Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Zenkaiger: who's likely to return?


When Gokaiger was ready to air, and everyone was excited about the idea of returning heroes,
I once made a post at HJU about a "where are they now" with up-to-date pictures of cast
members and their standing in showbiz. It's a topic that a lot of people have written to me
asking me to update, but I've never really been interested. I figured since then there's
been so many past performers popping up on social media that there really wasn't a reason
to update it -- if you're a fan and on social media at all, chances are you're aware what
a certain actor looks like now or what they're up to.

But I thought maybe for Zenkaiger, since rumors are that we'll be seeing some old heroes, I supposed I'd finally do something similar. Instead of scouring blogs or Twitter for recent photos, I'd just want to stick to text -- I want to focus on the actors and the likelihood of them appearing in Zenkaiger. Because A LOT of actors have resurfaced since Gokaiger aired, and while some of them are still outside of showbiz, I think there's a chance some could pop up in something...if they're asked. People like Ginga Red, Tyranno Ranger, Blue Mask and Shaider's Naomi Morinaga have proven that there are performers who have left showbiz but are still willing to return for an appearance. So I'll say who I think is more likely of the retirees to return and who from each time is the most likely choice. (And who I'd want to see back the most of each team.)

First, I just want to give a few thoughts on Zenkaiger. I'm not all that hopeful. Producer Shinichiro Shirakura's far too irreverent for anniversary specials and has gotten too obsessed with riling up fans for his own amusement. Don't expect warm and fuzzy and logical "tributes" in a show from him. He's probably going to kill off everybody and declare Ninja Captor the first and only Sentai. And then you have main writer Junko Komura, whose previous anniversary series, Zyuohger, was a major letdown in terms of being an anniversary series. (As well as a letdown of just being an entertaining series.)

Like Gokaiger, I expect all of my favorites -- the good shows -- to be ignored because entertainment is still too damn afraid to focus on older folks. So I'm definitely not expecting the show to get back at least one person from each show the way Gokaiger did. And the premise of parallel worlds is worrisome -- it makes me think that we're just going to get scenarios that suggest certain Sentai shows, but aren't the actual shows. (For example, there's a militaristic world that could cover any military-themed Sentai, and they could just get one actor as a new character to represent all of those shows. That's just not exciting sounding to me.)

If I'm wrong and we see a lot of returning actors as their old characters, let's take a stab at who they might be...

GORANGER

Aka Ranger's still active in showbiz, he appeared in Gokaiger and just took part in the Sentai
memorial at the Tokyo International Film Festival. I think he's likely to appear.

Ao Ranger's actor has had health issues in the past several years, but I think he'd be up for
a small appearance and, if not that, then at least voiceover work.

Mido Ranger's actor makes a lot of appearances at fan events, but I don't think he has an
interest in returning to perform.

Ki Ranger's first actor is deceased, and the second Ki Ranger actor has health conditions that
might not make an appearance easy. (His character was short-lived and killed off, too.)

Momo Ranger's actress makes a lot of fan event appearances and would probably be up for appearing if asked. (That would be awesome if they got her, man. Peggy and the Pink Senshi are as important to Sentai and its legacy as the Red, so it would be nice to honor her.)

Most likely to appear: Aka Ranger
Shougo would like: Momo Ranger

JAKQ

Spade Ace's actor continues to act. He was pretty popular and mainstream for a while, but
never turned his back on his Sentai past. He was even interviewed for the JAKQ Mook that came
out a couple of years ago. If you want to include JAKQ in your show, he's your best bet.

Dia Jack's actor was active on stage for years after the show, but I haven't read much about
him for a while. I remember some fans saying there's controversy over some comments he made
about geek fandom, and if it's true, maybe that would keep him from being asked back.

Clover King's actor seems to have been out of the industry for a while and I haven't heard
about him lately.

Heart Queen left showbiz long ago and is supposedly an English teacher -- I don't think Zenkaiger's going to make her want to leave that. (It would be nice for her to pop up somewhere, though. Give an interview about JAKQ or something. Mitchi Love rocks!)

Big One -- see Ao Ranger.

Most likely to appear: Spade Ace
Shougo would like: Heart Queen

BATTLE FEVER J

Battle Japan -- Quit acting in the '80s. He most recently popped up in the news for legal troubles. (If you're wondering, it sounds like he's into real estate now and there were some issues regarding him allegedly forcing someone into selling him a building that was a landmark, which he supposedly had torn down despite saying he wouldn't.)

Battle Cossack 1 -- See Mido Ranger

Battle Cossack 2 -- The legendary Daisuke Ban would probably be up for appearing, but his character is a late-series replacement and not considered a classic character.

Battle France -- Still acts, still does a lot of fan events, would probably appear if asked.

