Friday 29 March 2013

Anime REVIEW: Vividred Operation

Vividred Operation anime A-1 Pictures

The second of my winter 2013 season anime reviews is a series that comes from A-1 Pictures and director Kazuhiro Takamura, who previously showed anime fans that the world didn't need trousers in Strike Witches. Their newest work is a 12-episode series that goes by the name of Vividred Operation, which once again pits girls wearing less than recommended against an anonymous alien threat. 

Vivired Operation Akana Isshiki
Akane shows off just how little need she has for trousers

Following the creation of the Manifestation Ending by self-proclaimed mad scientist Kenjirō Isshiki, mankind enjoys clean energy from the sky and a bountiful life. When the world is threatened by alien life forms identified as the Alone, Kenjirō completes his greatest experiment at the expense of trapping his mind inside the body of a small stuffed otter. He presents his granddaughter Akane with a special key, allowing her to unlock the Vivid System to grant her special powers and battle the Alone.

She won't be facing them alone though, as her childhood friend Aoi, sword fighter Wakaba and anthropophobic genius Himawari gain their own Vividred powers and Pallet suits, each in their own unique colour. When Akari kisses one of them on the forehead, they are able to combine into an even more potent fighting force. But what is the secret behind the mysterious Rei Kuroki, and what have the Alone offered her in exchange for her help? 

Vividred Operation Combination this the kind of combination you expected?

It isn't often that I have very little positive to say about a series but Vividred Operation is one that has really tested me. I suppose the concept itself is pretty cool? What we essentially have is effectively a magical girls Sentai team that are able to combine into more powerful forms and draw upon super robot-esque powers. But outside this concept the show offers very little of substance, with the plot at its most basic form Strike Witches set in the future. The team are a pretty one dimensional bunch - there's the friendly, emotional team leader Akane, the shy Aoi, the tough girl Wakaba and the clever but introverted Himawari. They don't much to break these character types (and their introductory episodes are about all they get in the way of proper development), but instead all preach the importance of love and friendship - which is in turn pretty much the source of their powers. Side characters come in the form of Akane's younger sister Momo (who isn't really all that different in personality), a bossy National Defence Force member come teacher/guardian and the aforementioned mad scientist grandfather - who REALLY didn't need to be stuck as a otter for the entire show.

Vividred Operation Rei Kuroki
Bad guy girls are always the most interesting

Their ability to "combine" into an older, heavier armed female is unlocked via Akane kissing one of the Vivid Girls on the forehead, resulting in a transformation that will probably get most Yuri fanboys cheering. In fact, as this show comes from the creators of Strike Witches fanservice is a main part of the show's appeal. The transformation sequences all feature the girls stripped down to their underwear, and the main theme of the show seems to be getting teenage girls into the shortest hotpants as possible. I doubt you'll find any real school that issue short shorts as their uniform. While fanservice isn't something that's usually well woven into a storyline anyway here its even more distracting as the camera takes to butt level far more often than it probably should. 

Vividred Operation Crow Alone
"Fucking birds."

The villains weren't much to write home about either, with most of the Alone taking the "silent giant black alien" route that's been done to death in anime already. The story of Rei Kuroki was probably the greatest asset the show had in terms of plot, her coming from a destroyed parallel world she can only return to if she assists the Alone in destroying the manifestation ending. The true voice of evil comes from a black crow, which mostly taunts Rei until it comes to blows against the Vivid girls and gains godlike powers. The show mentions high intelligent alien lifeforms and various scientific nonsense, but at heart all the Alone are is pretty uninspiring monsters of the week that come, destroy and get killed by the heroes. 

Once introductions are out of the way and the show gets down to telling its story, it becomes all too clear that there isn't actually that much story to tell. The plot is spread very thinly, with the girls taking on episodic missions which add very little to their characters or the overall plot. Rei gets one much-needed episode that explains her background, but following that the main meat of the plot is crammed into the last three episodes. By which point, it's very hard to care about Vividred Operation any more.

