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Browsing Posts tagged 仮面ライダー

4 in 4

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For the most part I really don’t care about politics, including Japanese politics. But it looks like Japan’s first ever alien Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, is resigning from his post, so I will show some interest momentarily and write a blog post that really isn’t about politics at all.  But yeah Hatoyama is resigning over the Futenma “fiasco” that doesn’t really seem to be the disaster that all the media seems to be making it out to be.  Except for maybe a group of 100 old people down in Okinawa who seem to be protesting every (rare) time I turn on Japanese news.

Because of his “failure” to fulfill his promise and move the US military base out of Okinawa, Hatoyama is doing the “responsible” thing and resigning.  You have to say those things in quotes with the Dr. Evil voice and gestures because otherwise it might sound like you believe this BS.  Rather than actually taking responsibility for what really isn’t a huge failure, Hatoyama’s decided to throw in the towel after 8 months in office, which unfortunately has been around the standard tenure for a prime minister in post-Koizumi Japan.  This is the same Japanese mentality behind the big public apology press conferences and subsequent resignations from CEOs and other company leaders when they don’t actually want to deal with a problem.  But I’m not going to go much into that here.

No, instead here is a stupid list of things.  Yes, Japan has had 4 prime ministers quit in less than 4 years which is pretty sad when you consider that in that time…

  • I’ve had fewer cell phones
  • I’ve lived in fewer apartments
  • Fewer Harry Potter movies have been released
  • There have been fewer generations of the iPhone released
  • All of the current-gen video game consoles came out
  • McDonald’s Japan’s Mega fad came and went
  • 4 Kamen Rider series have ended (Hey!  Same number!)

 

So prime ministers here are rotating about as often as the childrens superhero programs.  Interesting.  So much for political stability.  I think I’m more surprised that he convinced big boss Ozawa to resign too.

Kamen Rider Kiba

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So the Rider show for 2008 has been announced. 仮面ライダーキバ。Kiba, as in “fang.” It’s a vampire guy. I guess they’re keeping up the multiple forms stuff, since this guy’s going to have Werewolf and Frankenstein forms later.

Kiba looks like Spiderman

Den-O Logo8AM Sunday morning, the new Kamen Rider show started up here in Japan, since Kabuto finished up last weekend. This year we have Kamen Rider Den-O (仮面ライダー電王) where Den-O translates to ‘Electric King.’ So far it seems like the plot involves a time traveling train, monsters possessing humans, multiple personalities, and dimensional portals. Just like most Japanese kids TV shows! The title character is a guy named Ryotaro, who is a total wuss. Everything about him, including his voice, is just pure submissive loser. Not much of a hero, right? Oh but wait, he is possessed by an “Imagin,” one of the group of monsters/bad guys in the series who are traveling through time to change things in order to make the present and future better for themselves. Ryotaro is apparently the “chosen one,” which means he has some kind of control over the Imagin within, and also he can transform into Den-O with a henshin belt and a special train pass. Yes, his belt theme is based on Suica train passes. He swipes it over the belt and stuff happens.

The Imagin who has possessed Ryotaro doesn’t care about obeying orders or changing the future; he just wants to fight, regardless of the opponent. So, this coincidentally goes along very well with his host, who can transform into a Kamen Rider with all kinds of crazy weapons and stuff. They’ll go ahead and fight Imagin all over the place. When the Imagin takes over Ryotaro’s body, he goes slightly Super Saiyan; his hair style becomes more vertical and gains a red stripe. His voice also changes from ‘prepubescent girl’ to ‘crazy mofo,’ and he gets a lot stronger to boot. According to a short scene in the opening credits and the official website, it looks like Ryotaro will also be possessed by a bunch of other Imagin later on, which will then help him achieve different Rider forms. The standard/normal form (what was in the first episode) is Sword Form, and he should be getting Axe Form, Rod Form, and Gun Form sometime over the next few months. In addition to presumably different monsters and voices for each of these personalities/forms, there will also be different styles of dress, as you can see here. So far, the red Sword Form Imagin will wear a leather jacket. There will also be, I guess, businessman, samurai ruffian, and crazy crackhead covered in spray paint.

