Saturday, October 9, 2010

Heronie Profile: Kimberly Hart

I covered Tommy Oliver before, so here is Kimberly Hart, the other most remembered Power Ranger character or been most recognized Power Ranger all together. I am not going to talk too much about Amy Jo Johnson but the character of Kimberly.

Kimberly has always been thought of as a flaky valley girl, but in reality she was quite strong and resourceful (she landed a plane with Alpha's voice helping when her pilot uncle was drugged). She had to be pretty smart to know Sign-Language (she knew it to communicate with her friend Melissa in Season 1), it is not that easy--believe me because my sister is deaf. She also had to put up with her parents being divorced and her mother dating again. She always had her parents as her dream couple [evident by her mother's purse (from when they went on a date or their first date) she took on a date with Tommy].

She also loved Tommy very much, he was her first love and kiss. In season two, bubbly Kimberly had to deal with the loss of her boyfriend (when he lost his powers and moved away) and then to the shock that he was the new White Ranger and then the loss of three of her old friends. Kimberly then traveled to the past and had to play the leader to four ancestors of her teammates. In season 3, she was loosing her powers when Kat took her power coin and Kimberly was going through a reverse of Tommy and her when Tommy was loosing his Green Ranger powers.

She had to practice for the Pan Global Gymnastics something and Kat was suppose to get her hurt, she snapped out of a spell and she called for the hospital. Kim ended up in the hospital, Tommy called her mother in France--she re-married and Kim was accepted by Aisha's parents to live there with them. Kim went to the pan global thingy in Florida and gave her powers to Kat and then broke up with Tommy in Zeo with a Dear John letter. Amy Jo Johnson appeared in both movies, she was the Pink Ranger in the first movie and had a small part in Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, in which she was kidnapped with Jason by Divatox.

She and Jason became evil for a little bit and Kim fought Kat saying "Pink is Out." She was the first Ranger to have a proper farewell. Fans liked that she returned but they wanted more resolution between Tommy and Kim. Kim is remembered as a vapid valley girl at first but I got to clarify that she was not a cheerleader, she did say she was one long ago (in the Lizzinator episode) but in her tenure as a Ranger, she never was a cheerleader. I think she was only vapid and self-absorbed in the first couple episodes, or if anything only in the first episode. I mean, in the third episode, she was number one helping Trini in helping the environment and getting rid of a toxic waste dump. In fact, in the fifth episode, she cared about her deaf friend and was not self-absorbed, like mentioned before. Sure she said 'eww' from time to time, but it doesn't dis-value her intelligence.

Character Profile: Hayley

In an effort to do posts that people do not expect, I decided to highlight a slightly forgotten yet crucial character in the Power Ranger legacy. The anomaly known as Hayley.

Hayley was introduced in Power Rangers Dino Thunder, as the owner of the Cyber Cafe, in homage of the Juice Bar in the first season and also Tommy's technical adviser. She was played by Ismay Johnston, who is three years younger than Jason David Frank and eight years older than the actors who portrayed Ethan, Devon and Kira. She played a TV Announcer in the episode "Good Will Hunter" of Ninja Storm. Hayley's connection to Tommy was that they met in college and seeing her knowledge of technology, he conveyed to her that he was once a Power Ranger. She didn't even get a last name. She was also the boss of Kira, Ethan and Trent for some time. On the show, she built the Hovercraft Cycle, helped Tommy get out of his suit and become visible and created the Triceramax Mobile Command Center and other technological help.

She showed the new Rangers a video of the history of Power Rangers, so one is to believe Tommy showed her this, but it is still strange he trusted her with his secret but he didn't go to Billy instead. But of course, Billy probably wasn't asked back because it would have probably cost more. Getting Jason David Frank was a financial feat unto itself. And if they couldn't get him back, they did plan to have another character in his place--Edward Payne. So maybe Hayley would had been connected to that character in a similar way. Some fans thought Hayley was brought as a romantic interest but she and Tommy remained strictly platonic. She didn't return from the reunion episodes in SPD.

UPDATED 10/9/10 11PM EST

agent-chliever brought up that Hayley's last name was Ziktor, it wasn't mentioned on the show. I researched it and it is all over the Wikipedia-like sites. It is said that producer Doug Sloan confirmed it and that it was in the casting call. Ziktor is the last name of the alias of Grimlord (Karl Ziktor) in VR Troopers. Someone says that in an episode she told Ehtan that she used to work for big business, maybe she was his daughter. And if not, maybe it was just a wink wink reference and nothing more.

Ultrawoman Amir

When I did a post on female Ultras for my Non Super Sentai Week, I kept seeing something about Ultragirl Amir and I couldn't find her. I had this book and looked through it and found her. She was of the Ultra Stars U40 in The Ultraman (1980) Anime.

