Since this year is considered the 35th anniversary of Super Sentai, we tend to look back at all the past seasons of the series. And while I was doing that, I noticed an unusual, and somewhat unnoticed, trend with Sentai Anniversary Series. Until now with Go-Kaiger, almost every Anniversary Sentai has included a member that wore black. Just take a look back at the last major anniversary.
The last anniversary series was GoGo Sentai Boukenger, whose team included BoukenBlack as a member of the core team. Now I know that a single instance isn’t enough to build a whole case, so let’s go back another five years.
The 25th Anniversary series, Hyakujyuu Sentai Gaoranger, also featured a black senshi, GaoBlack, and was the first to have a Vs. Super Sentai special (Well, the first to have that as an official title). Now, mathematically speaking, if the usual pattern for teams by season was to alternate between green and black, then either this series should have included a green senshi, or Boukenger should have had a green senshi with Go-Kaiger having a black senshi. But since they have played around with how they make the teams, you know, with three member core teams and repeating color schemes, this has thrown this pattern off. But these aren’t the only two examples.
Ninja Sentai Kakuranger was considered the 15th Anniversary before they readjusted for the gap year between JAKQ and Battle Fever J, and of course includes NinjaBlack, who was also the first actual American to play in a Super Sentai series. Before then, the only Americans in the series were just characters, not actual actors. It also had the Super Sentai World special that premiered a week before the start of the series. But the main thing here is that this series also had a black senshi. But this isn’t the last example.
Kousoku Sentai Turboranger is the 10th Anniversary series, and included BlackTurbo. This series had a special called Super Sentai Tamashii that also premiered a week before the actual series, and included all the previous sentais. Now this was considered the first official anniversary series. While they have celebrated the series anniversary every five years since this series, they did not include what is the fifth anniversary, Sun Vulcan. However, since including that series would go against my premise, I won’t cover them.
I will, however, go over the one exemption to my premise, the one other Anniversary Series that includes a green senshi.
This, of course, is Gekisou Sentai Carranger (or should I say CAAAARRRR-RREEENJAA!), which is considered the 20th Anniversary series, after the adjustment for the gap year, and features GreenRacer, which makes it the first official Anniversary series to have a green senshi, beating Go-Kaiger by 15 years (holy crap, has it been that long?!).
But what we still have to wonder is, why is their such an affinity for black senshi in these Anniversary Series? Is it simply a coincidence, or do they purposely choose that team setup again and again. Well, it’s probably a mix between coincidence and aesthetics. After all, why do any of the teams have the color scheme that they do have? When the creators of the series start to work on a new series, they probably already have certain themes in mind, and they probably go through a few uniform designs before they decide what looks and works best for that series. There isn’t any written rule that they necessarily have to use alternate color schemes from season to season, otherwise there wouldn’t be teams with both on them, or teams with neither of them. The only thing that we can really be sure is that, at least as far as Anniversary seasons are concerned, their will be five of them, as a way to pay homage to the original Goranger.
-M.C., the Quantum twin