Thursday, November 6, 2014

Machineman and Byclossers : when Ishinomori and Takaku try to do Metal Hero outside the official franchise

The first half of the 80' saw the beginning of an incredibly popular franchise : the Metal Hero franchise, with the Space Sheriff shows. Because of their popularity, Shoutaro Ishinomori, creator of Kamen Rider, Kikaider and Gorenger, who didn't have any rights over the Metal hero franchise (the official producer was Yatsude Saburo (Toei's staff) tried to create shows trying to get a similar vibe. As such, two shows were produced: in 1984, Seiun Kamen Machineman which had some elements similar to the Metal Hero franchise while still having its own personality, and in 1985, Kyyodai Ken Byclossers, which was pretty much an unofficial Metal Hero show. Both shows shared a same main writer: Susumu Takaku. Both shows have many similar elements despite a different premise. Moreover, those shows are gonna have an influence in later shows written by the writing staff involved.

1) Machineman and Byclossers : an overview

1-1) Machineman

Seiun Kamen Machineman, a 36 episodes long series produced in 1984, tells the story of a young alien student coming from the Ivy planet in the  Pleiades constellation who comes to Earth to study it and its inhabitants for his university thesis. He went on Earth in a spaceship which is then hidden on a lake, and then, starts to live on Earth as Ken Takase, a young clumsy man with glasses. While visiting Earth, he meets a young journalist and photographer, Maki Hayama (played by Kiyomi Tsukada, who would play Anri, Juspion's android companion a year later), who is investigating the misdeeds of a criminal organization named Tentacle. Very soon, Maki ends up being threatened by the evil group, and Ken ends up rescuing her by fighting Tentacle, by changing into a masked, caped and armored suit, using a special device and his personal vehicle, Dolphin. After learning of Tentacle, he decides to stay on Earth to fight the evil organization, helped by his faithful companion, Ballboy, a little robot which looks like a baseball ball.
Tentacle, which especially focus on crimes against children has as a leader Professor K (played by Hideyo Amamoto, who played Dr Shinigami in the original Kamen Rider series), a man who hates children because he's allergic to them. Professor K is  helped by his right hand robot Ironman Mons, as well as other robots and men he has corrupted.
Halfway through the series, Tentacle is dismantled after Machineman defeats Ironman Mons and Professor K goes into hiding, but then, a new criminal organization replaces it : Octopus, led by Lady M (played by Chiaki Kojo, who played Keller in Denziman), professor K's niece , who is helped by her bumbling sidekick TonChinkan, as well as other robots and corrupted humans, and who hates as much children as her uncle. In the final arc, both K and M join forces for a final showdown against Machineman. After his victory, Machineman comes back in his planet, having done a good study of Earth, and confident that peace is back.
An interesting element of Machineman is the fact that the hero has to fight both robots and corrupted humans, and while he destroys the robot in a typical  explosive way, he deals with the corrupted humans by leaving a M mark with his sword and then, uses a wave to purge them from their evil, defeating them without killing them.

1-2) Kyodai Ken Byclossers

Kyodai Ken Byclossers, a 34 episode long series produced in 1985, tells the story of two young brothers who lives with their parents, Ken and Ginjiro Mizuno, , who, one day , see a mysterious light on the sky, and while investigation it, end up encountering the members of a criminal organization, Dester. Chased by the villains, they almost die, but are saved by a mysterious spaceship. While on the spaceship, a mysterious voice coming from outer space tells them that they are the heroes chosen to become the Bycrossers. Ken becomes the red-and-white-armored Bycrosser Ken and Ginjiro becomes the blue-and-red armored Bycrosser Gin.
Together, they fight the evil organization Dester, led by Doctor Q (played by Kenji Ushio, the original actor playing Hedder in Battle Fever, before being replaced by Masashi Ishibashi) and her female assistant, Sylvia. Their plan involve using evil robots and mooks to make suffer children, because their screams and crying make a mysterious idol, the Majin Gora, create jewels.
Whenever Dester has an evil plan, the Bycrossers investigate it and then, thwarts it and destroy the robots, with a final move involving both brothers, Ken who is using a cannon formed from the motorcycle piloted by Gin.
Midway through the show, Gora ends up becoming more than a mere idol, and shows his real appearance of an evil God, Gorazonger. Gorazonger soon becomes the leader of Dester, and starts his plans of world conquest, helped by Dr Q, Sylvia and a new female sidekick, Rita, who soons becomes the rival of Sylvia.
At the end, the Bycrosser confronts Dester once and for all: they destroy Gorazonger, and Dr Q and his two female companions end up as fugitives in the desert.

