Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Super Sentai and family : a major theme in Kyoryuger

A few months before, I did write some posts about Super Sentai and family (links are here http://tokuwarriors.blogspot.fr/2013/12/super-sentai-and-family-part-1-ranger.html

Since those posts were written, Kyoryuger had finished airing, and it has shown to explore the theme of Super Sentai and family in depth, with plenty of characters having family ties, especially since a major theme of the show is how the fight against evil never stops, more often than not, young generations are the heirs of the older generations to continue battling evil and protect the Earth.
Kyoryuger has especially shown that the recent heroes have followed the steps of their elders in battling the Deboth. Indeed, they admired the path chosen by their elders and decided to follow their example.

1) Daigo (KyoryuRed) and Dantetsu (Kyoryusilver 2) : a father and a son following "the path of the big dragons" (dinosaurs)

Daigo Kiryuu spent a big part of his childhood with his father, wandering around the world, and Daigo enjoyed that life and always admired his father. One day, his father had to leave him, because he had to follow a dangerous quest, and left his son with an amber necklace with a dinosaur tooth  and some money, because at that time, he had to go on a more dangerous journey,  and he couldn't bring Daigo with him. However, he hoped that Daigo would one day follow the "path of the big dragons".
In fact, Dantetsu was searching for the Guardians Zyudenryu stones (the pendant he had given Daigo was actually Allomeras's),  a very important quest to fight the Deboth. Indeed, Dantetsu already knew Torin at that time, who had seen him as the "King" of Earth, because of his ability to listen to Earth's melody, and Dantetsu had become Torin's friend and was doing his best to help him in the fight against the Deboth.
Daigo had a huge admiration for his father and decided to be a wanderer and adventurer, like his father. Years later, when Daigo was a young man, he ended up fighting the Deboth in an island in the  middle of the Pacific Ocean during the big Deboth attack in 2013, and managed to catch Torin and Gabutyra's interest because of his strength, bravery and the fact he called himslef "King".  Torin decided to give him a Gaburevolver, and began to train him, hoping he would become a Kyoryuger and Gabutyra's partner. Daigo's decisive challenge would be to defeat Gabutyra, which he ended up doing after a hard month of training. Gabutyra was impressed since Daigo was the first ever to defeat him. However, it's only when Daigo decided to fight by himself the Zorima despite the danger, when Gabutyra was frozen by Debo Hyogakki that he eventually was able to become KyoryuRed.
Torin was even more impressed by Daigo, and he knew that the son was following the path of his father.
After becoming Kyoryuger, Daigo met several times his father, especially when he might feel some doubt, and Dantetsu always helped him find the way to follow the path of the Big dragons. Some notable cases were when Daigo was in doubt because Tessai/Kyoryugrey didn't want him to be a Kyoryuger any more, and when Torin's secret (he was a former Deboth member, and Chaos's brother) would be soon revealed. Each time, Dantetsu helped Daigo keep his confidence in the path he has chosen. Daigo alsi knew that Dantetsu and Torin were friends, notably when he realized Torin had received a little bag from his father. And each time Dantetsu showe dhow much he was happy and proud his son followed the path he himself followed. The awakening of Bragigas also brought together fathe rand son. Indeed, Dantetsu had travelled throught the world to find the remaining Guardians Amber stones, which were necessary to resurrect Bragigas and bring back the power of the slain Guardian Zyudenryu. Father and son found together the last remaining Guardian stone to awaken Bragigas.
Even later, during the Debo Yanasanta plot,  Dantetsu saved Daigo from Dogold, and it was at that time that Daigo learnt at last the truth about his father, as King of Earth and the one who knew Earth's melody. Dantetsu left Torin and Daigo because he had to fulfill a final mission.
This final mission ended up joining the Deboth in order to kill Torin, and when father and son met again, Daigo saw with horror his father kill Torin, and become Kyoryusilver at his place. However, Daigo soon understood that there was something beneath that apparent treason. Indeed, if Dantetsu had been a true traitor, he couldn't have become Bragigas's new partner, and soon, the son decided to confront the father to learn the truth. Indeed, when father and son fought together, Daig was able to learn from his father Earth's true melody, and become as well the true "King" of the Earth. He also realized that Torin's death at Dantetsu's hands was planned between the two so Torin could fight in the Deboth Hell and prevent the resurrection of the slain Debo Monsters. Father and son then finished the big fight against the Deboth, as Kyoryusilver and Kyoryured, Dantetsu ending up defeating Chaos (it was then revealed that Chaos let himslef be killed to protect the Deboth hell) while Daigo confronted the resurrected and evolved Deboth.
After the final fight, Dantetsu knew that his son had become the new King, and his true heir, and he told the ones who called him "King" before to now call his son that way. He was proud of his son, proud he had followed the same path he did, but even in a more glorious and heroic way.

