Why I See Natsumi Shinohara As A Season Long Mika Koizumi
Them eyes.... and them wrenches!
While watching Carranger with subs and in a more sequential order, I also wanted to at least watch rewatch the first nine episodes of Bioman again. So what's up with comparing Mika Koizumi to Natsumi Kinohara? While Mika was pretty short-lived no thanks to the actress Yuki Yajima leaving the set so abruptly, fortunately the actress Yuka Motohashi didn't leave the set all so soon and she stayed from episode one up to the very end. Got to admit, this isn't really my idea to start with since I got the idea from Fantasy Leader (now Sentai Bandicoot) so long ago and somehow, I really can't change my opinion too much after watching Carranger.
I thought Mika's concept was a pretty interesting one with a snappy, sort-of a rebel type of lady who cares for her teammates. But unlike Mika, Natsumi didn't attempt to run away on her own but she had the whole team with her. I mean, none of the Carrangers wanted to accept their destiny. Even Kyousuke wanted to leave the team but later found out that he was wrong about it. So I wonder did the producer Shigenori Takatera ever have Mika's concept in mind or what about writer Yoshio Urasawa or that at least six episodes were written by Hirohisa Soda namely episodes 10, 14, 18, 38-39 and 44? I really can't tell but it's pretty much left to speculation for me anyway.
When I first saw Carranger in raw or at least heard of it, and started reading fansites back then (my primary source of information due to my lack of resources to watch the shows), I pretty thought of the time when I saw a woman in all red and she's a yellow ranger -- on my, it's probably a rehash of Mika which I thought was a good thing. Even if I couldn't understand the raws nor did I know who wrote the episodes back then or understand the tasks of the producer vs. writer, I just thought she was another Mika. Later I found also find out about who the writers were and the job of the producers after having some conversations with Fantasy Leader who is also now known as Sentai Bandicoot from so long ago. Fortunately, I've watched Carranger from start to end around this year.
It was episode 10 that first got my attention on her as a Mika-type character in some way. The whole episode involving a group of Bowzocks on bikes was hilarious. I dunno what was really in Soda's head or whether or not that episode was written with Mika in mind. When I think of it, there's that look of determination in her eyes. Like Mika, she tends to act on her own and oppose the red ranger, while having a similar sense of humor (?) with what she did with Naoki in that episode. In that entire episode, I really could see the badassness of that episode. That whole scene of her using her wrenches into action and breaking them bicycles was no easy scene. It was easily one of the best moments ever!
Episode 18 featured that lying girl... oh wait didn't I see that in Fiveman? Granted, Soda was Fiveman's head writer and he also write that episode of a cute liar, I thought it felt like making Mika meet that liar girl in Fiveman. Again, we see her rebellious attitude showing! So she does get into trouble and gets out on her own. She even uses the pin on Dappu's towel to fix her Accel Changer and she displayed a lot of raw prowess in that episode. I don't find the episode funny for most of its run (except for that stupid gun that makes you want to take your clothes off), I praise the badass nature of that episode.
Episode 44 would probably try to be where she gets most of her development. She loses her wrench, she loses her confidence but she regains her confidence after fixing Dragon Cruiser with a normal wrench. I guess Soda still had Mika in mind when he wrote that episode or two, can anybody tell me any similar episode that somebody in Soda's era of Sentai had this kind of episode? Speaking of wrench, Bioman still had that wrench but it was a Shingo Takasugi focused episode. However, it seems to be an episode to what kind of episode Mika would have had if the actress Yuki Yajima didn't leave so soon.
I'm just thankful, so thankful that Mika's concept didn't die so easily and that Natsumi was for me, a season long Mika Koizumi.