Sentai Rambling: Super Sentai Series I've Watched From Start to End Which I Dub as Masterpieces!

Okay let's get this straight, this isn't facts but just my personal (and somewhat) biased opinions. Before reading this, take note that I haven't seen all of Super Sentai yet. Meanwhile, here's the list ofSuper Sentai series I've watched from start to endthat I have dubbed as masterpieces. So this list may change overtime but meanwhile here's my current list. Remember that my opinion on Super Sentai masterpieces is subject to change within a certain time period for Super Sentai series I believe can be considered as "Super Sentai masterpieces".


Hikari Sentai Maskman

Okay this might be just a bias considering that this was a part of my childhood. What did I like about Maskman? It has tons and I mean TONS of drama and unfolding mysteries that kept he series going besides the star-crossed (if that should be the right term) love story between Takeru and Ial. Meanwhile, I used to find it weird that Igam was really having her masquerade as a manNO THANKS to that stupid Tagalog dub that already blew the cover of Igam making the whole scene of Igam's helmet flying off make no sense within the dub. The whole story of the series revolved around Tube as an empire in struggle, its villains (who were not pure evil but had different personalities). Added to the whole layer is theconflict of forces in Hikari Sentai Maskman. Takeru represents love and Kiros the lone wanderer villain with neutral alignment represents lust. Igam and Ial are sibling who stand for different ideals - one is a supremacist ideal and the other is for peace between the surface world and the underground. Plus having the questions about the main villain Earth Underground Emperor Zeba which left me to speculate to what kind of powerful being he was. I even speculated Zeba was an alien or a demon of sorts since he's obviously not human, he had to be something very evil and that he cannot be defeated unless a prerequisite happens which was why he fears anything that can reveal anything about him. Every time Zeba's identity is close to being disclosed, something interesting happens adding more suspense to the show. All I can say was this season for me had a lot of interesting stuff to keep me watching with all the series' mysteries and dramatic moments.


Chojin Sentai Jetman

As said, Jetman is my number one favorite season although there are still other seasons better than it which I admit would be like Dairanger and Maskman but you cannot deny this season is super popular to many Super Sentai fans. On the other hand, my reasons for liking Jetman is because of me being able to relate to Ryu and Gai Yuki... heck I even feel like at times I relate to both Radiguet and Tranza. Toshiki Inoue wrote a lot of good episodes before he became the headwriter of Chojin Sentai Jetman. This was before either he burned out or he just gave up writing good stories because of Toei's current management system but I did enjoy Kamen Rider Kiva even if some people I know think it's a very stupid series. What made Jetman interesting was that it tried to lump in a lot of elements back from Soda era while trying new stuff. I always thought that the Ryu/Gai conflict that developed from rivalry into friendship, the Vyram's game of death and all the drama with it. Villains had their different flavor like Radiguet willfully stays evil, Tranza represents the never-ending cycle of revenge (he goes from kid to adult to inflict revenge, only for his own game of revenge to backfire at him), Maria is well sort of a plot-hole to why did the Dimensional Party Vyram decide to keep her (even Radiguet sort of had a crush on her) and Gure representing the noble villain idea as they were all entangled in a complicated love polygon. It also focuses on the different sides of people like Ryu while being the preachy good guy has his own inner struggles especially when he learns the truth about Rie being Maria or that Gai Yuki in spite of being the rebel, learns the value of teamwork as the series progresses. I began to enjoy Gai Yuki more when he actually dared to snap Ryu back to reality. Also, the Gai and Kaori relationship was fun to watch considering how it helped Gai for the better. At the same time, Ryu must learn to move on from his past tragedy and learn the true meaning of being a Jetman warrior.


