Never Underestimate The Lone Female Ranger In A Super Sentai Team
As the dawn of Ryusoulger arrives this Women's Month -- I thought about writing about why it doesn't have to suck to be the sole female in a Super Sentai team. I know the Toku heroes are usually male-oriented (when it comes to main characters) yet it doesn't mean women are any less or not useful either. Now, I'd like to focus on Super Sentai teams that only had one woman from start to end. We just got to celebrate the great lone women in a team of men!
Which teams only had one woman from start to end? Aside from the upcoming Ryusoulger (unless producers decide to add another female ranger) -- you'd actually need to do some research and discover that a lot of Super Sentai teams also had only one woman. Yes, many yellow rangers are in fact -- male ! You have Goranger, JAKQ, Battle Fever J, Denziman, Goggle V, Dynaman, Liveman, Turboranger, Zyuranger, Dairanger, Kakuranger, Gingaman, GoGoFive, Timeranger, Gaoranger, Hurricanger, Abaranger, Gekiranger, Go-Busters, each time of Lupin vs. Pat only had one female (though technically there are two females in spandex) aside from what's rolling in.
How do sole females in the team vary? I just couldn't get over the role Tsukasa has in her team as the lone female. While I didn't really appreciate Umika's role but yeesh Tsukasa is indeed mighty useful. She's probably the sanest person in the Patranger team and I just love that scene where she slapped (or better yet Bright slapped) Keiichiro for losing track of himself. It really is just that moment when you really need to be that voice of reason in one way or another. Then you've got other variants of lone females who just keep the team together!
Super Sentai has also introduced at least three female leaders namely Yuuri, Tsurihime and Ran. Ran serves as the leader of Gekiranger because Jan is basically a feral guy. Tsurihime was introduced as the first leader. Then you have Yuuri who acts as Timeranger's leader. There were times when Tsurihime and Yuuri just felt like the protagonists of their own show. Kakuranger doesn't shy away from giving Tsurihime more development than the others. Timeranger seems to make Yuuri the protagonist since she's the actual leader -- Tatsuya just got dragged along and only serves to be at the center for formality sake.
This also reminds me of how early on -- pink rangers weren't exactly known for their strength. Rather, they were known for being the brains of the team or the one who does infiltration jobs. Without these valuable spy type lone females -- the men in her team are just going to be sitting ducks in situations like a hostage crisis. There are times I believe that a female police officer is usually better at negotiating than a male officer. I feel this has been the role of many lone females -- not to mention that many of them are actually masters of disguise! Then again I can't underestimate their fighting prowess either even if they've been more known for their strategic thinking.
There's the value where the lone woman in your team can do all her disguises like Big One can in JAKQ. Who can remember Goggle V's episode where Miki pretended to be a cursed doll or Rei became a bride in Dynaman? Zyuranger did make Mei the mistress of disguising pinks with her battle with Lami who was also disguising herself. These disguises are invaluable especially in dealing with the incredibly low intelligence that Super Sentai villains (especially mooks) tend to have.
Roses have thorns and many of these lone women in their respective Super Sentai teams have proven it. If it's not just Mei in Zyuranger then maybe you have blazingly beautiful Rin in Dairanger. Kou learned it the hard way that Rin is a beautiful rose who has very sharp thorns! Maybe you can remember how she beat up Gara after her lover the Media Magician died in front of her. Also, Yuuri in Timeranger has very cool focus episodes and she really shows she's not someone to mess with or she will mess you up really bad! I still think Rin could beat all the men in her team if she gets much angrier than usual!
Though there are cases where the sole female is physically the weakest in the team. Take Mei for example -- she maybe physically the weakest Zyuranger (and the strongest is apparently Goushi and Geki is a well-balanced guy) but guess who tends to pull the men out of trouble? Mei is usually compensated with a powerful long range weapon (which she fires rather well) and her wits to save the day. Who can remember that moment she actually fooled Dora Boogaran which proves brains beat brawn anytime? Who can remember her saving the men from Dora Ladon? They may not win an arm-wrestling match against their male colleagues BUT they can win fights with their wits! Also, they are stronger than any regular guy who hasn't had their training either!
So never underestimate the lone female ranger in a Super Sentai team!