Post-Gokaiger Sentai - at the end of Heisei era

Discussion in 'Henshin Justice Unlimited' started by Kamen Rider IXA, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. Kamen Rider IXA

    Kamen Rider IXA Lurker

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    Heisei Era is finally coming to an end soon and right now we have seven mainstream Super Sentai series of what many fans commonly call "Post-Gokaiger" era of Super Sentai.
    Since it's an end of an era and we might possibly loose Sentai as a yearly thing soo (honestly don't believe it would happen, but still), I've decided to reevaluate what we have right now with backwards going marathon from LvP to Go-Busters with a fresh mind as I haven't seen some of these shows since time they aired (and in case of Ninninger I haven't seen it before period). I'm close to wrapping it up and I'll post my opinions about all of the series here a bit later.
    Meanwhile, what do you guys think about last seven years we got? What do you like or dislike about it? What do you think about specific series and how would you rank them? How would you "fix" mistakes of post-Gokaiger era? Should Sentai go on like this or a change is necessary and if so which direction should Sentai take to survive in the modern world without loosing its appeal?
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  2. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    I think the last seven years has been the worst Sentai has ever been at. It sacrificed story telling and characterization for gimmicks while also making some really poor decisions. Some of the series became "The Red Ranger and his Merry Lackies" show while others were utterly childish. The monsters are no longer threats as no one ever dies anymore, anyone that gets attacked or captured is saved by the end of the episode. Just look at series like Flashman and Timeranger where there were monsters that flat out murdered people on the street and you saw them be dead. There was no, "Well maybe they survived," nope, they were dead.

    These days they will get blown up and get back up and run away a few minutes later.

    There's also the fact that the villains are pretty much wallpaper at this point. They are there just for the rangers to have a reason to exist. Enter was the last villain to actually be developed. It also doesn't help that they don't use actual on screen actors, it's all suits with voice overs.

    Then you have over the top comedy routines that feel like they came out of a Laurel and Hardy skit. Yes, the franchise has always had comedic moments, they are aimed at kids after all, but they used to actually feel like they belonged with the show. Every comedic scene in Kakuranger fits, as the show knew how to balance comedy and drama. These days, a dramatic scene is diminished because something silly will happen that feels out of place.

    Another issue is way too much CGI, not just in the mecha, but even the melee scenes. We'll have flashy CGI effects during battles as opposed to actual fight choreography. This is something that became an issue in 2000s, but has exacerbated more recently. Very rarely do I see hand to hand combat anymore outside of a two second moment. Most of the time though, it's jump around, shoot, jump around, fling a sword, jump around, shoot, jump around, and so on.

    The sad part is that as much as I disliked Go-Busters for its lack of energy, that show at least tried to do something new with the genre. Every series since has been in the safe zone and just keeps playing it safer. It's like they think creating a new theme is enough to get by when it isn't.

    As for rankings, it would probably go like this:

    1. Go-Busters
    2. Lupinranger vs Patranger
    3. Zyohger
    4. Kyoryuger
    5. ToQGer
    6. Kyuuranger
    7. Ninninger

    Though, Kyuu and Nin are pretty much equal. Asking which is better is asking which pile of dogshit smells worse.
  3. SamuraiEchidna

    SamuraiEchidna Member

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    Would you believe that is the first time I've heard that phrase?

    And I'm not sure I'm the best person to ask because I'm usually a very easy to please, easy to entertain person. The only two Sentai I take issue with from the past 7 years would be Lupin VS Pat, and Ninninger.
    The former, I didn't care for because of my own expectations getting in the way of letting me enjoy it as it is. Fans who went into it without any predetermined expectations seem to have enjoyed it quite well. As for the latter, I can easily blame the writers of the show themselves. Toei has proven in both Sentai and Kamen Rider that they know how to properly use the English word "last". If Ninninger had been about finding the "ultimate ninja" (or something similar) instead of the "last ninja"; it would have worked with the narrative they were making, it would explain how there were still tons of ninjas in existence, and it wouldn't have given me a headache until the finale of the show. Seriously, changing one little keyword would have made it so much easier for me to enjoy the show.

