What makes for a good anniversary series?

Discussion in 'Henshin Justice Unlimited' started by Ziginz Zegell, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Ziginz Zegell

    Ziginz Zegell No Fear, No Pain.

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    This is something that came to my mind while sitting around at work thinking about various power ups for toku heroes. You have your summons, form changes, equipment types, etc. So naturally when thinking about equipment the Akibarangers came to mind. That was when a question struck me between the eyes: is Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger the better anniversary series? For that matter, what makes an anniversary series good in the first place?

    So I pose this question to all of you fine folk here on HJU: What would you like to see in an anniversary series of your favorite Tokusatsu series? What sort of heroes, what sort of powers, what sort of guest stars, a serious story, comedy, a mix? All these questions and whatever else you can think should be addressed. Discuss!
     
  2. KingWilly

    KingWilly *explosion*

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    For me, it really depends on what series the anniversary season is from.

    Gokaiger was a really great way to do an anniversary for Super Sentai, as it showed off all the great things we associate with the series in a bigger, more modern way, with plenty of guest stars and tributes to go around; while still being it's own special show by itself.

    Decade however, was a big disservice to the Rider series; as it offered none of that whatsoever. In Rider's case; the Fourze Megamax movie was a far superior way to celebrate an Anniversary; by focusing on the most current (Foruze and OOO) while also giving time for the most popular (the Riders from the first run of the show from the 70's).

    As for tone, I'd imagine that something serious is less likely to work than something that is comical. Take Star Trek Generations or the final episode of Star Trek Enterprise, for example; that didn't work at all for various reasons, including shoehorning a crossover into a type of story that is too serious for that to happen logically. However, something fun like Gokaiger worked really great, because it was essentially a party for everything about the series.

    As for Akibaranger; it was a great show for fans of Super Sentai; but I don't think it works as well an Anniversary like Gokaiger did. Various parts of it might make it a better show, but it's a deconstruction rather than a recreation. Now, is a recreation required for it to make a good Anniversary? Of course not. An Anniversary show could be something completely new and dramatically different from the status quo for the series and still be great (see: Fourze); but Gokaiger did a better job showing us why we love Super Sentai in my opinion than Akibaranger did showing us what makes Super Sentai.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  3. NeonZ

    NeonZ Member

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    Although it wasn't intended as an "anniversary", I think what Skyrider eventually became is everything I'd want for a modern anniversary show.

    Introduce a new hero, with his own powers, fighting against new enemies, which are related to an older threat... and, at some point, early or giving some breathing room, scale everything up to bring back past heroes, in action. I think the guest appearances should feel like new adventures of those past heroes, and show why people like them. I really liked Stronger's entrance in Skyrider just because it stood out from everything the series had been doing up to that point.

    The episode showed several times that someone was spying Skyrider, and, in the end, when he's being utterly defeated - unable to defeat even one of the new monsters and forced to fight against two of them, they had Stronger making his classic speech and entrance. Even though his actor only would return more than 10 episodes later, and the replacement VA didn't really sound like him (compared to say, the voice used for him in Megamax or the modern games), that whole moment just worked very well due to everything there just fitting perfectly for a return of the character.

    When Skyrider actually got the actors to appear, I really liked how the past Riders were generally portrayed to be in personal adventures and just happening to meet Skyrider in the middle of them - even if the show was just following Skyrider. Something similar happened in Stronger's final few episodes, where each Rider even got a scene against a new villain before they actually met Stronger.

    Decade also seemed to be going with the Riders meeting each other in the middle of each one's stories, but, of course, Decade has the whole issue of most Riders being heavy reimaginations, so their appearances there besides one or two exceptions didn't really feel like "returns", just... introductions.

    Now, because Skyrider was never really an "anniversary", outside of the guest appearances themselves and some of the past Riders basically becoming secondary recurring characters (Both Stronger and Rider 2 appear in 8 episodes), there weren't really true references or homages to early shows - not even Tachibana gets a mention, and there weren't minor jokes, cameos or other references calling back to earlier shows, just the Riders back to a new battle against "Neo-Shocker".

    Still, if you want me to point at a model that should be used for future crossovers series, Rider or Sentai, I'd just point to Skyrider. The Riders actually being there and showing why they're all heroes, trumps any trivia or other call backs they could throw in.
     
  4. Shynilyte

    Shynilyte Shyni

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    What, no mention of Mebius? I haven't seen very much of it, but it managed to directly expand on the Showa era continuity. And having the main villain be a character that had been a part of the in-universe backstory but hadn't actually appeared on-screen before that is a rather neat way of doing so.
     
  5. Hell Kaiser Andy

    Hell Kaiser Andy Aronbafon

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    I'll say it needs to pay homage to the heroes we know and liked. But at the same time it doesn't need to push away the story set up (Looking at you Gokaiger).

