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TRANSCRIPT – Kenkyuu Sentai Podcast Rangers – 研究 戦隊 ポッドキャスト レンジャー – Episode Seven – I think My Soul is More of a Slinky

研究 戦隊 ポッドキャスト レンジャー - Kenkyuu Sentai Podcast Rangers
研究 戦隊 ポッドキャスト レンジャー – Kenkyuu Sentai Podcast Rangers
KSPR S01E07: I Think My Soul Is More of a Slinky

Ethan: Okay. Should we should we clap again?

Nelson: Yes.

Ethan: Okay.

Nelson: One, two…

Ethan: No!

Nelson: On zero.

Ethan: Yes.

Nelson: One, two, three, zero!

Ethan: Three, two, one, clap

[“It’s morphin’ time!” + intro music]

Ethan: Okay, minna-san, yokoso. Welcome to your favorite cross-cultural deep dive analysis and recap podcast covering Super Sentai and Power Rangers, Kenkyuu Sentai Podcast Rangers. My name is Ethan, I use he/him pronouns, and with me is my usual co-host Andrew.

Andrew: Hey! My name is Andrew. I also use he/him pronouns.

Ethan: Today we are discussing Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger episode 7 “Mieru, Mieru! (I can see, I can see!)” and Power Rangers, season 1, episode 7, “Big Sisters.” Without further ado, unless we have further ado, let’s get into the recap.

Andrew: Hit it!

Ethan: You got any further ado?

Andrew: Nah.

Ethan: Okay, we’ll hit it.

[“Kyoryu Sentai… Zyuranger!!”]

Ethan: “Mieru, Mieru!” was written by Sugimura Noboru and Araki Kenichi and directed by Tojo Shohei. The episode opens on a young boy called Tohru, who has a gift he wants to give to his crush, Michiko. She is not having it, however, and refuses his advancements. A moment later, she sees a strange monster on top of a building playing, apparently, “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” on his accordion. The monster uses his evil musical magic, or magical music, whichever, to whisk Michiko far away as Tohru watches on in horror. This is Dora Goblin’s work, who, at his mistress’s behest, is stealing the souls of the children he entrances. The Zyurangers are in their secret base watching all of this happen all over Tokyo. Children disappear and then reappear dull and listless, nearly lifeless. They meet with Tohru and are kind of weird to him, but they end up helping each other out.
The Zyurangers try to fight Dora Goblin in various places, but he is of course invisible to adults, so they can’t see him, much less fight him. We learn that Tohru might have the saddest backstory ever, and then we see Dora Goblin playing for the Golems while Totpat and Bookback cook up the souls of the children they’ve collected so far, which are just rubber bouncy balls. Totpat eats Tohru’s special caterpillar because he is a troll–not like an internet troll, but like a regular monster troll. Tohru and the Zyurangers plan to swap Dora Goblin’s shoes while he sleeps, but Bandora spots them and screams for the monster to wake up. Geki is able to trick Dora Goblin into swapping his own shoes, which makes him visible, and they start fighting in earnest. The Zyurangers blast Dora Goblin with the Howling Cannon, but Bandora once again calls upon the evil spirits beneath the earth to make him a giant.
Geki summons the Guardian Beasts and they unite to form Daizyujin, but they struggle for a moment when Dora Goblin turns his magical music on them once again. However, they overcome it and destroy him, releasing the souls of the children, and restoring them to life. Totpat actually apologizes to Tohru and then burps up a beautiful butterfly, which Dan catches for him. Tohru and Michiko enjoy watching the butterfly play around a fountain. The end. This is like kind of a nice and tidy package.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s the first one so far that wasn’t a two-parter, and wow, did it ever make more sense than Power Rangers.

Ethan: It’s like night and day.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean, this footage in Power Rangers was some of the worst. This episode in Power Rangers was absolutely one of the worst things that we saw.

Ethan: Oh yeah, the Gnarly Gnome.

Andrew: Leaving aside the ableism, it just did not make any sense.

Ethan: Right, no, it didn’t.

Andrew: And then it was also like vaguely ableist the whole time. But this was like a nice little fairytale story.

