Sentai Rambling: Super Sentai DVDs For The United States And... Me Sharing My Opinion About It! Part 2!
It's been some time since I thought about Shout! Factory releases and giving my thoughts about it. We've had Zyuranger, Dairanger, Kakuranger and now Ohranger's coming in. But I remembered this statement from Shogo B'Stard concering Ohranger:
How bad is Ohranger? Practically everyone who worked on the show, who had been with the franchise for numerous years, walked after that year. How bad is Ohranger? Super Sentai fan and Nerdiest Idol of the Nerds Shoko Nakagawa doesn't like it. How bad is Ohranger? Power Rangers fans consider the Power Rangers season which used Ohranger footage, Power Rangers Zeo, to be superior. Power Rangers Zeo, aka the season where they opt to focus more on Bulk and Skull becoming defective detectives than they do on any Power Rangers action, because that's what little choice Ohranger left them.
I can't determine how well the Ohranger's reception will turn out for Power Rangers fans as of recent since time changes. Sometimes a Super Sentai season may not have clicked back then but it gains a fanbase later. But I wonder was it true that Power Rangers fans back then didn't like it and preferred Power Rangers Zeo over it? I can't be certain. IMO, Ohranger is better than Zeo but I really agree with the problems of too much mecha overload and plot inconsistency are both bad things for the show. Granted that there was a sarin gas explosion that happened during Ohranger's airing which forced major retoolings for the show. Then I started thinking of several alternatives for Super Sentai DVDs. I can say this is a "silly post" because many of you might say, "WTF are you thinking?!" Moving on... I thought of alternative DVD releases but remember, I'm just expressing my silly opinions on other possible alternatives.
Beware! This post can be so WTF inducing, crazy or whatever so proceed with caution! You've been warned!
Kosoku Sentai Turboranger vs. Gekisou Sentai Carranger: Who really shifted into Turbo?
I still can't forget how I REALLY and I mean really had an unusual reaction towards calling Power Rangers Turbo. Turbo and it was nowhere near close to Turboranger. It wasn't until I discovered the existence of Carranger. Carranger followed Turboranger's car magic theme and the show runs on car magic. Except that unlike Turboranger, I felt like Carranger was more consistent than Turboranger. Turboranger suffered from rating drops so it ended up having to get rid of the three generals and bringing in the Nagare Bouma for the second half. Carranger was more or less consistent in its plot since no one else but Ritchhiker was written off midseason... plus the Bowzock were more consistent in being stupid than the Bouma were consistent in being the villains they were meant to be.
So what's up with me bringing up Turboranger? Turboranger is the first teenagers with attitude season while Carranger was all about Pegasus Garage workers. Turboranger had the teenagers with attitude theme going on as they fight the Bouma from destroying humanity. Carranger was more of a comedy Super Sentai show dealing with villains who are clueless about just almost everything. Turboranger started the trope of "recruit teenagers with attitude" which was continued into Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and Megaranger. Also, I felt like it's funny how Carranger's adaptation for America turns out to become Power Rangers Turbo.
Now for a Carranger vs. Power Rangers Turbo comparison. I felt like Turbo really was a really weak season. I wonder was it true that it nearly caused the cancellation of Power Rangers and Power Rangers in Space saved the franchise? For me Carranger has been more consistent than Power Rangers Turbo in the writing department. Although I wonder did Carranger really not save the Super Sentai franchise and that it only managed to survive due to really high toy sales? Hmmm... I feel like Turbo's high toy sales may still have had people interested in for the continuation of the Power Rangers franchise. So if Carranger was more popular with the toys than ratings back then, I guess Megaranger then saved Super Sentai huh?
But I'll admit I personally prefer Carranger over Turboranger. Sure Turboranger has a lot more badass action scenes and Carranger had less quality action scenes but the latter's wring has been more consistent. Turboranger is the era where Hirohisa Soda really ran out of ideas. Carranger was in an era of new ideas and the idea was later repeated into Go-onger as another comedy series. But I guess Power Rangers fans might pick Turboranger over Carranger. But my pick is on Carranger over Turboranger. Turboranger had more inconsistencies while Carranger was more consistent in its writing. But again, was it really true Carranger didn't save Super Sentai at all and Megaranger did?
