And we're back in another Character talk. Today's character is actually not an initial member of the Super Sentai, and even her membership might be questionable to some, but she's good deep down. This character is Mele, from Juken Sentai Gekiranger.
On introduction, Mele is the fanatically loyal female minion of the main enemy Rio. She gushes over him like a lovestruck girl and might look a bit too silly. But behind that appearance is a deadly Love Warrior (yes, she said that in Engrish!) who is just about as deadly as she can get in battles. She uses the RinJyuuKen Chameleon Fist, also inheriting the stealth power of a chameleon and sharp, steel tongues for attacking. Later on, she gains the power of fire thanks to usage on GenJyuuKen Phoenix Fist, but she discards it later on. To Rio, she's not only loyal and devoted, she REALLY loves and cares about him, which plays part in redeeming her to the good side. But against her enemies, she shows aloofness and coldness, which can be heard by the tone of her voice.
Nothing was known of Mele's past and how she ended up taking the RinJyuuKen style. But she did end up studying under Maku and the Three Kenma, and at best, she's just a normal fighter. She is later challenged by GekiJyuKen Fly Fist user Bae, who tried to use the forbidden technique to turn him into animal... in this case, a fly. Being a chameleon, Mele's option is to eat him, but this doesn't kill him, in fact, it made him live through Mele's dark powers.
As Maku got sealed, Mele was eventually slain. Later on, she is brought back from the dead by Rio, the new master of RinJyuDen and was given the power to retain her human form, and became his right-hand-woman. Grateful with this and touched with his unusual kindness, Mele became very devoted to him and became some sort of fangirl to Rio, serving his every order. She didn't care if it's evil or sorts, if it means she's with Rio.
At first, Mele might be some cookie cutter villainess who seems to juggle between being a cold bitch to being Rio's #1 fangirl, although sometimes she shows a soft side. Her loyalty and love, however, plays part when Maku returns and made Rio his underling, which distressed Mele. A suspicious guy named Long gave her information on how to restore Rio, and she eventually did, even though Long is a rather sneaky guy. When Long introduces the GenJyuKen, to ensure that Rio gets persuaded to achieve his ambition of getting stronger, Mele volunteers to become one of its users, gaining the power of Phoenix Fist. However, this was short-lived when Mele discovers that Long's powers are just about a sham, a cover to make Rio the destroyer of world. She managed to stop Rio, but was discovered as one of the reason why Rio still has an attachment: Her love paid off and Rio realized that he loved her. Still, Long took her away and tortured her; except that Mele knew that if Rio came, he'd see her die and he'll become the Destroyer again, so she wished so hard that Rio didn't come.
But he did.
For that time, Mele was really happy that her Rio-sama hugged her warmly. To renounce their allegiance with Long, Mele discards the GenJyuuKen style and goes back into RinJyuuKen, allying with the Gekiranger and drove Long away. Jan invited them to enter the SCRTC, but both Ran and Retsu objected, since even though they repented, it's not easy to forget about the crimes they did on humanity in their quest to get stronger. Rio and Mele then burnt down the RinJyuDen as a farewell to their dark ways, and underwent Fist Judgment... even surprising Retsu and Ran that they purposely tried to get themselves hit with the final mission...
Then Long, being an immortal, came back. After showing his true form, Mele suddenly felt an urge to protect the Gekiranger and took an attack from Long, which broke her bones and left her to death. Before, she thanked the Gekiranger for redeeming her and bid farewell to Rio, with her body reduced to dust. Rio followed her shortly with his death and they departed for afterlife. It turns out that with their deaths, Gekirangers were able to learn the hidden united move of JyuKen, which proves to be vital in defeating Long.
In the Go-onger vs Gekiranger, Long is back. Mele also sensed it and urged Hiroto Sutou and Miu Sutou (Go-on Gold and Go-on Silver) to bring her and Rio back to the world of living so she could once again fight Long. Of course, it came with a cost that they'll be condemned to Hell after the battle, but it looks like Mele didn't care, if she could help the Gekirangers and finish off Long AGAIN. After the battle, she returns to the afterlife with Rio. They may be heading for Hell, but as long as there is Rio, Mele would endure.
In short, Mele has a massive development, first as a massive fangirl-type villainness, but then she becomes a girl who prioritizes her love with Rio, and it plays part in redeeming both her and Rio; as well as making her value the power of friendship. I'm pretty sure that despite her aloof attitude in Go-onger vs Gekiranger, Mele (and Rio) does have another reason to help the Gekirangers at cost of being doomed to Hell: She wants to help her friends. That's quite the development from what could be an one dimensional villain.
As mentioned, Mele practically has two modes. Mode 1 is reserved only for Rio, in which she'll spend her time gushing on how great her Rio-sama is and how to impress him. Rio usually didn't care much, but Mele kept going and going, and what do you know, it paid off. Mode 2 is for everyone else, in which she's an aloof and cold person, referring the Gekirangers as 'Losers' and pretty much doesn't give much attention to the Rinshi's, unless they have something special that could please Rio. Her loyalty is unquestioned, and she pretty much refuses all advances on her, because she devotes her body only to Rio. Her devotion can also be seen during the team's trip to the Edo age, where Rio lost his memories, Mele served him as a devoted wife, much to the team's surprise. And hilarity ensues. And if Rio orders her to call a truce against the Gekiranger to achieve a greater good for themselves, Mele would happily comply.
Despite being cruel, Mele usually tolerates Bae, the one that's been in her stomach for so long. Even though she also abuses the hell out of him, especially during commentaries between the giant battles, Mele sides and cheers for the RinJyuKen side, while Bae is on the GekiJyuKen side. Considering that GekiJyuKen always win, we always see that most of the time, Mele vents her frustration on Bae, before eating and putting him back on her stomach.
It goes without saying that Mele belongs only to her Rio-sama and is not going anywhere without him. So I won't badger about it.
In a nutshell, that's Mele for ya. She may not be an official Green Sentai Warrior, but she met quite some qualifications despite starting out as a villain; she's just someone who yearns for Rio's love. That also gives her the standard 'Sexy Female Villain Outfit', adding more for her fanbase. It's a bummer that she died near the end, but overall she's one of the better villains that embraced the Super Sentai Series (that turned good).
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