Ethan: Yeah, and it’s- you know, it’s interesting that they’re pulling on sort of British/Celtic fairy mythology… There’s a specific thing that fairies can do to people called ‘mazing,’ where they just sort of turn you around. It’s usually like, you know, “don’t travel alone at night because you’ll get fairy-mazed and you’ll just walk in a circle and not even realize.”

Andrew: The will-o’-the-wisps.

Ethan: Yeah, will-o’-the-wisp, that kind of stuff. One way to avoid that is to put your clothes on backwards, so the fairies don’t actually know which way you’re going, and they won’t trap you. But that’s kind of, you know, when–in the big fight at the end of the episode–when they’re seeing this city appear and disappear around them, that’s what that is there. He’s trying to confuse their location, which in the context of the Power Rangers episode, comes out of absolutely nowhere and makes zero sense.

Andrew: No, it was- I mean, I try not to swear on this show, but it was
frankly bulls***. And we talked about this a little bit in the last episode, but the last episode of Power Rangers that we watched, um… “Food Fight.” “Food Fight” was the the first episode that felt like it could have been constructed to be that thing and not like they had just taken all the leftovers from a different thing and tried to make something new.

Ethan: Right, yeah. Very well-adapted source footage.

Andrew: But this episode of Sentai was so much fun, compared to one of the worst slogs of Power Rangers.

Ethan: Yeah and we see, I think, one of the most interesting aspects of this is- I mean, we sort of saw it with Dora Sphinx, as well, is Geki’s
not just a good fighter, but like a very clever fighter. Like not necessarily Bugs Bunny levels of trickery going on here, but like, he slaps his hand over Tohru’s mouth and is like, “No, actually, we did swap your shoes!” and and then they just wait for Dora Goblin to change his shoes,
which takes like a full minute of the show. It’s very silly.

Andrew: And they used the–if I’m not mistaken–the ‘him not having his shoes on’ bit. They used some of that footage in Power Rangers, or at
least some of the footage of him like going back and forth between visible and invisible, and I commented on it then, just how out of place the whole thing felt.

Ethan: Yeah, no, it’s totally weird, it’s totally disjointed.

Andrew: This would have been really hard to adapt.

Ethan: Yeah. The scene with Squat and Baboo cooking in the little cave, again, makes no sense because, you know, in the Sentai episode, they’re cooking children’s souls that they’ve stolen. There is one note I made about the word that they use for the souls in the show is ‘kokoro,’ which can sort of interchangeably be used, but is most commonly referred to like, the metaphorical heart, not the literal, physical heart. But they change it in the subtitles, it’s referred to as heart, soul, and mind, so they couldn’t really make up their minds on which which way they wanted to translate that. But the the cooking scene in the Power Rangers episode is utterly devoid of context, makes no sense.

Andrew: And meaning, yeah.

Ethan: They’ve kidnapped these teenage girls, but they’re just sort of dancing…

Andrew: In a cave.

Ethan: In a cave, and they’re trapped, but they’re not doing anything to them.

Andrew: They could have just said, “Hey we’re gonna steal their souls and put them in this soup,” but then that that would have been like, real dark for Power Rangers, where, as we established in the last episode, that Sentai is there all the time, yeah. Kids are dead. “Nope, nope, we ate those souls, they don’t get ’em back.”

Ethan: Yeah, we’re willing to show all the rangers dead in one potential future, like, they’re not pulling punches. The bouncy balls thing is so, so funny. It’s just one of those goofy touches. It’s like, yeah, I had one of those. I probably had 12 of those as a kid, and like, they do look attractive. Like if I was a troll or a goblin or whatever, I would probably want to eat those, like a big gum drop.

Andrew: I ate so many bouncy balls as a kid, because not only did they look like candy, but but they have a really nice squish in a way that my neurodivergent mind really enjoyed.

Ethan: Very pleasant texture. Yeah, I can see that.

Andrew: But they also, at least the bouncy balls that existed when I was a kid, they would shred. They would just split clean in two and it tasted horrible.

Ethan: Oh yeah.

Andrew: So there was this balancing act between chewing on the bouncy ball until it split and then spitting it out immediately. But you know, I mean, I guess I was a weird kid.

Ethan: We’re all weird kids. We have a Power Rangers podcast. We’re still weird kids.

Andrew: We’re still weird kids.

