Monday, July 29, 2013

Magiranger vs Mystic Force: Courage vs Belief and other things

Not too long ago, I finished watching Mahou Sentai Magiranger and I enjoyed it a lot. Now its time to see how it stacks up against its Power Rangers counterpart: Mystic Force. Since I can't add the asthetics of suit and mecha designs into this comparison due to those being stock footage, I'll have to throw those two out the window. Its not going to be too in-depth though, just going to go over the basic aspects.

I'm not going to include this bit in the judging because it doesn't need to be said: Magiranger has the better theme song. The Mystic Force theme song is mostly garbled lyrics, totally uninspired, and fails to get you pumped up. A theme song is supposed to get you pumped for the show but I found it un-motivating and very boring. I found myself unable to skip Magiranger's opening and ending themes.

Courage vs Belief: In terms of how the magic and its source were handled, I have to give this point to Magiranger. The concept of courage works so much better for the idea of magic than simply believing in magic does. Conquering your fears, admitting your mistakes, doing what is right for your family, etc all play into the concept of courage. Courage is much better grounds for character development and it really shows in Magiranger. While belief in magic sounds good on paper, it doesn't explain why it was just Nick and the others who could become rangers. If belief in magic was all it took then there would have been hundreds of rangers. Granted its been said that they were the only ones who could become rangers because they had the wands to channel their magic, but that doesn't explain it enough as anyone who believed in magic could likely use the wands. Magiranger explains exactly why its just Kai and his family who could become rangers and it really helps build up the world of Magiranger.

Civillian Uniforms: I have to give this point to Mystic Force. While the jackets in Magiranger are nice, I like the leather vest/cape combo with wristbands from Mystic Force more. It was a very nice look.

Character Development: As I stated above, the concept of courage works so much better for character development than belief in magic. It shines through in Magiranger. Out of the two, Magiranger has the most developed characters. Just about every episode of Magiranger is character growth for the main five with a bit of MagiShine and Blagel thrown in as well as some slight development for Nai and Mea later on. Even what would be deemed filler episodes lead to some sort of development for the characters. Normally when it comes to the family dynamic in a show, the older brother type tends to be my favorite character (in this case Makito/MagiGreen), but for Magiranger I had a really difficult time choosing a favorite out of the siblings. The Legend Mode arc in Magiranger worked better than Mystic Force's movie because Magiranger actually built up them getting Legend Mode with nice bits of character development. The character development for Mystic Force was there but it usually didn't carry on past a few episodes. This point goes to Magiranger.

The use of family: I'm a sucker for the family dynamic in a show. While Mystic Force did have a bit of the family aspect thrown into it, its just not up to snuff with the family aspect of Magiranger. Even with Nick being Udonna and Leanbow's son, with Claire his cousin and Maddie and Vida being sisters, they just don't feel like family most of the time and they tend to come off as just being really close friends (especially in Maddie and Vida's case, I actually had to remind myself that they were sisters a few times). Granted that's because neither Nick nor Udonna knew he was her son until really late in the series, but even after that reveal it still felt more like a close friendship than a familial bond. The family aspect in Magiranger works better because you have all the flashbacks of the siblings as children, plus their interactions while dealing with the supposed death of their mother. You really feel the family connection in Magiranger, while its kind of lacking in Mystic Force. Personally what I would've done in Mystic Force is make the main five the children of the wizards who died in the war and have them all have been adopted by Udonna and raised as a family. Magiranger wins this point.

The love story: Dissecting love stories isn't my specialty so this might not make sense. In Mystic Force, the love story involved Nick and Maddie while Magiranger included three love stories: Kai and Yamazaki, Makito and Eriko, and Hikaru and Urara, though the main two were Kai and Yamazaki and Hikaru and Urara. Eriko only shows up in two episodes and is only mentioned by name afterwards. The Hikaru and Urara one paid off decently despite being forced in at the last minute. It was sweet despite the irony of what happened afterwards. The Kai and Yamazaki one was sweet as well and they made a cute couple plus it didn't seem forced. It was fun to see Kai be so awkward and a bit goofy around her (nice bit of awkward teen romance). The Nick and Maddie thing was hinted at in the beginning of Mystic Force but was never brought up much. This point goes to Magiranger.

Wolzard's/Blagel's use vs Korrag's/Leanbow's use: This plays more into the family aspect, and plays out really well in Magiranger. Wolzard's true identity is hinted at from close to the beginning of the series while Korrag's identity seems to come out of nowhwere and isn't even hinted at until near the end of Mystic Force. Wolzard's true identity is a heart-wrenching discovery in Magiranger with Kai not knowing if he should save his father or try to destroy him. Wolzard's relationship with the entire team made it all the more emotional as opposed to Mystic Force where only Nick, Udonna, and Dagoron have any connection to him. The emotional reaction to Korrag's identity in Mystic Force was nowhere near as emotional as it was in Magiranger. In Mystic Force Korrag's identity is revealed and he joins the team almost immediately. This point goes to Magiranger.

The Worlds: Magiranger wins this point since it has a far more detailed world than Mystic Force. It explains more about how its non-Earth worlds (Magitopia and Infershia) came into being and even goes so far as to explain the purposes of its gods. It even includes sub-worlds/pocket dimensions called Marudeyona Worlds. The Heavenly Saints provide much better insight into Magiranger's source of magic than Mystic Force does. Magiranger has the most detailed world I've seen in sentai at the moment.

Now this next part isn't meant to be included in the judging criteria, its just something I thought I'd throw out there. I absolutely love the design of Mystic Force's battelizer. Its a shame it only got used once. Its my favorite battlizer out of the Power Rangers franchise.

Overall Magiranger is the better series and handles its magical aspect better than Mystic Force. Its more memorable than its counter-part and in this case, the old "The original is better than the adaptation" argument certainly holds true. Its not better because its the original but rather because its more impactful than its counter-part.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Modern era of Kamen Rider: episodes writers by season

In 1971, Shotaro Ishinomori created the Kamen Rider franchise. The first Kamen Rider show was the story of a man, kidnapped by a terrorist organization, Shocker, and turned into a cyborg with the power of changing into a grasshopper themed warrior. However, the man managed to escape and decided to fight Shocker using his cyborg powers. The trademaks of that show were the grasshopper themed suit, the belt transform device (and a few episodes later, the use of the word "Henshin" to transform), the fact that the hero uses a motorcycle (hence Rider) and the enemies are human sized animal like monsters, which are usually defeated with a powerful Kick (the Rider Kick). Kamen Rider became a very successful show, and soon several sequels followed ( V3, X, Amazon and Stronger) which turned Kamen Rider from a show into a franchise. However, at the end of Stronger, a closing arc bringing together all the Riders would be used to conclude this long run and wrap the Kamen Rider 5-year long run. Several attempts have been made to revive the Kamen Rider franchise, but none lasted longer than two years (first between 1979 and 1981 with Skyrider and Super-1) and then between 1987 and 1989 with Kamen Rider Black and Black RX). Moreover, regularly, some Rider movies were made. However, in all cases, either Kamen Rider was trying too much to be similar to the original shows (like Skyrider) or it became so different that it would be even unrecognizable as a Rider show (Black RX) even if sometimes, a very good show aired (Black). Anyway, the Rider franchise had trouble finding a new path that would help to really revive the franchise in the long term.
However, in 2000, Kamen Rider Kuuga aired. It was a really new take on the franchise, with the hero being an human instead of a cyborg, the enemies being a mysterious civilization and not the classic Shocker ersatz, the huge use of different forms (already started in Black RX, but which would be done in a more interesting way in Kuuga), and the choice of a realistic Tone. Kamen Rider Kuuga would be very successful, and the Kamen Rider franchise has started then a new era that still continues now, with Kamen Rider Wizard being the 14th show in a raw of that modern era of Kamen Rider. During that era, plenty of new concepts were used every year, while keeping the basic elements of the Rider franchise (except the notable case of Hibiki) (the belt, the "Henshin" scream, the insect design of the suit and the enemies being human sized monsters)

