Super Sentai Speculation: Kotoha Hanaori's Possible Characterization Behind the Scenes!
Another character (and spotlight is due soon) I'd like to speculate on is Kotoha Hanaori. Now this wouldn't be quite a long post compared to Mako's (you know why) but she's still worth talking about. I was thinking did the actress' inevitable getting chosen get the character to be shifted? Did they already plan that Kotoha would be the way she is? I don't really know but I want to get speculative on her as well.
As much as I didn't want to admit it... Kotoha does remind me of Ako Hayasaka/Blue Swallow minus the money hungry part since the former doesn't live a poor life, she's well-to-do even if she's not rich. But both are characters who have a destiny to face because of circumstances. Ako had no choice but to become a Jetman because that blue bolt hit her. Kotoha had no choice because her sister got sick. Both may have just wanted to continue living normal lives but were by fate, chosen to be rangers. Both characters are bubbly and clumsy... and prone to being disaster magnets. Although they are pretty short but watch out... THEY ARE CUTE BRUISERS YOU CAN'T UNDERESTIMATE! Both of them had their own badass moments.... Ako fought while she was blinded temporarily and Kotoha has managed to deal with a monster by herself while the others were hit by evil sand.
Now what was possibly going on? Now take deep breath!
Coincidence or not... this is another one. Remember Sayuri Uchida appeared in Turboranger as a guest... where she was a student who was practicing on her flute playing skills and later manipulated by Flute Bouma. Ako never played the flute in Chojin Sentai Jetman. Plus, I kind of thought that Kotoha deserved an episode where she tries to recover her friend's voice.. while she sings "Bushido Girl" after getting her voice back. Sigh. Now where was I? I even want to think maybe Yasuko Kobayashi had those episodes in mind when she wrote Kotoha as a character. So I guess you had to tweak Ako around a little bit, make her a samurai, make her play the flute and you get Kotoha into the paper.
Would the actress be part of the reason? Maybe yes and maybe no. Sometimes I think that maybe they originally wanted Kotoha to be as old as Mako but unable to find a qualified actress, got Suzuka Morita who was qualified but... lacked a few requirements such as age and to adjust to it, made Kotoha more suitable for the actress. Then maybe executives and Yasuko Kobayashi thought they needed to adjust the script. Again, they could have already drafted Kotoha the way she was prior to her becoming a character for Suzuka Morita to play as and the actress was chosen because she fit the character so well. Again, it's a series of Wild Mass Guesses I'm doing here. Again, I'm really prone to thinking that Suzuka Morita has more or less a similar charm of Toku alumni Sayuri Uchida.
Another point that Ako and Kotoha have in common is the admiration of the older female of the group. If Ako can look up to Kaori, Kotoha does the same (in a way) to Mako to the point she's immune to bad cooking which I think was written for a few laughs (while leaving the boys in utter shock and nightmares, which again I would be if I were in their place). Sometimes I can't help but admire how she can hold up to bad cooking which I am really not immune to at all. Hmmm I guess the fact she's so devoted to her work may make her immune to bad cooking as long as it's edible... Mako's food IS edible but it just tastes bad due to her lack of finesse. Again, maybe nobody in Kotoha's house can cook good food, maybe she's also a bad cook. If that's the case, it's time to send both girls to cooking school then!
What is also important to note is that Yasuko Kobayashi's first two yellow rangers handled as a head writer were males but she has had Megaranger involved so at least she knows how to handle female yellows. She wrote Megaranger episode 40 which had Chisato and Miku on focus, then again she always kept their characterizations consistent with the head writer's doing. Then again, she could have tried out Chisato but... I guess she wanted to try out Ako into Kotoha all the more... minus the fact that Ako is more outgoing, Kotoha is more shy while they still have points in common as young girls who can beat you up.
Again, these are a series of speculations on character development.