Red Mask: Love is My Motivation

I think Takeru/Red Mask is sort of the "tragic red ranger" in a way. Before the invasion, he had fallen in love with a mysterious girl who he only knew as Mio without knowing who she really was. He also had been able to rescue a woman and her child and was spotted by Sugata and he was made the red ranger as the first to be spotted (shortly after X-1 Mask the prototype disappeared).

He also kind of had a mutual understanding with the female yellow ranger Haruka/Yellow Mask (a formula taken from Bioman later ported to Dekaranger) but there was NOTHING between them in the romantic sense.  He also had his professional interaction with Momoko but only in that angle, they barely had screen interaction.

He was frequently searching for Mio wondering where he is that at first, it nearly spelled his demise.  In fact, it came in between his training to unleash the Aura power.  What happened was that, Commander Sugata temporarily took away the pendant given to him by Mio so he could concentrate.  After unleashing the aura power, Commander Sugata allowed him to think of finding Mio as his inspiration thus love was his motivation.

Throughout the series, he at first believes she had dead only to find out from Princess Igam (who he thought is a guy at first) that Ial was sealed away in an icy coffin for betrayal and developing a rival with Kiros for that. He also had earned Baraba's hatred. What really shocked him the most when he discovered that the prince was really a princess and he refused to fight any further.  He made that discovery that upon the time he and the other four Maskmen did some intense Aura power meditation to free Akira from his control as Fencer Unas, Igam's helmet flew off revealing she was a woman while he thought she was a man.  This of course, he refused to fight Igam any further out of honor and for the love of Ial.

Actually he wasn't also what most red rangers were. In fact, he's the first red ranger with ADHD as revealed in episode 38 when the Maskmen discover that his story and the past was just too different in an overall funny episode.  What the issue was that, he was simply afraid to admit his shortcomings.  The Maskmen made fun of him but still grew to accept him.

Eventually the wrapping of things up came when Kiros had tricked Baraba into using Ial as a bait.  Rashly, he went to Baraba and allowed his Aura changer to be destroyed for the love of Ial.  His motivation led him to a rather near-death situation which would have killed him would have not the other Maskmen developed a spare changer.  In the flaming rivalry of battle, he concluded his rivalry with Baraba by eventually killing the latter in a desperate battle.  However his mission to rescue Ial was to rescue her from Kiros who lusted after Ial while he wanted to save his true love.

Eventually he went to fight to save Ial to which he and Kiros were hunted by Igam.  He was disgusted at the fact Igam could go as far as to kill her sister Ial.  In the midst of that turmoil, he used his Aura power to release Ial from her icy coffin, which Kiros tried to bribe Oyobur to melt.  Eventually, that incident led him to indirectly kill Kiros.  He was reunted with Ial but only for them to discover one more thing had to be done- dealing with Zeba's true identity which was revealed by the Igam dragon's orb.  He still tried to reason out with Igam but only to find out she was still blinded by her loyalty to Zeba even if she had learned of the emperor's true identity.

In the final battle, he managed to lead the Maskmen in battle against Zeba.  After the defeat of Zeba since both the Igam twins had reunited and eventually Zeba was destroyed by the Maskmen, a bitter sweet ending was developed.  The sad thing in his life was that when he had spent most of his time fighting Tube to free Ial, he ended up breaking up with her because of her new responsibilities.  She had to return to the underground kingdom as Igam had went to become a Buddhist nun making her the new queen of Tube to restore it.  He still however had his friends.

Interesting note: Ryosuke Umezo after Maskman also did appear in Fiveman episode 22 as a scientist who falls in love with Five Pink but it was kind of another short fling as the two never ended up together. In Dairanger, he appeared as the Media Magician who fell in love with the pink ranger Rin/Houou Ranger which was almost parallel to episode 34 of Maskman but this time, he was a kaijin and the episode was more deeply tragic. Think of the tragic roles!
Image taken from supersentaimages.blogspot.com.

Comments

  1. well,that's true!!! redmask's motivation is love, but, sadly, he and princess lal have to let go of each other for the best. i hope seanakisuki you will be able to search older pictures of maskman cast. more power.

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