|L to R: Yellow Owl (Raita), Blue Swallow(Ako), Red Hawk(Ryu), White Swan(Kaori), Black Condor(Gai)|
The show, while being standard Super Sentai fare is not without it's quirks and merits. The usual alien conquest plot is present but is overshadowed by the character-centric situations presented, a rarity for Super Sentai. It follows the monster-of-the-week format complete with the requisite team and giant robot battles but then again, Jetman is not primarily about that. it's all about the characters.
The show's status quo is probably due to it's mature recurring themes and plot lines: Jetman is not unlike any other Super Sentai where the members are gathered and almost immediately warm up on each other to fight for a good cause. The Jetmen are dysfunctional with all their members showing off their emotional quirks right at the very start. Ryu (Red Hawk) and Gai (Black Condor) started off as rivals vying for leadership and the love of Kaori (White Swan). Ryu's utmost professionalism and Gai's streetwise attitude are almost always at odds with each other, at times putting the team in a bigger mess. This is further complicated by Raita's (Yellow Owl) attraction for Kaori, which never seems to mind all the fighting that the men do in their team. The only member that seem to make perfect sense would be Ako (Blue Swallow) but even then her initial intentions for joining was a bit on the materialistic side.
The enemies themselves have their share of infighting. They seem to operate on their own whimsical desires rather than work together and conquer the world. One of the villains, Gram (a cyborg) seem to be the only one bent on conquest with his stone cold attitude coupled with his penchant for smoking and drinking (rare for a Super Sentai show). Making matters worst is a tie that binds the enemies and the Jetmen together: Ryu and the villain called Maria were once lovers albeit amnesia on Maria's part make for interesting complications.
Being an early Heisei show, the production values for the show was top notch from the Jetmen's uniforms to the mecha to the look of the villains. The special effects are typical for a show of it's type, although since the Jetmen can fly the use of flight wires and effects make it stand out. It is an enjoyable show no doubt and may well be one of the best Super Sentai shows plot-wise given the character driven treatment that it is known for.
Recently, episode 29 of Gokaiger has had Gai guest as a Legend backed by an interesting story on how he got back from the dead (he was stabbed by the end of Jetman, while making his way to Ryu and Kaori's wedding). you have to watch it for yourself.
More Super Sentai Savvy next time!