Friday, June 4, 2010

Super Sentai S.O.B 1: Radiguet

I've seen several Sentai and I have to say, some are huge bastards who the world would be better without. Take, for example, Agent Abrellar from Dekaranger who'll happily cause genocidal wars for the sake of profit and moving on to other planets to repeat the process. Or maybe Fuuwa Juzou from Shinkenger, who, while not hugely destructive to humans, is deep down a complete bastard who only cares to kill the people he wants, ignoring his parents' wishes. But to me?

Those two are no match in sheer evilness when you compare to the one who faced the Jetman... Radiguet. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you the biggest S.O.B that is ever conceived by Toei in the Super Sentai franchise... Earl Radiguet of Vyram.

So, why do I think he's a complete bastard? Let's begin with how he started, shall we? The first thing we saw was openly declaring to humans that "We Vyrams are your God! Worship us or die!". That takes balls, but it's a pretty cookie-cutter Sentai villain standard. Blasting the Skyforce base seemed kind of standard, but it does cause our hero Ryuu Tendou to lose his girlfriend Rie Aoi, causing him lots of grief. But then, this eventually leads to the emergence of Maria, who turns out to be Rie brainwashed by Radiguet... JUST BECAUSE.

As the series progressed, it's clear that Radiguet, despite being a Vyram, has no loyalty but to himself only. He challenged the rest of his elites on who shall be their leader, in a competition of who can destroy the Jetman first. This came to a slight halt when Empress Juza appeared, and Radiguet, being her 'servant', had to bow to her... This only lasts a short while, because Radiguet's loyalty lie to him only, so his plan is naturally to usurp Juza's throne, be the supreme Vyram ruler and take over the universe for himself. However, Juza at the moment proves to be too powerful for him, and she didn't take traitors well... thus she punished him by turning him into human.

A girl named Saki found him and nursed him back to health. Without his memory, Radiguet lived as a human, uncaring of his background, even falling in love with Saki. When Saki was revealed to be deathly ill, he wished so hard she could be cured, triggering his Vyram powers which healed her. Further interaction showed that Radiguet was happy with his life as a human, and was ready to put any past he didn't remember behind. But this was just a beginning on just how much of a depraved monster he really is.

See, the battle between Juza and the Jetman eventually drew Radiguet's memory back to him and when he witnessed the battle, he remembers who he is and turned back into the Vyram elite. Teaming up with the Jetman so he can be rid of Juza quicker and steal her big plan (the larva form of Semimaru), Radiguet eventually managed to kill Juza. Despite witnessing his cruelty and brutality, Saki still pleaded him to return as a human. As proven, Radiguet IS able to love. He started giving second thoughts on living with Saki... then what is his decision?

"Fool! Do you think that I, Radiguet, am able to experience such disgusting thing called 'Love'!?"

And then, he killed Saki in cold blood, never once referring her again. This is pretty much Radiguet's first big step to make it clear to the audience that he is a complete bastard through and through and you'll want him to get grinded on a rusty axe thanks to what he did to poor Saki. And... he DOES NOT STOP THERE on doing evil things.

At one point, the plan he stole from Juza, the beast Semimaru, has come to its peak and it is proving to be more than a match for Jet Icarus. Then the Jet Garuda arrives, controlled by the 3 warriors of reverse Dimension: Ray, Kanna and Dan. They reveal that way before the Vyram attacks Earth, Radiguet has also destroyed the planet, so you get to know how much this bastard can be evil. He destroys and conquers planet like nobody's business, with no regards with the lives lost. While the three worked out to help the Jetman, Radiguet struck again and killed both Ray and Kanna in cold blood. Dan exploded in rage and tried attacking Radiguet, but he's killed too. Yet another victim of Radiguet that he killed on cold blood because they get in the way...

The next time, we find that yet another of survivor of Radiguet's planet-scale massacre arrive, and rather than just 'killing' them, Radiguet had one Bio Dimensional Beast to possess one of them and try to make the other one (his lover) kill him. This was pretty sadistic and shows just how much of a bastard he is, but thankfully the Jetman managed to stop the tragedy for now.

