|Kamen Sentai Nekoranger|
Main Title Screen, Season 1
|English Title:||Masked Squadron Nekoranger|
|Romanjized Title:||Kamen Sentai Nekorenjaa|
|Main Studio:||Nishitama City, Rajio-cho (B2-7)|
|Content Types:||Entertainment (Sentai, Mecha, Space, Shoujo)|
|Aired:||mid YE 33 - present|
Kamen Sentai Nekoranger is one of the main entertainment programs of NTV, starting in mid YE 33. The anime is an obvious and blatant parody of the YSS Sakura, as of YE 29. It sometimes has childish elements, but is also known to delve into mildly mature situations such as group bathing. It often has cartoon violence, with any violence beyond that implied for the sake of plot and dramatic effect. Parts are actually lighthearted, and it generally skims over the more adult aspects of the Sakura and the more extreme violence of war.
It is known, however, for sometimes showing the political and racial beliefs of the Yamatai Star Empire. This is sometimes at odds with certain, more progressive, shareholders.
The Yama-Yama Empire is a utopian society of catgirls and enlightened humanoids who lead peaceful and fulfilling lives after finally gaining freedom from the brawny, muscular and sometimes slow-witted Nepu-Nepu. The first generation Nekorangers were the heroes of this conflict, and naturally became important people in the new government. Yamamoto Yuki, the First Generation's Nekoranger Red, has been forced to become Empress after the disappearance of her father and pass the reins to her daughter. Now, Princess Yamamoto Sami of the Good Ship Saku-Saku must lead a second generation of Nekorangers against the Mishi-Mishi and other enemies, to protect the young Empire and find her grandfather Emperor Uryuu before something horrible happens!
The Nekorangers have special powers to aid them in their quests, which take the form of special ancestral weapons called “Aether Weapons”. These weapons have infinite energy and never run out. The girls can also transform into their Nekoranger combat forms. These forms look suspiciously like color-coded Mindies, and each has its own signature techniques.
The characters are almost always, in some form, parodies of the YSS Sakura's early-mid YE 29 crew. Elements are often changed, but not enough to conceal the true inspiration of the assorted characters. Due to this, a disclaimer appears at the beginning of each episode, saying that elements of the show are “homages to real people and places, but by no means accurate representations”.
Note: Images of characters created with help of the Create.swf program
|Role:|| Princess of Yama-Yama Empire
Leader of Nekorangers
Captain of the Good Ship Saku-Saku
|Based on:||Ketsurui Hanako|
|Special Weapon:|| Golden Pistol of Yama
|Special Attribute:||All-Range Combat|
|Special Techniques:|| Red Piercing Shot
Yama-Yama Grand Strike
Sami is the Princess of the Yama-Yama Empire, is the Commanding Officer of the Good Ship Saku-Saku, Leader of the Nekorangers, and is the second generation Nekoranger Red. Her uniform is a red variation of the classic Star Army Female Bodysuit Uniform in use at the time, with white panels. When she uses her powers, she transforms into a red variation of the Mindy 1H Power Armor – Nekoranger Red.
Sami's powers take the form of the Golden Pistol of Yama, a special pistol which her mother is also able to summon(a blatant parody of Hanako's Gold-plated Type 28 NSP). When she transforms, it becomes a Golden Rifle, which looks like a beefed up Power Armor Rifle. Later, after completing her swordsmanship training with the first generation Nekoranger Green, she learns to summon the Yama-Sabre, which combines with the Golden Pistol to form the Golden Gunblade. This is almost identical to the Ke-M2-W2901 Aether Beam Saber-Rifle in appearance, except gold.
Sami wishes to be motherly and nurturing as she remembers her mother was, and wants to help fix all the problems of her crew by being a mother figure. Unfortunately, her childishness prevents her from truly evolving into this capacity right away, giving her a tendency to snoop and eavesdrop when none of the crew will come to her with their problems. When she does find a problem to fix, the specifics of which she sometimes misunderstands, she either schemes for a time before acting or charges in and tries to solve it, sometimes with hilarious and embarrassing consequences. Though she lacks Neko ears normally, a pair of Neko ears will spontaneously appear on her head whenever she is eavesdropping, and sometimes she will get a catlike smile on her face when she can no longer contain herself. Many of her misunderstandings are love-related(due to her own fixation on romance), or her failure to relate to some of her more shy teammates. She also has a tendency to give particularly expensive gifts, sometimes not even thinking about if the recipient has room for or any need for such grandiose things.
