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What Toshiki Inoue and Yasuko Kobayash Share In Common In Writing Tokusatsu!

For Toshiki Inoue's headwriting works I have seen Jetman (my very first), Kamen Rider Agito, Kamen Rider Faiz and Kamen Rider Kiva. For Yasuko Kobayashi's headwriting works I've seen Gingaman, Timeranger, Kamen Rider Ryuki, Kamen Rider Den-O, Shinkenger, Kamen Rider OOO, Gobusters and ToQGer. Now I'll point out some things in common with them writing Tokusatsu...

Getting their characters wet

It's all about bodies of water right? Whether Inoue or Kobayashi would be the head writer or sub-writer, do expect characters to get wet. In Jetman, we have both Ryu and Gai fighting on a lake. In Dairanger, the Jin Matoba Arc had Ryou and Jin fighting near the ocean and remember, Inoue wrote those episodes. In Gingaman, we have Ryouma falling into the ocean and Hikaru jumping into a mystical waterfall to cure his fatal hiccups. In Timeranger, Sion fell into the ocean in that episode Londarz was producing some kind of red seaweed. In Shinkenger, poor Takeru gets wet once when Juzo tries to heal him so they will have an honorable fight and in episode 26, his fight with Juzo takes place near water. In Shinkenger vs. Go-onger, both Takeru and Sosuke fell into the river. In Kamen Rider OOO, Eiji is later seen completely wet in the shallow portions of a river.

A series of jerks and douchebags

I noticed both Inoue and Kobayashi like adding a series of jerks and douchebags. What was also interesting was that both of them wrote Kamen Rider Ryuki (with Kobayashi as the head writer) - a season that was so infested with its three douchebag protagonists namely Shinji, Renn and Shuichi. Individually, they also wrote a couple of jerks and douchebags. For jerks who have some goodness beneath you might actually have Gai Yuki (Jetman), the first Bullblack (Gingaman), Naoto Takizawa (Timeranger), Hojo Toru (Agito), Momotaros (Den-O), Chiaki Tani (Shinkenger) and Ankh (Kamen Rider OOO). For jerks who have a very questionable behavior you may have Ryuya Asami (Timeranger) and Masato Kusaka (Kamen Rider Faiz) who I view to be Faiz's secondary villain.

A series of misunderstandings

When it comes to misunderstandings, Inoue and Kobayashi tend to love to write misunderstandings into their stories. Jetman had misunderstandings between Ryu and Gai Yuki. Gingaman had the short-lived misunderstanding between the Gingamen and the first Bullblack or within the Balban's generals which led Captain Zahab to deploy one general until their units were done for. Timeranger had misunderstandings inside the Asami clan, the Time Protection Agency and the Timerangers had a misunderstanding with Naoto Takizawa/Time Fire. Kamen Rider Agito has it a lot especailly between the main hero and the police station - heck even the police station has misunderstandings between Hojo and Hikawa! Shinkenger had a misunderstanding in between the teams (ex. Takeru and Chiaki, Ryunosuke and Genta) and inside the Gedoushu (Doukoku and Akumaro).

Really cruel villains

Really cruel villains tend to be mixed into the writing of Kobayashi and Inoue. Chojin Setnai Jetman had been responsible for introducing who many fans consider as the most #@@@!!! villain ever namely Count Radiguet. Kamen Rider Ryuki also presented who for me is the most evil of evil Kamen Riders namely Takeshi Asakura/Kamen Rider Ouja who is one insane genocidal villain. I couldn't really comprehend Count Radiguet's nor Takeshi Asakura's killing other people for pleasure.

Sadistic bitches

Now sadistic bitches aren't really their style alone right? Hirohisa Soda was the head writer of Changeman having his own set of cruel bitches. In the case of Inoue and Kobayashi, you may find their cruel bitches in Maria (Jetman), Shelinda (Gingaman), Dayu (Shinkenger) and Escape (Gobusters). Although Maria was brainwashed and crazy, she had shown her cruelty when she killed Trash Jigen for defying her, Shelinda was always harassing Hayate, Dayu burned down a wedding reception out of jealousy and Escape is one cruel gunslinger.