Let's see now who are the writer of each show of that modern era :

Kamen Rider Kuuga
Naruhisa Arakawa (main writer) : 1-12, 15-16, 19-22, 25-26, 29-30, 31 (with Kiyoshi Takenaka), 33 (with Inoue), 34-49 (40 episodes)
Toshiki Inoue : 13-14, 18, 23-24, 27-28, 32, 33 (with Arakawa) (9 episodes)
Tsuyoshi Kida : 17 (with Kei Murayama) (1 episode)
Kei Murayama : 17 (with Kida) (1 episode)
Kiyoshi Takenaka : 31 (with Arakawa) (1 episode)

Kamen Rider Agito
Toshiki Inoue (main writer) : All episodes except episode 28  (50 episodes)
Yasuko Kobayashi: episode 28

Kamen Rider Ryuki
Yasuko Kobayashi (main writer) : 1-6, 11-14, 17-23, 26-28, 31-40, 45-50 (36 episodes)
Toshiki Inoue : 7-10, 15-16, 24-25, 29-30, 41-44 (14 episodes)

Kamen Rider 555 (Faiz)
All 50 episodes written by Toshiki Inoue

Kamen Rider Blade
Shouji Imai (first head writer) : 1-3, 4 (with Soukichi Imai), 5-10, 13-16, 20-21, 26-28 (19 episodes)
Soukichi Imai : 4 (with Shouji Imai) (1 episode)
Junichi Miyashita : 11-12, 39-40 (4 episodes)
Toshiki Inoue : 17-19,  29-30, 43-44 (7 episodes)
Shou Aikawa (second head writer): 22-25, 31-38, 41-42, 45-49 (19 episodes)

(Kamen Rider) Hibiki
a) Kida/ Takatera era
Tsuyoshi Kida (first head writer): 1-10 (with Shinji Ooishi), 11, 19-22 (15 episodes)
Shinji Ooishi : 1-10 (with Kida), 12-18, 23-29 (and involvement in 19-22) (24 episodes (+ 4 uncredited))

b) Inoue era
Toshiki Inoue (main writer) : 30-37, 40-48 (17 episodes)
Shouji Yonemura : 38-39 (2 episodes)

Kamen Rider Kabuto
Shouji Yonemura (main writer) : 1-10, 13-14, 21-26, 31-38, 41-44, 47-49 (33 episodes)
Toshiki Inoue : 11-12, 15-20, 27-30, 39-40, 45-46 (16 episodes)

Kamen Rider Den-O
Yasuko Kobayashi (main writer): 1-10, 13-14, 17-49 (45 episodes)
Shouji Yonemura : 11-12, 15-16 (4 episodes)

Kamen Rider Kiva
Toshiki Inoue (main writer) : 1-16, 17-48 (46 episodes)
Shouji Yonemura : 17-18 (2 episodes)

Kamen Rider Decade
Shou Aikawa (main writer): 1-7, 10-13 (11 episodes)
Yasuko Kobayashi : 14-15 , 24-25 (4 episodes)
Kenji Konuta : 16-17 (2 episodes)
Toshiki Inoue: 20-23 (4 episodes)
Shouji Yonemura (other main writer): 8-9, 18-19, 26-31 (10 episodes)

Kamen Rider W (Double)
Riku Sanjo (main writer) : 1-6, 9-10, 15-16, 19-20, 23-24, 27-28, 31-32, 39-40, 45-49 (25 episodes)
Naruhisa Arakawa : 7-8 (2 episodes)
Keiichi Hasegawa : 11-14,  17-18, 21-22, 25-26, 29-30, 35-38, 41-44 (20 episodes)
Kazuki  Najashima : 33-34 (2 episodes)
Kamen Rider OOO
Yasuko Kobayashi (main writer) : 1-10, 13-20, 23-26, 29-32, 37-48 (38 episodes)
Shouji Yonemura : 11-12, 27-28 (4 episodes)
Nobuhiko Mouri : 21-22, 33-36 (6 episodes)

Kamen Rider Fourze :
Kazuki Nakashima (main writer) : 1-6, 11-12, 17-18, 21-22, 27-28, 33-34, 41-42, 45-48  (22 episodes)
Riku Sanjo : 7-10, 13-16, 19-20, 25-26, 31-32, 37-38, 43-44  (18 episodes)
Keiichi Hasegawa : 23-24, 29-30, 35-36, 39-40 (8 episodes)

Concluding remarks
During the first ten years of the franchise (Kuuga-Decade), the most important writer was without a doubt Toshiki Inoue, who has been the main writer of three whole rider series (Agito, Faiz, and Kiva), in which he has written every episodes (except one of Agito and two of Kiva). Moreover, he took over Tsuyoshi Kida midway in Hibiki, writing every episodes starting with episode 30 (except 2). Lastly, Inoue has been a major secondary writer of all the others Rider shows until Decade (except Den-O), often writing more than 10 episodes of a show.
Another important writer is Yasuko Kobayashi, who has been head writer of three series (Ryuki, Den-O and OOO); Like Inoue, she likes writing most of the episodes of her shows as head writer, but in a less degree (while she's written 45 of the 49 episodes of Den-O, she only wrote 36 episodes of Ryuki out of 50, and 38 of OOO out of 48).
Kuuga's main writer has been Naruhisa Arakawa, but he pretty left the Rider franchise afterwards, only coming back for 2 episodes of W.
Another important writer has been Shouji Yonemura, who has been heavily involved in the Hibiki-OOO era, as head writer of Kabuto (where he wrote 2/3 of the episodes) and of the second half of decade, and secondary writer for Kobayashi in Den-O and OOO, and Inoue in Kiva.
Shou Aikawa has been involved in two shows as head writer: in the second half of Blade, and the frist half of Decade; the first part of Blade having been written mostly by Shouji Imai, who left halfway through the show.
Tsuyoshi Kida has been had writer of the first half of Hibiki (with Shinji Ooishi); he had previously written one episode of Kuuga and has come back as head writer of Kamen Rider Wizard (since Wizard isn't over, I didn't detailed the episodes writers)
Lastly W and Fourze, two shows having a lot of similarities have been mostly written by a team of three writers: Riku Sanjo, Kazuki Nakashima, and Keiichi Hasegawa, with Sanjo as head writer of W and Nakashima as head writer of Fourze; unlike Inoue and Kobayashi, the head writer only writes about half of the episodes of the show, leaving a good bunch of them for the secondary writers (mostly Hasegawa in W and Sanjo and Hasegawa in Fourze)

