The Tale Of Two Kimberlys
There's the claim that Kimberly Hart is the first crush of every 90s kid. But is that really the case? Not always. She may be one of their crushes back in the 90s but she's not necessarily the first. If you're in Japan, you might have had other first crushes and I guess I'll bring up my very first Tokusatsu crush: Hikaru Katsuragi. She's probably another character that Toku fans claimed was every 90s first crush. For some yes but for all the 90s kids, no. There were other Toku girls that became their first crushes.
I remembered watching the Bioman English dub before even learning of the name "Super Sentai". I only knew their real names during my late teenage years. Back then, I only knew Hikaru Katsuragi in her dub name as Kimberly. She never had her family name mentioned in the Bioman English dub. I'll admit the Bioman English dub today is one of my old shames. After watching Bioman in Japanese with subs, I can't deny that part of me still wants to call Hikaru Katsuragi as "Kimberly" at times. I watched Bioman and one of the silly reasons was because "Kimberly" was pretty. Did I find her all that pretty? Not really but I really thought she was attractive to a certain extent.
In-between there were still other pretty pinks like Momoko (Mary Rose in the dub), Haruna Morikawa (Carina in the dub) and I didn't find Kasumi Hoshikawa all that attractive. But I just watched Fiveman like any other kid. Then came Kimberly Hart, the other Kimberly. During that time I discovered "Kimberly" was really Hikaru in the original Bioman script, was it a coincidence that Kimberly the first Power Ranger pink ranger was named Kimberly? Maybe yes, maybe no. Granted that Saban DID NOT do the Bioman English dub though he planned to air Bioman before in the United States, it may just be a coincidence or maybe not.
Then it came in the 90s. Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers which was Toei's big entry to the United States market with Saban Entertainment's help. So I did find "Kimberly" attractive but Kimberly Ann Hart? I really found her to be extraordinarily attractive than any of the Super Sentai girls before and currently, can't think anybody has been that attractive. What I can't deny though I was more into Super Sentai but I watched MMPR for her. As a character, Kimberly was pretty much a good friend who's pretty blunt. She's beautiful inside out but I've like her a lot for shallow and pitiful reasons. I guess that explains why I liked Tommy as a child. It's so I could "hook up" with an otherwise non-existent character.
Things in common between Hikaru and Kimberly weren't limited to just wearing their pink spandex in their respective shows. Both of them met some android assistant: one being Peebo and the other being Alpha Five. The first episode of Mighty Morphin' had the rangers fighting out of suit before they morph. The Biomen did the same thing. Then both pink rangers are best friends with the yellow rangers... Hikaru first had Mika then she became close friends with Mika's replacement Jun. Trini is Kimberly's best friend. Then never forget that Super Sentai and Power Rangers tends to let the cast show off their skills with out of suit fight scenes before the stunt people kick in to do the more difficult ones. Both of them also had identical looking many great-grandmothers. Bioman showed one of Hikaru's ancestors was a noblewoman who looks like her. Kimberly's ancestor in Wild West Rangers also looks like her. Coincidence? Maybe yes, maybe no.
So Bioman ended after 51 episodes. Mighty Morphin' was supposed to end during its 40th episode but became too much of a monster hit in the United States. Toei and Saban may have had no idea on how to deal with the Power Rangers back then so the overextension happened. So Hikaru ended in a high note but what about Kimberly? Kimberly soon started to lose more and more possible development depending on who's in charge. She goes from someone who can really stand on her own to becoming Tommy's damsel in distress. Then she gets sick during the "A Friend in Need" crossover which was super annoying. Then he leaves for Season 3 which was probably due to Amy Jo Johnson-Giner not liking where Power Rangers was headed that time. Then came that stupid "Dear John letter" plot in Zeo which doesn't make any sense. She reappeared in the Turbo movie but only for a short while. I did watch the movie for her but it doesn't change how I think about the movie.
Time passed and both Kimberlys are now mothers in real life. Michiko didn't last long in show business and got married having two sons and she's now running a tsukudani store. Amy Jo had a promising career as an actress, married quite late and has one daughter born last 2008. Maybe just maybe, both Kimberlys may still have a special place for Super Sentai and Power Rangers fans who were once 90s children for whatever reasons there may be.