For the past few years, the sentai team members have all worn clothes tailored to their individual style. The last team season that featured matching outfits was Gobusters, which is understandable considering the fact that they were part of a larger organization. Looking further back at previous seasons, we see team members with similar or matching outfits even if they weren’t part of a larger group.
What are your thoughts on this trend? Which do you prefer, matching uniforms, or individual styles? What would you like to see in the future?
I’m conflicted about which I prefer more. I think that uniforms are better for cosplaying situations, but individual styles are preferable on most other occasions.
Uniforms are more identifiable as a group. It’s much easier to recognize people when they have a consistent visual cue tying them together. They also usually have the season’s logo or some highly visible pattern which stands out. It might seem a bit silly to want to stand out, but at large conventions, being more flashy isn’t really a bad thing. One time, Genta’s jacket wasn’t recognized at a toku meet up. Let that sink in, Shinken Gold’s jacket, one of the most gaudy pieces, was not recognized by people who were presumably fans of the series.
Individual outfits are usually worn by teams that have lives outside of being super heroes. It’s what they wear from day to day which means we can usually wear them on any given day without trouble. But that means they also blend in quite well and fade into the background. Just look at the clothes for the past couple of pink rangers. I’m not sure I can really remember what made them different from each other. However, one major benefit when it comes to individual styles is that it increases the chances of having something that interests you. If you dislike the style of uniforms for a particular year, then you’re out of luck until next year. With individual styles, you have at least a couple of chances with the core team and then another shot when the extra shows up later.
I’m not really sure what I would like to see in the future. It is nice to see the outfits reflect the personalities of the characters, but I wouldn’t mind actually being recognized at conventions more often. I think it doesn’t matter too much in the long run, right now the pendulum is swinging towards individual styles, and in the future it’ll swing back towards uniforms. Although I would like those individual styles seen on Sentai to take a page out of Rider and be a little more flamboyant, like Chase, who wore shiny purple pleather.
I really love uniforms. This is probably because I mostly cosplay in groups though! At the very least, I like cosplays to have a unifying theme. One of the things I really loved about Chase’s outfit is the tire tracks across the back. It’s a small touch, but it ties it in with the season theme. I wish every outfit was designed with at least a unifying theme in mind.
Too often, the individual outfits are different from each other but often very similar to previous seasons. It’s hard to appreciate Mio’s outfit, for example, when it looks just like Luka’s. It’s even harder to justify spending an additional $200+ to get an outfit that is so stylistically typical for Bandai/Toei. I would rather have a distinct, well-thought out team uniform than generic individual outfits.
[In Response to Procrastiranger]
Ahim (Gokaiger) had a pink jacket/cape thing. Kagura (ToQ), pink jacket/cape thing. Kasumi (Ninninger), Pink jacket/cape thing. And they really did all look similar, same shades of pink and the lambswool accents.
I LOVE INDIVIDUAL OUTFITS. I think they add a great touch to characters that’s hard to get with uniforms. I also way prefer to be able to just get pieces of Premium Bandai to add those finishing details to my cosplay instead of being forced to buy the whole thing because there’s no way to make an entire matching team’s worth of inevitably complicated outfits. Go-onger is great but those jackets are… too patch-laden, at the very least. Gekiranger seems simple, until you realize each jacket is made up of a variety of perfectly color-matched materials… that all match each other. It’s hard enough to find the right stuff in the first place! Go-busters is perhaps doable, at least.
This leads to my second problem with uniforms – when you’re forced to work with the Premium Bandai like that, not everyone can do it. The price aside, a lot of the uniforms simply don’t come in large enough sizing for, you know, regular people. But Bandai’s wildly fluctuating sizes are a topic for another day.
However! I do have to agree that Toei needs to work more on the styles between seasons being distinct. The pinks recently have especially looked similar. Luka and Mio is just inexcusable. Really, I feel like it’s more a problem of them not putting effort into their girls than not putting effort into their fashion as a whole… Takaharu is very different than Light who is very different than King despite them all having the basic t-shirt with red oversomething idea, so I’m sure it can be done.
I also like when there’s both. In Ninninger, for example, everyone has their own casual outfits, but there’s also the ninja training outfits they wear. Or, in the case of Gaim, there’s some of the cast that has uniforms (Baron), some of the cast that has very distinct and unified theming, though not quite uniforms (Gaim), and then individual outfits for the rest of the cast.
I think it’s actually odd for rider casts to have uniforms. Gaim and Fourze were outliers because of their large ensemble casts. It really depends on the setting for any given season. Even with Drive taking place at a police department we only got police uniforms for two of the characters.Overall I would say that rider does a great job at making each of the characters distinct. Although they usually don’t have as many bright colors.
In regards to the comments about the female outfits, I would say that uniforms do have a benefit of equalizing everyone as they would in traditional academic settings. Go-on yellow’s jacket is just as distinct and detailed as the others. Same with pink and yellow from Boukenger as well as pink and blue from Magiranger. As long as the uniforms are inspired then the whole team will look nice.