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Chouja Raideen

Chouja Raideen

Released Year : October 2, 1996 to June 25, 1997

No of Episodes : 38

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Genre : Adventure,Mecha,Sci-Fi,Shounen

Plot : Hishou, Ginga, Ace, Hayate, and Ikazuchi all work at a studio doing various idol-related jobs at the request of their manager, Reiko. But in reality, These five teenagers are really the Reideens, a group of superheros who fight the Super Devils sent by Lushu, a mysterious being. Little do the Reideens know, these Super Devils are being sent for a more important purpose... (Source: ANN)

Our Review : Feeling like watching something time forgot, I bumped into Raideen. The snapshots showed cool armours, giant demons, and flashy crystals. So I said, why not? It might actually be something good. And no, it wasn’t; turns out it is a children’s show with a Power Rangers level of depth. And I don’t mean a good season but a bad one.

If you are familiar with the franchise, you pretty much know what is going on; some generic alien demons appear and want the ultimate power. For that they need to find 12 crystals scattered on Earth and the Raideens are heroes sent to stop them. Besides its kitsch premise, the problems with this show run much deeper.

- The heroes are not choosing to become Raideens. Fate decides for them by telling them they are reincarnated just to fight the monsters. Not exactly free will in there…
- They also lack interesting personalities. They are all mostly defined by vague heroic archetypes that never evolve further to something more special. At some point they turn to a jrock band just for the lulz, not that this has anything to do with their quest.
- The villains have only one cool villain; their boss. All the rest are mook monsters with practically zero characterization outside of some vague quirk and most die in the same episode they appear in.
- That’s right; it’s a monster-of-the-week show. All episodes are about the villain sending a mook monster to find the crystals, the heroes doing silly stuff, and when they finally meet, they fight.
- The fights are never long or exciting. It is just transforming, exchanging some special attacks and then killing the monster in a similar way every time.
- Lots of repeated footage used every time they do that.
- Very little actual plot throughout the show. The only progress you get is a new hero added to the team, a new power-up learned in the middle of the battle, or the arch-villain finding a crystal. None of which have anything to do with actual character development or world building.
- Predictable plot twists. They are present in most such shows. The last episodes look cool though.
- Average artwork. Simplistic character figures, minimal shading, and bad CGI. The Raideen suits look cool though.
- Interesting songs and BGM, especially in the second half.

In all, this show has absolutely nothing to offer if you have watched other similar in themes anime; especially those with a better presentation of the same elements. Here are some famous ones: Tekkaman Blade, Guyver, and Soul Taker. Heck, I can even throw in Sailor Moon since they transform and have so much repeated footage. And of course there are lots of Super Sentai and Kamen Rider shows that easily beat this one.

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