2018/01/16

My Biggest Failing: Song Lyrics


I was going to write my initial thoughts about Blahranger vs Mehranger and it's inevitable Summer movie Blahranger vs. Mehranger: WANTED--Dekaranger and Gavan are Criminals!?!, but isn't this site already full of unpopular opinions? Instead...I don't know. I really want to write something a little more personal. Something I've dealt with basically my whole life, but really hasn't bothered me all that much until about the past year or so. Song lyrics are completely beyond my grasp. They just...don't register to me.

A little background I suppose. I come from a musical family, but MUCH more so on my father's side. My brother is a singer and has been fairly musical over the years (he owns a didgeridoo, FFS...). Me? I've only ever listened to music. Lots of music. I'm typically awake 19-21 hours a day and average about 12ish hours of that listening to some kind of music. You know this given the sheer amount of CDs I've reviewed on this site. I've been working on a secret future project for the site that has been kinda messing with my mind a little bit. Two CDs in particular really had me questioning how bad I am at absorbing/comprehending exactly what I'm listening to. 

So I put it to the test. I tried to memorize the lyrics to an easy song (Sabotage by Beastie Boys) over the course of a week and see how I fared at the end of seven days. It...was poor. I got a good portion of it, but considering it's a song I've heard likely hundreds of times in my life, I should have nailed it. There are some assholes out there who haven't seen Facts Of Life since it was airing and can gleefully sing along to imaginary music and completely nail it...and that piece of shit finished it's run thirty years ago... The worst is when they follow it up with "Yeah, that show sucked but I caught it on one night and...isn't the theme song just so catchy? *laughs*" Go to hell...

Memory isn't the problem. I can remember the most trivial and minute details from conversations and events going a long way back, and yet song lyrics are basically...

I love this song!

You may be thinking..."so what?". This is a personal problem and I'm not all about airing my grievances after all. I think the point I'm trying to get at is that I hear music much differently than a lot of people. Vocals are almost completely irrelevant so long as the singing is as melodic as the music it's accompanying. The kind of singer where their voice becomes it's own instrument--that's what I'm attracted to. A great singer is a great singer, but sometimes I get weird looks from people over digging songs with questionable lyrics. People generally seem to think I have very good tastes in music...and that's kinda encouraging at least. Maybe it's just that I hear things that aren't there. Music gives me feelings of colors more than any kind of literary fulfillment. I can read a poem for that.

Going forward I would keep this in mind when you read something of mine on this site. I can usually tell when a song's lyrics are of above-average importance, and in that case I'll look them up and really try to get the gist of it. Then there are songs like this where I have no choice but to actually read the lyrics thanks to the damn hook (and in this case...the song is about ego rather than...you know...).

Now...if there were only a way to explain this to my wife. She's been asking me to sing her a song...any song for well over a decade. Sorry, honey. : [

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I know this post was a little bit unusual, but it's kinda important since a pretty major component of every song usually flies right over my head unless I sit down and really read the lyrics. Just try to keep that in mind going forward. Especially with my super-secret upcoming project...

I will be back in February for a review on a "vs". Figure that one out. I imagine I'll also get into Gingaman for my mid-month post if it doesn't bore me to death. 

Bye now!

-CC

2018/01/01

1993 Sure Was a Thing... (Dairanger Fan Theory Special)


Can you believe that it's 2018 already? Yeah, it may look like a random number, but when you take in to consideration that we're 25 years removed from one of the most ambitious years of the 1990s, it's kind of a special anniversary year. I mean, just look at this murderer's row of stuff that happened in 1993...

Kamen Rider ZO: The comfort food of Kamen Rider. Thin plot, but dazzling action and effects. Seriously, this movie is pure eye candy with a killer soundtrack. What's ZO's name? Who cares! Just enjoy... (Check out the manga for extra weirdness...)

Tokusou Robo Janperson: Taking the Metal Hero franchise to unfamiliar territory. The idea of a crime-fighting robot is far from new, but it was something that hadn't been attempted since the 70s and really hasn't been done on it's own since. 

Ultraman Powered: Largely considered the red-headed stepchild of the Ultra family, this series does have it's place in history. I mean, at the bare minimum there is a chance that it's responsible for getting Kane Kosugi cast as Jiraiya in Kakuranger. Then again, he is extremely talented...so maybe not.

Denko Chojin Gridman: Another Tsuburaya production that has gained momentum as a cult series in the years since it aired. It featured a unique take on computers that only fed into the longevity of it's legacy. It has been revisited over the years with a cancelled 90s sequel, an animated follow-up in 2015 and an animated re-imagining scheduled for release in 2018. 

Kamen Rider SD: A low-budget OVA that finally gave the SD Riders some life outside of toys, manga, and video games. Ultraman had been animated in many different styles (The Ultraman, Ultraman Kids, Ultraman USA, and more in the time since) so it was kinda cool to have Rider get the same brief treatment.

1993 was such a busy year! Well... I just wanted to recognize that 2018 is the 25th anniversary of a lot of great and memorable series. 

Take care and I'll talk to you all soon!

-CC





FUCKING DAIRANGER!


How could I forget?! Dairanger is one of those series that I love, but really haven't talked about all that much. When I was putting together my page of Super Sentai articles, I noticed that I had only talked about the series once. How is that even possible? Dairanger is second only to Kakuranger as my favorite Super Sentai series. I guess I am here today to bring new life into an old theory that I'd casually brought up in conversation with @RoryDropkick. His reaction kinda encouraged me to go on and try to flesh one of my crazy theories into a post...


Something that has vexed a lot of fans about Dairanger for years was it's original casting of Keisuke Tsuchiya as Ryo/Ryuranger and Keiichi Wada as Kazu/Kirinranger. The knee jerk reaction is one of relief--bullet dodged! I mean, I never had a problem with Tsuchiya but his casting as the lead seemed a little odd. Since he ended up in the unenviable position of yellow, he never really got much in the way of decent stories...so we never got to see what he was capable of in the series. The problem is that Keiichi Wada is sooooo gooood. He would have absolutely been wasted as fifth banana (let's face it, yellow is an afterthought pretty much every single time). The infamous test footage/trailer with the swapped cast really isn't a good gauge on what could have been, but obviously something must have forced the last minute change.

Consider, just for a second, what could have been...


One of my biggest gripes with Dairanger is how Ryo's family was quickly discarded. For what should have been a major arc considering the intrinsic nature of the relationship between Dai and Gorma tribes, Ryo's father, Choryo, was gone at the end of a two episode arc in episode eight. He also had a sister who vanished after the fifteenth episode. Why bother introducing family like that if there is no lasting effect? Sure, Ryo's father did play an important role in passing knowledge of Dairenoh on to Ryo, but surely he had more to offer.

It all seemed kinda sloppy...like it had perhaps been slapped together last minute.

What if...the Ko and Akomaru story was meant for Ryo and a twin brother?

The casting all kinda makes sense now. I mean, I wasn't in the room at the time, but it is fact that skills and interests of actors got written into shows all the time. Keisuke Tsuchiya being cast as Ryo certainly sets of signals that perhaps the wheels were in motion for his twin brother, Daisuke, to play a larger role in the series. Could he have been the original Kibaranger?