Chojuu Sentai Liveman

While I had my biases at first but when I watched it from start to end, the show is freaking crazy awesome for most of the run especially with how the heroes and villains are connected towards each other. It would be the last of the best of Hirohisa Soda before he would burn out in Turboranger and Fiveman. Compared to Hurricanger, the whole series relatively serious from start to end. Heck, I even think this series is more serious and dark than Chojin Sentai Jetman who some claim is darker than its predecessors! While it had a few moments of laughs, most of Liveman were well-written serious stories that appealed to emotions. It also showed the conflict of the use of sciences - one for good and the other for evil. he best conflict of ideals happen especially between Yuusuke vs. Dr. Kemp and Megumi vs. Dr. Mazenda since Bias' students left Academia to join the sinister Volt. As said, the show is also showing the consequences of making disastrous choices. The whole series tried to focus on personal revenge vs. justice as well considering that the Livemen must differentiate between the two which apparently, the ultimate enemy of the Livemen isn't Volt but their personal vendettas against Volt and two, the evil use of science against humanity in itself to which the main villain Great Professor Bias is a slave to such a sinister notion. At the same time, Volt's greatest enemy is not the Livemen but the wrong choices they made which soon led to their defeat. This was going to be Soda's last great series and the whole series is chock full of good writing. Sad to say, Turboranger and Fiveman was where Soda really lost his touch.


Gosei Sentai Dairanger

Dairanger is avery Chinese style Super Sentaiand second to Noboru Sugimura's writings. Sugimura wrote Zyuranger, Dairanger, Kakuranger and Ohranger. Dairanger itself was revolving around Chinese mythologies and the idea of Yin and Yang. The entire season of Dairanger vs. Gorma isn't very one sided either. Both sides of the coin represent the ideas of the conflict of positive (Dairanger) and negative (Gorma). The Gorma itself is a structure in conflict especially with Shadam as a Radiguet 2.0. Along the way, Dairanger focuses on conflicts like personal vs. others (Daigo and Kujaku have a lot of choices to make), martial arts principles (Ryou vs. Jin, all written by Toshiki Inoue), the redeemable Gorma and Shouji (who are less evil and more of misunderstood) and Daijinryu (in the quest for balance but things go the wrong way). The romance of Daigo and Kujaku for me is one of the best love stories in Super Sentai, it sorts of takes Ah My Goddess to a level of sadness as Daigo the mortal must face his impossible romance with Kujaku a goddess. Meanwhile having Yutaka Hirose return as Jin Matoba was also a cool battle, each written well by Toshiki Inoue before he probably ran out of motivation to write better stories. At the same time, the Gorma is in conflict considering their dysfunctional power structure or thanks to Shadam who like Radiguet, has been manipulating people for his selfish ends, even cheating death perhaps more than once. Dairanger's several points of conflicts and well-written stories made it fun to watch. At the same time, I would say this show is even darker than Maskman, Liveman and Jetman. It has lots of character deaths and tragedies and it is literally the bloodiest series to date. Perhaps the darkest Super Sentai series to date IMO especially with all the tragedies this season presents to its viewers.


Denji Sentai Megaranger

Not Power Rangers Mega-FAIL but Denji Sentai Megaranger is the true Mega team season which took place in the 90s. It is one of the best series for me with the major contributions of Junki Takegami who was the head writer (I want to watch Gogo V which was another headwriting job but I only saw two episodes but it's pretty interesting), Yasuko Kobayashi and Naruhisa Arakawa (who wrote the finale instead of the head writer). The whole series managed to complete what Turboranger failed to do with the theme of teenagers with attitude who mature as the series goes by and this series does it better. At the same time, it revived the science themeback in theSoda erawhen it came to Dr. Hinelar and his conflict with the Megaranger's team mentor Dr. Kubota which was demonic science vs. safer science. The Megarangers used digital technology while they battled the Nezire's demonic science. The whole show also introduced the idea that not even the villains fully knew of who the Megaranger were perhaps due to the effect of staying too long in Nezire. The whole series had a lot of well-written plots, teenagers who mature as the show goes by (especially Kenta and Miku) and well, a ship full of ship teases. So far, it's known by now that I am a Kenta/Chisato ship teaser and even if neither was officially attracted to the other, both of them had an awesome friendship. My favorite development had to be how the Megarangers were faced off against game-changing villains which literally brought the difficulty level higher than usual. This was also produced by Shigenori Takadera who was previously responsible for Carranger (better see more of it), Gingaman and Kamen Rider Kuuga.


