Episode Writers' Analysis Part 13: Gougou Sentai Boukenger
Well it's time for Boukenger and we,, a really overrated series even I myself overrated it. Made me really think that I enjoyed Sho Aikawa's being the head writer of Kamen Rider Blade which was a serious season vs. this lighter and softer season. It was an adventure theme but let's just see... I thought that I kept rewinding this season sine I had lesser access to other Sentai (then again, I can't trust those crap dubs either)... now for the episode analysis:
Sho Aikawa (main writer): 1-11, 17-20, 25-26, 29-30, 33, 47-49 (23 eps)
Tasks 1-3 introduces us to the first three villain factions namely Gordom, Jaryuu and Dark Shadow. In this episode, we get a glimpse of the characters' personalities though I failed to notice much of the character flaws most of the team are jerks. So the beginning has Satoru wanting to drop Masumi into the lava? WTH? I just thought that we get a blur picture of how the villaisn will be.
Task 4 has a focus on Satoru and Ryuon as rivals to each other. The episode has the Bouken Drill on focus which is used to rescue the stranded Boukengers. The Boukengers are not yet all that ready to use the upgrade but they were able to so anyway.
Task 5 has the Imperial Pearl episode. At this point, we have Sakura developing a rivalry with Shizuka. Sakura learns the value of a smile in that episode.
Task 6 has the cursed fog and Gordom. The cursed fog has some moderate nightmare fuel where the Boukengers get lost whenever they are hit by the cursed liquid. I do love how Natsuki and Sakura are able to get out of this episode. Sadly, Natsuki tends to lose all character development.
Task 7 has a focus on Ryuon trying to create the super dragon, at the same time we have a clue to his identity. Satoru's favorite novelist somehow gained Ryuon's notes. Ryuon doesn't want his identity uncovered. I do find Satoru reckless as always, willing to take too many dangerous risks.
Task 8 features Gaja but only a short while. A mysterious organism known as the Vril appears which causes trouble. It mimics Souta, then it causes trouble and Souta is mistaken for the troublemaker. I found this episode to be pretty good actually.
Tasks 9 is when Yaiba and Masumi start to flesh out. For one, Yaiba is for me (now) one serious villain, hardly has a comic moment and really is a complete monster. I mean, unlike Gure in Jetman, he has no sense of honor. At least we know why Masumi is a jerk, Gai Yuki's past is a mystery. Here a mysterious doll is tasked to Natsuki. We have a clue to who Natsuki is.
Tasks 10-11 has the map inside that doll. Both Gaja and Ryuon are joining forces but as usual, both distrust each other. The episode featured Satoru allowing the mecha to be captured with himself, trying to get the treasure. The downside for the heroes is that Gaja found the sketches for the Parallel Engine which Gaja will make. An interesting two parter arc but can't help but start to think Satoru's a reckless jerk.
Task 17 introduces us to the mysterious Eiji and the Ashu. The Ashu are somewhat like Ramu and Gogu in Jetman but they will continue to plague the Boukengers for a certain number of episodes. The plot has Natsuki involved again, giving us another faint clue to who she is. Sigh, I wish this episode has some nightmare fuel... then again I think Boukenger was meant to be a fun season.
Tasks 18-20 focuses on Eiji. At this one, Eiji still lingers around but we do get a clue he will be the sixth ranger. I just thought of Gai using the memories of Satoru was a nice trap. So the Boukengers thought they finished the Ashu but no, Gaja had something in store. Gaja uses the Gordom Engine and turns Gai and Rei into the Questers, two cyborg menaces that will menace the Boukengers for some time. The Boukengers are helpless against the new enemy and only Eiji can stop them for now. Eiji. Eiji has his half-Ashu heritage which resurfaces, it takes a visitation from his mother's ghost and Natsuki to convince him to join them.
Task 25 has somewhat an episode similar to Jetman. Here a Dark Shadow monster is a good monster who survives at the end of the series. It's also focused on Eiji. At the same time, we see Yaiba is utterly dishonorable planning to use a failed monster as a suicide attack. It also focuses on the Fruit of Knowledge, which its effects on the eater however only lasts until its digested.
Task 26 is a Cinderella based episode. It does focus Satoru and Sakura. Sakura discovers the Cinderella's Shoe which traps women in a dream-like state, which she enters to beat the "Prince". It's a very good episode to target on Cinderella mentality. Then again, Sakura is a very imbalanced character. We also get a glimpse why she is cold.
Tasks 29-30 is the Golden Sword arc which features Zubaan (who is like a Pokemon, can't say anything outside his name). The episodes feature Lemurian civlization, the origins of Ryuon as being human but has turned to the dark side but at the same time, he's a parody of complete monsters back in the 90s. The two parter has Zubaan on focus.
Task 33 is the first half of Natsuki's real identity arc. She is exposed to be Lemuria's princess. Episode 34 was written by Yamatoya.
Task 47-49 has the finale arc. Ryuon is shown to be depowering, Gaja getting powered up and the rivalry of Satoru and Ryuon concluded. While Ryuon is thought to have died, he had actually managed to regenerate himself to get into the Precious Warehouse, to get the Egg of Lemuria hoping to end his humanity once and for all. The Precious Warehouse is set to blow up and after Ryuon is turned back to human, he still refuses his chance of redemption leading to his death. W e also have Masumi's doubts and overcoming it, Gaja starting the finale but the finale for me, is pretty weak. It almost felt like a watered down version of Faiz's finale. Heck, the finale even made me think Toshiki Inoue wrote it! Then again, Blade's finale wasn't great either.