I'm not saying that Shadam would have still been their father, but what if Choryo was meant to be more of a presence within Gorma? He was the original Ryuranger, yes, but he also defected to Gorma when Ryo was a child. Given that his mother was a human woman, who is to say that she couldn't have also been from the Dai tribe as Ko's mother was? Ryo and his brother would be born, and Choryo splits for Gorma with one child leaving Ryo to carry on as he pretty much did. 

This does set up some problems, however. 

For one, we had just come out of Zyuranger, which featured basically the same scenario with the jilted brother as the sixth hero. This story is a little more pure, however, since Zyuranger's conflict between Geki and Burai really came off as more of a misunderstanding than anything else.

There is also the whole what-do-we-do-with-two-Ryos thing. Maybe this theory should be treated less like Ko being Ryo's brother and more like Blue Beet and Black Beet. In B-Fighter, Jamahl created a clone of Takuya/Blue Beet (played by Daisuke Tsuchiya) called Black Beet (played by Keisuke Tsuchiya). This is a stretch, but when you consider the fate of the members of Gorma at the end of the series, it could work. What if Ryo's twin is, in fact, a clay copy? (Oh yeah, spoilers...). It's entirely plausible, no?


My point is...the possibilities are endless and that the trailer featuring the original casting along with the sloppiness of how important relative characters were treated leaves a lot to the imagination. If you really didn't want to see Tsuchiya as Ryo, maybe consider that if had been cast as Ryo we wouldn't have had Ko/Akomaru. Is that a fair trade off?

What do you think? Were there bigger plans for a Ryo played by Keisuke Tsuchiya? What kind of stories do you think it could have given us? I'm always curious about the "what could have been" and little nuggets like the swapped cast trailer always send my imagination spinning...

Happy New Year!

-CC



2017/12/18

Triple Top 7: The Best of 2017!


It's the end of the year. Thank god. This has been one hell of a year. I hit my ten-year anniversay and semi-retired from Youtube (HA!). The CCLemon99 flame still burns on even if it means I have to take a small step back. The site has continued on and I have tread new waters through various new topics...

You like that? Honestly I remember very little of what happened this year. I'm usually my own best historian, but I really had a hard time remember what I did this year and what was announced. Seriously, when the memory starts going...it goes FAST. In my defense, I've had a whirlwind year in the real world. A series of events unfolded that had me on the road in September and lead to a bizarre promotion of sorts that felt more like a take-over than anything else. Yeah...long story. It's kinda funny that I don't talk about real world stuff too much here and I don't talk CCLemon99 stuff in the real world. I just kinda mention things in passing here and there. My wife rolls her eyes whenever I talk work or CCLemon99...so I guess that means I may even have a third life...

This post is a little late because I literally went back and re-watched every single video and re-read every single post. Now that I've refreshed myself on...myself, let's take a look at some of my favorite announcements of 2017 and my favorite content of the year!

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Top 7 Announcements of 2017!

07. Get Wild Song Mafia announced for release. (February?)

I think I missed the official announcement for this one, but only caught it during the stealth Amazon Japan listing in late February (based on when I ordered it). I ordered it before the set even had a tracklist or title, so I think I may have caught it a little bit early.

Basically this crazy set is multi-label celebration of TM Network's GET WILD that was released on the song's 30th anniversary. You would think that 30+ versions of the same song over four CDs would get boring, but it's surprisingly diverse. As I mention in my review, the song is something of a science experiment as it's always molded to the current image of the band.

06. SHFiguarts Sky Turbo (February)

I've been waiting for this one for awhile. My SHFiguarts bucket list is largely complete...so there really isn't a whole lot to get excited for. Maybe 2018 will bring Blue Version, Tentoro (they'd probably spell it Tentolaw), Z Bringer, J Crosser...and BANDIT (Shin's bike......which better happen!)

05. Cinema-Kan's Ultraman Powered CD Set (February)

This is easily my favorite Tokusatsu CD release of the year. Excellent, excellent music released in a budget CD set by a fantastic small record label in conjunction with the recent Blu-ray release. It certainly blew away the overpriced set (twice as expensive and only one more disc) that Columbia whacked together for USA & Great. Highly recommended!

04. Shout!Factory announced Gingaman will be coming to DVD! (July)

The funnnn...

03. Shout!Factory announces Megaranger will be coming to DVD! (April)

neverrrrr.....

02. Shout!Factory announces Carranger will be coming to DVD! (January)

ENDS!!!!! :D

01. "Your car is here...wait, no it isn't. Umm...NOW it is...! Yeah, definitely for real this time I think!" (February)

Turns out there was a lot of excitement in February. This one totally takes the cake, though. The car that I had ordered months earlier had finally arrived...but wait, it didn't. A near identical one showed up that was about $5,000 more expensive than the one I ordered. A few days later, the car I ordered arrived. I tell the full story here. I've been loving the hell out of my Subaru BRZ ever since.....

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Top 7 Posts on CCLemon99.com

07. The CD Collection--TM Network Original Singles 1984-1999 + BACKTRACKS 04.Nov

I've always loved TM Network, but I never really considered myself a super-fan. Exploring this set really gave me a new appreciation for the band. I've had this one for a few years, but never *really* examined it. It was a treat and it inspired me to pick up some more of their albums. I really dig the RHYTHM RED album that they released as TMN. Full disclosure...this wasn't a super-popular post, but I definitely enjoyed it.

06. The CD Collection--Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Japanese Dub CD Singles 16.Mar

I think I had been threatening to make this post forever. It was nice to finally get it off my chest...and you know what? People dug it. The MMPR Japanese dub has always been a curiosity for fans, so it was nice to bring these CDs to light. I even admitted that I dug that over-produced version of Go Go Power Rangers. I mean, if the Teletubbies had some great shredding in their theme song, I'd love that too. I'm easy that way.

05. Journey Through The Decade: Ten Years of CCLemon99 25.Jun

I wrote up a big retrospective to briefly sum up my ten years as CCLemon99. You would think that writing that I would have had a pretty firm grasp on what I accomplished this year. Yeah, nope. I recommend the post, though. Even if I didn't accomplish any of the things I said I would in my forecast. The 1982-2017 video will happen in 2018 since Bandai is holding out on the final Kyuranger changer until then. Clearly I haven't reviewed any of the Kyuranger Changers. Who knows about Daijinryu...I may or may not have gotten one...

04. Power Rangers Legacy Toys Part 1: Weapons & Morphers 01.Jan & Power Rangers Legacy Toys Part 2: The Zords 14.Jan

The first post of January is usually something big and bold. Could I have gone any bigger and bolder? This two-parter talks about the higher-end Legacy toys. It turned out to be a pretty popular set of posts...so everyone really wanted to know my opinion. Go figure...

03. Top Seven Best & Worst Toy Surprises 05.Jun

A topic that was recommended to me. It was nice to recount some utter toy failures along with a handful of times a toy really had me stumped (in a good way).

02. Akina Nakamori Singles Box 1982-1991 [PART 1] 09.Jul & Akina Nakamori Singles Box 1982-1991 [PART 2] 20.Jul

This was a real treat. I've since learned that there is a certain subset of Nakamori fans that have derided this beautiful box set as an unauthorized work that isn't worth the money. In it's defense, it features a lot of previously unreleased material and is lovingly assembled. Warner still owns the rights to this music, no? It's not like it's just another arbitrary "best" album. You know what, though? Even those are great for new fans to cut their teeth on. Hahaa.

