I'm back for the second part of my three part series on Choriki Sentai Ohranger. As promised, I will be bringing you all three posts on Ohranger during November as opposed to my usual two. In the first part I did a general post on the series and some of the behind-the-scenes stuff and my take on the subtitle controversy with the US DVD set. Part three will be coming on the 21st with several Top 7 lists. Stay tuned!
As I will be talking about all of the characters and in some cases--their fates, you have been warned. This is your spoiler warning for a 21 year old television series. I can't believe I need to write that, but hey...the series finally made it's way to the US, so it's new to some of you out there. I repeat...this is your *Spoiler Warning*.
...or WOW as Kyosuke called it in Carranger vs Ohranger.
The Ohranger team is made up of five selected members of U.A.O.H. When the invasion begins in the first episode only Ohred was ready to fight. The others had only just been given the assignment to become Ohrangers. The team is pitted against Machine Teikoku Baranoia who is now a massive entity created by Bacchushund after he was exiled 600 million years ago. They are powered by the mysterious Choriki, which has been harnessed for use in the defense of Earth by Naoyuki Miura.
There are a few things I like about the cast in general. Unlike a few shows in the past where you can see the enthusiasm dip in one or two members as the series progresses, I feel that everyone involved was enjoying their time or at least taking it very seriously. Sometimes that's all it takes for a show to be enjoyable.
That said, it is best to think of Ohranger as a unit rather than a group of individuals. It makes sense I suppose, since they are military. If you're looking for deep character stories and heroes you can related to on some level, this show might leave you a little hungry. Kakuranger and Dairanger are two great shows for characters while having a similar flavor.
The man! I would say that Goro is easily my favorite Ohranger even if he never quite lived up to his full potential. He had his ultimate glory in the very first episode, but didn't really go on to have many moments in the sun after. That isn't to say he's not a good Red, though. He is the shining opposite of Ryu from Jetman. Thank. God. He has that soft side that every tough guy has (his most prized possession is a letter from his mother...so what if it was used for comedic effect, I thought that was a nice touch).
Masaru Shishido really sold us on Goro. He has the military look and sold his "CHORIKI HENSHIN!" more than anyone every single time. I kinda wish the character was fleshed out a little more, since Shishido had untapped potential. The finale would have been a thousand times stronger if he were the only one who made it to King Pyramider and returned to the planet to overthrow Baranoia single-handedly. I would have absolutely bought it...it would have brought everything full-circle.
I like Shohei enough even if we never learned much about the guy outside of his affinity for boxing and ramen. He seemed like a pretty stand up dude I guess. I'm trying to think of some of his stand-out moments, though I'm drawing a complete blank. Again, the character development was never fleshed out to it's potential in favor of giving Baranoia an absurd amount of screen time. More on that later.
Yuji kinda fell into the trap that most Blues fell into--he was the whiny guy. I mean, he was alright most of the time, but he was always at the center of the rare moments of defiance in the Ohranger team. He was whining that Goro got Red Puncher, which lead to the idiotic Kendama Robot
I really, really want to like Juri...
The same way Seikai and Saizo were interchangeable in Kakuranger, the Ohranger girls feel the same. Whenever they see Baranoia attacking via the monitors at the base, they give the exact same distressed reaction to Miura. Juri definitely had the better moments of the two ladies, even if there were far fewer of them. Even her absolutely absurd fake defection to Baranoia was kinda funny.
Come to think of it, she was always somehow involved in the stranger moments of the series. The Bara Clothes episode (23)? Yep. Bara Tarantula (29) and her involvement with Bara Pinokiller (14) were weird too.
Young CCLemon99 definitely thought she was way cuter than Momo. Full disclosure...
Like I said earlier, there is very little difference between Juri and Momo outside of screen time. While Juri had a lot of the weirder moments, Momo ended up with episodes that were either touching or absolutely cartoonish. You had things like her episode with Johnny (13) and later on the straight-up wackiness of Bara Kakka (24). There was also one other major focus episode of hers...I think I'll talk more about that next time, though.
The most background we got out of any of the Ohrangers was definitely Momo. I guess she was a favorite? I don't know why. Momo never really appealed to me. She was just kinda...meh...and had crazy stories written around her.
Yes. Hell yes. I'm so glad they brought Hiroshi Miyauchi back for this role...
While he spent maybe too much time in the background, Miura was the authoritative voice that the series deserved. I think I give the Ohrangers a little bit too much credit solely because I trust Miura. He had to have a reason to select those five over the scores of faceless people at U.A.O.H., right?
Maybe there was a little too much of him secretly working on new Mecha/Weapons that appear virtually out of nowhere, but when it finally came down to the wire, he joined the fight. He even got a good hit in on Multiwa!
He scored points for being authoritative early on and bonus points for his ass-kicking at the end. Some will say that Miyauchi was kinda wasted on this role, but I think he was perfect. There was just enough of him that he didn't take away from the rest of the cast and was an invaluable member.
Riki is pretty cool. I like that his arrival was the beginning of the reveal of what Choriki really is. Up until that point it was just the mysterious power that kept the U.A.O.H. lights on
Anyway, he was a nice addition to the team but was the beginning of the cast becoming a little bit too crowded.
Of course, Riki did come with a little bit of baggage. Riki may have been a legendary warrior from the past, but his main objective was to be the bodyguard of Dorin. Dorin, as revealed in the final episodes, is the key to Choriki and ultimately giving the planet life. Prior to the reveal of that information, she was just this girl that hung around Riki (though he did say that he only took orders from her).
Oh yeah, and she's part of a clone alien race that created Choriki. The Dorin we know is Earth's Dorin. Kinda takes the piss out of a character dying when shortly after you see a whole planet of them. Like how I snuck that in there at the very last second? The series did just the same.
