Episode Writers' Analysis Part 6: Chojin Sentai Jetman
Well I'll be talking about yet my favorite 90s Sentai not because it's really the best for me, but because I can relate to it in a way. Hehe. This was Toshiki Inoue's only Sentai headwriting work and after that, he resumed his sub-writing job and became more involved with Kamen Rider. These were the days before Toshiki Inoue burned out, at the same time we have a preview of garbage he will throw into Tokusatsu later. Now for the episode analysis:
Toshiki Inoue (main writer): 1-7, 12-14, 17-18, 22-24, 30-32, 36-37, 42-45, 47-51 ( 29 eps)
Toshiki Inoue proved himself able to create great scripts but bad ones at the same time. In Jetman, he showed some of his potential trademarks that would be carried over in Kamen Rider.
Episode 1 features a much different way of introducing Sentai rangers. One soldier loses his girlfriend, he must get over it and now must find the other four to who will become the Chojin Sentai Jetman. We only have a team of three at the start with Ryu, Kaori and Raita being introduced. We are of course introdued to Radiguet who is one incredibly scary villain!
Episode 2 focuses on Ako Hayasaka and Gai Yuki being gathered. Ako is introduced as a high school student who is money hungry, but she learns to overcome it in one episode. Gai Yuki is introduced as a rebel ranger, a live version of Joe Asakura. Gai Yuki leaves which causes problems to the Jetman team.
Episode 3 has Gai Yuki doing the Ryo Asuka. If you remembered Maskman 39, Ryo Asuka was a prototype Maskman who tried to run away. Unlike Ryo Asuka who wasn't necessary, Gai Yuki IS necessary. Gai Yuki copies some of his personality from Ryo Asuka (the tough side) and Kenta (the flirt side). I love how this episode has Gai Yuki realize he was needed after all. But he wasn't exactly the type to always stick around.
Episode 4-5 are focused on Kaori's character development and the introduction of a complex love polygon. While Gai Yuki was a womanizer, he does take Kaori seriously. Kaori has an arranged marriage that she rejects because of her fate. I love how Kaori goes from rich girl to teammate in these two episodes. Her determination was fun to watch. At the same time, we are introduced to Toshiki Inoue's technique of foreshadowing. Ryu meets Maria eye to eye, it hints that he will one day realize that Maria is really Rie. The Icarus Haken is formed in this episode which is a tribute to the God Phoenix (bird morif) and Gatchaspartan (five vehicles assembling into one).
Episode 6 is the Jet Icarus'' introduction. Radiguet shows himself for the first time to Ryu, establishing their rivalry. We know how crazy Radiguet is but at the same time, he has streaks of cunning in spite of being insane. Radiguet creates the nightmare of Apartment Jigen who eats people ALIVE. In spite of goofy looking monsters, Jetman has a lot of nightmare fuel. This episode also foreshadows that Gai Yuki will one day be Ryu's rival for Kaori's affection and later, best friend. The Jet Ikaros is formed for the first time, which also makes us realize Radiguet is not easily taken down.
Episode 7 is focused on Ryu's grandmother, which is really somewhat annoying. This was later repeated by Naruhisa Arakawa in episode 28 of Megaranger. We get a taste of Inoue's bad sense of humor with Ryu's grandmother. Okay this episode for me was fine considering I watch it every time I think of my late paternal grandmother. But still...
Episode 12 presents yet another of Inoue's love for nightmarish fuel. Tran is somewhat foreshadowed here one day he will use human beings for his projects. The bus here was actually a Dimensional Beast, eating people alive. This was a really scary episode!
Episodes 13-14 is focus on the first part of the love polygon. We see Radiguet has feelings for Maria (gross), Ryu longing for Rie, Gai Yuki's feelings for Kaori and Kaori's feelings for Ryu. Ryu at this point does not know (yet) that Maria is actually Rie brainwashed and crazy. I love the development these two episodes had with Ryu vs. Gai Yuki. At the same time, I kinda started feeling sorry for Gai Yuki in spite of the fact I disliked him earlier!
Episodes 17-18 features the short lived Juuza Arc. Juuza the Empress of Vyram arrives and we also get a closer glimpse of what Radiguet is. Radiguet wants to rule the Universe for himself, in his own brand of evil and won't let ANYBODY take it away from him. Juuza compared to Radiguet does care about her minions until they betray her. She starts her rampage crystalizing everyone, which Gai Yuki gets victimized. We see more Kaori/Gai development as it goes on. Radiguet becomes human as punishment for his betrayal and falls in love. Radiguet casts away yet another chance of redemption, we see how much of a magnificent bastard he is not only by killing his defenseless empress (he even used the Jetmen against her) but also when he kills his lover named Saki (no not Go-onger's Saki) because she was an emotional hindrance.