Battle Kenya -- Sadly suffered some health setbacks and has been quiet for a few years. On a sidenote: I remember being pretty pissed off when Gokaiger decided to do Gokai VS Gavan, when it had treated so many Showa Sentai shows so poorly. In retrospect, it's kinda cool, since it ended up being a tribute to not just Gavan, but Kenji Ohba himself, and since he's in a place where he might not be able to appear in Sentai's 45th...

Miss America -- First Miss America has practically vanished after her time on the show, and the second quit acting and hasn't been heard from for a while.

Most likely to appear: Battle France
Shougo would like: Battle Japan (long shot, I know)

DENJIMAN

Denji Red -- No longer acts. This info's old, from the Denji reunion in Toei Hero Max, but
at that time he said he no longer lived in Japan.

Denji Blue -- See Battle Kenya

Denji Yellow -- No longer acts, but does fan events.

Denji Green -- Mainly a voice actor now, has appeared as a voice performer in quite a few Sentai at this point, would definitely make a voice appearance. He's also taken it upon himself to perform the Denjiman songs at live events since original singer Ken Narita's passing.

Denji Pink -- Still in the biz, mostly as a model.

Most likely to appear: Denji Green (as a voiceover)
Shougo would like: Denji Green (in person)

SUNVULCAN

Vul-Eagle 1 -- Has a presence in the entertainment world as a radio personality and has done
numerous fan events. I think they could get him, and that would be interesting, IMO.

Vul-Eagle 2 -- Still acts. Did Gokai. He's Sunvulcan's best bet.

Vul-Shark -- No longer acts but has made appearances at fan events.

Vul-Panther -- No longer acts and has a criminal record that would prevent him from even being wanted on the show.

Likely to appear: Vul-Eagle 2
Shougo would like: Vul-Eagle 1

GOGGLE FIVE

Goggle Red -- Quit acting in the '80s, hasn't really been heard from since.

Goggle Black -- Still acts. Did Gokai, would return in a heartbeat.

Goggle Blue -- No longer acts, but has made a couple of fan event appearances.

Goggle Yellow -- No longer acts, but seems fond of his time as a toku hero.

Goggle Pink -- Hasn't been heard from since getting married and retiring in the '80s.

Likely to appear: Goggle Black
Shougo would like: Goggle Yellow (for a change)

DYNAMAN

Dyna Red -- Now a businessman, has done a few fan events, but still seems to lay low. I don't think it would be likely for him to pop up.

Dyna Black -- See Goggle Black

Dyna Blue -- No longer in showbiz, but has done a ton of fan events and would probably do
something if called.

Dyna Yellow -- No longer acts, does A LOT of fan events. I think he'd be up for an appearance if they wanted him.

Dyna Pink -- Appeared in Gokai, is often at fan events, I think she'd appear again.

Likely to appear: Dyna Black
Shougo would like: Dyna Pink (in a bigger role than Gokaiger)

BIOMAN

Red One -- Had a well-documented fight with cancer, but has made a few fan event appearances
since. I'd normally say he's a lock to appear, but maybe he'd want to play it safe with COVID.

Green Two, Blue Three, Yellow Four #2, Pink Five -- No longer act, but they've made a lot of
fan appearances. Pink cameoed in LupinVPat. Who knows? Bioman's the rare Showa team where all five members have regularly reunited for fan events. They're the only Showa team, really, that you have the best shot of seeing all together again. (Unless you're like me and only count the main three Liveman as the whole Liveman team -- I think they could get those three together again.)

Likely to appear: Red One, even if just a voice-only appearance
Shougo would like: Yellow Four #2

CHANGEMAN

Change Dragon -- Still in the business, but sticks to just voiceover narrations.

Change Griffin -- Still acts, did Gokaiger. Changeman's best bet.

Change Pegasus -- No longer acts, but has popped up and been more into the toku fan scene
in the past few years. He's said to be pretty busy with his business, so I wouldn't
expect an appearance from him.

Change Mermaid -- No longer acts, hasn't been heard from in years.

Change Phoenix -- She quit acting in the late '80s, but does a lot of fan events and has even taken a couple of acting gigs within the past couple of years. (She just cameoed in LupinVPat, too.) I would love to see Mai return.

Likely to appear: Change Griffin
Shougo would like: Change Dragon, but since that's unlikely and I don't want just a voice-over appearance, seeing Change Phoenix again would be pretty awesome.

FLASHMAN

Red Flash -- Still in the business, still very fond of his Flashman days. Was rumored to appear in Gokaiger, but his schedule didn't permit it.

Green Flash -- Still in the business, did Gokai.

Blue Flash -- No longer acts, but has done a fair share of fan events.

