Episode 29: Counting Stars

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THIS WEEK: Sven and Van finish Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier, as they break down the highs and the lows of Ishinomori’s most formative work. In addition, we discuss Van Vogt’s terrible fashion choices; love confessions have never come at a worse time; we contend with nuclear-armed demon-god eagle-robots; we talk idealism vs cynicism in relation to Cyborg’s ending; Van loses their goddamn mind; and at the end of all things, trying to count on shooting stars is as fleeting as hoping God’s War makes any sense.

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Episode 28: Two Brains, But No Smarter

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THIS WEEK: With the Historians back in fighting shape, they cover the third and final movie for this series, as they witness Ambassador Hell’s growing competence. In addition, Sven’s frustration with Kamen Rider’s teleporting antics reaches new heights; we discuss the merits of free mind control; Van does not condone the cool cool crime of bootleg merchandise; we see the return of 600 IQ Hongo Takeshi; Shocker’s sales pitches are garbage; and much like Metang and our hosts, the Riders have two brains, but are no smarter for it.

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Episode 27: His Smile And Optimism, Gone

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THIS WEEK: Sven and Van pull themselves up from their post-E3 fugue, just in time to guide you through the beginning of Cyborg 009’s end. After an in-universe year(!) of relative peace, our protagonists finally catch up with Black Ghost. With the series wrapping up, it’s also time to take a look at how the character arcs for some of our heroes are wrapping up. Additionally, we are reintroduced to an old friend; Joe is reunited with his old friends; we discuss the dehumanization of people of colour; the fatigue of battle is touched on; Vena looks awfully familiar to certain dead fiancees; Sven displays his Star Trek knowledge; and Joe Shimamura’s smile and optimism: gone.

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Episode 26: Power Of Devils

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THIS WEEK: We say farewell to our favorite grandpa squid-devil-monster-wizard-dracula. At the same time, we might get a real glimpse of Great Leader? Or we might not. In addition: Takeshi Hongo is a strong male protagonist; we meet the tiniest, most adorable cosplayer ever; we compare the leadership styles of each Shocker lieutenant; Sven desperately tries to explain radio tower interference; we invoke a tokusatsu fan remedy for dispelling bad luck; Shocker’s monsters get a training montage of their own; and Fujioka is suspiciously absent from his own show once again.

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Episode 25: You See, Ivan

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THIS WEEK: Van and Sven rant about time travel and bad parenting. Guess which topic is going to make them angrier! In this stretch, we’re introduced to a new antagonistic quartet; we discuss the origins of the word “cyborg”; we get corrections coming from inside the podcast; Ivan Whisky is stone fucking cold; and the hosts betray each other just as much as the 00-cyborgs dump on Jet.

Minor correction: “2222” and “2020” are mentioned as the year Rina comes from, the correct one is 2222. Nuclear devastation is not actually coming in two years. Hopefully.

Content warning: There’s some rather frank (and heated) discussion about parental abuse and the tactics abusers use at the end of our coverage, the bulk of it from 1:44:24 to 1:50:10 .

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Episode 24: An Escalation of Incompetence

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THIS WEEK: Ambassador Hell is so very desperate to jump the gun and announce that his underlings have killed Kamen Rider. He’s wrong every time. Also, Sven wants you to know headscissor takedowns are NOT hurricanranas. We contemplate the similarities between Showa Riders and Geralt of Rivia and discuss the evolution of the show; Rider nearly falls prey to his greatest weakness once again; Dr. A. Cula comes back to sabotage his replacement; Hayato might be slacking on the job offscreen; Sven hates X-Ray plots; and don’t forget to sign the Shocker yearbook!!

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Episode 23: Pre-Pubescent Time Crimer

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THIS WEEK: Sven and Van reach the midpoint of Season 2 of Cyborg Soldier, encountering ethical dilemmas and time-cops along the way. In addition, we discuss how we would restructure the second season; Joe Shimamura continues to gently disengage from reality; Dr. Gilmore doesn’t know thermodynamics as well as he knows robotics; things get lost in translation; Black Ghost finally returns (again) (for the umpteenth time); the crew rants about Black Ghost not understanding teamwork, and Sven’s G.B. impression could really use some work.

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