guy in the center is a wuss

When Ryotaro first transforms with the magic Suica, he is in a very basic skeleton form:
hot chick on the left

That form, of course sucks, in part because the ‘real’ Kotaro with the girly voice is in control. So to change forms and let the Imagin take over, he presses the red button on his belt and swipes his train pass again. More armor appears, and he is transformed into the red Sword Form. The monster is in charge now, voice and all. This is the ‘standard’ form of the series, so we’ll be seeing this one the most:
Sword Form

This post is already nerdy as it is, so I’m going to go for broke and show you the upcoming Axe and Rod forms:
Axe and Rod forms

The show wasn’t bad; I’ll be keeping up with it throughout the broadcast. The only major complaint I have is the CG for the DenLiner train; it looks absolutely horrible. All the recent Kamen Rider shows have had this problem. The costumes, stunts, etc all looks pretty good, but most of the major CG they use looks awful. Far too cartoony and not realistic enough to fit with the rest of the show (well, not realistic, but you know what I mean). Every time they showed a shot of the DenLiner I had to just shake my head. It was the same with Hibiki when the terrible CG monsters showed up. Ah well.

Links:
Kamen Rider Den-O official site (TV Asahi)
Den-O promo and trailer (YouTube)
Den-O opening title sequence (YouTube)

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It’s been a while since I posted, I have noticed. Anyways, it’s been a somewhat busy last few weeks, although not too bad. IUSTV picked up a few new members in the past week…actually over 80 to be exact. All this during a time that the university is freaked out about low student involvement on campus. Bahaha. New staff has since been sorted into teams, oriented, and have started working on their teams. Things actually seem to be going smoothly around the station, which is AWESOME. I’m pretty happy with everything at the station right now. If only I can hurry and get this off-campus fiber connection finished soon.

I also found out that I didn’t get an interview with JET, the program I was planning on going to Japan with. I applied for the CIR position, which stands for Coordinator for International Relations, and (not to sound arrogant, seriously) I was pretty sure I would get in. I didn’t even get an interview. Not just me, but none of the people I know who applied for CIR got interviews either. WTF Embassy of Japan?! I was almost sure that everyone I know (we’re all pretty qualified) would get interviews. At the very least, I was half right. Everyone who applied for the JET’s ALT (assistant language teacher) position that I know got an interview, which is awesome. I’m counting on everyone getting in so I have somewhere to crash when I’m jobless and wandering in Japan. Ah well, no JET for me. I accepted that a day or two after getting the letter, so I’m not really that bummed about it. I still have ways to get into Japan, I just have to think of a scheme. Heck, I don’t know if I’m even going to go to Japan, although it sounds like a pretty good idea to me. I should probably actually figure out what I’m going to do after graduation…

Kamen Rider Kabuto Time for me to get dorky for a minute. Hibiki ended in Japan and the ending was pretty much ruined. Poorly done plot resolutions, stupid ending overall, blah blah blah. Ah well, it was a good series overall. I also finally saw the Hibiki movie, which came out in Japan like a few weeks after I left this summer. Typical Kamen Rider movie: cool to watch but pretty weak story wise. Half of the reason I watch it is just for the cool designs and fights anyway, so I was happy. I’ve watched it twice so far and will probably watch it many more times. The 3 main oni are in it, and since it’s set in feudal times, the new 5 movie-only oni are a little cheesier. Their weapons include a triangle, a gong, a blowgun flute, and a pair of cymbals. Yes, it sounds so lame. Anyway, with Hibiki over, of course the following week the new Kamen Rider started. Japan really keeps up on these things, don’t they. On your right there, please see the new show for ’06, Kamen Rider Kabuto. Looks cool; I’ve already seen the first episode and it reminds me a lot of Faiz. I’ll likely (OK, surely) be watching this whole series as well.

