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Posts Tagged ‘Choujin Sentai Jetman’

The Jetman (untransformed) and their chief.

Part one covered character relationships and the drama of the Jetman series.  To read that go here: Choujin Sentai Jetman Review pt. 1

 

This part mostly focuses on the story, it’s issues, and questions that the series leaves unanswered.  I’ll get a bit into characters here however it’ll be about how the characters relate to the story and if they are necessary or not.

 

Firstly, the pacing of the story is a bit awkward.  The first episode was extremely quick paced.  There’s very little build up to the introduction of the Jetman.  One moment Ryu and Rie are saving someone.  The next they’re being recruited to become Jetman.  And the next they’re attacked by the Vyram and Rie “dies”.  The Vyram attack comes out of nowhere.  It takes a while to even understand why the Vyram are there and why they’re trying to destroy humanity.  Eventually you figure out that they view humans as an inferior and unintelligent species and they take it upon themselves to exact some form of “divine justice” on humanity.

 

Aside from that bit, there are many points where characters are introduced that have very little to do with the plot.  The ones that come to mind are the 3 different groups of alternate or replacement rangers that come:

 

  • First the Back Dimension Warriors, Ray, Kanna, and Dan.  They’re rangers from an alternate dimension that the Vyram also attacked and destroyed.  They come to the Earth to battle the Vyram with the technology they created (their own special suits and their mech called Jet Garuda).  We only see one of them when they’re transformed and all of them die as quickly as they’re introduced.  The only reason they were necessary was to introduce the Jet Garuda to the team.  Unfortunately this could have been done without bringing in extra characters.  Many of the inventions the Jetman use were created and/or by their chief and/or the Sky Force (for example, the Tetra Boy).  Why couldn’t they work to create the Jet Garuda?
  • Second are Lou and Duran.  As useless as the Back Dimension Warriors were, Lou and Duran served absolutely no purpose.  They were a couple from another alternate world conquered by the Vyram.  Lou sought revenge on the Vyram for destroying her home, despite being warned not to seek revenge.  Their relationship is supposed to mirror the one that Ryu and Rie had so their sole purpose was to ram into our heads yet again this relationship that Ryu had and was still seeking.  Their introduction added nothing new to the series.
  • Third are the replacement rangers, the Neo Jetman.  Out of nowhere, we’re told that there was an alternate Jetman program going on using trained soldiers instead of civilians.  When the Jetman lose their powers, the Neo Jetman take their place for an episode.  Until it’s revealed to them that their chief’s sole goal was to take control of their base and keep it for revenge, the Neo Jetman keep fighting for him even though they know that he views them as dispensable objects.  While they served a purpose (they were introduced to give the regular Jetman back their powers), this is another situation that could’ve been solved by them creating new technology.  You’d think that there would’ve have been another birdonic wave machine would have been created in case of an emergency, but I guess not.

 

On top of this, the series presents us with a lot of information (both important and trivial) that has no answer:

 

  • What was the purpose of Radiguet brainwashing Rie?  We know that the Vyram hate humans.  And Rie is human.  While he finds out later on that Rie was Ryu/Red Hawk’s girlfriend, he did not have this information from the start.  It makes sense that he would want to keep her away from Ryu when he knows what Rie means to him.  That way Radiguet has some form of leverage over Ryu.  But in the beginning it would’ve made more sense for him to have killed her or just left her to die.
  • Why did a robot like Grey have human emotions?  Out of all the Vyram, he had the most heart.  He knew what it felt like to love.  He was the most human of all of them, yet he was a robot.
  • What happened to that girl Radiguet met when he became human?  This is another story point that was extremely confusing.  As punishment Radiguet was sent to live amongst humans.  But once regaining the memory of who he really was, he changed back into himself.  Was this plot point just more padding?  It honestly could’ve made for a very good twist.  Radiguet could’ve taken the memory of what it as like to be and feel human and this could’ve changed him for the better.  But all it did was show the blatant hypocrisy of the Vyram.  They call humans fools for not learning and advancing themselves, yet the Vyram do the exact same.  There was no need for this scene.  If Radiguet was going to remain a twisted individual until the end, this plot point added nothing to the story.  Furthermore, what did he actually do to the woman?  Did he kill her?  Injure her?  Use her as a tool for the Vyram?  Why end the episode with such uncertainty?  The sad thing is this episode had potential to be very interesting.  This Vyram elite has become human and doesn’t remember his previous life as a Vyram.  He’s behaving as a typical human would and he’s even having fun and getting along with other humans.  This concept should have been pushed a little further than it was.
  • What happened to Gai in the epilogue?  Now the next episode of Gokaiger is the Jetman tribute episode and it features Gai/Black Condor.  So Gai clearly didn’t die.  But the finale of Jetman makes this very unclear.  His apparent death mirrors the way that Grey dies an episode or two before.  Hopefully this ending is cleared up in the Gokaiger’s tribute to Jetman.  Still, it leaves the series on a confusing downer and makes the audience feel like they don’t have full closure.