Vivired Operation Kenjirō Isshiki

Those looking for a light and colourful series that isn't too heavy on the brain and features plenty of fanservice might get a kick out of Vividred Operation, but truth be told there isn't much here that you can't find better elsewhere. The plot is crammed into the very beginning and end, leaving numerous episodes in the middle that offer filler story lines and little else of interest. The characters are cliché and uninspired, perhaps only outdone by the dullness of their faceless enemy. My advice is to just stick to Strike Witches, because even though that probably had more fanservice at least it had a somewhat interesting story to go with it.

Thursday 28 March 2013

Anime REVIEW: Robotics;Notes


It's that time again where the winter anime season draws to a close, allowing reviewers such as myself to share their thoughts on the weekly series they've been following for the last 12+ weeks before launching themselves into the spring season's offerings. Robotics;Notes is a 22 episode series that began airing back in October 2012, based on the visual novel of the same name by 5pb. The story is set in the same universe as fellow visual novels Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate, however references to either shows are fleeting, if anything at all.

Robotics;Notes Akiho & Kaito
Akiho and Kaito, not your average robot builders

The story is set in the year 2019 on the Japanese island of Tanegashima. Here the exciteable Akiho Senomiya and her laid back friend Kaito Yashio are the only members of their high school's robotics club. Their aim is to build the GunPro-1, a giant robot based on the titular robot from the anime series Gunvarrel started (but not finished) by Akiho's older sister when she was in school. As the two struggle to find financing for the project, they find new friends and members who will help them complete their dream.

However this is only the surface, as at the same time Kaito becomes entangled in the mystery of "Kō Kimijima" and his strange reports. These reports suggest that a world-altering disaster may be on the way, and further investigation suggests not only the involvement of Akiho's estranged sister, but an accident that left both Akiho and Kaito with mysterious ailments many years ago.

Robotics;NotesSubaru, Junna & Frau
The sadly unimportant side cast of Robotics;Notes

The plot of Robotics;Notes can easily be split into two distinctive halves. The first of which features a much more relaxed setting, charting the day to day lives of the high school robotics club. This is the time we really get to know the characters - Akiho is energetic and almost always upbeat, while Kaito is quite dry-witted and only really interested in playing the video game "Kill Ballad". However he does clearly care about Akiho, and their relationship is something that is developed satisfyingly. The joining members of the club include Subaru Hidaka, a robot tournament champion who fights under the (fabulous) guise of "Mister Pleiades" because his father doesn't approve of his hobby, shy karate member Junna Daitoku and gifted super otaku Frau Koujiro. All are brought into the fold through different circumstances and plenty of time is spent fleshing out their characters amidst this "giant robot building" backdrop. To keep things interesting this half also sows a lot of the seeds that come into play in the second half, creating a varied amount of mysteries, conspiracies and even murder which create much intrigue as you try to piece them all together.

Robotics;Notes Airi Yukifune
What is the mystery behind the strange avatar Airi?

When the show finally launches into its world-changing crisis mode in the second half, it's where things begin to fall a little flat. The numerous subplots that have been established don't weave together very well at all, with some taking centre stage for the remaining episodes, others wrapped up too conveniently and others outright forgotten. As such the final episode comes across as really rushed. The worst part of this half is that it serves as a reminder that despite being introduced to this enjoyable cast of side characters, none of them ever really mattered. The story reverts back to being solely about Kaito and Akiho, which the rest of the cast completely disappearing for a few episodes. While Steins;Gate's triumph was in that it's build up was much slower, opening the floodgates for a huge exciting turn midway, Robotics;Notes tries to do far too much build up, which it's second half can't possibly keep up with.

Even when it's making awful shows such as Guilty Crown, Production I.G. has always been top notch when it comes to the animation front and Robotics;Notes is no exception. The character design and animation is crisp and clear, while the CGI robots of various sizes blend in nicely with the 2D art rather than sticking out like a sore thumb. Some excellent work when into the robotics design of the show, not only in translating the super robot Gunvarrel of the anime into a working realistic model, but also the aesthetic differences between the robots showcased.

Robotics;Notes Super GunBuild-1
Yes, there are robots.

If you're wondering just how many Steins;Gates references there are in Robotics;Notes, the answer is two...however one you might not notice unless its pointed out. The character of Nae Tennōji (who works for JAXA and befriends the club) is Yugo's (the TV shop owner and Okabe's landlord) daughter, however no reference is made to this (possibly because the Steins;Gate anime was made by a different studio?). SERN are also briefly namechecked in an episode. In the visual novel Daru also plays an important role in the finale (but doesn't appear), however any reference to this is gone from the anime.

