Sentai Rambling: That Feeling When I'm A Fan Or At Least Liking An Underrated, Underappreciated And/Or Unpopular Sentai Season!
Do you ever have the feeling that you are a fan of a Super Sentai season then you hear disparaging comments from a lot of Super Sentai fans? Again, remember that no Super Sentai season is ever perfect, forget about it! When I think about the fanbase, I would confess I just started out as that bandwagoning idiot, pretended to know-it-all then now, I hope I'm no more of that. So I felt like writing this post maybe to let off some steam from my former days. We all make mistakes and we must learn from them, right?
In the Super Sentai fanbase or just Tokusatsu in general, there's always a lot of division among fans when it comes to favorite seasons. Now there's the beauty of having different opinions and two, seldom I feel the need to like an unpopular, underappreciated or underrated entry just to avoid bandwagoning. The more I remembered how many times I bandwagon or ride on other people's OPINIONS, the more stupid I became as a result so that's why some of my very old posts are getting some facelifts and reboots, hopefully that'll change me for the better.
When it comes to different opinions, it's not just Super Sentai against Power Rangers (perhaps the biggest debate ever and I REFUSE to participate in their fan wars or mediate, as Doug Walker says, "That's it, I'm out!"), Super Sentai against Kamen Rider (which might be the reason why that so awful Super Hero Taisen movie exists and I wasn't well-insured, boo hoo) but you can even it as Power Rangers against Power Rangers, Kamen Rider against Kamen Rider and well this post may cater to Super Sentai against Super Sentai dispute within the fandom.
When it comes to Super Sentai against Super Sentai, it's another type of disagreement when it comes to Toei's properties. Now I don't necessarily say it is a civil war but some fans can argue over which season is better. Some can also go for the stupidity and say all Super Sentai are created equal when they are not. There will always be a better season and not a better season. Now I'd like to talk about some entries that I believe have been underrated, underappreciated and/or unpopular as a series. Everything here is mostly based from Super Sentai series I've watched from start to end (and Ohranger is about to enter that list as four more episodes and I'm good as done with it), a list I ended up making because I really kept making too many mistakes! Now for a few series that I think and feel did not get enough credit that I think it deserves.
Hikari Sentai Maskman
I could really mention some shows that I've either warmed up to Gobusters because I felt like worse seasons followed or I could blah blah blah all day why I don't hate Go-onger, I could start somewhere else and maybe it's the "rude revelation" that Maskman when I thought the show was popular during its airing because IMO, it's a really, REALLY good show. So really, a lot of people criticize Maskman? Oh boy, here comes that moment when I'm going to need to control my emotions and impulses before I do anything stupid.
When it came to Maskman, I would say that the show has aged pretty well for me. Maybe it was unpopular during its time because it tried to be more mature than usual. I haven't seen much of Changeman (except for a few raw videos so I'm just WMG-ing) and the same goes for Flashman, I've read some synopsis but that's not enough for me to make a full critique. So now until I've seen Changeman and Flashman in more detail, I'll just focus this entry on Maskman!
It's pretty much what I'd call a real classic. So Jetman is my top one favoritefor very personal reasons (ex. I could relate to that show to more than one level) but Maskman for me had better acting and should I dare admit it now, IMO better writing since I still think Hirohisa Soda is better than Toshiki Inoue, though Inoue has his own merits too for writing my favorite shows like Jetman and Kamen Rider Agito. As much as enjoyed the Ryu/Maria love story but I still think there was MORE emotion with Takeru/Ial mainly due to the actor himself, Kazunori Inaba could really act super well while Kotaro Tanaka is just A-OK. No matter how much I love Jetman at a personal level, I still cannot deny I feel like Maskman had better writing overall. So really, I hope that my fellow Jetman fans don't decide to finish me off for stating my OPINION.
I think one of the worst criticisms that Maskman receives was namely the fact that Prince (or Princess) Igam (for some fans) was obviously a woman but neither gender in Maskman ever figured out her true identity, except a few. So really, a bit of cultural study would have you know men wore high heels first instead of women. I think her voice is a dead giveaway at times but some men don't sound so manly. The outfit doesn't betray her though, it does hide her body structure in such a way but she wouldn't look too obvious. If you know Mulan's disguise, nobody was aware she was a woman because she pulled it pretty well plus remember, not all men have an Adam's apple on their throats nor are all men hairy enough to keep growing a beard that fast. Again, with the environment of Tube, I doubt it so many men ever keep growing a beard or mustache there so I hope that helps defend my stand on the Igam plot.
As of late, I think Maskman has a fanbase right after its broadcast. Older fans do love the series but I still feel more like it's underappreciated or not given the credit that it deserves. I am actually glad there are people who are checking it out. So there are people who are now checking out a series and I'm glad that's happening. However until then, I think I'll still have to try and defend my stance more on this series and why I think it's a masterpieceand why it deserves more credit. Still, I find it weird that this show tends to get underrated maybe for being serious but Jetman and Dairanger are very popular seasons. Weird stuff happen all the time in fandom huh?
Kosoku Sentai Turboranger
I was pretty amazed to learn a lot of stuff in Turboranger like the ratings and budget. I guess the budget could not be met due to the ratings which I think was really understandable. I guess a lot of people know by know that by episodes 27 to 29, we had the three generals namely Zimba, Jarmin and Rehda written off from the script. I felt like WTF about it... then we have Yamimaru and Kirika kicking in for the second half of the show but the ratings weren't good either. Then again, understand that Hirohisa Soda at this point was starting to burn out. He was after all the headwriter of Goggle V, Dynaman, Bioman, Changeman, Flashman, Maskman and Liveman before Turboranger. Fiveman would be hist last headwriting work.
Now even if I watched Carranger from start to end, I still think Turboranger has been better for most of its run. Sure, I do enjoy Carranger and I mean I do enjoy it for its zany humor but it's very disappointing for me how people may end up bashing Turboranger. Now I don't say that without this show, Carranger won't exist at all... no they could still proceed to have an automobile theme show even if Turboranger didn't exist and some other series existed like let's say, insert whatever theme you want happened instead, in my case I'd want a military theme Super Sentai fighting against a Nazi or Communist type of organization. Again, what if Carranger was already planned to be an automobile themed show but because of the disaster that happened during Ohranger through a series of unfortunate events, they decided to put smiles back into the faces of people. Hmmmm...
Perhaps another series that fans would bring up is Megaranger, which some argue saved Super Sentai and not Carranger which I think is false considering that Ohranger almost cancelled Super Sentai. I guess I might soon hear of stuff like, "Oh Turboranger doesn't match up to Megaranger when it comes to teenagers with attitudetheme." Now there's no mistake that I love Megaranger, I think it's better than Turboranger, I think that show had the teenagers with attitude theme captured better through the world of computers and fighting demonic science. As much I think Megaranger is better than Turboranger, but I still like Turboranger over Carranger. Any problems?
Now maybe I can give this season its merits. I always thought that the show managed to create the trope of recruiting teenagers with attitude. Plus, I would say that there was much fun character development and I think Kenta Date was named after Kenta Sato (the actor playing Red Turbo) and NOT Kenta of Maskman. I also felt like Turboranger had better action scenes than Carranger or Megaranger - I mean you don't have Red Racer vs. Exhaus do you in Carranger? Okay it might be my Soda favoritism kicking in, my Great Professor Bias kicking in but I refuse not to give merits even for a show that I think is terrible just like I think ToQGer had an interesting concept and kid-friendliness but it's not for me type of comment. I don't want to be too hard.
Chikyu Sentai Fiveman
I'd say I was always a Fiveman fan or not. Granted that I'm getting super impatient with the release of GogoFive subs since I'm getting itchy to critique it before I'd slam my final critique saying, "That series is better than Fiveman.", now it's time for me to talk about Fiveman. It's the first sibling Super Sentai and I give it that as a bit of credit though I keep hearing GogoFive is better. But for me, I don't think I can totally remove this show from my list of favorites. Heck, even whenever I see the GogoFive costumes, I always feel like saying the suits somehow resemble those in Fiveman.
What I find funny is that while I am writing this, the Henshin Con 2015 had both Kazunori Inaba and Kei Shindachiya appearing. I always thought this show was a bit of those shows that really taught a lot of lessons, in fact I felt like this show due to having academics mixed into the plot, may have become a Super Sentai with so much of an Aesop's fable. Granted, the five Hoshikawa siblings are all teachers in their daily lives. Gaku teaches science, Ken teaches sports, Fumiya is a linguist, Kazumi teaches Math and Remi teaches music. In fact, one of the reasons why I love Fiveman is I think it's the Super Sentai series that has the most number of lessons of the week thanks to the Hoshikawa siblings. Most of my favorite lessons were taught by my favorite of this show, Ken Hoshikawa!