Important relatives

What I have observed in both Kobayashi and Inoue is their tendency to introduce important relatives into their show. Jetman introduced us to Ryu's grandmother, Raita's grandmother and Kaori's parents. Gingaman has Ryoma's older brother Hyuga who becomes the second Bullblack or Hayate's fiance. Timeranger has the Asami family and Yuuri's deceased parents are seldom mentioned as key plot. Agito also had Maaya's stepuncle and stepcousin as plot movers. Den-O had Ryotaro's sister and alternate future niece as plot movers. 

School girls

I have also noticed the presence of school girls in some of their shows. You may have noticed Ako (Jetman), Mana (Kamen Rider Agito), Kotoha (Shinkenger) and Yuuko (Gobusters). My favorite comparison is on Ako and Kotoha who are both the cute bruisers of their respective teams.

Team rebels

Jetman was the first to have a season long rebel in Gai Yuki who was more of an anti-hero than the hesitant one. Gingaman had Hikaru who seldom rebelled against the others like when he went against the advice not to use his Earth power for his own personal gain or when he tried to skip work by pretending to be sick. Chiaki is a rebellious teenager who feels like the whole arrangement in Shinkenger was pretty outdated for modern times.

Massive amounts of science fact and fiction

There is the tendency for both writers to really like inserting topics like anthropology, biology and technological stuff. Jetman and Gobusters are technologically based Super Sentai. In terms of anthropology we have human evolution discussed in Kamen Rider Agito (the Lords control human evolution), Kamen Rider Faiz (Orphnochs are viewed as the next step of human evolution) and Kamen Rider OOO (it is said that desire powers evolution).


Massive amounts of foreshadowing to later plots

Foreshadowing is for better or for worse but some of them are done subtly while others are done so much directly. In Jetman and Kamen Rider Kiva, I always found it crazy how the show always foreshadowed that Ryu will end up with Kaori or Nago with Megumi. Shinkenger had all the foreshadows that Takeru wasn't the true head of the Shiba but Kaoru which also progresses more of a moral dilemma than it used to.

Moral dilemmas

Moral dilemmas tend to fuel a certain degree of interest in Kobayashi's and Inoue's stories. My favorite example for Inoue's case is Ryu himself - he is a professional soldier but he is stuck in the past, loving a shadow and the problem just got worse when he discovered that Maria was actually Rie Aoi or that Kamen Rider Agito makes you think if the Agito seed or the Unknown would be the ultimate threat to mankind itself. In Kobayashi's case my favorites have to be Timeranger's series of dilemmas - Tatsuya must decide his fate or let his father decide his fate or Yuuri still has her obligations as a police officer or will she let her desire for revenge get the best of her or the Shinkengers are faced with a moral dilemma when they know Takeru is just a shadow lord.

Revenge moving the plot

Wow it's time for the I'll have my revenge plot isn't it? It reminds me of how Jetman had a lot of revenge involved like Tran becoming Tranza and getting revenge on everyone, Radiguet finally getting his revenge on Tranza or Ryu's desire for revenge on Radiguet after he lost Rie. Gingaman also had Pucrates' desire for revenge on Captain Zahab or the revenge lot of Hayate to Shelinda. Timeranger's plot is also moved by Yuuri's desire to avenge her own family, even harming her fellow teammates just to get her revenge on Dolnero to the point she broke down when the latter was killed because she couldn't arrest him to avenge her family.

