Monday, 16 April 2012

Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger Episode 1 – Pain is Power – Review / Thoughts

For this post as you can see, I am reviewing the first episode of the new Super Sentai series – Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger.

I have actually been looking forward to this for a while now, pretty much ever since I saw a short 30 second clip a month or two back someone showed me. For those unaware, Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger (translated as Unofficial Squadron Akibaranger) is the latest in the long line of Super Sentai shows. However, as the name suggests, Akibaranger isn’t considered a true Sentai series, so it is not technically classed as what would have been the 37th series.

But yes, after waiting a long time for this to come out (and again having to wait for the good folks over at Over-Time to sub it), Akibaranger is finally here, and I can say that it was awesome. This unofficial Sentai series is focused around the 3 new heroes, dubbed Akibarangers, with Akibared (Akagi Nobuo) in particular being an Otaku. Akagi loves Super Sentai, and at the same time loves the Anime character Aoi-Tan.  The picture at the top is one example of this, where Akagi is initially excited when he notices a rare Sentai mecha for sale in a shop window. Despite the ridiculous price, he goes in to purchase it, only to see his beloved Aoi-Tan at the front of the store as part of an advertisement for her new movie coming out. In the end, Akagi resists buying the Sentai merchandise and apologises to them, and then, well, you can see the quote above haha.

Anyway, this first episode unsurprisingly is about him and two other people becoming super heroes by gaining the Akibaranger powers. The episode is hilarious from start to finish, and I think whether you’re an Otaku yourself, or indeed just a huge Sentai fan, you will love it too. Super Sentai obviously doesn’t make much sense and has numerous tropes, and it’s hilarious seeing super fan Akagi telling his two fellow Akibarangers all about them as the episode progresses. An example being at the end when they defeat the monster by using their blasters, but when the other two Akibarangers are about to walk away, Akagi tells them that it’s not over yet, as it’s a rule in Sentai that whenever you first defeat a monster, they have to come back in giant form so you can battle them in your mecha.

It’s all very funny and I really like the way this series pokes fun at itself and the other Sentai series, with Akagi himself doing a great job of pulling it off while remaining likeable. The other two Akibarangers are Mizuki Aoyagi (Akiba Blue) and Yumeria Moegi (Akiba Yellow). While they have at least some knowledge of the old Sentai teams, they certainly don’t have the same enthusiasm for it as Akagi does, and it’s pretty amusing watching him telling them about the old teams and trying to get them to strike poses and act like a regular Sentai team would.

There are plenty of hilarious moments throughout, and as I said, for both Otaku and Sentai fans there is definitely a lot here to like and to keep you happy. I still don’t really feel as if I have scratched the surface on this, but it truly is best you just watch for yourself so that you can enjoy and appreciate it for yourself, as words can’t really describe why it’s so great, it’s something each individual needs to experience for themselves.

Overall I think this was a brilliant start to Akibaranger, full of hilarious moments and never afraid to make fun of itself. If the rest of the series keeps to this standard, it truly will be a must watch series.

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