Sami obviously favors either gender, sometimes flirting with both male and female members of her crew. She doesn't seem to flirt with Minoru Miyamoto, nor have any real interest in spite of his efforts to win her over. Some cite this as a racial tendency due to his counterpart’s Nepleslian origins, while others say it's because of the character's creepy affinity for making her Lolita-esque dresses.
In spite of her shortcomings, she shows an honest wish to help her crew succeed and bring them home safely, though her efforts aren't always as flawless as she'd like. Fortunately, the apparent ability of the cast to return every episode without anything more than bandages(regardless of what happened during the previous episode), indicates that she's doing something right, albeit off-screen.
Sami has several obvious ties to her counterpart in real life, Hanako. It is speculated that Sami's uniform is Red due to it being a signature color of the real life Ketsurui Clan. Sami is also Hanako's birthname, and “Yamamoto” is obviously a generic name to attach to the “Yama-Yama Empire”, an obvious parody of the Yamatai Star Empire as well as a legendary being that judges people for their sins and sends them to the proper reward or punishment. Due to this, a Nepleslian dub would likely label her attacks and pistol with “judgment” in place of “Yama”, to reference her perceived real life racism toward the Lorath and other races. Her physical appearance is very similar, though simplified, and her armor's appearance is obviously based on her signature Mindy 1H Power Armor. Her personality is also very similar to that of Hanako's, save that some of the perversion perceived in her during the Sakura days has been traded in for childishness.
|Role:|| Samurai of Yamamoto Clan
Bodyguard of Yamamoto Sami
|Based on:||Jo Midori|
|Special Weapon:||Guardian Sword Masamune|
|Special Attribute:||Close Range Combat|
|Special Techniques:|| Hurricane Slash
Miyabi is the pride of the Miyamoto Family, which has been in the service of the Yamamoto clan since her mother’s time. Having inherited the mantle of Nekoranger Green from her mother, she’s been charged with serving Sami, much like her own mother served and continues to serve Yuki. Her keikogi-style uniform is white and green with a single blade on her hips. She has a green variation of the classic Star Army Female Bodysuit Uniform, with white panels for special occasions. When she uses her powers, she transforms into a green variation of the Mindy M2 Power Armor – Nekoranger Green.
Miyabi's powers take the form of the Guardian Sword Masamune, a blade which her mother is also able to summon, which is a powered up version of a standard katana. When she transforms, it becomes a wide energy blade, which can slice through practically any target – complimenting her agility and speed.
Miyabi is very serious in her duties, stoic and respectful, though Sami’s behavior and nature can sometimes catch her off guard. When she isn’t the target of one of Sami’s schemes, she is often enlisted to aid Sami in her sometimes unreasonable efforts, much to her embarrassment at times. However, this loyalty shines through in combat, when she fights back to back with Sami in close combat, or provides protection for Sami when she switches to mid-range. Sami and Miyabi are very close, childhood friends in fact, and have a bond which is incredibly hard to break or strain.
Miyabi is not as close to her own brother, Minoru, as she is Sami. She is often disappointed in his attitude toward the family's art and responsibilities, and how casual he tries to be with Sami. He is as much a potential enemy as anyone else in her eyes, only tolerated by the bonds of blood and the fact that Sami seems non-receptive to his advances.
Miyabi has several obvious ties to her counterpart in real life, Midori. Her uniform is Green due to Midori meaning “green”. Her relationship to Sami is analogous to Midori's relationship with Hanako at the time, and “Miyamoto” is a stereotypical surname for a samurai. Her physical appearance is very similar save for the eye color, and her personality is also very similar to that of Midori's.
Kage Yaichiro closely followed the character design for Miyabi, as he stated he would not tolerate inaccurate and dishonorable portrayals of Midori. Rumor has it that the veteran has personally cared for the Samurai after various psychological problems ended the Prisoner of War's honorable service, and the Board of Directors agreed without incident out of respect. In spite of the comedy in the series, Miyabi is possibly one of the most responsibly portrayed characters in the show, showing the values of loyalty and servitude so important to the Empire – both in battle and in daily life. One notable omission is her lack of Neko ears, though according to the series she conceals them in her hair to look more like the woman she serves.
|Based on:||Sakura Blueberry|
|Hair:||Naturally Blue, but can vary|
|Special Weapon:|| Blue Bazooka, can launch anything
|Special Attribute:||Long Range Support Combat|
|Special Techniques:|| Blue Bomber
Aoi is the Nurse of the Good Ship Saku-Saku, The resident Mistress of Disquise and Beautician, and is the second generation Nekoranger Blue. Her uniform is a dark blue variation of the classic Star Army Female Bodysuit Uniform in use at the time, with white panels. When she uses her powers, she transforms into a blue variation of the Mindy M2 Power Armor – Nekoranger Blue.
