Boukenger is awesome; but then why do so many people hate it?

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Dr Kain

Guest
I thought Bouken was a decent series. Not spectacular, but not terrible either. However, I felt BoukenSilver brought the show down a lot because he just didn't flow well for me.
 

EnerPrime

Member
They were collected with the intent of sealing them away from humanity forever though.

There is no point in the show where the stuff they collected was ever going to be researched or used to benefit society in any way (even if only to be put on display for their cultural knowledge value). They just had to be stuffed inside cold metal boxes, shoved in a giant warehouse to rot because humanity could not be trusted to ever responsibly use their powers.

And then you set up bombs inside that warehouse so that if even one has the slightest potential to be taken away you destroy them all forever, just to be sure.

You know that a ton of the Boukenger's stuff was based off or powered by those things, right? The Paralell engines that power the mecha were based off a precious design. Heck, I'm pretty sure they explicitly state that Bouken Silver's rescue themed powers and mecha were part of their plan to research and develop precious based technology to benefit humanity. The reason that stuff didn't get more focus is because that was not part of the Boukenger's jobs with SGS. They were just to make sure that mercs like Dark Shadow or homicidal maniacs like Ryoun didn't ge6 any world ending super artifacts.
 
Boukenger is a sad story for me. I loved it a lot when I first watched it. But then after repeated rewatches of the show, it just all fell apart for me, and is now one of my least favorite seasons of the franchise. :shrug:

When I first watched it, I loved how the show used the adventure motif in a way how life was so much more interesting. That adventure was around every corner. And I thought Chief was cool with his enthusiastic behavior of just trying to happily live life to the fullest. And I guess I enjoyed the subtle nods to previous seasons as well throughout the show.

Then I rewatched Boukenger. And I realized that the show wasn't very heroic. In fact, the show constantly shoved heroism and justice (in a superhero show!) in favor of just showing off the "greatest adventure!" I began to realize what a jerk Chief really was, and my respect for him pretty much diminished. Seriously, the guy is screwed up in the head. Also, none of the characters were particularly interesting or fun to watch, and the episode plots did absolutely nothing for them. There was hardly any conflict (or at least any epic or logical conflict). The plots were just awful.

I think to this day, the ONLY Boukenger episode I actually still like is the very first episode. The stuff after that..... well, I was kinda okay with the episodes in the first third. Seemed like the show was at least trying to build a variety of stories up. But by the time Eiji and the Questers showed up, it feels like the show just gives up. Nothing goes anywhere and everything comes to a halt. Instead, we're given a series of really boring filler episodes, and it stays that way until like the last eight or so episodes. And by that time, it's just too late. Everything wraps up in such a lazily written manner, and nothing pays off in any sort of satisfying way. After the last episode ended, I felt like I was left in the dust. I felt very frustrated by the experience Boukenger had given me and why I had to waste my time with such a show. I felt kinda down and sad actually. And that feeling just stuck with me for quite a while. Any show that does that, does not deserve praise from me. Somehow, I managed to rewatch Boukenger a couple of more times, and it just didn't work. Oh well. :shrug:
 

Lynxara

Nice post!!
You know that a ton of the Boukenger's stuff was based off or powered by those things, right?

This fact massively contributes to the feeling that Boukenger is really just a super-villain organization. Let's follow their logic.

The show's argument is that Precious are dangerous. So when one is found, it absolutely must be seized by SGS. It doesn't matter if the Precious belongs to an indigenous culture, or is someone's personal property, or is being actively researched for historical or cultural purposes. Precious are so dangerous they cannot be in the hands of civilians under any circumstances, and only SGS is authorized to take them from people.

So all the Precious that don't get put in a warehouse and blown up at the end of the show? Are being used to power incredibly powerful robots and other technological innovations that only Boukenger is allowed to use, and only for SGS's purposes... which involve finding more Precious. So SGS is taking something away from other people because it's "too dangerous," then using it to build its own weapons that only it can use.