2) Machineman and Byclosser : two shows of the 80's with the Metal Hero influence.

Machineman and Byclosser are both very episodic shows, and most episodes tell a full story. The overall story only goes forward in few instances, notably when theere are big changes on the villain side, and of course, in the final showdown. As 80' shows, they are of course influenced by the successful tokusatsu shows of their era, especially the Metal Hero shows.

Machineman indeed shows some Metal Hero elements : the transforming sequences involving the hero's ship and the sequence with the hero being illuminated by light particles while doing his henshin moves. Moreover, the final move involves a light saver similar to the Laser Blade of the Space Sheriff. Besides, he's also an alien disguised as a normal human. Interestingly, the suit, with a mask only covering the upper part of the face is similar to ... Riderman.
However, Machineman's main influence seems more to be ... Superman. Indeed, the hero is an alien whose superpowers comes from his extraterrestrial origin,  who has an alter ego who is a bumbling man with glasses. The female lead is a young journalist who loves investigating and ends up being in danger because of that ... pretty much like Lois Lane.

Byclossers, however, has more similarities with the Metal Hero franchise. Indeed, the brothers's suit are very similar to Metal Hero armors, the design being a mix of a sentai suit, a Space Sheriff suit and the suit which would be used later in Metalder and Janperson. Their concepts are similar, with the evil organization being similar to Maku, Madou and Fuma, and, like a classic Metal Hero, change thanks to a ray coming from their main ship. Like most Metal Hero shows, there is a focus on the vehicles used by the heroes, with plenty of stock footage. Lastly the basic structur of an episode is pretty similar to a typical Space Sheriff show, endign with a climactic battle with the Monster of the Week.

3) Similarities between Machineman and Byclossers

Machineman and Byclossers have a lot of common elements :

- Both are very episodic shows: most episodes are a full standalon story, involving the villain starting a plan, the hero(es) discovering and investigating the plan, and stopping it.
- Both have the heroes having their powers from outer space: Machineman is himslef an alien while the Byclossers get their powers from aliens from a faraway planet.
- Both detect people in distress thanks to superpowered senses: Machineman's surhuman hearing and Byclossers's telepathic powers).
-Both have major villains named after letter: Professor K and Lady M from Machineman, and Doctor Q from Byclossers (all are sendbacks from Doctor G from Kamen Rider V3)
- Both shows have major changes midway, especially in the villain side : in Machineman, Tentacle is replaced by Octopus, and in Byclossers, the idol Gora ends up becoming the evil god Gorazonger, and becomes the leader of Dester, with Rita coming along at the same time. Moreover, in Byclossers, at the same time, the heroes start living by themselves.
- Both shows involve children a lot : chikd characters are regulars in both shows
- Both shows have the evil group focusing on making children suffer, either because of their hatred for children (Machineman), or for greed (Byclossers)
- Both shows have major villains showing immature behaviour, being pretty childish themselves, especially the female ones like Machineman's Lady M or Byclosser's Sylvia and Rita.
- Interestingly, in both shows the human looking villain survive at the end as fugitives.
- Because of all those elements, both shows are pretty light hearted and targeted to a kid audience.

4) Machineman and Byclosser : a similar writing team and influence on later shows

A lot of the similarities between both shows can be also explaned by the fact they're both shows of the 80', where tokusatsu started being less violent than in the 70', and more light hearted, and because they share a same staff, notably a same writing staff. Both shows have Susumu Takaku as main writer.

