Monday, February 7, 2011

Power Rangers Samurai - The Team Unites - Episode Review

It seems that this is not the first episode, as we saw clips of them using the first episode of Shinkenger and this uses footage from Episode 3. Maybe it is the first and the 'origin' story will be told later.


"The Team Unites"
The five Rangers are training with Jii but Mike isn't doing well. The bad guys send a monster to increase the Sanzu river. Bulk shows his 'dojo' to his 'nephew' Spike inside a garage. Jayden plays with his lion zord and Jii tells him no one knows where Mike is. Mike with two friends, who ask where he has been, they say he was a good gamer. His not much with the information. The monster comes out of a crack and punches victims. Mike runs towards it. The monster Rofer attacks the friends. Mike morphs and tries fighting it. Some lame lines later... Mike falls from a building and Jayden arrives to fight the monster. The monster starts tot dry up and leaves.


Back at the Shiba house, they bandage up a shirtless Mike. Jayden tells him to stay away from his friends. Mike says he is going to go to check on them. At the video game arcade, he sees them and he narrates that he won't be able to hang out with them anymore. Mike practices at night at the same time that Jayden does. Rofer and the Moogers attack again. Four Rangers morph. Rofer comments on Green missing and he arrives and morph and they fight the Nighloks (which seems to be the name of the whole group of villains). Green takes the foe on his own, Jayden intervenes but Mike has tangled him up and bests him. Rofer becomes big. Mike makes his zord 'Bear Folding Zord' big and he changes into Mega Mode. He enters his cockpit and unfolds his saber (the new one) and puts it in place. The Bear fights the monster. The other Rangers make their zords big and change to mega mode. They form the Samurai Megazord. They stay still and focus on the monster and manage to defeat him. Back at Shiba House, they all applaud Mike. Mike says he couldn't do it without Jayden. They then put their hands together. Real sappy moment.


Review:
It is very much like the Shinkenger source, some fans may complain, but if the writing in Sentai is good, why not transfer the story? American kids can't see Sentai, so why not have it? But I do wince at the monster's goofy dialogue and rhyming. Also, the group are way too serious, they say Mike is the funny one but so far in this episode he is rather serious. One obvious line: "Mike, You have come a long way." I do like they kept most of the names from Shinkenger such as the Sanzu River, Dayu, and the Shiba House. The inclusion of Bulk is very welcomed and doesn't seem too wedged in. Trying to stay true to Shinkenger and also please Mighty Morphin fans and get them nostalgic on MMPR is a big task. I didn't think these two could mesh but in this episode, they mesh with ease.


Being a nitpicky fan, I am not fond of Power Rangers Samurai opening credit sequence. They are obviously paying homage to the first season with the cast member title cards. The song is fine but the font choice seems a bit lazy and the title cards for each castmember seem to go too fast and the rest of the sequence doesn't have the rhythm of past seasons. I do like how all the villains finally have a group name, it has always been just by the name of the main villain. From this one episode, you can't really can get a read on the characters. By the way, the close caption calls the background theme music as 'lively rock music' and the 'Samurai Strike' at the end they call as 'Samurai Slash.' For kids, things would have probably get very confusing. As they don't explain what their symbols represent and why they go into Mega mode. The villains do explain their plot.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

youthink they will do a how the rangers came together special on nick

samsth7 said...

So do you mean that today's episode is not the first one, so we will get it on sunday?

I'm glad they play homage to their source. Shiba House eh? So the Jii is Shiba Takeru? :D

Anonymous said...

anywhere I could watch this online?

Lavender Ranger said...

no, they showed a preview of the next episode and it is based on Shinkenger 4. I personally do not know they will show the origin. No, I don't know where you can see it online, I am sure someone will post it up. I won't dare post it because Nick takes off videos on YouTube.

elijah_brenton said...

I think even though they're going to tell the story the same way, there's a reason why they're showing it out of order like this. I had a meeting so I missed it and I'm like anonymous, someone needs to post it soon because I'm going crazy like a crack addict that needs a fix. LMAO

Lavender Ranger said...

Elijah, they are airing it all this week on Nick and get a vcr or a dvd-r for lords sake.

orez33 said...

(Im going to leave the option of showing this comment or not to you Lavander Ranger)
There are some websites running by the same people which are: http://powerrangerplanet.webs.com/ and http://supersentaiplanet.webs.com/ where you can watch online or download the episodes, the PR one has now the 701 episodes and the SS one has most of the series complete for you enjoy. (and the reason I want you Lavender to think if the comment deserve appear is because we know there are people who are in charge of PR that read you blog and I dont want to be responsible of the possible shut down of the page if they know about it, if you dont post it I totally understand)

mustang17 said...

Unfortunately, motds with pun dialog comes with the territory.

I think their goal with this episode was to show what a typical episode would be like.

elijah_brenton said...

Are you insulting me, Lavender Ranger? If you notice, I placed LMAO at the end, showing that I was being facetiously humorous about what I was saying.

Kandou Erik said...

I loved the opening theme - it hit right at that nostalgia nerve.

And the serious tone is seriously welcome. I was afraid, while mimicking the original plot so much, they would fail to take it as seriously. They didn't, which was a nice surprise.

It's still very different, and the tone, visceral action, and humor of Shinkenger just isn't there. It's still a great revival of the Power Rangers series - and I think they are going to have a lot of success with this.

