Episode Writers' Analysis Part 10: Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger
Well I'm back and here's for Gaoranger, another of Takegami's head writing jobs and sadly, not so many major writers aside from him. I mean, I felt like Megaranger was great with the Takegami/Kobayashi/Arakawa team... now moving on.
Junki Takegami (main writer): 1-18, 20, 22-23, 25, 27-28, 32-40, 44, 48-51 (38 eps)
This is Takegami's writing of Gaoranger. So he was Gogo V's head writer after Megaranger and he was also an Anime writer himself. Now for the episode analysis of this guy for all the 38 episodes!
Episodes 1-2 introduces us the introduction of what Gaoranger will be. Episode 1 has Kakeru in introduction, the biases that Gaku has on Kakeru (which I can understand because he is after all imo more qualified) and the introduction of the Orgs' mission against humanity. I love how Kakeru shows he has his ability to talk to animals used in a bigger way compared to Shiro's in Bioman (which was for me, pretty experimental at that stage). It also introduces us to Gaoking and the Power Animals.
Episode 3 is character focus on Gaku. Well I'd admit I felt some sympathy for Gaku because I felt he was more qualified. In this episode, we also see Gaku's character flaw of being stuck-up until he almost vanishes. I love how this episode starts to develop Gaku so early!
Episode 4 is development on Sotaro and Kai. It's all about never giving up, which became an important empowerment in Gaoranger. I just love how the episode shows the moral values of perseverance.
Episode 5 is Sae focused. So okay Sae's another younger one but she proves that she can actually fight and that... she develops in this episode. Sae is called by the Gao Elephant which shows the power animals. Elephants represent wisdom. I think the episode was kind a metaphor of needing each other. Sae's not all that strong but she makes it up for being witty. The elephant would have trusted her because of her wisdom in spite of her age.
Episode 6 is focus on Sotaro being in love. This episode has what could be the only female (?) Org in the whole show. Sotaro falls for a receptionist who has been under a Faustian pact with an Org. I just thought turning women into manikins was another yet ridiculous plot. Personally, I kind of thought that since Sae had her focus, so why not Sotaro? Sotaro kind of encourages the receptionist in this episode. For me, I pretty still thought Sae could have been better here but it's a fun episode nonetheness.
Episode 7 is Kai and the giraffe. So he's probably the weakest in the team but he also gets his vision of the Giraffe. There's some kind of metaphor here again with the giraffe and the crane. Kai proves himself to be important. I find this episode as a reminder of valuing EVERYONE in your team.
Episode 8 features more development for Kakeru. Takegami manages to twist around another traffic light monster. In this episode, Kakeru gets temporarily amnesiac after being hit by the red flash. I just love how the Gaorangers all tried to help him get back his memories. A pretty interesting dilemma considering it could have killed Kakeru.
Episode 9 is yet another dilemma episode with Gaku on focus. Twins appear to Gaku in a vision, they later show themselves to him. What I like about this episode is the interesting dilemma the the Gaorangers CANNOT trasnform because the Cellphone Org is blocking their signal. For Gaku, he gets the twins to reveal they are actually Gao Animals namely the Gao Polar and Gao Bear. Sae was interesting with how she did manage knock down the antenna, proving being a sole female is NOT an obstacle since boys tend to rely too much on brawn.
Episode 10 is an interesting episode linked back to episode 9. Gao Lion is hurt and the Gaorangers must seek to heal it or they're done for. The Gaorangers end up in time travel to find some kind of cure for Gao Lion. It also welcomes in the Gao Gorilla which forms the Gao Muscle.
Episode 11 is what I'd say again, Sae empowerment. It's just about time to get Sae to do some muscle even if most of the time, I enjoy her for her wits. This episode has development for Sae and her father, who is not aware of her being a Gaoranger. Sae does show that in spite of being a woman, she can actually kick ass! Though on Sae's part, she's more reliant on her sharp mind while having a certain degree of strength (we all do need brains and brawn). I love how Sae uses her agility in this episode!
