Episode Writers' Analysis Part 3: Chojuu Sentai Liveman
Well I'm back for now and don't expect me to marathon this... nor my next post to be another extensive post like this considering I do have other stuff to do. Meanwhile I could really say Liveman despite its rather weaker finale (but wraps things up in a way that's not a terrible finale)... it has a lot of decent episodes.
Hirohisa Soda: 1-7, 10-14, 16, 19-23, 25-31, 33, 37-38, 41-49 (37 eps)
Hirohisa Soda was in here, prior to his burnout which happened in Turboranger. Now here's what I thought about his episodes in summary that is...
Episodes 1-2 is the introductory arc. Apparently, Soda likes to write grim stories during his time doing them rather well. The two parter introduction shows loads of sad stories and a glimmer of hope. A pregnant woman dies but the child is safely delivered. It gives us a good idea or an introduction of how things will be between our heroes and villains
Episode 3 starts to introduce us to Dr. Oblar who has his monster transformation. It kind of shows the reckless things young people do... or those young people who take things too seriously.
Episode 4 features Mazenda's first attack with laughing gas and some development for Megumi. I love how this series shows Megumi as the voice of reason when the two men aren't. Mazenda's character is being slowly unveiled.
Episode 5 features something about Kemp. It also introduces us to Live Cougar. It starts to link back to episode 1 with the first two known casualties caused by Volt.
Episode 6-7 features a dinosaur trapped in our era, which a kid befriends but it also causes trouble at the same time. Hmmm... I just thought did these two episodes give producers the idea of a dinosaur based Sentai? I just felt bad when the dinosaur who was named Gon died as a result of the enlargement ray.
Episode 10 features one of my favorite Sentai traps. A maze that goes anywhere? If you ask me, I'd go nuts if I were trapped in it. I also love how Joh's skateboarding gets into good use for this episode.
Episodes 11-12 introduces to the gang leader who becomes Dr. Ashura. While supposedly illiterate since he can't do simple Math (WTF) which I do think is stupid, but I do love how Dr. Bias actually puts a gang leader to good use. Dr. Ashura's introductory arc is really, really something I love especially it introduces us to a real kickass villain.
Episode 13 is kind of funny but tragic at the same time. So we see robots falling for each other, and Colon is involved. Well I'm just glad Nobuo Akagi is not official or he might chase after Colon. Other than that, I love to get a break sometimes from the usual dark atmosphere of Liveman.
Episode 14 has Dr. Ashura showing what he can do. For a person whose basic Math skills are zero, after Bias makes him powerful, he shows how deadly he can be. He creates his three man bodyguard team. At the same time, Yuusuke is become a being overcharged with electricity. It becomes a dilemma that's hard to get out of. Fortunately both Megumi and Joh were able to return him back.
Episode 16 features the childish nature of Dr. Oblar. It also features Yuusuke's revelation that he once had a crush on Dr. Mazenda. I felt the tension in that episode especially I could relate to Yuusuke one way or another in that scenario!
Episodes 19-21 somewhat wraps up Dr. Oblar before he reappears for the finale. I love the emotion between mother and son in that episode. It shows what is practically wrong with some parents or maybe, because Japan has that problem too! Soda may love to write drama into his stories but at least, he got Oblar and his mother back in peace. Inoue may have killed either one of them if he wrote episode 21.
Episode 22 has some WTF moments when Butchy is introduced as a new officer of Volt. Hmmm and the inner rivalry among the students of Bias has gotten more intense!
Episode 23 features yet another of Kemp vs. Yuusuke. Kemp creates the Giga Metal and releases a samurai-themed monster. It's all about that 0.1 second swordsplay which Yuusuke must master. I just thought that monster may kick the asses of the Hurricangers by himself! I love how Soda manaes to take the rivalry of Yuusuke with Kemp to another level.
Episode 25 was a lesson in conquering one's fear, something that tends to happen in most Tokusatsu series. In this episode,there's the so-called haunted castle but too predictable to be part of Volt. yet I just love how the child here conquers his fear after that!
Episode 26 is almost like Soda recyling the idea of two children meeting each other for vacation like in Maskman episode 24. At the same time, I just love Mazenda starts her insect enlargement plan. A beetle is enlarged in this episode causing panic and fear. Getting insects enlarged is kind of a plan that would ruin the ecosystem. I think the episode tried to focus on messing with nature and allowing nature to take its course as well.
Episode 27 focuses on Megumi's relationship with her father. Typically, being a Sentai ranger is never an easy thing and family matters do get messed up into them. In this episode, Megumi's dad wants to find her a husband which causes some hilarious consequences to a minimum extent. At the same time, we learn what the Giga Project of Dr. Bias is... at least in part.
Episodes 28-30 focus on the Gigas Plan and the arrival of two more members of the Livemen. Bias launches his new robot called the Giga Volt. The Livemen are all screwed up. However two more Livemen finally arrive namely
Episode 31 for me was a WTF episode with how Junichi got pregnant with a monster. I found this episode to be pretty weird. I kind of still cried when the alien baby died in this episode.
Episode 33 is a heavy lesson against lying. Which I thought trying to fool kids? WTF. Kind of a heavy lesson Tatsuya learns in this episode especially he has to admit that the Tetchan Robot was hi. Hmmm... at the same time it taught about friendship.
