Sentai Rambling: My Comparison of Zyuranger and Abaranger!
While watching Abaranger and having proudly placed it in my list of Sentai series I watched from start to end, I felt like rambling on the differences between the two dinosaur Super Sentai. So it's pretty long so bear with me and again, warning some spoilers. So let's get started shall we?
So I started to think that Zyuranger was in the 90s (1992) and Abaranger was from 2001-2010 and it took place in 2003 so the mood matters. While both are dinosaur Super Sentai yet the are unrelated, operating in their own separate continuities while the characters got jumbled into the what if Kyoryuger (I HATE MENTIONING THAT NAME) vs. Gobusters movie.
Story line compared
Zyuranger was focused on five ancient warriors who were from 170 million years ago. They were placed into sleep just in case Bandora's return will happen. In short, the Zyurangers are warriors from ancient mankind brought into modern times, fitting rather strangely into a world that's very new to them. They were descendants of the five warrior tribes who had a guardian dinosaur, each one a component of Daizyujin. Daizyujin was the first mecha to have a sentient mind while lending its body to the Zyurangers for battle.
Abaranger had a different story that could not with Abaranger. It's revealed in the beginning that after a meteor crashed into Earth, the Earth got split into their Earth (Another Earth) and Dino Earth (where dinosaurs still lived). Asuka a member of the Saurians (humans of Dino Earth) entered into Another Earth searching for people with enough Dino Guts. The Abarangers are modern day people who for some reason, possess the Dino Guts to become the Abarangers to combat the Evorian.
The mecha execution on both sides also are pretty different yet similar.
In Zyuranger, the mecha of Zyuranger are components that form the body of the Dinosaur God. Each of the mecha in Zyuranger were actually living metallic beasts that can combine automatically but for some reason until revealed later, were separated and required the Zyurangers to combine them. The only explanation for it is that the Daizyujin is just a shell to the Dinosaur God, the Dinosaur God would lend the Zyurangers his avatars, eventually forming the avatar. Somehow, this mystery is left to the viewer to deduce. The Zyurangers/Daizyujin relationship feels kind of like Captain Planet =P.
In Abaranger, the mecha were different. Rather than being divine mecha, they were dinosaurs that somehow evolved into Bakuryus or Rampage Dinosaurs. They functioned with the multi-gattai function. Each of the Bakuryus also had their own separate personality, that each of them spoke audibly unlike the beasts in Zyuranger (in spite of being avatars). Each one of them displayed a different personality, having human logic and perception.
The recurring villains - Bandora Gang vs. Invasion Garden Evorian
Zyuranger's villains from the Dal Tribe (Bandora's tribe) are like the Zyurangers, who came from 170 million years ago returning to cause havoc on Earth. They were sealed away like the Bouma in Turboranger. In the present day, they were accidentally released by two astronauts who ende dup releasing Bandora into the world. Bandora's gang of villains were focused mainly on turning the Earth into a wasteland by attacking the Earth's children. I always felt like Bandora was a very unusual villain with her focusing 99.9% of her hatred on children which the show later explains why she's that kind of villain. The villains in Zyuranger were usually focused on attacking children as their method to destroy the human race which created the children of the week trademark for the show. The monsters they released were usually based on fairy tale characters and Greek myths.
Abaranger's villains were from Dino Earth and weren't sealed enemies. They were ruled by the malevolent entity known as Dezumozoryla who remains unseen but heard for most episodes. They would either unleash the Trinoids (monsters made from three parts namely plant, animal and inanimate object) or the Giganoids (giant monsters launched, shades of Bioman's Mecha Giants from Gear). The villains here were focused on conquering Another Earth for its malevolent god Dezumozoryla. They have turned the Dino Earth into a barren planet and were also focused on doing the same to Another Earth. They have also done the same to other worlds.
Burai vs. Mikoto - The Starking Contrast!