At some point, SGS is going to have all of the world's most powerful weapons, and it will not be technologically feasible for any other human power on Earth to build anything of equivalent power. SGS will have all the Precious, with none left for anyone else's use. SGS could, at some point in the future, roll effortlessly over any Earth-based government.

So SGS is essentially a private army that answers to no one, and is hoarding superior technology that could probably be of great benefit to the rest of the human race. That is not the behavior of a superhero organization, that's the behavior of a super-villain. If Mr. Voice turned out to be Lex Luthor or Kang the Conqueror, it would not be in the least bit surprising.

Heck, I'm pretty sure they explicitly state that Bouken Silver's rescue themed powers and mecha were part of their plan to research and develop precious based technology to benefit humanity.

Yes! How strange that this stuff is immediately given to someone under SGS's complete control, and we never see duplicates of it in the hands of other people. Or maybe it's not strange at all, and we're just seeing SGS's public relations doublespeak in action. That "rescue" gear, if it is mass-produced, will surely be in the hands of SGS shock troopers.

They were just to make sure that mercs like Dark Shadow or homicidal maniacs like Ryoun didn't ge6 any world ending super artifacts.

Ryoun was an actual threat to human civilization, I can give you that one. But honestly, how is Dark Shadow any different than SGS? SGS seizes other people's Precious, so it can use it for their own benefit. Dark Shadow... seizes other people's Precious, which it then uses for its own benefit. It is seriously the exact same thing.

But for SGS, it benefits from Precious by taking them away from the rest of society, pretty much forever. Dark Shadow just sells Precious to wealthy people. We don't strictly know if they're bad people or not. But even if they are bad people, they at least value their independence enough that they'd probably stand with the common man against SGS's inevitable military coup.
 

Black Fang

Active Member
SGS's supposed villainy notwithstanding, I really don't see how Dark Shadow can be argued to be anything other than what they're portrayed as, which are villains. How competent they are with a wacky nutcase and a talking owl in their ranks is another story.

What should SGS have done with the Preciouses? Give them to universities and museums for safekeeping and public enjoyment? I suppose that could work, but it's leaving them open to further attempts at thievery.
 
I think the angle she's going after is "They're not doing anything with the Precious that sets them apart from Dark Shadow, and they could just as likely do something evil with them"
 

Lynxara

Nice post!!
SGS's supposed villainy notwithstanding, I really don't see how Dark Shadow can be argued to be anything other than what they're portrayed as, which are villains.

Dark Shadow are absolutely villains. But so are the Boukengers, and it's debatable as to whose villainy is causing the most long-term damage. At least Dark Shadow's business model, so to speak, demands that Precious remain in circulation and in the hands of many different people with different agendas.

Ideally, Dark Shadow is in a world where they can keep stealing and reselling Precious to different parties forever. SGS's business model (so to speak) calls for only SGS to have Precious, which means that eventually, nobody will be able to oppose SGS in any meaningful way.

What should SGS have done with the Preciouses?

Rather than talk about SGS, let's talk about the setting. The very idea of Precious, of historical artifacts that are also power sources, is almost inevitably going to make the people chasing them look bad. Instead of looking like hero-adventurers, in the Indiana Jones mold, they're going to look like people out to hoard all the power for themselves. Pursuing power for its own sake is a classic villainous trait.

There's a few ways to fix this, but I'm going to focus on one, because it's very simple. Just don't have SGS's machines run on Precious. Make the Precious a mystic power source totally unrelated to SGS's own technology base, something only bad guys can use. So the Precious are only dangerous in the hands of villains, and SGS does not materially benefit in any way from having them. SGS no longer looks like they're hoarding power. They still kinda jerks, but more understandable ones.

