Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mechanime vs Sentai Time! Top Ten Super Sentai Mecha Themes

Ever since Battle Fever J (or even Gorangers, one could argue), the multicolored heroes of the Super Sentai franchise have used mecha as a key part of their arsenal. These mecha are usually the ultimate weapon of the sentai, and almost always finish off the monster of the week. Each mech has its own theme, and usually they are tons of fun to listen to. Today, I’m counting down my top ten favorite themes. There’s only one rule: only one theme per show. Let’s get going.

10. Hot! Hot! GaoMuscle
Sentai: Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger
Vocalist: Yukio Yamagata

Note: I couldn't find a good mp3 of this song. The song is on YouTube, so you can listen to it there.

I like it when a theme does something different and still ends up being enjoyable. GaoMuscle’s theme is very different from your average mecha theme. It has some odd instrumentals with an off-kilter melody, and the song is much better for it. Its weirdness is its greatest asset, especially with all the grunting in the background. This theme stands out in a great way, and it’s very fun to listen to. That said, it’s at the bottom for not quite reaching the same level of “fun to listen to” as the other choices. Still, this is a very fun song, and it deserves a spot on this list.

9. Engine Gattai! Engine-Oh G6

Sentai: Engine Sentai Go-Onger
Vocalist: MoJo (Ichiro Tomita)

Credit is due where credit is due; I may dislike Go-Onger as a show, but its mecha themes are all great. Choosing just one for the list was tough, but in the end I went with the one that pumped me up the most. This song does a great job of building up to the chorus, and boy, what a chorus. It also helps that this song has the legendary MoJo singing, and he does a great job with every lyric. The instrumentals are also great, and the brass complements the vocals greatly. This is a flashy and dramatic song, and it’s the greatest song Go-Onger has to offer.

8. Ginga no Ouja Gingaioh

Sentai: Seijuu Sentai Gingaman

Vocalist: Miyauchi Takayuki

A lot of the earlier themes didn’t really stand out to me. This one, however, manage to capture the dramatic spirit of many of the earlier mech themes while still being able to stand above the rest. With great use of brass and strings, it captures a feeling of drama, tension, and power. The vocals have the same effect; with the chorus and main singer, it magnifies the power of the song. The combination of great instrumentals and vocals made this theme this theme fantastic, while the other earlier themes were just “good” or “great.”

7. Samurai Gattai! ShinkenOh

Sentai: Samurai Sentai Shinkenger

Vocalist: Akira Kushida

You want drama? This theme will give you plenty of that. This theme has very pumping instrumentals from the guitar and drums that help keep up the theme’s energy throughout the song, and the dashes of more traditional instruments are great. And may I just say that the bridge is probably one of the best in any song ever? Seriously, the power that one section of the song has is just incredible. This song demands your attention in the best of ways, and is well at home in my favorite Super Sentai show.

6. Makka na Toukon! Red Puncher

Sentai: Chouriki Sentai Ohranger

Vocalist: Hironobu Kageyama

Hironobu Kageyama is my second favorite Japanese vocalist (if you’re wondering who’s my favorite, just keep reading), and this song is a good reason why. This song has the perfect mix of 90s cheese and killer brass, managing to be stupid, awesome, and stupidly awesome all at the same time. It’s incredibly fun to listen to, and Kageyama absolutely sells this. This song really gets you ready for any crap an evil intergalactic empire has to throw at you.


Sentai: Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger
Vocalist: NoB (Nobuo Yamada)

Now we’re talking! This song is just so fun to listen to, with its near perfect mix of wicked guitar and showy brass. It’s a fairly simple song with a hypnotically awesome melody, and the chorus is worthy enough to be played at sporting events. This theme just oozes with awesome, and is just as addicting as all of Kyoryuger’s other songs. I may be a bit biased, seeing that I love Kyoryuger, but I think this theme deserves a spot on this list.

4. Zettai Shouri da! VRV

Sentai: Gekisou Sentai Carranger

Vocalist: Norio Sakai
It’s a bit ironic that Carranger, a parodic season of Super Sentai, has one of the best mech themes out there. Nevertheless, this a very feel good song, with enough drama and power to make it something truly amazing. The verses sound stereotypically heroic, but they’re still very enjoyable. The greatest part of this song is when the chorus kicks in, with a very hopeful sounding instrumental and sweeping vocals. It truly is a musical treat, even it is a bit silly.

3. Make Legend! Magiranger!

Sentai: Mahou Sentai Magiranger

Vocalist: Ichiro Mizuki (Toshio Hayakawa)

Ichiro Mizuki is easily my favorite Japanese vocalist, and this song is a perfect example why. This song carries itself with a great grand spirit, with absolutely amazing instrumentals that just nail the heroic spirit of Super Sentai. Mizuki’s vocals top it all off, with powerful and sweeping vocals that complete this song. I may be cheating with this entry, as this is both the theme for the Magiranger’s super form and MagiLegend, but there was no way I wasn’t going to exclude such a perfect song for this list.

2. Li-Oh! Kenzan! Champion!

Sentai: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters
Vocalist: Ichiro Mizuki (Toshio Hayakawa)

This song is the absolute king of being channeling the old school spirit without completely sucking. Like previous entries, it has a killer combination of both brass and strings, and with the addition of a saxophone, we have a nearly perfect example of old school style tokusatsu songs. Just like the last entry, Mizuki’s vocals make the song, complementing the amazing instrumentals to make something magnificent. It misses out on being number one by just and inch, but it remains one of the greatest pieces of Super Sentai music ever.

1. ToQ Sou Shingeki
Sentai: Ressha Sentai ToQger
Vocalist: Yukio Yamagata

This song has all of what makes the previous songs great. It has great instrumentals, with a absolutely heavenly mix of guitar and orchestral music. It fits the heroism and drama of Super Sentai to a T. The vocalist pushes the song from being “good” to being “fantastic.” It’s bridge and chorus are incredible. There’s virtually nothing wrong with this song, and everything it does is golden. This is easily the best mech theme in all of Super Sentai.

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