Gekiranger's Possible Mixed Reception to Super Sentai Fans
Juuken Sentai Gekiranger... well I would confess I didn't immediately want to check this out after too much adventuring with Boukenger a series I either still like but not as much as I used to. Now for Gekiranger, I was thinking of its possible mixed reaction. I got some information from Fantasy Leader on the popularity of each season. Here's the link to Fantasy Leader's list for the 2000s Sentai.
So what did I think of Gekiranger? If I can recall, I was actually 27 or 28 when I first saw the series and it felt pretty nostalgic (in a way) while it had new school elements. I really loved how Sentai got back to its serious roots with this series (then again, Gobusters failed to amuse me as much). I just love how Gekiranger had its own set of really, really darker stories and more serious villains. The Rin Juken weren't focused on half-brained schemes, rather they really knew how to get the job done and the Gekirangers fought their way out of one sticky situation after the other. Now for why I think it's a mixed bag of reaction from Super Sentai fans. Super Sentai fandom has age, culture and gender demographic. In this case, it's probably more of age demographics.
So it did it become popular with older audiences but why not with kids? Certainly it had tons of toys to sell but one may consider the serious storyline as a factor to why it didn't click with kids. Super Sentai had serious seasons back in the 80s like Maskman (which didn't immediately click during its time) and Liveman was a serious season that was popular to fans. But each era seems to fit a different tone of story writing, every era has a different audience and a new generation of children fans can be different than the last generation. Super Sentai after Timeranger was considerably lighter most of the time. Boukenger was a very kiddie series, Gekiranger immediately jumped into the world of darker and edgier which the two shows had a different contrast. Probably kids last decade were more used to seeing lighter and softer, fun ride type of Super Sentai that even serious moments were still fun rides nonetheless.
Another might be the type of show that only started with three members. Okay Liveman and Sun Vulcan were popular for their time but I guess by now, many Super Sentai fans keep expecting a five man team most of the time. Then again, Hurricanger has its fanbase. I don't really know what's the reason. I can't really consider the having three members at the start as a reason. Instead, I might consider the characterizations. For Gekiranger, the characters may have had funny moments but they were not really all that amusing. The characters were mostly stuck in a more serious storyline which kids didn't like so much either.
One may also consider its rather unusual story writing and execution. If Maskman had its unusual story writing, perhaps too different as Fantasy Leader would say. Gekiranger imo has a very complex story you can't find in most 2000s Sentai. Gaoranger was easy to follow, Gekiranger had a buildup of mysteries and complex stories, that maybe older fans loved it but the younger audience wouldn't appreciate it, maybe until they were older. As a series, Gekiranger's story writing and execution can be very complex. Older audiences may enjoy the drama in Gekiranger but maybe, not the younger children of the last decade. Gekiranger usually has way more serious story telling, disturbing revelations and the like which may not be so welcome for a younger audience for last decade up to this decade. A Sentai fan of the 80s to 90s may have enjoyed it but maybe not for the 2000s considering that Super Sentai has considerably toned down these days.