Dairanger : a good sentai show, but an overrated one.

With Shout Factory releasing soon official Dairanger subs, here are some thoughts about Dairanger.

In the sentai fandom, Dairanger is usually seen as one of the best sentai series of the franchise. While it's indeed a good show, I don't think it's one of the best, but it's certainly one of the most overrated one.

It's difficult not to see why the show is so appealing, and it has some good reasons to :

- Dairanger has an amazing cast, heroes, supporting characters and villains alike : Keichi Wada is awesome as the main hero, notably thanks to his action skills and good acting, as well as the other actors playing the rangers. The villain cast is full of legends, Akiko Amamatsuri as Gara, Yutaka Hirose as Jin Matoba, Rintaro Nishi as Shadam, Munemura Koda as Emperor Gorma XV, and ths supporting casr is very strong as well, with Koji Naka as Master Kaku, Masako Morishita as Kujaku, and Mikiko Miki as Kibaranger's mother. All of them are convincing in their roles.

- Dairanger has some of the best desings in the franchise, with the heroes's suits looking especially good, notably with golden motifs with their legendary beasts decorating their helmets. The mechas and main robots are impressive as well, notably Ryuseioh and Dairenoh. The villains's designs are often weird looking, but most of the desings are interesting.


- Dairanger has some awesome action, helped with its chinese theme, a main actor who is a member of the JAC, and great stunts.

- Dairanger really tried an huge world building, with the Dai vs Gorma conflict, and with a rich supporting cast which introduced different elements and rivalries in that complex war.

- Dairanger tried to give each ranger some focus, by giving each one a different arc.

However, despite those qualities, Dairanger still has some major issues :

- Paradoxically, the attempt to give each ranger its arc more often than not backfires, since in those arcs, the main characters seem more to be the specific characters of the arc, rather than the heroes who pretty much becomes supporting characters. An obvious example is the Kujaku/Gara arc, where Daigo is pretty much a supporting character, with Kujaku being the real protagonist. Because the stories often focus on the central characters of the arc, like Kujaku or Jin Matoba, the heroes end up being sidelined. Even in the main Dai-Gorma conflict, Kaku, as a former Gorma, starts stealing the focus from the heroes, since his deals with the Gorma don't really involve the heroes, notably during the DaijinRyuu arc.

- Another element, linked to the special arcs is how they feel disconnected from the rest of the show. It's especially true with the Kujaku and Jin Matoba arc, which were written respectively by Kunio Fujii and Toshiki Inoue, who didn't write anything else in the show. As such, their arcs feel pretty much standalone ones, and Sugimura doesn't succeed very well in blending them in the main narrative. Another glaring issue is seen with the "three idiots plans", a three episode arc, with a first episode with Ryou as the main character, then, for some reason, it's Shouji who becomes the one dealing with the three.

- Sometimes, the show goes a little over the top with its "tragic element" : a good example is seen with the Kou/Akomaru arc: first, with Kou killing so early Akomaru so he has to be revived once, to the mother who only discovers at the last moment that Akomaru is her son, to the fact that of course, the ritual to save Kou must happen in a cave, and with rocks crushing the mother afterwards, and Akomaru having to go in that precise cave : it's like the show wanted to get rid of those two in a practical way. Heck, in Dairanger, everyone dies, except the main six heroes.

- And of course, last but not least, the biggest, and by far, issue of the show: the complete anto-climactic ending, with the villains revealed to be just clay dolls, including Shadam, the final villain. That twist is very problematic, first, because it ruins the world building so carefully crafted : the heroes were not fighting the Gorma, but rather clay dolls ; besides, at the end, the real one who settles the conflict was DaijinRyuu, by putting the blame of the Gorma. It also makes a lot of tragic deaths feel pointless, notably Kujaku's, who sacrificed herself for a claydoll and Kaku's. Btw, about the latter, he behaved pretty much like a jerk in his final arc with his pupils, and having his friend ending being killed because he didn't choose to be honest with them. Btw, real Gara, if you were good all along, and able to destroy your evil clay alter ego, why didn't you do it sooner?

