Sentai Rambling: Samurai Sentai Shinkenger's A Decent Eye Candy Filled Show Over Power Rangers Megaforce!
I felt the urge to write this article on Shinkenger being a decent season with four times the eye candy. So I did pass through Power Ranger Samurai (which was boring and a bad comeback for Saban) then we have Power Rangers Megaforce. So I'd probably skip comparing Shinkenger to Power Rangers Samurai or Gokaiger to Power Rangers Megaforce because the topic here is eye-candy related but I may write the topic another day but again, I find it "self-explanatory" and Gokaiger vs. Megaforce for me is also pretty "self-explanatory".
I only ended up writing this because Power Rangers Megaforce for me got mega-disappointing while I still respect those who still like the season in spite of what I don't like about it. So I did some Gokaiger rewatching then I started to think, "Power Rangers Megaforce has eye candy but it's poorly done!" then I decided to rewatch Samurai Sentai Shinkenger. Then I thought that Samurai Sentai Shinkenger got me over the disaster otherwise known as Power Rangers Megaforce. I'd discuss how Samurai Sentai Shinkenger is a decent series with decent acting and four times the eye candy.
Remember that this entry is full of my Great Professor Biases (pun intended) so don't read further if you don't think you can digest it. Remember this is a silly confession that was a result of several facedesks so my brain cells might not be fully functional. This is my first official Sentai Rambling. This is all but some noisy and inconsequential writing done because I got too frustrated than usual (AGAIN). Remember much of this is opinion while I state some facts. Remember this is not an anti-Power Rangers ramble or rant, this is just me making a crazy rant to a show that has practically brought Power Rangers down for me.
Okay now I take a DEEP BREATH... here goes!
Power Rangers Megaforce is one season with three times the eye candy with Troy, Gia and Emma. Problem is not even eye candy can save the show because of a chock full of bad writing, bad pacing, etc. I watched Power Rangers Megaforce for Gia Moran (hehe) but my opinion overall is just plain horrid. I even think that Power Rangers Megaforce may have actually made Power Rangers Samurai watchable for some people (not for me though, I have purposely avoided them and I'm currently on a neutral stand on Power Rangers). Sorry, I just can't resist writing this post because I got Mega-Disappointed. Again, maybe I better go back to my Power Rangers neutral state while respecting its fans. People who love Power Rangers who also love Super Sentai are still part of the family.
On the other hand, Samurai Sentai Shinkenger has four times the eye candy, it's a decent season and its eye candy CAN act. Now remember I am pretty Great Professor Biased here on Power Rangers Megaforce because I like Super Sentai better. I would like to share my thoughts on how the eye candy on both shows are. But I also want to launch a note that the actors in Shinkenger aren't that good in their acting either but they can still act.
This red ranger is eye candy for both types of audiences...
Tori Matsuzaka somewhat carries a value for both Super Sentai and Power Rangers guys. In Super Sentai, buff heroes aren't really necessary but Ryou in Dairanger was a trend (He was unusually buff). But the important part is not him being buff and handsome, it's all about he can act. Then again, maybe they required a buff character to play Takeru Shiba for Shinkenger... good thing he can act.
Time for a "macho" battle... between the two red rangers of fire! But only one can stand out because only one can act well.
So let's do a bit of comparison between Tori Matsuzaka and Andrew Gray. Andrew Gray may look more attractive and more buff but that doesn't change the fact he is a BORING actor and his character is BORING. Tori Matsuzaka is not only good looking and buff, he can act. The character Tori Matsuzaka is not a pretty boy for display but an actor who can act.
Now for some character vs. character between Takeru and Troy.
For Troy, I feel like he's nothing more than a display item and pretty boy throughout the whole series. My issue with him is how often he is so robotic, he feels more like he's posed for eye candy than plot plus they should have given him more plot. Okay the character's not a jerk or anything, but he's really very boring. His good looks just can't save him nor will anybody else's.
For Takeru, he has had more interesting plots revolving around him. Takeru's script where he doesn't want his fellow rangers to risk his life for him is deeply rooted in a role he is asked to play ever since he was young. Aside from the character having a good actor, he has had more personality than Troy ever had. Again, remember I also have a blatant favoritism for Shinken Red.
He's another eye candy who can act that the show has to offer...
A bit of complementary might be Hiroki Aiba himself and his character of Ryunosuke Ikenami. He's also a good looking character but unlike Tori Matsuzaka, he's more on the lean appeal side. The actor does a good job in portraying the otherwise overly hammy character of Ryunosuke Ikenami. Every misadventure the character plays, the actor does it well. He's funny and charming fellow who can carry out his part well.