Episode 22 shows Inoue's love for emotional episodes. Rather than a standard episode, this episode tries to explore the love polygons involving Ryu, Gai Yuki, Kaori and Rie. Gai Yuki is serious about Kaori which at first made go HUH because he was a flirt. Kaori likes Ryu but Ryu can't get go of Rie with Gai Yuki liking her? Complicated? Ryu doesn't realize Rie is Maria and that Radiguet and Gure also like Maria. I thought that the whole episode showed some human relationships of the Jetmen but other than that, some may think it's too much of a filler.
Episodes 23-24 feature the arrival of the Dimensians and the Jet Garuda. Radiguet now plans to end humanity with the late Juuza's "baby" the Semimaru which is one destructive monster. Three members of Dimensia enter namely Rei, Kanna and Dan (the same actor would be in Zyuranger to be also named Dan). I love how the whole arc features Radiguet's utter sadism as he actually kills the three Dimensians without pity, how Ako had her broken heart (with Dan) and how the Jetmen get the Jet Garuda into their arsenal. They form the Great Icarus to destroy the Semimaru once and for all. Radiguet did get some comeuppance when his fellow Vyram laughed at him, served the bastard right!
Episodes 30-32 is a very huge development for the series. The Demon Gods arc for three episodes featured an enemy more than just the Vyram, sadly they don't stay long either. The first arc features development for Gai Yuki and Kaori. I thought that Kaori actually had positive influence to Gai Yuki especailly when he shows he can actually take a woman seriously, like when he offered his blood to save her. The two demon gods Ramu and Gogu are enemies of humanity that Radiguet seeks to control. Here, Gai Yuki and Kaori temporarily leave the team in the second part while Tetraboy is introduced. Ryu realizes also that Maria is actually Rie, he tries to get back to her but Radiguet for some reason, thinks Maria should be his (Why can't he find some other girl to brainwash?) and brings her back to being Maria. Poor Ryu suffers utter insanity for a time, which Gai Yuki develops as a character bringing him back. Gai Yuki matures in this arc.
Episode 36-37 features the Tran to Tranza arc. The first half features Tran as being bullied by the rest of the Vyram. He tries his best but is outsmarted. Using all his powers, he accelerates his growth into Tranza. Why the child actor left is a mystery but at least, it was a good way to write him off. Tranza enters into the scene as a game-changing badass villain which again, shows Radiguet's unwillingness to have anybody above him.
\Episode 42 features again, Gure's human side compared to the rest of Vyram. Tranza's failed project G3 was a child robot which he wanted to be disposed. Gure's selfless love for Maria is again manifested when he is willing to let her go. At this point, I still feel sorry for Gure no matter how much of a villain he is. It was a very sad episode to see the child robot die as well.
Episode 43 features Radiguet's desperate attempt to regain his glory. He shows how cruel he can be at the same time. He sends Aya some flowers (?) which contains Leech Drill. The monster enters into Aya's body, turning her into a bitch. She does absurd stuff that could lead to the end of the Jetmen. After the Jetmen manage to expel the monster from her body, we see Aya for this moment manage to defeat a monster herself out of rage. This episode made me wish that Daisuke Tachi were Shadam in Dairanger.
Episodes 44-45 is the Veronica Arc. Tranza releases the Veronica which uses human beings as batteries. The robot overpowers Great Icarus which causes a problem for the Jetmen. Tranza proves he had become so arrogant in this arc. Radiguet shows he's had enough of Tranza taking over his place as the show's villain which develops in a way. So Radiguet DID help the Jetmen in this arc but it was only so he can kill them later. Radiguet shows again another chance for redemption but he throws it away AGAIN. Radiguet ended up absorbing Veronica's power instead which causes the Jetmen to win. On the other hand, Radiguet's insanity grows a lot more than it was and so does his power.
Episode 47 has Inoue recycling from Soda. He copies Chevalier's trophy out of the rangers scheme into Tranza, except for Tranza it's for himself while for Chevalier, it was all for his superior. This episode also is an irony of everything since Tranza falls down. Tranza has turned every last Jetman into his trophy except Ryu. Ryu gets help from Radiguet in human form, too desperate to get rid of Tranza, trusts Radiguet in human form, without knowing that it was really Radiguet. Radiguet shows how cunning and insane he can be at the same time! He double-crosses them both which leads to Tranza's downfall. The Jetmen use the Fire Bazooka on Tranza. However Tranza like Juuza doesn't die. Radiguet leaves Tranza alive after torturing him for a few moments. Tranza is admitted into the mental facility where he will stay there for the rest of his life. Though honestly, if I were Radiguet I would probably kill Tranza and throw the corpse into the streets.
