Thursday, June 21, 2012
Sentai Retrospective: Liveman
Thread can be found here.
What are your initial thoughts about Liveman?
Has a really original premise: Friends against former friends. They're not some rag-tag group of people brought together to fight some alien empire or ancient demons that got released. Nor are they some miliary/organization team being called up to fight the threat. They're three people who want revenge. They have a connection with the villains. They have no chose BUT to be heroes. That's pretty cool.
What do you think about the team being a trio of students?
I love the chemistry of the core three. Everybody fit their character perfectly and they were well acted. I can watch all of them and can never be bored.
What did you think of Volt?
These villains. My god, these villains. These are some of the best villains I've seen in a Sentai. Just like the heroes, everybody fit their roles and were well acted. And by the seris, despite everything they'd done, you can't help but feel sorry for everyone.
What did you think of Machine Buffalo, Jet Falcon, Land Lion, Aqua Dolphin, and Live Robo?
Didn't care much for Machine Buffalo, felt too much like just another toy to sell. Jet Falcon Speedor 1.0. Land Lion is amazing for something that was made in the late 80s. And looks way more sophiscated then Saber Tiger from Zyuranger despite the latter being made 4 years later. Aqua Dolphin looked like a slipper. Live Robo has a good design, but it's mecha battles were really generic and short. Really, there were times where they would form it, then jump start to the finisher. Really.
What did you think of Colon?
One of the best mascot characters around. Kinda of a shame not much else was done with her crush on Yuusuke.
What did you think of the theme song?
Better good theme song, appropiate for its time of airing. Not one of my favorites, but listenable.
What did you think of the ending theme?
I like it. Pretty mellow, can be somber at times.
What do you think of the team's sidearms?
Liked Falcon Saber, Lion Bazooka, and Dolphin Arrow (Took me a while to realized that it had dolphins on the bow). I don't see the logic of giving the Heavy Weight Fighter a bo staff and who's bright idea was it to not give the guy whose name is Green SAI sais?
What did you think of Arashi and Doctor Ashura?
Arashi beating up a MotD on his own was painful. I actually felt sorry for the thing. Really enjoyed Ashura. Granted, he doesn't do a lot throughout the series, but I love the guy's body language, from his facial expressions to the way he shrugs his shoulders.
What did you think of Guildos and Gou defecting from Volt?
Guildos doesn't do much for me, but desigh-wise, he's fine. As for Gou defecting, the arc was good, but the way it started didn't work. It's like the writers had an idea, but it just wasn't executed well. It just didn't make sense for Bias to just up and kick Obler out like that. It couldn't have been because Obler's plans; around that time Kemp came up with that really awful plan to bring dolls to life. That's WAY worst than any Obler thought up.
What did you think of new villain Butchy and the Triple Bazooka?
I liked his design, but I didn't start to care about him until the end. Triple Bazooka was decent, but it seems kinda anti-climatic to form it to fire at the MotD, then use the Bi-Motion Blaster to finish it off.
What did you think of the Giga Volt, Tetsuya, Jun'ichi, Black Bison & Green Sai, Bison Liner, Sai Fire, and Super Live Robo?
The way off for Giga Volt was good, but the build up on the other hand... we first get our first hint of it, then we get an idea that has nothing to do with it, then they start building it up again. Tetsuya and Jun'ichi were good on paper and they were cool in their first few episodes, but they're just pushed to the side for most of the series. Really think it's a shame that Liveman didn't do an episode where they take matters into their own hands and try to get revenge on Kemp for killing their siblings. Also, they really should have done a better job of casting because their actors were really bad.
I prefer Bison Liner over Sai Fire. Super Live Robo was alright.
What did you think of Fear Beast Kemp?
As much as I like Yutaka Hirose, I never want to see his naked butt. Ever. Again.
What did you think of the reveal that Guildos was a robot and his death?
You know, as much as I don't care for Jun'ichi, I'll admit, it was pretty cool that seeing him destroy a MotD by himself 4 times. The reveal and death were pretty well done, though the episode title REALLY gives it away. Plus, his death reek of "Oh, look at that, show's ending. Time to start offing the regulars!"
What did you think of Gou's return and the death of Arashi?
Gou's return was good since I didn't expect them to bring him back. Wished he stayed for the rest of the series. Also, don't Jou and Gou make the perfect Seme/Uke couple? Seriously, take a picture of those two together, and add some red or pink to Gou's cheeks so they look like he's blushing and you'll see what I mean.
Arashi's death? Take about going out on a bang. Like Gou, I wished he stayed for the rest of the series.
What did you think of the death of Butchy, the death of Mazenda, the death of Kemp, and the reveal of Bias true intention?
Wow, I really felt bad for everybody, then Mazenda's and Kemp's deaths really bug me. In Mazenda's last episode, when she's in her dream machine, Bias and Gush were standing there in the room with a knife, implying they were going to crave Mazenda's head opening like a Thanksgiving turkey and physically take her brain out. Yet, in Kemp's last episode, they took his brain by using a canister. So WHY was Gush chasing Mazenda around with a knife? Since these episodes are back-to-back, it doesn't make any sense.
Also, not only is 'Dr. Smith' the monst non-threatening villain name ever, but one has the wonder what crazy get-up Dr. Kato had.
What did you think of the finale?
Never been a fan of finales that end on a mecha battle, so I didn't liked how the final battles was against a MotD. Also, while Bias turning into a little made sense from a story perspective, it was still a pretty big WTF moment.
Final thoughts on the series? Would you recommend this season to anyone? Why or why not?
Liveman starts off strong (Though a bit blunty), is pretty solid until Gou's arc ends, falls into a runt for a bit, picks up at Giga Volt/Tetsuya & Jun'ichi, is okay for a while, then gets really dark. But despite all that, it's still my number 1 Sentai and is arguably the best of the 80s Sentai. Really good balance of development for the heroes and the villains, and is one of the very few series that I think isn't just good sentai, but good television in general (i.e. no-toku fans can get into this).