Saban Skipping ‘Go-Busters’ For ‘Kyoryuger’ Localization, ‘Power Rangers Dino Charge’ In 2015
Following its Power Rangers Super Megaforce localization of Toei’s Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger series, Saban will return to the dinosaur motif that made Mighty Morphin Power Rangers a huge hit in America back in 1993. According to USA Today, in 2015 Power Rangers Dino Charge will debut on Nickelodeon, meaning that Saban will skip the spy-themed 36th Japanese Sentai Series known as Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters in favor of a show with more humor, more rangers and a lot more dinos.
Here’s how USA describes the upcoming Dino Charge:
In Dino Charge, the Paragon Prisms were given to a dozen dinosaurs for safe keeping by an alien, but they were lost when asteroids hit the Earth and wiped out the dinos. Now in the present day, an intergalactic bounty hunter starts sniffing around Earth looking for the Prisms in order to harness their power and annihilate the world, so a team of Power Rangers forms to find the Prisms first and fight the bounty hunter and other threats with dino-powered swords, blasters, Zords (in Power Rangers lingo, large fighting machines) and Megazords.
There’s some precedent for Saban skipping a Sentai series, but not to this extent. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers adapted and expanded upon its Japanese source series, Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger to a large degree. The White Ranger of Mighty Morphin fame was actually a character pulled from a completely different show, Gosei Sentai Dairanger, and incorporated into the show using a blend of Japanese footage and original scenes shot in the US using the same ranger suit (notably in 1995 Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie). Similarly, some of Dairanger‘s giant robot zords and other elements were incorporated into the Mighty Morphin TV series.
Interestingly, Go-Busters contains perhaps the most references to the American Power Rangers series’ of any Sentai show in that franchise’s 37-and-counting year history. The phrase “It’s Morphin Time” can be heard when the rangers transform, the team encounters a giant floating head from another dimension at one point, and “MegaZords” is used describe the series’ villains. It’s overall storyline is even similar in some ways to that of the Disney-localized Power Rangers RPM.
Saban and Super Sentai/Power Rangers toymaker Bandai’s (perhaps the most powerful partner in modern tokusatsu decision-making) reasoning for skipping Go-Busters in America is likely multifaceted, although toys seem to be the driving focus. Since Saban regained the rights to the Power Rangers from Disney and launched Power Rangers Samurai (Samurai Sentai Shinkenger) in 2011 on Nickelodeon, nostalgia’s been a big part of the franchise’s marketing efforts. Samurai reintroduced Mighty Morphin comic relief character Bulk (and eventually Skull) into the franchise, and every new Power Rangers theme song is a variation of the Mighty Morphin tune. Saban may have thought that Go-Busters — with its somewhat darker tone, spy theme, CGI transforming robot buddies, team of just five total rangers, and weapons that are essentially DSLR cameras that turn into swords and guns — was a tougher sell to kids and their Power Rangers-aware parents than Kyoryuger, which is a lighthearted series full of almost a dozen dancing rangers, surfable dinosaur zords, and weapons that are basically rad Nerf guns with dinosaur-themed batteries.
Whatever the reasoning, the skip puts Saban on track to work just a single series behind Toei from here on out, making it possible to adapt annual Sentai series at the same rate it did starting with Mighty Morphin 21 years ago. That means that unless they decide to retroactively adapt Go-Busters in 2016, the next series that will get localized for English speaking audiences will be the train-themed Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger… which I am still dying to have them call Power Traingers.
[Via USA Today]