All in all, Dairanger remains a good sentai show, but with all those issues, shouldn't be seen as "one of the best ever"

Your thoughts?
 

Black Fang

Active Member
I think the clay dolls were based on the Terracotta army in the first Chinese emperor's tomb.

I can see how Jin was disconnected (even though he was working under Zaidos at one point) but Kujaku? She's directly tied to the main events.
 

raden238

Active Member
Yeah I agree with most of these points.

The big problem that I had watching the show was the big twist at the end with the Gorma tribe. They were all revealed to be claydolls. Now I'm not against that idea because the main message that I got out of this was besides a possible reference to the Chinese history with clay warriors etc.. is what Kaku said at the end. Without Youyouku or Kiyouku, you can't have the other. Which is basically a tribute to Yin and Yang philosophy. That's cool but that's also the main flaw with the show, the entire time Kaku knew that the Dai tribe and Gorma tribe would fight on eternally throughout generations as seen in the last episode and Daijinryu was the cosmos balance, so why didn't he tell the Dairangers this in episode 1? He said that the fighting was pointless!! So all along they were fighting for nothing!!! Which in turn made me feel that I was watching this for nothing!!! There was no big payoff at the end and instead a weird ending that makes me wish we will get a Dairanger sequel in 2040!! That's the biggest problem I had with the show.

I felt the Gorma generals could of had more fights with the Dairangers, I was disappointed that they didn't use their metal forms more often. I felt Won Tiger and Dairenoh should of have longer and better fights.

Everything else was fine to me. I liked the way the show had recurring characters that tied in with the Dairangers and that they all had pairings (even though Kirinranger got shafted). It was something new that I've never seen yet in Sentai. The Kou and Akomaru storyline was great to me and pretty sad. The suit and mech designs were awesome and I loved the idea of a Chinese mythology based Sentai. Hope we get another Chinese-themed Sentai this decade.
Then we could have a three team up like Ninninger, Hurricanger and Kakuranger and the Dino Sentais.

But yes after watching this show, it's cool but not the best Sentai story. Overrated but not as overrated as Zyuranger.
 
Zyuranger is definitely overrated. It had the hip thing of people claiming that it was a better version of MMPR. Little that everyone knew, Zyurangers was terrible in the first place.

I haven't watched Dairanger yet. But I am curious about it.
 
Although I agree with your views about the ending (really, all of episode 50 was a complete letdown), I honestly loved the fact that every Dairanger got his/her own story arc (although Rin was basically just a supporting character in Kou's storyline, at least she was still given plenty of screentime). It gave the actors something to do, the storylines had some real meat to them, and it gave more than ample opportunity for each Dairanger's character to shine instead of just giving them a throwaway filler episode here and there. Sure, these arcs may be "disconnected" from the main storyline, but it helps the characters stick out better if you ask me. It also made the villains of each arc stand out that much more (seriously, Dairanger has some of the BEST villains in all of Super Sentai hands down).
 

Ivanhobe

The Extraordinary Fan(boy)
It is fair to say that Dairanger is far from perfect, as much as i enjoy it i will be the first one to say that the writing of the show is quite inconsistent to say the least, but i also think that this is something that doesn´t hurt the show as much as it it hurts other because of one simple reason; see, much like SunVulcan or Kamen Rider BLACK before, Dairanger is a show that has plenty of problems but that it has such an incredibly energy and charm behind it that it is very easy for the audience to simply overlook all those flaws and enjoy the show.

This is why i wouldn´t say that Dairanger is overrated; no one will argue that the show was perfect, but it is still a lot more fun to watch than shows that are objectively better made. So really, Dairanger is not a great show because it is flawless, but because in spite of its problems it still manages to be an incredibly entertaining Sentai to watch, and at the end that is what really matters.
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
Completely disagree. A series having flaws does not make it overrated or bad. Everything has flaws no matter how perfect it may seem. What makes it great is everything it does right. It has some of the best characters in Sentai history. All of them get their time to shine in the sun, even if some are still favored over others. The choreography is simply some of the best in the entire franchise. It also has the lowest number of Monsters of the Week AND it was the first Sentai series to have a full on battle without the rangers being in costume. The mecha is just magnificent and the rangers had to truly earn the right to control it and combine it. Not to mention the Chinese mythology really enhanced everything because it was something that had never been done in Sentai before. As for its flaws, the series manages to over come them with everything else, so it isn't hindered by them That is why I consider Dai to be the best Sentai series ever.

