Megaranger: A Mega Graduation Series For A Team of Teenagers!

Megaranger itself is one amazing Super Sentai series and I can dub it as a masterpiece.  After the horrendous failure called Power Rangers Megaforce, I am tempted to write this entry on Megaranger, the one true Mega series.  Megaranger was a series that aired from February 14, 1997 to February 15, 1998 which was trying to do some tribute to the Hirohisa Soda era while having some elements from the Sugimura era.  The whole show in itself was indeed one Mega-series and I'd love to talk how it was a Mega Graduation for a team of teenagers.

Megaranger was head-produced by Shigenori Takatera and its major writers were Junki Takegami (22 episodes as head writer), Yasuko Kobayashi (13 episodes) and Naruhisa Arakawa (11 episodes) who were the series' biggest contributors.  Takegami would later be responsible for GogoV, Gaoranger and well, Go-onger (which is a love it or hate it series, I just like it but I don't love it).  Yasuko Kobayashi herself would be the head writer of Gingaman and Timeranger for really good series, the not-so-well written but popular Shinkenger, Gobusters (her attempt to return to darker and edgier) and ToQGer which I personally dislike.  Naruhisa Arakawa who had written episodes for Zyuranger up to Carranger had a major time training in the series.

Megaranger's entire story revolved around five teenagers who get dragged into a conflict that would forever change their lives.  Kenta starts out as a delinquent who after winning the Megaranger arcade game while the other four wanted to explore the INET Research Facility.  However it becomes a HUGE problem when one day the Nezire group attack and that's when their lives are changed forever.  The five teenagers with attitude got dragged into a fight that should have not been part of their lives but they got dragged into it.  I felt like Dr. Kubota was sort of an idiot to let them become Megarangers but... the whole idea got everyone to mature and change their ideals.  Dr. Kubota's lack of logic changed the lives of these teenagers with attitude forever.

Megaranger's team was pretty atypical considering that while Kenta is the field leader, Kouichirou was really the actual leader who was pretty much the Gary Stu of the group.  Shun is Kenta's best friend who initially tries to leave the team to fulfill his dreams but returns after that.  Chisato is that yellow ranger who dreams of becoming a photographer (I wonder if she has a dead brother) and Miku is well, somebody who can pretty much agree with Kenta due to her being lazy with school.  yet in spite of their differences, the Megarangers start to change each other as their battle with the Nezire go by.  They have school, they have homework, they have this and that and they have to battle the Nezire?  I wonder what in the world was Dr. Kubota even thinking with getting recruits through the Megaranger arcade game?

The Megarangers as a group of teenagers go beyond their initial characterization.  In the beginning, Shun himself had his dream of being a graphic artist but he realized that the Earth needed him or there'd be no dreams to protect.  Kenta and Miku start off as slackers but thanks to the help of Chisato, both characters started to go for the better.  Kouichiro who was the Gary Stu of the group also learned to loosen up a bit thanks to everyone that while he started out pretty stiff, he also learned to balance himself while he was partly involved with Kenta's development as a person.

Spoilers ahead, read at your own risk!

The battle against the Nezire proved to be what would mature the Megarangers from a team of teenagers with attitude to a team that's ready to graduate from high school.  Kenta at first thought of Megaranger as an excuse from his classes.  But as time passed, everyone started to mature in their own way not only because of each other, but also because of their battles with the Nezire.  Dr. Kubota himself had long kept his secret past with Dr. Hinelar, which played a role in the development of the Megarangers into more mature people.

The battles with the Nezire revealed secrets to each other within the Megaranger group as well as develop their character.  Koichirou who's the Gary Stu of the group started to fall off from that character when he realized he was too hard on everyone.  Kenta realized the value of teamwork when he almost died at the hands of Yugande.  We also learned of Shun's tragic past concerning his mother when he falls in love with an android girl.  Miku also learned to be herself when she temporarily (and accidentally) became Super Miku.  For Chisato, I love her episode with how she was involved with a little girl and well, when she and Kenta (Why do I love to shiptease them?!) started to know each other better.

It wasn't long until episode 19 when Javious had enough of the delay that he sent Gurail to aid Dr. Hinelar's schemes.  The Megarangers along the way were faced with a dangerous game-changing villain.  Gurail started to unleash one deadly plan after the other, making the Megarangers suffer.  His first attack almost made Kenta lose his confidence if it wasn't for Dr. Kubota.  At the same time, their ally (not too much of a sixth member), Yuusaku/Mega Silver arrived especially when Gurail was already making their lives miserable.

Kenta also had some development during the time he befriended a Nezire monster and lost him (Chisato was kind enough to make a memento) which made them realize the Nezire was getting dangerous.  That time, they also realized that they must learn to take risks.  At the same time, after Miku's experience the Megarangers learn lessons in patience.  In one episode, Gurail set up a brilliant trap, making it look like the Nezire was about to collapse.  They realized after the incident that the time has not yet come.  Eventually Gurail is written off as he was destroyed by the newly-formed Mega Voyager.

After that, the Megarangers seemed to have easier space to breath for a few episodes until the arrival of the Nezirangers.  Dr. Hinelar reveals that he has gotten even more serious with the creation of the Nezirangers, a group of cruel trolls who were an even bigger threat than Gurail.  The threat level escalated with Dr. Hinelar's well thought of plan.  The Nezirangers also played an important role of the maturity of the Megarangers in one way or another.  The Megarangers along their battles with the Nezirangers learned on what was truly important.  The Nezirangers also showed they were the opposites of the Megarangers.  The Megarangers stood by each other for the right cause, the Nezirangers were a divided team.

During the Hinelar City Arc, Kenta was already maturing as he had learned to go from slacker to taking his studies seriously.  At the same time, there was the choice of priorities like exams vs. saving the world from evil.  The Hinelar City arc showed how the Megarangers had already matured as characters putting others before their own priorities.  While Chisato and Kouichiro were after the entrance exams to a prestigious universities (they are the brightest in their classes), they risked not entering a university to save the day.  At the same time, Kenta and Miku had become more mature individuals in the process, if not they would not be able to make it.  At that time, they also learned about the beauty of individual differences and how demonic science is destructive.

Towards the finale, the Megarangers are indeed graduated from teenagers with attitude to becoming more responsible citizens.  At that time, Dr. Hinelar had discovered their secret identities and started to launch his final attack.  Dr. Hinelar wanted to make sure they suffered all the more as an act of revenge.  At that time, the Megarangers were forced to live as outcasts as they were rejected by their peers.  Humanity blamed them for the reasons why the Nezire attacked.  But even when the worst of humanity was shown, later on their schoolmates cheered for them in the final battle to which they showed how they were willing to risk EVERYTHING just to protect others.

Their graduation soon happened that after they seemed to have perished, they arrived just in time to graduate from high school.  The Megarangers got their diploma, having saved the world just in time for their diplomas.  In the non-canon Gokaiger, Kenta had become a school teacher in Moroboshi High School.