Super Sentai Review: Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger
Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger may be the show that some at first impression may say, "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers." at first glance but it's not. After writing my Chojin Sentai Jetman Review, this would be my second Super Sentai series review though i may do more Anime reviews.
Remembering the first time I discovered of Zyuranger's existence, I started to read episode synopsis and started getting into Zyuranger via raw then later fan subs before it was released on DVD by Shout! Factory. I always thought that I like the show better than its adaptation or localization, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers where the whole show shifted from five warriors from ancient past to teenagers with attitude, a trope that was codified from Kosoku Sentai Turboranger.
I might call Zyuranger as the opening of the new era called the post-Jetman era or for the writer era, the late Noboru Sugimira's era where there was the kid of the week. This was the first show that Haim Saban got the rights to produce Mighty Morphin' from, he would later get hold of the Zyu2 episodes that Toei produced for him that time because the show became a monster hit. So I might actually talk about how this show went. A year later, Jurassic Park would be released and later, Mighty Morphin' would become a monster hit in the United States.
When I thought of how Zyuranger was really based on five ancient warriors instead of teenagers with attitude like Turboranger or a later season called Megaranger, I thought is it possible to make a comparison? I remembered playing the Zyuranger video game on the NES thinking it was Mighty Morphin' when it was not. The first time I heard the Zyuranger song, I thought that I heard a similar tune at the NES and said, "Woah, I wasn't playing Power Rangers, that was a totally different series." So I started my "Power Rangers is fake." campaign until I did some research, realizing that Toei and Saban are both responsible for Power Rangers' existence.
How Zyuranger affected my opinion on Mighty Morphin'... several times!
I had a rollercoaster of emotions that is, I started to want to write a blog to bash Power Rangers to no end to going like to neutral again with the franchise. My own personal opinion is that the more I watch Super Sentai, the harder it is for me to appreciate Power Rangers in several occasions. In my own case, the more I rewatch Zyuranger, the harder it is for me to rewatch Mighty Morphin' which happens to be just my personal bias. After I saw the series from start to end via fansubs, I would be more or less stable in my emotions by then.
Looking at the "kid of the week" format, I easily embraced it perhaps it was due to how Kamen Rider Black usually had a kid of a week or two, isn't the show for children? Mighty Morphin' didn't have it all as much as Zyuranger, considering that Bandora's primary target are indeed children. As for the writing, music and just about almost everything, I felt like Zyuranger got me more interested than Mighty Morphin'. Now do I want to rewatch Mighty Morphin' season one? I would but I am tempted to watch more of Zyuranger instead. But as said, both shows are apples and oranges to me.
Either I was shocked or I just accepted the main team's existence as it was. I'll admit that while Trini's counterpart being a Boi (pun intended) was not all too surprising due to the lacking skirt or two, Turboranger had only one female, the rest just had in a rollercoaster of emotions. I would think Geki and Jason were both great leaders in their own respects. I preferred most of the Zyurangers over their Mighty Morphin' counterparts or is it? My greater struggle was always between Mei and Kimberly. I could agree that Mei is indeed more determined and a better fighter but Kimberly for me had the better charm but they're both nice in their own way. Oh you know my favoritism right? =P
During the first time I discovered the villains, either the way they were carried out shocked me or it wasn't a surprise. I immediately recognized Bandora as Rita Repulsa and the rest of the gang for their counterparts. While their plans were silly but they were also full of nightmare fuel. An example of half-brained plans that could not proceed through in Mighty Morphin' due to TV-Y7-FV is that, you can't have them poison Kimberly and have her in a near death situation, something Mei endured and got out of or Bandora's plan to turn children into apples so she can eat them or worse, Bandora serves the deity known as Dai Satan (Lokar). While it might be not so serious by Japanese standards, it definitely isn't TV-Y7-FV material by American standards. Though what wasn't so surprising was that Griforther was married to Lami, considering that Goldar and Scorpina were romantically linked in Mighty Morphin'. Later episodes would reveal why Bandora's kind of evil was attacking innocent children compared to most of your Super Sentai villains that didn't have a particular group to attack.
What I thought also surprised me were the plots involved was namely the huge difference between Tommy and Burai. As a child, I was a huge Tommy fan until I found him as an overused and overrated character. For Burai, he's a really good character, well developed and I'll admit, I wasn't surprised to learn that the Green Candle wasn't Bandora's invention but it represented his life force. I would admit I love the "Green with Evil" that Burai was into from the time he appeared, he had a really frightening evil laugh, everything was done by his actions from his evil side to when he finally found redemption with the others. I mean we never got to see Tommy best Goldar in the same way Burai best Griforther out of suit. In a way, I'm no longer a Tommy fan after Zyuranger happened.
Whenever I think about my relationship between Zyuranger and Mighty Morphin', I would say that I could still enjoy both shows to a certain extent. I would think about that Mighty Morphin' is a show I can still have fond memories as far as Season One is concerned. Zyuranger for me is the superior show based on what I just mentioned but it doesn't mean I hate the other show. As Zyuranger is now released on DVD by Shout! Factory, I wonder how are the older Power Rangers fans reacting to it and honestly, I hope they are still enjoying both shows.
Then again, you can tell I'm not really a huge fan of both shows since my review is a little shorter. ;)
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