Episode Writers' Analysis Part 9: Denji Sentai Megaranger
Well it's time I present the first Junki Takegami headwriting work (and technically the second series I saw from him, the first one was Go-onger) which had some of the best writers. Naruhisa Arakawa and Yasuko Kobayashi were also major writers. Shigeru Yanagawa was a minor writer for five episodes.
Junki Takegami (main writer) : 1-3, 5-6, 8-9, 12-14, 19-21, 27, 30, 38-39, 42-43, 46, 48, 50 (22 eps)
Episodes 1-2 is the introduction arc of Megaranger. It starts with Kenta who was recruited after he scored high in the Megaranger arcade game while four of his schoolmates were trapped in the proess. The Nejire had begun its invasion. Dr. Hinelar destroys one of INET's bases as to avoid any threat of anybody getting rid of him as the supreme scientific genius (Bioman anyone?), only to face the Megarangers. The episode kind of has the heroes realize that their first battle wasn't over.
Episode 3 is an episode where the concept of huge Nejire Beasts got introduced. Bibibedi is being turned into the monster enlarging agent as a shout out to the past monster enlarging agents like Okerampa and Gash during the Soda era.
Episode 5 has the whole INET angry with the fact that Dr. Kubota is entrusting teenagers with attitude to defend the Earth. Theoretically speaking, the INET feels like it's stupid. However the Megarangers in spite of being teenagers with attitude, manage to prove themselves necessary to pilot Galaxy Mega better than the self-automated program.
Episode 6 features the Digitank and more of the dilemma that the Megarangers cannot reveal their secret to the public. Dr. Kubota obviously had them with their, "You can't let anyone know you are a Megaranger." The Nejire Elephant is sent to demolish buildings, Miku is stuck in the building with Shintaro who has a crush on Miku. I love the suspense this episode offered.
Episode 8 begins the rivalry of Mega Red and Yugande. At times, I feel like Kenta is a shoutout to Riki Honoo (whose actor is named Kenta Sato) but a bigger slacker. While he's not really the leader, but he is the field leader. I thought this episode was starting to show Yugande was not an easy foe.
Episode 9 has an interesting chemistry between Kenta and Chisato, though neither is attracted to another. It has some girl who has been stealing CDs, which was because Bat Nejire was using the "bat mark" to possess people. I just love the focus on Chisato here. The Bat Nejire could only be countered by Dr. Kubota's counter-sound frequency. I did also like some jokes Kenta had on Chisato, which makes me think that they might work out as a couple.
Episode 12 has Kouichirou on focus with their lazy school teacher Mr. Ooiwa. I love the focus Kouichirou has on changing their school teacher for the better. At the same time, I love the dilemma he handles that he can't reveal he is a Megaranger.
Episode 13 has Kenta falling for a College student who is an education major. I found this episode kind of weird. Kouichirou on the other hand, is a serious student. It also involved some major experiment that Dr. Hinelar wanted. This also sort of molded out Dr. Hinelar's personality as "I'm the greatest genius and no one else." to a higher level. I felt like the kiss Kenta had at the end of episode was for laughs.
Episode 14 almost reminds me of the Bioman plot using mecha-humans to take over normal human beings. At the same time, it felt like the Fiveman episode where a kid lies about knowing the rangers. and it is a pink ranger focused episode. Dr. Hinelar begins the whole operation to use Kunekene to take over normal humans. Unfortunately for the Megarangers, they don't have the Biomen's abilities to see through the deception which made it more of a challenge. Hmmm... I also felt like this was also a tribute to Kamen Rider Black RX's episode when an apartment building was going to be taken over. I love Miku's focus here as well.
Episode 19 has Giluke arrive as a new enforcer by Javious I which is not taken very well by Dr. Hinelar. Dr. Hinelar is still a servant to Javious I even if he aims to become the world's greatest scientific mind. Kenta is traumatized when he accidentally injures the boy proving how cruel Giluke can be. I thought Giluke was a real SOB with cruel ideas, like using human shields. Fortunately Kenta was able to overcome this fear.
Episode 20 features the arrival of Delta Mega. While I would have expected it to be a secondary robot to pilot, it was a robot Kenta pilots using his Digitizer. I love the unique change that was introduced here. The Crocodile Nejire splits into two and it's just about time that a secondary robot arrives. I also like the father's concern for his son Shougo though he was unreasonable at first, we discover he doesn't want his son to die in battle.
Episode 21 has Centipede Nejire creating specters of the monsters. A cliche at best but there's the plot where Gurail actually seeks to use the Delta Mega against the Megarangers. This is also the episode where Galaxy Mega combines with Delta Mega to form the Super Galaxy Mega.
Episode 27 is a Shun focused episode. The Nejire plan to turn humanity into corals is freaky for a rather convoluted scheme. Shun teaches a young boy courage in this episode. The experiment of Dr. Hinelar was turning everyone in a Japanese village into corals.
Episode 30 focuses on Kenta and Shun as best friends. Gurail double-crosses Yugande which shows that Hinelar, even if he is a top villain, still values his two subordinates. Gurail becomes one with Yugande into one powerful combination, but not powerful enough to defeat the Megarangers. The other Megarangers are frozen (shout-out to Maskman) and Shun gets amnesia. I love how the friendship of the two developed in this episode.
Episode 38 features the debut of the Megarangers' new nightmare called the Psycho Rangers ahem Nejirangers. While PR in Space toned it down, here we have really the typical violence of earlier Sentai. I would say the Nejirangers are pretty much a group of sadistic snots. Dr. Hinelar's counter-Sentai will definitely cause trouble. This episode also shows more of why Dr. Hinelar and Dr. Kubota were not exactly in the best of terms. Like Dr. Man and Shiro's father Shinichiro in Bioman, we see how cruel Dr. Hinelar can be. Earlier it was also revealed that like Dr. Lee Keflen, Hinelar was originally from Earth.
Episode 39 shows how stupid Kenta can be at times. Kenta's identity was taken by a child who has a late brother who wants to be an astronaut. I felt like Kenta could have died in this episode. One can see that Dr. Hinelar has carefully computed Javious' downfall. I love how cunning Dr. Hinelar can be. The final part where Mega Red takes the girl in space is stupid since how can the girl breathe in space? Bad science really...
Episodes 42-43 focuses on the Nejiranger's final days and the Christmas Special. Dr. Hinelar has everything set and the remaining Nejirangers. I love the suspense in this episode as the Nejirangers could discover the Megarangers' identities anytime. Man, the Megarangers most of the time do a good job hiding their identities. The final battle has Galaxy Mega brought back into action and the destruction of the last three Nejirangers (Red, Black and Yellow) had achieved Hinelar's plan. Javious finally erupts
Episode 46 is the second part of the Hinelar City Arc. In this episode. Dr. Hinelar is in the second half of his plan to restart humanity as he sees it fit. The Porcupine Nejire causes confusion one another the other. An entire boat suddenly has no passengers, which really adds to the suspense of this episode!
Episode 48 is the conclusion of Hinelar City. The Nejirangers return in their physical form and are angered with how Dr. Hinelar just used them. I love the suspense here as the Megarangers have no choice but to morph in front of the Nejirangers. Yuusaku managed to convert the Nejirangers into data cards. Dr. Hinelar's plan to program humanity as his slaves is defeated in this episode. Hinelar City also blows up which enrages its founder, Dr. Hinelar.
Episode 50 has the wrap-up of Mega Red's rivalry with Yugande. Yugande becomes too strong that later, he can't go giant form for long. Dr. Hinelar has found the base of Dr. Kubota and seeks to finally finish off INET so he can take over the world. This leaves the Megarangers with only Galaxy Mega. Fortunately Yugande shrank which allows Mega Red to end their rivalry once and for all. The Megarangers realize all the more that being heroes is not about recognition but helping others.
Episode 16 gives us a taste of what pre-Gobusters Kobayashi was and how can be hit or miss. This episode gives us the dilemma of the Megarangers being poisoned by a Poison Moth Nejire, they would die by by 6:00 P.M. the next day. I thought the episode had the Megarangers lose hope and get it back. They decided to fight near the end, even if they would die. The Megarangers did get the antidote which allowed them to fight. This also shows Kobayashi's habit of recyclying and modifying from the Soda era... poison, a moth (Bioman) and well... you got it!
Episodes 24-25 is the introduction of Yuusaku as Mega Silver. We have a taste of Kobayashi's weird sense of humor and at times, Yuusaku does feel like a douche but at least he's a nice guy like Gai Yuki is. The two episodes featuring Mega Silver also show that the suit only lasts for 2.5 minutes because it was just a prototype.
Episode 26 has another of those deceptive plans. It sounds too good that the Megarangers can finaly get rid of Nezire Kingdom or is it? Well it was all a sham and it's a very well-crafted episode. While Kobayashi kind of likes writing tragedies, it was a happy ending episode.