Robotics;Notes Mister Pleiades

While it never really quite reaches the heights of its predecessor Steins;Gate, Robotics;Notes is still a solid and enjoyable show for the most part. It's opening half is engaging on numerous levels, and had it been able to carry this through into the second it would have been something REALLY special. This might have proved too difficult a task, the fast paced conclusion still contains a fair bit of enjoyment if you're prepared to check your brain in at the door.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Legend Ranger Key Set: Go-Busters 02

Go-Busters Ranger Key Set 02 Super Sentai Bandai

This is a ranger key set that's been out for a quite a while now and I've never got around to getting. But thanks to Hobby Link Japan's amazing sale recently, I managed to pick up the second Go-Busters Legend Ranger Key set for as little as £3 (plus shipping)! This second set features the Beet Buster and Stag Buster keys, who were introduced into Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters midway into the show. Rounding the set off to three keys is a Beet J Stag buddyroid key.

Go-Busters Ranger Key Set 02 Packaging FrontGo-Busters Ranger Key Set 02 Packaging Back

The packaging is very similar to that seen with the first Go-Busters key set, only this time swapping the yellow backing card for a cooler blue colour and replacing the "It's Time for Buster" slogan with the more appropriate "Boost Up for Buster".

Go-Busters Beet Buster Ranger Key Bandai Super Sentai

Go-Busters Stag Buster Ranger Key Bandai Super SentaiGo-Busters Beet J Stag Buddyroid Key Super Sentai Bandai

Go-Busters Ranger Key Set 2 Flipped

One thing that's a little disappointing with this set is that the Beet and Stag Buster keys aren't metallic, with the gold and silver colouring more orange and grey. While I don't consider this a necessity (after all, none of the other gold/silver ranger keys are metallic), its only striking here because the Beet J Stag key DOES have a number of gold/silver paint applications and thus kind of puts the other two to shame.

Go-Busters Ranger Keys Bandai Super Sentai

While inserting these keys into the original release Mobirates will just yield the "special ranger key" noises, putting them in the Legends release will activate the Go-Busters sounds and bio (if activated in encylopaedia mode).

Beet Buster Meets Magi Yellow Ranger Key Bandai

Monday 25 March 2013

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Deka Blue

Bandai SH Figuarts Deka Blue Dekaranger Tamashii Nations Super Sentai

Even if you weren't a fan of the series, it can't be denied that Akibaranger's lifeline with Tamashii Nations has opened the doors for far more Super Sentai S.H. Figuarts then we may have gotten otherwise. While the releases haven't been particularly fast, fans are safe in the knowledge that they have the complete Dekaranger and Boukenger teams to look forward to (and maybe one day the remaining Jetman too). Following on from the mass release Deka Red is second in command of the Special Police Dekaranger - Deka Blue. Blue, much like his other three team mates (none other than the initial five have been confirmed thus far) are Tamashii Web exclusives.

Bandai SH Figuarts Deka Blue Dekaranger Tamashii Nations Super Sentai

Bandai SH Figuarts Deka Blue Dekaranger Tamashii Nations Super SentaiBandai SH Figuarts Deka Blue Dekaranger Tamashii Nations Super Sentai

In-keeping with the style begun with Deka Red, Deka Blue is packaged in a predominantly blue and black box featuring the SPD logo on the window and a bold black "2" to match the character's designation. The box is of standard Figuart width, as Blue does not feature any Akibaranger related accessories like his hot-headed teammate.

Bandai SH Figuarts Deka Blue Dekaranger Tamashii Nations Super Sentai

Bandai SH Figuarts Deka Blue Dekaranger Tamashii Nations Super SentaiBandai SH Figuarts Deka Blue Dekaranger Tamashii Nations Super Sentai

When I reviewed Deka Red I pointed out the simplified detailing of the SPD logos on the suit, however here they all seem much sharper. The fact the figure is predominantly blue also means detailing such as the lights on the helmet pop out at you more. While Deka Blue isn't the first example of this, he is further proof that the shoulder design for Super Sentai figures has been somewhat perfected, and the arms can be moved about freely without the feeling you're about the snap the arm off. Still no bicep swivel (although it would look strange if Blue had one and Red didn't) but what articulation that is there is considerably dynamic and more than enough to get him in a range of badass poses. That being said my Deka Blue does suffer from a few assembly problems. Straight out of packaging the next wasn't connected the right way around, making his head permanently at an angle until I went about fixing it. While this was easily done, what isn't is that his right angle has a more exposed joint, giving the illusion that one leg is longer than the other when the figure is standing straight.

