One of things I haven't been able to give up from my childhood is the Sentai shows I watched while living in Japan during grade school. I'd like to share those favorite shows with you.

KAGAKU SENTAI DYNAMAN




Dynaman was the very first show I saw when I arrived to Japan. I had never seen anything like it before and it made my childhood head explode like a volcano. As I look back I'm surprised the rubber monsters didn't scare me because I remember as a child I couldn't stand people in costumes like at Disneyland, or even clowns for that matter.


Dan (Dyna Red)



Dyna Red is a motorcycle racer and studies kendo. Dan is so good at kendo that he used a tree branch to stop the monster of the week from stealing gasoline.

Hoshikawa (Dyna Black)



Dyna Black is a UFO hunter and studies ninjitsu (ninjutsu). One of the monsters they faced tricked him into believing that he (the monster) was a friendly alien and made a fool of Hoshikawa in front of his fellow teammates.



Shima (Dyna Blue)



Dyna Blue could be considered a Marine Biologist. Shima plays water sports and wishes he could be a fish. That would probably explain why he fell in love with a mermaid. Long story short, Shima was asked by a mermaid to stop an evil dolphin from controlling all sea life.



Nangou (Dyna Yellow)



If there were rednecks in Japan, Dyna Yellow would be one of them. A giant porcupine once ruined Nangou's prized crops, thus forcing him to go one on one against the beast.


This is why you don't give roids to your pet.



Tachibana (Dyna Pink)



Tachibana loves animals but for some odd reason is afraid of cats. In the very first episode I saw, Dyna Pink had to face her fear to help the others fight a giant cat. When the DynaMan (Men, team, whatever) called their robot, they used a ball to distract the cat and hit it with the Beat Hammer.




Looks more like a rat to me.



Tailed-People Clan Jashinka Empire


The TPCJE are evolved reptiles bent on the destruction of the human race. The number of tails each member has determines their rank. The main bad guys always reminded me of something in between a Kabuki and Noh play.


From Top to Bottom, L & R

Emperor Aton, General Kar, Princess Chimera, Prince Megiddo


CHOUDENSHI BIOMAN



Bioman would have to be my favorite Sentai show of all time. What I liked about it most were the Jackie Chan-like stunts they would perform on the show.



Shirou (Red One)




He's the pilot of the Japanese space shuttle in which we never get to see on the show. Shirou can communicate with animals and has been helped by them on several occasions. In your face Dr. Dolittle!

Shingo (Green Two)



The episode I liked the most with Green Two was when he decided to joy ride with the Bioturbo Car. Of course the two dumbest villains known to mankind steal the car from him. These dummies would be: A guy named Monster that's built like a wrestler, and a robot Gorilla called Beast King.





The Bioturbo Car and Biomachine motorcycles


Ryuuta (Blue Three)





Blue Three is a water sportsman because you know his favorite color is blue. Ryuuta reminded me of a combination of Dyna Blue and Dyna Black. Dyna Blue for the obvious reasons, and Dyna Black in that he was skilled in stealth tactics.

Mika and Jun (Yellow Four)



I really didn't like the first Yellow Four who got killed off on the show. It may have been due to the fact that at first Mika didn't want anything to do with becoming a Sentai hero. Then again, I guess that is less of a stereotype than just automatically taking the job with no questions asked. Jun, who gives up being an Olympic archer to become the new Yellow Four, was refused at first. The team was still upset over the death of Mika, and Jun wasn't chosen by the Bio Particles (MacGuffin). This is another reason why I liked the show. These characters actually showed emotion as opposed to just acting like their friend never died in the next episode.



Hikaru (Pink Five)



I liked Pink Five because she wasn't just another dumb blonde or the equivalent of one in Japan. She was very smart and would always try to talk things out before fighting. At least that was the impression I always got without being fluent in Japanese.

Bio Hunter Silver



This bounty hunter is sent to destroy the Bioman. He not only fought against the Bioman, but whenever the Neo Empire Gear got in his way, he would fight them too. Why do the cool guys always die at the end?



Neo Empire Gear


From L to R: Farrah Cat, Mason, Doctor Man, Monster, Farrah


Like all bad guys in Sentai, they must pay for their crimes by getting blown up. I actually liked them; all except for Mason (the guy in blue) who killed the original Yellow Four and wished the heroes had let them go. In the last episode they did try and save Doctor Man, but of course he blew himself up. I've never really considered the villains as being bad but more as comic relief. If you can't figure out by the second or third time that your monsters are useless, it's time to quit your day job.

Last but not least...



The main reason all Sentai teams have mecha (robots) is to sell toys. The monster gets big, our heroes' mecha gets beat up, they call for the giant sword, and then the monster gets cut in half. Yeah, that pretty much sums up every ending on these shows for the past 34 years. Nonetheless, I still eat this stuff up even though I know what's going to happen every single time.

So, will I ever outgrow Sentai/ Power Rangers? I doubt it.

Comments welcome.




Dude, are you even trying?