    I'll admit while Gokaiger overall was better than Decade in terms of anniversary I liked Decade's way more (Ignoring the fact they used alternative versions of the show)

    Decade showed what did Rider did (to a degree anyway) and then introduced a monster that would tie him to Decade for the arc.

    So something that plays to the strength of the title character in general but makes the older ones we already know have a role in someway without overshadowing the story. Personally I think that was a flaw Decade had that he always outdid the old Rider instead of making him a proper assist in the battle.
     
  6. KingRanger

    KingRanger Banned

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    Of all the toku Anniversary shows I think Mebius was best.

    As far as Decade... It was awful. There was nothing good about it in the slightest bit IMO. The main guy was a complete douche bag.
     
  7. Tendou Soujiro

    Tendou Soujiro Kamen Rider Dark Kabuto

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    I think we can all agree that Decade was awful. Only good thing about it was the amazing opening. Besides that, Decade was quite possibly the worst way to celebrate an anniversary for one of my favorite franchises. It's sad really, Decade had a really interesting concept with the whole Rider wars thing but the execution really tore it apart.
     
  8. KingRanger

    KingRanger Banned

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    Thing is there are lots of people that think Decade was just the best in the world.. I myself don't understand that mind set at all :sly:
     
  9. Mr. Rhythmic

    Mr. Rhythmic Member

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    This is where most of these Toku shows fall flat to me.
    An anniversary series shouldn't be about shoving in as many references as possible, or making a new all-powerful super character that's good at everything. It should be about expressing the essence of a franchise, and while bringing in old story-lines and characters can work, it needs to feel like a heartfelt successor to the classics. You need to be able to feel WHY this thing has stayed for so long, not just throw in "Remember this right here? GET IT?!?!"

    Worst offender: Kamen Rider Decade. It started from having promise into "Let's just shove as much pointless crap in as possible, but always make sure our character is the best ever." The General Zol reveal is still on my list for dumbest moments in Kamen Rider history.

    How to do it right: Ultraman Mebius. Not every episode was golden, but "Mebius" incorporated the mythos without ever forcing it down your throat. Every Ultra was given respect, but didn't overshadow our hero's gradual growth throughout the series. We were given the return of some of the best villains in Ultra history (all of which were also given respect), along with some new instant classics (Enpera making Belial look like an afterthought).
     
  10. Ivanhobe

    Ivanhobe The Extraordinary Fan(boy)

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    I am one of the rare breed of people who likes Decade (but then again, it is hard to find something that i actually hate) and as much as i enjoy the show, it clearly isn´t a good anniversary series.

    The thing about Decade is that the show tried to create its own story and universe around the concept of "Crossover". This worked in the sense that the series allows for insane/awesome crossover battles, but the series doesn´t really pays tribute to the franchise, it just makes you aware that the franchise exists, so it does a really bad job as an anniversary series.

    The case of Gokaiger its different, the idea of a Pirate Sentai works well as a stand alone concept and the show did have some pretty good ideas there, but once they combined it with the crossover/anniversary aspect it eventually devolved into fan service, which is not a bad thing in itself but it does makes the show somewhat lacking. It was a fun season but it lacked the depth most SS seasons usually have.

    And then there is Mebius, an anniversary series intended as a sequel of the original shows, a series that embraced the core concepts of ultraman and brought them to the modern era. Its continuity allowed to present the previous heroes and pay homage to them and what made them great, the returning monsters allowed for the fan service one expects from these shows and to top it all off the show developed it´s own story and characters.

    Simply put, Mebius is probably one of the best anniversary series ever made, it achieved the right balance between homage and fan service and by creating its own story while embracing those other aspects it became more than an anniversary series, it became an Ultraman show.
     
  11. lazycoconut

    lazycoconut I liked him when he wasn't a god

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    I don't remember enough of Mebius to agree or disagree with the praise it's getting here - it was only the first or second Ultra series I watched. But I do not think there is anything wrong with a series mostly based around fanservice. I frequently see people argue that Boukenger is a better anniversary series than Gokaiger because "Boukenger had its own story!!!!1111" I found Boukenger's story dull and its characters thoroughly unlikable. I would much rather see a series based around fanservice than a more substantial one that wasn't enjoyable. Similarly, Fourze wasn't based around the anniversary concept, but I'm sure that a lot of people who didn't enjoy Fourze would much prefer Decade.
     
  12. Aoi Kurenai

    Aoi Kurenai Mad Skillz

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    I've always pictured Ultraman Mebius as the spiritual successor to Skyrider in what it did. It kind of feels like it hits all the points NeonZ was talking about. When a past actor came in, it was to impart some sort of meaningful lesson or help the heroes out of a pinch. The show never made you forget Mebius was the star, but it portrayed the older heroes in a way that makes you idolize them as well.
     
