Ten Reasons Why I Prefer Super Sentai Over Power Rangers

It's no secret that I like Super Sentai better than Power Ranger and I'm not even a fan of the latter. Now I'd like to go beyond my superficial reasons to defend my stand to why I end up disliking Power Rangers. I decided to go beyond the icing and go into the cake itself to why I prefer Super Sentai over the more popular over the years Power Rangers prior to the huge drop it's experiencing lately. I don't care how popular Power Rangers is and I don't care what Power Rangers snobs have to say. I'm giving my personal reasons beyond the surface now! Of course I'll present the pros and cons on both sides to avoid being too biased with my viewpoint.


Better plot pacing and development in terms of episode count

One of the reasons why I'm inclined to say that Super Sentai is better than Power Rangers is because of the writing and plot pacing. Let's talk about some fan favorites and not just Mighty Morphin' which overextended to the point of obscurity. I thought about how the Zordon era just stretched everything to the point that plot gets derailed. Worse, I still need to watch everything in sequence just to understand the latest show during that time. On the other hand you don't need to watch all the 40 previous seasons of Super Sentai in order to appreciate the latest installment that is Kyuranger.

I could also talk about the difference of a 32-40 episode count for Power Rangers in contrast to the late 40s to early 50s episode count which served as Super Sentai's standard number of episodes ever since Battle Fever J started. Hurricanger and Ninja Storm would be a good example. I watched both from start to finish. After Ninja Storm ended with 38 episodes all I could say is HUH that's it? Hurricanger's 51 episode count is just right with not too many nor too few episodes. It gave enough room to flesh out the characters. I could also talk about fan favorites and maybe we can talk about GoGoFive/Lightspeed Rescue and Timeranger/Time Force. Lightspeed Rescue and Time Force have a good cast but the pacing tends to be rushed since there's a 32-40 episode deadline.

I'd still acknowledge some of the flaws in the past. Goranger's 84 episode count could end up as a chore for Super Sentai fans who are 80s, 90s or millennial babies. JAKQ only had 35 episodes so it's pretty rushed. The difference is that Super Sentai managed to find the right number of episodes more or less. Mighty Morphin's decision to extend to two more seasons was just uncalled for. Personally, I wish both Toei and Saban just decided to end Mighty Morphin' as planned and release another Power Rangers season next year. But again you know what happens when you hit a pot of gold and you can't wait to grab another right?

Worse, Nickelodeon's decision to split is SO STUPID. I couldn't help but say that doing so is breaking things up for the worse. Dino Charge has potential but the splitting is really not a good thing. With that in mind I have no reason to really hang around the franchise. The splitting into two season slows the plot down to the point of absurdity. So why do the split? It's totally unnecessary. It's dragging down revenues. With that in mind why should I even stay with Power Rangers when I don't need to wait for another year just to see Super Sentai make its conclusion? It's not good for revenues either. Power Rangers used to change seasons every year now fans have to wait LONGER for it to conclude. Argh that alone is a good reason for me to leave the franchise.


Better characterization for both heroes and villains 

What makes me think Super Sentai heroes have better characterization? I don't deny Power Rangers does have some likable characters and Super Sentai can have its share of douches (and I tend to like writing douchy protagonists for the sake of doing so myself). I can't deny that no matter how much I think Timeranger was better written than Time Force (but both have their merits) but I could still say that Jen has a better personality than Yuuri or that Carter Grayson is a more calm person compared to the more tense Matoi Tatsumi. On the other hand, I still feel that Super Sentai has had a bigger lump of better characters than Super Sentai. A good example is how Kou in Dairanger is a better child ranger than Justin in Power Rangers Turbo. Kou has a much richer story than Justin was ever allowed to have.

One specific era of Power Rangers that I really tend to bash is DISNEY.  My favorite example would be Dekaranger and Power Rangers SPD. I thought about how I thought that Sky Tate felt like that cocky law student who got blasted out in the People's Court last 2008. Hoji was somewhat arrogant in the beginning but he wasn't really all that stuck up and he got along better with everyone. Another example I love to raise up is Ban vs. Jack. Sure, Ban is an idiot red ranger but he would NEVER skip an obstacle course. Okay, Jack did do the obstacle course in the end of that same episode but I still find Ban to be the better, more badass character. Syd is probably the character I hate the most from SPD prior to her development. These factors make me think I'm glad that I didn't watch Power Rangers SPD.

