Sixth Ranger Galore From 1992-2016
I remembered a couple of years ago, Shogo wrote on his opinion on the sixth rangers. Now it's my turn to write about them. I could start by saying that the sixth hero innovation has me mixed. Some of my favorites in the shows were the sixth heroes. Others weren't my favorites. Please don't look for the Magne Warrior and X-1 Mask here as they weren't official members of Bioman and Maskman. So without much ado, here are they. Also, this won't include extra rangers but only those who are officially SIXTH in the show.
Without further ado, let's get into the sixth ranger list. Remember, spoilers ahead so read at your own risk!
Move over Tommy is what I love to say whenever there's this guy to think about. After Maskman had it's prototype sixth ranger with Ryo Asuka/X-1 Mask (who also was a prototype for Gai Yuki who was a regular ranger) it's easy to see that Burai is a season-long X-1 Mask anti-hero. Though he started in as a villain, it can't be denied he's the senior of the Zyurangers. He's gotten the whole "Green With Evil" plot in Zyuranger where he shows how awesome he is in sixth episodes. Okay, Geki got more focus since Zyuranger is red-centric but nobody can deny that the guy started out evil and became good at his own decision. He made Tommy look like a freaking joke!
So why did Burai stay and X-1 Mask go? Well X-1 Mask was experimental while Burai (who may have been intended to just stay for six episodes) had a strong support going. Even if they killed him off for good in later episodes, you can't deny he's got a strong screen presence. Also, he's got borrowed time but quality outweighs quantity. Oh sure Tommy had more appearances, so what? He's just an overrated member. Burai? He's really badass and Shiro Izumi (who previously played Yuuma Oozora in Changeman) added a real presence. So as said, I just love to flaunt how great Burai is over Tommy. I guess I'm just fed up with Tommy getting overrated and how Burai's a real legend you can look up to.
Sidenote, Jason David Frank isn't any legendary actor. You want one? Why don't you look up to also to Hiroshi Miyauchi? He's played several characters and not an overused character of sorts!
I still can't forget how I had mixed feelings when I saw Power Rangers Turbo before hearing about Gosei Sentai Dairanger. Fans had this reaction towards well... Justin Stewart! I remembered reactions like how they could add a child. When I told them about Dairanger having a child member they had mixed feelings. Pretty much, after seeing Dairanger a couple of years ago had me think that there was a difference between Kou and Justin as child rangers.
Okay, one can say that Kou is a brat. Yes, I even wanted to strangle him when he groped Rin. I wish Rin hit him hard. But we find out that he's got a lot of trouble within. He's got an interesting plot going on especially that he's actually Shadam's son (but he never finds out), his parents are divorced and Akomaru is his evil twin brother. All the interesting plots didn't make him look like the lame gimmick Justin was. I didn't want to go against Justin for being a child. Justin's gimmick was that he was just there for the sake of being there. Kou had a real story to keep him going which makes him the superior kid ranger.
Other than that, I still think I'd pick him over Tommy. Tommy as the white ranger was for me well disgracing Big One and Kibaranger at the same time. As I mentioned earlier, Miyauchi beats JDF off the platform anytime. He's no overrated character. He's got a lot of plot contribution and character development. As said, it's time to kick Tommy to another level of low. Justin's okay though but the gimmick wasn't so well done.
So we've had another kid ranger. I didn't really mind too much about that. I'm just wondering did the producers want to "expand" on Joy from Bioman. Joy from Bioman supposedly came to Earth under suspended animation but it was a Mecha Human in disguise. In the case of Riki, he's came to our time under suspended animation. With Ohranger's war against Baranoia, I feel like they wanted more Bioman references than just a season long Bio vs. Anti-Bio war. I don't really have much to say about him either even after finishing Ohranger. He's okay but could have been fleshed out some more. But still, Justin got kicked down for being just there.