Now I keep reading all the criticisms of the show and I do agree with some of them. For example, after learning about Changeman and Flashman (Man where can I find more subs?!), it's easy to see how Soda elements were forcibly crammed into the show after reading Sentai Bandicoot's old blog (he's the real Sentai expert, not me) which is no longer accessible. I mean after watching other seasons, I felt like the Gingamen (no, not Seijuu Sentai Gingaman) were almost useless compared to the Beastnoids in Biomanwho then again, why don't they just die? I also felt like Garoa undergoing character decay and later, Chevalier's arrival didn't do too much for the show but I'll give them credit for a few stuff they did like Garoa's fusion machine or Chevalier is a very aggressive opponent. I thought that while most of the villains didn't do anything interesting or that Billion was still an interesting villain, they didn't fail to entertain me one way or anotehr.
On the positive side, I could still name the Hoshikawa Family is WAY better than the Ozu family. Kazumi is no stupid girl like that annoying Houka and Remi is better than Urara. Gaku is a much better big brother than Makito, Fumiya is way better than Kai and well Ken is better than Tsubasa. I always felt that the characters of Fiveman were very likable characters. I mean, you don't see Kazumi flirting around with guys or screwing everyone up or Gaku being a jerky big brother like Makito. Oh I really regret saying Magiranger was better than Fiveman before I saw the former from start to end. Okay, I've done a lot of STUPID THINGS and I regret them! Now moving on, it's time to move on and learn from the past right? Now I'll just be doing whatever stuff I need to do and wait for Another Imagination Station to release GogoFive so I can judge better.
So on the negative side, this was the show when Hirohisa Soda was really running out of ideas and producer Takeyuki Suzuki was more or less trying out something new. Now some may say that Soda's episodes here were meh but for me, they were tolerable. I mean, I really still love that episode when Ken beat that monster Ameoba-Rugin out of suit, I mean that was one awesome episode and too bad, Hoji's fight scene with Jilvan that as much as I like it, felt more like a training video by Jason David Frank. I still felt that Soda and the other writers managed to deliver the needed moral lessons considering that this is a teacher Sentai sibling team such as family and values from school.
Choriki Sentai Ohranger
I'll say that as of late, I have finished this show just yesterday and so far, that finale was pretty cool and even with some issues, I do like this show. However for this super unappreciated show due to the Sarin gas attack followed by an earthquake and a series of unfortunate events, the show had some retooling. It was time to keep selling toys as to save the show from all the bad ratings. You know, I always felt that it's something that Power Rangers Zeo is popular but Ohranger slumped. It was just like how Lion Voltron became popular in America but its source, Hundred Beast King Golion became forgettable in Japan from what I heard. I guess that picture above can tell you what I think.
So what's with Ohranger that I like about it? I always felt that the show did have potential but it wasn't met fully. For example, the whole story of the war between the ancient civilization of Pangaea and the Baranoia Empire is sort of a "continuation" of Bioman's Bio vs. Anti-Bio Wareven when it isn't. Like the sub-plot in Bioman involving the two factions warring each other that destroyed the Planet Bio, likewise it also ended the people of Pangaea except for Riki and Dorin. The whole story was interesting in itself even if later, the show faced a lot of swings because of the disasters that happened. This show for me is way better than Zeo in just almost everything. Zeo for me is pretty much, "Less power than before..." and Ohranger is indeed for me, the better show.
Now you know I'm just too hard on Power Rangers Zeo, maybe because of that stupid Dear John scenario and it's not even realistic, I always tend to curse that scene like a plague and a mistake I should avoid. If you want me to talk about it, I always thought Ohranger had a lot of stuff better than Power Rangers Zeo that aside from having a better main cast, there was also better humor from every situation. I thought about how the cast of Ohranger while they are fully trained soldiers also show their frail side every now and then. I know that Ohranger had a lot of issues (thanks to Shogo B'Stard for the information) such as the nerdiest idol Shoko Nakagawa dislikes it or that the cast involved walked after that year. So I just thought that those were issues that could have been avoided if it wasn't for the series of unfortunate events.. nope I'm not talking about the movie with Jim Carrey as Count Olaf but of the earthquake and sarin gas incident during its run.
