Around this time in 2006, I was watching an episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, during the credits, I noticed that their was a thing that said the show was “Developed from Galaxy Rangers and Dai Ranger”. I had know idea what that meant, but it piqued my interests, so one day at school, I looked up Galaxy Rangers and the result were some 80s cartoon about space cowboys, so I tried Dairanger, and I see five people in color-coded suits I’ve never seen before, and one I have seen before. So, after some more investigation, I learned that this whole time, Power Rangers was adapted from a Japanese TV show called Super Sentai, it was after this investigation that I saw my first snippet of Super Sentai, the final battle from Gaoranger VS Super Sentai, the 25th anniversary movie. Three years later, I finally watched my first full season of Super Sentai. So in honor of the franchise’s (official) 40th anniversary celebration, were gonna look at the first Super Sentai series I ever watched, Engine Sentai Go-Onger.
First let’s talk about the theme, I LOVE THE THEME SONG, it’s catchy, it’s energetic, and it and the opening sequence pretty much tells you what to expect from the series. Good luck getting the song out of your head.
The show begins with episode (Grand Prix) 1, shows a glimpse of Machine World an alternate dimension where it’s inhabitants are talking animal/vehicle hybrids. Three such hybrids, Speedor (a condor/racecar), Buson (a lion/Bus), and BearRV (a Bear/4WD) chasing the villains of the season The Gaiark, more specifically, the three Pollution Ministers: Water Pollution Minister Kegalesia, Air Pollution Minister Kitaneidas, and Land Pollution Minister Yogostein, as they escape to Earth (or Human World), and pollute the planet and make it their own paridise. Six months later, the Gaiark launch an attack in Japan sending out a monster and their foot soldiers: the Ugatz. They’re later confronted by three from earlier, use their Go-phones and morph into, Go-On Red (Souske Esumi), Go-On Blue (Renn Kosaka), and Go-On Yellow (Saki Royama) to fight off the Gaiark. While this is happening, a delivery boy named Hant Jo, and Gunpei Ishihara, a former police officer are watching the fight. The latter being upset that our heroes are teenagers with attitude. He asks them how their powers work but tell him it’s a secret. Later the ministers infuse the monster with Bikirium (which translates to Surprise-ium) which allows him to grow to giant size, the Go-Ongers up the ante by summoning Speedor, Buson, and BearRV, who combine together to form the super robot, Engine-Oh (Engine King) and take out the monster. After the fight, Gunpei and Hant walks up to them and Gunpei tells them he wants to join them, as he believes he’s more suited to be a Go-Onger. They don’t answer his request opting to run off instead.
In episode 2, Gunpei kidnaps the Go-Ongers’ robot buddy, BOMPER, and he explains that the engines can’t stay in their giant forms for longer than 10 minutes, and shrink down and split their soul into Engine Souls, and a smaller Engine Casts. And their partners were given powers to fight along side the Engines. Gunpei and Hant run off with the Engine Casts, as the Gaiark send in another monster, but the trio fight it off as BOMPER explains that he saw the three fighting off Ugatz at the race track that they used to work at, which gives him the incentive to give the three, their morphers. After hearing that story, Hant and Gunpei run to return the Casts to the Go-Ongers, while the monster attacks them, BOMPER gives them their morphers, allowing them to morph into Go-On Green and Go-On Black, respectively. And after the row call, the main three take out the monster. In Episode 4, Hant and Gunpei head off to find their respective Engine partners, Birca (a bike/orca) and Gunpherd (a police car/german shepard), and both vehicles are capable of combining with Engine-Oh as a interchangable arm (but can only be done one at a time). In Episode 7, the Go-Ongers find another Engine partner for Gunpei and Hant, a member of the Giant race of engines Carrigator (a crocodile/car carrier), and when combined with Birca and Gunpherd can become GunBir-Oh. Then in Episode 10, after tangling with a Gaiark monster that can copy the mecha’s finishers, Ren creates a new configuration that combines all six Engines into Engine-Oh G6.
Yogostein’s Vice Minister, Hiramechimedes joins in he fight in Episode 15, and it seems that he’s got quite the advantage against our heroes, until two new engines appear, Toriptor (a chicken/helicopter) and Jetoras (A tiger/jet) aid the Go-Ongers. They hope to get the two Flying Engines to join them, but they reveal that they already have partners, as revealed in Episode 17, a pair of siblings named Hiroto and Miu Suto, aka Go-Gold and Go-On Silver. The Flying Engines took the siblings to Machine World to train them personally, and it’s because of that training that, the Go-On Wings look down at the Go-Ongers. But, by Episode 20 the Flying Engine that trained the Go-On Wings, Jumbowhale (a whale/Jumbo Jet) arrives on Earth, and is a little more friendlier to the Go-Ongers. Also, he can combine with Toriptor and Jetoras to become Seikuu-Oh. In episode 22, Hiramechimedes is seemingly tossed aside by Yogostein, who stabs him with his staff. The Go-Ongers find Hiramechimedes dying in a cave, and as a last request, asks Hiroto for one last race, but it turned out to be a trap, as they ended up on an island with natural lighting storms, leaving the Wings at the mercy of his monster. The Go-Ongers try to help the Wings, illustrating a point, Jetoras was making for the Wings, that even though they don’t think ahead, and their methods a bit unorthodox, they’re both fighting the same fight, and with their new found understanding, the nine engines join together to become Engine-Oh G9, and take down the monster. This does not sit well with Hiramechimedes in episode 23, as he looks back on his life as a Gaiark scientist, who planned on killing Yogostein, until he made him his second-in-command, leading to him giving Yogostein his undying devotion. In the present, Hiramechimedes fills his body with 100 times the normal amount of Bikirium, making him into a rampaging monster. Hiroto had trouble trying to keep up with him, but Souske managed to take destroy him, much to the dismay of Yogostein.