 

All in all, the series may not be perfect.  There are a few plot holes ant twists that can leave you confused or want ing more.  And there are many story points that should be elaborated.  Many of the episodes are good stories on their own, but as a connected cohesive story, it can be disjointed at points.  What this series does well is mix together drama and humor.  The story is very dramatic and very focused on individual relationships, but when it calls for it, the story knows how to be silly and that quirky (if not a bit campy) humor shows through quite a bit.  For all the faults the story has, it is a well put together series and worth checking out.

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White Swan (Kaori), Yellow Owl (Raita), Red Hawk (Ryu), Black Condor (Gai), Blue Swallow (Ako)

Admittedly the first thing that got me interested in Jetman were their outfits.  As a visual person, I can be swayed to watch a series on the basis that I like the style or the costuming.  Plus the bird motif caught my attention and when I found subtitles for it, I couldn’t resist watching it.  The series revolves around 5 ordinary people who through an accident caused by the Vyram (the antagonists) invading the Earth are imbued with extra-ordinary strength and abilities and become the Choujin Sentai (Birdman Squadron) Jetman.  There’s Ryu, the sole member of Jetman who was actually a planned member due to his training.  Ako, a loud-mouthed, opinionated high school girl.  Gai, a womanizer who enjoys jazz, gambling, and drinking.  Raita, a country boy who enjoys cultivating vegetables and dislikes violence.  And Kaori, a woman raised with wealth but sought something more from life.  Despite their different personalities and despite the issues they had as a team, they’re able to overcome their personal issues and protect the world from evil.

However the unfortunate thing about their personal issues is the show is completely filled with them.  All the relationship breakdowns and complications cause issues that affect that performance of the Jetman team.  And on top of relationship issues, the story leaves many questions unanswered, many holes open, and adds in many unnecessary details that could have been fixed without the introduction of extra (and unnecessary) characters.  So without further ado, let’s get into Choujin Sentai Jetman.  Starting with the relationship issues…

When I speak of “relationships”, I’m not just speaking of them in the romantic fashion though romance does play a key role in many of the problems the Jetman face.  The main conflicting relationships are as follows:

  • Ryu and Kaori
  • Ryu and Gai
  • Gai and Kaori
  • Ryu and Rie/Maria

 
A good chunk of Jetman reads like a drama series.  And if you went into the series expecting it to be a typical action show, you might be disappointed with the level of drama presented.  And sadly, most of the tension in the series is centered around the first relationship we’re introduced to.  Two of the first characters we meet are Ryu and Rie and you learn fairly quickly that they’re an inseparable item.  Until the Vyram attack the Earth Ship and Rie is tossed from it.  Though distraught from the loss of his girlfriend, Ryu attempts to put aside his personal feelings in order to protect the world from the Vyram.

Once the Jetman team is assembled, we’re shown that for the time being Ryu is the only person who can “put aside” his personal feelings for the sake of his work.  Human beings aren’t infallible thus emotions like love, lust, and rage interfere with our work.  Heroes aren’t exempt from this either.  Each of the relational issues presented stem from the initial relationship between Ryu and Rie.  To plainly break it down:

  • Kaori fell in love with Ryu.  To the point of obsession.  She would do everything in her power to make Ryu love her but to no avail.  Ryu’s desire to concentrate on his work as well as his undying devotion and love for Rie didn’t allow him to reciprocate her feelings.
  • Gai was in love with Kaori.  However Kaori didn’t reciprocate his feelings because she viewed him as abrasive and uncaring.  From the audience’s point of view, Gai’s sole interest in Kaori is because of her looks and because she wasn’t in love with him.  He wanted her because she didn’t want him and no woman has turned him down before.
  • Gai becomes jealous of Ryu because he can get Kaori’s attention without trying.  No matter what Gai does, Kaori doesn’t recognize him as a suitable boyfriend.
  • Gai’s jealousy becomes a point of contingency for the team.  Particularly towards the beginning, it greatly affected their performance in battle as Gai wasn’t going to take orders from a “goody-two shoes” like Ryu.  Not to mention whenever Ryu upsets Kaori, Gai is quick to attack Ryu both physically and verbally.
  • Knowing that Rie is “dead”, Kaori vows to erase Rie from Ryu’s heart (a rather cold hearted statement if you ask me).
  • Once Ryu learns that Rie is still alive but being used and brainwashed by the Vyram, he vows to do everything in his power to save her.  Learning that Rie is still alive completely screws with Ryu’s emotions.  At times, he’s no longer the composed person that he is in the beginning of the series.

 

The drama can be a bit much at times and goes to very petty levels.  Most of the drama could easily be avoided if it weren’t for Kaori’s unwillingness to let go and Gai’s reckless personality.  The only character who had decent reason to feel the way that he did was Ryu.  He lost the love of his life so his heart isn’t open to another relationship.  He never expressed interest in Kaori.  All the interest was on her part.  Thus the brunt of the drama comes from her and Gai.  It’s sad really.  Gai and Kaori’s relationship was doomed from the start anyways.

 

For the most part, the drama was baseless.  However there was one relationship where the drama added a necessary element to the series.  And that was the relationship between Ryu and Rie once Rie became Maria.  As I said earlier, Ryu always put aside his personal feelings for the good of his work and he advised that the other Jetman do the same.  Once he learned that Rie was still alive, this changes.  His personal feelings start to affect the way that he fights until a single point when all the emotion that he’s been burying deep inside himself wells up and causes him to fall into a deep depression and slight insanity.  The backbone of the Jetman becomes a broken shell who only remains happy in his memories because there he could live forever with Rie.  The Rie that he loved and not the brainwashed Maria.  Drastic character changes in a short amount of time rarely work, especially when it’s trying to show character development.  While it seems like his mental breakdown is sudden, there’s episodes of build up to it.  Early on, the hint is dropped that Rie is still alive as Maria.  We’re shown snippets of Ryu’s mindset when he recalls Rie’s “death” and also when he recalls all the good times they had together.  We’re conditioned to understand that Rie is Ryu’s main weakness so seeing him fall into madness and depression can just be seen as the culmination of months and months of emotions that can no longer be repressed.

Character relationships outside of the romantic realm are wonderful however.  Such as…

 

  • Tran’s relationship with the other Vyram elite.  As the youngest of the bunch, the rest don’t take him seriously and often openly mock and laugh at him much to his dismay.  However he tries his best to prove his worth to the group until he changes to Tranza and forces the rest of them to acknowledge his power.
  • Gai’s relationship with Ryu.  Although his initial resentment towards Ryu was due to jealousy and dislike of working with a group (especially under someone he considered to be a goody-two shoes), by working together the two of them became best friends and are probably the closest of any of the Jetman.  The development of their friendship was extremely slow which is a good thing.  Many series (particularly short ones) rush important relationships.  And especially in series where it’s important that the group works together.  But despite the series being only 51 episodes long, they took a nice amount of time to develop the friendship.
  • Radiguet’s relationship with any person who held more power than him.  His drive for power filled consumed him.  But he wasn’t the most powerful.  Most others around him held more power than he did, but he couldn’t stand not being on top.  And despite gaining the power than he initially sought, it wasn’t enough to keep him from losing (granted this is a type of show where the good guys always have to win in the end but still…).
  • Grey’s relationship with Maria.  Despite this falling under the realm of “romantic”, I consider this the romantic relationship done right.  Also Maria didn’t reciprocate Grey’s feelings but I believe his feelings were subtle enough that she might not have known until later on that he loved her.  Despite Grey being a robot, he had the most heart of any of the Vyram.  Despite being a programmed warrior, he still had the ability to care and the ability to appreciate what’s beautiful in the world.  Despite the Vyram hating humans, Grey fell in love with Maria and even after learning that she was human he still cared for her as she was.  As much as he loved her, he always wanted the best for her.  He’d rather her become human again rather than transform into a mindless beast.
  • The relationship between Grey and Gai.  Now admittedly this wasn’t a real “relationship” persay.  Rather it was a subtle connection and understanding that these two characters had.  Their personalities and passions mirrored each other.

