Time to dig into another entry of the Super Sentai Franchise. Today’s review looks at a more lighthearted Sentai Series. Does the fact its not dark or deep as other series make it a bad show?
The Engines of Machine World have crossed over into Earth while chasing the evil Barbaric Machine Clan Gaiark who intend to pollute everything. The Engines obtain the help of humans and giving them their power to fight against the Gaiark clan. The humans, Sosuke, Renn, Saki, Hanto, and Gunpei fight to protect the world as the Engine Sentai Go-Onger.
The characters are decent but a bit bland. No one has a deep character arc and the only real conflict seems to be when the other two teammates, the Go-On Wings are introduced and don’t know how to play nice with the main five, at least not at first. Otherwise, all of them seem to rely on their overarching personality type to get through the series. The interesting thing is this behavior doesn’t come off as annoying, because despite being one note characters in nature, they still are competent fighters.
The aspect of other worlds is introduced early but isn’t utilized as much as it could be. Sure they introduce it and use it to explain where the Engines come from but they don’t really look into the dimensions except in the movie. In the movie, they once again utilize the Toei Kyoto Studio Park and have the team go to “Samurai” world. For the most part the series just takes place on modern day Earth but is seems like their was more potential for a deeper epic story if they had kept traveling to other dimensions. Sadly this doesn’t happen.
Mecha which are sentient aren’t always a bad idea (like with Abaranger) and fact they are doesn’t detract from them as a Sentai Mecha. There is a more glaring problem and it is a case where one of the design of the robots just didn’t work because of how they combine. Every combination really just looks they are piling on top of one another in an awkward moshpit. It’s not exactly the most interesting mecha design to say the least.
The villains are okay but are better when they are act more comical then trying to be downright malicious. Let’s be honest, ever since Captain Planet came out the idea of a show where the main purpose of the villain is to pollute for pollution’s sake really doesn’t sound feasible, dangerous, or even plausible.
This show is weird which really is the best way to summarize it. Between the talking sentient car animal mecha to the enemies whose mission it is to pollute the world but are quick to join forces the with heroes sometimes on a whim (like when Kegalesia decided to join the female members of the team to form an idol group) everything about it is peculiar. Don’t even try to take this series seriously. It may have a serious moment or two but these are few and far between. This is a more comical Sentai but it succeeds in being one. Even if I don’t count it as one of my more favorite series I still found it to be more entertaining than some series like Ninninger (the review of which is coming) which will live in infamy as causing the fan base to be worried every time a ninja themed series is announced. So it doesn’t do any harm and is kinda fun. Really its the best way to summarize the show overall.
There are three inescapable truths that I find keep popping up in my life. The first is that dinosaurs are awesome. the second is that robots never get old. And the third is that robot dinosaurs are the pinnacle of coolness. That is why I pursued the series Abaranger.
When the meteorite that killed the Dinosaurs hit the earth, it actually created two dimensions. Our Earth (referred to as Another Earth by the villains) and the Dino Earth, where the dinosaurs lived and continued to thrive. The inhabitants of Dino Earth, the Saurains are living peacefully until they are attacked by the Evolians. Defeated and searching for help a Saurian warrior named Asuka searches for those who have Dino Guts, the mythical force of the dinosaurs that people still possess and allows them to achieve great things. He discovers three individuals with incredible Dino guts who become, the Bakurya Sentai Abranger.
Lets start with the Sentai team itself. Ryoga (Abare Red) is acting as a dad figure to his little sister. Yukito (Abare Blue) is the serious one who works as a Chiropractor who overcharges his clients to use the money to fix something from his past. Ranru (Abare Yellow) is the most underdeveloped one. She used to be a idol but now works as a bike messenger trying to forge her own path of freedom. The Sentai member that steals the show though is Asuka as (Abare Black), a member of the Saurian race who comes to earth and fights to get back his home land from Evolians. The team’s base is a dino themed restaurant ran by an old man who is obsessed with dinosaurs. Anyone who has watched a Sentai before gets accustomed to this type of odd base as each years Sentai often heavily showcases the theme they are portraying.
The Evolians are interesting to say the least. The villains are led by young Reje who is host to the series main villain. She is backed up by Mikela (who creates the Trinoid, monsters who are always made up of three components) and Voffa (who creates the over large Giganoids). Id be in error if I didn’t mention Abare Killer, the series evil Sentai member. He’s furthless, cunning, and truly evil. If you are hoping for a trade to the good side you’ll be waiting for a while. Trust me I counted.
The mecha of this series fall under the sentient partners category. They actively talk and give advice to the team through their wrist devices. They combine into a robot that follows the armament system with its arms replaced with other dinosaurs to use as weapons. Not my favorite type of mecha style but I enjoy this series so much that I still bough the toy.
I originally watched this series when it aired as Power Ranger Dino Thunder and the two serious were definitely different in the stories they tell. Still there is one theme that remains present in both versions. In Dino Thunder, the White Ranger tries to save his father from being Mesogog while in the Sentai Abare Black works to save Mahoro from her Jeanne persona. Its these personal conflicts that real steal both shows and keeps the view coming back for more. Asuka`s quest definitely had me at the edge of my seat. The original series did offer some things that Power Rangers never would have been able to showcase, such as Asuka and Mahoro’s wedding night. I kid you not. They kept that scene in. Definitely wasn’t expecting. Its mature moments like that that make the series so enjoyable.
If you can’t tell this series was not only very entertaining but became one of my personal favorite Sentai series. Just try not to pay attention to that whole other dimension where dinosaurs surived part is similar plot in Super Mario Brothers and you’ll be fine. Glad I finally got around to writing up this review. So that’s one down and…thirty seven to go at the time of this review…Great.