Saturday, March 21, 2009

Kamen Rider Dragon Knight Cutie #7: Michael Cardelle

Cuban-American actor plays Chris Ramirez/Kamen Rider Sting in Kamen Rider Dragon Knight.

He played Victor Reynolds in gay horror film House of Usher.

He played Rafael Ortega in "As The World Turns" in 2005.

Power Rangers RPM - Episode 4 - "Go For the Green"

No change in the opening sequence credits.

Ziggy holds an audition for the Green Ranger, with many funny candidates. The main three are not impressed. Meanwhile, Dr. K has Dillon on a rotating disc like she is cooking him in a microwave and explains to him about the powers of the Rangers. Ziggy is stopped by the mafia, who want their money and they threaten him, he is saved by a woman whistling "The Farmer in the dell" in a very creepy way. She beats up the mafia guys and then auditions to be the Green Ranger and is accepted. Dr. K gives Ziggy the morpher to give to this girl named Tenaya, who beats up the army guys checking her for Venjix hardware. She becomes the true form and Ziggy sees this and runs off. He gets on a bike that looks as if Hanto's bike has been rusted for 100 years. Tenaya lifts up his bike and he asks her what she is, she recites a long poem about how she is humanity and Ziggy tells her it was a rhetorical question.

Ziggy informs Dr. K from a clothes line and hides from Tenaya who is after him. Dillon is on his way... Ziggy decides to kill two birds with one stone and sick Tenaya on the mafia. Ziggy runs off with the morpher but Tenaya tries to rob it. Dillon comes in and they try to run her off with Dillon's car but Tenaya gets on top. Dillon and Tenaya fight and he stops her poetry. Ziggy takes this opportunity to bond his DNA to the morpher and transform. Tenaya tells them about the digging robot and Green and Black head to the forest to find the robot. They use their weapons Rocket Blaster and Turbo Axe. The five reunite and the trio is beat up by the robot.

Black and Green fight the robot and use their blaster to defeat him. Green is still a 'faidy cat. The Megazord fights the giant robot. Dillon surprises the others (Dr. K and trio) that the Green Ranger is Ziggy. They are not happy, saying that not just anyone can be a Ranger. Dillon has his excuses, saying that Dr. K told him to do whatever it took to protect the powers from evil and tells them to put up or shut up, get used to it. Dr. K says he has to do lots of training. The gang leaves as Ziggy thinks chicks will dig the outfit.

Very interesting plot to begin with, with the mafia and Tenaya being a candidate for the Green Ranger to 'infiltrate' the Rangers and destroy them from within. But it enters usual Disney Power Ranger territory when Tenaya reveals her cards before getting the morpher. It gets smart again with the fun and smart dialogue and interesting use of 'the farmer and the dell.' Also, interesting inclusion of the Japanese footage (the forest and zord sequence).
This episode will be released in the first volume DVD on July 7th in America. And since YouTube is most concerned about American copyright, I can not keep this episode online while it is avaliable for sale because of copyright and they will delete my account.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Greener on the Other Side: Why You Should Watch Super Sentai

Sure, it is in another language, a hard one to understand and a completely different culture, but I think everyone should give Super Sentai a chance. For those who have steered cleared from knowing what Super Sentai is, 'Sentai' means 'team' or 'fighting squadron' in Japanese. It started with the series Himitsu Sentai Goranger (Secret Squadron Five Ranger) in 1975 but the franchise wasn't officially called 'Super Sentai' until Battle Fever J in 1979, which every year afterward the series got a new title, cast, costumes, villains, plot, etc. ever since. In 1993, the 1992 series Zyuranger (pronounced in English as 'Juu-Ranger') was adapted into Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

5 Top Reasons why to watch Super Sentai...
5. Guns
For one thing, there is a lot more violence. Guns are used prominently. This might not seem like much but a gun has never been shown in Power Rangers, unless held by a villain but it would shoot a laser. Above is a hero, Natsuki/BoukenYellow of Boukenger (2006), which was adapted in PROO. Why are guns being in Super Sentai so important? Because it shows realism in the series, the Japanese culture are not shy of showing children the real dangers. Super Sentai is most prominently aimed at Children but has humor and situations that Adults can relate to or enjoy.

4. Perversity
Above is the Kibaranger (white) groping Houhouranger (pink) in Dairanger when he first meets her. Perverts are common in Japanese programming like Anime and live-action shows. Super Sentai has plenty. Not only villains, monsters, but also heroes and allies. For example, in the 2007 series Gekiranger (Jungle Fury) had an elephant anthropomorphic ally named Elehan Kempo, who was a pervert, always touching the Yellow Ranger inappropriately. Again, not a great moral choice but it always wise to show real human faults. Sometimes shown for laughs, perversity is not always taken lightly, it is punished most of the time.