Yasuko Kobayashi : 12, 15-16, 23-24, 31-32, 35-36, 39-40 (11 eps)
Task 12 has Kobayashi actually making Natsuki do something useful for once! The episode featured the other boys being captured because of their recklessness, Sakura's knowledge in military science and well, Natsuki does get the chance to make up for her blunder. It was a fun episode to see the girls do their gun action before their transformation devices are repaired.
Tasks 15-16 is the Water Capital Arc. Another of the more plot moving arc. Kobayashi at this point hasn't burned out, contributing another decent episode. While most of the writers tend to derail Ryuon to softer sides, here Ryuon is despicable. He manipulates a citizen of the Water Capital to join him, he wants the Aqua Crystal for himself. I just love the episode had Ryuon show much meanness, as he is a double-crossing villain.
Task 23 has a focus on the past of Souta and his partner. So Souta was kidnapped but what was going on was a clever deception scheme. The Questers want to know the location of the Precious Warehouse. I kind of like the deception in this episode.
Task 31 has the Ashu focused yet again with a dangerous Precious called the Flame of the Ruined Kingdom. It also showed a potential Eiji/Sakura ship which I wanted to happen. Only problem is, Sakura gets overpowered AGAIN. It also shows how cruel the Questers can be.
Task 32 is a Kobayashi silly episode. Dark Shadow creates the Adventurer School which Daisuke Ishibashi will reuse in Shinkenger. I dunno but this is one episode that shows how weird Kobayashi's sense of humor can be. But at least, it's in a fun season not a serious season.
Task 35 has yet another use of distraction factor. The Dark Shadow is trying to sell the God's Head for some money, which distraction happens. Morio Makino is shown to be able to use the art of disguise as well... in such a way he can even adjust his body size. Ehehehehehehe!!!
Task 39 is ONE boring clip show. As much as I like Kobayashi, she should stop writing clip shows!
Task 40 has Eiji revealed yet again. Ouga is revealed to be his mother's lover in the past. The show episode has the Ashu arc's conclusion starting. I also thought of the fact that Kobayashi apparently has a love for alternate dimensions considering she also was Ryuki's head writer. Eiji turns into stone as well.
Akatsuki Yamatoya : 13, 21-22, 27-28, 34, 41-42 (8 eps)
Task 13 has Souta and Selene. Here we have the story of Kaguya's treasure, Ryuon wanting it and just a mere reference to Kaguya. The episode had the treasure lost but Selene reveals she is Princess Kaguya.
Task 11 is a silly episode where Ryuon gets derailed from his sadistic personality. Ryuon grabs the magic hammer that can grant wishes. I just thought that the whole episode derailed what otherwise could have balanced Boukenger.
Task 22 is about the Ring of Solomon. People are turned into animals to help the Dark Shadow capture relics. What is interesting here is that Sakura and Eiji manage to save the day. They learn of the Ring of Solomon, history's wisest king was said to possess. While the person is real, but the relic was most likely just an old wives' tale.
Task 27 features a comical mishap on Satoru literally redefining disaster magnet. Ryuon gets hold of the compass board, Satoru is hit by bad luck and it results to several mishaps. It's funny how he does survive, considering those circumstances were too life threatening. Too bad Satoru doesn't become a better person after this episode!
Task 28 features the Legendary Armor which the Ashu use for their newest robot. But in spite of its name, it was just too much a filler. -_-
Task 34 wraps up the Natsuki arc. I would think that there's some flexibility as Masumi also clashes with Ryuon while he tries to save Natsuki. Masumi manages to snap Natsuki out of her trance. We also learn her whole past in this episode.
Episodes 41-42 is a wrap u of the Ashu arc. Aside from episode 34, this is the other two decent episodes Yamatoya wrote. Eiji returns after he overcomes the deception involved by Ouga. It also has the Boukengers in a tight situation, the Questers double-crossing the other villain factions so they can create their final robot. I just love how the Questers were finally defeated in this episode.
Naruhisa Arakawa : 14, 37-38, 45-46 (5 eps)
Task 14 features a bit of Natsuki's past but a false one. Dark Shadow tries to manipulate her for some reason and it has some development for a possible Masumi x Natsuki shipping, which never happened in canon. I just thought that aside from Kobayashi, Arakawa does prevent this season from completely falling apart.
Task 37 is an episode that actually defrosts Sakura. How? Well she was made into a cheery girl for this episode, at the same time it was to save the Ring of Fortune from exploding. It also features Ryuon's plot to use the Ring of Fortune's explosive power for his own personal use.
Task 38 has the Rainblow Clothes episode. I kind of find this episode weird though. Not really special. Almost felt like Arakawa's Dryer Jigen episode in nature but fits here anyway.
Tasks 45-46 has Masumi and Yaiba closing their rivalry, although Ryuon does appear in its first half with a significant role. Masumi's darkness was building within as Yaiba planned, the Three Headed Dragon Candlestick was used to manipulate Masumi. Masumi was able to fight the darkness within but the experience left him scarred. He does defeat Yaiba but he leaves for awhile, believing he will just do more harm than good. I thought this was a very decent wrap-up. Too bad Arakawa's writing term here is SO SHORT!
Junki Takegami : 43-44 (2 eps)
Episode 43 has the Christmas special with Gaja imitating the Grinch?! I really thought it was one funny Christmas special. It features Eve who meets Satoru and of course, the Golem's story.
Episode 44 is Takegami's decent one in here considering how it's not a clip show and two, it has Dark Shadow's plot involved. We see just how cruel Yaiba can be even to his own comrades. Gekkou doesn't die though but was merely turned back to normal after he was beaten. Yaiba slashing and nearly killing Shizuka was a cruel move.