Sentai Speculation: Did The Takeyuki Suzuki Era Of Super Sentai Have Any Possible Influence On Some Super Sentai And Power Rangers Seasons After That Era?
It can't be denied that in every genre, there's always a copying of ideas from within or from without. While I may not be fully familiar with the Takeyuki Suzuki era, I know that the head writers were Hirohisa Soda (Goggle V up to Fiveman), Toshiki Inoue (Jetman), the late Noboru Sugimura (Zyuranger to Ohranger, mostly used for the Zordon arc).
So let's get started with this speculative entry shall we? Just note that first, Power Rangers would copy from Super Sentai then later, Power Rangers would also end up giving some ideas to Super Sentai as what I see as an act of gratitude.
I. Possible influence on post-Suzuki Super Sentai?
Looking at Super Sentai after Ohranger, we could start with some series that I thought had some influence from Takeyuki Suzuki and the writers who worked under him. Note I don't think all series got influeced by Suzuki's era in much but I'll share what I observed. When one starts a trend, there is always the tendency to follow. I wouldn't even say my writing is original as I read previous works to get inspired while trying to develop my own twists.
Gekisou Sentai Carranger
I would say Carranger would be sort of a throwback to Kosoku Sentai Turboranger considering that it reused the automobile theme for the mecha. I felt this series did better than Turboranger when it came to the automobile theme and it was far more consistent. Now I don't know why some Sentai fans say that this series didn't save Sentai, it was Megaranger but as said, I like this series.
The whole series started off with the idea of Dappu gathering the five of them as "chosen ones" which felt a bit of Bioman. I felt like Natsumi Shinohara is more or less the succeeding where Bioman failed with Mika. What was also amazing was that Hirohisa Soda was also involved as a secondary writer for the series. What's more I felt like Carranger was a bit of throwback to Soda's era while introducing a lot of new stuff that I like.
Mecha-wise, I felt like Carranger was throwing back to Ohranger (its predecessor) and Turboranger. The mecha were all automobiles. After the RV Robo, we are introduced to the Victory Trailer and the VRV Robo. VRV Robo was made of five humanoid robots (but they had vehicle modes, Transformers anyone) while the Victory Trailer was the long forgotten transportation mecha, Turboranger got rid of it and Carranger momentarily brought it back.
Although the series is more or less a comedy, I don't think I can dismiss some of the serious moments were throwbacks to Soda's era whether or not he wrote the episode. For example, Speed King Max's story seems to be a shoutout to Turboranger's Ruffian Bouma - both of them joined the stars. The Carrangers' final villain Exhaus also felt like a bit of throwback to Soda's villains. Exhaus like Vulgyre and Bazoo was destroying planets while projecting himself outside the enemy ship (though he only came later) and like Ragorn, he would absorb negative energy so he could confront the Carrangers in the finale.
I also felt the love story of Zonette and Kyousuke was pretty much a throwback to some of Suzuki's works as a producer. Maskman had the love story of Takeru and Ial while Jetman had Ryu and Rie. In the case of Kyousuke and Zonette, it was a parody romance where she is unaware of her crush's identity. Slowly but surely it developed and I thought having a serious moment for Kyousuke helped wrap things up.
Denji Sentai Megaranger
Whether or it this was really the series that saved Super Sentai might be subject to debate. I felt like this series is probably just getting too much praise like Jetman did when it first came out. I don't blame people for liking this series, it's a great series but I choose not to ride the bandwagon with Megaranger fans who just ride the bandwagon because it's popular but this series IMO is a masterpiece.
Looking at this series, it felt like it has some throwbacks to Hirohisa Soda even if he had zero involvement in writing. I thought the era tried to mix a lot of Suzuki's and Soda's ideas or in extension maybe Kunio Fuji's and Toshiki Inoue's. But this was more or less a fresh team with head writer Junki Takegami, Yasuko Kobayashi and Naruhisa Arakawa as the major writers. But still, I can't deny but see some traces of the science trilogy of Soda (Bioman, Flashman, Liveman) and some of Turboranger (since they are teenagers) while having a brand new motif, it really had a lot of recycled throwbacks.
Megaranger itself had the elements of Soda's science trilogy in its conflict. For instance, one can look at Dr. Kubota and Dr. Hinelar (formerly Dr. Samejima) pretty much a season long version of Dr. Shibata (Dr. Shinichirou Gou) and Dr. Man from Bioman. One can also look at Dr. Hinelar as another version of Dr. Lee Keflen because of his manipulation of life while Yugande and Shibolena are mechanical versions of Ley Wanda and Ley Nefel. I felt like even if Soda or Fuji wasn't writing any episode, I can't deny how some episodes tend to take me back to Bioman like Kenta's befriending the angler fish monster Kumotan (shades of Hikaru and Brain in Bioman) or the episode when Shun befriends an android girl (shades of Bioman's Miki who was a Mecha Human given feelings).