That said, I realllllly enjoyed writing this set of posts, especially coming off of something emotionally draining like my big TEN YEAR video. I'm already planning another month of Akina Nakamori in 2018. Both posts are going to be bonkers. One more than the other, for sure! This is one of the things I look most forward to in 2018!

01. Toy Story: Jiban's Denshi Police Techou & The Local Toy Scene 16.Oct

Every time I write a toy story post, I usually think to myself "I really don't have any stories after this one.". Considering I have several of these posts, this clearly isn't true. One day I just started thinking about some of the stores I used to frequent when I was younger and was like "Oh man, I need to write about this...". Due to Google's crappy built-in site analytics, I'll never know where the traffic came from...but this post got a ton of traction. I'm glad...because this was a pleasant stroll down memory lane. I hope you enjoyed it too! Unless you're the lazy ass who didn't want to get the Goggle Robo down for me...

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Top 7 CCLemon99 Videos of 2017

07. #521 Power Rangers [2017 Movie] Power Morpher 01.Jan

I think this was part of my 'toy surprises' post. I dug the toy and I actually really enjoyed putting this video together. I even did some dark shots...and I neverrrrr do dark shots! It turned out really nice, IMO.

Oh...and did I ever catch the new Power Rangers movie? Nope. I think I called it early on... Vin Diesel being the bad guy in the latest Fast & Furious movie was probably the better Green Ranger story of 2017. Full disclosure, I didn't see that piece of shit either.

06. #536 Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman DX Max Magma 16.Apr

I...really didn't want to review this one. The finished video came out really good, however. Something I never admitted at the time out of sheer embarassment: I had to reshoot like 60% of the video. I take 4:3 photos for the site and forgot to change my camera back to 17:9. I was getting some excellent shots, too. Nope. Had to go back and take those photos allllll over again. Oh well. I guess that lead me to enjoy the video a bit more.

05. #530 Kamen Rider Kuuga SHFiguarts 05.Mar

I broke through the Heisei(ish) barrier. Not only is this figure fantastic, but the photos turned out excellent. Combine that with some excellent Kuuga BGM and it all turned out great. *thumbs up*

04. #562 Chojin Sentai Jetman Tetra Boy 31.Dec

As I mentioned in the video's description box, this is the very last of the 1990s Super Sentai mecha that I haven't covered. Yes! I started with Daizyujin and ended with Tetra Boy. Kinda weird how I came full circle, eh?

The video itself turned out really cool despite my burning hatred for Jet Icarus. What can you do, though? I couldn't have thought of a better video to close out the year.

03. #550 Transformers Sega Megadrive & Genesis Megatron 17.Sept

Not only was it right around my Birthday, but it was also the 550th video. I felt like doing something a little bit wacky. It's brief, but something I enjoy going back to watch every now and again. That funky music really helped make this video stand out just a little bit more...

02. #529 Kamen Rider J SHFiguarts 26.Feb

At last! J! Finally! YES!

Even if this toy was a total dud, I would have worked extra hard to make sure this video was a winner. I played around with angles...and I even got those SHF city sets. After all that, I took particular care when I edited the music together. The version of the ending theme song used is the CCLemon99 Mix. Hahaa...

01. #546 CCLemon99 TEN YEARS 25.Jun

It had to be this, right?

There have been a handful of times when I've shot videos over a few months. In those cases it usually means I take photos of an unused sticker sheet in March and then take photos of the completed toy in June. This time around I started in April, continued in May, and finished in June. This was an ambitious project that really came together only as I shot it. I filmed a trip to the beach in the freezing cold, then I boiled when I filmed my car in the business parking lot (had to wear that jacket for continuity...).

The dream was to use this song, The Theme From 'BIG WAVE' by Tatsuro Yamashita. That song frequently gets removed from Youtube, though...so I had to play it safe. As you can see in the video, I found a suitable replacement. Had to use the Karaoke versions, though, since Kyosuke is singing about riding in a convertible which my car clearly isn't.

I was incredibly nervous when I uploaded that video. How much did I want to reveal? I put a copy of it on my phone since I like to revisit it frequently. The whole thing still seems foreign to me. Have I really been doing this ten years? Yes, yes I have. I made this video? It's all the places I go, and the car that I drive...but it just seems so unlike me to make such a thing.

Thank you for checking it out if you did.

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That's it for this post and yet another year. Be sure to check out past Top 7 lists on this handy page for write-ups from previous years.

I'll catch you all in 2018!

Love and tofu,

CC


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CCLemon99 Posts of 2017

Power Rangers Legacy Toys Part 1: Weapons & Morphers 01.Jan
Power Rangers Legacy Toys Part 2: The Zords 14.Jan
The Abandoned Kamen Rider Stronger Theme Song... 01.Feb
Toy Story: 2017 Subaru BRZ 14.Feb
The CD Collection--Ultraman Tiga, Dyna, and Gaia 8cm CD Singles 02.Mar
The CD Collection--Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Japanese Dub CD Singles 16.Mar
CCLemon99 Magazine Issue Four 03.Apr
The CD Collection--GET WILD SONG MAFIA by TM Network 14.Apr
Gekisou! Accel Changer! ~Carranger Part 1 of 3~ 01.May
Pegasus & Uchuu Bosozoku Bowzock ~Carranger Part 2 of 3~ 10.May
Triple Top Seven! ~Carranger Part 3 of 3~ 20.May
Top Seven Best & Worst Toy Surprises 05.Jun
Journey Through The Decade: Ten Years of CCLemon99 25.Jun
Akina Nakamori Singles Box 1982-1991 [PART 1] 09.Jul
Akina Nakamori Singles Box 1982-1991 [PART 2] 20.Jul
The CD Collection--Kamen Rider Kuuga! 8cm CD Singles 04.Aug
CCLemon99 Magazine Issue Five 19.Aug
The CD Collection--Ultraman Great, USA & Ultraman Powered Box Sets 1.Sept
The CD Collection--Kikaider The Animation & Zebraman 15.Sept
Maybe Tsubasamaru's Theme Isn't a Problem After All--A CCLemon99 Follow-up 02.Oct
Toy Story: Jiban's Denshi Police Techou & The Local Toy Scene 16.Oct
The CD Collection--TM Network Original Singles 1984-1999 + BACKTRACKS 04.Nov
INSTALL! Denji Sentai Megaranger Part 1 of 2 17.Nov
Wins, Opportunities, & Top 7 Episodes! Denji Sentai Megaranger Part 2 of 2 01.Dec