Episode 12 has the Copy Org and I love these kinds of plots. An evil Sae is created and she causes trouble for the team. Well good thing Sae always comes up with one idea one after the other to actually save the day. I still prefer the Dairanger version better though but not that I don't like this episode. I just like it less.
Episode 13 features the birth of the Soul Bird, Pyon. I just love how Schtein overpowers the Freezer Org. Sometimes I think we need more episodes of karmic backlash against villains. At this point, Pyon's important role is yet to be manifested until the next episode.
Episode 14 features the defeat of Schtien. Pyon reveals that he is the Soul Bird and it heals Gao Lion allowing them form Gao King once again. Schiten decides to end his battle with the Gaoarngers once and for all which makes the Gaorangers think their problems are over. However it turns out to be that after Schtien was defeated by the newly powered Gaoking, the new highness Ura would be a game changing villain.
Episode 15 has Ura's reign starting. To be honest, I love how Ura makes everyone look like they're about to crushed. I mean, reviving Loki into the world is one thing that makes the conflict interesting. Ura starts his reign of terror making the Gaorangers helpless like when Loki steals the Elephant Jewel, allowing him control of the Gao Elephant.
Episode 16 has some hints of who Loki really is or at least the man who is possessed by Loki. Loki shows just how much of a badass he can be. At the same time, we are getting a better glimpse of the history of the Gaorangers. I just love how this episode starts to show more history of the Gaorangers in the past!
Episode 17 has Sae demotivated and soon it will be Kai's turn. I love how Sae is determined to get her jewel back and how Yabaiba and Tsuetsue fool them. Well this episode sort of is a rewrite of Jetman's bus episode minus the nightmare fuel. I mean nobody got turned into foam and the passengers were Orgettes. At the end of this episode, Kai also gets demotivated when his jewel is stolen.
Episode 18 has the Clock Org involved. I love how Loki shows he can actually be more badass than ever especially when he takes control of Clock Org. Separate and conquer! Loki has the other four Gaorangers sent while he deals with Gao Red alone. Seriously why do we hardly get villains like these anymore in later Sentai?! Loki also shows he was able to control the Gao Animals, making him an even greater menace.
Episode 20 has some focus on Gaku's focus with Scooter Org who returns as Bike Org. Now it's Gaku's term to get depowered. I just love how Gaku finishes his old score with Scooter Org. I thought it's pretty badass but at the same time, Gaku loses the Gao Polar and Gao Bear jewels to Loki. Just can't help but think Loki's awesome at the same time.
Episode 22 features more of Loki's past. Tsuetsue reveals more of Loki. This episode shows also how cruel Ura can be as he places a bug to keep Loki under their control. More of Loki's past is shown in tidbits.
Episodes 23-24 manages to wrap up on Loki. Loki is revealed to have possessed a human being known as Shirogane and now he recklessly used the Demon Wolf Mask to defeat the Final Org Highness 1,000 years ago (heck, 1,000 kinda gets a significance, Timeranger has rangers from 1,000 years from the future). I just love how Gao Madillo and Gao Rhino show up, defeat Loki's Gao Hunter which was still under evil influence.
Episode 25 features the Karaoke Org and well, some interesting development for Gao Silver. I just love the hilarious plot that involves turning people into cat voices. Kakeru has an edge here since he can talk to animals. I would admit Shirogane has some development here but, he is still the loner that he is... which reminds me of myself at times!
Episode 27 features Pyon split into two as Piyo and Yon but they are back together at the end of the episode. I felt like reminded of the Zyuranger episode where a monster can trap anyone or anything into his vase or the Pot Taoist from Dairanger. This one though happens in a lighter and softer scenario.
Episode 28 has yet another focus on Kai. Provided I saw the Wild Force episode first, I think both are kind of like each other. Kai has broken confidence when he leaves the bowling team and tries to master the tornado spin. What I did like about this episode was when Shirogane attempted the absurd. I love how the Bowling Org makes a recreational sport into something deadly.
Episodes 32-33 introduces us to the extremely brutal Prince of Despair, Rasetsu. This new villain refers to himself as "we" because of his mass of mouths but the personality remains consistent. Unlike the other two, this one treats Yabaiba and Tsuetsue as dirty. He also brings in two badass Duke Orgs that make the Gaorangers really pitiful. Futaro is also introduced in this arc who is about to play an important role. I really love how Rasetsu is so extremely cruel to his opponents, adding more conflict in Gaoranger!
