‘Ninja Storm’ Is One Of The Power Rangers’ Best Series Since ‘MMPR’

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban

There’s a storm brewing.  But this time it’s a good storm.  How can a storm be good?  It can be good when it’s a Ninja Storm.  Earlier this week Shout! Factory released Power Rangers Ninja Storm: The Complete Series on DVD.  And there is plenty to appreciate about this installment of the long-running franchise beginning with its writing.  The writing applies first and foremost to the series’ plot.  The fact that the writers would go back to the franchise’s interstellar/sci-fi roots this time out is impressive in its own right.  The ultimate reveal, which is made later in the series makes the plot all the more interesting.  That leads to another of the series’ most important elements, the writing within its episodes.  That will be discussed later.  Last but not least of note in this series is the work of the series’ cast.  Each element is important in its own right to the series’ overall presentation.  All things considered they make this series one of the franchise’s best so far in its post-Mighty Morphin’ era.

Late next year, Lionsgate is set to release the new big-screen reboot of Saban’s beloved Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  Needless to say it has already created quite a storm among fans of the beloved series.  Some people love it.  Others hate it.  Regardless which side one takes on the upcoming adaptation, audiences will just have to wait until the movie comes out to see how it actually turns out.  While they wait, Power Rangers fans have another classic Power Rangers series to take in.  It comes in the form of Power Rangers Ninja Storm: The Complete Series.  This installment of the long-running franchise is one of its best so far in its post-Might Morphin’ era.  This is due in part to the series’ writing.  More specifically it is due in part to the series’ plot.  The plot behind Power Rangers Ninja Storm follows a trio of Rangers, tapped to fight the evil interstellar space ninja Lothor.  It marks the first time since the days of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers that the franchise has gone the full-on sci-fi/interstellar route.  The closest that any previous series came in that avenue, was Power Rangers Time Force.  Even that series didn’t go the full-on sci-fi route taken by MMPR (as it will henceforth be known here).  Lightspeed Rescue and Wild Force were more based in fantasy than science fiction.  Keeping that in mind, that approach in itself makes this series’ plot an important part of its presentation.  Add in the fact that for the first time the Power Rangers start out as a 3-person team and only grows to 6 members, and audiences get another important part of the series’ plot.  Again, none of the franchise’s former installments had taken that course.  Though, it did become more commonplace as the franchise progressed.  It makes this aspect of the series’ plot just as important to note as the larger story.  The two plot elements together show clearly why the series’ plot is so important in examining its writing.  The plot is just one part of the series’ writing that should be examined.  The overall writing within the series’ episodes is just as important to note as its plot.

The writing behind Power Rangers Ninja Storm’s plot is its own important part of the series’ writing.  It isn’t the only important part of the series’ writing to be examined.  The writing within the series’ episodes is just as important as the writing behind the series’ plot.  Audiences will find that the writing within the series’ episodes is relatively familiar from one to the next.  One episode that exemplifies that familiarity comes in the form of “The Wild Wipeout.”  It sees Tori end up in an alternate universe in which the Rangers are the villains, and Lothor and company the good guys.  It is a story line that has been used time and again throughout television’s modern history in so many series.  That includes series aimed at adults and children.  What sets this adaptation of the classic story line apart from others is that it also uses a sort of Wizard of Oz approach, leaving both Tori and audiences to wonder, was it all just a dream sequence, or actually another universe.  As if that isn’t enough, the writers also added in the story of Rangers being turned from the evil side to that of the good guys in the multi-part “Thunder Rangers” story arc.  It includes both the three-part “Thunder Strangers” story arc and its lead-in “Looming Thunder.”  The evil Ranger-turned-good story arc is an element that has been used in every installment of Power Rangers going all the way back to Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  Though, the writers this time have switched things up at least a little bit.  What sets this story line apart from those previous stories is that 1) it involves here not just one Ranger but two.  And in this case, the Rangers in question weren’t under some evil curse to start off their multi-part story arc.  Rather they had just been brainwashed by Lothor’s propaganda, not to reveal too much.  Though, they were eventually put under a brainwashing spell of sorts at one point.  Of course that was only a one-episode story line that saw the Rangers break that spell and win the day.  Audiences can discover that story for themselves.  If these episodes aren’t example enough, the writers also take on the evil twin story line in this series.  It’s yet another way in which the writing within the series’ episodes proves so important to the series’ presentation.  Any of the series’ other episodes could be cited just as easily in this argument.  Considering that it becomes increasingly clear why the writing within the series’ episodes is just as important to the series’ presentation as the writing behind its plot.  What’s more the two elements together make perfectly clear why the series’ writing in whole is so important to its presentation.  The writing is, of course, not the series’ only important element.  The work of the series’ cast is just as important to note as that of the series’ writers.