Go a step farther. Let's say SGS doesn't want to have a big warehouse full of quarantined Precious at all. They want people to be able to keep their family heirlooms and museums to keep their cultural artifacts. So someone has invented a scientific method or device that dissipates the stored magical energy in a Precious. It goes from an ancient scroll you can use to power a robot, to an ancient scroll that's just an ancient scroll. In short, Boukenger makes Precious into things utterly useless to the villains.

Something like that would let Boukenger thwart the villains without forcing them to take other people's stuff and lock it up. It would reaffirm that artifacts have value that goes beyond what they can do for you, and the importance of preserving them. And it'd make Boukenger and SGS look like defenders of human civilization and history, rather than people who may actually be exploiting it. Villains hoard and destroy, but heroes preserve and share.

There's other things you could do, but these strike me as the least invasive sorts of changes. They don't demand that you wildly change the characters, plots, or what the villains are like. You just make SGS's motivations clear and unobjectionable. This in turn makes the Boukengers look more like heroic people (if flawed heroes). They're using science and knowledge to save us from the depredations of sorcery and ignorance, which is a pretty classic Toei theme.
 

Midori Ken

Lurker
Who can halt the mad machinations of the enigmatic Mr. Voice?

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Boukenger had a lot of cool things going for it. Some of the music was pretty catchy, suits were cool, the Accellular is a really rad toy that was used really well in the non-standard transformations. Balancing multiple villain factions with separate backgrounds was neat

I will also admit to having higher expectations of an Anniversary series. Being three series into Super Sentai (started when digisubs started proliferating), I started to want continuity nods. What I didn't foresee was that they weren't directed at me, but at people with far more experience watching Sentai. Thus I missed out on what it was trying to do as an anniversary show, and the rest felt like standard motw fare.

Didn't hate it though, I belong to the camp who just enjoyed watching this once through, have just enough good feelings about it to enjoy the callbacks in Gokai and Akiba, but will probably never feel compelled to revisit it.
 

NeonZ

New Member
There's a few ways to fix this, but I'm going to focus on one, because it's very simple. Just don't have SGS's machines run on Precious.

By definition, that wouldn't be possible under Boukenger's setting though. Any human or natural object with unusually high potential power is considered a "Precious". Mecha and transformation suits that aren't available to most of the world pretty much have to be tied to Precious in order to exist. The original plans of the Parallel Engines, which power those mecha and suits, were considered a Precious, even though they were just paper.

Also, you said..
or is being actively researched for historical or cultural purposes

That wouldn't happen. The Precious, also by definition, have been abandoned by modern civilization for one reason or another, even if they were created by humanity, like the original plans of the Parallel Engines or the formula to create an homunculus (attributed to Paracelsus in Boukenger). If they had been taken and studied and become potentially integrated into society, they wouldn't be considered Precious and wouldn't be targeted by SGS.

Instead of looking like hero-adventurers, in the Indiana Jones mold, they're going to look like people out to hoard all the power for themselves. Pursuing power for its own sake is a classic villainous trait.

Sho Aikawa was Boukenger's main writer. Giving questionable traits to the heroes isn't really surprising at all coming from him if you follow other things he has written - Even in Boukenger itself, just look at how the series directly pointed out that Akagi's love for adventure could result in questionable actions. It wasn't something unintended. The consequences might were downplayed, but the show itself pointed out what he was doing.

The SGS does come into suspicion at a certain point of the show too. In the end, they weren't really villains because they were just moving to protect people - but, yes, a simple change of overall goal could turn them into villains.

However, the Boukenger being the only ones with Precious basically couldn't happen. Humanity would just naturally produce more of them during its existence - they're born from humanity's dreams. They aren't a limited resource that can be extinguished or controlled by a single person.

Anyway, the identity of Mr. Voice is hilariously creepy if you look at the extra material for the show:
The last episodes reveal that Mr. Voice's real identity is a seemingly young human girl, but reveal nothing about her aside from that.