Hiroki Aiba splashes off Andrew Gray's flames...
So I'll do a bit of Ryunosuke vs. Troy. Hehehehehe...
So again, I did mention Troy as a buff, good-looking but BORING character. Maybe the actor Andrew Gray hopefully isn't a douchebag but he's just downright boring. Nobody cares about appearance IF the person is nothing more than a boring person. Again, sorry if I am really hitting Troy for that. But again, I don't hate Troy... just find him boring.
For Ryunosuke, he's good-looking ham (pun intended). For a sidenote, ham needs both decoration and taste. A tasty buffet with a tasty appearance has the most returns. Well he's an interesting character... maybe he annoyed everyone at the beginning but I do find him funny. His misadventures makes him an interesting character to watch. I always felt every hammy moment he had from annoying everyone (but making me laugh) to every butt monkey incident he has plus the actor's performance makes him pretty interesting to watch. Again, he has way more personality than Troy.
A very manly appearance but... A VERY SUPER DUPER BORING CHARACTER NO THANKS TO BAD WRITING... you can tell how Andrew Gray's pissed off by it!
Well I think I'm already throwing some unfair hatred on Troy huh? Not really. While I don't hate Troy, I just find myself not liking him. On the other hand, I'll just give credit where credit is due for Andrew Gray. In due fairness, Andrew Gray did not overact at all in Power Rangers Megaforce. My complaint is his rather monotonous acting. It's his robotic acting which makes Robo Knight far more human than him. The actor really looks nothing more than a handsome model endorsing a failed product. In short, he's the attractive wrapper to an otherwise really horrible product and the fact he's got bad acting just made it worse.
Looking at Andrew's videos of him talking or in an interview, he's far different from his character Troy. He's really able to express himself, he's not robotic and he can act but the show just makes him so flat and not fleshed out at all. I always thought the bigger fault might not be with the actor but I cause it would be with the writer Jonathan Tzachor. When I think about how things were done, you might want to compare him to his "lookalike" and "doppelganger" Justin Tomimori. While both actors aren't really that good with acting, at least Kamen Rider Fourze gave Justin the chance to improve. In Megaforce, Andrew is just used as an attractive wrapper to the point I expected a shower scene from the guy. The problem again isn't Andrew but Tzachor's writing really gets questionable at best.
Mako is really sweet... but just watch out when you annoy her!
Now it's time to talk about Rin Takanashi and the character Mako Shiraishi. My obvious favoritism for her and Takeru is too obvious right? Hue hue hue hue hue! The character Mako is liked by fanboys for shallow and pitiful reasons like because she's unusually hot. There are good reasons to like her like she's the team mom and concerned with everyone but such traits are ignored. Also, the flaw that she's easily blunt is also ignored too... not to mention her BAD COOKINGis something you might want to avoid, unless you have Kotoha's immune system. Also, the actress' natural charm just kicks in a lot for me.
The choice is already far too obvious which pink ranger is better...
I would like to compare performance between Rin Takanashi vs. Christina Masterson since they are both pink rangers in their respective shows. So what went right with Rin Takanashi and what went wrong with Christina Masterson? For Christina Masterson, she has the tendency to overact and be overly cheery for the first half of the show, she did improve a bit but just a bit. On the other hand, Rin Takanashi may not be the best actress around but she's usually very natural with any role she has.
Now it's time to compare Mako vs. Emma. I always felt the need to raise Emma first because she's pink.
I can't help but be a broken record whenever I keep saying that Emma's a failed attempt at Kimberly. So what do I think of Emma? Always a failed Kimberly. They dress her up like Kimberly, give her the attributes but it fails, FAILS and FAILS BIG TIME! Again, I blame the actress over the writer. Any better actress could have been better. So I guess that's just my stand on this matter.
On the other hand, Mako comes out pretty natural. I would attribute that to the actress Rin Takanashi herself. Whether or not it was intentional or not, Mako seems to be way closer to a Kimberly tribute. Compared to Emma, she really has that charm that goes beyond her appearance. I would try to credit Mako has been a better Kimberly than Emma beneath the surface. Go figure.
Pardon me but I can't resist making it hotter and harder... one hot Japanese girl and one hot blonde...
I would also compare Rin Takanashi vs. Ciara Hanna for a real hot comparison (pun intended). Now this is like an apples vs. oranges battle or not. But for me, you might think of my opinion that Nanami is hotter than Tori. I doubt it Sally Martin wearing Nao Nagasawa's magician costume would be all that distracting. Moving on back the topic. I just thought Ciara Hanna acts fine. Rin Takanashi acts fine. Neither actress for me is deserves an Oscar though although they can act their parts out. In terms of beauty, Rin Takanashi appears to look more or less innocent while Ciara Hanna has that mean look.