Bandai SH Figuarts Deka Blue Dekaranger Tamashii Nations Super Sentai

Deka Blue's belt contains three sockets where his various holsters can be plugged in - one for the SP license at the back and then weapon ones at either side. This may be an issue that varies from figure to figure however mine (especially the license holster) just didn't want to stay plugged in and fell off if I so breathed on the figure.

Bandai SH Figuarts Deka Blue Dekaranger Tamashii Nations Super SentaiBandai SH Figuarts Deka Blue Dekaranger Tamashii Nations Super Sentai

As a man of the law Deka Blue comes armed with a considerable accessory account. As well as the obligatory selection of alternate hands (13 in total) and SP license, Blue's remaining weapons are completely different to the ones that came with Deka Red. Replacing the D-Magnums are a D-Knuckle, a D-Rod (in compacted and extended forms) and Hoji's personal combination of the two - the D-Sniper.

Bandai SH Figuarts Deka Blue Dekaranger Tamashii Nations Super SentaiBandai SH Figuarts Deka Blue Dekaranger Tamashii Nations Super Sentai

While Deka Blue does improve on a few areas that were lacking with Deka Red (such as overall presentation and paint application), the Dekaranger body itself still has its own little problems that prevent it from being a perfect figure. The fact that Deka Blue includes an almost entirely different accessory set sets him apart nicely and even as a Tamashii Web exclusive his price isn't too bad if you shop around. With Deka Green also currently released and Yellow and Pink to follow in May, now is a great time to snap up this team before the aftermarket prices inflate.

Thursday 21 March 2013

Movie REVIEW: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger

Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger Toei Super Sentai

Ever since 1995's Chōriki Sentai Ohranger, the Vs. movie series has been a staple of Super Sentai shows. While for last year's anniversary series things took a different turn with Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Gavan (the Goseigers having appeared in the early 199 Heroes film) things are back on course with this year's Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger. This hour long film fits in somewhere toward the end of the Go-Busters series (after the original Escape's death) and acts as an epilogue to Gokaiger.

Across the galaxy are five Phantom ranger keys, which are able to grant unlimited power to those who possess them. Unfortunately, four of the five keys have come into the possession of Enter, who has allied himself with Bacchus Gil, nephew to Ackdos Gil and new leader of the Zangyack Empire. They return to Earth in search of the final key with an additional surprise, the Gokaigers are now working under the Zangyack! As the Go-Busters do battle with the previous Sentai team, a portal in time is created when the five keys are gathered and they are sucked through, along with Yoko and Beet J Stag.

Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger Evil Gokaigers
You wanted pirates? Here's your pirates!

As the Go-Busters team up with a confused Gai Ikari in a race through time to find the Phantom Ranger keys, they discover the real reason for the Gokaigers' turn and Enter's plans. Can the combined force of the 35th and 36th Super Sentai teams put a stop to this deadly alliance?

As soon as you see the main five Gokaigers in their "badass" pirate costumes, its pretty easy to see where the story is going. Yup, evil Gokaigers. One team going rogue isn't a new thing for the vs. films, but having just see it (partially) happen in Super Hero Taisen to same outcome makes the whole shock value of it all fall a little flat. Not that it lasts very long anyway, because the film's plot moves at lightning speed and it isn't long before the Gokaigers are back to their heroic cocky selves. What really drives Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger is the relationship between the Go-Busters and their Buddyroids, and how it affects the team when that is taken away. It makes for some really powerful emotional scenes, and shows that the Buddyroids are much more than glorfied accessories to the 36th Sentai team.

Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger Kaoru Shiba Shinkenger
Oh hi there Kaoru.