Another major point: it's likely that a lot of those shows have had a difficult production with at least three of them changing head writers midway through the show (Blade, Hibiki and Decade).
It's interesting to notice that shows like Faiz, Blade, Hibiki, Kabuto, Kiva and Decade are a lot targeted by criticism, and thise shows are either mostly written by Inoue (or Yonemura, who is seen as a Inoue follower) (Faiz, the second half of Hibiki, Kabuto, Kiva, Decade), or have had more than one main writer (Blade, Hibiki, Decade).
However, in shows without issues with head writers, the writing team has very few people (seldom more than 3, often 2 (Agito, Ryuki, Kabuto, Den-O, Kiva), and even in one case, only one (Inoue in Faiz).It can also be noticed that from Agito through Kiva, except Blade and the first half of Hibiki, all episodes of every show have been written by exactly three writers: Toshiki Inoue, Yasuko Kobayashi and Shouji Yonemura : it's pretty impressive for a 8-year long run.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pacific Rim Review sort of


I rarely do reviews because one I'm lazy and two I always feel that when I write reviews the end result doesn't truly describe my thoughts, but I just thought I would chime in my two cents about a certain film that was released recently, "Pacific Rim".  Now I realize that this film has gotten a lot of hype from Toku fans as, Hollywood finally going forward and making a Tokusatsu film, a Mecha anime film, and a Kaijuu film.  Pacific Rim has been described as a “love letter” for Tokusatsu fans and Guillermo del Toro himself has described this as the film made for the twelve year old in us, so obviously a big Tokusatsu fan and huge Godzilla fan like me should love this film right?  Well…not exactly.  You see I find this film to be a bad representation about what makes Tokusatsu special and what I love about Godzilla films, and it is the sad fact that I find this film to be bad, and it pains me to say this. 

We are good writers like Riku Sanjo and Kyoryuger
      Some of the major factors that have me say this is story and character.  Two very important things that any Toku and in general any movie should have.  The story is honestly badly written and is filled with so many clichés that it feels like it just rehashed movies released this year…that’s not a good thing.  Now without getting too much into spoilers, I will say this movie has one of the weakest expositions I have ever seen, in that I have seen it too many times in movies likes this.  This movie also has one of the most awkward love stories that honestly felt forced and had a lack of chemistry.  The movie is two hours and twelve minutes about and honestly I couldn’t tell you anything that felt like worth telling, the movie is literally just a story about giant robot versus giant monster that is all.  I’m sorry but to me that isn’t what Tokusatsu is about, or even the Mecha and Kaijuu films that were also the inspiration for this film.  Tokusatsu is about the special effects yes, but it is so much more diving into tragic stories or a man turned cyborg, a man who dies and comes back to life thanks to a space entity that allows him to not only live but deal with the threats that invade Earth himself, a team working and coming together to stop an organization from ruining our world, a psychological piece looking at what war does to young soldiers dealing with loss and overcoming pain, and a sympathetic creature that was affected by man’s desire to make a powerful weapon, whose skin is charcoal black due to the side effects of said weapon.  These are just some of the basic concepts of what a Tokusatsu story can bring to us; with Pacific Rim I see it as just dumbing it down to just one thing mindless action.

     With the Characters…I couldn’t tell you a thing about them.  They are all basically one note and the movie despite its long length never allows us to emotionally connect or relate to the characters at all.  Our two main leads Raleigh and Mako are really uninteresting and despite us knowing their backstories I can’t help but say meh because their dilemmas and turmoil aren't full looked into or fleshed out for us enough to get a firm grasp of what they are feeling.  Mako in particular I can’t help but think of her as an extremely water downed Nagi from Ultraman Nexus, a young girl whose parents are killed in a Kaiju attack.  Sounds interesting but in the movie her “vendetta” towards the Kaiju isn’t felt at all in fact when she wants to pilot a Jaeger, Idris Elba’s character Stacker tells her no and she fully accepts that.  Now for someone with a “vendetta” she takes not being able to fight the Kaijus awfully well.  And as for Raleigh his character is meh and despite us seeing the loss of his brother because of a Kaiju, Raleigh is able to beat that Kaiju easily so that essentially finishes any personal grudge against the Kaiju because he killed the Kaiju that killed his brother.  And for a guy who is depressed and refuses to pilot a Jaeger because of his brother’s death, he kind of accepts getting back into the fight quite easily.  And the fact that these two “damaged” characters who suffered personal lost have their stories basically solved without feeling like it was really resolved is very underwhelming.  I also don’t like how their turmoil is solved basically through one talk with each other is really the ultimate insult (now if there was more talking then I missed it because the film doesn't do a good job in exploring the two’s relationship). 

   As for other characters Idris Elba’s character was also meh but what main him so entertaining was his terrible dialogue, I couldn't help but laugh as my friend and I heard his lines we couldn’t take him seriously and he was way over-the-top.  
He is too over the top to take seriously and his speeches are terrible

     Then we have an asshole Australian and his dad who are pretty much there to show an asshole and his dad.  And the Australian has nothing redeemable about him that you honestly want a Kaiju to kill him.  The other Jaeger pilots are basically just there.  
He's an ass hole with nothing redeemable about him. 
     The Chinese Jaeger and Russian Jaeger pilots are just shown to us briefly with just dialogue from Idris Elba describing them, they are essentially not characters and are there to show the threat when two Kaijus attack Hong Kong (SPOILER: They die easily -_-) 

Who are these people?
and of course our heroes Mako and Raleigh are the only ones who can stop them and they manage to kill two Kaijus when three other Jaeger pilots who have been fighting for more years could not.  And don’t give the EMP monster who took out the power from the two Jaegers, if they were professional then why the hell there were no back up plans were, seriously plan for everything.  And are you to tell me the Chinese would rather be electronic rather than Nuclear? The crazy scientists were there for just comedy relief and exposition, so yeah they are just there.
These two have no chemistry and their romance is awkward  
    The acting…it sucks just sucks.  Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi have no chemistry what so ever and with Hunnam he sounds bored throughout the entire movie, if he is so bored why should I be excited for anything he does?  Kikuchi is also bad despite her age her character comes off as a teenage girl with her facial reactions like, “But daddy I want pilot the big robot thing.”  And that basically describes her reactions to Elba telling her no.  Also like in the movie "It", when we look at Mako’s childhood, the child actress emotes real and genuine emotion that when we cut back to Kikuchi it feels like she is a completely different character or she just can’t translate that emotion at all.  Elba is over the top like I said and everyone else has no presence to them what so ever, maybe except for Charlie Day and Ron Perlman but the characters weren't interesting enough to have me care what happens to them.

      Action wise, I will say it here I am not the biggest fan of CGI, but when it is done right or done where I am not taken out the action I am okay with it.  But with that said the CGI fighting was terrible to me, everything was up close and usually at night and I can’t see shit.  It doesn’t help that the Jaegers except for Crimson Typhoon are all some sort of dark metallic color.  So needless to say I don’t like the Jaeger designs 

    and I also don’t like the Kaiju designs because they all looked the same in some way, the only thing that really is different about them are some have different color lines and just different faces, a sharp face, a hammerhead face, and a flat face.  Plus I couldn’t even tell you the name of the Kaiju because just like the other Jaeger pilots they are just there.  So I can say both the Jaegers and the Kaiju leave little to the imagination and kind of felt like either they weren't trying or they just didn't have any creative ideas.

 So describe my thoughts overall I kind of felt this movie was let down for me, I am okay with mindless action but I need something more than that mindless action being the only thing, I need so sort of story something I can connect with, find a character I have an emotional attachment to and understand them and relate to them.  I got known of that and sadly I can’t say I am a big fan of this film nor can I call it a love little to Tokusatsu, Mecha animes, and Kaijuu films it is missing the a lot of what made these things special to me and only took the most basic of things, the fighting as it’s love letter and it failed at that.  If you want a love letter to mecha anime watch the Iron Giant and Megas XLR, Kaijuu films technically Gojira is a love letter to monster films like King Kong, and for Tokusatsu Akibaranger.  These are strong love letters that have great writing  strong stories and character, special effects I enjoy, and strong emotional connections.  These are the love letters I would recommend, Pacific Rim not so much.

What I feel are some genuinely great Love Letters to things I love.
    Overall I would give Pacific Rim a 3.5 or 4.5 out of 10 because it is the kind of movie I would rent, invite my friends and make fun of it.  (Please note if you like or loved the movie I am perfectly okay with that in fact more power to you for enjoying it but for me personally it isn’t the type of movie I could watch again and again.)

(If you want me to clarify anything or want me to go into more detail please leave comments below and I will try to reply.)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Human looking villains: the dilemma about how to handle them, both from the heroes's point of view and the series's crew point of view

In Super Sentai, like in most tokusatsu, we have heroes fighting monsters, or robots, or whatever to protect other people and Earth's peace. However, while the MOTW are usually played by suit actors and seiyuu (or when they have an human appearance, it's merely a disguise, and their true monstrous nature is soon revealed), in a lot of cases, the main villains are played by live actors or actresses, and, thus, the enemy is human looking.
This element raises several questions :
- how do the heroes behave, seeing that their enemy has in fact a human face like them, or even is indeed human : do they have the right to kill that enemy like it was a mere beast or destroy it like a machine.
- How do the producers and writers are dealing with the fac tthat they show in a kid show heroes fighting and even potentially killing a character who looks human ( and especially if the character is female or a kid) ?  While during most of the show, the question can be dodged, since the main antagonist has to survive, how do they deal with it towards the end?

In Super Sentai, several situations can occur for human looking villains :

A) Looking human, but not human

1)  In a lot of cases, the antagonist may look human, but is obviously not human : he or she is either a robot/ cyborg, a monster/ demon, a ghost, or even sometimes a mere composite avatar (like in Go-Busters); they also can be aliens, and that group of aliens is completely evil.

I'm gonna give some examples
- in the robot/ cyborg/ avatar  category : Iron Claw (JAKQ) , the Zero girls (Sun Vulcan) , the Big Three  and Farrah Cat (Bioman), Shibolena (Megaranger), Enter and Escape (Go-Busters)
- in the monster/demon group : all the Jashinka (Dynaman), Ley Wanda, Ley Nefel, Urf, Kilt (Flashman), Lehda and Jarmin (Turboranger), Radiguet (and arguably Tran/Tranza), Lami (Zyuranger), Junior, Dr Yugami and the Hanarangers (Kakuranger), Dinas (GogoV), Tsue Tsue (Gaoranger), Vancurya (Magiranger), Gaja (Boukenger), Long (Gekiranger), Kegaleshia (Go-onger)
- evil aliens : the Vader Clan (Queen Hedorian, General Hedrer, Keller, Mirror and Amazon Killer), Ser Kaura (Flashman), all human looking villains of Zone (Fiveman), Shelinda (Gingaman), Wendinu and Furabijou (Hurricanger), Basco (Gokaiger)

In most of those cases, the heroes don't see those characters as human, and fight them as if they weren't human looking, because they know they're not human : the only way the heroes may stop the fight would be if those characters showed a behaviour that would make them potentially redeemable, which is very rare.
In those cases, the crew indeed doesn't really care if the heroes kill those characters: after all, their human guise is just a disguise: more often than not the antagonist is defeated in a monstrous form.

B) Aliens in an universe where the concept of good aliens is aknowledged

In several sentai shows having aliens as antagonists, the society where the heroes come from aknnowledge the fact that not all aliens are evil and that good aliens are in fact the majority : in those cases, human and not human looking villains are treated the same again, but the idea of redeeming villains is more prominent

Examples: in  the two police themed sentai, Timeranger and Dekaranger, while the enemies are aliens, there are also aliens among the allies (Timegreen, Dekamaster, or supporting characters): in those cases, the heroes's actions against the aliens must be justified: in Timeranger, the heroes merely want to bring the aliens back to jail; in Dekaranger, the aliens are criminals who can only be destroyed (deleted) if a space court give the heroes the greenlight.
Two Soda shows also explored the concept in depth:
- Changeman, where the Gozma are only some aliens among a lot of different ones (Ibuki, the heroes's boss, is himslef an alien), and even the Gozma themselves are forced to fight because of an horrible blackmail by their evil boss: the show tries to give the viewers empathy for the aliens, be them human or not human looking, and at the end, the heroes try to defeat the Gozma as much as they try to save their enemies from Bazoo's tyranny (successfully in the case of Shima, Gator and Gyodai, which have shown potential for redemption)
- Maskman : likewise, the Tube isn't an all evil society, but has been corrupted by an evil ruler, Zeba : while most of the generals are evil, the main hero is in love with the princess of the Tube kingdom, and several Tube members have been shown as good people.

Another case may be Dairanger, with the conflict Dai/Gorma : but once again, the concept of having to try to have a peace, or at least a truce with the Gorma is also highlighted (especially with the reveal that Kaku, the heroes's mentor is himself a Gorma)

How does the heroes deal with those kind of villains : usually, once again, as long as the enemies behave in  an completely evil way, the heroes have no trouble fighting them: but as soon as they may show some redeeming potential, they're gonna try to save them. The gender of the villain can also be important : the heroes are more likely to try to save a beautiful woman (Shima or Igam).