Most Super Sentai villains are usually given more room to develop than Power Rangers villains. A good comparison would be Rita Repulsa vs. Bandora. Rita Repulsa just felt like she was "For the Evulz" without a clear goal. I wouldn't say Bandora is better because the show told us why she went crazy in the later part and Mighty Morphin' didn't. Rather, I would talk about how Bandora's objectives were made clearer than Rita's. Another would be how I felt that TV-Y7-FV ratings and executive meddling may be the bigger problem to why Power Rangers villains tend not to be as scary. Some Power Rangers villains did have potential but end up getting shot down. My favorite example would be how Ransik is a pretty good fighter but TV-Y7-FV ratings don't do him justice. Don Dolnero may not be as good as a plot material as Ransik but I felt like he didn't look like someone you could easily mess with.

I could also mention that character decay happens less in Super Sentai or if it happens it doesn't happen to be that bad. Some examples of the worst character decay to ever happen is with Kimberly in Mighty Morphin'. She was made someone who could stand up on her own but ended up becoming Tommy's damsel in distress. That alone is a bad move to throw all her character development out of the window just so Tommy could steal the spotlight. The writers ended up ruining the scene. The villain decay in Super Sentai isn't all that bad compared to how it tends to happen in Power Rangers. Sure Garoa in Fiveman started to show signs of becoming more stupid as a character but Goldar's character decay in Mighty Morphin' was even worse. All those events really gave me a good reason not to bother rewatching Mighty Morphin'.


Super Sentai doesn't make use of sideline comic relief characters that contribute almost or nothing at all to the plot

When I saw that Power Rangers Ninja Steel has the comedic duo Victor and Monty I said, "That's it! I'm out!" It was the same with Power Rangers Samurai where I wished that somehow Bulk and Spike would leave the series midway as they prepare to go to Japan out of frustration of the show. Then I remember a lot of moments that made me think that why in the world does Power Rangers like putting a lot of useless characters?

I could start with why I'm finding Mighty Morphin' rewatches painful for me namely BULK AND SKULL. I guess part of the reasons why I couldn't rewatch it is that Skull's advances towards Kimberly makes it so stupid. Just reading the possibility that Skull could have married her makes me go WTF. Yes, I do like Kimberly as a character but hate what the writers did to her. Maybe part of the reason why I leave a franchise or even support for an entire company is because of what happens to my favorite characters. It's like how I'm freaking mad with Capcom because of of their current business practices, how I really hate Marvel now because of what happened to a lot of my favorite characters like Cyclops, Wolverine, Apocalypse, Magneto and they keep making useless characters now, and now Disney for what they did to Star Wars' continuity.

I'm also reminded why I also don't intend to watch Power Rangers Dino Thunder and Power Rangers SPD. It's because of useless characters like Cassidy and Devin or Boom from SPD that make me want to leave the show. Cassidy and Devin can just be used as suicide bombers for Mikoto's next game for all I care. Boom should go and take training from Sgt. Bunta to become a better character. Cassidy and Devin also became another reason why I end up thinking that I didn't lose much or anything at all by not watching Dino Thunder. Speaking of useless characters, Spike in Power Rangers Samurai is utterly useless. It's a good thing that Mr. Brown didn't bring Spike along with him or imagine all the bad incidents that could happen. Though I'd actually still welcome a scene where Mako tricks Spike into kissing a Nanashi.


I find Super Sentai humor to mix with the story better

I admit timing your humor is not a walk in the park. I tend to like writing what I intend to be funny but it can end up derailing my plot. I think Super Sentai has better humor than Power Rangers aside from the whole no comic characters that hardly do anything to the plot. Super Sentai instead chooses to let their own heroes be the comic relief. A good example would be how the rangers themselves tend to be comic reliefs while they do contribute to the plot at the same time. Zyuranger has Dan and Boi who act as a comic duo while they end up defending the Earth. You can even have red rangers who are comic reliefs but they mature. They aren't just there to make you laugh but they're also there to save the day. I feel Power Rangers hardly meet that balance.

