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    March 10, 2012

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    One of the great things about Kuuga is that the fights aren't nearly as reliant on CG and spamming special powers and shit as the later series. The fights look like two guys got in rubber suits and then just started beating the shit out of each other until one of them blows up. It's beautiful.

    It's sort of weird seeing a review for a tokusatsu show like this as I don't think I've ever read one before. You're spot on though.

    Kuuga's been my favorite Rider show since I've finished it and as far as world building and the monsters actually having an effect on the population goes, Kuuga's absolute tops. I think there's a good amount of payoff in that regard too; you were pretty regularly meeting characters that were normal people and had been harmed or devastated by the loss of their family or friends at the hands of the Grongi. It was refreshing.

    I also liked Yuusuke's character in contrast to a lot of Kamen Rider leads. In addition to being a laid back and good natured guy, I always got the impression that being a Kamen Rider wasn't something he'd want to do forever. Like it's just a role he was thrust into and he fought the Grongi simply because he's the only person who could. You could sort of say the same thing about a lot of Riders, but I dunno, the guy just doesn't seem as into the whole thing as dudes like TAKESHI HONGO and KOTARO MINAMI or even the later Heisei leads. This was the first time I actually bought the main character's reluctance, I guess. At the end of the show, once he'd finished off Daguva Zeba he just never had a need for that super hero act ever again. I'm perfectly all right with the movie never being made.

    I'm glad you're watching Garo next too. That show's got some really fantastic stand alone episodes, and if you haven't seen them already, I'd suggest checking out Kamen Rider ZO and Mechanical Violator Hakaider. Both of those movies are ridiculously fun, have pretty damn awesome practical effects (well, aside from a few slip ups, like a shot in ZO where it looks like they just threw an empty monster costume off the side of a building), spectacular costumes and are directed by the guy who created Garo.

    Come to think of it, he's also the guy responsible for Zeiram, but I've never seen the live action movie or the OVA so I have no idea how those are.

    vul: I feel like I overlooked the obvious with that part, yeah. The fights are all great. I never felt like they didn't pay one off or fast-forwarded through a conflict by just blowing up the monster.

    Just seconding that Hakaider recommendation. I can't say I'm any kind of connoisseur of these shows, but I can say that Hakaider is a good time.

    I think they intended to pick up the plot threads in the next series, Kamen Rider Agito (which is my favorite "serious" Rider show and owns like crazy), except then... uh, they forgot? Things kind of wandered off into their own plot and all the continuity threads were never heard from again.

    Oh well!

    Agito doesn't pick up completely on the threads left by Kuuga because the Kuuga team went to the Agito team and said "please, just leave our story alone," if I remember right. This is why Agito drops the Kuuga ties around ep. 13 or so. :O

    A little warning about Garo: the fight scenes are amazing, yeah. The story is, insofar as I have seen, idiotic. Every episode that I saw was, without fail: "Stupid girl gets into trouble in a way that is convenient for the monster of the week, Kouga kicks monster's ass." Not sure if Makaisenki's improved on that formula.

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