Shift Into Turboranger's Midseason Change: The End Of The Three Main Violent Demon Generals

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Turboranger was suffering from ratings decline -- it's even safe to say that there was the concern it may not even last a year and payroll issues could have caused the midseason change. You can even safely say that it's where Super Sentai during the late 80s declined in spite of trying to introduce newer stuff. Well, innovation happens yet you have to admit you can't always be on top all the time, can you? I think the real issue was not that, "Teenagers with attitude is too sudden." Instead, I feel like the blame should go to overusing certain writers -- Hirohisa Soda himself was heading towards Burnout Ville -- not a very good sign. Turboranger was pretty new so wouldn't it have made more sense that you may need new writers now?

This is the beginning of a midseason change. I have my speculation that and that Yamimaru and Kirika were supposed to interact with the Bouma Generals BUT the budget was running out. It could have been interesting to do so but I think the low pay could have caused the walkout from the three cast members. It was possible that Musashi Ishibashi may have not liked his role and requested himself to be written off. Kanako Kishi who's an adult film actress (and later Rika Nanase an adult actress was also in Carranger) may have also wanted out due to payroll issues or she just couldn't find her footing so she may decided to leave for that reason. I guess it was time to start writing off the villains -- better write them off the best way possible than have them stand by around doing nothing but hang around, right? That was something that would later happen to Zulten in later episodes where he only served as Ragorn's punching bag and nothing more! I guess Ragorn wanted to keep Zulten around as somewhere to throw his frustrations at, too.

The 28th episode features the final episode where Zimba appears. Ragorn's anger towards his generals is based on the that couldn't handle a group of teenagers with attitude is just well, I can't say if it's justified. Granted, they have been causing trouble for a long time only for their half-brained plans for world domination keep getting foiled by a bunch of teenagers isn't very flattering, now is it? Ragorn is seen hitting his generals like a spoiled child though Zulten is seen hiding behind the pillar. He's already used two of his extra arms from his throne to punish Jarmin and Zimba. Now he's using one of them to severely hit Rehda, Zimba and Jarmin for their failure to get rid of a bunch of teenagers with attitude. The Bouma generals can't even handle what he might call as "mere infants". This really shows that Ragorn is not a bit pleased and wants to issue his ultimatum of You Have Failed Me sending them to Do or Die missions -- destroy those teenagers with attitude in spandex or never return!

I like how Jarmin tries to beg for Ragorn while Zimba repays the favor. Remember the episode when Jarmin pleaded for mercy? I guess Zimba himself really repays the favor. For someone who loves to hate -- I guess it's only normal he has a soft spot for Jarmin who loves to hate as much as he does. Both of them love to hate that it's only logical that the two could have had a coupling going on. Zimba bids farewell and it worries Jarmin that he may never return to their side. I like how Zimba made his daring move and did a lot of badass stuff. He not only magically found a way to communicate with the Turborangers to issue his FINAL CHALLENGE but he also sent an attack through their monitor! For me, that's one quacked up, screwed up but really badass moment!

What IMHO gets old SUPER FAST in Turboranger is the cliche that they tend to lose their powers. They temporarily lost them in episode two, they lost their powers before they got the V-Power Bazooka, they lost their powers in this episode and they would later lose it again when Ragorn returns to his mobile body which turns out to be not that powerful... pfft! I don't know which is more cliche than that one or Spongebob failing his boating exam several times? 

The whole battle between Zimba and the Turborangers is well-choreographed though I have to admit Super Sentai villains can be THAT STUPID. I mean, Zimba has a pair of two swords vs. a team of teenagers of attitude who can't do their "IT'S MORPHIN TIME!" trope because they have been depowered. Zimba as the sadistic madman that he is now savors his moment. He's very overconfident that he would eventually destroy the teenagers with attitude. However, a rush of determination revives the Turborangers' powers and they finally use their newly powered selves to destroy Zimba once and for all. Red Turbo executes a GT Crash and the others fire their Turbo Lasers. IMHO, I think there should have been screen time to blast off Zimba with the V-Power Bazooka before Yamimaru enlarges him.

