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Title: Avian Task Force JETMAN
Description: 1991 - 1992


Raymond - February 20, 2006 04:32 AM (GMT)
Information on Chojin Sentai JETTOMAN

Number of episodes: 51

Motif: Birds

Mecha & Vehicles:

JET ICARUS (Robot)
ICARUS HAKKEN (Jet Icarus' Battleship Form)
JET HAWK (Head & torso of Jet Icarus / driven by Red Hawk)
JET SWAN (Left leg of Jet Icarus / driven by White Swan)
JET OWL (Right arm of Jet Icarus / driven by Yellow Owl)
JET SWALLOW (Left arm of Jet Icarus / driven by Blue Swallow)
JET CONDOR (Right leg of Jet Icarus / driven by Black Condor)
JET GARUDA (Robot)
BIRD GARUDA (Jet Garuda's Battleship Form)
GREAT ICARUS (Combination of Jet Icarus & Jet Garuda)
HYPER HAKKEN (Combination of Icarus Hakken & Bird Garuda)
TETRA-BOY (Support Robot)
TETRA-BUSTER (Tetra-Boy's Cannon Mode for Jet Icarus & Jet Garuda)
JET STRIKER (Red Hawk's offroad buggy)
JET SPEEDER BLUE (Blue Swallow's motorcycle)
JET SPEEDER BLACK (Black Condor's motorcycle)
JET PANZER (Yellow Owl & White Swan's utility vehicle)

Enemy Force: Jigen Sendan VYRUM (Dimensional Battle Army VYRUM)

CAST:

Tendoh Ryu / Red Hawk: TANAKA KOTARO
Rokumeikan Kaori / White Swan: KISHIDA RIKA
Ooishi Raita / Yellow Owl: NARUSE TOMOHISA
Hayasaka Ako / Blue Swallow: UCHIDA SAYURI
Yuuki Gai / Black Condor: WAKAMATSU TOSHIHIDE
Commander Odagiri Aya: MIKI MIKIKO
Jiiya: HAYAKAWA YUZO
Radigue: TACHI DAISUKE
Mariya / Rie Aoi: MARUYAMA MAHO
Toran: TAKAHASHI KAZUO
Toranza: HIROSE YUTAKA
Queen Jyuza: YUTO SACHIKO
Gray (Voice): KUSAKA HIDEAKI

PLOT:

A dimensional invasion force called VYRUM has destroyed the "Back Dimension", which existed at a different vibrational rate than the "Front Dimension", where Earth exists.

The Sky Force was created to battle VYRUM, and a project is started to imbue five top-ranked soldiers with Birdonic Waves to give them superpowers. However, VYRUM learns of this and attacks the Sky Force's space base "Earth Ship", where the experiment is happening.

Before the attack, only one soldier, Tendoh Ryu, is given the Birdonic Wave power. As the others get ready to be immersed in the Birdonic Wave, VYRUM destroys the Earth Ship, sending the Birdonic Waves toward Earth. The waves hit four innocent civilians, accidentally giving them superpowers.

Three of the soldiers are killed on the Earth Ship, and Tendoh Ryu's fiance and fellow soldier Rie Aoi, is swept into the VYRUM battleship, where she is brainwashed and converted into the cold-hearted Mariya.

The commander of Sky Force, Commander Odagiri Aya rescues Tendoh Ryu and escapes with him to Sky Camp, Sky Force's Earth-based headquarters. She and Tendoh discover that the Birdonic Waves have entered into a rich but naive young woman, a peaceful farmer, a young teen with dreams of stardom, and a rough, streetwise rogue.

With no choice but to gather these civilians with powers beyond their comprehension, Tendoh and Odagiri Aya must train these total strangers to become a fighting force against VYRUM before the Front Dimension is completely taken over.

The team is called JETMAN, but with a reluctant and emotionally depressed leader in Tendoh Ryu as Red Hawk, can he rally the untrained and personality-clashing team to victory and save his beloved Rie from a horrible fate?

REVIEW:

After the ratings disappointment in FIVEMAN, Toei decided to try and win back the older fans of Super Sentai by taking a page from an anime for their next Sentai entry. What resulted was a program that many longtime Sentai fans and critics have declared as the best Sentai show ever made.

JETMAN broke many of the major standards that Sentai had been using since its inception, which turned the franchise around and made the program more dramatic and realistic than any show before it. Almost all of the previous notions of what a Sentai force did and who they fought were completely discarded and a fresh new start was given.

Basing the motif of birds from the hit Tatsunoko anime series "Kagaku Ninja-Tai GATCHAMAN", known internationally as "Battle of the Planets: G-Force", Toei used the basic frame of the anime to create JETMAN, but made interesting twists and turns that kept viewers interested and glued to their seats. The plots were so tightly scripted that many television critics considered the show a drama rather than a kid's program, and even was considered for Best Fantasy Program in Japanese TV Guide.

To start off the radical new interpretation of the Sentai franchise, the villains of VYRUM were not structured like previous Sentai foes. VYRUM did not use the "all-powerful, hidden-in-the-back-until-the-end" main villain. Instead, Vyrum consisted of just a few human-sized villains, but all with insidious agendas. The lack of a hidden leader made them refreshingly new among the Sentai baddies as a capable team of their own that answered to no one. The backstory that the former leader of VYRUM, Queen Jyuza, was deposed by her former underling, the new leader, Radigue, made for a much more interesting set of dynamics among them rather than be subservient to an all-powerful alien.

Interpersonal dynamics also played a strong part for the heroes of the show. Once again, JETMAN did away with the preconceived notion that all base commanders were hard-line, alpha male types--instead, the leader of Jetman was a female, the capable and professional Odagiri Aya. Played by character actress Miki Mikiko, Commander Odagiri was a fierce warrior of her own, able to solve scientific conundrums, offered wise advice to Tendoh Ryu, and kept the team focused on their mission. She never backed down from interoffice political struggles within the Sky Force to shut down the Jetman project (which was considered a failure due to the involvement of four civilians), and proved time and again her battle savvy tactics combined with compassion for her ragtag team of misfits.

Actress Miki Mikiko continues to act today, and went on to do another Sentai role as the mother of Kiba-Ranger Kou in "Five Star Task Force DAI-RANGER". Known for her serious roles, she exudes a professional demeanor at all times, and her classic beauty looks often cast her in romantic films that require a more accomplished actress.

Another new concept was that the Red-colored leader wasn't exactly the most mentally & emotionally stable member of the group. Tendoh Ryu was a smart, combat-ready, and decisive leader when it came down to fighting the VYRUM menace, but at times was completely incapable of handling his personal life. The loss of Rie Aoi (performed admirably by frequent tokusatsu actress Maruyama Maho, who did double duty as both Rie and the converted Mariya) coupled with keeping together a group of disparate personalities with no military training strained his personal life to no end. The tasks of training the not-combat-ready team of civilians, seeking to rescue Rie, conflicted with his growing attraction to Rokumeikan Kaori, and clashing with the always-volatile Yuuki Gai gave his life multiple headaches and emotional distress. The fact that he handled it all while keeping himself and the team alive was a true testament to Tendoh's heroism.

Played marvelously by classically trained actor Tanaka Kotaro, Tendoh Ryu assumed the leadership of Jetman by default as the only true soldier on the team. As Red Hawk, he rallied the team to victory and by the end of the series, came to terms with the difficulties in his life and made a better world of it for himself and others. Tanaka Kotaro displayed all of the needed emotion, pathos, charisma, and charm in playing the emotionally vibrant Tendoh Ryu, making him an immediate fan favorite and an instant star. Today, Tanaka Kotaro still acts, but mainly in large budget feature films as a supporting actor.

