Power Rangers and Super Sentai!

Jondee here,

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I remember on television that there was a series called Go Rangers, in Japanese, Himitsu Sentai Gorenger, said to be titled Five Rangers (Go is Japanese for “Five” of course). It had the red suited leader, followed by blue, yellow, green, and the pink female ranger. They had helmets on with patterns, swirls, a Boba Fett cross, and lines for their black goggles. The rangers fought with martial arts and were really the first super hero team that I saw. All I remember was that there was a hefty guy who really loved to eat rice. The series started in 1975 and ended in 1977, probably attention shifted to Star Wars for me then. The other was Kamen Rider, he was just strange since he had an insect-like helmet like a grasshopper with a jagged mouth and red circular goggles. His show started in 1971. I think I saw a live action show in Hawaii and was spooked by it. Of course, there was Ultra Man, I saw his creator Eiji Tsuburaya at a con, but I never saw Ultra Man on tv. I just remember that he had karate moves and I think I had a plastic figure of him. He was first with a series that begun in 1966. These were all Super Sentai series (sentai means a fighting squadron in Japanese) that came out of the 70’s. The Super Sentai usually lasted a year and returned in various forms. Then, there was Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which started in 1993. Of course, I was older, but still remembered Go Rangers so I watched the first season or so. The fun part was to see the different film stock and settings that screamed Japan. Still, the actors were fresh and seemed to be game for the martial arts and mecha action.

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The rangers were intensely popular, I remember that there was a meet and greet at Universal Studios (I think to promote the 1995 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie) that shut down the freeway with all of the traffic trying to get in. I’ve met a few of the rangers, I know Zack Taylor is one of the most dedicated con celebs (Black Ranger), Nakia Burrise from Power Rangers Zeo and Turbo is nice (Yellow Ranger), and also Jessica Rey from Power Rangers Wild Force (White Ranger). The series constantly had new casts up until the 2010s (and maybe beyond). So the new Power Rangers film, out on March 24 next year, looks promising. Yes, it does not have the adult take like the YouTube video, this is back to the original concept with Rangers as “teenagers with attitude.” In this case, at what looks like a reform school, and the discovery of the morphers look like it gives them ranger power outside of their uniforms. This seems to be very Chronicle to me. What I hope is that the actors perform martial arts outside of their costumes or without helmets which would really sell Power Rangers to me instead of having stunt persons performing the fights. The casting of Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, retro, but her metallic armor is very updated. What really sells me is the cast, they look con ready, and this negates any criticism. We haven’t seen the Zords so hopefully they will be at Pacific Rim level. Ready for March 24th? It’s Morphin’ Time!

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