How the crew deal with it : in a lot of cases, the villain may be saved from death (Igam, Shima, Gator), or they are killed by the heroes in a fair fight (Baraba, Giluke) or they are dying victim form either other villains or other reasons (Ahames, Fumin, Akomaru (the two latter die in a cave in) ) ; Dairanger is a weird case where most of of the human looking Gorma are revealed to be clay copies.

 Special case: Carranger: the Bowzock are shown as being more silly than evil, and the human looking one's (Zonnette) main arc is her crush on the Red Ranger. In Zonnette's case, Red Racer must struggle with how to deal with an enemy in love with her ; of course, Zonnette is revealed to be really a good princess and most of the Bowzock survive.

C) Enemies are human, or at least seen as humans by the heroes

Those cases are the ones which are creating the most difficulty to the heroes.
Exceptions:  Hedda and Salome from Battle Fever J and most of Deathdark for Goggle Five; while they're not shown as really non human, the question is never raised in the show, and they're fought as if they weren't human.

However, there are several cases where the enemy is indeed human, and often, someone who is very close to the heroes : several shows focus a lot on that. In a lot of cases, those antagonists are evil rangers.   (for each show, I'll detail first how the heroes deal with the situation, and then, how the writers/ producers deal with it):

- Liveman: the whole point of the show is the fact that the enemies are the heroes's former friends, and the Liveman have to struggle with the fact that their friends are evil killers, and that they have to fight them : in a lot of cases, the memories of the time where they weren't evil yet make the fight even more difficult, and the heroes are often tempted to try to redeem them whenever they feel that can work (and they succeed in one case, with Gou/ Dr Obler) ; interestongly, in Liveman, none of the human looking villains is killed by the heroes: they're either dying through suicide (Ashura, Mazenda), or they die as a result of their actions which eventually backfire, and results in their death (Kemp, Bias)
- Turboranger : as half demons, but also half humans, Yamimaru and Kirika are seen as fellow humans by the Turborangers, especially during the Kirika era, since Kirika was a former friend of Riki and Shunsuke. Once again, while they are often fighting the two Hanyo, several times, the issue of saving them instead of killing them is raised: eventually, both characters turn on the good side and survive.
- Zyuranger : Burai, the evil Dragonranger is first an antagonist, but as soon as Geki learns Burai is his older brother, he's torn between his duty to defeat him to stop his evil actions and try to save him because of his fraternal love: eventually Burai turns good : while he dies some months later, he dies as an hero.
- Hurricanger : the Gouraigers are at first evil, but the Hurricanger see them as fellow survivors from th Jakanja attack, and they really want them to switch sides instead of fighting them : starting with episode 18, the Gouraigers are good guys
- Abaranger : a complex case, since the human looking villains are Jeanne and Lije, who are revealed to be Abareblack's wife and daughter, and Mikoto Nakadai/ Abarekiller, who has been the surgeon who saved Abared's life before becoming his enemy. Like Liveman, Abaranger raises the question about how to deal with villains with such deep connections to them ; at first, Abareblack was able to fight Jeanne only because he thought Jeanne was a monster using his wife's body; however, when he realized the truth, he couldn't fight her anymore like before; the heroes have no idea how to deal with a enemy who is a little girl: and the core point of the Abarekiller arc is to describe Ryouga's struggle to deal that a human, and the very doctor who has saved him is his enemy and that he may have to defeat him to protect Earth; the struggle was even harder because Abarekiller also did everything to make it more difficult for him.
Eventually, Jeanne becomes good midway through the show and becomes a valuable ally; she plays also an huge role in saving Lije, her own daughter from the Evolian. Eventually, because of his furor against the Evolian, Nakadai becomes the Abaranger's reluctant ally and plays a key role in the final fight; however, he ends up dying.
- Jetman also has Maria, who is really Red Hawk's true love, Rie ; at first, he thought that Maria wasn't Rie despite looking like her, so he was able to fight her. However, as soon as he learnt the truth, Ryu wasn't able anymore to fight Maria, and several episodes (notably episode 42) had him having protective behaviours towards Maria, despite her antagonistic behaviour. Eventually, in her last episode, Maria becomes Rie again, but dies at the hands of Radiguet, deeply suffering from guilt.
- Gekiranger : Rio was a former comrade of Jan's father, Gou (Gekiviolet) and Miki (the Gekiranger's female mentor : however, he turns evil and Gekiranger deal a lot with the fact that the Geki Jyu Ken has to fight a former pupil, and their struggles about how to handle it. Gekiranger gives the viewers a lot of empathy towards Rio. At the end, Rio realizes that he's been manipulated by a real evil force (Long) and finally reconcile with the heroes in order to fight him. Once again, the team has issues about dealing with Rio, but finally, Rio dies a heroic death fighting Long. Mele, a female follower of Rio, is written as a devoted sidekick and sometimes comic relief, and pretty much follows Rio's path.
- Kakuranger : Tsuruhime has to struggle with the fact her father is working for the Yokai ; while in fact her father was in fact in her side, she only learns it much later, and even then, she's forced to fight him and has to struggle with that reality. (Jiraiya has also a short arc where he has to fight his father figure)

In all those cases, the fight that the heroes have to do is very hard because of their links with the villains, and these struggles often makes very interesting plots

Special case about the three mad scientists : Dr Man from Bioman, Lee Keflen form Flashman and Dr Hinelar from Megaranger : all three are humans, and Dr Man is the father of a kid who is the Bioman's friend, and Dr Hinelar was a former friend of the Megaranger's mentor, Dr Kubota.
In those three cases, the scientist was completely corrupted and evil, and the heroes had no choice but to defeat him.
Bandora from Zyuranger was a former good queen, who became corrupted after her son's apparent death; at the end, she's merely sealed with her followers but not killed.
Another weird case is Shizuka from Boukenger ; despite being evil and never stopping in her villainous way, she's more written as a comic relief villainess and she is never  really targeted by the heroes who merely try to stop her instead of kill her; the fact that she's a cute girl might be the reason why the staff doesn't want to kill her. 