Mirai Sentai Timeranger

Perhaps the best of Yasuko Kobayashi's seasons, Timeranger in itself is a complex season in a battle against fate(spoilers) and not exactly typical. Aside from the time theme, it also introduces the police theme as the Timerangers must arrest ALIEN NOT MUTANT criminals who were deployed by the recurring villains namely the Londarz mafioso Don Dolnero. The whole show was not really typical like monsters of the week were alien criminals that had to be re-arrested. The show focuses on the idea of the battle against their own destinies and wishing you can turn back time. While it has some overly predictable plots (Tatsuya and Yuuri, again spoilers) but it also had some unraveling mysteries. What also made the show unique was the conflicts of interests like the Asamis (Tatsuya, his father Wataru and his douchebag hero-wannabe descendant Captain Ryuya), Yuuri's desire fore revenge vs. her duties, Tatsuya and Yuuri being 1,000 years apart and the Timerangers and their captain Ryuya. If anybody would dare fit the real title of the antagonist, nobody does but something does namely fate itself. Fate is what the Timerangers are fighting and the quote is, "Even if you can't change the future, you can still fight for a better tomorrow." The series' pacing and everything has everyone fighting for a better future with some predictable bittersweet results. I do like Shinkenger but this show for me deserves the masterpiece title for all of Kobayashi's headwriting works. This was probably one of Jun Hikasa's works and he was involved with Gogo V (which I should see more of it, dang I only saw two episodes) then later Gaoranger, Hurricanger, Abaranger, Boukenger and the first half of Goseiger.


Tokosou Sentai Dekaranger

This was the first ofNaruhisa Arakawa's headwriting jobs that I saw from start to end. While I personally have biases towards Sentai series post-Timeranger but I could consider Dekaranger as an exemption. IMO, this series deserves to be the masterpiece of Arakawa's headwriting jobs. Again, there's also production staff to thank for namely Hideaki Tsukada its head producer. Dekaranger is another atypical Sentai series. While it has Timeranger's cop motif but it didn't have a main villain organization. Instead, the Dekarangers are left clueless of who their real enemy is at the beginning until they discover his existence. The main villain Agent Abrella serves as a crooked weapons salesmen to the monsters of the week that take place as Alienizers, a label for alien criminals guilty of crimes especially at an intergalactic scale (ex. bombing, swindling, murder). The Alienizers are usually guilty of various crimes that usually warrant their deletion. What makes the series also a masterpiece is how it tries to become a more police-themed Sentai than Timeranger. At the same time, the Dekarangers get to learn more about each other especially between Ban and Hojias they solve cases and seek to get rid of Agent Abrella who has become their biggest enemy in the show. The more I watched Dekaranger and unlocking criminal cases, the more the puzzle fits together to uncovering more about Agent Abrela and his ultimate scheme. I would probably give credit to the fact that Arakawa wrote Kamen Rider Kuuga to why Dekaranger for me is a masterpiece series. At the same time Hideki Tsukada was able to come up with Gekiranger which was another cool season for me, while he did come up with Magiranger (which I dislike), he was also responsible for Kamen Rider W and Kamen Rider Fourze.


