Early 2000s Sentai: How They've Aged

A lot of people talk about how the early Heisei Kamen Rider shows (Kuuga to Hibiki) have aged and how it was such a different era for Kamen Rider compared to the stuff now. I know there are some talks about how the early 2000s sentai have aged here and there, but thought I'd make an actual thread for it. I'm particularly referring to the Gaoranger to Magiranger run of shows.

I remember about five years ago when the Carranger to Timeranger run of shows had become the then "new old school" sentai and people were starting to look at them in many different ways due to how they've aged as time went on. It's been a little over seven years since the finale of Magiranger aired, and looking at the stuff from Gao to Magi, many things have changed for the sentai franchise since then. This run of shows seems to have their own styles that made them unique during the time of the early 2000s. This was also the era before sentai started getting into trouble, starting with Boukenger.

We've also got two prominent chief producers (before Toei started changing them around every year like they do now) who succeeded chief producer Shigenori Takatera (Car, Mega, Ginga, Kuuga, first half of Hibiki, Daimajin Kanon). Jun Hikasa (GoGoFive to Abaranger, Kamen Rider Blade, Bouken, Go-on, 2/3 of Gosei, Akiba) and Hideaki Tsukada (Deka, Magi, Geki, W, Fourze). Hikasa worked closely with three primary writers: Junki Takegami (Mega, GoGoFive, Gao, Go-on), Yasuko Kobayashi (Ginga, Time, Ryuki, PGSM, Den-O, Shinken, OOO, Go-Busters), and Junichi Miyashita (Kamen Rider Black with Noboru Sugimura, Exceedraft, Janperson, Blue SWAT, B-Fighter, B-Fighter Kabuto, Hurricaneger).

In Japan, all five of these shows seem to be very fondly remembered.

Gaoranger (Hikasa/Takegami): Seems to be a basic fun sentai show for the Japanese audience to enjoy. Plus, toy collectors really enjoyed the high quality toys of the Power Animals.

Hurricaneger (Hikasa/Miyashita): You know, lately I've started to question if it's Hurricaneger that's really popular, or if it's just Nao Nagasawa herself. Like, Nanami to some extent seems to be treated as the Black Condor of the early 2000s as far as popularity goes. :p

Abaranger (Hikasa/Arakawa): Seems to be fondly remembered by the Japanese fanbase and did break a lot of ground as far as sentai storytelling goes. Like a story where a hero loses his wife to evil (Asuka and Mahoro). A hero being a father-like character (Ryouga). And the concept of a pure evil ranger (Mikoto). Also the very first sentai written by Naruhisa Arakawa.

Dekaranger (Tsukada/Arakawa): One of the most popular sentai of the early 2000s. Taking the format of a cop show style, Dekaranger like Abaranger also broke a lot of new ground for the franchise. It lifted a lot of Sentai's usual tropes and did a completely new spin on them, creating very unique stories for each episode, while still feeling like a Sentai show.

Magiranger (Tsukada/Maekawa): The last sentai to not be filmed in HD. And also the last sentai before Sentai got into trouble during the whole Bouken-Kyoryu run. Also very popular, riding off of the then massive popularity of fantasy and mystical stuff like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings in Japan. Like many shows of this era (and even the late 90s as well), Magiranger has a lot of focus on plot and world building, especially in comparison to many of the shows that would be coming after. Deka and Magi (and even Geki) also had noticeably much less mecha compared to the next several shows. Magi and Geki are also some of the last couple of shows where we'd have long story arcs and even frequently have a MOTW that could last for more than one episode.

Anybody else have any thoughts about how this era has aged in your eyes? :)
 

cypsiman2

MagiFanboy
Regarding Gaoranger, while its not one of my favorites and the passage of time hasn't appreciably improved or degraded it in my mind, I do think it has a sort of universal, timeless quality that comes of it being as much of a "back-to-basics" sentai as you can get, to the point that the Gaorangers are almost entirely referred to by their color rather than their civilian name. You can drop it in pretty much anywhere and it's going to do its thing no problem. So, to that extent, I'd say Gaoranger is something that has and will likely continue to age well.

Hurricanger does seem like its almost entirely remembered for Nao Nagesawa, or Shurikenger, which I think is a shame; I found the show as a whole to be very enjoyable with a good balance in its tone and a lot of interesting details in the overall story and setting and stuff. Like Gaoranger, I don't regard it as a favorite, but unlike Gao I don't think it will be particularly remembered as you can't really sum up its strength and appeal as a show in a single sentence.

Abaranger is extremely standout and unique and I think it will continue to pass the test of time; same with Dekaranger.