    Other then that, I'm fine with Super Sentai so far. :)
    I also doubt that Super Sentai will stop being a yearly thing. But if that ever does happen, I hope we get something significant out of it. Maybe better stories? Maybe an attempt to reach a wider audience of all ages rather than making kids the primary target demographic? I don't know. Dr Kain makes a few good points, so I'll just echo some of what he says. Less of "The Red Ranger Show", more practical effects for giant robot battles, and don't use comedy a lot unless you can balance it out with drama and good story. Maybe dare to take more risks and try new things instead of getting stuck in the same basic formulas.
  4. raden238

    raden238 New Member

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    I've never actually heard of the Western fandom of Sentai ever referring to Go-Busters - Lupin vs Pato as the "Post Gokaiger-era". Showa and Heisei era I've seen before but less common. It's always been grouped with the decades.

    As for evaluating the past 7 years of Sentai, its been hit and miss for me. Go-Busters, Kyuranger, and Lupin vs Pato would be my top tier, Zyuohger, Toqger and Kyoryuger is mid tier and Ninninger being the real stinker out of the 7.

    I feel the past 2 years was when Sentai was at its most exciting. Kyuranger and Lupin vs Pato was so experimental in the good way. Toei took the stale formula for over 40 years and decided to shake things up. I admire that and its frankly what Super Sentai needs to do. One of the reasons why Gokaiger was so popular is because of the change in formula, be it the characters, episode format, tribute episodes etc..

    It gave us something different. This franchise needs to be different now that its in its 5th decade on air. I want to be optimistic about Super Sentai's future but I feel that toy sales will dictate the overall creative of the show. As we know with Ryusoulger this franchise is in danger if it can't meet a quota and the franchise may have to just cookie cut the same seasons from previous years to stay alive.

    I still want to watch Sentai but if the franchise took a hiatus like Kamen Rider did in the 90s and came back later, I wouldn't be upset they put in a lot of years. If they want to take a break and come back fresh with new ideas, I'm down for that.

    So in conclusion here are my rankings of the past 7 Sentais.

    1. Go-Busters
    2. Lupin vs Pato
    3. Kyuranger
    4. Zyuohger
    5. Toqger
    6. Kyoryuger
    7. Ninninger
  5. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    I've actually called it the Post-Gokaiger era myself, so I know exactly what IXA means.

    As for Lupin expectations Samurai, if you go back to my original video my friends and I recorded after watching the first episode last year, I asked everyone what is one thing they want to see in the show and my answer was, "Development for the villains." That's all I wanted from the show, and it couldn't even deliver on that front.
  6. Kamen Rider IXA

    Kamen Rider IXA Lurker

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    Go-Busters took a lot of me to finish it, but finally "sigh".

    So, let's go.
    - Go-Busters. I see this show gets a lot of praise lately and while I'm glad for people who enjoyed it, sorry this series blew its second chance with me. I can't believe it's actually WORSE than I remember (and I can't say I was a big fan back in 2012). So dull, so lifeless, so insufferably boring. I admire its ambitions, world-building, all these techincal details are cool and both Enter and Jin were extremely entartaing (to say they held show together is an understatement, they ARE the show. Thought of Go-Busters without them practically horrifies me), but not a lot of Sentai shows can get straight up unwatchable for me. Go-Busters is one of them. There is dull and there is Go-Busters dull.

    - Kyoryuger. While, Kyoryuger is worse series than Go-Busters by far, I have to be honest. It's not nearly as hard to watch as Go-Busters. Obnoxious, unpleasant, frustrating - yes, but not as boring. Still it's really really bad. Like Go-Busters, it's another show that seems to get worse as time goes. I think it would have been a bad show even without the worst Red of all time (with this obnoxious style, unfunny jokes, that shitty visual filter, Sakamoto legs and all), but Daigo really murders it. Also, are there any Sentai villians as bad as Deboss?

