Why I Think Jetman Got Overrated by Sentai Fans

So far, it still kind of enters into my head why Jetman was my favorite Sentai WAY back or something... or why so many fans enjoyed Jetman. I think it had to do with the fresh writing that had happened within the whole series.

So okay, your spandex isn't new, swords aren't new, vehicles aren't new, robots aren't new and there were a LOT of old school elements... yet it seemed to be the best Sentai to many. I can't really think of a good reason except it was fresh and that it gave newer ideas to keep Sentai going and going.

I kind of considered Jetman's story telling to be unique. Why? Take the rangers for example. You have one professional ranger over four who aren't. For example, Ryu Tendo develops a rather long rivalry with Guy Yuki as both can't tolerate each other, which was soon intensified because while Guy Yuki liked Kaori Rokumeikan, she liked Ryu Tendo instead. Even comedy relief characters like Raita Ooshi and Ako Hayasaka (who had a "sibling" relationship) had serious moments. Drama focused the life of these characters especially with their strict but kind-hearted mentor Aya Odagiri, who would be somewhat like Dr. Sylvie Pandora in Gatchaman II as well as the people around them, but not like as if Maskman didn't have it either.

The enemy was rather different. Instead of an organization united to get rid of the enemy, the four were divided amongst themselves, not really, Grey didn't care much about leading the others, he was Maria's bodyguard in some cases. On the other hand, Radiguet developed an unhealthy crush on Maria which in any case, developed a bizarre polygon between him, Ryu Tendo (when he discovers Maria is his girlfriend Rie) and Grey. Tran on the other hand for some reason was written off and became the de-facto ruler Tranza who plagued them for at least 10 episodes. This may have inspired the Negative Syndicate in Boukenger.

There were some bad guys that were short lived- Juuza was simply a guest villain played by Junko Takahata (who was famous for playing the role of Maribaron in Black RX and Lady Reiko in the Robocop series Janperson) as she was the former empress of Vyram but she only lasted for two episodes. I wonder why it happened. Also, we have the emergence of the "Ashu" in the show, Mu, Ramu and Gogu. Mu lasted for one episode, Ramu and Gogu for two episodes which they are an enemy different from Vyram which may have later inspired the Ashu of Boukenger. These short-lived villains may be pilots but they were super dangerous that later Sentai got fresh with their types lurking around later.

I think the equipment were kind of given a back story in this way- for example the Fire Bazooka was necessary because the monster has caught many people and it's the only way to save their teammates. Another was the Beak Smasher which had a touching story of a father and a daughter, when a daughter finally understands that her father never left her and that she was entrusted with the patterns because she can be trusted.

Perhaps the best parts have to deal with the relationships of the characters heroes and villains alike as well. For example, Ryu Tendo has developed a rivalry with three rival officers in Vyram namely Radiguet (who he shares an instinctive rivalry with), Tranza (rival at first appearance but theirs isn't as significant) and with Maria because she is in conflict with herself. Guy Yuki for some reason developed a rivalry with Gure while Maria's rivalry with the female rangers is anything but new though. Also, it's nice to see how the Jetmen mature especially how Guy Yuki becomes a more likable character when he realizes Ryu Tendo was going crazy after discovering Rie and Maria are the same person.

Or maybe it's because it focused so much on reality (but as if Sentai doesn't). In fact, the missing lover scenario has been twisted into something more tragic- that is because this missing lover Maria was brainwashed by Vyram and that in the end, after a long battle, she dies as she is killed by Radiguet. However despite these serious elements, the show did also have some of your everyday comedy instead of slapstick ones, like how Ako Hayasaka is kind of a whiner (I have a friend who whines like she does) and how Ryu Tendo also displayed a comical side when Guy Yuki and Raita Ooshi tricked him into falling the ladies' area, rather than comedy that doesn't happen in real life like not getting a injury after being hit by a frying pan out of suit.

Or maybe the best part of this series was how Ryu Tendo and Radiguet's rivalry went deeper more than anything else, something I believe that also inspired Dairanger's Ryu vs. Shaddam or much later, Boukenger's Satoru Akashi vs. Ryuon. In fact, Radiguet's deep hatred deepened along with the marks that they left on each other and how Ryu Tendo was nearly killed out of his desire for revenge and how in the end, he saw the difference between justice and revenge.

And because of Jetman, newer Sentai writers are inspired to think more originally even if they can't duplicate the charm this show has.

Comments

  1. I'd like to say that one of the reasons why Jetman is very well liked is on the quality of the villains as well. All of them are pretty much menacing on their own. Juza was just on two episodes, but she invokes fear so much that even the Jetman had to resort into taking Radiguet's advices to defeat her. Grey deep down grows a slightly noble heart thanks to his interaction with Maria, but he's still a dangerous foe to face in battle. Maria, as mentioned, is already a complicated villain thanks to her identity being Rie. Tran is just a kid, but is a mean, nasty kid, and when he becomes Tranza, he basically becomes even more dangerous than ever. And lastly... Radiguet. No Sentai villains, well IMO, come close to him when it comes to sheer cruelty and sadism. He's evil to the core, has no sense of humor, backstabs even his allies, which makes him truly a terrifying enemy to face.

    Overall, I'd say the villain qualities also contributes on how popular Jetman is.

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  2. Jetman was just a completely different take on the franchise. It practically broke the norm of Hirohisa Soda's seasons and did a ton of new things. So it was very fresh.

    The writing, acting, action, and designs were all top-notch. And there was a ton of character development throughout the show, which was much more noticeable than the previous seasons. Jetman's story was also unique, and stood out much more than like Turboranger and Fiveman before it. Jetman was also much darker and grittier (which was easily noticeable compared to Fiveman). You'll notice that innocent humans kept getting killed in every episode. Shows that villains in these shows, are dangerous. And humans died in a lot of gruesome ways. This was something that was done on a level that was not seen in other Sentai. So it showed a sense of realism which made Jetman feel very fresh. The main characters actually have real lives, and they are all focused on a lot. With all these elements, it's no surprise that Jetman was so popular.

    So yeah. Jetman was outrageously popular. So popular, that Zyuranger, Dairanger, Kakuranger, and Ohranger all got over shadowed. These four seasons didn't take the same approach that Jetman took, which made a lot of fans not care much for them. Even when Carranger, Megaranger, Gingaman, and Gogofive stopped the Jetman craze, Jetman was still up there as one of the bests. This occurred even when Timeranger (another very popular season that was very similar to Jetman) was airing. So because of all this, it's obvious that Jetman was incredibly popular. Since time has continued, the rest of the 90s are much more appreciated, since there's no need to always compare them to Jetman.

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  3. Jetman wasn't that overrated, because if anything, it IS the best Sentai of all time.

    I was most impressed by the villain of Jetman the most.

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  4. Some fans regards Jetman, not only as the best sentai ever but the pinnacle of tokusatsu itself. There can be o disagreement about this. Jetman unlike other sentais foucused more in a more "human" type heroes who had their own weaknesses and issues not the typical "superman" types. Because of this, the audience tend to relate more to the show because they can see themselves among the characters and go inspiration among them especially when they got over their weaknesses.

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