Sentai spectacular with two teams for the price of one
'Gingaman' and 'Go Go V' were the 1998 and 1999 entries in Japan's ongoing sentai (superpowered task force) series. These are the shows that supply action and effects footage for the U.S. sentai counterpart, the Power Rangers series. 'Gingaman's U.S. equivalent was 'Power Rangers Lost Galaxy' (1999) and 'Go Go V' was the basis for 'Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue' (2000).
In this 45-minute TV special, "Go Go Five vs Gingaman," the heroes from both series team up to fight the combined villains from both series. The plot involves a hotel taken over by the costumed villains to gather victims to supply blood so that, when enough is gathered to fill up an indoor pyramid, the Darkness Beast will emerge. Our heroes--the rescue workers of Go Go V and the galaxy warriors from Gingaman--team up to try to roust the dark minions from the hotel and free the last victims who are still living--a married couple and their young daughter. When the Darkness Beast does emerge it's quite an impressive creation, a giant black beast with reptilian torso and arms and head deliberately recalling the hellish creature from the 'Night on Bald Mountain' segment of Disney's FANTASIA. The resulting slugfest between the monster and the heroes' various giant vehicles and robotic fighting machines causes wholesale urban destruction.
The action is fast and furious and the special effects are quite lively. For a TV production it's quite an impressive show and is distinguished from its American counterpart by such gruesome elements as the dark hotel chamber filled with dried-up, blood-drained corpses in cages and the pyramid filling up with blood. The usual comic antics that tend to slow down these shows are, thankfully, absent here.
A certain amount of foreknowledge of these shows is assumed by the producers, so nothing is spelled out to new viewers. You have to kind of figure it out as you go along. But for fans of live-action Japanese superhero shows with colorful if low budget special effects, this is indeed a worthy entry.