  13. Shougo B'Stard

    Shougo B'Stard Would like to change his avatar

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    I think it's this simple: have the show respect the past. Mebius respected the past, Gokaiger respected the past. Decade pissed all over it. Boukenger couldn't be bothered, Gaoranger couldn't be bothered. Even Ohranger tried to respect the past.
     
  14. Shynilyte

    Shynilyte Shyni

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    Actually Empera/Emperor wasn't actually all that "new". From what I can tell, he was alluded to way back during the Showa era. (the old Absolute Ultraman website has some info, and it was written years before Mebius aired) So uh, considering that he was already part of the greater backstory for decades, Belial kind of is an afterthought in comparison.
     
  15. Tendou Soujiro

    Tendou Soujiro Kamen Rider Dark Kabuto

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    More like he took a gigantic shit, threw it into a bucket, pissed in it, mixed up the shit and piss, rubbed the shit and piss all over his foot, and Rider Kicked every single past Kamen Rider.
     
  16. Ryuutaros

    Ryuutaros "Training."

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    Mebius, to me, handled the anniversary aspect the best. Other people have already explained why so I won't repeat them.
     
  17. FlashNeko

    FlashNeko Member

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    There's a bit of a problem in that all three of the big shows being held up as the examples of "anniversary shows" have all massively failed on some level.

    Decade tackled the problem of not having been budgeted/noticed enough to bring back a lot of the actual old Heisei Riders in an interesting way. They compensated in the earlier episodes by trying to do indirect (and sometimes out and out weird) ways of referencing elements of each show's high concept which lead to episodes that were a more meaningful and respectful than one would think on first glance.

    ... Then the second half and the movies happened and any attempt to play along with anything flew out the window because nobody seemed to know what to do beyond "have Decade beat everyone up forever".

    Gokaiger was able to get many past actors back (more than they even planned for) and that did lend the show an air of credibility that Decade lacked.

    ... But all this was ruined by the main cast being an unlikeable crew of chucklefucks who rolled their eyes and sneered endlessly at their fore-bearers (and on some levels that's worse than using a stand-in for the original) while seeming to never really let any of the lessons they had been taught sink in. It also had an over-reliance on Idiot Plot to cause tensions with some of the older teams (the Gokai vs Gosei fight at the start of 199 Heroes being a REALLY big example of this) and generally all the new guys were acted circles around by men more than twice their age.

    Mebius had both respect for its rich history of Ultras AND the ability to bring almost all of its older heroes back. In terms of honoring its past, Mebius was certainly the most reverent of the three.

    ... But perhaps it was a little TOO reverent as many of the episodes featuring classic monsters or referencing classic plots from older shows came with an expectation that the audience would already know or care why these things were so important without giving those new to Ultra shows any frame of reference to work with. It also had a pretty uninteresting main cast that was either boring or irritating (well, one that was memorably irritating at least).

    This was compounded by the problem that not only did you have them getting acted circles around by men more than twice their ages but with the fact the old Ultras kept their powers you had them FOUGHT circles around by men more than twice their ages too. This made you wonder why Mebius was even there half the time and while respect for the past is good, it's bad form to make the guy who's supposed to represent the next generation be completely irrelevant too. It's especially telling in Mebius' case because they basically called a Mulligan on the "inheritor of the next generation" idea with Zero.
     
  18. Mr. Rhythmic

    Mr. Rhythmic Member

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    Way to be literal. I mean what we saw on screen.
     
  19. Shynilyte

    Shynilyte Shyni

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    Didn't the Mebius movie explain that the older Ultra brothers were not actually capable of fighting since they risk death by transforming, and that the crisis during the film was an exception? Had that condition worn off later during the series?

    Also, does anybody think Zero might be a little too far in the opposite direction when it comes to fighting ability? Just in his first appearance, he tore through the monster army like it was nothing, and he keeps getting more powers after that. The plasma spark enabled him to turn his sluggers into a large sword, Seven gave him a bracelet like Jack's, Noa gave him his Ultimate form, and in Retsuden he gets form-changing powers based on Dyna and Cosmos.

    Of course, from what I've seen, Zero-focused media has never really been disrespectful towards older Ultras.

    Okay. But I don't really agree that Empera was more memorable than Belial. His schtick was basically DARKNESSDARKNESSDARKNESS. Belial at least had the whole Reionyx thing and the tendency to form super kaiju (Beliudora and Arch Belial).
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  20. NateRiver

    NateRiver Welcome

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    A show that can be a good show even without being an "anniversary show."
     

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