Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Thoughts on Akibaranger


 One show I haven't mentioned so far is Hikonin (unofficial) Sentai Akibaranger. While not being an official installment of the Sentai franchise, Akibaranger parodies the Sentai franchise. Eight episodes have aired so far (of which I've seen seven), with rumors that there will be 12 or 13 episodes total. As expected, it's wacky and crazy, but quite enjoyable.

The characters seem to be parodies of anime character sterotypes: with an otaku Sentai fanboy, an otaku cosplay girl, and a tsundere otaku girl. Nobuo is the otaku version of Gai/Gokai Silver. :P In seven episodes he's probably surpassed Gai as the craziest Sentai fanboy. While Gai is an ok character, I like Nobuo a lot more. He's pretty funny, especially when he has one of his own delusions (like being Ban's partner or his cosplay fantasy). His actor does a good job with his character. Yumeria is the cosplay otaku girl. While quite hyperactive herself, she pulls off a number of cosplay gimmicks, and fits them well. Last but not least among the Akibaranger trio is Mitsuki. She's the youngest but also the most serious of the three Akibarangers. On the outside she's a stoic Tsundere, but she also happens to be an in-the-closet otaku as well, being a fan of "Aoi-tan." All three of these characters are fun to watch, but the supporting cast manages to steal the scenes they're in.

Being a parody of Sentai, there's a lot of references to previous Sentai series. This includes many scenes either re-inacted (like DekaRed dropkicking Nobuo) or being discussed (like the dialogue exchange between Natsuki and Eiji in Boukenger episode 20). These references make Akibaranger feel like a second coming of Gokaiger, which is nice for fans who weren't ready for Gokaiger to end. Like Gokaiger, Akibaranger gets powers from previous Sentai, and the theme songs of the previous Sentai are played. I hope Gokaiger gets an episode in Akibaranger, because it would be fitting. The humor in the show is occasionally a little over the top, but still a lot of silly fun. The best example I think is pretty much all of episode three. Overall, I think Akibaranger is a delightful show. Hopefully the last handful of episodes will finish strong.