Perverted, cocky Ken used to live a normal life until several giant monsters crashed onto his city. In the midst of their carnage Ken’s secret crush was killed, and his grandfather seriously injured. Hope seemed lost for the inhabitants of the city and the world, until Ken discovered that he holds the key to summon the pilotable Beast-God Riger! Within the massive bio armor, Ken must now battle the invading monsters to protect Earth, and keep them from awakening a demon within the Demon Stone – a demon who will put a stop to all human life for good!
The world is doomed... let us sit back and watch a 12 year old in a giant lion suit fight for our livelihoods, shall we? ....What? We are supposed to help him?? Fine... but only after half the season goes by. STORY Ken and his twin cousins have blood connections to an ancient good god, who had once battled to protect the Earth from - of course - an evil god! Millions of years later, Ken (piloting Liger, a biosuit left him from his god) and his friends must prevent the rebirth of said evil Dragon god... He feasts on human suffering and hatred, so his followers have begun crushing buildings and people left and right. Great. Time to protect the useless populace!! Now begins your basic black and white action series where you can have no doubt about the triumph of the good side in every fight. The pacing was slow in the first half, until they threw mechas and Metal Dragon Knights into the mix, but even then the excitement was minimal as Liger keeps getting more op. The whole time you're watching you're left wondering why the Dragon Empire wouldn't just send their whole army to kill this one pesky rebel who keeps demolishing their goons one after another. It's not like they're trying to be chivalrous by fighting 1v1, they're literally bent on human suffering and world destruction. A kindergartener in the place of any one of their generals could have come up with a better strategy at defeating Ken than the meatwad Zara directing the Dragon soldiers. In the very last 5-10 episodes though, suddenly the pace/action picks up in speed and stakes! After getting used to the routine of daily heroism and fights with the Dragon Empire, this meant it felt rushed. At least the end had me on edge for the first time. I really wish the rest of the series could have been as enthralling! But, it isn't. Which is why I've had to rate the story so poorly... how an action series could feel so slow is dumbfounding. ANIMATION Lots of reused footage - every single episode has a minute long transformation sequence whenever Ken enters the Liger biosuit. There's also resued clips for ALL his main attacks. It gets repetitive quickly, not to mention dull. Fight scenes always seemed to be in slow motion, or with the characters frozen entirely as just the streaking highly saturated background violently moved by. CHARACTERS Ken is 12 years old. This is who stands between god and the demise of mankind. But, this isn't a first for anime so we can ignore this fact! For being just a boy though, they made Ken really perverted for no reason I can think of. He and his bud from school are always sneaking peaks up the cousins' skirts... Why??? These said cousins have supporting rolls in fights, using telepathy, teleportation, and even piloting a Pegasus suit of their own occasionally. They're there for plot purposes only though and don't feel like real family... Mini Knight is a baby dragon who spontaneously appeared to our crew one day. It does nothing but scream phrases over and over and electrocute Ken because, hoho, "comedy." Please shoot that thing. Ken has a nemesis of sorts, Ryu Dolk, one of the Dragon goons with more brain and character depth. He looks cool. He actually puts up a fight. Thanks for being there to add at least a little challenge to the mix! Of all the generals he actually is chivalrous and always demands to duel Liger fairly. Aw. Zara is the head Dragon cult leader lady. She wastes her powerful generals' potential by making them fight alone, and blindly believes in her god who cares nothing for her. There's nothing else to her than being threatening and directing her subordinates to basically kill themselves... How could she never learn and change strategies?? It's frustrating to watch to say the least. OVERALL I don't know why I picked up Jushin Riger. I don't know why you would either. Even if it's a cliché good vs. evil story, there's so many series that do it better in terms of round characters, plot engagement and complexity, and visuals. I really only finished the thing so I could review it as I saw no one else had. I would only recommend this to gradeschoolers for their Saturday morning cartoon binge or something - otherwise it's a plain, stale wheat bagel experience.
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