GO-BUSTERS VS GOKAIGER
A Look at the Latest “Super Sentai VS Series” Movie, with Information and Images from Toei
Author: Alicia Ashby
Source: Toei Co., Ltd.
Official Site: gobus-gokai.jp (Japan)
Toei Materials Translated by: Jim Ballard
SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details and images from a new movie.
Editor’s Note: This article uses the official English titles created and used by Toei Co., Ltd. for international sales and promotion of the Super Sentai movies, shows and videos.
Official English Title: GO-BUSTERS VS GOKAIGER
Original Japanese Title: 特命戦隊ゴーバスターズＶＳ海賊戦隊ゴーカイジャーTHE MOVIE (Tokumei Sentai Goobasutaazu Tai Kaizoku Sentai Gookaijaa Za Muubii)
Literal Translation: Special Ops Sentai Go-Busters vs. Pirate Sentai Gokaiger The Movie
Since 1975’s GORENGER (秘密戦隊ゴレンジャー, Himitsu Sentai Gorenjaa), the Super Sentai series has continued uninterrupted. 2011’s GOKAIGER (海賊戦隊ゴーカイジャー, Gaizoku Sentai Gookaijaa), produced to commemorate the 35th anniversary, aimed to make a definitive statement about the series and received passionate support from generations of children and adults. Continuing from this is GO-BUSTERS (特命戦隊ゴーバスターズ, Tokumei Sentai Goobasutaazu), the 36th series which aims to open up the untapped potential of the Super Sentai series.
In the latest entry of the “Super Sentai Versus Series”, featuring a dream-team Super Sentai cast, the Go-Busters and Gokaiger clash! How will the 36th Super Sentai team oppose the space pirates, who’ve joined forces with an evil organization!? This is the greatest Super Sentai battle, featuring many classic characters!!
Now, “VS” evolves to the next stage…
–Toei publicity materials for GO-BUSTERS VS GOKAIGER
SUPER SENTAI VERSUS
When GORENGER’s successor J.A.K.Q. DENGEKITAI (ジャッカー電撃隊, Jakkaa Dengekitai, 1977) was struggling in the ratings, Toei produced a film called J.A.K.Q. DENGEKITAI VS GORENGER (ジャッカー電撃隊VSゴレンジャー, Jakkaa Dengekitai tai Gorenjaa, 1978) that showed the two sets of heroes teaming up to battle a common foe. The film wasn’t popular enough to save JAKQ from a shortened episode run, and Toei shelved the idea of Sentai crossovers for several years.
In 1994, when Super Sentai was the hottest of Toei’s properties, the company dusted off the Sentai crossover concept and produced a 3D short called SUPER SENTAI WORLD (スーパー戦隊ワールド, Suupaa Sentai Waarudo), which brought together the heroes of the then-recent shows FIVEMAN (地球戦隊ファイブマン, Chikyuu Sentai Faibuman, 1990), JETMAN (鳥人戦隊ジェットマン, Choojin Sentai Jettoman, 1991), ZYURANGER (恐竜戦隊ジュウレンジャー, Kyoryuu Sentai Juurenjaa, 1992), DAIRANGER (五星戦隊ダイレンジャー, Gosei Sentai Dairenjaa, 1993), and KAKURANGER (忍者戦隊カクレンジャー, Ninja Sentai Kakurenjaa, 1994). In this movie, which consisted almost entirely of action scenes, the heroes teamed up to defeat a new enemy called Emperor Daidas. This effort proved quite popular.
