The Inevitable Time When Your Favorite Super Sentai Head Writers Burns Out And/Or Quits Writing A Good Story

Do you ever have a favorite Tokusatsu head writer from Toei? If so, there are really times you'll find out that they've badly burned out. Here are some cases of writers burning out. Just because a headwriter does a good job at first doesn't mean they won't reach their limitations. So here's a list of writers you may have liked but also wrote something bad because they just reached their limits that time.


Hirohisa Soda

Hirohisa Soda is pretty much "hail to the king". This was probably what many Super Sentai fans considered as "the best era ever" with Hirohisa Soda as the head writer and Takeyuki Suzuki as the head producer for many of his shows.

As a writer, Soda started out with Goggle V which had a small bit of the science theme, Dynaman didn't explore on it much. He would also be responsible for writing the "science trilogy" with Bioman, Flashman and Liveman which all focused on the high consequences of reckless use of technology. I felt like he had some fascination with tons of science like like headwriter Yasuko Kobayashi would have it. But I felt like he really handled the science themes better than the succeeding writers. Megaranger may have been a science themed Super Sentai but I felt like Bioman, Flashman and Liveman handled it better.

For his writings, I find most of his early works entertaining either with the lighthearted Goggle V, Dynaman and Bioman (which started to get a little more serious). He also tried to write works that would appeal to the older audiences. Changeman started out as a pretty serious Super Sentai series and the first to go into space. Flashman started to explore on the unethical issue of genetic manipulation for the whole season. Maskman was the first love story ever done in Super Sentai exploring the concept of opposing forces such as love and lust, light and darkness. Liveman was the last of his science Super Sentai series. But after that, he reached the inevitable decline period of his career as a head writer.

When did Soda eventually reach his decline? It was most likely with Turboranger and Fiveman. Turboranger started to suffer from lower ratings so the producers may have retooled the show like writing the three generals Zimba, Jarmin and Rehda off (most likely due to pay issues) before they could introduce Yamimaru and Kirika. Turboranger didn't have too much of an improvement of ratings. Fiveman came next and he was really out of ideas. While watching Fiveman, I was entertained by it as a child and I still want to rewatch but I can't deny how he tried to mix all his ideas but some of them turned out horribly. Garoa started out as a badass brute but became a joke character and while Chevalier started out as a game changer, he ends up becoming just your typical Super Sentai villain with ridiculous world domination plans. I do like Fiveman and I've gotten sour with Magiranger but GoGoFive has been a better trip IMO.

Soda didn't leave writing for Super Sentai though after Fiveman. He still proceeded to write some episodes for Kakuranger, Ohranger and Carranger before he left. He did still have some of his charm even after he became a secondary writer for other series. Even after leaving, some of his ideas ended up getting modified by other writers for Super Sentai and Judd Lynn for Power Rangers. When Super Sentai didn't explore some of his ideas further, Judd Lynn would get some ideas and give them the Power Rangers touch. Power Rangers in Space, Lost Galaxy and Lightspeed Rescue were among a few. One that I find noteworthy would be like PR in Space had some Changeman inspiration, Lost Galaxy might be partly Flashman (except the idea of exploring on the consequences of manipulating life was probably that difficult to insert but made it into Time Force but not as the main theme) and Lightspeed Rescue had Chad/Marina which Vypra took over the role of Princess Chimera of Dynaman for that said episode.


Toshiki Inoue

Toshiki Inoue is another who is termed as "Frank Miller" of Tokusatsu. With that in mind, he introduces really good works but tends to undo himself with later works. While he was a one-shot head writer for Super Sentai (and yes, he wrote a lot of decent episodes as a secondary writer for other series, he also got involved in Sugimura's era and Timeranger) he wrote a pretty good series at that. If I'm not wrong Chojin Sentai Jetman saved Super Sentai from cancellation because Fiveman lacked popularity to continue the franchise. It was also Suzuki's era as a producer for Super Sentai for the 90s. Jetman became so popular you had a Jetman TV Encyclopedia and a non-canon Jetman Manga three years later (an alternate epilogue that gave Ryu and Kaori a daughter named Aya instead of a son named Gai).

Then it came he was in charge of writing for Kamen Rider Agito. Agito became the most hard to imitate work and requires real practice to master writing that kind of series. During that time, he wrote most of the episodes with Kobayashi writing episode 28. I thought that series really had some complicated mysteries and well some references to Super Sentai. I felt like Hojo Toru was pretty much another version of Timeranger's Naoto Takizawa. During the series, not everything is revealed immediately and you're just hooked up for more. Now what happened next?

Then came Kamen Rider Faiz which was his most serious work. Either he got cocky (which possibly happened) or he felt like giving up midway. At first, Faiz had a lot of potential to explore the darker side of humanity during its course. But later, the show started getting stuck in a game of pass the Rider belt. I was wondering, what was really Masato Kusaka's purpose in the whole show?! Was he there just to be for the sake of Inoue loving jerk characters into his show? Considering he wrote a good portion of Kamen Rider Ryuki which was a show full of douchebags, it's possible that he really felt Kusaka was needed. I felt like Kusaka ended up as the show's secondary villain as he manipulated people around. I just thought I want to travel to the year 3,000 with Kusaka and slam his head with Captain Ryuya's. Both of those characters were really hero wannabes who ended up becoming villains due to their actions. He did make a cameo at the end of the series.

