Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Junior Defenders

I didn't know about this movie, I just found out about it today. It came out in 2007 straight to DVD and is about a deranged fan of a fictional show that was like Batman/Power Rangers and he kidnaps them to make an last episode of his favorite show. It starred Brian O'Halloran (Clerks and Clerks 2) and Jason David Frank. Funny enough, Jason David Frank dressed in purple spandex, not Red, Green, Black or White. His character's name was even Tommy! I haven't seen it but I heard it was funny. I am surprised David even agreed to do it, probably because it was a parody of a show similar to one he was on.

Power Rangers Connections with Sweet Valley High

Sweet Valley High was a series based on Francine Pascal's book series of the same name. The series ran from September 1994 to October 1997 (Four Seasons), and was produced and distributed by Saban Entertainment. It jump started the career of Brittany Daniel (White Chicks, The Game). Her twin sister Cynthia Daniel has prefer not to act as much. After three seasons in syndication (running mornings and afternoons), the show was moved to the UPN network for its fourth and final season.

Jason David Frank guest starred as A.J. for four episodes in season 3, probably when Turbo was shooting. Catherine Sutherland (above) guest starred as Ginger in Season 2, this was shot probably when Zeo was shooting. I am not sure but I think they were the only Power Ranger actors to be in the show.

Updated 9/19/10 3AM EST
I was reminded that Ron Wasserman was the composer for the show, for those who don't know, he was behind many big theme songs for the first seasons of Power Rangers. Also, that Selwyn Ward (T.J.) was in an episode of Sweet Valley High (Season Four) but I can't find it on IMDB or any other site, maybe he was uncredited.

Justin Nimmo makes a passing cameo in season 4 of Sweet Valley High.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Some Popular Tokusatsu Screen Writers

Yasuko Kobayashi
Yasuko Kobayashi is a Japanese anime and tokusatsu drama screenwriter who has been involved in various television shows throughout her career, beginning in 1993 with Tokusou Robo Janperson. Tokusatsus she has written for include Seijuu Sentai Gingaman (1998), Mirai Sentai Timeranger (2000), Kamen Rider Ryuki (2002), Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (2003), Kamen Rider Den-O (2007), Samurai Sentai Shinkenger (2009), and Kamen Rider OOO (2010). She has written for Anime and animated films and also Kamen Rider Den-O: I'm Born! (2007), Kamen Rider Den-O & Kiva: Climax Deka (2008), Saraba Kamen Rider Den-O: Final Countdown (2008), Cho Kamen Rider Den-O & Decade Neo Generations: The Onigashima Warship (2009), and Samurai Sentai Shinkenger The Movie: The Fateful War (2009).

Toshiki Inoue
Toshiki Inoue is a screenwriter from Saitama Prefecture known for his work on anime (Yu-Gi-Oh!) and tokusatsu dramas [Kousoku Sentai Turboranger (1989), Choujin Sentai Jetman (1991), Choukou Senshi Changéríon (1996), Kamen Rider Agito (2001), Kamen Rider 555 (2003), Kamen Rider Hibiki (2005), Cutie Honey: The Live (2007), Kamen Rider Kiva (2008), Kamen Rider Decade (2009)] and films [Kamen Rider Agito: Project G4 (2001), Kamen Rider Ryuki: Episode Final (2002), Kamen Rider 555: Paradise Lost (2003), Kamen Rider Blade: Missing Ace (2004), Kamen Rider Hibiki & The Seven Fighting Demons (2005), Kamen Rider The First (2005), Kamen Rider The Next (2007), and Kamen Rider Kiva: King of the Castle in the Demon World (2008)]. He is the son of Masaru Igami, who himself was a screenwriter for tokusatsu dramas.

Michiko Yokote
Not much info on her, she wrote for Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, Mahou Sentai Magiranger, Jūken Sentai Gekiranger and Tensou Sentai Goseiger. She has written for Animes like Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, Ah! My Goddess The Movie, Saint Seiya Heaven Chapter Overture, Naruto, Cowboy Bebop, Bleach, and Ranma 1/2.