Jyuken Sentai Gekiranger

Gekiranger was written mainly by the Michiko Yokote trio. This season turned out so good so I wonder why did Goseiger turn out so bad?! The whole season in itself was filled with various plot elements which I love. Again, maybe it's due to Tsukada's genius or what? The whole season was filled with complex elements and again, the conflict of forces like the Rin Juken and Gen Juken, two rival factions that need to be balanced like Yin and Yang. Along the way, there is also the feeling that wait, somebody must be behind the events of the whole season. I would also consider that the whole story was filled with the theme of family and martial arts. The theme of family was on the Gekirangers. The theme of martial arts and conflicted ideologies are all well-written especially with the Gekirangers in conflict with Rio and Mele. At the same time, it was soon revealed some malevolent being who was responsible for the conflict of the whole story. Much of the time, Rio and Mele are not pure evil but rather villains with blind ambitions who slowly meet redemption as the series progresses, even to the point that they are actually honorable in the long run compared to the malevolent being that has plagued the series behind the scenes. For the season itself, I could probably also pay tribute tot he producer of this series Hideaki Tsukada who was also the producer of Dekaranger, Magiranger (which I believe has entered my list of hates), Kamen Rider W and Kamen Rider Fourze, which 99% of the list are in my likes list. Much of the season takes Chinese mythology and cultural references to another new level.


Seijuu Sentai Gingaman

Well as of April 12, 2015 I have officially finished Seijuu Sentai Gingaman and yes it's a masterpiece although I think Timeranger is better than this show. Much of Gingaman follows a mature fairy-tale like setting from start to end. Everything starts with the concept of the five warriors of Ginga, who are destined to inherit the powers of the Gingamen as the 113rd wielders of the title. In the process, Ryoma takes the place of his brother Hyuga who was supposed to hold that title. What happens in Gingaman is that the Space Pirates Balban have emerged, seeking to revive Daitanix. It does take the concept of Gorangers' deceased generals getting replaced to its own way. Each general that fell had a different approach in trying to revive the Daitanix. Sanbash looked for energy sources, Budo looked for the Lights of Ginga, Illiess sought to use dangerous magic spells and Batbas sought to use powerful destructive forces. The Gingamen have lost their home to which they are forced to live among normal humans, while they fight the Balban. During the course of the show, various mysteries and foreshadows appear like Bullblack, Hyuga's return, the Lights of Ginga and the Balban themselves. Much of the history of the Gingamen are revealed as the series goes by. The series also reveals how the characters developed all throughout from a group of homeless warriors (who stay in a ranch) to how they would eventually complete the task their predecessors failed to do.

Not exactly masterpieces but honorable mentions for series I watched from start to end:

Although I don't consider them as top masterpieces but I would say these Sentai seasons deserved to be mentioned here. These seasons for me are quite well written that they deserve to be mentioned even if I don't put them in my list of awesome. Meanwhile you may notice Go-onger is not in this list. I like Go-onger but I don't think it's worth an honorable mention but I still like it nonetheless while I have these series that I believe are close to becoming masterpieces but aren't really masterpieces. In a way, they come close but haven't met the outstanding measure for me. But again, my opinion is always subject to change.


Chodenshi Bioman

I may just be biased on this one especially this wasmy first Super Sentai. Again, MMPR was my first Power Rangers and heck, I don't like it THAT MUCH. Moving on, I always thought Bioman was a fun season in spite of the one problem ofBeastnoids who keep surviving and surviving. The show itself was pretty experimental and it had the problem of Mika as a failed experiment (blame Yuki Yajima on that) while it also introduced Jun Yabuki. The whole show was entertaining for me even after Mika left (fortunately her concept wasn't written off and was later brought into Carranger with Natsumi in some way). The whole season was on robotics vs. life, which for me I can even relate to Dr. Man in some way. Dr. Man himself also represented as a complex character who struggles with his past and present, where he seeks to become more mechanical and goes beyond great heights of cruelty just to remove his human self to become a truly mechanical, cold as steel human being. Meanwhile, there's more than meets the eye in the history of the Bio Particles like Silver's arrival and Dr. Man's past is further revealed even after the Biomen discover how he turned out the way he was. I felt like the show still deserves special mention for me, again I'm just pretending to be Great Professor Bias here. XD


Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger

Pardon me but I'm just again playing my biases or not. Zyuranger for me while not really all that a masterpiece still deserves some mention in this entry IMO but people know by now I really love Dairanger over this show. I would say even after watching Abaranger, I think I like this show better but with a short mile difference but I might change my opinion soon. The whole RPG-ish nature of Zyuranger made it fun to watch for me like five ancient warriors who must battle the evil Witch Bandora. Zyuranger was a chock full of mythology, child of the week and having the first mecha who was sentient, leaving viewers to speculate on how events occur within the story. It also had a better child-hating villain writing with the Witch Bandora than that stupid old man in the short-lived and rather absurd series called Machineman (the super hero who wears a shower curtain for a cape) series. During Burai's arrival, I would admit the series just got more interesting all the more when more of the Zyuranger's past was revealed along the way. My only complaint was that Burai died before the finale arc but hey, at least he died valiantly! On the other hand, my blatant favoritism towards the Super Sentai season are somewhat also linked with MMPRwhich the show is mostly superior to its adaptation IMO. So pretty much, I'll admit I tend to show favoritism towards Zyuranger a lot even if I find Dairanger to be the better written Super Sentai season.


Hyajakuu Sentai Gaoranger

Perhaps my top favorite Super Sentai anniversary season, it was a fun season that introduced the multi-gattai concept and back then, most of the mecha had a plot to how they were attached. It also showed the conflict between the Gao Animals and the Orgs who were apparently heartless beings (but some of them were shown to even care for each other like Yaba-iba and Tsuetsue). The season in itself for me wasa really fun anniversary season with some cool tributes. In terms of non-canon crossovers, Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai was a really cool crossover in itself. The series main villains the Orgs did present three different interesting personalities and some plots between 1,000 years ago and its year and setting wrapping things up in a fun way. I also thought that the arrival of Shirogane (who was 1,000 years from the past put into suspended animation) was also a necessary plot. I also enjoyed how the Three Highnesses had different executions yet the show remains consistent in its writing of what the Orgs really are and the plots involved without the feel that Gaoranger is three different seasons. Officially speaking, this is the first series I watched from start to end with Junki Takegami as the head writer followed by Go-onger. Jun Hikasa as a producer mostly produced works that I like although Go-onger isn't nominated here no matter how much I like the show.


Bakuryu Sentai Abaranger

This is Naruhisa Arakawa's first time to become a head writer for Super Sentai after he wrote Kamen Rider Kuuga as its head writer, sadly he never became a head writer for any more Kamen Rider series. The whole show in itself is one amazing dinosaur season with some weird Japanese humor which I love. Compared to Zyuranger, this dinosaur themes Super Sentai season has been more accurate with the dinosaur theme. The show in itself also tried to have a few references to 90s series and not just Zyuranger. It re-invents dinosaur Sentai into a much different story than Zyuranger (Yes folks, Sentai seasons are usually operating within THEIR OWN CONTINUITIESso that means Zyuranger and Abaranger are two different timelines from each other, not connected except in Gokaiger's entire what if continuity and the VS Movies). The whole show was filled with amazing characters like the lovable dummy Ryoga, Yukito as the team jerk, Ranru as the team inventor and Asuka who arrives to our world to protect it from Evorian. Also, the season just got more interesting as Mikoto came and yup, he is one incredibly cruel douche of a villain with one crazy game after the other plus he continues to troll the Abarangers for most of the season. What I pretty much enjoyed about Abaranger is how the story between the two Earths (Another Earth and Dino Earth) managed to work its way from start to end. Not to mention, the love story of Asuka and Mahoro was also a very fun driving factor from start to finish which had a better outcome.