CCLemon99 Videos of 2017

#521 Power Rangers [2017 Movie] Power Morpher 01. Jan
#522 Himitsu Sentai Goranger Ranger Mechanix 2 Variblune 08.Jan
#523 Himitsu Sentai Goranger Ranger Mechanix 2 Varidorin 15.Jan
#524 Dai Sentai Goggle Five Ranger Mechanix 2 Goggle Caesar 22.Jan
#525 Kagaku Sentai Dynaman Ranger Mechanix 2 Dyjupiter 29.Jan
#526 Chojuu Sentai Liveman Ranger Mechanix 2 Machine Buffalo 05.Feb
#527 Kamen Rider Stronger (Charge Up) SHFiguarts 12.Feb
#528 Kamen Rider ZO Doras SHFiguarts 19.Feb
#529 Kamen Rider J SHFiguarts 26.Feb
#530 Kamen Rider Kuuga 05.Mar
#531 Kamen Rider Agito 12.Mar
#532 Seijuu Sentai Gingaman Red Spark & Gingared 19.Mar
#533 Seijuu Sentai Gingaman Galeo Pulsar 26.Mar
#534 Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger Zyouh Changer Final 02.Apr
#535 Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman DX Star Five 09.Apr
#536 Chikyuu Sentai Fiveman DX Max Magma 16.Apr
#537 Gosei Sentai Dairanger SAS Aura Changer & Kiba Changer PART 1 23.Apr
#538 Gosei Sentai Dairanger SAS Aura Changer & Kiba Changer PART 2 30.Apr
#539 Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger SHFiguarts Howling Cannon 07.May
#540 Honda ASIMO (Lost Video from 2009) 14.May
#541 Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger SP License TV-Kun 21.May
#542 Choriki Sentai Ohranger All Mecha 28.May
#543 Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger Dino Brace Abaremax Version 04.Jun
#544 Power Rangers S.P.D. Master License (Korean Version) 11.Jun
#545 Gaoranger Growl Phone (Chinese Version) 18.Jun
#546 CCLemon99 10 YEARS 25.Jun
#547 Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger SAS Dragon Buckler 06.Aug
#548 Skyrider Sky Turbo SHFiguarts 20.Aug
#549 Kamen Rider Super 1 V Machine SHFiguarts 03.Sept
#550 Transformers Sega Megadrive & Genesis Megatron 10.Sept
#551 Kamen Rider Ryuki SHFiguarts 17.Sept
#552 Singer Porsche 911 01.Oct (Almost immediately blocked in most countries)
#553 Chosei Kantai Sazer X Knuckle Cross 15.Oct
#554 Chosei Kantai Sazer X Shark Knuckle 22.Oct
#555 Kamen Rider 555 SHFiguarts 29.Oct
#556 Kamen Rider ZX Helldiver SHFiguarts 12.Nov
#557 Kamen Rider Stronger Kabutolaw SHFiguarts 19.Nov
#558 Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger DX Whale Change Gun 03.Dec
#559 Seijuu Sentai Gingaman DX Chogokin Giga Phoenix 10.Dec
#560 Seijuu Sentai Gingaman DX Chogokin Giga Rhinos 17.Dec
#561 Seijuu Sentai Gingaman Giga Bitus 24.Dec
#562 Chojin Sentai Jetman DX Tetra Boy 31.Dec

2017/12/01

Wins, Opportunities, & Top 7 Episodes! Denji Sentai Megaranger Part 2 of 2


Welcome back to my revisiting of the 1997 Super Sentai series Denji Sentai Megaranger! Didn't catch Part 1? Fix this immediately by reading it here. In that part I talk about the majority of the characters that inhabit the series. I know I skipped some favorites like Koichiro's foil Ooiwa and the lame duo of Shintaro and Jiro...but really, who cares? Ooiwa was a cool drunk initially and was always supportive of his students, but he always felt shoehorned into situations later on.

I never really said whether or not I liked the show. I'll save my verdict until the very end, so keep that in mind as you read on. I really had to concentrate a little bit harder this time since, like I mentioned previously, I'm not entirely familiar with this show. As I watched, however, one glaring issue jumped out at me. It's something I talked about previously...and it's something that still bugs me about Super Sentai.

In no particular order I am now going through what I found to be the wins and opportunities this series had.

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Megaranger WINS

WIN: Suit Designs

Honestly, there are no bad Super Sentai team suits of the 90s. Well, except Jetman. I love the Megaranger suits. They're slick, uncomplicated, and fit the theme perfectly. There isn't a bad design among them and even Megasilver looks fantastic.

WIN: Yugande's Design

Awesome, awesome, awesome design. I needed to give this it's own shout out since I love it so damn much. Like I said, it's kind of a bummer that they gradually ruined it as the series progressed, but it is what it is.

WIN: Arsenal

Digitizers, Keitaizer, Battle Riser, Drill Saber, Multi Attack Rifle, Cybersliders, Silver Blazer, etc. All awesome. The only one that was weak was the Mega Sniper, which is a two-piece weapon that I think only once in the entire series was used as a two-piece. This series was surprisingly sparse with the gadgets.

WIN: Locations

To make up for the lack of real high-tech sets, the series used a number of really interesting locations to give the visuals and extra oomph. The quarry was VERY rarely shown. Some really neat architecture made up for the fact that they really couldn't show us a warped Nejirejia hellscape or a Megaranger digital experience. It was a nice trick, and it really paid off.

WIN: Characters/Acting

I liked everyone well enough in the series. I know I playfully dismissed a lot of behavior on both sides in the last post, but I enjoyed spending a year with pretty much everyone in the series. The acting was pretty good all around--not an obvious dud to drag everything down in sight. Personally I think Eri Tanaka was the best actor (or at least the most natural) even if we didn't get too much of her. Shigeru Kanai was a ham as Yuusaku, but a lovable ham.

WIN: GALAXYMEGA

I love Muteki Shogun. I love RV Robo. Third place for my favorite mecha design ever belongs to Galaxymega. The fact that it doubles as INET's base of operations means that it got plenty of screen time for a good portion of the series, but I feel like it kinda got left in the cold once Mega Voyager arrived. Yeah, I liked Delta Mega quite a bit as well. Mega Voyager and Mega Winger were half-assed looking next to Galaxy Mega. I mean, that's kinda par for the course when it comes to secondary mecha of the 90s...but the latter two mecha completely lacked the intricate little details of Galaxy Mega and Delta Mega.


Plus it had the best theme song ever. FIVE-FOUR-ONE, FIVE-FOUR-ONNNNNNE!

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Megaranger OPPORTUNITIES

OPP: Music/BGM

If you listen to the three Megaranger Music Collections, you'll be treated to some incredibly serviceable tunes. Really, listening to the CDs is enjoyable. There is some great action stuff and some nicely themed pieces scattered throughout. My big issue? How it was used in the series. A lot of fights use this really weak drumbeat track that had no business being part of the show. Even the eyecatches were almost intentionally bad. The early episodes used these really good little pieces to bring us to and from the commercial break. They inexplicably changed it up to these AWFUL horn pieces.

Experiencing the music through the show and through the CDs are two completely different experiences. In the show: Almost terrible. Through the CDs: Good, but not entirely impressive compared to the fierce competition of 90s Sentai music. Composer Keiichi Oku was a one-and-done composer for Super Sentai (he composed some vocal songs for Gingaman, Kamen Rider Kuuga, and Gaoranger but never composed a second series), but has acclaimed work elsewhere.

OPP: Nejirejia's Razor Thin Motive

I really had to bite my tongue in the previous post. Nejirejia is a joke. Some interesting yet unoriginal moments poked through when Dr. Hinelar just wanted to be a better scientist than Dr. Kubota. Outside of that, the world domination stuff was just done ridiculously. This wasn't even a problem until the end was in sight. Really, who cares about motivation on the bad side for the first forty episodes? The build-up to the ending is what justifies the previous nine months. Two words brought Nejirejia to a screeching halt...

