Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sentai writers: putting a face to the names

There's all kinds of behind-the-scenes and making of featurettes on the Sentai DVDs, where they'll talk to various staff members like directors and producers and SFX people and stunt people and the people who choreograph the terrible credits dances and caterers and people who turn off the lights at the end of the day and so on. But they don't usually talk to the writers, which is odd when you're used to the featurettes on American DVDs -- where writers won't just be interviewed, but probably have a commentary track, too. Toku writers do give interviews in magazines and the special books devoted to their show, but since they're ignored in the video featurettes, I feel that makes them somewhat overlooked. Now, fans know which writer is who and will talk about them, but are they just names? Who are these people? What do they look like? Here's a breakdown of each Sentai main writer with a picture, so you can imagine who it was hunched over a typewriter/computer, creating your favorite show. (Or see the person behind your least favorite show and flip them the bird or print it out and place it on a dart board or something.)

If Takaku wasn't important to Battle Fever, they wouldn't have included him in Ohranger, in which the producers enlisted every series main writer to contribute to the series since it was the first big anniversary celebration.

I like a lot of his Metal Hero shows, so why did Hurricane turn out the way it did?

Kamen Rider needs your help again, Arakawa.

Don't be too happy with yourself, Sanjou -- W went limp in its second half and Kyoryuger is horrid.

Now, there's two people missing, you might be saying. Well, I haven't seen a picture of Junki Takegami (main writer of Megaranger, GoGoFive, Gaoranger and Go-onger) and couldn't find one doing a Google search, and there's not a picture of Michiko Yokote (main writer of Gekiranger and Goseiger) because Yokote isn't even a person -- it's a collective pseudonym for three people. That's right, Yokote consists of one person who's just the manager, one person who handles dialogue and one who handles the plots -- which is funny considering that Gekiranger and Goseiger are often harshly criticized for lacking characters and/or plot.

Soda and Inoue are my favorites, but I also really like Takaku. Who are your favorites?


  1. My favorites are Soda, Inoue, Sugimura, and Arakawa.

    I also really like Urasawa. And I'm still getting to know Takaku, but pretty good so far.

    While not a head writer, I think Kunio Fujii deserves mention. I think he's a very important writer in Sentai. I really love his episodes.

    I would've at one point said Kobayashi, since she wrote Gingaman (my favorite sentai!). But considering how she seems to frequently fall into trouble, and even wrote the god awful Go-Busters... can't say she's much of a favorite of mine. Plus, I think a big part of why Gingaman was so good was thanks to Takatera.

    1. Nah, the worst bits of the show can be blamed on Takebe. Thinking about it, Kobayashi is trying to build something up during the show's 20s (see Powered Custom armor) but they end up dropping it.

  2. Nice list and pictures.

    Here are my favorite writers.

    Hirohisa Soda - The "King". Writers who got sentai formula and format standardized.
    Toshiki Inoue - Loved his work as Jetman. Too bad he didn't wrote more sentai. While not a huge Kamen Rider fan, I did like Kamen Rider SD (too bad he didn't make more of that, since those series were better than recent Kamen Rider series IMO).
    Noboru Sugimura - wrote most of my favorite Sentai when I grew up
    Yasuko Kobayashi - the best female toku writer IMO; I like all her sentai series because of great action and seriousness(including Go-Busters; yes, I'm in minority).
    Junki Takegami - I liked Megaranger and I loooove GoGoFive. Too bad he hasn't wrote better series recently

    I wanted to put Arakawa on the list, but aside from Akibaranger (which I love!), I don't like most of his work.

    I haven't seen most of Uehara and Takaku works, but I like their series as well.

    Maekawa and Aikawa, The "KAWAS" (LOL), yeah I agree, they sucks; especially Magiranger. LOL

    Sanjou.... forget about him. Not even worth it. LOL

    Take care.

  3. Kyoryuger is pretty good so far. Just a different type of good than your used to. Sanjou and Kobayashi are my favorites, mostly because they tried something new.

  4. Inoue and Arakawa are my favorites. Love all Arakawa shows and a good portion of Inoue's works. I'd like to say Soda too, although i think he should've stopped writing for Sentai after Liveman.

    For the newer ones, i like Sanjou, and i used to be a fan of Kobayashi after Gingaman, Timeranger and Shinkenger, but she's going downhill lately - OOO was weak and Go-Busters is just awful.

  5. My favorite Sentai writers are: Soda, Inoue, Arakawa, Sugimura and Maekawa. Speaking of Maekawa, I wish he will write more Sentai shows in the future.

    Also, just wondering Shougo, do you have plans to write a list for producers? I mean, half of the success of the show comes from these guys.

    1. I wasn't planning on making a list of producers, but I have always given them major credit for shaping the shows.

  6. (AbareKuuga) I have a few sentai writes that are my favorites, particularly Soda and Arakawa because I really connect with their stories a lot. Soda with Changeman, Flashman, Maskman, Liveman, and I would even say Turboranger are the sentais that I really enjoyed and love a lot. Arakawa I found Gokaiger and Dekaranger ranger enjoyable but I think his best Sentai work (not including Akibaranger which I love as well) is Abaranger it is some of 2000's Sentais best writing imo and also Kuuga as well (hence my name AbareKuuga XD ) Inoue,Sugimura,Urasawa,Takegami,Uehara,and Takaku are also my favorites as well. Btw cool post Shougo ^_^

  7. I say my favorites are Uehara, Soda, and Takegami. I also enjoyed Maekawa's work on Magi and would love to have him penned for Sentai again (Hids behind couch).

    Arakawa good to.

  8. Yasuko Kobayashi is no longer the D.C. Fontana or Ramiko Takahashi with toku, Hirohisa Soda, Toshiki Inoue please comeback. Toku needs you.

  9. My favorites: Uehara (the best), Soda (King of Sentai), Fujii, Inoue, Arakawa.

    A image of Takegami Junki, from UltraSeven Evolution´s DVD:

    1. Awesome! Thanks for uploading that picture -- I've looked for quite some time for a pic of Takegami, even way before making this post.

  10. How can someone like Soda create something as horrible (imo) as Turboranger? :(

  11. I think Fiveman is waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy worse. While I like Turboranger, I don't think it's as good as what he did on Change through Live, but I think it would have been an acceptable note for Soda to go out on. Instead, he hangs around for Fiveman, and...yeah.

  12. "Don't be too happy with yourself, Sanjou -- W went limp in its second half and Kyoryuger is horrid."

    Well maybe in your opinion, to me, W is by far 1 of the best KR seasons in recent years, it had strong characters and writing and was solid all throughout. It's sooooo much better than Kabuto, Decade,OOO, Fourze & Wizard and a bunch of earlier seasons.

    As for Kyoryuger, I actually enjoyed it, thought the characters & some of the writing were good, although it was cheesy in some parts. At least it's better than the god awful Go-busters, Carranger, and a few other earlier seasons.

    I would regard Sanjo as 1 of my favorite writers, but mainly because of W.

  13. Hey Shougo!!! Really nice post!! ^_^ As for my favorite writers, I would have to go with Soda, Sugimura, Urasawa, & Arakawa. Actually, I love Sugimura so much I made a T-shirt dedicated to him in my graphics class. So many good writers out there~