Super Sentai Review: Seijuu Sentai Gingaman
"We pierce through the galaxy with legendary blades." is the theme of Seijuu Sentai Gingaman. This was the first work that Yasuko Kobayashi had done as a Super Sentai headwriter. This series may have come out as one of the best series in the 1990s.
Although the show's title in English means Starbeast Sentai Gingaman, it doesn't really follow too much of a space theme except for having powers that are not of this Earth. It may be possible that the Gingamen themselves are descendants of aliens who got stranded on Earth, settled there permanently and vowed to defend it from the Balban. The story of Gingaman begins with the inauguration of the would be 133rd Gingaman team by lineage. Although Hyuga would have beent he 133rd Ginga Red but fate soon made his younger brother Ryoma as the show's main protagonist instead. The other Gingamen are Hayate (Ginga Green), Gouki (Ginga Blue), Hikaru (Ginga Yellow) and Saya (Ginga Pink). Later on, Hyuga returns and becomes the sixth ranger inheriting the anti-hero Bullblack's powers after the latter's heroic sacrifice.
The Gingamen as warriors are imbued with this "Earth Power" that allows them to harness power from nature. Ryoma uses fire, Hayate uses wind, Gouki uses water, Hikaru uses lightning and Saya uses petals. The heroes had lost their home the Ginga Forest to the Balban and are forced to live with the "normal world" where they must learn to adjust. The plot kind of feels like it was taken from Flashman's rangers where they must try to adjust to a new environment. The heroes must defend the Earth from the Balban Pirates before the Earth becomes their next target for destruction. To guide them in the city, they were assisted by the talking tree Moak and the acorn fairy Bokku. They live in a ranch where Harukiko and his son Yuuta accommodate them and knew of their identity as the 133rd Gingamen.
The Balban are a group of intergalactic pirates who for some reason could breathe even in the vacuum of space. Captain Zahab and his pirate crew have been plundering and then destroying planets turning them into jewels. Whatever reasons Captain Zahab had, it felt like he was trying to achieve immortality and/or possibly godhood. The Earth becomes the only planet standing in his way as he was defeated by the first Gingamen. These space pirates were sealed off for centuries but were awakened by an earthquake in the modern day. They seek to get whatever energy they could to revive their giant monster Daitanic so they can proceed to destroy Earth.
The main villain crew of Captain Zahab has Shelinda as his steerwoman, Pucrates as his advisor and the four generals. The four generals are Sanbash the leader of the insect-like humanoid monsters, Budo leads a samurai-themed gang of monsters. Illies is an Egyptian themed sorceress who uses magically themed monsters. Batbas is a viking themed general with mechanical robotic beasts who cause havoc. Like the generals in Goranger, the generals only replaced each other when the previous one got destroyed in the conflict though they all appeared in the beginning. The reason was because Captain Zahab wanted to make sure they prevented any sabotaging done towards each other though it proved useless. Later, Dark Merchant Biznella came in later in the series to assist Balban.
While my first exposure to Yasuko Kobayashi as a writer was Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, Gingaman was where I soon knew of how she started off as a headwriter right after she was an important secondary writer a year before with Denji Sentai Megaranger. She started out pretty good and she had a lot of good assistance from Naruhisa Arakawa and Junki Takegami as major secondary writers together with Shigenori Takatera as the head producer. Like during the time Toshiki Inoue was the head writer of Chojin Sentai Jetman - the series tried to blend in a lot of stuff from Hirohisa Soda's era and became a successful series. This was just a preview of what we might expect from Kobayashi's style as a head writer. This was also where Arakawa was also getting more of an idea on how he wanted to write Tokusatsu his style after he wrote Megaranger's finale.
As I watched through this series and having seen more 90s Super Sentai, I really felt that it was a nice series though I wonder why was it really named Gingaman? After seeing Zyuohger's premiere episodes, I felt like maybe Gingaman should have been named as Zyuohman or Seijuuman instead because it felt like it was too attached to the forest? I even thought that maybe its U.S. adaptation Power Rangers Lost Galaxy should have been named as Power Rangers Star Beasts instead of the official title it got. The show had some really good writing and production styles involved making it memorable. I felt that like Jetman, it should've gotten a post-series TV special (ex. a Hero Encyclopedia) but maybe it was hard to beat Jetman's record. Instead, we had Timeranger get a post-TV series special where the Timerangers explained about the 23 previous Super Sentai series prior to them. Overall, it's been an enjoyable series to watch.
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