I Won't Consider Myself A Power Rangers Fan...


I can always say that I usually choose not to watch Power Rangers because I don't really like it as much as Super Sentai. Back as a child, I enjoyed watching Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. I watched it like every other child. I still remember my crush on Kimberly and how much I collected items like her trading cards and stickers. I didn't care how stupid it felt but I did it anyway. But there was always something that came in between. I would say that something in between was Super Sentai and other Japanese Tokusatsu shows.


It's certain that I was also watching Super Sentai (without knowing the term back then) as well as Kamen Rider Black, Shaider and Gavan. I just called it "The original Japanese Power Rangers." I just wondered why in the world there were Mighty Morphin' stickers with Japanese characters unaware of the existence of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. I remembered Bioman, Maskman, Turboranger, Fiveman and Jetman as part of the pre-Zyuranger Super Sentai era. I had no idea of what was going on or other series. The more I watched the Super Sentai series without knowing it was called Super Sentai, I really didn't like Power Rangers. Then I remembered that I dropped Power Rangers Zeo after Douglas Sloan forged Kimberly's signature in a "Dear John" letter. Then I thought of it... I started hating Tommy after I was a fan of his as a child. Until now, I still feel that I don't like Tommy anymore. I even assume I hate him now.


The series that shook my head too many times... Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger

Years later, I would discover the series that started it all namely Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. I couldn't forget how I hated Power Rangers because of it. Until now, I still feel that urge to hate it though as of late, I'm just neutral about it because I know Toei and Saban cooperated to make the series. I remembered reading how Saban Entertainment originally wanted to air Super Sentai as it was but failed. Saban Entertainment had a couple of cartoons based on Marvel Comics like X-Men, Incredible Hulk and Spiderman which I want to rewatch. The problem was all about cultural differences so that's why Power Rangers was born.


Watching Zyuranger raw and later with subs (now the DVD is out), I still can't help but make some unusual reactions. I thought Zyuranger was miles better than Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. I always felt like giving Tommy a dirty finger because of the one true "Green With Evil" arc. Burai gave a really evil laugh when he first came out. Even without Burai's evil laugh, Tommy's mwahahahaha is nothing because of other great evil laughs that Super Sentai made. Jason David Frank's just an overrated guy. You want a real legend? Go for Hiroshi Miyauchi who's not playing the same character over and over but he plays different characters doing a good job at it. All JDF does is become Tommy, next he's Tommy and it's just more Tommy. Good thing that Dino Charge doesn't have Tommy!


Though I can't really say I prefer all the Zyurangers over their Mighty Morphin' counterparts. It's no secret that I still like Kimberly Hart over Mei. I pretended to like Mei over Kimberly for some time but I can't hold it too long. Then I hated how Kimberly's character got derailed over time and of course, thanks a lot (NOT) Dougie boy for forging her signature just so Tommy and Kat can be together. UGH. Even after so many times Mei ended up showing she's a better fighter (well she is a warrior princess) and Kimberly showed less (she wasn't even raised as one) so it's more or less an unfair comparison. Yet I still prefer Kimberly over Mei. Amy Jo Johnson has had better acting skills than Reiko Chiba.

Later Power Rangers series... post-Zordon, pre-Disney

I admit some Power Rangers series can find a way not to copy too much from its Super Sentai material. Even Mighty Morphin' deviated from what Zyuranger was since it didn't have ancient warriors. Instead, it had teenagers with attitude. As much as I don't like Power Rangers in Space and I prefer Denji Sentai Megaranger (remember I'm biased), I still can understand why people like it.

Power Rangers Lost Galaxy was trying to do something different by taking everyone into space. Yet after watching a few episodes of Choshinsei Flashman (which both are apples and oranges), I don't find Lost Galaxy as appealing anymore. Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue has some positive points I can name like Carter Grayson's not a loud guy compared to Matoi Tatsumi, Captain Mitchel may not be Captain Masaki but he's a devoted mentor you can respect but I don't think Power Rangers is all that great. Then again, Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue should be appreciated as a rescue show that gets the job done while avoiding too many comparisons with Kyukyu Sentai GoGoFive. I only choose to compare GoGoFive with Chikyu Sentai Fiveman instead saying the former is miles better than the latter.

I still can't think about what Shogo said in his blog entry about him being that Super Sentai snob. I can't forget these words:

There is one Power Rangers series I actually did enjoy. It might have been a clone of its source material, but I do remember enjoying Time Force. It was the first and last PR show since MMPR I watched any significant amount of. I felt like the crew actually took that one a little more seriously, probably out of deference for Timeranger (there was a notion at the time that Timeranger was some sort of Jetman-like insta-classic -- HA!). I give a huge amount of credit to Erin Cahill (Jen), though. She could overdo it sometimes, be a little too forceful, but she's probably one of the first Power Ranger actors who actually seemed to try and, you know, ACT, and seemed to be into it. The others were well cast, but I feel like she might have been the glue there. (I think she also works better than Mika Katsumura, who was too young and too green of a performer to pull off the Yuuri character in Timeranger. Jen seems like she could mess Yuuri up.) Time Force did (shockingly) make a couple of changes from Timeranger, which I thought were (shockingly) actually good -- I liked that they made the future Red doppelganger Jen's fiance, and I think the premiere episode makes a heck of a lot more sense than Timeranger's sloppy, hurried premiere. I have a lot of problems with Timeranger, and Time Force kind of fixed them up, surprisingly. Time Force is all right...

