Holy misogyny, Batman. In an interview on Yahoo! Japan and translated by Henshin Justice Unlimited, Super Sentai producer Takahito Ohmori explained why the 2013 installment lacks a Yellow Ranger, and it’s pretty horrible.
“This is actually not the first time a team is without a Yellow member, J.A.K.Q, Battle Fever J and Dengeki Sentai Changeman never had a Yellow member. When it was decided that the Kyoryuger’s would be required to defeat a dinosaur in order to be able to transform, we wanted the characters to be absurdly strong. In order to show this, we chose to have more male characters over female characters. Seeing how modern Yellows have been female, we couldn’t have a male Yellow. If the Yellow was a male, the kids would probably think is feminine and we wanted to avoid that.”
In all fairness this was a rough translation so maybe his attitude only looks like it’s from Madison Avenue circa 1960 and it probably isn’t that at all. Still, holy shit, this is coming from the producer of a kids’ TV show with the most feminine looking manboys this side of Justin Bieber as their poster boys.
There are probably hundreds of factors here that I can’t even fathom, especially since I’m kind of in a blind fury right now. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on cultural attitudes that are foreign to me as an American, and this certainly can’t be too unique of an issue. Even here in the land of the free and the home of the brave a patriarch society exists that still refuses to give women an equal working wage and still boxes them in on incredibly high standards that drive young women to horrific bodily harm. Our media and entertainment– not American, not Japanese, our entertainment — are the biggest influences of young people and this kind of reasoning is utter bullshit.
They are right when they say that in recent history Yellow Rangers have been female, none have been male since 2005’s Mahou Sentai Magiranger. That doesn’t mean you can’t buck the trend and do something different. You whore out thirty years’ worth of superhero programming with each merchandise wave, a 7-year-old kid is going to see Liveman or Hurricanger at some point and see female Blue Rangers and dude Yellow Rangers. He’s not going to associate one color to one gender absolutely. Explain the female Red Ranger in Shinkenger, then. Again, such bullshit.
And here I thought Kyoryuger was just being cool and doing a new color scheme. Fuck this.
UPDATE: My friend Keith, founder of Henshin Justice Unlimited, wrote on my Facebook page about some of the translation gaps that occurred. One commenter on his site tried to clarify. I’m going to copy and paste his whole comment, and leave it up for you to decide.
Yuichi Koda • 16 hours ago −
I have read the original interview of Ohmori, in Japanese language.
http://r25.yahoo.co.jp/fushigi… [broken link, my apologies -Eric] Therefore, I’m really sorry to say this, but there is a problem of translation, he has never said “Seeing how modern Yellows have been female, we couldn’t have a male Yellow. If the Yellow was a male, the kids would probably think is feminine and we wanted to avoid that.”
He says, “It has been continued that girls play Yellow members in recent Sentai series, so we have been afraid of that a new boy-Yellow member might have been received as womanish by recent kids. Therefore, in order to express absurd strength within a boy member, we have decided to avoid a new boy-Yellow member.”
Yes, he does say “onnappoi” (女っぽい), which literally means “feminine”, especially when you use it to girls.
But, for ordinary Japanese speakers, using “onnappoi” to a boy may mean “womanish” or “naïve”, or “weak”, if you have to say.
They just intend to avoid a boy-Yellow member in this particular season, not to avoid any Yellow member in whole Sentai series.
I hope my comment will help all of you to understand the difficulty of translation or interpretation.
So it’s less about having a girl in the team and more making a boy seem “feminine” by wearing Yellow spandex. It’s still absurd, but not as bad as previously thought. At least if you think women belong in the home as opposed to just the kitchen, I guess.