Wins, Opportunites, & Top Seven Episodes! Seijuu Sentai Gingaman Part 2 of 2

It's time for Part 2 of my look at Seijuu Sentai Gingaman! The enormous Part 1 is a focus on the never-ending cast of characters that this series had, so be sure to check that out. This time around I will be talking about some random bulletpoints that I noted as I watched the series twice to prepare for this post. Yeah, Gingaman isn't really my first choice of Sentai series to watch. I never really got into it in the past, so I really had to go through and watch it carefully to make sure I was doing it right.

As the title says, I'll be listing my Wins, Opportunities, and Top Seven Episodes just as I did last year with Megaranger. While Part 1 was more of a basic overview, this is where the opinions come out. I'll be sure to save the final verdict for the end, but the Wins and Opps may be a little divisive.


Gingaman WINS

WIN: Music/BGM

I've sung the praises of Toshihiko Sahashi in the past, but the music in Gingaman is his absolute peak. Prior to this he had done the awesome soundtracks to Ultraman Powered and Gekisou Sentai Carranger. While virtually interchangeable, those soundtracks had a unique new sound that really fit whatever mood the script called for.

I won't say that the music saved the show, but it certainly elevated the mystique of the show. There is a small patch of woods next to my house that could double for the Ginga Forest. Really...the place that was so incredible wasn't more than a small patch of trees. The music really painted in a lot of the flat spots left in from the rest of production. That haunting piece with vocals by EVE? Awesome. The Ginga Tensei theme? It hid the fact that the sequence was like twelve minutes long. Any of the mecha music? Incredible.

I can't even say that the music in this series is underrated as it is a big favorite among fans. It was just refreshing to hear after the disappointing-for-all-the-wrong-reasons Megaranger music. That was a case of the better music never being used while the weakass stuff flooded the series.

WIN: Designs

I like the Gingaman suits. The weapons are all great. The main villains all look cool. The only thing I think could have been improved upon was some kind of small variation to the Kuro Kishi suit once Hyuuga was given the Bull Riot. I understand why they didn't change it (the nineteen minute long Go Taurus combination would have had to have been changed).

WIN: Henshin Effects

I love the Henshin effect shots in this series. From the main Gingaman to Hyuuga as Kuro Kishi. Hell, even the Go Taurus combination was cool. Not all effects were good in this series, but I am willing to concede that there were some good looking effects for each of the Gingaman henshin sequences. Were they used for runtime padding? Yep. Far too often? You bet. Hahaa.

WIN: Cinematography & Locations

Another well-shot series. It was a continued improvement over Megaranger, which was also nicely done. As the Ginga Forest was dispatched early on, the series was forced to take place in the real world. None of the action takes place at the horse ranch which lead to some more urban battles. I like that. I don't think the quarry even made an appearance until the final episode during the fight against Zahab. 

WIN: Villain Pacing & Details

I mentioned in the last post that Balban consisted of a small band of main villains with one of four generals being the one carrying out the attacks. Once one general failed, a new one was introduced. Rather than having some stupid way of introducing new generals to the show...why not have them from the start? All four generals appeared in the first episode. I like this kind of forward thinking even if it's a little less practical than real life. I can't imagine being at my job and having three others waiting patiently for me to fail before taking my place.

The details between the generals were pretty cool too. Sambash was more reckless and therefore got a less patient Zahab. The cool Budoh only drew minor irritation from Zahab and was completely unflustered by threats at his lack of results. Iliess was the obnoxious relative who was driven by greed and then there was Batobas...who really should have just been one of the main villains from the start. All of them had their own Majin with little personalized touches...including different casks for their Barba-X.

WIN: Skipped Tropes

Things you may predict will happen, never seem to come up. Barban never goes after Moak. Barban never really goes after Yuuta. The Saya themed episodes are all incredibly softball (actually...that was kind of a bummer. Remember how awesome it was in Dairanger when Rin walks up to Gara and grabs her by the collar?). That isn't to say that this series is full of unpredictability, it just left a lot of tired tried and true tropes on the table.



OPP: Episode Pacing

I don't think the five extra minutes bestowed upon the franchise were ever used to it's advantage. Gingaman's method to combat the extra time was to draw things out...as......long.........as...............they..........................could. Gingaioh's combination? Forty two seconds. Go Taurus? Forty seconds flat. There was a slightly abbreviated version for each, but it really felt like they used the full combination sequence often. Once Giga Rhinos and Giga Phoenix were introduced, they never just showed up combined. They needed their full combinations as well. It wasn't limited to mecha, either. The Ginga Tensei and poses just went on forever. Sure they looked cool and were easily the best effects in the series, but they really did give me plenty of time to check Twitter while revisiting the show in 2018.

OPP: Mecha

*sigh* I know I'm going to hear it for this one. Take this one as a soft OPP.

