My Picks For The Most Innovative Super Sentai Producers And Writers

As part of giving tribute to 40 seasons of Super Sentai, it's time to also acknowledge the writers and producers who I believe revolutionized Super Sentai. Not that they didn't have errors. Besides, their later works also showed they had signs of burning out but let's not forget their important contributions as well.

Super Sentai producers

Tooru Hiriyama

It would be plain rude and crude for me not to honor him considering that he's the producer of the very series that first started Super Sentai. That series was none other than Goranger which aired for 84 episodes. I'm still skeptical about watching it because I'm too used to watching Super Sentai airing for usually around just one year. But here he is, the producer that started the trend.

Susumu Yoshikawa

After Goranger, there were a lot of challenges on how to sustain Super Sentai for the long run. JAKQ only lasted for 35 episodes and it took two years before Super Sentai returned with Battle Fever J. It was this guy who put Super into Super Sentai. One of the lessons that you may be able to learn is that sometimes your innovation fails and sometimes it succeeds. Battle Fever J caused the trend of the yearly Super Sentai with the giant robot. Denziman introduced the first transforming robot and the more standard Super Sentai uniforms. Sun Vulcan was well I found it pretty meh for the first half and I could only enjoy it during its second half when Takayuki Hiba arrived to become the new red ranger. Without the rough concepts, I don't think there'd be anything to modify.

Takeyuki Suzuki

I don't know if it's best to call him the "father of modern Super Sentai". I even feel like he's the king of good innovation starting with Goggle V up to Dairanger. Then he became joint producers with Yoshikawa prior to his departure. But again, who can deny that he was the genius behind many concepts that we enjoy in Super Sentai today? He had a trend that lasted so long. I felt like this guy was a huge fan of science themes, martial arts, space themes and mythological folklore. But most of his starting work really focused on science and technology in some way. He also worked with Hirohisa Soda, Toshiki Inoue and Noboru Sugimura. After the failure of Fiveman, I felt like his idea to create Jetman together with Inoue managed to make him even more memorable.

Shigenori Takatera

After the end of Takeyuki Suzuki's term, we have this guy. I felt like he's a genius who revisited concepts that didn't work so well the first time around and make them better. Turboranger was one and I felt like without him, two of my favorites Carranger and Megaranger wouldn't exist. I guess it must have entered his head to split Turboranger into two concepts and let's see how it goes. I felt Carranger became a huge improvement from Turboranger's inconsistency. Megaranger did teenagers with attitude right. For other stuff, I would also say he's the man who revived Kamen Rider from the longest hiatus it has ever entered with Kamen Rider Kuuga. Now should I watch Daimajin Canon or not?

Jun Hikasa

While he may not have Takeyuki Suzuki's rather impressive string of shows but he's made better some concepts. Like GoGoFive with the right producer and writers created a better sibling Super Sentai compared to Fiveman. Hurricanger felt like it was a bizarre combination of Liveman and Kakuranger. Abaranger managed to get more focus on dinosaurs than children of the week. Go-onger was yet another attempt at automobile based comedy after Carranger. He also introduced new concept that I believe needed to be reexplored like time travel with Timeranger, adventuring with Boukenger and angels with Goseiger. Oh yeah, never forget the unofficial Super Sentai called Akibaranger! Maye I'd call him the father of lighter and softer Super Sentai. Without lighter and softer themes, I don't think Super Sentai will last that long!

Hideaki Tsukada

This is extreme favoritism on my part. I felt like that during the time he was working with Dekaranger, did he go and dig a lot into the Metal Hero library and find a way to work its way into Super Sentai? If so, Dekaranger is a very atypical concept. Magiranger was the third family Super Sentai with magical themes. Gekiranger is more or less combining Gaoranger and Gekiranger. I'll give extra credit for him for his involvement in Kamen Rider namely Kamen Rider W and Kamen Rider Fourze.

Takaaki Utsunomiya

So maybe I was in the dumps with Kamen Rider Wizard and ToQGer because the shows didn't have the right writers. But I feel this guy knows the target market for children when he was working with Shinkenger, Gokaiger, ToQGer and most recently Zyuohger. I feel like that he may know how to handle toys and gimmicks. Shinkenger had the origami gimmick. Gokaiger had the pirate ship gimmick with various fancy combinations. I personally think Gokaiger had the best designs for the mecha department. ToQGer was a fun concept but a burnt out Yasuko Kobayashi wasn't the best choice for it. For Zyuohger, I feel like he's trying to do a documentary and toy commercial to make children appreciate animals. Either way, he's got really good business sense with the children market.

Super Sentai writers

Hirohisa Soda

The start of a real revolution for Super Sentai writing. I admit that while watching Battle Fever J and Sun Vulcan, I wasn't all that captivated. Battle Fever J had some issues with some of its actors to why cast change always had to happen and the villains were still pretty generic. Sun Vulcan had some cool concepts but there's one thing that annoyed me - the first half of the show. It wasn't until Takayuki Hiba came in as well as Amazon Killer that the show became more fun to watch. Then came in the legendary writer Hirohisa Soda who was involved from Goggle V up to Fiveman. He was most likely a huge fan of moral lesson oriented stories (ex. the risks of science, teaching lessons for children to learn while watching Super Sentai) and science fiction stories. I feel like he's the writer who loves putting the moral lessons of the week in almost every episode he writes. Goggle V and Dynaman didn't tackle on the risks of science without conscience as much as Bioman, Flashman and Liveman. Other series he was involved in were Flashman, Maskman, Turboranger and Liveman. Time came he was out of ideas during Turboranger and Fiveman but I still enjoy those two seasons. After that, he was involved as a secondary writer for Kakuranger and Ohranger before he inevitably left. As much as I feel like he's the "father of innovative Super Sentai writing" but I feel like he tends to get too much credit since I've seen some of his earlier concepts got better with other writers.