Of course, with a Gokaiger film comes the obligatory Gokai changes. Having given all the ranger keys back to their owners at the end of their own series, seeing them back in their possession is a little bit of a head scratcher. Since the film dabbles with time travel (mainly so Toei can pull out their infamous Edo period set), it's not too much of a stretch to believe Marvelous had Gai retrieve them from the past, but it isn't something that's ever fully explained. Thankfully they are still kept to a (mostly Showa era themed) minimum, giving a rare opportunity for the Gokaiger suits themselves to feature in long action sequences. There's also a former Ranger cameo in the form of Kaoru Shiba (the "true" Shinken Red), which while tacked on is none the less appreciated.

Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger Bacchus Gil Zangyack
Can Bacchus Gil hold his liquor?

Though Enter plays a big role in the film, he does take somewhat of a backseat to the newest Gil on the block. Bacchus Gil is the nephew of the former Zangyack emperor, but has no interest in conquest and simply would like to see the Earth destroyed. Other than that, there isn't much to his character other than being an alcoholic. The Gil's weren't the best of characters to begin with, but Bacchus does little to elevate himself above the levels of monster of the week. His subordinate Wardonaier is even less memorable. Past Super Sentai fans will also be pleased to see a couple of older faces appear too, particularly Gokaiger's Basco, Damaras and Jerashid, as well as Abaranger's Yatsudenwani.

Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger

And of course, over the last few years a staple of these Vs. movies has been the introduction of the next Super Sentai team, in this case the Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, who take you the completely forgettable Waredonaier. It's a fairly humorous introduction with King (Kyoryu Red) appearing before Gokai Red and Red Buster without his team mates, causing the two to be more than a little confused. The rest appear later, setting up the fact the five team mates live different lives well, before engaging in some great fight sequences like the show itself has displayed so far. The weapon noises are also kept to a very effective minimum.

Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger Mecha Gokai Change Daizyujin GaoKing GekiTouja DaiBouken MagiKing
Bring on the giant robots!

But of course, if you've paid attention to any of the trailers for this film it's true appeal is that it includes a number of MECHA Gokai changes. Gozyujin to Daizyujin! GokaiOh to Daibouken! Buster Hercules to MagiKing (I see what you did there Toei)! Go-Buster Li-Oh to GaoKing and GaoCentarus! Go-Buster Ace to Gekitouja, Flashking and RyuuseiOh! It may only be a short spectacle, but its a fantastic one nonetheless and redeems the problems many people had with the Gokaiger mecha fight sequences. Plus it's amazing to see suits like Flashking and Daizyujin back in action, who haven't been seen properly in years.

Overall Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger is a very good film. The plot is rather on the thin side and speeds along particularly fast in its one hour run time, but the excellent fight footage and emotional scenes featuring the Buddyroids do a lot to balance it out. This film isn't Goseiger vs. Shinkenger or Hurricanger vs. Gaoranger levels of great, but a treat to the eyes that's far more memorable than the standard Vs. movie fare.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Series REVIEW: Masked Rider

Saban Masked Rider Kamen Rider Black RX

When Power Rangers was at its peak, children's television saw a massive influx of Japanese-adapted tokusatsu series. Other studios such as DIC tried their own shows, but Saban truly led the way with no less than four shows of this type. Power Rangers had Super Sentai covered, and the Metal Heroes franchise was channelled into VR Troopers and Big Bad Beetleborgs. Meanwhile the Kamen Rider franchise saw a single Western release in the form of Masked Rider. The character himself appeared in Power Rangers season 3 for a 3-part story before appearing in his own 40-episode show between 1996 and 1997.

Saban Masked Rider Dex
Prince Dex, who sometimes moonlights as Kotaro Minami

On the distant planet of Edenoi (where Power Rangers' Alpha-5 was created), Prince Dex has been given the powers of the Masked Rider by his grandfather King Lexion to battle his evil uncle, Count Dregon, who is intent on ruling the planet and taking the Masked Rider powers for himself. When Dregon sets his sights on planet Earth, Dex pursues and is taken in by a Hal and Barbara Stewart and their adopted children, Molly and Albee. Following Dex is Ferbus, a small furry creature with a mischievous personality.