Yellow Flash -- No longer acts. She did one fan event for Flashman's 30th where it was requested that pictures wouldn't be taken. I wouldn't expect her for Gokai, as cool as that would be.

Pink Flash -- No longer acts, but has done fan events and toku-related interviews.

Likely to appear: Green Flash
Shougo would like: Red Flash

MASKMAN

Red Mask -- No longer acts. He has resurfaced since Gokaiger and is heavily involved in toku
fan events and waving the banner for Maskman. I suspect he'd be up for a voice appearance, but...c'mon, Takeru. Make a full appearance.

Black Mask -- No longer acts, is a businessman, but has done fan events and has made his presence known to the toku fandom.

Blue Mask -- No longer acts, is a martial-arts instructor, but he did Gokai, so I imagine he
could be talked into appearing again if they wanted him.

Yellow Mask -- No longer acts, but does fan events and cameoed in LupinVPat.

Pink Mask -- No longer acts, and has only just recently resurfaced for fan events, so I don't expect her to be willing to start filming stuff just yet.

X1 Mask -- In the business, mainly as a director now, but has done a lot of toku events and and would probably be totally up for reappearing as X1.

Likely to appear: Based on Gokai, Blue Mask.
Shougo would like: Red Mask. It was his show, man. Although a special crossover with sixth heroes that brought back X1 would be shocking and cool.

LIVEMAN

Red Falcon -- Still in showbiz, came back for Gao VS Sentai and made a voice-over appearance in Zyuoh VS Ninnin. Loves Liveman, would come back in an instant.

Yellow Lion -- Still acts. He did Gokai, he appeared in Kamen Rider Ghost. Since he was once a more mainstream actor, his availability might be limited.

Blue Dolphin -- Has just resurfaced and does a lot of fan events. I could see her reappearing
if they wanted her.

Black Bison -- Quit acting long ago, doesn't seem to want to be in the spotlight.

Green Sai -- Quit acting long ago, hasn't really been heard from.

Most likely to return: Yellow Lion
Shougo would like: Red Falcon

TURBORANGER

Red Turbo -- Still in the business, still obsessed with Turboranger, he'll be there already
dressed as Riki if called.

Black Turbo -- Resurfaced to do a movie a few years ago and showed up for Turboranger's
anniversary event, but I don't know if he'd be up for appearing as Daichi again.

Blue Turbo, Yellow Turbo -- No longer acting, but still fond of their Turboranger days, have made many fan event appearances, and would probably appear if they wanted 'em.

Pink Turbo -- No longer acts and has been absent from any Turbo get-togethers.

Most likely to return: Red Turbo
Shougo would like: Red Turbo (in a bigger role than Gokaiger)

FIVEMAN

Five Red -- Still acts, still trying to get people to like Fiveman. He'd appear if asked.

Five Blue -- No longer acts, but fond of his time on Fiveman, has appeared at fan events, has
a very popular bar which draws past toku folks and would probably appear if asked.

Five Black -- Has resurfaced in the past several years, appearing at events. Seems a little
reserved, I don't know if he'd come back.

Five Yellow -- Was said to have one foot out of showbiz before getting the Gokai call. She'd
probably be up for appearing again.

Five Pink -- Has been quiet for quite a while.

Most likely to return: Five Red
Shougo would like: Five Red, just because Fuji is cool and deserves another shot at playing
Gaku.

JETMAN

Red Hawk -- Quit acting, but recently resurfaced as a model. Extremely fond of his time
on Jetman and since next year's Jetman's 30th anniversary...I can imagine a scenario where
they'd get him back.

Black Condor -- Still acts, loves Jetman, did Gokai. You don't think they'd ignore the most
popular Jetman on the 30th anniversary, do you?

Yellow Owl -- No longer acts and hasn't been heard from in a while.

White Swan -- Quit acting, but still grateful for her time on Jetman, has made numerous
appearances at fan events. I think she'd be up for coming back if asked.

Blue Swallow -- Never made a big deal about retiring from acting, but has been quiet for quite
a while. With next year being Jetman's anniversary, and with Shirakura having worked on that
show as an assistant producer, and with what a fan favorite it is, and how fond everyone who
worked on it is of the show, I could imagine them getting the whole team back.

Most likely to return: Black Condor
Shougo would like: Blue Swallow. If I thought Tanaka was a lock, I'd say that I think seeing
the triangle interact after all of these years would be interesting.

ZYURANGER

Tyranno Ranger -- No longer acts, but that didn't stop him from returning as Geki in that Kyoryuger movie. He's also done a ton of fan events and conventions and likes keeping involved with the fandom. I think he'd totally appear again.

Mammoth Ranger -- Still acts, did Gokaiger and just popped up in...what show was it, Lupinranger? Ryusoulger? One of the new boring ones.