Episodes 48-49 features the Vampire Maria arc. Radiguet shows how much of humanity he has thrown away when he turns Maria into a vampire making her "more worthy" to be his. Inoue was able to write a really sad wrap-up for Ryu and Rie. Ryu still can't let go of Rie. The wrap-up had lots of nightmare fuel, the emotional impact on Ryu and of course, another foreshadowing that Ryu and Kaori will end up together. Inoue does have his habit of foreshadowing doesn't he? I really felt sorry for Ryu and Gure to see Maria die. For Rie to decide to die alone, I believe she felt the guilt when she was in her vampire form. Ryu was so devastated by it, it actually develops into the next episode!
Episode 50 shows Ryu blinded by revenge and Gure's desire for a warrior's death. Like Buba in Changeman, Gure wants to exit by a warrior's death. Gure and Gai Yuki finish their rivalry in an honorable way though I found that part to be one of Inoue's weaker wrap-ups. The strengths of this episode focus on Ryu's desire for revenge for Rie, his wrapping up with Kaori which doesn't make their marriage so random after all and Ryu's weakness. Ryu's blinded by revenge nearly kills him and Kaori. I love how the episode also shows Gai Yuki's honorable rivalry with Gure. For me though, I wish Gure died in a sacrificial death instead like blocking Radiguet's blast, killing hi while it was about to hit Gai Yuki to show their honorable rivalry. Oh well...
Episode 51 wraps things up as the Jetmen fight Radiguet for the last time. I found the whole final end of Radiguet bloody while I wish it was explained why darkness enveloped the sky during the final battle. For one, Inoue does have a problem with finales since I wish Radiguet did an all out attack like most Sentai final villains would. Well he already did when he first became Raguem during the Vampire Maria arc. I guess at this point, Radiguet was now drowning the world in darkness and only by defeating him is the world freed. My problem with the epilogue is how Gai Yuki died. Why in all situations does Inoue choose to kill Gai Yuki on Ryu's and Kaori's wedding day and then, make the Jetmen look like idiots? Gai Yuki could have died in the final battle. This episode proved that Inoue has been better off being a sub-writer than a main writer as most of his finales are usually from passable to just plain bad.
Kenichi Araki : 8, 16, 20-21, 25, 27, 33, 35, 40-41, 46 (11 eps)
Episode 16 features some more development for Ryu. Tran starts a paper revolt which causes drawings to come to life and attack people. One specific drawing was the daughter of an artist, who temporarily comes to life. Her ocarina could stop the monster. Tran in spite of his age, shows how cruel he can be by announcing dilemmas and later killing the doppelganger of an artist's daughter. A sad episode indeed.
Episode 20 has one of those classic love stealing episodes. If Jarmin stole hearts through her fortune telling witch, here Maria uses a vaccuum cleaner (?). It did feature the idea of puppy love when an underaged girl has a crush on Gai Yuki. There's some pedophilia here considering Gai Yuki wanted to kiss Ako. I thought this episode was pretty weird yet had some development for Gai Yuki.
Episode 21 is yet another focus on Ako and a sad one. So Ako does get rid of her broken teddy bear that becomes a Dimensional Monster because of Tran's mischief. Instead of being a servant of Vyram, the monster treats Ako as a mother and he eats garbage. I really found this episode sad as it shows how reckless humans are which somehow justifies Radiguet's motives of being their "judge". The monster is an outcast, Ako tries to save her teddy bear. After the Garbage Jigen is turned into a vicious creature, remembering Ako as a child reverted him to normal causing Maria to kill him. A very sad episode indeed.
Episode 25 has Maria, Gure and Gai Yuki focused. We see Gai Yuki's more irresponsible side in here when he was playing poker while the rest were fighting. What I love about this episode is Gai Yuki's denial, Gure's noble side showing all the more in spite of the fact he's a villain and that he cares about Maria. Of course, we have Radiguet's batshit insanity again when he tried to strike Maria in spite of his lust for her.
Episode 27 has another nightmare fuel episode. Radiguet snatches out the spirits of Gai Yuki, Ako and Raita. Oh boy, are we foreshadowing Gai Yuki's death again? I thought this episode was pretty scary. Ryu enters into the spirit world to recover his friends' lives which for me, was one awesome episode. I just can't forget all the action in this episode!
Episode 33 shows the introduction of the Beak Smashers which I believe was primarily done for toy sales. But at least this episode managed to give some drama between a girl and her late father. The girl reveals all the blueprints which her father made her memorize, because her father entrusted them to her. It was a decent episode nonetheless.
Episode 35 has Ako in focus with her helping a young girl. A young girl must have the courage to face the need for her heart operation. I love how the young girl faces the need for her heart operation because of the courage given by a dove. It also showed another lesson in environmental pollution.