Yogostein sends out a monster to the mountains, to search for Horonderthal, an ancient gaiark that destroyed the dinosaurs. While this is happening the Go-Ongers are helping a family that’s looking for a golden dragon, but episode 33 said dragon turns out to actually be ancient train engines, Kishamoth (mammoth/steam locomotive), Ti-Line and Ki-Line (Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops/bullet trains). At first they don’t like humans, but after seeing Souske try and pull a Carter Grayson, they decide to help the Go-Ongers. And of course, the Ancient Engines combine together to form the oddly familiar Kyoretsu-Oh. Yogostein’s understandably upset that he basically helped the Go-Ongers gain new allies, and goes out to find Horonderthal himself, and finds him. In episode 35, the Ancients explain to the Engines what happened 65 million years ago, they came to Earth to stop Horonderthal from invading, by fossilizing themselves. They o to fight Horonderthal, but Yogostein brainwashes the Ancients to fight against the others. The brainwashing gets undone, and then the greatest sight to behold happens, the 12 engines combine to form Engine-Oh G12 and destroy Horonderthal. Unfortunately, after the battle Souske suddenly collapses and his entire body becomes encased in copper. Renn asks Speedor what happened, and he explains that Yogostein fired at him while he was distracted.
In the next episode, the Go-Ongers mourn for Souske, but Yogostein doesn’t give them all day to do so, as he upgrades himself with Horonderthal’s power, and takes away the Go-Ongers power to morph. But the Go-Ongers press on even without their powers, and manages to stab Yogostein with his staff, and takes him down with G12. Yogostein survives, but he’s confronted by a now revived Souske. Souske destroys him, but I’m sorry, but the fight was done much better in Power Rangers RPM. Everything looks OK for the Go-Ongers, but not so much for Kegalesia and Kitaneidas, who were struggling without Yogostein, and in episode 43, as they gt help from the Gaiark cleaning minister, Kireizky. Kireizky arrives to “clean” Earth of its heroes, taking out the engines, and beating the Go-Ongers pretty easily. Then he plans on cleaning the world of all humans, and by clean he means destroy everything. And he’s doing this all on Christmas Eve. The Go-Ongers manage to get their spirits back up thanks to a pep talk from Santa. They fight Kireizky, throwing everything they had at him, but he survives by hiding n his bottomless trashcan, making the battle run on to episode 44, the Go-Ongers fight Kireizky with the mechas (complete with giant robot roll call!). They defeated him, but they didn’t destroy his trash can, and in episode 47, Kegalesia and Kitaneidas they get more then they bargain for when they meet the Gaiark Prime Minister, Yogoshimacritein. It’s also revealed he’s Yogostein’s father and that Kegalesia and Kitaneidas didn’t even know they Gaiark had a superior. Yogoshimacritein attacks the city, while is secretary fights off the Go-Ongers. He takes out Engine-Oh and Seikuu-Oh, but GunBir-Oh takes him out. However, Yogoshimacritein uses his Justice Dissolution attack on GunBir-Oh which makes them disappear.
It’s explained in episode 48, that he erased them all from existence. Kegalesia and Kitaneidas celebrate, mentioning how happy Yogostein would’ve be, but Yogoshimacritein tells them not to mention his name since he lost to them. The Go-Ongers fight a monster that has all the powers of the monsters they fought all season, and managed to take him down. While that was happening, Souske tries to fight Yogoshimacritein, but he’s too strong for him. Though it’s kind of a good thing, since Yogoshimacritein makes the Ancients disappear. He attempts to do this to Engine-Oh, but Seikuu-Oh takes the blast for them, causing them to disappear, leaving the core three to fend off the Gaiark. In episode 49, the remaining Go-Ongers fight Yogoshimacritein again, even using the weapons of their fallen friends, but he blocks them by using Kegakesia and Kitaneidas as “human” shields, and even tries to shoot through them to hit the Go-Ongers. And because of that, the two generals destroy the bottomless trashcan. Yogoshimacritein gets the last laugh and destroys Kegalesia and Kitaneidas, but before completely exploding, they tell the Go-Ongers that if they destroy the giant gear behind their base, that should bring back their friends.
And so, in episode 50 the Go-Ongers face Yogoshimacritein face-to-face and manage to destroy the gear, which also destroys the Gaiark base. And, just like the generals said, everyone comes back to existence, and fight the Prime Minister without their helmets, a Sentai first. They take the fight to giant form, with Engine-Oh G12, and officially destroy him using two finishers. Now with the Gaiark defeated, the Engines head back to Machine World, but their adventure is far from over as it seems. Speedor and BOMPER returns and reveals that the Gaiark are at large again and asks the Go-Ongers if they want to help them fight once again, and they jump inside Speedor and head off to Machine World.
There was also a preview for Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, but that’s neither here nor there.
The show’s is goofy and campy, and I LOVE IT! Like most installments before it, Go-Onger was a season of firsts, first female Silver Ranger, first two-person sixth rangers, and while it wasn’t the first series to invent this, but Go-Onger improved on the Ultimate Combination, with creating the trend of cluster-f*** robots. The Gaiark were also pretty cool villains, aside from some interesting design choices, they had great characterization, from the generals treating the monsters well, Yogostein mourning over Hiramechimedes, the generals mourning Yogostein, and finally the generals standing up to Yogoshimacritein. Overall, the show still holds up after eight years, and I highly recommend it. If you can find it on YouTube check it out, or check it out on KissAsian.
As for it’s counterpart, Power Rangers RPM, well I’m sure you’ve heard stories about that season, or at least seen the History of Power Rangers retrospective about it.
RANK: 4 out of 5
Next time, our celebration of Star Trek continues.