Ethan: I think the only thing in my notes that we did not cover is what Dora Goblin is playing on his accordion, which I am almost certain is “[I’ve been] Working on the Railroad” and “[Someone’s] in the Kitchen with Dina.”

[Music and dialog]

Ethan: And that was such an odd thing to encounter. So I don’t ever think about those songs, but I remember them from being a little kid, and so it was like an instant sense-memory link-up. It’s just so… like why would they pick those as opposed to any other thing? I don’t know. Such an odd thing to encounter there. I think that’s all I have to say about this one. It’s a good one, nice tidy package. It’s not a two-parter, not really any like new characters, these kids don’t show back up.

Andrew: Yeah, if you were looking for like a bite-sized serving, if you’re like, “I’m not sure if I really want to commit the time to Zyuranger…” that this would be a great episode to just see if you could deal with it. It’s not the best episode we’ve seen so far, but it’s a nice little package.

Ethan: Okay, well, I think let’s move on to the Rangers recap.

Andrew: Cool.

[“Go, go, Power Rangers!”]

Andrew: So this was Power Rangers, episode seven of season one. It’s called “Big Sisters,” was written by Gary Glasberg and Shuki Levy, and directed by Jeff Reiner. Before I dig too much further in, this is the second episode so far that features Shuki Levy as a writing credit. If you’ll recall, he’s also the composer of the theme song.

Ethan: Yes, he does all the music for Power Rangers for years and years and years.

Andrew: And he’s Haim Saban’s close business partner. The two of them worked very, very closely together. This is the second episode that he wrote and, from what I gathered, that means that he like, did some touch-ups on the script to make it a little more what they wanted and a little less what was turned in. He apparently did rewrites more than he did writing.

Ethan: That makes sense. I mean he probably had his hands full with music, and I don’t know how involved he was with like, sound direction, but I mean, he’s an executive producer on every episode as well, so…

Andrew: I kind of got the impression from what I was reading that when he stepped in to write, or to rewrite, it was in his role as executive producer, that he is going, “Oh, this this would not work on screen.” And then just fixing the bits that needed to be fixed.

Ethan: Yeah, I don’t really know anything about him.

Andrew: Yeah, I don’t either.

Ethan: I did some very cursory research when we were still in the planning stages of the show and I was trying to get a grip on like, the timeline for the creation, but I don’t know anything about him like, personally.

Andrew: Sounds like a research topic.

Ethan: Yeah, we’ll get into it.

Andrew: So first and foremost, before I get into this recap, I gotta say this was a weird one.

Ethan: This was a weird one.

Andrew: Okay, so, Kimmy and Trini are volunteering as big sisters, in a kind of fictionalized version of the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program. This was a really popular plot point on ’80s and ’90s sitcoms and tv shows, to the point that I expected it to be way more relevant to life than it was, you know? Like, I never knew anyone who was involved in this program in either direction. I’ve never heard of anybody being involved in the program.

Ethan: So, before COVID, I had made a New Year’s commitment to myself in 2020 that that’s one of the things I was gonna at least look into. And then COVID happened, and all of the like, past probably five or six years of like, building up mental health was gone.

Andrew: Yeah, wiped out overnight.

Ethan: And even if it hadn’t have been, those programs, I imagine, like, shrank dramatically.

Andrew: Had to have.

Ethan: And then, you know, I ended up moving up here that year and doing all this other stuff, but it’s still something I would like, be interested to get involved in, if I ever like, have the time and energy.

Andrew: Stepping into a mentor kind of role with a kid who does not have that in their lives seems like a really worthwhile thing to do.

Ethan: But like you, I’ve never actually seen or known anyone doing that in real life.

Andrew: In either direction, you know? Anyway, so we’ve got Kimmy and Trini volunteering as big sisters. They’re both mentoring one girl. Her name is Maria, and two people serving as the big sisters volunteers for a single kid is kind of odd, just generally, but they also are just kind of not great to her.

Ethan: Yeah, my first note is: “Kim and Trini lose a child.”

Andrew: Yeah, pretty much, and then we’re looking at Rita and she’s talking about power eggs. (significant pause) …Eggs.

Ethan: These do come up in Zyuranger, and they are important. We haven’t even watched those episodes yet. This is another very weird adaptation choice.

