Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Power Rangers Dino Thunder's "Lost and Found in Translation"

I did a poll about how people discovered Super Sentai and I totally forgot about this episode. I had mentioned the Lost Episode (that was the MMPR pilot) and commentator Luca thought I meant this. Here I covered my thoughts about the episode.
Lost and Found in Translation aired June 13, 2004, prior to its airing there were promos on ABC Family about a special week that was going to be Japanese influenced. The promo for the episode showed footage of Abaranger and said it was going to be a meeting of two worlds. Many fans thought this might meet that the Sentai actors would actually meet the Power Ranger acts. Doug Sloan clarified online that it wasn't what we thought. The episode entails the three Rangers late night at Hayley's Cyber Cafe watching Japanese satellite television in order to do a report for class about the culture. They find there is a show, a Japanese take of Power Rangers--that some Japanese producers made a fictional show based on real-life superheroes. It is an in-joke, as in reality it is Power Rangers that is based on a Japanese show, Super Sentai.

The episode that aired containing Abaranger footage with the Rangers out fo their suits and Villain footage that was not used in the American version. When this show first aired, I feared it would entice a division and war between Power Ranger fans and Super Sentai fans. Super Sentai is often ridiculed by American Power Ranger fans because it might be considered goofier. Indeed, the Red Ranger Conner is upset the first time he saw it. But in the conclusion, he ends up liking it and writing a report on how both cultures are 'closer than we think.' The end of the episode we hear the Abaranger theme song and it is never explained what Abaranger is or what it really means. Over the footage are dubbed English voices, in fact former Navy Ranger Jorgito Vargas Jr. plays the voice of the Blue Ranger. The relationship between the Black Ranger and the red clothed villainess is touched upon as well.

So it didn't start a war, (I thought it was injust to make people who didn't know about Sentai think PR came first and the Japanese was second) the episode really served as a realization for PR fans to be open to accepting/understanding Sentai. That it was first regarded as goofy and insulting by Connor but he learned to accept it, that it wasn't what he was used to but he learned to appreciate it. Many PR fans may think Sentai is weird and goofy but then learn to appreciate its nuisances. I think the reason this episode came around was in response to how far out Abaranger is. In truth, I think the reason Abaranger maybe a bit over-the-top is because it could have its dark parts, including when Mahoro is violated. All in all, the episode is in itself a bit over the top but pretty remarkable in that it is the first to acknowledge its roots, albeit in a non-direct manner.

1 comment:

JLH said...

Whacker Wilson was voiced by Jermaine Turner, one of the Disney executives of PR, not Samuel Pop whatever.