Well, here’s a twist. One place where you’re almost sure not to find any patented daddy issues in the tokusatsu subgenre this year is the upcoming Hero Mama League, a wholly unexpected crossover event that gathers three heroines from Super Sentai television history, for a story about these superpowered ladies balancing their lives as world-saving badasses and the everyday challenges of being a mother. Yeah. This is happening.
It comes to us via the Toei Tokusatsu Fan Club app, complimenting Toei Company’s recent efforts to keep the spirit alive for the countless heroes running around their seemingly limitless multiverse of demons, aliens, and super-ninjas, righting wrongs long after their original shows leave the airwaves. As we gear up for the next entry into the new ongoing Space Squad movie series, Uchuu Sentai Kyuranger vs Space Squad, we have this extra bit of awesomeness to supplement the fun. It fits with last year’s initiative, when the first in the series (Space Squad: Gavan vs Dekaranger) was accompanied by a smaller-scale, but no less entertaining feature (Girls in Trouble: Space Squad Episode Zero), which also happened to center around a cast of females ready to take down the latest threat to life and liberty. Considering the subject-matter, I’m going out on a limb and guessing that this will be a little less ruthless in tone than the last female-centered piece turned out to be.
Nanami, Jasmine, and Houka are three Super Sentai heroines who have hung up their helmets to start a family (sort of) and are now married with children, swinging between fighting the forces of evil and caring for their kids. Returning to the screen are original actors Nagasawa Nao (HurricaneBlue, Ninpu Sentai Hurricanger), Kinoshita Ayumi (DekaYellow, Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger) and Beppu Ayumi (MagiPink, Mahou Sentai Magiranger).
Two of these actors have already made several reappearances in recent years, both in the Super Sentai franchise they’re best known for and others in the live-action special effects family, but Beppu’s presence here is a surprise. It’s especially interesting since MagiPink was always portrayed as the serial dater of the team, while her sister MagiBlue was the ultra-maternal girl who seemed destined for a role in something like this. Whatever the reasons for MagiPink showing up here, whether intentional or by sheer coincidence, it may represent some development for Houka’s character. That the free-spirited, independent girl who couldn’t be bothered to be tied down finally slowed her roll long enough to start a family of her own.
Oh, and Tawada Hideya’s in it too. He played StarNinger Kinji in Shuriken Sentai Ninninger and is the sole male alumnus announced for this crossover project as yet, which so far looks a bit lighter on action than your standard team-up adventure. Nonetheless, it represents the exciting variety that has been spinning out of Camp Toei lately, which I am more than okay with. Mixing it up with new and experimental side bits while the mainstream stuff keeps chugging forward? Works for me.
Give the gift of spandex this Mother’s Day when Hero Mama League drops on the Toei Tokusatsu Fanclub app May 13, 2018.
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