Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ranger Villain Profile: Boukenger Ashu Tribe/Questers

The Ashu Tribe (アシュ族, Ashu Zoku) was apparently an unknown branch along the human evolution line. Each Ashu has a concentration of life force, namely a "soul", which gives it particular fighting abilities. Feared and hunted down as "youkai" (demons) in ancient times due to their feline-gargoyle appearance, they were ultimately sealed within another dimension using the "100-Demon Mirror", only Gai and Hyouga remaining free. They first appeared in Task 17 to obtain the mirror to release their brethren. However, only Rei was freed before the mirror was shattered to keep the others from entering the human world. Eiji Takaoka, as a member of the Takaoka clan, has been fighting this group even before joining the SGS. After their first defeat at hands of the Boukengers, Gajah uses his power to bind Gai's and Rei's souls to the world long enough to install his Gōdom Engines into them. With the Gōdom Engines in them, Gai & Rei formed new bodies for themselves and became Questers (クエスター, Kuesutā), robotic-armored versions of themselves. The Questers possessed the ability to create wavelengths with the Gōdom Engine, which interfere with the power of the AccelSuits' and GoGo Vehicles' Parallel Engine, and can melt into the ground. The two soon left Gajah and became freelance Treasure hunters, using the Gōdom Engine technology and the Precious for their benefit of eliminating the human race, making the Questers the most dangerous of the Negatives. In Task 42, after the Homunculus was destroyed, the Questers challenged the Boukengers to battle, with Gai being defeated by Eiji, while Rei was destroyed by the Dual Crusher, finally destroying the remaining Ashu Tribe on Earth. Eiji would later set up gravemarkers for the Questers out of respect.

Formerly of the demonic Ashu Tribe (アシュ族, Ashu Zoku), Gai & Rei were revived by Gajah's Gōdom Engine quickly after being destroyed by the Boukengers and Eiji. They pursue Precious with intent on using them to achieve their goal of the complete genocide of the human race. They were eventually destroyed for good by the Boukengers.

Furious Demon God Gai (怒りの鬼神ガイ, Ikari no Kishin Gai, 17-42): The leader of the eastern Ashu Tribe, he is a purple and green demon who can conjure forth a bazooka-like weapon. Gai is a brash and savage demon who loves to destroy, laughing at the sight of others suffering. He and BoukenSilver are bitter enemies, because long ago he told a young Eiji that he was part Ashu and that his mother was one as well and because he killed Eiji's father, Kando, when he tried to prevent Eiji's Ashu side from growing. When Gai saw Natsuki's bracelet he said it was "The Proof of the Chosen One," and he and Hyouga kidnapped Natsuki and used her blood to free Rei from the 100-Demon Mirror. He used Rei's illusion-inducing powers to pose as Satoru's old companion Masaki to confuse and kill him with the Fighter's Crossbow, however when Satoru confronted his illusion it disappeared. Though defeated by Eiji (who threw his monk staff at him like a javelin), and terminated by Ultimate DaiBouken and the Ashu Spirit Extinguishing, Gajah resurrected him as Quester Gai (クエスター・ガイ, Kuesutā Gai). In this form Gai wields two guns that also act as short swords. But in either form, Gai was still Eiji's mortal enemy. He was finally defeated after Homunculus was destroyed in a final battle with Eiji in Task 42. While his Ashu form was based on Gosei Sentai Dairanger's Ryuusei'Oh, his Quester form is modeled after Dairen'Oh.

Grand Beast Rei (大いなる獣レイ, Oinaru Kemono Rei, 17-42): Rei is the most evil of the Ashu. Gai and Hyouga freed this powerful tiger-like demon from the 100-Demon Mirror by using the captured Natsuki's blood as sacrifice. Rei is a calm, yet vicious and calculating demon who loves to make people suffer. He has power over fire and can breath forth an illusion-filled miasma that preys on the self-doubt of his victims. Satoru tried to use the Dual Crusher Mixer Head on Rei, but Rei simply broke out of it with his fire powers. Though defeated by Satoru wielding the Crossbow of Fighters, and terminated by Ultimate DaiBouken and the Ashu Spirit Extinguishing, Gajah revived him as Quester Rei (クエスター・レイ, Kuesutā Rei). In this form, Rei wields a sword that also acts as a gun and can also shoot lighting from his hands. He also kept his Ashu ability to project a person's memories and thoughts. He was able to put Natsuki into a trance that made her believe that her purpose as the last of the Lemurians was to bring destruction to the future humanity. After the defeat of Homunculus he was finally destroyed by the Boukengers with the Dual Crusher in Task 42. His name comes from the Japanese word for spirit. While his Ashu form was based on Gosei Sentai Dairanger's Won Tiger, his Quester form is modeled after Kiba-Dai'Oh.

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