Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dairanger - first 10 episodes

Sorry about not posting in awhile, life got in the way.

Anyways, in addition to weekly reviews of current Kamen Rider episodes, I'll be reviewing older shows as I watch them, and i'll probably start doing some toy reviews when I get my next figures in the mail from Japan.

Anyways, without further adieu,

Gosei Sentai Dairanger

The 17th Super Sentai series, Dairanger was the second Sentai series to be adapted for American audiences, providing mech and villains for the second season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. None of the suits were used in MMPR except the White Ranger. It must have been an editing headache to get that to work, but never mind that.

Dairanger focuses on 5 youth who have the ability to use Chi. They are assembled by the ancient Master Kaku, and told they have to battle against the evil Gorma Tribe, an ancient Chinese tribe that was sealed away over 8,000 years ago. In order to battle the Gorma, the Dairangers are given Aura Changers which allow them to transform. Each Dairanger has special abilites, RyuuRanger (Dragon Ranger) controls Fire, ShishiRanger (Lion Ranger) controls Illusions, TenmaRanger (Pegasus Ranger) controls Gravity, KirinRanger (No translation for Kirin, that's what it is) controls Time and HououRanger (Phoenix Ranger) controls wind.

While any sentai that doesn't use colors in their names gets confusing, Dairanger gets better after awhile. It took me about 8 episodes to fully get who every ranger was, as they didn't wear their color outside of their transformations often. Really, that's my only complaint about the show so far, it can be a bit difficult to remember everything initially, but by the time episode 8 hits, you'll understand pretty well.

Some of you might be saying that this sounds a lot more Chinese than Japanese, well you'd be right. Dairanger has a huge emphasis on Chinese mythology and martial arts, which really makes the series stand out. The ranger suits all have nice classic Chinese designs on them, the mechs do as well, and then there's the action. Oh man.

The action in DaiRanger is amazing. I've seen a lot of Tokusatsu, but Dairanger has probably the best fight sequences in any i've seen. Whoever the suit actors are, they're amazing martial artists. Each ranger has a specific fighting style that is markedly unique, and corresponds to a different style of martial arts. It's not like your usual Sentai or Rider show where the battles play out pretty much the same, the DaiRangers use individual weapons (RyuuRanger has dual swords, TenmaRanger uses nunchaku, etc) at times, and when not, they use DaiRen rods which are long polearms that are used surprisingly well. I really can't go on about how much I enjoy the action in this show.

But action isn't all that Dairanger has to offer. It deviates from the usual Sentai formula of a monster-of-the-week, and proceeds more like a Kamen Rider show, with storylines carrying directly over to next week's episode and ending with cliffhangers, etc. Also, Gorma beasts don't follow the usual formula of Arrive -> Beat Rangers -> Rangers come up with plan -> Rangers beat monster -> monster grows to enormous size -> mecha come out and they beat the monster a second time

Nope, sometimes the monsters just plain die for good after being killed in human size, other times the rangers could piss them off so bad that they grow huge out of spite. Not to mention, it took 8 episodes for the mecha to all be introduced. Until that point, RyuuSeiOh (Dragon Star King) was all the rangers had to deal with large threats, and using him was a huge gamble since the orbs needed to properly control the KiDen Beasts had been lost 8,000 years ago. The show really broke the formula in a lot of ways, and makes it stand out among the 35 Sentai series in total. TV Nihon is subbing the show, and they are currently at episode 35. It's really worth a try.

DaiRangers don't look at explosions.


  1. Cool guys run from explosions. :)

  2. That's cool! I'm White Fox, nice to meet you!