In 1993 Saban Entertainment released an experimental series called “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” It was a huge success that it is still going strong today. What some don’t know is that this show is based off a long running Japanese show called “Super Sentai.” To be exact, the first “Power Rangers” season is based off of the sixteenth installment “Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger.” For many years Toei has been hesitant to release any of these shows outside of Japan. At the 2014 San Diego Comic Con Shout! Factory announced they would release “Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger” on DVD in the US.
Now that the series is finally released, “Super Sentai” and “Power Rangers” fans can rejoice.
Witch Bandora (Rita Repulsa on “Power Rangers”) and her minions have been released from their sealed prison after 170 million years. After wreaking havoc over Tokyo, Mysterious Sage Barza awakens five warriors from five tribes that existed during the dinosaur age to stop her.
Fans will notice several things different about “Zyurangers” compared to “Power Rangers.” The obvious ones are the characters are not “teenagers with attitude.” This has been the norm with “Super Sentai” shows since 1975. Also, the amount of time the main villain has been sealed. 10,000 years compared to 170 million years is pretty huge (and may be ridiculous to some.)
Also, the giant robot Daizyuzin (the Megazord in “Power Rangers”) is a god with a will of his own instead of just a giant robot.
As for the show’s plot and tone, though there is some camp moments (not to mention cheesy special effects, bad green screen and some shots where the wires are noticeable) it’s mostly a lot more serious than “Power Rangers.” This show actually deals with death (with people dying) and the occult. One of the main enemies near the end is called Great Satan which would not fly in the US. What will also not fly in the US is blood. Though only a little blood is shown (mostly from the characters’ mouth) it would still be censored in the US.
Also, anyone who was annoyed by Rita’s voice will be glad to know Bandora’s voice (played by Machiko Soga) is not annoying. In fact, Soga is probably the best actor on the whole show. Yes, she has done “Super Sentai” and “Metal Hero” shows, but she has proven herself in many serious roles so it’s no surprise she’ll be the highlight of the show. She also only says “I have a headache” about twice the entire series instead every episode like in “Power Rangers.”
Some people may be upset that the episodes do not look like DVD remastered and instead look like how they did when aired. This is actually a positive thing since it’s a great way to experience these episodes the way kids saw them back in 1992. Shout! Factory was kind enough to keep the commercial break markers intact as well as the next episode previews.
The only bonus feature this set has is “Power Progenitors: Super Sentai Zyuranger” panel from “Power Morphicon 2014” where we see stuntman Hiroshi Maeda (Tyranno Ranger),Yuuta Mochizuki (Geki) and stuntman Yasuhiro Takeuchi (Dino Ranger.) It’s a pretty interesting panel. It’s nice to hear how Maeda has helped out Saban as a stuntman for ten years and some backstage secrets from Mochizuki.
“Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series” is a must have for any US “Super Sentai” fan and any “Power Rangers” fan who is curious to see the original series. It may be a lot darker than “Power Rangers,” but some of the camp is still there to keep fans happy. If this is a hit, than maybe the other “Super Sentai” shows may see US releases.