So what do I think of the relationships?  Aside from the relationships between Ryu and Rie and Grey and Maria, the romance is bland and borders on unrealistic.  Watching it, you get beat over the head so much with Ryu’s relationship with Rie that you can even get annoyed with that.  However, watching the characters develop as individuals and watching their relationships as friends/co-workers/enemies/etc. change over time is wonderful.  Most of the characters are well established and relatable and their growth over the course of the series is realistic.  Most of the relationships were pushed as far as they could go.  Though if there were any that I felt needed a little more meat behind them, it would have to be Tran’s relationship with the rest of the Vyram elite.  While you understand that they treat him like a child, you’re only shown that in a few episodes.  Otherwise he’s treated no different than the rest of them.  But other than that, the characters and their relationships are well developed.

That’s it for part one.  Stick around for part two which will cover the story, a few other character details, and questions that were left unanswered.

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One of my favorite components of the sentai series are their costumes.  The costumes of the villains as well as the costumes for our heroes.  Sure they’re just adults fighting in spandex outfits but who cares?  Some of them can be downright amazing.  Most of these are going to be from series that I’ve seen already but a few of these are from series that I’ve never watched.  I’m not judging the sentai for their abilities, but rather solely on the design of their costume (both the helmet and the actual spandex suit).  Which is why I’m adding in characters from series that I’ve yet to watch.  Also, there’s going to be a few multiples from the same series.  I’m not judging the group’s costume design as a whole, but rather just individuals based upon color combination and helmet design.

 

Blue Swallow from Choujin Sentai Jetman

10. Blue Swallow (Jetman)

 

This is a series I haven’t seen, however one look at the outfit and I did fall in love with it.  Perhaps it’s because blue is one of my favorite colors but it’s not fair to say that’s the reason.  What I do know about Jetman is the bird motif their costumes are supposed to reflect.  While each of the costumes has a similar design patter, their color combinations and/or cut of the outfit don’t look right.  The male costumes look a little awkward and the colors for White Swan look a tad bit awkward (with the pink leggings instead of white like the rest of the team).

 

Blue Swallow’s blue, white, and yellow combination is beautiful and her helmet wonderfully reflects her animal, the Swallow.

 

HououRanger from Gosei Sentai Dairanger

9. HououRanger (Dairanger)

 

Pink is not one of my favorite colors, but goodness!  Is her costume not gorgeous?  The helmet detail is a bit small to make out on the image there but you can see it better here.  Lovely gold and black detail.  I feel like the skirt aspect of the female sentai outfits give their costumes a little more to look at than the male costumes.  The only thing that sets her costume a part from the other members of her team are 1) color combination (and the pink, gold, and white is beautiful), and her helmet design (which reflects a phoenix) which is sleek, detailed but not so much that it looks cluttered, and beautiful.

 

AbareMax from Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger

8. AbareMax (Abaranger)

 

Now I said that generally I prefer the female costumes over the male ones but that isn’t always the case.  AbareMax is pretty much a secondary variation of AbareRed.  The Abaranger costumes alone are fairly dull.  Really it’s just their respective color plus white (or for AbareBlack, his color plus gold).  But AbareMax’s suit is just fun.  AbareRed (Ryouga) can change into AbareMax when he’s given enough “Dino Guts”, which he usually get’s from AbareYellow and AbareBlue so the colors change from red and white to red, gold/yellow, and blue.  While I’m not sure how mixing the Dino Guts of a Tyrannosaurus, Pterosaur, and Triceratops creates a Styracosaurus, it doesn’t matter.  This suit is just awesome.

 

AbareKiller from Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger

7. AbareKiller (Abaranger)

 

Yet another Abaranger suit and while I’m generally a sucker to detail and colors, AbareKiller’s outfit is just a simple black and white with gold trim.  It’s sharp, clean and sleek.  As for the helmet, it’s simple, has a small motif that reflects his Bakuyuu (a Tupuxuara named Top Galer), and the design of the section that allows for visibility feels sinister.  Having red be there instead of the black sunglasses look the other helmets have could be the reason why.  If there’s any outfit that perfectly matches the personality of the person that it goes with, it has to be AbareKiller’s…well it matches his personality well before he decided to be good anyways.  Either way, it’s an epic suit.