The work put in by the writers behind Power Rangers Ninja Storm is undeniably important to its presentation.  This is clear in examining both the series’ overall plot and the plot behind each of its episodes.  Of course in examining the series’ writing it becomes clear that the writing is just one of the series’ most important elements.  The work of the series’ cast is just as important to the series’ presentation as its writing.  While audiences might think that the actors who portrayed the Rangers are real stars of note here, that is not the cast.  That is at least the view of this critic.  In all honesty, the real stars of the series are Katrina Devine and Katrina Browne.  The pair portrayed Lothor’s nieces Marah and Kapri respectively.  While the pair ultimately turned out to be quite the devious evil duo, they do a wonderful job of tricking both Lothor and audiences.  The pair’s comic portrayal makes for so many laughs throughout each episode as they present themselves as stereotypical air headed valley girl types.  The personalities that they portray couples with their physical comedy to keep audiences entertained every time that they are on camera.  It would have been so easy for them to go over the top in their portrayals.  But they manage to successfully keep that reined in, thus leading to so many great moments right up to the point that they reveal their true personalities.  Even when they do reveal that truth they  are still just as great to watch.  To a lesser extent, Grant McFarland is entertaining in his own right as the evil space ninja Lothor.  Those that are familiar with the Power Rangers’ history will note a certain throwback to Robert Axelrod’s portrayal of Lord Zedd from the days of MMPR in McFarland’s take on Lothor.  He is clearly devious.  However one can’t help but laugh at his facial gestures and general reactions from time to time.  It is just a great reminder of the franchise’s old days.  The rest of the series’ cast impresses in its own right.  There is not denying this.  But the work put in by McFarland, and the duo of Devine and Browne is at least to this critic the most notable in this series.  In the end, their work couples with that of the rest of the cast to show in whole why the cast’s work is, in whole, just as important to the series’ presentation as that of the series’ writers.  All things considered Power Rangers Ninja Storm presents audiences with plenty to appreciate.  There is a lot of familiarity throughout this series and just as much new material.  All in all it makes this installment of the Power Rangers one of the franchise’s best in its post-MMPR era.

Power Rangers Ninja Storm is one of the best installments of the Power Rangers franchise to come along since the days of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  That is due in part to writing that boasts its own share of familiar and new elements.  This applies both to the series’ plot and the stories presented within each of its episodes.  The same can be said of the cast’s work.  Grant McFarland conjures thoughts of Robert Axelrod with his portrayal of Lothor in this series.  Axelrod handled the role of Lord Zedd in MMPR.  Katrina Browne and Katrina Devine are just as entertaining as Lothor’s nieces even when their characters reveal the truth of their personas.  The rest of the cast impresses in its own right.  These three just shine brighter than the others in the eyes of this critic.  The cast’s work couples with that of the series writers to keep audiences engaged and entertained from one episode to the next.  The end result is a series that, again, audiences familiar with the Power Rangers franchise will agree it is one of the best installments to come along since the end of the franchise’s Zordon era.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store now at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-ninja-storm-the-complete-series.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

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Saban, Shout! Factory’s New Standalone Power Rangers Series Is A Must Have For Any Power Rangers Fan

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Next Tuesday, Shout! Factory will continue its ongoing series of Power Rangers installments when it releases Power Rangers LightSpeed Rescue: The Complete Series. Its release next Tuesday marks the first time that it has seen the light of day as its own standalone series/season set. Previously, it was released as part of the Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 mega-set in November of 2013. That set also included Power Rangers Time Force: The Complete Series, Power Rangers Wild Force: The Complete Series, Power Rangers Ninja Storm: The Complete Series, and Power Rangers Dino Thunder: The Complete Series. The total price of the five-season set averaged well over one hundred dollars. For many that price made the box more of a wish list item than a reality. By comparison, the average price for Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: The Complete Series is only about fifteen dollars depending on the outlet. That and its more widespread availability together form the central reason that this new standalone series/season set will be of great interest to any Power Rangers fan. It’s just one small part of the whole that makes it worth the addition to any fan’s collection. The writing that went into PRLSR (as it will be called from here on out) plays its own part in this series/season set. Being a forty-episode run, the writers don’t waste any time moving the story along even from the show’s outset. Last but hardly least of note that makes this set enjoyable for fans is the work of the show’s cast. Keith Robinson’s take on Green Ranger Joel Rawlings while Sean Cw Johnson’s take on the Red Ranger Carter Grayson is just as solid on the opposite end of the spectrum. They aren’t the only cast members worth noting either. Whether for this reason, the set’s availability, or for the work of the series’ writers, Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: The Complete Series (a.k.a. Season 8), proves in the end to be yet another welcome addition to any Power Rangers fan’s collection.