Amir is Ultraman Jonias' sister, she can't become big, except in episode 31. The kanji for Amir sometimes incorrectly translates to dogfish in internet translation engines.

Here is Yullian, Mother of Ultra and Ultrawoman Beth toys. Funny enough, Ultrawoman Beth was from animated US-collaboration 'Ultraman: The Adventure Begins' and they made a costume of her for the meet and greets. It is strange since they did make a costume of Ultraman Jonias but not Ultrawoman Amir even though she was from a Japanese series.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gransezar Women

Ran (Sazer-Visuel), Mika (Sazer-Mithras), Ai (Sazer-Pieces) and Ryoko (Sazer-Velsou).

Poll Results: Super Sentai Discovery / Power Ranger Popularity / Toy Stores / Ethnicity

When did you discover Super Sentai?
2005-2009 - 112 of 214
2001-2004 - 38
1994-2000 - 24 (including me)
Before 1993 - 23
2010 - 17

How did you discover Super Sentai?
Other - 70 of 206
Super - 58
Wikipedia - 36
PR Lost Episode Special - 16
Grew up on it - 14
Message Board - 6
TV Guide Article - 4 (including me)
Dynaman Parody - 2

Do you think Power Rangers will always (or if ever) have the popularity it had in 1993?
Yes - 64 of 201
Near it but not as much - 51
Maybe - 40
Someday, but not soon - 25
Never - 21

Which store did you usually buy PR Toys? (Some stores no longer carry them)
Toys R Us - 94 of 466 votes by 155 people
Wal-Mart - 88
Target - 51
Other - 47
eBay - 45
K-Mart - 42
Amazon - 29
Disney Store - 25
Toy Wiz - 25
Walgreens - 20
I have bought Power Rangers toys from Walgreens, Disney Store, K-Mart, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart eBay and even Kaybee Toys back in the day. Lately it has been Wal-Mart and K-Mart. For the record, Disney Store will no longer carry it. Target, Walgreens and K-Mart at the moment don't have them, but I am sure sometime in the future.

If you currently live in the U.S., what is your ethnicity? (Inspired by Sean Akizuki's blog)
European American - 48 of 174
Other - 44
Asian-American - 30
African-American - 25
Latin-American - 23 (including me)
Caribbean-American - 4

Why do you think Power Rangers has lasted this long?
Fans - 138 of 488 by 184 people
Super Sentai - 108
Reinvention - 93
New Toys each year - 78
Familiar Themes - 71
I think it is fans and Super Sentai too.

Female Kamen Riders (Part 2)

I covered the female Kamen Riders before, but here is an update and more extensive list. In Kamen Rider 555 (2003), many people who transform into the same armor or 'gear.' Where many men would wear one gear, one female would. One girl (Rina) wore the Delta armor but was kicked out of it a few seconds later. Both Yuri and Megumi become different versions of Kamen Rider Ixa in the Kamen Rider Kiva movie (2008).

Human Tackle (1973)
Yuriko Misaki/Electro-Wave Human Tackle is a modified human just like the titular Kamen Rider Stronger in his series. She worked a bit as Stronger's sidekick and in due course she fell in love with him. She sacrificed herself to save Shigeru from being poisoned by Doctor Kate. In Kamen Rider Spirits manga, Despite Misaki being dead, her story is continued to be told through Shigeru Jo's flashbacks of her.

Kamen Rider Femme (2002)
She is the first official female Kamen Rider. Miho Kirishim was portrayed by Natsuki Kato. She was only in the movie Kamen Rider Ryuki Episode: Final and in the costume a cameo in Kamen Rider Ryuki: 13 Riders. Her power was of the Swan.

Kamen Rider L-arc (2004)
Her true identity is Miwa Natsumi and she was portrayed by Yoko Mitsuya in the movie Kamen Rider Blade: Missing Ace and in kamen Rider Decade. "Larc", is French for "Archer." Miwa Natsumi originally applied as an office worker, but was berated by the boss. As a result, she knocked him out after having enough of his words. She was handpicked, along with two others to become the New Generation Riders for BOARD to capture the Undead released by the Albino Joker.

Kamen Rider Shuki (2005)
In the series Kamen Rider Hibiki, she appears in one episode. All the warriors had motifs of instruments, hers was a harp. Although she is in her 80's, Shuki used her power to assume a form that resemble herself in her early 30's. When she was young, her entire family was murdered by the villains. She used this as a reason to become an Oni. She used personal grudge and not the desire to uphold justice and protect the weak as a reason to fight. Unlike the others, the demon face took over her helmet. She ended up killing herself to get her revenge. She is the only Kamen Rider to ever have a skirt. She is the first female to actually be in the TV series, not a movie.