For the bad side of Ohranger's issues of such as the mecha here and there, sudden change in antagonist from Emperor Bacchushund to Bomber The Great to Kaiser Buldont or that some combinations fail to get their maximum potential due to suddenly then poof something appears, I just can't hate it like other people did or maybe it's just me and my own Great Professor Bias at work. In fact, I may not love Ohranger but I do like it as a series. So there, any problem? Heck, even Johnny Yong Bosch in this video did the Choriki Henshinwhich I think is cool. I think Ohranger isn't really a terrible series and I like it as well.
Bakuryu Sentai Abaranger
I always felt like there's the mixed reaction about Abaranger and I'm not sure whether or not this should be in the list. There are people I can say whenever I mention the name Naruhisa Arakawa, they either feel like he's hit or miss but again, I've always had a negative view even towards writers I like. Moving on, this show feels like it's restrictive to those who prefer Japanese-y humor over the generic humor that Super Sentai has in other episodes. I mean, just do a bit of observation between Abaranger's humor vs. Dino Thunder's humor. Sideline, Connor annoys me too much that I don't think I can watch Dino Thunder neither can I stand Jason David Frank's character Tommy getting overused... I feel like the actor is a Hiroshi Miyauchi gone wrong!
What's with Abaranger when it comes to its style of writing? I would say that after seeing this show, I felt like there might be an invisible line between it and Abaranger. When I talk to other people's opinions about the show, they say Naruhisa Arakawa went "overboard" with the humor but if it's true then he wouldn't be immediately assigned to write Dekaranger, right? Abaranger may have done well in Japan but I don't think the foreign fans of Super Sentai immediately had a liking to it. I did have a liking to it, in fact I like it better than Power Rangers Dino Thunder. The awkward moment though was when I started suggesting some fans who watch both Super Sentai and Power Rangers to watch it. I mean for example, some of them prefer Power Rangers Lost Galaxy over Gingaman (while not spreading rumors) but stating some reasons. Some of them didn't feel too much to liven up to Power Rangers Dino Thunder and to Naruhisa Arakawa's "unusual" (according to one person I talked to) sense of humor which I am a fan of.
My feeling to why Abaranger is pretty much an underrated show for some might be due to that episode in Abaranger called, "Lost and Found in Translation". Now some Super Sentai fans may think that episode was good and it did expose Power Rangers fans to Super Sentai, I personally didn't warm up to it namely because Connor tends to ruins the mood (a lot for me) more than the gag dub ever would for me. The gag dub is funny, my problem was Connor whining and bitching for the whole time. While I don't believe what some of the Super Sentai purists say that the episode was meant to ruin Super Sentai, otherwise, Toei would have shot Disney that is DISNEY NOT SABAN down that time, I still think that episode was badly written by somebody who supposedly has more experience than I do in script-writing and had undergone formal script-writing lessons, something I NEVER passed through at all. Instead, the show was allowed to continue its run and some people may have developed an interest in Super Sentai though I'll never warm up to that episode.
When I think about the differences between the style of humor used in bothSuper Sentai and Power Rangers, there's a drawing line between the two franchises due to cultural differences. Apparently Abaranger and Dino Thunder show them to be quite different. No matter how much Connor in Dino Thunder annoys me (at least that's my opinion on him), his reactions are well, typical culture shock in that episode. I mean, remember that episode in Abaranger where wigs were worn and people got greedy? Now it wasn't written by Naruhisa Arakawa but by Atsushi Maekawa and I personally find that episode funny. My beef against Dino Thunder aside from an overused Tommy are also Cassidy and Devin, two characters who never contribute to the plot moving forward since all they do is just... be there. I always felt like Dino Thunder is overrated all because Jason David Frank makes a return and he's still beloved by older Power Rangers fans.