Shout! Factory and Saban’s upcoming Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: The Complete Series is a great boon for any true Power Rangers fan. While it is not the first time that the series/season set has seen the light of day, it is the first time ever that the five-disc set has seen the light of day in its own standalone series/season set separate from the previously released Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 mega-set. That is the central reason that fans will want to add this latest set to their collections. Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 was not readily available to fans in stores. Nor was it cheap. It forced those that really wanted this season set to also go ahead and purchase the complete five-season set and do so online more often than not. It ran a little more than one hundred dollars. This set is much more affordable by comparison at roughly fifteen dollars. What’s more, odds are far greater of finding it in stores than the larger five-season set. That makes this standalone set just as valuable for fans as the larger collection regardless of their level of dedication to the show and in turn serves as a solid base for the rest of the reasons that audiences will appreciate this brand new box set.

The fact that Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: The Complete Series will likely be more readily available for Power Rangers fans is a most important reason for fans to pick up this collection. It serves as a solid base for the set’s other positives including the work of the series’/season’s writers. The work of those behind this series/season’s scripts is definitely well worth the note. Being that this season ran only forty episodes in total, the writers didn’t waste any time establishing its story line or assembling the season’s team of rangers. The execution of the team’s assembly lasted the entirety of the very first episode. And even after the team was established, the writers didn’t waste any time through the course of the series’ episodes dealing with any extra story elements unlike with the previous installments of the Power Rangers. Rather, they hit the ground running so to speak. Background elements such as Joel’s infatuation with Ms. Fairweather (Monica Louwerens) and Captain Mitchell’s relationship with his long-lost son Ryan (Rhett Fisher) in the multi-episode Titanium Ranger story arc were limited in their approaches. Joel’s infatuation with Ms. Fairweather was made more of a comic element than anything serious, though there were some rare instances when the pair got to show a little bit of dramatic flair. That will be noted later. And while the Titanium Ranger story arc was itself a key moment in the series/season, its more dramatic elements were controlled so as to not let them get out of control. This allowed for the story of Ryan’s return (and turn) to the good side to more easily progress and be more believable. Interestingly enough, true hardcore fans won’t be able to ignore this story arc’s blatant similarity to that of the original Green Ranger story arc from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. That aside, audiences will take note in regards to the series/season’s writing that this installment marks the first time ever that the Power Rangers went from being just a force for good, powered by fantastical powers to a more semi-militaristic organization (albeit a secretive one). It wouldn’t be the last time that the Rangers took such a form as they also appeared in that capacity both in Power Rangers Time Force and Power Rangers S.P.D. So to say that this series/season set the bar for later installments is the least. It really was a groundbreaking approach for Saban’s long-running hit franchise. That being the case, it rounds out the ways in which the series’/season’s writing proves to be key to its success. It still is not the last reason that fans will appreciate this latest installment of the Power Rangers ongoing saga. The work of the case is just as much to thank for this edition’s success and enjoyment.

The writing behind Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue was groundbreaking for the Power Rangers franchise at the time of its debut. That is because up until that point, the Rangers had been like so many other super-powered organizations. They were powered by fantastical, other-worldly sources. That was hardly the case in this installment. Rather here, they were created by a semi-militaristic source. That is actually just as believable as the source of the previous Power Rangers’ powers if not more so. It’s just one element of the series’/season’s writing so important. Even with the other elements previously noted, the writing in whole is only one more part–together with the set’s availability–of the set that makes it a must have for any true Power Rangers fan. The work of the show’s cast is just as important as its other noted elements. It has already been noted that in the case of Green Ranger Joel Rawlings (Keith Robinson–Dreamgirls, Dear John, This Christmas), Robinson’s portrayal of Joel is one example of what makes the cast’s work so entertaining. Robinson’s take on Joel makes Joel a fan favorite thanks to his comic timing and his surprising innocence. What makes this mix so impressive is the fact that Robinson balances it so well. He never lets that more emotional side overpower his comic side. Rather he lets it show just enough and at just the right moments to make Joel one of the true stars of the show. At the other end of the spectrum is Sean Cw Johnson as Carter Grayson (a.k.a. the Red Lightspeed Ranger). Johnson is given plenty of opportunities throughout this series/season to overplay his character’s All-American guy sort of character. Luckily, he didn’t do that. Rather, he embraced the role and made Carter into a persona that is the very definition of a leader. There is a certain humility about Carter throughout his time as the Red Ranger. It is a humility that interestingly enough even today’s young viewers might find themselves aspiring to emulate just as much as the young people of Mariner Bay. It makes Carter that much more of a believable character; perhaps even one of the single-most believable in the long-running history of the Power Rangers. Johnson’s is one more example of how the work of the Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue cast makes this season/series so enjoyable for any true Power Rangers fan. Any of the series’ other cast members could be used just as easily to exhibit the importance of the cast’s work. That would take some time to do, though. So considering this and the already provided examples, it is safe to say that the work of the series’/season’s cast is just as important as that of its writers and the general availability of this brand new box set in its overall success and enjoyment. All three elements combined together prove it to be a must-have for any hardcore Power Rangers fan.