Kamen Rider Amaki (2009)
Appeared in the TV series Kamen Rider Decade, Nana Akiyama reprised her role from Hibiki and transformed into Amaki.

Kamen Rider Kivara (2009)
In Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Double & Decade: Movie Wars 2010, the Kivat known as Kivara helped Natsumi Hikari transform into Kamen Rider Kivara. Officially she is the fifth and so far last Toei female Kamen Rider.

Kamen Rider Siren (2009)
She is the counterpart to Kamen Rider Femme, she appeared in Kamen Rider Dragon Knight in more than just a couple of episodes. Kase, a warrior from Ventara was the romantic interest for Kamen Rider Wing Knight.

Kamen Rider Nadeshiko
She will be introduced in Kamen Rider × Kamen Rider Fourze & OOO: Movie Wars MEGAMAX (2011). She is a mysterious girl that fell from the sky and fell into Gentaro's arms and heart during Amanogawa High School's culture festival.
Kamen Rider Mage
Mayu, Medusa's twin sister changes into a rider to fight Medusa in Kamen Rider Wizard (2012-2013).
Kamen Rider Marika
She is an adversary of Kamen Rider Gaim (2013-2014). Yoko later assists Mitsuzane in a scheme to take Kouta's Sengoku Driver, deeming the plan to be faulty due to the youth's unwillingness to personally handle the deed himself. But ultimately, though she went along with it on Takatora's orders, Minato's loyalty is to Ryoma as she reports to Takatora about his younger brother's betrayal while relaying the youth's offer for a partnership to Ryoma to cover it up.

Stageshow Kamen Riders
Kamen Rider Alpha (2003)
Even though not official (stage show Riders aren't consider canon), the Alpha suit was used by a female in the Kamen Rider 555 stage show. Pictures available here in this Japanese site.

Kamen Rider Mujaki (2005)
A female Oni Kamen Rider as age 23, a human with Makamou blood in her veins who brainwashed Jaki into being her slave. Mujaki use a microphone as her weapon and her name means "Illusion Snake Demon" and is synonymous with innocence.


Sh15uya (Also known as Shibuya Fifteen) premiered on TV Asahi on January 10, 2005. It ran for 12 episodes until its conclusion on March 10, 2005. Set in a virtual simulation of Shibuya, Tokyo which is regulated by an entity named Piece which does not allow inhabitants to live, the series focuses on a 15 year old boy named Tsuyoshi (portrayed by female Saya Yuki) who seeks to find both his lost memories and a way to escape Shibuya. To maintain control, Piece locks "kills" those who don't work within the confines of the world, which results in their being reset and inserted back into the city with a new name and identity and without their previous memories. The episodes are directed by Nobuhiro Suzuki and Ryuta Tasaki with scripts written by Shoji Yonemura. A single volume manga adaptation, written and illustrated by Go Yabuki, was released by Kadokawa Shoten on July 1, 2005.

It tells the story of Tsuyoshi, who doesn't remember who he is and is told by others that his name is Shouta and Revu. He meets Asagi (Yuria Haga) and Ema. Ema (Yui Aragaki) can call upon armor and fights antagonists. Tsuyoshi stays at Kengo's tattoo shop and helps with chores. Asagi briefs Tsuyoshi on the three gangs' names, leaders, and territories. There is Piece (played by Mark Musashi, who has done stunt work for Avatar and Kamen Rider Dragon Knight), who can die but comes back and in multiple forms. Ryuugo (Tooru Yamashita) plots getting rid of both Bunkamu and Lovegen by taking advantage of a fight he instigates between the two and keeping Piece at bay by making Ema his friend.

Asagi ends up betraying Tsuyoshi and Ema, having them caught in a trap with 3 different gangs. Asagi has a change of heart. As two of Bunkamu's members are killed leaving only DJ, causing him to ask for help from Tsuyoshi and Asagi. DJ once again begs Tsuyoshi for Ema's help, but ends up asking Nami, Lovegen's new leader, for help. She feeds him a drug. Tsuyoshi and Asagi try to stop her as she is about to send DJ falling off the building, but Piece saves him by killing Nami Ema appears and defeats Piece once again. She reveals that she continuously kills Piece for Tsuyoshi's sake. Asagi is killed and 'reset' as Miu, who joins the gang of the Palhand. Tsuyoshi ends up having to sacrifice himself in order to allow Ema to destroy them all. He wakes up in a classroom where he finds out that everyone is asleep and everyone is sent to this virtual Shibuya.