Once again playing against established Sentai norms, the show featured four civilians who didn't understand how they got superpowers, and that they had to be trained to fly the mechas, to use their powers efficiently, to properly use the weapons, and most of all--to function as a team unit rather than a bunch of individuals.

The first was the rich but bored Rokumeikan Kaori. Born into wealth, she never found any true purpose in life other than to ride horses, or eat expensive food, or buy extravagant items. After she is imbued with the Birdonic Waves and becomes White Swan, she finds a direction in life, but her naivety causes some problems for the team. Never learning how to drive any mechanical vehicle in her life (as she is driven everywhere by her butler Jiiya), Kaori has immense difficulty in handling mecha of any sort. While her subsequent training by Commander Odagiri and Tendoh does improve her shooting prowess and use of her own powers, she is never fully capable of flying her Jet Swan unit like a pro, and still prefers to sit as a passenger in the Jetman team jeep Jet Panzer.

Kaori's naivety results in the fact that she has never really interacted romantically with people before, and people view her as a pristine beauty, graceful and virginal. This leads to some team tension, as Tendoh Ryu becomes attracted to her grace and style, and the rougher Yuuki Gai views her as a prize to refine his tough guy edges. Her innocent personality gravitates men towards her, and because of her lack of experience in dealing with men, especially two strong personalities fighting over her, that she is both attracted to the safer Tendoh Ryu, and the bad boy attitude of Yuuki Gai.

Played by actress Kishida Rika, she performs the role of Kaori with style and dignity, displaying the constant likeability of the character combined with a cute girl look and occasionally pulling off a serious tone when needed. A fine character actress mostly cast in younger roles due to her girlish voice, today she is retired from acting.

The glue of the team came from farmer Ooishi Raita, a peaceful man, but slightly overweight. The show kept up the weight difference between Raita and the others by hiring a more rotund stuntman to play Yellow Owl. As the emotional anchor for the team, Raita is dependable for all manners of situations--be it a cool, level headed supporter of Tendoh, a best friend and emotional sounding board to Kaori, a helpful and supportive adviser to the young Hayasaka Ako, or to be the calming voice of reason to the angry Yuuki Gai.

Originally reluctant to enter the fray, Raita comes to his logical intuition quickly and becomes a quick study in the use of his powers and mecha. Never being the best fighter on the team, Raita utilized his larger girth and sheer strength to combat monsters, and always found time to cook for the team and maintained a romantic relationship with his childhood girlfriend Satsuki outside of the team's often-volatile interactivity. Always ready to help out, he looked after the girls on the team, and even took on the added responsibility of driving White Swan in the Jetman team jeep Jet Panzer. The most dependable team member, Yellow Owl never wavered from the group, and brought his infectious good natured personality every time the team needed some common sense.

Played by the ever-charming Naruse Tomohisa, his role as Yellow Owl brought him some measure of fame as being cast often as the "best friend" or "helpful confidante" on many J-dramas. Continuing his association with tokusatsu, he reunited with his fellow JETMAN cast member Miki Mikiko in "Five Star Task Force DAI-RANGER" as the human form of the heavenly turtle god Daimugen.

The humorous member of the team, Blue Swallow, came from the most youthful one of them all. Hayasaka Ako was a young teenage girl whose only goal was to become famous and popular, hoping to be a singing star. Since her priorities and mental maturity was a bit different from the adults on the team, she never let any of the problems caused by VYRUM to affect her cheerful personality. Always quick with a smile and some support, Blue Swallow was the effervescent spirit of youthfulness, which always reminded the team of what they were fighting for--the sake of future generations. With her slightly skewed, teenager's look at life, Ako's eagerness to join the team to make a difference (and hopefully to become popular) made her a joy to be around. Always hanging around Raita as a "big brother" type, she and Raita often were put in the middle of the love triangle between Tendoh, Kaori, and Gai, always trying to appease the fighting amongst them.

Hayasaka Ako was played by veteran tokusatsu actress Uchida Sayuri, who first got her big break as a child star playing the owner & friend of the magical fairy Nemurin in Ishinomori Shotaro's girl-oriented 1984 tokusatsu program "Dokincho! NEMURIN". Uchida Sayuri still performs in tokusatsu today, often playing news reporters or big sister types due to her youthful looks.

The last member of the team was not only the most reluctant, but the most combative and hot-headed one. Yuuki Gai was a streetwise tough whose past may have been a bit shady. Often seen hanging around bars and cavorting with the more unscrupulous members of society, Gai was headstrong, argumentative, loud, brash, and a general nuisance to the team. Unable to dump him off the team because of his permanent bonding to the Birdonic Waves, Gai was the one member who regularly defied all kinds of commands, unwilling to follow the militaristic structure of the group, and found Tendoh as the prime example of being the establishment that Gai fought all his life to disobey. However, he was the one member who was the best in all of the power usage and the mecha handling next to Tendoh. While not a trained combatant, Gai's formative years on the street taught him his own rudimentary fighting style, which proved to be efficient when the villains were expecting a form of trained attack, and Gai simply threw that notion out the window with his haphazard & brutal "mad dog" style.

Gai did try to improve his life, but selfishly used the innocent Kaori as his target to have people perceive him to be more refined, and to also put an emotional dagger to the already-strained love life of Tendoh, whom he hated with a passion. Gai and Tendoh clashed often, threatening to tear the team apart all of the time. Coming to blows at times, Gai and Tendoh fought over everything, from Kaori, to the team leadership, to how a person should conduct themselves. As the series progresses, Gai as Black Condor realizes that he could improve his own self-esteem by becoming more of a team player--that there were more important things in the world other than his own self-satisfaction, and that by being given the powers, perhaps fate was telling him this was his chance to make up for the trouble he caused earlier in his life. By the end, Gai and Tendoh developed a mutual, if not friendly, respect for each other, and Tendoh knew that if he needed to sacrifice himself, that Gai would be dependable on doing the deed.

Black Condor also developed another sub-plot, as he found his exact nemesis in the cyborg Gray from VYRUM. Gray was everything Black Condor was not--he was refined, with excellent tastes in wine and cigars, listened to classical music, and spoke with eloquence. Gray found Black Condor to be his own personal goal in defeating, and near the final episode of the series, Black Condor and Gray fought their last battle--a battle that was poetically beautiful as much as it was brutal and vicious. The battle between Black Condor and Gray was filmed so gracefully and action-packed, nearly taking up the entire 30 minutes of the episode, that Sentai fans who have seen the fight consider it the best rivals match-up in Sentai history. When Black Condor wins the fight eventually, but also taking on some serious damage, the two combatants offer each other respect and humility, and Gai gives Gray his final cigar tasting, offering a measure of class and dignity to two worthy opponents.

Yuuki Gai was played by actor Wakamatsu Toshihide, who often played tough guy roles and smarmy types. A well-trained dramatic actor, Wakamatsu continued occasionally in tokusatsu doing guest roles, but mainly plays bad guys and heavies in movies today.

The show's final twist from conventional Sentai norms was the fact that the last episode split the show in half--15 minutes to complete the final battle against a now-giant sized Radigue from the previous episode, and 15 minutes showing what happened to the team 3 years after the final battle. That had never been done in tokusatsu before, where the show focused on what happened to the heroes after all was done with the villains. This gave the show a much appreciated closure to the series' sparkling characters and resolved a lot of tension that had built up from the first episode. A dramatic and shocking twist occurs in the last moments of the episode, one that suprised viewers and turned all tokusatsu concepts of the heroes living happily ever after around. This unexpected turn of events made JETMAN the dramatic and eye-opening series it set out to be.

Because of its establishment of disparaging personalities, villains with depth, imaginative mecha designs, intense action scenes, and deconstruction of established norms in Sentai, Toei succeeded in bringing back the older viewers to Sentai as well as giving what the kids wanted in the action run. JETMAN was a critical and public success, given acclaim by many professional sci-fi writers and longterm fans. Still considered the benchmark of what a good television program should be, much less a tokusatsu program, JETMAN is the pinnacle of quality tokusatsu shows and respected by all who have seen the program in its entirety.

SIDE NOTES AND TRIVIA:

At the end of the series, Tendoh and Kaori get married three years after the final battle with VYRUM. The wedding has numerous behind-the-scenes situations:

1) The preacher who marries Tendoh and Kaori is Niibori Kazuo, who was the stuntman for all of the Red-colored Sentai members since 1975's "Secret Task Force GO-RANGER". After being the primary stuntman for every Red from Aka-Ranger to Red Hawk, Niibori Kazuo retired from active stuntwork with JETMAN, and this was Toei's way of thanking him by having him appear without wearing a Red helmet. Today, Niibori Kazuo goes to tokusatsu conventions as an honored guest, showing off his famous Sentai leader poses and taking time out to meet fans.

2) All of the guests in attendance at Tendoh and Kaori's wedding are the stuntpeople and villains of the show, out of costume. Kaori's three bridesmaids are the stuntwomen who played White Swan, Blue Swallow, and Mariya. Sharp-eyed viewers can spot actor Tachi Daisuke, who played main villain Radigue in the crowd.

3) Two tokusatsu veterans played one villain on the show. Child actor Takahashi Kazuo played Toran, a youthful scientific prodigy of Vyrum. He continued on in the next Sentai program, "Dinosaur Task Force ZYU-RANGER" as Queen Bandora's son Prince Kai.

Toran evolved into the more adult Toranza, who was played by frequent tokusatsu villain actor Hirose Yutaka, who started out on "Super Nova FLASHMAN", and still plays evil tokusatsu villains today, most recently guest starring on "KAMEN RIDER AGITO".

4) The series featured many then-current or future tokusatsu guest stars such as actor Fujikawa Hideki as Chojin Dan (he plays another "Dan"--Tricera-Ranger Dan in ZYU-RANGER), actor Mochizuki Yuuta as Neo Jetman J1 (Tyrrano-Ranger Geki in ZYU-RANGER and KAMEN RIDER J himself), and actress Maeda Kanako as Kanna (Pink Mask in MASKMAN).

5) The series proved to be so popular that Toei commisioned a canonical manga epilogue that shows the Jetman team after Tendoh and Kaori have their first child and Radigue's ghostly spirit returns to plague the team and hopes to use the child as a host body for his wandering evil soul. A three-part manga simply called "Chojin Sentai JETMAN: EPILOGUE", a new member joins the team. Half-Japanese, half-American Jeff Kensaki joins the team as Green Eagle.

nitake92 - March 2, 2006 03:15 PM (GMT)
Ok, to keep this post on topic a bit, I watched a bit of Jetman on video and on TV in 1993 (Thailand gets the series at least two years afterward, so right now we get licensed Abaranger VCD) Anyhow, watching only the first couple of episodes, I could clearly see that this series was extremely different than the previous Sentai I've seen such as Turboranger.

The story was extremely matured and I really love the mecha battle and the human battle. The fact that there was no big boss really speaks out for the Vyrum Four including Radige. I think that Jetman is of course one of the best tokusatsu and Sentai series along with TimeRanger. It really made me excited over Tokusatsu again after watching Turboranger, a bit of Fiveman and Jiban which was so-so overall

I didn't really fully watch Jetman until 2002 when I came back and bought most of the later episodes on VCD. Even now it stands out amongst its peer.

Hunter Killer - January 15, 2007 04:35 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Raymond @ Feb 19 2006, 11:32 PM)
Just like their characters Tendoh Ryu and Rokumeikan Kaori, actor Tanaka Kotaro and actress Kishida Rika got married to each other in real life, and have 2 children together.

Is there concrete proof about Tanaka and Kishida getting married? I haven't found proof. The Japanese have said that the only sentai hero performers who are confirmed to be married to each other is Fiveman's Ryouhei Kobayashi and Keiko Hayase. And the fact that Kishida lives in Shanghai now while Tanaka still acts in Japan causes me to doubt the information. Unless they divorced, but I still haven't read a trustworthy Japanese source cite that they were actually married.

Raymond - January 15, 2007 07:34 PM (GMT)
Hunter Killer,

I read the stuff on TOEI HERO MAX! that they have 2 kids together, but if they are still married or perhaps divorced, that I cannot confirm. The JETMAN reunion didn't go too deep into that other than what happened on the show, and some behind-the-scenes stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if they are divorced, especially if Kishida Rika now lives in Shanghai, which I didn't know about.

Now as for the FIVEMAN co-stars being married, that is a new one for me! The only recent pairing I know of is Kamen Rider Gills being married to Time-Pink.

Hunter Killer - October 20, 2007 07:48 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Raymond @ Jan 15 2007, 02:34 PM)
I read the stuff on TOEI HERO MAX!

I wouldn't be surprised if they are divorced, especially if Kishida Rika now lives in Shanghai, which I didn't know about.

I just finally bought that issue of Toei Hero Max (I already had the interview's continuation in Toei Heroine Max) and didn't find a single mention to marriage, except for the one within the show, obviously. Also, it's mentioned in those same issues, in Rika Kishida's profile, that she lives in Shanghai now...

I still think this is the biggest tokusatsu related rumor that's yet to be squashed. I'm guessing it was started and perpetuated by an American fan, since there's never seemed to be a mention of this among the Japanese fans. One Japanese Jetman fan site addressed supposed rumors of Kotaro Tanaka dating Sayuri Uchida (which, too, was false), but nothing about Kishida.

Raymond - October 22, 2007 03:13 PM (GMT)
Hunter Killer,

You know, I went searching around a couple of Japanese sites and it does seem that this is one of the most inconsistent "news" articles around. Because of the inconsistencies surrounding this, I think I will remove it from the JETMAN synopsis here, until there is more proof of this.

I agree with you that this may be one of tokusatsu's most persistent ongoing "fact", and next to the 2nd biggest unsubstantiated rumor about another ending to "KING KONG vs. GODZILLA" where they see Godzilla swim away, and I don't want this site being another place to perpetuate something that might not be true.

Consider it removed......thanks for the update!

Hunter Killer - October 22, 2007 09:45 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Raymond @ Oct 22 2007, 10:13 AM)
Because of the inconsistencies surrounding this, I think I will remove it from the JETMAN synopsis here, until there is more proof of this.

Thanks! It's great that you choose to abolish the rumors.

Raymond - October 23, 2007 09:13 PM (GMT)
Hunter Killer,

You are quite welcome! Thanks for the update as well!

For as long as this site is my responsibility, I will not accept, put up with, or perpetuate any rumor-mongering. It's already tough enough to keep up with the myriad true facts (like this one that has perplexed tons of fans) and answering questions that keeping around rumors will make not only my job tougher, but it will foster untruths and misinformed tokusatsu fans. Tokusatsu already has an uphill battle with people thinking its only "Power Rangers" as well as people being spoiled with Hollywood SFX that making silly rumors will further give tokusatsu a negative image.