Hinelar. City.

Seriously, I know I can write a lot of things that are easy to disagree with...but I challenge someone to defend this bullshit plotline. The only defense I can think of is maybe the whole idiotic data card thing being a metaphor for our digital lives being easier to manipulate and one that can potentially outlive our physical selves...but no, that's way too clever. This was 1997 after all, who was really thinking about that? Hinelar City was as flimsy as the time bomb that Yuusaku used to bring it down.

OPP: Runtime

I made a quicky post about this in the past. Beginning with the eighth episode of Megaranger, the timeslot moved from Friday nights to Sunday mornings. The move itself wasn't the problem, it was the additional five minutes the episodes gained in the process. Filling twenty-five minutes instead of twenty should have been absolutely perfect for Megaranger. We have a group of five interesting characters that we barely get to know over the course of the year. Granted, backstory doesn't sell toys...but I have a hard time placing what the hell they wasted the extra time on. It wasn't fight scenes (see next OPP), so where did that time go? The opening credits were a little bit longer...and the episode previews had a little more time...but that's only like thirty seconds added between those two.

I know this grievance is in the middle of the list, but this is one of my biggest disappointments with Megaranger. Ignoring the youth drama aspect in a series with actual youths is just daft. I feel like I know way more about the Zyuranger characters...and they were millions of years old bores! They weren't meant to be fun or interesting...they were warriors who woke up in 1992. A lot of what I wrote about the Megaranger gang in the previous post was speculation based on actions. I don't know for sure if Shun was icy because his mother died at some point in his eighteen years, I connected the dots based on what little I know about him.

I really just missed the laser-focus of the twenty minute episodes. On very rare occasions we got something fun like the extended Diet Crepe song, but most of the time the obvious struggle to fill time was embarrassing. I'll get to that later, though.

OPP: Action

I criticized Carranger for being very light on action with only a few standout scenes. Megaranger, however, has nothing memorable. There was like two Megared vs Yugande fights and pretty much any of the slick Megasilver fights were good. There really wasn't anything montage-worthy or anything of passing interest.

Much like Carranger, the out-of-suit stuff was very limited thanks to the secret identity aspect. Though both series had their reasons for keeping their identities a secret. Carranger had an excellent pay off at the end of the series while in Megaranger it was done to protect their friends and families.

OPP: Budget

This was a close one. Megaranger almost made it to the end of the series with a consistently good look. The budget noticeably fell off a cliff starting with the New Year's clip show (more on this fucker later). The complete lack of money made something as impossible as Hinelar City even more baffling.

OPP: Nejirejuu/Psycho Nejilar Designs

Yugande? Awesome. Shibolena wasn't a terrible design either. This is one of the blandest series for weekly monsters. Nothing from Nejirejia looked cool until the Nejirangers showed up...and even they weren't as cool looking as everyone makes them to be. Usually the best monster designs end up in the first eight episodes or so...but when you're leading off with an awful, uninspired stingray...eww....... This is like Golgom all over again...except Golgom worked.

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As a little bonus before I get to the Top 7 episodes from Megaranger, I want talk about three episodes that were absolutely horrible for completely different reasons. Unlike the WINS/OPPS, this list is in order. This series has fifty-one episodes, though it really should have been forty-eight...


03. Miseru ze! Aniki no Miracle Shoot (34)

The next two episodes I'll be talking about are awful for different reasons. This one is just terrible for an extra stupid story. Koichiro's younger brother is having a hard time playing soccer. His coach turns out to be a Psycho Nejilar called Yamaarashi Nejire who brainwashes the team to become his minions. The grand plan is to have them kick explosive-packed soccer balls into the grand stands during an upcoming game. This...is one of the lousiest plans in the history of Super Sentai.

Apparently this episode was written because Atsushi Ehara was pretty good at soccer. Sometimes episodes are written around talents/skills that the actors might have, but I think they may have been scraping a little too deep for this one.

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02. Imakoso! Inochi o kaketa cho gattai (21)

This episode was an absolute waste of time. Delta Mega debuted in the previous episode, but this is the one where they combine it with Galaxy Mega to form Super Galaxy Mega. It wasn't that simple, though. Delta Mega ends up getting taken over and to save it they have to perform the incredibly risky procedure of combining the two mecha together...which could potentially kill everyone on board.

Here is an extreme example of the struggle to pad out the five extra minutes. The story was weak enough to begin with...but what the hell was this crap about it being so risky? Ummm...these are robots that YOU designed and built, Kubota. It's true that Delta Mega wasn't in their control at the time, but I kinda gathered that the combination was a last ditch effort that should never need to be done. Whatever. Completely unnecessary.

Oh, and if you don't believe me about the padded runtime, pay close attention to the Henshin. If it were any more drawn out it could have been an episode of Dragonball Z.

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01. Okiraku! Kenta no toshikoshi sodo (44)

A clip show...and a BAD one. Normally I really don't mind clip shows, but this one had the most skeleton plot woven into it. Kenta loses his Digitizer (ugh) while taking photos of himself for New Years cards with his Cyberslider and Drill Saber. Naturally he had to do it in the Digiken, so his Digitizer was discovered almost immediately by his friends.

Words can't accurately describe how much I hate this episode. The title effects are even extra shitty. Considering the budget had pretty much evaporated in the episodes following this I really have to wonder why in the world they bothered. Take the week off... I mean, the complete lack of effort from everyone kinda suggests they did. Kenta had always been depicted as being a lousy student, but in this one he's practically brain dead. Nobody even bothered to do their hair or anything. Nejirejia doesn't appear at all... The big cop out is that the episode ends with the gang running off to deal with a fictitious Nejirejia attack.

Want to see how a clip show should be done? Kakuranger 39. They dug the storyteller from mothballs and even brought back the Jusho Fighters (well, Battle Saruda) one last time. It was less clip show and more retrospective. It even had a new story woven in.

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Top Seven Megaranger Episodes

For some reason this is the only capture I made from this episode. I must have been hungry.

07. Gekiyaba! Oretachi shinu no ka? (16)

Dokuga Nejire has poisoned thousands of people, leaving the infected with twenty-four hours to live. As it turns out, all five of the Megarangers were exposed to the poison as the moth's mark appears on all of them as well. The team kinda panics as they are now given a death sentence and they head out to live their remaining time to the fullest. While they are indulging, they notice that everyday people are talking about their future plans while completely unaware how little time they have left. The team is motivated to drop the shithead act and figure out a way to save everyone's lives. Koichiro manages to get a piece of Dokuga Nejire and gets it to INET, who was able to make an antidote. Dokuga Nejire is beaten and the day is saved just in time.

This was still early enough in the series for it to be expected for the team to let their youth to lead them to the rash decision to quit and slap together their bucket list together in their remaining time. While their true test would have to wait until the end of the series, this episode was a good example of what one might do once they are given a time limit.

Oh yeah, and Kenta finding his mark was hilarious. Hahaa.