What is now called the Super Sentai Versus film series was truly born in 1996 with a direct-to-video special called OHRANGER VS KAKURANGER (超力戦隊オーレンジャー オーレVSカクレンジャー, Chooriki Sentai Oorenjaa Oore vs Kakurenjaa). The movie teamed up the heroes from the recently-concluded OHRANGER (超力戦隊オーレンジャー, Chooriki Sentai Oorenjaa, 1995) with the previous Sentai team in an hour-long adventure. The special did well, and was immediately succeeded by CARRANGER VS OHRANGER (激走戦隊カーレンジャーVSオーレンジャー, Gekisoo Sentai Kaarenjaa vs Oorenjaa, 1997), MEGARANGER VS CARRANGER (電磁戦隊メガレンジャーVSカーレンジャー, Denji Sentai Megarenjaa vs Kaarenjaa, 1998), and many others. In 2009, the Super Sentai Versus series moved to the silver screen with GO-ONGERS VS GEKI RANGERS THE MOVIE (劇場版 炎神戦隊ゴーオンジャー VS ゲキレンジャー, Gekijooban Enjin Sentai Goonjaa tai Gekirenjaa). All subsequent entries in the Super Sentai Versus series have been theatrical releases.
GO-BUSTERS VS GOKAIGER is the 18th film in the Super Sentai Versus series, pitting the heroes of the currently-airing GO-BUSTERS (特命戦隊ゴーバスターズ, Tokumei Sentai Goobasutaazu, 2012) against the protagonists of the previous show, GOKAIGER (海賊戦隊ゴーカイジャー, Kaizoku Sentai Gookaijaa, 2011). As is usual for the Versus films, the adventure lets fans see the characters interact out of costume, as well as battle together in elaborate stunt and FX sequences. This year’s film also includes call-outs to fan-favorite characters from both shows, some guest stars from other Sentai series, and introduces the heroes for the next Super Sentai program, KYORYUGER (獣電戦隊キョウリュウジャー, Juuden Sentai Kyooryuujaa, 2013).
Like most entries in the Super Sentai Versus series, GO-BUSTERS VS GOKAIGER is no more and no less than a love letter to the shows and their fans. The film is written by Kento Shimoyama, who scripted episodes of both GOKAIGER and GO-BUSTERS, and has written prior entries in the Super Sentai Versus series. The director is Takayuki Shibasaki, a Toei stalwart who has directed episodes of several different series over the years. The film’s action scenes are directed by Hirofumi Fukuzawa, a former suit actor whose work on the GO-BUSTERS television series is consistently the subject of praise. FX director Hiroshi Butsuda is another long-time Toei veteran, with special effects work that stretches back to the original ZYURANGER.
GO-BUSTERS VS GOKAIGER will be released on DVD (¥3800) and Blu-ray (¥4800) in Japan on March 21, 2013. The movie will also be available in a Blu-ray Collector’s Pack (¥6300) containing a second disc of bonus material including a making-of documentary, footage of promotional events for the film, data files and more. First pressings of the Collector’s Pack will also come with a set of exclusive GO-BUSTERS VS GOKAIGER postcards.
In comic books, the traditional story about two heroes meeting is “fight, then team-up.” Many films in the Super Sentai Versus series follow this pattern, too, and GO-BUSTERS VS GOKAIGER is no exception.
The film’s events are kicked into action when a sinister black version of the once-heroic Gokai Galleon appears over Tokyo. Aboard the ship is Bakkas Gil, new commander of the Space Empire Zangyack, and he seems to be assisted by the pirate squadron Gokaigers. This is a shocking turn of events, since the Gokaigers were last seen destroying the Zangyack Emperor in the finale of their own series. As the series ended, the Gokaigers left Earth to head for the Zangyack homeworld, promising to topple the Empire once and for all.
Now the apparently-villainous Gokaigers have returned to Earth to seek the universe’s greatest treasure, called the Phantom Ranger Keys. Even worse, they’re being assisted by the Vagras, Go-Busters’s sworn enemy. The Go-Busters have no choice but to oppose the Gokaigers, and a heated battle between the two groups begins. But all is not as it seems.
The Gokaigers actually did destroy the Zangyack Empire, leading a vengeful Bakkas Gil to join forces with the Vagras. Together, these villains defeated the Gokaigers and forced them to cooperate in the hunt for the Phantom Ranger Keys. To escape, the Gokaigers use the abilities of the Go-Busters to reveal the hidden location of the five Keys, and then hope to overwhelm Bakkas Gil and the Vagras using the artifacts’ great power.