Now, hopefully we'll be able to set this news straight about Tanaka & Kishida soon! Whether they are married to each other or not, I certainly hope they are happy where they are and I only wished that they continued doing more tokusatsu other than spot guest cameos.


Biomedical Warrior Vitalion - July 26, 2008 11:47 PM (GMT)
Ray, have you heard JETMAN was going to be adapted into the 1st season of PR? How would you feel about that if it had happened.

nakoruru - September 19, 2008 10:26 PM (GMT)
I finished watching Jetman last night. I ended up watching episodes 47-51 in a row! I simply couldn't stop after each episode finished. To be honest for a moment there I forgot I was watching a tokusatsu show! All that tension (and awesome acting!) between Ryu and Rie/Mariya sucked me into the show completely. I must say, its end was a mixture of great acting and writing. Much better than anything I have seen Toei do before or after this show.

But that twist in very the end came as a punch in my face. I still didn't really "recover" from its bitter sweet ending. It have got me off guard. I still think Jetman suffered having very boring fillers like episode 46 about the tomatoes. No one deserves to watch that! ;) But it had a great cast all around, great writing and now I know why fans claim it is the best Sentai ever made. In my opinion it is one of the best tokusatsu shows ever made.

It was the first Sentai show I watched entirely. I wasn't a big fan of the genre but Jetman really changed my way of thinking. I'm a bit sad now the show ended... I don't know what to watch next! :lol:

Biomedical Warrior Vitalion - September 19, 2008 11:17 PM (GMT)
Liveman should be next if you liked Jetman. It has lots of action and drama.

Raymond - September 20, 2008 01:27 AM (GMT)
Nakoruru,

I'm glad that you started off with JETMAN, as it truly is the best Sentai show ever made. The only problem now is that you'll expect other Sentai to be as good as JETMAN!

If you really liked the dramatic aspects of this program, then you'd probably like TIME-RANGER as well, because it also has a very J-drama style that makes people forget that they are watching tokusatsu rather than a "real" program. It has the tragic love story, the excellent acting, the tension and backstory for each character, and a slightly bittersweet ending, but still a nicer ending than what happened at the end of JETMAN.

While I really like most of the Sentai programs, shows like JETMAN are few & far between in terms of that level of performance mixed with excellent storytelling. I hope you keep on watching Sentai, because there are some great gems in the genre amongst some really unwatchable ones.

Vitalion,

I knew that Saban originally wanted JETMAN to be the first PR program, but if he did use it, there really would be nothing I could do except shake my fist at him!

Kitten-Kun - January 2, 2010 01:22 AM (GMT)
Somebody suggested it to me so I tried watching it. It was very cheesy, but for something so corny they sure did cuss alot.

Hunter Killer - January 2, 2010 01:35 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Kitten-Kun @ Jan 1 2010, 08:22 PM)
Somebody suggested it to me so I tried watching it. It was very cheesy, but for something so corny they sure did cuss alot.

You like Kamen Rider Double, but think Jetman's cheesy!?!? (For the record, I enjoy Double, but it's really one of the more campy Kamen Rider shows.)

Kitten-Kun - January 2, 2010 02:20 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Hunter Killer @ Jan 1 2010, 08:35 PM)
QUOTE (Kitten-Kun @ Jan 1 2010, 08:22 PM)
Somebody suggested it to me so I tried watching it. It was very cheesy, but for something so corny they sure did cuss alot.

You like Kamen Rider Double, but think Jetman's cheesy!?!? (For the record, I enjoy Double, but it's really one of the more campy Kamen Rider shows.)

To me, dated stuff like my parents is campy. Double is campy too, but in an adorable yaoi sort of way.

EonStrife - January 2, 2010 03:35 PM (GMT)
well, talking about campiness, IMHO, the one which is really campy is Adam West's Batman.
Somebody even made a what-if video, The Dark Knight in Adam West's Batman style:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM-JQzUkWww

Found this short clip of jetman, the defeat of one of the main villain. if you want to avoid spoiler, don't watch it as it contains spoiler : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDkFh2hjg-A
You'll understand, why some of us like it :)

Kitten-Kun - January 2, 2010 08:06 PM (GMT)
Umm no not really... I guess I'm just not into the whole sentai thing...

Raymond - January 4, 2010 08:18 PM (GMT)
Kitten-Kun,

You did say that you were more of a Rider fan, so I guess Sentai isn't your cup of tea. However, as far as JETMAN is concerned, it truly is the best written of all of the Sentai shows.

Kitten-Kun - January 4, 2010 09:43 PM (GMT)
Okay I believe that.

Biomedical Warrior Vitalion - May 25, 2010 03:45 AM (GMT)
The thing that prevents Jetman from taking the number 1 spot on my list of favorite sentai is the AWFUL monster designs. Seriously, making random household objects into kaijin made for a bit of an unintentionally funny moment at times.

Hunter Killer - May 26, 2010 05:38 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Biomedical Warrior Vitalion @ May 24 2010, 10:45 PM)
The thing that prevents Jetman from taking the number 1 spot on my list of favorite sentai is the AWFUL monster designs.

The funny thing is... I think that by having the villains make monsters out of ordinary items really was the show trying to be "realistic." Like, they didn't create bizarre space animals or crazy monsters, but chose everyday items, something that would usually mock humanity. (Which was an idea the show took from Denjiman.) But the way the designs of the Jetman monsters turned out was just too hokey for a show that took itself so seriously. I think they were also trying to pay homage to some of the Kurojuujigun monsters, which would have odd motifs ranging from boots to forks.

I disagree with Jetman being the best written Sentai series, however. The show has a lot of problems, and is quite inconsistent when it comes to episodes handled by subwriters. Like those episodes with Noodle Jigen and Dryer Jigen belonged more in in a lighthearted show like Fiveman, not in Jetman, and there are quite a few disposable episodes like that. It also seemed to me like main writer Toshiki Inoue didn't have the series completely planned out. (He's said in interviews he wasn't sure what to do with the finale, for example. So he then goes and makes a terrible decision which really ruins the show, and -- for me -- knocks it down several spots in ranking.) A better written, more consistent Sentai, in my opinion, is Flashman.

Biomedical Warrior Vitalion - May 26, 2010 07:17 AM (GMT)
Hunter Killer,
I agree about some of the kaijin totally being filler! And you are right about the Kurojuujigun homage...Can Opener Mask anyone(Poor Kiranger #2)! Denjiman did have odd kaijin designs but it wasn't supposed to be an ultra serious deconstruction of sentai like Jetman.

EonStrife - May 27, 2010 01:54 AM (GMT)
Hunter Killer,
I notice there was an interesting Sentai show, if I'm not wrong (It was long time ago, already forget much) in which their mecha is always beaten heavily and they need to find a way to get out of the situation, rather than usual 'using-flashy-finishing-moves'. If I'm not wrong, somehow in the end the Sentai team bid farewell to their friends (and children) to go out to find their parents...Is it, Flashman ?

Hunter Killer - May 27, 2010 02:17 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (EonStrife @ May 26 2010, 08:54 PM)
If I'm not wrong, somehow in the end the Sentai team bid farewell to their friends (and children) to go out to find their parents...Is it, Flashman ?

That's Fiveman, which many fans think is just an inferior copy of Flashman.