I am also compelled to compare Burai and Mikoto to how the show executed them. I would do a comparison of how they both lived and died. Both of them had extremely powerful dinosaur companions. Burai had Dragon Caesar and Mikoto had Topgaler. However both were also pretty different themselves.
Burai is "Green with Evil" which he exists to be the brother of Geki, who was from 170 million years ago and his escape was inevitable. He was supposedly the sixth Zyuranger but his estrangement had made him a wanted man and he had a cool six part series that focused on his arrival and redemption. If I'm to talk of badass, Burai is REALLY badass to the core. He was a character who was already dying and it was revealed later. Unlike the MMPR story where the green candle was made to rob the Green Ranger's powers, here it represented Burai's remaining life to which he was given only temporarily life. Geki and Burai had a bitter rivalry which ended in a short while. In later episodes, Geki was ultimately worried about his brother Burai's life. Burai meets the inevitable as he dies a valiant death.
Mikoto Nakadai is another character but unlike Geki, he portrays more episodes as a villain in a Killer Bored Game. Mikoto appears as a surgeon who almost excels in everything and he's almost the perfect man - a good looking man with sex appeal and excellent surgeon skills. However being "godlike" made this man really bored to the point he became a cruel adversary. He was chosen by Topgaler and it's already known that he's got a limited lifespan like Burai. Unlike Burai's sooner or later, he will explode the more he uses the Dino Minder. He showed more signs of cruelty which he temporarily made the Evorians bow down before him, nearly made Jupiter crash to Earth and well... he's one villain that is a literal game changing one. I really thought that his "redemption" felt too last minute though it's discovered his cruel tendencies were thanks to the fact that half of the evil god Dezumozoryla's essence was in him. For one, I always thought Mikoto was irredeemable from start to end so... it made sense he joined the Abarangers to try and exact vengeance. He was pretty much a Darth Vader villain... evil for most of the show then dies redeemed in the end. I mean, he even decided to die alone probably to atone for his sins.
The ultimate evil of both shows
Both Zyuranger and Abaranger had their ultimate evils. In the Zyuranger continuity we had Great Satan and in Abaranger, we had Dezumozoryla. Both characters existed as the ultimate evils in their continuities except they were executed differently.
In Zyuranger, Dai Satan was a malevolent entity that Bandora serves as her god so he is the "Bigger Bad" while Bandora was the "Big Bad". In Zyuranger, Bandora worships Dai Satan (shades of horror movies) to which she requires thirteen children (an occult number) to summon Dai Satan. Dai Satan wasn't exactly active either as Bandora was the recurring main antagonist. He first appeared for two episodes and then later, he reappears in the finale trying to wreck the world into havoc. He cements the deal with Bandora, bringing her dead son Kai back. When he arrived yet again, he would launch "Doomsday" to where he attempted to turn the Earth into a wasteland. In the finale, Dai Satan the ultimate evil was destroyed by Kyukyoku Daizyujin. So if he's supposedly the ultimate evil, how in the world did he get destroyed?! So far, he and Kai are the only non-monster villains to die in the show.
In Abaranger, Dezumozoryla is some kind of god who had done a lot of evil like when he force grown Lije (who is the daughter of Asuka, not his) while she was probably just in her first monthas a fetus in her mother's womb. He spoke through Lije's body and gave orders to the Evorians and he bossed them around. He was feeding on death for some reason and his rebirth was something many dreaded. What was discovered is that half of him was actually in Mikoto's body. Like Vulgyre in Fiveman, he has been conquering worlds and turning them into dead worlds and the Abarangers' version of Earth was in his list. He later forcibly merged Mikela and Zoffa into one organism to become his second to the last host (shades of Vulgyre merging Zaza and Dordora into one monster against their will). After he was supposedly defeated, he appeared in the finale attempting to turn the main Earth into a wasteland before he was destroyed for good in the finale. A non-canon attempt to revive him was made in Dekaranger vs. Abaranger.