Seijuu Sentai Gingaman
For Gingaman, it sort of its in with the drive of the Noboru Sugimura's era as a headwriter in some way considering that the Gingamen are based on lineage (Zyuranger and Dairanger), not on choice. For Ryoma, like Geki, he has an older brother who later becomes the sixth member of the team minus the major conflict. The use of elemental powers was most likely taken from Bioman, Dairanger and Kakuranger. As for the mecha being living creatures, you might want to take a look back at Zyuranger's dinosaur gods, the chi-beasts of Dairanger and the ninja animals in Kakuranger. Later on, the Grand Bitus is a transporation fortress that houses two more robots namely Gingalcon and Gingarhinos. For some of the heroes, I thought there were some ideas also taken from Suzuki's era. You can have Hikaru is the jerk and nice guy type of character (like Gai Yuki) or that Saya is your typical team mother who loves children.
Though the villains are more or less dispatched like how they were in Goranger (where the next villain only shows up after the last one falls down) but I thought there were some similarities to old school Sentai. For instance, Daitanix is a living monster and a vessel like Vulgyre (but he's not the leader of the group) or that Captain Zahab is one who destroys planets like Gozma and Silver Imperial Army Zone while he is assisted by Pucrates who functions like Anagbas from Maskman.
Kyukyu Sentai Gogo V
GogoV is the first rescue-themed Super Sentai series. While the rescue Toku series were mostly written by Junichi Miyashita and this series was written by Junki Takegami, I still can't help but throw back at Suzuki again. Gogo V isn't the first team to comprise of siblings but it was Fiveman and the idea was later copied into Magiranger. For Gogo V, I felt like Matoi was a better versio of Gaku Hoshikawa/Five Red while Nagare's my favorite perhaps due to Ken Hoshikawa being my favorite in Fiveman. Even the suits seem to make me sing Fiveman's theme song.
For the villains belonging to a dark magic sector, you might be reminded of Zyuranger but the villains here are far more terrifying for me. While Dinus herself may remind me of the cliche femme fatale disguise villains like Farrah (Bioman) and Doldora (Fiveman) but she displays a greater degree of cruelty. Salamandes' acceleration and later bossing the others around may remind one of Tran becoming Tranza and bossing the others. Grandienne as a demonic entity that feeds on negative energy may remind one of Vulgyre in Fiveman.
Mirai Sentai Timeranger
While Timeranger is not really too much of a typical series and it does put in a lot, I mean a lot of new stuff like a terminally ill ranger in Ayase, I still can't deny I'm finding a few shoutouts. The Time Jets could assemble into Time Gamma which reminds me of the Ikarus Haken in Jetman but it didn't have a finishing move. Having a strong male yellow ranger in Domon is not just pre-Suzuki but doesn't that remind you of Raita? Domon like Raita can become comic relief and can get serious when needed. The love story of Tatsuya and Yuuri is pretty much inspired by red rangers who don't get the girl at the end of the series. I might as well add that Naoto Takizawa can also be viewed as a Gai Yuki type character considering he rivals the red ranger. Sideline, the monsters here automatically enlarge similar to a lot of past Super Sentai monsters even before Suzuki's era.
Hyajakuu Sentai Gaoranger
Gaoranger started the multi-gattai era, it's full of fresh material but it does throw back to Suzuki again or to other older seasons. For instance, one may notice that Kakeru has it in his genes to speak to animals like Shiro in Bioman, you can have Gaku Washio aside from his namesake his suit shouts out Jetman, Sae is another female white ranger after Kaori (and the tiger motif from Kou) and Kai is the typical young blue like Akira in Maskman. As for the rest, it's more on post-Suzuki nostalgia while trying out new stuff.
Ninpo Sentai Hurricanger
While I always wanted to say LIVEMAN but there's also some Kakuranger to it due to the ninja motif. The opening scene felt like a bit of Liveman with the ninja school being attacked though the Jakanja's leader Tao Zanto isn't human, he's an alien and there was no, "Friends, why did you betray us?" theme. The Hurricanger team starts with three rangers and two more join later, pretty similar to Liveman. Though I wonder will I really enjoy this series that much when I see this from start to end provided I've seen Liveman first? I don't blame people who wish the Liveman trio were the ones who appeared in Gokaiger instead of the Hurricanger trio.
