For those who do not know why I am hysterically laughing (and trust me, I had to pause because I was laughing too hard), this is taken from the anime Little Witch Academia. These are the headdresses/hats of the Nine Olde Witches who founded the school the series takes place in. You might recognize a couple. I can name two of them off the top of my head, hats 3 and 6.
Hat 3 belongs to the Scarlet Witch from Marvel comics.
Hat 6 belongs to Witch Bandora from Kyoryu Sentai Jyuranger, more commonly known in the west as Rita Repulsa from Power Rangers seasons 1-5 and Mystic Force. This was the one that got me cackling like a hyena.
Sorry it isn’t the best screen cap, it was a scrolling shot with a lot of parallax to it.
For @week-of-toku-ladies day 5 I picked the roles played by probably the most prolific villainess actress in the history of Toei tokusatsu, the legendary Machiko Soga. This isn’t every role she ever portrayed as there are various villains of the week and monster voices she provided but here are a smattering of some of her biggest and most well-known roles.
Machiko Soga played the main villain and leader of the Vader Clan in 1980′s Denshi Sentai Denziman. Her goal was to cause misery and suffering, pollute the world and destroy all beauty on the planet Earth. Despite her evil nature, she cared deeply about her subjects and their well being, making her slightly more sympathetic. Slightly.
Though defeated at the end of Denziman, Queen Hedrian would be revived in the sequel series Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan by the evil Black Magma organization and given a cyborg heart as a way to serve them and bring her evil expertise to their side.
Her name, Hedrian, comes from the Japanese word Hedoro (へどろ) which means ooze, slime or sludge and was also used in the name of the Smog Monster Hedorah in the 1971 Toho film Godzilla vs. Hedorah.
Though a rather minor character, Laraba was an important plot point in the 1987 series Hikari Sentai Maskman. She is the mother of the Underground Empire Tube commander Baraba. While he is about to face ultimate disgrace, she comes to the aid of her son and helps him (through treachery, deceit and an act of self-sacrifice) to kill Devil Dogler and retrieve the Imperial Underground Sword, this returning him to the good graces of Emperor Zeba. Both Laraba and her son are members of the Baluga Tribe.
Witch Ninja Madam Spider
Not from a Super Sentai series this time but menacing the lead character in the Metal Hero series World Ninja War Jiraiya, Machiko Soga returns as a spider-themed villainess who is part of the vile Sorcerors Clan. They use black magic as well as Ninjitsu in an attempt to conquer the world. She uses spider themed weapons including electrified spider webs, bombs shaped like spiders and the ability to transform into a giant spider! She also has the necromantic ability to summon the souls of dead Ninja to her side and use them against the living!
I love her outfit.
Queen Pandora is the ruler of the Waller Empire in the Metal Hero show Space-Time Warrior Spielban despite her claims to being merely a servant of the god Waller. In truth, she invented the evil God and uses him as an excuse for her cruel behavior and intolerance of failure among her underlings. She travels the universe stealing water from various planets for the made up reason of keeping her imaginary god alive.
Machiko Soga’s most famous role is that of the evil sorceress Bandora in 1992′s Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. She was the former queen of Dall tribe 170 million years ago but sold her soul for magical power to Dai Satan after the death of her son at the jaws of a dinosaur. As part of her deal, she had to attack children and cause misery. She eventually defeated and sealed away on the planet Nemesis by the combined forces of the other five tribes.
She was revived 170 million years later to continue her evil work and try to destroy the world. She hates children and cannot stand the idea of love or happiness, though she does promote them among her own minions. Much like Queen Hedrian, she actually cares about her underlings; rewarding them for success and not punishing them for failure.
As part of the Monday portion of the Week of Toku Ladies created by @week-of-toku-ladies which involves Monster Ladies, I decided to make one of my lists for my favorite Monster Ladies in Super Sentai. These are women who either ARE monsters disguised as human women or women who turn into monsters. I’m not including any completely human looking villains here or the whole list would be characters played by Machiko Soga.
5. Princess Multiwa from Chouriki Sentai Ohranger
More of an evil robot than a true monster but as all of the monsters in this series were robots, I am counting her. Princess Multiwa was the niece of Empress Hysteria of the Machine Empire Baranoia and married the Prince, Buldont when he took the throne from his Father who had been killed in a coup. Multiwa is a skilled archer and even has a human form, though she only uses it once in the series. She’s on the list for being a cruel, heartless robot… and also because for a robot, she’s kind of cute!
4. Madame Noir from Ressha Sentai ToQger
Madame Noir just has an amazing look. She’s a monstrous version of a Victorian-style Lady with a very Gothic and creepy style to her. She is a member of the Shadow Line and her main goal seems to be to get her daughter Glitter, to marry to Emperor of Darkness, thus elevating her to Royal status. She really doesn’t care what her daughter wants, it’s all about how her daughter can be used to elevate her own status, which is very much in tune with her European Nobility stylings. Plus, she has a parasol and parasols are just cool.
Leh Näfel from Choushinsei Flashman
This lovely villainess played by the wonderful Sayoko Hagiwara (who also portrayed DynaPink in 1983′s Kagaku Sentai Dynaman) is a catwoman cyborg member of the Resconstructive Empire Mess. She is one of the Empire’s field commanders and can often be seen accompanied by her two underlings, Wolk and Kilt. She can also transform into the monstrous Näfelura, which brings out even more of her feline nature.
2. Lami from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger
This is one of the most famous of the ladies who turn into monsters on this list, especially among Western fans for she was converted into Scorpina for the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I like her Japanese version much better though as she doesn’t just vanish for no reason without explanation. She is Bandora’s spy and can disguise herself in various costumes. She is also the wife of Grifforzer and at the end of the series, they have a baby together. The reason she makes the list (other than being awesome) is that when she grows, she takes on an entirely monstrous form called Lami Scorpion.
1. Mele from Jyuken Sentai Gekiranger
Mele tops a lot of my lists because I just freaking love her! She makes this one for two additional reasons that qualify her for the monster list.
1) She can transform into a chameleon creature. This gives her the ability to blend into her surroundings and use her tongue as a long-ranger weapon. Much like Lami above, she is a spy and uses her powers in this form to watch while remaining completely unnoticed.
2) She is undead. Mele originally died hundreds of years ago during the original GekiRin Rebellion that split the art of Jyuken into two opposing schools and philosophies. She was brought back to life by Rio, who used his own amazing Rinki to make her almost entirely human. Though she may look like a mortal woman, she is still undead, unable to enjoy the full range of experiences humans can have. She wants to be fully human so that she can love Rio and be with him.
So, there is my short list. Hope you enjoyed it and please, check out the other posts on @week-of-toku-ladies for more fun!