Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sentai teams sorted by their type of supporting team : an analysis

In 37 years (with a 38th series coming) of Super Sentai history, a lot of different teams clashed with different enemies in  order to save the Earth from evil or annihilation. Some teams were professional teams, other were people who started the fight pretty much by themselves. As such, sentai teams can have very different levels of backup from other people. As such, sentai teams can be sorted according to their supporting cast, which say a lot about how the team works and fights against the villains

1 Sentai teams with human or human-like leaders : professional teams 

Those teams have an older man (sometimes woman) who is the leader of the team, and their mentor. More often than not, the heroes themselves are part of a military or military-like organization, which fight the villains (for example, Gorenger, Battle Fever, Sun Vulcan, Changeman, Ohranger, Dekaranger, Boukenger, Go-Busters, part of the JAKQ staff (notably Red), and Red Hawk from Jetman) . Those organizations are either secret ones, or in other cases, known by public knowledge. Sometimes, the heroes weren't  initially part of the organization, but become involved with them because of the evil threat (good examples are the non red-Jetman, the Megaranger, Boukensilver). The mentor figure often have one or more assistant, usually a woman (either young or beautiful, or older), and the series may show the many employees of the organization, showing how huge it is. Often, a mascot character appears as well. 

Those shows are :
- Gorenger : military team (EAGLE) with a leader (Gonpachy), some female agents (notably Yoko Kato/ Zero Zero Seven, a young female agent who can sometimes become Momoranger to help Peggy), and troops: mascot characters are Yoko's young brother and a mynah bird, Gon. 
- JAKQ : Special force ISSIS, with Joker as its leader (and then Banba/ Big One, first mentor who's a ranger as well)), cyborg rodent mascot
- Battle Fever J: Military-like team, led by Tetsusan Kurama, some female assistants, with two mascot character : one of the assistants's little brother and a robot mynah
- Sun Vulcan : Military team, with commander Arashiyama, his daughter Misa as his assistant and a mascot talking robot dog.
- Changeman : military team (the Earth Defense Force ), with a human (or rather human looking ) general, and a big staff of soldiers and officers
- Jetman : Aya Odagiri, first female commander : while we don't see much more staff, the Jetman force is part of a big military organization
- Ohranger: military team, (UAOH), with an officer, commander Miura.
- Megaranger : INET, a big science organization, led by Professor Kubota, with a big staff of scientist, technicians and engineers, including Yuusaku/Megasilver
- Dekaranger : a special police force, led by the dog-like Anubian alien Doggie Kruger, who's also a ranger (Dekamaster) with his scientist assistant, Swan Shiratori, a Cygnan woman-looking alien. The Special Police has also plenty of staff.
- Boukenger : SGS (Search Guard Successor) Foundation, which is involved in discovering and securing dangerous items: while the mentor is mostly seen as a funny looking hologram in a screen (Mister Voice (later revealed to be a young girl)), the heroes are mostly helped by a bumbling but very competent engineer, Morio Makino
- Go-Busters : the Energy Management Center, led by officer Kurokin, with two main assistants, Nakamura, a young woman checking Megazord transfer, and Morishita, a young man checking Enetron flux and Metaroid creation.

It's interesting to notice that most of the oldest teams are among those: Super Sentai started by being about profeesional teams working in secret, but for an official organization: Sen Tai = Combat unit. 

