Thursday, August 2, 2012

Toku 101: Samurai × Shinkenger II

Hello and welcome to another edition of Toku 101 with me your columnist, Wheelchair21. On today's Toku 101, we'll be continuing on the topic of Samurai × Shinkenger II. Where I'll layout the summaries of episode 5 - 10 of Power Rangers Samurai then compair it to Shinkenger. Many of you who wish to read this will then either agree or disagree on my opinions compairing the two and on how I view them. So please turn away if you wish to spare yourselves now!

PRS Ep. 5: A Fish Out of Water
While having breakfast, the Rangers learn that the Swordfish Zord has been sighted off the coast as the poisonous Nighlok Yamiror appears. While the others go after Yamiror, poisoned as a result, Kevin is sent to acquire the Zord by fishing for it. But after failed attempts to catch it, Kevin receives the aid of a fisherman before being contacted by Ji and being told that the others got poisoned and the Swordfish Zord is needed to cure them. As Jayden slows Yamiror down in spite of the pain from the poison, Kevin finally manages to fish the Zord out with the fisherman's help. After curing his teammates of Yamiror's poison before they change to use the Fire Smasher's 5-Disc Swordfish Cannon mode to defeat the Nighlok, Kevin summons the Swordfish Zord to battle the enlarged mega monster before having it combine with the Samurai Megazord to form the Swordfish Fencer Megazord to destroy Yamiror. As the Rangers spent a day at the beach, a mysterious figure who witnessed the Rangers' fight with Yamiror walks off into the night.

PRS Ep. 6: There Go the Brides
Dayu and the Moogers start kidnapping brides, so the Samurai Rangers use a fake wedding to try to trap her. After she doesn't show, they make Jayden and Mia pose as another couple at a wedding, which leads to Mia being kidnapped. However, Dayu noticed the trap and also kidnaps the "real" bride, whom turns out to be Emily in a disguise. After almost sending the Rangers into an ambush, the Rangers challenge Dayu to a battle in the nearby forest and quarry. After trying to destroy her however, a new Nighlok named Deker shows up, and Jayden catches his attention. After a sinister comment, Deker and Dayu return to the Netherworld.

PRS Ep. 7: I've Got a Spell on Blue
Nighlok Madimot, shows Master Xandred that he found and possessed the Red Rangers Tiger Zord and claims it as his pet. Madimot attacks in the forest and the samurai Rangers rush towards the Nighlok. Madimot fires a blast at Mike but Kevin gets in the way and takes the blast. Kevin becomes possessed and Madimot orders him to attack the others. Kevin fights Jayden and Jayden rushes towards Madimot but he is forced to get Mike, Emily, and Mia out of there. Madimot and Kevin attack a construction site and the Rangers arrive. Deker returns to his human form and watches the fight between Kevin and Jayden with the other Rangers commenting on Jayden's abilities. during the fight, Jayden frees Kevin from Madimot's control and the 5 then attack Madimot and destroy the Nighlok. Madimot returns enlarged and summons the Tiger Zord, the Rangers get into their zords and Jayden's Lion Foldingzord battles the tiger zord and frees it. With the megazord fused with the Tiger Zord. They finish Madimot once and for all.