Here are the writers for both shows

Machineman (36 episodes)

Susumu Takaku (main writer) : 4-5, 7-10, 12, 14, 16-17, 19-20, 22-23, 27 (with Tatsuro Nagai), 30, 32-33 (18 episodes)
Shouzo Uehara : 1-2 (with his real name)  3, 6 (under the  pen name Keita Izumizaki) 11, 34-36 (under the pen name Hikaru Kihara) (8 episodes in total)
Noboru Sugimura : 13, 18, 21, 24, 26, 28-29, 31 (8 episodes)
Atsuko Osoya : 15 (1 episode)
Isao Matsumoto : 25 (1 episode)
Tatsuro Nagai : 27 (with Takaku) (1 episode)

Byclosser (34 episodes)

Susumu Takaku (main writer): 1-7, 9-10, 13-15, 19, 22 (with Tatsuro Nagai), 26, 29, 32 (with Nagai), 33-34 (19 episodes)
Rumiko Asao : 8, 12, 25, 30 (4 episodes)
Kyoko Sagiyama : 11, 18, 24 (3 episodes)
Noboru Sugimura : 16-17, 21, 27, 31 (5 episodes)
Shigeru Sato : 20, 23, 28 (3 episodes)
Tatsuro Nagai : 22, 32 (both with Takaku)

Susumu Takaku is the main writer of both shows. Interestingly, in Machineman, Shouzo Uehara is a major secondary writer, who wrote both the first three and last three episode (episode 36 is a recap). Takaku and Uehara have both been involved in early sentai shows, and both have been the two major writers of Battle Fever. Takaku has also been a seconday writer of Uehara in his sentai shows, as well as the two first Space Sheriff shows, notably Sharivan. As such, the episodic element of those shows is very similar to those previous tokusatsu show, with the focus on children having started in shows like Sun Vulcan and the Space Sheriff shows. It's obvious that Uehara and Takaku's involvement in Machineman has helped giving the Metal Hero vibe.
However the main element of both those shows are that the heroes aren't part of a professional team, but are independant heroes trying to live an ordinary daily life, an element seen a lot in more recent toku shows.
In Byclosser, Uehara is not involved, and Takaku is the one who handles all the major arc episodes, including the intro episodes and the final arc. Takaku still uses the episodic writing used in the previous shows. Moreover, Dester is pretty similar to the evil groups seen in previous shows involving Takaku, such as the Egos group from Battle Fever, or Madou from Sharivan.
A amjor secondary writer is involved in both shows: Noboru Sugimura. At the time, Sugimura was starting writing in tokusatsu, and he's been involved a lot with Takaku, as secondary writer of his shows, and then Takaku becoming a major secondary writer of the shows written by Sugimura.
It's interesting to notice how much Sugimura took from these two shows in those he would write later : indeed, the bumbling police team of Jiban isn't unlike the newpaper team seen in Machineman, with the female lead being the most reasonable character. Another Machineman element : the hero changes in his vehicle, like in Winspector and Solbrain later. Another Rescue Police element : villains are often ordinary people who are criminals.  But, more importantly, the show which has the most elements coming from Machineman and Byclosser is of course Zyuranger : indeed, Zyuranger has a special focus on children, has evildoers especially focused on making children suffer, but also show an immature and comical side. The tone seen in Zyuranger isn't unlike the one seen in Machineman and Bycrosser, and like in Zyuranger, most villain survive.
The over the top feeling seen in Machineman, and especially Byclosser would be also seen in Sugimura's other sentai shows, like Kakuranger.

Your thoughts?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Space Sheriff shows : some random thoughts

1) Space Sheriffs shows : similarities with early sentai shows.

In 1982, Uchuu Keji Gavan (Space Sheriff Gavan) aired in Japan, starting the Metal Hero franchise, which would last until the late 90'. The first series of that franchise were the shows called the "Space Sheriff" trilogy : Gavan, Sharivan and Shaider, which involved a hero linked to an intergalactic police force. All three shows had a basic plot : an evil organization which had already destroyed several planets and civilizations start to threaten Earth, trying to conquer it (Makuu in Gavan, Madou in Sharivan and Fuuma in Shaider), and the Universe police, based on Planet Bird, send a new officer, helped by a female assistant to thwart their evil plans and protect Earth.

