Sunday, February 20, 2011

Best Super Sentai of the 2000s

Let’s have some fun to do a super sentai best list ....again. There is of course subjectivity in the list since I can’t remember all detail of super sentai series I've watched. Which is why I just list all the 2000s era Super Sentai. I base the list mostly on character casting, since this is what actually we enjoyed in the series, and second point is the storyline. And again, the term "best" here is just for provocative purposes since actually it is mean as "my favorite" ;P 
1.       Boukenger 2006:
Using a very suitable motif for super sentai, the Adventure theme. The storyline decorate with many past stories, revealed one by one thru the series, such as Natsuki’s story. The characterization went superb with all the cast looks very charming in their respective role. The female are lovable (Haruka Suenaga!). Theme song and costume design is great. The villains also done in creative way with three-side organization design.

2.       Dekaranger 2005:
Dekaranger is a little anomaly in super sentai. It is mostly come with mature storyline with Space Police theme. The motif is simple and repetitive (taken from Timeranger and even copy from Metal Series motif), but its main strength is in their one-shot episode. Every episode written in creative storyline and it is enjoyable for mature audience because of how excellent it is. Characterization is the strongest in super sentai with all characters get their unique-ness, Banban is hyper sanguine police, Hyoga is Choleric and competitive, Shen-chan is their brain and thinker, Jasmine is an Esper and Umeko is the team’s kawaii member. The series also dare in exposing mature romance. Having best sixth and seventh (and more) member . The villain design also unique for it is almost a non-organization,unpredicatable enemy until the very end.

3.       Magiranger 2005:
Magiranger strength is in their storyline. It is written in a concept of continuously story right from beginning. The character’s casting is a bit weak, it was take time for me to accustomed with all male actors (and it was even hard after you just watched Dekaranger), and the females are look too look-alike (well, they supposed to be... sister). The villain put it the anti-villain theme with Wolzard. The series use harry potter-like magic motif that will very unlikely to be repeated again.

4.       Shinkenger 2009:
 Because there already two Ninja motif in Super sentai, Shinkenger using a variant of it, a Samurai motif. The storyline is also interesting and arguably super sentai's most intrique storyline ever. But this did not make me higher this series as the top three, as I more into light but interesting episodes rather than a chain of heavily written episodes. Character casting is in good chemistry as a team, with Red character back to melancholy-type ala Boukenger (which I prefer more). Females cast is loveable beauty vs kawaii combo. For its lack of “wildness” Shinkenger add in Genta/Shinken Gold to lighten up a bit. This is also the first series introduce pure female Red ranger.

5.       Timeranger 2000:
I remembered little about this series but what I love is the idea of its motif, time travel police. Celebrating the conversion from 19xx to 20xx it is the best time to use this motif. Character are still quite carry on from “classic” sentai, where their acting are  very “Japanese” (screaming and emotional expression most of time, compare to Dekaranger's "cool" acting).

6.       Hurricanger 2002:
I love this series mostly for their home base setting, which is very Japanese and contradict with the Super Sentai that suppose to be high tech environment. Their three piece member are use to maximum for providing enough storyline. Additional two Goraiger and Shurikenger is interesting motif. Have two loveable female villain, maybe to compensated the lack of female casting in their core team. And some of episodes are really humorous.

7.       Abaranger 2003:
Reproduction of Dinosaur motif after Zyuranger, improved and the dino theme fit in nicely to their costume, some of the best super sentai costume, imho. Again it is a three piece but since Hurricanger already a three piece sentai, Abaranger is suffered for I-want-more at the time of release. The characterization is great but I found it’s less develop and the story quickly turn to Asuka. The first episodes is great in storyline, and maybe the only super sentai that featured "mis-recruit" ranger in first episode where a grandpa and hyper active girl being given Abaranger changer.

8.       Go-onger 2008:
Actually a loveable light theme sentai, and actually I enjoy most of their episodes. The episodes are consistent from beginning even after the arrival of Go-on Wings, making you can expected from what you want to watch in random pick. Characterization is okay, all male actors are fit in their rule and the Saki / Rina Aizawa just excellent.

9.       Gekiranger 2007:
A Chinese martial art motif. The storyline cannot be taken lightly and actually a very promising one. This is because the present of Rio as anti-villain / anti-heroes is a promising script. What make me avoid this series is the weak character casting, Geki-red is too wild most of time while Geki-blue is too cool. Only after the arrival of rest of two Gekis that the series become “eye-friendly”.

10.   Gaoranger 2001:
Gaoranger is the series quite below average of the rest 2000s sentai. It is somehow too dark and too serious where you feel a depressed rangers most of time. Even the movie Hurri vs Gao was premised with the Gaos being captured and tortured. The animal theme is okay, but then overly done with too many mechas tranformations.  Character casting also take time to get familiar with, since their acting still following classic Japanese style. Opening song is also too experimental and side away from Super Sentai standard. Their body outfit costume are not match with their excellent helmet design. Luckily the series has a Super Sentai vs movie, which bring in more interesting theme and memorable battle.

So far Goseiger is still developing in my watching. The first episodes are not that deep in storyline, but the casting and costume is all ok to me. Gokaiger, is even promising as the moment of writing and I super like the character casting so far.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, interesting. Personally I would rank Hurricanger, Go-Onger, and even Gekiranger a little bit higher and Magiranger somewhat lower. Still, this was good and insightful.


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