Well, here’s an interesting one. Imagine your average Super Sentai show like the Power Rangers: our hero has to fight a wave of bad buys and monsters every day in order to protect the world from getting taken over. Now imagine the complete opposite. That’s what Tentai Senshi Sunred is.
I’m still not sure whether this was a case of brilliance, or just a case of a drunk idea that got taken too far, but Tentai Senshi Sunred takes the average Super Sentai Formula, transforms the titular Sunred into a lazy temperamental sadist, and the villains into a bunch peace-loving incompetent idiots who seem to be more interested in housekeeping and making a living than “doing evil stuff”. In fact, especially the lead villain is a peace-loving flower child who is a master at house-keeping and always puts the feelings of others before his own. And so this series chronicles the useless attempts of our peace-loving villains to try to beat Sunred, while at the same time living as respectable members of society. And somehow, it works.
As a comedy, it may not be continuously funny, but it has its moments of brilliance throughout the entire series. It gets a lot of inspiration from its unique setting, and makes good use of this by driving things even more into the absurd. The characters also have their quirks which have a number of priceless moments and some of the running gags also really work well (I especially loved Godom and Sodorrah, even though the two of them didn’t do ANYTHING throughout the entire series). There are a few sketches that do tend to get on your nerves though, like the Host Dog and Vamps Cooking Tips, but overall it’s not too long to get boring or repetitive.
And the nice thing is, that at the moments that this series isn’t funny, it still is a very enjoyable and detailed slice of life with a good cast of voice actors. Really, this series is a pretty realistic portrayal of the trials of young adults if you ignore the fact that most of the characters are silly monsters that nobody seems to find scary or weird. I especially liked the subtle relationship between Sunred and his girlfriend, which for once was not overly romantic like you see in most other anime.
But yeah, the animation is quite lazy. A lot of the characters conveniently have masks on or some other excuse that would prevent the animators from animating their mouth when they speak. Instead, the characters wiggle around a bit when they try to move and speak. And really, it’s not like the animators can’t animate either: there’s one particular segment in which Sunred is walking in the background of a life-action scene, which is animated so smoothly that it actually becomes really hard to see whether he’s drawn or part of the live action.
But then again, to the question “does this show really need to be well animated?” the answer obviously is “no”. Sunred isn’t the best of the comedies out there, but it’s still worth it if you grew up watching shows like the Power Rangers or anything similar, just to see this series completely taking the piss out of those premises.