3. Storylines and Writing
The writing is much better and there is more consequences. For example, in Power Rangers--mainly the first seasons, a Ranger would do bad things due to a spell and then be redeemed by the end of the episode, but in Super Sentai, when you do something wrong, you pay the consequences and sometimes there is a long road of redemption. While in later seasons of Power Rangers, there is periods of redemption like in Wild Force (2002) with Merrick feeling bad for things he did as the wolf demon Zenaku and not hanging with the main crew and Operation Overdrive (2007) when Mack finds out his life is a lie and treats his 'dad' like crap for half the season. In Magiranger (2005)--(Mystic Force) above, Tsubasa was warned not to use black magic and he did so and then got a chasm on his chest and then in the next episode, paid more consequences. But in Mystic Force, his counterpart just got a 'evil spell' on him.

2. Blood
Blood and lots of it. Dairanger (1993) has the most blood of any Sentai series, parents complained and blood has been reduced but not disappeared. When Rangers are beat up or blown up, there is blood. Most of the time now it is found on the corner of their mouths. And now when a Ranger gets injured, they stayed injured for at least a episode or two.

1. Death
Yes, heroes die in real life and they do so here too. The first hero to die was in Battle Fever J, Battle Cossack, who died in battle. The second one was Mika/Yellow Four in Bioman (1984) was killed in battle by the 10th episode. Third: Gai/Black Condor of Jetman (1991), who was stabbed three years after being a Jetman. Fourth: Burai/Dragonranger of Zyuranger (1992)--(MMPR), died of complications with being cyrogenically frozen. Fifth: Shurikenger (above) of Hurricanger (2002)--(Ninja Storm) who died in battle. Sixth: Mikoto/AbareKiller, who was not all hero, but died in an explosion cause by his transformation device in Abaranger (2003)--(Dino Thunder). And two main characters died in Gekiranger (2007)--(Jungle Fury): the main human antagonists Rio and Mele. A Sentai producer has stated that they wouldn't be killing any more heroes in the meantime of war and immediate danger in the world.

Shurikenger used his sword as a baseball bat and used baseballs in attacks, this was omitted from Power Rangers Ninja Storm in fear that children would imitate this and hurt someone. Furthermore in PRNS, the rangers would shoot lasers out of their morphers... well, in Hurricanger, they would throw ninja stars. The Dekaranger (2004) bullets were also replaced with lasers in SPD (2005).

Goofy Stuff
Things that turn off many PR fans from Sentai is quote 'how goofy it is.' It is true that Sentai is more serious than Power Rangers, but it is also somehow goofier than it as well. Its humor is very diverse. Carranger (1996)--Turbo, was more of a parody of Sentai with its exaggerated-looking monsters. And Abaranger had serious moments and ridiculous ones as well (As shown in the Dino Thunder episode "Lost and Found in Translation"). It is a cultural thing and you get used to it, sometimes it is stuff you can just put up with because it is Japanese.

17 Years of Power Rangers Memories Part 1

Here are my own personal memories concerning the Power Rangers, many many years.

Summer 1993
I remember first seeing commercials for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers toys and me and my cousin at the time were into the X-Men cartoon on FOX Kids and wondered if Power Rangers was gonna be a cartoon or live-action, since those days there was no YouTube or internet in our houses, so seeing just 15 seconds didn't stay in our memory. I was at K-Mart with my mom on a Saturday morning and they were playing the first episode on FOX on a TV. I ran to the TV section and stood in front of all the televisions watching Zordon tell each Ranger what color they were. I wanted to stay there forever. The next Saturday they played "Food Fight" and I fell in love. The following Monday on WDZL 39, in which they showed the rest of Fox Kids on weekdays, I saw the full first episode at 7:30 in the morning. Power Rangers was on morning weekdays for a bit in 1993.

Halloween 1993
My cousin, my nephew, my neice and I were into Power Rangers but the costumes didn't fit us, so we decided to make our own. For one, I was 11, too big for the outfit and my nephew wanted to be the Green Ranger and that time there was only red, blue and pink. So what we did was get sweaters and sweatpants and my mom sewed diamonds on them and me and my dad made paper-maiche helmets. We had a blast. As a 11 year-old Power Ranger fan in Middle School, I was teased endlessly but I had already been teased for other things, so I was like "what's the difference?"

Christmas 1993
My parents got me the 8 inch Trini, I was happy with and promised me the others for Christmas. That christmas eve, we usually opened our presents at midnight (because we are Hispanic) but since everyone was sick, my dad let me open them at 8pm, I was so thrilled. Mom and Dad got me Jason, Zack, and Billy; while my grandparents got me Kimberly. I liked how it was a joint effort. My grandmother searched everywhere for Kimberly. They went to Service Merchandice, which at the time sold toys, especially Power Rangers and my grandpa helped my grandma up and the pink ranger was at the end of all the boxes on the shelf. I put a skirt on my Kimberly for a while.

