1993: A Champion Year For Toei's Bank Account

It's no secret that Toei itself has had its ups and down moments. This time would be the celebration of Toei's financial champion year with three shows -- Tokosou Robo Janperson, Gosei Sentai Dairanger and Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. It was that big moment when they hit a pot of gold in both Japan and the United States.

The Metal Hero series was entering a good period for some time during the early 90s and its decline during the late 90s. The success of the Rescue Police series trilogy (Winspector, Janperson and Exceedraft) gave in to a new hero called Janperson. What does Janperson have in common with the Rescue Police heroes? Most of the episodes focus on crimes of the week -- though unlike them he fought three criminal organizations that also rivaled each other. Also, he's the second Robocop-inspired hero after Jiban. Jiban may have been Robocop in the sense he was a dead police officer revived as a cyborg. However, it was Janperson who gave a show more of a Robocop feel with how the show usually showed sci-fi type criminals, the monster of the week wasn't common fodder (except for a few unique androids from Neo Guild) and how he was once a police project gone wrong. More importantly -- his mission is to Serve the Public Trust, Protect the Innocent and Uphold the Law like his source of inspiration would.

Gosei Sentai Dairanger IMHO was a huge step up from Zyuranger. Zyuranger was fun in its own way while Dairanger had some pretty good contributors aside from Noboru Sugimura. Certain arcs were written by writers such as Toshiki Inoue (Jin arc), Kunio Fuji (the Kujaku arc) and Naruhisa Arakawa (Three Stooges arc) who at that point was already getting better after Jetman. Dairanger has some pretty cool Bandai merchandise. The show may have had some weirdness to it such as the beginning episodes, it was in fact heavily based on Chinese culture (such as the Kirin beasts and the martial arst used in the show) and it also sold a lot of toys. I even think that it's really almost impossible to replicate Dairanger's really amazing footwork with the cast, their stunt doubles or even the strange appeal it had. Somehow, it also was the kind of show that wanted to provoke audiences to think to why certain events turn out the way they are. It's full of mysteries that are unfolded yet it also allows audiences to somehow decide on stuff that the show doesn't give an official word about.

Also, it was the very year that Toei Company finally entered the American market. It was said that Haim Saban wanted to originally bring the show as it is but couldn't get the right network. Instead, both Toei and Saban agreed to let Power Rangers exist as their stepping stone towards the the American market. A complete rewrite was necessary due to cultural differences and thus Power Rangers was born. Mighty Morphin' became such a monster hit that Toei even went as far as to film 25 sets of footage (termed as Zyu2 by the fans) for more episodes of Mighty Morphin' to use until they all ran out. But as said, it's still amazing how one show that had plenty of weird editing that really just couldn't match so well with the American fight footage composed of either the cast or their stuntmen became such a monster hit. But just a note that if it wasn't for Super Sentai then Power Rangers wouldn't exist, now would it?

With all this in mind -- one may consider that 1993 was indeed a champion year for Toei's bank account!

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