Friday, September 11, 2009

Violence in Super Sentai

One of the biggest differences between Super Sentai and it's American counterpart Power Rangers is the intensity of the violence. Super Sentai is by no means an inappropriate show with gore or something like that - but the battles are usually taken more seriously. Enemy attacks have more weight and visceral feeling, even if simply sparks are flying to symbolize damage.

Yet, every once in awhile I'm caught off guard by the monsters of Super Sentai - and how much destruction they are really willing to commit. Most monsters in Super Sentai usually involve rampaging through the street and attacking random people. Sometimes the damage done to people is reversible - and other times they are simply attacked, and no doubt dead from the assault.

Then, there's the monster that just catches me off guard. Take episode 10 of Juken Sentai Gekiranger. Mele has an armadillo style monster able to drill down into the Earth. The plot is that this monster will drill down to the tectonic plate and cause a massive Earth Quake. Not an unusual plan for the monster - but the level of death they illustrate (if he succeeded) is just massive. Essentially the monster stepped up his game from random murder to the outright genocide of all of Tokyo. That just sort of shocked me.

In the latest Sentai Series, Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, the monsters are demons, called Gedoushu, and if anything the level of violence and power coming from them has been nothing but vicious. Sure, most episodes the monster is handily defeated by the Shinkengers - but the power level of the Gedoushu increase during the summer months, suddenly giving the Shinkengers a whole lot more challenge. In fact, if not for the betrayal of Juzo, who saved Shinken Red from posioning, then Takeru would be dead. The Shinkengers have also been simply getting beaten as well, with four Shinkengers being beaten back while Takeru was being poisoned. The Shinkengers bounced back with their new Super Power transformation - but that didn't stop Dayu coming within a inch of killing a defenseless Shinken Pink, and Shinken Red and Shinken Gold being all but helpless, and drained of energy, from a literal giant army of Gedoushu foot soldiers. Oh, and don't think the worse isn't yet to come - with a powerful new villain, Akumaro Sujigarano, who didn't seem phased at all fighting the Shinkengers head on.

I'm by no means complaining. The more challenge the heroes face the better - but it's still quite a shock to see what you expect to be an average villain attack raise to the level of an epic battle. It's that kind intensity that I immensely enjoy from the series. It might still be a kid's show, but it doesn't seem to be holding back any punches.


  1. That's exactly what makes Super Sentai a very watchable show for me. It isn't simply a "super hero" show, Jyuuken Sentai Gekiranger & Shinkenger, delved into the deeper spirituality of martial arts and the reasons for fighting. I love that kind of stuff!

  2. I wrote a similar entry to yours in my blog too. Try reading my version at:

    This one also links to a much older post too.

  3. They claim it's for kids but in reality, it's not. It seems more like for people ages 14 and older rather than below that. Another thing is that there was smoking depicted in Choriki Sentai Ohranger, for instance. They don't depict anything like that plus gory violence in The Power Rangers because PR is exactly directed at children or else there would be complaints and perhaps lawsuits against Saban.