Is There A Huge Multiverse For Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, Metal Hero And Ishinomori's Tokusatsu Heroes?


So here it's my massive Wild Mass Guess on Toei's Multiverse which I thought I'd never get together!

After I wrote on the Super Sentai timeline and the use of self-contained continuities, I wanted to revisit something that I always threw out of my mind and returned back again for more than one occasion ever since I saw how Super Sentai VS Movies tend to contradict events from the two shows involved. The way that the guest roles of Lucky and Emu happen in both Kyuranger and EX-AID can't be connected. Lucky appears in EX-AID and Hojo has no memory of him even after they introduced each other in Kyuranger. WTF. So I got motivated to write this long speculative post with a trip back in time. So sit back and try to read it, comprehend it and see what could be going on in my imagination.

The Ishinomori-verse anyone?

Let's take a moment to respect the late but great Shotaro Ishinomori who's the man behind the Showa era Kamen Riders and the first two Super Sentai series. He's also responsible for various Anime series like Cyborg 009 and other Toku series like Kikaider (an inspiration for Metalder) Zubat, Inazuman Akumaizer 3 and Ecchan which I haven't seen any of them yet. This was all before the start of a more familiar era for Super Sentai. Goranger was so popular it lasted up to 84 episodes while JAKQ only lasted 35 episodes.

I wonder how many younger Super Sentai fans ever bothered to watch the JAKQ vs. Goranger crossover? I did and I don't know if I even want to attempt to watch both series from start to end. I've seen a few episodes of Goranger and JAKQ and I don't find myself all that able to relate to them. At the end of the movie it's mentioned that V3, Amazon and Kikaider were also mentioned fighting evil across the world. The movie suggests that both Goranger and JAKQ are part of the whole Ishinomori-verse' list of superheroes.


Kamen Rider still continued after Goranger and JAKQ ended. The series was not without its bumps. Kamen Rider Stronger was supposed to wrap up the Kamen Rider series but more Kamen Rider series appeared. Kamen Rider Skyrider came two years after Kamen Rider Stronger. Both Skyrider and Kamen Rider Super-1 followed each other shortly. But there was a hiatus between Kamen Rider Super-1 and Kamen Rider Black for six years. But none of them ever had a crossover with the Super Sentai or Metal Hero of that era as far as TV specials are concerned. 

From what I heard Kamen Rider Black was supposed to be its own continuity. The popularity of the show made the sequel Black RX. I personally like both series but I like Black's storytelling more. Both series had a lot of innovative ideas that built foundations for the Heisei era like multiple form Kamen Riders, the allies getting involved, evil Kamen Riders and it wrapped up the Showa era. 

The post-Ishinomori era for Super Sentai before Hirohisa Soda

Super Sentai didn't return until 1979 with Battle Fever J and the term "Super" was added into Super Sentai. Battle Fever J was pretty much the first Super Sentai to have "Super" in it until Goranger and JAKQ were retroactively included in the 90s as mentioned in the Timeranger clip show. The show introduced the first giant robot and since then the mecha have tried various treatments on how to make a better show. It was also this time Toei had some help from Marvel. Funny how Marvel once worked with Toei then with Saban and now it's freaking owned by Disney.

Battle Fever J started a new trend and we have Denziman and Sun Vulcan. Although no crossover movie was made but they were more or less direct sequels. Sun Vulcan brought back the Denziman villain Queen Hedrian as a servant of Black Magma. References to Denziman were made in Sun Vulcan. One can't deny the connection between the two series even if it was loosely established.

The Metal Hero series' fragmented continuities from 1984-1997

There's always some kind of on/off continuity with Metal Hero. It's established that Gavan, Sharivan and Shaider are indeed sequels to each other. Gavan ended with Sharivan taking over the former's position. Shaider made references to the first two series though the connection isn't as strong as it should be. But it can't be denied that all three Space Sheriffs belong to one continuity. After Shaider, it's assumed that a new continuity took place.

