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SUPER SENTAI: Himitsu Sentai Gorenger – April 20, 2021
Weekaly Shonen Sunday May 1975- August 1975
Writer and Artist: Shotaro Ishinomori
Translation: Alethea & Athena Nibley
Adaptation: Alexis Roberts, Dawn Davis
Lettering: Bambi Eloriaga-Amago & Roland Amago
An evil secret society called the Black Cross Army threatens world peace, and only an elite task force known as the Earth Guard League (EAGLE) can stop them. After the Black Cross Army destroys EAGLE’s headquarters across Japan, five young recruits survive. Hiding in a secret underground base, they are given enhanced battlesuits that empower them with superhuman abilities, transforming the youths into an unstoppable squad to combat evil.
This book has an insufficient chapter breakdown, so I am having to do it on my own. I decided that Chapter 1, which I will dub “Betrayal” runs from pages 1-145. Gorenger “Chapter 1” sees Tsuyoshi accept the role of Akaranger he initially rejected. He leads the Gorenger to fight the Black Cross Army and avenge his father’s death. Aoranger, Akira Shinmei, gets a tip from a friend that finds the Gorenger in a desperate trap and forces him to make a soul-splitting choice. They escape with their lives, but not unmarred by the malice of Black Cross Army.
I have broken the Weekly Shonen Sunday run of Gorenger into 2 chapters for my analysis.
-The lack of clear chapter breaks is off-putting
-The fact that this collects four separate manga runs but doesn’t make that clear within the table of contents is a problem, too.
-Honestly some of the transitions from scene to scene were rough. To be clear, that is a criticism of Ishinomori’s work, not the Seven Seas staff who compiled the collection.
-Tsuyoshi referencing Kamen Rider and Ultraman as he is examining the Akaranger suit was a lot of fun
-Tsuyoshi calling out the bright color of the suit was funny, especially because they are supposed to be, and are called, a hidden or secret squad
-The action is so fluid and smooth. For the amount of fighting and people moving around, I think I only got lost once. Sometimes, I think Ishinomori went too fast and got lost in his composition, but it was minimal here.
-That Samurai Horsemen they fought in the mountains has such a great design, him and his robotic horse
-Variblune looks amazing, it looks like an angry flying cat monster and I love it
-Shinmei’s conflict with his friend Goro was intensely dramatic
-I was not expecting the big questions to come out this fast or hit quite so hard
-Tsuyoshi’s rejection of his father’s secret war and the sense of alienation that gives is a powerful setup for him taking charge as Akaranger
Does Goro have a point when he challenges Shinmei about who the Gorenger serve?
IS THIS A RECCOMENDED?
Check out THIS SCRIPT for a comic book inspired by Ultraman and other Tokusatsu heroes.