|This article is about a/an episode in Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger.|
Lameness is Power (痛さは強さ Itasa wa Tsuyosa?) is the first episode of Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger. The first episode introduces the characters and concept of Akibaranger, but also (as stated) does not fully establish the story, leaving room for the next episodes to explain the concept of the Akibarangers.
Nobuo Akagi, a deliveryman, spends an ordinary day at the job getting yelled at by his boss, being conflicted over whether to buy Z-Cune Aoi merchandise or a mint-conditioned Great Five, seeing the apple of his eye and "helping" avert a street robbery (inadvertently). However, his day changes when a woman in a lab coat, Hiroyo Hakase approaches him with the offer to become the newest Sentai Red. Initially thinking it is an audition held by Toei, he accepts and is introduced to Mitsuki Aoyagi, future Blue and Moegi Yumeria, future Yellow, who is recruited while Nobuo daydreams of himself as Red. They are taken to the Sentai Cafe where, despite Mitsuki's earlier refusal, they become the Akibarangers. As they transform, they "teleport" to a warehouse to try out their new strength and weapons. However, Hiroyo states that they are not the 37th Super Sentai, as to be that they'll need to be officially recognized, complete with a chronicle of their adventures on Sunday Morning TV as well as merchandise. Nobuo decides that their goals are to save the Earth, as well as gain recognition as the newest Sentai. Back at the cafe, they wonder who it is they're fighting against, and Hiroyo says she doesn't know, and that they'll have to be on the lookout.
That night, Nobuo finds a cafe maid fainting on the street. Before she passes out, she begs Nobuo for help for the cafe. The Akibarangers arrive on scene and Nobuo and Moegi see two maids dressed as Nai and Mea. Nobuo assumes that they are in fact- one. The barmaid reveals herself to be ©Na, while Nai and Mea combine (like Vancuria) into Shibuyaseitakaawadachisouhidenagaaburamushi. The Akibarangers transform and teleport themselves (Mizuki trailing after her teammates in confusion throughout) and the two villains to a quarry (daylight now, for some reason). After introductions are made, ©Na throws some Shatieeks their way, which they dispose of using their finisher. Shibuyaseitakaawadachisouhidenagaaburamushi, however, makes quick work of them. ©Na, however, suddenly feels cold and decides to leave Shibuyaseitakaawadachisouhidenagaaburamushi to dispose of the Akibarangers- a cue Nobuo has been waiting for. Suddenly the villain is doomed as even without powerups, the Akibarangers gain the upper hand (as that's just the way it works). They destroy Shibuyaseitakaawadachisouhidenagaaburamushi, but Nobuo says to hold the celebration- that the monster will grow giant and they'll have to fight it with their giant robo. To which Hiroyo calls them and says they don't have one. Though they wait til sunset, the monster does not return (much to Moegi's frustration). Hiroyo congratulates them upon their return. Nobuo notes how his body must've been toned by all the delivery work, helping him gain better advantage during the battle. Hiroyo, however, notes he doesn't need muscles, because the fight was all a delusion.
- Nobuo Akagi: Masato Wada (和田 正人 Wada Masato?)
- Mizuki Aoyagi: Kyoko Hinami (日南 響子 Hinami Kyōko?)
- Yumeria Moegi: Karin Ogino (荻野 可鈴 Ogino Karin?)
- Hiroyo Hakase: Maaya Uchida (内田 真礼 Uchida Maaya?)
- Kozkoz Mita: Kozue Aikawa (愛川 こずえ Aikawa Kozue?)
- ©Na: Honoka (穂花?)
- Sayaka Honiden: Miiko Morita (森田 美位子 Morita Miiko?)
- Shibuyaseitakaawadachisohidenagaaburamushi: Kenji Hamada (浜田 賢二 Hamada Kenji?) (voice)
- Akiba Red: Sanshiro Wada (和田 三四郎 Wada Sanshirō?)
- Akiba Blue: Haruka Oshima (大島 遥 Ōshima Haruka?)
- Akiba Yellow: Fusayo Fujita (藤田 房代 Fujita Fusayo?)