Another list of series were released namely Juspion, Spielban, Metalder, Jiraiya and Jiban. Juspion and Spielban were pretty much their own shows which bore resemblance to the Space Sheriff Trilogy. Metalder was pretty much its own show which is most likely inspired by Kikaider. Jiraiya and Jiban were somewhat connected as Jiraiya's little brother showed up in the latter's 31st episode. 

The rescue police series was born and they are Winspector, Solbrain and Exceedraft. They introduced a new concept of Tokusatsu that didn't battle monsters of the week but instead chose to arrest human criminals while dealing with sci-fi only situations. They also took the mold. For a 90s series the setting was way ahead of its time. Winspector happens in 1999 and Solbrain takes place in 2001 even if the shows aired in 1990 and 1991. Talk about a huge time jump! Then we had Exceedraft which had looser ties to Solbrain. What I find funny is that later Exceedraft had Commander Masaki appear in the finale arc. Exceedraft was also the last of the rescue police series.


Janperson and Blue SWAT came out which I assume were originally meant to happen in their own continuity. Janperson was pretty much its own continuity (at first) and so was Blue SWAT. Janperson didn't get any direct links to Winspector, Solbrain and Exceedraft. I haven't seen Blue SWAT yet so I can't talk much about it. What I thought was either cool (or not) was when the series got connected to B-Fighter's finale against a horribly mutated Jagul. I would have preferred Janperson to be linked to the Rescue Police Trilogy than B-Fighter. 

B-Fighter then came out and created its direct sequel B-Fighter Kabuto (with a new main cast) and Kabutack. So if we think about it continuity-wise, Janperson and Blue SWAT belong to the B-Fighter continuity while Winspector, Solbrain and Exceedraft are one continuity. Maybe one could view Juspion, Spielban, Metalder, Jiraiya and Jiban having their own continuity. I did think why didn't the producers decide to link Janperson to Jiban since both heroes were both inspired by their American "parent" Robocop though both have a different modus operandi? IMO, Janperson should have been tied with the Rescue Police series if it wasn't really meant to be a standalone. Otherwise, I prefer to view it as a standalone series. 


The Takeyuki Suzuki Multiverse for Super Sentai

The thought that Takeyuki Suzuki appeared in the Power Rangers movie premiere brought him back to my head. So he's been the longest running producer and the writers under him are Hirohisa Soda (Goggle V up to Fiveman), Toshiki Inoue (Jetman but he also wrote a lot of episodes for other shows as a major contributor) and the late Noboru Sugimura (Zyuranger up to Ohranger, he was also a writer of the Metal Hero franchise) got involved.

The way Soda's series were written ended up pretty much independent of each other and several events would contradict each other. No direct reference is ever made. You didn't need to watch all of his works sequentially. Each series ends up more or less its own continuity. Events like the Bio Robo's awakening and the Earth Force's activation will contradict themselves if they happened in the continuity. Those events were only meant to happen if the Earth has an event that the current military can't handle. So why didn't these events happen during their time? I could also bring up another example like why didn't the Tube Empire from Maskman mention anything about the Jashinka from Dynaman? All these series couldn't fit themselves into one timeline. 

After Soda's burnout and Fiveman's really bad receptiond uring its time we had the Jetman series. It takes place in the year 199X. What year did it take place? I could safely guess 1991 which was the year Jetman aired. The epilogue happens three years later. Jetman would have a crossover with Fiveman, Zyuranger, Dairanger and Kakuranger in the short movie "Super Sentai World" which is logically impossible. This will be discussed in the next paragraph which will talk about the late Sugimura's era.

If you're thinking of connecting Zyuranger up to Ohranger as sequel to each other then don't. It's not the Zordon era of Power Rangers which was from MMPR up to PR in Space. Each one of them are pretty independent from each other. The Sugimura era in Super Sentai usually try to operate differently. Don't think of seeing Griforther teaming up with Prince Junior or don't expect Bandora to be the daughter of Daimaou because the settings make it impossible. Also, the events of Ohranger vs. Kakuranger are just plain impossible. Ohblocker shows up but Baccushund is still alive and Buldont is still a child. It became the return of the yearly VS. Movies and the trend has continued ever since. A lot of Super Sentai VS. Movies don't agree with the time and setting of the series that has a crossover with each other. 