2 Sentai teams with human or human-like leaders : intermediate cases between professional teams and amateur teams

In those cases, the teams don't belong to an army, police or science-like team, with official recognition, but are still teams belonging to a company that was created by the mentor-like figure to fight the threat, and became an huge organization. In those cases, the heroes either discover the organization when the threat appears, and join it (Maskman, Jan/Gekired from Gekiranger), or were already involved in it (the Hurricanger, the other Gekirangers, the Shinkengers). In a lot of cases, the mentor also has a female assistant, either a young girl or a middle age woman.
- Maskman:  Commander Sugata is the mentor of the team : Sugata's racing company is a front for his special force which fights Tube : Sugata has an important staff, with assistants, scientists, technicians.
- Gekiranger : the SCRTC (a sports company) being the front for a martial art school, the Gekijyuken, with the mentor Master Xia-Fu, a formery human martial artist teacher (Kensei) who became an anthropomorphic cat, his assistant Miki Masaki,  and the other Kensei (six martial arts teachers, who also took an animal appearance)
- Shinkenger : the Shiba House, who has been fighting Gedoushuu for centuries, with the mentor Hikoma Kusakabe and his big Kuroko staff

Special cases :
- Goggle V: the support team involve a mentor, two (with one leaving halfway) female assistant, and a team of five kids working on computers: however, the mentor leaves after 2 episodes to only come back in the 2 final episodes.
- Hurricanger : the mentor is Mugensai Hinata Ninja Master of the Hayate School a ninja school, and who is helped by his daughter Oboro : but in most of the show, Hinata is in an hamster form, which makes him feel like a "mascot mentor", but I still count him here because of his human origin; besides, because most of the school was slaughtered in the first episodes, the assistants here are robots.

3 Sentai teams with human or human-like leaders, but which are pretty much amateur teams founded by the mentor

In those teams, the mentor is pretty much the one who created the team by himself, after learning about the enemy threat against Earth, using all of his (or her) intelligence, scientific or (more usually) magic/mystic  knowledge to create all the arsenal (weapons, mechas, suits) to oppose the villains. In those cases, the team are learning of the threat by the mentor and join him afterwards. In a lot of teams, a mascot character appear. Those teams are much more isolated than the others, and have no public recognition : but the heroes have a mentor figure who can share his experience.

Those teams are :
- Dynaman: Dr Kyutaro Yumeno, who devoted his life contering the Jashinka and created the Dynaman team by himself : he has a mascot robot, the Kendo robot
- Turboranger: Dr Dazai, a scientist who managed to mix the magical power of fairies and automobile technology to create the Turboranger : the mascot character is here the child-looking fairy Seelon
- Zyuranger : the mentor is here the Sage Barza, who woke up the Zyuranger to fight Bandora : unlike most of the teams included in that group, the Zyuranger are experienced warriors already trained to fight : Daizyujin, the heroes's mechas, which combines the guardian beasts is actually a god, who also has a mentor role.
- Dairanger : Master Kaku, who recruits the Dairangers to counter the Gorma menace, and is their martial arts mentor : interestingly, he's himself a renegade Gorma.
-GogoV: the mentor is none other than the father of the sibling team, Mondo Tatsumi, who invented all by himself all the team arsenal, mechas and suits : he's helped by a little robot, Mint, and in many cases, by Gogreen's mentor, a young woman named Kyoko Hayase : interestingly, while the GogoV aren't professional warriors, they all have jobs in the rescue field (firefighter, cops, paramedic)
- Gaoranger : here the mentor is a ancient priestess, Tetom, who is the one who knows the most about the Orgs and the Power Animals. She chose the Gaoranger with the Power Animals, with which she has a strong link.
- Kyoryuger : here, the mentor is the bird-looking humanoid,  Wise God Torin : he's the one who has fought the Deboth threat the longest, since the dinosaur age, and, like Tetom, has a special link with the Zyudenryu, and is involved with them in choosing the Kyoryugers.  He's himself a renegade Deboth. Eventually, he himself becomes a Kyoryuger, Kyoryusilver.

Special cases :
- Kakuranger: the heroes have a mentor, Sandayuu, who only appears occasionally to give them guidance, but more often than not, the heroes are by themselves, especially since Sandayuu dies in teh middke of the series: the team's mascot is their cat-like bus, Nekomaru. 
- Abaranger : in that case, the mentor figure is an old man who's the restaurant owner, and who hosts the heroes during their fights. A young schoolgirl plays an assistant role, Emiri Imanaka. However, unlike the previous cases, he's only the father figure of the team. The mentor like team with the link with the Bakuryuu and the experience in fighting the Evolian is one of the rangers, Asuka/ Abareblack. The mechas, the Bakuryuu, are in fact sentient  robotic dinosaurs and partners of the heroes, with one of them, Brachio, also having a mentor role. 

