Going Over Space And Time With The Space Alpha Time Sword
After reading Shogo's entry on The Sword of Time, I thought of writing the same entry with a slightly different title. What I felt like was that there's much to happen with me and I'm not getting any younger. the more I realize that when it comes to Super Sentai or just any Tokusatsu, I end up preferring older Super Sentai even if I may enjoy the newer ones. I want to ask some people on how much old school Super Sentai have they seen anyway before they can say that the latest is the best? Of course, older doesn't always mean better either. Some old school Super Sentai are entertaining and they had better successors then at times, the successors fail to live up to the expectations.
Considering Zyuohger is upcoming the 40th Super Sentai season as Toei's longest consecutive running series, Power Rangers celebrated its 20th anniversary during Power Rangers Megaforce, Kamen Rider Kiva was ten years after Shotaro Ishinomori's death, Kamen Rider Decade took place in 2009 as the tenth Heisei era Kamen Rider, Haim Saban turned 70 years old last 2014, Power Rangers Time Force turns 15 this year while Timeranger turned 15 last year and Toei was founded last 1950 making it turning 66 years old this October 1, 1950 - the Space Alpha Time Sword's cut can be felt by the older fandom. Oh just think... how old Super Sentai, Power Rangers and Kamen Rider has become and how long has it been since Metal Hero got canceled.
I still remember the time I saw Bioman, Maskman, Turboranger and Jetman without knowing the term "Super Sentai". It wasn't long until I was 15 or 16 years old when I discovered the existence of other Kamen Riders and the term Super Sentai, when I discovered about Zyuranger and later the legal transactions between Toei and Saban to produce Power Rangers. When I take a look back and look at now, much has changed. A lot of my childhood heroes have grown past their prime, some of them even have children now or some of them had passed away in real life.
Back in the early 2000s as a College student, I really wanted to drop Tokusatsu entirely until I saw some attractive female characters (stupid reason) more focused on other recent fads of that like Japanese drama, Taiwanese drama, Korean drama and Hong Kong action movies of that era which I felt entertained me more than Tokusatsu. I discovered I still wanted to watch Tokusatsu but I was more interested in the older ones than the newer ones but it didn't mean I wasn't giving newer seasons of Super Sentai a chance even if I was more interested in watching Japanese drama instead of Tokusatsu in general. What was better was that soon enough, fan subs were getting released and older Super Sentai seasons were released in better definition. Just because it's an old series or new series doesn't automatically mean it's not worth checking out. Ninninger was quite a fun trip and some younger fans enjoyed older Super Sentai seasons.
I felt the effect hit on me yet again realizing that some of the Super Sentai stars were 80s babies themselves and were 90s children. While watching Hurricanger, I'm really wondering if Nao Nagasawa watched Liveman and Kakuranger before she got the role. While watching Dekaranger, I wonder if Tyuyoshi Hasashi watched Winspecter, Solbrain or Janperson as a child before he landed the role of Hoji Tomasu. While watching Shinkenger, I wonder if Tori Matsuzaka watched Maskman before he eventually became the second Takeru. During Power Rangers Megaforce, Ciara Hanna admits her favorite Power Rangers season as a child was Power Rangers in Space. The cast of Kamen Rider Fourze tried to familiarize with them with Showa Heisei Kamen Rider which premiered before any of the younger cast members were born. The more I think of how 80s babies, 80s kids, 90s kids and 90s babies were becoming Super Sentai warriors or getting cast into Tokusatsu, I just thought how time really flies or how some of them got their dreams come true to become a Super Sentai warrior, a Power Ranger or a Kamen Rider or to appear in one season of their favorite Tokusatsu as kids.
It also reminds me of how Tokusatsu home videos in the 80s really had lower quality back then (VHS, Betamax) but lately, they can be watched in high definition. Children today might be able to enjoy the Super Sentai, Power Rangers, Kamen Rider or maybe even the long canceled Metal Hero series of their predecessors remastered in high definition. But even with all the new technology and high definition, one cannot deny they aren't growing younger. It just reminds me why some newer technology were soon made user friendly for older people like touch screen smartphones might actually be user friendly to some people in their 50s and above? Just think of how classical music, golden oldies and old school entertainment gets remastered that even with the dawn of innovation, they can still be watched in better definition.
It also made me think watching newer Super Sentai can either make you feel young or feel old. You can feel young because you're watching with the current generation fans. You can also feel old because you realize how long Super Sentai has changed. It can go to a cycle you remember your mom watched Goranger, you watched the 90s Super Sentai and some Super Sentai fans have children watching Gokaiger. Meanwhile, watching older Super Sentai has that nostalgic feel attached to it remembering the cast when they were still alive and in their prime. I also have my speculation that there is always the tendency for biases in Tokusatsu - older fans may prefer older Tokusatsu and younger fans may prefer newer Tokusatsu. I guess age does play a difference in preferences at times. An older fan may want to see what's new and a younger fan may want to see what's old but at the end of the day, the preferences would probably be according to age.
Well then, I hope Zyuohger will manage to create a new generation of Super Sentai fans. Hmmm I wonder what was their favorite Super Sentai as children?