Sho Aikawa
Sho Aikawa (born Noboru Aikawa) is a Japanese screenwriter. His writing credits include Jikuu Senshi Spielban, Kamen Rider Blade, GouGou Sentai Boukenger, Juuken Sentai Gekiranger, Engine Sentai Go-Onger, and Kamen Rider Decade. He has recently written the anime adaptations of Love Hina and the first Fullmetal Alchemist series. He has created and written the Bones original series Hiwou War Chronicles and Tenpō Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi.

Saburo Yatsude/Saburo Hatte
Saburo Yatsude (also credited as Saburo Hatte) is a collective pen name used by Toei Company television producers when contributing to their various anime and tokusatsu series. The use of the pen name began with The Kagestar and has been used throughout the Super Sentai (in the adapted Power Rangers series, the credits list Saburo Hatte) and Metal Hero Series as well as for Spider-Man and Choukou Senshi Changéríon. The name is also used as a contributor to the soundtracks for the series.

Shoji Yonemura
Shoji Yonemura is a Japanese writer who has done work for various anime (Berserk, Lupin III, Pokemon) and Tokusatsu [Kamen Rider Kabuto, Kamen Rider Decade (replaced Shou Aikawa), Kamen Rider Hibiki, Sh15uya and Cutie Honey the LIVE].

Keiichi Hasegawa
Hasegawa began writing for television in the 90s and has been a writer for every Ultraman series produced since Tiga except for Ultraman Max. Since first beginning his work on the Ultraman franchise with the 1996 series Ultraman Tiga, Hasegawa has gone on to write more material for the franchise than any other writer. He was the secondary writer for Kamen Rider Double.

Riku Sanjo
Riku Sanj is a Japanese manga artist. He has worked as both a story writer for manga and anime. He graduated from Meiji University. He has written for the Animes Gaikin, MD Geist, Digimon Xros Wars, the Manga Beet the Vandel Buster, Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken and Kamen Rider Double.

Commenter Fantasy Leader informed me of others...
Hirohisa Soda
He wrote a total of 9 Sentai series: Goggle V through Fiveman, and then helped out on Ohranger and Carranger. Fans often thank Soda for raising the bar on Super Sentai. Thanks to him, we were given complex stories, villains, etc.

Naruhisa Arakawa
Naruhisa Arakawa did Kamen Rider Kuuga, Abaranger, and Dekaranger. He also did episodes 7 and 8 of Kamen Rider Double.

Noboru Sugimura
Noboru Sugimura did Zyuranger, Dairanger, Kakuranger, Ohranger, Jiban, Winspector, Solbrain, and helped on Kamen Rider Black. He has passed away.

Shouzo Uehara
Shouzo Uehara did Goranger, JAKQ, Denziman, Sun Vulcan, Gavan, Sharivan, Shaider, Juspion, Spielban, and 4 episodes of Kamen Rider Black.

Junki Takegami
Junki Takegami did Megaranger, GoGoFive, Gaoranger, and Go-onger.

Jun'ichi Miyashita
Jun'ichi Miyashita did Hurricaneger, Exceedraft, Janperson, Blue SWAT, B-Fighter, B-Fighter Kabuto, and helped on Kamen Rider Black.

Susumu Takaku
Susumu Takaku did Battle Fever J, Metalder, and Jiraiya.

Debate over the want of an Asian Red Ranger for 2011

With the recent post I did on the new cast for the yet to be titled 2011 season of Power Rangers, many commenter have expressed their disappointment in that the Red Ranger, i.e. the leader is Caucasian and not of Asian decent. In fact, ever since the cast was found out on Rangerboard, this debate has gone on. Before Saban even bought PR back from Disney, fans have wanted an Asian Red Ranger for the adaption of Shinkenger. Some believe purely because the series is Samurai-themed, that the leader must be Asian. Some others find this notion racist. Some of those aforementioned wanting an Asian Red Ranger, think having the Red Ranger in the upcoming season be white is racist. And others believe dwelling on this whole thing is silly. Now, I do admit that purely because it is a Samurai-season, doesn't mean we need an Asian leader. But it would be nice to have an Asian leader for once. In any season for that matter.

