Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Movie 26, 27, & 28 Reviews: Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider The Movie: Cho Den-O Trilogy

A Trilogy of movies in released in quick succession deserves a Review in the same way.

So after the jump, prepare for a Triple Review

"Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider x Kamen Rider The Movie: Cho Den-O Trilogy" was three 2010 movies all released in succession within a 6 week period. The idea of the Trilogy was to have the most popular Heisei (1989-Now) Kamen Rider, Kamen Rider Den-O, be the Co-Star with a Guest Kamen Rider who would be in the Leading Role. Each movie had a different Guest Lead and a colored name of that movie that would correspond with that Guest Rider.

All movies have the following live actors. Takuya Mizoguchi ("Sukiyaki Western Django", TV Drama "Tenchijin", & TV Drama "Pencil Color of Life") as Teen Ryotaro Nogami/Kamen Rider Den-O, Tamaki Matsumoto (Japanese Dub of "Up", TV Tokusatsu "Ultraman Mebius", "Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2") as Kohana, & Wakana Matsumoto ("My Girlfriend's a Geek" & "Kamen Rider Den-O" Franchise) as Airi Nogami.

It's supporting cast includes Rina Akiyama ("Kamen Rider Agito" Franchise, "Kamen Rider Den-O" Franchise, "Gothic & Lolita Psycho") as Naomi, Akira Nagata ("Kamen Rider Den-O" Franchise, "Lovely Complex", & "Route 58") as Seigi Ozaki, Ryo Ueno ("Kamen Rider Den-O" Franchise, "Dear Friends", & Musical "Saiyuki Opera Story -Go to the West- ")as Issē Miura, & Kenjirō Ishimaru ("Kamen Rider Den-O" Franchise, "Ring 2", & Travel TV Show "From the Taiwan High Speed Rail") as Owner and The Station Master.

The Suit Acting Cast for all movies include: Seiji Takaiwa (Every Main Kamen Rider from Agito till OOO, except for Hibiki)as Kamen Rider Den-O & Momotaros, Makoto Itō as Kamen Rider Zeronos/Kamen Rider New Den-O/Kamen Rider Orga, Eitoku as Kamen Rider Diend & Urataros, Norihito Itō as Kamen Rider G Den-O/Piggies Imagin/Anthopper Imagin (Ari)/Spider Imagin, Jirō Okamoto as Kintaros & Kamen Rider Caucasus, Toshihiro Ogura as Ryutaros, Yoshifumi Oshikawa & Yugo Fujii as Deneb, Naoki Nagase as Sieg & Kamen Rider Glaive, Shinichi Kaneda as Teddy, Hirofumi Fukuzawa as Kamen Rider Kabuki, Riichi Seike as Kamen Rider Skull, & Satoshi Fujita as Mantis Imagin

The Voice Cast for all movies include: Toshihiko Seki ("Doctor Who", "Batman Begins", "Saint Seiya") as Momotaros, Kōji Yusa ("Boy Meets World", "Sonic X", "Case Closed") as Urataros, Masaki Terasoma ("Kamen Rider Black", "Naruto", "Inuyasha") as Kintaros, Kenichi Suzumura ("Final Fantasy VII Advent Children", "Macross 7", "Kingdom Hearts") as Ryutaros, Hōchū Ōtsuka ("Gekisou Sentai Carranger", "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind", "Fist of the North Star") as Deneb, Kazuya Nakai ("Final Fantasy X") Kōsuke Toriumi ("The Prince of Tennis") & Tetsuya Kakihara ("Princess Princess") as Piggies Imagin, Shin-ichiro Miki ("Bleach") as Sieg, Daisuke Ono ("The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya") as Teddy, Michie Tomizawa ("Sailor Moon") as Mantis Imagin, Hiroki Takahashi ("The Prince of Tennis") as Eve, Mark Okita ("Chouseishin Gransazer") as Diendriver Voice & K-Touch Voice

First up is "Episode Red: Zero no Star Twinkle" with the lead, Kamen Rider Zeronos (The joke of the name by the by, "Zero no Star" = "Zeronos").

