Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Jetman 27-31


A pretty crazy episode, that...doesn't quite necessarily make sense as a Jetman episode. I could see why people would dislike it, or dismiss it as filler. (An overused term, often used wrongly.) It's hard to justify its purpose or deny it's filler-y,'s a damned weird episode, and I like it. It basically makes me think of the way a TV show will have a special Halloween episode in October to mark the holiday.

Radeige is seen practicing occult powers, taking a spirit form to kill the Jetman. He quickly succeeds in killing Ako, Gai and Raita. He comes close to killing Ryu, until Ryu is saved by...Super Monk Masashi Ishibashi! A rare good guy role for Ishibashi, and he kicks ass here. Odagiri enlists him to help the Jetman, and he guides Ryu's spirit to the netherworld to help go save the others' souls. It's interesting that, while Ishibashi is performing the ritual that sets up Ryu's journey, Ryu looks absolutely terrified. He's pale, he's sweating, he's breathing hard. They don't outright say it, but it's obvious he's terrified of the supernatural, and kinda doesn't want to be doing this, but as leader, he steps up and performs his duty. Even Gai kind of looks at Ryu like "I hate the dude, but...he really stepped up! I wouldn't have made a trip like this for my favorite Playboy Bunny."

Ryu goes on a journey where he faces off against witches and monsters and youkai and Radeige, making his way to the hellish pit where his comrades' spirits are being tormented by the spirits of dead Jigen Beasts. (They're cornered over a lake of what I assume is boiling blood, but it looks like a Hawaiian Punch/dry-ice combo.) Kaori's left behind in the land of the living, devoting herself to intense prayer, which does manage to give Ryu a boost at a critical moment when things look doomed for him and the other three.

The strangeness isn't limited to the Jetman's supernatural adventure, though. Another strange part of this episode is the ending. When the four have returned to life, they're cheerful, and they partake in that Sentai cliche of playing leapfrog. Bwhat? What show am I watching here? Usually, it's the younger teams that do this. Who made this decision? Like "Damn it, I'm stumped on how to end this episode! What can...hmm, let's think. They just came back to life. Their spirits were tormented in hell. They were saved in just the nick of time. So...they'd be happy to be alive, obviously. How can I best display this? Shit! I've got five minutes to turn this damn script in! Screw it, they're going to go straight into some leap frog. Yeah! That's ballsy of me. This is a team that's at each other's throats every other episode, nobody will expect it. It's a Sentai cliche, but it WON'T be cliche here, because it's so unexpected. It will be novel! Whooooooooo, me! Drinks on me, everyone!"


Stupid, awful, terrible episode I loathe. It's not anywhere near as funny as it thinks it is, not anywhere near as amusing. It's forced, it tries too hard, it's DUMB. None of the jokes land. It tries so hard, your TV will drip with flop sweat. (Dry THAT up, Dryer Jigen.)

And it's not because Jetman can't do comedy or be funny, because it can and has been. But it's always worked best with a sarcastic kind of comedy. Not whatever this pseudo absurdist, slapcrapstick this thing is. Hang your head in shame, Arakawa.


The second and last episode written by Mami Watanabe (and with a co-writer this time, Naoki Yawatari). This is an episode that...should be really good, and a classic Jetman, but it's never quite worked for me for some reason.

A couple that's survived their dimension being destroyed by Radeige make their way to Earth; the guy wants to live peacefully, the girl wants revenge. One problem is that it's too close in number and too similar in story to the episode with the Dimensians. Another problem is weak casting -- you had the familiar faces as the Dimensians, which by association made you feel like you knew them and you took a quick liking to them. The two actors here are just generic and instantly forgettable. The third thing is, their designs are atrocious -- they look a cross between figure skaters and some low-tier, cheap thing typically found in Fiveman.

The episode contrasts the young couple and their being targeted and torn apart by Vyram with Ryu and Rie, with Ryu being hellbent on saving them and keeping them from being torn apart. It's such a good, strong idea for an episode, and it should have made for something really emotional and epic, but...I just find it lacking. Something's missing! This whole episode just feels like a watered down or abandoned script for something like Changeman, Flashman, Spielban, Maskman or even Fiveman. It's not a bad episode, and certainly not one of Jetman's worst, it just holds back or is incomplete. It feels almost like the writers walked before the script was done, they were shooting with an unfinished script, the director hated everything and all of the cast members were fighting that day. There's just something so off about this one...

Nobody seems to have their heart in it. Much like me, trying to write about this episode.