Whether for its general availability verses that of the previously released Power Rangers Seasons 8 – 12 box set, the writing incorporated into this series/season, or for the work of the show’s cast, there is plenty to like about Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: The Complete Series. It will be available next Tuesday, August 11th in stores and online and can be ordered online direct from Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-lightspeed-rescue-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory and Saban is available online now at:

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Power Rangers Fans Will Get Lost In Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban/Saban Brands

Three years ago, Shout! Factory and Saban struck a deal that saw the first in a long line of releases from Saban’s now world-renowned Power Rangers franchise.  The release in question was Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Season 1 Volume 1.  It was the first but most definitely not the last of the Power Rangers franchise that fans would see finally get a proper release.  Nearly three years after the release of that initial box set, Shout! Factory has seemingly come to the end of the road with the Power Rangers.  That is because on March 10th, Shout! Factory will release what would be the first of the Power Rangers installments in the “post-Zordon era.”  The installment in question is Power Rangers Lost Galaxy.  Long-time fans of Saban’s Power Rangers franchise will especially appreciate this upcoming release primarily because it is the complete “series” set in one stand-alone box set.  That is quite the noticeable change of course for Shout! Factory being that its previous seasons of Power Rangers were split up into multiple box sets.  So, that Shout! Factory didn’t take that route this time is sure to impress any long-time Power Rangers fan.  Second to note of this collection is the writing within the episodes.  The most noticeable aspects of the “series’” writing are that while it serves as its own series separate from the original Power Rangers franchise, it also maintains at least the slightest of links to that franchise thanks to the inclusion of Bulk and Skull yet again, and of course the re-introduction of the Astro-Megaship from Power Rangers in Space.  It’s sort of the writers’ way of saying the past is gone but not totally forgotten.  Long-time fans will appreciate this just as much.  Also, worth noting of the writing is the fact that the writers were able to keep Leo’s personal drama in check throughout the series, opting instead to allow the series’ central stories maintain their place at the forefront of each episode.  Last but not least of all that makes this set so welcome is its continued use of both “live” footage and stock footage from its Japanese base series.  Just like the writing mantains a link to Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise, so does this balance of footage.  It rounds out the reasons that fans will want to add this set to their own collections. Together with the series’ writing and its complete complement of episodes, all three noted elements combine to make Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series a fitting final release from Shout! Factory’s series of releases from Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise.

Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series seems to be the last of Shout! Factory’s Power Rangers releases.  That is unless there is a deal in place that would allow Shout! Factory to release Seasons 8 – 17, which were previously released in two separate box sets containing Seasons 8 – 12 and 13 – 17.  Regardless, Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series is still a box set well worth the addition to any Power Rangers fan’s personal collection.  The most obvious reason that fans of Saban’s long-running property will appreciate this set is the very fact that it features the entire “series” in one stand-alone box set.  Shout! Factory didn’t split it up into two separate sets unlike with its previous Power Rangers sets.  This has been a point of contention among fans ever since Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: Season 1 Volume 1 was released on DVD back in 2012.  Save for the mid-season filler “series” Mighty Morphin’ Alien Rangers every other season of Power Rangers released by Shout! Factory since has been split into no less than two boxes.  That being the case, having this potentially final season set released in one box is a breath of fresh air.  Should the seasons that followed actually be re-issued separate from their previously released five-season box sets, hopefully they will in fact be re-issued as their own complete stand-alone sets, too just like this one.  Regardless, this complete showing of episodes in one box is the cornerstone on which the rest of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series’ positives rest.  It is a solid cornerstone, too.

The fact that Shout! Factory has presented Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series is a solid starting point in examining what makes this box set a success.  It’s not all that makes the set a success.  The writing that went into the show’s episodes is just as worth noting.  Long-time audiences will appreciate the fact that the show’s writers didn’t just make a whole new series.  They actually maintained a pretty solid link to Saban’s original Power Rangers series with the inclusion once again of Bulk and Skull into various episodes including the two-part season opener.  The Rangers even utilize the Astro Megaship from Power Rangers in Space throughout this season.  These two elements of the show’s writing by themselves show that the writers wanted to do their best to not alienate fans that came on board way back in the days of MMPR.  The actual episodes though, are just as important to the presentation.  Within the episodes themselves, the show’s writers were able to balance just enough the personal drama of the Power Rangers (E.g. Leo’s coming to terms with Mike’s “death,” Archie’s dealing with Leo and the pair’s growing friendship, Cerina’s longing for her home world, etc.) with their battles against Scorpius and his evil forces.  The writers never let that personal drama step on the “series’” central story line, thus creating a whole that keeps audiences fully engaged from the “series’” premiere to its final, climactic battle.  The end result of that writing is yet another part of the whole of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series that shows just why long-time fans of the Power Rangers will enjoy this latest release.

