Wednesday 26 September 2018

Anime REVIEW: Gundam Build Divers

Gundam Build Divers
Gundam Build Divers is available in streaming form on Crunchyroll and Youtube 

Sometimes there's no shame in shameless consumerism, and with Gundam Build Fighters both Bandai and Sunrise seemingly found the perfect formula for creating a Mobile Suit Gundam entry that's thoroughly enjoyable despite being primarily created to shift boxes and boxes of gunpla. Following the sequel series Gundam Build Fighters Try in 2015 this specific subset of the franchise went pretty quiet other than a few OVA-style specials here and there, but in 2018 it came back in full force under the new name of Gundam Build Divers. The game may be a little different, but it's still business as always when it comes to building customised Gundams and battling them across a series chock-full of franchise references and homages. But does it manage to capture the same magic as the original Build Fighters?

Monday 24 September 2018

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Grease

Release Date: August 2018
RRP: 6264 yen

It's an unfortunate truth of the S.H. Figuarts line these days that no matter how much of a main character a particular Kamen Rider may be, the way Bandai Tamashii Nations release these figures its almost certain that someone will end up as a Tamashii web exclusive rather than a general retail release. Kamen Rider Build got off to its odd decisions pretty early with the standard Kamen Rider Cross-Z being an exclusive while the less prevalent Cross-Z Charge was a general release. S.H. Figuarts Kamen Rider Grease is the latest Build character to join the line, with Hokuto's own Kazumi Sawatari kicking off what will most likely be a string of Tamashii web exclusives from here on out.

Friday 21 September 2018

Movie REVIEW: Ultraman Geed the Movie: Connect the Wishes!

Ultraman Geed the Movie: Connect the Wishes!

Although for the most part heroes never fully retire in the world of tokusatsu, it can often be a bittersweet moment when one series comes to an end and the baton is passed onto a new hero. However there's always one last farewell in the form of a movie, and Ultraman Geed's story is no exception as the 2017 Ultra returns in Ultraman Geed the Movie: Connect the Wishes!. As per previous entires Tsuburaya Productions' latest Ultra Series film instalment also acts as a crossover with 2016's Ultraman Orb - a hero that has continued to stay in the spotlight since his original series thanks to an Amazon Prime exclusive prequel series, a biography-style recap series and more recently a dark version of the titular character's powers appearing in the currently airing Ultraman R/B.

Sunday 16 September 2018

Movie REVIEW: Engine Sentai Go-Onger: Ten Years Grand Prix

Engine Sentai Go-Onger: Ten Years Grand Prix

The realisation that Engine Sentai Go-Onger came out ten years ago might be making some fans pretty old right now, but there is one silver lining to this reminder of just how quickly time can pass. After both Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger and Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger reunited for special V-Cinema releases a decade after their original appearances, it's now time to go at full-throttle mach speed once again as the 32nd Super Sentai team return for Engine Sentai Go-Onger: Ten Years Grand Prix. So grab your Engine Souls and get ready to 'met on once again, as all seven team members are back for one last adventure.

Thursday 13 September 2018

Toybox REVIEW: S.H. Figuarts Pandon "The Biggest Invasion in History" Set

Release Date: August 2018
RRP: 8100 yen

Although the latter half of 2018 will be going full force on modern Ultra Series releases with both the long awaited Ultraman X and Ultraman R/B figures, Bandai Tamashii Nations still have plenty of love to give to the classic era of Ultraman. This year may have seen the S.H. Figuarts line move ahead into The Return of Ultraman but there's still plenty of room for releases from both the original series and Ultraseven - with this particular one being extra special. The vanguard of the Alien Ghos and the final opponent of Ultraseven, the twin-headed monster has finally arrived! S.H. Figuarts Pandon "The Biggest Invasion in History" set celebrates the two-part finale of the 1967 series, arriving as a Tamashii web exclusive release.

Monday 10 September 2018

Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider Build

Kamen Rider Build

After the Kamen Rider aesthetic was taken a little bit off course in 2016 with Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, things fell back into a bit more familiar territory with the series that followed. The compound eyes make a natural return, and the hero's two-part red and blue costume wasn't just a callback to the similarly styled Kamen Rider W – the colourscheme also harked back to heroes like the Kikaider brothers and Metalder. Welcome to Kamen Rider Build – the 19th entry in the show's Heisei period run and the 28th series in the franchise overall. Notably written in its entirety by Shogo Muto and with Ryuta Tasaki as lead director, Build is also the first (and possibly only) of the post-Decade series to take place in a parallel universe.

Tuesday 4 September 2018

First Impressions: Kamen Rider Zi-O

The end of the Heisei Era has arrived, and to celebrate the 20th and final entry in this chapter of Kamen Rider a new king has risen who is heir to the power of all Riders. His name is Kamen Rider Zi-O, and 10th anniversary series Kamen Rider Decade his series will commemorate all of the previous Heisei Riders to date. This comes not only in the form of the Ride Watch gimmick line and Ride Armour forms, but also cameo appearances from past actors, Rider-themed monsters and more. Heading the writing and directing of the series are Kento Shimoyama (Shuriken Sentai Ninninger, Kikaider REBOOT and most recently the Gorider miniseries) and Ryuta Tasaki (a man involved in nearly all of Heisei Rider, as well as both Super Sentai and Power Rangers) respectively. Its opening theme "Over Quartzer" is performed by Shuta Sueyoshi and ISSA – the former having previously performed "Climax Jump" for Kamen Rider Den-O and the latter "JustiĻ†'s" for Kamen Rider 555. Even before you get into the series itself, there's plenty of callbacks going on here.