D) Heroes dealing with human villains in other toku shows

In several Metal Hero shows, especially the Rescue Police era (Winspector, Solbrain), the villains aren't monsters, but humans; in those cases, most often than not, the heroes merely arrest the criminal, and if the criminal dies, it's a result of his own actions. It must be mentioned that Janperson dealt with some evil humans (Reiko from the Super Science Network, but, most importantly, the Tatewaki Company with Ryousaburo Tatewaki/ Bill Goldy and his secretaries/ hitwomen who were completely evil, and that Janperson eventually had to kill)

In Kamen Rider, two shows especially used villains that were in fact humans; who only became monsters thanks to speciall deviced : Kamen Rider W and Kamen Rider Fourze. In both shows, the aim of the hero wasn't to kill the monster but to destroy the device who was making them become monsters. As a detective show, most of W's antagonists were arrested soon after being defeated; in some cases, the former monster( Dopant) was let go because he or she was more a victim than anything else; and Philip (one of the heroes) has to deal with the fact that the main villains are none other than his true family, and the final arc deals mostly with Philip's struggles.
In Fourze, all the Zodiarts (the antagonists) were in fact either fellow schoolmates of the main hero and his allies, or members of the school's crew. Besides, a good bunch of them were more victims than anything else, and Gentaro's aim was to become friends with them, even if he had to figh them before. In fact, his behaviour is mostly successful, and we see a lot of former Zodiarts show later a friendly behaviour towards their former enemy. The biggest symbol is when Gentaro offers his friendship to the leader of the Zodiarts, despite everything he did, and even succeeds in earning it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Metal Hero writers: a few comments

Most of the Metal Hero main writers have also be involved in the sentai franchise, so I'm gonna focus mostly on their Metal Hero work :

Main Writers 

Shouzo Uehara : He's the one who has been the first main writer in the Metal Hero franchise, which he involved himself into after leaving the sentai franchise. He's been the main writer of the first five Metal Hero shows, the Space Sheriff trilogy, Juspion and Speilban: he's the one responsible for the whole "Space sheriff and similar shows" era: After Speilban, when the franchise tried new ideas, he left, only writing one episode of Metalder and, much later, one of Blue SWAT. As head writer, Uehara writes most of the episodes of the shows he's head writer (even all of them in Shaider)

Susumu Takaku : Takaku had been seondary writer of Uehara when they were working in sentai ( and they were both head writers of Battle Fever). Takaku remained as secondary writer of Uehara in the early Space Sheriff shows (Gavan and Sharivan). After Uehara left, he became head writer of the two following Metal Hero show, Metalder and Jiraiya, two shows that would try new formulas in the franchise, but both shows are pretty much unique in the franchise. He remained as secondary writer in the three Metal Hero shows which had Noboru Sugimura as head writer, then left the franchise at the same time as Sugimura. Unlike Uehara, and like Sugimura and Miyashita, Takaku only writes about half of the show he's head writer, leaving many secondary writers to be involved in many episodes.

Noboru Sugimura  : Sugimura had written a few episodes of Spielban and Jiraiya, but he became head writer with Jiban, and he's the one who started the "urban cop" Metal Hero concept. That concept would be improved in the two following shows,  Winspector and Solbrain. Those shows ar ethe two first series of the "Rescue Police" trilogy, which really had been groundbreaking in the Metal Hero franchise. After Solbrain, Sugimura left the franchise to work on the Super Sentai franchise, where, once again he was involved in groundbreaking shows. Like Takaku, he only writes less than half of the episodes himself (in Winspector, he only wrote 13 episodes out of 49)

Junichi Miyashita : Miyashita started as a secondary writer in the two first "Rescue police" shows, Winspector and Solbrain. When Sugimura left the Metal Hero franchise, he took over as head writer in the Exceedraft, the last show of the "Rescue Police trilogy" and stayed as head writer in the four following shows, Janperson, Blue SWAT, B-Fighter and B-Fighter Kabuto. It's during his run as head writer that Metal Hero once again tried a completely different concept with the B-Fighter shows.
Interestingly, Miyashita would be later involved in a sentai show with a rescue theme as secondary writer (GogoFive) and in his sentai shows as head writer, he introduced insect themes warriors (the Gouraigers in Hurricanger). He writes a little less than half of the episodes in series he's head writer of (he would do it again in Hurricanger); besides, during his "Rescue Police" era, he often co-wrote episodes with other writer, most notably Yasuyuki Suzuki, with whom he wrote a good bunch of episodes, notably final arcs of series. He stopped working with a co-writer starting with B-Fighter.

Some secondary writers of note:

Nobuo Oogizawa: he started as secondary writer in Metalder, and then, stayed as secondary writer during all the remaining shows of the Metal Hero franchise, usually writing between 7 and 10 episodes for each series (even 14 in B-Fighter) : he's pretty much to the Metal Hero franchise post-Uehara what Kunio Fujii was to Hirohisa Soda in sentai.
Speaking of Kunio Fujii, he's an important secondary writer during the "transition era"; he left the Metal Hero franchise soon afterwards, only writing one episode for Winspector.
Another important secondary writer is Kyoko Sagiyama (a fromer secondary writer of Soda in sentai), who started as secondary writer in Winspector and then stayed as secondary writer in all the following shows, usually writing about 3-6 episodes for each show.
Some last interesting trivia: Yasuko Kobayashi was involved a ssecondary writer in every Miyashita Metal Hero show starting with Janperson : both would be involved as secondary writers in GogoV.
浅香晶 has been also an important secondary writer for Miyashita, also starting as a secondary writer in Janperson, and involved in every Miyashita penned Metal Hero show since.   

Metal Hero writers: part 4 : the B-Fighter era

The "Police themed" Metal Hero theme had been used for  6 years. As such, the Metal Hero needed to find a new direction to avoid being repetitive. After Blue SWAT, the franchise took a completely different direction and used a fantasy theme. The Metal Heroes would gain their powers from insects after being chosen, and they would be confronted to invader from another dimension. Their support team has a Sentai vibe, with a scientist but also an insect mentor. The B-Fighter series had somewhat of a Super Sentai feeling, while using an insect theme (insects being trademark of Kamen Rider). That theme would be used during two years, with Juuko B Fighter and its sequel B-Fighter Kabuto.
The writing team of that era isn't that different from the late "Rescue Police era", with Junichi Miyashita as head writer, and a team of secondary writer similar to those used in the previous shows. However, Miyashita works with a less important number of secondary writers than in the "Rescue  Police era"
After B-Fighter Kabuto, Metal Hero would take again a different direction, with very kid friendly shows using funny robots, but since I don't know much about those shows, I won't talk about them.

Juuko B Fighter

Junichi Miyashita (main writer): 1-5, 13-14, 19-20, 22, 24, 28-29, 33, 35-36, 40, 43-44, 49-51 (22 episodes)
Nobuo Oogizawa : 6, 9, 12, 15, 17, 21, 23, 27, 32, 37, 41, 46-48 (14 episodes)
Kyoko Sagiyama : 7, 11 (credited to her, but written by Yasuko Kobayashi), 16, 25, 34, 39, 42 (7 episodes (with 11 having a story from Yasuko Kobayashi)
浅香晶 : 8, 10, 18, 26, 30-31, 38, 45 (8 episodes)
Yasuko Kobayashi : 11 (story), 52-53 (the crossover with Janperson and Blue SWAT) (3 episodes)

B-Fighter Kabuto

Junichi Miyashita (main writer) : 1-4, 7, 11, 15-17, 22, 25-29, 34-35, 38, 42, 47-50 (23 episodes)
Nobuo Oogizawa : 5, 9, 20, 23, 31, 39, 45 (7 episodes)
浅香晶 : 6, 10, 13, 19, 32-33, 41, 43 (8 episodes)
Yasuko Kobayashi : 8, 14, 21, 36, 40, 46 (6 episodes)
Kyoko Sagiyama : 12, 18, 24, 30, 37, 44 (6 episodes)