In Super Sentai, comic relief characters are within the team. Jetman has Raita and Ako as comic relief characters. Zyuranger had Dan and Boi as Zyuranger's bumbling duo. Shinkenger has Ryunosuke and Genta. Gokaiger has Gai Ikari. The rangers get to be the comic relief themselves but they're not useless characters. The comic relief these rangers do is part of their development. They appear to be funny but it's usually part of the plot. They're not funny all the time either. They aren't just played for laughs. Rather, their flaws and them coping up with their flaws is also what makes Super Sentai humor funnier than sideline characters like Bulk and Skull.

Villain humor isn't silly for the sake of being silly. A good example is like how Bandora acts as a comic relief villain for Zyuranger in contrast to Rita Repulsa. Okay, you might say that Bandora is not Rita Repulsa and I agree with that. While rewatching some Mighty Morphin' episodes for the sake of guilty pleasure I just thought how annoying Rita's getting a headache almost every episode is. Bandora does get headaches in certain episodes but she doesn't get it almost every episode. Bandora's comic relief scenes vary from one to another depending on what the show wants to be done. She does have her Bandora dance but the purpose behind it is that she's dancing because she feels overconfident. Bandora's half-brained plots work into the plot better because she's a child-hating witch. Rita Repulsa almost had no real aim whatsoever than just to be an empress of evil.

On the other hand I admit Super Sentai does have moments of what I feel is forced humor that could ruin the show. My favorite examples is that there are times in Ninninger that Takaharu and his sister Fuuka tend to suffer from it. Other examples include Hiromu's fear of chickens in Go-Busters was never resolved or becomes too much of a running gag at times. I wouldn't even say Hiromu's fear of chickens is miles better than Ziggy in Power Rangers RPM. Kyoryuger has some funny moments but there are times Daigo Kiryu just gets too energetic to the point it's no longer funny. But these are moments which I consider to be rare moments for Super Sentai but very common for Power Rangers.


Better quality of action scenes that usually fit well into the plot

Okay, let's not compare Zyuranger and Mighty Morphin' too much because it's like, "Duh Mei is a better fighter than Kimberly because one's a warrior princess and the other isn't!" scenario. Sure both Super Sentai and Power Rangers do their out of suit scenes but I could talk about some content. While I feel like comparing Zyuranger's action to Mighty Morphin's action is pretty unfair due to one being a group of warriors and the others had zero combat experience prior to recruitment. Let's go to where the playing field is a little more even.

I could talk about a few action scenes in these shows like GoGoFive/Lightspeed Rescue and Timeranger/Time Force. While I actually do prefer Chad Lee's use of karate (while out-of-suit) against Cyclopter in contrast to Daimon's use of judo to execute the milk tornado drop but I can't deny how most of the action scenes done by the main cast in GoGoFive wouldn't make it pass the TV-Y7-FV radar (ex. using bullets or getting injured that bad). Sure Time Force has some good action scenes but I prefer how Timeranger had a little more freedom to make it more intense. Other examples would also include how I prefer the action scenes of Hurricanger over Ninja Storm or Shinkenger over Power Rangers Samurai. For a bit of bonus, I do like the Kyoryuger fight scenes though Dino Charge still does get the job done. I liked it better when Super Sentai's used a lot of fight scenes that usually don't make it pass the TV-Y7-FV radar.

Power Rangers still gets the job done for their original fight footage. I still can't forget how I enjoyed the out-of-suit fight scenes of Mighty Morphin'. They still put in the effort to get the job done. But they are all moderated by TV-Y7-FV which doesn't allow them to do more than they could. It's like how Power Rangers isn't allowed to have a scene of girls with guns or the super intense fight scenes in Dairanger can't make it past the TV-Y7-FV radar. I'd still admit most Super Sentai fight scene these days are no longer that intense but most of them still do better than Power Rangers. Then again fight scenes don't always make a better show.

