|This article is about a/an episode in Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger.|
Bonds of Lame Training! A Fork in the Road to Official-ness! (痛き特訓の絆は公認ロードの陰謀交差点 Itaki Tokkun no Kizuna wa Kōnin Rōdo no Inbō Kōsaten) is the eighth episode of Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger.
A Toei producer calls the Sentai Cafe, telling the Akibarangers that he wants to make them an official Sentai team. However, Hakase is suspicious of the sudden timing of the call, but the Akibarangers travel to Ginza anyway. They were however thrown out and later ran into a weak sub-section chief. As they were about to finish him off, the Akibarangers realized they wanted to finish him off in the real world but couldn't pull such a thing off against such a weak monster, so the Akibrangers put him through a rigorous training session. Meanwhile Hakase tries to discover the secrets behind ©Na and the Moe Magnum Z-Cune.
Hiroyo picks up the phone to talk to Tsukada, who tells her the studio was intrigued by the Akibarangers' appearance in the Akiba Square incident and would like to interview them, as Itashar Robo matches the car she owns. She politely denies any involvement in the incident and hangs up, to the shock of the trio. Hiroyo explains to them that the Akibarangers' identity should remain as a secret team before she calls it a day and heads home, leaving Kozkoz in charge of the café. Later, the trio, still wanting to become an official Super Sentai, head for Toei's main office to announce themselves, only to be driven out by the security guard. They slowly begin to lose their hopes when they encounter Chief Clerk Tsukishima Alpaca and battle him in their delusion, while Malseena reveals to the viewer that she staged the fake Toei producer phone call. The Akibarangers are about to execute the Moe Magnum attack on Alpaca when Akiba Red suddenly stops his teammates, realizing that they need to bring the fight to the real world to get Tsukada's attention. Seeing that Alpaca's weak nature is holding them back, the trio have him undergo special training based on episodes of Dengeki Sentai Changeman, Juken Sentai Gekiranger, Engine Sentai Go-onger and Gekisou Sentai Carranger vs. Ohranger. Running impatient with the delusional battle, Malseena smokes a cigarette while watching the trio shadow boxing in the real world. This only gets her into trouble when a police officer pulls her out of the premises for violating a non-smoking area. The Akibarangers succeed in making Alpaca a more capable opponent, but Akiba Yellow suddenly feels compassion over the Chief Clerk. However, they decide to give him one last fight. The trio execute the Moe Magnum, but Alpaca deflects it with his spatulas, causing a dimensional rip that throws them into the real world. Seeing themselves surrounded by the Akihabara crowd, the Akibarangers encourage them to take pictures while they unleash the Ludicrous Cannon and destroy Alpaca with it. As Akiba Red and Akiba Blue watch the explosion, Akiba Yellow gives her business card to the crowd; among them is a faceless vagrant with long hair, who then passes the card to Malseena while the Akibarangers are chased off by the police officer. Meanwhile, Hiroyo spends the day investigating her father's whereabouts over the past year by visiting several companies he was involved with. She is told by his former colleague at a robotics firm that Takehiro had become obsessed with anime and started submitting his portfolio to different animation studios. She goes to Studio Bell Village, home of Z-Cune Aoi, where she discovers that Malseena was the original design for the anime's main antagonist. Takehiro was originally in charge of Z-Cune Aoi's pre-production and character designs, but was kicked out of the studio when his works started becoming violent and he had personality conflicts with the staff. Walking back home while reflecting on what she learned of her father and the MMZ-01 designs, she starts to realize that Takehiro is the true mastermind behind the Stema Otsu Corporation.
- Nobuo Akagi: Masato Wada (和田 正人 Wada Masato)
- Mitsuki 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)
- Tsukishima Alpaca: Tomokazu Seki (関 智一 Seki Tomokazu)
- 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
- The title of the episode has several references to driving, a trait of all episode titles of Carranger.
- After Hideaki Tsukada called the cafe, Nobuo mentions that he was the producer for Hurricaneger, and also produced Dekaranger, Magiranger, and Gekiranger.
- When Hakase makes up the excuse that the Akibarangers need to protect their identities, Nobuo says that the Gingamen and Dekarangers' identities were known to the public.
- When the Akibarangers arrive at Toei Company, Ltd. in Ginza, Nobuo says that he hadn't been there since a stage show for Juken Sentai Gekiranger: Nei-Nei! Hou-Hou! Hong Kong Decisive Battle, while Yumeria states she was there during the press conference for Engine Sentai Go-Onger: Boom Boom! Bang Bang! GekijōBang!!.
