So, apparently, crucifixion in Super Sentai is a trope going all the way back to the first series, Himitsu Sentai GoRanger. This did not get started with Sentai though as Crucifixion in Toku dates back to at least Ultraseven* in 1967:
Perhaps even more (in)famously is the scene from 1972′s Ultraman Ace where the Ultra Brothers are crucified on the Planet Gologotha as a trap for the new hero.
This scene is actually so famous in the series that it got a scene set release in the Ultra Act toyline from Bandai.
I think this got started because the creator of Ultraman and Ultraseven, Eiji Tsuburaya, was a Catholic who liked to infuse Christian religious imagery into his work. The classic Ultraman specium beam pose is supposed to resemble a cross, the ultimate ward against evil.
The actual meaning of crucifixion was apparently lost and seen as just a means of restraint before an execution. Or maybe the meaning was stripped away and the original intent as an archaic, barbaric form of execution restored.
The Super Sentai series above are (in order of the pictures):
Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger
Himitsu Sentai GoRanger
Hikari Sentai Maskman
Choujin Sentai Jetman
and then two instances from:
Hyakujyuu Sentai GaoRanger
*The episode of Ultraseven featuring the hero’s crucifixion was accidentally aired (in dubbed form) by TNT in the United States on Easter Sunday, an act that upset several of their viewers considering TNT is based in the Conservative Southern city of Atlanta.
Some of my favorite monsters of the week from Choujin Sentai Jetman.
1. Kami Jigen (Paper Jigen)- It’s an origami monster with the ability to control paper.
2. Tomato Great King- It’s a Giant Tomato man with the face of a Jack O’ Lantern
3. House Jigen- It’s an entire apartment building turned into a giant monster!
4. Gomi Jigen (Garbage Jigen)- It’s an animated garbage pile built around Ako’s thrown out Teddy Bear.
5. Jihanki Jigen (Vending Machine Jigen)- Seriously, it’s an evil juice vending machine.
6. Soujiki Jigen (Vaccum Clean Jigen)- Pretty much a vacuum cleaner in humanoid form gone rogue.
7. God Ramen/Noodle Jigen- The BEST of the Dimension Beasts. This monster appears at first as the God of Ramen to help a Ramen Otaku (such things apparently exist) create the greatest, fastest cooking Cup Ramen of all time. He later reveals himself to be the evil Noodle Jigen. His biggest weakness is running out of hot water.
I find the monsters from the first half of the series (The Dimension Beasts) to be much more fun than the later ones (The Bio Dimension Beasts) because they were everyday objects turned into monsters while the latter half featured animals turned monstrous, which is very much old hat for tokusatsu. There were a few good ones though like Ant Bazooka.