Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sentai Time! Movie Double Feature

Hello, all my lovely people! Today I’ll be reviewing two Super Sentai movies, both based on Sentais I’ve already reviewed. First up is…

Shinkenger: The Fateful War
The closest thing we're going to get to a Super Sentai Musou game.

Fun Fact: This was the first Japanese movie to be filmed in 3D.

This movie was part of a double feature with the Kamen Rider film, “Kamen Rider Decade: All Riders vs Dai-Shocker.” This film takes place between episodes 24 and 25 of Shinkenger. The Shinkengers are engaged in a losing battle with the Kusare Gedoushu, a powerful faction of the Gedoushu that have resurfaced after 3 centuries. The Shinkengers’ only hope is a secret disk hidden away in a temple deep in enemy territory. When the disks yields little help, the Shinkengers choose to charge deep into enemy territory, hoping to win the war in one attack.

My biggest complaint about this film is its length. The whole thing is barely 21 minutes long, which makes its about the same length as a regular Shinkenger episode. I know it was part of a double feature, but I would have loved to see more of, well, anything. There’s one scene in particular that I thought could have been expanded: the duel between Juzo and Genta. We see the very beginning, but that’s about all we see. Even if the film was only five minutes longer, I would have prefered it.

That being said, while this does play out like an episode of Shinkenger, it's still a very good episode. All the great elements of the show are present, including the great characters, well choreographed fights, and a fair amount of drama. It also features two great additions that really make this stand out from anything in the show (at least from what I’ve seen). One would be the entire sequence where the Shinkengers engage a literal army of Gedoushu. Group fights have always been my favorite part of Super Sentai, and this film goes full on Musou with this concept, down to having the Shinkengers riding into battle on horses. Another addition would be the Kyoryumaru, a dinosaur sword. If that doesn’t sell you on how great it is, you have no taste.

The Fateful War may be on the short side, but it's still very good. Its a great addition to an already great show. I say it's worth a watch, even if it's just for to see the Shinkengers wreck a literal army. Next up is…

Kyoryuger: Gaburincho of Music
Some singing, all dancing.
This movie was part of a double feature with the Kamen Rider film, “Kamen Rider Wizard in Magic Land.” It takes place between episodes 20 and 21. The film details the Kyoryugers fight against D, a former member of the Deboss Army who has forced the lost ZyuDenRyu Tobaspino to be his partner. He kidnaps the popstar Mikito, an old friend of Daigo’s, and plans to use her power of song to wipe out humanity.

Gaburincho of Music bills itself as a musical, which I find to be a stretch. Not counting the insert themes, there are only three songs: one which is repeated throughout the movie, the ending dance number, and one with Candelira which basically amounts to a (admittedly hilarious) non-sequitur. the songs are fine songs, but calling your movie a musical when there isn’t that many musical numbers is kind of weird. I know this is a nitpick, but it does bother me.

One thing I have to both praise and criticize are the fight scenes in this movie. On the one hand, the fights are very visually impressive, with tons of crazy acrobatic flips and tons of flashy attacks that are a serious step above the show. On the other hand, the flash seems to be there to compensate for a lack of good fight choreography. Strip away the effects and the fights themselves are pretty average (aside from the acrobatics). They’re fun to watch, but they’re a bit too much flash and not enough fire.

Despite this, the film does have some great components. D is a great villain, being powerful, intimidating, and having a great design. Tobaspino is a very cool robot, and its humanoid form is kickass. Its a shame neither D’s Kyoryuger outfit or Tobaspino make an actual appearance in the show, since both are great additions. Despite this, however, I can’t really say that Gaburincho of Music is worth seeing unless you really like Kyoryuger.

Have a request, constructive criticism, or compliment? Leave a comment!

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