Episode 34 features one good Org known as Charcoal Org who was never used for Wild Force. The Charcoal Org took on human form and befriended Gaku and Sotaru. He was once a cook for Rasetsu which reminds me, for the cruel S.O.B. or whatever he was, he is too obsessed with eating. I just really love the part where Rasetsu shows how cruel he can be by killing Charcoal Org. I wish this plot was further elaborated though with other Orgs but oh well. I'm just glad he managed to survive at the end of the episode cooking food for Futaro.
Episode 35 has the Gaorangers' swords plundered which again, I just love it whenever anybody is forced to fight without their weapons to gain them back. The Blacksmith Org's hilarious considering unlike the Gingaman episode where the Ginga Sabers were to be melted, here Rasetsu wants them to be used for cooking utensils. I kind of love the Gaorangers' collective thinking gets the day saved.
Episode 36 is another episode that proves Rasetsu just doesn't value anyone but himself. When Shirogane and Tetomu were singing for Gao Deer, the Flute Org interrupts the whole session. Shirogane's flute is disrupted, conflict happens and I just love how the conflict develops. So the monster is WEAK to Tetomu's voice... well I love those ironies. Gao God yet shows another awesome moment by blocking the sound from Flute Org.
Episode 37 has a bit more development for Futaro, Kai and Sotaro as well as Yabaiba. Yabaiba is being punished by Rasetsu (again) for a tasteless meal. This episode for me had interesting potential yet I felt it was kind of bland in some way. For one, I hate it whenever a sibling of a villain comes in and then, they are written off immediately. At the same time, Yabaiba is shown to be concerned about his brother Juggling Org. So how they are brother is not really explained.
Episode 38 has a puppet master in Ringmaster Org. I just love the dilemma of an Org who can control both the Gaorangers and the Gao Animals, making the conflict quite interesting. While it's predictable that the Gaorangers will win but how they will win is what boggled me at the start. At the same time, Futaro gets more character development that will show he is actually Gao God in human form.
Episode 39 has Futaro revealed as Gao God. Rasetsu plans to use Futaro to deal with the Gaorangers, which also has Monitor Org which sucks people into monitors. Hmmm do Sentai writers have anything better? Not that I have but still. At this episode, Gao God is upset at how humanity (most of them) deserve their punishment. Gao God takes away the Gao Animals.
Episode 40 has the Gaorangers put at the test. The Gaorangers in this episode show that there is still some goodness left in humanity in spite most humans are bastards. The Gaorangers show that they are willing to fight, with or without the Gao Animals. Shirogane is forced to fight using Gao Hunter ALONE. Gao God is impressed and let the Gaorangers continue. I just how this episode.
Episode 44 manages to end the reign of Rasetsu. Rasetsu is shown to be cunning and sadistic, which he spells the most misery for the Gaorangers, coming back with one plan worse than the other while he only wanted Tetomu to be his personal chef. Now I really thought getting rid of Rasetsu here in giant form gave him a more epic end than Mandilok being killed by Master Org in Wild Force.
Episodes 48-49 features the return of the Three Highnesses. Unlike Wild Force that just wrapped it up too fast, here the Gaorangers are presented to be at a weaker state. Well it does get interesting when weaker characters prevail one way or another and become stronger as a result. What I love about it here is that Tsuetsue goes crazy, finally showing she's a villain who loves her role and even mentions the sole role of the Duke Orgs is to serve the Highnesses. We also learn there is no Org Monster, it was just a myth created by the Highnesses. After the Gaorangers defeat the three Highnesses revived, we are ready for the finale!
