Funny name, right? Â What the heck is a Bitoh? Â Your questions will be answered and your heart will be warmed by this week’s episode of Akibaranger! Â 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! Â I’m on the edge of my seat!
Click the jump for this week’s review!
Yep! Â 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: Â Mushiten can recreate the attacks of past top-tier henchmen in the sentai universe! Â With a whole legacy of high class finishing moves at his disposal the team is outmatched pretty heavily at the start. Â 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…
A nice and lofty goal, and worth of admiration. Â General Pain is going to break all the heroes over his knee and become King supreme of the Delusion World. Â And why is Malshina on ice? Â 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.” Â Brutal. Â Malshina stepped on Mushiten’s toes, and apparently the General plays favorites. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â This hilarious little charade leaves the three of them totally wiped, and their suspect totally unharmed.
A few choice clues seem to seal the deal however, and his crazy tolerance for pain is definately worth questioning further. Â When it comes down to the wire the rangers prefer to leap before they look and soon they’re introduced to Okamoto Yoshinori! Â Now we know where today’s title is from! Â His nickname, O-Bitoh!
Yoshinori is a legendary in-suit actor well known for playing the villain roles in classic Super Sentai shows. Â Comparable to last season’s cameo from Niibori, he’s sort of the exact opposite in terms of characters he portrayed. Â Still “God” status though. Â 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. Â 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.
This episode is better than the Niibori episode in my opinion, and watching Okamoto work with the team was really a joy. Â 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. Â And without talented people like Okamoto working their hardest, our favorite childhood memories wouldn’t be so powerful this late in our lives. Â Otaku are driven by passion, and this episode overflows with it towards the end. Â As a special note, there’s a guest appearence by another famous suit actor, Taikawa-san!
And he’s got his only laundry list of accomplishments as well!
I may not have grown up watching Super Sentai, so I didn’t know the names of any of the in-suit actors. Â 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. Â 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). Â 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. Â 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. Â Looking forwards to it!