Can I Really Outgrow Super Sentai?
I don't deny that I have written a post that there were three times or more that I wished Super Sentai ended with a particular season. When I reread that post I asked myself yet again, "Can I really outgrow Super Sentai?". Whenever I ask that question I asked myself more than once, "Should I even write a post about it?". Then I remembered how I thought Super Sentai should have ended with Gokaiger. I thought that Super Sentai would have ended with Zyuohger as the 40th season due to the low ratings that hit it but I was wrong. This year we have Kyuranger as the 41st season but I can't be too sure if Super Sentai will reach its 50th season. I like Kyuranger even if Lucky tends to get on my nerves with his status as an idiot red.
I remembered watching Super Sentai and Power Rangers as a child. I could remember watching the dubbed versions of Bioman, Maskman, Turboranger, Fiveman, Jetman and Goggle V. I remembered the whole Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers hype I got involved with. What I can't deny is that I didn't really take a huge liking for Mighty Morphin'. That was even before I discovered the plot of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger and other post-Jetman Super Sentai series while I was still in high school. It's no secret that the more I watch Super Sentai the harder it is for me to appreciate Power Rangers. While I do acknowledge Toei's involvement with the more popular Power Rangers franchise but I still prefer Super Sentai over it. I could say that I have outgrown Power Rangers from my system based on my personal preferences. The bigger question is whether or not I could really outgrow Super Sentai. That's the question I just kept asking myself more than once.
Whether I like it or not it's actually a taste fatigue cycle. There was a time I took a break from Super Sentai to watch something else. I can't forget how I caught the Meteor Fever when Meteor Garden aired its badly done dub on ABiaS-CBN. I can't forget how I got into South Korean TV drama though it didn't automatically click with me first. I tend to repeatedly make the mistake of thinking that maybe I'm too old for new school Super Sentai. I could remember how I didn't watch any Tokusatsu show for a year or two in favor of new school Chinese (from Taiwan or Hong Kong) and South Korean TV drama. But it happened that I started going back to watching Tokusatsu last decade for the stupid reason that I was lusting after hotter Super Sentai girls. Another reason why I got stuck with Super Sentai may not only be because of the plot but also I found myself bored with Chinese and Korean TV drama. I didn't watch Chinese and Korean TV drama (but I still watched some Chinese movies) while I focused on Super Sentai.
It can't be denied that no one is getting any younger. I remembered and looked at all the anniversary landmarks namely Gaoranger, Boukenger, Gokaiger and recently Zyuohger. Kyuranger is the 41st season and it's the first post-Zyuohger season and the sixth post-Gokaiger season. I remembered how I watched Akibaranger in my late 20s. It was already past-Gokaiger and I admit I do like Go-Busters but I wasn't all too open about it. Akibaranger Season Tsuu was pretty much a distraction from Kyoryuger. I didn't really warm up to Kyoryuger immediately. I felt like ToQGer is where Yasuko Kobayashi had really burnt out and needed a break. While I did finish Ninninger but I can't deny that I just watched it for some eye candy. I repeated the same mistake of thinking that maybe I'm just too old for newer Super Sentai. So I did it and gave Kyoryuger a shot and felt that it's not as horrible as my pre-conceived biases thought it would be. Sure, I don't find it as good as Abaranger or Zyuranger in terms of writing but it's not garbage either. If I wanted a dance party I'd go for Kyoryuger over Battle Fever J. While I consider ToQGer to be where Kobayashi burnt out but I gave myself a thought that if I could like Fiveman (which was Hirohisa Soda burning out) or Kamen Rider Kiva (which was Toshiki Inoue burning out) then I should give ToQGer a rewatch.
I was still watching new school Kamen Rider during the time I made the mistake of thinking I was getting "too old" to watch newer Super Sentai. I watched Kamen Rider Wizard, Kamen Rider Gaim and Kamen Rider Drive while I didn't feel like watching new school Super Sentai from 2013-2015. I find that weird that I got stuck in the mindset that I'm too old for newer Super Sentai considering that I don't feel I'm too old for new school Kamen Rider. Maybe it's just preference that I usually enjoy the story writing of the 80s-90s compared to the more merchandise-oriented Super Sentai. That just sounds weird considering that I think Abaranger is better than Zyuranger or how I tend to think Gekiranger actually did the martial arts theme better than Maskman and Dairanger. So I did watch Ninninger last 2015 (but didn't feel like writing episode reviews until I realized that writing a weekly review helps my blogging) but I didn't feel Kento Shimoyama did a good job.
But again, there's always a lesson to learn when something new doesn't work out the first time. There may be a mistake in the implementation or it was a mistake to start with. Innovation doesn't only mean making necessary changes to keep a product line going on. It also involves learning from past and present mistakes in order to come up with feasible solutions to make things better. The quest to attain success is a road that may lead to momentary failures with life's ups and downs. Newer ideas may not always work the first time but there's still a lesson to be learned from it. I learned that it's best not to expect things to get better all the time. Instead, people should expect that failure may come along the way. Just because failure happens every now and then doesn't necessarily mean it's the end of something. It's usually not learning from one's failure that ends up spelling the end of something. It's all about doing one's best and learning from failures that come along the way. No progress is ever without its failures and no progress can happen without learning from them. I'm just reminded of how this year's failure may be overthrown by next year's success or how this year's success may be overthrown by next year's failure. The battle against any failure may take longer than a year before a glorious success is born from its ashes. It's not an easy battle but it must be fought and you should expect battle scars. There's no easy way to success. Take the hard path if you have to. Remember that if you don't fight then you will not survive.
I don't think I've truly outgrown the Super Sentai franchise as a whole even if there are other stuff that keep me occupied like new school stuff namely video games, C-Drama, J-Drama, K-Drama and more. I don't even think Super Sentai is my life but I still find myself interested once again with what the franchise has to offer. I don't frequently talk about Super Sentai (or any Tokusatsu or Anime for that matter) with my real life peers even if some of them still watch them. I can say that it's somehow still a part of me but I don't think it's a huge part of me. But as long as it's a part of me then I don't think I've truly outgrown Super Sentai. Perhaps, I'm inspired by how some old school Super Sentai alumni are still keeping the Super Sentai spirit alive by appearing at related events. Sure, there's times of disappointment but what's life without having ups and downs to deal with?
Go Go Super Sentai!