Andrew: Yeah. So, only the touch of an innocent child can open the chest containing the eggs, apparently, which I guess makes Maria Chekov’s innocent child.

Ethan: Correct.

Andrew: But the next time we see the chest, it is already open.

Ethan: Yeah, just weird choices all over the place. Crucially, the eggs in Zyuranger are like, the last two dinosaur eggs on the planet. They’re like, viable eggs, and they will hatch into dinosaurs. In this they are-

Andrew: Power eggs!

Ethan: They are power eggs! They are receptacles for ‘The Power.’ As we’ve talked about before this like sort of nebulous…

Andrew: Ranger force.

Ethan: Ranger force, that’s just sort of out there, and you can channel it and use it. And Zordon mentions the Morphing Masters, so this implies an entire like, lineage of people who have used The Power in the past, and who channeled all this power into these eggs and hid them away. I’m almost positive they never show up in the show, but I am intrigued to see if like maybe in the comics or something. The comics have almost their own mythology.

Andrew: They definitely do. We’ll have to dig into the Morphing Masters at some point.

Ethan: I’m just like, picturing guys in robes from a billion years ago.

Andrew: The Council of Robots from Futurama.

Ethan: Yeah, something like that.

Andrew: Those robes. So Finster makes a monster called the Chunky Chicken, which is absolutely the best name of any Power Rangers villain so far.

Ethan: It’s pretty good.

Andrew: I’m here for the Chunky Chicken. When I hear that name, I picture the Big Chicken. If you’re familiar with Georgia mythology and history, we’ve got a giant mech in Marietta called the Big Chicken that, in times of of struggle, when Atlanta is threatened, the Big Chicken will rise up and defend the city with ketchup and mustard-

Ethan: Ketchup and mustard cannons. Shout out to Allen Tupper for drawing this just incredible drawing.

Andrew: Allen Tupper, when you watch this episode, big ups to you.

Ethan: I made a note that Maria’s ADR is terrrrrible. I put five, I think that’s five Rs in there. It’s real bad.

Andrew: I’m wondering if they just were only booming from above?

Ethan: I don’t know. And it seems like-

Andrew: And the mics just weren’t picking them up.

Ethan: The voice matches; it could be that actress. We didn’t–at least I didn’t–look into this. This is just something that’s very noticeable to me when it’s done badly. It’s like, the timing is off, the tone is off, just really dogs***.

Andrew: They send the Putty Patrollers to kidnap Maria and then there’s a Volkswagen for some reason.

Ethan: The RADBUG.

Andrew: Yeah, this confused the ever-loving crap out of me.

Ethan: So do you think this is a Rangers original item, or do you
think they adapted this from Sentai?

Andrew: It absolutely can’t be a Rangers original item, because it makes
so little sense. And anytime something shows up and makes so little sense, it is from Sentai. But wow, does it make no sense.

Ethan: Yeah. In this show, it is a car that Billy has modified.

Andrew: Yeah, suddenly Billy is a master of super science. Like, they’ve already had him create the teleporters out of thin air, and now while the teleporters are malfunctioning, apparently, nope, we just gotta… we gotta super car.

Ethan: Yeah, I cannot remember the precise context for Zyuranger, but there is like a mad scientist like, friendly grandpa type whose car this is, and
it does show up at some point. I can’t remember any details, but yeah, you were right to- like, any time something shows up with not just no context, but is actively confusing, that’s something they have pulled from Zyuranger.

Andrew: I assume that this is an excuse, and I assume that it’s got something to do with with the Green Ranger, but I don’t know. So Kimberley and Trini rush to find the other Rangers and then they use the RADBUG–what a name–to go to the Command Center. Again, teleportation is down. That’s not really…. whatever.

Ethan: I have several notes of me complaining about the editing in this sequence. It’s so bad.

Andrew: One thing that I do want to call out, though, is that this is the second time that they’ve kind of implied that you can get to and from the Command Center on foot. When I was a kid, I always assumed that it was like, a pocket dimension or something and like, you could only get there by teleporting.

Ethan: Right, or at least such a totally remote location, like in the middle of the desert somewhere in the Southwest, like-

Andrew: But this is the second time that they’ve just been like-

Ethan: They just go there.

Andrew: I mean, the first time, Zordon just leaves them out in the desert.