Dengeki Sentai Changeman vs. Denji Sentai Megaranger: with which Super Sentai team do you want to go to space with?
I guess there was that huge debate between fans on whether or not Megaranger or Power Rangers in Space is better. Power Rangers in Space may have saved Power Rangers from cancellation. Some claimed that it was Megaranger and not Carranger that saved Super Sentai. Then we may have, "No it's Megaranger! No it's Power Rangers in Space." never mind the two shows were treated differently. One happened with a space theme and Megaranger wasn't. You want a space theme? Check out Changeman!
Megaranger may have its appeal to Mighty Morphin' fandom. Turboranger started the recruit teenagers with attitude trope for Super Sentai then it went to Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers then it was repeated in Megaranger. Megaranger happens to be a science themed show instead of a space themed show. Power Rangers in Space was fighting against alien invaders with space theme attached to it. Both shows had their own merits and demerits. Personally, I think both shows gets too much credit. Did Megaranger and Power Rangers in Space really save both franchises from cancellation? Maybe yes, maybe no. Assuming Carranger really didn't save Super Sentai and that it was Megaranger then I guess Megaranger can have its appeal for Power Rangers fans.
Power Rangers in Space still had mostly high schoolers except for Andros and Zhane. It had some obvious Changeman references like Dark Specter may be a reference to Star King Bazoo, Astronema to Princess Shiima and Ecliptor to Adjutant Buuba. I wonder would Changeman be a more welcome DVD release over Megaranger? The difference is that Changeman was all about tougher as nails soldiers trained to fight the Gozma. Both Megaranger and Power Rangers in Space are all about young people who mature through fighting invaders. Changeman also had that theme with how they mature as soldiers fighting invaders.
The comparison between Changeman and Megaranger is more like apples and oranges. Changeman was a military themed Super Sentai season with a more serious theme. Megaranger was all about teenagers with attitude with a much less serious theme. Power Rangers in Space fans may have to decide between the two shows. I guess Changeman might end up becoming more appealing than Megaranger for Power Rangers in Space fans but I could be wrong. Megaranger has its own charm that might also work better with fans of Power Rangers. It's really hard for me to think which series would be a better release. But as of right now, I think I'd go for Changeman over Megaranger. Power Rangers in Space fans might find more villains to relate to with Star King Bazoo, Shiima and in extension, I think Lost Galaxy fans may also be able to relate to its treacherous, game-changing villain Queen Ahames with their beloved villain Trakeena.
At this point, I'm still kind of undecided to which show I'd recommend to Power Rangers fans. I feel like recommending Changeman to Power Rangers in Space fans. But then again, what if more Power Rangers fans will side with Megaranger? That might be Megaranger winning instead of Changeman in the long run.
Choshinsei Flashman vs. Seijuu Sentai Gingaman: Which series will really fly goes across the galaxy with the sharpness of blades better for Power Rangers fans?
Aside from Megaranger vs. Power Rangers in Space, I guess people can argue whether Gingaman or Lost Galaxy is the better series. Both series are great in their own respects and has some decent writing and production from their respective writers and producers. Trakeena can kick the Gingamen as much as Captain Zahab can kick the Lost Galaxy Rangers. The Lost Galaxy Rangers can handle Captain Zahab and the Gingamen can handle Trakeena but the victory won't be easy on either side. Both super hero teams have hardened soldiers that would defend the galaxy from such bad guys. So after watching older Super Sentai series, I think that that Flashman... yes Flashman might be way better than having a Gingaman DVD release.