This plan is foiled by Enter, the wily commander of the Vagras, who accurately predicts the Gokaigers’ betrayal. He takes advantage of the moment to steal the Phantom Ranger Keys, which he intends to use to further Vagras’ goal of merging Earth with the parallel dimension called hyperspace. But the Keys prove much too powerful for Enter to entirely control, and both heroes and villains are blasted throughout time and space.
This leads to a series of short team-ups that make use of certain Toei stock locations and sets. In the Edo period, Yellow Buster and Beet J. Stag meet Gokai Silver hiding in a nearby village. They recover a lost Phantom Ranger Key with the help of Jealoushitto, a reformed villain character who appeared multiple times in GOKAIGER and had a cameo in KAZOKU SENTAI GOKAIGER VS SPACE SHERIFF GAVAN: THE MOVIE (海賊戦隊ゴーカイジャーVS宇宙刑事ギャバンTHE MOVIE, Kaizoku Sentai Gookaijaa Tai Uchuu Keiji Gyaban Za Muubii, 2012).
In the present day, Red Buster, Blue Buster, Gold Buster, Nick Cheetah and Usada Lettuce are visited by Kaoru Shiba, a character from SHINKENGER (侍戦隊シンケンジャー, Samurai Sentai Shinkenjaa, 2009) who made numerous cameo appearances in GOKAIGER. She hands them an ancient scroll preserved by her family, which turns out to be a note Yoko wrote in the past. With the aid of the present-day team, Gokai Silver is able to use the power of his giant transforming vehicle, GoZyuDrill, to travel through time to meet up with them.
The gathered heroes retrieve the rest of their lost comrades. Blue Buster recovers Gokai Yellow and Gokai Blue along with a Ranger Key from a location in the Mediterranean. Gold Buster attempts to rescue Gokai Pink, Gokai Green from 17th century France, but their Ranger Key is lost to Bakkas Gil. Red Buster meets up with Gokai Red in 2005, where he is enjoying a plate of curry at the Dino House restaurant from the series ABARANGER (爆竜戦隊アバレンジャー, Bakuryuu Sentai Abarenjaa, 2003). Finally, the group goes to pick up Yellow Buster and Beet J. Stag in Edo Japan.
They find Enter waiting for them in his giant robot, the Megazord Epsilon. The heroes battle Epsilon to a standstill, but Enter sabotages the Go-Busters’s giant robots by attacking their Buddyroids, who serve as the machines’ OS. The attack strips away the vaccine program that protects the Buddyroids from Vagras’ evil viruses. The Busters try rebooting their Buddyroids, but the loss of the vaccine program also stripped away their personalities. The Go-Busters must go into the film’s final battle without their robot partners.
Of course, this is Sentai, so courage and perseverance is more than enough to make a miracle happen. Halfway through the battle, the Go-Busters discover that they can copy the vaccine programs they carry in their own bodies back into their Buddyroids, restoring them. The Phanton Ranger Keys are recovered, and the heroes discover that they can be used to make their giant robots “Gokai Change,” assuming the powers of heroic robots from Super Sentai’s past. The five robots Go-Buster Ace, Tategami Lioh, Buster Hercules, Gokai-Oh, and GoZyuJin transform (respectively) into GekiTohja from GEKIRANGER (獣拳戦隊ゲキレンジャー, Juuken Sentai Gekirenjaa, 2007), Gao King from GAO RANGER (百獣戦隊ガオレンジャー, Hyakujuu Sentai Gaorenjaa, 2001), Magi King from MAGI RANGER (魔法戦隊マジレンジャー, Mahoo Sentai Majirenjaa, 2005)*, Daibouken from BOKENGER (轟轟戦隊ボウケンジャー, Googoo Sentai Bookenjaa, 2006), and DaiZyuJin from ZYURANGER. With the aid of these nostalgic robot heroes, the Gokaigers and Go-Busters defeat the Zangyack and Vagras, and set everything right.
* Actor Hiroya Matsumoto plays Beet Buster, pilot of Buster Hercules. Previously, Matsumoto played the role of Magi Yellow in MAGIRANGER. Upon taking the controls of Magi King, he memorably comments that the transformation feels “just right.”
