Sunday, January 20, 2013
Gai Yuki: being both Jetman's blessing and Jetman's curse?
There's no doubt that Gai is a memorable character; he's an anti-hero, rebellious, and he is very reluctant to fight as a Jetman; and the season shows him having a lot of character development, and his transformation from a selfish jerk to a real and true hero; moreover, he has a great rival in Grey. he's one of the main reasons Jetman remains remembered so much, even more than 20 years after it aired (and his final fate made him even more memorable).
However, unfortunately, I feel that the way Jetman focused on Gai has been done to the detriment of the others heroes, who are pretty sidelined. That's especially true for Ako and Raita, who seem to be almost forgotten, with only a few focus episodes, which aren't the best of the series. Kaori has great development at the beginning, when we see that rich sheltered girl become a brave fighter; unfortunately, past episode 20, the main question about Kaori isn't "how is she going to make a contribution to the team " but rather "who's gonna be her boyfriend", and her focus episodes suffer from that issue.
Then, there's Ryu. Ryu, being the Red hero, has of course a lot of focus; but in a sense, he suffers because he seems to basically become mostly Gai's foil. Another problem with Ryu is that I don't think he's a very good leader; sometimes, I feel that he doesn't really realize what 's happening with his teammates, how to handle Gai; besides, it would have been great character development to show him admit, especially to Gai, that his will to fight was more linked to his personal drama than abstract concepts of justice. Of course, it can be argued that Ryu having leadership problems makes him an interesting character. And of course, there is the Ryu/ Rie-Maria storyline; about that; let's just say that Abaranger has handled a similar plot MUCH MUCH better.
To sum, up, I feel that Jetman realizes too much that Gai is gonna be THE MOST MEMORABLE character of the show, and the other heroes suffer from it.