EonStrife - May 27, 2010 02:51 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Hunter Killer @ May 27 2010, 09:17 AM)
QUOTE (EonStrife @ May 26 2010, 08:54 PM)
If I'm not wrong, somehow in the end the Sentai team bid farewell to their friends (and children) to go out to find their parents...Is it, Flashman ?

That's Fiveman, which many fans think is just an inferior copy of Flashman.

Oh I see. Just read Raymond's post about Fiveman. With the puppets ? Lol :D

live jetabare - March 15, 2011 05:59 PM (GMT)
Hi Ray
I'd be interested to know how are ranked the 34 sentai series (or all the series you have watched) in your opinion, from your favorite (I know it's Jetman (that's why I post here)) to your least favorite (I know it's Fiveman)

Raymond - March 15, 2011 10:37 PM (GMT)
Live Jetabare,

Wow! That's a tall task for me! I do like a lot of them, and the ones I do like each have something that entices me to watch more. I think it would be easier for me to rank the top 5 and the bottom 5, because once you get past these, they are all decent up until I get to the bottom ones.

Well, here goes (I won't go into detail as to why--it would be too long):

Top 5 (for me at least):

1) JETMAN
2) TIME-RANGER
3) GO-RANGER
4) DAI-RANGER
5) MASKMAN

These are the ones in the middle that I like a lot as well, in no particular order:

BIOMAN, GOGGLE-V, OH-RANGER, LIVEMAN, MEGA-RANGER, GO-GO FIVE, HARIKENJA, BOUKENGER, SUNVULCAN, DEKA-RANGER, SHINKENGER, DENJIMAN

Bottom 5 (in descending order):

1) GO-ONGER / GOSEIGER (tied because of horrible acting & goofy non-human co-stars)
2) DYNAMAN (just utterly dull)
3) TURBO-RANGER (to me, the first Sentai show that I really didn't enjoy)
4) GAO-RANGER (probably would have had more fun just watching the commercials for the toys, which this show was)
5) FIVEMAN (Five-Kun Ningyos--that almost broke me in half about the Sentai franchise)

The ones I didn't mention I can watch again, but not over the ones I did like.

live jetabare - March 15, 2011 10:48 PM (GMT)
Thanks Ray; it's already a good and satisfying answer

Just a remark: some series you gave so-so reviews, or even bad reviews (Zyuranger, Kakuranger, Carranger, Gingaman) : you still find them decent? your reviews made me think you wouldn't want to watch them again, like the bottom five (I don't ask about Aba, you already answered me)

fantasyleader - March 16, 2011 03:47 AM (GMT)
Here's mine to share, if that's alright :lol: :

My top favorites (Yeah, I know the list is quite long. LOL):

1. Gingaman
2. Dairanger
3. Gekiranger
4. Abaranger
5. Liveman
6. Timeranger
7. GoGoFive
8. Maskman
9. Flashman
10. Megaranger
11. Changeman
12. Jetman
13. Magiranger
14. Kakuranger
15. Ohranger
16. Boukenger
17. Dekaranger
18. Turboranger
19. Hurricaneger
20. Bioman
21. Carranger
22. Gaoranger

Shows that I had mixed feelings on (I'm debating on Shinken, Zyu, and Five though):

23. Shinkenger
24. Zyuranger
25. Fiveman
26. Dynaman
27. Goggle-V
28. Denziman
29. Battle Fever J

Shows that I had trouble enjoying:

30. Sun Vulcan
31. JAKQ
32. Goranger
33. Goseiger
34. Go-onger

Raymond - March 17, 2011 01:00 AM (GMT)
Fantasyleader,

Of course you are welcome to share here! That's what this board is for!

Live Jetabare,

JETMAN remains my personal best because of some key reasons to me:

1) I came off not one, but two Sentai shows that were to me, excrutiating to watch. After the success of LIVEMAN, I wanted more of that--mature stories with sharp characters, believable villains (the main ones, at least), and natural humor, not forced.

However, I got TURBO-RANGER, which was not exciting to me at all because of the weak main heroes, and FIVEMAN, which almost broke me to never watch Sentai again. JETMAN brought me back into watching it, as both TURBO and FIVEMAN nearly destroyed me. This was a return to the sensible, mature storylines.

2) I liked that the characters were fully fleshed out, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Ryu wasn't the leader he should have been in the beginning, but he gradually stepped up. He wasn't anything like the ultra-confident and overly-macho Red leaders I saw before. He had his own issues and turmoil, which made him that much more heroic to me that he had to struggle to overcome those things.

Kaori wasn't anything close to a superhero I had ever seen before--she was completely a 180 degrees type of character. Someone completely unprepared to do any sort of physical labor now had to learn to fly jets, fight monsters, and come into the real world. Her growth through the series and the mistakes she made along the way made her mature into a strong confident woman was a refreshing change to the cutesy, but somehow prepared to fight female Sentai member.

Raita & Ako were the backbones of the team--they too were unprepared but stepped up quickly, and I liked it that Raita felt it was a need for him to risk his life after having a comfortable existence and Akko found meaning in her life being a Sentai member after only wanting for material needs.

Gai was the character that shook me the most--we had rebellious Sentai members before, but not to this extent. In the beginning, he was almost a villainous type--he hung out with shady characters, had a dark past, and really didn't care to be a hero. This amazed me that here was a Japanese tokusatsu character that DIDN'T want to be part of the team. The fact that he grew through the course of the series into a respectable yet still rogueish guy was a great & miraculous transformation. I've never seen any Sentai character go through such a profound change in life after receiving such a gift of power.

3) While people make fun of the goofier weekly monsters, the interplay between the villains were just as good as the heroes' own--Radigue was really an obnoxious villain, the Tranza situation was surprising, the Maria dichtomy was compelling, and there hasn't been a comparable honorable android than Gray was to this day--people still talk about that fight between him & Black Condor. Where else would you see an episode that nearly devoted its entire time to a fight between SECONDARY characters like this that people still mention?

4) Has there ever been an ending like episode #51 in all of Sentai? Nearly all tokusatsu shows from the start to now have somewhat happy endings. Did JETMAN end that way? No, it didn't--what should have been a happily-ever-after became a tragedy nonetheless. I have yet to see a Sentai series end like that even today.

You're right that I'm not partial to the goofier Sentai shows, but I do like comedy if it isn't forced into the plot or overacted, but at that time in both Sentai history and my own personal opinions at the time about where I felt the meta-series was going, this was the perfect reason why I continued on. The disappointment of TURBO-RANGER and the disliking I had for FIVEMAN, which led up to the strong showing of JETMAN prepared me for the future when KAMEN RIDER RYUKI came out--if it wasn't for JETMAN showing me that something good is always around the corner after despair (trust me, I forced myself to watch all of FIVEMAN...), then I wouldn't have been prepared to take on RYUKI to wait for FAIZ and the ones I do like from the Rider series afterwards that didn't follow the Ishinomori Shotaro theme.

live jetabare - March 17, 2011 06:19 AM (GMT)
Ray
As usual, a good analysis of your favorite series; the only series who could be said to avoid the happy ending are Timeranger (the fate of the 4 warriors of the future is left ambiguous, and Naoto dies; but it's your second favorite) and Flashman (when the heroes have to leave Earth to survive , even when Yellow Flash had at last found her family; in a way, Flashman's ending is even sadder than Jetman's; in Jetman, Gai dies, but the others have a promising future; in Flashman, the characters have to leave Earth, their home planet, and except Sara, won't have the opportunity to find their family; and even Sara has to leave them; I'm surprised you aren't a Flashman fan)
The common pattern of the top 3 are they are sentai shows with a tone who is in many ways very adult. Timeranger and Jetman very often look like a drama show (especially Timeranger), with characters with adults problems who happen to have to become colored superheroes.
However, you told me that except you bottom 5 (or 6 in that case) you found every sentai show decent; but your reviews of Kakuranger, Carranger and Gingaman are very critical,; did you find some redeeming qualities in those shows, that still made those shows "decent" in your eyes , or is that only that they are just forgettable (in your opinion), but not as bad as Goseiger/ go-onger?
Reading again your Zyuranger review, I realized that the strong cast did in a lot of ways help you appreciate that sentai despite its weaknesses.