Episodes 31-32 features another really nice episode. Too bad her Boukenger episodes were just okay. We get a taste of another recycling and modifying the plot. Dr. Hinelar double-crosses Gurail into becoming more powerful, somewhat similar to what Radiguet did to Maria. In Dr. Hinelar's case, he wants to get rid of Gurail for yet another of his master plans. This arc also features the Mega Voyager which comes in after the Galaxy Mega was really in bad shape. I love how the arc wrapped up with Dr. Hinelar getting ready for one of his newer plans.
Episode 36 has Kobayashi's love for moral dilemmas and copying from the Soda era like Inoue does. She writes in the plot where the Megarangers must choose between INET's decision and their friend Yuusaku. Also they must choose between Mega Voyager AND Yuusaku which they come up with a good plan. It's almost like a recycling of Turboranger's plot where Yamimaru demanded the Turbo Rugger in exchange for Dr. Dazai's freedom.
Episode 40 has Yasuko Kobayashi's template for nasty bitches. Sheesh, I really thought only if Nejire Yellow and Nejire Pink would have worked together, they could have won. Mega Yellow gets caught and is used as bait. Also in this episode, both Miku and Chisato have a misunderstanding which is soon cleared up. This episode also wrote off Nejire Pink.
Episode 41 has Shun's focus. I kind of love the confusion tactic used against Nejire Blue and the entrance of Yasuko Kobayashi's love for surprises. For once, I even thought Nejire Silver was really a new Nejiranger but it was just Yuusaku huh? I kinda thought Yasuko Kobayashi's sense of humor is pretty weird in this episode. I love how the Megarangers trolled back the Nejirangers, after the Nejirangers trolled them so much.
Episode 44 is a clip show of Megaranger's new year. Nothing really special. Kobayashi's clip shows can be a pain to watch, this one included.
Episode 47 has Transport Nejire transporting people into Hinelar City and the Megarangers unable to save them. This episode also focused on Kouchirou and Chisato deciding between entrance exams and duty. Their selfless choice was rewarded at the end. Again another moral dilemma episode.
Episode 49 has the Megarangers' identity discovered. Dr. Hinelar now plans to expose their identities, showing how cruel he can be towards his opponents. After all, they did destroy his dream and now he wants to make the Megarangers suffer. He sends Hell Nejire which causes the Megarangers to expose themselves. Yasuko Kobayashi's love for moral dilemmas is present as the Megarangers must choose between their schooling and their duty to save the Earth from Dr. Hinelar's dark and twisted ambition.
Naruhisa Arakawa : 4, 7, 10-11, 17-18, 22, 28, 33, 37, 51 (11 eps)
Naruhisa Arakawa manages to be part of a writing time with Yasuko Kobayashi the first time, which made me wish he also wrote some episodes of Shinkenger. Now for his episodes.
Episode 4 has Shibolena causing some mysterious trouble. It kinda was a training ground imo for how he would wrote Kamen Rider Kuuga. The biology teacher gets "possessed" by her evil plot which starts to twist the hearts of humanity.
Episode 7 has Arakawa's humor beating out Kobayashi's humor. It's pretty well-timed on how the humor involving Kouichirou's admirer, a shiptease with Chisato and Kouchirou and all were just perfectly timed. I had a good laugh with this episode. I love the suspense involving Bee Nezire as well.
Episode 10 has a well-written tragic episode. Yes Arakawa does also write tragedies though he prefers lighter and softer themes. The episode felt like a Bioman plot modified. Shun is almost like Shuichi, Dr. Man's son and has feelings for a girl he doesn't know is a robot. When that android girl starts to develop human-like feelings, Dr. Hinelar decides to make the robot girl suffer. I just wished though Dr. Hinelar made the dilemma of as long as the robot girl is alive, the second Bat Nezire will never be destroyed. I really felt sad for this episode especially that Shun remembers his late mother in this episode.
Episode 11 is a Chisato focus episode. I guess Arakawa was trying to get things done with Chisato as his possible template for Jasmine in Dekaranger. The plot has Shibolena create a monster out from her own DNA (?) which Chisato has a rivalry with her. It has a kid of the week plot with Chisato. Children are forcibly turned into flower-based monsters as some weird experiment.
Episode 17 has Miku's development. Miku accidentally becomes Super Miku when Bibibedi fails to hit the pond with the evolution ray. However it's also pretty life threatening to Miku. Miku learns to be herself in this episode.