And I do not believe its not dwelling too much on race. I think it would just be fair and equal, as practically every heritage and race has been covered in the 18 seasons of Power Ranger, if not by the character but by the actor themselves (Nick of Mystic Force has Lebanese heritage even though his character wasn't and many actors have been Filipino even though their characters weren't stated as such). And we've had Latino, African-American and Islander Red Rangers. Pretty much every ethnicity and race has gotten to be every color, except an African-American has yet to be a Pink Ranger; an Asian Red Ranger; and a sixth Ranger has yet to be African-American or Hispanic, though there has been Asian sixth rangers (Eric of Time Force, Gem and Gema of RPM). But why is this important? Because it is fun to see everyone get a chance. And other reasons that I can't think of as of yet.

Actor Wise
Red - North American Caucasian, African-American, Latino, Samoan, Lebanese, Australian, and New Zealander. Austin St. John is of German, Native American, Irish, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish background and probably other seemingly Caucasian actors were of various origins as well.
Pink - North American Caucasian, Latina, Asian (including Filipino), Australian and New Zealander.
Yellow - North American Caucasian, Asian, African-American, Latina, New Zealander and Australian.
Blue - North American Caucasian, Latino, Asian, African-American, New Zealander, and Australian
Green - North American Caucasian, African-American, Asian, Latino, and Australian, New Zealander.

Black - African-American, Latino, Asian, British, North American Caucasian, and Australian.
White - North American Caucasian, Filipino, and Australian.
Sixth or Extra - North American Caucasian, Asian, Australian and New Zealander.

Character Wise:

Red - Caucasian (12-Jason, Tommy, Leo, Carter, Wes, Alex, Cole, Conner, Nick (I know I know), Mac, Casey, Jayden), African-American (3), Latino (2, Rocky & Charlie), Samoan (1, Shane), and Extraterrestrial (2, Andros & Aurico). Well technically Eric is a Red Ranger and he's Asian.
Pink - Caucasian (5-Kim, Kendrix, Dana, Jen, Syd), Latina (2-V and Rose), Asian (3-Cassie, A-Squad and Mia), Australian (1, Kat) and Extraterrestrial (1, Karone).
Yellow - Caucasian (8-Ashley, Kelsey, Taylor, Kira, Ronny, Lily, Summer, Emily), Asian (1-Trini #2), African-American (3-Aisha, Tanaya and Katie), Latina (1, Z), and Extraterrestrial (2, Tideus & Maya).
Blue - Caucasian (5-Billy, Justin, Tori, Sky, Flynn), Latino (3-Rocky, Blake, Madison), Asian (5-Kai, Chad, Lucas, Dax, Theo), African-American (4-TJ, Max, Ethan, Kevin), and Extraterrestrial/African-American (1, Cestro).
Green - Caucasian (1, Tommy), African-American (3, Damon, Joel, A-Squad), Asian (2, Adam & Cam), Extraterrestrial/Asian (1, Trip), Jewish (1, Bridge) Latino (2, Carlos and Mike), and Australian (1, Xander).

Black - African-American (2, Zack & Will), Latino (2, Adam and Danny), Extraterrestrial (1, Corcus), Asian (1, Adam), and Native-American/Caucasian (1, Tommy).
White - Caucasian (3-Sam, Dominick, Udonna), Latino (1, Trent), Filipino (1, Alyssa), Extraterrestrial (2, Delphine and Kat) and Caucasian/Native-American (1, Tommy).
Sixth or Extra - Caucasian (8-Tommy, Jason, Mike, Ryan, Merrick, Sam, Udonna, and Leanbow), Asian (4-Eric, Cam, Gem & Gema), Indistinguishable (Daggeron), Extraterrestrial (5- Trey, Zhane, Doggie, Kat, Tyzonn).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shinkenger Kokuki Senki (Country Record War Record) - 13 episode mini-series

