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On the day the planets are aligned will trigger the Grand Cross which will resurrect the vile Grandiene. That ill fated day will turn Earth into a realm of darkness for Grandiene's own likening. Ten years earlier, Doctor Mondo Tatsumi of the Tatsumi Disaster Prevention Institute, was unable to convince everyone about the prophecy. So he left his family and went in isolation so he could secretly develop and construct the Rescue System. Now in 1999, Doctor Tatsumi has succeeded to give the Earth a means of hope called the GoGoFive team.Written by
"Go Go Five" - Exciting rescue-themed Japanese sentai series
"Go Go Five" is the Japanese "sentai" series from 1999 that formed the basis for the American Power Rangers counterpart of 2000, "Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue," which remains, arguably, one of the best Power Rangers seasons ever. A lot of credit for that must go to "Go Go Five" and its theme of rescue personnel and emergency services and the intricate "Zord" design based on rescue vehicles. On the American side, the practice of the writing staff before "Lightspeed Rescue" was to simply devise new plots around the Japanese action and effects footage. LR, however, actually adapted the story lines and themes of "Go Go Five," even if it meant having to shoot all-new footage, and often came up with adaptations that were better than the originals.
The five rangers in "Go Go Five" are all siblings--four boys and a girl--who got their training in rescue/emergency/law enforcement public service jobs before being enlisted by their father to form the Super Rescue Lab where Go Go Five is based. The Lab includes an offshore coastal depot housing elaborate high-tech rescue vehicles (one for each of the five) connected to the mainland by railroad tracks which reach into the heart of "Capital City" and have off-ramps by which the vehicles can leave the tracks and travel to the scenes of disaster. The vehicles can also connect together to form a giant robot to fight the giant monsters they encounter at least once in every episode.
The problem with "Go Go Five" is that the monsters and villains are all more outlandish than they ought to be. This wasn't so troubling in other Sentai seasons such as "Zyurangers" (1992, the basis for the original "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers"), with its mystical backdrop of ancient warriors and aliens on the moon, or "Ohrangers" (1995, the basis for "Power Rangers Zeo") with its machine empire alien invasion theme. However, since "Go Go Five" has a more ostensibly realistic backdrop, the ridiculous rubber-suited demon villains just look silly. The most interesting is the one human villain--Diinas--an attractive woman with a throaty, sultry voice and adorned in a sexy outfit (complete with wings!). In one episode she dresses up as an Earthquake Research Institute officer complete with business suit and short hairstyle to try and intercept a western scientist delivering a top secret disk to Super Rescue Lab. The actress (Kaya Hirasawa) is quite good and such moments really elevate the series. "Lightspeed Rescue" wisely emphasized this character by casting a lookalike Asian-American actress (Jennifer L. Yen) in the same costume (while renaming her Vypra) so she could match the original actress in long shots from "Go Go Five."
Another slightly annoying aspect of "Go Go Five" is all the banter and squabbling among the siblings. The family dynamic can be endearing at times, but too often the five behave more like children in the downtime between monster fights and even sometimes during the fights as well, complete with flashbacks to childhood incidents. Somehow the young adults in LR seem a lot more mature and offer hints of lives outside the Power Rangers.
Mondo Tatsumi (Mike Maki), the father who guides his monster-fighting offspring in their adventures as Go Go Five, cuts a curiously dashing figure as a thin, regal man in his 50s with long gray hair tied into a ponytail and a gray beard and mustache. He wears a white lab coat over a steady stream of 19th century-style collars, bow ties and waistcoats. There's a distinct aging bohemian vibe about him. In the episode with the western scientist, Dr. Robinson (who's presumably English because of his strict attention to tea time although the character's English-language dialogue is delivered in more of an American accent), we learn that Tatsumi and Robinson are old friends who had played together in a rock 'n' roll band back in the 1960s. Another interesting supporting character is Kyoko, a spunky, slightly goofy young female astronaut who's rescued by Go Go Five in the second episode when they prevent her space shuttle from crashing. She's so enamored of the team that she wants to join them and keeps popping up in later episodes in an attempt to do so.
Despite my quibbles, I still find "Go Go Five" to be a very exciting sentai series that certainly ranks with the better seasons in this long running series of live-action "super-powered task force" shows. There is a lot of picturesque location work in the series. I also like the miniature effects very much, especially the long shots showing the giant Zord-giant monster battles set firmly in the sprawling landscape of Capital City. In addition, the giant rescue vehicles and the tracks that take them throughout the city are pretty spectacular and far more "realistic" than the Rangers' vehicles/zords in other seasons.
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