Sentai Series Review: GogoV
12345... GOGO FIVE! Well it's not Fiveman but it's GogoV, the second sibling-themed Super Sentai show. Another Imagination Station has finished subbing GogoV so it's time to give it a review.
In the year 1999, a great event called the "Grand Cross" would bring in the greatest evil in their storyline known as Grand Witch Grandienne. The Saima Clan reawakens to cause trouble to the world. The Saima family seeks to bring back their mother Grand Witch Grandienne to her full bodily form so she can conquer the world. But a lot of events are not like what they seem.
GogoV's rangers are the siblings of the Tatsumi family. Years ago, a family lost their parents only for their father Professor Mondo Tatsumi to return one day. The problem was that Professor Tatsumi had no choice but to prepare for the Saima Clan's invasion so he faked his death. The children had no idea of what their father gone through and they believe he's their only surviving parent. The siblings realize that they were called to be the GogoV team.
Before they were part of the Rescue team GogoV, they were working in rescue related operations. The eldest Matoi is a fireman. Nagare is a chemist. Shou is a pilot. Daimon is a policeman. Matsuri is a nurse. All five of them were forced to leave their jobs to fight the sinister Saima Clan. Each one of them learns more about the bond of family as they fight. Like the Fivemen, they have a lot of Public Service Announcements for the viewers. Fiveman leaned towards children and life experiences while GogoV leaned towards safety rules.
The Saima Clan are a demon family clan served by their butler Pierre. Several centuries ago, they were locked up but were soon released due to the upcoming "Grand Cross Event" in the Solar System. The clan's oldest brother Zylpheeza leads the invasion in the place of their "absent" mother Grandienne. The other members are the sister Venus who's a mistress of disguise, the younger brother Kubolda and their infant sibling Drop. Events start to unfold when Grandienne tries to descend into her bodily form but comes a rather incomplete version of herself. She later reveals herself in her complete form for the finale.
The villains also show what a family shouldn't be. While Zypheeza cares about his siblings but one day the infant Drop becomes Salamandes thanks to Grandienne's power. Salamandes who never passed through childhood and puberty bosses them around. It's later revealed that Grandienne doesn't care about her own children either. While there's a sibling bond between Zylpheeza, Kubolda and Venus but Salamandes doesn't share it with them. Their own mother Grandienne would even go as far as to even manipulate her own children just so he can become the sole ruler of the Universe. Worse, it's revealed that Grandienne herself is really negative energy personified. I felt the villains were a huge leap from Fiveman's rather so-so cast.
GogoV succeeded where Fiveman failed. Fiveman started out as the first sibling Super Sentai which wasn't so well-received back then. It was because writer Hirohisa Soda was already burning out real quick. GoGoFive on the other hand writers like Junki Takegami (who was previously Megaranger's headwriter), Yasuko Kobayashi (who also write the VS Movie, GogoV vs. Gingaman) and Junichi Miyashita (who was responsible for a lot of episodes during the Rescue Police Metal Hero series) as important contributors to such a well-written series. For Miyashita I guess his experience in writing rescue-themed episodes gave us really content to this show.
There may be some intentional or unintentional references to Hirohisa Soda's era. The obvious is that the costumes and theme seem to take from Fiveman. There's the sibling theme going on and the costumes feel like they were inspired by Fiveman's costumes. The battle of negative energy and positive energy together with technology vs. magic is similar to Maskman. I feel like the whole finale where Grandienne is actually negative energy personified might be an idea in Fiveman but was rejected.
I'm just glad that GogoV manages to come up as one masterpiece worth watching. I'd recommend it in the must-watch list.
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