The inclusion of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy’s complete forty-five episode run in one complete stand-alone box set and the writing that went into the show’s episodes complement each other quite well  in terms of elements that make this box set a success for fans.  The show’s look is just as important to the presentation as the writing and the fact that the “series” has been presented in whole here.  Both those that aren’t so familiar with the Power Rangers and the franchise’s long-time fans will appreciate that even this far into the Power Rangers’ run, will appreciate that the show’s heads once again combined new, live elements and CG along with the stock footage from its Japanese source series Seijuu Sentai Gingaman.  This would be the last of the Power Rangers series to make that balance so noticeable for audiences.  And it really added a certain something to the show, too.  It could be argued that the balance of both elements creates once again that certain sense of old meets new that somehow creates so much enjoyment.  It’s that familiar something that especially long-time fans will understand and that new fans will appreciate when they see that balance for themselves.  It’s something that sadly was lost in some of the seasons that followed.  The seasons in question had more of a spit-shined look about them.  That look took away that certain feeling established by the previous Power Rangers seasons.  Long-time fans will especially agree with that sentiment.  And in doing so, they will agree even more that the use of both the original Japanese and American footage for this season completes the season, making all the more reasons for fans to add this set to their collections.

The mix of Seijuu Sentai Gingaman’s original video with Saban’s live and CG elements is a standard that long-time Power Rangers fans will definitely like about this season.  The balance of the show’s writing elements adds even more reason for audiences to pick up this box set when it hits stores.  It’s nice to see that the writers didn’t alienate the Power Rangers’ original audiences even in creating a new branch of the Power Rangers legacy.  Rather they honored those fans and the legacy of the original series while bringing in a whole new generation of audiences with this season.  The very fact that Shout! Factory presented this season in its entirety solidifies the whole thing, proving without a doubt that this is a must have for any Power Rangers fan. Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series will be available in stores and online Tuesday, March 10th. It will retail for $24.95 but can be pre-ordered online now for a reduced price of $19.99 at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-lost-galaxy-the-complete-series. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online at:

 

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Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series’ Domestic Debut Is One Of Shout! Factory’s Most Welcome Releases To Date

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

A little more than twenty years ago, Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers made its debut on Fox’s Fox Kids afternoon programming block. At the time of its premiere, very little if any of the programming in that afternoon block was live action. The majority of the programming in the Fox Kids block was animated. So it goes without saying that the programming heads at Fox were taking a risk by bringing in Saban’s American adaptation of the Japanese series Super Sentai Zyuranger. Little did anyone know at the time that the risk in question would be one of the best risks that the network’s head would ever take. More than two decades later Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers has gone on to become the cornerstone of what is one of the longest-running and most successful children’s shows on television to date. Even after Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers’ original seven season run ended, it would not be the end of the success for Saban’s Power Rangers. Eleven more seasons would run between Fox and ABC before the Power Rangers would make the jump to Nickelodeon in 2012. Of those seasons that followed, Shout! Factory has already released ten with the eleventh–Power Rangers Lost Galaxy–set to see the light of day in a complete set next month. Shout! Factory’s releases of almost all of the Power Rangers’ first seventeen seasons have proven to largely be everything that Power Rangers fans have hoped for. And now that Shout! Factory is preparing to wind down its releases of those original seasons, it has made yet another dream come true for fans. It has made those fans’ dreams come true by finally bringing to America audiences the series that started it all in Super Sentai Zyuranger. Shout! Factory will release Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series on DVD next Tuesday, February 17th. It marks the first time that the series has ever received a full, proper domestic release. And just as with Shout! Factory’s Power Rangers box sets, this box set lives up just as much to fans’ expectations. It does so first and foremost thanks to the fact that it is presented exactly as it was in its original broadcast on Japanese television from 1992 – 1993. Every episode is there. And even better for American audiences is the fact that it includes English subtitles as a standard in every episode. In connection, audiences will also take note of the series’ writing. The adventures presented in Super Sentai Zyuranger are rather different from those in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. And while the camp of the two series is noticeable different it can be said that that aspect of the two series’ writing is at least similar. The inclusion of a bonus panel discussion with the original cast of Super Sentai: Zyuranger rounds out the collection. The cast discusses everything from that series to working as stunt actors for the Power Rangers series, working on Kamen Rider, Godzilla and so much more throughout the nearly half-hour long discussion. Some rather interesting tidbits are revealed through the discussion that some audiences might not have known up until learning them here. Together with its original presentation and its writing, Super Sentai: Zyuranger’s first-ever American DVD release proves to be a must have for fans of either series or both. They also prove collectively once more why Shout! Factory remains today America’s leading name in home entertainment.