However, despite the heroes being called Space Sheriffs, the shows didn't really have a "cop show feeling". Gavan, Sharivan and Shaider were mostly episodic shows with a few long running arcs which had their climax in the final episodes of the show. The explanation of that relative lack of "cop show" feeling can be explained by the fact the heroes are acting pretty much  incognito on Earth, looking like civilians to most citizens of Earth.
Most of the episodes involved a plot from the villains to conquer and submit humanity using a Monster of the week, often involving disruption of society, and the hero would find about that plot, and then, face the evil group and defeat the monster of the week involved in a final climactic battle in an evil dimensions where the monster would be stronger. In a lot of cases, the hero would find about the plot by meeting a civilian who ended up caught in the plot, or who has someone close to him caught in it ; in the latter case, the civilian is often a kid.

Space Sheriff shows are very formulaic : each episode include scenes in the villain's lair where the evil plot of the week is explained, the first part of the episode has its storyline centered about the plot, showing civilains caught in the plot and the hero investigating, with often a first fight against the enemies, and the Monster of the week. The last minutes of the episode include the climactic fight, a short first part in the normal universe where the heroes fight the monsters, mooks and the main generals, and then, most of the showdown between the Monster of the Week and the hero in his metal suit in a special dimension, showing strange visual effects (visually, it looks like something coming from hallucinations). To get into the special dimension, the hero would use his motorcycle. The enemy would also send a big flying war machine to attack the hero, and also flying jets, and the hero uses his special big spaceship to destroy the enemy ships and aircraft. At the end, the hero kills the monster using his Laser Blade. A short final scene concludes the episode, concluding by a short narration.

Sounds familiar? No wonder : those plots are incredibly similar to those of early sentai shows, notably Battle Fever, Denziman and Sun Vulcan. Even if in the first case, the shows involve a group of heroes when the Metal Hero shows only involve an unique one, the plots of the individual episodes aren't that different from plots from sentai episodes. It can be easily explained by the fact that the creative team between the early sentai shows and the Space Sheriff shows is pretty much the same with Shouzo Uehara as main writer and Susumu Yoshikawa as main producer (and the star of the first show, Kenji Ohba has played a sentai member in both Battle Fever and Denziman (Battle Kenya and Denziblue)) . The shows involving that team are often very episodic, and a lot of focus is given to the individual plots. The villains groups also have enemy groups taking a lot from early sentai villains : Fuuma, Madou and Maku have concepts pretty similar to the Vader clan. The Big Bad is a classic devil like entity (similar to Satan Egos from Battle Fever or most Toei Big Bads), and the generals also have their roots from early sentai shows :  in Gavan, Hunter Killer is a male general, who lead the plots and can also be involved in direct fights, like Denziman's General Hedrer, Poe from Shaider is an androgynous version of Hedder from Battle Fever, the Girl Army of Shaider are similar to the Zero Girls from Sun Vulcan. Interestingly, Dr Polter and General Gyrer from Sharivan are similar to Deathgiller and Mazurka from Goggle V, even if that sentai show was the first one not involving Uehara, while stil having the influence of the early Uehara shows.
Interestingly, while the Space Sheriff don't fight monsters in giant forms, they still use giant mechas in their fights to destroy enemy spaceships, and those are often transforming mechas with a robot like mode, like the Battle Formations from Sharivan's Grand Birth and Vavilos's Battle Formation. In the following show, Juspion (involving the same creative team), the sentai like element would be even stronger, given that time the show would include confrontation between giant monsters and the hero in a big robot.

