That was pleasant. Not a fantastic production, but an enjoyable one. I do have some nits to pick in a second, but after Tojuko and now Hero Alain, I like these Blu-Ray miniseries that Toei is doing. Toei being money-grubbing bastards aside, it's a nice outlet for character-driven pieces, as opposed to the action pieces of the main series.
Overall it got a bit too sentimental at times, but it was great to see things in-depth from Alain's perspective. And in this case, having the miniseries span the entire main series - so that we got to see things both from villain Alain and hero Alain - was a nice touch. It just does such a nice job giving more emotional depth to the character. And I know this sounds like flat praise since I can't point to too many specific moments, but everything involving Alain interacting with Fumi-baa's family was great. It was the backdrop needed to have the character let his guard down so that it could be further developed.
(However, we can safely ignore anything involving Onari, as usual)
And the takoyaki gags were great. Which is a bit strange, it seems like they shouldn't work, but instead they're quite endearing. It's subtle humor done right.
Lunagel wrote:Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut this should've been part of the show proper. Splitting it off weakened his character and cut out a pretty interesting storyline.
And here's the downside. Had this material been worked into the series proper, Alain would have been all the better for it. I suppose it doesn't change the character in the end, but it changes how we perceive him and when. Even if the episodes had been translated right away, they still come kind of late relative to the series itself. Though I suppose it would have looked bad for the production if Alain was a better fleshed out character from the start.
I'm not quite sure what the best solution is. This material did work rather well as a mini-series, and Ghost isn't the kind of series that can have a stand-alone Whodunit like Drive. But holding this material back does come at a cost to the series.
And as an aside: given that each episode had to be filmed in time for the Blu-Ray to go into production, it shows that the writers both had a plan from the start (a good plan, at that), and that they were capable of writing something deeper and more meaningful than what we got from much of the series. The other wiki says Mouri Nobuhiro, and he did write some of the better Ghost episodes (though with Ghost, it's all relative), which makes it a bit frustrating that KyuuRanger is so flat.
Lunagel wrote:It doesn't help that the entire first episode looks like just cut footage from the actual show.
Having just watched the Brave special, I can appreciate why the writers used as much clip footage as they did. One of the problems with the Brave special was that it came out months after jerkass Hiiro had been reformed, late enough that it really robbed it of its relevance. Hero Alain has the same general problem, but by using clips and showing where these various scenes take place relative to the main series itself, it provides the context we viewers need to understand where the scenes belong, and what stage of development Alain is at. Particularly as a series-spanning side-story, this would not have worked without the clips.
PS, I almost forgot: it looks like there's a typo in episode 2 at 00:55. "To while away your limited hours"