Episode 37 features more about Kemp. Kemp reverts back to a 16 year old, which Yuusuke hopes that they can restore Kemp to who he is. It also features important character development to Megumi. I just felt Kemp remains obstinate to his decisions which works itself to the finale.
Episode 38 is one episode Soda got me fooled into believing Yuusuke had gotten into cowardice. Then again, if I were in his place, I would have feared Mazenda's transformation. Mazenda rivals both Yuusuke and Megumi. I just love how Mazenda herself got fooled too Aside from revealing things to audience first, Soda also manages to fool audiences!
Episode 41 is where Gou/Oblar returns and apparently, he's a priest or novice... whatever. But I thought it was interesting for him to return.
Episode 42-44 reveals Guildos and Butchy to what they really are. Guildos is revealed to be just a robot created by Bias to spur the officesr. In episode 43, it features Megumi trying to reach out to Butchy. I hated how cruel Volt has become. Butchy who could have had a second chance in life, dies. =(
Episodes 45-46 is all about wrapping Dr. Ashura. Dr. Ashura discovers the important secret of Dr. Bias which was known earlier by the audience. Things get interesting when Dr. Ashura actually dies in a kamikaze attack against Hacker Zuno. I felt like sad why he had to do it.
Episode 47 focuses on Dr. Mazenda. Dr. Mazenda has now become completely mechanical. She realizes that Dr. Bias was after her brain to achieve 1,000 points. I felt sorry for her in this episode even if she's been a bitch for the past 46 episodes!
Episode 48 shows why I can no longer feel sorry for Kemp. Kemp chooses to throw away his humanity as a Brain Beast. So he is a true disciple of Bias huh? For me, it was a lame way to get rid of him. I would have preferred it if Red Falcon fought him to a final battle... to wrap up the hard decision making plot
Episode 49 for me quite an average finale at best. I thought it would have been better if Bias actually tried to become a god himself, only for his officers to rebel allowing the Livemen to defeat him. Instead, he releases one more monster. I thought becoming a kid was pretty stupid. Well it's a sad conclusion to his life. At least he got what he deserved!
Kunio Fujii : 8, 17-18, 24, 32, 34-35, 39 (8 eps)
Episode 8 is all about human emotions. Mazenda uses human anger and it unfortunately affects Megumi. Megumi has her special training program which kind of goes overboard... anybody can go overboard. The lesson was all about self-control.
Episodes 17 features another Megumi episode. I thought of the lesson of hard work over shortcuts in life. Again Fuji's emotions are put through here. It almost felt like a watered down version of Child's Play. Nightmare fuel a lot of it and at the same time, Megumi again gets some nice focus.
Episode 18 has Jou fall in love with Mazenda's clone. It reveals the nicer side of Mazenda through that clone, something Mazenda wanted to get rid of. Apparently, Fuji just loves to write romance and attraction plots a lot. Quite interestingly later in Dairanger, Fuji would work on the rivalry of Kujaku vs. Gara.
Episode 24 had another interesting Yuusuke vs. Mazenda. To be honest, I can relate to Yuusuke (again) because of Mazenda. The episode had the moral lesson against laziness. Here, Mazenda seeks to turn children into pig slaves another crazy experiment of hers. We learn here that greatness doesn't come so easily. I kind of thought that while the pig transformation was silly but the episode wasn't. I was able to relate to the kid of the week in this episode because I soon started to fall behind in my schooling and wanted an easy way out of it, that is try to accelerate my intelligence to monstrous levels! It also felt like Pinocchio in a way too!
Episode 32 features Kemp and Yuusuke yet again. At this point, I feel sorry for Yuusuke and mad at Kemp for why he always chooses to remain obstinate. Really, I felt Yuusuke's rage. For me the whole episode was really sad because of Kemp's choices. Kind of scary how Kemp creates a monster with his own blood.
Episode 34 also features time travel. A girl from the future is caught in the past. I kinda get time travel conondrums every now and then because of time paradox plots. Other than that, it's a good episode.
Episode 35 again makes me want to strangle Kemp. Yuusuke and Kemp were once best friends but became sworn enemies. Kemp is willingly evil which makes me want to really kill him. I love the emotions in this episode. Really Yuusuke learned who his real friends are.
Episode 39 featured an alien from a war torn planet with a seed to be grown. The episode itself is tragic to see the alien die. Fortunately the plant was grown on Earth for a symbol of peace, one day Liveman will defeat Volt.
Toshiki Inoue : 9, 15, 36, 40 (4 eps)
Episode 9 is all about Mazenda and her deadly perfume. It's almost like the phrase, "Enticing fragrance yet murderous poison." It also features yet another development for Blue Dolphin against Mazenda. I really loved how the episode showed it in such a way that what smells nice may be dangerous.
Episode 15 has development for Gash. Rather than just your regular, "Make my monster grow" agent, Gash. At the same time a security robot named Hanako starts to show feelings. Like most Inoue episodes in the past, it's tragic. So expected really!
Episode 36 has Junichi and an estranged friend Minoru. Unlike Inoue's typical tragedies, both Junichi and Minoru are reunited.
Episode 40 is well a taste of Inoue's comedic episodes. I mean, in spite of the drama of the jewel thief, there's also a hint of "romance". Boy Inoue does have weird humor.