Raymond - March 17, 2011 11:01 PM (GMT)
Live Jetabare,

You hit the nail on the head--they are forgettable but not as bad as the others!

greatemperor - May 14, 2011 01:41 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Raymond @ Feb 19 2006, 11:32 PM)
REVIEW:

After the ratings disappointment in FIVEMAN, Toei decided to try and win back the older fans of Super Sentai by taking a page from an anime for their next Sentai entry.  What resulted was a program that many longtime Sentai fans and critics have declared as the best Sentai show ever made.

JETMAN broke many of the major standards that Sentai had been using since its inception, which turned the franchise around and made the program more dramatic and realistic than any show before it.  Almost all of the previous notions of what a Sentai force did and who they fought were completely discarded and  a fresh new start was given.

Basing the motif of birds from the hit Tatsunoko anime series "Kagaku Ninja-Tai GATCHAMAN", known internationally as "Battle of the Planets: G-Force", Toei used the basic frame of the anime to create JETMAN, but made interesting twists and turns that kept viewers interested and glued to their seats.  The plots were so tightly scripted that many television critics considered the show a drama rather than a kid's program, and even was considered for Best Fantasy Program in Japanese TV Guide.

To start off the radical new interpretation of the Sentai franchise, the villains of VYRUM were not structured like previous Sentai foes.  VYRUM did not use the "all-powerful, hidden-in-the-back-until-the-end" main villain.  Instead, Vyrum consisted of just a few human-sized villains, but all with insidious agendas.  The lack of a hidden leader made them refreshingly new among the Sentai baddies as a capable team of their own that answered to no one.  The backstory that the former leader of VYRUM, Queen Jyuza, was deposed by her former underling, the new leader, Radigue, made for a much more interesting set of dynamics among them rather than be subservient to an all-powerful alien.

Interpersonal dynamics also played a strong part for the heroes of the show.  Once again, JETMAN did away with the preconceived notion that all base commanders were hard-line, alpha male types--instead, the leader of Jetman was a female, the capable and professional Odagiri Aya.  Played by character actress Miki Mikiko, Commander Odagiri was a fierce warrior of her own, able to solve scientific conundrums, offered wise advice to Tendoh Ryu, and kept the team focused on their mission.  She never backed down from interoffice political struggles within the Sky Force to shut down the Jetman project (which was considered a failure due to the involvement of  four civilians), and proved time and again her battle savvy tactics combined with compassion for her ragtag team of misfits.

Actress Miki Mikiko continues to act today, and went on to do another Sentai role as the mother of Kiba-Ranger Kou in "Five Star Task Force DAI-RANGER".  Known for her serious roles, she exudes a professional demeanor at all times, and her classic beauty looks often cast her in romantic films that require a more accomplished actress.

Another new concept was that the Red-colored leader wasn't exactly the most mentally & emotionally stable member of the group.  Tendoh Ryu was a smart, combat-ready, and decisive leader when it came down to fighting the VYRUM menace, but at times was completely incapable of handling his personal life.  The loss of Rie Aoi (performed admirably by frequent tokusatsu actress Maruyama Maho, who did double duty as both Rie and the converted Mariya) coupled with keeping together a group of disparate personalities with no military training strained his personal life to no end.  The tasks of training the not-combat-ready team of civilians, seeking to rescue Rie, conflicted with his growing attraction to Rokumeikan Kaori, and clashing with the always-volatile Yuuki Gai gave his life multiple headaches and emotional distress.  The fact that he handled it all while keeping himself and the team alive was a true testament to Tendoh's heroism.

Played marvelously by classically trained actor Tanaka Kotaro, Tendoh Ryu assumed the leadership of Jetman by default as the only true soldier on the team.  As Red Hawk, he rallied the team to victory and by the end of the series, came to terms with the difficulties in his life and made a better world of it for himself and others.  Tanaka Kotaro displayed all of the needed emotion, pathos, charisma, and charm in playing the emotionally vibrant Tendoh Ryu, making him an immediate fan favorite and an instant star.  Today, Tanaka Kotaro still acts, but mainly in large budget feature films as a supporting actor.

Once again playing against established Sentai norms, the show featured four civilians who didn't understand how they got superpowers, and that they had to be trained to fly the mechas, to use their powers efficiently, to properly use the weapons, and most of all--to function as a team unit rather than a bunch of individuals.

The first was the rich but bored Rokumeikan Kaori.  Born into wealth, she never found any true purpose in life other than to ride horses, or eat expensive food, or buy extravagant items.  After she is imbued with the Birdonic Waves and becomes White Swan, she finds a direction in life, but her naivety causes some problems for the team.  Never learning how to drive any mechanical vehicle in her life (as she is driven everywhere by her butler Jiiya), Kaori has immense difficulty in handling mecha of any sort.  While her subsequent training by Commander Odagiri and Tendoh does improve her shooting prowess and use of her own powers, she is never fully capable of flying her Jet Swan unit like a pro, and still prefers to sit as a passenger in the Jetman team jeep Jet Panzer.

Kaori's naivety results in the fact that she has never really interacted romantically with people before, and people view her as a pristine beauty, graceful and virginal.  This leads to some team tension, as Tendoh Ryu becomes attracted to her grace and style, and the rougher Yuuki Gai views her as a prize to refine his tough guy edges.  Her innocent personality gravitates men towards her, and because of her lack of experience in dealing with men, especially two strong personalities fighting over her, that she is both attracted to the safer Tendoh Ryu, and the bad boy attitude of Yuuki Gai.

Played by actress Kishida Rika, she performs the role of Kaori with style and dignity, displaying the constant likeability of the character combined with a cute girl look and occasionally pulling off a serious tone when needed.  A fine character actress mostly cast in younger roles due to her girlish voice, today she is retired from acting.

The glue of the team came from farmer Ooishi Raita, a peaceful man, but slightly overweight.  The show kept up the weight difference between Raita and the others by hiring a more rotund stuntman to play Yellow Owl.  As the emotional anchor for the team, Raita is dependable for all manners of situations--be it a cool, level headed supporter of Tendoh, a best friend and emotional sounding board to Kaori, a helpful and supportive adviser to the young Hayasaka Ako, or to be the calming voice of reason to the angry Yuuki Gai.

Originally reluctant to enter the fray, Raita comes to his logical intuition quickly and becomes a quick study in the use of his powers and mecha.  Never being the best fighter on the team, Raita utilized his larger girth and sheer strength to combat monsters, and always found time to cook for the team and maintained a romantic relationship with his childhood girlfriend Satsuki outside of the team's often-volatile interactivity.  Always ready to help out, he looked after the girls on the team, and even took on the added responsibility of driving White Swan in the Jetman team jeep Jet Panzer.  The most dependable team member, Yellow Owl never wavered from the group, and brought his infectious good natured personality every time the team needed some common sense.