- When Noubo slaps Tsukishima Alpaca, and Alpace replies, "Not even my own father hit me", this is actually a reference to a famous scene from Mobile Suit Gundam, where Bright Noa slaps the protagonist Amuro Ray to try and persuade him to launch in the RX-78-2 Gundam. This is commonly known in Gundam fandom as the "Brightslap".
- According to Akibaranger's production blog, Kamen Rider and Precure do not exist in the Akibaranger universe, and what we know as the Space Sheriff series is part of an ongoing fictional franchise that airs on Saturday mornings. Featured in this episode are the posters for the "Galactic Sheriff Gyabian" (the 2004 entry), "Galactic Sheriff Sharian" (the 2005 entry) and "Galactic Sheriff Shainer" (the 2006 entry). In this universe, they are the first three entries in the Metal Heroes franchise: Gavan, Sharivan, and Shaider. 
- "Masked Luna Sailor" is an obvious parody of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, which also acts as the current magical girl series in the show. The Sailor Moon anime was animated by the Toei Animation studio, and also aired on TV Asahi.
- This episode leaned on the fourth wall when Nobuo and Yumeria discussed the possibility of a marquee appearing onscreen for a chance on a giveaway during idle moments, which actually happened just shortly prior. Nobuo's ability to observe the fourth wall became an important plot point later on.
- The special training montage is a parody of various training episodes in Super Sentai, with portions of dialogue quoted verbatim from them. Each were coincidentally written by Hideaki Tsukuda:
- Changeman Ep. 1: Arrival! Secret Power!: This scene in particular is from the very beginning of the show, where the soldiers go across a mined field while Commander Ibuki observes from afar.
- Gekiranger Lesson 8: Koto-Koto... Earnestly Koto-Koto: Jan/Geki Red undergoes "patience training", to properly use the Geki Bazooka. His training consisted of waiting patiently for a pork stew to boil. In the end, he learns the value of patience... and to yell "pork cube stew!" in place of "fire!" when firing the Geki Bazooka.
- Go-Onger GP 31: Idol Debut A monster from Sound World appears on Human World, feeding on high-pitched sounds to grow larger, and only a beautiful song will be able to stop him. The Go-Ongers and the Gaiark teamup to stop this monster from another dimension, with Go-On Yellow, Go-On Silver and Kegaleshia forming an idol unit, G3 Princess. The three of them decide to undergo "idol training", part of which include going to an amusement park and ride a roller coaster. This part also references Saki's catchphrase, "Smile smile!"
- Gekisou Sentai Carranger vs. Ohranger : In order to pilot Ohranger Robo again, Chief Miura puts the Carrangers under harsh training - part of which includes crawling under barbed wire.
- The cat ©Na is holding is a doll of the alter ego of producer Hideaki Tsukuda. The cat has been featured on every production blog he's written for, and the doll itself was featured on the blog for Cho Ninja Tai Inazuma. 
- Akagi's roll call references Megumi Misaki, who is Blue Dolphin from Liveman. She cooked beef stew in Episode 4 of Liveman, with the help of Colon.
- During a scene where Tsukishimaalpaca attacks the real world, he yells out "Shut Down" as he pulls on AkibaRed's scarf; this is the call for defeating monsters for the Sentai actually airing at the same time as Akibaranger: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters
- Heroic Lily
- Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger (opening)
- Juken Sentai Gekiranger
- Engine Sentai Go-Onger
- Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger
- Dengeki Sentai Changeman
- G3 Princess Lap -PRETTY LOVE☆Limited-
- Kagaku Sentai Dynaman
- Ashita wa Akiba no Kaze ga Fuku (ending)
- Tsukishima is an island in Tokyo well known for its local specialty, monjayaki, served in several restaurants on the area. This is what the monster's cooking when he first shows up.
- Tsukishima Alpaca's name isn't playing on the "long monster name" trope. Possibly related to how much weaker he was initially.
- This episode introduces the Akibarangers' combining weapon, which has been a staple of Super Sentai since Changeman.
- "Mysterious Man" (aka the hobo) is played by Kazuki Yao, the voice of Ninjaman from Kakuranger.
- Yumeria mentions having caught Type 2 Influenza in the ending credits. Karin Ogino actually caught the flu around the end of March, during the filming of Akibaranger. 
Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger Volume 3 features episodes 7-9: Ep. 7: Race Deludedly, Itashar! Break Your Limits!, Ep. 8: Bonds of Lame Training! A Fork in the Road to Official-ness!, and Ep. 9: Lame Sentai Disbands.