Ethan: As we mentioned–I think in episode one–that’s actually like a Torah study class building thing for a Jewish university in California. That should just be its own research topic, but it’s such a cool and interesting building. But yeah the the actual like, physicality of the Command Center, not the the Jewish Torah study thing, it’s so nebulous. Is it accessible, is it not accessible?

Andrew: Apparently it is accessible if Zordon is mad at you, or you have a super Volkswagen. So they learn about what Rita’s doing and they use the the Volkswagen to attack the Chunky Chicken and also Goldar for some reason. They take the power eggs, which I’m assuming are never gonna be mentioned again, and they throw them into the sea. At some point in all that, Maria gets taken hostage. Rita demands the eggs in exchange for Maria. They are gonna give her the eggs, but she still tries to kill Maria.

Ethan: Did you notice the cut between Maria and the Japanese girl wearing the same hairstyle and outfit?

Andrew: I did notice that there was a pretty bad cut when they cut the rope.

Ethan: And you don’t see that kid’s face. So they styled Maria to look like this kid from from the Cockatrice episode of Zyuranger, which we’ll get to at some point; that’s another two-parter, so Cockatrice like, spends some time. And the giant Megazord hand reaching in to grab her and all that stuff, that’s all Japan side footage.

Andrew: So one thing I did notice in there is that when the RADBUG takes Maria away, they say that it’s being remotely controlled, but you can see a driver in it.

Ethan: That’s the like, mad scientist type guy that shows up. I think that’s whatever Maria’s equivalent character name, that’s her grandfather or whatever.

Andrew: Okay. So the megazord catches Maria, she gets taken to safety in the remote controlled RADBUG that’s clearly being driven by a character we don’t meet, they destroy the Chunky Chicken, they get rid of the eggs, peace is restored, yada yada yada.

Ethan: Well, there’s one one quick last plot point, which is that Bulk gets a pot of presumably boiling hot veggie chili poured over his head. He wasn’t even doing anything!

Andrew: Nope.

Ethan: He was sitting there with his friends, being a teenager at the place where all the teenagers go, and still can’t catch a break from the show.

Andrew: So I do have a note about that and we’ll talk about Bulk some more in the next episode, but that footage is clearly from the “Food Fight” episode. It’s clearly from the cultural food festival, it is just a leftover outtake from that, that I’m assuming they just added for filler because they were running short on time.

Ethan: And they had to victimize Bulk. I mean, we’re talking like severe burns here. Like that’s not- it’s not good. Anyway.

Andrew: So first up, power eggs??

Ethan: Yeah. Yeah, no, it’s one- it’s again one of those things that’s
thrown into the US show with not just no context, but negative context, so if you look at it with any degree of scrutiny, it’s completely, utterly confusing.

Andrew: Yeah, ditto for the Volkswagen. I don’t remember that as a kid. I don’t remember it being there. I do remember there being a whole thing where they couldn’t teleport for a while, and I guess this was the solution to that. And that’s why I said that I assumed that it was related to the Green Ranger, because I vaguely remember them not being able to teleport being associated with the Green Ranger, so I’m assuming the Cockatrice comes in during the Green Ranger saga, but I do not know.

Ethan: Nnno, so the Green Ranger shows up in episode 17 of both shows. Dora Cockatrice is nine and ten of Zyuranger.

Andrew: Well then, that’s my mistake. Maybe I’m conflating some things, but like-

Ethan: We haven’t, as- neither of us have like, gone back and rewatched this in a long time, but yeah it’s zero context, makes no sense.

Andrew: And like I said, I just- I don’t remember it being there. It is so out of place that I have just like, excised it from my mind. I did notice that the chest was just open. The whole plot with them kidnapping Maria: apparently pointless and useless, because the chest that they need her to open–the very next shot of it, [it] is just open. It makes sense that the Cockatrice is in two episodes because in this, sometimes the chicken has a hat, sometimes the chicken does not.

Ethan: I don’t think I noticed that.

Andrew: It just pops in and out of existence.

Ethan: But this is- I mean, the the two-parter condensed to a one is something we’ve seen a couple of times now. I think it is so detrimental to the pacing of the show.

Andrew: Yeah, every episode. Definitely.