Toshiki Inoue

He was a one shot head writer but nobody can deny that he was the freaking writer of the classic Jetman. Fiveman had real issues with the audience that time. Today, I guess Fiveman gets more respect than it did. Back then, not so many liked Fiveman. Jetman was said that it was intended to be the final season for Super Sentai. He already showed a lot of his skill during Flashman, Maskman, Liveman, Turboranger and Fiveman. Now he's a head writer where he pretty much unleashed more of what he wanted. Jetman may have been so good at the same time it was something that new though for more atypical Super Sentai then you should also watch Timeranger. He knew how to combine best of innovation with the best of traditional methods in his writing. The series got so good that interest in Super Sentai got renewed. He was also responsible for the Jin Matoba arc in Dairanger. After that, he became responsible for Kamen Rider Agito which was his Magnum Opus. But after that, he had less favorable works namely Kamen Rider Faiz and Kamen Rider Kiva. So really, why wasn't he given another Super Sentai job order? He should have been assigned as Go-Busters' secondary writer!

Noboru Sugimura

I know he's gone since 2005 and it's a sad thing for many. Maybe Zyuranger wasn't as good as Jetman but I can't deny I still like that show. Dairanger is probably his best masterpiece. Kakuranger was also pretty fun. Ohranger, well the circumstances got so bad that the show suffered due to a lot of retooling but I still like the show in some way. Considering he was involved with Jiban, Winspector and Solbrain which had a kid of the week I guess he really knows how to appeal to children during Zyuranger. For Dairanger, I think why it got miles serious above Dairanger was more on the executives' decision and Suzuki and the writers involved were able to do it. Plus, he was majorly involved in Kamen Rider Black so I guess that explains why he's an important writer. RIP Sugimura.

Junki Takegami

An important primary and secondary writer. After Carranger, Megaranger came in and some said that it was the series that saved Super Sentai. Maybe it's true due to the fact that Megaranger had higher ratings than Carranger but again, what if I landed into a wrong source again? Anyway, it was really something that he got into Megaranger and GoGoFive two series I believe that had improved a lot of Hirohisa Soda's ideas left behind for future writers to innovate. During GoGoFive, I wanted to say that maybe he's also one of the reasons why I think the series is much better than Fiveman. He also stayed as a secondary writer for other series. For Go-onger, I'd say I still like it even if I think it wasn't his best work.

Yasuko Kobayashi

She had experience in Metal Hero like I'm delighted to know she was involved in Winspector and Janperson. Later she was an important secondary writer in GoGoFive. During Megaranger, she wrote a good quarter of the show before she became Gingaman's head writer. I guess her experience in between Megaranger up to GoGoFive allowed her to write many good episodes into her Magnum Opus season namely Timeranger. She was also assigned with Shinkenger where she was trying to do lighter and softer instead of darker and edgier. Before that, she was also involved in one episode of Kamen Rider Agito and she was the main writer of Kamen Rider Ryuki. I guess she tends to like write things seriously before so executives meddled in... a lot. After Shinkenger, she was assigned to be Kamen Rider OOO's head writer. She tried to return back to darker and edgier with Go-Busters but the results weren't all that pleasant but I'm proud to be among a few who likes the series. It wasn't wise to let her write ToQGer as its head writer. Toei should have learned from the Soda/Fiveman incident but instead, they forced her to do another headwriting job when she needed a break. Lately, she's writing the more mature Kamen Rider Amazons which I heard is a must watch. She has a lot of things in common with Toshiki Inoue than meets the eye.

Naruhisa Arakawa

He's the man for fan favorites and honestly, why didn't Toei make him the head writer for ToQGer instead? What in the world were they thinking with making an already exhausted Kobayashi work out on what Arakawa could have done better? After he hit big time with Kamen Rider Kuuga with the serious atmosphere, it's most likely he decided that, "Screw it! I'd prefer lighter stories!" He was involved with Jetman, Zyuranger and Dairanger. Then he became a major contributor for Megaranger. I guess he wasn't all that decided yet on what to do until Abaranger. Abaranger, Dekaranger and Gokaiger showed he actually preferred lighter and softer over darker and edgier. Abaranger reversed some tragedies in Jetman for the heroes or that he also had modified some of Hirohisa Soda's ideas during Megaranger. Dekaranger was nowhere near as serious as the Space Sheriff Trilogy, Winspector and Janperson. I call him the guy who really showed us that you don't need to be darker and edgier to write a masterpiece. Even better, he's involved as secondary writer for Zyuohger to at least help should Junko Komura need that help. I'm glad that Zyuohger managed to get the right team this time!