When Shout! Factory releases Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series next Tuesday, it will make a long-held dream come true for thousands of fans. Its release will mark the first time ever that it will have received a full, proper domestic release. And in examining the set in whole, it’s safe to say that fans of both this series and of Saban’s Power Rangers franchise will be thoroughly impressed with this brand new release. The main reason that audiences will be so impressed by Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series is that it is presented to audiences exactly as it was presented in its original Japanese broadcasts. It takes viewers right up to the introduction of what would eventually become the Green Ranger and evil villainess Scorpina in Saban’s Power Rangers franchise. Audiences will notice quite the difference between the two franchises, too. Those differences will be discussed momentarily. For now though, the focus will remain on the prior of the pair. Audiences will appreciate that every one of the episodes included in the original series is included in this set. Shout! Factory has also included standard English subtitles with each episode. Though audiences are given the option to turn off those subtitles if audiences so choose. In watching the series with its English subtitles, it should be noted that there is some language peppered throughout the series that some parents might find objectionable. So suffice it to say that because of that language and other content, this box set is aimed more at adults more so than children. That fact cannot be ignored.

Moving on to another aspect of the set’s presentation, those that are familiar with Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers will see where Saban clipped footage from this series for MMPR. That is just as important to the whole if only for its historical value. That is because by comparison, that same footage placed back into Super Sentai Zyuranger, it presents a wholly different story. That wholly different story puts both series into an entirely different context in retrospect. It’s another way that the presentation of Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series proves to be an especially important addition to any fan of the Power Rangers and/or Super Sentai franchise. The overall presentation of Super Sentai Zyuranger is important in its own right to the success of this upcoming release. As important as it is, the writing behind each of the series’ episodes is just as key to its success.

The writing behind Super Sentai Zyuranger’s is just as important to its success among fans as the set’s presentation. And fans will be just as impressed by the writing as by the overall presentation of the episodes. As previously noted, audiences that are familiar with both MMPR and SSZR will note in these episodes where exactly Saban incorporated SSZR’s into MMPR’s presentation. In seeing SSZR in its entirety, the footage presents a story that is entirely different from that presented in MMPR. It is interesting to see the gradual change in Miss Bandora (Rita Repulsa in MMPR) as the series progresses. She goes from being an evil space witch who hates everyone including children to eventually doing a near total 180. And even throughout the course of the story’s progression audiences see a story completely unlike that presented in MMPR even from the series’ premiere. Having the original guardians being woken up from their deep slumber versus the Rangers being picked actually makes perfect sense. And the intentional camp incorporated into the story makes for even more enjoyment. Given it’s a camp different from that in MMPR. But it still adds its own element of enjoyment to the presentation in whole. Whether for that camp, the original story, or even for other unmentioned reasons, the work that went into SSZR’s writing proves the writing in question to be yet another reason that fans of this modern classic will want to add Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series to their own home libraries.

The writing and overall presentation of Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series collectively make a solid argument as to why ay fan of this series or of Saban’s MMPR will want to add the brand new box set to their home library when it is released next Tuesday, February 17th. Anyone still not convinced by these aspects of the series’ first-ever full domestic release is sure to be won over by the companion “Power Morphicon Panel” included as a bonus feature with the set. The original cast of SSZR is featured in this panel. Despite what one might believe, the cast discusses more than this series with fans in attendance. The fans actually bring up a number of topics including the cast’s work on MMPR and Godzilla among other series and movies. There are little tidbits shared along the way such as the issues raised by the language barrier when the cast worked on MMPR. There are also more personal stories that audiences might have never known about the cast and how it met among so much more. The discussion in whole lasts almost half an hour. And again subtitles are included both for the English and non-English speaking cast. The subtitles coupled with the depth of information shared throughout the panel’s extensive discussion rounds out the reasons that fans of Super Sentai Zyuranger will want to add this long-awaited box set to their home libraries. Together with the writing and the set’s overall presentation, all three elements prove Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series to be one of this year’s most welcome surprises from Shout! Factory. And it proves without a doubt once more why Shout! Factory is the leading name in home entertainment.

