Friday 15 September 2017

Movie REVIEW: Ultraman Orb the Movie: Lend Me the Power of Bonds!

Ultraman Orb the Movie: Lend Me the Power of Bonds!

Since the debut of Ultraman X in 2015 and the introduction of Crunchyroll’s worldwide simulcasting the Ultra Series has gone from strength to strength, and the popularity of last year’s Ultraman Orb only further solidified this new generation of Ultraman as a franchise to be reckoned with once more. Not content with just returning in the form of Amazon Prime prequel series Ultraman Orb: The Origin Saga, the cast also returned for one last hurrah in this feature-length film, entitled Ultraman Orb the Movie: Lend Me the Power of Bonds! As well as crossing over with other new generation Ultras X, Ginga and Victory, Lend Me the Power of Bonds! also celebrates the 50th anniversary of Ultraseven – much like how X movie Here It Comes! Our Ultraman celebrated the same milestone for the original Ultraman the year before.

Wednesday 13 September 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts -Shinkocchou Seihou- Kamen Rider Skull

Release Date: August 2017
RRP: 6480 yen

When the S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou line kicked off three years ago many assumed it would prioritise brand new versions of the titular Kamen Riders of each series (along with the few forgotten ones), with their order based on their original release dates in the mainline. While this has remained somewhat true, the line has now grown to accommodate villains, alternate forms and additional riders – both as mass release figures and Tamashii web exclusives. Given the popularity of Kamen Rider W, it’s no surprise to see that the line’s first movie Rider is (and as a retail release no less) S.H. Figuarts Shinkocchou Seihou Kamen Rider Skull. First appearing in Kamen Rider x Decade & W: Movie War 2010 before later getting his own segment the following year in Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider OOO & W featuring Skull: Movie War Core, Kamen Rider Skull aka Sokichi Narumi is the founder of the Narumi Detective Agency, Shotaro’s mentor and of course Akiko’s father.

Monday 11 September 2017

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Ultraman Orb Origin

Release Date: August 2017
RRP: 5940 yen

The biggest downside to the Ultra-Act line coming to an end and the Ultra Series being incorporated into S.H. Figuarts is everything began afresh. With Ultraman Ginga the last “new” Ultra-Act and Figuarts going all the way back to the original Ultraman, newer Ultras such as Victory or X have sadly gone without high-quality articulated figures. However things are about to change, as Bandai Tamashii Nations launch a number of Figuarts releases from 2016’s Ultraman Orb and start a new wave of modern Ultraman figures. Kicking things off were a double bill of figures based on Orb’s true form – S.H. Figuarts Ultraman Orb Origin released as a general retail figure, while S.H. Figuarts Ultraman Orb Origin The First (based on his appearance in the Amazon Prime exclusive Ultraman Orb The Origin Saga) was unsurprisingly released as an Amazon exclusive.

Friday 8 September 2017

Movie REVIEW: Kamen Rider x Super Sentai: Chou Super Hero Taisen

Chou Super Hero Taisen

If there’s one thing that tokusatsu fans seem to almost unanimously agree on, it’s that the Super Hero Taisen films aren’t that great. While both the Kamen Rider and Super Sentai franchises often excel at smaller crossovers, when the two come together it’s less of an excuse to tell a really good story and more to just cram as many characters/suits on screen as humanly possible. After taking a break last year to make way for the brilliant Kamen Rider 1, the now annual film series is back sounding louder than ever in 2017 with Kamen Rider x Super Sentai: Chou Super Hero Taisen. After previous two instalments Heisei Rider vs. Showa Rider: Kamen Rider Taisen and Super Hero Taisen GP: Kamen Rider 3 were almost entirely Rider focused, this film marks the first proper crossover on the two franchises on the big screen since 2014’s Super Hero Taisen Z.

Wednesday 6 September 2017

Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider Ex-Aid

Kamen Rider Ex-Aid

Kamen Rider is a franchise that genuinely sticks to tradition, but every so often there comes a series that just seems to completely break away from the norm be it visually or thematically. With the titular Rider’s neon pink bodysuit, moulded hair helmet and anime-like eyes, it was immediately clear that Kamen Rider Ex-Aid was going to be one of those shows. Written by Lupin III Part 4’s Yuya Takahashi (who previously worked on Drive’s Type Tokujo specials as well as the Super Sentai-inspired Eight Ranger) and directed by Toei veteran Shojiro Nakazawa (head director for Kamen Rider Wizard as well as numerous Sentai series), Ex-Aid brings video games and medicine together as it celebrates 45 years of the long-running franchise.

Monday 4 September 2017

First Impressions: Kamen Rider Build

Kamen Rider Build

Isn’t it amazing how quickly a year can fly by? Roughly this time last year Kamen Rider fans were looking forward to video games and medicine with Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, and now it’s the time of bottles, combos and equations with Kamen Rider Build. Written by franchise newcomer Shogo Muto and directed by Ryuta Tasaki (Kamen Rider Gaim, Gingaman, Akibaranger), the 19th Heisei Rider series (and 28th in total) may not only bring a close to this generation of Kamen Riders but will also mark a brand new timeslot for the show. As of October, Super Hero Time will be not only be moving 90 minutes forward to 9:00-10:00am JST but additionally Kamen Rider will begin airing before Super Sentai. While unlikely to bring about any real change, it is an interesting bit of trivia for those who still follow when these shows air in Japan.