Possible Cultural Differences in Super Sentai and Power Rangers

I did remember the article from Orends Range about why Power Rangers is not a rip-off, UkiyaSeed did mention that American and Japanese culture is widely different.  So localization is needed by Toei via Saban then Disney then Saban and Nickelodeon to get it done.  Now for some cultural differences aside from the obvious kimono in Japan:

Degrees of violence. While Super Sentai has reduced violence to a considerable extent post-Timeranger but you can't deny that there is still more daring action.  An example is in Boukenger when Sakura and Natsuki both used machine guns.  But you don't see that in Operation Overdrive with Rose and Ronnie, who I think could actually still pull that kind of scene of but Disney most likely won't allow it.  Other comparisons might be Naoto's death vs. Eric's supposed death (which was probably scrapped off at the last minute).  One may also see Mikoto's death in Abaranger and the use of bullets in Dekaranger.  In Shinkenger, Juzo's foot got impaled by his Uramasa while that didn't happen to Deker in Power Rangers Samurai.

Humor is one area that I thought has cultural differences in Super Sentai and Power Rangers.  Super Sentai is full of Anime-like humor.  Funny characters in Super Sentai are usually plot-relevant compared to that of Power Rangers.  An example would be Genta and Spike.  Genta is not only your hyper guy, he is actually a ranger himself.  Spike on the other hand is failed comic relief who is better off not in the show, or would probably just be injuring himself behind the scenes.  Read more here about the funny character part.  Dekaranger had its bath tub humor with Umeko (which in the Deka vs. Aba movie had Ranru, Jasmine and Umeko peeped at by Yatsudenwani) and Houka's flirty nature in Magiranger which Vida didn't have in Mystic Force (which makes Vida better).  Power Rangers doesn't also have characters who are like Dan in Zyuranger (instead his MMPR counterpart was a geek) or airheads like Eri (Emma isn't silly, just cheery) and Natsuki (which gives Ronnie points above Natsuki).

Degrees of villainy and nightmare fuel.  In MMPR, Rita Repulsa was just comical or just does things for the sake of being evil.  One good example is how Rita Repulsa is a sanitized version of Bandora.  Bandora in Zyuranger though she has a comical side has plans that are usually nightmare fuel laced.  Even light hearted Sentai does not seem to get rid of higher degrees of villainy.  In Boukenger, Yaiba of the Darkness has crossed the moral event horizon line a couple of times more than any other villain.  In Shinkenger, Dayu became a killer because of unrequited love which contrasts PR Samurai's Dayu and Deker's fall isn't as bad as Juzo's becoming a murderous samurai.  In Dekaranger, Hoji had one really tragic episode killing his ex-gf's brother.  In Gekiranger, you have Long killing Rio and Mele while Jarrod and Camille in Jungle Fury both survived.  Although I have to admit sometimes Power Rangers creates villains who aren't "just there to be there" like Trakeena in Lost Galaxy, Ransik in Time Force (who is more brutal than Dolnero in Timeranger) and Master Org in Wild Force but it's not so often.

In Super Sentai you even have character deaths (which happened in Lost Galaxy though Kendrix was revived in the finale).  I just still think that Eric Myers in Time Force was scheduled to die (his would have been more heroic) but executive meddling didn't get it through.  In Time Force's rather typical Judd Lynn's "I'm outs" finale, I was thinking maybe Judd Lynn even planned to kill Nadira in the finale but U.S. standards and executive meddling won't allow them.  Although this isn't all that common in Sentai,

America seems to be a culture that loves buff heroes so much they kind of reject non-buff ones.  I mean take a look at the muscular figures of American comic heroes while Japan doesn't really make their heroes all that buff.  Super Sentai doesn't usually feature buff heroes.  My complaint here though is that, sometimes buff actors may just be blank (Troy) and some who are non buff are actually better (Alata).  Besides, don't underestimate the "wimpy" because for one, Ryoma's more awesome than Leo but I like both characters. ;)

From what I heard, Japanese usually prefer cuties and Americans usually prefer hotties.  However, I feel like hot and cute tend to be very subjective or not.  I don't really know too much about this culturally but I think Amy Jo Johnson got her part as Kimberly for her acting ability, not her appearance and I don't think the character was intended to be hot but script changes came along when the actress came along.  I always thought it's funny how I like Zyuranger but I'm always voting Kimberly over Mei for superficial reasons.  'Nuff said.

Degrees of sexiness.  In Super Sentai, provocative outfits are more common than in Power Rangers.  For example, Zonette in Carranger had a way sexier outfit than her PR counterpart Divatox.  Or take for example, Trakeena is fully armored, Shelinda is dressed up rather sexily.  Japanese standards usually allow Shelinda's type of sexiness in contrast to Power Rangers.

Just my two cents?  Anything missing?  Add more!


  1. In sentai, the heroes sometimes kicks the enemy in the head. Pratice & standards won't power rangers do that. My two cents :-)


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