Ethan: Like especially, you know, when you have more than one episode’s worth of mask footage to work with, why do they keep consistently
limiting it to only one? I assume there was discussion about that, and why that was necessary, but it’s pretty confusing.

Andrew: So one thing to keep in mind is that if they’ve got more than one episode’s worth of mask footage to use, that’s less than one episode’s worth of US footage, face footage, that they have to fill. So that’s- this is- it’s a cost-cutting measure, in the way that many of the things that the show does that don’t make any sense are cost cutting measures. But yeah, that’s the notes that I had for the discussion. It’s just- it’s weird.

Ethan: It’s very weird.

Andrew: This was not an especially bad episode. Coming off the back of “Food Fight,” I think I still liked “Food Fight” more, but like compared to how bad some of the other episodes in this this run have been, this one’s fine. It’s just confusing.

Ethan: Yeah. But I think that’s our talkback taken care of, so we’ll move on to the research topic, which is mine today, and I chose the quote-unquote dinosaur timeline. We’ll get into that. My research topic today stems from something Andrew said in episode two about how all the animals that the Guardian Beasts or Zords are based on lived in wildly different eras of the Earth, so I am indulging my inner child in his paleontological hyperfixation. We are going to kind of work backwards in time. There are
two Guardian Beasts/Zords which actually cohabited the Earth with humans, which are the SaberTiger and the Zyumammoth, also known as the Saber-tooth Tiger, or Smilodon, and Mastodon, which is based on a woolly mammoth as near as I can tell. There’s like quite a lot of mammoth family-type animals, so it’s hard to say for sure, but we’re going with woolly mammoth. Smilodon lived roughly 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago, all across Turtle Island, i.e North and South America. Obviously, it was a large feline predator, although not actually that closely related to tigers, and
I would really have not liked to meet one. There’s some evidence that large fires started by early humans forced them out of certain areas of the continent and reduced their range, but in my admittedly brief research, I couldn’t find much about their interactions with people; I can’t imagine that they were pleasant, though.
Woolly mammoths lived roughly 24 million to 10,500 years ago, and ranged across northern Turtle Island, as well as Eurasia, stretching all the way from what would become Spain and Portugal, across Russia and Alaska, and into parts of Canada. There is significant archaeological record of human interaction with mammoths: we used their bones, tusks, fur, and guts to make tools and decorations,as well as eating their meat and using their fat for tallow and other purposes. Mammoths were relatives of modern elephants, with their evolutionary pathways diverging about 25 million years ago, and there’s evidence that overhunting by early humans, as well as the retreat of the last great ice age, were significant factors in their extinction. I think I probably would have enjoyed seeing a herd of them like, from a distance, and I also am very curious about what mammoth meat would have tasted like. So out of the five Guardian Beasts, those are the only two that lived at the same time as people and they did not live before 25 million years ago or so.

Andrew: So you’re saying that they’re not 175 million years ago.

Ethan: That’s correct.

Andrew: Okay.

Ethan: Smilodon and woolly mammoths lived in similar time periods, alongside humans, but our next two contestants definitely did not. Going even further back, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops did cohabit the Earth at the same time as each other, roughly 68 to 66 million years ago across Turtle Island, which at that point was a different continental configuration which some scientists refer to as Larimidia. Tyrannosaurus was one of the largest land predators to ever exist, and based on fossil evidence, scientists theorize that it had the strongest bite strength of any land animal to ever exist. Triceratops was very much not that, and there’s still debate today around how it utilized not just its horns, but also its bony neck frill. In 2006, a dual fossil was discovered in Wyoming featuring both a Tyrannosaurus and a Triceratops, who were apparently locked in battle, when both were killed and preserved nearly instantly. It’s one of the rarest configurations of fossils to ever be discovered, and Triceratops specifically is notable for being one of the very last non-avian dinosaurs. Both T-Rex and Triceratops were wiped out in the KT extinction event, when an asteroid between six and nine miles across (10 to 15 kilometers) slammed into what is now the Gulf of Mexico and irrevocably changed the climate and atmosphere of the Earth. I would not like to meet either of these; they’re very big and scary. These two reptiles were roughly 70 million years. So far we’re at the cutoff for the mammals, like 25 million years or so.
Going even further back we reached the Pteranodon, not the Pterodactyl, which is a suborder. Pteranodon lived in Central and South America 88 to 82 million years ago, so we’re going back almost 90 million years. There are a few important things to know about the Pteranodon: one, it was the first fossil discovered outside of Europe, and two, it was not a dinosaur but rather a pterosaur. So we have two mammals, two proper dinosaurs, and a pterosaur. These were the first animals on Earth to develop powered flight rather than gliding, and they likely subsisted mostly on fish, with scientists theorizing that they might even have fed like a modern-day duck on the surface of the water, which is a very silly image to think about. If you ever see ducks like, nibbling on, you know, pond weeds and things, they sort of flip and imagining a [Pteranodon] doing that’s pretty silly.

