As Linkara has gotten to RPM it’s time to catch up to Jungle Fury. This is a different animal (no pun intended). While the entire franchise involves the use of martial arts, Jungle Fury has probably the strongest use of martial arts, even when compared to Ninja Storm. Its parent series, Juken Sentai Gekiranger (Beast-Fist Squadron Fierce Ranger, according to Super Sentai.com), takes many cues from Chinese martial arts and mythical culture, which is unavoidable in the American counterpart. After the disappointment that was Operation Overdrive can Jungle Fury recapture the strength of the Power Rangers franchise? It’s time to become fast, strong, unstoppable as Linkara finds out. Just be noted that he uses clips from a show that drops the occasional swear. Because he secretly hates me.
Starting right with the theme song? Okay.
- While there are a few weak lines they’re not that weak and rare. I think what gets me about the intro is that you have a heavy martial arts show using a lot of Chinese themes…and they went with a Beach Boys-style theme song. I wouldn’t mind if they were on a beach but the pizzeria they operate out of doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the beach. I like it but it doesn’t quite capture the show beyond the occasional jungle drum, playing more to the main animal spirits. It sure doesn’t fit the penguin we’ll see later.
- One could make the case that Jungle Fury is ripping off Ninja Storm with the secret martial arts school. However, there is a huge difference. The ninja academies never seemed to have a direct threat in mind. Lothor wouldn’t come until way later and I guess it depends on how far back the Wind Ranger prophecy went, but if it wasn’t for the Wind Academy Lothor wouldn’t have become a ninja in the first place. Meanwhile the Pai Zhuq were conceived specifically to fight Dai Shi. This would come up again with the Samurai Rangers. Since the franchise is more science fantasy than science fiction and the mystical has existed since episode 1, having numerous secret training camps against numerous paranormal threats isn’t any less difficult to believe as preparing for alien invasion or time travelers.
- Linkara brings up how so many evil forces were locked away rather than defeated. If I may theorize, it’s possible that the evil at the time was so strong that restraining it was the best they could do. It’s like how containing or redirecting Godzilla seems to work better than trying to kill him. (Except for that one time, which created a new monster that had to be destroyed by another Godzilla, so even their one success was a failure.) I think this is born out in alternate material showing the battle between Zordon and Rita in this fan club tape I stumbled on but I haven’t watched it in a long time. When they return they’re not as strong and the Rangers can now become strong enough to ultimately beat it. Dai Shi may be an example of that as so much of this series has him trying to get stronger to restart the war with humans and animal spirits.
- About that: Wild Force had humans and animals working together (except for Zen-Aku). In this show they were at war. I wonder if the Animarium and Dai Shi forces disagreed on how to deal with humans, or if the two warring factions were forced to work together to stop the Orgs from wiping them both out. That bears some thought.
- About the Solar Morphers: I’m one of those people against the sunglasses. It has nothing to do with the original show, which I haven’t seen. Besides, their morphers were gloves. I know, there’s probably more to it than that but gloves are a hard sell to kids. Look at the other Ranger gloves that made sounds when you waved them around or punched something. Pegwarmers. Even the giant Hulk hands can crowd a shelf, although they never stop releasing them, even doing a Thing variant at one point. And getting a one size fits all glove would be difficult. Gloves just aren’t all that cool the way a proper “hensin device” is.
- The sunglasses have similar issues. What parent is going to buy what looks like those cheap sunglasses you get from the cheap rack or pharmacy? I don’t remember the glasses in the show having any cool features like special vision or anything. It’s just sunglasses with a communicator that allows them to tap their spirit animals to morph into Power Rangers. At least the gloves connect to the martial arts theme of the series but a third option would still have been better.
I want to wait until the end to discuss the characters since they show a lot of growth, especially Jared/Dai Shi. So join us next time as Dai Shi continues to train and the Rangers continue to make pizza. Wait, that sounded wrong.