"Episode Red: Zero no Star Twinkle" is an Action/Romance Movie and was directed by Osamu Kaneda ("Juuko B-Fighter The Movie", "Farewell, Kamen Rider Den-O: Final Countdown", "All Riders vs DaiShocker") and stars Yuichi Nakamura ("Kamen Rider Den-O" Franchise, TV Show "Kamen Rider Hibiki", & "Wangan Midnight The Movie") as Yuuto Sakurai/Kamen Rider Zeronos & Hideo Nakaizumi ("City of Life and Death" "HEY JAPANESE! Do you believe PEACE, LOVE and UNDERSTANDING? Year 2008" & "United Red Army") as Hiroshi Kikuchi.

The story is mainly a final chapter for the Zeronos story. With it's backstory explained in the first few minutes of the movie, it's backstory comes from the television version of "Kamen Rider Den-O". Zeronos' story is about Yuuto Sakurai who was married to Airi Nogami but was forced to go back in time and force himself to disappear from time to save their daughter Hana (who became Kohana after that time distortion started to take effect). To keep Kohana safe and alive he brought his past self to take his place in the present. Past Sakurai is trying his best to take the place of his future self, but is apprehensive of trying to be in a relationship with his supposed future wife.

"Episode Red" is a mainly a test on the love of Yuuto & Airi as a mysterious Imajin is trying to break them apart. And thr movie does a good job telling that story. The "milk Dipper" Coffee Shop scene with Yuuto & Airi is particularly fantastic and shows Wakana Matsumoto's acting range. And while this is an Action/Romance, they still do some comedy bits with one particular bit with Momotaros and how he gets back together with the group is hilarious.

It's quite a nice and calming movie despite it being an action film.

Now we head into "Episode Blue: The Dispatched Imajin is NEWtral" (The joke being "NEWtral" & "NEW Den-O")

"Episode Blue: The Dispatched Imajin is NEWtral" is an Action/Drama and was Directed by Kenzō Maihara (TV Tokusatsu "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon", TV Tokusatsu "Tomica Hero Rescue Fire" "Get It On?") and stars Dori Sakurada ("Farewell, Kamen Rider Den-O: Final Countdown", "The Prince of Tennis" Musicals, & "BECK") as Kotaro Nogami/Kamen Rider NEW Den-O, Yuko Takayama ("Hana no Asuka-gumi!", "Girl Story", "Sky - RESCUE WINGS-Wing of Salvation") as Miku Uehara, & Reiko Kusamura ("The Twilight Samurai", "Shizukanaru Don - Yakuza Side Story", "Shall We Dance?" (1996)) as Sanae Uehara.

"Episode Blue" is a movie that expands and explores the relationship between two couples, Kotaro and his friendship with Teddy as well as Miku & her Grandmother Sanae. It explores how important we as people are to others and does a fun job of doing it. It also expands the character of Kotaro who, so far, is a Movie Only character (save for a cameo in "Kamen Rider Decade"). It's a fun romp with a less than usual villain as far as Toku goes.

Overall it's a good "Buddy Film" without being a "Buddy Film", if that makes any sense.

Finally we have "Episode Yellow: Treasure DiEnd Pirates" (Treasure and Pirates with "DiEnd" as "and")

"Episode Yellow: Treasure DiEnd Pirates" is an Action/Kinda-Thriller and was Directed by Takayuki Shibasaki (TV Tokusatsu "Kamen Rider OOO", "Come Back! Samurai Sentai Shinkenger", various Kamen Rider shorts) in his first Major Motion Picture Directorial Debut. It stars Kimito Totani ("Sanjuro", "Orion Midsummer", "Gokusen") as Daiki Kaito/Kamen Rider DiEnd, Yūta Furukawa ("The Prince of Tennis" Musicals, "My Girlfriend's a Geek", "BECK") as Reiji Kurosaki, & Urara Awata ("Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms", "A Cheerful Gang Turns the Earth", "Byakuyako") as Sayuri Mizushima.

"Episode Yellow" is about the lovable thief Daiki as he's on the run from the Time Police for stealing an item from another time period. He runs into the Den-O gang and ends up causing them to be in trouble with the Time Police as well. With a villain that is very reminiscent of a certain Villain in a game about dimension warping or the current WWE RAW General Manager. It throws in the "Thriller" genre as you are not sure exactly what is gonna happen until it actually happens, and what a twist it is.

Overall it's a singular story that could have fit anywhere in "Kamen Rider Decade" (Which is where DiEnd comes from) but is still fun to watch.

Overall of the Trilogy though it's an interesting experiment, and apparently worked well as all three Movies were #1 in sales upon their release. The "Cho Den-O" series (With 4 movies now), it'll be interesting where they go from here.

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