By SentaiSeiya on December 24, 2012No comments
The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers began as an adaptation of the Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger entry in the Super Sentai series. MMPR tells the story of five teenagers, later joined by a sixth, with attitude that are selected by an intergalactic being known as Zordon to protect the planet earth from the newly-awakened Rita Repulsa. In the 90’s MMPR EXPLODED, creating a multimedia empire that spawned off two theatrical movies, many video games, countless toy lines and other Power Rangers related merchandise. The good people at SHOUT! FACTORY have recently released a boxed set of DVDs that includes every season of Power Rangers from Season One to Lost Galaxy. They have also released these seasons as individual DVD sets. SHOUT! FACTORY was kind enough to provide us with a sample DVD, which is Season 1, Volume 2. Get your copy of this DVD set here:
This DVD set is stuffed with 30 episodes from the second half of the first season. That is a whole lot of the Rangers sticking it to Rita Repulsa!
The first episode in this set is "Calamity Kimberly".
In this episode, Kimberly, the Pink Ranger is having a bad day and ends up being caught in the jar of the Samurai Fan Man. This was not a very story-driven way to kick of the second half of the season, but still a fun and memorable episode.
Many of the episode on this DVD set are episodical, Monster-of–the-Week stories. The formula for many of the episodes is the same. Finster cooks up a new monster for Rita, ironically from the same sculpt each time, and sends it to earth in an attempt at destroying the Power Rangers and/or Angel Grove.
The group of teenagers then fight the MOW by morphing and using their arsenal of weapons. Once the monster is near defeat, Rita Repulsa will hurl her staff at the earth, so that she can make her moster grow!
But the Power Rangers are always prepared to battle the super-sized monsters because each can summon their own mecha known as Zords. The five main Rangers can combine their Zords to form the Megazord, which can also comnine with the Green Ranger's Dragonzord and their assist Zord, Titanus.
While the Power Rangers must fight of Rita’s henchmen, they also have to deal with the difficulties of being a high school student: asking that special somebody to the dance, homework assignments, acing the next test in order to get accepted to the Young Scientist of America Program, not to mention the two high school bullies that just don’t know when to quit.
Speaking of Bulk and Skull, their antics really shine in the show. It has been said that slapstick comedy is the only form of comedy that transcends cultures; this is also true for it transcending time. After almost 20 years, Bulk and Skull are still funny, although a little corny now that I am an adult.
The major plot during these 30 episodes revolves around Tommy losing his powers. As Rita tries to steal Tommy's powers back using a magic candle, Tommy decides to entrust Jason with his Power Coin rather than relinquishing his powers to the forces of evil.
Later in the season, when the Power Rangers are caught in another one of Rita's schemes, Zordon uses his powers to temporarily restore Tommy’s ability to morph into the Green Ranger. Then there are several more MOW episodes that round out the season.
The season ends with the episode “An Oyster Stew”. In this episode, Zach buys a pair of pearl earrings, for the girl that he likes, from a guy in the park.
What are you buying stranger?
Nothing shady about that at all! Instead of being scammed out of his money, Zach falls into Rita’s trap, as the pearl earrings have the power to freeze those around the person who puts them on.
In routine fashion, the Rangers overcome the powers of the pearl earrings and foil another one of Rita’s plans.
That is it. The first season of Power Ranges ends in a very anti-climactic manner. The real conflict and change of villains is to come, as Lord Zedd enters this Mighty Morphin’ series in the second season of the show.
The audio quality is quite good. It showcases the talents of Haim Saban and Shuki Levi at scoring TV shows. This duo actually had a career composing music for cartoons before they ventured into turning Tokusatsu shows into American kids programming. Levi and Saban have composed for many classic cartoons, such as: M.A.S.K., Time Bokan, Steel Jeeg, Inspector Gadget and countless other cartoons.
The only thing I have to subtract points for is the fact that Saban and Levi really laid the rock music on thick when the Power Rangers are fighting. While it sounded cool to me when I was a kid, as an adult I can’t help but realize how it drowns out the sounds of the action occurring on the screen.
The video quality of the DVD ranges: At times it is so good that you can pick up on little things, like the helmets of the Rangers being different between the American and Japanese footage. At other times the video quality can get grainy. Many of these instances occur when the Japanese footage is being used, but also affects some of the American footage.
Watching this set of DVDs was a great trip down memory lane for me. Sure, some of the content seems a lot cheesier now that I am watching it as adult... and th e acting was a little bad. But this is the Power Rangers series that started it all and it is definitely worth revisiting!