I am changing up the saying: take this all up as if it was a grain of salt because it is a lot to take in. It seems the latest news is that there will be a 13 episode mini-series of Shinkenger but not all of the original Shinkenger cast will be back for this one, it seems this is a new team, possibly set in the past. And there will be no pink and there is a new one called ShinkenJidai. Commenter Casey says: "Jidai" is derived from "Jidaigeki," meaning "period drama," the Japanese term for historical fiction. This suggests that ShinkenJidai is a Shinkenger with a pronounced connection to the past. "Jidaigeki" is also the term from which George Lucas derived "Jedi."
Shinkenger Kokuki Senki (Country Record War Record)
A Shinkenger mini-series (13 episodes long) rumored to premiere in January. It seems to be another team.

Recurring Cast:
Shiba Takeru/ShinkenRed played by Matsuzaka Tori

Ikenami Ryunosuke/ShinkenBlue played by Aiba Hiroki

Hanaori Kotoha/ShinkenYellow played by Morita Suzuka

Asou Makoto/ShinkenGreen played by Eiji Wentz
Japanese singer, entertainer, and actor. He is a member of the singer-songwriter duo WaT, he has a German-American father and Japanese mother.

Mika Sato/Shinken Gold played by Shoko Nakagawa (thanks to commenter Max to bring this to my attention) she is Japanese idol, tarento, actress, seiyū (voice actor), illustrator and singer.

Kawakami Gensai/ShinkenJidai played by Yusuke Kirishima

I am excited and this sounds promising. After it airs, I believe this is not part of the original package Saban signed up for for the new season of Power Rangers, if he'd want the footage, he would have to buy it. That is what I heard about the Super Sentai movies, they had to pay extra for those.

My own rendition of Female Shinken Gold, but Dukemon22 has later brought to people's attention that they might change her symbol to Gold, because it represents Fire, Water, Wood, Earth and Gold. This time I colored this with color pencils and then went over the colors with the computer. I gave her the regular sword because she supposedly taking the place of Pink and Genta did create the Gold powers, so it would make sense she would have another weapon.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poll Results: Toku Series/tokucentral/special blog weeks

Which Series Have You Seen?
Ryukendo - 43 of 144 by 69 people
Armor Hero - 21
Vectorman - 10

Which series would you recommend to watch?
Ryukendo - 52 of 148 by 71 people
Vectormen - 9 of 148
It stayed pretty much the same, as 21 people who saw Armor Hero recommended it as well. But what is uneven is that there was 144 votes of who saw it and 148 votes of what series they recommend. Since 69 and 71 people voted, 2 people recommended but being vote about seeing it.

What other kind of themed weeks should I have?
Kamen Rider week - 90 of 391
Mecha Week - 85
Girl Power Week - 84
Villain Week - 69
Allies Week - 63
Last week, Girl Power Week was on top but now it is Kamen Rider Week.

What show should be covered on
Metal Heroes - 70 of 250
Ryukendo - 51
Tomica Hero - 49
Garo - 44
Ultra Galaxy - 36
Because of scheduling, we are opting to do Ryukendo on

Do you think all Tokusatsu are toy Informercials?
Doesn't Matter - 38 of 121
Kind of - 33
Yes - 30
Not at all - 20

If they do a sequel to Super Legends video game, you would want?
All the Rangers to play - 95 of 131
Playable Full Team - 26
Other Playable Teams - 5
More monsters from the show - 5

Which Ranger teams that were not in Super Legends would you want in a future game?
RPM - 89 of 509 by 148 people
Zeo - 71
Turbo - 41
Lightspeed - 39

More info on Super Sentai 2011

We used to get information on the new Super Sentai in December back in 2000 but nowadays it has become sooner and sooner. Because in Japan they have to have the copyright by Septemeber, we discovered the title, which is now referred to Kaizoku Sentai Go-kaiger (Pirate Squadron Gokaiger). Goukai means "heart, freespirited, heroic" or "The Ocean of Karma." It might changed in the future. All this information is from Dukemon22, I'm not putting it all up since he went through the trouble of translating the information from Japanese blogs and boards and putting it on his blog Toku Insider. Of course, if you don't want to be spoiled, don't go to the blog.