Late Spring 1994
I was in math class when a friend passed me a video game magazine that had a small blurb about the new season 2 toys of Power Rangers, with two pictures: one was the six Auto-Morphin figures and second was a small pic of the White Ranger (from helmet to belt, I didn't see his cuffs). They also talked about the Thunderzords, just mentioning dragon, griffin and unicorn I believe. I was intrigued, especially with the White Ranger, with who he was and why his outfit was so different. I was all full of wonder. As soon as I knew they were in stores, I called Toys R Us to find out what other animals they had. The guy told me but he had an attitude and took forever.

Summer 1994
I joined the Power Rangers Fan Club and got the video and a small poster advertising VR Troopers. In the end of the video, there was a tease to VR Troopers with another version of Professor Hart. There was also a TV Guide issue that came out in July showing off Lord Zedd and his new monsters (that I can remember there was Octophantom, Invenuusable Flytrap, Primator, Baboo, and I forget who else. The first time I ever heard of the series that Power Rangers was adapted from... "Zyuranger" and nothing else was mentioned. Anyhoo, it was an exciting time. Finding out new things at every turn. Oh and the FOX primetime special of the three-part Season Two opener "The Mutiny."

Summer 1995
What a summer! I listened to the FOX Kids radio show (2 hours), that was broadcasted on Y-100 locally but it was on pretty early on Saturdays. It was on like at 6am or something. Anyhoo, the music they played will remain in my mind. They played the music from the Movie's soundtrack and I eventually got it for my birthday. We all went to see the movie: my dad, my niece, my nephew, my cousin and I think my sister, not sure, but I was so psyched. I ended up not liking the movie but having fond memories of it and still hold it in high regard for its design style. The movie is the hands-down best from the two movies, it has its flaws but with all the stuff that happened behind the scenes, I am happy with the results. In 1995 I got the internet for the first time through AOL and they had a section with MMPR:TM pictures and sounds but that was it.

17 Years of Power Rangers Memories Part 2

May 1996
I was on a three-day weekend field trip to Disneyworld when MMPR ended and Zeo started, so when I came back my cousin explained to me what had occurred, before I got to see the video I recorded. I was surprised to hear about a new Ranger--Tanya. He had commented how hot she was... and then revealed it was a joke. I was still interested in Power Rangers even though I was almost 14, Zeo was interesting but ultimately I hid my interest in High School. On the internet, there was a PR newsgroup (on where I remember someone thinking Zeo will suck without Rita and Zedd) and on AOL, a keyword to a toy section with a Zeo picture, that's it.

The Turbo movie comes out and I don't see it (mostly because I'm in High school by this point and embarrassed if anyone would find out) and am completely lost when it comes to the first episode of the show other than Justin. By this time, I find Ranger Central (PRC), which I come to own years later. I find out about Zyuranger but that's as far as my Sentai search goes into. Fox Kids is pulled from my local channel because it becomes a WB affiliate and I don't see Power Rangers for a while. I check PRC saying that 4 new rangers replacing the old ones. I can't see the show so for a while I think Cassie was Lt. Stone's niece who appeared in one episode. A new local channel WAMI 69 broadcasts Fox Kids and I am able to catch up the last half of Turbo and Space.

The Rest of 1998
I got obsessed with the Silver Ranger and shoplifted a small figure from a store and get found out by my mother. One of my stupid friends carved on its chest, making me angry. My mom ends up buying me the Silver Ranger but with his bike and I wanted the 8' figure. I still have it. Later on, I shoplift the 8' figure and I gave away to charity for Toys for Tots. Years later on eBay, I buy another one and it is more scratched than the one I gave away. By this time, I find out about Gingaman and start researching about Sentai. My shoplifting quirk ends in 2000 in a supermarket when caught lifting a magazine by a cop but not arrested.

I start my website Super Sentai Time Capsule, which at the time was called Super Sentai/Power Rangers fansite or something like that, in the summer of 1999. I start the website because I notice things about Sentai that wasn't in Power Rangers so I wanted to organize it. I also wanted to put together all the info of dying sites (that now no longer exist) together. McDonalds comes out with Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue toys and I collect them all but I didn't get the Red Ranger but I do get the Titanium Ranger. Fun times!