 

Legend MagiBlue from Mahou Sentai Magiranger

6. Legend MagiBlue (Magiranger)

 

Tough choice between her legend form and her regular form but the sucker for detail that I am, I had to go for legend form for a few reasons.  Firstly, no cape.  The capes themselves are nice and flowing but they don’t need to be there.  Secondly, the boots, the gloves, and the chest/shoulder armor.  While I don’t really care for them on the other suits, somehow it works with MagiBlue.  Something about the blue and gold combination…I like it.  And thirdly, the helmet itself.  I was already a sucker for the mermaid fin design it has.  But I find myself really liking the dorsal fin at the top.  The only part of the legend helmet design that I don’t like is the back of it.  That aside, it’s still a gorgeous suit (though if I were to ever attempt cosplaying her, I’m sure I would just go for regular MagiBlue…capes are useless but they’re also fun and flowing).

 

Gokai Silver from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger

5. Gokai Silver (Gokaiger)

 

I generally like the 6th ranger costumes and his is no exception.  Love the anchor design on the helmet.  The yellow as the section for visibility just looks awesome.  Not to mention it looks like one of the world’s coolest pairs of goggles for some reason.  While I might not be a fan of gold accented with a little bit of silver, I am a fan of silver accented with a little bit of gold.  Plus a silver and black color combination is just something that I love (as it will show up a bit later on in this countdown).  Aside from his helmet, the actual cut of his suit is no different than the rest of the Gokaigers  So when it comes down to which Gokaiger suits I like best, the only factors I can judge are helmets and colors.  Speaking of which…

 

Gokai Pink from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger

4. Gokai Pink (Gokaiger)

 

Like I said earlier, pink is not one of my favorite colors, but I just absolutely love Gokai Pink’s suit.  And like with Gokai Silver, this really comes down to the helmet design.  The helmet’s just adorable with that heart design on the front.  And the pink with that bit of a pirate hat design is just too adorable for words.  When you think pirates, I’m sure the color pink is the furthest thing on your mind but in Gokaiger they make it work.  It’s sweet and feminine, just like the character behind the suit (Ahim) and somehow I fell in love with it just for that.  In fact I’d have to say that it’s this suit alone that makes me like the color pink more that I did before.

 

Shinken Gold from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger

3. ShinkenGold (Shinkenger)

 

It’s interesting…I was introduced to this character not though watching Shinkenger but from watching Power Rangers Samurai.  As soon as he entered the series, not only did I fall in love with his character, but his suit as well.  Never did I think that I’d like the combination of gold and navy blue but then again I do think that gold and blue is a beautiful color combination.  I must admit thought that mostly this outfit appeals to my love of all things shiny (seriously…do you see how amazingly shiny that fabric and the helmet is?), but really I do love the colors and I love the helmet design.  Great suit for a great character.

 

GekiViolet from Jyuken Sentai Gekiranger

2. GekiViolet (Gekiranger)

 

Out of all the series that I’ve watched so far, my least favorite suits have to come from Gekiranger.  They’re just bland.  Nothing special to them until they go into super geki mode.  But still they feel bland.  And then Gou was introduced.  And once he was able to transform (well into a sentai and not a werewolf…that was cool too though), we see this.  And my first thought was “It looks like a hockey uniform but who cares it’s awesome!” or something like that.  It’s a great change of pace from the dull two toned suits the other 3 rangers had.  While his helmet looks more feline than wolf-like, it’s still a very awesome design.

 

Go-On Silver from Engine Sentai Go-Onger

1. Go-On Silver (Go-Onger)

 

Again, this is another one where it came down to color and helmet design.  Like her brother (Hiroto/Go-On Gold), they both have a similar suit design save the helmets themselves.  But the silver and black design is more aesthetically pleasing to me.  And as for the helmet, I much prefer the design of Miu’s over the cross one for Hiroto.  This is pretty much that appeals to me on all levels.  It appeals to my love of all things shiny, it’s clean, sleek, has beautiful colors, is simple yet detailed, and easily reflects the pilot theme that the Go-On Wings needed to have.

 

And thus concludes my list of my personal favorite sentai outfits.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Is there anything that you would’ve wished to see on the list?  Or what are your favorite sentai/Power Rangers suits?

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