And we're back for yet another session of character talk. Boy do I love this a lot. Anyway, our next character to talk about is Mei AKA Ptera Ranger from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger
Oh My God! Not that look! Please! It's so moe I'm gonna die! SO MOE I'M GONNA DIEEEEE!!!
Okay, enough overacting. But you can't deny that Mei just reeks of cuteness. And that's just on her appearance. Wait until you hear her talk, and she'll let out a real high pitched and cute voice, though if you're unfamiliar with anime, or think that anime girls sounds REALLY annoying due to their unnaturally high pitch, then you might not like Mei. So let's get to the basic of it: Mei is a Princess of the Risha Tribe, and just because she's a Princess, doesn't mean she's haughty and a spoiled brat. In fact, she's gentle, kind, nice and sometimes naive, but most of all... tough-as-nails, since she's capable of fighting on her own. In fact, her other title is 'Warrior of Love'. She's as much as loving and caring as she can fight and kick some evil butt.
Mei's past isn't much detailed, except when Bandora struck down the world in response of her son's death by the dinosaur, she is one of the warriors that helped defeating her, sealing Bandora and tossing her to a dumpster/seal. She opts to get herself frozen in time along with 4 other warriors, only to awaken in present time later when Bandora gets released.
The show might've focused a lot on the Yamato tribe (especially for Geki and Burai), but I think that the Risha tribe also gets quite an attention and lore. For instance, it has some sort of Legendary Arrow, which is one weak point for one Dora Monster that other Zyurangers cannot beat (and Bandora has to go all the way to poison Mei just so that arrow cannot be used). Another Risha tribe lore was that Mei has an ancestor named Yui, who ended up sacrificing her life force to destroy one Dora Monster that was supposedly indestructible (and not even Burai and the Dragon Caesar or Gouryuujin can beat!).
Mei didn't develop much for the most part, since she is from a light-hearted Sentai series (she does develop, if only a little). But, again, big development isn't a must for a lovable character.
Like typical female Sentai characters, Mei is very kind to children. But then again, so are the rest of the Zyurangers, since Bandora especially targets kids. This is proven to be her proof of love, when she took care of lots of kids that fell sick when the Daizyujin and Dragon Caesar were disabled by the Zombie Franke. She also likes flowers, which plays really huge part in the battle against the monster that her ancestor once defeated (the monster turned flowers into man-eating monsters).
Unfortunately for Mei, she's also rather naive, though it's pretty justifiable that she and the rest of the Zyurangers are people awakened in the present time from slumber that dated from millenias ago. But this trait of hers could be disastrous. During the 'Golden Arrow' episode (as mentioned in past), Bandora just sent out Totpat to disguise and offer Mei a poisonous apple under the guise of 'We're only giving this apple to beautiful girls'... and she accepted right off bat without being suspicious! That led her to be poisoned and entered a dream where she's running off from being blasted to bits. She is eventually saved from falling to a sea of fire by a mysterious force, only to hear the screams of her friends requesting help. At that time Mei decided to throw away all her fears, making a leap of faith to save her friends to the sea of fire... and at that time resisted the poison. I think that's the time Mei stopped being so overly naive, it's still a trait, but not egregious.
She also has a fragile heart. When the Zyurangers got framed by fake Zyurangers, the citizens turned against them, despite their good intentions. Poor Mei in fact was the one who directly got hit with a slap from a woman just because she's helping a girl that got picked on by the fake Zyurangers! This was a huge blow to her and just when the Zyurangers found a safe hiding spot, she couldn't take it anymore and broke down crying. It's not until a session of consulting with an old lady that doesn't believe all that in one bit, in a bathtub (Fanservice time too!), that Mei started regaining her confidence (and so did the rest of the Zyurangers) and eventually managed to bring down the imposters and restore the reputation of the Zyurangers.
But perhaps her most well-known trait is about her hairstyle. Mei started out with a normal long-haired girl, but over time, she changed her hairstyle quite often, sometimes with new hair accessories. Sometimes even in a more improbable timing. In fact, when Barza called her out from her slumber, his lines were like "Stop thinking about makeups!". Still, it's considered one of her charms.
Mei is an excellent archer, considering that she is using bow and arrow, which is quickly upgraded later into Ptera Arrow. Alongside that is the Golden Arrow, which she used one time to defeat one Dora Monster. Being a member of the Risha Tribe, it's speculated that her life force is somewhat special, since it was the only thing that could destroy that one Dora Monster that her ancestor had to sacrifice her life to accomplish the task. Except Mei pretty much skips the 'life sacrifice' part and just concentrated her life force in attacks that would destroy the monster. And just like other female Sentai members, Mei is quite the witty one, using intelligence to outmaneuver the enemy, like when all the Zyurangers except her got eaten, she figured out how to get them all out together by herself (and some tip from Dan).
And of course, she has the power of disguise. Mei pretty much takes Miki's trait of spinning and changing clothes in instant and runs with it, as shown in the battle against Lamie, that in one battle, she goes to change from being a clown, to a masked swordsman, to a chinese girl, to a Japanese school girl, to a nun, and then to a bride in span of... seconds. This is considered as one of Mei's finest moments... even if she eventually lost the overall battle and her friends had to bail her out.
Zyuranger isn't quite the series to focus on pairing. It's kinda jarring that Mei is the Warrior of Love, but she doesn't have any romantic interests. It's probably a more universal love, loving everyone, not just one person (we know how that would end. See: Magic Knight Rayearth). Still, as far as I'm concerned, Mei is often paired in minor missions with Boi, but I don't think that's one pair for her. Also, she has several moments with Dan, but that's strictly a more 'serious' situations (especially the one where both turned into gangsters). I don't think she interacts a lot with Goushi or Burai (Except when Burai dies, but even she'd feel crushed in the same manner if anyone else dies in her eyes). On the other hand... Geki... while they seem to do things professionally, Mei seems to be paired together with him a lot in conversations. It got me thinking that the combination of Geki's 'professional time' together with Mei and the fact that the Risha Tribe's lore got more attention than Sharma, Etof and Daim Tribes is that maybe the producers were thinking of eventually pairing off Geki and Mei, but Burai proves to be way too popular, and most of the attentions fall squarely to the Yamato Tribe (and Burai). No, I don't hate Burai for this, and it's just my speculation, of course I'd be wrong! But if you ask me what is my fave pair from the series that doesn't really care about pairing, Geki/Mei takes the cake.
And that's about all I'd say about Mei. She is a wonderful Sentai heroine, on top of being a witty and tough-as-nails fighter, she's feminine, kind, and not to mention so cute. It's quite the parallel when you realize that her MMPR counterpart, Kimberly Hart, is considered to be really hot, but I guess that's just how values are different between countries, Americans prefer hotties, Japaneses prefer cuties. But in the end, Mei is a heroine that is so moe, I'm gonna die.
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