Meet The Dysfunctional Asamis

I remembered some time ago when I wrote about Timeranger as a complex battle with fate -- love them or hate 'em -- I'd like to write about the Asami Family in Timeranger! Spoilers ahead so read at your own risk!

I thought about casting decisions and everything. Fujita Okamoto was known for playing as the Turborangers' mentor Dr. Dazai. But here? He's the super cold Wataru Asami! I thought about the first few episodes that would explain why Tatsuya can be such a douche -- something that may have been amplified in Kamen Rider Ryuki's Shinji. So how does it work? Wataru once tried to escape the Asami Ship but ended up coming back in the end -- which was revealed in the episode when he got into critical condition.

I dunno -- there were many times I really wanted to beat up Wataru in more than one occasion. I know Tatsuya can be bull-headed at times -- but we know where he gets it from -- his father. I think it's crazy how Mrs. Asami can endure her husband's cold, less affectionate way of running things. Some say it's an East Asian family thing. Try watching some Chinese, Japanese or Korean TV drama -- you may find parents who think that being cold and seemingly uncaring is the only way to run things. Wataru does care for his son but he can be too extreme at times. Times like those remind me of why I wanted to flee to Murica when I was around my late tens to teenager years! But I guess it'd probably end up in an imagined scenario where Tatsuya flees to Murica and realizes Wes' situation may not be any different or is it?

I dunno if Wataru being too cold is such a good thing for any plot development. Does it make him too one-dimensional? Mr. Collins in Time Force showed a bit more sympathetic side. Yeah, this is coming from someone who doesn't really follow Power Rangers these days due to it getting from bad to worse whether it's Disney's rushed seasons and Neo-Saban seasons that deal with Neo-Nickelodeon. I may also have issues with Time Force's somewhat rushed pace (40 episodes) in contrast to Timeranger's year long run (which IMO gives more flexibility to development). Wataru is too cold -- as if he isn't a father. Mr. Collins did cough out the ransom. Later, Mr. Collins actually went out to search for his son while in Timeranger -- Wataru can just be seen in his office, sitting down, confident that his son will return rather than go out and search for him. I dunno is it a cultural thingy? But seriously, Wataru should have gone out and search for his son!

Tatsuya wants to fight against destiny. He's always in his father's shadow. In later episodes, we realize that Wataru was in fear of being in his own father's shadow as well. That's the problem of many pseudo-monarchies in the form of big families. It's stupid how often some parents and elders can bring up, "At your age, your father accomplished a lot and you haven't!" to supposedly motivate the child to do better. But guess what? It ended up demotivating Tatsuya! I really thought a lot about those episodes where Tatsuya fights against fate -- especially when he saw his estranged father lying down, dying and how Captain Ryuya tried to insist that there are destinies to follow. Tatsuya tries to defy this fate one way or another -- especially in the finale arc when he goes out alone into the city, not caring he would die or not.

The idea of fighting destiny was later show in the finale of the series. This also has me thinking about Wataru begrudgingly accepting his son trying to fight fate. There wasn't much of a reconciliation either. IMO, I thought that as much as I really like Timeranger but I get mixed on Tatsuya's really sad ending. Not only does he see his friends from the future die, Naoto is also dead and he's left all alone. He tries to live alone -- still thinking about his friends from 1,000 years in the future. I still end up preferring Time Force's wrap-up -- where Wes and Eric became partners in the new Silver Guardians and there's better reconciliation in the end.

Maybe, I could talk about Captain Ryuya's role in this dysfunctional family. He is considered the "true villain" yet somehow the show leaves us debating (in some way) about what he was truly up to. One could argue about this -- if he didn't intervene then things could have been more bloody such as the rangers dying in the first episode. After all, who authorized the use of the Time Jets in almost every episode of the show but him? But I admit, even when he first appeared, it's obvious he's a domineering a**hole of sorts. I guess being an a**hole runs in the Asami blood, huh?

So what's his real goal? I think about the time he actually appears in the show -- trying to retake his mantle as Time Red back but the rest of the Timeranger really, REALLY hates him. Yes, I wish that the punch went right into his face! Did his personality shift all of a sudden? But what we know is that he talks about the Great Disappearance of the Year 2001 -- an event that would cause 2/3 of the 21st century to disappear. But I admit, is he stupid or what? Doing an event like that could alter the Year 3001 where the finale takes place. I even think about what he was truly up to and what his real role was in the series. TBH, I felt like Alex was more respectable in helping heal Wes' father with futuristic technology and later, allowing the heroes to return back in time to finish what they started.

He somewhat masterminded the events though it's debatable if he actually masterminded Dolnero's escape. No, he doesn't even control Dolnero behind the scenes. True, he set free Gien from his pacifier but he didn't control Londarz. But if there's one thing he did that should get him fired from his position as captain is this -- WHY IN THE WORLD DID YOU ALLOW THE LONDARZ TO ESCAPE? It reminds me of this fact that you could have done something but you chose not to. He's guilty of gross neglect! So were those events meant to happen or was he trying to set himself up as a hero? If he was -- he sure did a poor job at it. I guess generations upon generations of unsolved issues within the Asamis led to his characterization huh?

It's later discovered that he saw the outcome of two futures. So come on, he saw the Londarz would escape but why didn't he do a thing about it? He saw the two futures where one the 31st Century (their era) would disappear completely if G-Zord kills Gien. The other is their future is saved but he would die -- which was why he set up Naoto to be Time Fire and ALLOWED said event to happen when he could have done something. He wasn't after world domination -- he simply wanted to live but in the process, he ended up manipulating time -- something that he said is a crime. So he went against his principles. Alex in Time Force was about to delete their memories but later -- he allowed them to go back into the past to finish the job even if Jen broke up with him. Ryuya? Well he could care less and he's cold and uncaring -- which ended up leading to him becoming the true villain whether he likes it or not. How he died was also more typical to crime drama than Tokusatsu -- heck I kinda felt a certain level of satisfaction seeing him die bloodily. Later, Masato Kusaka (a more psychotic version of Ryuya) in Kamen Rider Faiz gave that kind of satisfying scene when Yuuji broke his neck!

What puzzles me is why would he allow the Great Annihilation to even take place? I dunno, is he playing god or what? It may be similar to Agito's plan to restart humanity by systematically getting rid of them per zodiac signs -- except the Darkness Overlord was more in charge than Captain Ryuya! Did he even consider this fact that if Tatsuya died that he would eventually cease to exist because there will be no more Asami line? But events like Dolnero's death in the past did change time such as Yuuri's family now lives and Ayase can get a cure for the Osiris syndrome. I even thought so why did he foresee that the Great Annihilation? Did he foresee that eventually the event will ultimately reset itself AND act like it never happened? Maybe it was a great reset button that would probably undo all the character development in Timeranger.... hmmm. This left me joking that Captain Ryuya did cheat death and eventually lived to reset all the events in Kamen Rider Ryuki!