Enter the marvel that is Gekirangers. As a young boy I grew up idolising the power rangers and their coolness. Oh how the naivety wore off and I soon realised they were just anglicised Japanese shows.
The story is about two groups of martial artists who's style is based on animals. You guessed it, one's good and one's evil. At first the story is rather simple but then small intrigues and elements are thrown in, not enough to speculate but enough to pique your interest. Its still got light hearts humour seeing as it is for kids and this is generally from the good guys. Jan, Retsu and Ran are your run of the mill anime characters. Jan is a big loud mouth without the brains to do or say anything clever, but being the red ranger he is the strongest. Retsu is your typical metro sexual stylish com padre. Ran is just an anime heroine, enough said. Episodes mainly focusing on the good guys are kid orientated outing which is fun for kids. But if your older its the bad guys who you want to see. The bad guys at first also come of the overused anime character mold. Top dog Rio is your usual effeminate, power hungry, slightly ruthless bad guy with a dark past. His girl on the side Mele is your regular doting servant with a twist of comedic moments and some S&M cruelty at hand.
I know what your thinking, sound all too common. Well I just wanted to get the bad parts out the way. Its true the good guys are the boring half when their not fighting. But its the bad guys who give you more than enough reason to keep following the plot. These bad guys are cunning, you simply don't know their true intentions at first. It seems that everyone has an ulterior motive and the alliances that are formed can be very easily broken. Rio despite his flaws becomes a bad ass when he dons his black lion armour. He don't look, sound or fight like a sissy. He's so strong that even his masters can't compete or overthrow him. Then there's his right hand Mele. She manages to be cute, sexy, elegant and dangerous all at the same time. The relationship between them in time becomes more complex. A lot of things aren't said but through the thick and thin they rely on only each other. Its Mele who usually exposes the traitors and deceivers within Rio's camp. Rio's just the one who ends up beating them to nothing but dust with his bare hands. His rise to power is interesting as it supposedly makes him more evil, we all know it means the ultimate confrontation is near. But with power comes a price. Rio knows this but along the way he wonders if its a price worth paying. Jans own history becomes entwined with his, and they become like light and shadow. Similar but vastly different as well. It makes their rivalry more of a highlight as you know something epic is at work.
Fighting and effects wise it is good. There's no pistols this time but they get old school with nun chucks, its refreshing and gives it the martial artist feel. Unlike power rangers no effects are overused and its not a grunt fest either. A fair few of personal finishers are at hand and i do enjoy the idea of beast style moves. Although masters outfits must have a bargain tag somewhere. Zords aren't too chunky but they lose prominence quickly, we've seen better.
Eventually new characters come forward like Gou and Ken. Again its traits we've seen too many times. At first you get your usual "its my debut and look what i can do". Expectedly it wears off and their left fighting and losing to various villains.
Near the end it comes to a full circle and a final stand is made. The true villain (i won't say who), comes forward with his motive. At this point there will be celebration and despair. You won't be crying "whyyyy" but it will come as a surprise.
All in all it is a good series, certainly the best Japanese power rangers out there because of its plot and maturity. For everyone who argue whether the Japanese are better than American power ranger they need only to look at this to realise japan makes awesome stuff, America makes them suck.
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