4 Sentai teams with mascot like support team/ mentor

In those cases, the heroes are mostly helped by a mascot like character, either a robot or a fantasy creature, who is the one who chooses them, has the knowledge about the enemy team, and is helping them in the war against the enemies. The teams in those groups are certainly the most isolated among all sentai teams, since they have no real mentor. Sometimes, they can have a child friend, and even, in some cases, have a mentor figure appear occasionally (those last cases will be discussed in  the "special case" of that part). In a lot of cases, the heroes had pretty much to build themselves their arsenal, have to train themselves, and have no real mentor figure to look up. In some cases, the heroes have as companion a family, with the most important member being a young boy.

Those teams are:
- Denziman : the heroes are recruited by a robot dog IC, which has been left on Earth by the Denzi Princess with all the technology of the Denzi civilization and is the only creature who knows about Vader on Earth
- Bioman : the heroes are helped by the robot Peebo from planet Bio
- Flashman : the heroes's ally is Mag, a robot who was the Round base's guard until turned into a assistant robot by the heroes
- Liveman : the heroes's ally is Colon, a robot shaped like a young girl (here, while the heroes built their own mecha, Colon and the Live Base was created by one of their late Academy teachers)
- Fiveman : the heroes's companion is Arthur-G6, who pretty much raised the sibling team by himslef after the heroes lost their parents when they were little children: Arthur is also the team cannon
- Carranger : the mentor is an alien child named Dappu, who lost his planet because of the Bowzock: he often has to deal with the heroes's weirdness : as workers in a garage, the "family" involved with the Carranger is their boss's family, with the son often involved with Signalman
- Gingaman : because the heroes lost their home because of the Balban, their mentor was a wise talking oak, Moku : a talking acorn, Boku, was another mascot assistant. The heroes have as friend Yuuta, a young boy, and his bumbling father. Those human companions are the ones who give a home to the heroes.
- Go-onger : the heroes's companion is a little car-looking robot, Bomper : but, like in Abaranger, the mechas are sentient creatures, the Engines, who are the heroes's partners : one of them, Jumbowhale, also has a mentor role.
- Goseiger : very similar to Gingaman: the mentor is Master Head, a wise elder of the Goseiworld, the heroes are also helped by a cute human sized robot, Datas (who also can fight as a big mecha). The heroes also have a human boy, Nozomu, as a friend, with the father giving a home to the stranded team.
- Gokaiger: the heroes's companion is a robot parrot, Navi

Special cases :
- Timeranger : here, the heroes are professional cops (except Red) with the sixth ranger himslef involved in a professional security team led by a businessman who's none other than Red's father.
However, the time cops are stranded in an era  (year 2000) where they are pretty separated from their headquarters (which are in the year 3000), and only have as an ally in the year 2000, the owl robot Tak, which gives the info about the Londarz. While they manage to get their mechas from the future with the help of their commander, Captain Ryuuya, for everything else, they have to rely on the help of the only main Timeranger from year 2000, Tatsuya Asami/ Timered, who gives them a home and jobs.
- Magiranger ; the sibling heroes get their powers from their mother, but she soons disappears, apparently killed by a dark wizard, Wolzard. During the first arc of the series, they only have a talking plant, Mandora, as a companion and helper. However, when Magishine, the sixth ranger, appears, he turns out to be an experienced Heavenly Saint from Magitopia,  and becomes the siblings's mentor and teacher (and for Magiblue, eventually his husband). The Magiranger will also have some help from other people from Magitopia, notably Lunagel.

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