The secret to keeping the budget low on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was that all the costly special effects and fight sequences were spliced out of a Japanese Series called Super Sentai: Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger. The American series cast local kids, but when they morphed into Power Rangers, it was the Japanese cast and monsters on the screen a majority of the time. Since the Power Rangers wore masks that covered their entire face, there was no worries about matching jaws or eyes. The American producers didn’t even have to worry about synching up the English dub with the Japanese lips. But not every Super Sentai series was retrofitted into a Power Rangers incarnation. Chōjin Sentai Jetman was 15th entry in the series and the last one before Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger. Finally after 27 years, fans can see the precursor with the release of all 51 episodes on Super Sentai: Chōjin Sentai Jetman – The Complete Series.
In the near future of 199X, the Earth is protected by Sky Force. This unit that flies around protecting the planet is also involved in experiments involving “Birdonic Waves” that have the ability to give a person super human powers. Five officers are picked out to undergo the treatment at a space station. All seems to be going well until the alien Vyram bust in and mess things up royally. Only one officer receives the rays. The other four rays go straight to Earth and hit four unsuspecting civilians. The transformed officer must find his other four “Birdonically” adjusted teammates and get them to help him battle the evil Vyrams and other strange creatures. He also has to train them to use their Jet Wing suits that allows them to fly.
What’s interesting is that the cast of Jetman with their bird outfits resemble the bird costumed characters of the animated Battle of the Planets (Science Ninja Team Gatchaman) which was also from Japan and adapted for American audiences.
Jetman is engrossing with a bit more adult of tone with suspected deaths and a love triangle. Since the audio track is in Japanese, odds are that any viewer would be a little bit mature since they have to read the English subtitles to follow along. Super Sentai: Chōjin Sentai Jetman – The Complete Series is not for the birds. The series is great to watch since you don’t have to figure out how it was hacked up for an American production.
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The standard definition transfers gives a clear enough view of the bird influenced production design. The audio is Japanese Dolby Digital Mono. The fight noises come through clearly. The episodes are subtitled in English.
No bonus features.
Shout! Factory presents Super Sentai: Chōjin Sentai Jetman – The Complete Series. Starring: Daisuke Tachi, Hideaki Kusaka, Kotaro Tanaka, Maho Maruyama & Mikiko Miki. Rated: Not Rated. Boxset Contents: 51 episodes on 8 DVDs. Released: September 25, 2018.
Tags: Chojin Sentai Jetman, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Shout! Factory, Super Sentai