I wonder if the talking dinosaurs could also be a bit of the "too goofy" or maybe Nostalgia Critic (Doug Walker) would say something (at least in my imagination where almost anything happens and I can't organize them properly for more than once) like, "WTF! Talking dinos? The dinosaurs in Zyuranger didn't have to talk... so why does Abaranger's dinosaurs have to talk?! Is this a land before time sequel? Is this a new version of Jurassic Park?! Come on, what's with the producers for making the dinos talk? It's like... a Nickelodeon show!" to that plot element with a Spongebob Squarepants footage coming in after that. I felt like the talking dinosaurs were an interesting element to have a ranger bond with his personal mecha if it were ever sentient. We had a ranger/mecha bonding in Zyuranger and it was a bit more expanded in Gaoranger. However take note that the animals in in Gaoranger do not talk and apparently, only Kakeru could understand their growling. So really, I think the whole idea of talking dinosaurs ain't a bad one, it's creative for me but maybe, it's just a cultural thing between Japan and America. For me, this show is a masterpiece.
Jyuken Sentai Gekiranger
Okay, I wonder if should really start blaming Boukenger (a really popular season) for this one. Honestly, I do like Boukenger but that show isn't all that it seems especially that Shinkenger comes along as another super popular season. Now for Gekiranger, it has a lot of what I look for like a solid storyline, more action and it's not your typical Super Sentai. However, what shocked me was that it wasn't popular perhaps due to the format of the show. While other fans liked it, it didn't do so well in Japan and made me go "HUH!?" realizing that happened.
Now what's up with this show? It's popular with the older audience but not among children? Granted, Boukenger was before it and two, I didn't immediately take a liking to this show because I have one super stupid reason to like its predecessor. However, the more I immersed into this show's back to atypical format (3+ 2) similar to Liveman and Hurricanger, the more I thought it has the seriousness that I sorely miss in the previous seasons. Maybe Super Sentai fans today want the feel of or more or less lighthearted seasons. Gekiranger on the other hand, is super serious for most the time especially with a series of conflicts and deaths involved... and I felt this was the masterpiece of the Michiko Yokote trio who would end up doing Goseiger.
The show introduces what I'd call a very hard to replicate plot for me such as the competitions between the Gen-Juken and Rin-Juken martial arts schools, together with the rich history behind them like why the rivalry started and how they were eventually patched up. I always thought that there's a lot of mysteries in Gekiranger combined with the predictable. From Jan's family story being unveiled to the root cause of the two rival factions and the unveiling of that evil troll dragon Long (who is another of my favorite villains, the scum), those really make the show so good. So really, did this show really almost cancel Super Sentai if it wasn't for the outside fans? I hope somebody can verify my speculation for me. I mean, I really don't know much about the popularity of Super Sentai unless some people who know the franchise or genre better tell me about it.
Comparing the seriousness of Boukenger and Gekiranger, it's vastly different like it's apples and oranges due to the different natures and executions of both shows. Boukenger had serious moments but remains as what might be called a fun show. Gekiranger on the other hand is bordered on the serious. When I think of Super Sentai series from Gaoranger up to Boukenger, most of them happen to border on a less serious show. Gaoranger deviated from Timeranger's serious execution and ended up with a jolly theme. Hurricanger well the more I watch the HK subs (now when can I get proper subs, them HK subs are SO ANNOYING) is nowhere near as serious as Chojuu Sentai Liveman. Abaranger and Dekaranger may have serious moments but Naruhisa Arakawa prefers to be less serious. Magiranger as much as I don't like it must have been very fun for kids. So I guess everyone must have gotten a shock with Gekiranger's seriousness and atypical way of things compared to "normal" Super Sentai huh?
If anything, I think this show really has a lot of plus points over Gekiranger. One, I really felt like a third martial arts oriented Sentai was needed. Now I personally don't think this show is as great as Maskman and Dairanger in terms of your cast members doing their own stunts scenes, considering this is the post-Timeranger era, BUT I can still feel the vibes of trying to make a good season. When I think of the effort of the Michiko Yokote trio put along with producer Hideaki Tsukada (also responsible for another favorite of mine, Dekaranger though I dislike Magiranger, he was also responsible for Kamen Rider W and Kamen Rider Fourze), it's still a good show for me.