Basically it is a team that travels in a Combat Mothership, that also transforms and it goes through the 'seas of worlds.' The Ranger's belts have a compartment to fit little action figures of past warriors, that may be like keys... (sounds like the mix & morph Bandai America toys) It is not for sure yet, but they might be able to transform into former warriors. The team's pirate emblem looks a bit like the Crossbone Vanguard of Crossbone Gundam. There is not much info on the mecha, only that they will be a bit like the Go-Onger and Goseiger mecha. Through an insider of the show, the world of Himitsu Sentai Goranger is scheduled to appear. Offers have already gone out for past Sentai actors to come back and reprise their roles. Miyauchi Hiroshi/Aoranger (and Kamen Rider V3!) is definitely to return as a guest. Villain BioHunt Silva of Bioman is also scheduled to appear. The Go-Kaiger will premiere in the Goseiger vs. Shinkenger teamup in early 2011.

American fans are already drawing comparisons to Kamen Rider Decade, how they traveled to other worlds of past Riders, transformed into former Riders, and was for an anniversary. Go-Kaiger is for the 35th anniversary but it seems they are indeed getting former cast, unlike Decade which re-casted actors. Fans did not like how Decade ended with no real ending and the spin-off movies didn't really give solid answers and were ambiguous. They are hoping that does not occur with Go-kaiger. I doubt it as it seems like this will be a full 'season' unlike Decade that only lasted half a year because Dukemon said it would have a winter 2011 movie, but that could be a spin-off movie, we'll see. Power Ranger fans are already jumping off the ship, with speculations about the Power Rangers season (most likely 2013) that might adapt this upcoming season, but I believe that it is way too soon and we should just relax.

I highly doubt 49 episodes (common for Super Sentai this days) will visit worlds representing all 34 'seasons' or series of Sentai but at least most of them and I am sure at least one warrior of each series will appear in some capacity. The rumored colors of Go-Kaiger: Red, Blue, White, Yellow, and Violet; no word yet on which ones would be female--I'm hoping for violet and white.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Power Rangers 2011: Cast but no Details yet

UPDATED 9/22/10 10:30 AM EST
I didn't want to post anything until we got more information. Information has slowly been forming, since August fans at Rangerboard has gotten info on the casting calls and then the names of the actors who have been cast. But we still have not learned the title yet. I am not posting the character descriptions because they might change. Pictures below made by Soulspice at Rangerboard. IMDB has the title as Power Ranger Samurai, avid commenter James Spiring says he put that title on IMDB as a placeholder. BUT IT IS INDEED WILL BE POWER RANGERS SAMURAI

Alex Heartman as JAYDEN, Najee-De-Tiege as KEVIN, Hector David Jr. as MIKE

Erika Fong as MIA, Brittany Pirtle as EMILY, Steven Skyler as ANTONIO

Felix Ryan as SPIKE (formerly 'Skinny Mack') and Rene Naufahu as JII;
Rene Naufaju is no stranger to Power Rangers as he played Emperor Grumm in SPD, Takeru is the name of the Red Ranger in the footage source Shinkenger and fans are led to believe the name is in honor of him.

Above is a picture from Power saying the new season is coming soon and has the Fire Kanji in the background. Former Power Rangers producer Tony Oliver said at Power Morphicon that he is writing some of the comedy for the show. I personally believe we might find out the title by the end of September/early October. We found out the RPM logo in mid-September and the news of MMPR new toy line on October 1st. Many fans are hoping the show will be called Power Rangers Samurai Strike.