Lastly, the long running plots often feel like space opera fantasy, with the hero trying to find his destiny and fulfill a quest: Gavan would search for his father, Sharivan would fight to save his native planet, looking for a mystical Crystal, and Shaider, as a former archeologist would find the secret of the mysterious Fuuma civilization, its links with the Nasca civilizations, as well as his own origins. Shairvan had the most detailed plot, with some recurring characters being fellow Iga planet survivors. Those fantasy elements take a lot from those seen in Denziman. The following shows involving Uehara and Yoshikawa would have similar fantasy elements, while being often more plot driven (Juspion especially has a "space opera feeling", especially with its early episodes happening in other planets, and Spielban also had a family drama not unlike Gavan). Gavan and Sharivan are especially interesting since Sharivan is the direct sequel of Gavan : the hero who would become Sharivan appeared in the final arc of Gavan, and Gavan is a major supporting character of Sharivan, as a mentor figure. As such, they show an huge world building involving several planets and universe and even more giving the "space opera" feeling when the shows (notably Sharivan) reach their main arc episodes. Shaider, while being in the same universe, has a more "standalone feeling", with Gavan and Sharivan not appearing in the main series, except a special episode.

2) Shaider : the assistant is the co-star.

Shaider, compared to its preceding Space Sheriff shows has a very distinctive element  ; it involves a very active assistant, Annie. While Gavan and Sharivan had also female assistants, (Gavan had Mimi, who could change into a bird, and Sharivan had Lilly), those ones were mostly staying in the base, and only very occasionally working on the battlefield with the hero. Ohba and Watari, Gavan and Sharivan were the undisputed stars of their shows. The episodes were follwoing Gavan and Sharivan in their investigation, often showing them involved in plenty of action, even without changing into their metal suits.
However, in Shaider, Annie was pretty much as much involved in the action as Shaider, at least before the final showdown between the suit hero and the monster. Several very interesting elements makes Annie very different from her predecessors :
-  her name : "Annie" is a real "first name" (a foreign one) and sounds much more serious than the cute "Mimi" and "Lilly" which are two repeated katakanas. (that use of serious names would be used again in Spielban, where the hero's assistant (later two assistants) have serious foreign names : Diana and then, Helen (the latter being the hero's sister and would also be played by Annie's actress, Naomi Morinaga)
- she also has her own song, which is regularly played during the show "Annie ni omakase" , which highlights her determination in fighting Fuuma
-she has her own car, a yellow one, and odten uses it to get into the action
- she is very involved in the action, having fight scenes in most episodes, and in many of them, she has even more out of suit fight than Shaider himself
- in the final narration, Annie is included  with Shaider, unlike her predecessors, more than ever confirming her status as a co-star.

An important explanation of that anomaly is linked to the actor playing the hero : Kenji Ohba and Hiroshi Watari were both actors with plenty of action experience, coming from the Japan Action Club, (Ohba has been a suit actor in sentai series, including those he starred in). As such, Gavan and Sharivan displayed a lot their main actor's action skills, with plenty of out of suit action. Moreover, both Ohba and Watari were charismatic actors and had no trouble carrying their shows on their own.
However, Shaider's actor, Hiroshi Tsuburaya (grandson of Eiji Tsuburaya, who was the creator of Ultraman and the one involved in the special effects of Godzilla (in a way Godzilla's creator)) had very little action experience and actign experience, and while he managed to hold his own in Shaider, he had neither the action skills or the charisma of Ohba and Watari. As such, the assistant character had her role being increased a lot, was played by Naomi Morinaga, an actress who had been involved in the Japan Action Club, and as such, could bring her fighting skills (and her good looks), while Shaider was mainly involved in the final climactic fight in the Fushigi dimension. Annie became soon very popular, even more than Shaider, and as such, was pretty much the co-star, being almost the equal of the main hero, while Mimi and Lilly had more limited supporting roles. While Mimi and Lilly were assistants to Gavan and Sharivan, Annie was more of a partner to Shaider, being very active. Very active supporting female characters would also appear in Spielban, with Diana and Helen, and in Jiban, where Yoko is also involved in a lot of the non suit action scenes as the "female cop with the gun".

