Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No Sixth Ranger = Bad?

A common problem amongst both the PR and non-Japanese Sentai fandoms is that a lot of fans refuse to watch a particular season, if it's missing a Sixth Ranger.

Before the non-Japanese Sentai fandom ever even existed, of course, most of these fans had grown up watching Power Rangers. And since the beginning of Power Rangers, every season had a signature Sixth Ranger. Even the Power Ranger ads on television acknowledged the fact that a sixth ranger was a major staple to the franchise. I even remember seeing a commercial where they were going to air a marathon of all the Sixth Ranger arcs in the Saban Era. The announcer said stuff like "Every season, there's always a sixth ranger. Now you can watch them all on Sunday...." And it was showing off clips of all the Sixth Rangers.

With such a staple engraved into the minds of the fans, the fans ended up expecting every season to have a Sixth Ranger. Fans began to expect each season to run in a particular pattern:
1. Introduction arc
2. Getting to know the rangers. The story doesn't quite start yet.
3. About 12 eps into the series, we get our Sixth Ranger arc! The Sixth Ranger arc is pretty much the first big thing that fans look forward to after seeing the Introduction arc.
4. Now that the Sixth Ranger has joined the team, NOW the story begins and works it's way up to the finale.

Now, let's fast forward to when the non-Japanese Sentai fandom now exists.

I remember when Dino Thunder was first airing, despite it's popularity, many fans were REALLY bummed out when it was revealed that the Triassic Ranger was a power-up for Conner, rather than an actual Sixth Ranger. Some fans even going as far as saying that it was one of the worst things to ever happen in Power Rangers history. Dino Thunder was the very first season, after 12 seasons to not have a Sixth Ranger. Thus, the 11 year old tradition was finally broken, and that didn't sit too well with some fans. Not even additional rangers like Trent made the fans feel better, due to him being #5. Kinda silly if you ask me. =P

Of course, some people didn't count the Spirit Rangers as official rangers, due to them not have any proper human identity, and just manifesting from the three main rangers like a weapon. Thus, some fans considered Jungle Fury to have just five members instead of eight. And like Dino Thunder, it didn't sit well with fans, with some fans calling Jungle Fury to be another major offender to Sixth Rangers like Dino Thunder did (despite airing like 4 years later =P ).


On the Sentai side of things, a huge portion of the franchise has either been bashed or ignored due to the absence of Sixth Rangers. A lot of fans tend to ignore the pre-Zyuranger Sentai, and there are several reasons why. One of the reasons is cause there's no Sixth Ranger. Fans believe that if a Sixth Ranger never arrives, then there will be no story to tell. And that was something that Power Rangers tended to do, only after the Sixth Ranger arrived. Thus, many fans believe that the pre-Zyuranger Sentai are all just lots of nothing. Lots of fans tend to cover this up by saying the shows are "Too old." Which I think is silly. Even additional Warriors like Big One from JAKQ and Black Bison and Green Sai from Liveman don't get acknowledged due to not being #6. Which is why most fans tend to praise Burai from Zyuranger as being the first "true additional warrior in Sentai" due to being #6, and why the DragonRanger/Green Ranger suit is often considered the icon for additional warriors. Also, for fans that say the older shows are "too old," and because they don't have sixth rangers, it's kinda contradictory, if they happened to also think Kakuranger, Abaranger, and Gekiranger were good. =P  Though some people consider Gekiranger to have seven members, if Rio and Mele are included. Some people also tend to ignore GoGoFive, due to the lack of the Titanium Ranger, who was quite popular in Lightspeed Rescue, which is rather unfortunate. Since Lightspeed Rescue has such a split fanbase, many fans think that GoGoFive will not be very good without a sixth ranger.

As silly as it sounds, some fans tend to watch only episode 39 of Maskman, just so they can catch the very first Sixth Ranger in history, and just end up ignoring the rest of the season. Lots of fans even go as far as saying that X1 Mask is the only good thing about Maskman.


For a very long time, fans have always wanted to have a female sixth ranger. And many fans were a bit bummed out when both Miu from Go-onger and Gemma from RPM ended up being #7 instead of #6. So apparently, #6 is still considered to be the "better number" amongst fans than #7.