Tricera Ranger -- No longer acts, but is finally FREE of the prison that being a manager for
SMAP kept him in. Has since done fan conventions and would probably be happy to appear and
show his face again and get his name out there again. (He went uncredited for his voice work
in the Kyoryuger movie.)

Tiger Ranger -- No longer acts, but is into the toku fandom and would probably return.

Ptera Ranger -- No longer acts, but does fan events and remains a popular personality.

The main five all did voiceover work for Kyoryuger. They all seem like they would come back
if asked, but would Toei really want to recreate their ancient wardrobe? We all know they're
too cheap for that, c'mon.

Dragon Ranger -- See Change Pegasus. Except, I'd like to add, it would be freaking awesome
if they could get him back as Burai, but as mentioned, he's said to be too busy.

Most likely to return: Tyranno Ranger or Mammoth Ranger
Shougo would like: Dragon Ranger

DAIRANGER

Ryu Ranger -- Still in showbiz, still popular with toku fans, still willing to appear. If you
use him, Zenkaiger, treat him better than you did in Gokaiger, huh?

Shishi Ranger -- Deceased. RIP.

Tenma Ranger -- Still acts, mostly on stage. Ran a toku-themed bar, still fond of his Dai
days, cameoed in Gokaiger.

Kirin Ranger -- Still in the business, still does a lot of fan events. Cameoed in Gokaiger.

Houou Ranger -- No longer acts, but has done a lot of fan events and would probably appear
if asked.

Kiba Ranger -- No longer acts, but has appeared at fan events and would probably appear if
they wanted him.

Most likely to return: Ryu Ranger
Shougo would like: Never thought I'd say this, but it would be fun to see Kiba Ranger all
grown up.

Since Zenkaiger's chief producer Shirakura's only other Sentai experience was working on Jetman, Zyuranger and Dairanger, I expect these three shows to receive some preferential treatment.

KAKURANGER

Ninja Red -- Still acts, had no problem doing Gokai.

Ninja White -- No longer acts, but that didn't hold her back from cameoing in Gokai and lending her voice to Super Sentai Saikyou Battle. I wouldn't count her out from making another appearance.

Ninja Blue -- Mostly a voice-actor now, would probably most likely make a voiceover appearance.

Ninja Yellow -- Hasn't acted much recently, but has appeared in Kakuranger-related get-togethers.

Ninja Black -- Still acts, but seems he might be too "big" to appear. Throw some money at him, Toei!

Most likely to return: Ninja Red, Ninja White
Shougo would like: Ninja Black

OHRANGER

Oh Red -- Still acts, appeared in Gokai, would return without a problem.

Oh Green -- I don't think he ever "retired," but I don't know of much he's done recently. Has
made fan appearances, though.

Oh Blue -- Still acts and, while he was mainstream for a while, he had no problem returning
to his Sentai roots in the Shinkenger movie.

Oh Yellow -- No longer acting, but has appeared at get-togethers with the Ohranger cast.

Oh Pink -- Still acting, did Gokaiger, would probably appear as Momo again.

King Ranger -- No longer acting, and while he made a couple of fan event appearances years ago, I don't imagine him returning.

Most likely to appear: Oh Red
Shougo would like: Oh Red, not looking like a chump this time.

CARRANGER

Red Racer, Green Racer, Blue Racer and Yellow Racer are more or less all still in showbiz and
ready to go if you need Carranger back. While Pink Racer's still in the business, she's had
some negative press and hasn't seemed to associate much with the rest of the cast.

Most likely to appear: Red Racer
Shougo would like: Green or Yellow Racer.

MEGARANGER

Mega Red -- No longer acts, so Gokaiger got him at a good time. Too bad that couldn't have been a better episode, eh?

Mega Black -- No longer acts. Was mainly an athlete prior to Megaranger, so I don't imagine
Zenkaiger being enough to want to lure somebody back to a profession they didn't intend to be
in to begin with.

Mega Blue -- Mostly a voice-actor now.

Mega Yellow -- Still in the business, still attends fan events. Has worked with Zenkaiger's producers previously in Changerion.

Mega Pink -- Still in the business, has made appearances in toku since.

Mega Silver -- Outside of the business, but still eager to appear at fan events. Since he's
entered the world of politics, I'm not sure I see him returning.

Most likely to return: Mega Blue or Mega Yellow
Shougo would like: Mega Pink

GINGAMAN

Ginga Red -- No longer acting, but still returned for Gokaiger. Has done numerous interviews
and fan events pertaining to Gingaman since. Would probably appear again if asked.

Ginga Green -- Still acts.

Ginga Blue -- Still in the business. Was popular for a while, so I don't know if he's still
basically too "big" to come back.