3) Dekaranger : Arakawa's tribute to the Metal Hero Franchise, notably the Space Sheriff shows

Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, the 28th sentai series has a police theme : the heroes are cops from a special police  force (SPD) involved in dealing with alien criminals. Dekaranger was a cop show sentai involving a intergalactic police force which has branches in plenty of planets in the universe, with the Dekaranger being those involved in the Earth Branch. Intergalactic police force opposing evil aliens in the whole universe? That concept is very similar to the Space Sheriffs in the Metal Hero franchise.
Indeed, Naruhisa Arakawa is a big fan of Shouzo Uehara's work and of the Metal hero Franchise, notably the Space Sheriffs series, and in Dekaranger, he had the opportunity with his producer Hideaki Tsukada to pay homages to those shows.
As said before, the SPD force has a concept similar to the Space police of Uehara shows : the Dekaranger are pretty much a Uchuu Keiji Sentai force. Dekaranger also had the repetitive narration used in the Space Sheriff shows ( the narrator explaning every time Sen's thinking pose and Jasmine's ESPER 's skills is reminiscent of how the transforming process is described once an episode in Gavan, Sharivan and Shaider).  Moreover, the Dekawing Robot is an homage to Shaider's Vavilos, having both a Robot mode and a Gun mode. The Special Police having its headquarters outside Earth and involving bird aliens are other nods.

However, unlike the Space Sheriff shows, Dekaranger have a real cop show feeling, with the heroes being  known police officers, the existence of aliens being pretty much public knowledge and the enemies being independant criminals instead of being the subordonates of a bigger gang. Indeed, the Alienizers in Dekaranger are acting on their own, have a strong individuality and not mere monsters created by the main leaders. The Dekaranger investigation has a "cop show" investigation feeling. A very telling element is how, unlike most sentai series, the giant fights involve usually robots piloted by the alien criminals and not alines being themselves enlarged.

That "cop show" feeling is nonethless reminiscent of other Metal Hero series, namely the Rescue Police trilogy. Indeed, in those shows, the antagonists were also criminals acting on their own, and not within a central "evil organization". Unlike Dekaranger, most of the criminals were ordinary humans, often played by classic toku actors. However, the cop show feeling was present with the central headquarters with the mentor, and the cop team. Indeed, the Rescue Police team were investigating crimes in order to discover the culprit and bring him to justice.
A very notable element of the Rescue police show is the lack of regular villains, with the "criminal of the week" being completely at the center of each plot ; while Dekaranger had one recurring villain, Agent Abrella, he wans't a leader type, and Dekaranger still had the individual criminals being at the center, like in the Rescue Police shows.
Moreover, the Rescue Police shows involved several colored suit heroes ; while Winspector had only one human Metal Hero, Exceedraft was pretty much a three man sentai team (Red, Blue and Kis (Yellow)). As such, those shows pretty much announced Dekaranger, even if they belonged to a different franchise.

Funny note : the "Tokusou" used in Dekaranger's title is used in plenty of Metal Hero shows's titles, notably Exceedraft, Juspion and Janperson.

4) Sharivan NEXT GENERATION : Arakawa's tribute to the Space Sheriff franchise, with a few Dekaranger nods

2014 : Arakawa writes two V-Cinema Metal Hero movies, Sharivan and Shaider's Next Generation . While the Space Sheriff franchise had already been revived in recent years, starting by bringing back the original Gavan in a crossover movie with Gokaiger, (Gokaiger vs Gavan, also written by Arakawa), several movies following the success of the Gokaiger vs Gavan started to bring a new generation of Space Sheriffs, which were the successors of the original ones. A Gavan movie introducing a new Gavan , Geki Ichimonji has been done one year after Gokaiger vs Gavan. New Gavan also appeared in crossover episodes with Go-Busters. Sharivan and Shaider were also shown to have new successors as well, which would also appear in Super Hero Taisen Z.
In 2014, new Sharivan and Shaider had their own movies (with New Gavan also guest starring), written by Arakawa and produced by Tsukada (the Dekaranger team).
Having seen the Sharivan movie, here are my thoughts :

- the Sharivan movie is of course very reminiscent of the original Sharivan show, with the same suit, the Space Police force with the headquarters, the assistant having her named being two repeated kanas (shishi), and of course, the involvement of Gavan, (here, Neo Gavan) as a supporting character. Of course Hiroshi Watari, the original Sharivan appears as a mentor figure. Moreover, the sountrack includes mostly the music from the Sharivan shows, songs, background music (with a guest appearance of the Gavan theme at the beginning). Soem of the enemy names and design are also reminiscent of Sharivan, with General Gyrer and Gamadon. And, in classic Sharivan style, a showdown in a special dimension is also displayed. The movie has also Gavan nods, like the opening scene involving Gavan and the character of the Horror Girl.