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06. Bikkuri! Otonari wa Nejirejia (14)

A young boy named Shinya is being picked on after claiming to know Megapink. By sheer coincidence, the near-abandoned apartment building he lives in is slowly being inhabited by Kunekune for...reasons I don't quite remember. Shinya discovers this, but nobody believes him. Megaranger saves the day and Megapink makes an appearance to say hello to Shinya while he's with the neighborhood kids.


The real reason to like this one was for the absurdity of the Kunekunes dressed in everyday clothes as well as King Kunekune being an awesome monster design. It's just hundreds of Kunekune forming one gigantic, demented looking Kunekune. Obvious weak point be damned...

---



05. Tsukamu ze! Oretachi no sotsugyoshosho (51)

The finale. I have to say, this was a decent episode to go out on.

With Yugande and Shibolena out of the picture, a delusional and rapidly weakening Dr. Hinelar launches an all-out final attack after transforming Death Nejiros into Grand Nejiros. With Delta Mega destroyed and Galaxy Mega and Mega Winger heavily damaged, the Megarangers are only able to hold off Hinelar with an also damaged Mega Voyager. Despite completely shunning the Megarangers after learning their identities, their classmates begin to cheer them on. This motivated them to carry on with their fight and to latch onto Grand Nejiros and fly off to safety as it exploded (come to think of it, didn't that stinkfest Dark Knight Rises end this way too??). Their classmates watch in horror as both Grand Nejiros and Mega Voyager are completely destroyed in the explosion.

Graduation day was somber as there was five glaring vacancies. As Kenta's name is called, the Megarangers arrive on their Cybersliders and all five of them collect their High School Diplomas. Dr. Kubota and Yuusaku both show up for the ceremony as well.

Like I said, it was a good finale. It would have been nice if we got a little personal time with the five of them at the very end...but it's all good. They survived AND they graduated. Well done!

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04. Yasetai! Miku no ayashii Diet (29)

Miku decides to go on a diet and comes across a vendor of a strange Diet Crepe. The vendor claims that eating one will result in rapid weight loss no matter how much you can eat. Naturally she tries one as a puzzled Yuusaku looks on. The diet crepe is a success and Miku loses quite a bit of weight. As it turns out, she fell into a Nejirejia plot as the diet crepe vendor is really Buta Nejire and the diet crepe itself causes insatiable hunger. As it turns out, the spell wears off after only twenty minutes without food (lame as ever, Nejirejia), which Miku manages to accomplish only after being tied down by Yuusaku and then falling into the sewer. Hilarity ensures and Buta Nejire is beaten.

This is one of the most gifable episodes of Super Sentai. Between Buta Nejire's henshin pose, Miku doubling back to the restaurant as the team runs off without her, and Galaxymega getting whacked over the head with a frying pan, there is a lot of fun to be had watching this one. Also...this...


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03. Dokuso! Giniro no New Face (24)

This episode is the standard "sixth hero debuts in a pinch" episode, but what makes it fun is the sixth hero himself--Yuusaku. He playfully teases the Megarangers earlier in the episode and finally jumps into battle when Buffalo Nejire proves to be too much since it has data on all of the existing Megarangers. His excitement to join the battle while basically everyone was scratching their head on who the hell this guy was made for a great episode.

As I mentioned in the previous post, Yuusaku is a fun character. He was a career INET engineer who created the Voyager Machines...but in secret he revived the prototype Megasuit, eventually made it useable, and then created a mecha for himself. Heh. Not bad for an egghead.

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02. Doshite! Chisato ga Oyaji-goe (37)

I kinda talked about this one in my write-up of Chisato. The talent show is coming up and this is Chisato's last shot at making her singing debut after not being able to perform the previous two years. On her way to the event she encounters Canary Nejilar, which Bibidebi sent without permission. Canary Nejilar steals Chisato's voice and replaces it with his own, which leaves her once again unable to participate in the talent show unless she can get her voice back. Ooiwa does his best to stall with a solo guitar performance while the team tries to defeat Canary Nejilar and get Chisato's voice back. After defeating Canary Nejilar in a mecha fight Chisato's voice returns and she is finally able to make her singing debut.

Wait...that didn't happen at all. After defeating Canary Nejilar, her voice doesn't go back to normal. Kubota chimes in and says that she is stuck with the old man voice until it wears off. The dejected team arrives at the talent show after everyone had gone home and is ambushed by Ooiwa and some classmates. Everyone cheers Chisato on to get her to perform anyway even if her voice is screwed up. As it turns out, it came back just in time and she is able to sing her character original song Watashi rashiku ashita e.


I like this one for a number of reasons. For starters, Chisato didn't really get too many good stories on her own. This was only one of like three focus episodes she got in the entire series, and the other two were pretty weak. This is the kind of episode I was hoping to see more of from this series. It was a great balance of Tokusatsu and drama. Not to mention, it had a decent life lesson wrapped into it at the very end. It might not be the most original story, but it feels at home here.

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01. Kireteru! Ao no Kyofu Nejiblue (41)

After Nejipink was defeated in the previous episode, Nejiblue is on a tear to kill Megablue. While Shun and Yuusaku were reviewing the previous battle footage on the moon base, the TV starts to go on the fritz. Yuusaku does like any guy would do and starts hitting it and fidgeting with the cables. The footage goes black and white which gives Shun a brilliant idea. As Nejiblue seeks out Megablue once again, Megablue arrives. So does Megablue, Megablue, Megablue and Megablue. This kinda causes chaos among the remaining Nejirangers as Nejiblue doesn't want anyone but himself to kill Megablue no matter how many there may be. To make matters weirder, Nejisilver suddenly appears. Naturally this turns out to be Yuusaku in disguise. Nejiblue becomes Nejibizzare and is taken out in a mecha battle.

What a fun episode. The Nejirangers were incredibly strong when they debuted, but started falling one by one because they really didn't have a grasp on Megaranger's biggest strength--teamwork. This time in particular Shun came up with a pretty solid plan thanks to the faulty TV. The plot of this episode is kinda Megaranger in a nutshell. Dr. Hinelar tries to one-up Kubota through brute strength, succeeds at first, and then is taken out by Megaranger as they continue on at their marathon pace. Plus it was just thoroughly enjoyable.

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So what do I think of Megaranger? It's alright. I understand why a lot of people really dig this series, but I feel like a lot was left on the table. I know I moan a lot about the five extra minutes, but it really was this show's biggest failing. This series was almost a sloppy experiment for the extended time slot and move to mornings. That said, I will give it props for at least pulling off filling the time better than a lot of newer Sentai series have. All that extra time these days has been filled with hanging around their shitty, over-lit sets with lots of mugging at the camera and going "eeeeehhhhhhhh!?!". Super Sentai, your anime days are drawing nearer and nearer...

Megaranger was still trying to keep the live action flame ablaze. I've always been more of a 90s Super Sentai fan, but I really enjoy the 80s as well. Maskman seemed to deal with criticism for the beginning in decline in the action factor in Super Sentai, but I really think that it only opened the door for us to get better balance in the 90s.

