|Posted by Mr. Smooth on May 28, 2012 at 2:35 PM|
Choudenshi Bioman (Super Electron Bioman) is the 8th and one of the most popular series of Super Sentai, not only in Japan but also in the Phillipines and France (where the Bioman name was used for every other Super Sentai series that followed it) and with good reason. This is definitely the best of the early Sentai and the first episode was thoroughly enjoyable. Strangely this could have been the first ever series of Power Rangers as Haim Saban created a pilot called Bioman which used the stock footage from this series (although I'm not sure how as the problem with adapting these earlier series is that the villains were clearly Japanese but that didn't stop MMPR) but supposedly "Bioman" is one of the worst things that anyone has ever seen (which thankfully doesn't include me). But anyway, lets start looking at this series by taking a closer look at the very first episode.
Episode One: The Enigmatic Giant Robo Arrives
The episode starts off in the base of Neo-Empire Gear, an evil organisation lead by Doctor Man (WHO IS TOTALLY NOT REALLY A HUMAN!). In order to prove that he is the world's greatest scientist (hey, its the best villain motivation we've had so far!), he decides to attack the city of Technotopia in Japan. He dispatches one of his generals (aka The Big Three) named Mason to attack the city along with one of his Beastnoids (kind of elite henchmen) Messerbeast. However, Gear's movement awakens the BioRobo, which has been encased in ice for hundreds of years. Mason leads an army of Mechaclones, along with the giant monster of the week, and attack Technotopia, slaughtering hundreds of people (with actual blood being shown surprisingly). Caught in the crossfire is Shirou Gou, a parachutist (?), who tries to fight off the Mechaclones but is unable to do so. However, he is saved when the BioRobo picks him up and carries him away.
The BioRobo also picks up Shingo Takasugi, a race car driver, Ryuuta Nanbara, a deep sea diver, Mika Koizumi, a photographer and Hikaru Katsuragi, a...woman? Anyway, the BioRobo drops them off in the quarry in which all Super Sentai fights take place, where they are met by Peebo, an ambiguosly gay robot whose name sounds a bit too much like Pedo for my liking. Anyway, Peebo explains to the five that due to them being descended from people who were affected by Bio Particles, they are thus the only people who can become the Biomen and fight Gear. Of course, they are all skeptical, until they are attacked by Mason and Messerbeast, who have followed the giant robot (unsurprisingly). After they try and hold off the Mechaclones and fail, Peebo tells them to change into Biomen, which they do. Then, they pretty much destroy the Mechaclones, punching their heads off and shit, with some very impressive fight choreography. Then of course, the giant robot arrives, so they all climb into BioRobo and destroy it. Mason and Messerbeast retreat, defeated but not destroyed, whilst Doctor Man swears to destroy whoever it was that dares threaten his intellect. The team celebrate their victory with Peebo, but Mika is upset that her camera was damaged during the fight and walks off in anger, saying she doesn't want to be a part of the Biomen (although given the preview for the next episode, that doesn't last long).
Not much character development in this episode but the characters pretty much settle into their archetypes pretty quickly thanks to some good establishing scenes. Shirou is the heroic leader of the group, shown by the fact that he tries to save people from Gear even before he gets the Bioman powers. Shingo is a big brasher and more willing to dive headfirst into danger, given that he tries to avoid Gear soldiers in a fucking racecar. He's probably going to be something of a badass. Mika is the rebellious one, but once again, this is another Yellow Ranger that I dislike severly for being really, really annoying. But at least this time she gets killed off after ten episodes. HOORAY! Hikaru is a...woman, given that she plays the flute. How girly. Ryuuta is the only character I don't really get but he isn't that bad, he's not ever annoying so thats fine with me. Peebo is really annoying but I think he has a sort of retro charm about his entire appearance and his mannerisms. I LOVE AMBIGUOSLY GAY ROBOTS!
I love the Bioman costumes. They are alot different from all of the ones that came before them as well as the ones that came after. They are wholly original with all of the circuitry on the chests and on their heads, their so-called Bio-Brains which allow them to access all of the knowledge of their Bioman costumes (which is pretty much of a handwave as to how they all manage to master martial arts and piloting giant robots in about half a minute). But as I say, I really like the costumes and they are certainly one of the best and most memorable of the whole franchise. This is the first time I've seen an actual henshin sequence in Super Sentai. Basically, they all press their Techno Braces and shout "BIOMAN", then this sort of atom design appears on the scene, they raise their arms, get struck with electricity and change into their Bioman costumes. Nothing special but still effective. I like it.
Again, a first for me in the sense this is the first series where the big bad has a group of Generals, in this case The Big Three. Other than Mason, none of the three really do much in the first episode, but Mason does seem like an interesting villain (he's the one in blue to the left of Doctor Man). He's also probably the first villain I've ever heard of actually laughing maniacally whilst killing one of the Sentai heroes, which I think is amazing. But it pretty clear that this guy is fucking ruthless, given that he leads the Mechaclones in slaughtering dozens upon dozens of people. Doctor Man has a piss poor motivation granted but I can't really judge him as he doesn't do much in this episode. Also, the "twist" about him actually just being a human being would be much better IF HIS NAME WASN'T FUCKING DOCTOR MAN! That aside, these guys seem interesting and I wonder if they have a true purpose or not.
"FOR THE MAN!"
The Theme Song
Again, love, love, LOVE it! Memorable, catchy, I think this is one of the very best theme songs. Sure, the English translation doesn't make any sense but I still think its pretty great. SOLDIAH, SOLDIAH, BIOMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN. Interestingly, this is also the first theme song where the team shouts out the name of the team before the theme song starts, a tradition which carries on to this day.
Obviously, I really enjoyed this episode. Sure, it was pretty standard Super Sentai fare but I still found it highly enjoyable with many more positives and negatives. I would highly recommend that you all continue with this series past the first episode...only there is only one completely subtitled episode on the internet. FUCK! However, I did find an English dubbed version available for about $50 online which I would consider buying if I wasn't a penny-pinching miser. Great series and I'm sad I can't continue watching it. Next time, Super Sentai undergoes some changes, with Dengeki Sentai Changeman (see what I did there?). See you all then.
Categories: Mr. Smooth's Smoothatorium