Created by the father of the GARO franchise, Amemiya Keita and Inoue Toshiki teamed up to give birth to a new series titled Shougeki Gouraigan. In contrast with GARO’s dark and gloomy atmosphere, Shougeki Gouraigan was lighter and sillier in tone and was also Amemiya’s first attempt at a slapstick comedy hero series.
The story mainly focuses on the hero, Gou, and the heroine, Hitomi. While on an important mission to transport the Kageribito prisoners, Gou’s trusty spaceship, the Bunba, was abruptly attacked by a gigantic Magii, sending it crashing onto the planet Earth and releasing the prisoners in the aftermath. One of the prisoners, Jin, who was also Gou’s best friend and partner, had planned an attack on Earth by sending an army of a thousand soldiers which will happen in 100 days. Knowing that he is unable to defeat the army on his own, Gou decides to gather the other Kageribito prisoners: Rai, Geki, Shou and Gan as his underlings and defeat the army.
I remember coming across the information on Shinkawa Yua’s blog one fine day and out of curiosity, I decided to Google the title to find out what was this series about. Never did I expect it to be a new Tokusatsu series created by Amemiya Keita, the father of the GARO franchise, with Inoue Toshiki behind the pen.
Before the rest of the team was revealed, the initial poster actually showed Gou and Hitomi standing side-by-side, which made me think this would be something like GARO and since it was only going to be 13 episodes (along with my favourite actress as the heroine), I thought why not?
Being a huge Super Sentai sucker, the five-member team lineup quickly caught my interest but it didn’t stop there. What was unique about this series was the heroes don’t actually transform into their Hikaribito forms, but instead, they interchange between their human forms and Hikaribito forms alternately. It makes sense too, as the heroine could only see their true forms and the scenes involving their human forms were catered to the audience. Another special feature of Gouraigan was the Hikaribito trying to understand the human and Japanese culture, since they come from another world. Honestly speaking, Super Sentai would never go into that much detail despite having a few teams that aren’t from Earth.
WHAT WENT WRONG
While I enjoyed the series as a whole, there were still a few problems that didn’t sit well with me. First of all, being a huge fan of Shinkawa Yua, I was greatly disappointed by how wasted her potential was throughout the series. Had they not introduced another heroine, Hikaribito Rin, near the finale, Hitomi becoming Gou’s love interest would have made more sense as it was never hinted anywhere in the beginning that Gou had a girlfriend. So, what was the point of Hitomi’s friends teasing her about getting a boyfriend? Another reason on her wasted potential was the unnecessary number of extra characters. The amount of time spent on these bozos would have served a better purpose if it was used on Hitomi’s character development instead. Lastly, they shouldn’t have allowed Kaneda Ryu anywhere near the directing position. Fanservice is a welcome bonus, but not gratuitous porn scenes.
SHOULD YOU WATCH IT?
Despite all of the negatives above, I am still a fan of the series as it was something refreshing and unique. Inoue may have an infamous history of writing exasperating melodrama, but surprisingly none of that was present here. Although the addition of Hikaribito Rin near the end was what killed the main purpose of the story plot, it didn’t actually jeopardize the entire series nor the finale.
If you are a huge fan of the GARO franchise or any of Amemiya’s works, this might be for you.