My Personal Thoughts On Super Sentai's Acting Quality Then And Now

From that fool pretending to know everything about Sentai to a person who now admits the truth of the series he's seen from start to end, I might do some writing on my personal thoughts on Super Sentai's acting quality which will include the main cast doing its action scenes. Now it's time for me to do a rather limited post based on my observation.


Old school Super Sentai all the way to Timeranger

The reality is that the more I watch old school Super Sentai, the harder it is for me to appreciate the newer ones. With my previously stated confession, aside from the writing and music, I would also bring up the acting of old school Super Sentai for me is better during the Showa era and 20th Century Heisei era which would be the Goranger up to Timeranger arc.

If I want to talk about big time names and appearances in Tokusatsu during the Showa era and the 20th Century Heisei era, I could mention some of them. You might think of the short recurring appearances of Hiroshi Miyauchi (Akira Shinmei, Banba Soukichi, Chief Miura), Kenji Ohba (Shiro Akebono, Daigoro Oume), Musashi Ishibashi (High Priest Hedder, General Kar, Rehda and later he appeared in the Gekiranger movie as the main villain Yang), Munemaru Kouda (Doctor Man, Gorma XV), Akiko Amamatsuri (Mazenda, Gara and a guest role in Ohranger as Keris), Yutaka Hirose (Ley Wanda, Dr. Kemp, Tranza and Demon Boxer Jin), Yoshinori Okamoto (Adjutant Buba, Bo Gardan and Dr. Ashura), Joji Nakata (Sir Kaura and Great Professor Bias), Soga Machiko (Hedrian and Bandora, she also played Queen Pandora of Spielban), Kihachiro Uemara (Dai and Chevalier), Sayoko Hagiwara (Rei Tachibana and Ley Nefel) and Keiko Hayase (Remi Hoshikawa and the Hanaranger Sakura). I will admit that the later era of Super Sentai lacked that quality which I will discuss later.

When it comes to the acting quality of the main cast, most of the time I felt like most of them were pretty good and solid. I would say that some of the best non-recurring roles in Super Sentai IMO were Kazunori Inaba as Takeru/Red Mask, Toshihide Wakamatsu as Gai Yuki/Black Condor, Daisuke Tachi as Radiguet and Keiichi Wada as Ryou/Ryuuranger. Only a few people didn't really stand out like Kotaro Tanaka as my favorite red ranger Ryu/TendoRed Hawk (I'll admit that was a flaw) tends to be inconsistent or lacks emotional depth), Masaru Nagai as another of my favorites Tatsuya Asami/Time Red isn't so good either or I'll admit Rintaro Nishi as Shadam tends to make the character come out as a Three Stooges guy at times, Daisuke Tachi should have also played as Shadam for a more meaningful impact.

I also felt like action scenes done by the main cast of rangers during the two eras had stood out much better in this era. During this time, they didn't only do their own stunts but there were really a lot of raw power. Perhaps what I'll name as really outstanding scenes would be Momoko's fighting Dokuro Dobler (who was disguised as Kotsuhi) out of suit, Ken Hoshikawa's out of suit victory against Amoeba Rugin, Geki's trying to settle his differences with Burai, every out of suit scene Ryou has with Demon Boxer Jin, Jiraiya's fight with his former master and Kyousuke fighting out of suit to prove his love for Zonette are probably among the few badass scenes I can name. These were the days that really had a lot of the cast pretty much doing their own thing.


Super Sentai acting during the 21st Century Heisei era

The 21st Century Heisei era was the era where I felt either Super Sentai acting wasn't as good or it really went down. While the 20th Century Heisei era was where I'd praise most of the acting to be better than Power Rangers (except for some Power Rangers actors and actresses that I felt stood out over their Japanese counterparts like Amy Jo Johnson, Jason Faunt and Erin Cahill but weren't wow in the long run), the acting in the 21st Century Heisei era for most of its run was more or less Power Rangers-ish aside from the lack of better action scenes from the main cast that make me go wow at them.

I always felt what this era needed were more of the previous actors. I always wanted to rant about how Juzo in Shinkenger should have been played by Shunta Fuchino or Gaja should have been played by Yutaka Hirose or Yoshinori Okamoto to make up for the Power Rangers-ish acting of the main cast of Sentai warriors of the season. I'm not saying Power Rangers-ish acting is a terrible thing since certain seasons of Power Rangers have good acting and can really convince but it's not as good as it used to be. On the other hand, I felt like ToQGer and Ninninger really have bland acting... especially Takaharu errrr... Bakaharu tends to annoy me a lot to the point that Andrew Gray who I find bland and boring, would be my ideal person to go out with and talk about Tokusatsu. I don't know if it's even fair or believable to compare those two series to the bad acting of the Neo-Saban era or the unpopular Disney seasons.

When it comes to the main cast doing their action scenes, I've seen it make a standstill during ToQGer and recently Ninninger. Ninninger is a ninja sentai but come on, where is the main cast really doing some stunts? Remembering the interview Chris Cantada had with Kazunori Inaba (credited as his screen name, Ryousuke Kaizo) and Kei Shindachiya, they mentioned about that Power Rangers members have still been doing their own stunts as of recent (perhaps in reference to Dino Charge still having the cast do some of their own stunts). Prior to that, Super Sentai during the 21st Heisei era still pulled off some do your own stunts scenes but they weren't all that impressive. An example would be Hoji's battle with Jilvan in Dekaranger was badass on paper but almost looks like it's just a Jason David Frank training video (with Jilvan as the mascot) in contrast to the 20th Century Heisei or the Showa Era of Super Sentai where a punch was far more lethal.

For Showa era vs. 21st Century Heisei era, it's time for me to raise Takeru vs. Takeru namely Kazunori Inaba vs. Tori Matsuzaka as an example of both acting and action scenes. I'll admit they are both my favorites in their respective series. When I think of how both actors came out in both action scenes and acting. For the first Takeru's actor, he really delivers a much stronger blow in just almost everything that I could keep saying wow to almost everything the directors require him to do. For the second Takeru's actor, he does do his job well but I always felt like he wasn't all that good as the first Takeru. While I like both characters but the first Takeru does better acting and action-wise. I always felt like that Red Mask's rivalry with Kiros was more performance-worthy than Shinken Red's rivalry with Juzo.

For 20th Century Heisei era vs. 21st Century Heisei era, I might raise is Natsuki Takahashi (whose character was named Rin) vs. Rin Takanashi in acting out as pink rangers. Natsuki Takahashi herself really delivers a very strong performance as Rin (I think it's alternatively spelled as Lin) of Dairanger complete with the expression and acting, she's really one badass pink. On the other hand, Rin Takanashi has her charm but she really isn't all that great as other pinks. Not that I'm complaining, I like her quality of acting but it's just not all that awesome for me.

But as always, there's no perfect Super Sentai season. Each season will always have its merits and demerits as a show. Sad to say though, I feel Super Sentai acting hasn't been so great as of late. Just my two cents. 'Nuff said.

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