Welcome to Tokusatsu Gesundheit, where we’re once again turning our eyes to the Gosei Sentai Dairanger (guess which Sentai I finished most recently?), this time to the Kujaku arc/subplot.
The Dairangers defeat a mirror monster working for Gara, one of the three generals in the Gorma Triumvirate, and free the peacock-themed Kujaku! Gara has had a burning hatred for Kujaku for millennia, using the mirror monster to keep the Avatar of the Peacock Buddha imprisoned for 6000 years. Kujaku, being a holy entity and having been held captive in another dimension for all of recorded history, cannot handle the pollution of our age and seeks the Holy Peacock Teardrop (a mystical elixir that heals all wounds/illnesses) with the help of her lover, ShishiRanger!
This arc ran periodically from episode nine (when Kujaku is freed) to episode forty-one (when Kujaku ascends to heaven).
- Gara is revealed to have been a member of the Dai Tribe and a childhood friend of Kujaku. It was Kujaku’s studies with the peacock Buddha that lead Gara to joining the Gorma – your best friend abandoning you after a “disfiguring” injury (a scar on her cheek, albeit a nasty one) will do that.
- Of course, Kujaku began training with the Peacock Buddha to find the Holy Peacock Teardrop and heal Gara’s face in the first place, so we’re edging dangerously close to the Gift of the Magi here.
- ShishiRanger is typically the coolest headed member of the Dairanger team, unless Kujaku is involved. Then he rushes in like Magnus gosh-darned Burnsides.
- Kujaku’s journey, ultimately giving up her more selfish motivations and choosing to do good for its own sake, is really fitting for an avatar of a Buddha.
While an arc fueled by romance between a hero and a recurring character can be tedious in any nation or genre, I rather liked this arc. ShiShiRanger and his teammates often get demoted to supporting characters in the feud between Kujaku and Gara, which allows the viewer to feel more invested in their conflict.