I’m three episodes behind instead of the traditional two. Linkara just posted his latest review of Power Rangers SPD while my indications are I haven’t even started the Disney era of Power Rangers. Time to get caught up, with the speed of the wind, by getting into Power Rangers Ninja Storm.
- I really didn’t follow all the behind the scenes stuff at the time, but even I thought the first of the Disney Rangers were indicating that this was a new continuity because of the comments by Dustin and Tori in the first episode. By the way, the Rangers throwing off their civilian outfits like that? I think that’s a “ninja” thing. After all, the original Power Rangers did the same thing during their time as ninjas.
- Some quick research into the Sentai, Hurricanger, shows a few similarities to the backstory. The three ninja trainees there blew off their lessons because they felt like they didn’t fit in, and thus were the only ones to survive. Mugensai, the Japanese counterpart to Sensei Kanoi, also stuck himself in the form of a hamster, only he was played by an actual hamster rather than a CG anthropomorphic guinea pig seen in the US version. Also, it was because he forgot a word for the spell rather than the reasons given in Ninja Storm.
- I actually like the fact that the Rangers don’t automatically know how to use their morphers. And didn’t you always wonder what happened after the “you are now Rangers” pronouncement if the villains didn’t start attacking immediately? It’s different and the point, like the Japanese version, is that these aren’t the best people for the job, just the ones we have left. We get to see them grow more as Rangers, something Linkara said he actually liked about SPD, only here the only “shadow” hanging over the Wind Rangers are their own shortcomings and not the better team that disappeared.
- Linkara mentions the weapons for this year, and I think Hurricanger chose some odd personal weapons for this show. I mean, occasionally one or two odd choices come in, but maybe it’s because there’s only the three of them to start, but the megaphone seems weird. The hammer kind of works, but the design of Shane’s weapon doesn’t really invoke “laser cannon”. The Thunder and Samurai Rangers had much better personal weapons.
- Linkara also mentions the audio quality for the voiceover work, like the helmeted Rangers and monsters. I noticed right away how bad it was and it did take me out of the story at first but as the season went on I kind of got used to it and it didn’t bother me as much.
- I do disagree with our esteemed host on one point, though. Lothor may actually be right about how to defeat the Rangers. Follow with me. His point to me is that he is trying to destroy their powers, saving the Rangers until after. If he does destroy them in civilian form, then the powers still exist and can be passed on. Perhaps not to a ninja if they’re all gone, unless they find more who left the Academies or just a regular martial artist they can train to fight. We’ve seen this more than once with other Ranger powers. However, if you destroy the powers themselves, which can only be done while active, in other words while the Rangers are morphed, then there is one less potential threat. Makes sense to me. Mind you, I agree that Lothor is a little TOO goofy at times, especially after we see his origin story.
- Also, Dustin got his motorcycle not only because he works at an extreme sports shop, but that he is sponsored by it as a professional motocross rider. I thought that was pretty obvious. And I don’t consider Blake & Hunter to be “Sixth Rangers” not only because they’re four and five, but because we get an actual Sixth Ranger later on, Cam/Samurai Ranger. This was actually a different way to complete the five, and Shane, Tori, and Dustin still get plenty of time as the solo Wind Ninjas while the Thunder Rangers just help a lot…a lot more than Sixth Rangers tend to do.
So that was part one of the Ninja Storm retrospective. Tomorrow, the conclusion, as the Rangers seek to rescue their comrades and Lothor seeks to destroy his own flunkies. Join us, won’t you?