Yuusaku Hayakawa/Mega Silver
Here comes Mega Silver! So I thought it's bizarre why a group of teenagers with attitude would get a senior for a sixth ranger. Yuusaku was a scientist working in I-NET and somehow, he got drawn to use the prototype suit which lasted for only 2.5 minutes. Great, he's got that power but it only lasts that long. He fixed the suit's problem by lowering is power. While he does show some badass moments but I thought he was my least favorite in the show. As much as I like Megaranger but I wish they just had a teenager with superior intellect act out instead. That's a downsider of the show but other than that, he's pretty helpful to the others.
Burai syndrome anyone? He's the second sixth ranger to be the red ranger's older brother. He was supposed to become the next Ginga Red if it wasn't for that earthquake. He's supposedly dead but he was possessed by the first Bullblack. It was interesting to have him return which created some plot twists. For instance, it turns out that maybe just maybe Ryoma was destined by fate to become the 133rd Ginga Red. Although he originally overshadowed Ryoma but in the end, Ryoma overshadows him.
The plot where he becomes the second Bullblack was a fun watch. I mean, if he can't be the new Ginga Red why not give him another badass power? In the later episodes, he ends up teaming up with Pucrates so he could find out what could destroy Zahab. He temporarily got rid of his Earth Power. While we thought he lost it forever but he never lost it completely. While he did lose his position to become the 133rd Ginga Red but he filled up the spot left by the first Bullblack. The first Bullblack is an extra hero but after that, Hyuga became the sixth ranger of Gingaman. I don't want to compare him with Mike of Lost Galaxy though since there's not much to talk about.
Naoto "Hojo Toru" Takizawa/Time Fire
I can't deny how this guy feels like the "necessary conflict" of the show. If you don't get what I mean either you watch this show from start to end or you try watching Kamen Rider Agito (which came after Timeranger) from start to end to analyze Hojo Toru's antics. He's introduced as the rival of Tatsuya Asami. He's grown from a pretty poor family and wants to show the world he's actually capable of doing something. He's the anti-hero of sorts and the actor Shinji Kasahara does it right to play the "necessary conflict" which made me lament his actor should have played Hojo in Kamen Rider Agito. My only problem was that he didn't show up a little earlier like Burai did. I guess Toei wanted to try something new and I guess fans complained about it.
As the sixth ranger, he gets the equipment as Time Fire. He wants to show the world he can do something plus he tried to take command of the City Guardians. I wonder what was Yasuko Kobayashi thinking in adding this level of conflict? In spite of all his actions, I could still pity him in some way because people kept putting him down. Yet it doesn't justify his actions. Still, I wonder what in the world was Kobayashi thinking in gunning him down with a Zenitto at far range rather than give him a heroic death? Trying to do a Gai Yuki death for him? That scene made me think that Toshiki Inoue wrote it but no, it was Kobayashi. It turned out that Captain Ryuya (perhaps a prototype to Masato Kusaka in Kamen Rider Faiz) could have prevented what happened but chose not to.
For a bit of Naoto vs. Eric Myers. I just felt that both had their moments. I'd only want to talk more about the writing. Eric didn't try to take over the City Guardians nor exploit the Time Force Rangers' identities. On the other hand, Naoto did the opposite. As much as I don't like Power Rangers and I choose not to watch it... but I thought Eric was a better character. I guess Super Sentai wanted to try something new with their anti-hero characters. On the other hand, I still felt that Naoto's concept was still trying something new for a change. So will this concept still work in future seasons? Maybe, maybe not as lighter and softer has become the new trend.
Tsukumaru "Shirogane" Oogami/Gao Silver
Gaoranger was introduced to be in a much different light than Kobayashi's Magnum Opus Timeranger. It was the beginning of Super Sentai where most series would develop the new change of lighter and softer series now work better. One can admit that Gaoranger may still have had not much of any idea of what to do. After several episodes of mostly lighter and softer, we're brought to a more serious part of the series when Rouki is introduced. Then we realize Rouki was been inhabiting the body of the sixth Gaoranger... Shirogane!