- Chief Clerk: Tomohiko Akiyama (秋山 智彦 Akiyama Tomohiko?)
Tropes and References
- At the start of the episode, Nobuo is daydreaming that he is Banban Akaza (DekaRed), with red duct tape around his legs and the SPD logo taped to the back of his jacket, covering the logo of where he actually works, in an attempt to resemble Ban's uniform. The tape is promptly ripped off by his boss when she finds him.
- Ironically, the name of the company he works for, Sasaki Ponpoko Delivery, has the same acronym as Special Police Dekaranger.
- Also, while imagining himself as DekaRed, he addresses his boss as "Umeko", after DekaPink.
- Nobuo says that the die-cast DX Maskman Great Five mecha toy revolutionized DX toys with genuine ABS plastic parts and accurate decals.
- Nobuo compares himself to Ranru Itsuki (AbareYellow) of Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger when he is recruited by Hiroyo Hakase, who received her Dino Brace after stopping a mugging, just as Nobuo attempted to do, but his daydreaming of stopping the mugger interrupted him, resulting in the victim saving herself by throwing Nobuo's bike at the mugger.
- Nobuo deduces that Mizuki is the Blue ranger because the color is in her name, Aoyagi, just as Red is in his name, Akagi. He says that for Yellow, they have to look for someone with the "Ki" character in their name, claiming that they need their colors in their name. This refers to older Super Sentai series, as only a handful, such as the Denzimen and Goggle V, had their colors in their name.
- When Mizuki says that Nobuo is an old man after he reveals he's 29, Nobuo thinks of Ippei Akagi (DenziRed) of Denshi Sentai Denziman and Ryu Tendoh (Red Hawk) of Choujin Sentai Jetman, saying "What would the great Sentai Reds do at a time like this?"
- Nobuo says it's impossible to have both a blue AND a yellow female ranger in the same team, proceeding to state their formation is a first in the history of Super Sentai (which it is; the few times there were female Blue Rangers, either they were the lone females on the team - like Megumi Misaki and Nanami Nono -, or their female partners wore other colors - which was the case with Ako Hayasaka and Urara Ozu).
- Yumeria says that she wants to be a strong and cute yellow like Chisato Jougasaki (MegaYellow), Nobuo is pleased that she knows of her.
- There is a great amount of Super Sentai merchandise in the Sentai Cafe.
- Specifically, Nobuo and Yumeria respectively point out a man-sized model of Seijuu Sentai Gingaman's Gingaioh and a life-size model of Magiranger's Mandora Boy. Right next to it is a huge shiba inu dog, possibly in reference to Denzi Dog IC, the mentor of Denziman
- Also, the door leading to the lab bears the logo of the U.A.O.H. from Chouriki Sentai Ohranger on it.
- The first appearance of Kozkoz, who will dress up as many Super Sentai characters throughout the show, sees her dressed up as Natsuki Mamiya (Bouken Yellow), while the other two waitresses are dressed as Sakura Nishihori (Bouken Pink). and Houka Ozu (MagiPink)
- Nobuo says to Hiroyo that they should call her "Manager" when they are at the Sentai Cafe, "like, 'When you're here, call me Commander Edogawa!" Commander Edogawa was the original Sentai mentor in Himitsu Sentai Gorenger. Just as Hiroyo is the manager of the Sentai Cafe, Edogawa Gonpachi disguised himself as the cook at Snack Shop "Gon" (ゴン?) when operating in public, which was the secret entrance to the Gorenger headquarters. The shop later became the Fruit Parlor "Gon".
- When the Akibarangers first transform, they end up in a warehouse, which Mizuki questions. Nobuo explains to her that it is one of Sentai's most common settings.
- The "training sequence" of attacking an iron ball is similar to the training Futoshi Kijima does to face the jetpack empowered Rhino Mozoo in episode 38 of Goggle V
- After discovering the cafe maid in distress, the team find a "Replica Real Estate" van. Nobuo deduces that the cafe is connected to the Lords of the Underworld, explaining that in Magiranger, the Heavenly Saints and the Underground Hades Empire Infershia had pocket dimensions for personal use, which were called Replica Realms.
