The bad news is that there's a good chance that you're going to be spending this weekend bundled up as a winter storm rages outside. The good news, though, is that Shout Factory is stepping up to help you stave off cabin fever in one of the most awesome ways possible: A free, three-hour marathon of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, the show that was adapted for American audiences as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, streaming live tomorrow at ShoutFactoryTV.com.
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Q: Are there any missed opportunities in the way Super Sentai has been adapted for America? - @franzferdinand2
A: When you consider how weird it is that Power Rangers even exists in the form that it does, as this adaptation that, more often than not, has almost nothing in common with its source material other than a focus on problems that can only be solved with giant robot dinosaurs, it gets pretty difficult to figure out things that they could've done differently. I mean, when you get right down to it, they did almost everything they could've done, from stitching together pieces of multiple series into one show to throwing out everything except the robot fights and rebuilding the plot from scratch, all the way to trying to stick as close to the source as they could.
But that said, there's one big missed opportunity that stands out, and it's something that happened just this year: They didn't do an American adaptation of Go-Busters.
t's pretty common knowledge that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was based on the Japanese show, Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, but even most fans who loved the show as kids (or in our case, as adults) have never seen the source material. Despite twenty years of popularity for the American adaptation (and fan-subbed releases over the internet), the original shows have never had an official release on this side of the Pacific -- cue dramatic music -- until now!
You may have already noticed that I'm a pretty big fan of going really deep into the origins and minutiae of my favorite characters. That's one of the reasons that I really appreciate what ToyBountyHunters has been doing with their in-depth series on the origins of the massive, long-running Super Sentai series, the franchise that gave us the source material for our American Power Rangers. They spend a lot of time discussing the origins and development of the series, an as someone who really likes that stuff, it's fascinating.
The same goes for their latest video, the third part of their retrospective, where they turn their attention to the connection between Marvel Comics and the development of Super Sentai -- and while I already knew all about the tokusatsu series about Spider-Man -- known colloquially as Japanese Spider-Man -- there's a lot in there that I wasn't familiar with, like how Battle Fever J started out as a Captain America show.
If you were watching tokusatsu shows from 2012, then you probably saw the trailer for Kamen Rider x Super Sentai: Super Hero Taisen, a movie where the Japan's two long-lasting supehero franchises clashed in a war that pit heroes on dirtbikes against heroes with giant robots, for the fate of... I don't know, the world? It's usually the world. The trailer wasn't really clear, but it did hint at lasting repercussions for the heroes and a thrilling, high-stakes battle that would pit all your favorites against each other.
That... wasn't quite accurate. I mean, to be fair, it definitely was a war between the Kamen Riders and Super Sentai, meaning that it delivered the bare minimum on what was promised in the title, but other than that, not so much. Fortunately, the crew at Honest Trailers have taken the trailer and made it a little more accurate -- and also made this movie sound way more awesome than the original.
If our weekly Ask Chris column isn't enough of definitive comic book (and pro wrestling) opinions for you, good news: ComicsAlliance is proud to present Here's The Thing, a series of videos where you can join our own extremely opinionated senior writer, Chris Sims, as he sits in his living room under a framed portrait of Destro, drinking a cup of coffee and sharing his opinion on comic books.
This week, Chris has gone to Portland, Oregon for a discussion of tokusatsu with ComicsAlliance Senior Editor Caleb Goellner! In a 20-minute conversation, they explain why they're fans of the Japanese live-action supehero genre, what their favorite Power Rangers knockoffs were, and give curious viewers a place to start if they're interested in learning more about super sentai and Kamen Rider.
If you've been reading ComicsAlliance for a while, you may already know that for the past few years, I've been working on filling up a sketchbook themed around Jack Kirby, but after three years and over fifty sketches, I thought it was finally time to retire it and move on to something else. That's why this year, I started up a new sketchbook themed around another influential comics creator: Shotaro Ishinomori, the original creator of Kamen Rider and the Super Sentai series that have spun off to 40 years of tokusatsu shows by other creators.
With Emerald City behind us, there are a dozen sketches in the book, which means it's time to start sharing. Check below for Power Rangers and Kamen Riders from artists like Chuck BB, Erica Henderson, Derek Charm and more!
Listen: If it was even remotely socially acceptable, there is a good chance that I would wear a full on Kamen Rider suit, complete with helmet andhenshinbelt, every time I left the house. I mean, the only thing keeping me from accessorizing with one of those sweet scarves is that I have no idea where to find one, or even what to ask for. Can you just roll up into JC Penney and ask for "a Kamen Rider scarf?"
What I'm getting at here is that tokusatsu costumes are not exactly acceptable street clothes, but fortunately, Kekai Kotaki, perhaps best known as the lead concept artist for Guild Wars 2, has found a happy medium. He's drawn up some redesigns for everyone's favorite Kamen Riders and Super Sentai that add a fashionable flair to their uniforms. Check 'em out below!
Time to top off your Tuesday with links.
On the off chance that there just weren't enough reasons for us to hop on a transcontinental flight to Japan and visit Toei's Hero World, the new indoor theme park and museum based around the history of tokusatsu, they've given us a new one, and it is edible. It was pretty inevitable that they'd have a few Kamen Rider and Super Sentai themed menu items to snack on while you were browsing a collection of props or waiting for the bumper motorcycles to open up, but I assumed it would be limited to plastic "Collector Cups" and, I don't know, the Gorenger-themed "Big One" Burger. They are not.
They have, instead, given us delicious looking buns shaped like Kamen Riders' heads. And, you know, also collector cups. Check 'em out below!