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The Japanese Superhero Show That Became Power Rangers

The franchise we know as Power Rangers debuted on American television in 1993 with the show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but the concept was already old hat to Japanese TV audiences. The characters in the picture above are Zyurangers from the 1992-93 show Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, one of the many Super Sentai Series shows that had been airing since 1975 in Japan. It was this show that became the American Power Rangers, thanks to a genius money-saving trick. Haim Saban of Saban Entertainment approached the Japanese producers about buying Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger, but only the action sequences!

This allowed Saban to essentially eject the vast majority of Zyuranger’s plot, and develop a vastly different story to slot the action sequences into. Originally, Zyuranger was not about modern-day people becoming superheroes, as many Super Sentai shows were. Rather, it was about a group of Humans who came from an ancient civilization that existed during the time of the dinosaurs 170 million years ago. The 5 heroes—Boi, Mei, Dan, Goushi, and Geki—were placed in suspended animation following the sealing away of their evil rival, the witch Bandora, only to reawaken in ‘90s Japan, following Bandora’s escape. Each hero represented one of 5 prehistoric “Guardian Beasts”, and they invoked their powers to summon giant robot dinosaurs and battle Bandora’s alien forces from a planet named Nemesis.

All that was dropped, and a team of California teenagers was inserted in the non-action sequences with a modern story. Who woudl know the difference, with the actors underneath masks? That led to some oddities, like the yellow Power Ranger being male in Japan and female in America. Read the entire story, including the connection between the Super Sentai Series and Spider-Man, at io9. -via the Presurfer


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I remember when Power Rangers came out. It was so very, very awful that I predicted that it would be cancelled before the end of the week. I was so very, very wrong.
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