By the laws of chromatic superiority, they have the power! Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Red Rangers!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and Rocky DeSantos, who always seems to get hosed in and out of universe and never gets invited to the big anniversary reunion specials, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN RED RANGERS!
Fifth of the Red Rangers and the second man to wear the eagle helmet, Takayuki Hiba took over when Ryuusuki Oowashi left the Sun Vulcan team to work for NASA. VulEagle (Vulcan + Eagle) and his partners VulShark and VulPanther are the smallest Super Sentai team in history, numbering only three heroes at a time in their war against the Machine Empire Black Magma. (That’s likely because “sun” sounds like “san”, the Japanese word for three.) Takayuki led his team to victory against the evil aliens, and returned thirty years later to pass on his team’s power during the 35th anniversary of Super Sentai.
I’ve always loved the Sun Vulcan designs, especially the scarf.
A practitioner of Fierce Beast Tiger-Fist style martial arts, Jan Kandou was the only survivor of a massacre when he was a child. Raised by tigers in the wild, Jan has superhuman sense and is resistant to pain, allowing him a headstart in his combat training. His costume is very unusual for Super Sentai, with more of a traditional American leotard look, but Juken Sentai Gekiranger is an unusual season, with a specific focus on unarmed combat more often than not. They also have the franchise’s first Purple Sentai, so they got that goin’ for ’em… which is nice, y’know.
8) ZYUOH GORILLA
One of FOUR different forms of Yamato Kazakiri (he can also become Zyuoh Eagle, Zyuoh Whale and gestalt hero Zyuoh Condor), Zyuoh Gorilla looks a little bit like a child’s superhero Halloween costume. Still, his power is impressive and Earth-themed, making him something of a one-man version of Sun Vulcan’s earth/air/water theming. Yamato is the only human member of his team and works as a zoologist when not in one of his multiple costumes.
7) SUPERSONIC RED RANGER
The Power Rangers adaptations of Super Sentai begin with season sixteen, Zyuranger, but ‘Power Rangers Megaforce’ established the existence of other Power Rangers teams “never before seen on Earth” to explain their use of stock footage from unadapted Super Sentai teams. One of those was the Supersonic Rangers, based on Chikyu Sentai Fiveman, the fourteenth Super Sentai team. In the BOOM! Studios comics, their history is expanded, with the addition of a Sixth Ranger who never existed in Sentai, with Red Ranger Ace and his alien Ranger team falling prey to a traitor in their midst.
Though strictly defined as a Crimson Ranger, that’s still red and you can’t tell me any different. Ikkou Kasumi and his brother are the first Super Sentai heroes to take on insect theming, something usually left to the Kamen Rider franchise. Initially enemies of the Hurricaneger heroes, KabutoRaiger and KuwagaRaiger eventually joined them in battling an evil ninja clan. He had a rivalry with the official Hurricaneger Red Ranger, Yousuke, which underlines the importance of the color Red in Super Sentai stories. His armor is patterned after a stag beetle.
5) KIRAMAI RED
The incumbent Sentai Red, as of this writing, Juru Atsuta uses power gems that fuel super-machines to battle the Dark Empire Yodonheim. He can even bring his drawings to life with the power of imagination, a psionic ability that seems to come with a helping of precognition as well. Though not a natural leader, his role as Kiramai Red has forced Juru to work at commanding his team, and his management/tactical skills have improved dramatically.
4) AKIBA RED
The leader of the only “unauthorized” Sentai team, Nobuo Akagi is an eccentric nerdly fanboy by day and an eccentric nerdly hero in his armored form. AkibaRed and his Hikonin Senta Akibaranger team exists outside of the shared universe of most Sentai, and their meta adventures have brought them into conflict with the “Powerful Rangers”, American superheroes whose basis should be pretty obvious. Because of their unusual nature, they are the only team with more female members than male. Nobuo himself is a huge Super Sentai fan, as the teams exist as a television show in his reality.
It’s complicated. Love the hair-helmet, though…
3) PRINCESS SHINKEN RED
The first female Red in Super Sentai history (barring a retconned in previous Shinken Red), Kaoru Shiba shares both her Sentai color and team leadership with her brother. A haughty princess and leader of the Shiba House of samurai, Kaoru initially took the role from her sibling, eventually ceding it back to him when it became clear that he had earned it. Rather than standing among Red Rangers, Princess Shinken Red is generally counted as an “Extra Hero” in Sentai parlance, and is the first replacement Red since today’s #10.
2) BRAVE RED DINO
Here’s where things get really complicated: Kwon Juyong is Korean, and is the leader of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger Brave, a Korean sequel season to the 37th Super Sentai series, Kyoryuger. Empowered by the previous hero, Kyoryu Red, Brave Red Dino and his team fought off a new version of the DeBoth Army, with some slightly redesigned uniforms and all-new actors under the helmets. It remains to be seen if additional South Korean adaptations will be made, ala Power Rangers in the United States.
1) ARMED TYRANNORANGER
For my money, the original DragonRanger costume is one of the best in Sentai’s four decades, and the only thing that improves upon that is using the Dragon Shield on Prince Geki/TyrannoRanger’s costume. After the death of his brother, the Zyuranger Green Ranger, Geki gained the ability to call upon his Dragon mecha and summon his shield. This particular image is actually Gokai Red channeling TyrannoRanger’s power, but regardless of who’s under the helmet, it’s an incredibly look.
Thanks to Shōtarō Ishinomori for this week’s topic, Ten Red Rangers! Feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra for more Ten Things madness on Twitter or check out the full Twitter archive here! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, if only because there’s a new team coming, every February. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!