Episodes 40-41 features the Neo Jetman Arc. Ichijou the jerkass commander enters in as a stupid Neidermeyer who could have sent his squadron on suicide missions. He believes that human feelings are stupid and they are disposable. Well, he is stupid in the sense he values inanimate objects over humans. To be honest, I wanted him to die during that arc! It also features Radiguet's arrogance, his wanting to get rid of Tranza and how Tranza is not so easy to overthrow. At the same time, it gives Radiguet the motivation to get rid of Tranza all the more, which hints Tranza's downfall.
Episode 46 is one lousy filler for me. Raita's childhood dream of the Tomato King comes to life which for me was stupid. And what does that monster do? Turn people into tomato headed people? It was stupid. Raita's fear was conquered when he eats tomatoes. For me, this was a weaker episode.
Naruhisa Arakawa: 10, 19, 26, 28, 34, 39 (6 eps)
This is where Arakawa was trying to find out what kind of writer he wanted to be.
Episode 10 is just weird, almost Go-onger like. The episode was silly to which, I guess Arakawa had no idea yet how to write his episodes. The Noodle Jigen monster was stupid even in its true form. Ako is trying to run away from her ex-boyfriend who is obsessed with noodles, which is just stupid. The noodles would make anyone violent and Raita also ate some. For me, this was a really stupid episode that could have worked better in 2000s Sentai. Well at least Arakawa had an idea of what he wanted to write!
Episode 19 gives us a taste of Naruhisa Arakawa's work in the serious way. This episode had the nightmare fuel of Kaori seeing her own death. I kinda thought what if this was a preview of how an Arakawa/Inoue team will carry out Kuuga? Not really but I found this episode scary. It took the butler's help to get Kaori back into shape and coqnuer her fears!
Episode 26 was strangely a preview to Zyuranger in a way, maybe producers wanted the episode to go that way. Raita is flung back into the past with the others, meets Kaor's ancestor who falls for him and of course, he has to decide between the past and the present. It also shows the effects of time travel since his involvement with the cavemen actually caused him to be revered as a god generations later. Hehe, never mess with time huh?
Episode 28 was more or less a really stupid episode and a preview to Yatsudenwani. Okay years later, Arakawa became the head writer of Abaranger. In this episode, Dryer Jigen is introduced as a Vyram beast who despite being powerful, has a kind heart. The bad side of this episode is all the bad humor that Toshiki Inoue would later adapt post-Agito. Everyone felt derailed in this episode and it felt more like a Go-onger episode which is inappropriate, considering Jetman is a serious season!
Episode 34 is where the Jetmen attempt to end Vyram. Arakawa shows the element of surprise when the Ryu that betrayed them was not Ryu at all but a robot. It was a well set plan that would help the Jetmen find the Vyram's headquarters.
Episode 39 is more development on Gai Yuki. Gai Yuki's friends were turned into chess pieces and he faces against Gure. Gure obviously cheats during the gambling which is backfired at him. Gai Yuki uses Tetraboy to cheat... hehe. I just love how awesome this episode was considering Gai Yuki also got Gure's chest circuits also.
Kunio Fujii : 11 (1 ep)
Episode 11 is only Fuji's episode. Here the Jetmen's other personalities are revealed like Gai Yuki does have a leadership side, Raita has vain tendencies, Ryu tends to be lazy (maybe he wasn't always standing out back then), Kaori can be vain and Ako can be overly sympathetic. I love how this one nearly destroyed the Jetmen if it wasn't for Gai Yuki to fix them. I thought this episode also had some comedy but at least it wasn't slapstick.
Episode 9 is all about Raita's love for Satsuki. It also provides a lesson on being yourself. Tran also launches a garment-related monster made from a sewing machine, Satsuki falls under its control but Raita was able to save her. At the same time, this episode foreshadowed they would eventually get married.
Mami Watanabe: 15, 29 (co written with Naoki Hanzawa)
Episode 15 features Ako Hayasaka's friendship with Kyoko. To be honest, I almost feel like a bit of Street Fighter here. The Street Fighter Sakura (NO NOT THE BOUKENGER ONE) also has a best friend and a high school student, and meets Ryu's Street Fighter. This one also has it that since Ako is a Jetman, she must keep her identity secret. Aya however allowed Kyoko to know of Ako's identity as well. Maria's plan to use women's voices sounds stupid but it did provide development for Ako and her friend.
Episode 29 features the Berserk dimension warrors Ru and Duran. At the same time, we learn why revenge is only an endless cycle of hatred. Ru becomes motivated by her hatred for Vyram to attack Radiguet. Radiguet is shown to be manipulative when he seeks to use Ru as his weapon, with the Armor Snake. Duran is possessed by it instead, making Ru realize revenge won't do any good. It also features more plot for Ryu and Rie with the flashbacks.
Takahiko Masuda: 38 (1 ep)
Episode 38 has Ryu's relationship with a scientist who sought fame. In this episode, we have the test of friendship vs. fame. Tranza shows how much of a bully he is also in this episode. I love how the relationship of Ryu and his former friend was brought up in here.