Metal Hero writers : part 3: the Rescue Police era

After Jiban, the Metal Hero has had a change of producer : Susumu Yoshikawa left the Metal Hero franchise and was replaced by Nagafuma Hori. It's during that time that the Metal Hero managed to find a new successful formula, by bringing a new kind of Metal Heroes : the Rescue Police teams. While Jiban already had introduced the concept of the protagonists being urban cops, it's the following series, Winspector that would define the new formula, with heroes being in a police force, with also a rescue theme, with a human (or more) hero being able to wear a metallic armor for difficult task, and would be helped by human companions and robots. The enemies weren't monsters anymore, but rather plain criminals, usually humans, whose misdeeds had to be stopped by the team. Winspector was notable among tokusatsu shows that it didn't have regular villains. That new concept became very successful, and helped the franchise become very popular again, after several years struggling to find a new successful formula. Two other series with a "Rescue police" theme would follow: Solbrain, and then, Excedraaft, the latter which nevertheless include some regular villains and include some alien characters and sci-fi elements.  Those three series are called the "Rescue police trilogy"
Two others series can be included in this era: Janperson and Blue SWAT. Janperson used again the concept of the hero having an "urban cop feeling", but this time, the hero was a mysterious robot which was stopping the criminal activities of three different themed criminal organizations (a robotic themed one, an evil science themed one and a more standard crime themed one). Midway through the show, with the addition of a young female engineer, who was the one who made the robotic hero, and  of a new robot partner, the focus switched towards the relationship between the heroic team, while still fighting the criminal syndicates. Then came Blue SWAT, another crime fighting team (even if in that case, the heroes were "private detective" like, since their organization has been destroyed at the beginning of the show), but this time, the antagonists were a Space mafia with criminal aliens. Blue SWAT was the last show of that era which would use the "Metal Hero fighting criminals" theme, and the next show would take the Metal Hero franchise in a complete different direction.
Two majors writers would be involved in that era: first Noboru Sugimura, which already was involved in a "urban cop" Metal Hero show (Jiban), who became the head writer of the two first "rescue police"  shows (Winspector and Solbrain). After Solbrain, Sugimura left the Metal Hero franchise to work on the Super Sentai franchise, and a new writer, Junichi Miyashita, who had already been a secondary writer in Winspector and Solbrain, would become the main writer of the three following series (Exceedraft, Janperson and Blue SWAT). Miyashita became one of the most important writers of the Metal Hero franchise, since he would be also the head writer of the the two following Metal Hero shows.
Fun trivia it's during that era that a writer who would become one of the most important writers in the sentai and Rider franchise has written her first works in the toku franchise: Yasuko Kobayashi
In the sentai franchise, Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger can be seen as a tribute to the Rescue Police concept

Winspector (Tokkei Winspector)

Noboru Sugimura (main writer) : 1-2, 10, 16-17, 22, 28, 31-32, 40-41, 48-49 (13 episodes)
Junichi Miyashita : 3-4, 11, 15, 19, 35, 39 (written with 新藤義親), 43 (8 episodes)
Susumu Takaku : 5, 9, 13-14, 24, 29, 42 (7 episodes)
Nobuo Oogizawa : 6, 8, 20, 25, 33, 38, 44, 46 (8 episodes)
Kunio Fujii: 7 (1 episode)
Kyoko Sagiyama : 12, 18, 23, 27, 36, 47 (6 episodes)
Takashi Yamada : 21, 26, 34, 45 (4 episodes)
Kenichi Araki : 30 (1 episode)
増田貴彦 : 37 (1 episode)
新藤義親 : 39 (with Miyashita) (1 episode)

Solbrain (Tokkyu Shirei Solbrain)

Noboru Sugimura (main writer) : 1-4, 12-13, 16, 21-23, 25, 28, 34-36, 40, 43, 46, 49 (with 浅附明子), 51-53 (22 episodes)
増田貴彦 : 5, 11, 41 (3 episodes)
Nobuo Oogizawa : 6, 10, 19, 26, 30-31, 44, 47 (8 episodes)
Kyoko Sagiyama : 7, 18, 27, 39, 48 (5 episodes)
Takashi Yamada : 8, 14, 20, 29 (4 episodes)
Junichi Miyashita : 9, 17, 33, 37, 42 (with Suzuki), 45 (with Suzuki), 50 (with 石山真弓) : 7 episodes
Susumu Takaku : 15, 24, 32, 38 (4 episodes)
Yasuyuki Suzuki :  42, 45 (both with Miyashita) (2 episodes)
浅附明子 : 49 (with Sugimura) (1 episode)
石山真弓 : 50 (with Miyashita ) (1 episode)

Exceedraft (Tokusou Exceedraft)

Junichi Miyashita (main writer) : 1-4, 7-8, 11-12, 19-20, 21-22 (both with Hosono), 25-26, 28-29, 33-34, 38 (with Suzuki), 40, 43-44, 47-49 (with Suzuki) (25 episodes)
Kyoko Sagiyama : 5, 17, 39 (3 episodes)
Takashi Yamada : 6, 16 (2 episodes)
Nobuo Oogizawa : 9, 15, 23, 32, 35, 41, 46 (7 episodes)
Naoyuki Sakai : 10, 14, 27, 31, 36, 42 (6 episodes)
増田貴彦 : 13, 30, 45 (3 episodes)
Tatsuoki Hosono : 21-22 (both with Miyashita) (2 episodes)
中野睦 :  18, 24, 37 (3 episodes)
Yasuyuki Suzuki : 38, 47-49 (all with Miyashita) (4 episodes)

Janperson (Tokusou Robo Janperson)

Junichi Miyashita (main writer) : 1-5, 9, 17-18, 21-23, 31-32, 34 (with 井上一弘), 45-48 (with Suzuki), 49-50 (20 episodes)
Nobuo Oogizawa : 6, 10, 15, 24, 35, 37 (with Sakai), 38, 42, 43-44 ( both with 増田貴彦) (10 episodes)
Kyoko Sagiyama : 7, 20, 36, 41 (4 episodes)
Hirohisa Soda : 8, 16, 28, 33, 39 (5 episodes)
増田貴彦 : 11, 19, 43-44 (both with Oogizawa) (4 episodes)
Naoyuki Sakai: 12, 26, 37 (with Oogisawa) (3 episodes)
浅香晶 : 13, 25, 27 (3 episodes)
中野睦 : 14, 29-30 (3 episodes)
井上一弘 : 34 (with Miyashita)
Yasuko Kobayashi : 40 (1 episode)
Yasuyuki Suzuki : 45-48 (all with Miyashita) (4 episodes)