Outside of Bull Taurus/Go Taurus, I'm really not a fan of the mecha in this show. I *do* like that there wasn't a super-clusterfuck mecha, and I do like how the Seijuu had different forms until they abandoned that idea once Bull Taurus showed up, but not much else. Gingaioh is.....alright. Giga Bitus, Phoenix, and Rhinos are clearly rejected Megaranger designs that were too valuable to throw away. They designed some vaguely animal themed helmets to slap on them and viola! Giga Bitus never really did anything outside of dispatching Rhinos and Phoenix either. Meh.

OPP: Non-Henshin Effects

There are some awful, awful effect shots in the series. Remember how the Gingaioh transformation effect was unfinished for a few episodes? How about that baffling effect where the sword transformed into the Galcon Bowgun? Bad effect aside, this made ZERO SENSE. Why did the sword need to transform into a mecha that was already present on Gingaioh's back?? Considering how the effect disappeared from the series and the Bowgun was dropped altogether, I can't be alone in thinking that effects for the sake of effects is a stupid way to go about things.

OPP: Endless Power???

While there were some truly dire situations in the series, Gingaman always made it through in much better shape than they should have. More than once Ryoma was beaten to a pulp and he *still* managed to muster the strength to carry on and win. Zahab was the invincible one...and who were the ones still standing at the end? Yeah...

OPP: Ginga Forest & The Gingaman Legend

I've mentioned it before...the Ginga Forest is the single most unremarkable thing about the series. We get it...they like *their* trees more than they like ours. The altar in the first episode is the closest we got to seeing any kind of shelter/structure in the forest. I imagine that there was some kind of CG establishing shot that was so lousy that they couldn't be bothered to use it.

This kinda ties into the flimsy Gingaman Legend. Ummm...so the ancestors just sealed Barban? Granted, they didn't have Buccrates to spill the beans on how to kill Zahab. In those three thousand years, did their ancestors teach the Kakuranger episodes how to seal the Yokai? The whole thing is whack. Now that Barban is gone, I imagine that the Gingaman ceremony carries on through the new generations. Surely the 134th Gingaman ceremony is happening now. Did any of the 133rd Gingaman show up the way their parents did...not...? Bah.

OPP: Barban's Motivations

This is a big one, but I absolutely hate how lousy the Daitanix plot is. "We need our ship back if we're gonna be pirates. Let's spend the better part of 40+ episodes making that happen only to have it immediately get wiped out". Yeah... I liked Barban as villains, but whenever they talked about the Daitanix or what they were doing to raise it, I kinda checked out. Carranger did it way better only two years earlier...and they were making fun of the exact trope that Gingaman eventually ended up doing. Megaranger at least avoided this by having a villain who was more interested in reducing humanity to ones and zeroes.

Daitanix was stupid. What it eventually lead to was also pretty stupid.


Top Seven Gingaman Episodes

07. Densetsu no yaiba & Seijuu no sairai (01 & 02)

I can't deny that this is a solid set of debut episodes. I did air my grievances about the things I didn't like already, but I really enjoyed the dynamic of Gingaman's first encounter with Barban. From the lowest of lows to... even lower lows than that. Gingaman has a lot to accomplish over the year to restore everything that they once had. It's all tied up pretty neatly.


06. Hitori no tatakai (20)

Ryoma has a horseback battle on Red Spark against Hyodogasa. Need I say more?

Oh...there is also some more drama with Kuro Kishi. Speaking of.....


05. Nazo no Kuro Kishi & Fukushuu no Kishi (18 & 19)

These were the debut episodes for Kuro Kishi. At first, he seemed to help Gingaman out in their fight against Barban. In the next episode it became clear that he wouldn't hesitate to harm Gingaman, or any human for that matter, if they got in his way during his revenge. While it wasn't the most inventive plot, bringing Kuro Kishi in as an unknown certainly shook things up a little bit. We even got a sweet new mecha out of the deal.

Oh, and the Kuro Kishi suit looked awesome during his debut. I suspect that it was a high maintenance costume as it just looked tired toward the end of the series.


04. Kyofu no shakkuri (15)

This was a rare silly episode of the series that actually landed the punch.

Hikaru feigns sick to get out of helping Haruhiko and Yuuta move. Ryoma takes charge in working to get Hikaru mended from his fictitious fever. They bump into a scientist who had discovered a three-thousand year old un-detonated Barban bomb. In the mix-up, Ryoma ends up feeding the bomb to Hikaru instead of medicine. Moak informs them that the bomb will explode once Hikaru hiccups one hundred times. Meanwhile, the other three get locked inside a room with the key falling into a box of several hundred other keys. They're forced to wait it out as Haruhiko tries every key with the very last one being the winner. He opens the door to find...

I genuinely enjoyed this one. Between Ryoma almost uncharacteristically taking tedious count on how many times Hikaru hiccups by writing on his hand and the tense time limit, this was a fast paced winner.


