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Funny name, right?  What the heck is a Bitoh?  Your questions will be answered and your heart will be warmed by this week’s episode of Akibaranger!  The gang is hot on the trail of General Pain, and a wild goose chase through Akiba reveals not only the next Baros LOL monster of the week, but a mysterious man that very well may be General Pain out of costume!  I’m on the edge of my seat!

Click the jump for this week’s review!

Click here to discuss Akibaranger Season 2 on our forums!

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Yep!  Looks like some of the designs for the third Goraiger made it into this week’s trouble on wheels: Mutou Mushiten, a Fist Beast designed to exacting Gekiranger standards but with a crucial twist:  Mushiten can recreate the attacks of past top-tier henchmen in the sentai universe!  With a whole legacy of high class finishing moves at his disposal the team is outmatched pretty heavily at the start.  It’s here though, where we get a clear picture of General Pain’s intentions now that he’s got a grip on his delusional abilities…vlcsnap-2013-06-03-10h50m16s98

A nice and lofty goal, and worth of admiration.  General Pain is going to break all the heroes over his knee and become King supreme of the Delusion World.  And why is Malshina on ice?  Well…turns out that General Pain harbors little love for her once he realizes he doesn’t need her around, and imprisons her in an acrylic box as a “living figure.”  Brutal.  Malshina stepped on Mushiten’s toes, and apparently the General plays favorites.  Hopefully we will see Malshina’s triumphant return, but either way this was an unexpected twist as General Pain transitions from the sort of laughably benign bad guy to a top rate villain.  The dude has got no mercy.

Back in reality a tip from Luna sends the team on a mission to track down General Pain in reality.  After bouncing around and playing the Law and Order game a little they find themselves at a spa, where they each take turns tailing and attempting to identify their primary suspect without giving themselves away.  This hilarious little charade leaves the three of them totally wiped, and their suspect totally unharmed.

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A few choice clues seem to seal the deal however, and his crazy tolerance for pain is definately worth questioning further.  When it comes down to the wire the rangers prefer to leap before they look and soon they’re introduced to Okamoto Yoshinori!  Now we know where today’s title is from!  His nickname, O-Bitoh!
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Yoshinori is a legendary in-suit actor well known for playing the villain roles in classic Super Sentai shows.  Comparable to last season’s cameo from Niibori, he’s sort of the exact opposite in terms of characters he portrayed.  Still “God” status though.  O-Bitoh spends some time shooting the sh*t with the rangers and finally they put two and two together…Mushiten is only using the moves of characters portrayed by O-Bitoh.  With this crucial information in hand they set off to confront this week’s villain, and set the stage for a fantastic finishing battle in true Akibaranger style.

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This episode is better than the Niibori episode in my opinion, and watching Okamoto work with the team was really a joy.  I can’t think of a show in North America that, first of, does what Akibaranger does but secondly, spends so much time putting the people behind the scenes on a pedestal.  And without talented people like Okamoto working their hardest, our favorite childhood memories wouldn’t be so powerful this late in our lives.  Otaku are driven by passion, and this episode overflows with it towards the end.  As a special note, there’s a guest appearence by another famous suit actor, Taikawa-san!

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And he’s got his only laundry list of accomplishments as well!
vlcsnap-2013-06-03-11h00m14s114I may not have grown up watching Super Sentai, so I didn’t know the names of any of the in-suit actors.  But, if the way that Akibaranger is portraying them is at all genuine, then these guys were the “god in the details” of a show I enjoy today, a show that still exists thanks in part to their hard work.  I felt included in that celebration thanks to Akibaranger, and it makes me think of how important things like the Super Megaforce cameos are going to be to a lot of people (despite any stigma attached to the situation).  Seeing the faces that brought you great childhood memories again, alive and well, and still “with it”, is such a blast it should be experienced as often as possible.  Akibaranger balanced their quirky humorous hero story with another love letter to their fans, and it looks like next week the action is going to explode.  Looking forwards to it!

 

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