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The Toku Recap: Kyoryuger Ep 1, Wizard 23.

February 18, 2013

Welcome to a new segment on the blog called “The Toku Recap” (bland and dull, I know. Let’s just move on…) Starting this week and continuing every week one of the big Toku shows airs, I’ll be covering what happened, as well as my brief thoughts on the episode. Power Rangers will not be a part of this segment, as I’m focusing on the Japanese shows for this. Also, I already do full, detailed, episode reviews on the newest episodes anyway, so there’s no need to put it in here.

Also, please note that my thoughts on the episode will not be as detailed as the Power Ranger reviews. It’s just my quick thoughts on the episode, as this won’t be an extremely detailed segment. Also, I won’t be posting this until the weekly episodes have subs, so it won’t be following the live airings of the episode you may see through Keyhole. Hence why I’m not reviewing the episodes and rather just giving my thoughts on it. Subs can vary from person-to-person, and what’s being said in the sub isn’t always what the show intended for its audience. (Also: If a Toku Movie Special is released, I’ll be doing quick thoughts on it here.)

So without further adieu, let’s take a look at this week’s new episodes.

Kamen Rider Wizard Episode 23

This week’s Wizard was (or at least I assume it to be) the finale of the Phoenix storyline. As we approach the half way point of the show (as Kamen Rider shows usually last 48 episodes) we wrap up the first half of the show with a fantastic final battle between the Phantom Phoenix and Haruto. After Phoenix is about to finish off Wizard in the warehouse, Kosuke arrives on the scene to fight Phoenix in an attempt to consume him, as well as give Haruto enough time to get Rinko out of the warehouse. While Kosuke attempts to defeat Phoenix so that he may consume him, his finisher fails and Phoenix blows up the warehouse.

As, Haruto brings Rinko to the hospital, Medusa meets with Wiseman to inform him that Phoenix has grown too strong. Wiseman says at the moment not to worry, as he is focused on facing off with Haruto and would rather see how their eventual battle unfolds before taking action. At the store, the rest of the gang (Koyomi, Shunpei and Wajima) find out that Rinko was being held hostage by Phoenix and are sad about the news of her condition. Kosuke eventually comes into the store, disappointed that he wasn’t able to consume Phoenix.

As Haruto is approached by Kizaki while waiting for news about Rinko’s condition, Phoenix attacks the city to draw out Haruto for a final showdown. As the others in the shop spot the attack with their flying merchandise, Kosuke volunteers to take down Phoenix while Haruto waits at the hospital, while not so subtly indicating he’s really doing it just because Phoenix would be a very satisfying meal.

As Phoenix continues his attack, Kosuke arrives on the scene, much to Phoenix’s disappointment. Using his Ghouls to distract Kosuke while he leaves, he tells Kosuke to tell Haruto to meet him at the scene of their first battle. At the hospital, Haruto is told by Kizaki that Rinko’s condition is his fault, as Haruto previously stated it is the Wizard’s responsibility to protect people from the Phantoms. Feeling guilty about what happened, he eventually talks to Rinko (after she starts to recover) and apologies to her for getting her into this mess. Rinko explains to Haruto that she choose to follow Phoenix as part of a case, and that she tried to find good in him after hearing his human form’s story, as it reminded her of herself. She sadly forgot that Phantoms aren’t like humans and lack morals and the ability to care about others.

At the store, the gang discusses whether or not to tell Haruto about Phoenix’s message and just let Kosuke consume Phoenix on his own, when Haruto walks in, unaware of what they were discussing. He retires to his room early for the night, worrying Koyomi. Later that night, she pep talks him and reminds him that Rinko was inspired by his courage, and how he has become the last beacon of hope for all. She tells him about Phoenix’s message and Haruto rushes off to confront him, but not before stopping by Kosuke’s place. Kosuke tells Haruto only he can truly defeat Phoenix, as consuming Phoenix is the only way to kill him. However, Haruto says this is his fight to finish, and that he needs to prove he is the last hope for people. Kosuke humbly accepts his decision, pretending that the ghouls satisfied him enough.

Haruto goes to Phoenix’s location, and after both sides agree it is time to end things, they both transform and fight. After attempting to use the dragon timer and fighting with all four forms, Phoenix still is too strong. Holding the Dragon Timer near the belt, Haruto activates his (currently) most powerful form, All Dragon, which combines all four dragon parts onto Wizard Flame Dragon. Near by, the White Wizard comments that “he is now complete”. Phoenix and Haruto take to the skies, as Haruto clobbers Phoenix. Phoenix is impressed, but says he’ll be stronger after Haruto kills him. Haruto says he doesn’t plan to finish him off, and instead activates a special finisher that kicks Phoenix INTO the sun. Using Phoenix’s immortality against him, the sun will keep constantly destroying him every time he regenerates. Haruto sums it up best with his final line “There will be no end for you.”

After meeting up with Rinko one last time, where Rinko says she still is determined to protect people from the Phantoms despite not having magic, the episode ends with Medusa realizing Haruto defeated Phoenix. The mysterious phantom (who gave the yellow dragon stone) appears behind Medusa asking who will replace Phoenix’s position, to which Medusa asks “Will you… Gremlin?” Laughing, he transforms into his phantom form, which can only be partially seen thanks to a convenient glare.

