Friday, August 28, 2009

Tokusatsu Super Heronies #2: Generalworks

There are some super heronies I can find to discuss, there are so many that haven't been discussed or scanned online. I don't know much about these series. I will be covering more as soon as I get info on them.

Rosetta: The Masked Angel (1998)
A tokusatsu drama that aired from July to September 1998 on TV Tokyo. It featured the adventures of a young girl named Asuka who follows in her father's footsteps as Rosetta to battle evil monsters called Duats.

Sennen Ookoku San Jyushi Vanny Knights (1999)
Three girls transformed into bunny-inspired warriors, there was pink, orange and navy. Their outfits were white but their eye visors and underskirts were different colors. The navy one had black tights under her white skirt. Watch it online on YouTube, while it lasts of course.

Its funny, I always saw pictures of this movie on Japanhero but thought it was one lone female. If it wasn't for the great uploader to put the video up, I would have never known.

Jikuu Keisatsu (Chrono Police Wecker) (2001)
3 episodes were made by the producers (Generalworks) of Rosetta: The Masked Angel and Vanny Knights. The original Jikuu Keisatsu Wecker was initially released on DVD on June 21, 2001. It was followed by Jikuu Keisatsu Wecker D-02, which aired from January to March in 2002. They just wore the white outfits you see above.

Note: Photo below was screen-captured by my site partner Mike Bastian.
Wecker Signa (2007)
The third installment, it is the only one where the girls are actually suited up with helmets. Their colors were pink, orange, and purple. A black one also joined them. They made toys of both their regular gorms and armored forms. The blue one was a guy. The girl in the light blue outfit doesn't transform.
Check out their official website (Japanese)
[Click for larger image]

Tokusatsu Super Heronies #1: Zen Pictures

There are some super heronies I can find to discuss, there are so many that haven't been discussed or scanned online. I don't know much about these series. I will be covering more as soon as I get info on them.

The following are all from Zen Pictures:
Ninjya Special Investigate Justy Wind (2007)
Four school girls became ninja warriors. Their colors were blue, red, white, and navy. This one from Zen Pictures.

Idol Squadron (2007)
Their colors were basic red, yellow and blue.

Special Unit Bionic Force (2007)
They all had symbols. Red, Blue, Pink and Green.

Meteor Rangers Cosmic Five (2007)
After a strange meteor falls to Earth, five girls sneak into the National Science Laboratory to get it. The meteor came with an alien villain and gave them armor. They combined into one warrior to save the day. Aqua, White, Red, Pink, and Yellow.

Fi-Buster (2008)
Don't know much about this one. They had the basic sentai colors of red, blue, green, pink and yellow.

Burst Ranger (2008)
This is kind of embarrassing. Their main power was concentrated on their breasts. There is a lot of tokusatsu like this, with scantly clad women---some I saw in a friend's old tape but didn't copy, this was a long time ago. I believe this one was not for children.

Idol Force (2009)
Three heronies, one female villain, all their helmets were the same. A team of Pink, Cyan and Yellow.

Non-Red Ranger Leaders


Super Sentai
Soukichi Banba/Big One
I forgot him, well, I didn't forget him, I was just not sure if he took leadership when he joined the team. He was a big show off and memorable character.

The first female leader in Super Sentai ever. She was the first non-Red ranger leader in a long time (about in 15 years). She was a stronger leader than Ninja Red. The Red Ranger was still the focus in merchandise and promos. Obviously, people don't want a female leading a team in a boys line. A producer has said in an interview that it is because of stores wouldn't sell toys for boys with a female leader because they don't think boys will want it.

Kouichirou Endou/Mega Black
While some do not consider him the leader, others do consider him the team leader at the beginning. He was not the protagonist. He was more stable than Mega Red.

Yuuri/Time Pink
Yuuri is the second female leader and the first Pink Ranger leader. She was tough as nails and has a underlined romance with Time Red.

Doggy Kruger/Deka Master
Called 'boss' in Dekaranger, he was strict, stern but fun and furry. He also had feelings for Swan but wasn't up for admitting it.

Ran Uzaki/Geki Yellow
While many don't agree that she was the leader. But Master ShaFu did call her 'captain' of the Gekiranger. So some people think that means she was captain in charge of getting new members. But she did lead the team. The others always ask her for her approval or input. When the GekiRinTohja was formed on the show, she was in the center of the image with the five of them. I wouldn't consider Jan (Geki Red) the leader, he was surely the protagonist but not the leader. Many fans were angry when Ran didn't get enough episodes or focus, fighting for the heronie.