Post Suzuki-era up to the year 1999

After Ohranger, it was the moment Shigenori Takatera becomes a producer for Super Sentai shows. Ohranger ended in 1995 and it was time for 1996 to 1999. It was the year when both Ohranger and Carranger had lower ratings but high toy sales to back them up. Megaranger became the Super Sentai series to normalize ratings in the late 90s. Other series to follow are Gingaman and GoGoFive.

Ever since Ohranger vs. Kakuranger happened we've had the yearly crossover. Ohranger has a crazy crossover with Carranger. Megaranger has two mega-crossovers with Carranger and Gingaman. The events of Megaranger vs. Carranger apparently can't fit into the continuity of either which. Gingaman vs. Megaranger may or may not fit well as it as both teams take place after both series ended. But trying to reconcile these series can be as impossible as most of the Dragon Ball Z movies. If I'm not wrong Akira Toriyama says that the Dragon Ball Z movies usually happen in a different continuity so they might as well be considered as a series of what-ifs.

Logic dictates that Winspector, Ohranger and GoGoFive can't take place in the same continuity

If you do try to pay attention Winspector, Ohranger and GoGoFive take place in the year 1999. 1999 was the year of the Grand Cross which became part of GoGoFive's plot. Winspector's opening narration made it happen in 1999. Ohranger's first episode is called "Invasion! 1999!" which may or may not have been retconned during the Timeranger clip show. There seems to be no official word that Toei had changed Ohranger's setting to happen in 1995 instead of 1999.

Why the events can't happen together since if Baranoia and the Saima were in one universe then there should be clashes. Japan would have probably sank to the bottom of the ocean or two why didn't Baranoia and Saima fight each other for the right to take over the world? Also, wouldn't it mean that the Winspector squad would be biting off more than they can chew?  Ryoma would probably die in doing rescue missions and he's dealing with Baranoia and Saima. The Fire suit in Winspector and neither Bikel nor Walter are designed to fight off the evil forces plaguing the Super Sentai heroes. Also, why wasn't Winspector involved in supporting GoGoFive? I don't see any reason why Captain Masaki wouldn't lend a helping hand when Grandienne turns into the negative energy of the Universe.

Also, it wouldn't make sense to force the Rescue Police Trilogy into Super Sentai or Kamen Rider. Solbrain takes place in the year 2001 so why weren't they even involved during the Lords crisis in Kamen Rider Agito or meeting the Orgs? It's not only because Solbrain takes place in the year 1991 but also because they aren't in the same continuity. But they end up in the same continuity whenever it's a Super Hero Taisen movie.

What the start of a new millennium may have brought to Super Sentai and Kamen Rider


Timeranger would be the first millennial series but it felt more like a 90s series with all its violence and serious nature. I would consider this series the Magnum Opus of Yasuko Kobayashi. As much as I like Gingaman and Shinkenger but I think Kobayashi did her best during Timeranger. What was also interesting is that after Timeranger ended they had a Super Sentai clip show that honored Goranger up to GoGoFive. They had a crossover with GoGoFive which the clip show acknowledged. But if you think about it the clip show is just a clip show not a regular episode of Timeranger and it was meant as a post-series special. Super Sentai then took a massive remake after Timeranger when it comes to violence and seriousness.


The other would be the return of the Kamen Rider franchise and Naruhisa Arakawa's debut as a head writer. Kamen Rider returned two years after the death of Shotaro Ishinomori. It was an ambitious remodeling of the Kamen Rider franchise. Although elements from the Showa era retained like the obvious Kamen Rider trademarks (bug eyes, rider kicks, monsters) but the franchise rethought everything. Instead of having villains that carried out their half-brained plans for world domination you have a more complex plot. Monsters weren't destroyed at the end of the episode and it wasn't all the time there was a monster of the week. The formula started treating Kamen Rider as a fantasy drama as a radical departure from what Kamen Rider was back then.