2) Nobuharu Udo : balancing family duty and hero duty

Nobuharu "Nossan" Udo had already family responsibilities when he became Kyoryublue after beign chosen by Zyudenryu Stegotchi. Indeed, his younger sister Yuko had become a widow and had to raise her little daughter Rika, and Nossan quit a promising career to help his sister handling his deceased brother in law's business and become his niece's new father figure.  When he became Kyoryublue, one of his first actions was to protect his niece Rika from the Deboth. While Rika admired Kyoryublue, Yuko disliked Kyoryublue because he felt he was associated with danger. Nossan decided to hide his identity as Kyoryublue from his family, but his biggest worry was still to see his family in danger. After meeting Daigo, he realized that his desire to protect his family was his strength, and when Debo Pashango attacked Rika, Nossan again protected her and Rika quickly learnt that her hero Kyoryublue was none other than his beloved uncle. It made uncle and niece feel even closer, especially since they hid that truth from Yuko.
 Months later, during the Debo Vacance incident, Yuko and Nossan were among the only ones not under the effect of the  Deboth, and they couldn't stand seeing the world (and especially Rika) victims of the delusions of an eternal summer, especially with the Fall festival coming soon.  This incident was a key element for Yuko. Indeed, it was at that time that she realized that despite his weirdness, the blue hero had a genuine determination in his fight, and, when watching Kyoryublue fighting and protecting her and Rika, realized that the blue hero and his brother were one and the same. Furious when seeing the other Kyoryuger messing around and not helping Blue, she used a barrel and smashed it in Kyoryured's face to make him get back to his senses, showing her amazing strength and her will to see her brother not fight alone.
Yuko knew that her brother was Kyoryublue, and loved and admired him more than ever, but decided to hide the fact she knew to lessen his worries. However, she continued cheering the Kyoryuger notably during the Gadoma incident.
Weeks later, she met Ramirez, who was in an exhausted state, and gave him  hospitality in her home. Ramirez admired Yuko's kindness, and, later, her strength when she confronted Candelira and DeboKantoku. So, a few weeks later, when Ramirez decided to choose a successor to become Kyoryucyan, he naturally decided to choose Yuko who had already started fighting the Deboth to protect Rika, and she became the second Kyoryucyan during the final fight against the Deboth, to her brother's astonishment. But wasn't it natural to have two siblings with the same desire to protect their family  become Kyoryugers?
Nobuharu became Kyoryublue to protect his family, and of course Yuko had the same desire. So, it was no wonder she became an heroine as well. Rika had both mother and uncle becoming Kyoryugers, their bravery being fueled by their desire to protect those close to them.
(the fact that Yuko was played by Ayumi Kinoshita, aka Dekayellow, made it even more natural)

3) Souji and the path of the sword 

Souji Rippukan was the heir of a long tradition of martial artists handling the sword. When he became Kyoryugreen, his main weapon was his swordfighting skills. Souji had been raised by a very strict father, and while he resented this strictness, especially since it was involved in his parent's divorce, he loved his father and afterseeing his distress after his wife left him, decided to follow the path of the sword like him. However, he still struggled, because his father wanted him to follow his own style while Souji needed to fight his own style in swordfighting. Eventually, Souji's dad recognized his son's style during a Deboth attack, and he both let him follow his own path as a sword artist and a Kyoryuger. Souji ended up also being the heir of Torin's own sword after the latter's death.
(interestingly, the "Super Sentai legacy" is also seen in the casting : Souji's parents are played by two toku veterans, Junichi Haruta and Sayoko Hagiwara, who both played sentai heroes together in the same sentai series which aired exactly 30 years before Kyoryuger, Kagaku Sentai Dynaman, as respectively Dynablack and Dynapink)