Wow so I thought I would only get dorky for 1 paragraph, but then I forgot that I actually started an entire new dorky club. Since Joey (from IUSTV, not my brother) and I wanted to watch Godzilla Final Wars on a big screen like in a classroom projector or something, I went ahead and started an entire IU student organization for this. Yes, we are now an officially registered IU club, with a constitution and everything. I was also able to reserve a classroom (TV245) for a 4 hour block every Friday until the end of the semester. The group is The Giant Organism-caused Destruction and Zoological Interest and Learning Liaisons Association, or the G.O.D.Z.I.L.L.A. Club for short. Awesome? Yes. Overdone? Maybe slightly. Expect much movie watching and video game playing being done in the Telecom building every Friday from here on.

The original Mushi Kingu

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I’m a dork or whatever, but right now the 2 movies in theatres that I want to see the most are both only in Japan, and are both Kamen Rider movies. Let me show you how sweet both of these movies look. Pretty much this entire post is just an excuse to put cool pictures on the Blog. I’m not using nearly enough of my bandwidth or storage space on this webserver (just renewed for another year tonight), so what the heck.

First up is 「仮面ライダー響鬼と七人の戦鬼」, which translated to Kamen Rider Hibiki and the 7 War Demons. The title itself makes it awesome. So Hibiki, this year’s Rider show, is about demon “Riders” who fight monsters using sonic attacks. These sonic attacks are played using gimmicky instrument weapons, like taiko drumsticks, trumpets, and electric guitars. The movie takes place in Feudal Japan, because they fought a lot back then, and you can bring in a bunch of sweet fight scenes. Demons? Fighting in Feudal Japan? Unrealistic, you say? Yeah, and Tom Cruise really was the LAST samurai. I’ll bet he didn’t have an axe that turned into an electric guitar that he wailed on and made giant crab monsters explode. Nope, but Hibiki will have that. 音撃斬!雷電激震!

Hibiki movie banner

Hibiki demons
Oh and here’s the trailer(Windows Media), in case you’re bored and want to check it out. Oh but you have to sit through the trailer for the new Magiranger (this year’s Japanese Power Ranger show) trailer also.

OK now on to the other one. So yeah, every year in Japan, they make a new Kamen Rider (Masked Rider) TV series. Hibiki, for example, started last spring, and will probably end this coming January or so. Then the week right after, they’ll start a new one. Well way back in the 1970’s, they started the whole genre with a show just called Kamen Rider (Masked Rider). It’s about a guy who is turned into a cyborg super-soldier by a super mega evil crime organization named Shocker. He keeps his mind, becomes a good guy, and fights Shocker. Simple but sweet. This is what he looked like. Check out the hair:
Original Kamen Rider
And now, after America’s (OK Japan also) been just remaking stuff for movies for the past five or ten years because no one in Hollywood or anywhere has any creativity left, Japan has decided to remake their country’s iconic superhero (he really is, maybe in a tie with Ultraman) into a feature length film. The new movie, called easily enough, Kamen Rider the First, re-tells the original story and also the original story of the second Rider, named Kamen Rider No. 2. The movie looks pretty sweet also, or else I wouldn’t be sitting here at 2AM writing a long blog entry about it.

The First

Rider Kick!

the revamped Shocker troops
And here’s the trailer! (RealMedia format)

Oh, and yes, you heard me right, the evil organization in the original Kamen Rider and the new The First movie is called Shocker. This was way before those jokes started up when we were in middle school. But either way, I’m going to go ahead and put this up. Karen will love it, I’m sure.

Oops!
That’s all for now. My blog posts are probably going to start having more things like this. Not really updating anyone on anything, not really trying to make a point, not even (gasp) complaining about something. Pretty much I just want to link to cool stuff.

Bootlegs, bootlegs

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I bought some Kamen Rider Ryuki toys from eBay the other week. They were super cheap, and from Hong Kong. You know what that means: cheap knockoffs! I pretty much figured so; there’s no way you could get the official Bandai stuff for so cheap. Anyways, they’re actually really poorly done knockoffs (the worse kind), so I might just throw them away or something.

That’s OK though, it was expected. HOWEVER, the unexpected (and most hilarious) part of this eBay purchase was actually the seller’s name. I didn’t know it until the package arrived, but check out this guy’s name! Hahaha! And you thought you got picked on in school.

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