Monday, April 25, 2011

How I Got Into Sentai

Every blogger likes to write about how they got into sentai, so here's my story.

I admit it, as a child, I liked PR, I even had a Kimberly Barbie Doll (sadly, she lost her ranger uniform, so she only has her civilian clothes). I saw the movie, but I never really saw the series, and I had no idea who the original red, black, and yellow were.

My Junior year of high school, I was in an advanced theatre performance class where we had to do a thirty minute one person one act as our final projects. I played a variety of characters in mine, which was basically the main character's video diary, including the main character's friend, who did a monologue about how lost childhood innocence was similar to the loss of PR. One of the lines was, "I was flipping channels and I saw Mystic Force! Come on, Mystic Force!"

I got a lot of laughs, and when we talked about each others' plays, one kid was like "since when did Rangers wear capes?" "They don't make them like they used to." I really wish I could have said, "technically, it's sentai... so its not PR's fault." but I loved the whole "since when did rangers wear capes?" line someone said, because  I wikipedia-ed PR around this time and found out the dark, dark secret, and why the original yellow had a "special accessory."

I never really watched PR as a child, so, guilty pleasure, I watched a few episodes. They were okay, the ones made in New Zealand I could spot, because I know a bad accent when I hear it.

I realized people liked 90s nostalgia, so I incorporated PR into a play I wrote and directed my senior year... it's really confusing, but picture the writer's guild of America in makeshift PR uniforms, made out of under armor. (The play was written around the same time as the writer's guild strike, and during some censorship happening at other high schools in my area). Suffice to say, everyone loved it.

Anyway, in college, RPM came out, and I thought it was the best thing ever, and didn't feel guilt watching it, mainly because it was written for the older fans. It wasn't preachy, people died and stayed dead, there was no lesson of the week, very talented actors, and an actual plot line, and a post-apocalyptic setting. Oh, and they broke the forth wall "why do our zords have big anime eyes?" "Why do we have to shout 'RPM get in Gear' into the sky?" And I was pissed when Eddie Guizilian (is that how you spell his name?) was kicked off, and I was happy the rest of the cast was pissed too!

So, around the same time, I was curious about sentai, which I found out about a few years ago, and I started watching bits and pieces of Sentai. I watched Shinkenger, it was the first series I followed while it aired. As well, I watched the henshin sequences online, and opening sequences online, and was amazed at some of them (my all time favorite henshin was JAKQ), and I gradually fell in love with sentai, and tokusatsu in general. I love superheroes, I love giant robots. I loved watching the 70s and 80s stuff. And the series were amazing, good storylines, and they actually had realistic violence. And the characters were amazing. Although they were selling toys, they still had great plot lines. And not to mention the actors and actresses were gorgeous. And they gradually became more feminist, with strong female characters. When I watched Liveman and some of the older stuff, I was like "you know what? This is pretty cool, I'm sticking with this." I don't know why, but it clicked. And I didn't feel weird watching it. It was like the anime my sister likes, only the real deal.

So I abandoned PR after RPM ended, and stuck solely with sentai, and, as a writer, I realized that the writers were actually copying these great sentai storylines and watering them down (Timeranger was a great ensemble piece that had an important humanistic approach, that you can change your own future, that PR didn't use, and as well, they didn't use the juicy characters of Blue and Yellow as much)--they weren't giving the sentai writers enough credit as they deserved. And as a writer, I was pissed. RPM was really original, and well-written, and most of the PR series (not all of them) pale in comparison to that. So I'd rather watch the original stuff, and as well, the old stuff, from the seventies and eighties. And then, I got into the other tokusatsu: Kamen Rider, Zubat, etc.

Anyway, I hope this doesn't come across as an anti-PR rant. Although, I do hold onto the nostalgia--I have a PR ringtone, that little tune that goes off whenever someone's in trouble, and people think its cool.


  1. very nice story. I had a similar experience back in jr high. Ive always been a fan but once i looked it up online i found out the truth. Mystic force was good but it wasnt as good as magiranger so i stopped watching power ranger and went into super sentai fully with boukenger.

  2. I like how your story was different than my, Fantasy Leader, because you had some cool relatives who sent you the shows.

    Lol PROO had the worst accents ever.

  3. Accordingly, PR in Space was an original story. But, nice story! XDD

  4. I watched Super Sentai first before Power Rangers. :-P