03. Budoh no shuunen (24)

The final episode for Budoh. He was betrayed by Iliess despite having a winner of a plan (well...not really since the Hikari no Ginga chose Gingaman anyway) and exiled by Barban. Budoh and his final two Majin, Yamamaru and Onimaru, head into battle one last time.

Budoh was a class act until the very end. Really, his arc couldn't have ended with a better episode.


02. Gouki no sentaku & Chikyuu no Majuu (35 & 44)

Plot-wise, these are two completely unrelated episodes...but they share one common thread: Yuji Kishi's excellent guest starring role as Shunsuke Kishimoto.

In Gouki no sentaku, Gouki finds himself in sudden competition for the affection of Yuuta's teacher, Suzuko. Kishimoto makes an ass of himself in only a way that Yuji Kishi can pull off. He tries to slime his way in by saying that Suzuko would be in danger if he hung around Gouki. In the end, Suzuko chooses Gouki.

At the end of the episode, the rest of the team finally encounter Kishimoto and are like "wtf is this guy?"

In Chikyuu no Majuu, Kishimoto returns...this time seeking to become Gouki's apprentice. As they walk the streets, Gouki handles minor interactions and situations smoothly while Kishimoto overreacts to everything, completely missing the point.

While witnessing Gouki put his life on the line to save a young girl's doll, Kishimoto finally learns what Gouki is all about. In the end, he helped an injured Gouki hold his Jugekibo to make a critical shot on the Majin of the week, Dangs.

As I mentioned in the previous post, Yuji Kishi returned basically to play Kyosuke again for a couple of episodes. Two episodes were the perfect amount as he didn't overstay his welcome in the slightest. Even if you don't plan on digging into Gingaman, these two episodes are a must for any Carranger fan.


01. Honoo no Kyodai (26)

After Hyuuga had finally been freed from Kuro Kishi's captivity in the previous episode, there was reason to celebrate at the Gingaman HQ. There was a slight worry in the air, however. Since Hyuuga was the rightful owner of the Gingared Seijuuken, who would take on the mantle as the 133rd Gingared? After the rest of the team is captured, Hyuuga and Ryoma carry out a rescue mission in the Abandoned Warehouse District™. Hyuuga uses the Seijuuken once and then tells Ryoma that it was the final time he would use the weapon. He then formally presents the Seijuuken to Ryoma and tells him that he is the true 133rd Gingared.

For his trouble, Hyuuga is presented with the Bull Riot from the spirit of Kuro Kishi to become Kuro Kishi Hyuuga.

It took half the series, but Ryoma had finally been given some legitimacy to his title of Gingared. It was a great moment as well. I really enjoyed the back and forth between Hyuuga and Ryoma during the series...it's a damn shame that Buccrates had to swoop in and basically ruin Hyuuga. On the other hand, Ryoma had definitely developed into the leader he needed to be at the end of the series...but it all kinda started here. Great episode.  


I guess this is the part where I talk about the series overall. I think the best way to describe Gingaman is this... It's almost like a greatest hits of 1990s Super Sentai. Sasuke from Kakuranger was a cool character, let's bring him back. We also liked Burai from Zyuranger being the older brother of the red one, why don't we also do that as well? Kyosuke from Carranger was the greatest wasn't he? Well, we can't bring him back, but let's see if Yuji Kishi wouldn't mind playing a similar character for a couple of episodes. Speaking of Carranger...the music was great, so how about more of that? The only thing that they *didn't* do was force Shelinda into a crush on Hayate (mercifully).

I think that would be a fair assessment of the series. Intentional or not, it did take a lot of the better elements from previous series of the decade and tied them into a series with a razor thin plot. When people say that the series is a better/worse Zyuranger...I'm kinda puzzled. Gingaman doesn't really share much in common with Zyuranger outside of having the same color suits and the sixth being the long-lost brother of Red.

The real Zyu2?!? Nah. Also, I think Ogawa is having serious nostalgia in this shot for all the Kakuranger fights that took place here.

I think the cast is fairly likeable outside of the general whininess from Hikaru and the crocodile tears from Gouki. Despite Gouki being the baby he is, the heavy emotional stuff was left to Hayate (fiance stuck in Ginga Forest), Hikaru (dead mother mentioned once), and the On/Off/On Ryoma & Hyuuga drama. They were a decent bunch to spend the year with. As weak as their plans were, I'll say that Balban was a fun bunch as well.

The biggest thing this series was lacking was memorable episodes. I had such a hard time thinking up the episodes I liked the best. There weren't even that many big moments that were really entertaining. The series just kinda...progressed. It progressed at such a normal pace that it really it wouldn't get ticketed in the strictest of speed traps. It started, stuff happened, the end.