Ginga Yellow -- Quit acting and hasn't been heard from for a while.

Ginga Pink -- Has resurfaced and attended numerous fan events; just appearead at the Tokyo
International Film Festival Sentai event with Red.

Black Knight -- See Ninja Red

Most likely to return: Ginga Green or Black Knight
Shougo would like: Ginga Red, in a larger role than in Gokaiger.

GOGOFIVE

Go Red -- No longer acts, but has donned his orange jacket for numerous event appearances.

Go Blue -- Still acts, and since he's just popped up in a couple of Toei productions, I expect
we'll see Nagare return.

Go Green -- Has stepped back from acting, but is still fond of his GoGoFive days and has made
appearances along with the rest of the cast.

Go Yellow -- His well-documented health issues doesn't seem to prevent Kenji Shibata from
wanting to keep waving the GoGoFive banner. I think he'd be up for reappearing, I just don't
think Toei would be that open-minded.

Go Pink -- Still in the business, appeared in Gokaiger, appears at GG5 fan events.

Since all five Tatsumis appeared at the Tokyo International Film Festival's Sentai special,
I'm expecting them to make some kind of appearance next year.

Most likely to appear: Go Blue
Shougo would like: Go Red

TIMERANGER

Time Red -- Still acts. Was for a time too busy and "big" to return to Sentai, but he's since
returned in Kyoryuger. Can Shougo let you in on a little secret? If you notice, around a lot
of these big anniversary seasons, the previous show might haul out a past actor you haven't
seen for a while and it's a giveaway that they're going to be returning. Remember the Goseiger ep that pointlessly had Ninja Red and Ninja White guest star, and then they both ended up appearing in Gokaiger? Or remember how Takumi Tsutsui was in Dekaranger 10YA for NO reason, only to end up soon appearing as Jiraiya in Ninninger? Master Black was such a nothing part, so I'm expecting Tatsuya to be seen again.

Time Pink -- Once quit acting, but then returned...she hasn't really been in a project for a
while, but I don't think she'd not be up for returning.

Time Blue -- Still in the business.

Time Yellow -- Still acts. Did Gokaiger.

Time Green -- Still acts.

Time Fire -- Still acts.

Most likely to appear: Time Yellow or Time Green
Shougo would like: Time Pink. I might not be a fan of Yuuri, but she IS a fan favorite, and
I think Zenkaiger should honor more of the heroines than Gokaiger did.

GAORANGER

Gao Red -- Still acts; was once pretty in-demand and mainstream. His tight schedule led to his
brief appearance in Gokaiger. But he also just popped up in Super Sentai Saikyou Battle and
the Tokyo Film Festival thing, so...I'm thinking he'll be popping up in Zenkaiger.

Gao Yellow -- Still in the business, primarily behind-the-scenes. But since he just appeared with the three other Gao guys at the Tokyo Film Festival...

Gao Blue -- Still acting.

Gao Black -- Still in the business, a toku fan who's still fond of his Gao days.

Gao White -- No longer acting.

But let me say this. Four of the five Gaoranger appeared at the Tokyo Film Festival. While White no longer acts, I could imagine her being invited, but declining due to COVID concerns. Four out of five Gaoranger...I'm really thinking we're going to be hearing from the five Gaoranger next year, whether it's in Zenkaiger or a new Gaoranger special or both.

Gao Silver -- Still acts, but got so popular that he reached the "the douchebag agency doesn't
like him to talk about his toku past" level. (Though it's been said that he's gone against
their wishes and done so in interviews. Still, don't expect to see him back.)

Most likely to appear: Gao Red or Gao Blue
Shougo would like: Gao Yellow

HURRICANEGER

We know all of these shitheads are still in the business and still come back for guest appearances no matter how much you hate 'em or don't want 'em to.

Most likely to appear: Any of the rotten bastards.
Shougo would like: Shurikenger

ABARANGER

AbaRed -- Still acts, came back for Kyoryuger's movie.

Abare Blue -- Still acts, came back for Kyoryuger's movie.

Abare Yellow -- No longer acts, couldn't even be gotten to do a voiceover for Kyoryuger's movie. Don't expect to see her.

Abare Black -- Last time I looked him up, he hadn't seem to have done anything for a while,
but I don't think that means he wouldn't do Zenkaiger if asked.

Abare Killer -- Still acts, did Gokai.

Most likely to appear: Red or Blue
Shougo would like: Black, because he's owed after Bouken vs Super Sentai, and it would mean
possibly bringing back Jeanne, which would be really cool.