Gingaman is more focused on the forest while having their powers from some distant lost galaxy. The pirates are really no doubt aliens from another galaxy. The show is a combination of both supernatural and extraterrestrial sources. But I even thought that sometimes, was the show really appropriately named Gingaman? I like Gingaman but sometimes that thought flows into my head. Why was it named Gingaman and it wasn't happening in space? Flashman may have deserved that name better. Sometimes, I feel that Flashman may have been better off named Gingaman. But I can't deny Gingaman and Lost Galaxy can be enjoyed on their own merits.
Flashman has the lost galaxy theme running in its plot. Maybe fans of Lost Galaxy may end up relating to an older series that might have similarities with a fan favorite than a tree hugger Super Sentai series. The story of Flashman involves five children who got kidnapped but were rescued when that UFO crashed. The people of Planet Flash raised the five children with the technology of a lost galaxy. Then the people of Mess well seek to make more genetic messes now that Earth is on their schedule. The five children go back to Earth from a lost galaxy. But as time passes, they realize that their time growing up in the lost galaxy has made them a stranger to their home planet Earth.
Considering that Lost Galaxy is a space-themed season instead of a tree hugger Super Sentai, I guess Flashman might be the best. As said earlier, Flashman has a more galactic feel into it. What Lost Galaxy fans might be able to relate to is the plot that was mentioned earlier. Children growing up in a lost galaxy might be more welcome to Lost Galaxy fans. Lost Galaxy fans might actually prefer the Zorors from Flashman over the Yatotos from Gingaman or that Lar Deus would be a more welcome antagonist than Captain Zahab. Plus, I really feel and speculate that Danny Slavin might actually think Jin/Red Flash is better than Ryoma/Ginga Red. But again, what if I could be wrong and Danny would think otherwise? What if Danny Slavin thinks Ryoma's cooler than Jin? My vote still goes for Flashman as the better alternative regardless what the actor will think.
What about Kyukyu Sentai GoGoFive?
GoGoFive and Lightspeed Rescue have their own merits. I guess that enjoying both shows on their own may be easier than it sounds. Some may not be easily adjust to Matoi's loud badass personality while Carter himself is more of a calm badass. Nagare and Chad are too different to be compared since one's a chemist and the other's an aquatic sportsman. Much of GoGoFive and Lightspeed Rescue have different formats when it comes to the rangers and their team organization. Captain Mitchell is a military commander with Angela Fairweather helping him out. Dr. Mondo Tatsumi is a scientist and the team's dad so comparing him with Captain Mitchell is definitely apples and oranges. Captain Mitchell is more of a Captain Masaki of the Rescue Police or just any badass mentor from other media. I think GoGoFive would still be a good release even with those differences.
So you're probably surprised why I didn't do a Fiveman vs. GoGoFive comparison for alternatives. My reason is as much I like Fiveman but I don't think I'd recommend it as an alternative for these reasons. Fiveman was struggling with ratings in Japan and I wouldn't be surprised if Power Rangers fans may end up having a low opinion towards it. I don't see any reason why GoGoFive shouldn't click with Lightspeed Rescue fans. As for Fiveman, I really wouldn't recommend it over GoGoFive. GoGoFive on the other hand has more or less the familiar feel. So I guess that settles that why I won't recommend Fiveman as an alternative. GoGoFive would probably be more well-embraced by Power Rangers fans. Fiveman, I can like it all I want but nah.
What about Mirai Sentai Timeranger?
Timeranger and Power Rangers Time Force can be subjected to much debate to the point I'd probably use my personal biases to choose which is better. Both shows have their merits and I think Ransik's a better concept of a villain than Don Dolnero. Some cast members in Time Force were able to do better than their Timeranger counterparts. Jason Faunt and Erin Cahill were more convincing than their Japanese counterparts. I felt like Yuuri may be tough as nails but she's pretty much too cold while Jen is a more balanced character towards her teammates. Like come on, Jen doesn't easily beat you up over something trivial like Yuuri does! I think Eric Myers is a better written character than Naoto Takizawa who's pretty much a Hojo Toru. Timeranger might be viewed as "too serious" for most of its run. But again, if the Super Sentai DVDs were released for older fans then it may not be a huge problem to release Timeranger in DVD. Time Force is still enjoyable to its own merits so I don't think it would be a problem to release it for the North American audience.