I'm a fan of Kamen Rider Kiva but I can also agree with fans with what they had to say about the show's copying of ideas. Either he was out of ideas or he's just "Well that's it, I give up." The show was a fun ride for me but I always felt some fans really detest it. It feels pretty much like hit or miss. I'm a Kiva fan, I like what I see in it as the Danny Phantom vibes of the show. The show did have some problems but I do like the series. It does still show moments of giving up especially with how the show had some inconsistency in themes. Sometimes, he'd just insert serious moments for the heck of it while most of the show was more of a Nicktoon than your typical Kamen Rider. But again, I don't really have a problem with later Kamen Riders becoming a "Nicktoon" considering I'm also a fan of Kamen Rider Fourze which I jokingly dub as "Kamen Rider Sheen Estevez".

Some say I've been spared from horror by not watching Shogeki Gouraigan. Is it really that awful?


Junki Takegami 

Junki Takegami started his entry point as the head writer of Megaranger. Although I don't think it reaches Soda's quality but hey it's a huge tribute to Soda himself. Megaranger was pretty much a nice series especially it experimented on what if neither civilians nor villains knew the identities of the heroes like in Marvel or DC Comics. While he was the head writer, Megaranger had Yasuko Kobayashi and Naruhisa Arakawa (who wrote the finale instead) as major writers contributing to its success.

While he was a secondary writer for Gingaman, he was the head writer for GoGoFive. GoGoFive ended up as an improved version of Fiveman as a family Super Sentai. He was also the head writer for the lighter and softer Gaoranger. Most of his works usually focused on lighter and softer themes or better the well-balanced themes. He would also be a secondary writer for Dekaranger and Boukenger.

Now I'm a fan of Go-onger's wacky comedy but I discovered the fan reception wasn't very good. I've been a fan of the series but at the same time, some fans may have felt he hit his inevitable decline.As a series, Go-onger tends to shifts mood pretty fast. Some episodes are just downright wacky then you end up getting a lot of seriousness coupled with forced drama into some of them.

What do you think?


Yasuko Kobayashi

I'll admit I am a fan of Yasuko Kobayashi which started out with me watching Shinkenger (the first time I got exposed to her writing style). She was also the person responsible as the writer for the Kamen Rider Decade and Shinkenger crossover. Until now, I couldn't really warm up to the ToQGer/Gaim crossover (sorry ToQ fans) as the better one. So I admit Shinkenger was a pretty fun series. The season really had a lot of fun characters to be with and major pieces of ham to chew on. Before that, she was also a secondary writer for Boukenger. During the 90s, she was involved as an important secondary writer for Megaranger and GoGoFive.

Back then, I didn't really have an idea she used to write more serious works especially during the 90s. I started watching Gingaman and Timeranger which are both fan favorites. Gingaman had a lot of serious moments aside from the fun moments. Timeranger was a pretty complicated series where technically speaking fate is the main villain where she became overly serious. While Gingaman was more or less not so serious (but still serious considering it does have a high body count), Timeranger was where it got serious. While watching Timeranger, I could say, "A lot of these stuff are better off not even added in Power Rangers." While Power Rangers in later seasons tried to be more serious than usual but I thought Timeranger had some stuff that might as well be best left alone to Super Sentai. Plus after Timeranger, note that Super Sentai had become lighter and softer for most of its run with the exceptions of Gekiranger and Go-Busters.

She was also involved with Kamen Rider. She wrote one episode for Agito (episode 28) then she proceeded to work for Kamen Rider Ryuki. I'll admit Ryuki was an interesting series ruined by executive meddling. Ryuki had some rather interesting characters such as like how Kamen Rider Ouja, unlike Shadow Moon, was evil at his own will and he was what if Bilgenia had the King Stone. She may have wanted a tragedy to take place but no, executive meddling made her press that stupid reset button. It's the kind of ending neither Inoue nor her would have wanted for the show. I guess that decision to meddle later resulted to the alternate finale of Kamen Rider Ryuki.

As a Kamen Rider head writer, she does have some hit or miss moments. Den-O was a very popular season but I'm not really much of a fan of the show due to the time travel loops. Kamen Rider OOO was post-Shinkenger but I personally enjoyed it. Those were still fan favorites but let's focus on when she really, really hit her inevitable decline.

During Go-Busters, it was obvious she was still trying. Like Inoue with Kamen Rider Faiz, the series tends to be hit or miss with the fans. The show had some potential to be Super Sentai's version of Power Rangers RPM but I guess executives hated the idea of a post-apocalyptic Super Sentai. During that time she really was trying her best to write a good series. Go-Busters was soon met with comments like "boring" or what might be considered as "Go-Sleepsters" for some. Personally, I do like the series but I don't really think too highly of not.

NOW DRUM ROLL...


Yup, ToQGer. They tried to get her to team up with Takaaki Utsunomiya again hoping Shinkenger's charm would work on it. Unlike Shinkenger, the charm was really not there. I felt like the whole series is my ticket to sleepy, sleepy lane. I wonder what you think that I practically use this series to go to sleep! During this period, neither Super Sentai nor Power Rangers really got my eyes. Instead, I thought that I ended up using Kamen Rider Gaim to help fill my Tokusatsu void. This was the period where she really felt like giving up. There was really little or no effort. Unlike Fiveman, I couldn't warm up to ToQGer at all. Sorry ToQGer fans, I really couldn't speak too well about it! I really just can't really give it a warm spot. I'd blame Kobayashi's reaching her limits and as said, why didn't they just get another writer for the show? Naruhisa Arakawa, Junki Takegami or Yoshio Urasawa could've been the better choice.

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