BTW - This is my first real Power Ranger show after watching the Super Sentai version - so everything about this is just surreal as heck.

I still don't get why they felt the need to have the armored mode when piloting the Zords -- but I was otherwise very impressed.

It will never be as good as the original series - and as we get further into the series I'm sure we'll see some much more drastic differences in plot-lines. But it was a damn fine show nontheless.

"Go Go Samurai!", I guess.

James Spiring said...

The next three episodes are adapted from Shinkenger Acts 4, 5 and 6.

LUKE said...

erm, I am a Chinese and some Japanese Kanji I able to write...about the Origami become bigger, the original version [Shinkenger] is actually still better well present that than power rangers Samurai ( I watch the episode 1 already) erm...I still like the original version where japanese use 大 which mean Big in both Chinese and Japanese character...however, in PR Samurai I use a different type of Kanji which I assume is stupid le because it make people difficult as it will difficult you as well even if you weren't a Chinese or a Japanese

Erm, about the Story follow, it suck...I hardly know what episode 1 is talking about...the 1st episode is rather showing off power than united thingy...sorry to say that to power rangers fans thou I am now both sentai and power ranger fans...should I start to write this things in my blog? haha ><

Plus it is kind of frog like scene in all the scene in the first episode...jump here and there indicate nothing on the end...plus they didnt educate people about the kanji, if they think about kids, they should educate, right guys?

I am unhappy with it but Bulk Save the day ><

Lavender Ranger said...

no way, I'd never insult anybody I like and you like you man.

Jon B said...

It was pretty good. Some of the dialogue and acting was...uh, not Oscar winning but, swear to God, I had watched Return of the Green Ranger II earlier. Yeah, leave out nostalgia and MMPR is no better.

It was still good. The characters were likable, the villains had perfect voices, and Bulk...was Bulk (for me, that's a good thing). I'm lucky enough to have Nick in HD, so I can say it looks great in HD, both the new footage and Shinkenger footage (Shinkenger would make for a great Blu-Ray by the way).

It definitely felt like MMPR...both the good and bad. You can feel the friendship between the rangers, the non theme song music, and the general feeling. Don't get me wrong, the theme song was obviously MMPR and there's nothing wrong with that, but Samurai shouldn't have worried that much. It should've gone with it's own song and not just copy MMPR. Also, they relied heavily on Sentai footage like the earlier Saban PR. Not as bad MMPR, but more than Disney season. Those aren't deal breakers, I just wanted to point them out.

The most important thing is that Saban and Tzactor have not forgotten how to make Power Rangers. This felt like Power Rangers. Samurai, so far, is a good addition to Power Rangers. I will watch the upcoming episodes. It's not as good Shinkenger, but I'm a confirmed Sentai fan, so try to diregard that. I recommend this show to all Power Ranger fans and Super Sentai fans who don't completely loathe Power Rangers.

elijah_brenton said...

No problem, Lavender. I just wanted to make sure there were no problems because I wasn't trying to cause any.

@Luke: I don't think that it's this season's job to educate the viewers on Kanji. Hence, that's why the Kanji is called Power symbols. I study Japanese and I know a pretty good bit of Kanji myself but it didn't spoil the show for me at all. I think viewers knowing Kanji is completely irrelevant to the actual show's success.

LorDemitri said...

I really enjoyed the premier, i still remember Shinkenger and they've done a good job of adapting it, though it remains to be seen if they will completely follow the story or eventually branch off

i also think they'll do an origin episode eventually, they show scenes of it in previews so it shouldn't be too far off, but who knows?

Anonymous said...

I just love how they made so many homages to Shinkenger. I loved Shinkenger and it's nice to see the similarities between them.
First, the whole episode was obviously based ep 3 of shinkenger, and they even credited the original writer of that shinkenger episode.
There's also the names that are kept like Sanzu River, Jii, and the Shiba house.
What also kind of reminded me of shinkenger was in the intro. Not many people noticed this but each ranger said their name aloud when they were introduced which totally reminded me of the henshin role call in Shinkenger.
I love the continuity between the american and japanese footage, and I'd never thought I'd say this but I'm really digging the PR zord "Daihenge" and their megaranger suits. BTW their Mega Blades look frickin awesome.
I know this wasn't an origin episode, but I'm pretty sure they'll show it eventually. I mean we've already seen bits of it in the promos. I have high hopes for this series.

Lavender Ranger said...

Jon B, I think you have to wait to see at least 20 more episodes to judge the season, because that was just one episode. But yes, I agree,a good start.

Mr. Smith said...

I think it's one thing to follow the Shinkenger story, but it's another to leave out the good parts. I mean, in the Shinkenger version of this episode, it was a beginning process for Chiaki to grow out of being an undisciplined jerk. Here, we didn't see any of that development for Mike. Personally, I think if they're going to copy the story, at least include the good parts.

Luca said...

AWESOME picture of Mike!

Anonymous said...

I love how the title of the episode " the team unite" but they r already r united. I love that they stick so close to the story of shinkenger. Love that Bulk is back. love that they kept sum of the name. Things I don't like r No first team morph, still not like that they took off the brush off the shodophone. It is just weird to see them waving a phone around. N mega ranger suit looks a little bulky. Well thats my opinion on 1st episode lets wait n see with the other.....

shaider84 said...

Aside from the cheesy acting it wasn't half bad. Just watched the Japanese version of the same episode. I still like the Japanese version better. At least Saban gave credit to the Japanese.