The impact of Zimba's death at the hands of the Turborangers startles the Bouma. Zimba bravely took a Do or Die Mission. He loves to hate, doesn't he? Yet he ends up taking Jarmin's place and volunteers to destroy the Turborangers himself. Jarmin sees Zimba's death and feels very saddened about it. She holds to the bell that Zimba slashed when he bade her farewell prior to his death. I guess Zimba volunteering to fight in Jarmin's place can be seen as this. Zimba probably views Jarmin as hate personified. In short, you can't eliminate love as much as you can't eliminate hate. I really felt sorry for Jarmin when she saw Zimba's death. She may have been a terrible bitch but even evil has loved ones, right? Jarmin may love to hate as much as Zimba. It may be the reason why she she feels sad over is death.

Sidenote, this also had me wishing a bit of how Maskman could have handled its 48th episode. I think it could have been something if Baraba's Do or Die Mission (But in Baraba's case, it's REALLY that different because he discovered something that shouldn't have been discovered concerning Zeba) ended up this way. I could imagine what if Maskman actually had Kiros fool Baraba. Baraba releases no monster of the week and decides to challenge Red Mask once and for all one-on-one. I really wished that Baraba got enlarged by Okerampa after he was destroyed instead of having a monster of the week -- then we can have Great Five take him down. Well, that's what Zimba's final appearance did to my head back in the late 90s!

True, Zimba is now a puppet of Yamimaru in some way yet it's amazing how Turbo Robo gets overwhelmed by the enlarged Zimba! The attacks of an enlarged Zimba are too much for the Turbo Robo to take! The Turborangers are defeated, Turbo Robo's gattai sequence gets destroyed and they are on the run. Black Turbo tries to save his machine but they have to run. I really feel sorry for Black Turbo there if you ask me! Seeing his mecha crumble down and not working is just heartbreaking!

After Yamimaru's victory, we see that a new giant mecha and I think it's one of the best designed mecha so far. IMHO, it's even better designed than the huge King Pyramider in Ohranger (the last show that would have Takeyuki Suzuki as the head producer) with all those cool cannons. It starts firing laser beams and it destroys the enlarged Zimba! The Turborangers wonder about that new mecha. It was a pretty badass entry if you ask me! Talk about having a new command center that's really well, badass. Too bad Fiveman didn't really have that much good design with Magmabase! IMHO, Turbo Builder is that worthy of a Bandai mechandise!

Episode 29 begins with the new change of headquarters. Since Zimba well wrecked their old command center -- it's time for a new one that has new weapons. Problem is how can the Turborangers do their homework and move in fast? Unless they have teleportation whenever Dr. Dazai has need of them, right? The enter the base and find out that Dr. Dazai is the one operating the new base mecha. They are also trying to complete the new robot called the Turbo Rugger -- which IMHO is weird to why a show that's supposed to be Shift into Turbo is well -- using a flying mecha for a secondary robot. I think a trailer or something could have been better which is why I think that Carranger did the whole Shift into Turbo better with its all land mecha. I think Dappu from Carranger would probably facedesk if he saw Dr. Dazai give the Turborangers a fighter jet!

Ragorn throws tantrums like a child -- AGAIN! Seriously, this guy has anger issues! After he saw Zimba die then shouldn't that enter into his head that if he sent all his generals to their deaths that NO ONE but Zulten will soon follow his orders? IMHO, I think Reckless Dash Emperor Exhaus knew how to handle the Bowzock's stupidity better -- I mean, sure, it could have been cool of the Bowzock were eventually sent to Do or Die missions during Carranger's finale (Though those guys are most likely to die in the least honorable way!) but we have to admit that Emperor Exhaus knew how to utilize his stupid underlings and take advantage of it. Here, it seems Ragorn just wants to well, "You can't do it! Die!" which makes me think is this guy really retarded? 

