Oh, Japan. If there was one good thing to come from the tragedy of last week, it’s this: I had forgotten how much I love tokusatsu. When tearing my computer up, looking for something to cheer me up, I came across the final twelve episodes of Tensou Sentai Goseiger which I had at one point told myself I’d watch. I never did until yesterday. Spent the better part of that day completing this series and I’m glad that I did.
Now, this won’t be a review per say. Mostly because I watched the previous 38 episodes a… well, it was a very long time ago. A hell of a long time ago so it took me a few episodes to actually catch back up. Which is a bit of a shame because Goseiger does have a different story structure than most sentai but I’ll get to that.
Tensou Sentai Goseiger is the story of five angels in training who are marooned on Earth when the Warstars arrive from space (no, really) and destroy their only means of travel between the Gosei World and Earth. Left to their own devices, they come together and through friendship and teamwork overcome impossible odds.
All while being saccharine adorable, of course.
This series’ core message is very much “Never give up.” as the Goseigers have a tendency to defeat most obstacles by simply hurling themselves at it enough until it breaks, usually powered by some insipid speech by Alata. Even in episodes about one of the other members Alata has a tendency to be a focal point as well. If you don’t do things Alata’s way, in the world of Goseiger you’re more or less doomed to fail. Through his childish naivety he conquers impossible odds which inspires his fellow team members.So, what did I ultimately think of Goseiger? Well… I liked it alright. It’s not my favorite Super Sentai, not even close (yes, DaiRanger, I’m looking at you), but after the fairly serious romp that was Shinkenger, Goseiger is a welcome break. It definitely takes a much more light hearted approach and keeps it very light and “friendly” through the entire series. There’s no real moral dilemmas to speak of and what little darkness there is tend to be dealt with quickly only to be quickly left in the dust. Unlike Shinkenger which was heavy with character development, practically chanting “Better yourself!” throughout, the Goseigers are more or less static from beginning to end. And the series itself seems to be aware of this. When Alata, the leader of the group… sort of, goes back in time to just before the series started, he joins up with his friends from the past and despite not having a full year of training together, they still somehow manage to pull perfect teamwork out of their spandex covered butts.
In the world of Super Sentai, the Red Ranger tends to be a perfect creature everyone else should emulate. There are some exceptions to this and then there are the ones that embrace this to the bitter end.
As for the plot itself, this is very much monster of the week territory as few episodes have any sort of lasting effect. There are a whopping FOUR enemy factions this time around and the speed with which they go through them is almost laughable. When MagiRanger pulled a faction-shift halfway through it was extremely shocking (for me since it was the first time I saw it done) but when Goseiger did it a second time I could barely contain my laughter. And then there was the third time! (Four if you count the first crossover movie)
Once everything is revealed, it actually makes sense and I looked back at the twist and found myself nodding approvingly. I’m not going to spoil but the payoff was ultimately worth it, I must admit, showing a surprising amount of character for a villain and far more thought than I expected from a series that reveled in its “Monster of the Week”-pacing. The villain in question is actually sort of interesting and looking back it was obvious that something was weird about him from the very start. Of course, the reveal itself isn’t done very well but it is a kids show so I suppose expecting a Fight Club reveal was a bit much. But still, at the point where I had figured it out entirely on my own, the Goseigers themselves still failed to connect the dots and ultimately had to be told… by the villain. This after half an episode putting the mystery in focus with all the clues given to you on a silver platter… all I’m saying is it would’ve been a bit more gratifying to see the Goseigers figure it out.
So where does this leave us with Goseiger? Is it a good series of Super Sentai? Like I said, I found it entirely alright. It’s best experienced in small doses as its childish naivety can get a bit grating at times but it’s ultimately harmless. The worst that can be said about Goseiger is that it’s just a little too forgettable for its own good, acting more like a stepping stone from Shinkenger to Gokaiger than something striving to be its very own thing. However, like I said before, considering the presence of Shinkenger, this is perhaps for the best as everything I’ve so far heard about Gokaiger suggests it’s also a series with a lot of presence. And you need a break from that or you’ll be tired out.
I do say a fond farewell to the Goseiger and I look forward to seeing them in the next crossover movie. However, now it’s on to motorcycles and coins for me. Up next is Kamen Rider OOO.