Aoi's powers take the form of the Blue Bazooka, a special bazooka which can launch just about anything, from bombs to syringes. When she transforms, it changes little, save for becoming larger. Though an expert at long range combat, she can often use her large bazooka effectively like a club if necessary. Later she gets an Energy Pistol from Hikaru modeled after Sami's Aetheric Weapon, to help with close to mid-range enemies. It is modeled after the normal Type 28 NSP.
Aoi is shy and likes to be left to her work, indulging in solitary activities such as styling her hair or applying make-up to herself. When someone else asks to be altered in appearance, she secretly enjoys the opportunity to use her hobby for others. She also enjoys healing more than destruction, putting her skills to use as a nurse. The secretly compassionate woman has a hobby of finding and keeping stray and sometimes exotic plants and animals – even in deep space where she seems to find them regardless of not stopping at a planet or starbase. This phenomenon has yet to be understood. When she is upset, or the target of Sami's misguided plans, she sometimes hides somewhere on the ship, requiring the crew to enlist Hikaru's aid to find her. This often happens when romance is involved.
When in combat, Aoi still prefers for her enemies to surrender and fights compassionately, often disliking the fact that she uses such a destructive weapon. She is reminded that slashing foes close up would suit her less, and that she is doing a service by fighting when talking is not enough.
Aoi has several obvious ties to her counterpart in real life, Blueberry. Aoi means “blue”, for one, and she serves exactly the same function on the ship as the YE 29 Blueberry. Her appearance and attitude are roughly the same, save the hording of small plants and animals. Also, as Hikaru is often enlisted to find Aoi's hiding places, his counterpart Yaichiro once did the same for an upset Blueberry.
|Based on:||Miles Gunn|
|Weapon:||Dakka Dakka Cannon|
|Special Attribute:||Long-Mid Range Combat|
|Special Techniques:||Dakka and MOAR DAKKA|
If Miyabi is the pride of the Miyamoto Family, Minoru is the black sheep. While he has done nothing warranting dismissal, he lacks the mentality needed to be fully accepted. He chose to become a scientist rather than a close range fighter like his elder sister – somehow scrambling his way up the ranks to work on the Saku Saku on his own merits. His uniform is a dark green variation of the classic Star Army Male Uniform (Type 22) in use at the time, with green panels. He is not a Nekoranger, and thus cannot transform.
Minoru's weapon is the Dakka Dakka Cannon, a large Electronic Gatling Gun with a large ammunition backpack. While not truly limitless like the Aertheric Weapons of the Nekorangers, it allows Minoru to carelessly spread lead into his enemies without much regard for his own ammunition supply. While he has some close range combat skills, he prefers to blow his enemies away with the cannon first. Though not a Nekoranger, he has a specially built armor which allows him to at least participate with the Nekorangers – which looks like the Kylie M3 Anti-Armor Power Armor. His pursuit of glory often makes him overestimate his capabilities with his machine, which is not as advanced as those of the Nekorangers'. He also has to actually go and put on the armor rather than transform into it, which often leaves him rushing to catch up to the Nekorangers upon deployment.
Minoru is reliable enough when in the thick of it, but is constantly bickering with his sister. They never see eye to eye, as she despises his individualistic thinking and his pursuit of Sami as a love interest…He also has what can be perceived as Lolita clothing and cross-dressing complexes. Fortunately, Sami either sees him as annoying or as an 'interesting person' depending on her mood, and a strange friend at best.
He is constantly trying to get things named after him, and tends to make masculine inventions. His goal is to get a massive amount of money and return as a war hero. Marrying into the Royal Family seems to also be a major part of his life's plan, which his sister constantly intervenes with.
Minoru's design has changed to a degree from the rough draft. He was originally slated to be Dr. Howitzer, a Nepu-Nepu male whose name was an obvious parody of Dr. Gunn. He and parodies of Nakamura Sana and Elisa Metea were to rebel and become enemies of the Saku-Saku crew, but Kage Yaichiro intervened. The character of Minoru was a compromise between Yaichiro and the Board of Directors, with which Yaichiro was not very happy. It should be noted that Minoru and Miyabi are the forum for exploring many conflicts between Yamataian and Nepleslian beliefs and culture.