DEKARANGER

See Hurricaneger

Most likely to return: Any of these shitheads.
Shougo would like: Deka Gold

MAGIRANGER

Red, Green and Yellow still act; Blue kinda went on a break, Pink doesn't act (though cameoed
in Gokai), Shine left acting to teach. All six of them appeared at the Tokyo Film Festival event, so...I think they're cooking up something Magiranger at Toei.

Most likely to return: Red or Yellow
Shougo would like: Magi Mama

BOUKENGER

Black and Yellow have left showbiz, with Yellow the more likelier to return if needed.
Red came back twice for Gokaiger, Silver's been back, and Blue's actor just popped up in
Saber for no reason, so I think we'll be seeing him in Zenkaiger. (Which makes sense considering the blue Zenkaiger is modeled after Boukenger.)

Most likely to return: Red, Blue or Silver
Shougo would like: Blue

GEKIRANGER

Blue, Yellow and Violet have quit acting, and I don't think it's likely any of them would
return so soon. Red and Chopper still act, as do Leo and Mele if you wanted to go that
route.

Most likely to return: Red or Chopper
Shougo would like: Yellow for a change

GO-ONGER

All of these clowns are still active in showbiz and up for returning. Fans spread rumors
after Go-onger 10YA that Yellow must "hate" Go-onger since she barely took part. She returned
twice for Gokaiger! She was under no obligation to appear in either Gokai or 10YA. Go-on 10YA
was fast-tracked and Aizawa's schedule was packed, so she did what she could.

Most likely to appear: Go-on Red, who you know is already camping out at Toei to appear.
Shougo would like: Go-on Black, the defective detective.

SHINKENGER

All are still active in showbiz. Tono is too high profile now to appear. (As for the other
Shiba? Kaoru's actress has quit acting.) Pink seemed for a minute like she was going to break
out and become bigger, but I guess her buzz has cooled.

Most likely to appear: Anyone who's not a Shiba, but probably Yellow.
Shougo would like: A Shinkenger movie focusing on the previous team.

GOSEIGER

Red has gotten a little too in-demand to reappear. Black and Blue quit showbiz, but Blue
seemed to have returned. Yellow's still active, while Pink left acting under those mysterious circumstances.

Most likely to appear: Yellow or Gosei Knight
Shougo would like: Not Gosei Knight

GOKAIGER

All six are still active in showbiz. (Even Pink, who left her agency, but is freelance at the
moment. And Yellow seems to prefer voice-over work now.)

Most likely to appear: Any of 'em.
Shougo would like: Not too much focus on 'em since they got to come back for Zyuohger.

GO-BUSTERS

All still active in showbiz, all just appeared at the Tokyo Film Festival shindig. Since Go-buster producer Naomi Takebe is the sub-producer of Zenkaiger, I expect some favoritism towards her Sentai shows, and with the four of them just reuniting...expect the Go-busters to appear no matter how much you don't want 'em to.

KYORYUGER

The guys are still active in showbiz, but Pink retired. Kingoo's gone mainstream, so don't expect to see him return any time soon.

Likely to return: Black or Gold
Shougo would like: Deathryuger

TOQGER

All are still acting, but Red and Yellow have tried to move on to the next level. (That's just
my way of saying "I'm tired of typing 'gotten big' or 'gone mainstream.') It looked like Green might have begun to take off, but I'm not sure if that worked out for him.

Most likely to return: Pink or Orange
Shougo would like: Orange, I guess.

NINNINGER

All still in the business. Since it's a Takebe series, don't expect this show to be ignored just 'cause you hate it.

Best bets to return: Red, Blue or Gold
Shougo would like: White

ZYUOHGER

All still active in showbiz, though Green's legal troubles might forbid him from returning.

Most likely to return: Red
Shougo would like: No comment

And from then on, mostly everyone is still active in showbiz and nobody's really broken out to the point where they're probably too "big" or in-demand to return. I mean, they've tried like a sonuvabitch to launch Pink from Patranger, but that show's so new that she's probably still under contract to make more appearances for Toei, so...just when you think you're out, they pull you back in.

I'd like to keep an open mind about Zenkaiger. I'd love for it to be a big, fun anniversary series bringing back a ton of people. While Shirakura keeps me worried, Komura's supposed to be a big Sentai fan, so maybe she'll balance it out and temper his prankster instincts. It would be nice to see old heroes return and actually DO something. There's rumors of old villains returning, which could be really cool, too. (And since Shirakura, like Inoue, liked casting Yutaka Hirose...could Shirakura lure him from retirement?!) Shirakura tends to put more money into his shows than the other producers, so maybe he'll surprise us with a lot of upper-tier talent, remade villain suits and explosive cameo-packed movies. I'm skeptical, but there's room for surprise since it's so unprecedented for him to be heading a Sentai at this time. With his ego and his being sent to "save" Sentai, I kinda expect Shirakura to try to "outdo" previous anniversary installments, especially Gokaiger.