    - Toqger. Really enjoyed this one. It feels like a mid-00s series stuck in a different time. Good standalone episodes, likeable cast, Akira might be one of the best sixth ranger, great OST (which really REALLY helps to build hype even for the lamest robot designs you ever see, Project R truly outdid themselves that year) villians and their antics are really enjoyable and Zed is a pretty cool main villian. It has downsides like annoying supporting cast (all good guys, who's not a team member basically) and I'm really not a fond of obnoxious Kappei Yamaguchi screeching. Still, their role is fairly limited in the episodes, so it's not like they dominate them or anything. I was suprised that under kiddy gloves, it had one of more melacnholic adventures in the series. Still not gonna lie, Kobayashi probably needed to try a bit harder with story here. It works for me though, mainly because of the cast. Overall, might be one of the most pleasant and coziest Sentai series out there.

    - Nininger. Watched for the first time and it's... well, it's bad, but it's not THAT bad. It's not Go-Busters bad. Or Kyoryuger bad. Or Kyuranger bad. It's about Go-Onger bad, really. Just incredibly mediocre Sentai with a particuallry shitty last 10 epsiodes or so (they do suck a lot, like... why? Why did show even bother, if no one was going to try anyway?). Painfully average with bad actors, but I think with better writing for characters it could have been tolerable wacky version of Shinkenger even with non-existent plot and amount of bullshit it has. It had all ingredients for that. Also, Kyuemon was pretty alright.

    - Zyuohger. I get why some people dislike this series, it's unambitious and kinda static, but I think it deserves a bit more recognition. Like Toqger it has that simplistic charm which makes it enjoyable to watch. Still it's not really on pair on Toqger. Show dragged. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes for about third of the entire series. Standalone episodes were all over the place, but I can't think of any horrible or unwatchable ones. Though there is a severe lack of really good ones as well. Still, cast is good... most of it anyway. Don't care for the Sela and Masao is too annoying (he and Ninningers would get along just fine). Yamato is definitely an underrated Red and i'm glad Super Battle is doing him justice right now. Show also has a really good run of the last 10 episodes or so, which I think really helps it to end on a high note, even though it wasn't really an intense series. It was okay, I guess.

    - Kyuranger. Like with Nininger watched it for the first time basically, since I dropped it around 10 episode or so when it was coming out. Basically feels like a slightly more tolerable version of Kyoryuger. Dull rather than annoying. Was pretty bored by it, but at least suits look nice and characters are not, like, awful or anything. Most of them are just pointless and underdeveloped. Lucky is a bad Red, but unlike King there are ways to fix him and he's not nearly as obnoxious. It always felt to me that show was just running in circles and didn't know what to do. It's like it went out of the way to be anticlimactic and disappointing. Villians were bad. Not much else to say about it. I get the space opera idea behind show (and it's a great one), but I don't get why it had to play out so bizarre.

    - Lupinranger vs Patranger. A lot of people dislike it apperently and think it wasn't enjoyable. It totally was for me. I was skeptical about Pat side of things at first (both actor and character-wise), but they blew all my fears right away. Some of best standalone episodes in recent years (rewatching all those previous shows just once again reinforced it). Villians were weak, but main characters more than made up for it. Both teams are among the best ones in Sentai with no weak links or bad characters (weeeell... Noel was a bit shaky at times. Still won't call him a bad one or anything). It was just a really good character-driven show, particulary with stuff like Kairi-Keichiro relationship. Story-wise... yeah, it's not great, but I don't think it ever really tried to be a story-driven series (and looking at Kyuranger, thank god for that). After rewatching Toqger I have to say that one was better, but LvP is just right behind it in my list.

    I'd go with this:
    Toq > LvP > Zyuoh > Ninnin > Go-B > Kyuran > Kyoryu
    With only Toq and LvP being worth revisiting.

    Kyuranger overall deserve to be higher than Go-B honestly, but I can't bring myself to rank Kyuranger higher than something with Enter and Jin.

    Overall, a mixed era for me as well.
    I think Sentai should just make its mind already towards what it wants to be. I'm fine with children-orientated shows as long as we get some good ones and not infantile gimmick-fest. Toy-centric are fine, if we get some decent toys (seriously for all my enjoyment of the series, Toqger and Patranger "weapons" are just pathetic). I doubt glorious days of 90s are coming back in any case, but I just hope that if Toei would change Sentai format, style or whatever, it won't make show dull and boring. One Go-Busters is enough. More than enough.
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  7. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    I do agree that Go-Busters is extremely boring, but at least it tried to do something different.