Remember in the first part of this Megaranger write-up when I mentioned that I tend to group Super Sentai into threes? The Ohranger-Carranger-Megaranger grouping just feels right as big changes were happening in those three years. Zyuranger-Dairanger-Kakuranger was about legacy and revenge. All of the heroes had their roots planted firmly in the past and were the chosen generation to suppress a recurring evil. Those three series started with that block of clay and molded the shows around that. Ohranger was a different beast, however. Sure, history plays a part in the plot...but change was happening. Carranger was a much needed break from the mold, but unique in a way that whatever followed it would benefit from tabula rasa. Megaranger certainly felt new and different by several metrics. I can't quite say I agree with the direction the franchise took following this, but it was far from the death of all that was familiar.

I will say this, though... It was nice to see a set of villains completely wiped out for a change. When was the last time? Jetman? Baranoia kinda got eliminated. Buldont's baby, Acha, and Kocha are still traveling space with Gunmajin. Good going, Megaranger. You killed an old man that was going to die on his own anyway. Hahaa.

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I hope you enjoyed this very, very long write-up. Not having ads on my site means I didn't have to dice this up into like twelve articles. Hahaa. I put together a special page with all of my past series overviews on it. If you're looking for more, check it out here. As of right now, I've covered Jetman-Megaranger. Up next? Gingaman. If the incredible Shout!Factory keeps to their schedule, we should all have our DVDs next month.

I'm sure you're done listening to me blab. There will be one more post in 2017. I hope you'll come back for my 2017 year end Top 7 list extravaganza!

Take care!

-CC

Install! Denji Sentai Megaranger Part 1 of 2
Super Sentai Series Reviews

2017/11/17

INSTALL! Denji Sentai Megaranger Part 1 of 2


It's that time again! For the third year in a row, our good GREAT friends at Shout!Factory have given us two Super Sentai DVD releases in one year. To finish off 2017, Denji Sentai Megaranger has recently been released in the Region 1 market. More good news, Gingaman has already been licensed/announced and will be the next series to get the DVD treatment in 2018.

I...kinda approached this series with a little bit of caution given that I have only watched it in it's entirety once in the past. The previous series that have been released on DVD I can almost recite lines from, but Megaranger...yeah, I never clicked with this show. That said, I was excited to give this one another whirl since it's been forever since I've watched Super Sentai chronologically and the last series I watched was Carranger.

What can you expect in this post? Characters... I know in my Carranger post I kicked it off with a big post on the production as a whole. Carranger is kind of a special circumstance though, as the series is unique in a number of ways. I've always grouped early Super Sentai series in threes since it seems to take that long before any noticeable change occurs. That leaves Ohranger-Carranger-Megaranger grouped together. There is some logic behind grouping those three series together...and it's something I hope to elaborate on in the next post. 

Megaranger turned twenty years old this year, but I feel like I still need to get the necessary *spoiler alert* out of the way just in case. You've been warned, lazy.

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Denji Sentai Megaranger

High School slacker Kenta Date is whisked away by INET executives after mastering the Megaranger arcade game. By coincidence, his friends and classmates from Moroboshi High School's Digiken club are investigating the secretive INET facilities. After sneaking in and running into Kenta, Nejirejia begins their attack forcing Dr. Kubota to give the young, but promising High Schoolers the ability to become Megarangers. From there, the five must balance their secret identities as Megarangers while also dealing with everyday High School life.

...or I can sum up the first episode as "I guess we're Megaranger now LOL". The conflict definitely came later on with couple of "I'm quitting LOL" episodes, but when exactly zero party is jazzed about who is wearing the suit, the only thing you can really think is "Where exactly as they going with this?". The cast is extremely likable however and, given the circumstances, probably were the best people for the job than say...the Jetman characters.

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Kenta / Megared

I kinda have a hard time placing Kenta. Of the core members, he is probably the one I like the most as a Megaranger. Like, he has zero interest in technology outside of playing the latest game at the arcade. That said, he took the whole assignment in stride and it really only took him until the very end to have his major "I quit" moment (if you can look past that time when he accidently punched a child). Really, though, outside of Miku he had the least ambition for the future which made him willing to risk himself (and his team) if he was in a life or death situation.

The only thing that really got me was that he was pretty close in personality to Kyosuke/Red Racer from Carranger. Having two similar Reds back to back was a little risky, but it at least set the wheels in motion for the series. Kyosuke suited Carranger far better than Kenta suited Megaranger.

I like Kenta, I just wish we got to know him better.

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Koichiro / Megablack

The kinda-sorta leader of Megaranger. Koichiro really had a habit of micromanaging and over-analyzing the tiniest of details, which usually backfired given how unpredictable Nejirejia could be at times. This usually put him in self-destruct mode whenever he did make mistakes. Luckily there was usually someone there to talk him down from the ledge--even if they did annoy him by being a little too carefree for his liking.

He is definitely one of the smarter Megarangers, but unlike Shun he relies on careful regiment and lots of studying to excel in school. When Koichiro is in one of his cooler moods, I really dig the guy. It's just a shame his laser focus on school AND being a Megaranger really leaves no room for a personality. We all know or knew someone like Koichiro...so I can't really hold that against the character.

Is it just me, or does Atsushi Ehara have a kinda/sorta/maybe passing resemblance to a Hiroshi Miyauchi? 

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Shun / Megablue

Could this dude have gotten any more head wounds during the series?

I kinda feel bad for Shun. He seems like a guy who, more than anything, has some real problems he probably needs to work out. While it's implied that he's really popular with the girls in school, we never really see him with one or even with a passing interest. Early in the series he is seen to be mourning his dead mother. It's probably more of a coincidence in the writing, but I kinda feel like this is why he was like "That's nice, I quit by the way...have fun being Megarangers". It was never fleshed out, but there is a little bit more to the guy and his hang-ups. I mean, he at least could have played off Miku a little bit.

Shun seems way out of place. Not so much as a Megaranger rather he almost seems like he's gifted but doesn't really apply himself outside of building a future career in computer graphics. He probably belongs in a better high school, but for one reason or another remains in class with his friends. 

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Chisato / Megayellow

Megaranger's dual threat. As she is very bright, she is often seen hanging around Koichiro...but she's also a girl so let's pair her up with Miku. It was a little bit of a curse since she was mostly along so that whoever was being focused on would have someone to talk to. I kinda feel like the whole talent show episode was a little bit of an apology for almost leaving her with nothing of her own outside of an overbearing Grandmother episode and making friends with a child whose Birthday is coming up.

She seemed to be the most reliable out of the Megarangers and the only one who really utilized their personal device feature through the series. I mean, the Digicam Search was a pretty neat feature. I'm not sure why she was Yellow, though. Her color really should have been chameleon based on how she blended in most of the time.

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Miku / Megapink

When a strained face is the result of assembling a thought...we must be talking about Miku.

Like any other Tokusatsu series, the stupidity was only ever played up when it was convenient for the plot. Really, though...is she *that* stupid? I don't think so. She isn't a great student, that's for sure...but who was the one who needed tutoring at the end of the series because they were in danger of not graduating? Kenta. Miku just seems like more of a fun ditz with little self-awareness than anything. She never really came up with any day-saving plans, but she could hold her own enough in a fight.

I kinda feel bad for Miku and her portrayal in Megaranger vs. Carranger. Yeah, she loves food...but if that was your only taste of Megaranger, you'll only know her as "Duuuur CAKE!". Kyosuke on the other hand ordering Katsudon matter-of-factly as if he were in a restaurant was pretty hilarious and expected. At least they made Miku much more fun in Gaoranger vs Super Sentai.