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for finally updating that list. Hope you'll do your ranking of Rider series eventually (that and ranking of Metal Heroes).

    If we're talking actors who became voice actors, I can imagine Shirakura throwing a curveball and making Noriko Ito as Keiko appear for BFJ tribute or whatever. Which would be pretty cool imo. I wish she was Miss America in the show.

    Interesting that Ryousuke Kaizu went from declining to appear in Gokaiger because he felt it was inappropriate to holding Masman banner lol.
    I still have hope that one day Sentai will do its version of Forever Red (with actors appereating and all, even briefly).

    I honestly would like to see Bioman together again. I've recently watched the series for the first time and it would be great to see any Showa team in its entritiy (maybe they'll get around making Bioman 40YA or something at least in a few years. Shame they couldn't manage to do something for Dairanger). Though I'd be happy to see Liveman team together more as well.

    Shiro Izumi getting back into toku scene is very welcomed.

    I'd like Kasahara appear for Timeranger as Naoto/TimeFire. He basically had no excuse not to be in Gokaiger (and I'd have loved to see Naoto alongside Dr. Nakadai).

    For Hurricanger part, I remember reading that Yujiro Shirakawa/KabutoRaiger was pretty expansive for Toei and did 10YA for basically nothing as a chance to get back with crew. I'd have preferred to see him, since I dislike Shurikenger as much as you dislike all others, but he's probably the least possible choice.
    Nobuo Kyo/KuwagaRaiger was just recently in Kamen Rider Shinobi (alongside Starninger) and he'd my second choice.

    It's a shame we won't get to see all five Abarangers together.

    Magiranger - really glad to see them together. Hopefully something good will come out of it and not a disposable 10YA-like thing.

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    1. At the time of Gokaiger, Kaizu hadn't really returned to the public eye, so I understand why he wouldn't want to have appeared then. (He was actually going by his real name then; it was a while before he went back to using his stage name.) I was a little disappointed he didn't do a voiceover in Super Sentai Saikyou Battle, but Satomi Hirose and Keiichi Wada went to waste there, so no big deal.

      I like the Gouraiger, don't get me wrong, but I feel like a Shurikenger appearance could be fun -- if they had him constantly transforming into former Sentai actors in a show in which former Sentai actors appear.

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    2. I don't think producers would want to waste past Sentai actors on Shurikenger in an anniversary, when these actors can just appear as themselves to get more fans happy. Ninninger example is probably how Shurikenger gonna be treated by all future crossovers.
      Though getting him to transform into actors who played Sentai villains before could be kind of cool, but I doubt anyone would go that route either.

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    3. I was even thinking of having Shurikenger transform into people who had played supporting characters in Sentai; those who would be unlikely to return as a character, but still nice to see them again. (Someone like Kyoko from GoGoFive, for example.)

      Despite doing this post, I'm not even all that convinced we're going to be getting guest stars as rumored. I'm really thinking the parallel world stuff is going to be an excuse to do vague tributes without being tied down to having to get the same exact people back. (Yes, I'm fearing Decade-like recasts.)

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  2. Do your thoughts on Kiramager after the series ended, and Zenkaiger after the press conference.

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  3. TimeRed's actor appeared in Ryusoulger, not Kyouryuger.

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    1. In regards to your first comment: I stopped watching Kiramager a dozen episodes in. While I'd like to catch up with it before the anniversary, I'm in no rush to, because I don't like it. It really sucked to catch up with Lupin v Pat and then trying to keep up with Ryusoulger as it aired -- I've lost patience with bad shows.

      I was on autopilot when talking about Time Red -- I had kept typing "So-and-so returned for Kyoryuger." I got the character right! :P

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  4. Also, don't forget about your nightmare in your press conference post.

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  5. Kane Kosugi actually recently reprised his role as Powered in the English dub for Ultra Galaxy Fight so, if he's willing to return to a hated role for a YouTube series, returning for Zenkaiger might not be so unlikely and I hope it does happen since Jiraiya is one of my favourite toku characters.

    I've seen barely any Sentai from the last two decades so I'm not sure what to expect from Zenkaiger but it looks like it could be OK imo. I like the designs on their own but they don't really feel like a team to me. I'm torn on most of them being robots. They could go down a similar route to Metalder but I'm worried they'll just make them comedic relief and focus on the main guy.

    It sucks to hear that about a legend like Kenji Ohba but I'm glad he was able to reprise his roles while he still could (even if I haven't seen any of the recent movies). I agree that it would be nice to see Dyna Pink return since Hagiwara is a pretty underappreciated actress and Tsuburaya cheated her out of a return as Yulian.