Played by the ever-charming Naruse Tomohisa, his role as Yellow Owl brought him some measure of fame as being cast often as the "best friend" or "helpful confidante" on many J-dramas.  Continuing his association with tokusatsu, he reunited with his fellow JETMAN cast member Miki Mikiko in "Five Star Task Force DAI-RANGER" as the human form of the heavenly turtle god Daimugen.

The humorous member of the team, Blue Swallow, came from the most youthful one of them all.  Hayasaka Ako was a young teenage girl whose only goal was to become famous and popular, hoping to be a singing star.  Since her priorities and mental maturity was a bit different from the adults on the team, she never let any of the problems caused by VYRUM to affect her cheerful personality.  Always quick with a smile and some support, Blue Swallow was the effervescent spirit of youthfulness, which always reminded the team of what they were fighting for--the sake of future generations.  With her slightly skewed, teenager's look at life, Ako's eagerness to join the team to make a difference (and hopefully to become popular) made her a joy to be around.  Always hanging around Raita as a "big brother" type, she and Raita often were put in the middle of the love triangle between Tendoh, Kaori, and Gai, always trying to appease the fighting amongst them.

Hayasaka Ako was played by veteran tokusatsu actress Uchida Sayuri, who first got her big break as a child star playing the owner & friend of the magical fairy Nemurin in Ishinomori Shotaro's girl-oriented 1984 tokusatsu program "Dokincho! NEMURIN".  Uchida Sayuri still performs in tokusatsu today, often playing news reporters or big sister types due to her youthful looks.

The last member of the team was not only the most reluctant, but the most combative and hot-headed one.  Yuuki Gai was a streetwise tough whose past may have been a bit shady.  Often seen hanging around bars and cavorting with the more unscrupulous members of society, Gai was headstrong, argumentative, loud, brash, and a general nuisance to the team.  Unable to dump him off the team because of his permanent bonding to the Birdonic Waves, Gai was the one member who regularly defied all kinds of commands, unwilling to follow the militaristic structure of the group, and found Tendoh as the prime example of being the establishment that Gai fought all his life to disobey.  However, he was the one member who was the best in all of the power usage and the mecha handling next to Tendoh.  While not a trained combatant, Gai's formative years on the street taught him his own rudimentary fighting style, which proved to be efficient when the villains were expecting a form of trained attack, and Gai simply threw that notion out the window with his haphazard & brutal "mad dog" style.

Gai did try to improve his life, but selfishly used the innocent Kaori as his target to have people perceive him to be more refined, and to also put an emotional dagger to the already-strained love life of Tendoh, whom he hated with a passion.  Gai and Tendoh clashed often, threatening to tear the team apart all of the time.  Coming to blows at times, Gai and Tendoh fought over everything, from Kaori, to the team leadership, to how a person should conduct themselves.  As the series progresses, Gai as Black Condor realizes that he could improve his own self-esteem by becoming more of a team player--that there were more important things in the world other than his own self-satisfaction, and that by being given the powers, perhaps fate was telling him this was his chance to make up for the trouble he caused earlier in his life.  By the end, Gai and Tendoh developed a mutual, if not friendly, respect for each other, and Tendoh knew that if he needed to sacrifice himself, that Gai would be dependable on doing the deed.

Black Condor also developed another sub-plot, as he found his exact nemesis in the cyborg Gray from VYRUM.  Gray was everything Black Condor was not--he was refined, with excellent tastes in wine and cigars, listened to classical music, and spoke with eloquence.  Gray found Black Condor to be his own personal goal in defeating, and near the final episode of the series, Black Condor and Gray fought their last battle--a battle that was poetically beautiful as much as it was brutal and vicious.  The battle between Black Condor and Gray was filmed so gracefully and action-packed, nearly taking up the entire 30 minutes of the episode, that Sentai fans who have seen the fight consider it the best rivals match-up in Sentai history.  When Black Condor wins the fight eventually, but also taking on some serious damage, the two combatants offer each other respect and humility, and Gai gives Gray his final cigar tasting, offering a measure of class and dignity to two worthy opponents.

Yuuki Gai was played by actor Wakamatsu Toshihide, who often played tough guy roles and smarmy types.  A well-trained dramatic actor, Wakamatsu continued occasionally in tokusatsu doing guest roles, but mainly plays bad guys and heavies in movies today.

The show's final twist from conventional Sentai norms was the fact that the last episode split the show in half--15 minutes to complete the final battle against a now-giant sized Radigue from the previous episode, and 15 minutes showing what happened to the team 3 years after the final battle.  That had never been done in tokusatsu before, where the show focused on what happened to the heroes after all was done with the villains.  This gave the show a much appreciated closure to the series' sparkling characters and resolved a lot of tension that had built up from the first episode.  A dramatic and shocking twist occurs in the last moments of the episode, one that suprised viewers and turned all tokusatsu concepts of the heroes living happily ever after around. This unexpected turn of events made JETMAN the dramatic and eye-opening series it set out to be.

Because of its establishment of disparaging personalities, villains with depth, imaginative mecha designs, intense action scenes, and deconstruction of established norms in Sentai, Toei succeeded in bringing back the older viewers to Sentai as well as giving what the kids wanted in the action run.  JETMAN was a critical and public success, given acclaim by many professional sci-fi writers and longterm fans.  Still considered the benchmark of what a good television program should be, much less a tokusatsu program, JETMAN is the pinnacle of quality tokusatsu shows and respected by all who have seen the program in its entirety.




When this sentai show was aired here in the Philippines in the 1990's, it was the only show that finished its airing from the start to the finish. This sentai show is the most memorable one for me. Others such as Maskman, Turboranger and Fiveman was also aired here in the Philippines in the 1990's but never finished its airing.

Jetman is the best sentai show. The way this sentai presents its plot is indeed incomparable among others. From the first episode alone, this sentai presents a series of climatic scenes that would make one think what will happen next? Unlike with others, Jetman members become heroes by accident. (Well, every accident has a reason). And as these climatic scenes reach its end, another peak is introduced making you continue watching the series and never let to miss a single episode.

In spite of having good story, Jetman did not go in details on why this or that happened? Most especially in introducing of a new weapon or a new robot. One particular episode is the Jet Striker is converted into Fire Bazooka in order to save a trap teammate. The conversion is done out of necessity (actually out of intense love also). That is how Fire Bazooka is introduced. Hmmm, simple enough!

Jetman introduces their second robot, Jet Garuda, in a usual way. The Dimensian group from an invaded planet brings Jet Garuda to the team. The group is composed of three people: Ray (played by Yasuhiro Ishiwata, who previously played Bun/Blue Flash from Chōshinsei Flashman), his lover Kanna (Kanako Maeda, formerly Momoko/Pink Mask in Hikari Sentai Maskman), and the youthful Dan (Hideki Fujiwara, who went on to play Dan/Tricera Ranger in Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger). But the Jet Icarus and Jet Garuda cannot fight the giant monster, Cicada Kid / Semimaru. So the two groups decide to make a program that will unite the two robots, and Great Icarus is born. Well, this one is good enough unlike Tetra Boy's first appearance.

The only impact Tetra Boy's introduction gives, is the hyperactive and automatic way of fighting. Thus, it can be converted also into Tetra Bazooka.

Last weapon that is introduced is the Beak Smasher. It is not that great either. But the story is a touching one. Proving that Jetman is done to captivate every individual's heart. Well, I guess the writers realized that violence should be lessened and focus more on giving moral lessons and humanity.