    I don't know how you managed to get through ToQ though. I gave up after Train Boner and the horrible ranger cast.
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  8. PowerPhantom245

    PowerPhantom245 Lurker

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    Is it me, or does this "era" reminds me of Neo-Saban Era, which was also divisive among older fans?
    Some of the series (Kyoryuger, Ninninger) were just as bad and problematic as Neo-Saban Tzachor's Era (Samurai~Super Megaforce), if not worse IMO.
  9. Kamen Rider IXA

    Kamen Rider IXA Lurker

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    It's not though. That is one of the biggest things that annoys me about this show. Even during its early days, it didn't really change formula of standalone episodes much. It approached character development in exactly the same way every other sentai series does nowdays. Most of the time it doesn't really matter if episodes have talking scenes, because they also have motw with personalities and guest characters, while episodes with actual tension and stakes usually come a bit later in the game, when you're familiar with cast enough and can care about them.
    Go-Busters instantly jump into mid-season material full of high stakes and tension. And almost no side cast for them to bounce of (weak and boring supporting cast with no personalities show DOES have doesn't help really).
    And when weirdly pause episodes when characters need to talk things out. It just seems weird.
    Both Hiromu-Yoko episodes from early in the series are like this and their character conflict have pretty much nothing to do with what's going on, because GB is supposedly plot-driven right of the gate (even if nothing of consequences happen really). This series is about cool action first and characters second. If you remove all the visual glare, you're just left with average pretty hollow Sentai series where nobody bothered to think anything through.
    It's not like Go-Busters have the worst characters ever made or something, but even if show caught on I don't see them making cast interesting or developing them naturally with the usual Sentai format which just plainly doesn't work with this series.
    They should have just gone with early Heisei Kamen Rider approach of two-parters, since it seems that's what everybody involved wanted out of it.

    I really hated Toqger at first and thought it was another unfunny Den-O wannabe. But show proved me wrong. Zed's introduction won me over, and once Akira joined team I was fully on-board with this series. Yeah, robots are bad, but soundtrack is so good it carries you through battles effortlessly.
    Just tell me this song doesn't sound awesome

    When it wants to joke around it does that, but when it needs to be serious it executes serious stuff well. Cast is pretty fleshed out (outside of maybe Yellow) and by the end of series I had a good grasp of characters' personalities. They are one of more zany and happy-go-lucky teams, but there is a reason for this and I thought twist about them was fairily well-done (especially on a rewatch).
    If you go in expecting another Carranger or Kakuranger, you'll obviously be disappointed and show does have some things that annoy me, but I think writing here is strong enough not to drag series down because of that. It's the first Kobayashi work since Ryuki I can say I wholeheartedly enjoyed. It may be even better than Gokaiger for me, if I'm honest.
  10. Shougo B'Stard

    Shougo B'Stard Would like to change his avatar

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    I've taken some crap on Twitter for saying this, but I think Gokaiger was the last truly good Sentai show. It was the last one I really enjoyed, and I've often wondered if it would have been a good note for the franchise to have gone out on. I kinda feel like, in Toei's heart, they wanted it to be the last one. I mean, think of that last episode, ending with the surprise appearance of Naoya Makoto, walking off as he transforms into Aka Ranger, and the Gokaiger beginning a new adventure. There was room there to have Sentai return as just specials or movies.

    I don't know if it's because of Power Rangers, Toei getting greedy -- or both -- but they decided to keep on going. And I feel like every show post-Gokaiger has been really half-hearted, especially compared to Gokaiger, which I think had a lot of love for the franchise coursing through it. So, they continue with Sentai, and after Go-busters didn't perform well, they decided to just focus on being super goofy and gimmick-driven and...well, as proven by the Chicken Little cries that the franchise is falling, hasn't really gotten Toei far, now has it?

    So Toei really needs to go after people who like Sentai, who want to be there, who are happy to work on it. They also need to stop chasing after gimmicks and trying to overthink what they think kids will want -- kids aren't even sure what they want. But they'll recognize and appreciate and want to pour their devotion into a good show. Just put on a good show, tell a good story, and it will resonate.

