Niko (Level 8)

Back from recording over three hours of @CineGeek webcasts. Now to get to @MTAC work... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Kamen Rider Dragon Knight just aired a preview episode on CW's CW4kids block. It won't start airing regularly until January 3, where it'll reair the first episode and go on from there. For a first episode, it did a good job keeping me attached. It didn't go into plot much. That'll likely be explained more in the second and third episodes. The first one was good at hooking people with the action and wonder of what's going on.

Has basicially three fight scenes: one at the beginning, one with grunts, and then one with an episode monster. The action in the fights were well done, both in and out of costume. I couldn't tell if the main actor Stephen Lunsford, who plays Kit, was using a stunt double, but Wing Knight's actor Matt Mullins seems to have the martial arts skills to back up his acting. That's something I miss about Power Rangers. 

The theme song is decent. Not grating to the ears like some others I know (looking at you, Operation Overdrive). The intro does show all of the riders, which I thought was odd since I guess they would be slowly introduced throughout the series.

Dragon Knight is the American adaptation of Kamen Rider Ryuki and is produced by Adness Entertainment. Not having seen Ryuki, I can't judge it as a comparison. However, I think it does well on its own in the American toku market, hopefully giving Power Rangers some much needed competition.
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Thanks to R5Central's twitter, I found some press conference footage of Kamen Rider Decade. The part with all those past riders running and riding has me pretty hyped, especially since there are not just main but also supporting Riders like Gatack and TheBee. Check it out for yourself.

Also, Gackt is doing the theme, so it seems.
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In my last post, I asked what to blog about. Devilly suggested toku stuff, so I figured I'd give it a try. First off, GARO.

Go watch this!
Go watch this!
Go watch this show now. It takes toku henshin heroes (superheroes that transform into their costumes) to a whole new level.

GARO is about Kouga Saejima, the Makai Knight known as GARO who is tasked with defending humanity from the demonic creatures called Horrors. Kouga inherited the title and role from his father.  With his talking ring Zaruba and the family butler Gonza, the stern and no-nonsense Kouga uses his sharply-trained abilities and his golden armor to rid the world of horrors. Then he hits a little bump in the road when he meets the artist Kaoruin the first episode during a fight with a Horror. As time goes on, he runs into another Makai Knight of a different area who isn't too fond of the Golden Fang GARO. Stuff goes down. Plenty of fighting. Lots of shiney. It's only 25 episodes and two hour-long specials.

So why should you watch it? Simply put, because this isn't your childhood Power Rangers. This show was marketed towards older teens and adults, and it shows. The writing and plot direction is darker and more mature. Plenty of graphic violence, and some occasional nudity. There's death on an episodic basis. Actual death with actual feelings afterward. The fights are well-done with killer intent, both in and out of the armor. The armor is very intricate and detailed, not like the spandex sentai suits you're used to. The suit CGI in some fights may become an eyesore to some, but it should be fine overall.

Kouga's the one in the middle
Kouga's the one in the middle
And look at Kouga Saejime. He's serious. He's rich. He wears an elaborate white cote. He's a freaken live-action Seto Kaiba.

Plus, there's an opening by JAM Project. If that doesn't make you want to check it out, then there's no hope.

If you have the spare time to check out some episodes of the series.
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I never expected this place to get so big so fast. Maybe I missed all the AnimeVice promotional material outside of Gia's blog, Japanator's Podtoid-san and IRC. The encyclopedic element of the site is really expansive. I like the idea of grouping everything by franchises. I've been spending most of my time in the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise, in part because I'm a gundam fan boy and in another part because it's easy. There's just so much possible content that it's hard to go out and fill it all.

The forums are a whole other issue. The top poster already has over 800 posts. This site's only been live for maybe three of four days. That's a lot of posting. The forums here are downright intimidating. Lots of RP threads, which aren't my area. Still, people seem to be enjoying themselves, and that's the important part.

And now for this blog. I haven't decided what to blog about here. I guess anime-related stuff would be a no-brainer, but that's still fairly broad of a topic. I have wanted a place to talk about anime clubs, although I always feel like I'm not as experienced in that area as I should be if talking about the subject (technically only having been in two and talked to a bunch of others). A common worry that I have with the wiki pages: that I'm not really knowledgeable enough to talk about whatever subject is at hand. Plus, there's the general belief I hear a lot that anime clubs are dead or almost there.

So, what few readers I have, what should I blog about?
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I'll say the Gundam franchise. I particularly like the main UC story, the whole MSG/Z/ZZ/CCA saga. There's also plenty of cool side stories like 08th MS Team and 0080. Then there are all the alternate universe gundams for more variety. People can usually find at least one Gundam series that appeals to them, unless they absolutely detest giant robots. Then there's just no helping them.
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