Extra material reveals that she calls herself "Leona" and that she's actually... Leon Giordana, the creator of the original sketches of the parallel engines, whose soul has been transferred into different bodies throughout the centuries since his "death".

That sounds like the backstory of a potential main villain. I guess it won't help making them seeing less like villains to you... :laugh:
 
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Black Fang

Active Member
Rather than talk about SGS, let's talk about the setting. The very idea of Precious, of historical artifacts that are also power sources, is almost inevitably going to make the people chasing them look bad. Instead of looking like hero-adventurers, in the Indiana Jones mold, they're going to look like people out to hoard all the power for themselves. Pursuing power for its own sake is a classic villainous trait.

As far as setting goes, I always thought one thing Boukenger could have done to make it less episodic and have more overarching plot was to make all the Preciouses the remnants of the extinct Gordom civilization and SGS wants to keep Gaja from taking them back, and at the same time content with Jaryuu, Dark Shadow and Ashu who are also after them. I don't remember them saying everything in the heroes' arsenal was powered by Preciouses, just the Dual Crusher.

Go a step farther. Let's say SGS doesn't want to have a big warehouse full of quarantined Precious at all. They want people to be able to keep their family heirlooms and museums to keep their cultural artifacts. So someone has invented a scientific method or device that dissipates the stored magical energy in a Precious. It goes from an ancient scroll you can use to power a robot, to an ancient scroll that's just an ancient scroll. In short, Boukenger makes Precious into things utterly useless to the villains.

Maybe they don't have to "depower" the Preciouses, but returning them to their proper owners sounds like a good idea. Maybe set it in a world where ancient artifacts from legend have started being uncovered at a rapid rate and an organization is set up to save them from the wrong hands.

You can put me in the camp of liking Boukenger initially for "not being like the then most recent shows" No screaming Red, less wackiness, etc. I don't know how much I'd like it if I gave another look. But I do like the mechas myself. Minus the arm swapping. I can somehow buy it more with animals than vehicles, and by then it had gotten a bit tiring anyway; and then there are the pointless Siren and Police, and DaiVoyager. I like a battleship mecha but why make it yet another combiner? Just go the carrier route. It spent most of the time combined as GoGoVoyager anyway.
 

Midori Ken

Lurker
I either vaguely remember or imagined myself that there was pre-series speculation that the Precious were gonna be lost Super Sentai-related artifacts. Which means that as the 30th official Super Sentai, they would lay a legitimate claim for the purposes of preserving their heritage.

Production-wise, Toei could then just scrounge up whatever ratty old props they had laying around and called them "Precious". Like have archeologists uncover a Ranger Stick in some ruins that Ryuon is pillaging, and have it save the day. It would have been a better anniversary show by being accessible to everyone, though I wonder if it would have been considered unethical or mean to promote toys that aren't gonna get a reprint anytime soon?

That concept still sounds cool as hell, and depending on the execution, could potentially have imparted a better sense of history without being so reliant on stunt-casting like Gokaiger.

From this thread, I'm starting to get the inkling that maybe Boukenger was so flavorless, most of us have a more idealized version in the Superhero Time of our hearts. It's right there, airing before the Kamen Rider 555/Hibiki crossover sequel.
 

Terthna

Lurker
Despite how much I enjoyed Boukenger, I can definitely see the problems with the SGS that Lynxara is talking about. Mr. Voice, as I was watching the show, came across as very morally questionable in his/her methods. Oh, and the body hopping? What happens to the people who's body he's now occupying?
 

lazycoconut

I liked him when he wasn't a god
You can put me in the camp of liking Boukenger initially for "not being like the then most recent shows" No screaming Red, less wackiness, etc.

This is probably a major reason why I don't like Boukenger. It was one of my first Sentai and I disliked it right from the start, before I was into the fandom. But people insisting that it's more serious and thus "better" than other shows (or using it to bash Gokaiger/Gaoranger) annoys me and has pretty much ensured forever that I will not try to revisit or like this show
 

KingRanger

Banned
I didn't hate boukenger, but I didn't like it either. I couldn't stand any of the team except Blue. I didn't care for any of the villain teams. Bouken Red was just annoying. The only things I really loved about bouken were the music, the mecha, and the transformation device.
 