Gosei Knight has been quite a controversial character amongst the fandoms. There are those who say that Goseiger started out bad, but then the show became good after Gosei Knight appeared. But then there are the fans (myself included) who think Goseiger was getting good, but went downhill again due to the arrival of Gosei Knight.

Overall, the Sixth Ranger element has played a huge role on how many fans in the toku fandoms view each series and their stories.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

No Asian Red Ranger for Power Rangers Samurai

This issue has been bothering me ever since we all found out Saban Brands bought the rights to Power Rangers and is adapting Shinkenger. People on YouTube and the PR Forums are complaining about not getting an Asian Red Ranger for PR Samurai. Judgments about this season are already being made because of no Asian Red Ranger.

Why? Why are people suddenly noticing this now instead of past years? I think it's because this year's theme is Samurai and it's heavily influenced in Japanese culture. But why does race matter? Who cares if we don't have an Asian Red Ranger this season? I'm a little bit Spanish from my father's side of the family, and we have yet to see some type Spanish/Latino leader for Power Rangers. You don't see me complaining. I think that people should stop complaining about this issue and just wait until the show to make their judgments.

When Saban Brands started casting calls for the Red Ranger, they were originally looking for a White male in the first place, then it was eventually changed to all races, but by then it was too late because everyone auditioning were White so it was pretty set in stone. It would be nice to have an Asian leader for once but people should be happy with what you get. It's not about what they look like, it's about what they bring to the table. Race doesn't matter, and this issue needs to stop.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Faithful Adaptations any good?

It has been a subject of debate amongst fans whether if Power Rangers seasons that are faithful to their Sentai counterparts are good or not. Let's take a look:

Power Rangers in Space (Psycho Rangers Arc)

While the first five seasons of Power Rangers, as well as Power Rangers in Space were indeed original, the only part of Power Rangers in Space that copied from Megaranger was the Psycho Rangers arc. The plots were very similar to the Nejiranger arc episodes, with only some differences here and there. During the time that this was airing, most fans did not know about Super Sentai, thus not many people made comparisons. Most fans loved the Psycho Rangers arc, as it was something that fans had always wanted from Power Rangers. I'm kinda surprised that something like this hasn't been re-done in either Super Sentai or Power Rangers. But anyway, the only minor criticism that this arc tends to receive is that the whole story came to a halt, just to focus on this arc.

Power Rangers Lost Galaxy

Indeed, Power Rangers Lost Galaxy had a completely different motif from it's Sentai counterpart, Gingaman. However, if looked closely, 2/3 of Lost Galaxy's story is copied off from Gingaman's story. In fact, many scenes were copied word for word. Many fans often criticize Lost Galaxy, saying that Gingaman's scripts did not work well with the Space Colony motif. There were several scenes where the Lost Galaxy characters would start talking about something nature related (Gingaman's motif), which lead to many awkward and random looking scenes. Fans often say that Lost Galaxy was at it's best when it was original, and that for 2/3 of the season, the story halted just for the sake of using up Gingaman footage. The only scenes that were actually re-written the most were the Magna Defender scenes. While Magna Defender's story is very similar to BullBlack's story, there are some key differences in the plot and dialogue, which can slightly give off a different experience. Something that the fans have indeed praised. Overall, fans are divided over whether Lost Galaxy did an okay job or not with handling Gingaman's footage.

Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue

This was the very first season that was noticeably much more faithful to it's sentai counterpart. Even though most fans weren't aware of Super Sentai when this show was airing, today, Super Sentai plays a huge role in people's views on this season. When Lightspeed Rescue was still airing, fans were very divided on this season. And to this day, fans still are, to the point where this season is most definitely underrated. Lightspeed Rescue had some pretty good actors and characterizations in the show. Not to mention that the plots were actually pretty good. The only major weaknesses of this season would've been the villains and the pacing of the plot. Going back to the topic of "Faithful Adaptations," Lightspeed Rescue picks up the rescue motif that GoGoFive had. And it also copied certain plot points like Queen Bansheera arriving on Earth. But what made Lightspeed Rescue different from GoGoFive was that it created it's own individual stories by working around GoGoFive's existing footage. And thanks to sharing the same rescue motif, it worked pretty well. Plus, Lightspeed Rescue managed to squeeze in it's own original Titanium Ranger. Another major element that made Lightspeed Rescue different from GoGoFive was the lack of the family theme (which was the main driving force for GoGoFive). Comparing Lightspeed Rescue's work with the Sentai footage compared to Lost Galaxy's, there's a huge noticeable improvement. And I think this is something that the show deserves lots of credit for.