The contrast between this year's Kamen Rider and Super Sentai prior to Kamen Rider Decade

Super Sentai has been mostly lighter and softer from Gaoranger up to present. Gone are the days of heavy bleeding, super duper exaggerated fight scenes, brutal deaths and super serious storytelling. A lot of deaths in Super Sentai have been toned down and the violence has been reduced to a certain extent. Kamen Rider still kept the bloody and brutal side with Kuuga, Agito, Ryuki, Faiz, Hibiki and Kabuto before toning it down from Den-O up to present. The trend of darker and edgier Kamen Rider series may no longer be as feasible as lighter and softer Kamen Rider series. Yup there was a time when Kamen Rider and Super Sentai were in stark contrast to each other.

Let's first talk about the pre-Decade Heisei era starting with Kamen Rider Agito. It's even said that Kamen Rider Agito is also a direct sequel to Kamen Rider Kuuga. It seems to be that Toei decided to leave the decision to the viewers and I wish it were officially canon rather than just leave it to the viewers. The Showa era had the first two Kamen Riders defeat Shocker only to realize that a new organization known as Destron has surfaced. There's no reason why a new enemy won't surface after a previous enemy has been destroyed. I think the reason why sometimes Toei likes doing standalone shows is so they could make a new villain from scratch rather than rely on past series.

So what happened? Almost all the series felt like they didn't have to rely on each other. You didn't even need to watch every last Heisei Rider in sequence to understand the latest Rider. I didn't need to watch everything in sequence to understand Kamen Rider EX-AID. I didn't need to watch Kamen Rider Ryuki to understand Kamen Rider Gaim. Then we probably have a thin line or dimensional barrier that got broken.


So there's a thin dimensional barrier between Super Sentai, Kamen Rider and Metal Hero that Decade ended up breaking last 2009?

Yes it's time to blame Kamen Rider Decade anyone? Okay, everyone knows how much I really don't like Decade and I love to say that it's better than Saban's Mashed Rider because it's not a cheap production but the writing is so bad 90% of the time. Yup, I always want to think about what I call as the Decade Meltdown. The plot of Decade involved nine Alternate Reality Rider worlds which may suggest that Toei operates using a Multiverse yet we also have a VS. Universe. Maybe Decade's meddling caused a lot of events in the VS. Universe to contradict the continuity of both shows. Maybe it's Captain Ryuya's fault as far as Timeranger is concerned. Let's try and think about how this wall was broken.


Entering into the World of Shinkenger meant breaking continuity rules. Shinkenger's world is supposedly a world without Kamen Riders. Decade's mere existence in that world is causing the world to Shinkenger to attempt to vomit Decade out of it. It's an anomaly and well wasn't Decade an anomaly in the worlds where he's not supposed to exist? How many continuity barriers are present anyway and are they meant to keep the multiverse in balance? I guess that's why Kaido is a wanted man. By stealing items in different continuities he upsets the balance of Toei's Toku Multiverse.


Ninninger's crossover with Kamen Rider Drive addresses another issue. Unlike Decade who enters into the world of Shinkenger it was the other way around. The Ninningers enter into the world of Drive which causes problems. It's explained that the Ninningers are the anomaly that must be gotten rid off from the World of Kamen Rider Drive. They must get out of that dimension or risk getting deleted as a result. Neither Kamen Rider Gaim's crossover with ToQGer nor the alternate guesting between Zyuohger and Ghost address that issue.


Gokaiger may be a result of Decade breaking that wall?

Take note that crossover movies between two Super Sentai seasons don't happen within the series continuity. It's not like in Power Rangers where the yearly crossover happens within the series which I prefer how Super Sentai does the yearly crossover through movies. But Gokaiger did something that no other Super Sentai did. It created a huge successful voyage across the Super Sentai franchise. Sure I didn't need to watch all Super Sentai to understand the show but it was certainly a nice tribute to the past shows. A lot of Super Sentai old school cast return to reprise their roles. Also, Gokaiger has a crossover with Gavan which also introduces the Go-Busters.