Another picture of the cast, posted on Rangerboard.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers World Tour Live On Stage

In 1995, there was a stage show featuring the Power Rangers (Tommy, Kim, Billy, Aisha, Adam and Rocky). I heard about this when it came out, but I never saw it because they didn't come to my town. Cities where performances took place include San Diego, California, Baltimore, MD, Toronto, Ontario, Denver, Colorado, Cincinnati, Ohio, San Antonio, Texas, Philadelphia New Haven, Connecticut, and New York City at Radio City Music Hall. It only had the voices of the actors, everything was in suit, combined with video of Zordon, a newcaster and footage of the Megazords. It is very much like Super Sentai stage productions, except they dont' use video and when the series is about to end, they have the real cast do a special performance. Here is an overview of the video of the stageshow:

The story is fairly simple, Zedd's palace lands on Earth and releases his new monster Lumintor, The Fire Lion and kidnaps the Yellow and Black Rangers. Like the Super Sentai stage shows, the costumes are really minimized. The Ranger helmets are even of lesser quality. We see Alpha in the Command Center with Zordon in video and then we see the taller and bigger headed version on stage. We occasionally see a news reporter in the video as well.

Zedd's palace lands on Earth and for some reason, two alien beings try to open it. They say they are drawn to it, it is assumed they never met Zedd before--judging by their dialogue but they have giant Zs on their chests. They remind me a bit of Brickneck form Time Force. Lord Zedd's suit looks almost the same as the real one except no blue veins and his neck is thicker (probably because it is a bigger mask to fit anyone). Zedd states his plan. Rita, for some reason is in a purple outfit. For people who do not know, in promotional stuff, Rita was in a purple and pink outfit. She does mention causally almost at the end that she has a 'new gown.' But her young appearance is not mentioned. She is shrunk twice and thrown to the Moon. And in one part, she acts drunk, once she 'landed from the moon.'

Goldar is more obvious his costume is much simple and his face is fatter. Much like in the Mutiny two-parter, he is against Rita. It is unclear if Zedd and Rita are married. In fact, Zedd acts more like his 'terrifying' persona than his later softer personality. Above is a picture of one of the 'Z' aliens. The Z-putties remained mostly unchanged. They are used for comic relief as well.

Squatt and Baboo look the strangest in their simplified forms. Baboo actually looks much more hellish. In the original Super Sentai Zyuranger, the costume was a human face with make-up, but this was a mask. Unlike season 2, Squatt and Baboo are used much more in this show, much like they were in Season 1. They are left in charge of Adam and Aisha when they are kidnapped.

Luminor the fire lion may not be much to look at. He is an original creation and not from Super Sentai. He also goes against Lord Zedd's sthick which was to make monsters out of existing items or animals. It is not mentioned exactly how he created it. Of course, the monster is hyped up throughout the show. When the Rangers fight him, they say they can't touch him because they will be burned. Three times are the kids in the audience asked to do something to defeat a villain. This one is to be defeated with rain, so they ask the kids to yell for rain.

There is another monster, this one made out of pieces constructed by Goldar, Baboo, Squatt and the Putties. Adam and Aisha know how to defeat it but since they are turned into cockatoos, they can't communicate with the Rangers. They do manage to say one word so they say 'Hollow' and 'Sound.' Saba the talking saber is actually used in this show and he communicates with the two and tell the Rangers to defeat the monster with sounds. The kids are asked to make a lot of noise in order to dismantle this one.

As I mentioned before, Aisha and Adam were turned into birds. Firstly, they were turned into monkeys by Zedd, real life monkeys, while these birds were clearly puppets. Maybe this was the inspiration to turn Bulk and Skull into monkeys for Turbo? Since Rocky, Aisha and Adam came late into the game, I doubt they could really have their personalities shine through in this one. Rocky is barely used, Adam and Aisha remain without much personality, but they use the real actor's voices, so it does add to personality. Billy does use his smarts, where in the movie he didn't. The most embarrassing part of the show is the 'Megazord' battle. It was just Lumintor on stage with smoke coming out and the Megazords on the screen. Basically it was the Thunder Megazord and Tigerzord doing their attacks and being attacked. It would have been nice to see Megazord costumes. Oh yeah, and in the end we get a big Lord Zedd balloon (he became 'giant') and he is defeated---not destroyed, he goes back to the moon. All together, the show was mildly entertaining.

I got the video at Power Ranger Planet.