I wouldn't dare say that Super Sentai is better because it's more violent since loads of violence won't necessarily create a good story. Take for instance some of the Heisei era Kamen Riders. Kamen Rider Ryuki and Kamen Rider Faiz are that violent but I don't find them as good as their precessors. Kamen Rider Ryuki may be more violent than Kamen Rider Gaim but the latter had better implementation. Post-Decade Kamen Rider series tend to be less violent but I find them a lot more entertaining than some Kamen Rider series with too much violence.


Super Sentai tends to have better acting for most of its run compared to Power Rangers

Okay, I could talk about acting and here are cases where I think acting (but not necessarily the script) is done better. These are the cases where the acting in Super Sentai is much better in the following cases: Gaoranger over Wild Force, Boukenger over Operation Overdrive and Shinkenger over Samurai. Ninja Storm has pretty good acting but I think Hurricanger has better acting than the former. Then again I think it's my my extreme favoritism at work when it comes to Hurricanger and Ninja Storm. Readers know by now if it's not Reiko Chiba that gets bashed by my extreme biases then it's Sally Martin in favor of Nao Nagasawa as if they never get their jobs done and they deserve to get paid and respected for their contributions.

I don't deny that Power Rangers has its moments where you have good actors who get the job done. I could name Austin St. John, Amy Jo Johnson, Danny Slavin, Archie Kao, Sean CW Johnson, Mike Chaturantabut, Jason Faunt, Erin Cahill and Daniel Southworth to name a few who do more than get the job done. Amy Jo does a better job at being Kimberly and while Reiko did better fight scenes. Reiko gets the job done but it's Amy Jo who stands out as an actress due to her experience in theater. On the other hand, I can't say that it's always the case in the long run. But I still feel that most Super Sentai cast members do a better job than their Power Rangers counterparts in terms of acting. Others get the job done but don't really stand out. But what's important is that they get the job done and that they're actually trying to get it done. There's some effort to do a better job than they already started.

But there are some cases that there are some Super Sentai cast members that don't really stand out or in worse cases they just suck with their acting. One recent example last 2015 would be Shunsuke Nishikawa in Ninninger. He's really a pain to watch until he started improving his acting. It's the first time I feel like a red ranger in Super Sentai ends up to be so flatly disappointing that rewatching the show can be a chore in some parts of it. Other Super Sentai acting that I'd name aren't that good would be Kaya Hirasawa's acting as Denus isn't that good. I don't even think Hirasawa has better acting than Jennifer Yen who played Vypra. Hirasawa is required to play a sadistic character not limited by TV-Y7-FV but she ends up not really standing out over Yen as an actresses. But I don't consider both actresses to be lousy. They get the job done but can't really stand out that much either.


Not relying too much on previous seasons or a single timeline to create the latest season

Super Sentai tends to write new stories afresh whenever the last show ends. The use of self-contained continuities usually produces better stories than the use of a huge timeline. If you try and look at various old school Super Sentai series you'll find out most of them tend to act independently from each other. A lot of stuff happening in each and every Super Sentai series couldn't be put into one timeline. Events like Bio Robo's awakening in Bioman, Earth Force's awakening in Changeman or the various ways dinosaurs got extinct can't be put into one timeline.

So what's the advantage of operating using a huge multiverse than a timeline? Innovating Super Sentai based on a timeline from Goranger up to present could end up stopping more new ideas from getting used. Let's take a look at some of the post-Gokaiger seasons. Did you need to watch Zyuranger and Abaranger in their correct order to understand Kyoryuger or did you need to watch Kakuranger and Hurricanger in their correct order to understand Ninninger? You didn't and you could watch them all in any sequence you want. Anyone could be watching Kyuranger now and may choose to watch Changeman and Flashman at their own pace. Also, VS Movie writers have the freedom to write as many what if situations as the producers will allow because they weren't meant to take place within the series continuity.

Power Rangers' tendency to rely too much on previous seasons just derails creativity and new room for fresh material. It's like you still rely so much on obsolete cellphone models instead of seeking to make newer and better smartphones. I still can't get over the WTF moment in Megafail that says that Gosei Head only awakens when aliens arrive. Come on, how many times has the Earth been danger and Gosei Head only awakened that time? Another is that Power Rangers in Space's finale supposedly wiped out all evil yet why is Power Rangers still continuing their fight against evil forces they must defeat? Super Sentai's willingness to operate as standalone for most seasons keeps content fresh and as said you don't need to watch Super Sentai in any sequence for most of its run.