Minoru has several obvious ties to his counterpart in real life, Miles. His uniform is Green and Miles was a green panel. He is obviously based on Nepleslian stereotypes, and he is constantly seen as trying to fight for Sami's affections like Miles did for Hanako's. His penchant for clothing seems to be a scaling back of Miles' bondage interests, and his physical appearance is very similar, as well. His armor is based on the kylie 1D which Miles helped design. Miles' glasses have been omitted, however, as they conflict with the lecherous way in which Minoru's eyes are drawn.
|Role:|| Chief Engineer
|Based on:||Kage Yaichiro|
|Weapon:|| Hyper Wrench
|Special Attribute:||All-Range Combat|
|Special Techniques:|| Wrench Smash
Hikaru is the Chief Engineer and Inventor of the Saku-Saku. Hikaru is the lone survivor of a destroyed transport which Sami had tried to protect, leaving Hikaru without family. Sami, feeling responsible, pushed to have him placed officially in the Saku-Saku's crew and decided to meet his needs along with those of the regular crew. It should be noted that Hikaru is the youngest of the group, just slightly younger than Sami – something she seems to find favorable.
Hikaru was an Engineering Student at Yuki-yama Gakuen at the time of the attack, the name a pun which uses the names of the Empress and the Empire but also means “Snowy Mountain Academy”. As a result, many of his flashbacks are set in overcast and snowy weather and he has a notable tolerance for cold. While at the Academy, he obtained a firm grasp of the science behind the Saku-Saku. Due to this he soon learns about every inch of the ship; often popping out of hatches, walls, ceilings, floors, and even pipes in the most unexpected of places – much like a mole. He can also travel from any point in the ship to any other point in the ship faster than anyone using a walkway. He has even been shown capable of transferring from one ship to another if they dock for even the slightest amount of time. Ships which dock with the Saku-Saku show marked and unexplained efficiency improvements by mid-Season One, while enemy ships which try to board the Saku-Saku find their systems directly and unexpectedly invaded as if by illness. Hikaru could be considered much like an antibody to allied ships and a virus to enemies.
Hikaru's primary weapons are a large Hyper Wrench which he can use in short range combat to smack and grip/squeeze his enemies, and an energy pistol based on Sami's Aetheric Weapon. It looks like a normal Type 28 NSP, and one is eventually given to Aoi as well as a backup weapon to her long range cannon. The Hyper Wrench is a variation of the old trans-dimensional hammer used by women in anime, but reapplied for a male surrounded by females. Hikaru, however, can invent an array of weapons, including a Super Deformed Mecha with red boxing gloves and a 50mm Cannon. This gives him the status of “All-Range Fighter”, though Sami seems hesitant to allow him to see combat at times.
Hikaru is detached at first, from the loss he felt losing his family and friends on the transport. He secretly saw Sami's constant and sometimes meddlesome efforts to become a big sister or a surrogate mother as annoying initially, but eventually grew to like the attention. He still seeks privacy at times, however, often retreating to the maintenance tunnels of the Saku-Saku when he doesn't want to be bothered. A running joke is that he has a hidden room in the ship where he sleeps, which can only be reached by the ship's maintenance conduits – since he never sleeps in his quarters. He often attempts to evade Sami's schemes this way, and has also used this method to engage enemy forces on the Saku-Saku in Guerrilla Warfare. Eventually, he starts to feel more for Sami, but does not confess what is on his mind – which sometimes causes Sami to wonder what's on his mind and pester him further or even make him the target of her well-meaning schemes.
Hikaru has several obvious ties to his counterpart in real life, Yaichiro. his name, Hikaru (to shine) is based on hikari (light), which is a counter to Yaichiro's family name of Kage (shadow). His uniform is light blue with a red panel. His physical appearance and role on the ship are very similar, as well.
Hikaru's design is a parody of one of the shareholders in the show, so naturally there were hurdles from the Officer. Unfortunately, almost none of Yaichiro's protests were addressed, as the Board felt that Yaichiro should not be able to edit his own satire. The Board of Directors' idea of a romantic interest between Hikaru and Sami was notably discussed, and a scene where Sami wakes Hikaru from stasis with a kiss on the lips was almost cut, but it was left in at the last minute. While not listening to Yaichiro's wishes very closely, the general picture painted in the story is a positive one. Conjecture exists that Yaichiro protests because the character is TOO close to the mark emotionally.
It should be noted that Hikaru is a favorite subject of doujinshi and fiction for the series, as he eventually develops links to many characters which are exploitable by writers – much to Yaichiro's embarrassment.