Shout! Factory has slowly but surely made its way to the top of the heap in the world of home entertainment over the years. It has done so with the release of some of America’s most beloved TV series and movies. The upcoming release of Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series is one more notch the Shout! Factory’s proverbial belt. It is everything that fans of this series have hoped for ever since it finished its original run overseas over two decades ago. Audiences will agree with that sentiment when they finally get to purchase the box set for themselves next Tuesday. It will be available next Tuesday, February 17th in stores and online and can be pre-ordered now direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/tv-action-adventure/super-sentai-zyuranger-the-complete-series. Fans that pre-order the set now via Shout! Factory’s online store can get it at a discounted price of $49.97 versus the SRP of $54.99. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: https://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory Set To Bring Power Rangers’ Progenitors To American Audiences Next Year

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

For more than two decades now, Saban’s hugely popular Power Rangers franchise has remained one of television’s biggest properties. The latest installment of the franchise, Power Rangers Dino Charge, kicks off in 2015. There’s no official word yet on its official start date, though. While the Power Rangers’ fans wait for word of that detail, they now have even more reason to be excited. The reason being that on Tuesday, February 17th, Shout! Factory will take Americans audiences back in time with the release of the granddaddy of them all. Shout! Factory will release Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series on Tuesday, February 17th.

Super Sentai Zyuranger: The Complete Series is the series that led to the creation of Saban’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. The box set will present all fifty episodes of the series complete with English subtitles. It will also include a bonus panel discussion from this year’s annual Power Morphicon conference titled “Power Progenitors: Super Sentai Zyuranger.” The box set will retail for MSRP of $54.99. However, fans can pre-order the box set now online for $49.97. Fans can pre-order the set now online via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/tv/tv-action-adventure/super-sentai-zyuranger-the-complete-series.

More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Power Rangers In Space Volume Two Is A Fitting Finale For Saban’s Original Power Rangers Franchise

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Fox/Saban/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Fox/Saban/Saban Brands

The end is finally here for Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise.  What started out in 1993 lasted a grand total of six seasons.  Rangers came and Rangers went as did powers and incarnations.  Now in the long-awaited finale to the franchise that started it all, every one of the Rangers from the franchise’s first five seasons join the current team as they face off against every villain that the Rangers have faced up to this point in a battle for not just Earth but also the Universe.  This collection of episodes effectively ends the original Power Rangers franchise before it got re-booted in early 1999 in the form of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy.  Power Rangers In SpaceVolume Two is one of the absolute best groupings of episodes from the original series.  The primary reason for that is of course the writing.  While the final two episodes are the key focus of the collection, there was also the multi-episode story arc involving the Psycho Rangers.  Audiences also see something of a personal growth from Andros (Christopher Kayman Lee) in some episodes.  One in particular sees him take on a father-like presence when he saves the “servant” of an evil alien.  The stock footage and special effects that made the series so wonderfully campy continued on through this season, too.  That is another factor in this set that audiences will appreciate in viewing these episodes.  Rounding out the whole thing is the presentation of the episodes.  The episodes presented in this collection are much like those of the previous collections.  They are presented exactly as they were in their original broadcasts on Fox’s FOX Kids afternoon programming block.  Nothing was edited out.  And the footage looks just as it did in the episodes’ original broadcasts, too.  That factor rounds out the presentation in whole that is Power Rangers in SpaceVolume Two.  Together with the writing and the character development displayed throughout the episodes, it makes clearly visible why Power Rangers in SpaceVolume Two a fitting finale to one of the greatest children’s franchises in modern television history.

Power Rangers in SpaceVolume Two is a fitting finale to what is one of the greatest franchises in the modern history of television.  The franchise lasted a grand total of six seasons before being rebooted in 1999 in the form of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy.  What started as a cult hit in 1993 proved to be one of the biggest cultural phenomena by its end five years later.  One of the key reasons for that was the franchise’s writing.  That is evidenced clearly in the finale to Saban’s original franchise.  Most audiences will agree that the franchise’s two-part finale, “Countdown to Destruction” is the central point of this collection.  However, a closer look at the episodes shows that the buildup to that point is really what makes the collection work.  The writers build up to that final epic battle by forcing the Rangers to use all of their resources to face the Psycho Rangers multiple times.  They also face quite the test when their main resources are destroyed in their attempts to destroy Ecliptor and Tankenstein.  Audiences that grew up with this franchise will love seeing again how the Rangers tackle the situation with teamwork and the help of all of the previous Rangers.  The fact that the writers could interweave each story arc into one whole story without losing audiences along the way is a testament to their efforts.    On a side note, those that have continued watching the various incarnations of the Power Rangers up to this point can’t help but see a rather close similarity between “Countdown to Destruction” and the upcoming mega-battle in the Power Rangers Super Megaforce universe.  It would be no surprise if this is where that show’s writers got their motivation for the franchise’s next upcoming mega battle.  Again that being a possibility it goes to show once more the strength of the writers’ work even all those years ago.  It’s just one part of what makes this (final?) collection of episodes such a fitting finale for the original Power Rangers franchise.