The story for each episode just only speaks on what character and attitude the writers have. Musicality is one. Most of the characters (the heroes and the villains) are involve in Music; Gai plays saxophone, Kaori plays keto, piano, and violin, Ako is a member of school's choral group, Grey plays guitar and piano and loves listening classical music, Tran plays flute, and Maria plays piano.

This series presents family relationship episodes as well. It shows a father-daughter relationship twice also relationship between sisters. The series also presents a great story of friendship most especially between Gai and Ryu who at first have a `mutual annoyance' to each other. And as story flows and different circumstances come, they develop a strong bonding. All these episodes are deeply presented.

But what really stands out throughout the series is the romantic flow of the show. I am talking about, Jetman's love story episodes. It is normal, that Toei came out with a love story sentai, because the characters are young adults who have feelings and know how to love. Thus, this is the most appreciating part of the series. Each love story episode is presented with light romantic flow but with intense emotions.

This is the only sentai show which gives moral lessons not just for each episode but generally as a sentai series. This also is the only sentai that sticks on the `series' thing because you could not miss a single episode. As I have mentioned, this is a fast-phased story and you would not get bored in watching this show. Unlike with other sentai, after introducing the main story, the succeeding episodes are kind of far from the original one and would just go back to the original plot once the series is coming to its finale.

Jetman has a very serious villain, the Vyram. They are not that funny unlike with other sentai villain. But, it does not mean that there is no laughing moment once you watch this show. Probably, Jetman is one of those tearjerker sentai. But, Vyram monsters take over being the hilarious thing of this series most especially the talking monsters. Great thing if the dubber is a creative in making ad-libs.

But, I believe what really makes this sentai the best, is the way it separates the real world from the world of imagination. Jetman may lack action-packed scenes that every sentai fans follow. But Jetman focuses instead on reality of life not on what sentai series is all about. It gives emphasis on what is the human side of a hero. It's pretty much better, especially to younger ones for them to be enlightened that life is a struggle. They should know where to stand. This is a sentai of hope, faith and trust. Some may say that the ending episode is a tragic one, but objectively speaking, it has sense. It was done with a reason.

Raymond - May 14, 2011 11:55 PM (GMT)
greatemperor,

Well said. I think you summed your experience with JETMAN quite nicely--I didn't know it aired in the Philippines, so knowing that is a good thing, as I am always happy to hear tokusatsu from Japan airing outside to other countries that hopefully enjoys them as well as we do here.

You know, until you pointed it out, I didn't even notice that the characters have a musicality link--you detailed each character's musical preferences, and it is interesting that such a subtle thing demonstrates a characteristic trait for those individuals--that's a great call on your part.

JETMAN is clearly the most romantic Sentai show made--the interplay between Ryu & Maria being cut off so violently & abruptly, Ryu & Kaori's simmering love, Gai's misguided affections for Kaori at first to spite Ryu, then truly falling for her, Gray's devotion to Maria--all of this made for in-depth growth for the characters involved.

The fact that to this day, JETMAN is talked about in such respectful terms is a testament to the excellent writing, the fantastic performances of the actors, and if done right, a mature drama with every facet of human emotion mixed into a sci-fi tale of honor, courage, and self-sacrifice.

Nice review on your end, greatemperor.

RangerFan2012 - October 29, 2012 04:45 AM (GMT)
Hi all,

New member here, I just finished watching my first sentai series - Jetman. I picked it because of the similarities I read it had with Gatchaman.

(Possible spoiler, if anyone hasn't watched it.)

The relationships between the characters were real, I mean everyone didn't get along as they seem to do in the American version. I disliked Gai from the get-go, but he started to turn around for me, especially when Ryu seemed to have a breakdown after the big meeting w/Rie and she died.

I liked seeing him in the episode of Gokaiger, which I'm watching now. He's overcome all the anger and selfishness he seemed to me to have. He's no longer a ego-driven womanizer, but he does flirt a little in his return.

Seeing Raita almost constantly in the background disappointed me. Not everyone has a star athlete's strength and physique, so an 'everyman' was nice to see.

Ako and Kaori were sweet, Ako more street wise, material in her early appearances. Kaori, wow, a princess in the beginning, and she seemed to mellow out later.

The actors seemed to enjoy their roles, and it showed in their interaction on screen. I wish it could have been a sentai to be used for the MMPR franchise rather than just missing the mark. (TPTB probably would have butchered it over here though.) I've read it still is popular with fans as well, pretty good for an older series.

I'm sorry for this, but did they ever make any Jetman merchandise, like figures or the weapons and changer for collectors or cosplay?

I didn't mean for this to sound like I'm a critic or anything, far from it, but until I find another as good or better than Jetman, it's my favorite. What is the recommendation? I've read that Fiveman is something to be avoided. What's wrong with it?

Anyway, thanks for a great site, and hope to talk to you in the boards.




Raymond - October 29, 2012 12:55 PM (GMT)
RangerFan2012,

Glad to have you on board--welcome! This site's members tend to be very favorable to JETMAN, and it remains my personal favorite Sentai series of all time. Most of the points you made are what most people feel about the greatness of the series.

There's no silly questions here on this site, so as for your question about JETMAN toys, yes--there were plenty.

Besides the ubiquitous mecha robots (Jet Icarus, Jet Garuda, and Tetra Boy), there were the toys for the Cross Changer, the Wing Gauntlet, the pistol (whose name I just blanked on), the Beak Smasher, and some kid-sized helmets, although the only one I've seen is Red Hawk's.

Currently, the S.H. Figuarts series has Red Hawk available (I sell both the American version and the Japanese version with the Akiba-Ranger Jet Winger piece on my toy site www.mutekisales.com) with Black Condor early next year.

As for FIVEMAN, read the thread here on this site about it. Personally, I thought FIVEMAN was the worst Sentai I've seen, but that's not everyone's opinion, and that's what's good about this site--everyone has their own thoughts about it.

RangerFan2012 - October 31, 2012 08:00 AM (GMT)
Thanks, I didn't know any figures existed! I'll check out Fiveman and your site too, thanks for the information.

Roberto Rider - October 31, 2012 08:32 AM (GMT)
I liked Fiveman when I saw it few years ago.
About Jetman, one of the things that is not mentioned and nobody who saw it first can notice is the massive amount of old (and future) sentai actors that appeared in the series.

Hunter Killer - October 31, 2012 09:20 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Roberto Rider @ Oct 31 2012, 03:32 AM)
About Jetman, one of the things that is not mentioned and nobody who saw it first can notice is the massive amount of old (and future) sentai actors that appeared in the series.

I always thought that that was (another) thing Jetman has going for it. I love whenever past toku people guest star in a later show, and Jetman had a lot of my favorite people. I think having Blue Flash and Pink Mask in the Jet Garuda two-parter really gives that episode an extra kick -- you've seen these two as very likable heroes, and here they are again, and they meet a tragic end. (And funnily enough, the two play lovers here after Blue Flash played the love interest of Pink Mask in a Maskman episode.) Pink Mask's probably my number one toku crush, so it was nice to see her in another Sentai. (I think Jetman ended up being her only other toku appearance, too.)

RangerFan2012 - November 2, 2012 01:42 AM (GMT)
I'm going to have to do some studying for sentai lol, as I haven't a clue who anyone is, but having watched Gokaiger now, it makes me want to watch older series which is good for me and new fans I believe.





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