Lesser tendency for character overuse 

Since Super Sentai doesn't overly rely on previous seasons so think about it that there's less character overuse. It's nice to have an occasional direct sequel but I think standalone series tend to work better. Let's think about one character that I use to like as a child (all because he had Kimberly) but disliked him when I grew up. That's namely TOMMY OLIVER and I gave him a really bad birthday gift hoping to make the character choke on it. Jason David Frank (and yes, there's another attack against him by me on his birthday this year) isn't qualified to fill in the shoes of the legendary Hiroshi Miyauchi. I think he deserved to get thrown out of the cinema for violating rules. It's not because Miyauchi belongs to Super Sentai and the other is from Power Rangers (which I dislike) but with how both actors were utilized by their individual franchises.


It's stupid to argue that Miyauchi appeared in several shows but there's a difference between him and JDF. JDF just keeps appearing as Tommy. Miyauchi appears as four different heroes in spandex. When he makes an appearance he never steals the show whenever he appears in later shows. He served as the mentor of Solbrain and Winspector (same character due to them being directly linked) and as another character in Ohranger. So seeing Miyauchi make a guest role as another character is not a big problem. One could think that Tommy's probably just like Hercule in Dragon Ball Z. He's another reason why I won't watch Dino Thunder, think Ohranger is better than Zeo and why Mighty Morphin' rewatches get painful. It just drives me nuts how this guy gets too much attention even from his own camp. He doesn't really have real acting skills and JDF is a real life Hercule. He thinks he's the best, he grabs credit but he's nothing more than a bad joke that should just be forgotten.

I could also talk about the huge difference between the Zordon arc vs. the Super Sentai series that were involved in making those series. After Zyuranger ended we didn't see Barza or any direct connect with Dairanger, Kakuranger, Ohranger, Carranger and Megaranger. Each series from Zyuranger to Megaranger to be different seasons where you don't need to watch the previous series to appreciate the latest. Zordon just kept showing up and it might feel really good to get rid of him one way or another. Gingaman may have had a Zordon-type mentor in Moak but at least he's not Zordon or Barza. The similarity is there but he's not the same person. The Zordon arc just got boring with Zordon here, Zordon there and Alpha Five here and Alpha Six was no better replacement. Good thing there were a variety of robot assistants like Peebo, Mag, Arthur G-6 and Tac to provide varierty than just Alpha Five and Alpha Six. On please don't get me started on how Tensou is that awful.


Better anniversary seasons in contrast to Power Rangers' anniversary seasons

While I do (or maybe did) have a soft spot for Wild Force but watching Gaoranger makes me appreciate it lesser and lesser. The difference lies in the acting of both shows. Is Gaoranger really all that award-worthy in the acting department? I wouldn't say so but they have better acting than Wild Force. Gaoranger vs. Super Sentai manages to do better than the overly rushed Forever Red episode. Wild Force is still mocked for its acting and I think it nearly led to Power Rangers' cancellation. Wild Force may have had a few advantages on paper like Viktor Adler's transformation from a human to the second Master Org or Cole as a jungle boy but I feel implementation isn't so well done. Gaoranger has better implementation which makes Kakeru a better character than Cole in the actual implementation.

Five years later would be the appearance of what could be another super-mocked season called Operation Overdrive. Yes, the Disney era with its problem of the super-rushed pace seasons. I tried watching Operation Overdrive but it just blew my mind not because I don't like Power Rangers but because of the ACTING. Okay, I'm being too harsh again and I can't forget how I sadistically laughed while writing the now-deleted "Operation Suicide". No, I'm not going to say that Operation Overdrive is better because Sakura Nishihori is prettier than Rose Ortiz. That's just a very dumb reason. I'd like focus on one factor namely acting quality. Boukenger didn't have a uniting arc (and I'd say that the Corona Aurora plot does give a uniting arc to Operation Overdrive) but it does have more space to develop the characters. Is Boukenger really not without its flaws? It's not and it will have its problems like the members tend to act like they're drunk. It's still an enjoyable show though I tend to flip-flop between this show and Gokaiger to which is the better anniversary season.