Jarmin gets her fair share of beating which IMHO, I'm even feeling sorry for that bitch! I mean, as mean as she is but she's one badass villain and so was Zimba. But again, I think payroll issues are indeed kicking in. It's her turn to do a Do or Die Mission -- Zimba has finally done his and now it's Jarmin's turn. I seriously find it WTF to get rid of such a useful minion. All this while, Zulten manages to survive but only because Ragorn needs a scapegoat whenever he fails. Hmmm part of me wish Zulten was destroyed in this episode alongside Jarmin!

I think one of the mixed areas I have with Jarmin was how she was handled. Sure, it was cool for her to try and destroy the Turbo Truck. Daiichi was going to do everything he can to help the professor get the parts needed to complete Turbo Rugger. He knows it's going to hurt him yet he does what he does to buy the professor the time needed to complete the new robot. Jarmin shows up and shows he's one badass bitch of a princess though I thought about what she's doing to complete her Do or Die Mission. At first, I thought she was going to mutate into some scary monster. Instead, she releases her final creature known as the Kuroko Bouma. Kuroko means stage assistant though it's a serpentine monster.

However, the monster has one downside with it. Whatever happens to one, happens to the other. I wish the battle was personally wrapped up by Blue Turbo (due to the episode where Suzunari Bouma was mistreated by Jarmin) but Black Turbo does as well. Black Turbo manages to hurt both Jarmin and Kuroko Bouma revealing that they were actually halves of each other. Jarmin who's now severely injured releases her final energy to enlarge Kuroko Bouma. She explodes. The Turbo Rugger finally appears and destroys Kuroko Bouma in a short battle.  

Personally, I wish that she mutates herself into Kuroko Bouma and she manages to enlarge herself into a feral beast instead. I wish that the Turborangers would challenge a mutated Jarmin to her death, they defeat her and she fires her monster-enlarging technique which turns her into a feral version of herself. I mean it's her battle, right? So why didn't the writers make Jarmin mutate into a monster instead, choosing to give up whatever human feelings she has now that Zimba is gone? 

Not long enough, Professor Dazai goes mission while he's trying to repair the Turbo Truck. Yamimaru kidnaps him and trolls the Turborangers again. The next episode would actually end the three generals arc -- which the title tells for itself as "The End of Rehda".

Episode 30 begins with Yamimaru having Dr. Dazai as his hostage. The Turborangers try to rescue their mentor from Yamimaru. However, it's not just Yamimaru that they have to worry about. In fact, they do have to worry about a much bigger threat as Rehda launches his ultimate attack plan. He knows he must do everything to destroy the Turborangers or never return!

Ragorn sends Professor Rehda on a Do or Die Mission as well -- this time, allowing his trusted second-in-command to deploy the Chomajin Bouma which is naturally giant -- it's also the guardian beast of the Violent Demon Tribes! So really, Ragorn decides to send Rehda to a life or death mission yet keeps a super idiotic minion like Zulten around him after this episode? WTF! Anyway, this results to the most badass midseason write-offs. I couldn't help but think that Rehda himself shows a lot of his full fury especially when he attempts to bury the Turborangers alive. Seelon is later seen trying to repel the Chomajin Bouma with the Turbo Builder which isn't powerful enough for that task. What's amazing is also how Ragorn soon believes that the Chomajin Bouma and Rehda will accomplish the task one way or another. 

The Turborangers must restore the Turbo Truck so they could form the Turbo Robo once more, However, Rehda proves to be that determined to destroy the Turborangers or else. He gets Turbo Rugger buried alive, Turbo Robo's foot stuck and he challenges Red Turbo to a one-on-one battle which he is determined to divide and conquer. He even traps Red Turbo into a dimension where ghastly illusions are causing so much damage. Rehda uses whatever he has to try and destroy Red Turbo. The ghosts of Zimba and Jarmin show up to try and exact their revenge. However, both Turbo Robo and Turbo Rugger start to emit some "car magic powers" as well. 

However, Red Turbo discovers that the cape is the source of the pocket dimension. This happens because a mysterious energy is emitted when both Turbo Robo and Turbo Rugger are near each other. Red Turbo finally destroys Rehda once and for all in a one-on-one final confrontation. IMHO, it's one of the best choreographed battles ever along with the Turboranger theme song played to it -- especially with how Rehda is that determined to finally destroy the Turborangers for good! Red Turbo fends off against Rehda and does a GT Crash causing one of the most badass scenes ever -- the end of Rehda. 