    It's kind of strange that the two post-Gokaiger Sentai shows I like most is the two by producer Naomi Takebe, who, after having success with Rider, I totally feel like she just strolled onto Sentai being like "Oh, this should be nothing," and not taking it totally seriously and kinda looking down on the "lesser" franchise. That's why Go-busters, which was pitched as being a cool back to basics update, was still just as goofy as other modern shows -- anything fresh was only in style.

    Anyway, my take on each post-Gokai show...

    1) Go-busters

    I have gone on and on about how boring I thought this show was, made a little more effort than a lot of its successors. It tried to be dramatic. (Episode 30 is one of the best Super Sentai episodes of the past decade, IMO.) There were at least some cool ideas in the show. For me, other than the show getting boring in its mecha obsession, the big problem was that I thought it was miscast. The three heroes and the two villains just didn't work for me.

    I think Katsuhiro Suzuki was pretty cool in Kyoryuger VS Go-busters, though, so I think his problem was that he was JUST a little too young at the time of the show. But in that episode when Hiromu pretends to be Enter, he's at his most liveliest in the series itself, so I've always wondered if he would have been better as Enter. While Enter's actor was always pretty stiff, and he had expected to play a hero when he auditioned, so would maybe HE have been a better Hiromu? I think Blue and Yellow are just awkward, though.

    Even if it didn't succeed where it counts, I like some of the designs and action. Dark Buster was cool. I liked Jin.

    2) Ninninger

    I'm trying to get out of the bullshit mind-frame of stuff being "guilty pleasures," but my liking of Ninninger is a bit related to that feeling. Like...I recognize it's not a good show, but I didn't mind watching it. I would be entertained. I certainly didn't feel that way about Zyuohger or Kyuranger, let me tell you. And I disagree about the end, I feel like the show started actually trying in its final episodes. I thought Gengetsu's son was a pretty fun and different kind of villain.

    3) ToQger

    The show had interesting ideas, but was just content to ride on autopilot. The only cast member I didn't like was Tokkachi, who I thought acted far more cartoony than the show was going for. They didn't put the theme of imagination to great use, they didn't take full advantage of...what the twist with the heroes was. I liked the idea that the heroes were piecing together their memories, but the show didn't seem mapped out enough to make that have the full impact.

    The bad guys were boring except for Zet, who I thought was pretty cool, although he became one-note. Akira's one of the better sixth heroes, IMO. For me, though, there's a lot of the show that I find grating -- how talky the henshin items were; I didn't like the color-swapping stuff; Wagon and Conductor really irk me. The general aimlessness of the had the ingredients to be better than it was, but I don't think the staff had their heart in it.

    4) Zyuohger

    Just so boring and forgettable. I did not have a fun time watching this show. And it's like...I don't even know why. There's worse casts out there, there's dumber storylines. But I guess it was just the nothingness of the show. It really reminds me of Goseiger. Whenever I think of trying to give Goseiger another shot, I'm just like "Why? Heroes aren't interesting, villains aren't interesting, there's never a noteworthy storyline, certainly not any arcs."

    I guess it doesn't help that I find so many of the designs unpleasant. The blocky stuff, the cramped treehouse headquarters, the fugly villains...

    5) Kyuranger

    Talk about one-note. All of the characters say the same thing in every episode, they don't have any kind of trajectory or growth. There's no story here, it's tedious beyond belief -- they're just riding around collecting balls, fighting and killing the same three bad guys again and again and again and again and again. And again. The ingredients were there for a pretty cool show, but, again, they just didn't want to bother.

    6) Kyoryuger

    I HATE this show. Obnoxious on nearly every level, and it's just so dopey and Magoo and tryhard. It lifts most of its ideas from previous Sentai shows, but doesn't do anything new with them, just heavily dilutes 'em. The show's not anywhere near as cool or fun as it thinks it is.

    I haven't watched all of Lupin vs Pat, but it's kinda just like Zyuohger to me. They share the same staff. I used to think producer Takaaki Utsunomiya delivered -- with Shinkenger and Gokaiger, I thought it seemed like he had a love for the franchise and had its best interests at heart. But with Zyuoh and Lupin/Pat, he just seems kind of disinterested or like he no longer cares, or like he'd rather be working on season 20 of Geezer Detective instead of still working on superhero shows.