I love to mention Gokaiger vs. the much-hated Power Rangers MEGAFAILED as examples of what a anniversary should be and what an anniversary shouldn't even be. Megafailed shows how attractive covering never saves a bad show and I feel sorry for the cast having to work through it. I watched it for some eye candy but it felt like I was taking too much sugar so it's good that I didn't bother to watch every episode. It's a good thing Megaranger is finally released because Megafailed will NEVER be the true Mega series. Gokaiger was pretty much well thought off. Megafailed is trying to mix unrelated products and you come out with a horrible hodge podge. Megafailed's lack of proper editing and everything such as why in the world are the non-Zyuranger suits showing up? It's laughable and in the end you get the worst anniversary ever. Gokaiger may not be the best Super Sentai, I think I prefer most of the standalones but I can't deny that it still achieved most of what it hoped to achieve. It's a successful voyage and even if they can't cover all Super Sentai but it's still a good voyage nonetheless.


I think Super Sentai has a lower count of disappointing seasons than Power Rangers

Is Super Sentai perfect and that the franchise has no mistakes? Is it getting better all the time or worse all the time? I wouldn't say yes or no to those questions. Super Sentai may get better or worse depending on what goes on behind the scenes. You may not get better all the time but you learn to get better every time you learn from your mistakes. Even the great writers like Hirohisa Soda, Toshiki Inoue and Yasuko Kobayashi showed that they'll burn out when they're overworked. Progress and innovation have never been straight lines upward as they will always have their ups and downs. Part of the whole process of progress and innovation would be trials, errors and learning from these errors to make something better. You fall down, you learn, you apply and you rise up after you learn. It's all about learning from your mistakes and seeking to improve. I feel that Kyuranger as of late is now trying to be different than your usual Super Sentai and I may soon write why being a more than your typical Super Sentai can be a good thing.

Power Rangers tends not to learn more from its past mistakes in the long run. Judd Lynn did all he can to do his work properly but I think executives tend to be his worst enemy. Maybe he wanted to add five or ten more episodes to Lightspeed Rescue and Time Force but he was denied. A shame if it were true because the cast of for both shows could have showed off more than they were allowed to. I think a lot of proposed stuff for Lightspeed Rescue and Time Force were junked. I would assume that Lynn wanted to turn Bansheera into the negative energy of the Universe like Grandienne was in GoGoFive but it was deemed "too scary". After Lynn left and Disney got the rights to Power Rangers from Toei things got worse. From rushed episodes to giving Hannah Montana type characters it just gave me no reason to stay around.

So how am I going to count it without having too many biases? While Power Rangers has its rare moments where I'm impressed but most of the time I just feel like getting disappointed to most of them. It's to the point I usually feel like I'm better off not watching any Power Rangers seasons and just focus on Super Sentai. Examples would be like Power Rangers Zeo is just overrated. Ohranger may have had lower ratings but it doesn't have stupid stuff like the stupid Dear John letter. Some Power Rangers seasons try to be the best they can but they end up getting less room to be impressive no thanks to the need to conform to TV-Y7-FV ratings. Power Rangers Dino Thunder also has Connor's obnoxious attitude in contrast to Abaranger where Ryoga's a much better character and it doesn't have Cassidy and Devin. Power Rangers SPD may have been aired dubbed by the main cast in Japan but I prefer the Dekaranger cast better. Power Rangers Samurai raised my eyebrows with all the bad acting and I even wanted to think Bulk and Spike were not only irrelevant but they would have wanted to move to Japan after the incident.

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Pretty much, I have no reason to really stick to the Power Rangers fandom due to all the bad decision making that it suffers from for some time. I hope my presented my stand properly to why I prefer Super Sentai over to Power Rangers.

Comments

  1. Super Sentai and Power Rangers are equally created.

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    1. I even don't think all Super Sentai are equally created either. I'm just stressing out my personal preferences. So far, I still understand the cultural differences between the two shows and why Toei allows them to exist.

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