Later on, Tran morphed into Tranza and started displaying power that makes him win the bet, emerging as the leader of the Vyram, basically reducing Radiguet to servant AGAIN. This does not bode well for Radiguet, thus he did all he can to sabotage Tranza's success, no matter what. He even once again resorted to teaming up with the Jetman to eventually defeat Tranza and make him declare Radiguet as the Lord of Vyrams. It shows that Radiguet shows ZERO concern for his fellow Vyrams. For him, the world revolves around him and him only and anyone else are his playthings.

He also started developing quite the obsession on Maria/Rie. Thus, he turns her into a blood-thirsty vampire that yearns for more blood, becoming more monstrous each days and thus worthy of being by Radiguet's side. This action is so despicable that his fellow Vyram warrior Grey showed disgust. Now you know that you're messed up when even your friend think you're ****ed up to the head. Eventually, the Jetman managed to free Rie from brainwashing, although she decided that she's gone too far to be redeemed. Instead, she vented all her wish for vengeance to Radiguet by stabbing him from behind. He retaliates by killing her, but what makes him very depraved in doing so was not because he had to kill a traitor. His motivation is that if Rie betrays him, he'll NEVER let Ryuu have her, thus making his quest to save her a complete failure. And he succeeded, much to Ryuu's anguish... and much to our desire to slice the m*********er in two... ahem, sorry.

Consumed with desire for vengeance, Ryuu quits the Jetman force and challenged Radiguet to avenge Rie. Just to show how pissed off he was, he's willing to take Radiguet with him in death, though Radiguet couldn't care less. Thankfully for Ryuu, he still has friends, which made him change his mind about killing himself just so he can kill Radiguet. Thus began Jetman's final battle, whereas Radiguet is finally killed when Ryuu held him back and let the team, under the command of Gai Yuuki, stabbed Radiguet on the same spot where Rie stabbed him, which eventually killed him for good, while cursing that he'll have his vengeance soon... Now that might be a joyous day to Earth, but depending on your interpretation of what happens three years later, perhaps even Radiguet is having the last laugh.

Three years after the final battle, Ryuu married fellow Jetman Kaori Rokumeikan. Gai decided to visit the wedding, stopped a mugger in process, but for his troubles, the mugger stabbed him and even though he made it to the wedding and gave his blessing, Gai succumbed to his wounds and probably died. Now a lot of you probably would've thought of the theory about Radiguet surviving, becoming human again and now a mugger. While it's a plausible story, if we take the manga in continuity, I'd say that the mugger IS just a normal, nameless mugger, but Radiguet's spirit lived on and deciding to spit on the Jetman, never letting them having a happy ending, he possessed the thug and had him stab Gai. The thug was played by the suit actor of Black Condor, thus it can't be a reincarnated Radiguet. My other theory is when Gai looked away, Radiguet possessed the thug, thus giving him an urge to stab him, and he did. Once the deed is done, Radiguet's spirit left the thug, therefore, the thug felt a complete remorse about him stabbing Gai, and fled with a terrified look on his face rather than a confident "Take That!" look. Of course, Radiguet's restless spirit continued to haunt Jetman that it possessed the vegetable-state Tranza and even tried to possess Gai's replacement Jeffrey Kensaki. The combined power of the Jetman reunited as well as Tranza's spirit put an end to Radiguet's existence, and only then the world rejoiced that one more bastard has been erased from the world.

As said, Radiguet is a completely irredeemable sadistic monster. He is brutal to the humans, looks down on the humans, couldn't care less about his teammates and superiors, and wanted everything for himself. There are a lot of complete bastards in the Super Sentai franchise, but Radiguet tops them all... But then again, that's what makes him such a good villain. Because he's the type of villain you'll love to hate and you will cheer loudly when he finally bites the dust.

So? In the end, would you consider Radiguet the biggest S.O.B in Super Sentai? Or you know there's a bigger one? Well, you decide. But me? I'd say, yes, Radiguet is the biggest one there is.

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