Shirogane had some interesting build-up with how he got possessed by Rouki. So it was 1,000 years ago or something where the Org battle got that bad. The final Org highness Hyakkimaru was defeating everyone and he allowed himself to be possessed by the mask. These actions made him feel a huge amount of guilt explaining his lone wolf behavior. He even felt like he should be the one to destroy Rouki after the demon possessing him took bodily form. For the rest of the season, he started to blend in with everyone. Overall, my favorite Gaoranger team member.
So he was once known as Asuka Kagura but he lost his identity completely. He ended up appearing in different human forms but never having restored his true identity. I don't know which is really worse... this one or Sam as a ball of light in Power Rangers SPD? With my biases on, I still think Sam as a ball of light was really the dumbest thing producers could come up with for SPD. He may have brought back some Super Sentai seniors but that doesn't make up for this really unusual plot. I guess Toei wanted to experiment around but I don't think this idea was so well-taken by the audience. Again, I could be wrong and maybe there are some who actually like his concept. Super Sentai seniors showing up is nice but this concept feels dumb IMO. I prefer Cameron Watanabe having his human identity intact than what happened to this guy.
Tetsu "Tekkan" Aira/Deka Break
He's got that badass introduction and I thought he would be my favorite after Hoji Tomasu was my favorite. While I thought of jumping from liking Hoji to liking him, it just didn't happen. While I do still like him after the Hell Siblings' arc but I felt like that he wasn't so special after that. It was nice to get him to do more and blend in more. I just wish the show fleshed him out a little more. Instead, the other five Dekarangers felt like they had more development than he did. For that, I'm still officially liking Hoji over him. Maybe he's my third favorite Dekaranger now since Ban is my second favorite Dekaranger.
Magiranger is a sibling show and why did the producers even add him?! Unlike GoGoFive that kept itself more true to the sibling theme, I felt like Magiranger was more of a wreck in almost every way. Hikaru doesn't even do anything useful and I felt like he's been teased too much with first Houka then Urara then Houka then he marries Urara. Again, I could care less about him. I'm watching Fiveman and GoGoFive over this show for family bonding!
Eiji Takaoka/Bouken Silver
He's still my favorite Boukenger. I felt like the idea was like imagining what if Yamimaru in Turboranger became a sixth ranger instead of a new villain. Like Yamimaru, he's half-human and half-demon but unlike him, he didn't wander the Earth for thousands of years. He's not even aware of his half-Ashu heritage until he grew up. He's got his constant conflict with the Ashu warriors Gai and Rei. The Ashu were more or less improved versions of Jetman's Ramu and Gogu as they didn't spend too much time feeding on people turned into pineapples.
So what do I like about him? I can't really say too much but he's got some cool focus episodes. He's hesitant to join the team due to the curse within but he manages to overcome it. I like how his mecha was introduced and how often he's blended with the others. I can't also help but feel he's had references to the non-canon Jeff Kensaki. One, if Masumi Inou's their version of Gai Yuki (minus the womanizing) then he's Jeff. Like Jeff, he did fill in the black ranger's spot for awhile. Reference or coincidence?
Hiruto and Miu Suto/Go-on Gold and Go-on Silver
I enjoy Go-onger's wacky comedy (and no offense to those who insist it sucks). I felt these two were probably meant to balance. They appear to be badass and cool. Instead of just a sixth ranger, we also get a seventh when they both appear. They pretended to be calm and cool but they had their insecurities. I had a habit of comparing Hiruto to Squidward Tentacles except he's got better taste and talent. Miu's the first regular extra female and she's got really badass skills. In the long run, I didn't think these two were all that special.