Episode 18 has Kouichirou and a mysterious young boy. It's a moral dilemma plot of whether or not to get rid of the forest. The forest is pretty valuable to which, INET decides not to clear it off at the end of the episode.
Episode 22 has the weird maze concept taken to a whole new level and some development for Shun and Miku. Well Miku never dated Shun anyway even at the finale. What I love about this episode is the super mess that is created by the Nejire to help them invade the Earth as scheduled. The maze instead of the one like in Liveman or in Maskman, sends people to the most inconvenient places which for me was kind of funny also.
Episode 28 is another of Arakawa's sample comedies. Compared to his failed comedy in Jetman with Dryer Jigen, at least he's got it right in this one. It almost felt like a tribute to Ryu's episode in Jetman but the focus is Chisato. Chisato is annoyed by her grandma's insisting she gets married already so... she has to lie that Koichirou (who she has a crush on) is already her boyfriend though the pairing never materialized at all. I just love the comedy in this episode. Hmmm I guess he really loves to modify Inoue's plot. He did copy Inoue's Gorin Dobler plot into Dairanger, now he's copied the grandmother plot into Megaranger!
Episode 33 has another Kenta focus which he mistakes a girl to have a crush on him. I kind of like the dilemma here that every time Lion Nejire is hit, bombs explode. However the Megarangers were able to find a way out of it. Kenta thought the girl likes him when she said she prepared something for him. I love how Kenta was able to hit the monster faster than expected to save the day. Too bad for him, the girl he likes was dating their engineer Shougo. Too bad but it also kind of teased Chisato and Kenta (again) which might please PR in Space fans.
Episode 37 has Chisato's being a butt monkey when it comes to singing. The worse to happen to her was when her voice got swapped with Canary Nejire. Fortunately Chisato and Miku both came up with a plan to get her voice back, since Chisato can't morph with her new voice. I just thought that I always love girl power episodes because they show how brains is an important part in battle. I do love Chisato's song at the end of the episode.
Episode 51 is the finale, Naruhisa Arakawa style. Dr. Hinelar finally shows up with Grand Neziros which he rampages everyone, he now plans to destroy everything. He had lost his two creations Yugande and his "daughter" Shibolena, who was modeled after his real daughter who died in one of his experiments. The question of science's use was brought up yet again, I kind of wanted to call this finale as an upgraded badass to Dr. Man's using King Megas. The Megarangers risk their all when they take Hinelar into space where they look like they died but returned for their graduation. I just thought Arakawa does have a penchant for making characters look dead and revealing them to be alive. He did that in Kamen Rider Kuuga and Dekaranger as well.
Shigeru Yanagawa : 15, 23, 29, 34, 45 (5 eps)
Episode 15 has the Owl Nejire with using students to develop a super weapon. I love how Shun shows he has a very strong mind and a master actor. I mean, Shun had EVERYBODY including the audience fooled that he was hypnotized. Then the master plan goes boom thanks to him.
Episode 23 has sort of a rehash of Bioman episode 14 except with a red ranger as the focus. Kenta also has his chemistry with Chisato which made me wish they would become a couple. Kenta gets a weird egg and thinks about making money with it but it hatches into a Nezire beast. Compared to the average Nezire Beast, he ends up befriending it which causes trouble. The Anglerfish Nezire has to combine with Kenta's friend Kumotan which results to another moral dilemma. Kumotan sacrifices himself so the Anglerfish Nezire will be defeated. At the end, Chisato makes a toy based on Kumotan which I thought was a very ooooowwww moment.
Episode 29 was super funny and a hard lesson on overeating. Miku has a problem with overeating and hten comes the promise of a "diet crepe" which turns people into gluttons. I thought it was almost like Tran's episode when he turned people into gluttons. There was so little nightmare fuel as most of it was comedy. I love how Miku overcame the problem on her own as well.
Episode 34 as Kouchirou and his brother on focus. The coach was actually Porcupine Nejire. It's utterly cruel how you can turn an army of kids to defeat the Megarangers. I love how Kouchirou learns to juggle his time, especially to spend time with his younger brother. A very impressive episode imo.
Episode 45 has the beginning of Hinelar's grand plan to start the new era of humanity under his control. I felt like a bit of Liveman here when students are promised to have an accelerated intelligence, only to become slaves for the Nezire. Kenta and Shintaro are turned into mind-controlled slaves. We also have a picture of Jiro's friendship with Shintaro at the same time.