Now it's time to focus on Gia vs. Mako. For Gia, she is portrayed as the hottest girl in school. My problem with Gia is that she lacks focus, she looks like she's just some display item or trophy. Gia is an okay character in due fairness. My problem is not the character but how she was written into Power Rangers Megaforce. Gia may be meant to be "another Kimberly" a FAILED one that is.
Mako may have slow development but she doesn't lack focus either. Compared to Gia, it feels like she is more likable as a character. However please note that Mako is not really nice when it comes to her being annoyed. She won't hesitate to fire "You're annoying." on your face or hit you with a magazine... or worse remember she kicked Akumaro's ass because she was terribly annoyed by what he did to a group of children. On the other hand, I can't deny again, this is my blatant favoritism of Mako showing up never mind I like other pink rangers above her. Stupid to say, most people always fail to see Mako was a decent character with weaknesses and instead view her as a trophy or eye candy.
Spike is the perfect symbolism of people who like Mako for shallow and pitiful reasons...
Although may I mention it's really easy to like Mako for the wrong reasons. These reasons are shallow and pitiful like because she's hot. I just used Spike's picture to stress that point of Mako fanboys can be as annoying as he is. It's too easy to look at the positives like being the big sister of the group to the negatives that you don't want to be near her when she's annoyed. Some people may be dreaming like Spike does except they're seeing Mako and not Shinken Pink in them.
I always love to joke that they were separated at birth... even when it's obviously not true!
Which of course, I cannot resist comparing the Mako phenomenon to the Kimberly phenomenon back in 1993. I would admit Mako is the hottest girl in this entry but that is NOT the reason why she's better than Gia or Emma okay?! If you like her, please like her for every better reason or you'll have to watch out when she's annoyed... she won't hesitate to fire, "You're shallow." for that reason. You may read more why I think Mako brings Kimberly nostalgia to me.
Just admit it, shes adorable but... she can beat you up.
Suzuka Morita and her character as Kotoha Hanaori comes in. So she has more or less a similar charm to Ako Hayasaka in Jetman. Okay I didn't care too much about her either like most post-Timeranger characters. However I admit she does have her natural charm as a character even if I like Mako more than her. Again, I can't really say it's her age (she's 16 in Shinkenger but the actress is older than that). For a bit of surprise, I'd say think she doesn't need to be with Mako to actually beat off the Megaforce girls. She's eye candy and the actress an act is the reason why she beats both Megaforce girls off the chart. I don't find her all that attractive but inner qualities of both actress and character are what's important. So I may not like her as much (but I still do) but still, I vote her over the Megaforce girls. Won't talk too much about her, you know how I'm only liking her but not that much. =P
The battle of moe vs. hot! Ciara Hanna's hotter but Suzuka Morita has more charm.
Well I can do a bit of maybe, this side shows I'm not all that superficial or not. So I can do a bit of Suzuka Morita vs. Ciara Hanna comparison. Suzuka Morita and Ciara Hanna are one year apart, Ciara Hanna being the one who's older. I'll confess first, I find Ciara Hanna hotter than Suzuka Morita. But hotness doesn't make you a better character. Again, this might be me in hypocrite mode because I tend to choose Kimberly over Mei even if I choose Zyuranger over MMPR.
So for the comparison, here's what I think. Kotoha so far does better as that fighting school girl over Gia. Gia tends to be trying to steal spotlight (while lacking focus episodes) or just there for display. Kotoha is cute but she's not for display. I mean, maybe some people think she's underrated but I think she gets a decent fanbase for better reasons. So pretty much, Kotoha wins over Gia, hands down. I'd also say she wins over Emma, hands down too and no comparison is needed. On the other hand, Kotoha's weaknesses are her being clumsy AND she seems to be okay with almost everything Mako does for comic reasons.
She's hot but she loses to both Mako and/or Kotoha overall...
Ciara Hanna is a guilty pleasure to me, no questions asked but I cannot deny that while the actress can act, the character herself is boring. People know I have a soft spot for hot blondes. However I thought she wasn't anything special, just attractive. Like Andrew Gray, she's also the attractive wrapper to an otherwise horrible product. I'll be honest, anytime she just isn't cut to become Kimberly 2.0 compared to Rin Takanashi. Also, she lacks the charm that Suzuka Morita has even if I find the former the hotter one. Pretty yes, but not interesting enough to hold my attention to a boring show. So there, case closed! In fact, this is the first time I have chosen Kotoha over a hotter character. I do like Ciara Hanna but... looks like Suzuka Morita has the better charm when it comes to keeping you hooked.