Genta Umemori/Shinken Gold
Shinkenger was already a fun show at the beginning. Even before Genta appeared, we've already had some comic scenes like Takeru panicking over Mako's cooking, Mako's really bad cooking which is given in cartoony levels, Chiaki slacking and Ryunosuke being hammy. So why did they have to add Genta? I guess they just wanted toy sales or wanted a bit of a diversion. Unlike the others, he's no samurai warrior but just a fan of the whole samurai thing. But again, isn't samurai supposed to be a birthright or what? While he's definitely more useful for plot than that useless Spike Skullovitch because he actually did contribute something to the show like his hidden genius... but I wish the writers gave him more development than he got. Times happen that he feels like what if Skull had a son with a Japanese woman though it's just impossible.
Gai Ikari/Gokai Silver
Gai Ikari... perhaps the reflection of the Super Sentai spirit before Nobuo Akagi came into existence. He's the Sentai fan who becomes a Sentai ranger after some accident. So he got into a near-death situation (or probably really died) and was chosen by Burai, Naoto and Mikoto to become the latest Gokaiger. He's got that extensive knowledge of Super Sentai that no average Super Sentai fan can have. He could pinpoint almost everything and he's the "chosen one" of Super Sentai. Maybe he's the greatest Super Sentai sixth ranger that ever walked the franchise.
I felt like there's this one: he's probably Genta done right. While Genta had done some stuff like create super cool gadgets, he's managed to give clues to the Gokaigers about the past Super Sentai teams. He's made important roles in the Super Hero Taisen movies. While he didn't get to fight with Gai Yuki (Onore Toshiki Inoue... why do you hate Gai Ikari?) but he had that chance to fight by Ryou/Ryuuranger. Overall, he's probably that important character that all Super Sentai warriors could rely on. I don't think it'd be easy to make another Gai like him... pun intended.
I still can't over how much I didn't like Kyoryuger's writing or maybe I could blame producer Takahito Oomori. Oh yeah, that guy who says girls are weak so there's only one in this show. While it was a good idea to actually let Riku Sanjo give his shot but I felt like come on, dinosaurs are overused. While the toy sales were high overall but letting the sixth ranger appear earlier than usual may not be such a good idea. If Naoto may have appeared too late then he appeared too early. Trying to redo Shirogane and modify it can be a good idea but I don't think this character was that good of an outcome. Another mistake for Toei to learn from huh?
I still can't get over how much I thought ToQGer could have been such a great series if it wasn't for some management mistakes. The idea of a former Shadow Line joining ToQGer is a great idea but the whole show ran low on ratings. It could have been because of Yasuko Kobayashi burning out after some time. So all he did was make it rain. Come on, we all need rain at times as much as we need sunshine. Rain is part of the whole natural weather cycle. So is that all he had to be "sorry" about? I guess Naruhisa Arakawa could have probably given him a better excuse like he was causing nightmares or something. Blah. But again, I still think his concept could be worked out in future seasons of Super Sentai.
Like Kyoryu Gold, why in the world did he appear too early? I did feel sorry for the guy when he was supposedly "sent out" by that idiot senile old man. While he was a fun character but I felt like Ninninger no longer had any idea on what to do with ninjas. Whether it's Naomi Takebe or Kento Shimoyama, I don't think any of them did a good job here. Takebe was responsible for some of my favorite shows like Kamen Rider Kiva, Kamen Rider OOO, Kamen Rider Gaim and Go-Busters but she really doesn't stand out with Super Sentai for most of her run. He's a cool concept but I felt like it wasn't worked out as it should have been. I hope it can be improved upon in later seasons for possible future sixth rangers with a cowboy concept.
Mondo Misao/Zyuoh The World
While Zyuohger usually had some cool characters to think about but this guy well... he tends to suck for me. I don't know why the writers somehow have the obsession of making him too guilt-ridden and a pessimist. I guess they're just simply trying something new for lighter and softer Super Sentai seasons but I think it's time to really, I mean really give him some quick character development. He's got a couple of cool stuff going on but I'm afraid his personality drags him down. Hopefully, we'll see him improved for the next couple of episodes to become much more confident than when he started. But again, he did accept the deal with Genis so I guess it's understandable why he acts like the way he does. But what I do like about the pacing is that at least Misao doesn't appear too early or too late.