PRS Ep. 8: Forest for the Trees
Jayden and Ji tell the others that the Tiger Zord, the Swordfish Zord, and the Beetle Zord can combine into the Samurai Battlewing, a bird-like Megazord and they try to find a fitting pilot for each support zord. Jayden keeps the Tiger Disc, Kevin keeps the Swordfish Disc, and the Beetle Disc is given to Mia, much to the dismay of Mike. Mike starts to train harder than usual, but he thinks he can't catch up to Jayden and Kevin's progress. Then, when the Rangers face a new Nighlok named Desperaino who uses the "loss of hope", Kevin attaches his Swordfish Disc onto the Hydro Bow to try to stop it. When Mia tries to attach the Beetle Disc onto her Sky Fan, the Nighlok knocks it away, and the disc is caught by Mike. Mike attaches the Beetle Disc onto his Forest Spear, but when Kevin and Mike try to launch attacks onto the Nighlok, the Forest Spear doesn't work and the Nighlok gets away. After the battle, Ji scolds Mike for acting so foolish and jeopardizing the team's mission. Subsequently, after locating Mike at an arcade, Ji leads him to a clearing and tries to teach him about harnessing the Forest Symbol. Then, after another encounter with the Nighlok, Mike destroys it. After a final offensive on the enlarged monster by employment of the Samurai Battlewing auxiliary Zord combination, the Rangers celebrate victory. Mia allows Mike to keep the Beetle disc. Mike creates a plant for Ji to symbolize their growing "friendship".

PRS Ep. 9: Test of the Leader
Master Xandred is troubled by how much Deker knows about his past and about the Seal that brought him to his defeat centuries ago. Furious, he called upon giant and standard Moogers to attack the city destroying everything. Bulk and Spike encounter the Moogers and tried to put up a fight but end up running for life instead. Spike is rescued by the Pink Ranger and begins to develop a crush on her. The 2 female Rangers battle the standard Moogers while the male trio take on the giant Moogers in the Samurai Battlewing. Later, a new Nighlok named Robtish appears in a form of a swordsman and challenges Jayden to a duel. The other Rangers follow on and are defeated by the Nighlok's power. When the Nighlok takes aim at the Red Ranger, Deker appears, announcing that Red Ranger is his opponent. The trio then fight in a triple threat match when the Nighlok end up losing and retreating back to the Sanzu river. Deker and Jayden continue to fight but Jayden is defeated and takes a minor blow. Mike calls for Ji to bring help so that Emily and Kevin can be brought back to the Shiba house. Back at the Shiba house, Jayden secretly leaves his comrades and goes on a journey alone in order to protect them.

PRS Ep. 10: Jayden's Challenge
Jayden leaves the Shiba House to keep the other Rangers out of danger. Meanwhile, Emily and Kevin start to feel better, and they worry about Jayden. Kevin tells the group that he had an idea of combining the Samurai Battlewing with the Megazord. Back in the Sanzu River junk, Octoroo says Master Xandred won't be happy when he finds out Jayden is still alive. Robtish replies he couldn't finish Jayden off because of a half-human and Dayu (who is also half-human) thinks it is Deker. Xandred awakens, angered by the fact Deker is helping the Rangers and sends his Moogers to fight Deker. This leads him into getting into a fight with Deker himself. Jayden wanders around the city at night and the next day, he finds a boy crying because he misses his father, who is currently at work. Jayden says he misses his father, who is presumed dead. Jayden creates a paper airplane for the boy like his father did with him, and soon, the other children playing around make airplanes as well. Jayden says in his mind it should always be monster-free, until Robtish and some more Moogers arrive. He fights them, and is soon helped out by the other Rangers. Jayden now believes he needs his team to succeed and when Robtish grows bigger, they destroy him with Kevin's new idea for the Battlewing Megazord.

Now it's time for us to once again have Samurai × Shinkenger, where they'll clash for supremacy. Anyways let's get this show on the road!

Well to start off this week, in these 6 Episodes of Samurai some of the plots change during its adaptation from the Shinkenger storyline. First of all in episode 5 a 'Fish Out of Water' the mysterious fisherman Kevin meets is just some random fisherman, instead of being a Shiba Clan Kuroko. The reason behind this is, unlike in last week's segment I had forgot to mention the removal of the Kuroko for its American adaptation, so to address it now. The Kuroko are mysterious nameless shadow guards that did several of the severant like work for the Shiba Clan. In Samurai they were removed most likely for the fact they barely had characters for just doing background work for the Shiba Clan, and the fact is their attire would just completely stand out in a modern american outlook on things, since they say the Nighlok used to attack Japan and now they're attack the US West Coast. Ironically thou since the Shiba Clan is supposed to have its own servants or so, they'd have guys dresses as Secret Service to be modern Kurokos rather than just relocating to Chinatown.