4) Tessai and his descendant : two opposites eventually understanding each other

Tessai aka Kyoryugrey was a fierce warrior when he fought the Deboth, and even as a spirit, he continued fighting that way. So, when he discovered that his descendant Shinya had become a Mangaka, and, even worse, was using a female pseudonym as an author, he was furious, both because of the futility of manga and the fact he didn't choose to sign the manga by his real name. However, soon afterwards, he realized that by becoming a mangaka, Shinya didn't betray the spirit of his ancestor, since the reason he became one was to make people feel happy. Moreover, Shinya showed real bravery when he protected a young woman from Beautiful Zoreamer. Ironically, by becoming the author of  the manga "Love touch", Shinya had already helped in the fight against the Deboth without knowing it, because one of the member of the Deboth army, Luckyuro was a huge fan of the manga, and of course, when he realized the Deboth's plans would result into losing his beloved manga, he began to have second thought about destroying Earth.
At the end, Tessai learnt to respect his descendant, and when he had to choose a successor as Kyoryugrey, he naturally choose Shinya, who became the second Kyoryugrey.

5) Kyoryuviolet : a family business

Years before Daigo and his friends became Kyoryugers, Torin had met Dr Ulshade, who was the one who was responsible into mixing the ancient powers of the Zyudenryu with modern technology, and created all the modern arsenal of the Kyoryuger, notably the Gaburevolver. He also became Plesuon's partner and the first Kyoryuviolet, fighting the Deboth during his youth. Dr Ulshade ended up protecting his granddaughter Yayoi from the Deboth when she was a child, and Yayoi deeply admired her grandfather, and wanted to follwo his path. Indeed, Yayoi became her grandfather's assistant, and, as a teenager, was a very important help to her grandfather. At the time Daigo and his friends met them, Dr Ulshade was coming back from a space journey, where he had explored a planet destroyed by the Deboth. Despite being already an elderly man, Dr Ulshade was still enthusiastic in fighting the Deboth as Kyoryuviolet, but soon, a bad back forced him to stop fighting. Yayoi was forced to do her best to try to help Plesuon get the power to fight the Deboth army, especially since the latter started a massive attack against Earth and the heroes. After being saved by Daigo and having had a tlk with him, Yayoi found all the courage he had and plunged into Plesuon to send him the "Brave" needed to awaken him, and Plesuon at last woke up, and helped defeating the partially resurrected Deboth. But Yayoi also hoped to become the next Kyoryuviolet as well, and everyone, including her grandfather also hoped so. But Yayoi still lacked confidence, and it's only after realizing of her deep desire to become a Kyoryuger for herself and not for others, that she was able to become at last the second Kyoryuviolet and follow at last her grandfather's path, which was her lifelong dream. Yayoi ended up being a major ally for the Kyoryuger, as their technological helper, creating new Zyudenchi, notably the Carnival Zyudenchi. As such, she was the true heiress of her grandfather's legacy, and both grandfather and granddaughter would fight together (despite Dr Ulshade's bad back) in the final fight against the Deboth. Once again, the younger generation had followed the path of the older one.

