Power Rangers: The US Remix of a Popular Japanese Series

Sentai Zyuranger Power Ranger

Would it be so hard to believe that the Power Rangers was originally adapted from a Japanese series?

After all, we’ve gotten other childhood favorites courtesy of Japan’s creative output including: Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon and Naruto.

As adults, it’s easy to catch the obvious indicators a child suspended in disbelief would miss. For one there’s Rita Repulsa’s mismatched lip movements to her voice. Dubbed in English by Barbara Goodson, her scenes are all spliced from the original Japanese series featuring actress Machiko Soga as the villainess. Although that may serve as a blatant giveaway, more subtle nuances (like fighting and transforming scenes) are excerpts of the original show “Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger“. Also the original Yellow Ranger was a boy, which explains why so many girls may have preferred the Pink Ranger (she did look a lot more feminine in costume). This was the agreement struck between the man who brought the product to the states, Haim Saban and the original producer, Toei.

Created by manga legend Shotaro Ishinomori, the Super Sentai show fed Japan’s need for live-action entertainment and paired giant monsters with mega tech robots, colorful explosives and singing? Yeah, Rita Repulsa broke out in song about how she hated little children… creepy.

In Auguts 1993, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers debuted as part of Fox’s Saturday morning lineup and became an overnight success as the most popular kids television show. This in part due to marketing from Bandai’s toy line. 

Although the action scenes were ripped from the original show, the storyline was adapted for Western viewers: teens with attitudes who deal with minor issues, like bullying, and close the day by saving the world. 

Lionsgate’s new Power Rangers film doesn’t assume any prior knowledge of the franchise and boasts a full American installment.

New Power Rangers Movie

“It wasn’t deliberate, but I think that’s right,” said director Dean Israelite of the decision. “We didn’t have to use all these disparate ingredients, we get to bake the cake with whatever we want.” 

A few nods to its predecessor  include a Green Ranger murdering an alien Red Ranger who calls down a meteor (presumably causing the extinction of the dinosaurs) and Kimberly’s confrontation with a frenemy about sending a pick to Tai (i.e. Sentai maybe?). Will you be catching a showing of the remake? 

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *