My Thoughts On Space Squad VS. Super Hero Taisen
Last year, producer Shinichiro Shirakura did announce that he was pulling off the plug of the Super Hero Taisen movies. It was also in the year 2017 when Gavan vs. Dekaranger made its premiere (which also somehow tries to connect itself with Dekaranger: Ten Year After which happened last 2014) and Chou Super Hero Taisen became the last movie. I admit, my feelings for the Super Hero Taisen films have been mixed -- I still tend to think that the concepts are better off placed in video games and Manga because an hour or two movie is NOT enough to contain such a huge plot. So did Super Hero Taisen's plug get pulled out in favor of Space Squad? It looks like it!
So why do I think the plug out of Super Hero Taisen was removed last 2017? I guess it's all about budget and avoiding work overload. A certain degree of workload reduction can be very helpful to improve the quality of innovation. It takes well-rested minds and a healthy workforce to think good ideas and to make sure that these ideas are properly implemented. It's best to remember that there are times when more is less like how removing certain items that don't sell well can help you produce better items that will sell well over what didn't. It's a balance of quantity and quality. I guess the amount of workload that was involved with the two movies Chou Super Hero Taisen and Gokaiger vs. Gavan must have made it difficult for Toei's higher-ups to maintain a certain degree of quality control to keep the cash flow cycle going!
What do the Space Squad movies and Super Hero Taisen have in common? Well, they're both crossovers between several shows with a high budget going on. Kyuranger Space 18 reveals that Kyuranger belongs to an entirely different continuity -- it happened before Gavan vs. Dekaranger -- which may have started its announcement for a series of Space Squad films. So how was that film? It was a sequel of sorts to Dekaranger: Ten Years After (which is probably an alternate turn of events even if Naruhisa Arakawa penned the movie himself though I didn't enjoy it as much) -- while it does feel non-canon on its own since most Super Sentai series (or other Toku series) for that matter end up in a series of separate universes or continuities rather than one huge continuity. A good example is common sense will tell you that the events of Zyuranger, Abaranger and Kyoryuger give us three different ways the dinosaur extinction happened -- which these events can't happen all at once while Go-Onger had Horonderthal and Boukenger had Hyde Gene.
As much as I enjoyed the Gavan vs. Dekaranger movie but I have no reason to think that they're canon films to each others' respective series -- just as much as I think Dekaranger: Ten Years After may not canon to the Dekaranger series. Hmmm... what if Jasmine's marriage to that child is nothing more than a what-if scenario that Arakawa came up with for laughs while the real Dekaranger canon he made has leaving viewers to decide who Jasmine married? The Dekaranger series had no connection to the Space Sheriff Trilogy. Sure, we had Gokaiger vs. Gavan all the while one must remember that Gokaiger is a crossover series and that events in several Super Sentai series already show that most series take place in their own self-contained continuity. Besides, ever noticed that Super Sentai crossovers do have the tendency to include events that can't fit into the series placed in? A good example is how Ohranger vs. Kakuranger was obviously impossible due to how mecha that appeared after Bacchushund's death were there when he's alive and well in the film. Abaranger vs. Hurricanger had Maxryuoh even when Lije was still a child. Go figure it out yourself!
Kyuranger vs. Space Squad did try to bring up past events such as Mele's love for Rio and Kyuranger Space 18 yet it can't be denied that certain events can contradict the continuities involved. For instance, how can the Space Sheriffs be serving Tsurugi as the President of the Space Federation when the Space Sheriffs and Dekaranger also belong to separate continuities? Hmmm... I just thought about that one scene in Kamen Rider Build that talked about multiverses and alternate versions of one's self. Certain events may be similar yet different. It's like how with the Space Squad movies (and I'd want to dub this one as the Space Squad timeline) brings up events from previous series yet the way they unfold happen differently. Also, wasn't it that Tsurugi was a man from 300 years ago before Kyuranger started? If Kyuranger happened in 2017 then Tsurugi would have been around during the year 1717 where there's hardly any super technology to allow him to do what he did such as space travel since the first rocket ship (real life anyway) was invented in 1926.
The difference is that Super Hero Taisen tends to be a series of what-ifs where most of the films aren't connected to each other. I remembered how I still hate that Super Hero Taisen film (which I want to also joke that Shoji "Patrick Star" Yonemura had help from Michael Bay due to the amount of pyrotechnics used) with a huge passion until this very day while I thought that Super Hero Taisen Z was just okay. Meanwhile, I still hate that Heisei vs. Showa Kamen Rider movie (Though I'm also guilty of straight out character assassination and OOC writing in my own fan writing to suit my needs myself!) while I think Kamen Rider Grand Prix was watchable but not anything spectacular either. The movies tend not to connect a lot. I mean, we've seen Ninninger vs. Kamen Rider Drive yet the Grand Prix Movie treated the Ninningers like first time visitors while Heisei vs. Showa actually managed to connect the ToQGer vs. Gaim crossover as part of it -- since the latter served as a bridge to the upcoming movie.
More importantly, I still find myself really hating Super Hero Taisen overall for most of its run. Chou Super Hero Taisen had some interesting plots like the video game world -- buat as said the whole franchise should be a video game series instead! Chou Super Hero Taisen gets boring eventually due to the loads of characters in an hour long and several minutes film -- which wouldn't be the case if it were a video game! I still thought about how Kamen Rider Grand Prix was a fun ride though that was it. It's perhaps the only Super Hero Taisen film I enjoyed yet I still feel meh about the whole franchise overall. The difference between Super Hero Taisen and Squad Squad is the amount of focus. If there's one thing I learned about writing (and yes the hard way) is that lots and lots of characters ends up becoming a really bad story -- especially when the writer (such as myself) may have no real idea on what said person wants to do.
So how do I want to treat these movies? The same way that any fan of the Super Robot Taisen series may treat it. It's like we know that these events can't agree with the actual continuities of the show but we'd love to imagine a series of what ifs. That's how I'd also treat Super Sentai vs. Super Sentai movies -- there's a high chance that certain events will contradict the shows involved while I don't see any good reason to why I can't enjoy them because of that!