I just thought I could accept a bit of stuff but I personally preferred Timeranger's two episode premiere than Time Force extending it to three episodes. Remember, that's coming from somebody who actually enjoyed Maskman, Zyuranger, Jetman, Dairanger and Gingaman who had a bit of an extended introductory arc. I guess I'm just biased though there are times I prefer a bit more of a stretch. I could agree that somehow Erin Cahill and Jason Faunt don't look stiff. But I still prefer Timeranger over Time Force for personal reasons. I'd agree that Ransik himself is a better villain than Don Dolnero. Ransik's a freaking commentary on the consequences of humanity's misbehavior and he seems to embody it in more than one level. On the downside, TV-Y7-FV tends to prevent him from becoming as cruel as Dr. Giba in Jiban. Jen may have a cold side but at least she doesn't have Yuuri's super duper cold demeanor or that in some way, Time Force wasn't meant to be super serious in the first place. But still, it's actually personal preference kicking in so feel free not to agree with me. Then again, there's a lot of times I had a friendly disagreement with Shogo himself. 

The Disney era and the Neo-Saban era may have caused me to forever leave the franchise

Then it came, I really admit that after Time Force, it's a major downhill. After watching Hyajakuu Sentai Gaoranger, I felt like Power Rangers Wild Force disappointed me in several levels. Cole was a cool character on paper but Rick Medina ruined him. The acting was so-so or for some really bad. After that, I remembered Power Rangers Ninja Storm but even I couldn't really think too highly of it. I don't know how I'll think of Ninja Storm after I'm done seeing more Hurricanger. I can't really say it's because of Nao Nagasawa herself who's obviously a better actress than Sally Martin. Martin was just okay but Nagasawa herself knew how to act better. I still can't forget how Nagasawa did a good job playing as Lily in that stupid two parter in Kamen Rider W (which as much as I'm a fan of the actress but I hated the plot they put her into, but she does a good job acting as an idiot) or when she had that guest role as that badass teacher Haruka Utsugi in Kamen Rider Fourze.

Then of course, Dino Thunder. I didn't really get mad (or maybe I did) with that episode when the team watched a gag dub version of Abaranger. Connor even said it's good at the end of the episode but I dropped that show all because of... Tommy. I could just imagine Asuka beating Tommy to a pulp with the help of all characters played by Miyauchi. I don't intend to watch that show from start to end. Cassidy and Devin are just that annoying. Thankfully, I could enjoy Abaranger at its own merits at times. But other times, I just can't help but still want to keep shoving it down everyone's throats that I think Abaranger is miles better than Dino Thunder without a single good reason! 

Well, there was the Kalish era. Power Rangers SPD did get dubbed in Japan and it's a one shot wonder. I want to compare Bruce Kalish to Shoji Yonemura. Yonemura served as the head writer of Kamen Rider Kabuto but failed to do better as a writer in more Kamen Rider seasons. I still can't forget why I freaking hate most of what Kamen Rider Decade has to offer for Kamen Rider fans. I can't forget how I hated Operation Overdrive so much that people tell me to give it a break... and I confess I was laughing like crazy while writing that awful episode of them getting butchered by their out-of-character idiocy. I still forget how some fans may have called Kalish as the "dork age". In my case, it's my personal biases towards Power Rangers. What I also didn't like about Power Rangers' later run is doing rushed seasons that hardly make any sense in pacing! It's Power Rangers and not a mini-series like Akibaranger!

I still can't forget watching Power Rangers RPM but I complained at how "short" it was. Eddie Guzelian got replaced by Judd Lynn in the second half. It's almost like how Tyuyoshi Kida but replaced by Toshiki Inoue. Lynn in doing a Toshiki Inoue/Yasuko Kobayashi type of stunt added conflict but gave it a not-so-satisfactory finale. I felt like that no matter how I criticized Kobayashi's endings for most of her run (ex. Kaoru adopting Takeru and making her vacate her place, Timeranger's finale is somewhat rushed, Gingaman could have done better, Kamen Rider OOO's finale is no better than Kamen Rider Agito's finale, Kamen Rider Den-O leaves you hanging) but I thought her ending for Go-Busters was better than how Power Rangers RPM came to be. But I can't deny that neither Lynn, Inoue or Kobayashi ever bother to write better endings for most of their run!


During this time, Shinkenger was the first Super Sentai to get a crossover with Kamen Rider. Kamen Rider Decade and Shinkenger had something miles better than "A Friend in Need". I don't really care which came first because "A Friend in Need" really sucked big time. Shinkenger had everyone complete. It had a decent crossover that everyone wanted for years. After that, we've had other attempts with ToQGer vs. Kamen Rider Gaim (which I still find to be boring), Ninninger vs. Drive (which was a bigger improvement than its predecessor even if I don't like Ninninger) as well as Zyuohger and Kamen Rider Ghost making a guest role in each other's show. That time, I gave a dirty finger to that stupid three parter in favor of a two parter that did something right. It was last 2009 and I still think it was the best followed by Ninninger/Drive based on my preferences. 

