Dekaranger: A Super Sentai Season Filled With Metal Hero Nostalgia!
I kept recalling Gavan and Shaider in some way as I watched Dekaranger which turned out to be a show filled with some Metal Hero shoutouts. One of the most obvious is how the narration is done... the narrator DOES NOT know when to shut up and come on, no need to keep reminding us of this and that okay?! With how I've just finished Winspector, Solbrain and now I heard of the new Gavan vs. Dekaranger movie (hopefully, Kenji Ohba will appear in it as an important officer like he did in some of the crossovers) which features the Dekarangers 10 years after, I decided to revisit this post and add new information into it.
The Special Police Dekaranger program
You cannot deny the similarity between the Space Sheriffs and Dekaranger. They are both seen as an intergalactic police force dedicated to keeping the peace in the universe. They are in charge of keeping intergalactic crime at bay. There are other Dekarangers out there but we are only focused on the Earth Branch itself. But ever since Gokaiger vs. Gavan, the VS. Universe or VS. Movies have broken the mold even more. Hmmm... thanks a lot Kamen Rider Decade!
Another huge shoutout to the Space Police program is the fact that their base transforms into fighting mode. Doesn't that remind you of how Shaider's Babilos or Sharivan's Grand Birth where the headquarters of the hero becomes a fighting robot? Now the idea isn't entirely purely from Metal Hero as the idea felt like it came from Transformers with Metroplex or Turboranger had a base robot but it can't walk and Fiveman had a base robot which was hardly used. But still, it feels like a bit of a shoutout to the Metal Hero franchise doesn't it? Take note that Dekabase Robo was rarely used except in cases of emergency.
Doggie Kruger himself as Dekamaster for me felt like a shoutout to the Space Sheriffs. Granted, the Special Police Dekaranger had anthropomorphic animals who may be genetically "human", that was just one shoutout. As Dekamaster, Doggie has access to his D-Sword Vega which reminds me of the laser blades used by the Space Sheriffs. The Dekarangers however didn't have the laser blade theme with them. The fact he's assisted by a woman in Swan-san to help him in his tasks would be like how Gavan, Sharivan and Shaider were given female partners to work as the brains behind the heroes. Swan is the brain behind Doggie Kruger and the Earth branch of Dekaranger.
In later episodes, the Dekarangers would get the upgrade called the Dekaranger SWAT Mode for the core members. Now I haven't seen Blue SWAT but I really want to see the show myself to make a better comparison so can anybody tell me where I can watch Blue SWAT? I could be wrong but I am also partly reminded of Solbrain's use of high tech equipment to do rescue missions.
The Dekawing Robo's finishing attack may remind you of the Vavilos cannon formation from Shaider or the Grand Nazca from Spielban. I always thought wow that was really something to have another Metal Hero shoutout. But in Dekaranger, it was used as a finisher for the giant robot battles than destroying battleships.
The Alienizers as the recurring villains of the show
What may have been "forgotten" nor not noticed by younger fans is that while it does have the Galactic Police setup, it does have references to the Rescue Police Trilogy. The Dekarangers aren't fighting against any known criminal organization. While Gavan, Sharivan and Shaider fought against one huge organization with a main villain running the show, the Dekarangers didn't. Instead, it had a bit of a bizarre combination of the Rescue Police Trilogy and the Space Sheriffs. In short, it's Rescue Police on a huge intergalactic scale.
The episodes in Dekaranger aren't really typical to those in Super Sentai. While Carranger did fight against the galactic criminal gang known as the Bowzock (and they did have a "main villain" in Gynamo and later, they were actually led by Emperor Exhaus) but the Dekarangers didn't fight against a certain organization. While one can consider Agent Abrella as the "main villain" but he's more of the greatest criminal in the show than a Big Bad. He wasn't the leader type and most of the time, the criminals of the week were more focused. If ever Abrella was involved, he was there to render services then he as the greatest criminal starts wrecking havoc. His concept feels like it was recycled from Solbrain's greatest villain Ryuichi Takaoka who appeared late in the series. Abrella appeared more often but didn't really qualify much as a Big Bad. Instead, he was more of a recurring villain.
So what's the issue with the criminals in Dekaranger is that they're either getting services from Abrella or that there's the possibility they get it from other galactic black market dealers. I doubt it Agent Abrella's the only one providing services to them. I think the Anaroids and Batsuroids have become common merchandise in the black market in Dekaranger and not merely restricted to Abrella. Unlike the criminals in Winspector, Solbrain and Exceedraft they were aliens and not humans. They could be deleted on the spot if there was ever a warrant for their eradication. The badges may also be a reference to the badgets used in the Rescue Police Trilogy.
Updated: August 26, 2016