So Am I Supposed to be Afraid Now?

Posted by Demian @ 7:24 pm, October 23rd, 2007

So the Japanese Government has sent a request to the U.S. to help stop the distribution of fansubbed anime. While we’ve heard these kind of threats from companies before, never the government. Then again, since anime is the single thing Japan is bettting its future on, it is in their right to control their own copyright. I’ll just wait and see what comes of this, whether it will grow out of proportion like Odex or just die off like so many other threats of copyright enforcement. Knowing my dear government’s record on enforcing its own copyright, let’s just see how effectual they are at enforcing another country’s.

Series Review: Kamen Rider Kabuto

Posted by Demian @ 5:21 pm, October 23rd, 2007

vlcsnap-502996.jpg

Story:

Seven Years ago a meteorite hit Shibuya, bringing with it the mysterious and deadly Worm — aliens who kill humans and assume their identities. To fight them ZECT was formed and armed with the Mask Rider System, humanities greatest weapon against the Worm. Tendou Souji is the self-proclaimed ruler of all and possessor of the Kabuto Zecter, even though he is not a part of ZECT. Kagami Arata is a lower member of ZECT with a burning passion to destory all Worm after one killed his little brother. Him and Tendou form a begrudging friendship and fight together to protect the world from the Worm, along with several other friends, Riders, and unlikely allies.

vlcsnap-503973.jpg

Impressions:

If you’ve ever wanted to start watching Kamen Rider, then Kabuto is a great place to start. It’s a fun and wild ride that rarely loses pace, which is a big thing for a 49 episode series. The characters are all interesting and each have their own little quirks to set them apart and make you care for them, whether it be Kagami’s reactions, Tendou’s arrogance, or Gon’s cuteness. The story is also pretty good, but starts to fall apart by the end. A few plotholes remain, some questions are given half-assed answers, and some developments just leave you saying “what?” Fortunately the characters are still there to help things along.

vlcsnap-505995.jpg

From a cinematic viewpoint Kabuto is perfect. Several episodes can reach a quality that makes you forget you’re watching just a tv show. There’s a liberal use of CG, but hardly ever obtrusive to take away from the viewing experience (unlike, say, recent efforts by Heroes to show foreign locations). The fight scenes are all choreographed to be dynamic and exciting to watch. While not as technical as GARO’s fights, they’re a step well above Den-O’s pathetic battles. Some great finishing attacks also help things. Tendou really does become overpowered by the end of the show, but things still look very cool.

vlcsnap-514126.jpg

In the end Kabuto is still a show made for kids, so the good bit of drama is often balanced by some really wacky humor. A lot of it is kind of “wtf? Why am I laughing at this?” but it’s still amusing in its own way. Kabuto should be a definite watch for any Kamen Rider or Tokusatsu fan, or those looking to get into the genre. It’s not deep but it doesn’t have to be; it’s a fun ride straight to the end. For some long term goals I’m now either going to watch Dancougar, the original one from the eighties, or the Gaiking remake, depening on if I can find Dancougar’s torrent. I’ll also be following TV-Nihon’s rerelease of Kamen Rider 555 for my KR fix. Loving it from episode 1 already.