I thought Saban Brands would restore it back but it got worse. Power Rangers Samurai is so downright flat with bad acting and just everything. Power Rangers Megafail was even worse with how it forced Goseiger and Gokaiger to become one creating a horrible hodge podge. Samurai's acting is terrible. Megaforce's cast could act but were prevented from exhibiting their true skill with such awful characters. Not even Megaforce's eye candy could save it... eye candy never saves a bad show while it tends to overrate a good show. Jonathan Tzachor makes both of his seasons Samurai and Megafail to look like they were unlicensed productions of Super Sentai. I hope he's really gone for good because Toei could have lost its share in the American market. 

Worse, splitting one season into two is a horrible idea. It's making it too slow and too horrible. I can understand some fans do like Power Rangers Dino Charge, Judd Lynn's back (but may be burning out as we know it) but why are we still splitting it into two? It's just horrible. Power Rangers getting split is something I'd like to call as, "If it's not broken, don't fix it!" 

It's not because it's a remake or localization but I've got other reasons to defend my dislike for Power Rangers

It's probably official as it is that I've dropped Power Rangers from my list of shows even if it's still legitimately produced by both Toei and Saban. I don't hate it in the sense that I want it to disappear but I usually choose not to watch it. When I talk about Super Sentai with other fans, I usually tell them what Super Sentai is all about. I don't blame Power Rangers to why Super Sentai's not airing in the Philippines (but I don't watch the bad dubs anyway). I blame the biased media network ABiaS-CBN for showing almost everything American and favoring almost everything American. But take note that I'm not an anti-American myself. Japan and the U.S. are allies. Taiwan and the U.S. are allies. I'll never deny that I'm still a fan of American influence to a certain extent. Every culture has its ups and downs. 

The more I watch Super Sentai, the more I really can't appreciate Power Rangers in general. I admit that I may have been very disappointed with Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, Ressha Sentai ToQger and Shuriken Sentai Ninninger but I'd still watch those three shows over most Power Rangers seasons from the Disney era or the really bad return during the Neo Saban era. I don't want to say there aren't bad Super Sentai seasons because there are though I feel most seasons are watchable. I don't like Magiranger either but it doesn't mean I like Mystic Force. I can always have it that I don't like both a Power Rangers season and a Super Sentai season if they turn out horrible due to mismanagement. But some Power Rangers seasons still manage to impress me though the feeling may not really last for long. It's just that I do have my personal preferences and I prefer Super Sentai over Power Rangers for most of the time.

I still think Super Sentai is better (or in my case, much better out of my preference anyway) than Power Rangers because of the more intense action scenes, better writing, better production and better musical scores for most of its run but these are all my personal choices. Power Rangers may have its moments but I thought that Time Force couldn't do the more intense scenes in Timeranger due to the TV-Y7-FV rating. Zyuranger had Geki and Burai fight it better than Jason and Tommy which wouldn't be approved by American TV standards. I don't really care if Power Rangers is in English. Language is not what makes a show better. It's all about which show delivers the best piece ever. I would rather watch a show that's in a language I can't understand (but with subs, please) than anything in English when it's a really super duper bad show.

Do I really hate Power Rangers? I don't hate it because I recognize that Toei gave Saban the license, that Toei co-owns Power Rangers with Saban under contract, that Japanese and American culture are different so localization is the solution for Toei's expansion to the overseas market but I usually just choose to watch Super Sentai over Power Rangers because I think the former created a lot more good seasons than the former. But I don't deny that certain seasons of Super Sentai can also be that bad or didn't do well during their time. I wouldn't say because it's the original or it came first but I'd say it's because of the quality. Some adaptations from the Japanese source material in the Asian market may be better than the original. I personally think Taiwanese adaptations and South Korea adaptations of Japanese shows and Manga or Anime in some way depending on who handles the writing and production. With all that, I wouldn't consider myself a purist but I definitely don't like Power Rangers. I'm open for localization or adaptation as long as a good job is done with it. But I don't think Power Rangers really does a good job in the long run yet Toei still makes money out of it.

What I am glad is that Power Rangers fans going to Morphicon can meet who I consider as major legends. They can get to understand more why their beloved show existed and they may appreciate it. I don't think they need to stop becoming Power Rangers fans just to enjoy Super Sentai because as said, you can enjoy both. I don't think it should be a rule that you can only choose one and you must hate the other with all your being. I wouldn't make the assumption or say I'm sure that the Super Sentai actors and actresses secretly hate the Power Rangers actors. I doubt it that the Super Sentai cast members were ever paid or even forced to go to Morphicon. They have every right to decline the invitation since they have their own income doing something else. They still went there and for Power Rangers fans to actually meet the Super Sentai actors and actresses. But still, it doesn't change the fact that I'm not really a Power Rangers fan myself. I may not hate the show but I can't really bring myself to fully enjoy it as others could. 

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