- When they arrive at the cafe, the team meet two maids dressed as Nai and Mea, Nobuo deduces that they are actually one monster from the way the talk. Indeed, they soon combine into Shibuyaseitakaawadachisouhidenagaaburamushi. In Magiranger, the original Nai and Mea were the split form of Phantom Spy Vancuria, who split herself in two to keep herself from getting bored, and if she wished, they could combine back into her.
- In the roll call, Nobuo states that Banban is his favorite Dekaranger, and mimics his pose.
- The Akibarangers acknowledge the explosions that occur at the end of the roll call, with Aoyagi ducking and holding her head in fright.
- When Mizuki protests to being called by her color, Nobuo says that after they transform, their color is their name. He describes this as "one of Super Sentai's basic tropes", although, he notes that after Fiveman, they stopped for a while.
- When the Akibarangers take down the Shachiku grunts with the Moe Magnum, Shibuyaseitakaawadachisouhidenagaaburamushi calls them cowards for using their finisher already.
- After the grunts are defeated, Nobuo tells Mizuki not to let her guard down, noting "we might have dealt with the mooks, but [the monster of the week] won't be that easy!"
- Moegi's attempt to attack with a rock is similar to a rather notable move by Raita Ooishi (Yellow Owl) of Jetman, who uses that as one of his finisher moves
- Nobuo notes that whenever one of the enemy commanders in Super Sentai says something like, "You can take it from here!", just as ©Na said to Shibuyaseitakaawadachisouhidenagaaburamushi, it always, without fail, triggers the flag for the monster of the week's defeat.
- Shortly after, when the Akibarangers gain the upper hand over Shibuyaseitakaawadachisouhidenagaaburamushi, Mizuki notes that they haven't got any stronger, but now they are winning. Nobuo says that the very concept of consistent power levels doesn't exist in Super Sentai.
- The Akibarangers wait until sunset for Shibuyaseitakaawadachisouhidenagaaburamushi to grow into a giant after he is destroyed, just like how they "always" do. It never happens.
- While waiting, Nobuo notes that "these bad guys are subverting all the tropes!"
- It should be noted some Sentai Series had never revived/enlarge the first monster a Sentai Team had faced, Gokaiger and Goseiger being the most recent examples as of this episode. And then there are few Sentai Series where the "Monster of the Week" isn't enlarged at all, with the most recent example being Go-Busters (wherein the MegaZords employed by Vaglass are mostly giant-sized replicas of the Metaloids). Plus, in some of them, the mecha does not appear in the debut episode and, as such, the monster is not enlarged.
- Aura ni Kagayake! Great Five
- Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger (opening)
- Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger
- Seijuu Sentai Gingaman
- Aah, Denshi Sentai Denziman
- Choujin Sentai Jetman
- Ashita wa Akiba no Kaze ga Fuku (ending)
- Hiroyo Hakase explains that for the Akibarangers to be an "official" sentai, they'd have to have an adaptation of their adventures on television, and merchandise. At the same time, however, she explains that the powers and enemies of the Akibarangers are delusions. Thus, the first episode never makes it clear whether the Akibarangers are "real world sentai" while all the others are fictional, or whether in order to join the ranks of official Super Sentai, they have to be recognized (like how Banban Akaza is featured in the next episode). The narration in the opening credits does however state that the series premise is not established in the first episode.
- When the Akibarangers appear before Marushina, she calls them "knockoffs" of Super Sentai. This is similar to the introduction of the Go-Busters in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Uchuu Keiji Gavan: The Movie, where Basco ta Jolokia assumed the Go-Busters were "Super Sentai wannabes". The obvious difference is that the Go-Busters are an official Super Sentai team.
Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger Volume 1 features episodes 1-3: Ep. 1: Lameness is Power, Ep. 2: Lame Spirits Return! Call Forth a Crimson Full Blast of Delusion!, and Ep. 3: Lame! Drunken Hero Adventure!.