Andrew: But also like, I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten into a conflict
with a duck or a goose…

Ethan: Oh yes, yes I have.

Andrew: They are downright vicious and a little terrifying.

Ethan: And these things were five feet tall. I think it would be neat to see a flock of Pteranodons flying through the sky, but I would not like to see one up close. Just real big. Some of them had teeth, some of them didn’t, but… don’t care. So we have sort of three separate time periods. The show has nothing to do with any of those three time periods. So the mythos of Zyuranger claims not only that humans and the prehistoric animals featured in the show cohabited the Earth together, but that this occurred 170 million years ago. Obviously this is bunkus, just as the five Guardian Beasts based on real animals lived across a span of 80 million years, and humans have only been around in our current form for a very small fraction of that, but what was living 170 million years ago? Early salamanders and newts, as well as what are called cladotherian mammals, which are the ancestors of all extant mammals today. So we’re talking like very small rat-like creatures. These are the kinds of things that would have survived the KT event and gone on to form all the different families of mammals today.

Andrew: So imagine for a moment, right, that within the context of the show, everything that has been presented to us is factual, aside from the fact that it was actually humans. Instead, Geki, before being transported 170 million years into the future, was just a tiny little rat, and instead
of riding around on a Tyrannosaur, he was riding around on a little salamander.

Ethan: Yeah! Yeah. There were indeed dinosaurs living on Earth at this point, specifically sauropods, like apatosaurus, and pleisiosaurs, as well as oceans full of fish and other things, which had an enormous head start on all life on land. So why did the Sentai writers settle on this time frame and choose the animals they did? I imagine that the second question has a lot to do with marketing, but I don’t have any clue about the first. It just seems every bit as sensible to write the setting as like, a secret enclave of dinosaur-loving tribes, up until a certain point in history, when Bandora would have been banished just the same. 170 million years is a very long time. And that’s dinosaurs for ya.

Andrew: It’s an absurd amount of time, and that is one of the only improvements that Power Rangers has made over Sentai so far.

Ethan: Is just not bothering with any of the sort of mythos, and they’re just- they’re just here, and they just do stuff.

Andrew: And and when Rita is released, she’s talking about thousands of years.

Ethan: Ten thousand years.

Andrew: Yeah. As opposed to millions, I mean, like even one million years is an absurd amount of time for us to be thinking about. But yeah, 10,000 years, okay, fine, sure. From prehistory to today you’ve been locked up, gotcha.

Ethan: And like, 10,000 years ago, there were still mammoths and Smilodons out there. so like that tracks.

Andrew: But not the T-Rex.

Ethan: But not the T-Rex. The KT extinction event was such a massive upheaval and would have caused like, a global ice age, like, nuclear winter-like conditions, and like, you can still sort of see, loosely in the shape of the Gulf of Mexico, that it’s kind of crater-shaped, and there is a specific- there is a crater under there, that they discovered. But I read somewhere that the speed of that asteroid was so massive, that it would have been- from pre-impact to post-impact would have been like a finger snap level of speed, because that’s- it just was so completely massive, and was moving so fast through space, that from one second to the next, you went from living in, I think, the Cretaceous or whatever, like, that changed the era of the Earth that they were living in.

Andrew: Yeah, in an instant. But it was not 170 million years ago.

Ethan: No, not even close.

Andrew: Ethan, thank you for that. That was a fascinating dive. It really bothered me, and so I’m glad to see that the facts have been rendered.