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Dr. Kubota

"Don't do it!!!!" *Does exactly what he said not to do, saves day* "Idiot!!! ......nice job"

Rinse... Lather... Repeat....

Dr. Kubota is the brilliant doctor who runs the Megaranger program within INET. He occasionally has reservations about sending fighters so young against Nejirejia...despite the fact that he planted the recruiting tool in an arcade, but whatever. Despite Kubota's ongoing clashes with the Megarangers and Yuusaku, he never fails to stick up for his team whenever upper management tries to pull the plug or make a drastic change. He also came up with some pretty rad designs and gadgets.

Like every other character, Kubota really doesn't have much to him outside of being into his trumpet, boxing, and his sweet Jaguar. There is only a little bit more to him we learn (see: Dr. Hinelar) but I feel like we really should have learned more...

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Yuusaku / Megasilver

The chief engineer at INET behind the Voyager Machines. I think making the Voyager Machines must have caused the dude to snap at some point. He abruptly showed up and transformed into the unfinished prototype Megasuit, Megasilver.

Leave it to the lone adult member of the team to bring the levity. Yuusaku saved the day a number of times either by sheer skill or through complex strategy. He's an easy-going guy and always itching to get into battle when he isn't either working on Mega Voyager or completing work on the Megasilver suit.

Jukou!

I really like Yuusaku. He's probably the closest any Super Sentai character got to City Hunter's Ryo Saeba. Hell, he even looks like him kinda. The only thing missing is the Mokkori powers...

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Jaden Okoku Nejirejia

Nejirejia are the villains of the show. Their motives are the usual, take over the world to make it their own personal playground. You think their dreams would be a strange digital hellscape...but the budget hit them pretty hard and they just wanted human slaves wearing either red, blue, or yellow jumpsuits.

With a razor-thin motive like that, let's just take a look at the individual players to see why they want to take over the world...

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Dr. Hinelar

The lead scientist of Nejirejia. He was once a colleague of Dr. Kubota known as Dr. Samejima, but after a devastating incident that resulted in the death of his daughter, he snapped and Tron'd himself into Nejirejia. He largely resides in Gran Nejiros during the series, but does make the occasional appearance to either taunt Kubota or see how his terrible plans are going.

In addition to taking over the world, he is also obsessed in proving that he is the better scientist than Kubota. Needless to say, this doesn't really work out...but he does develop some interesting technologies and hurdles for the Megarangers to overcome. By the end of the series, he becomes a full-blown mad scientist. He makes claims of immortality until the very end--even as his body begins to uncontrollably warp as a side effect to being a human in Nejirejia.

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Javious

The mysterious leader of Nejirejia. Seriously, though, don't even mind Javious. He is little more than the nagging force behind Hinelar's actions early on. I mean, he consistently lacked a design. At first he was an eyeball and later he was some pizza boxes stacked together. Someone likely suggested that there has to be something bigger than just Hinelar. 


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The thing burning? It's a Birthday cake...

Shibolena

The android recreation of Samejima's dead daughter. Maybe it isn't cool to lead off Shibolena's description with a major spoiler that wasn't revealed until the last episode, but who didn't see that coming? She eluded to being Hinelar's creation early-on...so nyeh. Also, this is Tokusatsu. Voluntary surgery equals death. Involuntary surgery? Kamen Rider.

Shibolena seems to have much more ground time/interactions early on. She is largely limited most of the series to dispatching the weekly Psycho Nejilars, though. She did have her uses when someone in Nejirejia needed to blend in with humans. She was also a fairly decent fighter on the occasions she did make it into battle.


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Yugande

One of the best designs in Super Sentai.......progressively ruined as the series went along. It's almost comical how many times Yugande was beaten. Let's take a look at all of his incarnations...

Yugande Relive...which isn't bad...

Yugande Strong...you're pushing it now...

Yugande Burning

He was a great fighter and was involved in pretty much all of the memorable battles in the series. He was created by Dr. Hinelar along with Shibolena and acts as more of the muscle/bodyguard.

Seriously, though, that original design is amazing. By the time we got to Burning Yugande...ugh...

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Bibidebi

The growth device of the series. Bibidebi is given an operation that gives him the ability to genetically modify the defeated Psycho Nejilar to become giant. One of the gags that I enjoyed that slowly got abandoned was how the Psycho Nejilar would scream "Waaah!" when Bibidebi bit them to begin the enlarging process.

Of pretty much everyone in Nejirejia, he actually pulled off the only time Nejireija did any permanent damage to the Megarangers. While nobody was looking he dispatched Canary Nejilar, which stole Chisato's voice and forced her to not be able to sing in the talent show. Pretty much every other time in the series the Megarangers were able save the day and continue with their lives unhindered. This was Chisato's last chance at singing in the talent show after being forced to miss it in previous years.

You think it's all going to work out, but it doesn't. Chisato misses her chance and her classmates pretend to be excited to see her show up way after the show. Damn you, Bibidebi!

Oh yeah...and what the hell happened to him anyway? Yugande died in battle, Shibolena died after breaking the news about Yugande to Hinelar, and Bibidebi booked a flight to the Bahamas because he knew shit was not going to last much long with just Hinelar left...

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Kunekune

The series grunts. My second favorite grunt design of the 90s right behind the Dorodoros from Kakuranger.

I have more to say...but I think I'll save that for next time.

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Guirail

"The boss sent me down from corporate to get you slackers in line!"-Every mid-series regular villain ever

Every series has one...few series try to make it interesting. Megaranger isn't one of them. Guirail is sent by Javious to get Hinelar and the others back on track. As with the usual middle-management bad guy he's super strong at first and then gets wiped out like a dozen episodes later.


Amid the turmoil he did do something at least a little bit interesting. He fused with Yugande to become Giga Guirail. Like the snake he is, he abandoned Yugande to get defeated once again by Megaranger. It did set the ball in motion for Hinelar's not giving a single shit about Javious when he Bomber-The-Great'd Guirail into Mad Guirail. Can't say I didn't see that coming.

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Nejiranger

Hinelar eventually finished the work that he initially began as Samejima--to create his own team. This time, however, it was more about being the better scientist than Kubota. At first, the Nejirangers gave the Megarangers a run for their money. Things quickly started to fall apart, however. The Nejiranger were quickly dimishing Javious' power--which is what was giving them life. The Nejirangers themselves almost seemed to mirror the personalities of their corresponding Megaranger. Nejired was impulsive while Nejiblack told him to cool it and wait for further instructions from Hinelar.


They later figured out they were basically on a suicide mission as Hinelar's goal was for the Nejirangers to both kill the Megarangers, Javious, and themselves in one swoop. This would leave Hinelar left at the top of the Nejirejia food chain and ruler of the world with any opposition gone. It wasn't a terrible plan, but the resulting battle only left the Nejirangers and Javious dead with his heart left behind.

This wasn't the complete end of the Nejirangers, though. Oh no. More on that next time...

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I have a lot of plans for the next post. I didn't want to make this a three-parter like I did with Carranger, but I'll be sure to go over everything I didn't get to in this post.

Especially that one critical point.....whether or not I even liked this show upon rewatch...or ever for that matter...

Stay tuned!

-CCLemon99