My Top Ten Favorite Gekiranger Episodes
Ah yes, Gekiranger. I always find this a challenge because I tend to have extreme favoritism towards the series. No don't worry I won't be bashing Jungle Fury here considering I NEVER saw it nor do I intend to watch it. I'd put Gekiranger as it should be - Gekiranger. I'm giving some thought on how I may not be able to write more top ten favorite episodes because some things else tend to catch my passion. Without much ado, here's my top ten list.
Otherwise known as the "Venom Fist Ken" arc. While I don't find the opening of Gekiranger to be allt that good (and I think Dairanger still did it better) but I think this is were things start to get strong for an introduction. We are introduced to five new warriors as the monsters of the week each with a different challenge. There are various lessons in this arc that are taught like how simple tasks can help achieve great things. Personally, I think this is a strong way to make up for the not-so-good first two episodes IMO.
The Geki claw introduction for me has been one of the best arcs ever. We are introduced to Michelle Peng and Gorie Yen. This isn't just about introducing the latest Bandai merchandise for children but also important lessons in power-ups. There has been a lot of cool training scenes by the Fist Saints which have their comedic charm at the same time. The Gekirangers get some more development in these three episodes.
Jan being the jungle boy turned city boy is still having a LOT of hard time fitting in. Granted, it does make sense he thinks that way. If you've seen Kamen Rider Amazon (NOT Amazons) then you'll see something similar with its main character Daisuke Yamamoto. The two part introduces us to Sharkie Chan. At this point, I really wish Jackie Chan guest-starred though he has one huge talent fee. I even wish the April Fool's joke he'd star in a Gekiranger OVA were real thanks to this one.
Okay my favoritism for Retsu is obvious isn't it? I do like how I learn the importance of dancing and its connection to martial arts. Bat Li appears as an obvious tribute to Jet Li. I thought about how interesting it is to see a connection with between the two arts. Just a bit of trivia: Bruce Lee himself was also a cha-cha champion.
These episodes focuses on two of my favorite characters namely Retsu (my top favorite Gekiranger) and Gou (my second favorite). The exploration of the curse on Gou as a werewolf and Retsu as the insecure child was fun to watch. I don't want to imagine what kind of diet Gou had due to the curse. I'm glad that it was all left to the viewers' imagination because he's a man-beast.
I think this is huge improvement (writing-wise) over the badass moment when Aya Odagiri piloted Jet Garuda to defeat a monster. This episode focuses on why Miki is one badass mentor even if Gekiranger's action is toned down compared to Dairanger. Her relationship with her daughter Natsume was pretty good. She also rescued the missing children.
A Ran-focused episode. I still tend to think of Ran turns into a delinquent. It was interesting to know that Miki was once a gang member before she reformed. Right now, I even want to imagine her reforming a lot of delinquents herself. It was cool to see how Miki and Ran have an interesting bond in this episode.
The finale arc is one of the best IMO. After Boukenger's so-so finale I think this was an interesting way to warm things up. Okay, not all my favorite shows have really those super good finales either. This one features the ultimate lesson in defeating Long himself. The Gekirangers learn that Long can be defeated with a fate worse than death. They communicate with the spirits of Rio and Mele who were mercilessly killed by Long. In the end, they figure out the most crazy technique that might come in handy for the Kyurangers. =P
I always found Long to be a suspicious and shady guy so these two episodes are anything but surprising. I think he will always be one of my favorite villains especially he's got a sick sense of humor. The two schools finally reconcile their differences when the past is finally unveiled. I find this
Shades of Star Wars and I always feel like playing Darth Vader's theme. Jan discovers his father Dan who is cursed. Jan discovers he can only liberate his father by defeating the latter. I think this one has more development than Ryou meeting his long-lost father in Dairanger in the introductory episodes. What I also like about is the whole difficult decison that Jan must make. I know he's kind of an idiot but he develops a lot in these three episodes!