Power Rangers Time Force

Even though Lightspeed Rescue did a good job with the Sentai footage, it still had a lot of problems concerning it's overall story and characters. To many fans, Power Rangers Time Force was "THE perfection" of Power Rangers. It had strong powerful characters, great villains, exceptionally good acting, a much darker and grittier atmosphere, and an overall intense storyline. Like Lightspeed Rescue before it, most fans weren't aware of Super Sentai when this show was airing (though by this time, more fans started to get aware). Today, since most fans are aware of Super Sentai, many fans kind of view Time Force as a watered down version of Timeranger, due to how closely the plots were copied, while not being as powerful. Regardless, Time Force already received a good number of fans who are now nostalgic for this season, and is considered a classic. Despite Time Force pretty much copying Timeranger's plots, like Lightspeed Rescue, it does a rather excellent job at working with the source material, while still making the dialogue original. Many fans praise Time Force's scripts for being very well written.

Power Rangers Wild Force

Unlike the last couple of seasons, one of Wild Force's biggest criticisms is that it copied Gaoranger word for word. Thus, there wasn't much originality in the scripts or the handling of the source material like Lightspeed Rescue and Time Force attempted. It just became a copy of Gaoranger, which happened to be very watered down. Most fans blame it on the poor below par acting for this season.

Power Rangers Ninja Storm

Once again, the plots for this season were very similar to it's Sentai counterpart, Hurricaneger. But unlike Wild Force, Ninja Storm didn't copy the scripts word for word. The scripts were more original, and leaned in more towards the parody style like Carranger. Thus, most fans often ignore the handling of the source material and instead decide whether the comedy is the right style for them or not.

Power Rangers SPD

During the early episodes, Power Rangers SPD would work around Dekaranger's footage and try to create original dialogue to help develop the SPD cast. Unfortunately, Power Rangers SPD took a turn for the worse and started to copy Dekaranger's scripts word for word, while still being watered down compared to Dekaranger.

Power Rangers Mystic Force

This season has also been criticized for blatantly copying Magiranger's scripts so closely. Though a major difference would be that any cheesy scenes from Magiranger would be cut out. Fans felt this season was just merely a watered down version of Magiranger. The only slight bit of praise that this season ever receives is whenever it tries to be original.

Power Rangers Operation Overdrive

This season tried to be more original at the start, but failed very quickly. Once again, just blatantly copying Sentai's scripts and mixing it up with terrible acting and plot pacing. Not even the whole Mack being a cyborg plot made things any better. The show was a complete mess.

Power Rangers Jungle Fury

This season was another season that pretty much copied it's Sentai counterpart's plots. But like Lightspeed Rescue, Time Force, and Ninja Storm before it, Jungle Fury attempted to make more original plots while working around Gekiranger's footage, as well as making original dialogue. And frankly, the dialogue for this season was actually quite good. And it got even better as the season progressed. And like Lightspeed Rescue, Jungle Fury managed to bring in their own three original rangers, the Spirit Rangers into the story. The characters however were average, but were still passable. Most fans tend to lump Jungle Fury up with the other Kalish seasons, but I personally don't think this season is THAT bad. Like Lightspeed Rescue, I think it's rather underrated and much better than what fans keep making it out to be.

Power Rangers Samurai

According to the information released so far, Power Rangers Samurai is expected to be a faithful adaptation of Shinkenger, with Jonathan Tzachor as the head producer. We'll soon find out if this season can do a good job with it or not. I personally of course would much rather see a completely original story rather than a re-telling of an already existing story, but oh well. I suppose the most I can do is watch and see if it handles the footage properly.