Gougou Sentai Boukenger
Boukenger had some new stuff like the adventuring theme and multiple villain factions that compete for power. Yet I could not help but still raise some comparison issues to the Suzuki era. Maybe it's stupid for me to compare Satoru to Ryu/Red Hawk but some shoutouts to earlier Sentai can be made. For example, one can see Inou Masumi as another version of Gai Yuki, Souta Mogami might be viewed as an adult version of Youhei Hama complete with chasing after girls and Sakura like Kaori she's in love with the red ranger but she might be viewed as a bit of Momoko/Pink mask being a tougher pink.
As for the villains, I felt like there's some parody references. Gajah might be a parody of Tranza being a psychic bastard. Ryuon might be viewed as a softer Radiguet or any typical cruel bastard (he rivals Satoru and believes that humans are bastards to justify his evil) but ends up as comic relief making him his own character, heck, maybe one can compare him to Garoa at times. The rivalry of Masumi and Yaiba might remind some of Gai Yuki vs. Gure. The Questers might remind some of the short-lived Ramu and Gogu in Jetman... both requiring some blood. Shizuka may belong to a list of catwomen but I think she's not that good as Boukenger is a very lighthearted series.
Bakuryu Sentai Abaranger
The most obvious has to be taking back on Suzuki's Zyuranger with the dinosaur theme while Naruhisa Arakawa took a huge debut as a head writer. Now I can't really name too much of throwing back to Suzuki but here's a few I have observed.
One may notice that Asuka himself has a love story similar to Ryu. He has lost his wife in the conflict and she is brainwashed and crazy into Jannu. At first, he is not aware Jannu is the woman he loves with all his heart until later. He wants to bring Jannu back to her senses and fortunately for him, he has earned his happy ending. How he did it? Watch the show to find out more of the in-betweens.
Another would be the Evorians who have been responsible for the destruction of several worlds. They have destroyed Another Earth (in a way) turning it into a desert and now they plan to move into our dimension. Its leader the Evorian God Dezumozoryla would be like Vulgyre in Fiveman, a being that feeds on death to make itself more powerful. Jannu is like Maria in Jetman as she is brainwashed and crazy. Later one can see Mikoto Nakadai as somebody who is like Tranza as he temporarily takes over Evorian while another Tran-like villain exists in Lijewel.
Juken Sentai Gekiranger
While Gekiranger starts out with very new stuff that I like about it which almost everything in this series makes this my personal favorite. Some of the stuff remind me of Maskman and Dairanger as the heroes continuously train in martial arts to unleash their inner ki. The Gen Juken and Rin Juken are like the Daos and Gorma in conflict in some way. As the series progresses, Long appears as a mysterious villain who has manipulated everyone like Radiguet and Shadam did in Jetman and Dairanger.
Engine Sentai Go-onger
Not much really except for the return of the automobile themes with a twist or two, Carranger was so past Suzuki's era of Super Sentai. If anything the color coding of the primary team is directly taken from Choju Sentai Liveman but the show is a light comedy. The idea of racing and automobiles can be directly taken from Carranger.
Samurai Sentai Shinkenger
If I am to do any recalling here, I'll probably have Takeru as a refreshing leader who you can trace to 80s to 90s reds like Takeru (namesake and character) or you might want to put Ryu (Tori Matsuzaka isn't that great, he's more or less like Kotaro Tanaka in his acting). For some few nostalgic bits, I might compare Ryunosuke to Kenta/Black Mask being a comic relief guy, Chiaki to Akira/Blue Mask who is a warrior waiting to emerge and Kotoha to Ako, being the young girl of the team who is heavily dedicated to her job. Sideline, I thought the Mougyu Daioh arc in Shinkenger was partly inspired by Galaxy Robo in Maskman and Red Puncher in Ohranger.
As for the villains, Doukoku might be a throwback to the 80s Soda villains like Emperor Zeba (born out of evil) or Ragorn. Shitari himself would be like Anagbas (though he's also similar to Pucrates as a researcher) who does research on several stuff. Juzo himself can be viewed like Zimba who is a warrior of hate (Turboranger) and Kiros (Maskman, and a bigger troll and better villain IMO) who has no allegiance while rivaling the red ranger.
Shuriken Sentai Ninninger
This may throw back to Kakuranger. Now the series itself has most of its nostalgia from Gaoranger up to ToQGer due to its era but I felt like there's some throwbacks to Suzuki. For instance, the rise of the Youkai is similar to Kakuranger's Youkai. A lot of the monsters here are born from inanimate objects similar to Chojin Sentai Jetman.
II. Possible influence on Power Rangers anyone?
Well it's only fair for Super Sentai and Power Rangers to take ideas from each other right? I guess Toei must have sent some translated scripts to Saban or what? Whatever, I thought that there's been some nice mixtures that actually happened.
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
I always felt like the Mighty Morphin' team was more or less taking ideas from past Super Sentai than Zyuranger WHICH IS A GOOD THING. At least, I can enjoy it differently from Zyuranger right? I always thought about a few stuff that one might notice like Jason is more or less a Soda red ranger than Geki. I mean, Jason doesn't have too much of a backstory but he's definitely the kind of red ranger who's reliable and trustworthy... like Shiro/Red One and Takeru/Red Mask. Billy might be more or less based on Hokuto Dan/Dyna Blue though I haven't seen much of Dynaman to throw in a more solid critique. Kimberly is not Mei at all but more or less, I would compare her to Miki Monozono/Goggle Pink but there's not too much of a comparison. After rewatching Mighty Morphin', I think Trini would be more of Haruka than Mika since she's not snappy though I'd love to pretend she was raised by ninjas or the like. Hmmm should I mention about Alpha Five too? I thought he reminds me of Peebo from Bioman but I might say, is he a more hyper version of C3PO from Star Wars?
Power Rangers Turbo
Now I always thought that perhaps using "Turbo" was in tribute to Turboranger. Now a lot of the stuff are just explained in Carranger with the automobile motif. As for Justin, I still can't help but bring Kou up considering they both increase in size after they morph. I can't really name too much from this show though.
Power Rangers in Space
This was the closing of the Zordon era, this series deviated from its source Megaranger and instead, went for a space theme. Changeman in Super Sentai was partly space-themed and the finale went to space to conclude their final battle. Now I can't talk too much about the heroes but there are a few similarities among the villains. Here are some Changeman influence on the villains. Dark Specter the leader of the United Alliance of Evil would be similar to the Dark Specter, a feared entity in the galaxy giving orders to his own organization. Astronema like Shiima was kidnapped at a very young age, brainwashed and crazy while she is protected by Ecliptor, she would later be redeemed at the end of the series. Ecliptor, like Buuba, protected the princess and sacrificed himself for the latter's greater happiness.
Power Rangers Lost Galaxy
Now this was a series that went out of this world, literally but not without really taking some ideas from older Super Sentai series before Gingaman. For instance, the idea of a military themed Super Sentai isn't very original either. The Lost Galaxy Rangers were trained militarily then the Quasar Sabers chose them... Changeman anyone? I could also start a comparison between Trakeena and Queen Ahames. Now this is a very short comparison as I'm just reading some of my information at the Power Rangers Wiki. Both of them are treacherous individuals who would do anything even double-cross their comrades just to get what they want, they would think of several ways to torture the heroes and both of them got powered up by betraying a comrade. As for the concept of a lost galaxy, did the producers watch Flashman?
Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue
Aside from some Gogo Five references to the Suzuki era, well I could name one that's just oh so obvious. Chad Lee himself is not Nagare (who's a chemist) but instead, there's a shoutout to the Soda era as he is a fighter with amazing aquatic skills. Like you might want to think that he's pretty much like Ryuta Nanbara (Bioman) and Ken Hoshikawa (Fiveman) than he is to Nagare. It's a pretty good choice to have more Power Rangers copy from older Super Sentai series prior to Zyuranger than just the source.
Power Rangers Time Force
Maybe this is too self-explanatory with Timeranger but not entirely. I thought about how Wesley himself has been given acting performance more similar to the Soda era. As much as I think Timeranger is better, Masaru Nagai isn't that good acting-wise compared to Jason Faunt. Maybe it's safe to say Wesley is pretty much like your traditional Sentai reds in his own way.
Power Rangers Wild Force
Aside from the throwbacks Gaoranger has to the Suzuki era (see Gaoranger), I really might name something original. Master Org's costume is pretty much like the Gorma costume modified for the show. I also thought that the second Master Org's backstory as a human scientist turned villain might be a throwback to Soda's mad scientists like Doctor Man (Gorma XV was also played by the same actor, the late Munemaru Koda), Lee Keflen or Great Professor Bias. As time passed by, Viktor Adler truly became an Org as his evil exceeded above that of the typical Orgs in the whole series. He was betrayed by his subordinates who later found out he's human but later had his chance for revenge when he becomes a full Org, complete with his memories while he was still human.
Power Rangers Ninja Storm
Aside from Hurricanger's obvious references, I might consider that the villain here used to be part of the Ninja Academy. Lothor might not be as ruthless as Great Professor Bias but his role does remind me of the latter. The idea of the two ninja schools may parallel how Liveman has two sciences dealing with each other. One wants to use science to help man and the other for world domination but you nave ninjutsu in the place of science for this show. Sideline, I'll give credit to this show for not turning Cam into a warrior who's lost his default identity. =P
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