Not sure how Zyuranger is overrated either as no one has ever truly hyped that show up. It is another solid series, but could have done with less Child of the Week plots. Nevertheless, I find the episodes far more entertaining than any Sentai series released in the 2000s.

Dai and Zyu (and Kaku) are just those series where I can just randomly turn on nearly any episode and enjoy it at any given time without having to be in the mood for them. Most other series, I need to prep myself up for an episode and be in a mood to watch that specific series. Hell, I haven't watched Gekiranger since it first aired and that series is like my fourth or fifth favorite Sentai show.
 

Black Fang

Active Member
Not sure how Zyuranger is overrated either as no one has ever truly hyped that show up. It is another solid series, but could have done with less Child of the Week plots. Nevertheless, I find the episodes far more entertaining than any Sentai series released in the 2000s.

Zyuranger lacked real character focus for anyone not Geki, Burai, and perhaps Mei. The cast itself makes up for it by being likeable, but the characters don't have much going for them. Sugimura did a better job with Dairanger and Kakuranger in that respect.

But I do agree that Zyuranger is more entertaining than many 2000s shows. Even Abaranger, which is better written and has better characters, is a bore compared to Zyuranger's energy. (Actually, Abaranger is boring, period, but that's another story.)
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
Zyuranger lacked real character focus for anyone not Geki, Burai, and perhaps Mei.

Goushi does get some great moments too though. However, yes, they really only focus on half the cast, but that is the same for almost every Sentai series. Most of the series from Turboranger on hardly ever developed the blue and yellow rangers much until Hurricanger came out, and they were only developed because they were two of the three main characters.
 

Black Fang

Active Member
Most of the series from Turboranger on hardly ever developed the blue and yellow rangers much until Hurricanger came out, and they were only developed because they were two of the three main characters.

Jetman? Dairanger? Kakuranger, Megaranger, Gingaman, Timeranger? What are you talking about?
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
Jetman? Dairanger? Kakuranger, Megaranger, Gingaman, Timeranger? What are you talking about?

Jetman - Yellow and Blue were barely developed at all. We know Yellow likes growing food and Blue goes to school.

Dairanger - Shouji and Kazu are still underdeveloped compared to the rest of the cast. Hell, Shouji's subplot with the San Bakas was only 2 of the 3 episodes.

Kakuranger - Again, Saito and Sekai are horribly underdeveloped. We know next to nothing about who they were and they didn't even get their own episodes for the scroll search.

Gingaman - Yellow barely did anything and the best development Blue had was overcoming his fear of tomatoes.

Timeranger - You're right on this one, which is why I said most.

As for Megaranger, I've only seen the series raw once, but I can't think of anything notable Blue or Yellow did. However, I can't speak much of it right now, but for the rest, yeah, blue and yellow got the shaft. And four of those series are in my top 10. Hell, Dai and Kaku are my top favorite Sentai series.
 

Black Fang

Active Member
I don't think your recollection of any of those shows are sharp, as evidenced by your confusing Gouki with Hayate for being afraid of tomatoes. I've just come from rewatching Kakuranger and Gingaman, so my memory of them is fairly fresh. Go back and watch again.
 

Dr Kain

Well-Known Member
I don't think your recollection of any of those shows are sharp, as evidenced by your confusing Gouki with Hayate for being afraid of tomatoes. I've just come from rewatching Kakuranger and Gingaman, so my memory of them is fairly fresh. Go back and watch again.

Hayate is green. He had the subplot dealing with Shelinda. Gouki is blue, who had the tomato episode and the teacher crush.

However, you're right about my memory on Ginga. I haven't watched the show in about 5 years. I'll be watching it again now that it is fully subbed after I get through Oh, Car, and Mega. I figure I'm going to do these few series in order since they are all completed (well, Oh is about to be completed).

Kaku, I watch almost every year. I just haven't watched the whole thing subbed yet.
 
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