Power Rangers

Tommy Oliver/White Ranger
Initially he was not meant to be the leader (realistic sounding rumors that the decision was made when the actors playing Jason, Trini, and Zack were fired), but all fans were happy at the time for him to be the leader. He is the only male human leader not to be a Red Ranger.
Note: Above photo was scanned by my site partner Mike Bastian.

Delphine/White Aquitar Ranger
The first female leader in Power Rangers and the second White Ranger leader. I think she was a good leader.
Note: Above photo was scanned by my site partner Mike Bastian.

Jen/Pink Time Force Ranger
Jen has an emotional story, as she was a cop who was engaged and her fiance died and then she fell in love with her dead fiance's ancestor and then found out her fiance was not dead and broke up the engagement. She was the second female leader but the first female leader in a long series, as the Aquitar Rangers were only part of a mini-series.

Doggie Cruger/Shadow Ranger
Spelled differently than his Japanese counterpart and more reptilian, he was a bit childish and had anger issues. He was the first Power Ranger to ever be married, but was not the last. Jack was indeed the leader of the B-Squad and Charlie of the A-Squad but Doggie was in charge of them. He was indeed the last non-Red leader in Power Rangers history.

~ Lavender Ranger

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Important African-American Non-Ranger Characters in Power Rangers

I am all for diversity and I like it that the Power Rangers welcomed that in its minor characters as well. Here are some allies that were African-American and memorable characters that made impact in the plot.

Adelle (Aloma Wright)
We all know the juice bar was the Ranger's hangout and was owned by Ernie. But, the Juice Bar was also owned by two others. The former police Lt. Stone in Power Rangers Turbo and then in Power Rangers in Space, the place went under new management by Adelle and it was called the Surf Spot. Formerly the Youth Center, this place became just a restaurant. Adelle stood up for what she believe in and was one of the brave citizens of Angel Grove and said she was a Power Ranger in order to protect the identity of the true Rangers. Aloma Wright has been in many shows but is best known as Laverne on "Scrubs."

High Commander Renier
In Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, the highest ranking officer on the space station was not a man nor a white person, it was a proud Black Woman. She was stern but fair and gave people the benefit of the doubt. For example, Mike got trapped in the middle of a planet due to an earthquake, he was MIA but when he returned and was excused by her.

Colonel Mason Truman
In RPM, He is the highest authority in the post-apocalyptic city of Corinth. He had two sons in the military as well, Marcus and Scott. But Marcus died in the line of duty and Scott is the leader of the Power Rangers. He can be a bit stubborn at times but he really does care about his son and others, he just doesn't express it as often as Scott would prefer.

While not being an extreme major character, he was only in a few episodes, he is still worth mentioning. He gave Merrick of Wild Force a home and work and gave him moral advice.

Kamen Riders to not appear on Kamen Rider Decade or the movies

A lot of the Kamen Riders appeared in Kamen Rider Decade, but I also noticed that quite a few did not appear in the show nor the movies. I am counting Kamen Rider Decade the series, Cho Kamen Rider Den-O & Decade NEO Generations: The Onigashima Battleship, and All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker. Now, there can also be a chance in the movie coming in December.

Another Agito did not appear in Kamen Rider Decade. Many of the Oni Riders from Kamen Rider Hibiki did not appear in any form, including Sabiki, Eiki, Danki, Gouki, Toki, Shoki and Banki.

Certainly Shuki didn't appear in Decade. It's weird because Kamen Rider Shuki's stunt actor Naoki Nagase was working for Decade but didn't reprise his role as her. He reprised all his other roles (Psyga, Glaive, Tiger, Ketaro, Punch Hopper and Sieg.) Transformed Kyosuke also did not appear in Kamen Rider Decade. Kyosuke briefly transformed into this form. In stageshows, he is called Kamen Rider Kyoki.

Kamen RIder Kabuki of the Hibiki movie was summoned by Diend but the other movie-exclusive Riders of Hibiki did not appear in any of the Decade properties. Touki, Kirameki, Habataki and Nishiki above.