Ethan: Yeah, it’s just- I would just be so interested to have sat in on this writer’s room, where they- I mean, they must have had like an encyclopedia open of like, “Okay, what dinosaurs do we know existed?” Why go with, you know, a sabertooth tiger over a cave bear, for example? I don’t know- this- the decision-making process, I would be really interested to to learn more about. I don’t know if there’s any production materials hanging around from that time, but-

Andrew: We’ll have to find out.

Ethan: Just a little interesting topic, and I mean, dinosaurs were my first hyperfixation as a child, like I could spell paleontologist at five years old. When grown-ups asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I would tell them, and they’d look at me weirdly, as you would any any small child who says he wants to dig up dinosaur bones for a living. But like, this is the era of Jurassic Park and Godzilla movies and Power Rangers.

Andrew: So we gotta talk about Jurassic Park a little bit.

Ethan: Ok, let’s talk about Jurassic Park.

Andrew: So we were three or four when Jurassic Park came out.

Ethan: ’93, I think. ’94, one of those two.

Andrew: Yeah. It was the first movie I saw in a movie theater.

Ethan: That makes sense.

Andrew: And my dad tells the story all the time, told it to my little brother who just had a baby like two weeks ago, that people were like, “You can’t bring him to see this!” And so in response to that, I just started naming like facts about dinosaurs, and all the ways that they were dangerous, and so we watched the movie and I loved it.

Ethan: Yeah! It’s an incredible movie, even to this day. It holds up so well.

Andrew: I fell asleep about halfway through, because I was a toddler, and didn’t have any trouble sleeping through Jurassic Park. We went back and watched it again the next week, because I was so upset that I’d missed some of it, because I was asleep, so I sympathize.

Ethan: Yeah. I believe the first movie I saw in theaters was Disney’s Aladdin. I have no memory of this, but it would have been at the old Dallas Theatre, and my mom says that when the giant sand tiger appeared, I started freaking out, would not calm down, and they had to leave. Again, no recollection of that. but I can easily see like a tiny baby me being totally, utterly, terrified of this like, giant head of a sand tiger thing. I mean, I think it’s really cool now, but obviously didn’t care for it at the time. But yeah, dinosaurs are cool. I still have like a huge book of dinosaur illustrations and fun facts, and I also have a a very small, very thin, little picture book that I got at the Scholastic Book Fair in 1995, that’s about probably four inches to a side, that’s just a little book about dinosaurs and that’s- it’s precious.

Andrew: Before we do our outro here, I’m just noticing that this Megazord has a tail. We have a little megazord on the count- on the table here where we’re shooting, and it has a tail, and I assume that the tail is supposed to fold up and like not be- but that’s just real funny.

Ethn: You can also take the Tyrannosaurus off of the SaberTiger and the Triceratops, but keep the Mastodon arms on him, so it’s- I don’t know, it’s very good. This one is Violet’s; she’s missing a few pieces, as she’s mentioned on the show before, and he’s just our sort of mascot now.

Andrew: Yeah. Okay, outro!

Ethan: Okay, we’ll be back next time to discuss episodes eight of Zyuranger “Kyofu! Shunkan nui!” which is “Terror! Eaten in an instant!” and Power Rangers “I, Eye Guy.”

Andrew: Which was real good.

Ethan: Yeah, “Eye Guy” is pretty solid. If you’ve enjoyed the show, please feel free to send me five dollars, and if you want to find me online, don’t. But you can follow the show on the Fediverse Andrew, how can people get in touch and what should they look out for?

Andrew: Yeah, you can find me online @AJRoach42@Retro.Social. I’m @AJRoach42 on most platforms. You can find my blog at or you can find all the various too many things that do at Around the time this episode is being released, I should have just opened a bookstore.

Ethan: Yeah. Okay! Well, that’s all the show we have for you today. Thank you so much for listening, and thanks also to Hurly-Burly and the Volcanic Fallout for the use of their song “Colossal Might (totally radical instrumental version)” for our intro and outro music. Kenkyuu Sentai Podcast Rangers is licensed CC-BY-SA and produced in collaboration with New Ellijay Television at the Ellijay Makerspace, which stands on the ancestral, unceded, stolen, and occupied lands of the Cherokee people. You can learn more about the Makerspace by visiting, and you can learn more about the Cherokee people by visiting Strength, love, and solidarity to all oppressed people, and in the words of a wise man, “F*** capitalism; go home.”

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