Sibling Day Special: Them Sibling Super Sentai
So it's belated Happy Siblings' Day. So let's get a bit of walkthrough of the three family Super Sentai for each decade.
In 1990, we had Chikyu Sentai Fiveman which was the last time Hirohisa Soda was going to be a head writer. This show is very much an important part of my childhood since I grew up watching it. Much of the show featured a more unique team because they're freaking siblings! It wasn't like with all the others that I saw before it like Bioman, Maskman and Turboranger that didn't feature a family. Fiveman had the first sibling force as the year 1990 entered. The story itself tried to combine plenty of Soda's past works but he was basically wearing out already after spending some time as the head writer for Goggle V up to Turboranger.
But for a series that's considered weak, I felt like the characters here were pretty likable and it had some really good action scenes with a lot of crazy stunts you don't see in the later sibling Super Sentai. The series tried to present itself as a Public Service Announcement for safety rules with its team of school teachers - something that many other series like Winspector, Solbrain, Exceedraft, Janperson, Carranger, GoGoFive and Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue managed to improve to a certain extent. My wild guess is the series appealed more to children than to older Super Sentai fans. I still feel though the series appeals to me until this day.
For a kid of the week show, I do have the feeling this show may have done it better than Zyuranger in addressing the moral lesson of the week. Zyuranger had some of them but not as much as Fiveman ever did. I really felt Fiveman somehow tried to summarize all the moral lessons Soda liked to write into his series. We can also see a lot of plots following like Zone destroying planets was like Gozma's destroying planets in Changeman, the villains somewhat followed a lot of Soda's previous styles trying to conclude Soda before Toshiki Inoue entered as Jetman's head writer the following year.
Kyukyu Sentai GoGoFive
So Another Imagination Station is six more episodes and it's done. So far, so good in terms of writing against its predecessor Fiveman. So nine years after Fiveman, another sibling team was born with GoGoFive. Like Fiveman before it, it's pretty much a Public Service Announcement. The story now revolves around the Tatsumi Siblings who each are part of a rescue team. There's been some ups and downs with this show like IMO, Gaku Hoshikawa has been a better older brother than Matoi for me. Matoi tends to be too loud at times while Gaku's more or less more level headed. I just had a thought that personality-wise, Carter Grayson IMO has the plus points of being more level headed and calm than Matoi. Both are still the best in what they do as firemen and team leaders.
This was Junki Takegami's second round after Megaranger and Yasuko Kobayashi still didn't burn out that time. This time the issue of family is taken to another round. Mondo Tatsumi mysteriously disappeared for several years leaving his children alone, their mother is supposedly dead and the siblings have to deal with the facts. The show also shows the bond of families better than Fiveman. Their opponents are the Saima Clan who are mostly siblings except for their butler Pierre. The arrival of Grand Witch Grandienne also shows what a parent ought not to be. Mondo's supposed abandonment of his children was because he had no choice while Grand Witch Grandienne is just one horrible bitch towards her own children. Like Fiveman before it, it tried to explore the concept of family and respect for others in its own way. Are the uniforms having similarity to the Fiveman suits intentionally done? Most likely!
Back then, I showed my usual "stuck up" personality and already had the pre-conceived bias that GoGoFive that "It's not going to be as good as Fiveman." or "Sentai should've stopped last 2000." It was the same reaction before I've even watched the show that I had with Carranger because of Turboranger or Abaranger because of Zyuranger. But after watching the show, I really think that while I do love Fiveman's musical score better but GoGoFive definitely has the writing done better. I still think though maybe my favoritism for Nagare Tatsumi might spring from the fact Ken Hoshikawa is my favorite. Both Nagare and Ken tend to have their really risk taking moments but each in a different way. Hopefully, I'll write some kind of review for this when I'm done.
At first I liked it but later, I really felt like dropping it. I can't really understand why the flip-flop. I couldn't say it's because of too much CGI - so says somebody who likes Shinkenger and Boukenger. But I guess the show lacks the charm of GoGoFive and Fiveman. Granted, I saw this before GoGoFive then I really think about characterization. Kai Ozu and Houka are really, really that annoying IMO, something that fortunately didn't happen in Mystic Force.
The show tries to recycle GoGoFive's concept of missing mother, estranged father in some way and fighting the supernatural. This time, it's supernatural vs. supernatural since Magiranger tries to use magic. The characters of the show try to learn different magical spells but the concept manages to sacrifice the quality of action scenes. While the show still has its regular cast members doing their own stunts but the quality gets sacrificed a lot in favor of CGI gimmicks. Worse, the plotline just got more stale and stale. The three generals weren't all as great as the Three Highnesses in Gaoranger and a lot more. Infershia won't last a day against the Saima Clan either.
Somehow, this show still manages to be a popular season in Japan. But this is one show where I definitely dare to say I'm not a fan of it. There's really nothing wrong with liking an unpopular season and disliking a popular season.