DVD Review: Super Sentai – Zyuranger (The Complete Series)

Paul Harvey used to wrap up his radio show with the line, “And now you know the rest of the story.” It’s fully appropriate to reference the AM legend since Super Senti – Zyuranger is the rest of the story when it comes to the world of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. How is a Japanese series related to the American kid action hit? Without Super Sentai – Zyuranger, there would be no Power Rangers. This isn’t the classic case of a foreign series being adapted and recast for America. Power Rangers basically snipped out the special effects and action scenes from Sentai. Super Sentai- Zyuranger: The Complete Series is not merely Japanese version of the show you remember from Fox Kids. This is an all new experience with your favorite images in a whole different context.

The difference between the two shows is immediately seen in the premise. Power Rangers is about of happy teenagers who get picked to get super powers. Zyuranger is majorly different on the origins story. Both series begin with the same premise that the Space Shuttle landing on what appears to be the Moon. The unwitting astronauts open up the cell that’s been containing an evil force for millions of year. What comes out is the same, but with different names. American audiences know the leader of the badness as Rita Repulsa. In the original version she is known as Bandora the Witch. She’s ready to cause mayhem on Earth. Who will defend us from her? That’s the big difference. Power Rangers has the semi-computer Zordon and the robot Alpha 5 locating five teens with attitude to morph into the Power Rangers. Any kid in Angel Grove could have been chosen. Things are a lot different when Bandora arrives on Earth in Zyuranger. There’s an old guy instead of the robot and Zordon. He has to revive five warriors from a time when Dinosaurs had merged with humans. Seems the Japanese version of the show lacked a scientific adviser. On top of it, sabertooth tigers and mammoths are not dinosaurs. Maybe this is just a lost in translation of prehistoric animals? They must battle to get back the crew of the Space shuttle. In Power Rangers, the space shuttle crew pretty much vanish from the storyline.

There are two startling differences in the Power Rangers discovered in Zyuranger. The Yellow Ranger isn’t a girl in the Japanese version. This explains why the costume doesn’t reflect the Pink Ranger’s female cut. Also when the Green Ranger arrives, his fate is different for what happened to Tommy in the American version. For dedicated fans of the original Power Rangers series, the Japanese episodes will be a revelation. There’s more to the action than the clips that were recycled in America. There’s more dinosaur and prehistorical animal elements. Plus an amazing theme song that’s as catchy as “Go go Power Rangers!” This is like discovering where a rapper lifted samples for their hit record. For casual fans, Zyuranger is a fun show on par with Japan’s Ultraman and Space Giants.

Super Sentai- Zyuranger: The Complete Series is a revelation as the source of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is completely exposed. There’s a lot of footage in the 50 episodes that were snipped and reshaped. But so much is brand new to the America. While it would be easy to mock the American remix of the show, Zyuranger must be appreciated as source. The action is dazzlingly over the top. Strange that it has taken over two decades for the uncut episodes to arrive, but it has been worth the wait.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers are OK. The action footage has a better resolution from it being used on Power Rangers. The audio is Dolby Digital mono Japanese. The episodes are subtitled in English.

Power Morphicon Panel (26:54) has three of the Zyurangers talking to the fans. It’s subtitled during the Japanese portions. They talk about the production and seeing themselves in Power Rangers without showing their faces.

Super Sentai- Zyuranger: The Complete Series is a revelation of what the original show was like before it was sampled into Power Rangers. It’s good to finally get the rest of the story.

Shout! Factory presents Super Sentai- Zyuranger: The Complete Series. Starring: Yuuta Mochizuki, Aohisa Takayasu & Hideki Fujiwara. Boxset Contents: 50 episodes on 10 DVDs. Rated: Unrated. Released: February 17, 2015.

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