Sunday, November 2, 2014
Kamen Rider Stronger episode 39 - Final Episode Released!
[DDL] [Script] [Torrent] [Patch]
Release Post and MP4 @ Midnight Crew Subs
Edit: Kilowog, the project leader on Stronger, wrote up a nice post for the final episode on Midnight Crews page. It has some comments from each of us, as well as some of the original team that worked on the series. It's a nice reflection on a project that hit a few speedbumps along the way. Check it out! - [Meditations on a Strong Man]
The end of an era, as well as the end of a legendary series!
The Delza army is on their last legs... but they still have an ace in the hole. The Kamen Rider family may be large, and powerful, but there's one member they can use to gain the upper hand. The one member of the Kamen Rider family whose heart is stronger than his body... Tobei Tachibana!
As the battle draws to a close, an incessant evil long thought dead reappears... the mastermind behind the very same evil that the Kamen Riders are sworn to protect!
In many ways, it makes sense that Tachibana would be the focus of this episode. He was always the father figure to the Showa Riders. A recurring character, but also a common human element that many of the modern shows lack. He was their friend, their mentor, and their ally. Fighting side by side with the Riders on many occasions, and helping to train them. He was a constant for the audience, even when things got bad. And when he was in danger, we felt it.
This episode is the final appearance of Tobei Tachibana, played by Shoji (Akiji) Kobayashi. He was always a fan of the series, but after his time on Stronger he felt it was best for himself to move on. He was actually offered the role that would later become Tani in Skyrider, but turned it down. "In many ways, my heart was always with the original team. Tobei's story was over."
Upon his passing in 1996, many Rider alumni attended his funeral. At the service, actor Hiroshi Miyauchi (Shiro Kazami) said "(Shoji Kobayashi) is still alive, and always will be in our hearts." Using the same term of affection for Mr. Kobayashi that the Rider cast uses for Tachibana... Oyassan, or Pops as we translate it. He said similar of series Creator Shotaro Ishinomori at his funeral. Years later, in 2005, Miyauchi would play the part of Tobei Tachibana in Kamen Rider The First, a remake of the original series.
What else can we say. Stronger is a legendary series for a reason. Its got drama, tension, a solid second act twist, and the final episodes ramp up to an amazing crossover. A true finale, in many ways. Sure, Skyrider and Super-1 will always be part of the Showa era. But they were never part of the original story, bookended by Tobei Tachibana's mentorship and friendship with the Riders. And neither they, nor Black/RX and the movie Riders ever got to be part of a team... the Magnificent Seven Riders!
When we originally agreed to help MCS with this series, we wanted to take it on as a side project. As time progressed, we grew to love Stronger and Jo Shigeru more and more. When Tackle died, we felt his pain. And when Shigeru Araki passed away during the project, we felt a real loss. One of our heroes, one we had only just recently come to appreciate even more, was gone. But his connection with the series was still so powerful. In many ways, these legendary actors will always live on. The growing fanbase for these 40 year old TV series is testament to this. Heroes never die, they say...
Over the next few weeks we will be correcting the scripts for the old MCS releases of Stronger 2-20, and we will be releasing a batch torrent of the whole series. Until then, thanks for watching! Come back soon for another episode of our first dedicated series... Kamen Rider Skyrider!