Inoue returns to save us after a string of weird-to-bad-to-ho-hum episodes. This begins a three-parter that tries to cover more ground than an hour possibly should.

When two idiot hikers stumble upon a cave and unleash a demon, it's a mistake the Jetman are going to have to pay for. However brief it is, it's a nice change to have opponents for both the Jetman and the Vyram. (It's just too bad the three Majin are masked characters instead of some cool stunt-casting. The underling one that's first unleashed looks like a Battletoad! I was just going to refer to him as Zitz, but I looked his name up.)

The underling Majin,, Muu, needs to find true warriors to sacrifice and revive his two superiors, Ramon and Gorg. He of course stumbles upon Gai and Kaori fighting Radeige and deems the Jetman a worthy candidate, kidnapping Kaori. This sets the stage for Gai to track her down. As Muu's preparing to drain her blood in ritualistic sacrifice, Gai pulls out a straight razor and slashes his own hand, which the demonic tendrils choose to drink up rather than Kaori's blood. (They're probably going to get alcohol poisoning.) This leads to the big moment, when Kaori's going through all of the times throughout the show Gai's helped her, putting himself in harm's way. He's pale and weakened, on the verge of death, and I feel like emotions are running high when Kaori flat out tells him that she's his. But it's good enough for Gai, and that keeps him going until the rest of the team catches up and saves 'em.

Radeige himself revives the other two Majin with his own blood, in hopes of controlling them. Radeige's actually kinda cool in these three episodes. (He has a great villain line to Gai and Kaori, that if they want to be together, he'll gladly bury them together in the same grave...after he takes their heads.) The episode ends with Gai and Kaori ready to give a relationship a shot. Oh, and Odagiri is building Tetra Boy, the mecha she thinks will win the entire battle with the Vyram. Yeah. If she had watched past Sentai shows, she'd know not to pin her hopes on one of the "Boy" named mechas. She's always like "Damn! If only Tetra Boy was ready!!!!!!!!"

Random note: I hate those two bozo hikers at the start of the episode. They're whiny, they're cowardly...yet they think it's a good idea to go into a weird cave that's not on the map -- a cave that is emitting pink smoke. They're dumber than the pothead prankster in a slasher flick.


While Gai tries to finally enjoy time alone with Kaori, they neglect their Jetman duties, leaving the team with the line-up in classic Sunvulcan colors. (Man, what a weird team it is without Gai and Kaori. Imagine that show!) When the two Majin end up kicking everyone's ass, Ryu rips the two slackers a new one. Fed up with hearing Ryu's speech of putting your personal life aside for the sake of saving the world for the umpteenth time, Gai flips and storms out, eventually discarding the Cross Changers and forcing Kaori to leave the team with him.

And it couldn't have come at a greater time, when they have two new enemies who know how to kick their asses! Not wanting Radeige to get all of the glory, Maria enters the battlefield, which ends up being a mistake -- a blast from the two Majin causes her to revert to Rie. Ryu noticed the resemblance way back in episode 5, of course, but here it's confirmed for him. Since I trash Tanaka so much, I'll say that I think he handles his scenes with Rie in this episode nicely, especially when he's trying to console her when she begins to think of the horrible things she's responsible for as Maria. A battle calls him away from her, and in the meantime, she's found by Vyram and reverted back to Maria.

So close and yet so far! The episode ends on a cliffhanger, Maria kicking the crap out of Ryu and putting his noggin out with her foot like she's extinguishing a cigarette. Damn it, if only they had TETRA BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Random note: Tetra Boy's big contribution is that he becomes a bazooka for the robots. He's Arthur G6 for the mecha. OK, I have to admit that's kinda funny. Also: Tetra Boy doesn't run on fuel or Birdo Guts or Yuuki or whatever -- he's obviously fueled by cocaine, caffeine and Pop Rocks.


  1. Wow... this stupid leapfrog´s scene always gave me chills.

    Sentai (and tokusatsu) had a great list of good episodes written by secondary writers... but in Jetman this was absolutely rare. The series is better and more solid if we consider only the episodes written by Inoue.

    1. Inoue's episodes are certainly the strongest, and I used to think only his episodes matter, but there ARE a couple of episodes by secondary writers I wouldn't want to lose. I know people who like the episodes by the secondary writers, because it gives the show room to breathe from Inoue's DRAAAAAAAMA, but I think there could have been lighter episodes that still kept more in line with what Inoue was doing with the show.

      The show really needed to give Fujii another shot. Someone like him and Soda needed to be secondary writers. (Sad that Soda was given the boot, along with Takao Nagaishi, after Fiveman for the sake of "new blood," when some of that new blood ended up contributing some of the lesser episodes.)