Engine Sentai Go-onger
Now here comes the controversial part and it's all about Go-onger because a lot of people feel it simply is a bad show but I am not one of them who think it's one. I still couldn't forget Mr. Smith's unpopular opinionthat also agrees with my opinion on this show. It's a show that's criticized to be childish and goofy. I think the fact that James MacLurcan of Operation Overdrive visited the cast might as well be, "Red flag! Two bad shows meeting each other!" moment for some fans. Now let's try to take a look at what might be considered as Junk Takegami's weakest entry in the franchise.
For the show being childish and goofy, I agree and even when I raise the objection, "But it's a kid's show.", it doesn't meet too well getting me into a difficult position. Go-onger had the Disney theme of Cars going on with its mecha, which I think Nostalgia Critic if he ever reviewed this show would go full-time harsh since he's stated in one of his reviews he personally doesn't like Cars (which was a popular film). The Cars errrr... Go-on Engines in Go-onger bonded with their partners and you can also see the dancing cars at the end of the credits. I almost decided not to watch this show because of some opinions such as from Sentai Bandicoot, formerly known as the Fantasy Leader, which he is also a writer for Hero Takuor That Chick who both had a low regard of the show. For me, I'm in the middle regard to this show and I'm glad I decided to check it out... then I'll probably check out on Kyoryuger and try to painfully sit through it because the first few episodes made me go WAH.
I decided to check this show out myself and honestly, I felt like, "Hey it ain't bad. Why do people dislike this so much? Why the division? Why? Why? WHHHYYYY?!!" Okay I went really overboard but I might as well think about what I like about the show. Aside from the environmental message and yes, children need to KNOW about that, I felt like the wacky mood of this show was also satisfying. Now I don't think this show is better than Carranger which I think did its humor better than this show. I know some may say that Go-onger is bordered on too much silliness while Carranger is comedy gold, then I hear people who think the other way around. Well, as said, I can really respect the opinions of people as long as they act mature and composed about them.
Maybe under reason why I feel Go-onger is underrated might also be because of Power Rangers RPM. Power Rangers RPM itself can be hailed as a good season, it decided to take Power Rangers to a whole new level. Like for example, Power RPM tried to be serious (to the point of making a world overran by a deadly virus) and succeeded in contrast to how Power Rangers Turbo tried to be serious but failed miserably in its attempt. I would say RPM has its merits but I still prefer Go-onger better. Again, go ahead and like Power Rangers RPM better than Go-onger if you want, I still am more inclined to like the Super Sentai version out of my Great Professor Bias. So there you have it folks when it comes to the two shows.
Tokumei Sentai Gobusters
You never thought I'd write this down? Surprised that I suddenly decided to warm up to this otherwise huge bore of a series for many? Well as of late, I felt like neither Kyoryuger, ToQGer nor Ninninger is that pleasing. Maybe Ninninger has some fun factor to it that Kyoryuger. In fact, I've ended up warming up to Gobusters and in the past, I've been bashing it and calling it "boring" ignoring that it has its moments or potential. After reviewing my list of finished Super SentaiI even find this show better than Magiranger (blame Houka), I never thought I'd really warm up to Gobusters after more shows that succeeded it, made me think, "That's it I'm done!" and when I used to agree with Shogo's alternate title calling it, "Tokumei Sentai Gosleepsters" because I felt bored for some of its episodes, maybe cause either I had a Shinkenger hangover or a Gokaiger hangover (more like Shinkenger hangover, you don't wanna know what I was imagining during that stupid hangover), but later on I can't believe I'm appreciating this show's existence because during its first run, I didn't really like it or two I was just riding on opinions.
Now I don't know how Gobusters is with Power Rangers fans but certainly, it had very low ratings and not so many fans. Judd "Chip" Lynn a writer beloved to Power Rangers fans (now currently the head writer of Power Rangers Dino Charge) likes this show which wasn't surprising - Lost Galaxy was based on Gingaman and Time Force was based on Timeranger, both seasons where Yasuko Kobayashi was the head writer plus he was also the writer of Gobusters' second half. Note that Gobusters has Yasuko Kobayashi as its headwriter too. Now moving on, I always had my thought on whether or not we should blame Naomi Takebe or Yasuko Kobayashi. Like Lynn, Kobayashi seems to remain a beloved favorite but she might have decided to do an Inoue, that is quit writing a good story. In fact, I even thought she'd make a cameo in Gobusters like Inoue did in Kamen Rider Faiz but apparently, she may have not wanted to do so.