Yup, Ishibashi goes out with a bang -- literally! We see Ishibashi getting tied with strings as he's about to film the end of Rehda. I love how the special effects go as far as to let sparks "bleed" out of his body after he's gotten a GT Crash. Rehda flies into the air as he's about to explode. He explodes several times while Red Turbo does his victory pose -- like every other red ranger that has finished off any enemy general in one-on-one battle. Hmmm... considering that he was also General Karr in Michael Bay errr Kagaku Sentai Dynaman -- he deserved a send-off Bay style. The whole scene of Rehda's death looks like that Toei got Bay to direct the scene -- from the sparks to the explosion! 

So what caused this write-off? There are various rumors. According to some though unverified -- it's that Ishibashi was complaining about his role as Rehda. If anything, I don't think I'd actually like wearing that painful headgear where he couldn't move his head. He's already 56 years old by that time and maybe, the whole nautilus-like headgear was really causing him neck pains every time he was wearing it! Another suggests that he actually left because of how Rehda was handled -- not appearing too frequently in battle as the character only appeared three times in actual battle before he was written off. Sadly, Ishibashi's departure got rid of a character that I believe could have still made a significant role in the second half of the show. He could have also served as someone who pretends to defect to the Nagare Bouma while secretly working with Zulten to resurrect Ragorn. 

IMHO, the Super Turbo Robo is really one of the worst designs ever. We've had a good design for Turbo Builder. But WTF? The Super Turbo Robo is one bulky combination and I don't know why they could accurately land that powerful Super Mirage Beam to destroy the Choumajin Bouma at the right spot. I mean, that freaking combination can't even walk! IMHO, it's still among the weirdest designs and I wouldn't want another combination like this in future installments. The combination happened because of the car magic in them? Dr. Dazai didn't intend them to combine but later explained that Turborangers' bond as a team allowed it to happen. 

Meanwhile, Ragorn still gets mad and says it isn't over. It just shows how he's one incompetent Big Bad. All he's left now is a severely injured Zulten who he uses around as a scapegoat for his failures. He has no choice but to sooner or later employ Yamimaru and Kirika into his ranks because he's only left with his court jester -- which ultimately leads to his temporary getting dethroned just nine episodes later. Well, it would also have the Nagare Bouma arc who ended up getting the most development in just half a show than the Bouma themselves. Hmmm... was it also an attempt to get ratings up but never did? Worse, next year's Super Sentai season would have nearly ended a long-running series if it wasn't for Chojin Sentai Jetman.

Still, I think Turboranger is Shout! Factory worthy!!!

Comments

  1. Some Turboranger staff members claim that Turboranger's declining ratings were caused by the time slot move -- that they lost viewers who were unaware of a change in time slot or could no longer keep up with it. (I don't know if I buy that, but it's one of the explanations out there.)

    To me, it makes sense that the Turboranger have difficulty with their powers and often lose them; if they're powered by fairy magic, and the lousy state of the world has caused fairy magic to weaken, they're going to run into problems. I don't see this as making the Turboranger team weak or pathetic or losers, but it's something that really stacks the odds against them. They have to learn, fight, and grow -- things aren't made to be easy for our heroes in this show.

    I also disagree with your negative assessment of the Bouma, thinking they're incompetent or have bad plans. And while I do think it's odd that more wasn't done with Jarmine's serpent form -- like maybe she should have gotten a powered up version of that for her final episode -- I thought the idea of Kuroko Bouma being sealed within her was pretty shocking and made for a creepy sequence.

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    1. I think the whole "running and losing" them is more of the writer Hirohisa Soda running out of ideas. But you gotta point about it considering that world problems are causing fairy magic to weaken considerably.

      Also, I think about it -- aren't Toku villains supposedly usually coming up with cracked up schemes to take over the world? It's all part of the fun of it -- seeing villains who come up with weird plans like how Gorgom's priests love to come up with convoluted or unbelievable plots. Hehe.

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