Running Time: 76 Minutes
Japanese Release Date: January 19, 2013 (nationwide)
Hiromu Sakurada/ Red Buster: Katsuhiro Suzuki
Ryuji Iwasaki/ Blue Buster: Ryouma Baba
Yoko Usami/ Yellow Buster: Arisa Komiya
Masato Jin/ Beet Buster: Hiroya Matsumoto
Beet J. Stag/ Stag Buster: Yuichi Nakamura
Captain Marvelous/ Gokai Red: Ryota Ozawa
Joe Gibken/ Gokai Blue: Yuki Yamada
Luka Millfy/ Gokai Yellow: Mao Ichimichi
Don “Doc” Dogoier/ Gokai Green: Kazuki Shimizu
Ahim de Famille/ Gokai Pink: Yui Koike
Gai Ikari/ Gokai Silver: Junya Ikeda
Takeshi Kuroki: Hideo Sakaki
Toru Morishita: Naoto Takahashi
Miho Nakamura: Fuuka Nishihira
Kaoru Shiba: Runa Natsui
Enter: Syo Jinnai
Escape: Ayame Misaki
Basco ta Jolokia: Kei Hosogai
Waredonaier (voice): Yuichi Nakamura
Nick Cheetah (voice): Keiji Fujiwara
Gorisaki Banana (voice): Tessho Genda
Usada Lettuce (voice): Tatsuhisa Suzuki
Navi (voice): Yukari Tamura
Jealoushitto (voice): Takahiro Sakurai
Yatsudenwani (voice): Kyousei Tsukui
Bakkas Gil (voice): Takaya Hashi
Kyoryu Red (voice): Ryo Ryusei
Kyoryu Black (voice): Syuusuke Saito
Kyoryu Blue (voice): Yamato Kinjo
Kyoryu Green (voice): Akihisa Shiono
Kyoryu Pink (voice): Ayuri Konno
Mobilate, Gokai Sabre, Gokai Gun, Gokai Cellular, Gokai Galleon Buster, Gokai Spear (voice): Tomokazu Seki
Lio Blaster, GB Custom Visor, Tategami Lioh (Voice): Ichirou Mizuki
Narrator: Shoo Munekata
Director: Takayuki Shibasaki
Original Concept: “Saburo Yatsude”, Shotaro Ishinomori
Screenwriter: Kento Shimoyama
Producers: Takashi Nara (TV Asahi), Toramatsu Mamiya (Toei Video), Takeyuki Suzuki (Toei), Eiji Matsuda (Toei Advertising), Naoya Kinoshita (KINOSHITA)
Planning: Kiyoshi Kuwata (TV Asahi), Naomi Takebe (Toei Video), Shinichiro Shirakura (Toei), Masanori Ogawa (Toei Advertising), Yoshiaki Nemoto (KINOSHITA)
Executive Producers: Noboru Sugiyama (TV Asahi), Kazuo Kato (Toei Video), Kazuki Hikita (Toei Advertising)
Art Director: Kazumasa Otani
Character Design: Yuji Izubuchi, Tamotsu Shinohara, Yoshiro Harada, Yasushi Moriki , K-suke
Action Director: Hirofumi Fukuzawa
FX Director: Hiroshi Butsuda
Editor: Ren Sato
Cinematographer: Fumio Matsumura
Lighting: Naoyuki Hori
Sound Effects: Hiromi Ogawa
Music: Megumi Ohashi, Kosuke Yamashita
Theme Song: “Kizuna ~ Go-Busters! Gokai ni Arrange ver.” (キズナ～ゴーバスターズ! 豪快にアレンジver., “Kizuna ~ Go Busters! Exciting to Arrange ver.”)
Artist: Nazo no Shin Unit STA☆MEN (The Mysterious New Unit Starmen)
Production: Go-Busters vs Gokaiger Production Committee (Ishimori Pro, TV Asahi, Toei AG, Toei)
International Sales: Toei