However, a notable element of the Sharivan movie is its more complex plot compared to those seen in a Space Sheriff shows. Indeed, unlike them, Sharivan has really more of a "cop movie" feeling, with an investigation, criminals being arrested, and the Space Sheriff indeed feel like space cops... pretty much like the Dekaranger, actually. A flashback involving Neo Sharivan and Den Iga fels more like a Dekaranger situation than a Uchuu Keiji one.
 Indeed, in a lot of ways Neo Sharivan has a lot in common with Dekablue : both are very  professional cops who use logic  in their work and hope to be the best by more developing their skills.

(beware  : major SPOILERS below)

Neo Sharivan, like Dekablue are praised for their skills, but are also shown to lack something special who would make them completely true heroes in the eyes of their mentors (while it's never said explicitely in Dekaranger, the fact that Ban has more the interest of Doggie than Hoji is the telling element). Both are also shown to make mistakes because of errors in their appreciation of the situation (Hoji in episode 3-4 of Dekaranger, Neo-Sharivan several times in the movie). In fact, cold logic vs passion is a major theme of the show, and the main lesson Sharivan learns in the movie is how important passion and especially passion for justice is the major element in being a Space Sheriff. He especially realizes it when meeting a fellow Space Sheriff, Gencer,  who felt so deeply his passion for justice that he was even ready to have his mody modified, and having a monstruous appearance in order to be able to infiltrate a criminal gang, renouncing his former life, leaving everything behind as an officially dead officer, sacrificing his human form, and putting his life at high risk (and sadly, eventually dying) just to protect peace and humans. Sharivan was without a doubt incredibly moved by the incredible passion of that man, and he learnt the true meaning of being a Space Sheriff thanks to him.
It's only after realizing that that Den Iga could at last aknowledge him as a true Sheriff.

Likewise, in Dekaranger, Doggie Kruger saw in Ban the passion for justice, despite Ban's tendency to make mistakes. That's why he saw him as an important asset of the team, and it's interesting how Ban (Dekared) and Hoji (Dekablue)'s interactions are highlighted, contrasting Ban's passion to Hoji's cool logic. And given their respective colors, there is no mystery which one is seen as the most valuable.

Moreover, the main conflict of the movie is pretty much taken from episode 11 of Dekaranger, a Dekablue focus episode : the enemy is none other than a friend and colleague of Dekablue, who chose to become criminals because of greed, and the hero didn't realize it at first, blinded by their friendship to the culprit, and deeply shocked when learning the truth. (while Hunter Killer in Gavan is also a former corrupted cop and traitor, he was shown as a villain since the beginning).

Another element making the Sharivan movie feel like a cop movie : tellingly, while the original General Gyrer was a warrior, the one seen in the movie is merely a thug, the kind of criminal thug seen in cop shows : his defeat is pretty much anticlimactic, ending up arrested by Sharivan, and he's last seen being interrogated by Gavan confessing how he was involved in his criminal activities, shown as a pathetic criminal rather than the warrior seen in the original series (even if they shared the same "MASATSU" scream when the heroes were appearing). Similarly, Gamagon is shown also as a criminal rather than the beast seen in the original series. Unlike in former Space Sheriff shows (but similar to the Gokaiger vs Gavan movie), the Space Sheriff are seen arresting criminals instead of killing them.

More importantly, unlike the original series, the climax of the movie doesn't involve Sharivan fighting a monster : the three monsters shown in the movie are a first fighting Gavan in the opening scene, Gamagon, who is only shown in the first half, and ends up  killing himself by accident, and Guardbeast, who is in fact a undercover cop. The true villain is Sharivan's colleague and "best friend", Estevan/Seigi (Seigi meaning justice, the irony is very strong), and the climactif fight involves two Space Sheriffs, the hero and the traitor, ending with the arrest of the villain, (while most Space Sheriffs plots end with the death of the villain).

Your thoughts?