Magiranger, while I think it was definitely aided by the sheer popularity of fantasy with Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, is another series I think will endure from the strength of its own innate quality as opposed to the train that it was hitched on. Something else that helps is that while it is very different in many ways from the typical sentai, both in its team composition and way the episodes focus on pairs of characters to name just a couple factors, Magiranger is also a series that manages to really encapsulate the full spectrum of the sorts of stories that Sentai likes to tell; epic and grandiose, small-scale and silly, one-shots and long story-arcs. Basically, I regard Magiranger as being universal like Gao, but far better.
 

Goty

Member
Unlike the early Heisei Riders, i think it's still soon to say time affected the perception of those Sentai series. That's because although the overall quality became more unstable, this franchise didn't change as much ever since, in my view (and for the things it tried to change, it mostly failed).
The only thing that aged was the cgi overuse in Gaoranger~Abaranger, which was not only intrusive but also looks really bad now. It was like Toei found a new toy and couldn't stop playing with it.
 

Sentaifan'07 Xman

"Let's DRIVING!!!!!"
Well, I never pay attention to the quantity of toy sells or whatever, for story-wise and character developments, I have most of the early 2000 sentais had the most unique developments in most likeable and least likeable characters.
 
Hurricanger does seem like its almost entirely remembered for Nao Nagesawa, or Shurikenger, which I think is a shame; I found the show as a whole to be very enjoyable with a good balance in its tone and a lot of interesting details in the overall story and setting and stuff. Like Gaoranger, I don't regard it as a favorite, but unlike Gao I don't think it will be particularly remembered as you can't really sum up its strength and appeal as a show in a single sentence.

Abaranger is extremely standout and unique and I think it will continue to pass the test of time; same with Dekaranger.

Yeah, Hurricaneger is kind of a weird one in that regard. When you really analyze the season, people do praise the whole Hurricaneger and Gouraijer rivalry (though this is only a portion of the show) as far as breaking ground for sentai goes. But other than that, it seems to mostly be remembered as the Nao Nagasawa and Shurikenger show (mostly Nao).

I really wonder if Aba and Deka will be joining the ranks of the Car through Time run of shows as major important sentai classics. These two really seemed to have left a unique impact on the franchise. Heck, a good chunk of the shows airing after these two seemed like they tried to remake the magic that Arakawa created.

Unlike the early Heisei Riders, i think it's still soon to say time affected the perception of those Sentai series. That's because although the overall quality became more unstable, this franchise didn't change as much ever since, in my view (and for the things it tried to change, it mostly failed).

Maybe. In Gaoranger's case, I feel like the show still has a lot of 90s elements to it. I know many say that Timeranger was the last show to have that 90s feel, but I think Gaoranger can count as well.

Like I said earlier, I feel like Aba and Deka really left a huge mark on the franchise, setting up many things for the many sentai seasons to come. Similar to how Kuuga and Agito set things up for the Heisei Riders. I can easily find elements of Aba and Deka in shows like Bouken, Geki, Go-on, and perhaps even Shinken. But after Shinken, it really feels like the franchise is trying to take some more extreme turns with it's direction.
 
Exactly what trouble did sentai get into?:sly:

Toei's more frequent executive meddling in the recent shows of course. It's a big reason why Akibaranger was created. Not to mention some of the then people who were frequently working on these shows were starting to burn out.
 

Scissors

Member
One thing that I miss about the 2000s Sentai is how the characters were handled.
Much like Kamen Rider, I feel that Sentai has become stuck in a comfort zone, where they are simply trying to create a live-action Anime.
Its the same type of characters every year, just with new names and new backgrounds. We hardly get anything unique anymore.

I also miss the MOTD actually having personalities and being part of the plot.
I feel that Sentai has taken a step back in that department. We are almost back to the 80's style MOTD that are only there to fight and then get blown up
 

Painted_Outlaw

The new Tendou Souji
Not to mention some of the then people who were frequently working on these shows were starting to burn out.

Exhibit A: Junki Takegami giving us Gaoranger..... before turning up with Goon-ger.

I also miss the MOTD actually having personalities and being part of the plot.
I feel that Sentai has taken a step back in that department. We are almost back to the 80's style MOTD that are only there to fight and then get blown up

Um, a lot of the 80s Sentai monsters were relevant to their plots.
 
One thing I noticed was that both the late 90s and the early 2000s shows all had their fair share of controversies amongst fans, when each of them first aired.

Car: Considered unusually silly and weird for sentai's "own good."

Mega: People thought Date Kenta was one of the most annoying reds back then.

Ginga: Another show that many thought was too different and weird for sentai's "own good." And Bokku being an acorn fairy was also viewed as too childish.

GoGoFive: People viewed Matoi as a lame parody of the serious reds from the 80s. And even the rescue motif was considered weird.

Time: I think this was an instant hit with most people. :p


Gao: Blamed for bringing in too many toys and for "putting toys over drama and storytelling."

