Shout! Factory’s release of Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 is an absolute must have for anyone that is a true hardcore fan of the Power Rangers franchise. This latest box set was released in late 2013, only months before the planned release of the franchise’s next box set, containing Seasons 13 – 17. Audiences that grew up watching Seasons 8 – 12 will appreciate this box set primarily because of its writing. Seasons 8 – 12 mark a complete cutting of ties so to speak from the original Power Rangers franchise, which ended with Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. It was a surprisingly clean cut, too. The bonus DVD included in this set adds to its value for any true hardcore Power Rangers fan. That’s because of the abundant amount of extras included just on the one disc alone. And rounding out the whole thing is the bonus booklet that comes with the set. All of this together makes Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 a set that the most hardcore Power Rangers will want to add to their personal collection.
Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 is an important addition to any hardcore Power Rangers fan’s collection first and foremost because of the writing behind each season. It all starts with Season 8 a.k.a. Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue. This season and those that follow mark a clean cut from the Power Rangers’ original franchise, which ran technically six seasons. The franchise’s seventh season saw what would be the first attempt at cutting ties from the original franchise. But even that season maintained at least some link to the original franchise with the re-introduction of the Astro Megaship, which was used in Season 6 (Power Rangers in Space). That essentially makes Season 8 the very first time that the franchise’s writers made a complete and clean break from the original series. It did this quite well, too. It is interesting to see the Power Rangers go from almost superhero-like status in its previous incarnations to being made into a semi-militaristic force in Season 8. A similar approach is taken in Power Rangers Time Force. The writers behind Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue made a clean, solid break from the Power Rangers’ original franchise. For all of their ability to break from that franchise, audiences will appreciate that they did throw back to Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers with the introduction of the Titanium Ranger in this series. Just as Tommy was originally brainwashed by Rita, so was Ryan brainwashed by Diabolico. Fans that grew up with the original Power Rangers franchise will appreciate this throwback, whether it was intentional or not.
The eighth and ninth seasons of Power Rangers exhibited brand new chapters in the long-running franchise’s mythology. They showed in their writing that the Power Rangers brand could keep running even in a whole new universe separate from the one created in the its first seven seasons. This trend continued on through Seasons 10 and 11. The most intriguing of the seasons included in this set would have to be Season 12, though. Tommy Oliver (Jason David Frank) returns in Season 12 a.k.a. Power Rangers Dino Thunder as the head of a new team of Power Rangers. What makes this season so enjoyable is that while it lives within the confines of its own universe, it also makes no attempt to ignore Tommy’s past as one of the original Power Rangers. The very fact that it would be titled Dino Thunder and that the new Power Rangers would have their own dinozords of sorts is a full on throwback. It brings everything full circle in this set. It goes without saying that this was not the longest series in the Power Rangers canon. But it was nice to see the writers and the franchise’s heads make that re-connection with the early days of the Power Rangers once again, just as Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue did in Season 8.
All involved behind Power Rangers Season 8 – 12 are to be commended . These five seasons prove to be some of the best from the Power Rangers franchise in its post-Zordon era. Fans will see this for themselves when they order the complete five-season box set from Shout! Factory. The solid writing in each season and the inclusion of each season are only the starting point in what makes this collection a must have for any hardcore Power Rangers fan. The set also comes with an extra sixth disc loaded with bonus material that fans will love.
The bonus sixth disc that comes with Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 is a bonus in itself. It is loaded with more than its share of background on each season beginning with an in-depth look at how the actors voiced their parts for the big fight scenes. Audiences will laugh along with the cast members as they recall being in the recording booth, recording their lines and even fight sounds as they see the action on screen. The “Ranger Tales” segment is just as in-depth. It offers insight on each season from different members of each season’s cast. What’s more, this segment proceeds chronologically from Season 8 – 12. Viewers will also enjoy watching “A Web of Fans.” This bonus feature takes a look at the impact of the show on its fans and vice versa. It showed how close-knit the Power Rangers fanbase is to this day and how it has helped to keep the franchise alive such a long time. There are even more bonuses including one that discusses the introduction of the Titanium Ranger and a semi-promo from Tommy himself pushing Power Rangers Dino Thunder and even a promo by two members of the Dino Thunder cast for Power Rangers S.P.D. which is part of the next Power Rangers box set. The bonuses don’t end here. There is still at least one more aspect of this set that fans will appreciate being included. That bonus is the booklet that comes with the box set.
Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 includes as a companion to the bonus sixth disc, a bonus booklet that includes character bios for each season as well as a complete episode guide for each season as well. Along with the character bios are the actual names of each cast member from each season. This includes both the Rangers and the villains. There are even stills of various scenes taken from different episodes of each season to enhance the booklet even more. From the stills to the episode list and character guide, those responsible for assembling this booklet put in a lot of work to make it the perfect addition to the overall set. Together with the bonus sixth disc, the two bonus additions collectively make for one wonderful bonus to a set that simply put is a must have for any true hardcore Power Rangers fan. Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from the Shout! Factory online store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/power-rangers-seasons-8-12. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.