My Top Ten Favorite Turboranger Episodes
Turboranger is pretty much what I've heard is a love it, like it, dislike it or for some even hate it but I'm a Turboranger fan. I could go ahead and rant all day that Turboranger as flawed as it is -- it's still better than Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers IMHO. Then I thought about celebrating its upcoming 30th anniversary would require something special after I had a friendly debate with Shogo B'Stard with what we both liked and disliked about the show. So here's my favorite episodes done in the same format as before -- Sentai Bandicoot style -- that is where certain arcs are compiled as "one episode". So let's get moving!
Turboranger 02 - 03
Basically the start of Turboranger. It may not be the best of Hirohisa Soda anymore (considering he's been burning out after writing for so long) but I always felt that it may be older than Mighty Morphin' but the first two episodes were far more well arranged than the other. I thought of how the show decided to introduce teenagers with attitudes who would fight the now-freed Bouma tribes. The two-parter featured the backstory of the war 20,000 years ago and the Turborangers' duties that will soon clash with their schoolwork.
Now it's just FUNNY how this episode makes me think that the episode where Zordon gave the Mighty Morphin' team their signature weapons to beat the Minotaur wasn't so well-organized. True, they didn't go a quest to fight them but it was something when Dr. Dazai drove all the way to give the Turborangers their signature weapons. It's also the first episode where Rehda commands a monster and shows how much he uses human misdeeds against humanity itself with Slime Bouma creating trash zombies out of human pollution. I could also understand Haruna's relationship with the children of the week when they desired to clean up the river.
Probably one of those episodes to why I felt like writing Jarmin off can be such a waste. This explores a bit of Shunsuke's past and the first episode that shows Boumas aren't always evil. The pair of twins namely Fire Bouma (the violent one) and Ice Bouma (the good one) are manipulated by Jarmin. I also like how this was the episode that started to reveal that Jarmin and Zimba may have feelings for each other -- considering that they're both sadistic hate lovers. Shunsuke's pain of losing his younger brother in a hit and run added to the drama by Toshiki Inoue.
Haruna is more than eye candy and this episode proves it. Now, we never had this kind of episode in Megaranger, did we? Inoue does reveal his own weird sense of humor here when he really, REALLY makes Haruna fire a gun while pretending to defect to the Bouma. Youhei gets bitten by Poison Bouma and is nearly killed as a result. I just love how Haruna fooled the gullible Zulten into giving her the antidote. Great job Haruna!
So we think of Mami Watanabe and she wrote a couple of my favorite Fiveman and Jetman episodes. Why do I like this episode so much? It shows how Bouma are just like humans -- they get hurt and feel pain. I really got impressed with how Jarmin crosses the Moral Event Horizon that while she's loyal to her Emperor Ragorn -- she's shown more cruelty than he did on-screen! Jarmin blackmails Chime Bouma with her people trapped in bells and she goes as far as to exploit it! Youhei slowly reaches out to Rin/Chime Bouma which makes this a very sad episode. Hmmm I guess that's why Zimba is somewhat attracted to Jarmin huh?
Turboranger 14 - 16
The interesting arrival of a new threatening villain. So why is his blood red unlike the others? Why was he not sealed away like the others? The arrival of Yamimaru as a new, more lethal foe is here. He arrives with his ability to counter the Plasma Attack of the Turborangers. Not only that, he gets not one, not two but three Bouma beasts under his command in hopes of crushing the Turborangers! It's a conflict especially when Riki only wants to reach out to Yamimaru who came to them disguised as Hikaru Nagareboshi! The V-Turbo Bazooka introduction also had a lesson in patience such as Youhei and Shunsuke nearly endangered everyone -- it was nice to see them take responsibility for their actions. Also, I thought of how the Turborangers would fight even without their powers though I tend to feel it becomes a running gag at times.
Turboranger 46 - 49
This is an interesting turning point of the Nagare Bouma where their origins as being non-human are revealed. This also has Ragorn practically fulfilling his promise to rise from his grave through the Life Jewel. There was the lie of the Love Orb which was said that it could cure all hate -- only to see Ragorn arrive as Neo-Ragorn. So why he just keeps Zulten around is pretty weird -- I guess he always needs a scapegoat huh? Then we have Haruna showing that being the lone female in the team is no obstacle either -- she even was the last one with the morphing powers until the others got them back. It was interesting to also hear the story of Kirika's parents -- something I wish that they could also included more of Yamimaru's background too!
Turboranger 31 - 32
The collapse of Zimba, Jarmin and Rehda was just the beginning of yet another challenge. Ragorn gets a direct challenge from Yamimaru and we get to know more about the mysterious woman and who she is. An outcast girl known as Sayoko turns out to be a Nagare Bouma. It was nice to see how Riki did care about Sayoko -- only for Sayoko's anger and rage to unlock her powers! I did like the nightmare fuel when Sayoko discovers that she was raised by skull monsters and her link with Amulet Bouma. It was disheartening to see how Sayoko as Kirika becomes one misguided teenager. Yup, this basically is one badass introduction of the next half of Turborangers would devote itself to two teenagers with a very huge attitude problem!
Turboranger 28 - 30
The end of the three generals namely Zimba, Jarmin and Rehda. Why this was done was probably due to decisions to leave the set though Zimba is basically just a suit with Seiichi Harai as the voice and Naoki Ofuji as the suit actor. I love how this three-partner shows Toei manages to learn how to give a badass write-off if something bad should happen. It's said that the late Masashi Ishibashi hated his role and costume so he eventually asked to be written off. Also, it seems that the actress Kanako Kishi (an AV actress) may have not liked her part as Jarmin either. All three episodes do have a questionable time frame such as how long did it take. Did it take one week before Ragorn finally decided to send Jarmin on a Do or Die Mission? Also, the final part where Rehda finally sends the Chomajin Bouma makes me wonder did episodes 29-30 take place in a matter of hours? Then again, it's possible that Dr. Dazai was kidnapped by Yamimaru for another week before Rehda sends his final assault. Overall, a pretty cool write-off which also shows Ragorn is a hugely incompetent Big Bad by sending off his best generals (while leaving Zulten as a scapegoat) in Do or Die Missions. Also, the Turborangers manage to combine both Turbo Robo and Turbo Rugger into the rather clunky Super Turbo Robot -- something Dr. Dazai didn't expect or plan to do at first!
Perhaps the BEST and I mean the best and most badass episode of Turboranger. I think this wraps up to what I did like about the Showa era Super Sentai in terms of plot. True, I could enjoy receiving power-up forms for toy sales if it's done right. In this case, we get the most crazy one-on-one battle where stunt actor Kazuo Niibori gets to fight the set involved with Ragorn! The Nagare Bouma finally prepare the most daring attack -- they steal the life jewel and lock Ragorn with Riki to fight one-on-one. Ragorn is the Big Bad and how can Riki/Red Turbo survive this duel? It was amazing to see how Red Turbo manages to deliver a HUGE fatal blow against the despot himself without any new gadget whatsoever suddenly appearing out of nowhere! We also get to see the Turbo Builder gets some adjustments -- it's not just a command center now! Super Turbo Robot combines with it forming the Super Turbo Builder. They fire the Super Turbo Builder beam at Ragorn. However, Ragorn is far from dead and he swears he would return to take his revenge!