My Shifting Opinions On Kyukyu Sentai GoGoFive
I remembered picking up GoGoFive and watching it then I thought about how Chikyu Sentai Fiveman nearly killed Super Sentai or how I prefer GoGoFive over Fiveman. Fiveman really just felt flat as Hirohisa Soda was already burning out. GoGoFive already had Junki Takegami working things out since Megaranger though one may argue Engine Sentai Go-Onger was a result of said writer burning out! The song "1-2-3-4-5 FIVEMAN!" was stuck in my head considering that the GoGoFive team were siblings which is why I don't really compare it much with Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue too often -- except for the very trivial differences!
A family vs. family battle was a strong recurring theme of the show. You've go the Tatsumi siblings who must deal with their father's difficult choice of having "abandoned" them and only sending whatever means of support he has -- think of Voltes V where Kentaro Gou/Prince Lagour made a difficult choice to leave his Earth family behind to try and prevent an incoming invasion. I thought about it that maybe, just maybe Matoi's rather Drill Sergeant Nasty approach was probably a result of him getting overprotective -- something that never happened with Gaku in Fiveman. Gaku was more calm and collected even as the oldest brother -- aside from my frequent rant that Carter has a better personality than Matoi. The rest of them were working as rescue workers then one day they must use their father's equipment to battle the Saima Clan.
I thought the Saima Clan themselves represented what a family shouldn't be. At first, there's the close bond between Denus, Kobolda and their eldest son Zylpheeza. They had their beloved baby brother Drop who eventually and instantly evolved into Salamandes at the whim of their mother Grand Witch Grandienne. Grandienne also shows how she should have been called as Grand Bitch Grandienne instead due to how she only cares about herself and her own children are but disposables to her! I even thought that Grandienne herself is what I'd call Fiveman's Meadow done right. Empress Meadow was suddenly just written off as merely an avatar of Vulgyre while Grandienne's plot managed to progress. Grandienne herself also showed she wasn't easily taken down especially after she literally became Negative Energy and covered the whole Earth with her darkness! It was sort of like thinking of how Fiveman could've dealt with Meadow or it was a what if scenario if the Kakurangers destroyed Daimaou's body.
Picking a favorite in this show wasn't exactly all too hard for me or is it? I remembered that I once said that if I had a favorite in Lightspeed Rescue -- it'd be Chad and I remembered using him a lot back in the Lightspeed Rescue video game for the PS1. In this case, comparing Chad to Nagare is well apples and oranges since one's a water sportsman (though ironically, I didn't pick Yousuke as my favorite in Dynaman who's well, a water sportsman) and the other is a scientist so the former has got more prowess than the other. I ended up picking Nagare as my favorite -- maybe it's because Billy used to be my favorite in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers before that overrated Tommy (acted by that prick namely Jason David Frank) came. Maybe it's because as a child -- my favorite Fiveman character was none other than Ken because of that badass fight with Amoeba Rugin. Chad did a badass fight scene with Cyclopter out-of-suit -- though the GoGoFive version had Daimon doing judo instead. I still have a bit of a bone to pick with Lightspeed Rescue to why they decided not to let Chad teach a group of children the value of perseverance like Ken did in Fiveman -- they didn't need to make an Americanized version of Daimon's judo instructor!
Then the reasons for picking Nagare as my favorite may have or not went beyond Ken, Billy and Chad. On his own, I felt he was actually more collected and calm than his older brother Matoi. I also thought about how he would come up with certain plans and his analytical skills prove more helpful than Matoi. I could remember how he actually tries to resolve whatever conflicts he had such as his rather brash younger brother Daimon. I also thought about how often he had his rivalry with Denus -- perhaps one of the best male vs. female rivalries ever written. He also was one who came up with ways to counter the new threat that was Salamandes. I just thought that he was trying to be "Billy done better" for Super Sentai in a matter of just one season. He may be my favorite but I still think he's actually physically weaker than Ken and Chad -- though you still can't discount how useful he is in his own way!
Then enter the time when I ended up also watching Tokkei Winspector -- the first entry of Toei's more ambitious Metal Hero shows. I ended up thinking about GoGoFive as an "overly glorified rescue show" since Winspector, Solbrain and Exceedraft (which would later deal with the show's version of the Devil in Iwao Daimon) don't possess all those humongous mecha -- putting them to deal with the affairs of GoGoFive would roast them! I thought about how mature Winspector actually felt over GoGoFive -- not that GoGoFive didn't have important safety rules lesson in almost every episode, right? Winspector, Solbrain and Exceedraft would be a sci-fi version of Rescue 911. GoGoFive ended up taking rescue themes to a whole new level as evidenced by their mecha and lessons of the week. For a mature Super Sentai series -- I just felt like that Winspector was actually more mature in its execution compared to GoGoFive! Then I wanted to call GoGoFive as a result of Fiveman x Winspector because both shows were aired in 1990. Not to mention, did you know that Winspector's plot takes place in 1999 and so does GoGoFive?
The presence of Rescue Police elements back in the early 90s made me wish the show also had guest stars from Winspector up to Exceedraft. I wished that Shigeki Kagemaru from Exceedraft were the one-time hero from the GoGoFive movie's Beast Demon Hunter Zeek. I also wished that Hiroshi Miyauchi were Kenji Inui because of his guest role in Exceedraft's rather nightmarish finale. I may like the Rescue Police Series more than GoGoFive for them being more mature. So why am I even comparing GoGoFive (which is a Super Sentai) to Metal Hero Series that were more mature than it? It's because GoGoFive feels it has some throwbacks to it. It's the first rescue-based Super Sentai series. That's why I couldn't help but think of Rescue Police!
Then I was thinking about how GoGoFive and other Super Sentai series affect each other. Maybe, another one I'd like to talk about is the relationship with two shows it had a crossover with -- Seijuu Sentai Gingaman and Mirai Sentai Timeranger. I think my love for Timeranger is bordered on some superficiality with my tendency to say it's "better" than Power Rangers Time Force because Yuuri is supposedly "hotter" than Jen though both are attractive to a certain extent or "Duh! It's Sentai!" I don't find Matsuri hot or anything -- I watch GoGoFive for its plot. I think about how Timeranger can be "too serious" at times -- making me seldom think GoGoFive is better. I also think about it that I even think GoGoFive is better than Gingaman -- which is strange considering that the evil Super Sentai in Fiveman was also named Gingaman!
So what other Super Sentai series do I think rivals GoGoFive for me? I could really think that it's not just Timeranger and Gingaman. I also tend to think about how my views on Chojin Sentai Jetman even shift from time to time -- I even think that while it's my personal favorite but I think it's already overrated. I think about how GoGoFive actually managed to explore some potential left from the Noboru Sugimura era of Super Sentai -- such as making Grandienne truly terrifying over the rather hammy Bandora (who's supposedly more cruel than Rita but also more funny at the same time). Then I think about how GoGoFive also made me think less about Tokosou Sentai Dekaranger. Dekaranger may be one of my favorites but I think GoGoFive is still more mature than it! Then GoGoFive also makes me further heckle Mahou Sentai Magiranger -- a show that I think is filled with way too many unlikable characters such as HOUKA and KAI.
So how does this series stand? I still feel the series' being overly ambitious makes it stand. It was only 1999 yet all that mecha felt like they were meant to be Super Sentai toys in this day and age! The Grand Liner's badass design made me think less of how ToQGer's trains had simplistic design though to each of his own. I still feel like the GoGoFive merchandise were ahead of it's time. Sure, it may be 20 years since GoGoFive emerged yet the show is so ahead of its time!