Hikounin Sentai Akibaranger (非公認戦隊アキバレンジャー)
TV Asahi/Tokyo MX/Toei Company, 2012
Like Saban would actually use this series for Power Rangers...
Directed by Ryuta Tasaki (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Kamen Rider 555) and Nobuhiro Suzumura (Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, Kamen Rider Ryuki)
Written by Naruhisa Arakawa (Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, Steel Angel Kurumi) and Junko Komura (Engine Sentai Go-onger, Tensou Sentai Goseiger)
Music by Kenji Kawai (Mobile Police Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell)
Running Time: 25 minutes per episode
Not Rated (Suggested TV-14). Contains sci-fi violence, partial nudity and mild language.
"Jumoso!" ("Grand Delusion!")
Masato Wada (Kintaro in The Prince of Tennis live-action film) as Nobuo Akagi/Akiba Red
Kyoko Hinami as Mitsuki Aoyagi/Akiba Blue
Karin Ogino as Yumeria Moegi/Akiba Yellow
Maaya Uchida as Hiroyo Hakase
Kozue Aikawa (of the dance group Danceroid) as Kozkoz Mita
Kazuki Yao (Judau in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Shogo in Megazone 23 I-II) as Takehiro Tsuzuki/Doctor Z
Honoka (former AV Idol) as ©Na (pronounced "Maru-C Na")
Hiroaki Hirata (Kaburagi/Wild Tiger in Tiger & Bunny, Machalcon in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger) as Delu Knight (voice)
Miiko Morita as Sayaka Honiden
Shinpei Takagi (Fake Retsu in Jyuken Sentai Gekiranger) as Takuma Tsuzuki
"Itasa wa Tsuyosa! Hikounin Sentai Akibaranger!"
("Pain Is Power! Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger!")
Episode 1: "Pain Is Power!" (痛さは強さ)
Nobuo Akagi is a 29-year-old delivery man who fantasizes about being a Super Sentai hero and has a strong affection for anime girl Z-Cune Aoi. Then one day, he, female martial artist Mitsuki Aoyagi and cosplayer Yumeria Moegi are recruited by Sentai cafe owner Hiroyo Hakase to protect Akihabara as the Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger - despite the fact that it's all nothing but a grand delusion.
The 35th anniversary of Super Sentai may be over, but the tributes continue with this parody series. Hikounin Sentai Akibaranger is what you get when you mix Super Sentai with Akiba@DEEP: Basically a bunch of fanboys running the show.
In contrast to the seriousness of the current series Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, Akibaranger is all slapstick comedy, with characters occasionally breaking the fourth wall and addressing key elements of Super Sentai such as common filming locations and the stereotypical tactics of the villains. If you thought Gai Ikari of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger was a hardcore Super Sentai fanboy, Nobuo Akagi is much worse, as he cosplays (poorly) as Deka Red during work and attempts to fork over his salary for a well-preserved DX Great Five toy (from 1986's Hikari Sentai Maskman). Worse is that he goes completely moe over an anime girl whenever he sees pictures of her. Joining him are Mitsuki Aoyagi - a martial artist who doesn't see the point in Super Sentai poses, and Yumeria Aoyagi - an office lady who's into cosplaying. Oh yeah, the main female villain is smoking hot.
As for the suits, they're as fanboyish as you'd imagine, blending elements of past and present Super Sentai suit designs. The henshin method is wacky yet original, as it involves the use of an Aoi doll that transforms into a gun. Of course, being an "unofficial" Super Sentai title, the production value is lower; nevertheless, it's a lot more fun to watch than Go-Busters. And it even has a theme song by Haruko Momoi (Nurse Witch Komugi-chan) to boot.
The Akibarangers don't have a giant robot, but in next week's episode, we'll be introduced to Machine Itashar, an itasha Toyota Prius that transforms into a robot. Can't wait to see that in action.
In short, Hikounin Sentai Akibaranger succeeds where Go-Busters fails at keeping old-school Super Sentai fans entertained while poking fun at their fandom and the otaku culture of Akihabara.
Next time, on Hikounin Sentai Akibaranger:
Episode 2: "The Bizarrely-Decorated Vehicle's Activation Unleashes a Red Delusionary Full Blast" (再起する痛魂が喚ぶ赤き妄想のフルブラスト)
Featuring a guest appearance by Deka Red!
Good boys and girls shouldn't watch.
Official Hikounin Sentai Akibaranger Homepage
Tamashii Nation's Official Hikounin Sentai Akibaranger Homepage
Edited by areaseven, 03 August 2012 - 10:33 PM.