in common, but there are some plots and themes that Toei just can't keep itself away from.