Mikoto Nakadai: The Sadistic Rampaging Killer!
Abaranger itself was an entertaining season with some cheesy Japanese humor (which I like a lot in Super Sentai)... for me one character pretty stood out between heroes and villains and it's Mikoto Nakadai. In my opinion, he's really the most badass villain the show has ever had, perhaps he's the best villain that was ever created for Naruhisa Arakawa's Super Sentai works. Okay, maybe he's not as cruel as the Grongi in Kuuga (still under Arakawa's headwriting) but he's definitely for me, top-tier than Basco (another favorite of mine) in Gokaiger. I felt like this guy showed the idea of "Humans are bastards." to a whole new level.
Now I can't help but think of at first, comparing Zyuranger and Abaranger. What I felt about this guy was he's really a game-changing villain, with the shoutout that, "Hey let's play this game." but it's not all fun and games, all his games disregard the welfare of people around him. The guy is an outstanding doctor, perhaps all the girls wanted him because he has every trait they could want but deep within is the heart of a sadistic killer. Now I thought of how the series couldn't really get him to become like Takeshi Asakura/Ouja in Kamen Rider Ryuki who is one psychotic madman. Unlike Ouja who was a stray man, this guy had everything he could want, his life got so boring and for some reason, one day he just decides to go crazy and he responds to the power of Topgaler, the prototype of the Abaranger suit which may one day explode. But who cares? All this guy cares is about how cruel he can get... sheesh I wonder why's he so mad at the world when he's the almost perfect guy? Spoilers ahead so read at your own risk!
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What I like about the guy is that he can function well in society but he chooses not to. He does manage to show himself even more evil than the show's recurring villains the Evorians. At first, it's not really all that explained to why he's like that. All that is know is that, he was the man who saved Ryouga's life but later, he becomes Ryouga's enemy for most of the series. The guy had shown little or no compassion for anyone... he keeps Yatsudenwani around just for the heck of bullying the poor creature. Another is how he actually enjoys hurting others, he doesn't care about the feelings of others... like tearing the Abarangers apart from their beloved Bakuryuus is not beneath him. I thought he had way more interesting plans than the rest of Evorian. Turning some of the Bakuryus evil and using them against the Abarangers for a much longer period of time, wow I can't really say anything but badass to such a bad guy who can change the game of the show.
My favorite badass moment of this guy was when he practically dominated Evorian. So he's freaking human but... he really dominated the show. Dezumozoryla (who was using Lije as a host) tried to attack but he backfired. He bullies both Mikela and Zoffa, he sits on that throne, he's a sadist... I really always thought the time he took over Evorian got things interesting making him more and more my favorite villain. Even if he's human, he has shown more cruelty than the other Evorians could. While Jannu was brainwashed and crazy, he is evil at his own free will which was further magnified by a deep dark secret as the show goes by. What also made me like him was how most of his plans were more practical compared to that the others who just focused on typical Sentai stupid plans or how overboard he got. One of my favorite episodes was when he actually cared little or none, and that he wanted to crash Jupiter into Earth as his cruelty and insanity kept rising up. However I thought his relationship with the force-grown Lijewel was just creepy.
Here's where I thought Abaranger had some bad direction. Sho Aikawa (Boukenger's head writer) and Atsushi Maekawa were responsible for Mikoto's later part. While it was an interesting plot that at least one half of Dezumozoryla was in him, but remember he was already a sicko to start with. I felt like this guy was even more evil than Dezumozoryla, most of the time, it felt like he was in perfect control. Now you want to suddenly redeem him late in the episodes? The guy hardly had any honor compared to some other villains like well, Buuba in Changeman or Gure in Jetman. Buuba in Changeman (now I need to see more of Changeman) before the finale, started to see Gozma's cowardly ways and it led him to redeem Shiima then challenge Change Dragon to a final battle. But Mikoto? The guy is a sadistic coward so writing his redemption at the finale wasn't fitting so well and it was more like a sudden personality shift.
I am just pretty mixed on his "redemption" considering that it does somehow explain that half of Dezumoryla was in him (which explained some of his actions), showing his dark tendencies but again, most of the time, it felt like he was even controlling that other half. I always thought that he should have died in a villainous death instead or trying to fight Dezumozoryla before he inevitably gets killed. Or maybe, have him ram Topgaler into the Evorian's fortress, blow up with him shouting, "If I can't win, neither can you." In the end, I always felt like he had most of his time as a super awesome villain only to leave me mixed with how he was wrapped up. In the finale, he joins the Abarangers but good thing (at least) he still had that vengeance-crazed side or two, he still showed that he still had some humanity left in him. I just thought the "redemption" part could have worked if it were done earlier than the finale arc considering he had gone too far and in real life, he'd be wanted dead or alive already.
What was interesting was that Abare Killer would return as a redeemed ghost in non-canon shows like Dekaranger vs. Abaranger, Gokaiger (he appeared with Burai and Naoto Takizawa) and later, he would appear with Mika Koizumi and Naoto in the ending of Akibaranger Season Tsuu. So really, what's your opinion to Mikoto's wrapping up in Abaranger? Was it good or bad? You decide! =)