6) Torin against the Deboth ; a family conflict

Torin, the mentor of the Kyoryuger, had in fact been the firstone to fight the Deboth, long ago, during the dinosaur era. In fact, Torin was himself a Deboth, and the brother of the de facto leader of the Deobth army, Hundred Faced Priest Chaos. Long ago, both brothers were sent into space by Deboth to destroy planets. However, when Torin came to Earth, he was impressed and touched by the planet's beauty, especially the majesty of its inhabitants, the dinosaurs. At that time, he realized he couldn't destroy such beauty and decided to oppose the destructive aims of the Deboth, fighting with them against his brother Chaos and the Deboth forces. Despite all his efforts, he wasn't able to save the dinosaurs against extinction, even if some of them managed to survive as Zyudenryu, and other had their spirits still alive, despite having their body destroyed. Torin felt guilty because of his failure, especially his failure in preventing his partner Bragigas from dying and his failure because he couldn't become Bragigas's true partner as a Kyoryuger. For a long time, Torin fought alone, even if, millions of years later, he found occasionally human friends who became partner with one Zyudenryu, but he was also the sad witness of their end at the hand of the Deboth (even if their spirits were still living, or (in Utsusemimaru's case, he was kept alive inside Dogold).
The fight between Torin and Chaos had a deep personal component, Chaos being furious against his younger brother for his treason, symbolized by the fact Torin cut one of his brother's wings, and Torin hating Chaos's lust for destruction. Chaos's hate against Torin was so huge that he decided to get the most cruel revenge against his brother, manipulating him into fighting the Kyoryuger against his will (and with him completely aware of it), revealing to the younger Kyoryuger Torin's real nature as a Deboth to destroy the friendship and trust between Torin and his young followers. Torin, in desperation forced the Kyoryuger to kill him with Kyoryujin's sword when he was a giant. However, Chaos failed, because not only Daigo never lost faith in Torin, even after learning the truth, (and of course, the others would follow Daigo's example), but they even managed to bring back Torin to life, using the power of the amber stones and of their melody. Torin, brought back to life, was incredibly happy to see that despite everything, he still had the friendship of his friends and Kyoryuger warriors.
However, Torin still had doubts, notably because of his Deboth background, and when Bragias went back to life, he still felt he couldn't become his true partner, especialy after the appearance of Mad Torin, who was pretty much the symbol of Torin's former path as a Deboth. However, soon afterwards, notably thanks to a talk with Yayoi, he realized that his bravery could overcome his doubts as a Deboth entuty, and he managed at last to become Kyoryusilver, Bragigas's real partner, and defeat his evil alter ego.
However, Torin didn't know yet that, deep inside the Deboth army, some members were soon going to follow his initial path. Indeed, Candelira and Luckyuro slowly started to enjoy Earth, (Luckyuro loved mangas and fun stuff while Candy took an interest in Nossan). It's also important to notice that the Deboth Knights were created by Chaos, and can be seen as their children. As such, Dogold, Candelira, Aigalon and Luckyuro are pretty much Torin's nephews and nieces. During the final fight against the Deboth, Aigalon, Candelira and Luckyuro ended up defecting the Deboth. While Aigalon was defeated, Candelira and Luckyuro survived and earned the mercy of the Kyoryuger, notably Nossan. Grateful of their former enemies's kindness, Candelira and Lyckyuro ended up helping the Spirit Kyoryuger in their final fight against Chaos, and Torin realized he had found successors as well in his Deboth family, with Candy and Lucky being the ones who followed his path in realizing the futility of destruction and the beauty of life.

7) Kyoryuger 100 years after

Kyoryuger 100 years after followed the path of the decendants of the original Kyoryugers, who had to face a resurrected Deboth army. While the movie was mostly comedic, it still followed he main theme of Kyoryuger, with the fight never ending, and the descendants of the heroes having to continue the fight their elders did before. The six main Kyoryuger's decendants were the ones replacing the initial heroes, and Candy and Lucky were Torin's successors.

8) Conclusion

Kyoryuger : a fight between good and evil that started long ago and would continue as long as life would exist on Earth. The Kyoryuger path is a difficult one, and the family bond is very important to be able to continue the fight, since a big motivation for the younger generation to fight is the admiration of the bravery of their elders. Being a Kyoryuger is, in a lot of way a family business, and solid bond in a family is key for success, since it makes bravery grow even bigger and stronger.
Riku Sanjo managedto explore that theme with success in Kyoryuger, and it is ones of the big highlights of the show.