Heroes dying in an atypical way

I could bring up Gai Yuki and Naoto over and over again. What bugged me off was how Gai Yuki was mugged by a thug and that's how he died? He deserved a badass death if he was ever scheduled to die! I always thought Jetman's finale really made the Jetmen look like idiots that they didn't notice something was wrong with Gai Yuki. In Naoto's case, it was ironic how he was a badass guy was gunned down by a lone Zenitto from a distance. I always thought that death scene was a weaker point - I even thought Inoue wrote that scene when it was Kobayashi!

Hit or miss finale arcs

Finale arcs for both writers can be really good or bad. While Jetman's finale arc involving Maria for me wrapped things up between her and Ryu or showed how beyond redemption Radiguet was or Kamen Rider Agito's finale arc sort of showed the true nature of the conflict, most of Inoue's finale arcs didn't appeal to me. Now which finale arcs do you think I tend to feel mixed about? Timeranger's finale arc sort of dropped the ball in some way like so Ryuya was responsible behind most of the events in the show? I also thought how Ryuya's revelation that he was scheduled to die and he just wanted to live to be not so well-written or that he actually allowed Londarz to escape to be a plot twist that got me mixed about it. Faiz suddenly introduced the Orphnoch King which is no better than Ryuki's sudden addition of Kamen Rider Odin in the death game. Shinkenger even had an unusual way to wrap up Takeru's role as a shadow warrior by having Kaoru (the true Shiba head) adopt him as her son which is just stupid.

Final villains defeated by... a weak spot!

I have observed how Radiguet, Captain Zahab and Doukoku were defeated by a weak spot. Radiguet had an unhealed wound thanks to Rie backstabbing him literally leading to his defeat. Captain Zahab's power source was in his chest and that's where he had to be struck so the Gingamen can destroy him once and for all. Doukoku acquired a huge wound from Kaoru's failed attempt to sealed him allowing the Shinkengers to defeat him forever.

Hit or miss endings

Shogo B'Stard had mentioned Toshiki Inoue x finales is a bad mix. I always felt both writers tend to write unusual finales. For example, Kamen Rider Ryuki was infamous for its reset button ending which might be a result of executive meddling instead of Kobayashi's personal decision. Some people view Jetman's ending as a bad way to end an otherwise popular series - like Ryu and Kaori getting married (it was foreshadowed) or the way Gai Yuki died. Kamen Rider Agito and Kamen Rider OOO both had backyard battles and both endings are similar - Lord of Darkness trying to restart humanity and you have Dr. Maki trying to imitate the Lord of Darkness. The latest might be how ToQGer ended - Emperor Zett ends up in a coma like how the last minute Orphnoch King slipped into a coma. If you want a really crazy ending, Kamen Rider Kiva has one where Megumi and Nago get married without any chemistry whatsoever then Neo Fangires appear.

Red Rangers who don't get the girl

This can be seen in Jetman and Timeranger. Ryu loses his beloved Rie who was wounded by Radiguet in front of his eyes. Rie believing she was beyond redemption chose to die alone while calling Ryu's name. Tatsuya cannot be together with Yuuri because they are 1,000 years apart to which we are treated to a more emotional separation than Power Rangers Time Force's Jen saying goodbye to Wesley.

Bittersweet endings

We have won but wait, there is much to cry about even after we have won against the enemy! Jetman's finale is bittersweet considering Gai Yuki died on the wedding day of Ryu and Kaori. In Timeranger and Kamen Rider Den-O the people from the future must depart to the future leaving Tatsuya alone. Tatsuya must break up with Yuuri and see the rest of the Timerangers leave and Naoto had died during the finale arc. In Gobusters, they have defeated Enter for good but Jin Masato dies leaving J-Stag alone.

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3 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Sean,I love your blog,but please stop copy/pasting your old blog posts on JEF just to get more views.Its annoying and off putting.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Never noticed the foreshadowing of Takeru being a shadowlord(Also the fact that I know he isn't the true head of the Shiba clan),but the presence with school girls I would like to see more of

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Inoue is a horribly overrated writer, especially Agito. - Buy Video Games for Consoles and PC - From Japan, Korea and other Regions
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