    I keep coming back to the term "half-hearted." And that's the sad thing -- quite a few of these shows actually had the ingredients to be good, but nobody seemed to want to put in the effort. What do we get? Half-hearted shows that's put the franchise in the crosshairs of cancellation.
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  11. Kamen Rider IXA

    Kamen Rider IXA Lurker

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    Doubt it. Shinkenger was just few years away, even ratings weren't that bad yet. Toei just grasped the idea behind barrel full of Ranger Key money. I think they just wanted to wrap up and celebrate previous era or the show, before moving into new waters and updating it for modern audience with Go-Busters. I mean, we know how it all ended, but the intent to go on was clearly there.

    He did have some good moments near the end of the show as well. Honestly, I think I prefer post-retool Hiromu in general. Some of his issues also have to do with show not really pushing him to be at the center of things... and still making him more important than his comrades. He's just kinda there for so much of the season and I struggled to care about his paper-thin development since he has so little presence. In contrast with Enter it's clear more than ever. I also think that Go-Busters needed a more stoic classic Red. Everyone from the cast would have benefited from someone who pushed them to their limits and helped team to work out their issues (I don't know what exactly Kuroki was, but sure as hell aren't that). Hiromu would have been great as a "comptent kid with issues" of the series, maybe rising to leadership gradually.

    I don't see any effort at all. Mangetsu Kibaoni's "I was pretended to be stupid"(I can't believe someone actually wrote this and thought it was a good idea) to give a lazy justification to a few unfunny jokes before completely changing the character (and the worst thing is that Ariake no Kata was easily the most entertaining villian after Kyuemon and she stuck with this little shit for thr rest of her life) , Gengetsu coming back for like 2 episodes after all that hype and ending up the most boring and underwhelming main villian in the Sentai history (seriously, I'll take dozens of Don Armages and that dude from the end of Kyoryuger over this Dokoku-wannabe), Raizo's back and he's just as pointless and useless as ever (and dies almost instantly again). Kyuemon storyline is rushed as hell and goes to shit frankly, since his cunning aspect is gone now and not much remains to the character (and don't get me started on how stupid his "redemption" was handled) and the "emotional" Grandad twist which was beyond stupid. I like that show tried to develop Kasumi (something that should have happen 30 episodes ago), but it was already too late by that point.
    Ninninger in itself isn't purely an awful show, but last strech of episodes definitely is. This is where all their issues come to bite them in the ass and that finale is just a travesty.
    Even Go-Busters recognized that Enter is by far the best thing they have and made him into main villian. Ninnin really needed to either make Kyuemon main villian as well or go with Midoninger route in the last quarter of the show (and not in shitty Returns movie). Either way would have been better than that we got.

    I think little character moments are what makes Toqger cast so good. Moments like them deciding that there is no real leader in their team, because everyone in some way is. Moments like Toqger graduation and Akira watching team for 10 years without them able to see him in Returns movie. Or when Raito is ready to sacrifice his own future for his friends. That's what I like about Toqger team. Despite how they bahave, they ARE the heroes and ready to do what's necessary. And the twist gives even more weight to this.
    It could have been a bit bolder and I do think show can get a bit too straightforward at times and not every character moment lands, but I still think plenty of them do.
    It's one of the very few kid-centred shows I actually like.

    Zyuohger also have a benefit of having a good soundtrack. Goseiger were incredibly generic in almost every single way until middle or so, but Zyuoh at least have energetic music. When that mystic-y Zyuland song starts to play, it makes show seems way more exciting than it actually is. And consideing how often song plays, it helps a lot, IMO. I also think villians were fine, even if they didn't do much for the majority of the series. I take Ginis, Azald and Quval over first two Goseiger groupes of baddies.
    My biggest issue with Zyuohger is that it easily could have been a 26-episode show. It would be a fine short series, but there is just not enough material there for a full 50-eps one.
  12. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    Gokaiger was after Shinkenger...
  13. Kamen Rider IXA

    Kamen Rider IXA Lurker

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    It's been only two years since Shinkenger.
    Should have made that one more clear.

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