I could agree with some flaws from Gobusters that some gets pointed out for like well, the stiff faces or the atypical format (which for me isn't really a bad thing) or three, Naomi Takebe who was also responsible for Kamen Rider Kiva, Kamen Rider OOO, Kamen Rider Gaim and as of late Ninninger isn't doing a spectacular job even with a new writer. Even when Kobayashi here starts to well, fall apart, if anything, in my opinion,this show is much better than ToQGer at more than one level. Sure I started to feel bored but later, I soon warmed up to the show when ToQGer couldn't reach my level. I really don't care too much if ToQGer had an awardfor promoting safety rules, I still think that the show really hasn't impressed me and I felt like the show is very problematic for me. It has its fans but for me, I'd not be among those fans and I want to stop bandwagoning or hiding behind others but not become too close-minded either.
When I think of people comparing about boring and stiff face, I learned to appreciate the "boring" personalities of the Gobusters over the lively Kyoryugers who I tend to find obnoxious, especially DAIGO, no not Daigo from Dairanger but Daigo Kiryu from Kyoryuger. I know the Gobusters tend not to get interesting but between that and lively and obnoxious characters, I'd take the boring ones. Heh, no matter how much I hate Megaforce but I think Troy Burrows or Megaforce Red the "robot" would make a great friend over Daigo for me. When it comes to characters who are just plain boring on-screen, some of them may make great friends off-screen. I would think going to a Japanese food buffet with the Gobusters would be a better deal. The ToQGers are tolerable but I think Gobusters had better potential for me as a show than the former. While in Gobusters, Kobayashi can be seen she was still trying but was probably burn out (sort of like the Inoue effect on Kamen Rider Faiz), I felt like she decided to simply give up writing a better story no thanks to the current management of Toei.
Closing words or some food for thought
So really is popularity really everything? I learned it the hard way that sometimes, a quest for popularity just goes nowhere and that it's also very fickle. Sometimes something that wasn't considered popular back then but there's a growing fanbase for certain shows. But as said, part of my learning and growth as a person is getting the facts then learning to form my own valid opinion. As said, every good critic is always willing to put their own opinions in the midst of stating the facts about something. While popularity gives you an edge, but remember the same supporters can also go sour and they can change their minds too when the time comes you inevitably undo yourself one way or another. What's more important is doing your job right regardless whether or not you become popular and when I think of the fact that I tend to be a popularity whore of sorts, I realize that I only made a fool out of myself more than once for a long time.
When I think about it, there's some things I find boring and uninteresting even within the sphere of popularity. Power Rangers may be way more popular than Super Sentai (due to more exposure) but for most of the time, I now dare to admit thatthe more I watch Super Sentai, the less I appreciate Power Rangersfor reasons like the writing, music and characters. Not that I'm starting a fan war, I'm just stating my OPINIONS to why I even become less of a Power Rangers fan even if I do rewatch some old seasons but as of late, I don't think I'd continue watching it myself while I might still tell people to support the franchise. It still respect Power Rangers and its healthy fans (you read it, HEALTHY fans and not them Power Rangers purists who are just bandwagoning fans who may irritate genuine fans of Power Rangers) but as of late, I find myself not really appreciating it as much. Don't worry, even if I am not really a fan of Power Rangers, I am not campaigning for its removal but rather, I am just here to share why I'm not so fond of it. On the other hand, I'm glad for Power Rangers fans who are open enough to check out Super Sentai, plus they don't need to abandon it to appreciate the origin of their beloved franchise.
Maybe I could mention to Kamen Rider too. I'll admit as of late, I'm liking Kamen Rider more than Super Sentai which was unexpected considering I didn't watch Kamen Rider for years after I returned to watching Super Sentai. Man, I still feel like a baka or idiot that Mr. Smith checked outKamen Rider Wand I was still having my as usual stubborn moments back then. Returning to topic, I always felt that Kamen Rider Black RX in spite of its lack of popularity, I still like the show and consider it as a sequel to Kamen Rider Black, the prequel being the better show but I can still like an inferior show, right? When I don't like Kamen Rider Decade, I can really name the terrible execution and the super-duper rushed plot, not to mention most of the acting is really so-so or just inadequate which until today, I still call the show (and remember, a critic's word is NEVER the final word even if he or she has stated something correctly, he or she can also be wrong so sift through it) the second coming of Saban's Masked Rider. For the Super Robot franchise by Toei, there were Golion and Dairugger XV which were unpopular in Japan but I personally like those series even if Voltes V or Combattler V are better series than the first two series I just mentioned. Even if the Voltron series is more popular worldwide, I would like Golion and Dairugger XV because I felt that these two shows were better written.