Gougou Sentai Boukenger

I think Boukenger which for me still remains as a favorite of mine still deserves to be in the list and it's my second favorite Super Sentai anniversary season after Gaoranger. Boukenger in itself is a season long adventure where they must battle the villains who compete for domination of stuff called Precious. I always thought that I enjoy the adventure concept of the season. There were also various conflicts for me that made the show interesting like Satoru's conflict of ideologies with Ryuon, Masumi's rivalry with Yaiba, Eiji's rivalry with the Ashu who were converted into the Quester warriors (especially he was half-Ashu) and the idea of an adventure. One way or another, I thought having Gaja, Ryuon, Dark Shadow and the Questers compete for overall power while occasionally teaming up was a fun factor for the show. In spite of being a fun season, it also had the more serious plots like Eiji's mother, Masumi's past encounter with Yaiba (which resulted to an ongoing rivalry and the darkness within him) and Satoru facing Ryuon as a frequent rival who wanted him dead or Natsuki's past finally revealed to the Boukengers which moved the plot further. At the same time, the villains like the Vyram are in a power struggle like Ryuon and Gaja are bitter rivals but they sometimes work together, only to double-cross each other. On the other hand, the team is apparently composed of drunkards but it's still fun to watch for me. It still deserves to have a nomination overall IMO. For one, Sho Aikawa is the head writer and he also wrote one Kamen Rider Blade which is some of the Heisei Kamen Rider seasons that I like.


Samurai Sentai Shinkenger

Again, this could be another bias considering Shinkenger is the very first Sentai season I've watched from start to end with Yasuko Kobayashi as its head writer. The whole show somewhat tries to cram in elements from Maskman (aura power, having the name Takeru, Ryunosuke being a butt monkey second-in-command, Chiaki as the youngest male member who gets in trouble for slacking but is a good fighter overall), Jetman (one may view Takeru Shiba as a Ryu Tendo 2.0 and Kotoha for me is anAko 2.0) and maybe I can also mention Gingaman and Dairanger (lineage-based as the Shinkengers follow the path of the samurai and vassals) while I look at Mako Shiraishi as a more mature Kimberly Hart in a good way. Now it does have a weaker midseason which was common for Yasuko Kobayashi for anything she wrote post-Timeranger). Although I've watched Gingaman (am at episode 43 based on the releases by Over Time, hopefully I'll get to finish it with subs this time) and Timeranger with both seasons with better writing. I like Shinkenger but as of late, the series for me is good but it's not really an outstanding season. Sad to say but after Shinkenger, Kobayashi could have given up every last effort to write better stories. I would say that this series beats Boukenger off my chart but I still like both shows, except that Shinkenger imo is better written but heck, I wish the series took place in the 90s instead! Sad to say but ToQGer was nowhere near this close to being a near masterpiece Super Sentai show compared to Samurai Sentai Shinkenger.


Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger

Okay I'll admit that this is my least favorite Super Sentai anniversary season (I may not elaborate on why since while I like it as a series, it's just not my top favorite anniversary season) mainly because of most of the villains are too generic minus Basco who was the only bad guy I found to be noteworthy for better villain execution. However I cannot deny that the writing crew headed by Naruhisa Arakawa and producer Takaaki Utsunomiya (who was also in charge of producing Shinkenger and he would later create ToQGer) and it's a season long crossover. I know not everything turns out the way I wanted it (ex. Jasmine lacking screen time) but overall, the execution makes up for my rather trivial disappointments. What I like about this season was that the Gokaigers weren't exactly all that interested with saving the Earth, they were more after the Greatest Treasure of the Universe. Then Gai Ikari enters joining in the crew as the new Gai (pun intended) who sadly becomes a victim of Inoue-type cruelty for an entire episode. Later on, we discover more about the Gokaigers' journey along the way and even if most of the villains felt generic, at least they still contributed to the plot of Gokaiger. Gokaiger had a lot of fun with nostalgia but I'll admit, I still like Boukenger and Gokaiger over this anniversary season in terms of execution. But still, it does a very impressive job as a Super Sentai anniversary season. This was the second production work by Takaaki Utsonomiya before he'd go to produce ToQGer which for me was really a bore in the long run.


Updated onApril 12, 2015

Comments

  1. I do not believe that Bioman, Shinkengers and Gokaigers is in the Masterpiece section.You talk a lot about them as if it is the next best thing since Dairangers or Maskman!

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