Aoi Kurenai

Mad Skillz
On a much more superficial note, that look of the series was one of the reasons I wasn't fond of it either. I remember seeing the early toy catalog scans for the first time and instantly thinking that the suits were "meh" at best and that the mecha were pretty ugly. It's very difficult to enjoy a Sentai, or any tokusatsu, when you don't enjoy either the action, story, or characters. For as much as Eiji strikes me as being the best thing in Boukenger, his suit is probably one of the worst Ranger suits out there. I remember an older member once saying he saw the Boukenger movie in theaters and the BoukenSilver suit looking absolutely terrible on a big screen and I wouldn't imagine that's wrong.

EDIT - Right, so, I did like DaiVoyager a lot. I love battleship mecha and it was a pretty awesome looking robot when transformed.
 

Black Fang

Active Member
But people insisting that it's more serious and thus "better" than other shows (or using it to bash Gokaiger/Gaoranger) annoys me and has pretty much ensured forever that I will not try to revisit or like this show

Well I don't think that's a valid conclusion to draw, a show being used to bash another show must make it bad. I will say Gaoranger is perhaps better in that it actually had more story (I'm not a fan of Bouken's Deka-like episodic structure). And Gokaiger... what did Gokaiger really do better than Boukenger once you take away the anniversary stuff?
 
Well I don't think that's a valid conclusion to draw, a show being used to bash another show must make it bad. I will say Gaoranger is perhaps better in that it actually had more story (I'm not a fan of Bouken's Deka-like episodic structure). And Gokaiger... what did Gokaiger really do better than Boukenger once you take away the anniversary stuff?

Gokaiger had an actual likable cast. Plus, the awesomeness of Gai Ikari should count for something. Plus, they were actually heroic.

Gokaiger's plots revolve around the anniversary aspects a lot. They are simple plots, but they are fun to watch. I never understood the argument that Gokaiger was bad due to the anniversary elements. Take the anniversary stuff out and it wouldn't be Gokaiger anymore. Gokaiger's narrative does not really follow the same priorities that the majority of the other shows do, and I am not sure if it necessarily should. Frankly, I find the anniversary aspects quite fun and not just some shallow gimmick thats "overshadowing the story."
 

Black Fang

Active Member
Gokaiger had an actual likable cast. Plus, the awesomeness of Gai Ikari should count for something. Plus, they were actually heroic.

I didn't care for Gai's spazz attacks. He could be clever sometimes, but other times he acts like a crazy nutcase. You don't have to freak out just because you're a Sentai fan and are now part of one.

As for the rest, I don't know how "heroic" they felt but it may just be my memory. While they did undergo characterization, they were stock roles: Marvelous the "Look how awesome I am! Memes are born by me just standing around!" badass; Doc the bumbling meek kid, Luka the tomboy, Ahim the high-class girl, Joe the... actually, I don't know what Joe is.

I don't dislike them particularly, but I just don't recall anything so noteworthy about them. Especially when it seemed that they missed the point over and over and over again about how the Greatest Treasure probably isn't some literal thing to horde. That should have been clear form day one. And that was their prime motivator for most of the show, rather than a real sense of justice. Even their heroics was done in a "Yeah, we're awesome" kind of way.
 

KingRanger

Banned
This is probably a major reason why I don't like Boukenger. It was one of my first Sentai and I disliked it right from the start, before I was into the fandom. But people insisting that it's more serious and thus "better" than other shows (or using it to bash Gokaiger/Gaoranger) annoys me and has pretty much ensured forever that I will not try to revisit or like this show

Not liking one show because others use it to bash another show is childish. I have seen you do this with more than just this show.
 

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