Friday, May 23, 2014

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: An Introduction

An ancient witch powered by the dark magic of Satan vows to kill the children of Earth. Her efforts are thwarted by an elderly wizard who revives five knights from prehistoric tribes and their guardian dinosaur Gods. These Gods combine into the one true God who combats the forces of this evil witch. The five knights must adapt to modern times while fighting the ancient witch and saving children from her wrath.

Five average teenagers enjoy hanging out at a gym and juice bar until one day they're teleported into the command center of an interdimensional being named Zordon. He and his robot sidekick Alpha 5 bestow these teenagers with magical superpowers to combat the forces of evil. Using their mighty giant machines known as zords, these teenagers fight evil space aliens that attempt to conquer our world.

In a roundabout way, I'm actually talking about the same show. Anyone with a relative knowledge of pop culture is no stranger to the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, and anyone willing to do a cursory look on Wikipedia might learn that Power Rangers was adapted from a Japanese program called Kyoryuu Sentai Zyuranger (Translated roughly to "Dinosaur Squadron Zyuranger) which I've described above.


Though Trini looks a little different in the Japanese version...

Zyuranger was among many of shows Japan referred to as Super Sentai. The main idea of each of these series was that a group of superheroes transformed into various colored spandex and usually utilized a giant robot to fight villains and monsters. By dubbing over the action footage from the sentai show, and inserting newly filmed footage of American actors, a production company by the name of Saban Productions was able to catch lightning in a bottle with Mighty' Morphin Power Rangers.

Why am I choosing to talk about Power Rangers? Well this show was my childhood, plain and simple. It was something I kept assuming I'd grow out of as I got older but I'm still waiting on that. I loved watching the show as a kid and have a lot of memories I'm excited to share revolving around specific episodes of the show. I couldn't tell you how it felt to go into Kindergarten, but I'll be damned if I couldn't tell you how pumped I was when the Power Rangers went toe to toe with Frankenstein's monster.

These are the memories of a time before the internet when there was a lot more mystery, when weird quirks of the show's Japanese footage couldn't be explained and you just had to wonder why there were little things off about the show. As I've grown older I've taken to watching the Sentai shows and comparing them to their Power Rangers counterparts, but there's always something deeply enjoyable to just having a mystery of "Why are things this way?" It's the same feeling you had as a kid when your parents would tell a joke that was clearly above your head but they refused to explain it to you. It's really a feeling of wonder that you lose as you get older, but there's something deeply fulfilling to getting those answers when you become older.

Of course this wasn't the only thing I loved about the show, I loved the goofy one dimensional characters and the karate fights. I loved the action that seemed almost otherworldly to my single digit aged brain. I found so much excitement in seeing what the rangers would do to stop the monster this week. In fact that's what I found the most joy in, the villains and especially the monsters. I was so nuts to see what kind of monster would be fighting the heroes this week, what kind of weapon it might use and how tough it might be. I wanted to see the design of the monster, the voice, the way it was defeated, everything about them. There was so much to this goofy little show, and I'm hoping looking over this show again will give me a little more understanding why it was so captivating.

I plan on going over every episode from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers in order (at least the order on my DVD's.) I'll talk about things that stick out to me, try and interject some of the sentai stuff I find interesting, and conclude with some personal perspective. This is a show that's near and dear to my heart, so I'm gonna have a ball going through it and goofing on how cheesy and silly it is. I hope you'll join me for a look back into pure 90's culture. The only word that can describe this show?

Morphenomenal

4 comments:

  1. This is going to be the bee's knees.

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  2. Heh, I totally missed this introduction when I first found your blog.

    I'm watching the series for the first time (outside of a handful of scattered episodes throughout the decade) via Netflix, so I'll be reading each review after I watch the episode.

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  3. I'm another hopeless Netflix victim here.

    It all started so innocently too. "Okay, I'm all caught up on this kickass reboot of Voltron. What to watch next? Hey why not indulge in another harmless combining mecha show of my childhood?....GOOD GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE?!"

    Honestly, as much as I remember loving this show as a kid, I only actually saw sporadic episodes here and there. A handful around the Green Ranger arc, and then a bunch when Lord Zedd and the Thunderzords showed up. So my inner child was looking forward to watching the whole thing properly and in order.
    I knew it would be cheesy. I just didn't appreciate just how bad it would be and how nauseatingly saccharine and squeaky clean the Rangers were. I told myself I remembered it being better than this and convinced myself to persevere and push on to the Green Ranger episodes.
    That's when I keyed up a Google search to try and figure out how the fuck they formed Megazord whilst whilst Jason was rolling around with Goldar in the Dark Dimension. Which led me to your Blog.

    At this point, I'm way too far down the rabbit hole to back out now. But I'm following Mark Moore's example and reading your recaps after watching each episode.
    As a result the cathartic hilarity of your blog is enhancing the intense 90's cheese flavoring like a genius combination of MSG and LSD. Best way to enjoy this show!

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