Now I'd like to compare the girl power teams between both shows as eye candy. Knowing most Sentai series today will usually feature more than one female these days. I thought I'd try to look at the power of the two teams. It's time to talk about Team Mako/Kotoha vs. Team Gia/Emma.
Now the concepts here are pretty different. Kotoha is more or less a shy, non-money hungry version of Ako aka a cute bruiser who jumps into becoming a comic relief whenever she is okay with everything Mako does (WTF). Mako felt more like an older sister substitute to her. I felt like the girl power chemistry between the two is sisterly like most of them, but it feels different but it works. It's almost like a Kimberly (as an adult)/Ako (as a teenager) team-up instead of a more standard team-up. I thought the whole team up between the girls worked out though IMO I still preferred most girl power teams back in the 90s, maybe except for Jasmine/Umeko but Kotoha is just bubbly, not air-headed. She's not a Natsuki either. In terms of team, they actually blow you off. Remember that episode Mako and Kotoha combined their Mojikara? That's what I mean! It's also like having Kimberly and Mei in one show with Mako and Kotoha.
On the other hand, I felt like that Gia and Emma were not a good combination. Again, you know I blame the actress Christina Masterson who feels VERY PLASTIC. Sorry if I do that, but anyway that is my opinion. I think Ciara Hanna is fine standing alone. But the whole Gia/Emma for me felt really bland. It's like one's an extreme pole over the other. The actress Ciara Hanna acts fine but as I said, Christina Masterson's acting tends to piss me off. Compared to Team Mako/Kotoha, this is a case of near extremes which brings down their team. I always thought that even the actresses don't have much chemistry and neither do their characters. You are splitting Kimberly into two characters which is just a very bad move.
No amount of eye candy would save a super duper horrid show like Power Rangers Megaforce... TRUST ME! Sorry the three of you you've had your time already! You three might as well audition for adult entertainment instead.
Yes Power Rangers Megaforce is just horrid, horrid and HORRID for me. One boring hunk, one overly cheery hottie and one hot blonde who is given a bad script. Really, it's just nice packaging without the proper content, in short it's not even complementary at all. I've mentioned earlier my issues with Troy and Emma. I don't have much issues with Gia except she's given bad writing. To be honest, I think Power Rangers fans may even have had issues with the show itself for all the issues I just mentioned. If you had a bad hangover with this show, some Power Rangers seasons that may cure the hangover for me are Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, Power Rangers Time Force and Power Rangers Ninja Storm. Meanwhile try checking out Seijuu Sentai Gingaman, Kyukyoku Sentai GogoV, Mirai Sentai Timeranger and Ninpuu Sentai Hurricanger. While I'm not a huge fan of Power Rangers, I still can't deny that the show is a failure of an anniversary (may soon ramble on Gokaiger/Megaforce on that angle) and while the package was attractive, it's just an utter failure.
On the other hand Mako and Kotoha are NOT the reasons to watch Shinkenger... sure Mako is hot and Kotoha is cute... but the show won't do good if it had super horrible writing!!!!!
Shinkenger on the other hand had its better advantages for me with decent writing, good acting and well eye candy is just icing. It's just like this... you can have a cake that's well-decorated but it tastes bad. On the other hand, you can have a cake that's not well-decorated but it tastes good. Then you can have cake that's both well-decorated and tastes good. What keeps Shinkenger alive is not the eye candy but its good acting and decent writing. If Shinkenger had bad writing and bad acting, no amount of eye candy will save it either. Shinkenger would be a great start for a few although I can recommend older seasons of Super Sentai. Pre-Zyuranger Super Sentai I would recommend are Maskman, Liveman and Jetman. I can also recommend Zyuranger (DVD with subs now for sale in the U.S.), Dairanger, Ohranger, Carranger, Megaranger, Gaoranger, Abaranger, Dekaranger, Boukenger (if you want to get reckless), Gekiranger and Go-onger (if you want to drop off your seat laughing).
So I've done what may be my first rambling and this is mostly my opinion with some facts stated. So I hope I have de-stressed myself with this rambling. On the other hand, if you really found Power Rangers Megaforce to be horrid, I would like to hear your thoughts but please, no anti-Power Rangers comments, just focus on the horrid show and how you managed to get over it.
Updated on: October 6, 2015