Kengo is the teacher of the classroom. As he wanders through the real-world academy, he finds a special room containing the real-world Ema. However, an academy official stop him from entering, then returns him to Shibuya, reseted. He once again wakes up in the midst of rubbish, just as he was at the beginning of the series. Tsuyoshi returns to the real world and finds that the world has been restored and events from the beginning are happening all over again, except this time Ema is now the boss of Palhands, with no memory of him. However, she does cry at the sight of the moon, just before going out to fight with Lovegen. During the fight, Piece marks Ema, but she remembers all the events that happened before the restore, performing a Merge and defeating Piece. This causes everyone to remember their real names. Ema only remembers her past once she touches the nail polish that Tsuyoshi brought with him from the real world, her past as a very violent individual.

They all return to Kengo's place for Katsudon in preparation to leave. Tsuyoshi searches for Ema after she hides, but to no avail. As Tsuyoshi, Ryuugo, Asagi, DJ, and Kengo are about to leave, the chairman appears and transforms into Piece in order to stop them. Asagi directs Tsuyoshi to Ema, who he then tries to convince to come with him. Meanwhile, everyone else manages to defeat Piece and escape Shibuya. The chairman awakes from unconsciousness and fights Tsuyoshi as Piece. Ema appears and together, the two beat Piece once and for all. She decides that she will indeed go with Tsuyoshi to the real world. However, Tsuyoshi finds out that she was in a vegatative state and thus could only live in Shibuya, the world created by Ootomo. Tsuyoshi decides to return to Shibuya in order to be with Ema.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Solo Girls in Super Sentai

Female Rangers are more commonly all alone in group of four or five guys in Super Sentai. So here I will cover how their personalities where like and what they had to do to hold their own.

Peggy/Momo Ranger
As the first female Ranger, she had to hold her own as the only female. She was a spy and would take different disguises. She had to use her femininity, she was feminine but not utterly girly. She was sexy.

Karen Mizuki/Heart Queen
Karen is a skilled martial artist and is proficient in a number of fighting methods. She has magnetic powers. I haven't seen enough of the series, but I think she was feminine and the lone woman.

Diane Martin / Miss America I
An FBI agent who joined the Fever team to avenge her father Bosner, who was slain by Egos. She is armed with throwing knives. She does a disco dance. After she was wounded by the Dracula Monster, she returned to the United States.

María Nagisa / Miss America II
An FBI agent trained by Diane Martin's father. Maria takes her place as Miss America.

Akira Momoi / Denzi Pink
A former tennis player who teaches swimming at the Athletic Club. Quit the team in the first episode rejoined at the end of episode two. She saw her coach burn to death cause of the Vader Clan first attack.

Miki Momozono/GogglePink
Super feminine. gymnast who works as an announcer at Kourakuen Stadium.

Rei Tachibana/DynaPink
She dreams of inventing a machine in order to understand and communicate with animals. A skilled fencer, Rei dislikes fighting, but fights for the sake of protecting everyone's dream and the safety of the world.

Megumi Misaki/Blue Dolphin
A top class student at Academia. She was taught archery by her dad. She often criticizes Yusuke's strategies. A caring figure, feeling even for her enemies.

Haruna Morikawa/Pink Turbo
A student body president and brightest student in the school. She is popular, everyone looks up to her. Gifted with acting skills, she was able to fool both Violent Demons and the other Turboranger to get the medicine to save Yohei's life.

She was feminine, she had be all lady-like and demure, but could kick butt when she had to.

Sweet, caring, perceptive, she did bring the feminine flair.

Tsuruhime/Ninja White
First female leader. She knew how to hold four boys in a row. She wasn't super feminine, strong and expert in some areas.

I hear she was tomboyish, I have only seen 2 episodes--the first and a Yellow episode.

Matsuri Tatsumi / Go Pink
A kind hearted girl, she is a strong fighter who is very agile and quick. She does not take it kindly when others weaker than her are in trouble and her temper can be pretty deadly when the Psyma Clan attack innocent people. At times Matsuri is the one that brings order in the household when her brothers (and father) get out of line.

Yuuri/ Time Pink
Tough as nails, leader. She could hold her own against the boys, they all knew not to mess with her, especially Domon.

Sae Taiga / GaoWhite
Teenager, sweet, martial arts student under her father. Everyone takes care of her.

Nanami Nono/Hurricane Blue
Nanami being the sole girl, loved shopping and singing, had to put up with being the only girl. She longed to bond with a girl.

Ranru Itsuki / Abare Yellow
A technology brain and formally trained idol. Yatsudenwani had a crush on her.

Ran / Geki Yellow
Was a tomboy, even though being the only girl.