Hurri: Nothing I can think of.

Aba: Show considered too weird and too silly for sentai's own good. Many also thought Ryouga was a bit of a flimsy Red.

Deka: Being episodic. Which to many fans, means Deka has no story and is nothing but just boring filler. Deka was also "that show with the annoying screaming red, Ban."

Magi: Nothing I can think of.


Of course all these shows had their fair share of fans too. But it seems like these shows got more and more respected as time went on.
 

Black Fang

Active Member
One thing that I miss about the 2000s Sentai is how the characters were handled.
Much like Kamen Rider, I feel that Sentai has become stuck in a comfort zone, where they are simply trying to create a live-action Anime.

Rider seems to be going this way too now. It's really hurting the impact of the stories when they're constantly downplayed in favor for upbeat silliness. Fourze for example, has such a disturbing premise, and had it been made pre - Den-O it might have been emphasized more, but instead we got treated to wacky antics.

I also miss the MOTD actually having personalities and being part of the plot.
I feel that Sentai has taken a step back in that department. We are almost back to the 80's style MOTD that are only there to fight and then get blown up

Um, a lot of the 80s Sentai monsters were relevant to their plots.

This sounds backwards to me. I think the 80s monsters were more intimidating because they were mostly mute, heartless beasts. Sentai monsters gradually went from that to something akin to mustache-twirling cartoon villains. Also, more recent Sentais' episodes (and a lot of PR episodes too) all seem to revolve around the MOTW's scheme. The story depends on it to proceed. Whereas in 80s shows the MOTW felt more part of the larger story rather than the catalyst itself. The heroes or boss villains drew the plot.
 
One thing I noticed was that both the late 90s and the early 2000s shows all had their fair share of controversies amongst fans, when each of them first aired.

Car: Considered unusually silly and weird for sentai's "own good."

Mega: People thought Date Kenta was one of the most annoying reds back then.

Ginga: Another show that many thought was too different and weird for sentai's "own good." And Bokku being an acorn fairy was also viewed as too childish.

GoGoFive: People viewed Matoi as a lame parody of the serious reds from the 80s. And even the rescue motif was considered weird.

Time: I think this was an instant hit with most people. :p


Gao: Blamed for bringing in too many toys and for "putting toys over drama and storytelling."

Hurri: Nothing I can think of.

Aba: Show considered too weird and too silly for sentai's own good. Many also thought Ryouga was a bit of a flimsy Red.

Deka: Being episodic. Which to many fans, means Deka has no story and is nothing but just boring filler. Deka was also "that show with the annoying screaming red, Ban."

Magi: Nothing I can think of.


Of course all these shows had their fair share of fans too. But it seems like these shows got more and more respected as time went on.

People thought it was silly and had way too many spells that felt like Deus Ex Machinas. Also that Kai, being an exceptionally young red, was unworthy of the role.

Looking back now, Deka and Magi are actually some of the better Sentai I've seen since I became a Sentai fan. Geki's pretty up there too.
 

KingRanger

Banned
One thing I noticed was that both the late 90s and the early 2000s shows all had their fair share of controversies amongst fans, when each of them first aired.

Car: Considered unusually silly and weird for sentai's "own good."

Mega: People thought Date Kenta was one of the most annoying reds back then.

Ginga: Another show that many thought was too different and weird for sentai's "own good." And Bokku being an acorn fairy was also viewed as too childish.

GoGoFive: People viewed Matoi as a lame parody of the serious reds from the 80s. And even the rescue motif was considered weird.

Time: I think this was an instant hit with most people. :p


Gao: Blamed for bringing in too many toys and for "putting toys over drama and storytelling."

Hurri: Nothing I can think of.

Aba: Show considered too weird and too silly for sentai's own good. Many also thought Ryouga was a bit of a flimsy Red.

Deka: Being episodic. Which to many fans, means Deka has no story and is nothing but just boring filler. Deka was also "that show with the annoying screaming red, Ban."

Magi: Nothing I can think of.


Of course all these shows had their fair share of fans too. But it seems like these shows got more and more respected as time went on.

Lets be clear. Most of these things are said by adult fans NOT in Japan.
 

Painted_Outlaw

The new Tendou Souji
And? Does that make their opinions invalid or something?

He's not acting like Toei's gonna start caring or anything, he's just stating some opinions he may have seen on said shows.
 

KingRanger

Banned
And? Does that make their opinions invalid or something?

He's not acting like Toei's gonna start caring or anything, he's just stating some opinions he may have seen on said shows.

Fantasy Leader I have nothing against you. Cirno here just likes to stir things up. It gets him hot or something :anime:
 

Painted_Outlaw

The new Tendou Souji
> implying I've actively trying to troll you
> implying I'm not just posting to add constructively to the conversation.

Oh, you so silly.
 

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