Okay we're back for another character talk. Let us talk this time about a Shinkenger, particularly Mako Shiraishi AKA Shinken Pink. Hey, if Sean can talk a lot about her, so can I (No hard feelings Sean, just that your favoritism to Mako is just so seen and acknowledgable)
This lady is Mako, descended from the Shiraishi clan, a clan in servtitude of the Shiba clan to seal the Gedoushuu, and she worked as a kindergarten teacher before the next battle with Gedoushuu began. She pretty much defines the 'big sister' archetype. Chiaki called her 'nee-san', Kotoha idolizes her so much she'd ignore one of her blatant flaws (which we'll talk about later) and even Takeru knows not to really be harsh on her. Sensible and mature, but also tough as heck, people may think she's a 'tomboyish' archetype like Yuuri of Timeranger or Sakura of Boukenger, but I'd say Mako is more of the 'nurturing, motherly type' which is pretty prevalent in the very old school Sentai shows.
Mako... didn't have a good, normal past. When she's little, her mother, already crippled due to her previous battle with Gedoushuu, had to move away from home with her father, to Hawaii, leaving Mako to continue on the Shiraishi clan's samurai training from her grandma. Mako trained rigorously, even if she had to foresake her normal childhood. This was why she became a kindergarten teacher, she wanted to provide the children a good childhood that she never had.
What Mako didn't know back then was that her mother's crippling was so bad she's paralyzed so she had to take medications in Hawaii, not because she's had enough of her child. This, at first, left Mako bitter about her parents a bit, but once she learned the truth, she became more respectful to them and her ending had her return to Hawaii... though probably returned just in time for Goseiger vs Shinkenger.
Aside of that, Mako was, admittedly, kind of static. She didn't improve much outside being less cold during that time she got hugged by Kotoha. She remains a good big sister figure for the Shinkengers.
In battle on the other hand, she seemed to be drawn with Usukawa Dayuu. When she got sucked into a dream world sharing with Dayuu, she ended up seeing her past and probably felt pity on her state, though Dayuu would take none of the pity. She ended up fighting her a lot and was quite sad when Dayuu sacrificed herself for Doukokuu. I think at that time Mako felt pity on Dayuu's fate and eventual death, regretting that she couldn't reach her out. But overall, they still held the same 'Girl-girl rivalry'.
If Mako lacked in development, she's already got a lot of traits to make up for it, though.
First off, her big sisterly figure means that she always had an urge to hug someone in need. Kids, adults, or even toy lanterns, if they feel depressed, she always had an urge to hug them out and comforting them. Of course, this doesn't mean she's ready for romantic commitment... as Ryuunosuke learned it the hard way. She hugged him not because she wanted to start a relationship, but she just thought his depressed self unsightly. Poor Ryuu-san didn't know that his default personality at that time was 'Annoying like hell' so it also ticked Mako off that he'd jump at her that instant. She'll cuddle as needed, not cuddle as long as she can. In other words, she values efficiency.
Being a kindergarten teacher also helps her for understanding many people's feelings. Including her teammates, she could sometimes understand how they were feeling, which led her to that one incident with Ryuunosuke (above), or how she tried comforting Kotoha when she felt lonely, topped with how she later attempts to sympathize with Takeru when he felt a bit too intense regarding his role. So it's not that she's tough and cold, she's a very understanding and nurturing lady.
But perhaps, her biggest trait is that... She's a horrid cook. And this is a frigging understatement. Takeru, the one who usually kept his cool, just freaked out at the prospect of her cooking (though less than that one haunted house). "Is that edible" indeed. And even the sight of her in an apron is just plain traumatizing for the Kurokos. She even uses her Shinkenmaru to 'murder' an onion, for Pete's sake! However, Mako is a hardworking girl, so she'd try her best to improve, although even until the end of Shinkenger, there's no progress at all... she'd try harder until she succeed. After all, her dream was to be a good wife, so cooking skill is a must. Then again, when your childhood is spent on training to be a samurai, who had the time for culinary training?
A rarely shown trait of Mako is that she seemed to have a hidden yearning for singing. Especially when that time she sang at the V-Cinema episode, it was in her dream that she becomes an idol singer. Of course, once everyone is back to the normal world, Mako would deny that she likes being an idol singer, but I'd just chalk it down that she's getting a bit flustered.
I think I did tell about pairings of Shinkenger. Mako went along well with pretty much everyone. While initially refusing to Ryuunosuke, after that one incident, she's back to normal, professional relationship with Ryuunosuke, and if she shoves him off, it's because he's asking for it (like that one in the end of the soul-swap episode). There's also the one with Takeru, which is probably my favorite, just too bad it goes nowhere... and I think I can see rabid Kotoha fanboys glaring at me right now when I said that. Speaking of that, there's also Kotoha to consider pairing for, and I admit, Mako-Kotoha pair is a near-legendary one, up there with Jasmine-Umeko from Dekaranger. As of Chiaki, all I see is just about a sisterly respect view for Chiaki, calling her 'nee-san', probably why in Chiaki's dream in V-Cinema, Mako became the superior police for him. It's got a good start, better than Ryuunosuke even, I gotta admit. But then again, I shipped Chiaki with someone else -_-...
I dunno how much I'd value her pairing with Genta and Kaoru. Mako treats Genta the same way she treated Ryuunosuke, professionally. And she didn't get much time to interact with Kaoru.
In conclusion, that's Mako for you. She's admittedly static and just develops slightly, but she's got a lot of quirk and traits that makes her lovable. Perfect for you siscons out there. I think she helped a lot in reigniting my passion for Sentai after leaving it so long since the ages of Goggle V and Power Rangers. Of course she's not the only reason, but Mako pretty much gains my respect, and thus far, I think she's deserving her position as one of my fave ladies of Sentai...
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