It's Probably A Mistake To Insert More Serious Super Sentai Right After Boukenger And Right After Gokaiger!

After Timeranger was the last Super Sentai for the 20th century and the 21st Century began with Gaoranger, Super Sentai started to go for lighter and softer to keep itself alive. Gaoranger was so much of a fun ride, Hurricanger isn't as serious as Liveman, Abaranger isn't as serious as Zyuranger and Dekaranger isn't that serious of a cop-themed show compared to the Rescue Police era of the Metal Hero franchise. But there were two seasons from Gaoranger to Gokaiger that tried to return back to its more serious roots.

Jyuken Sentai Gekiranger

From Gaoranger up to Boukenger, fans have been having a load of fun after the rather depressing blockbuster Timeranger ended. A lot of Super Sentai seasons have become less mature and more kid friendly as time went by. But there was one show that tried to return to the roots of the 80s and 90s spirit namely Gekiranger. While Hideaki Tsukada as the chief producer couldn't ask for more budget for the action scenes (Gekiranger's action scenes aren't as good as Dairanger) but he could still try to make the best of both worlds. Multi-gattai and a darker, edgier story after Boukenger. I guess they were trying to redo darker and edgier while trying to stay focused on the multi-gattai era.

Gekiranger created a mixed reception for the fans. While Boukenger had a rating of 6.7% but Gekiranger had a rating of 5.2%. It still bothers me that while I do like Boukenger but come on, the show isn't that good! Gekiranger may have less intense action scenes but the show tried to return to some of the more serious themes from shows like Maskman and Dairanger. It may not be as serious as Dairanger but I can't deny there were some scary villains in this show. The antagonists showed more levels of badass than the other antagonists. Long himself as a game-changing villain was pretty creepy himself. For Abaranger, maybe the only scary villains were Mikoto (but I felt like he was more admired for being tough than scary) and Dezumozoryla but I felt Gekiranger had better fright factor with really good villains that may have intimidated children more than the other villains from Gaoranger up to Boukenger. 

As much as I love the writing of the show, I felt like maybe the drop in ratings was because of the children didn't like it immediately. Maybe it's like how Maskman was loved by older fans but not all children were able to immediately like it. I feel that maybe today, Gekiranger has gained more fans than when it aired. But it can also be a risky marketing decision to try and go back to darker and edgier after several times Super Sentai has been made more kid-friendly. IMO, they could have just settled a martial arts comedy Super Sentai instead (and maybe watch Kung Fu Panda while they were at it) of trying to redo Maskman and Dairanger in the darker and edgier tone. They could have taken note that after Turboranger we've had two super less serious seasons in Carranger and Go-onger which were nowhere near Turboranger's level of seriousness.

It could have been fun if we had a martial arts comedy followed by an automobile themed comedy before Shinkenger. Having a martial arts comedy is something Toei hasn't done at all. Sure Gekiranger had comedy moments but most of the show was serious. There's been a lot of drama here and there. I guess those elements made the secondary market (older fans) enjoy it more than the primary market (children). If they really went with comedy I think Gekiranger could have done better than Boukenger. 

Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters

Yet another attempt to bring a darker and edgier show after a fun ride with Gokaiger. Gokaiger from day one up to the day it ended was not a serious show. Even the first episode was much less serious than a lot of Super Sentai series back then. Fans were hit by the super serious Go-Busters. Personally, I think Go-Busters is a decent series but not as good as other more serious shows like Maskman, Liveman, Jetman and Dairanger. This was where Yasuko Kobayashi was like Toshiki Inoue in Kamen Rider Faiz - trying her best while burning out and got paired with a producer that hits or miss. Inoue had to work with Shinichiro Shirakura while Kobayashi had to work with Naomi Takebe.

If Timeranger and Agito were the silver bullets, then Faiz and Go-Busters is where signs of burning out are showing up. I was excited to think of how a near-Power Rangers RPM like theme would have worked for Super Sentai. I felt like a lot of interference happened like it may have been originally planned that the Messiah Virus would infect the whole world with Tokyo as the last safety zone. But you had Takebe meddling with it to the point it couldn't be carried out. Aside from trying to throw in something much darker and edgier after a series of fun seasons from Go-onger up to Gokaiger may not be a good move. I guess Go-onger was created in an attempt to relieve fans of the darker and edgier Gekiranger then Shinkenger became another fun show to relieve the fans. So why did the staff in Toei try to pull off the same stunt all over again? Didn't they learn from what happened with Gekiranger after Boukenger?

What's worse is that after Go-Busters, there's been too much of a slump. The ratings went down from 5% to 4.1% and ratings started to drop even more during Kyoryuger down to Ninninger. I can't really determine why that happened but I guess it's like when a new menu item doesn't do as good as previous ones. I guess older fans of Super Sentai had something to watch with Gobusters but the younger fans didn't take a liking for it. A combination of Kobayashi starting to burn out and throwing something so serious out of the blue may have contributed to Go-Busters' lower ratings. Even if I still like the series I won't deny that Gekiranger has been the better of the two. It may have tried to revive the Timeranger vibes but like Faiz, it didn't do as well. Hmmm... should Kobayashi have appeared to make a cameo at the end of this series like Inoue did in Faiz?

What could have been done was to make Go-Busters less serious and more gimmicky. After seeing that Kyoryuger had really good toy sales, Go-Busters was bland in the gimmicks department. I hope that Go-Busters is a lesson not to try and revive darker and edgier because it's not working as well as it used to be. 

Comments

  1. I wish there was something I could do to help Toei make their future productions work for both the primary AND the secondary target audiences.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gekiranger has higher ratings than Go-onger or any comedy series that came after it (Kyoryuger, Toqger, etc.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well there was a considerable time gap between 2007 and 2013-2015. Kyoryuger, ToQGer, Ninninger and Zyuohger come after Gokaiger and trying to compete with the hype isn't very easy.

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  3. I agree with you. The era from Gaoranger, Sentai series has become not really good. They may have more various concept, CGI and creative properties, but they don't be more serious for the action, story and characters. And what I can't accept is they start to create annoying characters. Such as Dekaranger, the police and SWAT may sound good, but it actually disappointed me with too much bad CGI and annoying characters.
    However, I don't think Gokaiger is not serious. Gokaiger original action is really fantastic. The characters also make a good complement. And I can feel the producer's sincerity to arrange the schedule for the past Sentai performance.
    The same feeling when I watch Shinkenger, and I feel the sincerity that have been lost since Gaoranger. The later series such as Goseiger to Gobuster are also fantastic for me, even they may be low rated.
    So, Sentai series from 2001-2008 can't make me interested. Except Boukenger, Boukenger has a good teammate, I think. And the story is quite good at least.
    Beside, I also like the background story of Toqger, but I can't feel such as sincerity to make a series. It looks like they have return to Gaoranger era. Another high rated series, Ninninger is worse, I think.
    So, I'm surprised with Zyuohger performance. I find some sincerity from it. I hope they would keep on to make more good Sentai in the future.

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