Junichi Miyashita (main writer) : 1-6, 12-13, 19-20, 23-24, 27, 29-30 (both with Suzuki), 33 (with Suzuki), 37-38 (with Suzuki), 43 (with 井上一弘), 44 (with 荒川龍), 50-51 (with Suzuki) (22 episodes)
Nobuo Oogizawa : 7, 14, 21, 25, 31, 40, 47, 48 (with 増田貴彦), 49 (9 episodes)
Kyoko Sagiyama : 8, 26, 42 (3 episodes)
Hirohisa Soda : 9, 15 (2 episodes)
Yasuko Kobayashi : 10, 16, 22, 36 (4 episodes)
浅香晶 : 11, 17, 32, 39, 45-46 (5 episodes)
中野睦 : 18, 41 (2 episodes)
Naoyuki Sakai : 28 (1 episode)
Yasuyuki Suzuki : 29-30, 33, 37-38, 50-51 (all with Miyashita (7 episodes)
増田貴彦 : 34, 48 (with Oogisawa)  (2 episodes)
Shouzo Uehara : 35 (1 episode)
井上一弘 : 43 (with Miyashita) (1 episode)
荒川龍 : 44 (with Miyashita) (1 episode)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Metal Hero writer; second part: transition era

Speilban's relative low ratings showed that the "space sheriff " like shows were becoming out of fashion. As a result, the Metal Hero series tried to refresh itself, with new concepts.
Metalder was the first of those shows: while it still had some elements of the Space Sheriff shows, it was nevertheless a departure from the franchise, the hero being a robot, and he was fighting villains with a huge organization, with a very complex hierarchy, and with almost  every villain being a recurring character: however, it was a failure, with the lowest ratings ever for a Metal Hero show, and the show was cancelled at episode 39. The next show, Jiraiya was a completely different concept, never seen before, and never used again in Metal Hero, all the characters (protagonists and antagonists) being ninjas confronting each other : the heroes's uniform were much less metallic than in any other show. Then came Jiban, which was pretty much a Robocop homage, using a similar concept. Jiban introduced the concept of a Metal Hero being an urban cop, and with supporting characters being regular cops : that concept would be more explored in the later era of Metal Hero, the Rescue Police era.
Susumu Takaku and Noboru Sugimura are the two major writers of that era: Takaku as head writer of Metalder and Jiraiya and secondary writer of Jiraiya, Sugimura as head writer of Jiban, and secondary writer of Jiraiya. Sugimura would then be the major writer who would start the Rescue Police era.

Metalder (Choujinki Metalder)

Susumu Takaku (main writer) : 1-6, 13, 16-22, 24-26, 30, 33-37 (23 episodes)
Haruya Yamazaki : 7 (1 episode)
掛札昌裕 : 8 (1 episode)
Kunio Fujii : 9, 12, 15, 28, 31, 38-39 (7 episodes)
Shouzo Uehara : 10 (1 episode)
Nobuo Oogisawa :  11, 27 (2 episodes)
中原朗 : 14, 23, 29 (3 episodes)
Shigeru Yanagawa : 32 (1 episode)

Jiraiya (Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya)

Susumu Takaku (main writer) : 2-3, 5, 7, 9-11, 13, 15, 19, 24-25, 28, 31, 34-35, 37-39, 41, 48-50 (23 episodes)
中原朗 : 1, 20 (2 episodes)
Kunio Fujii : 4, 6, 8, 12, 17-18,  26, 32, 45, 47 (with 藤井康浩) (10  episodes)
Kenji Terada : 14, 16, 21, 23 (4 episodes)
九鬼隆 : 22, 27 (with 小池剛 ) (2 episodes)
小池剛 : 27 (with 九鬼隆), 29, 44 (3 episodes)
Nobuo Oogisawa : 30, 33, 36, 42, 46 (5 episodes)
Noboru Sugimura : 40, 43 (2 episodes)
藤井康浩 : 47 (with Kunio Fujii)

Mobile Cop Jiban ( Kidou Keiji Jiban)

Noboru Sugimura (main writer) : 1-3, 5, 11, 13, 17-20, 25, 27-28, 34-35, 37, 39, 46, 51 (with Kenichi Araki), 52 (20 episodes)
Kunio Fujii : 4, 7, 10, 14, 32, 43 (6 episodes)
Susumu Takaku : 6, 9, 12, 16, 21-22, 24, 31, 40, 47 (10 episodes)
Nobuo Oogisawa : 8, 15, 23, 26, 29, 36, 38, 42, 48 (9 episodes)
Kyoko Sagiyama : 30, 33, 44, 49 (4 episodes)
Kenichi Araki: 41, 45, 50, 51 (with Sugimura) (4 episodes)

Metal Hero writers: first part; the Uehara era (Space Sheriff trilogy, Juspion and Spielban)

A few months ago, Fantasy Leader and I have done an inventory of the writers involved in every sentai show that has aired.
Now, I'm gonna start a new series of "episode writer" list, with the Metal Hero franchise.
Metal Hero has several steps in its history : it started with the "Space Sheriff" shows, which had usually one male hero, a space police officer, helped by a female assistant, who fought evil groups trying to conquer the universe. Two other series, Juspion and Spielban, which have a somewhat different story, but still retains a lot of the Space Sheriff style. All those series had as head writer Shouzo Uehara, who involved himself in that franchise after leaving the Super Sentai franchise.
(NB: like in the sentai frnachise, when I see names which I can't find the romanji spelling, I put the name in Kanji)

Space Sheriff Gavan (Uchuu Keiji Gaban)

Shouzo Uehara (main writer): 1-16, 18-19, 21-24, 26-27, 29-36, 38-39, 42-44 (37 episodes)
Susumu Takaku : 17, 28 (cowritten with 永井達郎) (2 episodes)
Mikio Matsushita : 20 (1 episode)
阿部和江 : 25 (1 episode)
永井達郎 : 28 (cowritten with Takaku) : 1 episode
Tomomi Tsutsui : 37, 40 (2 episodes)
Yoshiaki Kobayashi : 41 (1 episode)

Space Sheriff Sharivan (Uchuu Keiji Shariban)

Shouzo Uehara (main writer): 1-7, 9-13, 15-21, 24-26, 28-32, 34-36, 38-42, 44-45, 48-51 (41 episodes)
Susumu Takaku : 8, 14, 22-23, 27, 33, 37, 43 (8 episodes)
久保田圭司 : 46 (1 episode)
湯山晃行 : 47 (1 episode)

Space Sheriff Shaider (Uchuu Keiji Shaider )

Shouzo Uehara (main writer) : All 49 episodes

Juspion (Kyojuu Tokusou Jaspion)

Shouzo Uehara (main writer) : 1-19, 21-22, 24-36, 38-40, 42-46 (42 episodes)

Haruya Yamazaki : 20, 23, 37, 41 (4 episodes)

Spielban (Jikuu Senshi Supiruban)

Shouzo Uehara (main writer): 1-17, 18 (cowritten with Yoshiaki Kobayashi) 19-22, 24-26, 28-31, 33-37, 39, 42-44 (38 episodes)
Yoshiaki Kobayashi : 18 (with Uehara) (1 episode)
Shou Aikawa : 23 (1 episode)
滝沢一穂 : 27 (1 episode)
市川靖 : 32 (1 episode)
Noboru Sugimura : 38, 40-41 (3 episodes)