The writing behind the episodes culled for Power Rangers in SpaceVolume Two is a solid starting point in an examination of what makes this collection so enjoyable.  In direct relation, the growth of the characters—Andros specifically—helps move this collection forward.  Audiences see him become increasingly welcoming to his fellow Rangers as the season progresses.  This is especially noticeable in “Andros and the Stowaway” in which he saves an alien that looks a lot like an anglerfish with legs from its evil master.  The care and concern given to the creature exhibits quite the emotional growth for him.  To an extent, one could almost argue that the creature—dubbed Seymour by the Yellow Ranger—is somewhat representative of his sister, who obviously turns out to actually be Astronema.  He cares for Seymour the way that he had never been able to look after his sister.  It’s subtle, but it’s there.   There is also the budding relationship between Ashley (The Yellow Ranger) and Andros in terms of character development.  The writers can be applauded here as they didn’t let that take too much of the time in any episode.  Whereas Tommy’s relationship first with Kimberly and then with Kat later in the original franchise, this relationship was kept more as an undertone of sorts.  It was another way for the writers to exhibit Andros’ personal growth from the standard lone wolf figure to the warmer, more…..human character.  One could argue even that it was one more way for Andros to heal from what happened and to give him a purpose to fight on and find his sister, whom he doesn’t realize, is actually Astronema, until these episodes.  Looking back on the balance of character development and the overall writing, audiences that grew up with these episodes will appreciate them even more when watching these episodes again.  The end result will be a heightened sense of nostalgia and in turn overall enjoyment.

The balance of character development and overall writing in these final episodes of Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise is of the utmost importance.  Those behind the show expertly balanced the two to make them some of the most enjoyable to watch.  The writers really show in their balance of the elements just how much this team of Rangers has grown together and how their battles against Astronema have shaped them both personally and by themselves.  It collectively makes for quite the interesting watch.  As important as these elements are to the overall enjoyment and success of Power Rangers in Space: Volume Two, there is one last element to examine.  That last element is the presentation of the episodes.  What audiences get in this set is one more collection of episodes presented exactly as they were presented in their original broadcast on Fox’s FOX Kids afternoon programming block back in 1998.  There has been no re-mastering or anything of the sort.  The stock footage from the Japanese series that inspired the Power Rangers’ various incarnations is here as are the campy but oh-so-fun special effects.  As a matter of fact, those that have HDTVs will love seeing the wires/strings used to make Ecliptor fly in various episodes.  And just as interesting is the appearance in Ecliptor’s final battle against the Rangers of a mysterious figure in the background of their battle.  A close look reveals what looks like a female villain in the background as the Rangers face Ecliptor for the final time.  But even when he is defeated, there is no mention of that figure.  One can’t help but wonder if that was the editors’ attempt to mix the Japanese footage with that of the American series as there’s no mention of said figure at all.  She is there, though.  Regardless, the original editors behind these episodes did an applause-worthy job mixing the elements.   And those responsible for transferring the original tapes to DVD are just as worthy of applause, too.  Their collective work alongside the work of the writers to develop the characters and storylines makes Power Rangers in Space: Volume Two all the more enjoyable for today’s kids and those kids at heart that remember watching these episodes as kids themselves.

A lot of work went into making the final episodes of Saban’s original Power Rangers franchise memorable for audiences.  That work was not lost on its fans.  And those that have not seen these episodes since their original broadcast will recall just how memorable they were and are when they purchase this box set and watch these episodes again for the first time for themselves or with their own kids.  Whether for the writing, the associated character development, or the original broadcast presentation of the episodes, audiences will see that there is a lot to like about Power Rangers in Space: Volume Two.  They will then see that this is truly a fitting finale for what is one of the greatest children’s series in modern television history.  It will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, October 7th and can be ordered direct from the Shout! Factory online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/power-rangers-in-space-vol-2.  More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Beginning Of The End Is Here For Saban’s Original Power Rangers Franchise

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory/Saban Brands

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Saban Brands

The countdown to the end of the original Power Rangers franchise is on.

Shout! Factory, in conjunction with Saban Brands, released Power Rangers in Space: Volume 1 this week. The first of two volumes, this collection of episodes begins the countdown to the end of what is dubbed by many as the “Zordon era” or in layman’s terms, the original Power Rangers franchise. Not only does this latest collection episodes mark the end of an important era in the Power Rangers franchise, it also marks the end of the show runners’ practice of employing a set group of actors for multiple seasons. After the end of Power Rangers in Space audiences would see each team of Rangers in a different setting within each season.

Power Rangers in Space: Volume 1 is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online now direct from the Shout! Factory store at http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/power-rangers-space-vol-1. More information on this and other releases is available online now at http://www.shoutfactory.com and http://www.facebook.com/officialshoutfactory. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.