Niko (Level 8)

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(Crossposted from NikoScream, where there are more pics. Please Digg)


The latest Super Sentai Vs. special, Engine Sentai Go-Onger VS Gekiranger (2009) teams up the 31st sentai series JyuKen Sentai Gekiranger with the then-current 32nd series Go-Onger. Released as Go-Onger was wrapping up its run, the Go-Onger team meets the Gekirangers and join together to fight the combined efforts of the Gaiark Pollution Ministers and a RinJyuKen scientist trying to steal the sealed Long from Jan (GekiRed).

The special opens with GekiRed fighting off a Nunchaku Banki that knows Rin Jyu-ken (Bankis are the monsters of the week in Go-Onger, while RinJyuKen is the antagonist martial art form in Gekiranger). Then GekiBlue and GekiYellow show up to help. Right as the Go-Ongers arrive on the scene to fight the Banki, the three Gekirangers and the Banki are rushed away to another dimension. GekiViolet and GekiChopper then show up for classic/cliched mistaken identity. After introductions and help from Master Shafu, the Go-Ongers and GekiViolet and GekiChopper go to the other dimension and fight along side the Gekirangers. Finally, cue opening credits about nine minutes into the video.

It’s a nice little team up. The silliness of the Go-Onger team, a factor some found annoying in the series, isn’t obnoxious here, and the Gekirangers play off it well. GekiRed’s made-up language actually allows him to communicate with the Engines’ own silly and random words.

For those who don’t really care for the Engines, don’t let them keep you away from this. They’re really not in this much (a plot point, actually). Plus, when they get into the mechs, they almost immediately go into Engine-Oh formation, so not much weird eye movements from them. If you really hate them, however, there may be some scenes you don’t like, but come on. All Super Sentai has some silliness. This special has a good balance of it and action and plot.

Speaking of which, the plot works for what it is, as a chance to bring together the two teams to fight an enemy they couldn’t defeat alone.  The main problem is it doesn’t seem like the Gekirangers really try their hardest or that they couldn’t win on their own. With the exclusion of the Super Geki forms and Geki Fire, the Gekirangers are almost taking it easy, possibly because the Go-Ongers and Go-On Wings are there to pick up the slack with their unnecessarily humongous Engine-Oh G12.

If we have to pick which series is more important and featured in the plot, it’s honestly Gekiranger. We pick up where the series left off with GekiRed guarding the sealed Long and returning from the traveling he sets out on at the end of Gekiranger, and the plot continues points established from there. The principle enemies are from Gekiranger, as the threePollution Ministers’ involvement is all but gone by the final fight. The Go-Ongers are important too and have plenty of plot development in the special, but it feels it more heavily favors the Gekirangers. Being the Gekiranger fan that I am, I’m fine with that.

There are attempts to tie the two series together. Hanto (Go-On Green) used to work at the Kyoryuya Curry Shop from Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger, of which Miki from Gekiranger used to be a regular customer (as well was Morio Makino from GoGo Sentai Boukenger as we found out in the last VS special). Also, because they have to be so perfect, the Go-On Wings trained in GekiJyuKen when they were young.

Unfortunately, as with most VS specials, this doesn’t impact Go-Onger whatsoever. Therefore, the Go-On Wings’ knowledge of GekiJyuKen and what the Go-Ongers learn go out the window at the end of the special.

All in all, this is a fun team up. Both teams work well together. It’s great to see the Gekirangers and their friends and foes again. While the Go-Onger series didn’t grab my attention for the whole thing, they were entertaining in here. If you like either of the teams, especially Gekiranger, then give this a watch.

And after the special, there’s a couple of Go-Onger musical numbers from a summer ‘08 live show to enjoy. If you don’t like the Go-Onger music, stop at the “The End” credit. Otherwise, it’s a decent extra to a fairly decent team up.

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