I am finally able to see Sentai when the Anime store near my university carries some and I make a friend out of one of the workers there. WAMI folds so no Wild Force for me until ABC and ABC Family picks the show up. By this time, I got the entire Hurricanger series every month in 4 episodes via tape thanks to a friend in Japan. Remember, at this time there was no YouTube at this time. My online friend Mike Bastian joins me in my endeavor of my site, which is now devoted completely to Super Sentai. Also met a friend in Miami that loves Sentai, especially the monsters and we are still friends.

By this time my parents realize my obsession will not go away. They mutually agree that it is my 'hobby.' By 2005, my cousin who once enjoyed the Power Rangers as much as I do had a son and daughter, who now love the Power Rangers. They know when they go to my house, they can play with Power Rangers and watch the Power Rangers. At age 2, my niece would see Dekaranger and think it was SPD and say, "Emergency!" Even though my cousin doesn't like the Disney incarnations, he liked SPD.

With YouTube and other like websites, making episode guides for both Power Rangers and Super Sentai has been easier. But I still have to spend money on books to scan. I have family in San Francisco and went to Japantown and also the Japantown in Los Angeles, it was great to get toys and books of Sentai and other Tokusatsu--which I can't do in Miami. So now, my friends have fully accepted I like Super Sentai and were concerned to find out the Power Ranger era is said to be over. My Website ( will be 10 years old in August.

But it's not the end yet...
A new season is starting on Nickelodeon in 2011 and I have a new baby nephew who loves Spongebob and I am sure he will love Power Rangers when he's old enough.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Power Ranger Ethnicities

UPDATED 9/4/14
Now that Power Rangers is ending, I thought we look through the years and see what ethnicities have been used.
  1. 3 African-American Leaders: TJ (Turbo), Jack (SPD), and Scott (RPM).
  2. Samoan Ranger: Shane (PRNS)
  3. Jewish Power Ranger: Bridge (SPD) --- I know Jeudism is not only a ethnicity but also a religion, culture.
  4. Scottish Power Ranger: Flynn (RPM)
  5. The only Sixth Rangers not to be Caucasian are Eric/Quantum Ranger (PRTF), Cam/Green Samuari Ranger (PRNS) and Gem/Gold and Gema/Silver RPM Rangers.
  6. Caucasians have been every color; African-Americans (16) have been Black [Zack, Will (PROO)], Yellow [Aisha, Tanya (PRZ-PRT), Katie (PRTF)], Red [TJ (PRT), Jack (SPD), Scott (RPM)], Blue [Cestro (Aquitar), TJ (PRiS), Max (PRWF), Ethan (PRDT), Kevin (PRS), Noah (PRM)], Green [Damon (PRLG), Joel (PRLR), A-Squad (SPD)] and Pink (Dino Charge). African-Americans have not been White, Gold, Silver nor a sixth ranger.
  7. Asians (14) have been Yellow [Trini], Black [Adam], Pink [Cassie (PRT-PRiS, SPD A-Squad, Mia (PRS), Emma (PRM)], Blue [Kai (PRLG), Chad (PRLR), Lucas (PRTF), Dax (PROO), Theo (PRJF)], Green [Adam (PRZ-PRT), Trip (PRTF), Cam (PRNS)], Red [Eric (PRTF)], Gold [Gem (RPM)] and Silver [Gema (RPM)]. Even though Eric was Red and Asian, there has been no Asian Red Ranger leader. Asians have not gotten to be a White Ranger.
  8. Latinos (17) have been Red [Rocky, Cole, Charlie (SPD), Troy and Lucas], Blue [Rocky (PRZ), Madison (PRMF)], Black [Carlos (PRiS), Danny (PRWF)], Green [Carlos (PRZ-PRT)], Mike (PRS), Navy [Blake (PRNS)], White [Trent (PRDT), Yellow [Z (SPD)], Pink [Vida (PRMF), Rose (PROO)] and Gold (Antonio (PRS)). And I am talking about the characters, not the actors. Latino characters have gotten to almost every color, except for Silver.
  9. Australians, while many actors have been Australians, only 2 characters have been: Pink [Kat (MMPR-PRT)] and Green [Xander (Mystic)]. Dino Charge Black is the first to be from New Zealand.
  10. Power Rangers have had quite a few aliens. Aliens (16): The Aquitar Rangers, Trey of Triforia (Zeo), Andros (PRiS), Zhane (PRiS), Maya (PRLG), Karone (PRLG), Trip (PRTF), Doggie (PRSPD), Kat (PRSPD), Blue A-Squad, and Tyzonn (PROO).  Orion from Super Megaforce is an alien as well.
Who knows what heritage Alyssa (PRWF) was?
Jessica Rey is Filipino, Angie Diaz (Vida), Rhoda Monymayor (Rose), and Jeffry P. (Trent) were also Filipino. It was never mentioned on the show what Alyssa the character's heritage was. Her father was Native-American, we may never know.