Correct me if I am wrong, I am not sure about these. Neither am I sure about Gaoh or Arc. I am sure that Nega Den-O did not appear in any. Kamen Rider Yu-Ki did not appear either. Additionally, Riderman appeared in All Riders vs. Dai-Shocker but Tackle did not, but she was never an official Kamen Rider.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Power Rangers: Promotional Differences

I thought I'd point out differences between merchandise and the show, through the 17 years of Power Rangers, there has been some inaccuracies. We all know these type of inaccuracies happens because pre-production, the merchandise people receive one idea of how the character looks and it might be changed later.
The first such inaccuracy and most blatant one is the power coin emblems on the Ranger's chest. This was in the early Mighty Morphin Power Ranger toys, coloring books, comic books, bed sheets, costumes, and all other illustrations (even in the Power Ranger Magazine comics but not the regular Comic Book). This was rectified sort of with the movie, where the Rangers wore the emblems on their chests. The Tyrannosaurus emblem was not even like the actual coin from Zyuranger because the coin had a tail. The Ninja Coin emblems also look different in the movie than in the merchandise and the show. It is understandable why the Ninja Coins changed in look because of deadlines and pre-approval, etc. (just to say it shorter), but why the emblems on the Ranger's chest if everyone could had access to Zyuranger footage. Either Saban or Bandai America had decided to put those things on their chests early on.

I do not know if younger fans know this but the Green Ranger toy had a different emblem (when you took off the shield) that the regular Dragonzord coin symbol we know and love. I have personally thought (for the past 16 years) this image looks more like Titanus. On the box, the Green Ranger had the show's Dragonzord coin. The Green Auto-Morphin Ranger came with a sticker using this image above. In the Power Rangers Fan Club package, the show's Dragonzord coin image was used for a tattoo that said Tommy on it. The above symbol was rarely used in any merchandise but I vaguely remember it being used once in another product. Maybe this Titanus-looking symbol was exclusively used for Bandai America. Other differences included the Green Ranger having diamonds on his cuffs and the Pink Ranger's color shade varying from the promotional image above and the actual product and the shade in the show. Additionally, the lack of skirt, which many fans have added skirts to the Pink Rangers that had them missing.
This Titanus-like Green Ranger image continued on to current Adult T-Shirts.

Yet some other shirts are show-accurate, yet the Dragon coin symbol here looks a bit like a Marijuana leaf.

Back when from 1993 to 1995, the costumes had the emblems on the chest. But now that official Red Ranger and Pink Ranger costumes (adult and child sizes) came out two months ago, the emblem is gone. In all other current illustrations of the MMPR Rangers, mainly the Red Ranger has no coin on the chest. The Super Legends toys also have gotten rid of the emblem, semi-accurate, many fans complain that the Green Ranger doesn't have his shield straps, but we get what we can.

Rita Repulsa's action figure infamously was never released because of problems with her chest, but in illustrations, she was colored purple and pink. I remember having a cut-outs package, where you had to cut out the Rangers and Rita Replusa and make 'sets' with them. The purple-version Rita was with it. Part of the reason I believe in the season 2 premiere "The Mutiny," Baboo said that Rita would be 'purple' with envy. Maybe a coincidence or maybe a reference. Recently I found out there was a plushie Rita, Goldar and Putty Patroller. I knew about the Rita squeeze night light (she was purple there too), but it's interesting her dress was not brown like on the show.

When Lightspeed Rescue hit McDonalds in 2000, the Yellow Ranger magically gained a skirt. She didn't have one in the show and for the illustration above and the McDonalds toy, she had a skirt. The MMPR Yellow Ranger never gained a skirt in any of the illustrations or merchandise. Curious.

By the time MMPR ended, many thought these inaccuracies had ended. Well, it didn't. In 2001 for Time Force, there was some illustrations of the Quantum Ranger with a strange two-streamed arrow and he was a darker shade of red. This held true for the costume as well. In fact he had a little yellow thing on his head, this made me believe to have a connection to the Titanium Ranger, which had the Max Solarzord symbol on his helmet. This strange version of the Quantum Ranger was also used for the walkie-talkies.

Around 2006, merchandise with the three male Mighty Morphin Power Rangers came and they had capes. Many suspected this was from the rumored animated series but now it is just believe it is only for merchandise. It has been seen in t-shirts, umbrellas, sunglasses, etc. This picture above is from a Latin American trading card. The newest brand of merchandise to sport the three caped Rangers is an Adult T-Shirt and children shirt below.