So why do I think Timeranger may actually work with a DVD release? Let's consider the DVD releases for Super Sentai namely Zyuranger, Dairanger and Kakuranger. While Zyuranger may be considered "lighter" in Japan but American fans may think it's way more serious than Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Dairanger itself is a very serious Super Sentai series. If older Power Rangers fans could enjoy Zyuranger and Dairanger then I don't think they'd find no reason to think any different of Timeranger. They may not get ham from Don Dolnero because he's no comic relief, there may be some stuff that's really just overly serious but if they can enjoy Dairanger, I don't see any reason why Timeranger won't click with older Power Rangers fans either. But I still think there's probably better seasons than Timeranger out there. Timeranger may be a lot more serious than Time Force but if they can watch through Dairanger's unusually dark and depressing story in contrast to most Super Sentai series of today, I don't see any reason why they can't watch through Timeranger.
More miscellaneous stuff to finish this rambling
But can there be a better way to release Super Sentai DVDs for the U.S.? As mentioned, there can be better alternatives. I was thinking about somewhat "breaking the chain". Maybe after Ohranger, they could consider other Super Sentai series. As I said in my previous post, Shinkenger and Megaranger might be good alternatives. Others that may be good are Hyajakuu Sentai Gaoranger, Ninpu Sentai Hurricanger, Tokosou Sentai Dekaranger and Gougou Sentai Boukenger. Power Rangers SPD was pretty solid for Power Rangers fans and the Dekaranger main cast dubbed it so I guess that might work. Gaoranger and Boukenger may offer better acting than their not-well received counterparts namely Wild Force and Operation Overdrive. But writing-wise, I recently don't think Boukenger was really that miles above Operation Overdrive as I used to think. Maybe Wild Force's poor reception was more with the acting department but I still like the series. I won't comment too much on Hurricanger and Ninja Storm though.
What if Shout! might consider also releasing Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger shortly after Dino Charge? Me, I personally wouldn't recommend it because I'm not a fan of Kyoryuger. Dino Charge manages to have a very formal cast with badass action while the Kyoryuger main cast members tends to get loud and obnoxious with their characterization. Abaranger? Maybe yes. I guess Dino Thunder fans may still remember the episode the main cast watched Abaranger with a funny dub. Connor ended up liking the show. So I guess Abaranger over Kyoryuger would be a much better alternative IMO. No matter how I try to like Kyoryuger, sorry but I really can't like it at all. Plus, I wouldn't recommend releasing ToQGer to the North American Audiences either. Ugh. I still hate that show with a passion too!
As for more pre-Zyuranger seasons, I'm still giving out more crazy ideas that may work or fail. Like I might actually say that Liveman would be a better choice over Hurricanger. But again, Liveman wasn't about ninjas and Ninja Storm was so maybe Liveman wouldn't be a great idea. While Timeranger is a fan favorite but I guess there's other choices like Hikari Sentai Maskman and Chojin Sentai Jetman. For the sake of being crazy, I'd probably also say Dynaman though what about Goggle V? I'm just thinking about how Maskman, Liveman and Jetman might actually be good alternatives to Timeranger but I don't really have much of a stomach to really start the comparisons. Hmmm... and I'm thinking about releasing Dynaman too but I doubt it so many Power Rangers fans were aware of the really stupid Dynaman Parody Dub. But I might ramble on it some other time when I've got some more silly ideas for it.
So should Shout! Factory also release non-Super Sentai DVDs as well? Maybe yes, maybe no. I feel like Toei and Saban need to rethink a lot of stuff with DVD releases. I guess they might as well consider releasing Juuku B-Fighter, B-Fighter Kabuto, Tokosou Robo Janperson, Kamen Rider Black, Kamen Rider Black RX, Super Machine Metalder, Dimensional Spielban and Space Sheriff Shaider on DVD aside from just Super Sentai. It really depends on what fans may want in the near future.