Using the Masked Rider powers, Dex fights Count Dregon and his army of Insectivores while trying to learn more about human life and keeping his identity a secret. He is aided by two superpowered talking vehicles - a car named Magno and a bike named Battle Chopper (or just Chopper).

Saban Masked Rider Stewart Family Hal Barbara Molly Albee
The Stewart family are rather surprised to have an alien land in their garden

To put you in the right frame of mind before this review even begins, Masked Rider is a pretty awful series riddled with flaws. The best place to start with is the beginning, and that's with the lead characters - Dex and the Stewart family. Much like the original Power Rangers cast, far too greater lengths have been gone to to make these characters "perfect". An idealised happy family isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn't make for particularly interesting viewing. Dex is your run-of-the-mill alien on Earth, spouting out TV nonsense and misunderstanding Earth phrases. He also seems to pull a lot of powers out of nowhere when untransformed (such as telekinesis and super speed), which begs the (in-story) question of why the hell he never uses these when fighting as Masked Rider? The series even has its own Bulk and Skull-esque duo in the form of nosey neighbour Patsy Carbunkle and her stereotypical geek friend Herbie, but the less said about these two the better.

Masked Rider later gets two extra modes to call on, the originally named "Super Gold" and "Super Blue" modes.While their introductions are among the better episodes Masked Rider has to offer, the real potential of these abilities isn't really explained and its left to the viewer to draw their own conclusions. Both forms also have the power to upgrade Chopper, but nothing is actually ever done with these upgrades outside their first appearances.

Saban Masked Rider Magno Chopper Kamen Rider Black RX
Dex meets Magno and Chopper

Count Dregon and his band of villains aren't much better on the character front either. While the (ridiculously awesome looking) Spiderbase is manned by Count Dregon and his generals Nefaria, Double Face, Cyclopter and Gork, Dregon and Nefaria are the ones hogging the majority of the screentime (and also the only ones who actually appear in original footage). Since the show has no real conclusion, Dregon is an "all-talk, no action" villain and we never see him actually do anything than rant. It's a shame really, because Double Face and Cyclopter are great looking villains and actually engage Masked Rider when they have the opportunity to do something. And even though he doesn't get the spotlight very often, there's still too much of the rhyming Gork in this show.

Saban Masked Rider Count Dregon Kamen Rider Black RX
The rather shiny Count Dregon

The use of source footage was always ropey back in the 90s (look at the first season of Power Rangers for plenty of amusing examples) but Masked Rider has to be one of the worst examples out there. While mainly drawing from the aforementioned Kamen Rider Black RX, the series also uses footage from two other Kamen Rider movies - ZO and J. With both of these film featuring riders with VERY different suits to Black RX you might think that careful editing is involved to make to footafe work, but the fact is most of the times it doesn't even feel like they tried. Masked Rider's suit changes every 30 seconds, with tiny bits of new footage added inbetween to (badly) make it seem like everything fits. Blink and you'll miss it moments they are not. The chopping and changing between American and Japanese out-of-suit footage is equally bad, to the point where you wouldn't be wrong for thinking the show starred both Prince Dex and Kotaro Minami.

Saban Masked Rider Ferbus
Ferbus - not always the worst thing this series offers

And of course what Masked Rider review would be complete without discussing Ferbus, the furry little creature which many hold as the worst aspect of the series. Ferbus' antics do indeed ruin a lot of what could be considered the more "serious" episodes of the show, but his inclusion isn't the biggest misstep this series makes by any means. Had he been toned down a lot more (and perhaps not appeared in every episode), maybe the series could have struck a better balance between comedy and drama.

Masked Rider was a pretty big part of my childhood, and so when I set about rewatching it deep down I hoped it would still hold some charm for me despite knowing how universally disliked it is. But all hope was lost after the first few episodes, as the terrible characters, minimal fight footage and horrific editing became more and more apparent. The lack of a proper ending is just the icing on a rather horrible tasting cake. If you are by any way curious about this series, my advice is to simply watch episodes 1, 2 7, 8, 21 and 37 because they are only ones that are anyway decent (and funnily enough, the only ones that have any real bearing on the overall plot). Did you enjoy Masked Rider when you were young? Keep your fond childhood memories intact and keep away from this series at all costs.