After long wait and numerous blog posts here we have the online stream of the first episode of Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger. Nobuo Akagi is a super sentai fan and dreams of becoming one. He encounters Mizuki(AkibaBlue) and later on cosplayer Moegi (AkibaYellow). They were all sent to the Sentai Cafe - a coffee shop (well more like a toy hobby shop to me) to meet Hiroya Hakase, creator of MMZ-01.
MMZ-01 transforms our heroes to Akibarangers. It seems when transformed to Rangers they are sent to a different dimension (mostly in areas where Toei films Kamen Riders and Super Sentai shows) to formally train themselves for battle. Only Nobuo Akagi understands how a super task force works, still clueless from what he needs to do as a red ranger.
This toku-inspired TV series has more super sentai references than of Anime despite initial blog reports. Nobuo shares his knowledge of the genre and his fandom can be compared to Gokaiger's Ikari Gai (just like what Gideon mentioned in one of my posts). As of the moment only the MMZ-01 is the first anime reference and we have yet to see how anime and the tokusatsu world would blend together in one show.
Despite warnings that this is show is not for kids, the show showcases light comedy with a balance of toei-inspired action sequences. Just think of it as Ikari Gai has his own show and he is the red ranger than GokaiSilver - very quirky. Speaking of fighting sequences, all of the filming stages are familiar. For example the quarry where the team first attempted the first roll call and sentai pose is from many toku-related areas. I could recall the first sequence of the 199 hero battle (after the war) and Geki Ranger vs Go-onger movie. Their first henshin sequence was from Kamen Rider Decade (my own recall). But I bet these places were used in different series.
Sentai Cafe is every single tokusatsu fans' wet dream. Surrounded by old super sentai mecha and DX sets but despite that looks empty. I don't even understand if this is a cafe or a toy store.
Some characters that were introduced didn't established their roles quite strongly and we hope to be acquainted with them more. A good example is the Sayaka and Kozue. Yes, we have been introduced and the show have let us know where and how they work, but this is not enough and unappealing.
Overall, Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger is represents a new flavour to the Super Sentai Genre, staying light but sexy at the same time. There are lot of takes that breaks Toei's formula and cliches such as them waiting for a big monster as most Super Sentai show predictably tell - took them team the whole day to wait for that moment but failed. For those who haven't let go of Toei's 35th anniversary, Akibarangers maybe your answer - but it also maybe too much for those who were already satisfied with Gokaiger's super sentai recalls.
For the next episode Ban will reprise(?) his role as DekaRed. Is he really showing as DekaRed or just a spoof? Are we going to see other Super Sentai heroes joining the slew of guest actors? Also their robo Itarashi will also makes its first appearance. subbed by Overtime.