Juken Sentai Gekiranger (sometimes spelled Jyuken) (2007-08) (English translation Beast-Fist Squadron Gekiranger) used a martial arts motif that was based off of a kenpou using the person's "innerbeast." Usually, this series is seen as a more serious show. In reality, the first 18 episodes are more comedy oriented, while the last 31 are more serious oriented. This series is one with mixed reviews. This show truely was the opposite of "It's Big in Japan." The correct phrase would be "It's Big in America." Despite having some of the worst TV ratings and toy sales in Japan ever for a Sentai series, it is widely popular in Western societies. Personally, I'm mixed on this series as well. The show is widely praised for its deep character development, especially from its two main villains for most of the show, Rio and Mele. Rio and Mele are among the most popular villains ever in Sentai's history. While the show receives criticism for its hyperactive red ranger, Jan.
Rio and Mele are well worth the praise and popularity they receive. Especially Rio, who is just awesome. Among the rangers cast, Gou is a badass. Ran was the first female leader since Yuuri from Timeranger, which was nice, although imo she didn't get enough focus. I also liked their technical assistant, Miki, and her daughter. The movie is one of the better Sentai movies imo, and the team-up with Go-Onger was pretty good as well. The last 31 episodes overall are pretty good, including the final battle. This show overall has a pretty good, ambitious plot. Also, the opening theme song qualifies as Crowning Music of Awesome.
I have to agree that Jan is a pretty annoying character who gets too much focus. As mentioned above, I also felt that Ran, the team leader, didn't get enough focus. Bae was also an annoying character imo, but he becomes likeable by mid-season. Also, the first 18 episodes, except for a couple awesome Rio moments, are rather bland at best. The team-up with Boukenger was also kind of bland. While the intro was great, I didn't really like the outro that much.
The uniforms imo are among the worst Sentai uniforms since Battle Fever J.
7.5/10 (Grade B-) A good but not great series, imo, that has its moments and a good storyline.
My Favorite Episodes
Episode 9- One of the better episodes during the early part of the season. This episode reveals the background to Mele's love for Rio.
Episode 12- Also one of the better early episodes, involving a CMoA when Rio eats his own fear for lunch.
Episode 15- Also one of the better early episodes, and the funniest because Ran has to become a mother after Jan and Retsu are turned into kids.
Episodes 19-21- This is the KaGeki arc and where the series really starts to pick up steam. In the first episode, Rio just kicks the crap out of the Gekirangers. The second, the Gekirangers go through a training session in which they're tested against one another's strengths instead of their own. The third, they obtain KaGeki after discovering why they want to fight, and particularly Jan. This is also the beginning of Jan's maturity.
Episode 23- Ran is named Captain, and is immediately turned into a rebel. Involves an awesome moment for Miki.
Episode 25- Gou transforms into GekiViolet for the first time and it is awesome. He then proceeds to kick Mele's ass.
Episode 27- One of the few episodes where Bae isn't an annoying pest. He helps Gou defeat the wolf inside him and turns out to be a likable character.
Episodes 32-35- The story arc that eventually ends in the defeat of Maku and the Kenma. Episode 33 is also one of the few moments where it actually looks like Ran is leading the team as the captain.
Episode 37- Ran who is mostly underdeveloped throughout most of the series finally gets some development here, when her rich mom tries to arrange her to get married.
Episodes 46-48- The big reveal of the series, and the arc where Rio and Mele's development and relationship come full circle, along with their death that is quite sad.