Shout Factory Announces American Release For ‘Zyuranger,’ The Show ‘Power Rangers’ Was Based On
It'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!
Today, Shout Factory revealed the box art for an upcoming DVD release of Zyuranger, and even more interestingly, they're releasing it under the Super Sentai banner, which might just indicate that they'll be releasing even more down the line.
While the Super Sentai series officially kicked off with Himitsu Sentai Gorenger back in 1975, it makes sense that the American releases would start off with 1992's Zyuranger, since that was the series that was adapted for the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, kicking off the Power Rangers franchise. As you might expect, though, the adaptation was vastly different from the original, to the point where you could watch them side-by-side and not realize that they're the same show until they start fighting with giant robots. Rather than focusing on a team of Teenagers With Attitude recruited by a floating head, Zyuranger told the story of five warriors from a time when humans and dinosaurs were totally bros, who were revived from 170 years of suspended animation to fight the evil space witch Bandora.
The space witch part made it to America pretty much intact, although it should be noted that Bandora was a little more hell-bent on murdering children than Rita Repulsa.
The release of Zyuranger comes at a pretty interesting time. We're just coming off the 20th anniversary of the American version of the franchise, and with a planned big-screen reboot of the Power Rangers coming up in the next few years, it's a good time to start expanding what they have to offer fans. Releasing the Super Sentai shows could capitalize on an entirely new market of nostalgic fans curious about the source material -- and by that, I mean me.
As of right now, there are 37 Super Sentai shows sitting on the shelves at Toei (and a 38th, the train-themed Ressha Sentai ToQger, airing right now), with around 20 that already have a connection to the American market through their powerfully rangerous counterparts. With that much material out there, there's a lot of potential for American releases -- not just of Super Sentai, but for shows like Kamen Rider as well, a franchise with over 40 years of Japanese popularity that's never really found a foothold in America. Admittedly, that's a lot of wishful thinking on my part, but stranger things have certainly happened, like, say, the very existence of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
I mean, we have Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters From Beverly Hills on DVD, so at this point, I'm ready for anything.
[via Shout Factory]