Episodes 50-51 features a finale that kind of really makes me think how will they win. Wild Force does copy it bit by bit to which the Gaorangers lose their powers, the Gao Animals are destroyed and Senki is somewhat indestructible. I love how the Gaorangers band together, declaring their final battle even if they DIE. Wow, that's really something and I admire how they banded together and in the darkest hour, the Gao Animals respawn and destroy Senki. The Gaorangers learning their mistake that not destroying the Org Heart will cause Senki to respawn, they destroy him. Everybody goes back to their normal lives, Tetomu supposedly enters into a deep sleep. I just thought I didn't like the idea that Shirogane ignored Sae's proposal to go with him, then again she has school to attend to so I guess it's for the best. The end has the Gaorangers with a picnic at the end credits.
Naoyuki Sakai : 21, 24, 30-31, 41, 46-47 (7 eps)
Episode 21 is yet another development for Loki. Despite being a real menace, Loki shows he has a human side and we know more about who he is. Loki as a game-changing villain shows he's no pushover. At the same time, I am starting to feel sorry for Yabaiba and Tsuetsue even if they are villains. Loki shows that he does have a human side in a way.
Episode 24 is a good wrap up of the Loki arc. Shirogane is now freed from Loki's curse and becomes a Gaoranger. However he must deal with the fact that life 1,000 years ago is quite different. He is biologically young but chronologically older than everyone! I love how he manages to kick Ura's ass in this episode though it's not yet the end of Ura.
Episodes 30-31 is all about Ura's wrap-up. Ura plans to return Shirogane into Loki or is it? Well it turns out to be he wants to use the thousand year evil
Episode 41 is the Christmas special with the Christmas Org. While I wans expecting it to be another good Org but we're wrong. This is the Nightmare Before Christmas, Gaoranger style! Kids are given stockings which will absorb them to be turned into a beverage for Rasetsu. Kakeru is deceived or so we think, well looks like even the guys here have learned something from Sae or Tetomu haven't they? I just love they turned the tables on Rasetsu but at the same time, Rasetsu is preparing for his ultimate battle.
Episode 46 has the New Year's Org monster. I thought this episode was hilarious but nothing special. Maybe this was a sign of what Takegami would be doing in Go-onger.
Episode 47 has Yabaiba's rare moment of brilliance. Steam Engine Org is born and man it is powerful. Yabaiba gets visions of Tsuetsue telling him that the same energy that sent her there can save her back. Not much different with its adaptation counterpart except that Tsuetsue comes back more sinister compared to Toxica's thinking of changing their ways.
Episode 19 features Sotaro's love story which has him falling for a girl. Well I do love it whenever the villains take advantage of the men's weakness of falling for girls and using the girls against them and the hero wins as much as females when they start to show other ways of saving the day. We have the Eyeglasses Org which possesses people and Sotaro's love interest gets possessed. Well what's interesting later, Sotaro dates her in the finale.
Episode 26 has Loki returning and featuring development for Shirogane and Sae. Okay Sae and Shirogane are NOT a couple in contrast to my fics. Sae becomes the voice of reason behind Shirogane and I love how she fills the void in Shirogane's refusal to let go of his guilt. Shirogane also learns the value of teamwork when he lets the others help him. For me, a very interesting episode where Shirogane learns the value of teamwork because he was pretty much a loner.
Episode 29 has the plot of the Gao Deer. Again, it's Shirogane on focus, 1,000 years ago, the grandmother of Tetomu used to sing for Gao Deer but lost her voice when her throat got injured (ouch). Tetomu appears and sings the song yet again. This was also a lesson in forgiveness at the same time, with the message of healing as Gao Deer is a healing Gao Animal.
Episodes 42-43 focuses on the Dorodoro arc. We see how cruel and SELFISH Rasetsu is. He wants Tetomu to be his personal chef and he EVEN sacrificed Tsuetsue in the process. I just thought that Dorodoro is one sneaky enemy. We are also introduced to Gao Kentaurus at this point though I also felt, Gaoranger was a pretty good start for experimenting multi-gattai. Here, we see the contrasts of humanity vs. inhumanity with how Tetomu refuses to cook for Rasetsu because of his cruelty. It also shows the importance of keeping one's humanity.
Jiro Nakazawav: 45 (1 ep)
Episode 45 is a funny clip show. So yeah, I did roll over with Yabaiba being a pushover Org but at the same time, felt sorry for him when Tsuetsue was killed earlier. A better clip shown than Megaranger's.