Go-Busters has a crossover with Gokaiger (as a movie) yet the new Gavan appears in the series for two episodes. Has the thin line been broken since 2009 up present? The events of Go-Busters vs. Gokaiger do have some explaining to do. So why do the Gokaiger still have their powers after they returned it during the finale of Gokaigers? So the barrier has been broken not just between Super Sentai continuities but also between the Super Sentai franchise, the Kamen Rider franchise and the Metal Hero franchise. Ninninger's continuity may no longer its own even if the events of the show don't heavily rely on the plots of Kakuranger and Hurricanger. Gokaiger appears in Zyuohger during the 1999th to 2000th episode instead of a crossover movie.


The upcoming Dekaranger vs. Gavan now links Dekaranger to the Space Sheriff universe. Granted, Dekaranger is a series chock full of Metal Hero nostalgia. What's funny is that we have Gokaiger vs. Gavan which is written by Naruhisa Arakawa. Both Gokaiger and Dekaranger have Arakawa as their head writer. The movie will also be written by Arakawa.

Image result for tsuaka marvelous
Not to mention that we have the ongoing Super Hero Taisen films

The Super Hero Taisen films have been ongoing. So was the first film really not that bad even if I'd like to mock that they were written by Patrick Star? Super Hero Taisen almost had no plot. Super Hero Taisen Z feels like a reboot that happens in its very own continuity. Super Hero Taisen Z gives a more definite plot. The first movie feels like a result of little children fighting over whether or not Super Sentai or Kamen Rider is the superior franchise.

What I noticed is also is that the Super Hero Taisen movies are more of a series of What Ifs. Super Hero Taisen was pretty much what if a civil war happened between Super Sentai and Kamen Rider though I felt like a couple of toddlers (or worse, Spongebob and Patrick) wrote it for Toei. Super Hero Taisen Z was written ignoring the events of Super Hero Taisen. Kamen Rider Taisen may be linked to ToQGer vs. Gaim but the way the Kame Rider Grand Prix movie got written ignored the events of Ninninger VS. Drive. It's highly possible that Toei is making these movies like What If movies. I'm suddenly reminded of the statement that the Dragon Ball Z movies happen in some alternate continuity different from the series. So it's possible that the Super Hero Taisen films happen in some alternate continuity.

I think the Super Hero Taisen films can be good but I think it's better to make a video game series out of the concept. A movie is well just an hour or two and it's over. A video game can give more space and flexibility for script than a movie ever would. Some of these movies are enjoyable but tend to bury down a lot of characters as the plot progresses as a result. Then again we can have both video games and the movies. Proper implementation should still be done because a good concept won't work if it's not carried out properly.

Conclusion

This in turn may just be my huge massive speculation. So maybe this Tokusatsu Multiverse by Toei doesn't exist and I'd dare say I just imagined it. But what if it were true? After all this is just a speculation and I doubt it that its existence is really there. What bizarre theory do you have as of late?

Updated: 4/11/2017

Comments

  1. Jiraiya and Jiban were connected. Manabu Yamashi, Toha/Jiraiya´s little brother, appeared in the episode 31 of Jiban.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the multiverse theory, it is much more interesting and likely than one single timeline for all shows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. Having a multiverse can be advantageous such as:

      1.) New school fans don't need to watch all the old school to enjoy their shows. It's like how any seven year old can watch Kyoryuger and still understand the events without having to watch Abaranger or Battle Fever J. Also, you didn't need to watch all shows before Gokaiger and Decade to fully understand the shows.

      2.) You can recycle a theme without having to rely on similar shows. A good example is how GoGoFive has no connection to Fiveman. Both are sibling oriented shows yet they're basically their own shows.

      3.) You can conveniently ignore last year's show and start afresh with this year's show. Think about how your imagination isn't as restricted when you operate with a multiverse than when you have a single timeline.

      4.) You can cook up several different scenarios for a Super Hero Taisen movie. If I were to be a writer, I'd just start off with a completely different story that won't connect itself with any of the movies.

      What do you think?

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