Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Shuriken Sentai Ninninger Summer Movie

Welcome to the new year, everyone. I've been doing my best to stay busy. Putting together home improvement ideas. Deciding on which jobs to apply too, appropriate given how much I dread work tomorrow. I even made my first visit to Ikea. A worthwhile experience with one important note. If anyone talks you into dining within the eatery don't expect actual human proportions for your meal. Swear I've had snack packs with more substance. Guess they don't wanna weigh you down so much that you loose the energy to cavort through miles of furniture.
In case you're wondering, I did buy a few items. A milk frother and some sparkling juice. Not exactly the reason one shops at Ikea, I know. Still, I am considering a bully bookcase to help tame the Horror collection, currently standing at 767 by the way. Not bad for a guy who gets paid in peanuts.

So what do I have in store for you guys to kick off the this fresh year? Last Summer's Sentai movie actually. Alright, it's nothing all that special but I've been something of a blogging deadhead this past week. Not to mention I'm sequestering one topic for an application article for another site. Fingers crossed on that. Life updates outta the way, let's check in with cinematic ninja antics of seasons past.

A little historical perspective first. Some of you may remember the group of episodes where the team battled western monster like Frankenstein & Dracula. This movie takes place within that portion of the series, I believe right before the mid-series clip show. None of that matters a great deal as like most Sentai Summer movies interaction with the primary storyline is minimal at best. Also of interest to those who've never encountered one of these flicks. They are nowhere near feature length, running more along the lines of 28 minutes. Playing alongside a similar Kamen Rider feature is how these franchises get your butt to the theater when it's not one of the full-length team-up or Superhero Taison films.

The action gets off to a running start as the kids are assigned some Summer homework. The ninja village of Shinobigakutre is under siege by the Kibaoni general Yumihari who since you've never heard of him before I bet you can guess his ultimate fate. The team has a two-part mission: save the lord of the village and restore love & peace. Part one goes off rather swimmingly until they realize this lord is a dinosaur.

Turns out the position of village lord has held a curse for quite some time which makes one wonder why any fool would take on the job. The curse states that whomever holds the position will experience fear, anxiety, etc before transforming into a wicked dragon that will bring great calamity. Yumihari also holds an odd obsession for this dragon but we'll come back to that later. The sad story of this particular lord is that he cared so much for his town that he neglected his family causing his wife to run away. Cue shame spiral and one nasty skin condition.

Most of the team is dispatched to continue fighting for the town. Meanwhile, Takaharu is tasked with serving the lords every whim. That all changes pretty quickly when most of the crew disappears in a large explosion. Taka decides to lend a hand which can only mean action, tons of it. That's really the primary draw of these short movies. A higher budget allows for all sorts of unique additions to ninja fights and sure enough the whole team regroups and unleashes a rainbow of ass-kickery. It's some of the best fighting this series has ever offered, which is pretty important when you consider it takes up around 70% of the run time.

Just when it seems the day is won, Yumihari shows off his trump card. A magical shield that can only be destroyed by the wicked dragons power. Can ya guess what happens next? I'll give you a hint. The dinosaur lord appears, having been inspired by Takaharu to do what he wants in life, which is currently to protect the villagers. This was apparently the point of the teams Summer homework as healing his soul brings love & peace back the land....until Yumihari shoots the lord and turns him into the wicked dragon of legend. Don't worry, the evil dragon phase doesn't last long as our kids break it's horn, obtain a dinosaur robot, and save the day before lunch.

In the end this tale wasn't a bad way to spend nearly thirty minutes. It would probably hold up as one of the better episodes if it had actually been placed within the series proper. Instead it suffers from a strange detachment which serves to make it feel like more like grand fanfiction than a real piece of the franchise. Since I've viewed a couple less than stellar Sentai movies I'm willing to give this one a pretty decent grade. It may not matter much in the long run but at least it was entertaining. Now if you'll excuse me. Hiding doesn't stop taco night!

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