The next changes occur in 'There Go the Brides' one is a minor change due to probably the whole crossdressing issue that occured in the original Sentai footage. In the original footage Ryunosuke was actually the second Bride captured in the Rangers sting operation to rescue all the captured brides. Where in American instead of Kevin to put on the dress they got the beautifully cute Emily to take that spot. It's not a huge issue to complain about seeing Kevin's actor doesn't seem to know how to be funny or act, but that's an entire ongoing issue with that guy!

The final change is a huge game changer that has become an entire new possible plotline for the American adaptation completely all centered around Juzo now called Deker. Deker is played by Ranger Alumni Rick Medina (Wild Force Red: Cole Evans) who seems to actually do better in this role wielding Uramasa. Now what I'm about to say is major Spoiler Alert for those who've avoided Samurai nor watched Shinkenger completely, so don't get mad at me! In Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, Juzo was only similar lost soul that Dayu found as her only companion where in Samurai they're comfirmed to be married by the early 20s. So just by knowing the plot change by hints in the show from 'There Go the Brides' and up, it's easy to notice the whole change in the second half of the series which is Super Samurai. Just those plot changes will have to wait for now...

As for these changes, the show begins to lag for the fact the American Actors don't seem to know how to act and it's just like they're reading off cards. The other thing is the horrible voices for several of the 'Nighlok' they somewhat just don't seem to fit the suits. Then you have these odd 'Bulk & Spike' segments; yea I said Bulk and Spike(Son of Skull, but more annoying and very hated); Anyways these segments seem to hurt the series too as their connection to the actual plot is minimal, they barely interact with the cast and just go on about trying to be samurais. This actually annoys me, while some of its comedic parts actually work when Bulk tries to get him and Spike to fight the Nighlok or just seemingly miss their chances to actually do something important.

My final thoughts thou are these still seem to stay close to the original Shinkenger plot for now with its minor changes neccessary for the adaptation. The voices like I said before still don't fit at times for the 'Nighlok' of the Episode, and the Rangers' acting/characters get worse. As their characters got worse people began to hate the show fast and stopped watching it, just cause either they believe themselves to be Shinkenger/Sentai purests or the fact the Rangers just suck. I for one think being a 'Sentai' purest is just bull, it's like saying you're almost a weeaboo or in kinder terms a radical Otaku. I mean just take what's giving to me as Power Rangers and just deal with it, cause seriously since Disney had Power Rangers we had some give and take seasons. Ninja Storm, Dino Thunder, and Mystic Force, were seasons I liked completely; SPD and Jungle Fury were mixed, while Operation Overdrive and RPM are my most hated. Now openly stating that I hated RPM is a whole different story, so to stay on track like I said with Disney it was very mixed. However during Saban's original run alot of the series were great with no issues until I look back at them, so to comeback after 7 years I wasn't expecting a homerun on a series or one so early in the episode airrings.

Just I feel like if any hate should have been appearing towards the show it should appear in these radius of episodes, cause my god I only truly enjoyed 3 of these 6 episodes(6, 7, 9). The reason for liking those selected episodes are because Deker had involvment that quickly explained and defined him as a character. Personally Deker is one of my favorite characters in Samurai, and is honestly one of the only real reasons I continue to watch the show when I'm not eyeballin' Emily or Mia. This season has alot of issues but can be over looked easily understanding Power Rangers is for kids, when Sentai is like generally a family show meant for all ages. Then understanding this explains why teenagers or grown adults quickly turn away from Power Rangers or go in search of this 'Mythical' series known as Super Sentai. As for now this has been Toku 101: Samurai × Shinkenger II and we'll see you next time!

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