That isn't to say I don't like the show. I actually found myself enjoying it way more this time than I have in the past. It's a great show that does a lot of things right. The lack of the 'secret identity' aspect certainly remedied some of the weak action from Carranger and Megaranger. The key word is 'remedied', not 'cured'. Some of the action beats could have been better, but once the effects budget dried up after like the fourth episode, things improved.

I certainly would recommend the series if you haven't seen it already. It's pace is as chill as it's characters and it delivers a solid story on top of a largely basic plot. Check it out if you haven't already!


That's it for my write-up on Seijuu Sentai Gingaman. I hope you enjoyed this series and it's write-up. With the release of Jetman right around the corner as of this writing, how about checking out Part 1 and Part 2 of my write-up of that. Will there be a Part 3? Perhaps in time... For now, keep an eye out for Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGo Five.


Ginga Tensei! Seijuu Sentai Gingaman Part 1 of 2
Super Sentai Series Reviews
Top Seven Lists


  1. Once again, a great write-up. I enjoyed reading it even if...I somewhat disagreed with spots. *ducks* (I hate that hiccup episode! I just gotta say that.) You were actually kinder than I thought you'd be from how you've talked about Gingaman previously.

    Gingaman's a weird one for me. I really didn't like it when it was newer, but I eventually grew to appreciate it. And even though I do like it now, I find that the show is difficult to retain. I enjoy it enough when I watch it -- though I get really bored during most of the Bull Black arc -- but it leaves my memory pretty quickly afterward. When I rewatched it when the Shout! DVD came out, I was like "Hey! I can participate when CCLemon does his review! There's someone blogging an episode by episode review, I can keep up with their posts and chime in!" But then the show and what I wanted to say about it vanishes from my memory.

    It's kind of ironic that Gingaman, first and foremost, wants to be this big, action-adventure fantasy, but in terms of story and character, it's really rather simple and small scale. But the production really tries its damnedest to make everything feel as epic and important as they want it to be, from the music to the setting to the filming style. Even that dumb hiccup episode tries to have a sense of scope. I think this is where the Zyuranger comparison comes in, in that THAT show wanted to be a big storybook fantasy, but didn't really have the money or dedication to pull it off.

    You make an interesting point about it being a '90s Greatest Hits. I also thought it always wanted to be a retro throwback -- there's a lot of old-timey seiyuus used and filming or design styles to the show. I think those never-ending henshin segments are a nod to the overly long and narrated segments of the past -- not done to a ridiculous degree as those shows (or Dekaranger's homage) would end up doing. A retro throwback, and at the same time a remix of the latest decade's run of shows should have made for an inconsistent mess, but Gingaman manages to make it work surprisingly well.

    The worst that can be said about Gingaman, probably, is that it just kind of plays it safe. And that makes sense to me, since it was the first one to air fully in the new time slot. It just wanted to be big and fun and appealing to kids, but was made well enough to still be enjoyed by older folks. Toei's current Sentai staff might need to rewatch it.

    1. Thanks man!

      The one thing I didn't mention in my write-up of the hiccup episode is that it kiiiiinda touched on something that I wish the series did more of. It was mentioned that Ryoma, Hayate, and Gouki were all babysitters for Hikaru and Saya. When you factor in Hikaru being an orphan (?) Ryoma likely got into some kind of headspace where he needed to look after Hikaru again even if he was like 17 at this point. You know me...I always claw at little shreds of character depth when there is none.

      The lack of memorable scenes and events really forced me to watch the show twice. The first time I watched it straight and just...got nothing out of it. The second time I watched for all of the lovely captures in these posts and really nothing stood out. Going into GoGo Five again this weekend, there is way more that I remember about that series, so I think one viewing should suffice.

      I liked the Kuro Kishi stuff for a few reasons. It was short at sevenish episodes, it made sense that Barban had some kind of resistance on other planets, it brought in some excitement, and it at least brought Hyuuga back into the fold in not-the-worst kind of way. Was it an absurd coincidence that Hyuuga fell into the EXACT spot (let's call it...hmmm...The Plot Hole?) that Kuro Kishi was somehow in despite him being in the Ginga Forest? YES. Meh, so what? I still dug it.

      The only time I ever paid attention to the narration was when it was done in English during the clip show's intro. Wow was that weird.......

    2. It was a little silly to get the same narration every episode in that what, do they think we've never seen a monster grow in a Super Sentai before? Although, monster growth narration may have been worse in Gogofive for covering up Pierre's chanting.

      You mentioned skipped tropes; I felt as though the overall plot progression borrowed some tropes from Sailor Moon, which had just wrapped up the year before, so it feels especially sad that this series goes back to just one girl on the team already.

    3. I think it was Stan Lee that said that every comic book is a child's first. Maybe the narration isn't unwarranted...I just kinda tuned it out since it was never overbearing.

      Yeah, the generals having rotating arcs is similar I guess.