Final Thoughts: Lots of great storyline development here. From Haruto having doubt about putting those he cares about in danger, to Rinko’s reaffirmation that she will continue to do whatever she can to help others. There were some nice Kamen Rider Beast moments, and a pretty cool twist to how Phoenix was finally defeated (?). The show presented the option I thought they would take, and then said “screw it, we’ll do something even more clever.” It was a fantastic way to conclude the first half of the show, and the final scene sets up a new, interesting status quo on the villain side. The rouge Gremlin is now a commander for the Phantoms. I suspect we’ll also start seeing the breakdown of Medusa, who has shown signs of not caring for Gremlin, and has already shown to Wiseman that her powers have limits. It’s only a matter of time. Bottom line, this was one of the best episodes Wizard has had to offer, and I loved every minute of it.

Next Week, we’ll take a break from the storyline as Haruto and Kosuke team up to save a grandmother from turning into a Phantom.

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Voltasaur Team Kyoryuger Episode 1

It’s the first episode, so naturally we have a lot thrown at us. Long ago, when earth was ruled by Dinosaurs, they suddenly entered extinction thanks to a group known as the Devoss Army. They were sealed away thanks to the ancient bird guardian Torin and his mechanical soul/battery-powered dinosaurs. Generations later, as humanity is the dominant species on earth, the Devoss Army has returned. Led by the evil Chaos, who wishes to awaken his creator, the army unleashes their minions known as Zori Soldiers on the world.

In different parts of the world, the minions attack, but are stopped by colored spandex warriors in each region of the world. Except on a small island, where a guy named Daigo decides to take them head on. They are defeated by an energy blast though before he can do anything, and Daigo discovers the blast came from Torin, who has recognized Daigo’s bravery. He wants him to be a Kyoryuger, but in order to do so, Daigo must defeat the mechanical T-Rex (GabruTrya) and get his approval using a special weapon, the Gabrevolver. They fight for days, and eventually, Daigo defeats him through a clever attack of jumping into his mouth and blasting him from the inside. Although victorious, Daigo’s gun doesn’t activate, which Torin finds strange.

However, there isn’t enough time to figure out why. Torin detects the rise of the Devoss Army, and decides they’ll figure it out later. As he begins to teleport, Daigo jumps on him and is teleported to a city. With Torin nowhere in sight, he decides to enter a cafe. This very cafe has the other four members of the Kyoryuger (who already activated their powers), although none of them are aware of their identities. After a brief introduction to Ian (Black, Ladies man who likes meat… Don’t make this dirty, damn it!), Nobuharu (Blue, some kind of handyman), Souji (Green, quiet and annoyed easily), and Amy (A waitress who if you mess with can kick your butt), Daigo is knocked onto the floor after a very weird first meeting between the five members (who still don’t realize each other’s identities.) Daigo, who finds a portal on the ground, teleports again (leaving the four to wonder where he went) and ends up in the headquarters for this year’s show.

After seeing the base and getting more info from Torin about the beast batteries, we see Daigo’s neckless shine, as we find out his father gave it to him and told him it would lead him to becoming a man. Torin realizes Daigo was destined to be a Kyoryuger, but wonders why GabruTrya won’t activate his powers. Suddenly, our MotW of the week, the monster who killed the dinosaurs in an ice age, attacks the city with an army of Zori Soliders, some of which merge together into a giant dinosaur. As GabruTrya confronts it, he is too weak, as Torin removed the battery earlier in the episode following the fight. Daigo decides to head down to the city, and confront the MotW. Realizing that GabruTrya was just trying to protect him from the enemy, he reminds the mechanical T-Rex that he did defeat him earlier. Activating his Gabrevolver, Daigo transforms into KyoryuRed, as both confront their targets. The other Kyoryugers come onto the scene (morphed) and the team confronts the enemy. Obviously the giant weird minion dinosaur and the MotW are defeated and the day is saved. As the team reunites, Daigo suggests they introduce themselves, but the other guys would rather not, as they would prefer to keep their personal lives private (except Amy, who apparently looked like she didn’t want to.) Daigo ignores this and de-morphs, revealing his identity to the others, shocking them that the doofus from earlier is leading their team. Daigo re-introduces himself and leaves, ending this explosive episode.

Final Thoughts: While not my favorite Sentai opening episode, This one did a decent job of setting up things. We know the backstory of the world, what the conflict is, the enemy and their motivation (they wish to eliminate the dominate species on earth) and we get a little insight into each person’s personality and personal life. Daigo seems like an interesting Red Ranger, and it will be interesting to learn more about his backstory. It was a bit rushed, but I can wave it off for the first episode. Some of the other rangers will need to do a little more to stand out, but hey, it is only the first episode.

Next Week, we truly get to meet the other Kyoryugers, and finally see our giant mecha in action!

———–

That’s all for this week’s recap! For more news and reviews on all things Toku (and more) check back here regularly, as well as follow my twitter @TSilentWatcher. Feel free to comment below, as well as critique anything stupid I may have written.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week.

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