Sunday, July 25, 2010

Boukenger Series Review


GoGo Sentai Boukenger (English translation Rumbling Squadron Adventurers) (2006-07) used an adventure motif, which seems to be somewhat inspired by the Indiana Jones movies. Boukenger focused a lot on folklore and mythology. Instead of every episode being about "the monster of the week," Boukenger episodes were more about the hidden treasure from the folktale or myth of the week. Although generally seen as a lighthearted, campy series, Boukenger is a series like Dekaranger, that I think is more of a middle ground between a comedic and serious season. This season was the 30th installment of Super Sentai, being an anniversary season. Being an anniversary season, Boukenger got a special team up (GoGo Sentai Boukenger vs Super Sentai) which saw the Boukengers team up with five Sentai warriors from the past (Nanami/Hurricane Blue, Asuka/Abareblack, Tetsu/DekaBreak, Tsubasa/Magiyellow, and Hikaru/Magishine). Also as a tribute to Sentai's anniversary season, the majority of all monster/evil mechas were modeled after Sentai mechas from previous seasons. This season also had the 30 Sentai Encyclopedia, which were clips at the end of each episode that paid tribute to Sentai's past seasons. This season is generally well praised by both newer and older fans alike. Older fans loved many of the elements in this season such as monster suits designed on past mechas, as well as a more traditional red ranger, in comparison to recent seasons. What was original to this season is that it had multiple villain groups (4 in total: Gordom Civilization, the Ashu/Questers, the Jayruu Tribe, and Dark Shadow), which was well liked by many fans. This season also had a likable cast as well.

The Good

Boukenger had a very good cast, with many likable characters that are well developed (such as Eiji, Sakura, Natsuki, and Masumi). Although the plot wasn't the best, Boukenger still had its good moments of excellent story writing and plot twists, especially with Eiji's background and the revelation of Natsuki's true identity. The special anniversary team-up lived up to this anniversary season. The intro and the outro were both good as well. It was also the first Sentai season to be produced in High Definition.

The Bad

The Boukenger's commander, Mr. Voice, was kind of irritating. The movie and the team-up with the Gekirangers were rather bland. While this series has many good episodes it also has a few boring ones as well. Also, the finale was rather, anti-climatic. This season also marked the first in a string of Sentai seasons to have mecha overload syndrom.

The Ugly

There was nothing too bad about this series to be called ugly.

My Rating
8/10 (Grade B). Boukenger is a good but not great series. Has an enjoyable cast and some good drama.

My Favorite Episodes
Episode 5- This episode begins Sakura's process of defrosting the ice queen. As we learn she's so stoic that she struggles to smile. She learns to smile by the end of this episode.
Episode 12- Nothing is more awesome in this series than watching the Bouken girls, Sakura and Natsuki, blast their way through an army of karths using machine guns. This episode really establishes Sakura as the Tomb-Raider action like character.
Episode 14- Develops the insecurities Natsuki has about her past and strengthens the brother-sister like relationship of Natsuki and Masumi.
Episodes 17-20. This 4 episode arc introduces the ashu/questers, Eiji as well as his background with them, his mom, and his father.
Episode 24- Provides a funny moment when Natsuki goes overkill with Ultimate DaiBouken.
Episode 25- A filler episode but also a rather heartwarming episode between Eiji and one of Dark Shadow's monsters.
Episode 27- A flat out hilarious episode where Satoru is cursed with badluck. He has to wear a bunch of good luck items over his Boukenger suit and looks ridiculous in it. It gets even better when those good luck items caught on fire after the explosion in the background that follows their rollcall.
Episode 33-34. Natsuki's identity is finally revealed, and it's a very interesting, heartwarming story.
Episode 40-42. A heartwarming arc involving Eiji, his mom, and the questers.
Episode 43. Boukenger's christmas episode, and IMO, this is Sentai's best christmas episode.

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