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    1. I didn't know about Kosugi returning to voice Powered. I feel like there was a period there where he was trying to distance himself from his old genre work, but maybe that's changed. I'd like for him to pop up as Jiraiya again; that's a cool, unique character, and he's one of the more well known names to come from '90s Sentai.

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  6. Hey Shougo, I just thought of something. What if the Zenkaiger robots are voiced by the actors from the original series they're based on, with their respective colors? (red = Tyranno Ranger, yellow = Gao Yellow, pink = Magi Pink, blue = Bouken Blue). I know it's kinda unlikely, and I know we prefer the actors to appear as the original rangers, but what do you think?

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    1. I actually thought about that! It would work, but I figured they'd want more popular, of-the-moment voice actors for these characters. (I also thought about people who pertain to each show. Some people have suggested Yukio Yamagata for Yellow, which made me think of Kenta Sato voicing Red.)

      I'm actually more interested in who they might get to play Isao, Mitsuko and Red's grandmother. I'm not expecting them to be former Sentai people, but it should be stunt casting.

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  7. Happy New Year!
    Nice choice of people/rangers you want to see come back.
    I was kind of surprised with some of your choice (Blue Swallow, Kiba Ranger, Time Pink). Interesting that you picked Deathryuger, the ONLY villain ranger among the list, to represent Kyoryuger. It would be very bold move for Toei to introduce villain ranger to represent the team; if I were to choose villain rangers, it would be Hana no Kunoichi (Kakuranger), which I still count as rangers!

    Hard to believe this year marks 45th anniversary for Sentai.
    I know you haven't enjoy recent series, but I hope Zenkaiger do well, despite your gripe with people involved, since it would be real shame if Sentai doesn't reach 50, where Ultraman and Kamen Rider has achieved, so I don't want it to left behind.

    I hope for good luck and health for cast and crew.

    Looking forward to see what's coming for 2021.

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    1. I just picked Deathryuger because I hate the other Kyoryuger. :P Ako's one of my favorite Jetman characters, why were you surprised by my picking her? (It's more surprising that I'd like Ryu to return!)

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    2. And you actually like Deathryuger?

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    3. I didn't think Deathryuger was so bad for being a movie-only villain.

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  8. Thanks for the updated post! So ummm...Battle Japan is literally Battling Japan?? What in the world did Atsuko Kurusu do? I know she has a small Youtube channel, but that's it.

    I feel like COVID is going to do one of two things to this series. Guest stars will be entirely hobbled OR...180...they'll rely on them like crazy since they'll only be needed for one-off appearances and won't be at risk of having to shut production down.

    The only thing we can really count on at this point is more crackhead versions of old-ish Sentai mecha. I just hope they make cooler picks down the road...

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    1. I regret the way I worded the entry about Atsuko Kurusu. While I feel like I have a memory of her being involved in some money scandal, I think it's mostly that she was a tabloid fixture for a while and her every move was overly scrutinized and twisted into something negative. So I figured maybe Toei would want to avoid that for the big anniversary.

      I'd like a crackhead version of an '80s conehead mecha!

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  9. You forgot that the Shinked Red's actor had completely refused to return to TOEI, lol

    The ultimate reason for why Kaoru Shiba is the one who come for Gokaiger during the air (at least, that's what I heard)

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    1. I don't know if he refused or if that's just gossip or an assumption. I remember when Go-busters first started, there was a special Sentai magazine that had interviews with the Reds and Blues from Goranger and Shinkenger, and people pulled out of their bums that it meant that Go-busters was going to continue Gokai's celebration and bring back old people and it meant Tono was one of them.

      Matsuzaka pretty much took off right after Shinkenger, so it was known by most fans by Gokaiger that he wasn't going to come back. I liked that they brought Kaoru back, though. Even if Matsuzaka was an option, Kaoru's the more interesting choice to me since she was the real Shiba and she didn't get to appear in many episodes.

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  10. You forgot to mention Bouken Pink xD. I heard Haruka Suenaga appeared in an episode of Kamen Rider Drive so I think she's still in the business.

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    1. Oops! I don't know how she slipped past me. I didn't remember her in Drive, but I did know she's still in showbiz. I remember a couple of years after Boukenger, it seemed like she was ready to take off, but I don't know what happened there. Same with Shinken Pink.

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  11. It's unlikely for Yutaka Hirose (広瀬 匠) to reappear again, because he didn't like where the Sentai series is going with Hurricanger.

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  12. Didn't Gekiyellow and her mother, the mentor/supporter of Gekiranganger appear early on in Kirameiger as the Scratch group was sponsoring Sena/Kiramei Yellow in her athletics, as well as helping out the Kirameigers in that episode?

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    1. Its not Gekiyellow, its her daughter, who is not a ranger/senshi.

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