  2. 27. Shougo, don't you know that boiling blood is a Hawaiian delicacy? =P
    But yeah, I quite enjoy this ep well enough myself. Even if it is totally bonkers. xD And funny you bring up Halloween, cause I actually watched this ep on Halloween once!

    Man, I'm so glad you brought up the leapfrog scene! hahahahahaha!
    When I saw that, I was like... man, I think it's Gai happily doing leapfrog with the others which just destroys my suspension of disbelief, lol. If I had to suspend my disbelief... leave the leapfrogging to the other 4. And even that's REALLY pushing it. I'm just going to chalk it up to there being tons of crazy spiritual energy in the air, temporarily disorienting everyone.
    I'm sure that episode ending is TimePink's favorite though! xD

    28. This episode.... exists

    29. Y'know, I keep forgetting about this episode. Which is very bizarre, since when I stop to think about it, it really does try to expand Jetman's world. Like you, I too wished I could love this ep. But I think the issue is everything you've listed. I find this ep just too generic and adds nothing of value to the show. And yeah, I was actually reminded a bit of Spielban with this ep too. Ah well.

    30/31. Hmmm. *Imagines a show of just Ryu, Ako, and Raita*.... still fantastic sounding compared to Hurricaneger! ;D

    Dammit Shougo, I spit my drink out all over me after I read that last line... xD

    1. LOL at the Time Pink comment, I just watched that episode. She probably also likes Turboranger's finale!

      I think you could randomly pick three names from any Sentai team and make a better trio than the Hurricaneger. :P

  3. Just when I thought I finally got Tetra Boy out of my life for good... :p

    28...... OK, so I try my best to find a positive in anything terrible. I think I figured it out. The hairstylist at the end is played by series composer KAZZ TOYAMA. That's kinda neat, right? :p

    1. I didn't know that was Toyama. Too bad that...I don't like a lot of Jetman's BGM? (And why wouldn't he instead be in the episode dealing with Ako's music class?) So, strike three episode 28!

    2. When he's not cutting sweet tracks...he's cutting hair!

      I give Jetman's music a pass. Listening to different music collections you start to notice weird things. Some composers have a 90 second sweet spot for pieces like Eiji Kawamura. Some have a 60 second sweet spot like Toshihiko Sahashi. Then there is Toyama...who averages like 2+ minutes per each piece of background music. Overdoing it much?? Even the episode titles and eyecatches are long (minus that DUN-DUN-DUN-DUN one that repeats and fades out and makes zero goddamn sense).

      At the bare minimum Toyama's BGM was a nice break from the intensely repetitive Akihito Yoshida Turboranger-Fiveman-Zyuranger sandwich. The episode preview music was godawful, though...

  4. Episode 27: I've always had a soft spot for it, and most other "spooky" sentai episodes. The ending is out-of-place, but still fun in its way (i.e., is Gai softening up a little?).

    Episode 28: It's pretty unfunny. While I liked the episode when I was younger, it makes too little sense in this show. Give that script to one of the Carranger writers for a "page one rewrite," and you might have something.

    Episode 29: I know that the budget probably wouldn't allow for better guest stars, but the warriors' performances are a bit lackluster. When they can't engage with the cast, it's a mess and a wasted opportunity at world-building.

    Episodes 30/31: It's a good three-part story, albeit with the lacking character designs. Had a character designer like Yutaka Izubuchi worked on them, they'd be vastly improved.

    The reveal of Rie as Maria is one of the best dramatic scenes in the show, even without an explanation for her capture. I like that it remains a tension-building factor in later episodes with her, and isn't brushed aside until the finale. The image of Ryu on the swings in the next episode is unintentionally silly, but it doesn't take away from the drama of the situation.

    1. About episode 28: Funny you mention Carranger. I'll watch episode 10 or 28 of Jetman and marvel that writer Naruhisa Arakawa ended up writing some of the funniest Carranger episodes, a lot of Abaranger's funniest episodes and then Akibaranger, so it's hard to believe he can write stuff as unfunny as he did in Jetman.

      Episode 29: I think the budget was there. In just a few episodes they waste money on wasting Daisuke Ban in a pointless role, money that would have been better spent on 29.

      Episodes 30/31: A guest designer like Izubuchi for the three Majin would have been great. I would have even preferred if Amemiya stepped in and designed them. I know Ryu Noguchi's a fan favorite and a classic designer of the genre, but...when you have a creative guy like Amemiya, why let it go to waste?