Sunday, August 9, 2015

My Thoughts on the Taisen Saga

Since it is looking like the Taisen films are going to become a yearly thing, I feel this would be the best time to write something like this. These movies overall are infamous in the tokusatsu fandom. Anyway, here go my thoughts on the Super Hero Taisen films I've seen so far.

Super Hero Taisen:
This is the first film in the saga and overall, it makes no sense. Its purely made for the sake of fan service. The basic overview of this film is that the Sentai and Riders are fighting to the death due to the belief that only one can exist. Marvelous controls Dai Zangyack which is composed of all the Sentai villains while Decade controls Dai Shocker which is made of all the Rider villains. However the battle was only a ruse to bring both Sentai and Riders together since they figured that the two villain factions were planning something together. That is by far one of the worst plans for these types of films. Its premise fall apart due to one massive hole in the plot: If Marvelous and Decade are able to find both Sentai members and Riders so easily then it shouldn't be that hard to clue everyone in that something big is about to go down. They did not need to fight each other just to get everyone in one place. Marvelous and Decade are also extremely out of character in this movie. The final battle is just a mess with the camera not focusing on a shot long enough to process what happened. I seriously had to rewatch the same shot multiple times just to figure out what was going on. It was one of most cluttered fight scenes I've ever seen.

Superhero Taisen Z:
This is the second film in the saga and it is slightly better than the first one. The cast is significantly slimmed down so there is less to focus on. My biggest problem with this film is that the Space Sheriffs automatically assume Wizard and Beast were responsible for magical anomalies with no mention of even questioning the Magirangers or consulting with them. Instead, they just blamed the new guys. With that being said, the movie doesn't rely on some plan pulled out at the last second to fool the enemy. The final fight scene is less cluttered due to the shrunken cast so the camera can actually focus on a shot long enough for use to see what is going on to some degree. Overall the film suffers from the same problems as the first film with the heroes fighting for stupid reasons and ignoring other options that make more sense use. Out of the three I've seen, this one is slightly more passable than the other two.

Kamen Rider Taisen:
This is by far the worst film in the saga and it is the one I have the most problems with.The overall plot of the movie is that Kouta saves a kid who has the power to invert things, including life and death. This allows the villains to start their plan and the Showa riders show up to fight the Heisei riders for absolutely no reason instead of just teaming right away to fight the villains. The kid is a major plot point yet it focuses so much on the riders slugging it out that you forget he is even there once his scenes are over. Takumi gets some major focus in the movie and it really doesn't help my opinion of Faiz one bit. They completely retcon a major event in Faiz just so Takumi can feel bad that Kusaka of all people died. That makes absolutely no sense given what happened in the series especially since Kusaka reveals later in the movie that he was still the same in regards to personality as he was in Faiz. It would've made more sense if Takumi was moping about Kiba's death in Faiz since Kiba died restraining the big bad so Takumi could get off a point-blank ultimate form rider kick. I'm not even a fan of Faiz and I felt insulted. Even Fourze isn't in character. He is ready to kill from the get-go in the movie. His first response isn't going to be lethal force when another rider attacks him.

The Showa Riders are written so far out of character in this film that its not even funny (I'll go more into detail in a bit). Now, the whole fight to the death concept is once again a ruse to bring the riders together which doesn't make much sense because all the riders know who everyone else is and where they are. The movie expects us to believe that a fight to the death was the smartest option to bring them all together as opposed to you know, calling every rider up and bringing them together in one place without trying to kill each other. To top it all off, the Showa Riders reveal that they were indeed serious when they mentioned their dislike for the Heisei Riders. Their entire reason for fighting the Heisei riders is because "They're too human" and that they care too much about their dead friends and family. The entire point of most of the Showa riders is that they are fighting because they are still human despite what happened to them and that they're fighting so it doesn't happen to anyone else. The Showa riders' reasoning makes even less sense given that it was V3 and Black of all people that told them that. This movie feels like the writer effectively back-handed the entire Showa Era. The only scene I liked in the entire movie is when X slugs Takumi for even considering listening to Kusaka's ghost.

Final thoughts: These films are nothing more than fan service targeted toward those fans who focus on who can beat up who. The annoying part about is that these movies are using the AU setting as the only reason for why these movies are possible. Yes, an AU setting is an alright way to experiment with existing characters but its being used in these movies to make the heroes not think and as a result, they aren't acting like heroes. When I watch movies like this, I expect to see heroes acting like heroes and not fighting amongst themselves for ridiculous reasons while the world is in danger. The greater threat should take priority. At some point, someone at Toei needs to step in and tell Yonemura and Shirakura what they can and can't do with these characters. They are effectively insulting both the legacies of the characters involved and the people who produced the shows. However, that probably won't happen because these movies practically print money for Toei.

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