The same can also happen for popular Super Sentai seasons, many of them are actually occupied by bandwagon fans or they're liked for shallow and pitiful reasons. Shinkenger ends up having two shallow and pitiful reasons (at least in my own opinion and an observation from my real life peers) for liking it namely for the adorable duo ofMako and Kotoha, they're good characters but come on, they're not what makes the show they're in as a great season nor are they the greatest ever considering there are better Sentai girls out there. Jetman was so popular that a TV special (the Jetman Encyclopedia) and a non-canon Manga epilogue (where Ryu and Kaori had a daughter named Aya instead of a son named Gai from the Jetman Encyclopedia) came out but the show has its flaws. Boukenger, yes, it's popular but I respect some fans who don't like it - besides Shogo B'Stard and Sentai Bandicoot presented good reasons why they don't like that series. As for me, I still think adventuring is a good concept for Super Sentai though the concept could have been better if they had Naruhisa Arakawa as the head writer and Sho Aikawa as a secondary writer instead. Yeah the show has flaws but again, I can still like Boukenger even if there are much better shows. But just because a show is popular doesn't mean you have to like it, there's nothing evil about it. Sadly, it seems we all have our moments of failing to acknowledge individuality, struggles and other factors that lead us to also fall into moments of stupidity.
Sure there's nothing wrong with liking a popular season either but as I learned the hard way, bandwagon fans can be so annoying and I'd rather be with real fans who like a show for what it is. Sometimes, those who like a popular season can also be very close-minded to criticizing their favorite seasons. Now I wonder if I've been overly nitpicking lately but face it, critics just criticize everything even their favorites. Like no matter how much I like Jetman, I still felt like that Inoue's epilogue really lacked substance - maybe Ryu and Kaori could have fallen for each other in the middle of three years but the way Gai Yuki's invulnerability was handled as well, meh since I felt like death in battle would have been the best way to write him of. Want to make it look like Japan still has dangers? Why not have Ryu visit Gai's grave and say, "Gai, you may be gone but we will continue what you left behind. There are still thugs and robbers even after Vyram is gone." or something. I may also like Dairanger and praise it as a great series but I still can't stop criticizing Rintaro Nishi's tendency to look like a Three Stooges foil at times, wishing so many times Daisuke Tachi should have taken the role of Lt. Col. Shadam or two, I feel like the ending was a result of executive meddling and not what it was meant to be in the first place. Screw you executives whenever you meddle too much! Again, those are just a few of my complaints even to my favorite shows now and then.
I can also say that at times, I do feel proud when I stand to at least like something that's unpopular and I may have come out from them closed doors. For example, I like both "Quest for Camelot" from Warner Bros. or "Simba's Pride" from Disney (even if I like The Lion King better) even if they also had such a mixed reception. Even with Disney as a very popular network, I prefer Nickelodeon's Teen Nick and shows like Unfabulous or Victorious over Disney's teen shows. When I think about the fact that I still like a song or game even when the hype is already over, apparently I would like a cool game not because of the hype but because it's really a cool game for me to play. Likewise for those Super Sentai seasons that are not popular, I don't find any reason why I should not like them. In fact, quality isn't always determined by popularity either.
Sometimes, popularity is just because of what's going on like in certain countries, stupid people are popular and smart ones are rejects. What I want to say is it's best to criticize based on facts and one's own opinions... which I realized I should stop riding on popular opinion because it's just plain WTF a very stupid thing to do. Note to self, I should avoid getting preachy on my opinion, another habit I should avoid as well. I guess people now know I'm just that passing by Super Sentai fan... somebody who's not even that into Super Sentai or Tokusatsu in general these days.
So this entry is destined to get updated soon enough so just keep your eyes peeled. Meanwhile, feel free to throw in any constructive criticism on whatever works I have to so at least, I can grow up and improve. Any mistakes? Feel free to comment below!
Updated on September 15, 2015