2021/06/30

A Huge Discovery in Time for 25 Years of Gekisou Sentai Carranger!

Earlier in the year I mentioned in my posts regarding the anniversary years of Ultraman/Kamen Rider and Super Sentai that 2021 is something of a huge party. The biggest thing for me to celebrate is the 25th Anniversary of Gekisou Sentai Carranger! I can understand if someone isn't a fan of my favorite Super Sentai, Kakuranger, but if anyone speaks ill of my precious Carranger...words will be had. 

OK, maybe not. 

I can say for certainty that Carranger is undeniably one of the most detailed and well-produced entries in the Super Sentai catalog. I wrote a three-part series of posts re-examining the series back when Shout! Factory released the DVD set in 2017. Here it is if you want to catch up...


Gekisou! Accel Changer! Carranger Part 1 of 3

Pegasus & Uchuu Bosozoku Bowzock ~Carranger Part 2 of 3~

Triple Top 7! ~Carranger Part 3 of 3~

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I like to post random gems as I revisit my massive book collection. I kinda enjoy more obscure books, but I recently decided to look for a couple of year books. These tend to be *very* expensive (Good luck finding an undamaged copy of Zyuranger's book sub-$80) and are only...adequate. They are good, don't get me wrong, but I wish that they were like twice as big with more uninterrupted photos. They're fine, but I like the more obscure stuff.

Since I love Carranger so much, I made that one a top priority for my bookshelf. When I finally looked through it, my detailed eye spotted something that sent me to ebay...IMMEDIATELY.

Are you ready?

In one of the pages showing off the Carranger gear, we get out *only* still shot of keychains that we see hanging from the Carranger's Accel Key component of their Henshin Item, the Accel Changer. Being a huge fan of all-things with four wheels, I honed in on Kyosuke's key in particular. His individual keychain is that of the quintessential lightweight British roadster, the Austin-Healey Sprite!

The book kinda goofs by calling it a "Supercar". While it is a super car, it certainly is no Supercar. The Sprite was manufactured from 1958-1971 as a lightweight, no-frills motoring experience. It's a tiny car...no lie, it's sister car is the MG Midget. Early cars put out 46 horsepower while the latest cars topped out at 65hp. 

This is weirdly a perfect choice of car to represent Kyosuke and his love of "open car" driving. The gang at Pegasus dreamt of (and eventually succeeded in) building their own car, which was a thinly veiled Lotus Elise (lightweight, British sportscar...and very new at the time of airing). Throughout the series there was a rotating cast of British sportscars in the background of Pegasus. It's pretty clear that they filmed in an active auto shop during off-hours since wrangling foreign cars weekly for set dressing would have minimal payoff.

The genuine love of cars the series conveyed is something that I deeply appreciated...and something that I think went largely unnoticed. It goes from the cars seen and driven in the series to the keychain in Kyosuke's pocket.

Once I did make the sighting I went right over to ebay and looked up Austin-Healey Sprite keychains. There were several varieties...some were missing the "SPRITE" text underneath the seal, some were formatted different. I found one seller that had a near-exact copy of the keychain shown in the book.

So I bought one.

Just kidding, I bought several.


That's not even all of them. The seller was likely SO confused...

Let's not ignore the fact that the Sprite is a rad little car. It lost it's cute face as time went on, but it offers the kinda of stripped down driving that interests me more than high-horsepower madness. It's easy to make power...it's a challenge to actually use it.

To finally see Kyosuke's key in detail was like finding a lost birthday card with a crisp $20 note in it. It's been around this entire time, but it feels so much sweeter now than it would have been if it was something I noticed in 1996.

Anyway, I hope this little discovery inspires some of you to check out the wheels in the background when you view the series again. They're pretty special when you consider your average Kei car in Japan looks like a washing machine with wheels.

Kurukuru Kurumagic! Happy 25th Anniversary to Caaaaaa~ranger!

-CC


Previously.....


1 comment:

  1. i bought accel changer too recently, was looking for this keychain... can you put the link to it? would be a great help, thanks

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