Monday, January 21, 2013

Abaranger; a detailed review. Part One: the main heroes

 With Kyoryuger coming soon in Japan, I'd like to write a detailed review of the previous dinosaur themed sentai, Bakuryuu sentai Abaranger, which is my favorite sentai series. I've not seen a lot of reviews about that series, and I feel that series is often overlooked by the fandom.
Storyline : 65 millions years ago, at the end of the dinosaur era, a meteorite fell on Earth, and, as a result, split Earth into two parallel universes :one part became our Earth " another Earth", with the other part becoming "Dino Earth", where the dinosaurs never went extinct, but evolved into an intelligent beast called "Bakuryuu", living with a specific species of humans, called "Ryujin". However, the Evorian, invaders coming from the meteorite, conquered Dino Earth, and then, decided to invade another Earth. A young warrior from Dino Earth went to another Earth to seek warriors with "Dino Guts", being able to team up with Bakuryuu and fight the Evorian. Three young people, a young father, a famous chiropractor, and a young girl knowing a lot about mechanics have been able to hear the voices of the Bakuryuu, and thanks to their Dino Guts, were able to become the new heroes to protect our Earth: the Abarangers

1) Our  Heroes

Ryouga Hakua/ Abared: he's a young man with a very cheerful and optimistic personality. He's an environmental protection investigator who has worked in US national parks, and as such, he has a big knowledge about nature and how to survive in it. As a very nice man, he wants to believe in others, and wants to like everyone. However, what sets Ryouga apart from most Red rangers (and most sentai rangers) is the fact that he has the responsibility of being the father figure of his young orphan niece, Mai. Being able to give Mai a better future is a big motivation of Ryouga's, and he does his best to be a good, father, despite being sometimes immature, and having to balance his father responsibilities and his job as an Abaranger. Despite being very cheerful, he can feel very bad if he feels he's not a good father for Mai, or if she is in danger. His very optimistic personality is often at odds with his partner Yukito's more cynical point of view, but he's so lovable that even Yukito can't help but being influenced by him, and his positive way of thinking. However, his cheerful nature has been later challenged by his confrontations with Mikoto Nakadai, who did everything to make him suffer by showing him the worst in human nature.
However, he's been able to keep his optimism, and faith in others,  which helped him to overcome adversity, but also to help other people do the same, as seen in his episode where he's trapped with other people in a Trinoid's dimension or the episode with the young boy who wants to win a race.
After the fight with the Evolian, he goes back in the US with Mai.

Some other photos of Ryouga.

Yukito Sanjou/ Abareblue: a rich charismatic  and talented chiropractor, who was born from a very wealthy family.  He earns a lot of money by demanding high fees for his talents, especially from rich patrons, and is so famous that even an famous American baseball player came to Japan to ask for his skills. He is pretty cynical, and has a cold exterior, but a lot of that personality stems from his sad childhood, where he was forces to have a strict education where money is the most important stuff. When he fell in love with a girl in high school, his father paid the girl's parents to move out and prevent that love to get in the way of the path he wanted his son to follow. He ran away from home and became a talented chiropractor. However, he couldn't let go of how he's been deeply affected by his life with his father, and, as a result,  Yukito became very cynical and pessimistic about human nature.  He especially has self loathing feelings, because of the way he felt he was tainted by his father's obsession with money. He has indeed shown that money is a part of his way of reasoning, like when he asks to be paid a huge sum of money to be an Abaranger, or his very expensive fees, or how he tried to use money to definitely cut his ties with his father. But Yukito has also shown that there were stuff that mattered to him much more than money, like his dandy lifestyle and, more importantly, his desire for justice and to help others, protect Another Earth and its people from the Evolian. Beneath his cold exterior, there is a very kind heart and a secret desire to believe in others, and despite being sometimes annoyed with Ryouga's behavior, he secretly is very fond of him because of that.
After the fight with the Evolian, he resumed his work as a chiropractor, with Emiri as his assistant, whom he eventually married.

Other photos of Yukito

Ranru Itsuki/ Abareyellow: a young woman who first wanted to be an idol singer, but after realizing in a painful way that she wasn't fit for that kind of career, gave up singing and decided to become a mechanic. Like Ryouga, she's a pretty cheerful person, and wants to protect everyone's dreams. Her desire to protect people 's dreams is shown in her encounters with a smart but insecure boy (who would leter become a Nobel Prize winning scientist), her idol singer friend, Ryunosuke's amateur paleontologist friend, and of course, her involvement in helping Asuka ans Mahoro be together again She has a pretty aggressive personality, and when something annoys her, she can easily get angry. She always tries to be useful among the team, notably by making useful gadgets to help the others in fighting the Evolian.
After the fight with the Evolian, she went to work in a racetrack, having a famous female F1 racer and former patient of Yukito as a mentor.

Other pictures of Ranru

 Asuka/ Abareblack: He's a Ryujin warrior, coming from Dino Earth. He's been confronted to the war and all the suffering associated with it all his childhood, being forced to live hidden from the Evolian, among his people trying to fight them, and witnessing his world being destroyed. However, he's also an artist who loves playing music, because it allowed him to find peace in his mind and cheer up the people he cared the most, especially his childhood friend and future wife Mahoro and her brother Mizuho. Because he's seen Dino Earth being destroyed by the Evolian, he wants to do anything to protect Another Earth from a similar fate, and he does his best to find and help the warriors in Another Earth in their fights against the Evolian. Asuka is a very strong warrior, but because he uses a lot of energy during the battles, he often needs a lot of rest afterwards. As the guardians of the Bakuryuus, and because he lost track of those that were under his responsibility when he came to Another Earth, he does everything to find them again and protect them from the Evolian.

Other pictures of Asuka

Abaranger weapons
The heroes change into the Abaranger by using the Dino Brace; Abareblack's brace is activated by using a key in his harmonica (the Dino Harp)
The Abaranger all have the Abalaser, which can be used either as a blade or as a gun.
Besides, each Abaranger has his own special weapon, themed after their dino partner : Ryouga has the Tyranno Rod, Yukito the Tricera Bunker and Ranru has her Ptera Daggers; when all weapons are combined together, they can be used to make a big weapon, the Dino Bomber.
Asuka's own weapon, his Dino Thruster, with which he can generate very powerful, four element themed attacks that can even be effective in fighting giant monsters; the Storm, Splash, Ground and Fire Inferno; combined with the DinoBomber, it gives it a powerup as the Super Dino Bomber
The Abarangers has a  Power up using the Abaremode, which has the diamond motifs in their suits transforming into sharp blades ; Abareyellow's Abaremode gives her wings.
The Abaranger also have each an Road Raptor, as a mode of transportation.

Besides, Ryouga/ Abared, when he uses the Styriser, a weapon that Asuka has made from a big rock, and  gather Dino Guts  from Yukito and Ranru in it, can become Abaremax, a very powerful warrior, who is able to take the enemy in another dimension, the Max Field, and fight it there.

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