What an inept tool...
I alluded to my thoughts on Gunmajin in the previous post, but I guess it's finally time to go whole hog. Gunmajin is a largely neutral character that shows up solely to bring any momentum the show has grinding to a halt. Wait, that's not it. He brings nothing but frustration to an already troubled group of heroes. Nope, ummm... Oh yeah! He grants the wish to the holder of his key. That's it! He doesn't seem to have any magical abilities but rather uses muscle to grant wishes. Need him to beat someone up? He can probably do it. Just be as specific as possible as he will not accept any additional conditions once a wish is granted. More often than not he complicates things for Ohranger...even when it's one of them who made the wish.
Probably the most frustrating thing about Gunmajin is that there is virtually no back story to him other than Riki saying he knew of him. What's his deal, anyway? He's obviously linked to Choriki since the big end of his key is the Choriki logo. It's one of the dozens of major plot holes in this series.
If there is anything I like about Gunmajin it's that he's voice by Ryo Saeba himself...Akira Kamiya!
Machine Teikoku Baranoia
Baranoia is the race of machines created by Bacchushund after he was forcefully removed from Earth 600 million years ago. His mission is the same as it was when he left--for the machines to rise and take over the planet. In the time he was away he had created himself a wife, son, servant, and empire. Little is known about the destruction during his time in space other than Hysteria having family elsewhere and Bomber The Great attempting to take the throne before being exhiled himself.
If there is one thing that can be said about Baranoia it's that we see them way too much in this series. I don't really mind them too much, but they monopolize a little bit too much time. Maybe we could have done without a lot of the banter. There is a little bit too much comedic relief from all characters when having just Acha & Kocha handle it would have been just fine thanks.
For the most part I really dig the voice acting for the main players in Baranoia. Bacchushund in particular has the voice of legendary Tokusatsu narrator Toru Ohira. He does anger very well. They're definitely a much better sounding bunch than they are to look at.
There are a few reasons to like Bacchushund. For one, he seems to be the most hellbent on conquering the Earth out of any of the Baranoia clowns. His demanding perfectionism is kinda questionable seeing as he thwarted by Ohranger pretty easily for most of his presence in the series. This is addressed when he puts his money where his mouth is an declares that he is launching his final assault on Ohranger in episode 33. After failing, he takes on Ohranger himself in 34 and is the first to fight and be defeated by Ohblocker. His later appearance as just a head in space is...just one of those plotholes I can't wrap my brain around. How? What?? Why?!
She is largely useless until Bacchushund's demise. She didn't have that big of a reaction to her husband's death, but she slowly came into her own once Bomber The Great started to really get to her. After Buldont's death and rebirth, she was entirely defeated. She went from the cold queen to the tired grandmother who lived in the spare room. Her demise is pretty sad come to think of it. She was the unfortunate one to witness the rise and fall and rise again all while being left in the dust. It's rare to see someone so thoroughly defeated in a Tokusatsu series.
He pulled off the bratty prince well. Whenever you wanted to smack him in the head someone usually did it for you. His plans tended to be half-baked leading to any minor victories on his behalf being accidental almost.
I honestly didn't mind him as much as most people seemed to.
The very first interaction we have with Baranoia in this series is through Acha's announcement that Baranoia was seizing the planet in the first episode. From the very beginning you can tell these two were the biggest pair of ass kissers in the known universe and beyond. As the series progresses their allegiance changes. Bacchushund, then Bomber The Great, then Kaiser Buldont, then they head off to adventure with Gunmajin.
That said, I think they're a pretty good pair for comedic relief. Like I was saying, it should have been limited to them. Too lovable to kill off, I suppose.
Bomber The Great
A very, very annoying character that, begrudgingly, made me laugh quite a few times. When he first arrived to take over the Baranoia throne he grabbed Buldont, strapped him to a rocket, and fired him at Earth. That.....was hilarious. When he did it a second time after murdering him, maybe it wasn't as fun (especially since a very much alive Hysteria was holding her severed son's head). Every time he arrived somewhere he exploded...even at the Baranoia base. Again, pretty funny.
Overall, he was pretty damn annoying but I admire the levity they tried to shoehorn onto his character. Hahaa.
This is where the series hits a wall with me. While the struggle with Baranoia was a refreshing change of pace, I really hate where it all ended up. Bacchushund and Hysteria's final act to ensure the survival of Baranoia was for him to use his remaining life force to revive and power-up Buldont and for her to summon her niece Multiwa to accompany Buldont. So yeah, Kaiser Buldont marries his cousin...who received a massive power-up from his own mother. Not weird at all.
Remember how I didn't mind the little brat version of Buldont? The poncy adult version is a hundred times more annoying in my opinion. After dealing with Ohranger for as long as he did, how can he still not understand the basics on how humans work? Remember I mentioned Goro's prized possession being a (very, very) long note from his mother? That all stemmed from his plan to use Multiwa to hypnotize the Ohranger guys into handing Ohblocker over to her. ......what?? This was *after* several plots in the series along the lines of forcing humans to worship their otherwise mundane machines. He knew that people take machines for granted (and were more interested in golden dogs), so why would Ohranger be any different?
Kaiser Buldont and Multiwa are such an irritating couple. Isn't it funny how Grifforzer and Lamy seem like a great match? Hahaa.
That's all for the characters of Ohranger. I didn't really feel the need to talk about regulars like Mikio since, well, who cares? I will be back soon to finish the series off with some Top 7 lists and maybe a few bonus bits.
See You Again!
Choriki Henshin! ~Ohranger Part 1 of 3~
Episode 32 and Triple Top Seven ~Ohranger Part 3 of 3~